Blog Posts by Sunset Magazine

  • 8 Delicious Brussels Sprouts Dishes

    These tasty recipes will turn even the most ardent Brussels sprouts hater into a fan.

    An Italian spinAn Italian spin
    Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Fried Capers
    Give vegetables an Italian spin with garlic, anchovies, chile flakes, and tangy capers.

    : Serves 8
    Total: 25 Minutes

    2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
    1/2 cup drained brined capers
    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped
    1/2 to 3/4 tsp. red chile flakes
    1/2 lemon

    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and cook just until tender and bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

    2. Meanwhile, blot capers on a paper towel. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add capers and cook, stirring carefully (mixture will spatter), until capers start to open and are brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer capers to a paper towel to drain.

    3. Add garlic and anchovies

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  • 10 Tips on Decorating a Rental

    When Kyle Schuneman moved into half of a Victorian duplex in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood, he didn't know how long he would live there. What he did know, however, is that he felt duty-bound to make his mark on the apartment. "Even in a rental, it's about making a space that works for you," he says. With these big-impact, low-commitment decorating ideas, he proves that living well isn't just for homeowners.

    Lovely bonesLovely bones
    Play up good bones
    Schuneman made the most of the apartment's best asset--its molding and wainscoting--by painting it glossy white. He painted the walls blue as a modern counterpoint.
    Redecorating with paint

    It can move when Schuneman doesIt can move when Schuneman does
    Customize on a dime

    Using plumbing parts and lumber from the Home Depot, Schuneman built an industrial-style bookcase for the narrow space behind the living room sofa. Since the piece is on casters, it can easily move out whenever Schuneman does.
    10 rules of freestyle decorating

    Vertical lines make the space tallerVertical lines make the space taller
    Create the illusion of space

    Hanging long drapes high "lifts" the

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  • 10 Warming Winter Trips

    Escape winter chill on a vacation to SoCal, the Southwest, Hawaii, or Mexico.

    Just steps from the beachJust steps from the beach
    Kick back in a hammock in Hawaii

    You can sleep just steps from the beach at Waimea Plantation Cottages on Kauai.

    Wake up to the waves crashing, pour yourself a cup of local java, and then wander under the banyan trees.
    More on Kauai

    A welcome antidote to short daysA welcome antidote to short days
    Fall in love with Mexico's San Miguel

    Cobblestone streets, shady courtyards, and intimate cafés would make even a walk across the street feel romantic in San Miguel.

    In winter, colorful gardens and houses are a welcome antidote to short days, and the cosmopolitan vibe--a blend of the best parts of Santa Fe, Siena, and Seville--means people still dress up for date night.

    More: Fall in love with Mexico's San Miguel

    Jaw-dropping views of the coastJaw-dropping views of the coast
    Laguna Beach, without the crowds

    When the summer throngs depart, you get this seaside arts town and its beaches all to yourself. Just 50 miles south of L.A., Laguna Beach has galleries galore, romantic hotels, and jaw-dropping views of the coast.

    Winter temps climb into the blissful 70sWinter temps climb into the blissful 70s
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  • 10 Ways to Eat Healthier

    Kick start your "eat healthier" resolution with 10 easy-to-follow strategies.

    Off the charts for vitamin B12Off the charts for vitamin B12
    Eat Mussels
    You'd think their briny sweetness would be all the reason we need to celebrate mussels, as well as other seafood that's low on the food chain, like oysters and clams. Well, there's more. Mussels are off the charts for vitamin B12, and high in iron, protein, even vitamin C.
    Suggested recipe: Saffron Steamed Mussels

    Extra dollars pay off nutritionallyExtra dollars pay off nutritionally
    Make it sustainable-meat Sundays

    Grass-fed meat may take a bigger bite out of your wallet than the usual grain-fed supermarket choice, but the extra dollars pay off nutritionally with meat that is lower in fat, and--thanks to the animals' pasture-based diet--higher in omega-3s and a group of fatty acids that can actually lower your cholesterol. Farmers' markets and some supermarkets sell grass-fed beef and sometimes bison, lamb, and even goat.
    Suggested Recipe: Mini Lamb Meatballs with Cilantro-Mint Chutney

    A grassroots movement A grassroots movement
    Try meatless Mondays

    You may have heard the slogan, which

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  • 9 Super-chic House Plants

    From low-water plants to simple projects, our guide to easy gardening will make a green thumb out of anyone.

    This bromeliad reaches 3 feetThis bromeliad reaches 3 feet
    The bombshell

    Vriesia hieroglyphica hybrid

    Foliage: Leaves are curvaceous, always dressed in skintight patterning.

    Plant: This bromeliad reaches 3 feet tall and wide. Lives for 8 to 10 years before it blooms, then dies.

    Light: Any.

    More on container gardens

    Most interesting textureMost interesting texture
    The islander

    Black aralia (Polyscias guilfoylei)

    Foliage: Ruffled, slightly coarse leaves on slim trunks--the most interesting texture of any houseplant we've seen.

    Plant: A tender shrub from the tropics, it grows slowly to 12 feet. Water when soil has dried 2 to 3 inches below the surface.

    Light: Moderate to bright.

    Dramatic all yearDramatic all year
    The jungle queen
    Spathiphyllum 'Sensation'

    Foliage: Lush 2-foot-long leaves of deep green are dramatic all year; luxuriant white flowers in spring.

    Plant: A peace lily, it can reach 4 feet tall.

    Light: Low to medium.

