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  • July 2020
    M T W T F S S

More creepy halloween fun is happening @ your library this week

To follow up on Marian’s excellent roundup of spooky activities around the city’s libraries from last week, here’s what’s happening this week.

At Allegheny today we have Halloween Minute to Win It:

Do you have what it takes, or are you too scared? Test yourself during our spooky Halloween rendition of “Minute to Win It.”

Monday, October 28, 2013
4:00 PM
1230 Federal Street Pittsburgh, PA 15212
this could be you today. photo via Escondido Public Library's flickr

this could be you today. photo via Escondido Public Library’s flickr

Tuesday you can attend the ZOMB-FEST  at the Hill District:
Zomb-Fest 2013 kicks off with brain corn hole, snacks and learning the Thriller dance. Then we’ll have a professional make-up artist teach you how to Zombie-fy yourself with real theatrical makeup. Then you can hit the Photo Booth and capture the gruesome moment! Eat yummy, freaky Halloween snacks!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
October 29, 2013

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

2177 Centre Avenue at Kirkpatrick Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

photo of the author as a zombie

photo of the author as a zombie

or view a scary movie at East Liberty‘s Teen Time!
There will be a selection of movies to choose from – classics and new releases, and some popcorn and apples to snack on.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
130 S. Whitfield Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15206

not the actual selection of movies. photo via nomadic lass on flickr

not the actual selection of movies. photo via nomadic lass on flickr

There’s also face painting at Allegheny on Tuesday:
Join local artist Lauren Toohey as she teaches you the basics of face painting. She will also talk about making a living as an artist. Have your face painted, then put your skills to use at our Halloween Carnival by painting a friend’s face!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM


1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

And a pre-Halloween party at Brookline:
Halloween is creeping around the corner! Put on a costume and do your part to get in the spooky spirit by partying up with us pre-Halloween.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

708-710 Brookline Blvd.

Pittsburgh, PA 15226

mutant cyborg costume by don pezzano on flickr

mutant cyborg costume by don pezzano on flickr

Then on Wednesday you can get candy at Brookline.. if you win a game:
Happy Halloween! On your way out the door to mega-candy acquisitioning, stop by the library for Teen Lounge. We’ll be distributing candy in the manner of Deal or No Deal. Will you hit it big, or will you end up with a toothbrush?
Thursday, October 31, 2013

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM


708-710 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226

a toothbrush. by dave lanovaz

a toothbrush. by dave lanovaz

And on Thursday, Knoxville is having a Spooky Teen Time:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

400 Brownsville Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15210

this could be what it's like at Knoxville's Teen Time. You'll never know if you don't show up! photo by minxlj on flickr

this could be what it’s like at Knoxville’s Teen Time. You’ll never know if you don’t show up! photo by minxlj on flickr

Remember, all of this is IN ADDITION to Carrick’s Haunted Library, Labs events, regular Teen Time activities, Art Clubs, AND MORE. Check the local teen evens near you on our teen event feed!

This is your last chance!!! For a little bit


The West End branch of the Carnegie Library will be closing for renovations on October 19th.  They will be closed for a few months while air conditioning and an elevator and a bunch of other cool stuff is installed.

But before they close you have one last chance to visit their Teen Lounge!  The last Lounge will be held on Tuesday, October 8th from 5-7pm.  You can play XBox games, create a craft or make your own cake pop!!  What is a cake pop you might ask.  Well, it is a delicious mini cake on  a Popsicle stick.  And you get to create your own with your favorite toppings.


Cake Pops!!

So if you might be interested in cake, games and fun you can call Ms. Annica at the West End at 412-921-1717.

Ms. Annica!!

Ms. Annica!!

Cook It Up This Summer

I love food, I love eating, and most of all, and I love to cook the food I eat.  Cooking gives you the satisfaction of creating something delicious.  Cooking is a wonderful way to express yourself creatively.  Cooking also makes you popular—people love food and the people who give them food.

Cooking also gives you control over what you put into your body, which may be more important now than ever before.  Teenage diabetes, namely Type 2 diabetes, is on the rise in the United States.  Until recently, this was a disease rarely seen in children and teens.  Now, with increasing obesity rates, young people are at much greater risk for weight-related diseases.

Take charge of what and how you eat!  If you are a beginning chef or have been cooking for years, these books are for you.  For more cooking inspiration, take a look at some of these food blogs written by teens!


Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs by Rozanne Gold

Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat by Megan Carle

Teen Cuisine by Matthew Locricchio


Check out A Teen Gourmet, written by a Kentucky-based teen about cooking, starting college, and life!

In Kate’s Kitchen features delicious recipes with step-by-step instructions and photographs on how to make each recipe!

17 and Baking features everything baking.  Check out this blog to find out how to make cookies, bars, and other scrumptious baked goods!

Happy Seward’s Day!!

