Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • 11 Dorm Room Essentials

    Budget-friendly recommendationsThese budget-friendly recommendations from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute will help you set your favorite student up in style.

    1. Dorm Décor
    She'll want to put her own stamp on her space, and the easiest way to do that quickly is with colorful bedding. Since she may be using the same set for all four years, you'll want a durable topper like the Residence Hall Linens Extra Long Extra Warm Reversible Comforter ($40). This affordable blanket held up well after numerous washings and comes in a wide array of patterns and colors.

    2. Better Bedding
    Dorm beds aren't always the most comfortable, but the generous Wamsutta Pinpoint 360 Sheets ($15 twin, $25 XL twin) leave plenty of room for a cushy mattress topper and come in eight colors.

    Related: Find the Best Dorm Bedding

    3. Terrific Towels
    You'll want to send him off to school with a towel set that can take plenty of abuse. Lasting Color Towels ($3.99-$5.99) from Bed, Bath & Beyond are absorbent and quick to dry, and didn't bleed in the

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  • Get Moving! 8 Ways to Simplify Your Morning

    Morning routineBetween missing homework and breakfast battles, getting the kids to school on time can pose a serious challenge. But with a few simple tweaks to your morning routine, you can get out the door faster and reduce stress for everyone in the house. Just follow these expert tips from Lorie Marrero, bestselling author of The Clutter Diet, and soon you'll be pledging allegiance to a whole new plan of attack.

    1. Build a Breakfast Menu
    Most families eat the same favorite meals over and over again. Why not make it official? Reduce your daily decision making and simplify your grocery shopping by creating a seven or 14-day breakfast schedule. For instance, serve scrambled eggs and toast on Monday or muffins and yogurt on Tuesday. (Friday is "Pancake Day" at our house.) You can do the same for lunch à la the school cafeteria. Create a calendar, post it in the kitchen, and follow it each day. Cook, eat, and repeat!

    2. Pack Lunch Faster
    Get a jumpstart on lunch-packing duty and set up a workstation

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  • 8 Surprising Foods to Eat for Better Health

    HoneyWe dig through the latest nutrition studies and research to find the information you need to know.

    1. OK, Honey
    Never has kicking back with a cuppa been so virtuous: By adding a dollop of this sweet stuff to lemon-flavored tea, you make it an even more nutritious sip, new research shows. Tea itself is steeped with antioxidants (linked to lower levels of heart disease and cancer), and the lemon adds still more. Honey then boosts the brew another notch, upping antioxidant activity by an average of 44%.

    2. The Chocolate Cure
    Savoring dark chocolate and other cocoa products with lots of heart-healthy flavonoids can lower your blood pressure, a new review has confirmed. The numbers sound tiny-an average of 2.8 points systolic and 2.2 points diastolic-but if you're on the borderline of hypertension, they could be enough to keep you off meds. Small treats are plenty: about 1 ounce of dark chocolate or 3 tablespoons of cocoa a day.

    Related: 6 Better-For-You Summer Snacks

    3. Spice

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  • 9 Best Pieces of Household Advice from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute

    You asked and we answered! Here, top advice from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute experts.You asked and we answered! Here, top advice from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute experts.

    1. Which cheese grater works best?
    It depends on how you'll use it. We tested 26; these six are stars. For fine shreds, the Microplane Classic Series Zester/Grater ($13, amazon.com) aced grating Parmesan and zesting lemons. Runner-up Cuisipro Fine Grater ($15) has a cover that collects and measures the gratings. To get larger shreds - of carrot to use in cake, or Cheddar for mac 'n' cheese - trying the coarse side of the Michael Graves Folding Grater ($8). Honorable mention goes to Rosle Coarse Grater ($29) - its super-big holes get the job done fast. If hand strength is a concern, consider Oxo's easy-to-hold Good Grips Fine Zester/Grater ($10, amazon.com) for fine shreds and its Coarse Grater ($12, amazon.com) for larger ones.
    - Sharon Franke, Kitchen Appliances & Technology Director

    2. Help! How do I remove chewing gum from the seat of a pair of pants?
    Freeze it! Put the

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  • Faster Than Takeout: 15-Minute Fajitas

    Spicy Shrimp FajitasChili powder is the magic ingredient which gives these shrimp fajitas their spice. For lovers of heat, sprinkle in a dash more for an extra kick.

    Serves: 4
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Oven temp: 400

    Related: 8 Deliciously Healthy Seafood Recipes

    Ingredients:
    - 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
    - 1 large onion, sliced
    - 2 large red peppers, sliced
    - 1 pound(s) shrimp
    - 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
    - 1 tablespoon(s) lime juice
    - 2 clove(s) garlic
    - 1/2 teaspoon(s) chili powder
    - 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
    - 8 flour tortillas
    - 1 cup(s) salsa
    - 2/3 cup(s) reduced-fat sour cream

    Related: Speedy Seafood Supper Ideas

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in 12-inch skillet on medium-high. Add onion and red peppers; cook, covered, 10 minutes or until softened, stirring.

