Serve Spanish-style crispy potatoes for New Year’s party

The classic New Year’s libation is champagne, but what to eat is a matter of broader choice. This year why not make it a tapas party — a feast of various little bites? And, if indeed that’s how you choose to roll, one of those dishes should be these crispy baked potatoes with a garlicky red pepper mayo sauce.

Chocolate: A Love Story

I’ve been known to declare that good chocolate is like an ideal lover: intriguingly complex yet comforting; smooth and sensuous, malleable, indulgent; with aromas that draw me in like pheromones. And it’s always there for me, in times of crisis or celebration, bringing a smile to my lips. And so, on the last week of each year, I like to honor chocolate, which is both bitter and sweet, just like a love story. I hope that you enjoy something chocolate as you end this year and enter the next, and take heed of something my mother often told me: Don’t settle…hold out for the best!

Cities sue Defense Dept. over gun-check system failures

NEW YORK — Three large U.S. cities filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Department of Defense, arguing that many service members who are disqualified from gun ownership weren’t reported to the national background check system.

Whale carcass towed to sea

HALEIWA — The badly decomposed carcass of a humpback whale that nearly washed on shore at Haleiwa on Christmas Day was towed out to deep ocean waters Tuesday.

Fake news is the story

WASHINGTON — As a functional obsessive-compulsive, I’m never happier than at year’s end when I get to make lists. Herewith, my picks for the most important stories of 2017: