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Front Burner: Sweet! Potatoes produce caramel

posted: 12/07/2016 1:58 a.m. Discuss

Would you believe me if I told you you can make caramel from sweet potatoes? With no added sugar. Just sweet potatoes?

Gadgets & Gizmos

posted: 12/07/2016 1:57 a.m. Discuss

My cast-iron pots and pans are some of my most prized and used possessions. From baking cornbread and cobbler to searing a steak or roasting vegetables, no pan is as versatile as a cast-iron skillet. But I'll admit, even with a well-seasoned skillet, cleaning and caring for cast-iron can be a chore. Unlike other cookware, you can't simply fill the pan with water and let it soak overnight before cleaning. You can't let them soak, period. Unless you want to perform the dreaded task of de-rusting and re-seasoning. (Very coarse salt and steel wool will usually do the job. And to re-season, heat the oven to 350 to 375 degrees and set baking sheet on the bottom oven rack. Rub the entire skillet or pan -- inside,

Cooking for two: Built with 4 basics, hash is a heavenly dish

posted: 12/07/2016 1:57 a.m. Discuss

This sausage and sweet potato dish makes a quick and easy breakfast, brunch or dinner. The recipe is from Cast Iron Paleo: 101 One-Pan Recipes For Quick and Delicious Meals ... Plus Hassle-Free Cleanup by Pamela Ellgen (Dec. 15, Ulysses Press, $15.95).

Meatless Reuben sandwich cheesy winter comfort food

posted: 12/07/2016 1:53 a.m. Discuss

As the days grow shorter, my cooking leans toward comfort. Be forewarned, I like my comfort food with a bit of flair and plenty of warm cheese. Vegetable and bean soups come into their own with a garnish of grated hard cheese. Even hot dogs taste better stuffed with cheese wrapped in bacon and grilled. A grilled-cheese sandwich -- made with hearty bread and sweet butter -- always satisfies.

7day menu planner

posted: 12/07/2016 1:53 a.m. Discuss

SUNDAY: Make family day special with roast chicken with gravy. Add scalloped potatoes, along with broccoli with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a bibb lettuce salad and whole-grain rolls.

Uncorked: It's not Christmas without Port wine

posted: 12/07/2016 1:52 a.m. Discuss

For many, Christmas and Port wine are inextricably linked. A bottle of Port is a must for any wine lover's Christmas season celebration checklist. I cannot imagine the holiday without a glass of this special wine.

Idea Alley: Kat shares dishes for chilly weather

posted: 12/07/2016 1:51 a.m. Discuss

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

COOKING WITH DIABETES: Broth creates lighter, luscious potato gratin

posted: 12/07/2016 1:50 a.m. Discuss

Au gratins are typically starchy vegetable dishes napped with cream or milk and liberally topped with cheese. For instance, the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond's recipe for Perfect Potato au Gratin uses 3 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of whole milk and 2 cups of cheddar cheese.

College recalculated

posted: 12/07/2016 1:49 a.m. Discuss

Whatever you think you know about college costs, you're wrong. It's going to cost more. Lots more.

Creature Feature

posted: 12/07/2016 1:48 a.m. Discuss

I have a sweet-natured male cat that is about 2 1/2 years old. He is smart, friendly to strangers and an all-around great cat. Sometimes when I walk away from him he will get this aggravated meow, chase me [and] jump on my leg with his teeth showing. He never, ever bites. I point my finger at him and tell him "no." I will walk away, and he will do it again. Is he trying to tell me something; get me to do something? Sure hope you can give me an answer.

SHARON RANDALL: When life stacks up, comfort is in the mail

posted: 12/07/2016 1:45 a.m. Discuss

Sometimes things get out of hand. A little. Or a lot.

Parenting: Grandma can curb Egalitarian Parenting Syndrome

posted: 12/07/2016 1:44 a.m. Discuss

Some of the sources that inform today's parenting do not come immediately to mind when one thinks of raising children.

MONEY MATTERS

posted: 12/07/2016 1:44 a.m. Discuss

DEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: We give our house cleaner, "Maria," an annual Christmas cash bonus equal to what we pay for one cleaning. I have always left it up to her to choose what to do with this bonus vis-a-vis the woman who helps her, although my hope has been that Maria shares it. My husband is uneasy with this arrangement and wonders whether we should be dividing the money between the two women ourselves. What is the best way to handle the bonus?

EX-ETIQUETTE

posted: 12/07/2016 1:43 a.m. Discuss

Q My ex-husband's new girlfriend has told our daughters that she is going to have a portrait taken of her with the girls as a Christmas present for their dad. They have only been seeing each other for three months! I felt myself fuming as my daughter announced that she was going shopping this week for matching outfits for the picture. I did not say anything to my daughter (who seemed rather excited), but I feel it's way too soon for things like this. We've co-parented well over the years. What's good ex-etiquette?

Helpful Hints

posted: 12/07/2016 1:43 a.m. Discuss

DEAR HELOISE: If I freeze a quart of fat-free milk, will it taste the same when it thaws?

Horoscopes by Holiday

posted: 12/07/2016 1:43 a.m. Discuss

Happy birthday. You've felt, at times, that you were at the mercy of the fates. But this year you can see how clearly your decisions create your successes in life, and you're able to repeat the steps that work to generate good results time and again. July and September are months of rapid personal growth and financial luck.

On Christianity

posted: 12/07/2016 1:42 a.m. Discuss

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Our mailbox is flooded around this time of year with letters from organizations asking for money. In fact, I've started tossing them in the wastebasket. Why don't they spend their money on worthwhile projects, instead of wasting it on fundraising?

Super Quiz: Cities in Film Titles

posted: 12/07/2016 1:42 a.m. Discuss

1. Sleepless in --------

DEAR ABBY: Husband's multiple affairs leave wife in legal limbo

posted: 12/07/2016 1 a.m. Discuss

DEAR ABBY: My husband of five years has confessed to affairs that resulted in two children. I suspected that something was up when after a year of marriage he seemed distant. Despite our almost 15-year age difference, I never in a million years thought he would do something like this.

Nutcracker homecoming: Ballet company, ASO excited about holiday production in overhauled Robinson hall

posted: 12/06/2016 5:45 a.m. Gallery Discuss

The floor trembles with every spring and leap. The lush strains of Tchaikovsky bounce off walls of exposed brick and giant mirrors that reflect a row of graceful dancers.

What's in a Dame: Holiday to-do list too big? Let it go!

posted: 12/06/2016 1:49 a.m. Comment 1

As I write this, it's Dec. 1 even though the column runs Dec. 6.

Listen Up: Mars enchantingly visits vintage music genres

posted: 12/06/2016 1:48 a.m. Discuss

A-Bruno Mars XXIV K Magic

The TV Column: As holiday lull arrives, networks' ratings lag

posted: 12/06/2016 1:47 a.m. Discuss

Here we are nearing the mid-season hiatus when Christmas specials rule and most series take a winter break.

ENTERTAINMENT NOTES

posted: 12/06/2016 1:46 a.m. Discuss

Elsewhere in entertainment and the arts:

Wright house right fit as museum extension

posted: 12/06/2016 1:45 a.m. Discuss

BENTONVILLE -- A Frank Lloyd Wright house that was flooded by Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey is high and dry in Arkansas. And it's getting thousands of visitors as part of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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