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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.
What is it about seeing expenses drift across a screen that is so hypnotizing? Take a look at these numbers from users of the personal finance-tracking site Mint.com:
$8.43: How much money they spend every time they go to the coffee shopA recent video, Eat, Drink and Be Thrifty, documents how much cash Mint.com users spend on food and dining. As the numbers tumble across the monitor to fast electronic beats, they all mash together before ending with one final number—$581.46: the total monthly spending for food and drink.
Seeing the actual dollar amounts of what you spend every month is always sobering, and this video prompted us to do our own back-of-the-envelope number crunching. The figure that jumps out isn't the usual "I spend how much on coffee every month?" rather something we call the Lunch Reckoning. The recognition that, yes, you should be bringing your lunch to work. That you wind up buying lunch more times than you'd care to admit. That you blew $11 on the cafeteria's arctic char platter just the other day. And when you do the math, you realize you could probably have a weekly housekeeper if only you could get a grip on...the Lunch Reckoning.
As we work on this, one lunch at a time, tell us, what's your reckoning? What's the one food- or drink-related expenditure you regularly make, budgeted or not?
You may be asking yourself, "And why is that so important?" If you've ever tried to check out your butt while trying on jeans, then you know that it is no easy task—there's lots of twisting, turning and neck strain involved. American Rag Cie, a California-based retailer, recently solved this fashion dilemma by embedding a camera for your derriere into the dressing room mirrors of their World Denim Bars. After all, the back view is just as important (if not more so when it comes to jeans) as the front. These strategically placed, closed-circuit cams give you a 360-degree view while you look straight on. (And no, it's not recording you or your attempts to squeeze into those ultraskinny styles.) Finally, finding the perfect booty-hugging jeans isn't such a pain in the neck!
[And it's not only the ladies who are getting in on the action...]