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Talking furniture

 Outdoor210_lvI wrote about outdoor furniture trends in today's Home & Style section, and one of the resources I used was the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), a trade association representing more than 220 leading manufacturers and distributors.

In addition to being a helpful resource to the media, the AHFA, based in High Point, N.C., also offers a consumer Web site,

Among the features you will find here: the "Style Profiler" to help you determine your style preferences, the "Furniture Finder" (with furniture catalog and dealer locator) and "Trend Watch," where this lounge chair from Laneventure is shown.

There's also a room planner, shopping tips, safety information and more. Check it out.

Brunch favorite

X00043_9[1] Asparagus will be showing up on many buffet and dinner tables this weekend. Here is one of my favorite recipes that I have made for years. I especially like it for brunch. It came from designer Carolyne Roehm's book "Spring Notebook" (HarperCollins, $25):

Asparagus Fontina Tart

    What you need: 8 ounces frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in refrigerator; 1/2 cup grated fontina cheese; 16 to 20 asparagus stalks, cut to 3 1/2 inch lengths; 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano. 

    What you do: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap puff pastry. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick. Using a saucepan lid (or plate) as a template, cut out an 8-inch circle of dough. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet. Chill in fridge 10 minutes. Lightly prick dough all over with a fork.

Cover pastry with grated fontina up to 1/2-inch from  the pastry edge. Place asparagus spears in spokes, with three or four more asparagus tips arranged in the center. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden (about 20 minutes). Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to oven and bake five more minutes. Serve warm. Serves four.