How to Comfort Someone
We're a block from a hospital, so in my 31 years here I've met many people who've just received bad news. If you see someone in distress, don't hesitate to talk to them. Once you've heard their story, sometimes all you have to say is "I'll be thinking of you." Your words are more powerful than you think.
—Jimmy Vecere, bartender at 12th Street Irish Pub, Philadelphia
How to Spot a Good Opportunity
A lot of people ask me how I knew Mad Men
or Breaking Bad
would make great TV. I knew because when I read those scripts, I felt something. I didn't do any market testing or focus groups—I just asked myself, Would I want to watch this?
When you're weighing an opportunity, make the question that simple: Do I really want this, or am I doing it for the money or the prestige or because I think I should?
It can't just be about those things. It has to make you feel good, too. And by the way, if opportunities aren't knocking, you can make your own. When I was looking for work several years ago, I took everyone I knew in New York, where I'd just moved, to dinner or drinks or tea. I explained that I was open to anything. Six months later, one of those dinner dates called about a possible job at AMC. If I hadn't put myself out there, that never would have happened.
—Christina Wayne former senior VP at AMC, current president of Cineflix Studios, and an executive producer of the new BBC America series Copper
How to Delegate
Make certain the people around you have good values, good judgment, and are loyal. Allow them to impress you but be sure they're comfortable coming to you for feedback. Most important, hire people smarter than you!
Ivanka Trump, executive VP, Trump Organization; principal of Ivanka Trump fashion and accessories lines
How to Stay Sane While Traveling
My motto: Fail to plan, plan to fail. I keep two cases stocked with the same toiletries; if one runs out, the other's ready. I leave my favorite outfits at home, instead choosing pieces I can combine easily. Once I reach my destination, I exercise every day. Deep breathing and a good sweat—that's how I knock off the travel dust bunnies. And instead of adjusting my body clock to a different time zone, I grab sleep when I can. People laugh, but my neck pillow is my best friend.
—U.S. chief of protocol Capricia Marshall, who travels with the president and the secretary of state. Ambassador Marshall logs up to 10,000 miles a month.
How to Make the most Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies
Include dark, milk, and semisweet chocolate. Otherwise you'll hit the same flavor notes with every bite, and your palate will get bored.
For a chewier cookie, try baking with bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.
Use room-temperature eggs. Cold eggs are hard to work into a batter.
Never bake the dough immediately. Instead, scoop it onto cookie sheets and refrigerate.
Before you bake, toss the dough in sugar, which will caramelize into a sweet-smelling, crispy crust. Yum!
Get "The Chewy" Cookie Recipe
—Alton Brown, host of The Next Iron Chef
How to Choose a Second Cat
Most rules you hear—don't mix sexes, don't mix clawed and declawed—aren't so important. The key is making sure they're close in size, age, and energy level. A mellow cat won't like being pounced on; an adult won't want to spend all day with a kitten any more than you'd want to spend all day with a toddler.
—Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the ASPCA's Adoption Center
The Best Way to Cook Brussels Sprouts
Most chefs roast them, which is great because it brings out their sweetness. But when you do that, you lose their inherent crunchiness. People forget they're tiny cabbages! So when I cook them, I drop them in a very hot pan with a little olive oil, throw in some chopped garlic, flip once after one minute, add a splash of water, wait another minute, and you're done. They're lightly cooked, and they retain their color and crunch.
—Amanda Cohen, chef and author of Dirt Candy, A Cookbook: Flavor-Forward Food from the Upstart New York City Vegetarian Restaurant
How to Pace Yourself
A therapist once told me something that's as true now as when I first heard it: "You can only go as fast as the slowest part of you can go."
—Singer Bonnie Raitt, who took a seven-year hiatus from the studio before releasing her new album, Slipstream
How to End a Friendship
Be clear that you need distance, but avoid getting into specifics. You might say, "I've realized I need to take a break from our friendship. I have so much going on in my life right now, and I need to take more time for myself." Now isn't the time to try to change your friend or teach her a lesson. (If you believed you could see things the same way, you wouldn't be breaking up in the first place.) Above all, be sure you want to break up. It's unlikely you'll ever be able to return to the same level of intimacy.
—Irene S. Levine, PHD, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend