Chicago Things to Do for Mostly Free

Forget the bad press; this is a city that offers all of the urban amenities plus the warmth and hospitality of an ethnic base.

wheat berry salad dotted with almonds, crtanberries, oranges, and kale

Wheat Berry Salad Makes a Healthy and Filling Main Course

I combined the ideas from several recipes, looked at what I had in the fridge, and set about to put these grains to good use. (This is often my approach. I call it seat-of-the-pants cooking.)

Spring beauties hide close to fallen leaves in the soft earth

Hiking Hills in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Hiking brings you back to your childhood, when you lay in the grass watching the leaves dance and sparkle in the late afternoon sunshine.

a stamp with the ampersand symbol

Why Have More Than One Email Account?

“Mom, why don’t you have another email to give out when you don’t really want to give out your email?” Brilliant.

Wildflower Scavenger Hunt is Outdoor Fun For All Ages

Scavenger hunts are interactive fun and keep kids of all ages entertained in the great outdoors.

spice jars lay on their sides in a spice drawer

Forget the Spice Rack and Embrace the Spice Drawer

Honestly, how many hours of my life had I wasted searching for a spice jar?

Deer-Resistant Annuals Bring a Colorful Season to Your Yard

Brightly colored and persistently blooming throughout the growing season, it is hard for any gardener to resist the lure of annuals, even as those doe eyes watch you dig your planting holes.

Deer Resistant Perennials for the Persistent Gardener

There are some plants that have escaped deer “predators” year after year.

Spanakopita: Not Your Mama’s Recipe, So Bring on the Greens

Over the years, I have discovered that you can freeze spanakopita before baking it; when you are ready to eat it, just put the frozen, prepared pie into a cold oven and then set the oven to 350°F. It may take an hour for the pie to warm through.

Easy Feta Appetizer with a Little Something Special

Sometimes (most times), simple is best. This appetizer/side dish/salad is fantastic with pita triangles.