Salad days: Summer is hot time for potlucks and picnics; keep it safe, cool with perfect cold dish

Subscriber onlySummer is the season of potlucks and cookouts. Continue reading...

Granny's Cracker Salad a summer treat

Subscriber onlyEvery summer when I was growing up I spent a couple of weeks at my grandparents house in Enola. The long days were spent in the shade of the carport swinging on the old porch swing visiting -- and shelling peas or shucking corn -- with friends and family who happened to stop by. Or if you happened to drop by in the early afternoon you'd find us sitting under the air conditioning watching my grandmother's "stories." Continue reading...

Gadgets & Gizmos

Subscriber onlyIt took multiple batches of cookies and a few quarts of ice cream -- not that we're complaining -- to get the hang of using Pampered Chef's Ice Cream Sandwich Maker. Continue reading...

Grilled sea bass celebrates its herbal essence

Subscriber onlyIt's a simple, if dramatic, presentation: A butterflied whole branzino is marinated with turmeric, garlic and spicy Thai chiles just long enough for the flavors to infuse, 30 minutes or so. The fish is then quickly grilled until the skin is burnished and blistered and the interior is barely cooked through. It is plated under an assortment of fragrant fresh herb sprigs and lime wedges. You could butterfly the fish yourself, or simply have your fishmonger do this for you at the market so it's ready to go. Continue reading...

Simple savory, cheesy tart envelops summer tomatoes

Subscriber onlyThis fresh tomato tart is flavored with basil, thyme and parmesan. Continue reading...

7day menu planner

Subscriber onlySUNDAY: For a special family day, prepare Grilled Pork Tenderloin. Continue reading...

Pop a cork or two with 4th fireworks

Subscriber onlyI admit most wine writers aren't contemplating the merits of which wine to serve with hot dogs, fried chicken and apple pies. But we're in Arkansas and our Independence Day menus are likely to reflect our Southern cooking roots. And as with most aspects of this holiday celebration, I think the wines should be as American as the foods. Continue reading...

Applesauce and candy form basis of desserts

Subscriber onlyRecipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Continue reading...

Ratatouille on grill a fine summer side

Subscriber onlyRatatouille is a classic vegetable dish starring eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomato that is deeply steeped in the culture of Mediterranean France. When I married a man from the heart of Provence, one of the first lessons I received from my new mother-in-law, Muriel, was how to make a proper ratatouille. Continue reading...

Together in grief

St. Jude program matches parents who’ve lost children with those about to

Subscriber onlyWhen Wendy Avery's 15-year-old son, Nick, died in 2006, less than a year after receiving a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia, there were mornings when she didn't want to get out of bed. She had quit her job to spend much of the year by her son's side at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. Now, back home in Canfield, Ohio, she felt lost. Continue reading...

Creature Feature

Subscriber onlySometimes my dog moves her paws when she's sleeping. She does a paddling motion like she's trying to run and she makes little sounds. It looks like she's dreaming. Do dogs dream? What would she dream about? Continue reading...

Believing is seeing outcome as fulfilled

Subscriber onlyMost of us need to heal once in a while. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Continue reading...

In disagreeing, radio show caller proves a point

Subscriber onlyI was honored to be a guest on my good friend Dennis Prager's syndicated radio program recently. As anyone who is familiar with my point of view on parenting matters will appreciate, much of the conversation centered on the need for children to obey. Continue reading...

MONEY MANNERS

Subscriber onlyDEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: When I first met the woman who is now my wife, we both owned houses. So when we decided to get married, we agreed that we'd sell our houses and pool the money to buy one together. But after I sold my place, she took hers off the market, saying she'd "come to an agreement" to keep it in her family. Now both of our names are on the title to our new home (even though only I put up the money for it), while her name alone is on the title of her prior home. Would I be out of line to ask that she put me on the title to her house? If something happens to me, she gets everything the two of us own. If something happens to her, I don't. Continue reading...

Ex-Etiquette

Subscriber onlyQ I was married 20 years ago to a man with children from a previous marriage. The children were 15 and 23 when we married. The children struggled with their parents' divorce, loyalty conflict and accepting their parents' new partners. The children (on behalf of their mother) rejected me as their father's partner. We struggled to work through the challenges for 22 years, and we've been separated the last three years. Can you offer any advice on how parents can support new partners while their children struggle with chronic loyalty conflict? My husband expressed the constant conflict made him feel put in the middle. He now feels he has done the noble thing by leaving our marriage and "putting his kids first." (We did not meet because of an affair.) What's good ex-etiquette? Continue reading...

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