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For Pie Addicts: Grand Traverse Pie Company
If the thought of choosing between cherry or berry makes your palms sweat, consider the Pie of the Month Club. For one season, six months, or a year, members tuck into a signature pie from this 15-year-old Michigan bakery each month. Some of the most popular pies include Cherry Crumb (Mario Batali called it "a religious experience"), Michigan ABC (grown-in-state apples, blueberries and cherries), and Opera House blackberry.
Reason for Seconds: Grand Traverse can customize a message on your pie--like with icing letters on a birthday cake--using pastry-dough cut-out letters.
For Cream-Pie Cravings: Achatz Pies
Famed Chicago chef Grant Achatz serves his restaurant staff slices of pie from this bakery, owned by his second cousin Dave and Dave's wife, Wendy. No wonder: In addition to the usual suspects of fruit and fall pies, Achatz bakers carefully craft 18 cream pies that are true stunners. I'm partial to Raspberries and Cream, made with vanilla pastry cream topped with slightly sweetened raspberries and dotted with fresh whipped cream.
Reason for Seconds: If I could, I'd chase Cannoli Pie (whipped pastry cream and cream cheese studded with almonds and chocolate chips) with Sweet Cream Cinnamon (cinnamon pastry cream topped with candied pecans).
Pies for when you want something tart, something berry-flavored or when you don't know what you want
Kids get sick. Most parents learn this pretty quick and by the third child, they're pretty unfazed by fevers and sore throats. So when Deborah Copaken Kogan, an author and columnist for the Financial Times, noticed that her son developed a strange rash and swollen face, she snapped a photo of him and posted it to her Facebook profile. It was simply way to keep her son and herself entertained while they spent Mother's Day at the pediatrician's office.
But as the poor little guy's condition worsened, Kogan continued to update her friends on her son's health. "Was I consciously trying to find an answer out there in the hive mind?" she writes in this hold-your-breath-while-reading essay on Slate. "No, but some subconscious part of me must have been wondering whether one of my hundreds of 'friends' might be privy to some expertise on the befuddling Nutty Professor syndrome that had my child in its grips."
Thankfully, some were--and Kogan was able to beat her doctor to the punch in diagnosing her four-year-old with an extremely rare childhood auto-immune disorder. "Bravo, Facebook," said the doc. "Hooray for 'friends'!" is what we say.
For more ways to harness the power of social networking, take a look at these 11 Ways to Make the Hours You Waste Online Actually Mean Something
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...
One Day I Will Write About This Place
The story behind the memoir: A boy's joyous and politically uncertain childhood in Kenya, his travels around the globe as a full-grown man—and then all the way back to Kenya to learn about the meaning of home.
The person we loved: Mum, whose "voice is soft, and tingly" so that "people get tingly with her and do what she says."
The Swahili word we learned: nyatiti (a traditional instrument)
The scene made for falling in love with Africa: "The wind swoops down, God breathes, and across the lake a million flamingos rise, the edges of Lake Nakuru lift, like pink skirts swollen by petticoats..."
The scene made for considering the complexities of Africa: The Swedish men who come to Wainaina's elementary
school to teach the young but English-speaking children about cow manure, which the Swedes mistakenly call "fecal martyr." "With this new fuel," the Swedes kindly explain, "you can light your bulbs and
cook your food. You will become balance dieted; if you are industrious perhaps
you can run a small ... food mill and engage in income-generating activities. ... This is called development and we are here to raise your awareness."
About three years ago, they began food shopping for each other. It started as a favor, but now it's a game. They don't do it all the time, just every so often, and when they do, those normal conventions of what they always buy go flying out the window. No boneless, skinless anythings. Why buy chicken thighs when you can get the whole bird? Pasta: how about something different, like pappardelle? Into the cart go breasts of veal, ruffly savoy cabbage, ground lamb. "Doing the grocery shopping can be kind of dreary," Hamilton says, "especially if you're in a store that's not particularly inspiring." But shopping for a friend gets you excited about grabbing things.
