Scalloped Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

A few years ago my father announced to his now very grown kids that he would no longer be participating in Christmas gift exchanges and encouraged us to follow his lead. As Scrooge-like as this may sound, it has turned out to be quite the blessing. Instead of racing around the week before Christmas stressing over buying presents for our grown family members, who quite frankly are in no need of additional material possessions, we focus on holiday meal planning instead. We love prime rib for Christmas dinner and seafood for Christmas eve. All the sides are open for discussion, as well as the desserts.

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This Week’s Top Downloads

This Week's Top Downloads

Every week, we share a number of downloads for all platforms to help you get things done. Here were the top downloads from this week.

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The Happiest Companies to Work For, According to CareerBliss Reviews

While workplace happiness partially depends on you , some companies have the right mix of culture and benefits to make them superior places to work. A recent survey ranks the best places to work in the US.

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Patch My PC Updates Tons of Windows Programs At Once

Windows: Program updates keep Windows computers safe and secure. If you aren't sure which programs need updating, Patch My PC checks your computer for you and runs just the updates you need.

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Two Cops Shot

Two police officers were shot "execution-style" in their car in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood at around 3 p.m. today. The New York Post reports that both officers have died, as has the shooter.

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Your Partner's Likes and Dislikes Change Over Time, So Keep Up

Even if you've been with someone a long time, you don't know everything about their wants, needs and desires. Those thoughts and feelings change over time. Keeping your "love map" updated helps you understand your partner better.

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From the Comments on the New York Times			  <div style=

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Craig Ferguson Ends Show with Tribute to TV's Biggest Twist Endings

As host of The Late Late Show, Craig Ferguson spent much of his 10-year tenure dragging the talk show format into increasingly bizarre territory. So when he hosted his final episode on Friday, it was only fitting that Ferguson would cap it off with an homage to some of the most inexplicable twists in television history.

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Try An Oil Alternative for Tastier (or at Least Different) Brownies

Whether you make brownies in the microwave , waffle iron or the oven , they're always a treat. If you're looking for a different recipe, try swapping out the oil without changing the flavor too much.

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C.I.A. to Give Itself a Pass for Spying on Oversight Committee

A C.I.A.-appointed panel will recommend that C.I.A. officers who were found to have spied upon members of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating the agency's use of torture not be punished for getting caught, the New York Times reports.

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Avoid the Underage Car Rental Surcharge by Renting from USAA

Most car rental companies charge you extra if you're under 25. If you're a military service member (or have one in the family), you can rent from USAA to avoid the fee.

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Muslim Woman Claims Jail Made Her Attend Christian Prayer Service

A Muslim woman in Ohio is suing a county jail after she says corrections officers forced her to go to Christian church services, the L.A. Times reports.

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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Do Another Disservice to Baby Names

The Baby Name Critic had not yet been called to service when Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, a couple claiming to be Hollywood talents, gave life to their firstborn, a girl child unfortunately named Lincoln. If the Baby Name Critic had been writing for hire then, she might have said: Do not name your daughter after a geriatric brand of automobile/the 16th male president. Really, must we burden our young women by giving them both the first names and the surnames of men? A better solution for parents interested in honoring Lincoln's values, but also bolstering the feminist cause, would be to name your daughter after a strong woman of the Civil War era: Harriet (Tubman or Beecher Stowe!). Clara. Lucretia. All stunning names.

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Know If Your Pet Is Tax Deductible

Know If Your Pet Is Tax Deductible

Pets are great companions in our daily lives, but they are expensive. In limited circumstances, you can get some money off your taxes with them.

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"I have buried bodies of the deceased of different ages, sizes, and weights," Taj Muhammad, a gravedigger at Peshawar, Pakistan's largest graveyard told the AP after this week's school massacre . "Those small bodies I've been burying since yesterday felt much heavier than any of the big ones I've buried before."

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Cioppino

Cioppino

“I’ll make cioppino,” my brother John announced as the family discussed what to make one Christmas eve a few years back. “Great!” said my father and I, relieved that someone else would do the cooking that night. “Have you ever made cioppino before?” Dad wisely asked. “Uh, no, but it can’t be that hard, just make a tomato base and throw in some fish, clams and crab.” Okay. Relief short lived.

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Leaked:

One of the first leaked documents to come out of the Sony hack revealed numerous employee complaints about producing "mundane, formulaic" Adam Sandler movies. But according to emails recently uncovered by The Daily Beast, frustrations with Sandler were shared by Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal, who referred to the comedian and his production company Happy Madison as "assholes" on at least two occasions.

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Four Gitmo Detainees Released, Repatriated to Afghanistan

The Department of Defense announced this morning the release and repatriation of four detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the government of Afghanistan. According to the Associated Press, the Afghan government is not required to further detain the men.

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North Korea Denies Involvement in Sony Hacks, Threatens U.S.

North Korea has said that it would like to work together with the United States to prove that it had nothing to do with the Sony hacks while also threatening the United States if it refuses to cooperate with this very sincere and real invitation.

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Top 10 Food Staples You Can Make Better and Cheaper at Home

Many simple foods are not only easy to make at home, they'll likely be cheaper, healthier, and much tastier than the store-bought varieties. From cheese to peanut butter, here are a few DIY, delicious food projects.

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Underage Suspect Confesses to Bow and Arrow Dolphin Slaying

After being shot with a steel-tipped hunting arrow, it took a dolphin recently found dead in an Alabama bayou at least five days to finally succumb to its injuries. Now investigators believe they have caught the culprit, an unnamed juvenile.

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Give Your Mac a Voice-Activated Self Destruct Sequence

With Yosemite, you can create your own voice commands on your Mac using Automator. Blogger Jacob Salmela points out that if you like to live on the edge, you can make a voice activated self-destruct sequence.

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Cut the Cord in the New Year with These Discounted HDTV Antennas

If you're ready to stop paying the cable company $100 per month for channels you don't use, maybe it's time to cut the cord and get an antenna . Amazon's leaf-style indoor models have great reviews, and they're both marked down to all-time low prices today.

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If you wanted to hear both sides of the argument about race relations in America last night, you might have made your way down to City Hall in New York, where pro-NYPD and anti-racism demonstrators yelled at each other across barricades. "You're a fucking racist," one side screamed. "You're a fucking moron," the other side screamed back.

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Justine Sacco Is Good at Her Job, and How I Came To Peace With Her

The internet is a mountain, and if you climb that mountain, waiting for you at the top will be the person with whom you need to make peace. I climbed my mountain and a woman named Justine Sacco was there.

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