Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • 5 Simple Secrets for the Perfect Pasta

    If you've learned to add oil to your pasta while it's boiling, it's time to unlearn it. The technique prevents the pasta from sticking to itself, but it also keeps them sticking to the sauce. In the best pasta dishes, the noodles absorb some of the sauce and get super tasty. In our March story, our recipes follow a tried-and-true Italian formula that results in the most delicious pasta dishes:

    Read more: 3 Easy Pasta Cooking Tips


    1. Get lots of salted water boiling. Make sure the pasta has enough room to move around while cooking. You need a big pot, like this cool one that GH Kitchen Appliances Director Sharon Franke featured.
    2. Add the pasta and stir. You don't have to stir the whole time, just enough to keep it from sticking. Tongs work well for this task.

    Read more: Past Plus 5 Ingredients

    3. Undercook the pasta. Really. Cook it until the noodles are still a tiny bit hard in the center, just before al dente. After tons of testing, we concluded that it's generally 2 minutes

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  • 5 Spring Cleaning Chores You Can Forget About

    spring cleaning

    If just the thought of spring-cleaning makes you feel anxious and overwhelmed, here are some chores (based on your comments posted to our Good Houskeeping Facebook page) you might shortcut, delay, or even skip entirely to get the gain without all the pain!

    1. Dirty windows

    Yes, spring cleaning is all about letting the sunshine in, but if time is short, skip washing the inside of the glass and concentrate your efforts just on the outside (which is the dirtiest part of the window, anyway). If your windows tilt in, washing both sides may be relatively easy to do. But if they are like mine (double-hung windows with separate storm windows), there are actually four surfaces to wash on each window and it easily takes me two days to do all the windows and doors in my house! So, stick to just washing the outside panes (and recruit a helper, if you can) and you'll cut the time spent on this chore in half. Remember, too, to pick a cloudy day to do the job or start with the windows on

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  • The Best HDTVs: Affordable and Splurge-Worthy Options

    The Good Housekeeping Research Institute recently evaluated high-definition televisions (HDTVs) to find the best options ranging in size from 32" to 55". Check out a few of the winners and discover more recommendations here.


    32" TV: Vizio E320VA ($469)

    This television provides good picture quality at an affordable price. Testers loved the layout of the menus and the ease of navigating them. There aren't many extra features included, but if your main concern is picture quality, this television won't disappoint. Available on vizio.com

    Pros:

    • Very sharp quality (HD Dark and HD Bright)
    • Good clarity (SD Bright and SD Dark)
    • Good sound clarity
    • Easy to navigate through menu options and settings
    • Easy to change inputs and video sources
    • Fairly easy to handle the remote control
    • Fairly easy to find additional features on the menu option
    • At various viewing angles, there were very few noticeable changes in picture quality

    Cons:

    • Thick panel (3.2")
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  • Discounts on Vacation Attractions

    When you settle on a vacation destination, chances are, the plan includes visiting specific attractions in that locale. But don't assume you'll have to pay full price for amusement parks, theater shows, or museum visits. Check out these resources for deals before your next trip.

    Related: All-Inclusive Vacation Deals


    Internet Ticket Consolidators Goldstar.com (which specializes in events such as plays, concerts, and sports), Viator.com (which specializes in tours and "experiences"), and SmartDestinations.com (which specializes in attraction packages) all sell cut-rate tickets.

    Related: Insider Tips for Hotel Bargains

    The Website of the Attraction Itself Just as resorts do, attractions (particularly theme parks) may have online-only prices for purchasing admission in advance of your trip.

    Related: 4 Ways to Find Luggage That Lasts

    Your Company's Human Resources Many have relationships with discounters such as Working Advantage to offer bargains to their employees. Also, don't forget to

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  • Fight Procrastination

    Going to the gym. Delivering bad news. Making complicated travel arrangements. Dealing with tech support. We all have to force ourselves to do things that we just don't want to do. Here are some tricks that help me power through the procrastination (usually):

    1. Do it first thing in the morning. The night before, commit to tackling that dreaded task, and the next day, at the first possible moment, just do it. Don't allow yourself to reflect or procrastinate. Whatever you're dreading, you're going to invent more creative excuses as the day unfolds. One of my personal commandments is "Do it now."

    Related: Stop Procrastinating - Right Now!

