The Reluctant Townie: You can shop like a king at Aldi

A trip to the grocery store can really take a bite out of your budget. But it doesn't have to. What if I told you there was an enchanted land of low prices and strange customs? That place is Aldi, a lo-fi grocery store where you can shop like a king. But there are some things you need to know before you venture into this exotic land.

Entertainment listings, July 20-27, 2017


This weekend


What: Traditional fair events including queen pageant, demo derby, wild World of Animals, horse shows, livestock, Nick Lynch Band, 4-H, tractor pull and talent show.

When: July 20-24.

Where: Fairgrounds,1390 E. 2000 N. Road, Watseka.

My Amish Home: Thinking of times of weeping — for joy and despair

"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Meg Makes: Pungent chicken dish perks up mealtime

My husband loves to experiment in the kitchen, and more often than not, his creations turn out well.

This recipe, though, turned out even better than most. The jalapenos and the spice mixture really set it apart. You could try it with a milder pepper, too, if you'd like it to be less spicy.

McDonald's supersizing effort to restore its popularity

ROMEOVILLE — McDonald's is hoping to make a difference in its future seven seconds at a time.

The company that helped define fast food is making supersized efforts to reverse its fading popularity and catch up to a landscape that has evolved around it. That includes expanding delivery, digital ordering kiosks in restaurants, and rolling out an app that saves precious seconds.

New smart oven partially cooked up in Urbana

CHICAGO — Bryan Wilcox has contemplated plenty of product ideas as co-founder of the The Product Manufactory in Urbana.

But a couple years ago, one concept in particular caught the UI graduate's attention, because he could envision it in his own kitchen: a smart oven that automatically knows how to cook healthy, fresh ingredients into multi-course meals simply by reading a bar code.

Midwest Beer Fest set Saturday in downtown Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — A regional-beer festival is coming to downtown Champaign this Saturday.

The Midwest Beer Fest will be held starting at 3 p.m. in the parking lot between Cowboy Money and PNC Bank.

Spokeswoman Jenna Frye said the festival will showcase beer from local and regional breweries.

PODCAST: Club Krannert with Bridget Lee-Calfas

PODCAST: Club Krannert with Bridget Lee-Calfas: Play now!

Bridget Lee-Calfas of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts previews the upcoming OUTSIDE at the Research Park concert on Friday, July 21.


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The folks behind your fair food

Do you ever wonder about the people behind the tasty, not-good-for-your-diet festival and county-fair food? Where do they come from? What are their stories?

We spoke with five vendors, some of whom are on the road right now and who will be at the Champaign County Fair July 21-29:

Entertainment listings, July 13-20, 2017