It’s National Cheesecake Day!

July 30th is National Cheesecake Day! Take the time today to enjoy a slice. Stop by the store to pick one up, or stay tuned for a recipe to try at home!

The cheesecake is thought to have gotten its start in Ancient Greece. The earliest mention of a cheesecake is by the Greek physician Aegimus in a book he wrote on the art of making cheesecakes. However, a more modern version called a sambocade (pictured left), made with elderflower and rose water, can be found in Forme of Cury, an English cookbook from 1390. This has led to chef Heston Blumenthal to argue that the cheesecake is actually an English invention. The name cheesecake has been used since the 1400s; however, the cheesecake as we know it did not evolve until the 1700s when Europeans began removing yeast from the recipe and replacing it with beaten eggs instead. Modern cheesecake now comes in two forms: the regular baked cheesecake, and the unbaked cream cheese cheesecake on graham cracker crust that was invented in the United States.

Prep: 15 minutes

Inactive: 8 hours

Cook: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Serves 8-10


Ingredients

Crust

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch fine salt

Filling

2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups sour cream

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Topping

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

Berries, optional


Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
  2. For the crust: Melt the butter, covered in the microwave, in a medium microwave-safe bowl, or a saucepan. Brush a 9-inch springform pan with some of the butter. Stir the remaining butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom of the pan, taking care to get the crust evenly into the edges. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool. Wrap the bottom and up the sides of the pan with foil and put in a roasting pan.
  3. For the filling: Beat the cream cheese on medium speed with a hand-held mixer until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and beat just until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed. Slowly beat in the sour cream, then eggs, vanilla and both citrus zests; take care not to over whip. Pour into the cooled crust.
  4. Bring a medium saucepan or kettle of water to a boil. Gently place the roasting pan in the oven (don’t pull the rack out of the oven). Pour in enough hot water to come about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes—the outside of the cake will set but the center will still be loose.
  5. For the topping: Stir together the sour cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Spread over the top of the cooked cheesecake and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Turn the oven off, cook the cheesecake in the residual heat in the oven for about 1 hour. This gentle finish minimizes the risk of the dreaded crack in your cheesecake.
  6. Remove cheesecake from the roasting pan to a rack. Run a knife around the edges and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
  7. Bring cheesecake to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Remove the springform ring. Dip a knife in warm water, wipe dry before slicing each piece. Serve with berries, if desired.

Recipe taken from Food Network.

Prep: 20 minutes

Inactive: 8 hours and 20 minutes

Cook: 0 minutes

Serves 10-12


Ingredients

Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12-14 full sheet graham crackers)

1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream or heavy whipping cream

three 8-ounce blocks full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 


Instructions

  1. Make the crust: Stir the graham cracker crust ingredients together. Pour into a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan and pack in very tightly. The tighter it’s packed, the less likely it will fall apart when cutting the cheesecake. I recommend using the bottom of a measuring cup to pack it into the bottom and up the sides. You can watch me do this in the video above. Freeze for 10-20 minutes as you prepare the filling.
  2. Make the filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cold heavy cream into stiff peaks on medium-high speed, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium speed until perfectly smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the confectioners’ sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed until smooth and combined. Make sure there are no large lumps of cream cheese. If there are lumps, keep beating until smooth.
  4. Using your mixer on low speed or a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling until combined. This takes several turns of your rubber spatula. Combine slowly as you don’t want to deflate all the air in the whipped cream.
  5. Remove crust from the freezer and spread filling into crust. Use an offset spatula to smooth down the top.
  6. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours and up to 2 days. For best results, 12 hours is best. I chill mine overnight. The longer refrigerated, the nicer the no-bake cheesecake will set up.
  7. Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean between each slice.
  8. Serve cheesecake with desired toppings. Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe taken from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Want more desserts? We have a book for that!

                            
Take It, Make It: Scarecrow

School’s about to start, so you know what that means! Summer is almost over! But don’t worry, we have one final Sizzlin’ Summer Activity just for you! Beginning July 27, 2020, the final Take It, Make It activity will be available at both branches! Take It, Make It activities are projects that can be done at home with materials you can pick up at the library! You can also request curbside pick up. Just call 812-926-0646 (Aurora) or 812-954-4151 (Dillsboro) and let us know how many of the activities you need for your family!