    2. Make preparations and assemble the proper tools.
    A wonderful term from the world of cooking is mise en place, a French phrase that means "everything in its place." Chefs use mise en place to describe the preparation that's done before the actual cooking: gathering ingredients and implements, chopping, and measuring so everything is at hand. Mise en

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  • 9 Steps to Reduce Harmful Phone Radiation

    When most of us get a new cell phone, we charge it, activate it, and immediately begin to use it. The one step must of us overlook is reading the instruction manual. Even if you are one of those people who can seamlessly use a new device without reading the use and care information, I urge you to take the time to do so - especially to learn about potential dangers the phone can pose and how to minimize them.

    Related: Mobile Phone GPS


    Lately, cell phone radiation has been getting a lot of press. In November, TIME wrote about how federal regulations should be placed on the signal strength of phones, and a prominent epidemiologist and writer, Devra Davis, wrote "Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family," detailing the risks of cell phone radiation. While most of the data provided thus far has been inconclusive, more research is ongoing. The most recent information I've seen, published in the last issue of the

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  • Is Milk Good for You?

    Don't be cowed by what you hear at the gym or read on the Internet. The latest myths-and the truth.

    Whole milk has more calcium than fat-free.
    Actually, the opposite is true. A cup of whole milk has slightly less (276 mg) than fat-free (299 mg). But what you'll see on the carton label for either type is that a cup delivers 30 percent of your Daily Value for calcium, which is based on a rounded-off figure of 300 mg.

    Related: The Healthier Milk?


    Raw milk is better for you than pasteurized.
    Devotees credit raw milk with curing eczema, IBS, and many other ills. But science is lacking, and unless you want to risk food poisoning, the FDA says, buy milk that has undergone pasteurization, which kills harmful bacteria while leaving nutrients intact.

    Related: Calcium-Rich Recipes

    Regular milk has the most vitamin D.
    Nope. The FDA limits the amount of D that can be added to cow's milk to 100 IU per cup, so it provides less of your Daily Value (25 percent) than soy milk (30 percent), which

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  • Gluten-Free Diets: More Harm Than Good?

    Gwyneth Paltrow has done it as part of her famous cleanses.The View's Elisabeth Hasselbeck touts its benefits, too. And thousands of other women have hopped on this latest dietary bandwagon, which calls for avoiding all products that contain gluten - a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Between 2006 and 2010, the sale of gluten-free foods in supermarkets rose 54 percent. But are gluten shunners really helping their health? Here, the lowdown.

    Related: The New 'Miracle Foods'

    Gluten-Free? Definitely: You've seen a doctor and tested positive for celiac disease
    For those who have this serious condition, avoiding gluten is anything but a fad: Eating even the tiniest amount sets off an autoimmune response that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine, explains Tricia Thompson, M.S., R.D., author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide. That damage can lead to nutrient deficiencies and cause a range of mysterious-seeming symptoms, including diarrhea, skin rash, and

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  • Is Your Child's Raincoat Toxic?

    Even past toddlerhood, many children chew or suck on their clothing - and rainwear, with its rubbery texture, can be irresistible. But is it safe for kids to put in their mouths?


    We Tested: 13 boys' and girls' slickers in sizes for school-age children at an independent lab to find out if cuffs, collars, and other parts of the garment that could be chewed met the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act's (CPSIA) limits for lead and phthalates. Although CPSIA's phthalates rule doesn't cover clothing for kids over age 3, because the chemicals are considered potential developmental toxins if ingested, GHRI believes they shouldn't be present in any product designed for children.

    Related: Are Fast Food Toys Safe for Kids?


    We Found:
    Three rain jackets exceeded a CPSIA limit. More than 15.5 percent of the vinyl we tested in the Wippette Kids jacket style 33-YEL (top left) is made of one type of phthalate - over 155 times the level listed in the CPSIA. The cuffs and neckline of Kidorable's

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  • Lean Cuisine Recall Alert

    Think twice before you head home to pop a frozen dinner in the microwave this evening. Nestle Prepared Foods Company is recalling 10,260 pounds of Lean Cuisine frozen spaghetti and meatball entrees due to the possible presence of foreign materials. The company announced the recall today after consumers in the Midwest came upon hard plastic in their meals.

    Related: How Safe Is Your Kitchen?

    The entrees were packaged on October 25, 2010 and have a best before date of November 2011 printed on the side of the package underneath the ingredient listing. Check your freezer for any packages with the establishment number "P-7991" and the case code "0298595519P".

    If you're still hankering for a hearty bowl of spaghetti and meatballs tonight, try making our easy oven-roasted meatballs with spaghetti. Freeze your leftovers for up to a month in single portions and have a quick weeknight dinner on hand - without having to think twice about checking any labels!

    -By Jennifer Sweenie

    More from Good

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