Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine

  • 5 Simple Spring Dinners

    Make weeknight meals easy with quick, delicious recipes.
    By Sara Quessenberry

    One-Pot: Braised Chicken and Spring Vegetables
    Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 40m

    Marcus NilssonMarcus NilssonIngredients
    -1 tablespoon olive oil
    -8 small bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1⁄2 pounds)
    -kosher salt and black pepper
    -1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
    -12 medium radishes, halved
    -3/4 pound carrots (about 4), cut into sticks
    -1 teaspoon sugar
    -2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

    1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
    2. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until browned, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
    3. Spoon off and discard the fat. Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the broth and scrape up any brown bits.
    4. Stir in the radishes, carrots, and sugar.
    5. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and gently simmer, partly covered, until it is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the chives.

    Related: Plan a Great

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  • Great Recipe Ideas for Chicken

    Try one of these simple, delicious variations on the white-meat staple.
    By Kristen Evans

    Baked Chicken Parmesan Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 40m

    Ellie MillerEllie MillerIngredients 8 thin chicken cutlets (1 1/2 pounds total), kosher salt and black pepper, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2 large eggs, beaten, 2/3 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce, 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced

    Directions Heat oven to 400º F. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
    Place the flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls; in a third shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan. Coat the chicken with the flour, then dip in the eggs (letting any excess drip off), then coat with the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Pour the marinara sauce into a large, shallow baking dish.

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  • Cook a Great Seafood Meal in 15 Minutes

    Whether you need to feed your family, entertain your friends, or make something out of what looks like nothing, these fast seafood feasts have got you covered.
    By Kate Merker, Tara Bench, Sara Quessenberry, and Frances Boswell,

    Pasta With Tuna and Black Olive Vinaigrette
    Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 10m | Total Time: 15m

    John KernickJohn KernickIngredients
    12 ounces regular or whole-wheat rigatoni or penne
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained, and chopped
    1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
    1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    2 6-ounce cans tuna, drained

    -Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
    -Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
    -Add the capers and olives and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and

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  • A Month of Easy Dinners

    For the next month, this delicious, lifesaving set of dinner menus will take all the stress and scrambling out of cooking that nightly meal.
    By Charlyne Mattox and Dawn Perry

    Salmon With Gingery Green Beans and Bok Choy
    Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 30m | Total Time: 30m

    Christopher BakerChristopher BakerIngredients
    2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
    1 1/4 pounds skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
    kosher sat
    4 scallions, thinly sliced
    2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
    3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
    3/4 pound baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
    4 small carrots, cut into thin strips
    Sriracha or Asian chili-garlic sauce, for serving

    -Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with ½ teaspoon salt and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
    -Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a second large skillet over medium-high heat.
    -Add the scallions, garlic, and ginger and cook,

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  • A Hair Makeover at Any Age

    Nine women in their 20s, 40s, and 60s polish their looks with new haircuts and hair colors.
    By Hilary Sterne

    Elinor CarucciElinor Carucci

    Before: Leigh Torretta, 26

    "My whole life I've had one hairstyle," says Leigh, an advertising account manager. Partly, this was because her fine strands seemed to do only one thing: hang straight. "I have a hard time doing anything with it"-curls won't hold for more than half an hour, she says. But, she adds, she wasn't doing much to help the situation: "I've been the same blond for years." In other words, she was stuck in a rut. (Her T-shirt by Splendid.)

    Related: Sexy, Short Hairstyles

    Elinor CarucciElinor Carucci
    After: Leigh Torretta

    Fighting Mother Nature was ill-advised in this case, decided the team from Cutler/Redken. Instead, stylist Heather Packer lopped off just enough to give a lift to Leigh's locks and to offset the fullness in her face. She layered only the ends of the resulting long bob to give the hair some swing, while colorist Shannon Foreman swapped out Leigh's somewhat brash blond

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  • The Best Slow Cookers

    When it comes to setting it and forgetting it, these slow cookers are your best bet.
    By Brigitt Hauck
    Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Programmable Stovetop Slow Cooker

    With this convenient unit, slow cooking truly is a one-pot meal: Simply brown meat in the removable insert on your stove, then add the rest of your ingredients and let dinner finish in the slow cooker.