 

Get ready for the transition from summer to fall with this week’s activity! Stop by the library to pick up the supplies to make your very own scarecrow! Check out the scarecrow Ms. Stephanie made!

Thanks for spending your summer with us! We had a lot of fun and we hope you did too! We hope to be able to meet safely in the fall for in person programs!

Ashton’s Literary Ramblings Review: Sarah J. Maas: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood

So if you are a die hard fan of anything, then you know the anticipation and the eagerness that fills your veins when they (whoever they are) announce an addition or new item. Well, Sarah J. Maas announced early last year that she was starting an adult fantasy series called Crescent City. I was like a little kid in a candy shop with unlimited money; I was so, so excited. Then, of course, I had to wait…and I had to wait. As a reader, we know the definition of waiting. While some authors can publish a book each month (James Patterson, I’m pointing my fingers at you) or at least publish a few novels a year (Danielle Steel, this is where you come in), other authors take a long, long, long time. Look at Stephenie Meyer. She’s finally finishing Midnight Sun after thirteen years, but that’s a whole other blog post (coming soon).

First off as always:

Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood

This cover is absolutely breathtaking! The cover is made by artist Carlos Quevedo, a Venezuelan graphic artist. The intricacy of his artwork is amazing and makes this perfectly suited for Sarah’s book.

Now let’s get to the point: the book. First, here’s the summary taken from Goodreads:

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars, but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

 

At first, I struggled with this book. I didn’t like the set up of it or how Bryce was perceived as a ‘party girl’. Eventually, I started becoming more interested in the story. While I was still confused about how Sarah set up the world of Crescent City and how that world operated, I eventually became invested in the characters and the mystery revolving around the horn. Hunt and Bryce, of course, became a top contender of my favorite fictional couples. I could see how bruised and hurt they both were by things that had either happened to them in the past or things they had done in the past and how those things had shaped them as characters. Their relationship evolved from one of loathing to loving. However, if you’ve read anything by Sarah J. Maas, then you know about her plot switches. I won’t invest myself in any specific relationship in this series until book two comes out because I know how her plot switch upended my whole world when I read her other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. 

Now, I’m back to waiting for the next installment in the series (no publication date yet). I’m hoping Maas will use Book 2 to fill in the cracks about this world in Crescent City.

Take It, Make It: Bubble Cup

Beginning July 20, 2020, our fourth Take It, Make It activity will be available at both branches! Take It, Make It activities are projects that can be done at home with materials you can pick up at the library! You can also request curbside pick up. Just call 812-926-0646 (Aurora) or 812-954-4151 (Dillsboro) and let us know how many of the activities you need for your family!

This week’s activity is a bubble cup! Follow these instructions to make your cup!

  1. Insert the straw into the pre-punched hole in the cup.
  2. Have a grown-up put some liquid dishwashing soap on the felt on the top of the cup.
  3. Have the grown-up put a little bit of water on the felt on the top of the cup.
  4. Blow into the straw.
  5. Be amazed by the bubbles on the top of the cup!

If you want your bubble fun to be featured on our social media, send a picture to Ms. Stephanie at stephanie@eapld.org. Make sure to include if we have permission to share your picture and name on our socials. Pictures must be submitted by August 1, 2020.

You can download and print the entire summer schedule here, or you can pick one up at either branch.

Resources for Homeschoolers

We’ve always had quite a few homeschool families in the Library District. Recently we have taken steps to update our collection of resources to help those families. Many of these newer titles might be interesting to other parents as well, so click on these links to get more information. We also have items on display at both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library, including packets of information about some of our other educational resources.

  2 Homeschool Myths Debunked by Kent Larson  The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart  The Call of the Wild + Free by Ainsley Arment

 Homeschoolers are Not Hermits by Kathy Oaks  Homeschooled & Headed for College by Denise Boiko  Homeschooling Gifted Kids by Cindy West

 The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise  This is My Home, This is My School by Jonathan Bean  Unschooled by Kerry McDonald

As always, we’re happy to request items from other libraries, if we don’t have exactly what you need. Just talk to a staff member, or click here to request an item through Inter-Library Loan.

