By Renee Schettler
photos by Kana Okada
How to salvage overcooked chicken, a crumbly cake, mushy vegetables, and more.
How to Fix Mushy Potatoes
Problem: You intended to boil those new potatoes just until fork-tender. But when you drained them, they collapsed into mush.
Solution: "Make mashed potatoes,'" Rozanne Gold, a chef and author of the 1-2-3 series of cookbooks, says. Not in the mood for a mash, make home fries: Drain the potatoes and fry them in a skillet with a small amount of fat―olive or peanut oil, butter, or bacon drippings―stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes.
Related: 10 Recipe Ideas for Potatoes
Next time: Gently simmer the potatoes instead of boiling them. The lower temperature causes the starch in them to swell more slowly. As a result, only a bit of the gummy starch leaks out of the potatoes and into the cooking water, says Shirley O. Corriher, a food scientist and the author of CookWise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed (Morrow, $30,
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If you use this gizmo only to zap popcorn or heat up leftovers, prepare to be impressed. If you already know about all these, we think you'll be glad you were reminded. Here are more than 20 ways your microwave can save you time in the kitchen.
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Teachers, school nurses, and even waiters deal with children all day, every day-and they have news for you. Here, wise tips from the pros. By Marisa Fox; Additional Reporting By Nubia DuVall; LaToya Evans
Doctors, Dentists, and School Nurses Say:
Slather 'em in sunscreen. "Eighty percent of sun damage occurs before the age of 18," says Jody Levine, a pediatric dermatologist in New York City. Later in life, it shows up as wrinkles and skin cancer. "Apply sunscreen during your morning routine. It doesn't have to be sunny for people to wear sunscreen, as damaging rays are always shining, even through window glass," she says.
Go low-carb in the morning. "Make kids eat a real breakfast, not a sweet breakfast," says Judy Bearman, the nurse at St. Mary's Episcopal School, in Memphis. "The simple carbohydrates in doughnuts, strudels, and juice enter the bloodstream quickly, giving them energy but leaving them groggy by 9 A.M. I see soRead More »from "What I wish parents knew": Doctors, teachers, therapists, and more weigh in
Summer can leave skin fried and hair sun-dried. Restore moisture with these products.
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Skin-Care Tips for Every Skin Type
Heavy Duty Beauty Goods for Hot Weather
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- Real Simple Magazine | Back To School – Wed, Jul 27, 2011 3:14 AM EDT
According to Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar, a dietitian at Washington University School of Medicine, kids' snacks (except cheese) should have fewer than 200 calories per serving and contain a daily value of 8 percent or less in total fat. These snacks fit the bill. By Elinor Smith
Back to Nature Crispy Cheddars Crackers
Free of trans fats and artificial flavorings, these squares, bagged in individual servings, have a big cheese taste that belies their tiny size. With just 130 calories and 4.5 grams of fat, they're a smart pick, too.
To buy: $4 for eight 1-ounce bags, at supermarkets.
See More: Healthy Snacks.
Organic Valley Stringles Organic Part Skim Mozzarella String Cheese
Kids will love pulling apart (and eating) these cheese sticks. Their real mozzarella flavor puts them head and shoulders above the rubbery, bland competition.
To buy: $5 for eight ¾-ounce sticks, at supermarkets.
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Does your kid turn up his nose at basic peanut butter and jelly? Make lunchtime more fun with these 10 creative twists.
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Consider these solutions when dealing with those pesky pests. By Lindsy van Gelder
Do fair-skinned people really get bitten by mosquitoes more often?
No. And neither do women nor redheads nor any other specific group. Part of what attracts mosquitoes is the amount of carbon dioxide, heat, and moisture that a person emits. Unfortunately, those factors are determined by genetics, and they're hard to measure. The one phenomenon that scientists have noticed is that "the more you sweat, the more attractive you can become to mosquitoes," says James E. Cilek, professor of entomology at Florida A & M University, in Panama City. But they are not sure why. Whether this has to do with the scent or the moisture in perspiration isn't clear.
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Legoland or Sesame Place seem too everyday? Here's where to go, at home and abroad.
Street urchins and a Great Expectations boat cruise that slogs through the "sewers" and ends, magically, amid the rooftops brings Victorian London alive in Chatham, England (dickensworld.co.uk).
A picture-perfect South Seas fantasy sealed within the world's largest dome...in Germany (pictured). Boasts a beach, a rain forest, a gigantic water slide, and more. Open year-round, 24 hours a day (tropical-islands.de).
Suoi Tien Park
Attractions like the Party of Four Supernatural Creatures, where you ride in boats around an enormous dragon, give this Vietnamese amusement park a fairy-tale vibe (suoitien.com).
Get your fill of alligators and crocodiles, some weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds, at this 110-acre island park in Florida (gatorland.com).