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Let's Talk Food (& maybe win a cookbook): 'The Homesick Texan's Family Table,' and quality family time

Doing a giveaway for 'The Homesick Texan's Family Table' seems about right for a return to this column from an absence that has been largely due to focusing on my family since a Texas trip. Read on for details on your chance to win the Lisa Fain cookbook. More

Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says

Researchers David Whitworth and Sara Mela pose for photo in the lab at Prifysgol Aberystwyth University in Aberystwyth, Wales. According to results published online July 28, 2014, in the American Journal of Infection Control, the researchers found that the knocking of knuckles, fist bump, spreads only one-twentieth the amount of bacteria that a handshake does. Anthony Pugh / AP

New York — When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps. More

Abusive father makes gathering painful

Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, 'Tom.' He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner, along with his parents and family. We get along with them, but can't stand how they treat Tom. More

Does man have herpes or antibiotic allergy?

Dear Dr. Roach: Four years ago, my husband had an abscess. What started as a boil became so deep and hard that he required general anesthesia to remove it. The wound was left open, and we had to change the packing twice a day for eight weeks. More

Rain barrels fill many needs for home, garden

Mermaids were painted on rain barrel by artist Tina Totten of Hampton, Va. MCT

It's hard to justify rain barrels for major landscapes, but they are quite practical for small vegetable and flower gardens, especially plants grown in containers, according to gardeners. More

Upcoming exhibit to carry on Johnny Appleseed legend

This painting is said to be the most realistic representation of American folk hero Johnny Appleseed and is part of the collection at the Johnny Appleseed Educational Center and Museum at Urbana University in Ubana, Ohio. Mike Munden / AP

If you picture Johnny Appleseed as a loner wearing a tin pot for a hat and flinging apple seeds while meandering through the countryside, experts say you're wrong. More

China's love and dating scene laid out on stage

 Ng Han Guan / AP

— For many of today's Chinese youth looking for a partner, love takes second place to parental pressure, moving up the social ladder and a heavy dose of fear drummed into women that they will end up as 'leftover.' More

Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation

Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I've known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. More

Not your parent's dorm — learn what you'll need (and want) on campus

Before you start your back-to-school dorm shopping, do your homework about what's really needed and talk to your roommate. Bed Bath & Beyond

As back-to-school sales ramp up and you prepare to head to your local Bed Bath & Beyond or Target, dorm shopping list in hand, it's important to do your research first. More

Tricks to getting the most from your herb garden

Oregano doesn't need much attention; it'll grow even between cracks in a sidewalk. PhotoDisc

You don't need a garden to grow herbs. Thyme and oregano thrive in the cracks between the flat stones of my sidewalk. Six hours of sun or more daily is the key to success. More

This tomato pie just too good to wait for

Serve a fresh tomato pie for a meatless meal. Kate Lawson / The Detroit News

And while I try to wait out the season and get my tomato fix from my own plants, when I saw this recipe for tomato pie from cookbook author Ian Knaur, I knew I couldn't wait. More

Jewelry designer shining example of entrepreneurship

Susie at Home co-owners Susan Stefani, right, and her mother, Angie Polizzi. Todd McInturf / The Detroit News

Some rhinestone-studded shoes in childhood leads to a Grosse Pointe store run by mother and daughter, plus a star-studded jewelry business on the side. More

Big family hit by Superstorm Sandy to share $20M lottery jackpot

Beachwood, N.J. — A large family that lives at the shore and suffered losses during Superstorm Sandy will share a $20 million lottery jackpot that one of the 17 siblings said will be 'a great pick-me-up.' More

Art deco sculpture likely a cold-painted bronze

Brenda Mattila with her art deco sculpture in Detroit. David Coates / The Detroit News

Growing up in Northern England, Brenda Mattila remembers her mother using the small sculpture of a woman to prop open the door between the dining and living rooms. 'This belonged to my mother, who did not like it.' More

Welcome Mat: The latest and greatest for your home

Ten Thousand Villages' Sunshade Hammock is handcrafted by artisans in Nicaragua. Ten Thousand Villages