You probably have never heard of Seward’s Day. I had never heard of it until a few days ago when I was looking for odd holidays that happen in March (like Girl Scout Day on March 12th or Make Up Your Own Holiday Day on March 25th). One of those odd holidays was Seward’s Day, which celebrates the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. William H. Seward was the US Secretary of State who negotiated the deal, so the day is known as Seward’s Day. I do remember that the purchase of Alaska was originally called ‘Seward’s Folly’ because some people thought $7 million was too much to pay for such a barren wasteland. I guess Seward was right though as Alaska has provided the United States with lots of natural resources, Jewel, and the TV show Northern Exposure.

I am choosing to write about Alaska though because it has been my dream vacation destination for as long as I can remember. I actually prefer to not leave the house (or at least the western Pennsylvania region), but if I could travel somewhere Alaska would be my choice. I have always thought that Alaska was beautiful and majestic and would be a cool place to visit. I’ve always dreamed of seeing the glaciers, flyfishing, and visit Denali National Park. Plus, I love seafood and Alaska probably has some awesome fresh seafood! I even know where I would stay- the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge near Denali National Park. Maybe some day I’ll be able to visit and then I can blog about my adventures! Until then have a great Seward’s Day and keep dreaming of your own fantasy vacation!

Hungry? Head to Art Club!

Many of you are already aware of the Main Teen Room‘s AWESOME Art Club which meets every Wednesday from 3 pm to 5 pm.  But did you know that beginning this month, on the second Wednesday of every month we’ll be offering a different food related craft at Art Club?  Instead of getting creative with yarn, glitter, and tissue paper; teens will be making their masterpieces from spaghetti, sprinkles and other edible materials.  Teens- we heard you loud and clear.  You don’t have to say it with your mouths, because we probably wouldn’t be able to hear it over the roaring of your tummies anyway.

 Wednesday, January 11 @ 3pm: Marshmallow Mania

 Wednesday, February 8 @ 3pm: Candy Dynamite

 Wednesday, March 14 @ 3pm: Cookie Decorating

You say you can’t make it to Art Club?  Please, stop crying and check out these books filled with yummy recipes and edible crafts instead.  Just try not to drool all over the library’s copy.

Candy Construction: How to Build Edible Race Cars, Castles, and Other Cool Stuff Out of Store-bought Candy!

by Sharon Bowers


Learn how to build a chess board from chocolate kisses, a pirate ship from krispy rice treats, a race car from licorice and more delicious construction projects using just about anything with candy and other goodies.

Cute Yummy Time: 70 Recipes for the Cutest Food You’ll Ever Eat

by La Carmina

Easy instructions for making the most adorable snacks.  The most difficult thing about the recipes in this book is mustering the strength to eat your cute creations.

Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes

by Christopher D. Sayers

Any die hard manga and anime fan knows what a bento box is.  But do they know how to make the delicious treats that go inside?  Check out this step-by-step guide and interviews with charaben enthusiasts.

Junk Foodie: 51 Delicious Recipes for the Lowbrow Gourmand

by Emilie Balt

Even if you’re not the most impressive chef, you can still make a delicious feast.  Just visit a vending machine and open this inspirational book!

Smoothie Snacks

I don’t know about you but I’m fending off left over Halloween candy and cookies well into November. And with a few of the biggest gastronomic events of the year still on the horizon I’m doing my best to keep it cool with the calories.  It’s not easy. I love to cook and eat, and to me this is the best time of year for both.

One of my favorite ways to get lots of vitamins without empty calories is by making a smoothie. Smoothies can include tons of different ingredients with room to adapt for all types of dietary concerns, and personal taste. My basic smoothie recipe includes fruit and yogurt, but there are tons of options. I usually freeze my fruit because that creates a thick smoothie without the ice. Depending on the fruit you use, you might decide to add a little sweetener like honey or agave nectar. Using fruit flavored yogurt could kick the sweetness up too. Try using soy based yogurt or plain soy milk if you want to go dairy free, and keep in mind that there are no rules!

If you want a more filling smoothie consider adding some oatmeal, oat bran, or flax-seed for a fiber boost.  Don’t just limit yourself to fruit either, a wide variety of vegetables would add great nutrition to your smoothie. Try any type of greens, carrots, peppers or tomatoes, or for a richer smoothie put in some peanut butter or chocolate.

It seems like I’m not the only one who likes to have a smoothie snack now and then. There are tons of books on how its done.

