Q: When I make juice from fresh tomatoes, it separates. Is there some way I can keep that from happening?

Ronald Jasinski of New Hartford, New York, was in search of a recipe for a lamb and bean casserole. He said his late uncle used to make the dish, but no one in his extended family has his recipe.

From taco stands to sit-down restaurants, technology is changing the way we order, pay and even dine while eating out.

The French region called Alsace is a charming place, about the size of Connecticut, separated from the rest of France by the Vosges Mountains and from Germany by the Rhine River. It's full of picturesque, medieval wine villages with cobbled streets and Michelin-starred restaurants. Tourists come for hot air ballooning, cooking classes, wine museums and of course, tasting the wines.


On the rugged Mediterranean island of Sicily, vegetables, fish and shellfish are staple ingredients. A pizza with the combined ingredients of sun-soaked tomatoes, tangy onions and fresh-from-the-sea shrimp recreates the flavors of a traditional of dish of the area.

With all the ice cream makers on the market, it's clear you don't need a fancy machine to make your favorite flavor. But Hammacher Schlemmer, the mail-order catalog company, has found a way to combine ice-cream-making with kickball.

Whether or not the weather cooperates, September marks the beginning of fall baking season. It's also the perfect time to try some recipes for "ordinary" cookies - good enough for a weekday lunch but not tied to any major holiday.

It's easier than ever to savor similar drinks in different worlds.

Picking the perfect pan for cooking may seem simple enough. A frying pan for scrambled eggs and burgers. A huge pot for boiling pasta or sweet corn.

Little gems, that's what they are. And Suzanne Zipperer thinks more people ought to be able to enjoy them.

Q. Do you have the recipe for Chicken Salisbury Steak? It is a very good recipe that I lost. Thank you.

Along with death, taxes and Meryl Streep landing another Oscar nomination, add this to the "life's certainties" pile: the spontaneous "Omigod" that follows a first bite into a Palm Beach Brownie.

Before he was a winemaker, Greg Brewer was a French teacher. The longtime winemaker for Melville Vineyards (and co-founder of Brewer-Clifton) does have a linguist's flair for words, with plenty of slang and extravagant metaphors thrown into the mix. And he has a talent for explaining the complexities of winemaking without ever sounding preachy or dogmatic. What comes through loud and clear are his passion for wine and his fascination with its evolution from vineyard to cellar.

Dear SOS: One of my childhood favorites is the carrot cake from the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. I would love to have the recipe.

Just as barbecue season continues (does it ever really end?), so does our search for great spice rubs and sauces. After years of tasting hundreds of them, we're favoring on Kit's Kansas City BBQ Rub by Miner's Mix (think brown sugar), Roy's Seasonings and Dizzy Pig rubs.

Depending on when and how long the power has been out, here are a few things to keep in mind according to the www.fsis.usda.gov, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Wines from South Africa can be incredible values. Take this crisp, clean, verdant Chenin Blanc from M.A.N. Family Wines in the Coastal region. It's made from free-run juice of Chenin Blanc, aged on its lees for several months. With a lovely floral perfume and a bit of that honeyed quality Chenin gets on the finish, this is the perfect little late-summer wine.

Every September, a small panic rises. The herb garden overflows; so do the border plantings of leafy greens. Tomatoes dominate my countertop in all manner of ripeness. One neighbor gifted me with a 5 1/2-pound zucchini and another dropped off a small crate of hot chilies. I feel desperate to save every bit. All too soon, the fresh pickings diminish. Time to stock the larder. These days, I choose easy methods to preserve those fresh flavors, and I freeze as much of my harvest as possible.

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