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Family Dinner: Husbands Matt and Rob entertain friends with Iowan flare

Matt Van Maanen and Rob Lancaster are hosting dinner for the third night in a row this week in their Cedar Rapids home. Earlier in the week, the couple received their weekly summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share, including a bounty of summer squash, which prompted tonight’s main dish: a zucchini-loaded pasta primavera with just-plucked basil and balsamic drizzled on top. On the side: kale salad with sliced almonds and a lemony emulsion, garnished with decorative-yet-edible nasturtiums.
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Family Dinner: The Toïngars gather for African cuisine

Ask Judith Toïngar, 5, what she wants to be when she grows up, and she will reply, “A lot of things.”

A police officer, a doctor, a nurse, a cashier at Dollar Tree: Considering the examples set before her, Judith’s vision is perfectly logical. Her mother, Brigitte Toïngar, is a part-time nurse, landlord and graduate student; her father, Ésaïe Toïngar, is a manager at Rockwell Collins, the author of three memoirs and the founder of two immigrant rights organizations. Both are parents of five children; Judith is the youngest. […]

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Family Dinners: The Chávez-García family keeps traditions going

When their mobile home began to sway back and forth as their son, Pablo — 6 feet 2 inches tall and built like a football player — walked down the hallway, Pedro Chávez and Malena García agreed it was time to buy a bigger house. So last summer, the Chávez-García family of five moved into their new Iowa City house on a cul-de-sac near Sycamore Mall. But an updated kitchen and two-car garage could not change family tradition. […]

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Family Dinner: Vegan Delights with Cadry’s Kitchen

Cadry Nelson’s dinner table is not centered in the middle of her dining room. Instead it’s pushed to one side, so the head of the table meets a window where natural light comes in. Nelson, the writer behind the vegan blog Cadry’s Kitchen, captures photos of her recipes, plated and garnished, on this end of the table, sometimes standing on its sturdy top to peer down through her camera. […]

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