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Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 08:08 pm

Give the party cheese the platform it truly deserves –  a homemade cracker. They’re easy to make, taste great and there’s no frustrating packaging to open

If you still reach for a box of buttery-tasting crackers for the party cheese to rest on, you can find more appealing alternatives. Thanks to the cracker revival, you’re in for exciting new tast...
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 01:25 pm

Old stuff is cool again. Gifting old stuff is even cooler.

Retro style is in, and kids can’t get enough of it, from cutting-edge clothing and accessories that recall the classics to thrift-shop home goods straight from grandma’s attic. A quest for...
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 03:19 pm

Party planning expert, Karen Bussen, offers these easy tips to put any host or hostess in the driver’s seat of a holiday celebration.

1. Stock a ’Holiday Party Pantry’Find a place in your home (a cupboard, closet, or a few shelves) where you can collect basic elements to help you pull together a great celebration, even a...
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 03:32 pm

How to make peppermint ice cream using only three ingredients and no machinery

Growing up in the Midwest, there wasn’t a holiday that didn’t get a little merrier courtesy of a scoop of homemade ice cream. Aside from the Cool Whip-topped pumpkin variety, there wasn&rs...
Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010 04:45 pm

A Christmas memoir

Mr. Houck came early to the Sangamon Valley while it was still a wilderness without many inhabitants. He came before the land was surveyed so his fields stretched from the big sycamore tree to the eas...
Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010 04:38 am

Gamers the world over will be taking a more active role in their video game adventures this holiday

Video-gaming couch potatoes are so yesteryear. In 2010, gamers must get on their feet to conquer feats in seventh-generation gaming systems. Two new consoles debuted this year with action-packed adven...
Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010 10:50 am

Boxed DVD%u2008sets for the film buff in your family

With the film industry heading towards instant downloads and video streaming via the Internet and other delivery modes, the release of large DVD sets is becoming more and more rare. That’s a sha...
Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 11:41 pm

These days, a truly great smartphone is the one that runs the software and apps best suited to their daily needs. Here’s your guide to the best offerings of the holiday seaso

Do you remember the last time you used your phone to actually make or take a call? All kidding aside, the truth of the matter is that today we rely on our phones more and more for web browsing, e-mail...
Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010 01:13 pm

For every iPad out there, there’s a panoply of stands, cases and connectors to help each early adopter personalize and get the most out of their fancy new device

It goes without saying that 2010 is the year of the iPad.Despite the recession-y conditions in which it was unveiled, Apple’s new tablet device has been the most successful product launch in the...
Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010 09:35 pm

The year’s best children’s books

Books open a world of discovery in ways even the coolest toys can’t achieve. This season, tempt a kid to turn off the TV and find an adventure in words and pictures on a printed page. These accl...


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