Cook the Book club meeting – TRIM HEALTHY TABLE

We sampled many healthy (and tasty!) dishes at this month’s Cook the Book book club featuring the cookbook Trim Healthy Table:


Written by sisters Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison, the mamas behind the Trim Healthy Mama brand, our Cook the Book club members found the recipes to be easy to make yet super flavorful and delicious.

I had to get a little bit of everything!

Cook the Book Trim Healthy Mama

Tuscan Cream Chicken, pg 72 – Anna Maria


This was a delicious dish!  Anna Maria said this recipe was quite easy to prepare.  She recommends you have all of the ingredients lined up and ready to go, like it states in the recipe, because the preparation is a go go go of stirring and cooking, and a little bit of whisking, and then you’re ready to serve!  Anna Maria did not have Gluccie or Xanthan Gum, which the recipe calls for as a thickening agent, so she substituted corn starch and that worked well.

Since this recipe has only a few ingredients, the flavors really shine through.  Savory sun-dried tomatoes and earthy spinach in an Italian cream sauce atop juicy chicken tenderloin.  So tasty!

Chicken, Broccoli, Mushroom Stir-fry, pg 75 – Linda

Jose Cisneros Cielo Vista Library Cook the Book Trim Healthy Mama

This recipe was also a hit with the book club members.  The Trim Healthy Mamas often sneak okra into their shakes and sauces because they claim “okra heals your gut and has incredible slimming powers.” And they snuck okra into this dish as well.  This was actually the first time Linda has ever cooked with okra and we all loved this dish’s tasty stir-fry sauce with hidden okra, Linda included!

The only thing Linda would have changed was that she covered the dish after it was done cooking, and she thinks that caused to broccoli to over-cook and lose its nice bright green color.  But we all loved this dish and many second servings were had.

Easy Pizza Casserole, pg 126 – Rebeca

Jose Cisneros Cielo Vista Library Cook the Book Trim Healthy Table

This was the recipe I prepared for Cook the Book and it was a heavy dish.  A real stick-to-your ribs (and to your entire digestive system) recipe.  I think I should have drained the grease from the Italian sausage and pepperoni but the recipe didn’t call for that.  Then add lots of mozzarella cheese and… it’s a real heavy dish. Although this recipe was very tasty, I will not be making it again.  But I am excited to make some of the other Trim Healthy Mama recipes!

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus, pg 260 – Carlos


This was another club favorite.  Carlos purchased his asparagus from Sprouts and they looked like they were straight out of a magazine, bright green and plump!  Carlos thought the recipe might have called for too much garlic (six cloves) but he decided to follow the ingredients list closely.  And we loved it!  You can definitely taste the garlic, and the Parmesan cheese, but it’s not overpowering – a great combo.  Another easy, crowd-pleasing recipe!

Melty Tuna Pepper Poppers, pg 313 – Jessica


Jessica said this was an incredibly easy recipe to make. And these little Melty Tuna Pepper Poppers were scrumptious!  This recipe has many optional ad-ins but Jessica stuck to the basic recipe: tuna and mayo (she added salt and pepper, which was not in the recipe) spooned into mini peppers, topped with mozzarella cheese, and baked – that’s it!  Simple and delicious, there wasn’t a single pepper popper left over.

Beauty Blend Cookie Pizza, pg 510 – Cynthia


This, sadly, was the only dessert at our club meeting.  Cynthia thought this cookie batter was far too sweet so she added some shredded coconut to tone down the sweetness.  This made the cookie very chewy (instead of crunchy, like the original recipe), but we loved the addition.  This recipe had many optional ad-ins – Cynthia chose chocolate chips and macadamia nuts, which really added great flavor and texture.  This was a fun and healthy cookie pizza!

Join us for next month’s Cook the Book – all about DESSERTS!  Visit our front desk to sign up!



Cook the Book – DESSERTS!

Join us for the next

Cook the Book book club meeting – all about DESSERTS!



From cakes to cookies, cobblers to puddings, Desserts LaBelle is the perfect cookbook to make something sweet for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day.  If you  find yourself “On My Own,” well all the more reason to bake yourself something to cry into!

Dedicated to the women in Patti LaBelle’s life, this cookbook is filled with beautiful photos of delicious desserts and with the heartwarming stories behind those recipes.

DessertsLaBelle - table of contents

Share your first attempt at making your very own “Patti Pie,” or any other dessert from Ms. Patti’s cookbook, at our next Cook the Book meeting on January 27th at 1 pm, here at the Jose Cisneros Cielo Vista Branch Library.

Visit our front desk to browse the Desserts LaBelle and to register for our monthly Cook the Book club meeting.  Registration is required – space is limited!

FREE Art Workshop!

