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Easy Living – 7 New Cookbooks You Need ASAP

By  October 24, 2014

7-NEW-COOKBOOKS-YOU-NEED-ASAP

Welcome to Easy Living, my new lifestyle column all about the things that make nesting fun and will make your home both unique and beautiful. Here I’m going to cover the things that new homeowners don’t think about initially, moving tips, awesome products, good luck items for your home, finding the best rugs and furniture and mattresses, trends in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom décor, cool home products like candles and bed sheets and towels and cookware, tips on hosting the best cocktail party and setting a perfect table, and where to find the coolest products and most awesome deals to beautify your home!

The internet has changed the publishing industry in so many ways. People are reading books via device nowadays, via their Kindles and Nooks, smartphones and tablets. Most books translate just as well from paperback to digital, but there’s one genre that calls out for print editions. Cookbooks. A cookbook is a keepsake. It’s something you thumb through, leave stained fingerprints and torn bookmarks in, write in the margins and photocopy pages for your friends and family. Cookbooks are also awesome in the pristine digital form, but there’s nothing like a good cookbook – the heft, the weight, the pictures to provide visual inspiration. Here are seven awesome new cookbooks you’ll want to add to your library!

The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka: In the category of blogs turned books, Gina Homolka’s Skinnytaste is an inspiration. Gina’s blog has been a must-visit for healthy recipes since 2008, and her cookbook is beautiful and offers a range of delicious food that at-home chefs can easily master.

Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans by Michelle Tam and Henry Fond: The paleo diet can seem intimidating and hardcore, but the pages of Nom Nom Paleo are adorable and accessible to anyone who just wants to eat healthy, delicious, clean food.

Better Homes and Gardens 16th Edition: The red plaid cookbook that every respectable at-home cook has in their collection is still going strong, now in its 16th edition, all updated and revised with 1000 mouthwatering photos.

One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More by Martha Stewart: I’ll admit, I’ve found some of Martha Stewart’s recipes to be needlessly complex. This cookbook promises to be the opposite – effortless cooking that does itself during the day, with the benefit of just one pan to stew, steam, simmer, braise or roast an amazing meal.

How to Cook Everything Fast: A Better Way to Cook Great Food By Mark Bittman: There are at-home chefs who worship at the altar of Bittman, food journalist and columnist for the New York Times. The author of How To Cook Everything has done it again, but sped it all up for the busy and stressed out among us.

Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast By Jamie Oliver: Jamie Oliver is the man when it comes to delicious and innovative recipes, and now he’s bringing his insight and techniques to the people with Meals in Minutes. Finally, cookbooks that fit into today’s demanding world!

Indian for Everyone by Anupy Singla: Anupy Singla has made it her mission to demystify and spread the gospel of Indian food, and her third cookbook may be her most accessible. The photos are beautiful, and the recipes are fragrant and delectable.

Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.

Step Inside Jennifer Lopez’s New Manhattan Home

By  October 23, 2014

jennifer-lopez-the-whitman-cover

Jenny from the Block has it made in Manhattan with a swanky new space!
Jennifer Lopez has just bought the $22 million penthouse at The Whitman, a luxury boutique condo that extends the entire block between East 26 and East 27 St. The 6,540-square foot flat was originally built in 1924 and boasts four bedrooms, six bathrooms, and an extra 3,000 square feet of exterior space spread across four terraces that overlook Madison Square Park – perfect for her children to play in. It’s also equipped with a smart home system to control lights, temperature, and music and a residents-only gym. Hello, Healthy Obsessions!
Lopez reportedly looked at a few homes in Tribeca before settling into the same building as Chelsea Clinton and NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon. Now this is a house warming party we’d love an invite to!

Treat Yourself to Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl Cocktails

By  October 22, 2014

skinnygirl-cocktails

Bethenny Frankel isn’t just shaking up the latest cast of the New York Housewives, she’s also back and serving up delicious low-cal cocktails, just in time for the holiday season. In her fifth book, Skinnygirl Cocktails, Frankel is extending her reach into party-planning, with expert tips, appetizer recipes, and of course, guilt-free cocktails. With Halloween right around the corner, there’s no better time to cut calories from drinks to make room for chocolate! Here a few to add to your menu:

The Good Thyme Girl

  • 1 ½ parts Skinnygirl® Cucumber Vodka
  • 1 ½ parts lemonade
  • 1 ½ parts watermelon juice
  • Leaves stripped from a 2-ince sprig of fresh thyme, plus a small sprig for garnish
  • Fresh watermelon ball/ slice for garnish

Combine the vodka, lemonade, juice, and thyme leaves with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled. Double-strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish on the rim with the thyme sprig speared into the melon ball.

