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posted: 12/2/2010 12:01 AM

Algonquin resident wins edible book contest at Harper

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  • Monica Vallenas of Algonquin took first place in the Harper College Library Edible Books contest's best children's book category for her "Green Eggs and Ham" cake.

      Monica Vallenas of Algonquin took first place in the Harper College Library Edible Books contest's best children's book category for her "Green Eggs and Ham" cake.
    Courtesy Harper College

  • Cheyne Hanoski of Crystal Lake won the popular vote for Harper College Library's Edible Books contest with his cake based on "Starship Troopers."

      Cheyne Hanoski of Crystal Lake won the popular vote for Harper College Library's Edible Books contest with his cake based on "Starship Troopers."
    Courtesy Harper College

 
 

Harper College Library in Palatine recently held its third annual Edible Books Contest contest that challenged people to create a book so tasty you'd want to eat it.

Monica Vallenas, 36, of Algonquin won in the best children's book category for her "Green Eggs and Ham" cake that took her between four and five hours to complete she spent the bulk of that time on the cake's design.

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"It was more like an experience," Vallenas said. "I love baking. I wasn't expecting to win."

She was inspired by Dr. Seuss because she reads his books to her 9-year-old son Nicolas and both of them, she said, love "Green Eggs and Ham."

Vallenas, who studies English at Harper, prepared for the November contest by making a smaller version of the cake a month before the contest.

Other categories included best pun, most literary, best adult book and most popular.

Cheyne Hanoski of Crystal Lake won most popular for his "Starship Troopers" cake comprised of graham crackers, chocolate chip cookies and Rice Krispies treats.

Eighteen people entered the Edible Books Contest.

"We just thought it would be a fun way to show off a different side of the library," said Michele Ukleja, coordinator of user services at Harper Library, in a statement. "The goal was to have readers use their imagination, and cook up a book so good we'd literally want to devour it."

Tis the season: It's almost time for the Jaycee Park Holiday Walk in Cary.

The free event runs from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 11 at Jaycee Park and the free event includes visits with Santa and his live reindeer, skating on the Jaycee Park pond and light refreshments.

You'll also get to see Christmas trees that families and groups from all over the area decorated.

Trees may still be available for decorating and it costs $25 to participate in this part of the event.

If you're interested, you'll need to preregister by calling the Cary Park District at (847) 639-6100. For more information, you can also visit www.carypark.com.

Lenore T. Adkins covers Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox River Grove, McHenry County College and Pingree Grove. To reach her, send an e-mail to ladkins@dailyherald.com or call (847) 608-2725.

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