Or if you’re looking for a smoothie with the flavors of the season check out his one I stumbled across on the terrific cooking blog called The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

Pumpkin Smoothie Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 Ounce) Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • 3 cups Whole Milk (more If Needed
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt (up To 1 Cup)
  • A Few Dashes Of Cinnamon
  • Cinnamon Graham Crackers, Crushed
Preparation Instructions
Well ahead of time, place pumpkin pie filling into a freezer-safe container. Freeze for a few hours or until frozen solid.
To make the smoothie, add milk, and yogurt to a blender. Drop in the frozen pumpkin pie filling and blend until the frozen filling is completely pulverized. Add more milk or yogurt as needed to get it the consistency you’d like.
Pour into individual glasses and sprinkle the tops with graham cracker crumbs. Serve immediately!
*Note: Make a lower-calorie smoothie by using unsweetened/unflavored pumpkin puree, non fat plain yogurt, and the sweetener of your choice.
*Can also sprinkle with cinnamon and/or nutmeg instead of graham cracker crumbs.

Happy Blending


Dorito Inventor Dies – Dorito Sandwich Eaten to Honor the Deceased.

Greetings, Pittsburgh Teens!  I’m blogging live from the Pennsylvania Library Association’s conference in sunny State College, PA!  While away from home, I tend to eat too much “road food,” such as cajun fries with ranch dressing, milk shakes, and onion rings.  So in the spirt of eating junky road food, I present this collection of short tales of  not-so-good-for-you-but-can-be-hard-to-resist foods, and junk food for thought.

The inventor of Doritos, Arch West, recently passed away, and Doritos were sprinkled on his grave.  One blogger also ate a Dorito sandwich to pay homage.

If you could sprinkle one food item on your grave, what would it be?

(I think I would go with black olives.)

Over at Laughing Squid, someone recently created a pizza-flavored pizza. That’s right, they made a pizza out of pizza flavored foods.  It looked like this –

(Special thanks to Denise for the heads-up on the pizza-flavored pizza!)

If you were to make a food-flavored food, what would it be?  Buffalo wing-flavored buffalo wings?  Cheese-flavored cheese? Ranch-flavored ranch dressing?

And at Thatsnerdalicious, they recently made a dessert out of potato chips dipped in chocolate.  Hey, if it works for pretzels, why not chips?

What salty snack do you think needs some chocolate?  Doritos?


So, if you enjoy looking at pictures of strange and interesting food, you have some options at the library.  (Click on the covers to link to the catalog records.)

Happy junk fooding!

Holly, CLP-Main

POW: Poetry on Wednesday

If you haven’t read this poem already, there’s a 80% chance you would have come across it in  your life without me posting it here today. It’s a classic:

photo by flickr user hisgett

This is Just to Say

I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably


for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

It’s by William Carlos Williams, who was both a doctor and a poet.

The reason I like this poem so much is that it is a perfect description of a moment, and it’s a description of a relationship.  All of that in 12 lines!  It’s got the joy of spontaneously eating something because it seems like the perfect thing to do, and the thrill of knowing it’s not very polite. You could read it a different way each time. Is the narrator really asking for forgiveness? Or is he confident that the plum-owner won’t care about the theft of his or her food?

Another fan (maybe?) of this poem was the poet Kenneth Koch:

The reason I say “maybe” is that Koch wrote 4 variations on the W.C.W. poem. They’re very funny – they could be criticizing the plum poem for being so lighthearted about stealing food, or they could just be taking the concept of an insincere apology to an absurd conclusion. You decide:

photo by flickr user squarejer

Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams


I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.

I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do

and its wooden beams were so inviting.


We laughed at the hollyhocks together

and then I sprayed them with lye.

Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.


I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the

next ten years.

The man who asked for it was shabby

and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.


Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.

Forgive me. I was clumsy and

I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!

(To read more from either poet, click on their portraits above.)

-Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

Vegan Ice Cream Recipes

 Summer heat getting you down?  Can’t tolerate dairy, or are you living a vegan lifestyle and wishing for ice cream?  I’ve got some ideas. 

I can’t tolerate dairy and boy do I miss ice cream during the hot summer months!  I found some great recipes, and honestly I don’t miss the dairy, they are that great!  Here are some links to try.


Websites and blogs are a great way to find recipes, but sometimes I like to leaf through a cookbook.  Check these titles out.

Veganize This! – by Jenn Shagrin






The Vegan Scoop by Wheeler del Torro






Hope you find something you enjoy, bon appetit!


Pizza, Pizza

Last night when I started brainstorming for this blog post I had no idea what to write about. So I got distracted and started thinking about what I wanted for dinner, which after a late night at work, tends to be pizza. I have only lived in Pittsburgh for a few years and still have not tried many of the ‘famous” pizza shops like Fiori’s and Beto’s. That said, my two favorites in the city are Bella Notte in the Strip District and Pizza Sola in East Liberty.

I also love to make pizza at home too. Sometimes from scratch and sometimes I buy the dough to save time. A few weeks ago a friend made me pizza in a cast iron skillet… which sounds weird but it was perfect. Have you ever heard of grilled pizza?

The library has plenty of cookbooks to help get you started on making homemade pizza.

What is your favorite Pittsburgh pizza shop? Topping of choice? Cold or reheated?

-Michael B. – CLP Hazelwood

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