Pink Lemon Drop

  • 1 ½ parts Skinnygirl® Meyer Lemon Vodka
  • ¾ part orange or citrus liqueur
  • 1 ½ parts lemon sour mix
  • 3-4 fresh (or thawed frozen) raspberries
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

Muddle the raspberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the vodka, liqueur, sour mix and ice.  Shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with a lemon wheel on the rim.

Spicy Jalapeno Margarita

  • 3 parts Skinnygirl® Margarita
  • Two ¼-inch slices jalapeno chile, seeds removed
  • Chili powder or Mexican chili seasoning with coarse salt, for rimming the glass
  • Lime peel, for garnish

Muddle the jalapeno slices in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.  Pour the Skinnygirl® Margarita over the jalapenos. Add ice and shake well. Rim a rocks glass with the chili powder mixture and pour in the margarita. Garnish with a lime peel.

Currently Loving: Incense

By  October 21, 2014

Modern Metal Incense Holder

As the year has gone on and life doesn’t seem to be slowing down, I’ve been making an active effort to relax and reflect more often. Our lives should be a balance of work and play and when that gets out of whack it can affect our relationships and health. One of the ways I like to unwind most is through meditation – I’ve become consumed with singing bowls and exploring the inner workings of spirituality. I’ve learned that for a perfect meditative experience your environment needs to be distraction-free and for me, aromatic. That’s why this month I’m loving incense.

Not only do I enjoy how these plant-based sticks fill a room with a sweet aroma, but also how many contain essential oils that deliver a calming effect or can aid concentration when lit. Plus, there are various ways to burn them, which means so many cool holders that can be integrated into your room’s decor. Below are some of my favorite ways…

Stick incense with a modern holder

There are plenty of holder styles for your stick incense (which is my preferred way to burn them), but this modern take on the holder by Blakebrough+king is one of my favorites. It’s sleek, minimalistic and modern. Plus, their kit comes with its own Japanese cedar incense, so if that’s a scent you enjoy and you’re not into more traditional holders, it’s a win-win all around!

Covered Incense Holder

Incense cone in covered dish

You can burn incense cones or cylinders on a flat dish or other heat resistant surface, but this ball-like covered holder from KeramikosCraft allows the smoke and aroma to enter the room through little holes in the top. It will disguise your incense nicely – the holder looks more like a jewelry box than one with little brown cones burning within. This is the perfect way to burn incense if you have a pet or little kid around who might otherwise try to play with the sticks.

Smudge Stick

Smudge sticks

Similar to incense, these are made from plants – they’re just bound together. Smudge sticks are a quick way to get a blast of aroma in your room without needing cones or a holder. You light the end, wave it around your room, and enjoy. These are nice because they don’t burn down as quickly as some incense sticks and can be hung on your wall for a cool earthy accent.

Photos: KeramikosCraft / Blakebrough+King / Free People
MP Headshot 2 finalMichelle Phan is a young digital pioneer, who trail-blazed her way in the world of fashion; beauty on YouTube. With a growing global community of over 6 million, Michelle’s videos have been viewed more than 1 billion times, making her one of the most watched talents in the digital space. She is an award-winning content creator who produces, directs, stars in and edits all of her own work, and has released over 800 videos since 2007. Her unprecedented, signature video style clean, artful, and expertly edited, with clear, easy-to-follow titles and voiceover instruction helped solidify her position as the #1 Beauty Guru and the 3rd most subscribed female on YouTube.

Editor’s Pick: Basil Hayden's Bourbon

By  October 20, 2014

editors-pick--basil-haydens

Discover your next obsession with our Editor’s Pick series, must-have products for your home, wardrobe, makeup bag, and office curated by Glam editors.

I present to you the most delicious fall cocktail you will have this season. Though fairly new to me, Basil Hayden’s bourbon is anything but; it’s been around since the days of George Washington!

