Let's get spicy: reader-favorite cooking spices & flavor staples

Way back in the day we called upon our Offbeat Homies to pony up their favorite garlic and onion alternatives for those of us who can't eat them. Sad, I know, but there ARE a ton of delish cooking spices that slay when it comes to amping up flavor in recipes. I decided to cull a bunch of those helpful reader comments into a roundup of reader favorite spices that will take your cooking game up a few notches.

Everything you ever wanted to know about hypoallergenic cats!

Should you be a cat lover, but suffer from cat allergies, you may be thinking that getting a cat may not be a great idea. Fortunately, there exist certain cat breeds that may trigger no, or very little, allergic reactions! These breeds are known as "hypoallergenic cats."

I am a cat lover and, because I suffer from cat allergies, I decided to share my knowledge related to hypoallergenic cats.

What do we need know about dealing with a dust allergy?

My partner is seriously allergic to dust (yes, he takes allergy medicine, as well as daily medication for asthma control). What can the Homies tell us about their experiences with mattresses and allergies or about air purifiers and allergies? Are there any good products we should know about that can help us deal with dust and allergens in the home?

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What's your experience traveling internationally with food allergies?

I have traveled before and would love to continue to explore the world, but I'm worried about how well allergies could be accommodated in various destinations — short of preparing all my own food. Of course things vary from eatery to eatery, but anyone out there with food allergies have experience traveling internationally and want to share what worked and what didn't?

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"The recipes I loved were giving me the finger": Adapting to my child's life-threatening food allergies as a foodie

I am a foodie. I love food. Cooking is rarely a chore for me. Then a year ago, life dropped a bomb smack where it hurts the most for me: My five-year-old suddenly developed a severe life-threatening allergic reaction to eggs. It affected me deeply. Personally. Not just as a concerned mom, but this allergy took one of my greatest passions and prevented me from indulging. So we developed a pact that helped us both get through this together…