Virtual Activity: Scavenger Hunt

It’s time for our final Sizzlin’ Summer Virtual Activity! Virtual Activities are challenges for you to complete at home with whatever you have around your house! You can find our previous virtual activities here.

This week’s activity is to go on a scavenger hunt outside and find something that reminds you of a story you’ve read! Be sure to get adult permission before going outside! Ms. Stephanie went on her own scavenger hunt and found some cows that reminded her of the book Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type! See what fun things you can find!

If you want your scavenger hunt findings to be featured on our social media, send a picture to Ms. Stephanie at stephanie@eapld.org. Make sure to include the title of the book, as well as if we have permission to share your picture and name on our socials. Pictures must be submitted by July 25, 2020.

You can download and print the entire summer schedule here.

Don’t forget about your reading logs! If our patrons collectively read 1,500 books, one lucky patron gets to throw a pie in Ms. Stephanie’s face! You can find more information on reading logs and the pie contest hereReading logs must be submitted by July 18, 2020.

Take It, Make It: Salt Dough

Beginning July 6, 2020, the third Take It, Make It activity will be available at both branches! Take It, Make It activities are projects that can be done at home with materials you can pick up at the library! You can also request curbside pick up. Just call 812-926-0646 (Aurora) or 812-954-4151 (Dillsboro) and let us know how many of the activities you need for your family!

This week’s activity is salt dough! Stop by either branch to pick up your bag of dough to take home! Follow these instructions to create a sculpture!

  1. If you wish, use food coloring to create different colored dough, or you can paint your sculpture once it is complete.
  2. Find a clean surface to work with your dough.
  3. Create your sculpture! Use cookie cutters, roll it out and make a rainbow, create an animal- let your imagination run wild!
  4. Once your sculpture is complete you can leave it to air dry (this will take up to a week), or have an adult dry your sculpture in the oven at 180° for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the adult should tap the sculpture to make sure it doesn’t “yield” to touch. If it yields, it should be cooked longer.

If you want your creation to be featured on our social media, send a picture to Ms. Stephanie at stephanie@eapld.org. Make sure to include if we have permission to share your picture and name on our socials. Pictures must be submitted by July 18, 2020.

You can download and print the entire summer schedule here, or you can pick one up at either branch.

Don’t forget! There’s still time to get started on your summer reading log! If our patrons collectively read 1,500 books, one lucky patron gets to throw a pie in Ms. Stephanie’s face! You can find more information on reading logs and the pie contest here.

Happy Independence Day!

The Aurora Public Library District will be closed on

Friday, July 3rd, and Saturday, July 4th,

in celebration of Independence Day.

While you’re planning your holiday celebrations, why not check out a non-fiction book to help you learn more about the American Revolution? Here are some ideas to get you started. Don’t forget, you can also check out the digital selections on the Indiana Digital Download Center.

1776 by David McCullough The American Revolution: a World War The Drillmaster of Valley Forge by Paul Lockhart

Founding Fathers by K.M. Kostyal Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts George Washington's Secret Six by Kilmeade and Yaeger

Independence Lost by Kathleen DuVal Inventing America by Garry Wills Killing England by Bill O'Reilly

The First Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer The Whites of Their Eyes by Paul Lockhart Washington's Revolution by Robert Middlekauff

 

Virtual Activity: Mason Jar Experiments

It’s time for Sizzlin’ Summer Virtual Activity #3! Virtual Activities are challenges for you to complete at home with whatever you have around your house! We’ll be giving you activities all summer long, so make sure to check back on our website every week for a new challenge!

Break out your lab coat because we’ve pulled together some science experiments just for you! All these projects can be done with items around your house! Once you complete your experiments, take a picture of your results and send them to stephanie@eapld.org. Be sure to include the child’s name and if we have permission to post the picture on our socials.