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.
Tomorrow is National Lollipop Day. How to make your own scrumptious tea or fruit flavored suckers. (our advice: try lemonade).
Who doesn't love a backyard picnic? How to design little chalkboard pots that you can fill with flowers or herbs and use as totally original, fun place cards for guests (the bonus: everybody gets to take one home).
Currants are in season. What the heck are they? Learn about this lesser known berry and how to whip up a currant barbecue sauce.
Father's Day and Mother's Day are lovely, but they don't really acknowledge the team effort behind raising kids. Sunday is Parents' Day. How to make a planetarium out of a Pringles can and 40 other super-fast ways to raise the fun levels in your family's summer.
I am the crazy lady in pumps racing down the street after work to get home to my kids...only to burst through the door to find them splayed out on on the floor watching Toy Story 3 for the tenth time. The problem: how to have the kind of traditional school-is-out family summer fun--say, a trip to the beach or a monopoly marathon--when you don't have the full day to spend together?
Our solution: Make your fun happen a little faster with some quirky, original, 2-hour projects like....Making A Planetarium Out of a Pringles Can.
Click here to find out how the delightful deed is done, plus discover 41 other unexpected family activities, many involving: watermelons, tarps, grandparents, pajamas, whipped cream, clouds, and mailboxes. Not to mention laughter.
1) Google +
What it is: Kind of like Facebook. But with live video chat.
Nonchalant Sentence #1: "My cousin invited me, but I haven't checked it out." (You have to be invited; this is a key point. Do not be like me and try to discuss Google Plus as if all you have to do—duh—is hop on the site and try it out).
Nonchalant Sentence #2: "I'm up to like 67 circles." (Circles are like clubs that you organize. You can have friends circle or a co-workers circle or trout-fisherman circle,etc)
What it is: A place where ordinary people can make their own tiny, simple blogs really easy. Think of it as scrapbook where people post ideas on pages instead of just pictures.
Nonchalant Sentence #1: "Have you seen the one about the Daily Beast cat?" (Have see the one implies that you have seen more than one. The Daily Beast cat is a green-eyed tabby cat named Beast who is photographed by his owner every day. It bears no relation to the Daily Beast website).
What it is: A service that lets you broadcast your location to everyone you know.
Nonchalant Sentence Number #1: "I'm going for mayor of...insert fashionable eatery." (The mayor of anywhere is the person on FourSquare who is physically at that place more than any other user. So being a mayor of some place famous—say Thomas Keller's Per Se—might get you street cred among foodies. I, on the other hand, am going for mayor of Rite-Aid. I will probably earn it too, due my children's need for milk, diapers, and black Spiderman Band-Aids.)
Want to sound like a total tech-master? Just say the word: Spotify.
Keep Reading: How Social Media Can Help Sustain Your Friendships
Self-tanner is a smart alternative to spending days baking in the sun, but applying it can be tricky, especially to your face. (Not to mention the Oompa Loompa factor). That's why we're glad we found Givenchy's Mister Radiant. This weightless clear gel is filled with gold and bronze beads that distribute color as you rub it in--leaving you with a subtle glow minus the commitment and the streaks. Plus, it gives enough coverage that skipping foundation--especially appealing on hot, sticky days--is an option.
Givenchy Mister Radiant, $36
Self-tan without the streaks
5 Steps to getting gorgeous legs
When Claudia Kincaid, heroine of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, grew tired of the injustice of having to both empty the dishwasher and set the table on the same night and bored of the sameness of every week, she devised a plan to break free from the monotony of everything. That plan involved running away from home to hole up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and for many readers of E.L. Konigsberg's 1977 children's classic--I include myself among them--a museum-based slumber party has long represented the ultimate escape fantasy.
I still haven't figured out a way to sleep in a bed that is also an 18th-century work of art, but the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is offering an opportunity Claudia Kincaid would have schlepped across the country for.