So put down the vodka ladies, there’s a new (old) spirit in town and it pairs perfectly with sweater weather. Also, pretty much every fruit, syrup and in this case-herb-mixes well with this bourbon. Light the fireplace, snuggle up and enjoy this — I promise you won’t miss your gin and tonic one little bit. – Michelle Kushner

Sage and Basil Cocktail
by Erika Ordonez and Eric Holloway
Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
Lemon Juice
Morris Kitchen Spiced Apple Syrup
Muddled Sage
Himalayan Pink Salt
Cold-pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-Basil Hayden’s, $36

Editor’s Pick: Millefiori Milano Lovely Fragrance Diffuser

By  October 09, 2014

Discover your next obsession with our Editor’s Pick series, must-have products for your home, wardrobe, makeup bag, and office curated by Glam editors.IMG_8077

Being a New Yorker has its perks (convenience! kickass restaurants! drugstores on every corner! adorable coffee shops that aren’t Starbucks!) and its drawbacks (gross subway cars, dangerous taxi drivers and undesirable extreme temperatures, to name a few), but there’s truly nothing worse than when a casual stroll down the street turns smelly. When this happens, I tend to walk faster and search frantically for a store or building into which I might be able to escape the stink—sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But because this bothers me so much, my own apartment always smells good: it’s a combination of a flowery garden and clean laundry, thanks to my Millefiori Milano fragrance diffuser.

Not only is the little glass bottle a pretty addition to my apartment décor, the delicious scent really fills up the room. Since I found this variety of diffuser in Florida several months ago, I’ve gone through two and still relish in the scent every time I walk through the door. I might venture to say that I’m interested in trying out other scents and products from Millefiori Milano, but I tend to be a creature of habit, so I’m probably just going to continue to order these…in bulk. –Lauren Kaplan

Millefiori Milano Lovely Fragrance Diffuser in Oxygen, $24

Fall for These 4 Autumn Pasta Recipes

By  October 08, 2014

Glam_Article_Anthonys_Pasta_SliceV2

As the weather cools down, we’re turning to meals that warm us up. There’s something comforting about a hot bowl of pasta on a crisp autumn evening, and so as we turn the corner into fall, it’s no wonder we’re in the mood for satisfying pasta dishes. This season, we’ll be making all our perfect pasta with the help of Anthony’s Pot-Sized™ Pasta, which has taken traditional favorites like spaghetti and linguine and cut them in half. That means no more breaking your pasta, so no fuss whatsoever—just a full pound of pasta conveniently packaged in a length that’s just right for the pot.

Here are four easy, delicious dishes using Pot-Sized™ Pasta that’ll add free time to your evening, and keep you happy all season long.

With angel hair pasta: Parmesan Broccoli and Angel Hair Skillet

With linguine: Creamy Herb Linguine Skillet

With thin spaghetti: Chicken Enchilada Skillet Pasta

With spaghetti: Cheesy Rotisserie Chicken Skillet Spaghetti

2 Cocktails to Toast the Return of American Horror Story

By  October 08, 2014

The freaks come out at night starting today, as American Horror Story makes a triumphant return to TV. This season, viewers will step behind the curtain at one of the country’s last freak shows in 1950′s Florida. With the spooky spirit in place this month, a viewing party for the season premiere is only appropriate with a couple of custom cocktails for the occasion. Blend up one of these brews, and see what goes bump in the night.

 

Potion de Muerto by Christian Sanders of Evelyn Drinkery

Potion-de-Muerto---Bar-(2)

2 oz. Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila
¾ oz. orange juice
¾ oz.  lemon juice
¾ oz.chipotle agave *
2 dashes orange bitters
½ oz. beet juice
*Substitute agave nectar for chipotle agave if unavailable.

Serve in a tall glass over crushed ice with a beet juice float – the beet juice will slowly float down the glass through the crushed ice, making it look like blood dropping down. Garnish with an orange slice.

The Freak Show

The-Freak-Show

2 oz. SVEDKA Vodka
2 lime wedges
4 oz. ginger beer

Squeeze lime wedges into a Collins glass and fill with ice. Pour in SVEDKA Vodka and top with cold ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedges

7 Cocktails to Celebrate National Vodka Day

By  October 03, 2014

To think that vodka was once considered tasteless seems unfathomable, as its popularity has resurged exponentially. Thanks to its versatility, almost anything can become a vodka flavor. With National Vodka Day on October 4, we’re serving up a few spirited concoctions to share in the revelry with friends and family. Cheers!

Pinnacle Dessert Table

Pinnacle-Dessert-Table

1 oz. Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka
1 oz. DeKuyper Creme De Cocoa Dark Liqueur
1 oz. Half and Half

Combine ingredients in a mug. Garnish with whipped cream

Go FIGure

Go-FIGure

2 oz. Loft & Bear artisanal vodka
*1 1/2 oz. fig puree
Rosemary sprig

Add the vodka and puree into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a tumbler with a large ice cube. Garnish with rosemary.

