What to tackle if you have 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, or half a day to clean.
By Maria Shollenbarger
Easy Steps for Cleaning the Kitchen
Kitchen duty isn't easy. The main culprit: grease. Before you start combating it, move small appliances off the counters to ensure that bacteria (kitchen enemy No. 2) won't flourish underneath the toaster oven or the coffeemaker.
Tim Evan CookIf You Have 15 Minutes
-Clean countertops and the sink. Spray disinfectant in the sink and let it soak. "Otherwise the product won't have time to kill all the bacteria and viruses you're trying to remove," says Janice Stewart, owner of Castle Keepers, a professional cleaning service in Charleston, South Carolina. Meanwhile, spritz the counters with disinfectant. Then scrub the sink with a sponge, rinse well, and dry. Return to the counters and wipe dry with a fresh cotton or microfiber cloth.
-Sweep or dry-mop the floor. Make a pass using an electrostatic mop (like those from Swiffer) or cloth. This will pick up dirt
Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine
What to tackle if you have 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, or half a day to clean.Read More »from Quick Cleaning Solutions for Every Room
Recipes for party-worthy finger foods that take 20 minutes or less from start to finish.Read More »from Quick 20-Minute Party Appetizers
By Real Simple Staff
Incredibly simple to make, just-from-the-oven cheese quesadillas are always a crowd pleaser.
Serves 8 | Hands-On Time: 10m | Total Time: 15m
-8 8-inch flour tortillas
-2 cups (8 ounces) grated Monterey Jack
-1 12-ounce container refrigerated store-bought salsa
-Place 2 tortillas on a baking sheet and sprinkle ½ cup of the cheese evenly over each. Top with 2 more tortillas.
-Broil until golden and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
-Repeat with the remaining tortillas and cheese.
-Cut into triangles and serve with the salsa.
Calories Per Serving: 237
Related: 10 Store-Bought Best Party Appetizers
Chickpea and Mint Crostini
In this no-cook recipe, combine chickpeas with juicy pomegranate seeds and chopped mint for a bright, fresh topping.
Serves 8 | Hands-On Time: 10m | Total Time: 10m
-1 15.5-ounce can
Try one of these quick, delicious dishes starring everyone's favorite catch.Read More »from Great Recipe Ideas for Shrimp
By Kate Merker and Sara Quessenberry
Hoisin-Glazed Shrimp Skewers
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 15m
-1 seedless cucumber, sliced
-2 scallions, sliced
-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
-2 tablespoons canola oil
-kosher salt and black pepper
-1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
-1/4 cup hoisin sauce
-2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1. Heat broiler. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, scallions, vinegar, oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
2. Thread shrimp onto 6-inch skewers, wrap the skewer ends with foil, and place on a broiler-proof rimmed baking sheet.
3. Broil, basting with the hoisin sauce, until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with the cucumber salad.
Related: The Best and Worst Appetizer Choices
Spaghetti With Shrimp, Feta, and Dill
Serves 4 | Hands-On Time: 25m | Total Time: 25m
Combat clutter with ordinary household items used in unexpected ways.Read More »from Clever Organizing Tricks and Storage Ideas
Use Jewelry Boxes
Those little boxes are so sturdy and trim that you hate to throw them out. So don't. Instead, clip them together to create tidy divided storage for pens and pencils, lipsticks, plastic flatware, whatever it is that clutters your drawer (maybe jewelry?). (For more junk drawer tips, see Make Over Your Junk Drawer.)
Related: Essential Everyday Forms and Checklists
Use Glass Jars
"Grandpa's wood-shop solution of attaching glass jars underneath a table or a shelf is tried-and-true," says Ted McCann, a Brooklyn-based custom woodworker. This trick works in the garage, the basement, and the craft room (or even possibly the home office, if you have an appropriate area): Nail or superglue the lids to the underside of a surface near where you store your tools, then twist the jars into place. Put like-size nuts and bolts in one jar, wood screws in another, nails in another. Also attach an empty jar so that
Whether you're hosting an Oscar bash or simply looking for a unique party theme, these fun and festive ideas are perfect for celebrating just about anything, anytime.Read More »from Party Ideas that Will Wow Any Guest
By Krissy Tiglias
Nicole Hill GerulatChick Flicks: The Décor
Time to get the girls together for an evening filled with a little glitz and a whole lot of glam. Embellish clear glass vessels with sparkly washi tape, attach silver pom poms to garland strands and drink toppers, and hang a banner to greet guests as soon as they arrive.
