Blog Posts by Sunset Magazine

  • The Best Valentine's Day Flowers

    Go beyond the traditional bouquet of roses this year with these surprising choices.

    Anemones
    Anemones
    The velvety petals, which come in red, pink, purple, or white, are perfect for those who love romantic hues.
    > Related: How to grow flowers without fuss

    Tazetta daffodils (narcissus)
    Tazetta daffodils (narcissus)
    To a fragrance lover, give these highly scented flowers.

    Tulips
    Tulips
    To those who can't wait till spring, give tulips, which are often grown in local greenhouses for early bloom now.
    > Related: How to create perfect floral arrangements

    Camellia
    Camellia
    Winter-white petals stun with their geometric shape.

    Hellebores
    Hellebores
    These distinctive blooms, usually shaped like cups or bells, come in a number of hues, including white, green, pink, red, and deep purple.
    > Related: Guide to planting bulbs

    Iceland poppy
    Iceland poppy
    These dramatic poppies burst with vibrant color, from orange to salmon to deep rose pink. For something tamer, look for cream, white, or yellow varieties.

    Flowering quince
    Flowering quince
    In late winter, branches erupt into bloom with

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  • 21 Irresistible Chocolate Desserts

    Indulge in one of these surprising, dangerously delicious recipes.

    Single-Girl Melty Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
    Single-Girl Melty Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
    L.A.-based blogger Joy Wilson says, "I'm a single girl. That means I don't have to feed anyone but myself...and I can have chocolate...for dinner." This version of a standout recipe in her Joy the Baker Cookbook ($20) adds peanut butter or bourbon, two of Joy's favorite flavors.
    > Get the recipe

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  • The West's Top 20 Romantic Getaways



    Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, CA
    Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, CA
    The most dramatically situated and architecturally ambitious of the Big Sur inns, Post Ranch Inn has rooms set along the bluffs and others tucked away in the forest. And what do we think of the clifftop rooms? Wow. As in: Wow, check out those end-of-the-earth ocean views and get a load of those James-worthy bells and whistles.
    > Related: Monterey Bay Area hotels

    Rolling Huts, Methow Valley, WA
    Rolling Huts, Methow Valley, WA
    Skip the snow cave, and check into a stylish winter perch. Tucked into the tranquil upper end of northern Washington's Methow Valley--where the loudest noise is the swish of cross-country skis--are the Rolling Huts, tricked out with platform beds, wood-burning fireplaces, and sleek kitchenettes. If cooking isn't your thing, order tapas to go from the Wesola Polana Diner, and snuggle in to watch shadows play on the peaks above the ponderosas. Or ski out your door 6 miles for an espresso and fresh-baked goods at the Mazama Store. No tickets necessary for the nightly

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  • 20 Reasons to Decorate with Red

    From lipstick-worthy red hues to nature-inspired shades, there's a red to suit every taste.

    Create a bold backdropCreate a bold backdrop
    Create a bold backdrop
    A lipstick red wall sets off black-and-white family photos and is absolutely made for showcasing a collection of handmade valentines hung from a picture rail.
    > Related: Decorate with your favorite things

    Red kitchen island
    Red kitchen island
    A coat of brick-red paint makes the island the star of this kitchen.
    For a sophisticated look, try pairing one red object with neutral tones. Here, dark-wood surfaces and stainless steel appliances do the trick.

    Create interest
    Create interest
    This built-in display is all about function (it houses art and conceals stereo equipment) but the bright color helps make this workhorse feature look special too.
    > Related:
    14 key decorating strategies

    Define a space
    Define a space
    In this home office, a wall of red delineates the work area from the rest of the space. The invigorating shade can also help keep you alert and focused.

    Update a classic
    Update a classic
    Don't be afraid to introduce bright red

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  • 8 Delicious Super Bowl Sausage Recipes

    It's not game day without eating some sausage! Try one of these easy, creative sausage recipes for your tastiest Super Bowl Sunday yet.