*For the fig puree:5-6 figs
4 oz. coconut water
1 1/2 oz. meyer lemon juice

Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until thoroughly combined.

Ruby Red Dragon from Tao

PommyGarden

2 oz. Belvedere Grapefruit
1 oz. Yuzu Citrus
Dash of Pomegranate

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass before garnishing with a Yuzu peel.

The Bees Knees

beesknees_v1

2 oz. Purity Vodka
½ oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
½ oz. honey syrup

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake hard.  Strain into a martini glass or over fresh ice in a rocks or highball glass. Garnish with a honey dipper.

Ginger Dog

ginger-dog

1.5 oz. Vodka
1.5 oz. P&M Ginger
1 oz. Fresh grapefruit juice

Shake all ingredients with ice. Moisten the rim of a Collins glass with grapefruit juice and roll in coarse salt. Pour over fresh ice and garnish with a fresh grapefruit slice.

Bloody Mary

13_Bloody_Mary_Silo

1 ½ oz. SVEDKA Vodka
3 oz. tomato juice

½ oz. fresh lemon juice

Dash Worcestershire sauce

Dash hot sauce

Pinch of salt

 

Build in mixing glass filled with ice, and “roll” from one cup to another until cold and mixed. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with cherry tomatoes and grated black pepper.

 

IZZE Peachy-Tini

izze-peachy-tini

5 oz. IZZE Sparkling Peach
3 oz. vodka
½ oz. triple sec
garnish: fresh mint

Stir well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh mint.

Easy Living: Do’s and Don’ts When Buying a Couch

By  October 02, 2014

Shopping-for-a-couch

Welcome to Easy Living, my new lifestyle column all about the things that make nesting fun and will make your home both unique and beautiful. Here I’m going to cover the things that new homeowners don’t think about initially, moving tips, awesome products, good luck items for your home, finding the best rugs and furniture and mattresses, trends in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom décor, cool home products like candles and bed sheets and towels and cookware, tips on hosting the best cocktail party and setting a perfect table, and where to find the coolest products and most awesome deals to beautify your home!

I’m writing this from a broken couch. The first couch I’ve ever bought. The only couch I’ve ever bought. It’s been an excellent piece of furniture for a decade now, but the end was inevitable. This good thing is about to come to an end. It’s almost time to go couch shopping, and I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this old broken couch upon which I sit. The next time I go to buy living room seating, here’s what I’ll consider. Check out my do’s and don’ts!

Do think about durability. Yes, a white couch is elegant and beautiful and looks amazing in photos. Ask yourself – do you live a white couch lifestyle? If you’re prone to eating pasta in your living room and drinking red wine and/or coffee – maybe reconsider. If you’ve got pets, you definitely have you consider your fabric choice carefully. Cats love piercing through leather furniture with their claws and certain dogs love chewing on fabric furniture.

Do anticipate repairs. The first couch I ever bought was a plush recliner, and I got it at a generic furniture store where brands were not a question. It was basically a question of sitting on the couch, realizing it reclined, leaning back and then saying “yessss, I’ll take it.” Not smart. Reclining couches are great at the beginning but finding replacement parts can be difficult years down the road. Also, not every furniture repair person is willing to undertake fixing reclining furniture. Know your brand before making that purchase.

Do go to a store and sit on it. There are so many amazing furniture deals to be found online nowadays, and there are detailed customer reviews to guide you through the shopping process. But there’s so much to be said for sitting on your soon-to-be couch before paying for that big ticket item. If you see a sweet online deal, look to see if the manufacturer has items for sale at a nearby store, so you can give it a test drive before getting the e-discount.

Don’t shop based on looks alone. Sure, mid-century modern might be your aesthetic. Or minimalism might be super trendy at the moment. You may be tempted to go with a couch that will pull your interior decorating vision together. But first, consider form and function. You still need to be able to sit comfortably on this thing, and nobody likes a super stylish couch that feels like you’re sitting on rocks.

Do your research on the brand you’re buying.  Here’s what I learned the hard way – so many furniture manufacturers are tiny companies that don’t have staying power. You might buy a couch at a standard furniture store with a ton of TV ads, and years down the road when you try to find out what kind of couch you got or where to get replacement parts, you’ll discover that the company shut down years ago and there’s online complaints about their business. Don’t be like me! Ask smart questions when making the investment on a couch. Like, “who makes this brand? Where are they based? What kind of materials did they use? How long is the warrantee good for and who upholds that in the long term?” Things like that.

I’m taking my own advice and going couch shopping soon! What are your couch shopping do’s and don’ts? Any couch recommendations?

Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.