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October 2011 (174 posts)
Simmer it for scent.
Skip the honey and lemon juice, and make your own autumn air freshener: Put them in a pot of water, add some cinnamon and simmer on the stove (refill the water if it evaporates).
Brew apple tea.
Follow this simple recipe, which consists of peels, cinnamon, honey and lemon juice.
Jar some apple jelly.
This will take a few hours, but the sweet and tart jelly makes a lovely fall hostess gift. You'll need the peels and cores from 15 to 20 medium-sized, tart apples; a box of dry pectin; and lots of sugar. Here's a recipe.
Make apple dirt.
Peter George, executive chef of 360 the Restaurant in Toronto, uses this sweet mixture as a rub for chicken, turkey or fish such as salmon, pike or halibut. You can also sprinkle it in Thanksgiving stuffing, or add it to stuffed pork loin. Here's how: place about a cup and a half of peels on a baking sheet and cook in a 250-degree oven for an hour or two, until golden brown and crispy. Grind them to a powder with a mortar and pestle, mix them with 4 teaspoons of cinnamon and a quarter cup of sugar, then grind again.
What Mario Batali's eating this fall
October's must-try food guide
The autumn Champagne
Monday is too stressful. Wednesday is already hump day. But Tuesday is "you" day: a day when you have the energy to do—or plan—something fresh and unexpected that might just turn your whole week around.
The World Series has taken over our world. How to ease the tension of the next game with a ballpark cotton candy martini.
The Northern lights showed up in last night's Southern skies. How to understand why the celestial event migrated and why its colors morphed into such a rare blazing red.
Halloween isn't the only upcoming holiday; Saturday is National Cat Day. How to prepare for the two monster events by whipping up a costume that won't totally irritate or humiliate your kitty: chic yet evil cat bat wings.
Since breaking up with the pill, I've made do with the NuvaRing and then condoms, but I've been keeping my eyes open for a better long-term plan. That's one of the reasons I was inspired to weigh the pros and cons of the most popular birth control in the US for this slideshow. There are a few new contraceptive developments that piqued my interest. Any Seinfeld fan who's never really understood Elaine's passion for the Today sponge can now find out what all the hoopla was about, as the sponge is back and available at retailers like Walgreens, CVS and Target. For those looking for something more effective and longer-lasting, IUDs like ParaGard and Mirena have been redesigned, and among health researchers and gynecologists, they're the new "it" contraceptive. However, the device that has me the most excited is a different birth control blast-from-the-past.
That's why I love Robin Farr's post "Kiss Your Life" on the Just Be Enough blog. She writes, "Everyone bemoans Pinterest as the latest, greatest time suck...I do have a few boards that are my go-to happy places though, and they’re always good for a smile or some much-needed perspective." She explains how pictures of boats have always made her happy, how images infused with whimsy can brighten a bad day, and the quotation about living life deliberately that gets her through the hard times.
As Farr writes, "We all have a life we want to live – the life we think we should be living – and yet how many of us can say we’re actually living that life?... Figure out what’s missing in your life. Chase it. Catch it. Even if, for now, it’s just a picture to represent something you need more of."
We know the problems with our fast-paced, social-media-obsessed, txt-msg-wrld; there's always that suspicion that stepping away from all the flashing screens is the way to recharge. But sometimes the happy-place we need turns out to be what was right in front of us the whole time.
More moments of happiness:
Take a minute to be still
Love your life in 30 seconds
Smiles in unexpected places
While this is undoubtedly distressing for Pascoe and Barry (her other cat, who made the trip safely), it's heartening that there's been such a grassroots response to this story. Jack's Facebook page has over 15,500 followers and is constantly being updated with possible sightings and other news. There are video tributes to the cat on YouTube. An imposter Jack was returned to the airport by some kids hoping for a reward; Jack-look-alikes have been spotted in the neighborhood near JFK.