You can download and print the entire summer schedule here.

Don’t forget about your reading logs! If our patrons collectively read 1,500 books, one lucky patron gets to throw a pie in Ms. Stephanie’s face! You can find more information on reading logs and the pie contest here.

Let’s do some experiments!

How Do Seeds Sprout?

Supplies: Zip-Lock Bag*, Paper Towel, Seed**, Water

Directions: 

  1. Put some water on the paper towel (make it damp, but not soaking wet). Fold the paper towel and put it in the bag.
  2. Put the seed in the bag so you can see it.
  3. Seal the bag. Put it in a sunny place like a window ledge or taped to a window or door that gets a lot of sunlight.
  4. Wait for a few days.

 

What happened to the seed? Write about what you see or draw a picture of what has happened to the seed.

*A jar or a clear cup can be used in place of the zip-lock bag. You will need to add soil to the cup. Place the seed in the cup along the outside edge so that it can be seen.

**You can stop in the library to pick up a seed if you need one.

Science Behind the Experiment

Will Water and Oil Mix?

Supplies: Jar with a Lid, Food Coloring, Oil, One Egg

Directions:

  1. Fill the jar half full with water.
  2. Put a few drops of food coloring in the jar.
  3. Fill the rest of the jar with oil.
  4. Close the lid tightly and shake the jar.
  5. Set the jar down and watch what happens. Write down your results.
  6. Open the lid, and crack open an egg in the jar.
  7. Close the lid tightly and shake the jar.
  8. Set the jar down and watch what happens. Write down or draw your results.

Are the results the same or different from from the first time that you shook the jar? Why do you think that happened?

Science Behind the Experiment

How Do Trees Breathe?

Supplies: Freshly Picked Leaves From Plants or Trees, Clear Jars or Cups, Water

Directions:

  1. Fill the jars or cups with water.
  2. Put the leaves in the jars or cups. Put some leaves face up and some face down.
  3. Put the jars in sunlight.
  4. Wait several hours.

Look at the surface of the leaves. What do you notice? Write about it or draw a picture.

Science Behind the Experiment

How Do We See?

Supplies: Jar or Clear Cup, Water, Colored Markers, Paper

Directions:

  1. Fill the jar or cup with water.
  2. Use the markers to draw a horizontal row of colors in a rainbow on your paper.
  3. Place the paper behind the jar or cup. Move your head around the jar until you can get the rainbow to flip. That means the purple line will be on the left instead of the right.

Science Behind the Experiment

Capillary Action

Supplies: Paper Towels, 6 Jars or Clear Cups, Food Coloring

Directions:

  1. Fill 3 jars full of water. Put red food coloring in the first jar, blue in the second, and yellow in the third.
  2. Put all six jars in a circle. Put one empty jar in between each full jar.
  3. Drape a paper towel between each empty jar and the full jar next to it. Make sure the paper towel is touching the water. Each jar should have two paper towels in it.
  4. Wait 24 hours.

What happened in each of the jars? Write down your observations or draw a picture.

Science Behind the Experiment

Want more experiments? We have a book for that!

                              

 

Take It, Make It: Chalk

Beginning June 22, 2020, the second Take It, Make It activity will be available at both branches! Take It, Make It activities are projects that can be done at home with materials you can pick up at the library! You can also request curbside pick up. Just call 812-926-0646 (Aurora) or 812-954-4151 (Dillsboro) and let us know how many of the activities you need for your family!

This week’s activity is sidewalk chalk! Stop by either branch to pick up your chalk to take home. Please ask an adult where the best place is to use your chalk. Use your imagination and create a picture! If you want your creation to be featured on our social media, send a picture to Ms. Stephanie at stephanie@eapld.org. Make sure to include if we have permission to share your picture and name on our socials. Pictures must be submitted by July 11, 2020.

You can download and print the entire summer schedule here, or you can pick one up at either branch.

Haven’t started on your summer reading log yet? That’s okay! There’s still time!  If our patrons collectively read 1,500 books, one lucky patron gets to throw a pie in Ms. Stephanie’s face! You can find more information on reading logs and the pie contest here.