Three on a Theme: Vegan Cookbooks for Autumn

Autumn is a great time of year to turn inwards and do some experimentation in the kitchen, whether this means cooking delicious warm meals or exploring new baked goods to munch on while things get colder and darker outside. This post compiles a list of plant-based (vegan) cooking and baking resources offered by the Library that can help guide you on your autumn kitchen adventures. Whether you are already eating plant-based foods or not, these are sure to yield some yummy treats for this yummy season.

Vegan Casseroles by Julie HassanVegan Casseroles: Pasta Bakes, Gratins, Pot Pies, and More by Julie Hassan

Nothing says autumn like a nice gooey, crispy, scrumptious casserole taken fresh out of the oven. This cookbook by Julie Hasson is designed for the “health-conscious” vegan while also prioritizing the things that make casseroles a traditional comfort food. According to critical reviews, her recipes succeed in delivering flavor even without the dairy products that we tend to think make casseroles so good in a non-vegan context. With categories sch as “one-dish appetizers,” “pasta casseroles,” “dessert casseroles,” and an entire section on “sauces, toppings, and basics,” this is a very varied collection for anyone looking to expand their recipe repertoire this season. Continue reading “Three on a Theme: Vegan Cookbooks for Autumn”

Autumn splendors

The fall foliage season is a thing of beauty. Of the many colors of autumn, my favorite is soft orange. Having hints of yellow and pink, it appears to glow from within. I spotted these leaves recently on the redbud hazel in my yard. This shrub has produced outstanding shows every fall. Yellow, orange, red, and purple can all appear at the same time.


I found out recently that this shrub is recommended by Great Plant Picks, the program sponsored by the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden that identifies outstanding horticultural species in our area. I can attest to the fact that it does not require fussing over. Disanthus cercidifolius is its scientific name.

The fall season is all too short. You can enjoy foliage year round through these books:





Music That Says Fall

The transition from summer to fall in Seattle is often a subtle shift in weather — it gradually grows darker, colder and the leaves turn. As soon as that first chill enters the air, I gladly wear scarves and sweaters and find myself drawn to thicker books and darker, more introspective music.

Here are some albums I will be listening to this fall while drinking hazelnut americanos and tasty soy chais:

The Lucksmiths–First Frost
This Australian band often has a sunny sound, but their carefully crafted, literate lyrics embrace the season.

Arcade Fire–The Suburbs
This album is going to be my fall soundtrack for sure. Arcade Fire knows how to create smart, thematic albums Continue reading “Music That Says Fall”

Halloween for Grown Ups


I am one of those people who just loves to decorate my home with each new holiday and season.  Because of this, Autumn has become my favorite season of all –the changing leaves, colorful pumpkins, and plethora of holidays throughout is just too much for me to resist.  In order to get myself properly decorated for the upcoming months, I turned to our trusty library catalog to find some helpful books.  Naturally, I started with the nearest approaching holiday: Halloween.  My search was “Halloween decorations.”  My results were abundant.  Here were some of my personal favorites:

pumpkin chicPumpkin chic : decorating with pumpkins and gourds by Andrew McCaul, Lauren Hunter and Mary Caldwell.

Beautiful and sophisticated ways to decorate your home during the Fall season after a trip to the pumpkin patch.

  halloweengrownHalloween : a grown-up’s guide to creative costumes, devilish decor & fabulous festivities  by Joanne O’Sullivan.

More costumes and masks than decorations – – but they are all for adults, and they are all easy to make. I know I always have trouble coming up with a costume, so this book will help!


Extreme pumpkins : diabolical do-it-yourself designs to amuse your friends and scare your neighbors by Tom Nardone.

This book has amazing, fun and definitely creepy pumpkin-carving designs to impress your friends and neighbors!

Halloween : the best of Martha Stewart living by the editors of Martha Stewart living.

It’s Martha Stewart, the queen of decorating – need I say more?!

                     Happy decorating!

                                                              ~Samantha W.

Before Autumn Leaves

Before autumn leaves, settle down into a bounty of words, sights and sounds that crackle with the color and energy of the season.  Then, take a few moments to take in an eclectic array of books and CDs that’ll bring an extra spark to warm the chill heading up that frosty hill.

Let’s start with some comfort food to get us in the mood for heartier matters.  The Taste of the Season: Inspired Recipes for Fall and Winter by Diane Rossen Worthington includes such treats as Autumn Salad with Persimmons and Pomegranates and Autumn Noodle and Rice.  Peter Kerr’s Viva Mallorca!:  One Mallorcan Autumn continues to chronicle the jazz musician and farmer’s family life on their island fruit farm.  Autumn Rhythm:  Musings on Time, Tide, Aging, Dying and Such Biz by Richard Meltzer is not for the “faint of eye.”  From its cover to the last page you are in for one wild ride. For a less revved up reading experience try Autumn Beguiles the Fatalist by Michael Foley.  Foley beguiles his readers with poems titled to fit a season’s “Dappled Things” and Continue reading “Before Autumn Leaves”