By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Oct 23, 2008 at 11:28 AM

These chilly evenings are perfect for curling up with a good book. Why not try Candace Bushnell's "Sex and the City" to see how the movie and TV show differ from the original. While you're curled up, try a crunchy snack, a delicious wine, some spicy hot sauce and a few of our favorite things.

"Sex and the City" by Candace Bushnell -- I am a huge fan of the HBO television series, and I really enjoyed the movie, but I wasn't sure at first what to make of the book which is a collection of Bushnell's columns that ran in the mid ‘90s in the New York Observer.

These columns, called "Sex and the City," were the impetus for the show, but they are very different from the cable TV series. For example, the main character in the show, Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), is not the narrator, rather a friend of the storyteller. This wigged me out a little bit at first.

Additionally, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha are minor characters in the book, and they have different jobs and personalities. However, despite all of the discrepancies, some of the book's passages were lifted word-for-word and used as dialogue in the television series. I came to the conclusion early in the read that the only way I would enjoy the book was if I let go of expectations that it would be anything like the show. Once I did, I found the book to be a quick, easy, indulgent read that made provocative commentary on ‘90s relationships. I was surprised, however, that Bushnell didn't write about AIDS considering it was such a weighty aspect of dating during the last decade. --Molly Snyder Edler

Vegetable chips from The Fresh Market -- I was hankering for something crunchy during a trip through The Fresh Market the other day, so I tossed a container of vegetable chips into the basket. Great move. The chips, a mixture of dried sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, taro and green beans, were perfectly salty and crunchy. They hit the spot. --Drew Olson

Mionetto Moscato Dolce & Mionetto Prosecco -- If you know me, you know I'm loyal to wines from Italy, but more specifically Piedmont and even more specifically the hills planted around Asti and Alessandria in barbera and moscato. But Mionetti, despite being in the northeast, makes a great sweet moscato dessert wine from grapes grown in Oltrepo Pavese, in Lombardy. Crisp and bursting with peach and citrus, this sparkling moscato (the same grapes used to make Asti's famous spumante) clocks in at 8 percent alcohol. Pop it at Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's Eve. Or, if you want something a little punchier and drier, Mionetto's Prosecco Brut (95 percent prosecco and 5 percent chardonnay) has 11.5 percent alcohol and is fruity (mmmm, apples) and dry, but light-bodied and perfect as a mixer in sparking cocktails. --Bobby Tanzilo

Taking different routes to and from the office -- Admit it, you are a creature of habit. We all are, to an extent. And, while I make a point of stopping at different coffee joints as many days of the week as I can, I usually (for some reason) find myself driving the exact same route home no matter what time I leave the office. Why? I'm not sure. Anyway, hats off to my business partner, Andy, who reminded me of "his" Harbor Drive route the Third Ward last week. Our drive to a meeting together inspired this post. So, really all I'm recommending is that you take a different route or three to work each week. Get out of your ordinary and sample more of your city. --Jeff Sherman

The "going out of business" sale at Linens-N-Things -- You can always use a new kitchen gadget, pillow, towel or "As Seen on TV" trinket. The chain, which has stores in Brookfield, Germantown and near Southridge, is liquidating and all the merchandise is marked down. (All sales are final, too). Check it out before the good stuff is gone. --D.O.

Making multiple meals from a rotisserie chicken -- You gotta love the rotisserie chicken. Simple, already cooked and full of enough meat for at least three meals. Buy one this week. We get them at Metro Market or Sendik's, but nearly any nicer grocer has them. Rip apart the meat, toss the bones and skin and have at it. We lathered a bunch in Saz's BBQ sauce last weekend then used the rest for chicken taco meat and had some left over to throw into chicken broth for instant chicken soup. The rotisserie chicken -- it's cooking made easy. --J.S.

Kashi Soft Cereal Bars -- We go through boxes of these cereal bars at our house as they make a great "on-the-road-to-daycare" breakfast when we're in a hurry. Kashi makes three varieties: Ripe Strawberry, Blackberry Graham and Dutch Apple. The ingredient list is short, you can place what each item is and high fructose corn syrup isn't the first ingredient (well, it isn't an ingredient at all). They also don't contain nuts like the other Kashi bars, so they're good for the toddler / early eating stage of life. So far, I've only been able to find them at Target where they're usually $2.99 a box. --Erin Ulicki

Sriracha -- Almost overnight, I went from disliking food that packed heat to being absolutely loco for spicy hot dishes. This latest addiction led me to sriracha, a Thai hot sauce that adds kick to my rice, eggs, pizza, sushi - just about anything and everything. Sriracha is made from chili peppers, vinegar garlic, sugar and salt. I bought a bottle of the Huy Fong brand because I had seen it on the table at Noodles & Co., and I look forward to experimenting with other brands. Despite my newfound enthusiasm, most of my friends are already privy to the wonders of sriracha. One even has a little nickname for it: "Chinese ketchup." --M.E.