    Can reach 20 feet tallCan reach 20 feet tall
    The grand dame

    Ficus lyrata 'Little Fiddle'

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  • 10 Ways to Make the Cool Season Cozier

    Warm up with these ideas for making the cooler months even more comfy-cozy, from your home to your travel destinations.

    Literally turn up the heatLiterally turn up the heat
    Light a fire
    Of course, one sure way to make a room feel cozy is to literally turn up the heat. Something about a fire crackling signals it's time to settle in for a while. If you don't have a fireplace, group candles in several places in a room and light them for a similar glow.

    Guests feel instantly welcomeGuests feel instantly welcome
    Mull wine
    Fill your home with the heady aroma of Zinfandel and pomegranate juice warming with spices. When guests walk in the door, they'll feel instantly welcome.

    Recipe: Mulled Pomegranate Red Wine Punch

    Break out the dutch ovenBreak out the dutch oven
    Braise meat
    Break out the dutch oven and get ready to slowly simmer an inexpensive cut of meat until a fork slides right in.

    Richly saturated harvest huesRichly saturated harvest hues
    Arrange some amaranth

    Amaranth's velvety flowers come in richly saturated harvest hues, and they hold their colors and shapes even when dry. Snag some from your garden, florist, or local farmers' market to add a dash of passion to a seasonal

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  • 8 Easy Party Appetizers

    Just when you need some no-hassle party bites, here are our all-time favorites.

    Cheese FondueCheese 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.

    Makes: 12 servings 

    Time: 10 minutes
    Have some drinks ready, too

    Sausage Mushroom CapsSausage Mushroom Caps
    Sausage Mushroom Caps
    Rinse 24 medium-size button or cremini mushrooms (about 1 lb. total). Trim stems; save for another use.

    Mix 1/3 lb. seasoned bulk pork sausage with 3 tbsp. seasoned dried bread crumbs. Mound sausage mixture in mushrooms, then set, filled side up, in a rimmed 10- by 15-in. baking pan.

    Broil 6 to 7 in. from heat until sausage is well browned, about 5 minutes. Lift mushrooms onto a platter, brush with extra-virgin olive oil, and top each with a leaf of flat-leaf parsley.

    Makes: 24 

    Time: 20 minutes

    Finger-food feast

    Cracked Green Olives with FennelCracked Green Olives with Fennel

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  • Top 15 Ski Resorts

    Get your winter sports fix at the best mountain resorts around the West.

    Telluride Ski ResortTelluride Ski Resort
    Telluride Ski Resort, Telluride, CO
    The gondola at Telluride Ski Resort ascends right from town to the ridgetop, with the Mountain Village great for sweeping vistas and cruiser runs. The above-treeline Revelation Bowl is where to get jaw-dropping views.
    Telluride is one of our favorite Western ski towns. Here's our complete top-10.

    Squaw Valley USASquaw Valley USA
    Squaw Valley USA, Lake Tahoe, CA

    Admire the rising sun as you schuss down just-groomed runs. Then later, after most chairlifts close, take the Aerial Tram weekends for après-ski-and skating. The ice pavilion is at High Camp, which means after a few spins on the ice, you can put back a few pints before riding the tram back down the mountain.
    More snowy getaways

    Sun Valley ResortSun Valley Resort
    Sun Valley Resort, Sun Valley, ID

    Once here, you can dine, shop, steam, dance, swim, and ice-skate your day away in the village. Oh, you came here to ski? The ski staff at Sun Valley Resort is exceptionally good, with

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  • 15 Favorite Roses to Grow

    The West's best flowers for borders, beds, bouquets, and containers.

    Julia ChildJulia Child
    'Julia Child'
    An award-winning rose, this floribunda has buttery yellow blooms and a sweet fragrance.
    More favorite floribundas

    Tangerine trees and….Tangerine trees and….
    'Marmalade Skies'

    We love this floribunda with tangerine-orange blooms on strong stems.
    How to plant a bare-root rose

    Easy GoingEasy Going
    'Easy Going'

    This floribunda has bright green foliage and peachy golden yellow blooms that don't fade.


    Crimson blooms on a very disease-resistant bush make this rose a real winner from the coast to the desert.

    Ebb TideEbb Tide
    'Ebb Tide'

    This fragrant floribunda has deep purple blooms that are darkest in cooler weather.
    Disease-resistant roses

    Abraham DarbyAbraham Darby
    'Abraham Darby'

    This David Austin beauty has apricot-to-yellow blooms. It's sweetly fragrant and a repeat bloomer.

    Betty BoopBetty Boop
    'Betty Boop'

    Three-inch double blooms of yellow-ivory with cherry red edges cover this shrub rose.

    Hot CocoaHot Cocoa
    'Hot Cocoa'

    A Sunset test garden favorite, this floribunda rose has ruffled petals and a color that's hard

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  • 8 Succulent Winter Roasts

    Classic and unexpected cuts to star at your table, with sides to match.

    You can grill it, tooYou can grill it, too
    Garlic-Rubbed Tri-Tip with Mint Caper Salsa
    Tri-tip for Christmas? Yes--this wintertime take on the barbecue classic is elegantly Mediterranean.

    Yield: Serves 10 to 12
    Total: 45 Minutes


    10 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
    1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
    2 teaspoons pepper
    3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    2 boneless tri-tip roasts (2 to 2 1/2 lbs. each)

    3/4 cup each roughly chopped parsley and mint
    1/3 cup chopped shallots
    2 anchovy fillets
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
    1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
    1 tablespoon each lemon zest and juice
    3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Sprinkle garlic with salt and mince to combine, then mash to a paste with flat side of chef's knife. In a small bowl, mix paste with paprika, pepper,

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