Yes, the turkey is the star of the Thanksgiving Day dinner, but there are many key players. My favorite every year is the creamy, buttery mashed potatoes — no one can make them like my mother. This year, I finally asked: what's the secret?
Using a ricer instead of whipping or hand mashing potatoes creates smooth, lump-free spuds fit for melted butter, gravy or both. Cook's Illustrated recently put a few model to the test and picked two models on our site as their top two favorites.
RSVP International Potato Ricer: This food press features a sturdy handle and pot hook so it stays in place while you process your potatoes. The rectangular shape makes it easy to fit spuds of all sizes, plus the interchangeable disks allow you to master a range of different textures. It's also a great model for making your own baby food or removing extra moisture from cooked greens. Plus, it's dis-mountable and dishwasher safe! Cleaning: ∗∗∗ Ease of Use: ∗∗∗ Performance: ∗∗∗
OXO Three in One Adjustable Potato Ricer: This ricer from OXO is made for more than one job. The adjustable grates are great for ricing potatoes, but can also be used to cube veggies for soups and other recipes. This model also features a pot hook so it can be rested on the side of your pan while you process potatoes. Made from stainless steel and BPA-free plastic, plus it is safe to use in the dishwasher. Cleaning: ∗∗∗ Ease of Use: ∗∗1/2 Performance: ∗∗∗
Tips for the best mashed potatoes:
Season the cooking water: potatoes can be bland and the best way to season them is to salt the water you cook them in.
Get butter and cream warm before adding: Using cold cream or butter can cause potatoes to get gummy. Heat up the butter and cream beforehand.
Infuse: Steep crushed garlic and your favorite herbs in your warm butter before adding to your potatoes. This way you get flavor without lumps or chunks.
Use a ricer: Obviously, using a ricer will give you the smoothest potatoes, but make sure you do it while the spuds are still hot.
Let’s face it, most of us do not have a room that is dedicated just to guests. More often than not, our guests are sharing a space with a computer, a treadmill, toys, or some combination of those items.
During the holidays in particular, guest-stays tend to be longer and you want them to be comfortable, assuming you want them to come back, of course.
Here are solutions to some common problems that plague the guestroom:Read more
For many people, the decision to hit the open road for a long road trip during the fall season can be a double-edged sword. As I mentioned before in my last post, there is typically less construction during the fall and the weather tends to be more bearable (as in the weather is not too hot – I’ll get into the reverse of this later on). On the other hand, there are quite a few drawbacks to traveling during the fall and winter months. Some of these include the likelihood of inclemently-cold weather and devastatingly brutal pre-holiday traffic in October and November – not to mention the typical issues you deal with on a road trip during any time of the year. For me, the best way to stay cool, calm and collected during a long road trip in the autumn season is to prepare ahead of time. I ensure all of the organizers and travel comfort items I need are packed away, a key to successful travel. Read more
Of all the seasons, fall has the most distinct, recognizable color palette, by far. It also happens to be one of the most soothing and user-friendly color palettes, a cinch to incorporate into one or more rooms of the home.
Whether you are wanting to make long-term changes to your room’s decor scheme or just simply want to get in the mood for autumn and the upcoming holidays, I’ve got some great picks and ideas for you! Read more
Fall may have officially started already, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to prep your home for what’s to come: shorter days, cooler weather, and finding pleasure indoors. I have a word for this, and it is “cozify”. I just got started on cozifying my home, even though it still feels a little like summer. What I do is introduce cozy items to my surroundings like plush fabrics and pull out appliances like the slow cooker and electric tea kettle. To me there is nothing like a cup of hot tea, a comfy chair, a warm blanket and a good book on a rainy autumn day. Read more
Wanna make your home smell amazing for the holidays? Tie cinnamon sticks around a candle (vanilla would be heavenly). It's pretty, and the candle's flame heats the cinnamon and radiates the scent around the room.
One of the benefits of my job is that I get paid to read blogs!
I though, today being Friday, I'd just share some of my favorite awesome blogs with you! I love these for their beauty, design ideas, and DIY tips on organizing and decor. Hope you enjoy them, too! Read more
With lots of storage space and built in cord management, this Torino 68" Flat Screen TV Stand by Sonax is perfect for the big game or a cozy movie night! On sale for three days only! $255, through September 30th.
We've touched on some helpful hints and tips for storing away those summer clothes for fall and winter. Here are some great tips by Better Homes and Gardens. Now get those summer clothes out of the way!
