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February 2012 (120 posts)
Lasagna. Your grandmother's red-sauce version is probably better off without radicchio (and who are we to mess with your Nonna?), but any lasagna involving bechamel or mushrooms (or both) will benefit from radicchio's punch. This recipe calls for cooking it until it wilts, then mixing it with sauteed mushrooms and sage--they form the veggie layer of the finished dish.
Risotto. This basic recipe has tons of variations; to use radicchio, tear the leaves and cook them with a chopped onion before adding the rice. Instead of grating Parmesan into the risotto at the end, try Piave Vecchio--its slight almond bitterness is the perfect complement.
February is many things to many people: American Heart Month, Black History Month, Valentine's Day, a collection of gray weeks on the long sloppy slog towards spring. But did you know that it's also The Month of Letters? According to GalleyCat, the idea is to mail something through the post every day for the month of February. How fun, to revive the lost art of letter-writing, and most of all, to get to do things like buy stamps and find the nearest mailbox! Still, I admit the idea of this challenge makes me little nervous. I know I was a pretty killer letter-writer when my Australian penpal and I were doing our thing back in the early '90s, but at this point do I even remember how?
Luckily GalleyCat has our backs with a Spotify playlist devoted to the art and science of the letter. Seriously, there are more songs about writing letters than I ever realized. So fortify yourself with a cup or three of coffee, sharpen that pencil, rustle up some paper, and get inspired by Nick Cave, Natalie Merchant, Johnny Cash, and of course, Dolly Parton, all crooning epistolatory tunes. February is feeling better already.
A Love Letter to the World
Write a Note to Your Future Self
Ever wonder how they make those "blue marble" images of Earth from space? Here's a hint: they aren't actually photographs.
The most dramatic (and hilarious) tale of tech support you'll ever read.
"I didn't want someone else to decide my job." One blind woman's amazing career path.
23 surefire energy boosters. No, it's not a list of kinds of coffee.
The Life-Lifter: "Different isn't something our society trains us to like." How posting a photo on Tumblr made this high school senior realize that her unusual face is, in fact, beautiful.
So you might think: I'll make it up by not eating a thing today. Problem solved. But...this is not the solution, says Best Life nutritionist Beth Sumrell Ehrensberger, M.P.H., R.D. "Your willpower may hold up all day long, but by the time dinner rolls around, you'll most likely give into your hunger by making unhealthy choices and eating more than you need." In other words, you'll be powerless against leftover pizza. Another thing to keep in mind: While you may have consumed an excess of calories yesterday, chances are they were remarkably devoid of the things your body needs, like water, protein, fiber and antioxidants. If you deprive yourself again today, you'll effectively complete a two-day nutrient fast.
Here are Ehrensberger's recommendations for what to eat on this post-game afternoon and evening:
A: There aren't many things I'm an expert at. Actually, at this moment I can't think of any things, except one: I know how to extend the life of a blow-out. Before I dwell too long on this haunting discovery, let me share my secrets (and stylist Jet Rhys's excellent suggestions). After you leave the salon: 1. Keep your hands off your hair. And avoid brushing, too, adds Rhys. Handling and brushing distribute natural oils throughout your hair, which will hasten your need for a shampoo.
2. Don't let the stylist use any styling products, and don't use any at home, either. Most stylists look at me incredulously when I say, "No product, please," but as Rhys points out, sprays and serums can attract dirt and oil.3. In the shower, use a fabric-lined cap. It keeps your hair drier and protects against frizz better than a plastic cap, says Rhys.
4. If you need to revive your style, dampen the hair in front and on the crown, then spot blow-dry.Keep in mind: When I ask specifically for a blow-out that will last several days, I get better results. Why? The stylist pays more attention, and uses a bit more heat, which increases the style's hold.
She hasn't even started college yet, but 16-year-old Erin King is already making her future MIT classmates look like slackers. According to this awesome post at boing boing, MIT acceptance letters are sent in cardboard tubes (as if you didn't know that!), and this year all the accepted students were asked to somehow hack their tubes. The results—all creative, funny, smart—are collected here at the official Hack the Tubes site. Erin, however, took her hacking very seriously, and sent her tube to outer space. You must see this video, which shows how Erin and her friends prepared the tube for its interstellar journey, and includes astounding video from the point of view of the adventurous tube. How cool is that?
I can't help myself, here it comes...REACH FOR THE STARS, ERIN!
Wonder what this kid will come up with next?
Every Monday, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. This week, we're in complete awe of the wholly original, heartbreaking novel:
First You Try Everything
By Jane McCafferty
McCafferty's gift is character, and she creates such singular, riveting personalities that you're laughing and puzzling out whole new understandings of the world (all while thinking, "ow"). Middle-aged Evie steals the show with her endearing oddball approach to existence which includes writing letters to Senators about animal cruelty that go: "Dear Senator, How are you, I'm OK though it's been raining for 8 days here" (letters which Ben describes so accurately as "like a kid at summer camp writing home to mom and dad.") Evie gets so happy that she jumps out of tree into a lake with joy—and breaks her legs. Evie gets so grim that she thinks "she needs an auditory shelter from the storm of her own thoughts."
She, like all the people in this book, is so unlike anyone you've ever met—or even just read about before—and her always unexpected turns of mind also creates turns in yours, leaving you with a fresh understanding of what we want love to mean, and what really love means, and what it really requires of us (most especially when it fails to turn out the way we'd hoped).
The quest for our inner children...and other college-paper-worthy themes of those entertaining Super Bowl ads.
Talk about downsizing! The house that fits in your pocket.
By two and two: Recreating Noah's Ark. With lizards.
How a copy of the world's most famous painting helps us to see it anew.
The Life-Lifter: He's fluffy, he's cute, and he's not kidding around: The amazing sheep-herding rabbit.
11 ways to save your planet
The blood donor
The new women of Rwanda