The Jose Cisneros Cielo Vista Public Library presents

FREE Art WorkshopMexican Bark Painting (Amate Painting)

Make your very own handcrafted bookmark!

Saturday, January 20 from 1 to 3 pm here at our library!


All materials will be provided but seating is available for only 35 participants so ADVANCED REGISTRATION REQUIRED!

To register, please contact our librarian Debbie Valdez at 915-212-0450 or at

Amate Painting - bird

The process of making Amate paper is a time-honored tradition that is still practiced in Mexico today. Made from the inner bark of a fig or mulberry tree, the paper is strong and durable and has distinct textural properties.

This amate paper is produced by hand in the state of Puebla by the Otomi Indians. The bark is taken off the trees, washed, boiled and soaked over night until soft enough for the fibers to pull apart. It is then pounded on wood planks using heavy rocks with finger grooves until the pulp is evenly spread out in the shape the paper
maker wants. The paper is then dried in the sun.


The color and grain of the paper depends on the tree bark used to make it. The mulberry tree creates beige paper and the fig tree creates a brown colored paper.

Artisans from the state of Guerrero paint imaginative scenes of birds, animals and flowers on this special paper.

This workshop will focus on Mexican (Amate) Bark Paintings as one of the many Folk Arts of the Latin American Culture. Students will explore and learn about the history of bark paintings in Mexico and South America as well as the purpose, process, and symbolism found in typical bark paintings.

A demonstration of the steps will be given and then the students will be given the opportunity to produce their own version of an Amate Bark Painting using printed flower, bird and animal designs, acrylic paints and traditional paint and brush
techniques to create a design on real amate bark paper. Instructor for the workshop is nationally recognized El Paso artist Maria Almeida Natividad.

Brought to you by:


Winter Reading Club


Join our Winter Reading Club!  Sign up at our front desk!

Log the books you’ve read over the holidays (at least three!) and then return your reading log to our front desk where you’ll get a neat prize (it’s a book!) and other goodies.

You will also be entered into a raffle to win four tickets to an El Paso Rhinos hockey game!

Sign up today!  Call us at 915-212-0450 or comment down below with any questions.

Our Snowy Day!

Last week, it snowed for the first (and possibly only) time this year!

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It was so warm and cozy in the library.  Visit us to find a great book to read or a fun movie to watch over the winter holidays.

And sign up for our Winter Reading Challenge.  Read at least three books and you win a prize!  See us at the front desk to register!

Cook the Book club meeting – GAME DAY

Cook the Book game day

This month’s Cook the Book club meeting was one of our tastiest! We didn’t have a game playing in the background but we had a great mix of delicious GAME DAY FOOD! *uproarious cheers*

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Coconut-Crusted Shrimp with Sweet and Sour Sauce, pg. 19 – Anna Marie
Featuring the biggest shrimp I have ever seen, Anna Marie’s coconut-crusted shrimp were sweet, crispy, and delicious. She said this was an easy dish to make but I kind of zoned out after she described far too many steps and bowls and ingredients for my skill level. I need to get on Anna Marie’s level!

She also made the recipe’s sweet and sour sauce, which she didn’t like very much. I’m a big fan of the syrupy sweet, bright red variety but this sweet and sour sauce had a much lighter flavor, color, and texture – but still very tasty.

Buffalo Chicken Dip, pg. 46 – Maria
This was the dish I brought to the club meeting so allow me to brag – everyone loved this dip! I will definitely be making this dip again.  Very hearty and flavorful, but not too spicy, this was such an easy recipe to make.  You just chop and stir and sprinkle the cheese and bake for half an hour and voila, you’ve got Buffalo Chicken Dip!

The recipe recommended the dip be served with Tostitos Scoops but I served Fritos Scoops instead.  I think the Fritos Scoops were a fantastic flavor and texture compliment to the rich creaminess of this dip.

Mexicorn Cups, pg. 204 – Rebeca
Another fun and easy-to-make game day dish were these Mexicorn Cups.  Not too spicy, but with a great mix of flavors – chipotle sauce, fresh poblano peppers, Cotija cheese, and fresh parsley – this is a chop and stir recipe that’s a real crowd-pleaser!  Everyone had seconds.

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Go-To Game Day Cookies, pg. 215 – Jessica
Another club favorite were these game day cookies. These cookies were so easy to make that Jessica mixed them up and baked them the morning before the meeting!  There were many optional ingredients listed in the recipe and Jessica used them all – chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, and chopped pecans – delicious!  Jessica said this was one of the easiest cookie recipes she has ever made.  Many of the club members, myself included, are looking forward to making this recipe over the holidays!

You can check out this month’s cook book, The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook, at your local library.  And please join us for next month’s Cook the Book meeting!

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Call us at 915-212-0450 or leave a comment down below with any questions or comments.