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Victoria Barber

Holiday roundup: Favorite recipes for your Thanksgiving table

Looking for a little inspiration for your holiday feast? We've assembled a collection of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes shared over the years by Alaska Dispatch News food writers. From starters and savory sides to sweet and decadent desserts, traditional Alaska foods, and even the next day's breakfast, this list offers something to tempt every palate, impress every in-law, and leave every guest begging to take home leftovers. Happy cooking, and happy Thanksgiving!

Victoria Barber

Let’s take a moment to remember the old Natural Pantry: that pokey old building attached to the University Mall, with its harsh fluorescent lighting, chaotic shelves and bewildering labyrinth of naturopathic bottles and salves. And how it was just about impossible to walk through the door without dropping a small fortune. Two organic onions? That will be $30, please.

That Natural Pantry -- the building, at least -- is gone. Anchorage’s only organic/natural foods grocery store has moved over several blocks to a different location and a shiny new complex that would be the envy of any Whole Foods...

Victoria Barber
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Let’s take a moment to remember the old Natural Pantry: that pokey old building attached to the University Mall, with its harsh fluorescent lighting, chaotic shelves and bewildering labyrinth of naturopathic bottles and salves....

Victoria Barber

For 10 years, the members of VivaVoom Brr-Lesque have sashayed their way across Anchorage stages, performing more than 150 shows to packed audiences across the city.

While many artistic organizations in Anchorage struggle to fill seats and then fade away, VivaVoom emcee and co-owner Kamala Stiner said VivaVoom has had less than a handful of performances that haven’t been entirely sold out, and many regulars that come back again and again.

VivaVoom often leads workshops, but beyond "boa and glove removal," the troupe offers a lesson in how powerful the combination of good-natured naughtiness and a positive attitude can be. And glitter.

"Everything gets blinged," Stiner said...

Victoria Barber

I've always had a soft spot for the Anchorage Nordstrom. Sure, it's expensive, part of a national chain and attached to a mall, but when I think of the store those facts are veiled by thousands of pleasant memories going back to when I was a young child.

What I think of most is how, growing up, if there was an important occasion, my mom would sometimes take me to Nordstrom to get something special. Then we would take a table at the little cafe, which is tucked away on the second floor. It has low amber lighting and the waitstaff all wear long white aprons. Feeling fancy and grown-up, I'd tell her about school and my friends as we sat with our glossy, dove-gray shopping bags and ate lunch...

Victoria Barber

Hard Rock Cafe Anchorage has announced Portugal. The Man will play a free 21-and-over show downtown Saturday, Sept. 20.

Portugal. The Man is a selection with some local roots for the national restaurant chain. The band was started in Wasilla, then made it big after moving to Portland, Ore., in the early aughts. Hard Rock has also scheduled a free concert featuring local bands for Sept. 12, "as a tribute to the unique rhythm and song that embodies Anchorage." The lineup for that hasn't been announced yet.

Doors for both shows open at 7 p.m...

Victoria Barber
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It's time for Ferris wheel rides, gigantic vegetables, 4-H and, when it comes to snacks, deep fried everything. The 2014 Alaska State Fair offers attractions both familiar and new, and it all kicked off under sunny skies today in Palmer (continuing through Sept. 1)...

Victoria Barber

The excitement I felt when I noticed Pasta Avanti’s cheerful-looking storefront in downtown Anchorage a few months ago could be summarized in one word: panini.

From what I could glean, panini was one-third of Pasta Avanti’s menu, with the remainder made up of pasta dishes and Caeser salad. Surely, the panini is one of the most marvelous culinary inventions that American culture has co-opted and reinvented for itself. Toasted golden on both sides in a special press, it’s like a fancier, more cosmopolitan-seeming grilled cheese sandwich...

Victoria Barber
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No offense to all those who keep themselves to three squares a day, but there's something special about the in-between meals -- the midnight ice cream snack, Sunday brunch, or french fries after a big night out....

Victoria Barber

No offense to all those who keep themselves to three squares a day, but there's something special about the in-between meals -- the midnight ice cream snack, Sunday brunch, or french fries after a big night out. And then there are appetizers; perhaps because they're often designed for sharing, there's something undeniably convivial about these small plates.

Whether you're looking forward to a decadent main course, another glass of wine or a view of the sunset, an appetizer signals that your evening is just beginning. For people dining out on slim funds, they're a cheaper way to fill up and sample the menus of pricey restaurants...

Victoria Barber

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