Letter from Birdland: My kid the cook

I left Birdland for a day trip to Chicago with my sister. After our business concluded, we went downtown to see my middle boy, Dylan.

He cooks at Celeste, an artful restaurant on West Hubbard. I had never visited, but I knew from his description that it was upscale. Dylan got us reservations for 5 p.m.

Quick Read: Personalizing McDonald's by region

Item from The Wall Street Journal: Faced with declines in net income, McDonald's Chief Executive Don Thompson said last week that the fast-food chain plans to give its 21 domestic regions more autonomy in rolling out products that are locally relevant.

"Customers want to personalize their meals with locally relevant ingredients," he said.

My Amish Home: When days get dreary, I get weary

"But fornication and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather, giving thanks.

Meg Makes: A quick, versatile, 2-veggie side dish

This is a really simple veggie side dish, but it's so delicious that it would suit a Sunday dinner or special occasion.

I created it when I realized I had the two main ingredients in my fridge, and needed to use them both before they spoiled.

The roasted mushrooms took on an intense flavor, but it went really well with the sprouts.

To your health: Stormy weather calls for comfort food

By Leia Kedem

Dreary weather lately has me craving comfort food like none other, so while it's storming outside, I've been cooking up a storm inside my kitchen.

Meg Makes: Fall's perfect for souping up recipes

I'll admit to being a seasonal eater. In the summer, I'm known to eat tomatoes and raspberries straight out of the garden for dinner. In the fall, I'd be happy to eat soup every evening.

To celebrate autumn, here are a couple of soup recipes.

The first is from Champaign resident Karen Moon. She says it's quick and delicious.

My Amish Home: A good, if busy, start to October

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:14,15 ,16

Meg Makes: 2 great ways to warm up with oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts this time of year. I like to think it gives me a warm start to my day.

Baked oatmeal, then, is especially a treat, and something I like to make on Saturday mornings.

I've included two baked-oatmeal recipes, one from the Gooseberry Patch cookbook, "Homemade Christmas," and a much healthier version from Urbana resident Patty Bash.

Meg Makes: German treat requires precision

My husband and I really enjoy old houses, and so have lately been volunteering to help salvage various spaces around town with the Preservation and Conservation Association of Champaign County.

My Amish Home: Too much to do for these old bones

"These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief. A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16,17 18,19