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June 2011 (136 posts)
Grow Your Own Mushroom Garden, $19.95. Cut an opening in the box, mist the soil--made from recycled coffee grounds--twice daily, and within two weeks, you’ll have a pound and a half of oyster mushrooms, ready for stir-frying.
Mattese Elite Happy Hour Nail Polish Collection, $5.99 each. It's cocktail time--for your nails. Paint all 10 with a bright shade that smells like your favorite summer drink. The best part: No hangover.
Tatcha Blotting Papers, $12 for 15 papers. Soak up excess oil with these handmade Japanese blotting papers flecked with gold. Bonus: One sheet is big enough to de-shine your entire face.
TOMS Sunglasses, $135. TOMS shoes now has a sunglasses line as part of their One for One campaign. They donate a pair of eyeglasses for every pair of sunglasses purchased. (We personally love the stripes.)
Coming to my rescue is the Asian Market Shopper app I just loaded onto my iPhone. The new $3.99 app, created by Asian culinary expert and cookbook author Andrea Nguyen, categorizes 100 of the most commonly used ingredients, from miso to curry pastes to dried kelp, by region: Southeast Asia, South Asia and East Asia. Although many Asian ingredients are available in regular supermarkets these days, Asian markets still carry a wider variety of produce, grains, spices, noodles and condiments—and they're a fun place to explore (where else would you find chestnut rice cake mochi balls?).
Each ingredient in the Asian Market Shopper app, from annatto (the heart-shaped seeds of the evergreen annatto tree, used in Filipino and Vietnamese cooking) to yellow split peas, has a photo, its English name and its Asian name—and with the tap of an icon, Nguyen speaks the ingredient's name in both languages.
You can "favorite" certain ingredients, email them to yourself or a friend, even post them to Facebook or Twitter. The app has 25 recipes (and as you'd expect, any Asian ingredients have links to their specific pages on the app). There are instructional videos too, covering how to rig a steamer, how to clean and break down a crab and other tasks that are easier to grasp when demonstrated.
And zhenjiang xiang cu, in case you're wondering, is an inky, smoky, slightly bitter vinegar made mostly of sticky rice and malt. Besides kung pao dishes, it's also used for dipping northern Chinese dumplings. Thanks to my app, I know that Golden Plum brand is the standard bearer—and I even know to watch out for imposters.
Well...not just yet. But in their new study, scientists at New York University's Langone Medical Center discovered how hair goes gray. They found that Wnt signaling (a network of proteins known to control many biological processes in the body) between hair follicles and melanocyte stem cells (color producing cells) can dictate hair pigmentation. A depletion of Wnt signaling in hair follicle stem cells prohibits hair re-growth and prevents the production of hair color--essentially turning it gray.
So what does this mean exactly for the salt and pepper popping up on your head? In an interview with BodyOdd.com, the study's lead researcher, Mayumi Ito, PhD, assistant professor in the Ronald O. Pereleman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone, said that their findings could help "provide a new target for designing therapies for color loss and restoration." In other words: They could stop your gray hair in its tracks.
While you wait for these therapies and new technology to be developed, however, here are seven makeovers-in-gray to inspire you--plus a few ways to amp up the white and silver hair you've got.
Rather add some color? Try these tricks from our beauty director, Valerie Monroe, for covering up grays (even those stubborn, wiry ones).
Are you jumping for joy at the prospect of stopping grays before they start? Or do you think you look sexiest in silver? Let us know!
Pay attention to what kind of alcohol you use. It should be 80 proof (things below that won't usually ignite).
Most brandy, cognac and rum fit the bill, but not Bacardi 151.
Don't heat the alcohol first. Doing so could make the liquid burst into flames before you want it to. Stick to room temperature.
Next: The importance of using a measuring cup
Every week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. On sale today...
By Monica Ali
The question: What if Princess Diana were alive and well and living in small-town America?
Who it's for: Anyone who craves lyrical, lovely fiction with a side of gossip magazine.
Perfect timing: One giant, lavish media event/wedding wasn't enough royal intrigue for the year.
The longest day of the year is, not surprisingly, National Daylight Appreciation Day. You could take the easy way out and simply turn your face toward the sun (after coating it in sunscreen, of course). Or you could challenge the sun to a game of hide-and-seek, with glorious potential rewards. Here are 10 sometimes-underappreciated ways to see the light:
Yes, buying a quality cut of meat is critical, as is letting it come to room temperature before cooking. Aside from the usual recommendations, though, Lobel has one more crucial step for cooking a juicy, tender steak with an outside that's crusty and crackling, and an inside that melts in your mouth. Most cookbooks and grilling experts suggest rubbing both sides of the steak with kosher salt and pepper, and then searing it over high heat for about three minutes on each side. Lobel concurs, with one important addition.
[Next, the key to steak nirvana]
Today is the summer solstice. You can make the most of it with these quick, fun ways to honor our nearest, brightest star.
Do some yoga. How to do a sun salutation
Try a weird veggie. How to eat/cook/deal with a sunchoke
Make a little music. How to play "Here Comes the Sun" on the ukulele
Pretend you're at Stonehenge, partying all night with sun-worshiping pagans. How to build a backyard bonfire
Boost your IQ. How to measure Earth's tilt using your shadow
As of today, I'm no longer going to try to be a better person. For the next decade or two or three, I'm going to work on a life of minor crime. I'll shoplift candy, park in handicapped spaces and sneeze deeply on the salad bar at my local deli. I may even dress up like an exterminator and inform certain, select neighbors that they have bedbugs when they do not actually have them.
I'll leave the really violent, upsetting stuff to the professionals. Those are the people who will eventually die and be reincarnated as lice or algae. Sadly, I'll also have to forgo the really loving, compassionate stuff. That's for people who dream of coming back as Indian high priests or the Dalai Lama or perfect beings like Reese Witherspoon.
All I want to do is complete enough not-so-admirable acts that I can spend my next life as a lobster.
Last week, The Christian Science Monitor profiled these unappreciated crustaceans. After talking to biologists, the newspaper reported that not only can lobsters live up to 50 years (or more) but also "lobsters don't show any signs of aging."
Lobster do not slow down or weaken. They do not become infertile or get weird brown blotches on their foreheads that look kind of like Canada. In fact, at regular intervals, they shed their shells and create fresh ones, which makes them appear "as though they are brand new again."
The only downside to my new life after death: escaping the hungry seals and cod. On the other hand, fleeing madly to survive, on a daily basis, may leave me with 10 exceptionally toned, sexy legs.