    Argentine-style sausage sandwiches
    Argentine-style Sausage Sandwiches
    For these sandwiches, Morgan Robinson, chef-owner of Smoke Open Fire Cooking in Napa, grills the sausages outside (and the cheese too, in a small cast-iron skillet). This indoor, cold-weather version is easily expanded to feed a crowd.
    > Get the recipe

    Wine-glazed sausages with watercress potatoes and sauerkraut
    Wine-glazed Sausages with Watercress Potatoes and Sauerkraut
    This recipe works with nearly any sausages except super-spicy ones, which would be overpowering with the tangy sauerkraut. You can easily double the amounts here.
    > Get the recipe

    Chorizo with shrimp and toasted pasta
    Chorizo with Shrimp and Toasted Pasta
    In Spain and Mexico, this style of soup is called fideos (after the thin noodles used) and can be very brothy, like this version, or very dry (when it's called sopa seca). You can double this recipe, or even triple it.
    > Get the recipe

    Grilled Beer-cooked Sausages
    Grilled Beer-cooked Sausages
    Simmering these sausages

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  • 11 Ways with Fresh Greens

    Spinach, chard, pea shoots, and kale are just a few of the greens that take center stage in these healthy and hearty dishes.

    Tagliatelle with Nettle and Pine Nut Sauce
    Tagliatelle with Nettle and Pine Nut Sauce
    Seattle chef Ethan Stoll serves this delicate, fresh-tasting sauce over housemade nettle pasta. Nettles have small stinging hairs when raw; once cooked, they're safe to touch.
    > Get the recipe

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  • 16 Smart Decorating Strategies for Small Homes

    In a small space, being creative with color, materials, and layout yields big payoffs-and savings.

    Mix high and low
    Mix high and low
    Inexpensive furniture mingles with high-end touches in the living room: Ikea curtains hang on plumbing pipe behind a $1,200 chandelier from Leah's shop; custom pillows sit atop a bargain (at $579) settee from Urban Outfitters; a hand-painted chinoi­serie coffee table rests on an old Pakistani rug ($85 on eBay).
    > Related: Tips for freestyle decorating

    Update secondhand furnishings
    Update secondhand furnishings
    A $10 framed mirror from Goodwill reads "high class" with a couple of coats of high-gloss red paint.
    > Related: Turn secondhand finds into eco-chic decor

    Create multi-purpose areas
    Create multi-purpose areas
    With no proper dining room, the breakfast nook functions as such-and doubles as an art table for the homeowners' two daughters. Thankfully, the vinyl cushions are specially treated to resist ink "and basically everything known to man," says Leah. The benches provide storage space under their hinged lids. Bold

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  • 12 Delicious Dips

    Make the ultimate appetizer for game day with these recipes for delicious dips.

    Creamy Spinach and Parmesan Dip
    Creamy Spinach and Parmesan Dip
    Spinach is a vitamin powerhouse. Cottage cheese subs for sour cream, making the dip high in protein and low in fat. Scoop it with whole-grain baguette toasts.
    > Get the recipe

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  • Quick Chinese New Year Recipes

    Gung hay fat choy! Celebrate with these flavorful and easy dishes, all ready in 30 minutes or less.

    Brussels Sprouts and Shiitake Lo Mein
    Brussels Sprouts and Shiitake Lo Mein
    For a more surprising lo mein, use brussels sprouts instead of the typical bok choy or cabbage.
    > Get the recipe

    Chili Shrimp
    Chili Shrimp
    Here, instead of deep-frying the shrimp, we've added puffed rice (less fat, but still crunchy). Need to feed more people? You can stretch this dish by adding any Asian-style slaw.
    > Get the recipe

    Chinese Long Beans with XO Sauce
    Chinese Long Beans with XO Sauce
    Cut the long beans for easy serving, or keep them whole to symbolize longevity.
    > Get the recipe

    New York Steak with Clamshell Mushrooms
    New York Steak with Clamshell Mushrooms
    Long, slender clamshell mushrooms have a great creamy texture, but if you can't find them, use small cremini or chanterelles.
    > Get the recipe

    Shanghai Buck Cocktail
    Shanghai Buck Cocktail
    This cocktail makes for an instant hit at a Chinese New Year celebration. Skip the rum, and you've got a good virgin option.
    > Get the recipe

    Chinese Scallops
    Chinese Scallops
    These are great little

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  • 19 Easy Party Appetizers

    Just when you need some no-hassle appetizers for game day, here are our all-time favorites.

    Quick Cheese Fondue
    Quick Cheese Fondue
    Heat oven to 500°. Put a 1/2-lb. piece of slightly oozy brie cheese in a 2- to 3-cup shallow baking dish and bake until melted, 4 to 5 minutes.Grind black pepper on top. Set dish on a heatproof surface and serve with toasted baguette slices, walnut bread, or sliced apples and pears.

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