Meg Makes: Summer salad inspired by Far East

My sister and I recently planned a lunch for my mom's birthday, and this salad provided an easy and refreshing focus.

We served it with green beans sauted in sesame oil, homemade pot stickers (I'm still perfecting my technique) and fortune cookies.

My Amish Home: Hustling as 'The Wedding' draws near

"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:7-10

Changing Market

CHAMPAIGN — As construction continues on Niemann Foods' new Harvest Market supermarket at the Carriage Center in Champaign, company leaders are trying to decide the future of its County Market building several blocks to the north.

Sandra Mason: Manage tomato problems now

For many of us, gardens are incomplete unless a few tomato plants are on the planting list. Of all the vegetables we can grow, tomatoes remain the most popular in the home garden. Even folks who only grow hair have at least one tomato plant tucked in somewhere. In spring, dreams of deliciously delectable fresh garden tomatoes dance in our domes.

My Amish Home: Finishing chores as wedding nears

"But I say unto you, swear not at all: neither by heaven, for that is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by the head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Meg Makes: A uniquely French take on brunch

My friend Erin, whom I affectionately think of as queen of baked goods, served this French toast casserole at a recent brunch.

I expected to eat one small portion and ended up going back for seconds. Then thirds.

My Amish Home: Cold mornings give way to pleasant days

"Let us hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering (for he is faithful as promised); and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:23-25

Meg Makes: Taco pizza combines two favorites

Pizza is one of my favorite foods, and my husband and I often celebrate Friday evenings with different homemade variations.

Taco pizza is full of familiar flavors but in a dish different enough to be fun.

This recipe makes a heavy pizza, and as a result, the leftovers last a while in our house.

Taco Pizza

1 pound ground beef

Take a seat - outside

CHAMPAIGN — Spring came not a moment too soon for Ebertfest, the Illinois Marathon and the pleasures of dining al fresco.

Sidewalk seating brings a bit of Paris to downtown Champaign, and live music often serenades the diners and imbibers.

Tom's #Mailbag, April 15, 2016

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