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  • Weird museums: Travel off the beaten path Dec 17, 2014 6:01 AM
    Travelers looking for something beyond top attractions like the Space Needle in Seattle might consider adding a weird museum or two to their itineraries. Here are some suggestions from among dozens of unusual museums across the nation, from a funeral museum to an attraction devoted to wet wipes, of all things. They’re all worth a stop, but probably shouldn’t be your only reason for buying a plane ticket.

     
  • Turn toys into Christmas tree ornaments Dec 17, 2014 6:01 AM
    From tractors and trains to cats and knights, my son’s evolving obsessions all find a place on our Christmas tree. This year I looked around for ways to turn his existing toys into ornaments.

     
  • Signature Coffee Cake Dec 17, 2014 6:01 AM
    Annie Overboe's Signature Coffee Cake is perfect for Christmas morning, New Years Day or both.

     
  • Sing along or just listen at upcoming holiday concerts Dec 17, 2014 6:01 AM
    Sometimes the best way to get into the holiday spirit is with music. Whether you perfer the stirring sounds of a brass band, the warmth of a community singalong or the harmony of a professionally-trained choir, you’re bound to find a show you’ll enjoy in the Fox Valley this weekend.

     
  • Baking secrets: Coffee cake rises to any festive occasion Dec 17, 2014 6:00 AM
    The holidays give bakers an opportunity to showcase their culinary talent and put in a little bit more effort into entertaining. Sure, time may be tight, but don’t pick up packaged Danishes for your holiday brunch just yet. Annie Overboe has just the recipe for homemade coffee cake that easily pleases any crowd.

     
  • Dressing up a basic gingerbread for Christmas Dec 17, 2014 6:00 AM
    Gingerbread — no matter how delicious — is kind of simple for such a day of big celebrations. So we decided to jazz it up a bit, turning your basic gingerbread into a far more festive trifle layered with a rich vanilla pudding and orange-black pepper caramel.

     
  • Dining events: LongHorn intros winter menu Dec 17, 2014 6:00 AM
    Now through February, taste winter at LongHorn Steakhouse with new seasonal entrees. Chicago’s oldest family-run steakhouse announced plans and the location for its first expansion: Rosemont. The yet-to-be named restaurant will go in at 9421 W. Higgins Road.

     
  • Gather around the campfire to mark winter solstice Dec 17, 2014 7:01 AM
    The Forest Preserve District of Kane County will hold its annual Winter Solstice Campfire at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21. The program is free, and all ages are welcome to herald the return of the sun. The program will include stories from different cultures, emphasizing the interplay of cultural, astronomical, and ecological events on this pivotal day.

     
  • Novice cooks can't go wrong with seared beef and pomegranates Dec 17, 2014 6:18 AM
    Prepwise, Seared Beef with Pomegranate and Balsamic Dressing, is a novice cook's dream. The recipe, adapted from Sabrina Ghayour's “Persiana: Recipes From the Middle East and Beyond,” comes together in about 25 minutes.

     
  • Country singer Boyd crowned ‘The Voice’ champion Dec 17, 2014 6:48 AM
    Country fans have spoken again. Craig Wayne Boyd, the country rocker from Blake Shelton’s team, was named the winner of “The Voice” Tuesday. Boyd is the third country singer to win the NBC sing-off.

     
  • Journey to Middle-earth has been an emotional one Dec 17, 2014 6:40 AM
    Fifteen years after filming began in New Zealand on the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, director Peter Jackson's Middle-earth saga concludes this weekend with “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” The journey from “The Fellowship of the Ring” to today has been very long, but very rewarding — even if the latter half of it ultimately feels unnecessary.

     
  • As Colbert exits, say farewell to his proxy Dec 17, 2014 6:01 AM
    Dear Stephen: Before you go, I just had to add my voice to all the others in Colbert Nation. At 10:30 p.m. Thursday, you will end “The Colbert Report” after nine seasons of heroic truthiness. The flesh-and-blood performer with whom you share your name is moving on to even greater stardom: hosting “Late Show” on CBS. We will miss you like crazy.

     
  • D’Angelo’s ‘Black Messiah’ plays to message of rising up Dec 17, 2014 6:01 AM
    The phrase “long-awaited album” gets tossed around quite a bit. But “Black Messiah,” D’Angelo’s follow-up to 2000’s “Voodoo” comes after a 14-year wait. But “Black Messiah” is finally here, both amazing and right on time, arriving as demonstrators across the nation demand change after the recent slayings of unarmed black men by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York.

     
  • Quentin Road Christmas pageant performances are Dec. 20 and 21 Dec 17, 2014 12:29 PM
    Take a special journey with Quentin Road this Christmas as they unlock secrets from Christmas Past.

     
  • Embrace the gift of hope this holiday season Dec 17, 2014 12:32 PM
    Is your long-desired gift waiting for you in that stack under the tree this year? Or, is it a gift too large or elusive to fit under the tree?

     
  • Cosby won’t be charged over molestation claim Dec 17, 2014 6:51 AM
    Los Angeles prosecutors on Tuesday declined to file any charges against Bill Cosby after a woman recently claimed the comedian molested her around 1974. The rejection of a child sexual abuse charge by prosecutors came roughly 10 days after the woman, Judy Huth, met with Los Angeles police detectives for 90 minutes. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office rejected filing a misdemeanor charge of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 because the statute of limitations had passed.

     
  • Rotary Club of Palatine allocation applications available Dec 17, 2014 1:38 PM
    The Rotary Club of Palatine is currently accepting applications from organizations for possible donations from the club.

     
  • NYC premiere of Rogen film canceled as threats fly Dec 17, 2014 12:45 PM
    Threats of violence against movie theaters. The New York premiere of “The Interview” canceled. Leaks of thousands more private emails. Lawsuits by former employees that could cost tens of millions in damages. The fallout from the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack exploded Tuesday after the shadowy group calling themselves Guardians of Peace threatened moviegoers with violence, prompting Sony to allow theater chains to cancel showings of the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy “The Interview.”

     
  • Heartland Voices presents its 16th Christmas program Dec 17, 2014 2:35 PM
    Heartland Voices, an Elgin-based adult choral ensemble, presents its 16th Christmas program at 3 or 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at First United Methodist Church in Elgin, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at Shepherd of the Prairie Church in Huntley. Selections include the Dale Warland arrangement of the “Wexford Carol,” a 12th-century Irish carol most likely of dancing origin, and Rollo Dilworth’s “Sistah Mary,” one of a very few African-American Christmas spirituals that recounts the birth of Christ from the perspective of a slave. Heartland Voices presentations also will include works by Durufle, Powell, Spencer, Hovland, and Kirkpatrick. The music not only spans the centuries, but the many moods of Christmas.

     
  • Editorial: Guadalupe basilica would be a boon for the suburbs Dec 16, 2014 5:01 AM
    A Daily Herald editorial says that in the wake of a hugely successful 36-hour Our Lady of Guadalupe event, the idea of an international basilica on the site of the Des Plaines shrine doesn't sound crazy at all.

     
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