Dozens of people showed up at JFK on Jack the Cat Awareness Day to search for the kitty and to raise publicity for their cause. While Jack hasn't been found, he is certainly becoming quite famous—his story's been covered all across the world, including UK's Daily Mail. American Airlines say they have hired a pet detective, flown Pascoe back from California to help search, and placed food, water and humane traps in the cargo area, but no one has seen head nor—sorry—tail of the feline, and Jack's supporters are threatening to boycott the airline until the cat is found. Let's hope he's found soon—and awarded lots and lots of frequent flyer miles.
We love our pets:
How to survive a lost cat
Funny animal stories
The $60,000 dog
Every week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. On sale now, the lovely enlightening art book:
by Stephen Taylor
Some books show you how to laugh, some show you how to think, but, every once a while, one will show you how to live. The exquisite Oak: One Tree, Three Years, and Fifty Paintings follows of the story of artist Stephen Taylor who decided to paint the same oak tree in the English countryside every day for three years. The titles of his ensuing works reveal the detail with which he pursued his vision: Oak With Crows, Oak After Snow, Oak At Night in Winter, Oak in Early Spring. There are no abstract oaks or evocative splashes of ink meant to suggest an oak. The trees are realistic, some with an almost photographic precision—revealing the larger point. As the oak changes by the month or hour, the surrounding environment changes. Barley field are cut down and rise again; jets stream by through the sky; blue tits forage in the leaves; and damsel flies swarm below the branches. A singular plant becomes a talisman for the passage of time and seasons—and you, as viewer—begin to change too, becoming more observant and aware of the tiny yet enormous natural transformations that take place each day and minute. Seeing—in the truest sense—is the lesson here, one that's taught with such elegance that you'll be bewitched into stopping and contemplating the birch or maple in your own yard that's serving—as T.S. Elliot once described trees—as "the still point of the turning world."
The Entire Oprah Book Club List (Read it now!)
Last week's book: Scenes from A Village Life
Advice for Aspiring Writers...from Toni Morrison.
The candy, the costumes, the pumpkin goop: who needs it? This year, outsource Halloween prep.
Why the brain is divided? In this adorable cartoon, neuroscience gets animated,
The ingredients of a life-long friendship: good conversation and luscious desserts.
The Life Lifter: How screenwriter Miranda July got inspired by the Penny Saver. (You may start seeing Craig's List in a whole new light.)
Join the fight against breast cancer while treating yourself (or your mother, aunt, or a friend) to something special.
Your hunt for the perfect lip color is over. Smashbox O-Gloss goes on clear, reacts with the chemicals in your skin and turns a flattering shade of pink (unique to you) in seconds.
$22, Smashbox.com; 100 percent of sales goes to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
19 buys that support the fight against breast cancer
A reason to have a month-long pajama party
Do breast self-exams really work?
Let me see if I have this right: You start thinking about dinner every morning at 8 am. You decide upon a healthful, tasty meal your whole family loves. After work, you sashay into your local grocers' for fresh ingredients, chatting with the butcher about the right cut of meat, exchanging quips with the green grocer about the kale. Or wait, no—you bike home with a perfect baguette jutting out of your basket. Then follow happy hours of graceful food preparation, glass of wine in hand, and some relaxed dining. Bon appetit!
No? You say that it's more like microwaving chicken nuggets for the kids and then eating their cold leftovers? I can't even imagine. But if I too were a time-crunched cooker who saw food preparation as just another in a long line of household chores, I think I would take heart in Saveur's psyche-saving Recipe Comix.
Every week an artist draws a recipe for the site, and the results are funny, sad, beautiful, and delicious. Cartoonist Laura Park contributes a hilarious comic entitled "Let's Slap in a Pan;" Malaka Gharib's Egyptian breakfast looks bright, cheery, and way better than cereal. There's some great cooking advice here, from the right way to hard-boil an egg to dinner party tips (from woodland creatures, but still). Most of all, though, I appreciated the surge of joy that came from reading through the comics. Oh, right! Cooking can be fun and creative! I'd almost forgotten! This might be just what I needed to escape the chicken nugget rut and get cooking.
Click through all the Recipe Comix at Saveur.
More foodie inspirations:
O's top ten recipes
How to host a poetry dinner party
Eat like an orange-clog-wearing Italian chef