| Oct 8, 2013
| 12:30 PM
It began, as so many problems do, as something that sounded like fun:
Maybe I would buy a new car!
My 10-year-old Honda Civic hybrid was about to cost $2,100 to repair, the latest of several pricey fixes to a vehicle I'd once called trustworthy, and...
| Dec 10, 2013
Q: My packet of red quinoa says to wash the quinoa multiple times then rinse before cooking. What's the difference?
--Anthony Pioppi, Middletown, Conn.
A: It's always good to hear from a former newspaper colleague from Connecticut, especially one...
| Jan 28, 2014
Q: Can you tell me anything about the Villa Moderne Nite Club from back in the 1940s and 1950s? We are trying to remember where it was located in the Chicagoland area and some of its history.
--Doris Ruchalski, Chicago
A: I was able to find some...
| Oct 27, 2013
When she was hired five years ago at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares received a new perk with the job: an all-expenses-paid house to live in, with the expectation that it would be used for university functions.
| Jan 21, 2014
Q: I have a question about a fruit from St. Lucia. It is supposed to have cancer fighting properties and is delicious, according to my best friend. Her boyfriend is from St. Lucia and she has had the fruit there and wonders about what a good source...
| Feb 25, 2014
Q: I enjoyed a delicious tomato soup recipe from the Tribune food pages 10 or 11 years ago. It was an easy recipe and so good. It used canned tomatoes and included acini di pepe pasta. I've misplaced my copy and would love to get the recipe again....
| Oct 1, 2013
Q: I was wondering how long one can keep ice wine.
—Barb Person,Oshawa, Ontario
A: The answer depends on whether the bottle of ice wine is open or not and how it has been stored. Yours, I gather from a subsequent email, is unopened and has...
| Sep 24, 2013
Unable to find the recipe for cheesy chowder served at Marshall Field’s Bowl and Basket restaurant, I invited readers to send one in if they had it. (See original question below) Eden Rosenbush, chef and owner of Chicago’s Big Red...
| Nov 12, 2013
Q: How long should one grind coffee beans? I'm breaking in a new grinder. Years ago I read that Starbucks ground their beans for 23 seconds and I did that. In the new grinder, 23 seconds turns the beans to dust.
—Paddy Meehan, Chicago
| Feb 18, 2014
Q: I buy expensive gin but cheap commercial tonic water. What are the other choices? I've seen some high-end bottled quinine waters but have not tried them. Are they any good? Can I make my own?
—Curtis Tuckey, Chicago
A: "Adding crummy tonic to...
| Jan 7, 2014
Q: I am planning to make Susan Spicer's goat cheese croutons with wild mushrooms and Madeira cream from her "Crescent City Cooking." I don't have any Madeira. Is Marsala an acceptable substitute?
--Andrew Maselli, Chicago
A: "Yes," says Spicer,...