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Off the Beaten Plate: Quinoa and sweet corn fritters at La Parrilla

Quinoa has a bit of a reputation as a health food, a favorite among hippie types and fitness buffs for its high levels of protein and fiber. It's gluten-free, and not really associated with heavy fried dishes.

Bite Sighs: Chocolate apricot cheesecake

Now that the first month of the new year is about over, lots of us have abandoned those pesky healthy-eating resolutions and returned to our favorite comfort foods.

Off the Beaten Plate: Halum cheese at Aladdin Cafe

We've never met a cheese we didn't like, and the Halum appetizer at Aladdin Cafe (our first experience with the variety) was no exception.

White chicken enchiladas

Enchiladas can take on any form, and there's rarely one that isn't absolutely delicious. If you're interested in moving away from canned sauces, there are ...

Off the Beaten Plate: Mochi ice cream at Encore Cafe

This frozen treat is like two desserts in one — soft, gelatinous mochi (a Japanese pounded rice cake, for the uninitiated) on the outside and a scoop of ice cream on the inside.

Cooking From Scratch: Popping up for movie night

Stovetop popcorn takes about the same amount of time of microwave popcorn and tastes much better. You don’t need any special equipment to make it either.

Off the Beaten Plate: Hercules Burger at The Mad Greek

If you've ever bitten into a hamburger and thought to yourself, "This could really use more meat," the Mad Greek's Hercules Burger may be the meal for you.

Lawrence Libations: Cap'n Frank's Rum Punch in the Throat at Frank's North Star Tavern

Warmer weather may be months away, but even in these frigid temperatures, bartenders at Frank's North Star Tavern are serving up a little taste of summer.

Cooking from Scratch: The simply huge German pancake

A German pancake is rich, egg-y breakfast concoction that puffs up impressively in the oven and only requires five ingredients to make.

Off the Beaten Plate: Agedashi tofu at Wa Japanese Restaurant

Even the most tofu-phobic might appreciate this traditional Japanese dish from Wa. After all, everything is better fried, as they say.

Bite Sighs: Ginger-Cherry Bites with Meringue

Hey, remember that jar of molasses that you bought on a whim ages ago? Well, break it out, because I’m using the month of December to indulge my love of gingerbread.

Off the Beaten Plate: Grilled Glazer at Harolds Fried Chicken & Donuts

If you catch a glimpse of the Grilled Glazer from far away, it might appear to be a normal chicken sandwich. Upon closer inspection, though, and it's pretty clear that this is no ordinary meal.

Off the Beaten Plate: Walking Tacos at Henry T's

The “Walking Taco” is all about convenience. Order up a plate of these babies at Henry T’s and forget about the to-go box.

Cooking From Scratch: Grocery store gifts

Black Friday, Cyber Monday ― blech! Call me a Grinch if you want, but I hate the mall. I'd much rather do my holiday shopping at the grocery store.

Delicious/Nutritious: Ginger a healthy, tasty treat

Ginger is a spicy root that is small but mighty — not just in size but in both flavor and health benefits.

Off the Beaten Plate: Pumpkin Curry at Baan Thai

With Thanksgiving officially over and next month’s holiday feasts on their way, pumpkin heyday is in full swing. For those who can’t get enough of the festive vegetable, might we suggest something a little out of the ordinary: pumpkin curry at Baan Thai.

Volunteers craft works of art with gingerbread

Next weekend, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County will host its 20th annual Gingerbread Festival and Auction. More than 100 gingerbread houses, created by both adult and children volunteers, will be on display from Dec. 4 to Dec. 7.

Cooking From Scratch: Candied orange peels an easy, sweet holiday treat

Amidst the flurry of sugar cookies and peanut butter balls that get made over the holiday season, I always find a few moments to sneak in a batch of what is perhaps my favorite Christmas candy of all: candied orange peels.

Bite Sighs: Pumpkin cranberry bread to take on the road

Not overly moist or crumbly as most pumpkin bread, this one is firm and slightly dense; studded with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips, it’s the perfect in-car take-along snack that won’t leave crumbs in the upholstery as you head over the river and through the woods.

Off the Beaten Plate: The Spud at Limestone Pizza

Just when we thought pizza couldn't get any more carb-heavy, along comes The Spud at Limestone Pizza.

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