Culinary specialist will be special guest Thursday

CHAMPAIGN — The Taste of Home Cooking School is coming back to Champaign with a Midwestern flair.

Karen Davis, a culinary specialist and farm-raised cook from Iowa who has provided shows all over the country, will be taking the stage at the Hilton Garden Inn on Thursday, with the show beginning at 6 p.m., preceded by an array of preshow booths beginning at 4 p.m.

Meg Makes: For the best fried veggies, try falafel

Falafel is one of those lovely foods that is made of vegetables, then fried, resulting in a crunchy, satisfying nugget.

I never imagined cooking it in my kitchen, but a favorite cookbook, The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage, provided inspiration.

Food trucks return to Urbana

URBANA — Back in downtown by popular demand for the fifth and final time in 2015: gourmet food trucks.

The city is dubbing Tuesday's 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. event "Truck or Treat." Seven trucks have signed up to participate: Bento, Burrito King, Chester's BBQ, Dragon Fire Pizza, Fusilli Tony's, Maui Wowi and ROK'S Korean BBQ Tacos.

To Your Health: October is month for apples to shine

By Irisha Clark

Did you know October is National Apple Month? Originally founded in 1904 as National Apple Week, it has since been expanded to the entire month. It is the only national, generic apple promotion conducted in the United States.

Meg Makes: Extra delicious Italian beef

I love Italian beef because it makes dinner feel like a special occasion.

My mom always served it for family gatherings and celebrations, and though it's not hard to make, it's definitely a favorite.

My husband helped me write this recipe. He has Italian genes, so I think that helped make it extra delicious.

Italian Beef

3-4 pound rump roast

My Amish Home: Enjoying splendor of a perfect fall day

"O Lord, open though my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice, else I would give it; thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despite." Psalm 51:15-17

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

Check out this cellist

Weekend Planner: That time of year

After traveling to German-American festivals in Illinois and the "big one" in Munich, Eric Robeson and Achim Von Bodman decided Champaign was ready for one of its own. So they talked with folks at the Developmental Services Center about having an Oktoberfest to benefit its work with people with disabilities.

Film documents Prairie Fruits owners' story

CHAMPAIGN — The title of a new documentary — "A Farmer's Road," about Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery — might lead some to think it focuses on the controversial Olympian Road extension, which was to have passed close by the farmstead.

Entertainment listings, Oct. 8-15, 2015

A listing of events, provided by the venues. Here are