Buying a home? Do a landscape inspection

In this Nov. 11, 2014 photo, a crew clears debris from portions of a tree that collapsed across several properties in Tallahassee, Fla. Even healthy trees can fail because of their size and weight. The role of a landscape inspector is to locate trees with predisposing faults like disease and cracks that can be pruned or removed before causing any damage. (AP Photo/AAA Tree Experts Inc., Bruce Avery)

Prudent house hunters usually await the results of a professional inspection before buying their dream home.

Chocolatey rich coconut cream pie for Christmas

This Nov. 17, 2014 photo shows coconut pie in Concord, N.H. The coconut is processed with a bit of butter to help bind and brown it. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Coconut is my family’s must-have sweet during the holidays. Usually we have a fresh coconut cake, but my mom has been known to sneak a Mounds bar — her favorite candy — when the urge strikes.

Tater Tots appealing to hipsters, home cooks

This Nov. 17, 2014 photo shows Tater Tots in Concord, N.H. Proust had his madeleine, Phillip Casaceli has his deep-fried tater tots. "To me, what people are looking for is that iconic kind of Tater Tot that brings them back to their youth and I think that's really where ours separate us from the rest," said Casaceli. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Tater Tots have come a long way from your school lunch tray.

Lean, filling beans help you behave at holidays

This Nov. 17, 2014 photo shows winter white bean bruschetta in Concord, N.H. In Italy a reliance on delicious whole ingredients and bold flavors means there are plenty of small bites perfect a celebration. (AP Photo/MatthewMead)

Parties can be tricky territory for the healthy eater. If you host, you want to serve guests something tasty enough to make the occasion feel special.

Making a speedy dinner out of a slow-braised bird

This Nov. 10, 2014, photo shows Madeira braised chicken with mushroom gravy in Concord, N.H. The braised chicken that gets a ton of flavor by cooking in a bottle of Madeira, a fortified wine from Portugal. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

We don’t often think of braising as a weeknight-friendly approach to dinner. After all, anything that cooks low and slow would seem to be no go for a workday.

10 Things: 10 ideas for easy holiday party snacks

This Nov. 10, 2014 photo shows sweet and spicy cracker bark in Concord, N.H. It's easy to elevate a holiday party spread beyond a bowl of mixed nuts, grapes and a wedge or two of cheese, by using a few more creative offerings. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Nobody is going to blame you if your holiday party spread includes a bowl of mixed nuts, some grapes and a wedge or two of cheese.

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