Kindle + Library = Love

By Jill Taylor

Between the relentless rain and a nasty cold, I’m not getting out anytime soon. So I’m particularly appreciating my Kindle that wirelessly downloads unlimited books from the library. Yes, I was formerly a ‘I can get it at the library’ hold-out but when the new Kindle launched at $79 and they formed an agreement with libraries, it was time to shed my Luddite ways and convert. Now no more trudging to the library or packing books on planes so I’m happily reading more than ever (and with the larger font size, I’m reading faster than ever).

For those of you with a Kindle (or Kindle app on your iPad) and a library card, here’s how it works. Search on your library site and if there’s an eBook option it will show up to the right. Here’s one I just read and loved as an example:

http://catalog.multcolib.org/search~S1?/abloom%2C+amy/abloom+amy/1%2C2%2C15%2CB/frameset&FF=abloom+amy+1953&4%2C%2C14

Click on the “click here to access digital titles” link which leads you here:

http://library2go.lib.overdrive.com/D2C01FD0-EB15-4E18-8F5C-ED584F107B00/10/438/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=802583CD-0B70-4EB1-A0BC-C12E3FB405E2

Click “Place a hold” and enter your library card number and they will email you when it becomes available for downloading. (Most of the best sellers take awhile to become available however older books usually download immediately.) You will then be automatically directed to Amazon who will download your book wirelessly to your Kindle, piece of cake.

You can hold up to 6 titles at a time (and since I have a Santa Barbara library card too, 12) and check them out for up to 3 weeks. A little trick is you can get around this time limit by not turning on your wireless after its expiration, but if you want to download another book, you’ll have to turn it on eventually.

At first it may seem daunting to go through all these steps but after you do it a few times, it becomes automatic. And by the way, you can also check out audiobooks for your iPod/iPhone using the same method.

Happy reading,
Jill

Kathy’s new easy favorite potato recipe

I’ve done this with red, yukon, and my personal favorite, sweet potatoes! > It’s so easy! They are a great “do ahead” for entertaining.
I boil potatoes until just barely soft. Drizzle olive oil and course sea salt on the cookie sheet. Smash potatoes and add more olive oil (and/or melted butter). Sprinkle with more course salts, herbs, parm. cheese or whatever! Roast until crispy on top at a higher heat (425 degrees).

Enjoy !
Kathy Krause

Fun with Scarves

I’m a recent Pinterest addict and on today’s page noticed this link to fun ways to tie scarves. Since I saw Portland awoke to some snow this morning, thought this might be timely if you’re looking for new ways to wear ’em. The ‘four in hand’ is my go-to but am looking forward to trying the ‘fancy braid’, double Boho’ and ‘loop and tuck.’

http://www.scarves.net/scarf-tying-index.html

Stay warm,
Jill

No Knead Pizza for Everyone

I know a few of us have made no knead bread but the pizza version is the new hot (no pun intended) trend. It’s super easy and works with a traditional pizza pan or baking sheet as shown in the video.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/20/no-knead-pizza_n_1364299.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

No-Knead Pizza Dough
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Co.
Makes four 12-inch pizza crusts

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast (note from Jill: I’ve had better results using 1 tsp.)
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups warm water
1. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the yeast and salt. Add the water and stir until blended (the dough will be very sticky). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 12 to 24 hours in a warm spot, about 70°.
2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and lightly sprinkle the top with flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Generously sprinkle a clean cotton towel with flour and cover the dough balls with it. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
4. Stretch or toss the dough into the desired shape, cover with toppings and bake at 500 degrees on top of a baking sheet or very hot pizza stone.

Enjoy,
Jill

Hooray

What a lovely idea so we don’t have to consider the appropriateness of posts to our uptight Bible-thumping relatives, high school friends or ex-colleagues on Facebook. Perhaps it’s the female equivalent of “The Bizzy Life” which skews male (except for Michelle’s brilliant posts). Here’s one I was going to email the book club girls but will post here instead.

Jill Taylor

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2012/03/19/120319taco_talk_talbot