When it comes to setting it and forgetting it, these slow cookers are your best bet.
By Brigitt Hauck
Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Programmable Stovetop Slow Cooker
With this convenient unit, slow cooking truly is a one-pot meal: Simply brown meat in the removable insert on your stove, then add the rest of your ingredients and let dinner finish in the slow cooker.
To buy: $65, target.com.
Related: Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes
Cuisinart 4-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
Perfect for a couple or a single person, this rectangular slow cooker tucks neatly into a corner and can accommodate most recipes despite its small size. Don't let its compactness fool you-it still has all the bells and whistles, including a 24-hour timer, cooking rack, and dishwasher-safe lid and pot.
To buy: $80, cuisinart.com.
Related: Kid-Friendly Slow-Cooker Recipes
Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
No more overcooked roasts or dried-out chicken. An easy-to-use digital thermometer monitors the
Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine
When it comes to setting it and forgetting it, these slow cookers are your best bet.Read More »from The Best Slow Cookers
Are you making mistakes when it comes to scrubbing, vacuuming, and disinfecting? Here's how to right your wrongs-quick as a (dust) bunny.Read More »from Easy Cleanup Solutions for Every Room
By Sarah Stebbins
In the Kitchen
Bad Habit: Using a Funky, Smelly Sponge
You've heard this before, but it bears repeating: You could be spreading mold and illness-causing bacteria around the kitchen.
Good practice: Replace your sponge every couple of weeks, and take care of it while it's active. After each use, rinse the sponge in hot water and wring it out. At the end of the day, and after every raw-meat encounter, sterilize a wet sponge: Pop it in the microwave for one minute (the sponge must be wet-a dry one could catch fire), or run it through the dishwasher. For storage, use a soap dish with holes for drainage, or go with a homemade solution: Set the sponge on a saucer full of small rocks.
Bad Habit: Letting Drips and Drops Harden on the Stove
These splotches are a bummer to look at and can discolor stainless-steel and porcelain surfaces.
Wish your complexion would make an about-face? Just rely on this advice.Read More »from Skin-Care Tips for Every Skin Type
By Lori Bergamotto
Ericka McConnellIf You Have Normal Skin...
Your skin is neither too oily nor too dry, and you rarely break out or experience redness. Your pores are small (practically invisible), and though an occasional blemish may surface, it's usually tied to your period.
The Best Regimen
-Cleanse and moisturize daily with gentle, basic products. Look for those with antioxidants, which fight free-radical damage and stave off the signs of aging.
-You might also consider adding retinoids or vitamin C to your routine several times a week to boost collagen production, says Ava Shamban, a dermatologist in Santa Monica.
-Finally, don't forget moisturizer―one with sunscreen for the day and one without SPF at night.
Related: Keep Your Mind and Body in Top Condition
Ericka McConnellIf You Have Dry Skin...
Blame the flakiness―along with the redness and itchiness―on your skin's barrier layer, which doesn't retain natural oils or water as well as
Feel like you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders? Why lightening your load will improve your health.Read More »from How to Easily Lighten a Heavy Purse
By Dana Sullivan
It can be hard to get out of the house in the morning, so it's tempting to essentially take its contents with you, tossing everything you think you may need later into your purse. But toting makeup, reading material, gym shoes, and hefty electronic devices has led to more women complaining of neck and shoulder pain, according to doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors from coast to coast. "Many patients don't realize that their heavy handbags are contributing to their problems," says Heidi Prather, an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis. Learn how to travel lighter and discover new ways to save your spine. Follow these easy steps to drop some pounds.
WYunhee Kimatch Your Weight
Your bag, ideally, should weigh no more than 10 percent of your body weight or
Learn how Real Simple transformed readers' kitchens, bathrooms, and more.Read More »from 16 Before-And-After Room Makeovers
From one end of the house (the entryway) to the other (the mudroom), it seems, readers' rooms could use a little zhooshing up. But whether the problem is a lack of organization or a dearth of pizzazz, Real Simple has the solution. Find smart tips-and inspiration-in this gallery of before-and-after shots, and apply them to a room of your own.
Related: 21 Ways to Enhance Your Entryway
Every entryway has the challenge of setting the tone for the rest of a home, and this bare front hall wasn't particularly inviting. The homeowner wanted it to be more welcoming-and to function like a mudroom without looking like one.