    3. Meanwhile, in large jelly-roll pan, toss 1 pound shrimp; 1 tablespoon each olive oil and lime juice; 2 cloves garlic, pressed; 1/2 teaspoon chili

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  • Pickling 101: A Beginner's Guide

    PicklingPickling any vegetable that's losing its crunch is a surprisingly easy thing to do. With a little vinegar, salt, sugar, and select spices, you can transform aging veggies into a savory stand-alone snack or zesty ingredient to revive a tired recipe. This is also one of the best ways to stretch your produce dollars and preserve summer flavors for the bland, winter months.

    What you'll need
    Dig out your two biggest cooking pots - one for preparing the pickled vegetables and another for the canning process. You'll want to use the larger pot for boiling and sealing the canning jars. One inch of water should keep the jars covered at all times. Invest in a new case of Ball or Kerr brand canning jars, selecting a size that best fits with your pot. Keep a set of tongs handy to remove hot jars from boiling water.

    Choose which vegetables you want to pickle. Typically, veggies with a tougher skin like cucumbers and peppers do best in the pickling process, but root vegetables like

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  • The 11 Houseplants You Can't Kill

    KalanchoeOkay, even the toughest plant is not indestructible, but with a few expert tips you can beat the odds. "You can kill anything," says Sharon Nejman, senior horticulturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. That includes giving a potted friend too much sun (which can burn them) or too much H2O (which can drown them). "People have a tendency to overwater everything," says Nejman. "The roots can't handle the absorption and start to rot."

    In many ways, plants are like people. "Roots need oxygen to breathe, just like we need oxygen to breathe," says Neil Mattson, an associate professor in the horticulture department at Cornell University. Like other plant experts, he recommends setting plants in gravel-filled saucers so they're not sitting in extra drainage water and built-up salt.

    1. Bromeliad
    Like the pineapple, the bromeliad belongs to the bromeliaceae family. This plant "lasts a long time," says Nejman. "It produces pups or side shoots that will replace the original

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  • Your Favorite New Summer Side: Grilled Sweet Potatoes

    Grilled Sweet PotatoesWe steam and slice sweet potatoes and then give them a turn on the grill to create this deliciously unexpected side dish.

    Prep Time: 10 min
    Cook Time: 22 min
    Total Time: 32 min
    Serves: 4
    Yields: 4 side-dish servings

    Related: 7 More Delicious Sweet Potato Recipes

    Ingredients:

    - 2 1/2 pound(s) sweet potatoes, peeled if you like
    - 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
    - 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
    - 1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper
    - Parsley, for garnish

    Related: The Ultimate Guide to Grilling Veggies

    Directions:

    1. Prepare outdoor grill for covered, direct grilling on medium.

    2. In 5- to 6-quart saucepot or Dutch oven, place collapsible steamer basket and 1 inch water. Cover saucepot; heat water to boiling on high on range top. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices.

    3. Place potato slices in steamer basket; reduce heat to low. Cover saucepot and simmer 12 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are just fork-tender; do not overcook. (Potatoes can be

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  • The Healthiest Ballpark Foods

    Hot dogs are a surprisingly safe choiceNothing says summer like cheering on your favorite team at a baseball game. And to many, the experience isn't complete without Cracker Jacks, beer, and a hot dog with the works. But the food at baseball stadiums isn't all bad. Check out these waistline-friendly foods:

    Related: 9 Bogus Excuses That Prevent Weight Loss

    Lunch/Dinner Pick
    Surprise! Both hot dogs (about 240 calories each) and hamburgers (about 370 calories each) are actually pretty safe choices. Those calorie counts include the buns but not the condiments or toppings. Load your sandwich up with veggies, but skip chili and cheese. Don't be fooled by a healthy-sounding chicken sandwich: If it's got the word "crispy" in the name that means it was likely fried. And it goes without saying: You don't want fries with that.

    Smart Snack
    Stadium popcorn is likely to be soaked in butter and sprinkled with loads of salt. And a hot pretzel is full of empty, processed carbs, and can be more than 480 calories! Snack on peanuts (the kind

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  • Can Your Fish Oil Habit Boost Cancer Risks?

    Our nutritionist weighs in on the fish oil debateNew headlines about omega 3s and cancer risk are generating buzz -- no surprise given the startling conclusions that fish oil raises the risk of prostate cancer by a frightening 44% among men with the highest levels of these fats in their blood. Even more alarming: The study found that compared to those with the lowest blood levels of these fats, men with the highest amounts are at a whopping 71% greater risk of the disease. Scary!

    Related: 32 Simple Salmon Recipes

    What the headlines don't say is that the study, while important in advancing our knowledge of omega 3s and their impact on the development of cancer, wasn't designed to determine cause. Meaning, it's unclear if the fish oil is at play or if there's something else about fish-oil-eating men that raises their risk. (Maybe men who have high levels of fish fats in their blood also favor another food or supplement that's the real culprit. Or maybe these guys took supplements to make up for a crummy diet.) And since the study

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