Monday, January 30, 2012

Easy Peasy Vegetable Soup

It's unseasonably warm right now in Chicago, walking my Beagle tonight it was a balmy 50 degrees. Regardless it's January in the Midwest which means soup season. I whipped up a batch of vegetable soup tonight and thought I would share the easy recipe.


1 leek, white and light green bottoms, wash thoroughly to remove sand
1 large carrot
2 celery stalks
Couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Cup of whole wheat pasta
1 32 oz cartoon of organic vegetable broth
2 cups of water
1 5.5 oz can of tomato juice
2 tablespoons of pesto (you can make with basil from your garden in summer and freeze in ice trays for fall and winter recipes or use store bought pesto, I favor the Trader Joe brand)
Generous dash of salt and pepper
Generous amount of herbs ( I use dried oregano from my garden and fresh parsley)
Additionally you can add any fresh vegetable in the pantry including potatoes, peas, garlic, green beans, tomatoes, etc.

Seriously it's this easy...roughly chop the leek, carrot and celery, throw them in a large pot or dutch oven with the olive oil and cook over low until almost translucent. Throw in the uncooked pasta, cook with vegetables for a couple of minutes until the pasta gets slightly browned. Add vegetable broth, water, tomato juice, pesto, salt, pepper and herbs. Cook until pasta is al dente, taste for additional seasoning. I like to throw in bread cubes I defrost from the freezer for a variety on traditional bread soup. Other toppings, splash of tabasco sauce, grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese or popped popcorn.

Easy peasy. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bookstores in New Orleans

Paul and I are back from 4 days in New Orleans and already missing the chicory coffee and beignets from Cafe Du Monde, the rooftop pool and views at the Omni Royal Orleans, the jazz at Fritzel's and playing pool at Molly's and Fahy's Pubs.

We spent our days wandering the French Quarter and Garden District and our evenings listening to music on Bourbon Street, enjoying cocktails in the Hotel Monteleone and the Ritz Carlton and indulging on Southern cooking at Stella and Muriel's.

During our ramblings we poked through dusty bookstores and an old carriage house behind a Garden District Library full of books and maps for a book sale. I bought 2 books, an 1897 edition of Amos Judd by J.A. Mitchell and a 1945 illustrated edition of The Sir Roger de Coverley Papers from The Spectator, London: 1711-1712.

If you are visiting New Orleans here is a list of bookstores to pay a visit too:
  • Arcadian Books, 714 Orleans Street, The French Quarter
  • Beckham's Book Store, 228 Decatur Street, The French Quarter
  • Crescent City Books, 230 Chartres Street, The French Quarter
  • Dauphine Street Books, 410 Dauphine Street, The French Quarter
  • Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania Street, Garden District
  • Librairie Books, 823 Chartres Street, The French Quarter
  • Maple Street Used & Rare Books, 7523 Maple Street, Garden District
And don't miss the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library book sale every Wednesday and Saturday in the Carriage House behind the Latter Library Branch on St. Charles Avenue.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Arlington Heights Memorial Library named Business of the Year

The Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce named the Arlington Heights Memorial Library the 2011 Business of the Year at the Installation and Awards dinner on January 12.

You can view a picture of those of us who were at the Awards dinner here.

I am looking forward to working with the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce as co-chair of the Professional Women's Council for 2012. Demonstrating the Library's resources to local business owners is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

Congratulations to Library staff and the Arlington Heights community for recognizing such an amazing Library.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Joy of Books

This video has gone viral. It's wonderful. The books are dancing...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How Libraries are Assisting Job Seekers

There is an article on the front page of today's Daily Herald about libraries and the resources and programs they offer for job seekers. I was interviewed for the article about the Job Seekers Series that I plan through a partnership with the Rotary Club of Arlington Heights.
You can read the article here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Pages on Lively Librarian: Books and Vintage

I've added 2 additional pages to my blog, Books and Vintage. You can access the pages by clicking on the tabs on my homepage.

On my Books page I will be compiling all of the book related posts I've written on Lively Librarian since 2008. They will be organized by reviews, gifts for book lovers, trends and more.

The Vintage page is developing through my love of vintage clothing, antiquing, resale shopping and the retro remodel of my 1950's era home. I will regularly add links and information on stores, bargains and pictures of items I wear, gift and decorate with.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The "Ladies" are Back

In 1994 I began watching a British TV series, Absolutely Fabulous. At the time I was living in a little flat near Chicago, my son was a year old and a friend from college and I would watch every episode we could find on TV (in the days before internet, DVR, HULU and streaming series it was hard to find). Ab Fab as it was nicknamed by its fans, was brilliant in its comedy, its complete disregard for taste and the flamboyant fashions. Years before the girls on Sex and the City, Absolutely Fabulous broke all the rules on TV with sex, designer clothes, drinking and outrageous behavior.

The series revolves around middle aged best friends Edina and Patsy who as a result of disposable incomes from their jobs in PR and fashion as well as alimony from Edina's 2 ex husbands indulge in drugs, drinking, sex, shopping and bizarre schemes to stay young and party in London. Edina's long suffering daughter Saffron, her mother, ex husbands and assistant Bubble are regularly involved in their crazy antics.

Jennifer Saunders as Edina and Joanna Lumley as Patsy are hysterical in their physical comedy, regularly falling out of cars, submitting themselves to insane hair and makeup and wearing outrageous fashions. Every other word is "Sweetie" or "Darling", they swill champagne and red wine all day and smoke incessantly. And no matter what they do, it's fall down funny.

2012 will be the 20th anniversary of the series and Edina and Patsy are back for 3 episodes. Whether you are a fan of the series from the 90's or a new watcher, it's not to be missed.

Below is a minute of a favorite episode of mine, "Poor". Tricked by daughter Saffy into thinking she is poor in order to reduce her spending, Edina and Patsy attempt to drive to the supermarket (they usually only have hired cars), try to figure out how to grocery shop, shoplift champagne, have the car booted after parking on the sidewalk in front of Harvey Nichols and get arrested for drunk driving. This episode has me in tears every time I watch it I laugh so hard, hysterical!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New To Do

Welcome to 2012! I took a look at my Google Analytics account to see what my readers were checking out on Lively Librarian the most during 2011. Here are the 5 most visited posts in 2011.

So for 2012, I plan on blogging more on Lively Librarian, picking up the draft for a book I started writing in 2005 and work on that, submit papers on a variety of topics to international library conferences, take a class or 2 (hopefully 1 back at Oxford) and of course, travel more.

As always readers, thanks for following along, I love your comments, I love when people meet me at conferences or when I speak to groups and say, "You're the Lively Librarian". It's been a journey, looking forward to 2012. Happy New Year!