Enjoy a lazy summer day on a hammock, get free Michigan-made art in Berkley, find a custom-made mattress, see this week's garden photo contest winner and more. More

To organize and beautify your space, just shelve it

Industrial-style shelving is no longer limited to hidden areas of the home, like a storage room or garage. Try one in a kitchen, laundry room or home office. Lowe's

Everything looks better on a shelf. These vertical problem solvers elevate our personal belongings throughout the home. Even industrial shelving has been upgraded from basement and garage status to more visible areas of the house. More

Tyke hits mom when she takes back cellphone

Dear Abby: When my friend 'Fran' and I get together with our kids, they often play games on her cellphone until the battery dies. More

MSU builds a greener campus we can learn from

You hear a lot about green building these days, but like most things in the area of energy conservation, it takes time for such an initiative to become a common practice. MSU is taking the lead. More

3 ways to get the perfect finish for your windows

Often, the window treatments are one of the last things we do when we decorate a room, but a room just isn't done without the finishing touch of curtains. MCT

Often, the window treatments are one of the last things we do when we decorate a room. Need to cover a window or two in your home? Here are three of my very favorite treatments. More

Olive oil has lots of healthy competition

Ditch the tongs and dress salad with clean hands — you won't bruise delicate leaves, and you'll evenly coat them using less oil. Also, try strong-flavored oils — a little goes a long way. ) Yasu + Junko

These days, cooking oils often take up an entire aisle. Here's how to navigate your way around these newcomers, including avocado oil, rice-bran oil and coconut oil. More

Healing collarbone may take longer than six weeks

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a healthy 71-year-old man. I broke my collarbone in the middle. I was told the bone should stop moving and heal in four to six weeks. More than six weeks have passed. There has been slow but steady progress in moving my arm, but the bone is still moving. More

Metro Detroit garden calendar

Learn tips about maintaining your vegetable garden at Leslie Science and Nature Center. PhotoDisc

Learn how to maintain your vegetable garden, visit Brenda's Butterfly Habitat, take a tour of local ponds and gardens, and more. More

Create a new peplum shirt out of old clothes

You can make a peplum shirt out of old clothes — or even sheets, as in these examples. MCT

This project uses a simple technique to revamp an old, well-loved T-shirt. You can get creative and use anything you have in your fabric collection, even scraps of soft cotton fabrics sewn together! More

Event encourages people to register on state donor list

The MOTTEP Life Walk/Run, shown in 2012, raises awareness and money for organ donation. This year's event is Saturday on Belle Isle. Betsy Miner-Swartz

What's formally known as the Gift of Life MOTTEP Foundation's walk/run raises money and attention for the cause, and it's not too late to step in. More

Give meat, vegetables and even fruit rich flavor with a marinade

Tex-Mex marinade gives a nice southwest flavor to chicken breasts. Lucy Vaserfirer

With the right combinations of spices, oils, vinegars, herbs and seasonings, you can dress up meats, chicken, fish or vegetables and turn inexpensive cuts of beef and pork into tender, delicious meals. More

Corn doesn't have to be on the cob to be delicious

Red bell peppers and zucchini help flavor this Southwestern stir-fry. Kate Lawson / The Detroit News

Corn recipes are abundant this time of year, but for my taste, the simpler the better. Sauteed corn with summer vegetables, studded with black beans and spiked with jalapeno, makes a terrific side dish to grilled chicken or pork. More

Good stuff: Greenpeace seafood site, coconut cocktail, Pierogi Gals

Greenpeace's website helps shoppers find sustainable fish, Zico presents a coconut water mojito, and the Pierogi Gals make classic favorite gourmet. More

Simple roasted shrimp dish is 'fancy-not-fancy'

The shrimp are roasted in butter and tossed in a white wine sauce. Faith Durand

Shrimp scampi is easy, but it's also luxurious, a restaurant-style meal at home; and we all know how restaurants make their dishes taste so good. Butter. Lots of it. These shrimp are roasted in butter. More

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