Target Toss Pro: Bags -- In this part of the country, the hottest tailgate / backyard game going is called "Cornhole." It's similar to horseshoes, but players toss beanbags into a hole in an elevated box. I thought this was a summer pursuit, until I stumbled on the coin-operated video version during a stop at O'Brien's, 4928 W. Vliet St. The game operates like Golden Tee or Silver Strike Bowling. Watch out -- it's addictive. --Drew Olson
"Nothing but banana, flattened" -- If and only if you like regular bananas, try Trader Joe's flattened bananas, which are actually called "Nothing but banana, flattened." These sweet and chewy snacks are just as they sound: bananas (and only bananas, there are no other ingredients) that are flatter than a pancake. Turns out, flattened bananas are a satisfying snack and a delicious topper on a peanut butter sandwich. Potassium rules! --Molly Snyder Edler
American Science and Surplus -- This might be kind of a no-brainer, since everyone knows that American Science and Surplus, 6901 W. Oklahoma Ave., is cool on so many levels. Recently, while looking for what I thought wasn't a rare item, the only place I could find it was here. And when my son said "ciao" to the clerk, he got a free gift, too! The wacky mix of mad scientist gear and quirky stuff is fun for kids and adults alike. --Bobby Tanzilo
Whole-wheat pizza dough -- Cheap pizza by the slice is an easy way to eat lunch when you're in a time crunch, but it's not always the healthiest option. But here's something that helps a little: I recently discovered that the large deli slices at Whole Foods Market ($2.99 or two for $5) are available on whole wheat dough by request - and on some varieties, such as the garden vegetable, it comes standard. The slices are a perfect middle road between thin, cracker crust and thick and doughy. --Julie Lawrence
HGTV's Annual "White House Christmas" special -- There's something about this show. Maybe it's the over the-top, yet incredibly classy décor. Maybe it's the craziness of all the money that must go into these decorations. Maybe it's just my fascination with the White House. Whatever it is, "White House Christmas 2007," premieres at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Home-staging expert Sabrina Soto from "Get It Sold" hosts. DVR it. --Jeff Sherman
Alterra Natural Hot Cocoa Mix -- It's undeniably the season to sip on a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and after receiving Alterra's cocoa as a gift, I'm ready to tell Swiss Miss to kiss it. Made from pure Ghanaian cocoa beans, this stuff is rich, creamy and delicious. --M.E.
"My Eyes" by Travis -- If you like shimmering, well-constructed pop songs, check out this track from "The Boy With No Name." The lads from Glasgow are often overshadowed by Coldplay, Keane, etc., and don't get enough credit for their work. But, this disc could creep into some "Best of" lists for 2007. --D.O.
Dream Cream from LUSH -- Britain-based, all-natural cosmetics company LUSH recently opened a department inside Macy's at Mayfair Mall to offer a line of 100 percent vegetarian products that are incredibly fresh and never tested on animals. I picked up a container of the Dream Cream lotion and it's turned out to be a wonderfully soothing combatant for the harsh winter skin itchies. Made with oats, olives, fruit oil, cocoa, seed butter, tea tree leaf oil and flower extracts galore, it's like a trip down the produce aisle at a farmer's market. --J.L.
FreeRice -- Increasing your vocabulary and helping feed the hungry at the same time? Who can say no to this? Thanks to Judge Derek Mosley for passing this along. It's simple -- just jump to freerice.com, play their word game, and when you do advertisements appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these advertisements is then used to buy rice that is donated to hungry people. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) distributes the rice. Try it. --J.S.