    To buy: $65,

    Related: Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes

    Cuisinart 4-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

    Perfect for a couple or a single person, this rectangular slow cooker tucks neatly into a corner and can accommodate most recipes despite its small size. Don't let its compactness fool you-it still has all the bells and whistles, including a 24-hour timer, cooking rack, and dishwasher-safe lid and pot.

    To buy: $80,

    Related: Kid-Friendly Slow-Cooker Recipes

    Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

    No more overcooked roasts or dried-out chicken. An easy-to-use digital thermometer monitors the

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  • Easy Cleanup Solutions for Every Room

    Are you making mistakes when it comes to scrubbing, vacuuming, and disinfecting? Here's how to right your wrongs-quick as a (dust) bunny.
    By Sarah Stebbins

    In the Kitchen
    Mikkel VangMikkel Vang
    Bad Habit: Using a Funky, Smelly Sponge

    You've heard this before, but it bears repeating: You could be spreading mold and illness-causing bacteria around the kitchen.

    Good practice
    : Replace your sponge every couple of weeks, and take care of it while it's active. After each use, rinse the sponge in hot water and wring it out. At the end of the day, and after every raw-meat encounter, sterilize a wet sponge: Pop it in the microwave for one minute (the sponge must be wet-a dry one could catch fire), or run it through the dishwasher. For storage, use a soap dish with holes for drainage, or go with a homemade solution: Set the sponge on a saucer full of small rocks.

    Bad Habit: Letting Drips and Drops Harden on the Stove
    These splotches are a bummer to look at and can discolor stainless-steel and porcelain surfaces.

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  • Skin-Care Tips for Every Skin Type

    Wish your complexion would make an about-face? Just rely on this advice.
    By Lori Bergamotto

    Ericka McConnellEricka McConnellIf You Have Normal Skin...
    Your skin is neither too oily nor too dry, and you rarely break out or experience redness. Your pores are small (practically invisible), and though an occasional blemish may surface, it's usually tied to your period.

    The Best Regimen
    -Cleanse and moisturize daily with gentle, basic products. Look for those with antioxidants, which fight free-radical damage and stave off the signs of aging.
    -You might also consider adding retinoids or vitamin C to your routine several times a week to boost collagen production, says Ava Shamban, a dermatologist in Santa Monica.
    -Finally, don't forget moisturizer―one with sunscreen for the day and one without SPF at night.

    Related: Keep Your Mind and Body in Top Condition

    Ericka McConnellEricka McConnellIf You Have Dry Skin...
    Blame the flakiness―along with the redness and itchiness―on your skin's barrier layer, which doesn't retain natural oils or water as well as

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  • How to Easily Lighten a Heavy Purse

    Feel like you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders? Why lightening your load will improve your health.
    By Dana Sullivan

    Excess Baggage
    It can be hard to get out of the house in the morning, so it's tempting to essentially take its contents with you, tossing everything you think you may need later into your purse. But toting makeup, reading material, gym shoes, and hefty electronic devices has led to more women complaining of neck and shoulder pain, according to doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors from coast to coast. "Many patients don't realize that their heavy handbags are contributing to their problems," says Heidi Prather, an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis. Learn how to travel lighter and discover new ways to save your spine. Follow these easy steps to drop some pounds.

    WYunhee KimYunhee Kimatch Your Weight
    Your bag, ideally, should weigh no more than 10 percent of your body weight or

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  • 16 Before-And-After Room Makeovers

    Learn how Real Simple transformed readers' kitchens, bathrooms, and more.

    William WaldronWilliam Waldron
    Room Reboots

    From one end of the house (the entryway) to the other (the mudroom), it seems, readers' rooms could use a little zhooshing up. But whether the problem is a lack of organization or a dearth of pizzazz, Real Simple has the solution. Find smart tips-and inspiration-in this gallery of before-and-after shots, and apply them to a room of your own.

    Related: 21 Ways to Enhance Your Entryway

    Paul WhicheloePaul Whicheloe
    Every entryway has the challenge of setting the tone for the rest of a home, and this bare front hall wasn't particularly inviting. The homeowner wanted it to be more welcoming-and to function like a mudroom without looking like one.

    Related: No-Money Home Makeover Ideas

    Paul WhicheloePaul Whicheloe
    With the walls painted deep red, the foyer now greets guests warmly. A (dirt-catching) striped woven cotton rug draws visitors into the house. A narrow farmhouse-style bench encourages kids to sit down and take off their shoes. Footwear

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