Music, play among Sleepy Creek's many special events

FAIRMOUNT – Sleepy Creek Vineyards is offering several special events, plus its free Sunday coffee and a challenge to think about to make the cold weather a little more bearable.

First up, this weekend, at 7 p.m. Saturday is the Boulder Acoustic Society, a four-member group from Boulder, Colo. Tickets are $12 per person. Check out their music at

Tried and True: Diane Brown's creation

News-Gazette reader Diane Brown, an Urbana resident, incorporated some ingredients and her kids loved it. The result? Diane's Creation, a concoction of ground beef, cheese, tomato sauce and tortilla chips. It's versatile, too, Brown said.

"For people who don't eat meat, they can just make the recipe with the cheese listed in the ingredients," she said.

Slow Cooked: Sweet taste of summer amid winter's chill

We're a long way from summer. But if you miss the tang of barbecue in the backyard, cook up a couple of these "sloppy" recipes, turn up the heat and appreciate the lack of mosquitoes. And we've even included a couple of vegetarian recipes for our readers who don't eat meat.

Slow Cooked: Healthy recipes to help you put 'light' on

Welcome to 2010. You've made it this far with your eating-healthier resolution.

To help you more, we've compiled another list of light slow cooker recipes to add to your healthy arsenal.

Tried and True: Mary Gagnon's German Chocolate Pie

"German chocolate is my favorite cake," says Mary Morrison Gagnon of Catlin. "It's unusual to get those flavors in a pie, and it's all homemade.

DACC offering courses in cooking and cake decorating

DANVILLE – Thinking of turning over a new leaf in the new year? Want to cook more at home or maybe fancy up those homemade birthday cakes?

Danville Area Community College's Community Education classes can help with that. The department will offer a series of cake decorating and cooking classes beginning as early as next week.

Tried and True: Ben Galewsky's Spinach Pancakes

Ben Galewsky of Urbana first tried these savory spinach pancakes in the home of a Japanese friend in Urbana.

Recipes make good use of a refrigerator full of ham

How to use up the leftover ham can be a challenge, but Julie Rodgers of Mom!Mom!.com ( has a few ideas, furnished by the users of her Web site.

Mom!Mom!.com is a site dedicated to helping mothers with various aspects of their lives. As a stay-at-home mom, Rogers became a mystery shopper and created her Web site to help people find part-time supplemental income while avoiding scams. The site evolved into other types of sharing, including recipes, ideas for school fundraising projects, reviews of travel locations for families and how to save money and more.

Slow Cooked: Ring in new year with lucky cuisine

The new year looms ahead – 12 shining new months holding unimaginable promise.

Different cultures believe certain foods will bring luck in the new year. According to, a Web site dedicated to debunking urban legends, lucky foods include black-eyed peas in the South, lentil soup, pork and sauerkraut.

Cookie-decorating party attendees deck the desserts

URBANA – When Mare Payne recently came across a Real Simple how-to list on cookie-decorating parties, she decided to give it a look – even though she's an expert on the subject.

"Everything they listed, I've done," she said.