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  • ‘Fluffy Movie’ funny, but more like a TV special Jul 25, 2014 3:49 PM
    The rotund Gabriel Iglesias, who calls himself “Fluffy” because it sounds better than “Fatty,” specializes in gentle observational comedy, enlivened by his flair for accents and sound effects. "The Fluffy Movie" walks a careful line between hilarious and heartwarming, and manages to be both. Still, it's not much of a movie.

  • Rock-hard 'Hercules' a likeable take on demigod's tale Jul 25, 2014 12:14 PM
    Say this for Brett Ratner's production of “Hercules:” This movie has a sense of proportion. Running just over 90 minutes, the movie is often clunky, but at least it's fast and unpretentious. And its likable star, Dwayne Johnson, manages to murder legions without ever seeming sadistic.

  • Harmon: ‘Community’ online won’t be too different Jul 25, 2014 10:58 AM
    Just because “Community” is going online to Yahoo doesn’t mean it’s in for a lot of changes. In fact, creator Dan Harmon says he has “no big, highfalutin plans” for its Web version. At a Comic-Con panel Thursday, Harmon revealed he doesn’t want season six to feel radically different, especially to its loyal fans.

  • Small is sometimes better in the vegetable world Jul 25, 2014 6:00 AM
    There’s no arguing that tiny vegetables are more fun and convenient to eat. Of course, tiny vegetables’ main draw is their perceived gustatory superiority. And it’s true: Many vegetables are most delicate, tender and tasty at this stage.

  • Dutch oven key to artisanal quality bread at home Jul 25, 2014 5:30 AM
    Homemade bread really is the difference between a good sandwich and a great one. But we tend to be intimidated by from-scratch bread baking. Elizabeth Karmel certainly felt that way after recently enjoying an artisanal loaf. She wanted to recreate it at home and then stumbled onto a recipe by Leslie Mackie, chef-owner of Macrina Bakery and Cafe in Seattle. It involves baking the loaf in a cast-iron double Dutch oven (the sort in which the lid is an overturned skillet).

  • Group tours: How to pick the right one for you Jul 25, 2014 5:45 AM
    Group tours sound easy: Choose a destination and the tour company plans your trip, delivering you to hotels, restaurants and attractions. You don’t have to Google or organize a thing. But how do you find the right tour to begin with, one that fits your age, activity levels and preferences for lodging, dining and sightseeing? And what’s the difference between the $2,000 tour and the $8,000 tour to the same place, the same week?

  • Tartare: Still rare, but not uncommon Jul 25, 2014 5:45 AM
    Tartare, once a mark of sophistication at the “continental” restaurants of old, fell out of favor after the mad cow and E. coli scares of the 1990s. Now that the best restaurants are more cognizant of the conditions in which their animals are raised, diners who were once wary of eating raw meat might be more willing to let their guard down.

  • O'Hare's Pub serves up Irish fare, friendly service Jul 25, 2014 6:00 AM
    When Peggy O'Hare Vance and her husband, Bill Vance, traveled to Ireland, they were amazed at the friendliness of everyone they met. Now they're bringing that strong sense of hospitality to Bartlett with O'Hare's Pub, which opened in November in the space formerly occupied by Sheep & Fiddle.

  • Fashionable accessories the next frontier for outdoor living spaces Jul 25, 2014 6:00 AM
    Outdoor living spaces are nothing new. But the idea of families or a solitary figure kicking back on a tufted sofa in the great outdoors, propped up against implausibly weatherproof bouclé throw pillows in the glow of a lamp with a fabric shade — that’s fairly new.

  • An A-to-Z guide to enjoying the rest of summer Jul 25, 2014 6:12 AM
    If back-to-school sales and talk of fall have you thinking that summer is slipping away, don't despair. We still have a few weeks left to take in outdoor concerts, al fresco dining and blockbuster movies at the multiplex. So here's a quick A-to-Z primer on enjoying the last weeks of summer in the suburbs.

  • Dogs, cats steal show at Algonquin Founders’ Day Jul 25, 2014 4:59 PM
    The second day of the Algonquin Founders’ Days Festival began Friday as folks filed in with dogs and cats in tow. Some of the dog owners were dressed to match their pups, while cats were kept calm in pet carriers.

  • Fred Fest concert in Port Barrington Aug. 17 Jul 25, 2014 6:54 PM
    Fred Fest, an annual reunion concert of well-known, Barrington-trained musicians, will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, at the Fox River Forest Preserve on Roberts Road in Port Barrington. Admission is $20. The concert benefits the Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves.

  • Hoffman Estates Chamber collecting school supplies Jul 25, 2014 7:07 PM
    The Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce & Industry invites you to join its members in the 2014 “Tools For Success” program through Aug. 8. This community-focused program provides new school supplies to children in the community who may otherwise start school empty-handed.

  • Rodeo, demo derby still ahead at DuPage fair Jul 25, 2014 10:01 PM
    The DuPage County Fair is swinging into the home stretch Saturday and Sunday with two of its biggest draws: the Latting IPRA Rodeo and the demolition derby. The rodeo takes over the grandstand at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton.

  • Gurnee village hall now a place to safely dispose of medical waste Jul 25, 2014 5:21 PM
    Gurnee residents who want to safely dispose of syringes or other medical waste don’t need to look beyond village hall. “You’re always afraid of loose sharps just getting in the trash,” Gurnee Assistant to the Village Administrator Erik Jensen said of why the village collection point was opened.

  • Garth Brooks fans snap up tickets to 10 Rosemont shows Jul 25, 2014 6:36 PM
    One tour-launching Garth Brooks Allstate Arena show turned into four Friday. Then five. And then there were 10 — which the country singer was selling out quickly.

  • Audience moved by Mundelein teen’s performance Jul 26, 2014 12:43 AM
    Cast and audience shared an emotional performance of “The Secret Garden” Saturday night at Mundelein High School. Senior Monica Tipperreiter debuted in the role she had been meant to play one of the leads in the high school musical last spring.

  • Sugar Grove honors longtime firefighter as Citizen of the Year Jul 25, 2014 10:21 PM
    It was fitting that Wayne Parson was thinking of others while he was being honored as Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year. Parson said he was reminded of the many previous honorees who wwere present as he received the award during the Sugar Grove Corn Boil 2014 festivities at Volunteer Park Friday.

  • Rockin’ The Blocks continues Saturday in Palatine Jul 25, 2014 11:00 PM
    The Rockin’ The Blocks community block party featuring food, family fun and plenty of live music got underway Friday night and will continue from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Brockway and Slade streets.

  • Buddy Foundation offers special adoption fees Jul 24, 2014 11:03 AM
    Experience the joy and unconditional love that a pet brings to your life by adopting a dog or cat from The Buddy Foundation.

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