Hollywood banner, banterbanner.com.
Related: Create a Floral Table Runner
Nicole Hill GerulatChick Flicks: The Invite
Since this get-together is probably long-overdue, make it extra special with an invitation that will have everyone talking. As for the guest list, this is strictly a girls-only affair...with the exception of a few of our favorite guys. Cue Jake, Leo, George, Ryan.
Related: Quick 20-Minute Party Appetizers
Nicole Hill GerulatChick Flicks: The Menu
When it comes to what to serve, make it a feast for the eyes
Make weeknight meals easy with quick, delicious recipes.Read More »from 5 Simple Spring Dinners
By Sara Quessenberry
One-Pot: Braised Chicken and Spring Vegetables
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 40m
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-8 small bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1⁄2 pounds)
-kosher salt and black pepper
-1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
-12 medium radishes, halved
-3/4 pound carrots (about 4), cut into sticks
-1 teaspoon sugar
-2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until browned, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
3. Spoon off and discard the fat. Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the broth and scrape up any brown bits.
4. Stir in the radishes, carrots, and sugar.
5. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and gently simmer, partly covered, until it is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the chives.
Related: Plan a Great
Try one of these simple, delicious variations on the white-meat staple.Read More »from Great Recipe Ideas for Chicken
By Kristen Evans
Baked Chicken Parmesan Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 40m
Ellie MillerIngredients 8 thin chicken cutlets (1 1/2 pounds total), kosher salt and black pepper, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2 large eggs, beaten, 2/3 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce, 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
Directions Heat oven to 400º F. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Place the flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls; in a third shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan. Coat the chicken with the flour, then dip in the eggs (letting any excess drip off), then coat with the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Pour the marinara sauce into a large, shallow baking dish.
Whether you need to feed your family, entertain your friends, or make something out of what looks like nothing, these fast seafood feasts have got you covered.Read More »from Cook a Great Seafood Meal in 15 Minutes
By Kate Merker, Tara Bench, Sara Quessenberry, and Frances Boswell,
Pasta With Tuna and Black Olive Vinaigrette
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 10m | Total Time: 15m
12 ounces regular or whole-wheat rigatoni or penne
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 6-ounce cans tuna, drained
-Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
-Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
-Add the capers and olives and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and
For the next month, this delicious, lifesaving set of dinner menus will take all the stress and scrambling out of cooking that nightly meal.Read More »from A Month of Easy Dinners
By Charlyne Mattox and Dawn Perry
Salmon With Gingery Green Beans and Bok Choy
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 30m | Total Time: 30m
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 1/4 pounds skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
3/4 pound baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
4 small carrots, cut into thin strips
Sriracha or Asian chili-garlic sauce, for serving
-Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with ½ teaspoon salt and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
-Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a second large skillet over medium-high heat.
-Add the scallions, garlic, and ginger and cook,
Nine women in their 20s, 40s, and 60s polish their looks with new haircuts and hair colors.Read More »from A Hair Makeover at Any Age
By Hilary Sterne
Before: Leigh Torretta, 26
"My whole life I've had one hairstyle," says Leigh, an advertising account manager. Partly, this was because her fine strands seemed to do only one thing: hang straight. "I have a hard time doing anything with it"-curls won't hold for more than half an hour, she says. But, she adds, she wasn't doing much to help the situation: "I've been the same blond for years." In other words, she was stuck in a rut. (Her T-shirt by Splendid.)
Related: Sexy, Short Hairstyles
After: Leigh Torretta
Fighting Mother Nature was ill-advised in this case, decided the team from Cutler/Redken. Instead, stylist Heather Packer lopped off just enough to give a lift to Leigh's locks and to offset the fullness in her face. She layered only the ends of the resulting long bob to give the hair some swing, while colorist Shannon Foreman swapped out Leigh's somewhat brash blond