Living

Use microwave to ‘poach’ chicken in this quick salad

The only heat you need for this quick summer meal is a microwave. It’s a simple way to “poach” chicken. The chicken is placed on a plate and covered with another inverted plate and microwaved for 4 minutes. This method leaves the cooked chicken tender and juicy.

Living

An unfussy chaise lounge made of plywood? Ply not?

Plywood tends to be associated with unfinished building construction, so it's easy to forget that several modernist designers, from the 1920s onward, were obsessed with it as a furniture medium. See, for example, Alvar Aalto's Paimio chair (1939) and Charles and Ray Eames' classic LCW or Lounge Chair Wood (1945). Now the versatile, inexpensive material - comprised of thin sheets of wood veneer (with grains layered in alternating directions for added strength) - has become a mainstay in contemporary, eco-friendly interiors, seen in everything from wall panels to bookcases to bed frames.

Living

Showing good tastes

The key to keeping upright during a day of spirit tastings is to stay hydrated and well fed. That's also the key to keeping your designated driver happy. It's easy to see - and taste - a lot in Paso Robles' compact downtown. And unlike upscale restaurants in Napa Valley, here they have white tablecloths - without the attitude. You can sit down to a meal at the fanciest eateries without having to change your walking shoes.

Living

Child Sense: Managing the transition back to school

Going back to school is a time of anxiety and excitement for both parents and children. Even if they attended school last year, this year they will have a new teacher, new classmates and will need to get reacquainted with old friends. They need to adjust to the more regimented routine of school - in the mind of a 5-year-old, summer is a long time. This is a transition time for your child, so expect exaggerated behavior. This is all part of the process and is very, very normal! Be kind, calm and respectful and your child will settle in a few weeks.

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