Have any clothing storage tips? Share them with us!
~~ That Could Be Art, Bart ~~
41. Make keepsake albums for kids with a 3-ring binder. Include pictures, certificates, cards or letters, and add your own comments. Children can keep this in their rooms and will come to treasure the memories you are providing. Read more
Can you name 3 of the top New Year's Resolutions that people make every January?
Do you know what my 3 topics are?? AHA! How perceptive of you. That's right. The answers to both questions are the same.
My topics are (and my passion is) helping people to 1) break the procrastination habit, 2) conquer clutter and 3) manage stress in a healthy way.
Would you believe that there is one specific habit/attitude that has such a profound impact on ALL of these topics that all three of my books devote a large chunk of space to it? Got any idea what attitude would increase your clutter AND procrastination AND stress? Go ahead. Try to guess. Read more
When I wanted to write about Christmas this week, I wondered if it was too early.Then I saw two Christmas posts on a couple of my favorite "intentional living" blogs and I felt like I was in good company. So… onwards and upwards.
When you think about Christmas, what are the aspects that overwhelm you and stress you out?
For me, it's not knowing what's happening.
I'm a girl who loves a plan and I like to know who's hosting the lunch and what I have to bring.
I also like to have clear in my mind what we're doing about gifts and cards. Read more
I have recently moved my office into my home. I'm actually enjoying the integration of "home" and "work" life. It's not the distraction that I thought it would be. As a matter of fact, my biggest problem is working too long and late into the evening.
Today I received an email from Marcia Francois – to my rescue again!
Try these suggestions for organizing your day and not over-working yourself: Read more
In the previous 3 blog posts (Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3), I wrote about what to do with the stuff of loved ones who have passed away, and how important it is to communicate with your friends and family about the stuff that YOU might leave behind.
So the questions to start with is: what you are leaving behind and why the heck are you hanging on to that?Read more
I get so many emails from people telling me that it all just gets so overwhelming they don't know where to start.One day everything is okay and the next it seems as if the paper is all over the place, they can't find what they need on their computer, they have thousands of emails in their inbox and they're paralyzed with overwhelm.
They can't even get to urgent tasks, let alone the important ones that will help them reach their goals.
This is an excerpt from a newsletter by from Marcia Francois (my list hero!) – Enjoy!
In the process of updating my 36 things list and making a new 37 things list (Marcia's 37th birthday was last week – Happy Birthday!), and talking about these a bit too much with friends and colleagues, I realized a few things: Read more
In A Legacy of "Stuff" (part 1) and A Legacy of "Stuff" (part 2), we discussed what to do with the "stuff" left behind by someone who passed away. It was hard to write and hard for you to read. Now let's move into an even MORE difficult area — the stuff that WE will leave behind. (By the way, I can't find any material already written on this subject. Apparently, everyone else also thinks it's hard to write about.)If you plan to leave something to the next generation or to your friends, do some very good communicating with them now to see if they would want it. If not, realize that your cherished items might be more burden than bounty to people you love. Most of all, let them know what is important or valuable, so they don’t decide everything you own is clutter, and toss it out. Read more
We all know people that seem to be Super Organised. They never forget birthdays, can find an email within seconds and know exactly where to find anything in their homes.The actual definition of organized is being able to find anything within a minute or two. These are items in your home to an email, document or photo on your computer.
Shhhh – I have a confession. Some people say this about me too, so I'm going to let you in on some of my own secrets and also those I've observed from watching fellow Born Organized people. Read more
The struggle is that we are trying to find practical ways to survive having someone's lifetime-of-stuff joining our own lifetime-of-stuff, while also trying to survive all the emotions that come with this deep painful loss.
Based on the huge number of emails I received after Part 1, last weeks post resonated with many of you. One woman told the story of how for seven years, all of her parents' belongings were stacked to the ceiling in her basement – furniture, clothes, stuff. So much so that they could not even make a path through it all. Read more
Emails arrive so often describing how — in addition to all the heart-rending emotions of a death — there is the overwhelmed experience of not knowing what to do about all the "stuff" of a beloved person who has passed away.
One woman wrote that her usually uncluttered home is filled with all the items she cleared out from her mother's house after her mom died. She said she often bursts into tears seeing paths through this new clutter in her house yet she doesn't know what to do with any of it. She was clear that she did not want or need the stuff but she knew these were things her mother loved Read more