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Novi homeowners throw grand backyard fete every year

A spacious deck provides plenty of seating in Yiannis and Pat Karimalis' backyard in Novi. Later this month, the couple will host a large backyard party as they do every year. They'll roast two lambs and cook all the food themselves, mostly Greek. Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News

Yiannis Karimalis, a well-known local hairstylist who has fixed the tresses of everyone from Queen Noor to Joan Rivers, is an avid gardener, chicken farmer, cook and chocolate maker — and party-thrower extraordinaire. More

Get seeds started inside to kick-start summer veggies

Seedlings often aren't available at this time of year, but you can still grow lettuce from seeds. Stock Xchange

Most garden centers are out of seedlings at this time of year, so in order to grow greens and short-season vegetables, I have to grow them from seed. Some plants can be difficult to germinate outdoors in hot weather, so I presprout them. More

Engineered hardwood flooring has several advantages

When adding hardwood flooring, install it to the base of the cabinets, not under them. Vintage

Brazilian cherry will darken quickly to match previously installed engineered flooring, which is more stable than regular hardwood and less likely to warp or cup. More

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church helps needy — stitch by stitch

Maggie Ciaramitaro, left, and Josie Dehelean of the St. Joan of Arc Knitting/Crocheting Ministry show some of the items the group made. Brandy Baker / The Detroit News

The members of the St. Joan of Arc Knitting/Crochet Ministry do some very serious work — helping those in need by knitting and crocheting winter accessories for charities throughout Metro Detroit. More

Baked beans, brisket top off a great holiday weekend

Smoky baked beans will disappear fast at your next barbecue. Kate Lawson / The Detroit News

Need a quick side dish? Instead of opening a can of baked beans and doctoring them, use Great Northern beans and spike them with whatever's available (sans ketchup), along with some crispy, crumbled bacon. More

Michigan, pure and simple, draws in family

New Yorkers have the Hamptons. Californians have Big Sur. There's Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, too. But nothing compares to our Great Lakes and the vast beauty and stillness that is up north. More

Grown child still resents parents who skipped 'graduation'

Dear Abby: When I was a child, my parents skipped my elementary school graduation. For that matter, everyone did. My grandfather had just died, so Mom was mourning his loss. More

Welcome Mat: The latest and greatest for your home

Frank Lloyd Wright Turkel Home gardens in Detroit's Palmer Woods Barbara Barefield

Palmer Woods hosts its first garden tour, Village Potters Guild will show at Art in the Park in Plymouth, MSU Extension offers entry garden tips and more. More

Summer entertaining ideas to charm your guests

The Corksicle Wine Chiller ($17.95 at Sur La Table) makes a great hostess gift for those into outdoor entertaining. Sur La Table

Casual gatherings are synonymous with summer. Though easy entertaining is part of the charm, you can still make an effort to welcome your guests. More

Fill cracks in your concrete and mortar

Whether you have a cement driveway or a brick home, you surely have some concrete or mortar cracks to deal with. If you hate looking at the cracks, you can fill them yourself if you use the proper method and products. More

3 tips to make light fixtures shine in your home decor

The right lighting in the right spots can transform a room. MCT

I've learned through the years that the right lighting in the right spots transforms a room. So when it came time to select the fixtures for our lake home redo, I followed these tips to ensure the lighting was a bright spot in my decor. More

He's under pressure to update 3 loud toilets

Noise reduction is a design consideration with new high efficiency toilets. Kohler / MCT

An 'air-assisted' toilet uses compressed air to quickly flush the water through the bowl. Over the years, most air-assisted toilets have been redesigned and they now flush at a much lower noise level. More

Stellar tip for making stars year-round decor

These 3-D stars are simple enough to make so that even younger children can share in the fun. MCT

It's easy to broaden the theme of the handmade stars by just switching out the colors: red, white and blue for Fourth of July or pastels for a new baby. More

Cartoonist and author Jim Benton of Bloomfield Township is never stuck for ideas

Cartoonist and author Jim Benton has a living-room-sized studio at his home in Bloomfield Township — plus another for his two artistic kids. Neal Rubin

He's had New York Times bestsellers, shelves of awards, a Fox Kids animated series and a Hallmark movie, but he remains self-deprecating and eminently likeable. More

Bastone Complex's executive chef shares his Grilled Turkey Cutlets and Amish-Style Potato Salad

