Book decor: Versatile but meaningful design elements

This Sept. 27, 2014 photo shows a solid wall of 4,000 paperback romance novels spelling out the word "FOREVER" in an art installation at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. The work by John Salvest was part of a major contemporary art show at the museum in late 2013. Salvest said there was an "underlying sadness" to collecting the discarded books from thrift shops in an era when fewer people read physical books. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)

NEW YORK (AP) — Some people love the look of a bookshelf stuffed with books, and what that represents. Others see books as clutter, and wonder why anyone owns them in the digital era.

10 fresh ideas for slow cooker pulled chicken and pork

This Jan. 19, 2015 photo shows slow cooker pulled chicken pesto pizza in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Lots of people love their slow cookers. Just as many folks don’t. We tend to be in the latter group. Not because we don’t appreciate the dump-and-go convenience. And we certainly enjoy being greeted at the end of the day by delicious smells before we’ve even taken off our coats.

High-tech or old-fashioned ways to warm feet in bed

This photo provided by Bedjet LLC shows a bed warmer with a remote control. As a guy who built heating systems for spacesuits, Mark Aramli found it perplexing that there was no good way to get the temperature right for his mom when she was laid up during a recent Rhode Island winter. I kept astronauts warm in space, and this was just a bed, the former NASA engineer says. So Aramli put his engineering prowess to work creating BedJet, an apparatus that heats up - and cools off - your bed by blowing temperature-controlled air between the sheets. (AP Photo/Bedjet LLC)

As a guy who built heating systems for spacesuits, Mark Aramli found it perplexing that there was no good way to get the temperature right for his mom when she was laid up during a recent Rhode Island winter.

Learning how to get it right when trying to get it al dente

This Jan. 26, 2015 photo shows fusilli with Italian sausage, peas and creamy tomato sauce in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

What’s the one ingredient you should always have in your cupboard? Dried pasta, of course. It’s the base of a zillion easy-to-make weeknight meals and the friendly playmate of 2 zillion ingredients, including leftovers.

Fresh take on Irish stew with lamb, Guinness and soda bread

This Jan. 26, 2015 photo shows Guinness lamb stew with walnut Irish soda bread dumplings in Concord, N.H. Taking inspiration from classic Irish ingredients and dishes, this savory lamb stew has a rich broth made from beef stock, Guinness beer and fresh rosemary. And, soda bread-style dumplings are dolloped over the top. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Chicken and dumplings is a wonderfully simple, deliciously comforting dish — a thick, meaty stew bubbling away beneath a patchwork of moist, pillowy dumplings.

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