Related: No-Money Home Makeover Ideas
With the walls painted deep red, the foyer now greets guests warmly. A (dirt-catching) striped woven cotton rug draws visitors into the house. A narrow farmhouse-style bench encourages kids to sit down and take off their shoes. Footwear
The quickest, smartest strategies for battling eight universally despised tasks.Read More »from The Worst Cleaning Jobs Made Easy
By Sarah Stebbins
Dirty Job No. 1 : Changing or Emptying the Vacuum Bag or Bin
Scott & Zoë
Time it takes: 5 to 10 minutes.
Why it matters: When the bag is more than half full, the vacuum loses suction. The fuller it gets, the harder the machine works. Eventually it could work so hard, the motor will burn out.
Step 1: Run the vacuum for 30 seconds to push any residual dirt in the machine into the bag. Unplug.
If you have a disposable bag: Before pulling out the bag, stick a piece of duct tape over the hole where the bag connects to the vacuum, says Louanna Henning, director of housekeeping at the luxury hotel Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, in Dallas. This will prevent a dust cloud from erupting in your face.
If you have a reusable cloth bag or a plastic bin (as on a bagless vacuum): Work outdoors. Put the bag or bin inside a garbage bag and shake out the dust, says Debra Johnson, training manager for the
Put a new twist on takeout food to impress your guests.
By Melissa Clark
Tiny-Size Pizza Pies
Start with: A large cheese pizza. (Ask for it unsliced and, if possible, slightly underbaked.)
To make: Avoiding the crust, cut out mini pizzas with round cookie or biscuit cutters. Heat the rounds at 400º F for about 5 minutes. Top with slices of olives, marinated mushrooms, chopped prosciutto, an anchovy fillet, or fresh herbs (such as basil, flat-leaf parsley, rosemary, thyme, or oregano).
See More: 10 Instant Hors d'Oeuvres
Start with: Garlic bread from your favorite Italian spot.See More:10 Delicious, Easy Desserts
To make: Slather slices with prepared marinara or pesto sauce. Top with mozzarella or goat cheese, a marinated pepper, or an oil-packed sun-dried tomato, then toast in the oven.
Also try: Hummus po' boys. Spread hot garlic bread with hummus and top with coleslaw or lettuce and tomato. Cap with more hot, crunchy bread.
Chicken- or Read More »from Fake it with Takeout
Spice up your party with one of these super-simple dip recipes.
By Dawn Perry
Tomatillo and Avocado Dip
Serves 8 (makes 2 cups)| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 15m
Ingredients4 medium tomatillosm husked and quartered
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1/4 white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
kosher salt and black pepper
blue corn tortilla chips, for serving
11 calories per one tablespoon
- In a food processor, combine the tomatillos, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, onion, and lime juice and pulse until the mixture is the texture of relish. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Serve with the tortilla chips.
See More: 22 Crowd-Pleasing Dip Recipes
Lemon, Pepper, and Pecorino DipServes 8 (makes 1 1/4 cups)| Hands-On Time: 05m | Total Time: 05m
Ingredients1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Pecorino
1 tablespoon finely Read More »from Easy Party Dips
It's time to show her the love. These affordable Valentine's Day gifts top out at $50 and are sure to wow the special woman in your life.
Caribbean Swirl Sunhat
This raffia straw hat, bursting in shades of pink and red, has a generous brim that will shield her from the strong rays, whether working in the garden or lounging by the pool.
To buy: $48, anthroplogie.com.
See More: Valentine's Day Gifts For Him
Lancome Juicy Tubes Gift Set
A dream come true for the lady who is constantly reapplying. A set of six shiny glosses in festive shades like Pink Bling, Spring Fling, and Magic Spell.
To buy: $29.50, nordstrom.com.
See More: Valentine's Day Gifts For Home
Diane von Furstenberg Heart-in-Ear Headphones
For the girl on-the-go: A pair of earphones-with a stylish heart on each bud-for breaking out during her morning commute or Saturday run in the park.
To buy: $25, saksfifthavenue.com.
See More: Valentine's DayRead More »from Great Valentine's Day Gifts for Her
Romantic Brownie Sundaes
Serves 2 | Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 1hr 00m
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing foil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
strawberry ice cream, for serving
Raspberry Sauce, for servingCalories: 875
- Heat oven to 325°. Line an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil, leaving some extra foil along the sides of the pan to aid in lifting out the brownies. Grease the foil with soft butter.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa. Set aside.
- Place the chocolate pieces and butter in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. When the chocolate has just melted, remove from heat. Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk in the reserved flour