Summer Reads & Films

We’re just about two months into our summer break and less than a month into the official summer season. It’s hard to admit, but sometimes we need something to break up the countless hours at the beach, playing video games, and all the other stuff that fewer classes and warmer weather allow us to do. Why not pick up or watch one of these newly released or upcoming books and films to pass the time until you’re ready to hit the waves or pick up a controller again?

Summer Reads

Cover art for the book, Calypso

Calypso

Calypso by David Sedaris

Although this was released at the end of May, it’s still worth checking out as a summer read. From the author of Me talk pretty one day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Calypso brings back Sedaris’ cunning wit and relatability in yet another must-read collection of essays.

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin

Fans of romantic comedies will instantly recognize Griffin from her hit Something Borrowed, which was adapted into a film starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kade Hudson, John Krasinski, and Colin Egglesfield. Nina Browning’s life is going well. She’s successful financially and family-wise, her husband recently sold his business for a not-so-small fortune, and her son has been accepted into an Ivy League university. But single father Tom and a single photograph make her question everything in this drama-filled novel. Fans of romance do not want to miss out on this one!

Cover art for the book, Believe It

Believe It

Believe It by Nick Foles 

This humble memoir details how Foles overcame a torn ACL and other obstacles that led him to the Eagles’ first Super Bowl victory in 2017. Foles uses his storytelling to not just recount his own success but to also inspire his readers to be the best they can be. This is a must-read for sports lovers or anyone who needs some inspiration to overcome this upcoming academic year.

Summer Films

Art for the movie, Ant Man and the Wasp

Ant Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp 

Paul Rudd is back as Ant-Man in the sequel to the 2015 superhero blockbuster directed by Peyton Reed, this time joined by the Wasp, played by the returning Evangeline Lilly. Those starving for Marvel-related media after the insane ride that was Avengers: Infinity War will have a great time exploring the quantum realm with Rudd and Lilly.

BlacKkKlansman (Release Date: August 10, 2018)

This Spike Lee-directed comedy is about a black detective from Colorado who goes undercover to infiltrate and eventually lead a chapter of the KKK. Starring John David Washington, son of actor Denzel Washington, and Star Wars-famous Adam Driver, this comedy is set to release in major theaters on the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville rally with Lee using his and his cast’s comedic talent to tackle very serious social issues.

Art for the movie, Slenderman

Slenderman

Slender Man (Release Date: August 24, 2018)

There’s about a month until this horror film comes out, so you have time to gather up some courage before watching this controversial but highly anticipated film. For those unfamiliar with the story of Slender Man, he’s an impossibly tall, dark, and murderous figure that was created on the online forum Something Awful. It inspired countless stories and memes as well as a real-life murder, sparking the controversy regarding this film’s release. We won’t blame you if you skip out on this one out of fear, but horror film buffs should be in for a treat.

If you’ve already read or seen these books and films, don’t forget to check out the UGL’s New Books section on the upper level and the Media Collection on the lower level. You can browse or use our online catalog. Feel free to ask a student assistant or staff member at the front desk if you need any assistance or recommendations!

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Welcome to Campus!

It’s that time of year again! Whether you are new to campus or returning, there are plenty of free back-to-school events to welcome you. Check out the line up for Welcome Week 2017!

Photo of Alma Mater Statue

Friday, August 25
ILLINI UNION LATENIGHTER
8 pm-1 am at the Illini Union
Enjoy food, games, live music and performances by comedians and a hypnotist!
Saturday, August 26
ILLINI FRENZY
11:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC)
Get acquainted with Champaign-Urbana. Over 80 different local vendors will be present.
UGL GAMING DAY
1:30-4:00 pm at the Undergraduate Library
Ease into the new semester by playing games like Dominion, Settlers of Catan, and more! Face a group challenge in our Pathfinder mini-campaigns! All of our games can be checked out to continue the fun at home. Whether you’re a seasoned DM or a new Settler of Catan, come by and play!
MOVIE NIGHT
9-11:30 pm at Memorial Stadium
Movie is to be determined.
Sunday, August 27
QUAD DAY
12pm-4 pm on the Main Quad
Find what you’re interested in! More than 600 registered student organizations and other campus organizations will have information on how to get involved… and of course, freebies!
Monday, August 28
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL PICTURES
11-am-2pm
Feeling a little nostalgic on your first day of school? Get your picture taken as you would in grade school so you can share with family and friends.
Tuesday, August 29
KARAOKE NIGHT
9pm-midnight at the Union Courtyard Cafe
Enjoy performances, and if you’re feeling brave, take the stage!
We’ve covered just a handful of events happening during Welcome Week, so be sure to let us know what we missed on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages, and stay tuned for more blogs throughout the semester!
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Alternative Thanksgiving Recipes

With Thanksgiving Break right around the corner, you may be looking forward to an abundance of football, family, and FOOD! This Thanksgiving, instead of the usual turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole, try changing it up a bit with one of these fun alternatives. All of these recipes are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or kosher, and taste just as great as the traditional! All these recipes are from the UGL’s cookbook collection, so get creative and explore what fall food has to offer!

 

Thanksgiving - Flickr Creative Commons

Thanksgiving – Flickr Creative Commons

Butternut Squash Latkes (vegetarian, kosher)

1 3- to 4-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeds and pith removed

1 medium onion, grated

1 cup matzo meal

½ cup chopped fresh sage

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Canola oil

Makes 25 to 30 small latkes

Cut the squash into chunks and pass them through the grating disk of a food processor. Then combine the squash and grated onion in a large bowl and mix them together with your hands. Add the matzo meal and mix together, then add the sage. Finally, add the eggs and massage them into the squash mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Add the salt and pepper and mix it in with your hands.

Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Work in batches so that the latkes are not crowded in the skillet, take a golf ball-size portion of the squash mixture, flatten it between the palms of your hands, and add it to the skillet. Repeat. Cook the latkes until they’re crisp and brown around the edges, about 4 minutes; then flip and cook for another 3 minutes, until crisp and deep golden brown all over and still tender inside. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining squash mixture, adding a tablespoon or so of oil between batches.

You can reheat the latkes in a 450 degree oven in 3 to 4 minutes.

Source: Bernamoff, Noah and Rae. “Butternut Squash Latkes.” The Mile End Cookbook: Redefining Jewish Comfort Food, from Hash to Hamantaschen. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2012. 168-169. Print. Call Number: TX724.B4646 2012

 

Onion Gravy (vegetarian, vegan)

4 tablespoons light sesame oil

A pinch of sea salt

¾ cup onion, sliced into thin half-moons

4 garlic cloves (optional)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon rice or agave syrup

2 tablespoons unbleached plain/all-purpose flour

1 cup water

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Crushed black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped herbs

Makes two cups

Slice the onions in thin half-moons lengthways. Add the sesame oil and salt to a large frying pan/skillet over a low heat and sauté the onions until they’re translucent and soft. You can also add a few chopped fresh mushrooms or 2 tablespoons soaked, drained and chopped dried mushrooms to the onions while sautéing, for extra flavor. Add 4 crushed garlic cloves if desired, and cook until fragrant. Slightly bring up the heat, add the soy sauce, vinegar, and syrup and stir well until it sizzles.

Slowly add the flour and whisk vigorously for a minute, then, still whisking, add the water little-by-little until a gravy consistency is reached. There should be no flour lumps! (If you want to avoid flour you can use a diluted thickener of choice, such as cornflour/cornstarch, kuzu or arrowroot powder). Add mustard and pepper, taste and add more soy sauce if needed. Finally, sprinkle with chopped herbs to garnish, just before serving.

Source: Gulin, Dunja. “Onion Gravy.” The Vegan Pantry: 60 Naturally Delicious Recipes for Modern Vegan Food. London: Ryland Peters & Small, 2014. 160. Print. Call Number: TX837.G85 2014.

Lemon-Garlic Crusted Leeks (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free)

6 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only

1 large lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

cup Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the leeks: Trim the leeks, discarding the dark green leaves. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse well in cold water, being careful to keep the halves intact. Set aside.

To prepare the lemon and steam the leeks: Zest the lemon into a small bowl and set aside. Cut the zested lemon in half and keep squeeze 1 teaspoon of juice into the zest. Squeeze the remaining lemon juice into a large pot equipped with a steaming basket. Add the 2 lemon halves to the pot, along with enough water to steam the leeks. Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Arrange the leeks, cut-sides up, in the basket. Fit the basket in the pot, cover, and steam the leeks until slightly tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well. Arrange the leeks, cut-sides up, on a lightly oiled baking sheet and set aside. The leeks can be prepared 1 day ahead. If preparing them ahead, cover and refrigerate.

To prepare the topping: In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic in the olive oil until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the bread crumbs, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Stir until blended.

To cook the leeks: Preheat the broiler. Position the oven rack 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Using a teaspoon, spoon the breadcrumb mixture onto the cut side of the leeks and gently pat the mixture down with the back of the spoon. Broil until the leeks are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Watch them carefully so they do not burn. Serve hot or warm.

Source: Jardin, Denise. “Lemon-Garlic Crusted Leeks.” Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Kitchen. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2012. 115. Print. Call Number: RM234.5.J373 2011

 

Lentil Loaf (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free)

1 ½ tablespoons avocado oil

6 mushrooms

3 celery stalks

½ white onion

¼ cup fresh parsley

3 cloves garlic

1 cup firm tofu

1 16-oz. can lentils

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

3 tablespoons tomato sauce

3 tablespoons tamari

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup pumpkin seeds

Makes two loaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease your loaf pan with ½ tablespoon of oil. Finely chop mushrooms, celery, onion, and parsley. Mince garlic. Place remaining oil in frying pan and add veggies and minced garlic. Sauté for about 4-5 minutes, or until soft. Place in large mixing bowl.

Next, crumble tofu and add to bowl with sautéed vegetables. Add lentils, oats, parsley, tomato sauce, tamari, chia seeds, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Once the mixture is the right texture (you should be able to form into balls if desired), place in greased loaf pan. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeks and bake for about 45 minutes, or until crust is browned.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing to serve. Enjoy!

Source: Browne, Jennifer. “Lentil Loaf.” Vegetarian Comfort Foods. New York: Skyhorse, 2015. 155. Print. Call Number: TX837.B876 2015.

 

Rosemary Drop Biscuits (gluten-free, dairy-free)

1 cup Dairy Milk Alternative

1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar

2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Mix

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon xantham gum

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons coconut oil or dairy-free margarine

Makes 10 biscuits

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line an insulated baking sheet with parchment paper.

To prepare the dough: Combine the milk and vinegar in a measuring cup, stir to blend, and set aside. Combine the flour, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, xantham gum, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Add the coconut oil and crumble the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles coarse pebbles. Add the milk to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated and the batter pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

To form and bake the biscuits: Using a greased ¼-cup measuring cup, scoop a level amount of batter and drop it onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter, placing the biscuits about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes. Serve warm.

Source: Citation: Jardin, Denise. “Lemon-Garlic Crusted Leeks.” Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Kitchen. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2012. 144. Print. Call Number: RM234.5.J373 2011

Looking for more non-traditional Thanksgiving ideas? Have some ideas of your own? Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

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