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Lawrence Libations: Italian Margarita at Paisano's Ristorante

If you’re craving Italian food but hankering for a refreshing Mexican cocktail on a warm spring day, Paisano’s has your solution: the Italian margarita.

Lawrence Libations: Paisano's Italian Margarita

Lawrence Libations visits Paisano's Ristorante, 2112 W. 25th St., and tries an Italian Margarita.

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Off the Beaten Plate: Polenta fries at The Burger Stand

If The Burger Stand is known for one thing — aside from its burgers — it’s probably the fries.

Off the Beaten Plate - Polenta Fries at The Burger Stand

Off the Beaten Plate visits The Burger Stand and tries out the polenta fries.

Off the Beaten Plate: Jja Jang Myeon at O Café

At first glance, O Café’s jja jang myeon — a Chinese-derived, Korean-adopted noodle dish — looks a bit spooky.

Off the Beaten Plate: Jja Jang Myeon at O Café

Off the Beaten Plate visits O Cafe Korean Restaurant, 1530 W. Sixth St., for some interesting Korean dishes.

Off the Beaten Plate: Chorizo Sloppy José at Global Cafe

For this week’s Off the Beaten Plate, we decided to try out another Latin American-inspired twist on a popular American dish: the chorizo sloppy José (get it?) at Global Café.

Off the Beaten Plate: Chorizo Sloppy José at Global Cafe

This week, Off the Beaten Plate goes to Global Cafe and checks out the Chorizo Sloppy José.

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Delicious/Nutritious: Kumquats a little fruit that packs a punch

Sweet, sour and possibly the tartest fruit this side of a lemon, the kumquat is a bite-sized, seasonal winter citrus.

Cooking from Scratch: Homemade SpaghettiOs

All the same, I couldn’t quite commit to serving up a can of SpaghettiOs for dinner-proper, as my son requested soon after learning the jingle. Instead, I decided to try to make SpaghettiOs from scratch.

Lawrence Libations: Poached-pear mulled wine at John Brown's Underground

There’s nothing like a hot, literally steaming glass of wine on a chilly winter day.

Mulled wine at John Brown's Underground

Lawrence Libations visits John Brown's Underground for a glass of poached-pear mulled wine.

Chefs' favorite menu items

A few local chefs name their favorite local menu item.

Off the Beaten Plate: Tostada pizza at Minsky's

For this week’s Off the Beaten Plate, we traveled south of the border by way of Italy with Minksy’s tostada pizza.

Off the Beaten Plate - Tostada Pizza at Minsky's

Off the Beaten Plate visits Minsky's for its Tostada Pizza

Off the Beaten Plate: Waffles at The Waffle Iron

The Waffle Iron, 920 Delaware St., offers a rotating selection of waffles, and only waffles. Reporter Joanna Hlavacek and photographer Richard Gwin had a chance to check out this waffle heaven.

Off the Beaten Plate: Waffle Benedict at The Waffle Iron

If, like me, your everyday breakfast consists of two Eggo waffles hastily eaten on the ride to work, a meal at The Waffle Iron is a particularly special occasion.

Off the Beaten Plate: Bún at Little Saigon Cafe

Don't let the name fool you — this dish doesn't involve any bread.

Cooking from Scratch: Shortbread cookies for your sweetie

These chocolate-dipped orange shortbread cookies when tucked into a book bag or left on the counter for a late-night snack were a sweet way for my husband and I to say, “I’m thinking of you” without spending the rent money.

Lawrence Libations: Bleeding Kansas at Five Bar & Tables

With Kansas celebrating its 154th birthday last week, it only seemed appropriate to follow up that momentous occasion with a Kansas-centric martini for this month's Lawrence Libations.