Robert Young, executive chef for Bastone in Royal Oak, says that he created his potato salad recipe partly as the result of 'attending lots of family reunions that had really bad potato salad ...' Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News

Chef Robert Young decided to share this meal because 'it's really simple to make' and is the result of 'attending lots of family reunions that had really bad potato salad ...' More

Apricots taste just peachy in a cherry compote

Apricots and Bing cherries look lovely in a compote served over shortcakes, on ice cream or with a dollop of mascarpone. Kate Lawson / The Detroit News

Everyone has a favorite fruit and mine is the apricot (next is the peach). Apricots are so wonderful in a pork dish, rice dish and with couscous, but as I have an incurable sweet tooth, I always think first about using them in desserts. More

Good stuff: Mint julep, dinner series, vacation tip

Make a Moscato Mint Julep with Woodbridge's inexpensive wine, try the Culinary Guild of Detroit's dinner series at Iridescence, and take some spices with you to that vacation rental. More

Beet Tonarelli mixes Calabrian Chilies, mint, cheeses well

The Calabrian Chilies in this dish have a spicy, mildly fruity taste and aroma. Kate Previte

One of the best specialties of the Calabria region of southern Italy is the Calabrian chili. They're excellent with pizza, garlic bread, stews, soups and even salsa. Read on for a pasta recipe highlighting the chilies. More

Woman should rethink friendship

Dear Abby: My best friend is getting married and asked me to be her maid of honor. She has also asked me to buy an expensive dress, host a lavish shower I'm afraid I can't afford and plan a destination bachelorette party. The cost will be exorbitant. More

Flexible spicy Middle Eastern koftas have Hungarian influences

The lamb koftas are grilled, making them healthier and more flavorful. Joseph Erdos

The flavors and spices of Middle Eastern foods, especially the grilled kebabs and koftas, are some of the most interesting and unique, with influence stretching from the Himalayas to the Mediterranean. More

Metro Detroit food calendar

Check out the food trucks at Campus Martius on Thursday or in Novi on Friday, try some summer sparklers at the Rattlesnake Club and more. More

Falafel makes for great vegan fare

Baked Red Lentil Falafel Salad Karen Biton-Cohen

Falafel, the prized Middle Eastern street fare, has gained international recognition for its wholesome, vegan ingredients. More

Surgery while on an anticoagulant is risky

Dear Dr. Roach: About five years ago, I developed atrial fib­rillation and received a pacemaker. I also was put on blood thinners — first warfarin, and now Pradaxa. Last year, I developed a hernia in my left groin area. I believe it has grown wo­rse. More

Stuffed peppers are versatile, a bit retro

Instant brown rice and the microwave help speed up these Smoky Stuffed Peppers. Ken Burris / EatingWell

Turkey sausage and smoked cheese give a flavorful boost to this versatile, somewhat retro dinner. We've speeded it up by microwave-blanching the peppers and using instant brown rice. More

Pita works equally well sweet or savory

Satisfy your sweet tooth with these sugar-dusted wedges or in a streusel (shown over ice cream, above). Con Poulos

This simple flatbread is a lifesaver for anyone who needs to get wholesome food on the table fast. It's good for so much more than just wraps, and can easily go in a sweet or savory direction. More

Limit your exposure to pesticides in foods

The support for choosing 'clean' foods, free of such chemicals as contained in pesticides, is broadening. More

Tyler Perry will headline women's expo

Tyler Perry will be keynote speaker for Detroit Women's Empowerment Expo 2014 on Saturday. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Tyler Perry will be keynote speaker for Detroit Women's Empowerment Expo 2014 on Saturday at Cobo Center. Other celebrities attending include R&B singer KEM and rappers Salt-N-Pepa. More

Annual kids fishing day set in Southfield

The Farmington/Farmington Hills and Southfield Optimist Clubs will sponsor the sixth annual Kids Fishing Day on July 26 at the Carpenter Lake Nature Preserve. More

Couple's use of birth control is long overdue

Dear Abby: My 19-year-old son has been dating the daughter of one of my friends I'll call 'Mona.' We didn't set them up; they met at some parties. Last summer we discovered they were having sex because 'Meghan' thought she was pregnant. More

One very common shaving myth debunked

Dear Dr. Roach: I’m a 48-year-old, athletically fit man with excessive body hair on my back, chest and arms. I see that the younger generation of men at the gyms, pools and beaches seem to all groom (shave) their body hair for better appearance. More

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