Every Day Scoop

Empty Nesters: Obsessing over beds in a box

Home and Market Editor Lisa Freedman and her husband just bought a house two hours outside of New York CityYay! The only issue? They don’t have anything to put in it. Follow her as she shops, tackles some DIY projects and works her decorating magic.


After we closed (read: signed a million pieces of paper and handed over the biggest check we’ve ever written), our biggest priority was to get some beds. We only had the box springs from the previous owner, which made it hard to sleep there and get stuff done.

We needed to order something that could be shipped and left on our porch while we were in the city. To me, the solution was clear: I wanted to try out those super popular bed-in-a-box companies. I had spent a few hours on some for a story in our May issue and I was excited to give them a longer test run. We were in the market for four (4!!!) mattresses, and we decided to try four different options: Casper, Lull, Leesa and Ghost Bed.

Our UPS, FedEx and USPS workers must
think we have a mail-order addiction.

Each one was ordered, shipped and delivered without a hitch. What I loved most was that these companies only offer one mattress (in the various sizes), so we didn’t have to stress out about picking materials or firmness levels. The boxes were heavy, but it was so much easier to push them up the stairs than a flat, cumbersome mattress would have been. And actually, a king mattress, which we needed for the largest bedroom, would never have fit through our narrow staircase if it wasn’t rolled up and vacuum-sealed. All four were packaged similarly: shrink wrapped inside a cardboard box. We opened each one in their respective rooms and watched in amazement as they literally unfolded in front of our eyes.

A man (not my husband) and a shrink-wrappedmattress.
Image: Casper.

We’ve now slept on all four and we couldn’t be more obsessed. They’re firm, but not hard (the Ghost Bed is the firmest of all), and we have some of the best sleep of our lives on these beds. And, because they all have a foam core (instead of coils), they don’t make a sound when my husband changes positions a million times. There are even more companies offering beds in a box now and, if the four I’ve tried are any indication, I imagine they’re all great. There’s even a new brand, called Sonno, which can be flip for different comfort levels.

The ability to sleep (well) up there is key. And now that we have beds, we can tackle the other empty rooms! Check back soon to see what we’ve been working on during our waking hours.


Is it hot in here?! 5 recipes for chile season

Chile peppers thrive in summertime, so as the weather heats up, so should your dishes! From Anaheim (mild) to Fresno (medium) to Habanero (spicy) and a million chiles in between, there’s a pepper out there for everyone who can stand a little heat in the kitchen. Our June 2016 issue has the rundown on how to buy, store, prep and cook chiles, plus cool fun facts. (Did you know that 89% of a chile’s heat is concentrated in its veins, the white spongy sections inside a pepper? Stop blaming those seeds!) Try these five recipes to put a little pep in your step this summer.

Grilled Habanero Steak Sandwiches

Some like it hot, and this sandwich is for them! Habaneros, which are fruity and super-fiery, likely originated in Cuba; the name means “from Havana.” Read more

The 10 best smoothies: store-bought vs homemade

As the weather gets warmer, we find ourselves craving smoothies all the time. So what did we do about it? We taste-tested over 100 store-bought smoothies to find the very best ones! In the Battle of the Bottled, we found five awesome winners available at your local supermarket— check them out in our June 2016 issue. But if you’re more of a DIY type, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite homemade smoothie recipes, too. Slurp’s up!

Best Tropical

Store-bought: Evolution Fresh Defense UpStick a tiki umbrella in this combo of pineapple, mango and orange juices. It has no artificial sweeteners and delivers 310% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C per serving. ($4.99 for 15.2 oz.)

Homemade: Kiwi-Pineapple SmoothiesIf you love tart and fruity smoothies, this one’s for you. Try adding coconut milk to make it more like a piña colada.

Read more

5 summer sippers for Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is right around the corner! Cue the sun emoji, beach emoji, dancing-lady emoji, sunglasses-guy emoji, etc. Once you’ve survived the insane traffic, you deserve a pat on the back and a nice stiff drink. So sit back, relax, and pour yourself one of these warm-weather cold ones — summer is finally here!

Cucumber Gin & Tonic

Upgrade your garnish by slicing your cuke crosswise and snaking it around the glass. This cucumber just got even cooler!

Read more

Empty Nesters: Decorating a dining room

Home and Market Editor Lisa Freedman and her husband just bought a house two hours outside of New York City. Yay! The only issue? They don’t have anything to put in it. Follow her as she shops, tackles some DIY projects and works her decorating magic.


I have written about plenty of dining rooms in my day, but I’ve never actually had one. My New York City apartments have always been too small for a table, and my husband and I happily eat dinner at a coffee table in front of the television.

At the house, I finally have one—and I get to decorate it! We were pumped to have the previous owner’s dining table (I would have never been able to pick one from all the options in the world!). But her chandelier had to go. It just wasn’t our style. Luckily, I had this metal pendant lamp that I got for $5 at a sale in the city. Red isn’t exactly our color, so I spray painted it (and a little bit of my lawn) a light gray.

    Cute… just not really our color.                                            Gray is my answer to everything.

We loved the Windsor-style Clearing Dining Chairs at Anthropologie and decided to get two in the same aqua color and two more in mismatched shades of orange and light blue. There was a mix up with the order and, unfortunately, the persimmon chair wasn’t available anymore, so we got white. My husband wants to try painting it ourselves, but the white is actually growing on me, so we’ll see.

The walls still need a thing or three.

After tons of debating, we decided to go with the Galvin Sideboard from Crate and Barrel instead of something old and taller, like we had originally planned. For extra seating, we picked out a custom bench from an eBay seller and now we have the option to pull it up to the table when we have a full house.

This bench was made to order and fits
perfectly between the table legs.

I’m actually glad we kept the furniture to a minimum because the room feels light and airy. I especially love how the sun hits the space in the morning. The walls could use some decorating, but I’m sure we’ll find some things worth hanging… eventually. Check back soon to see what else we’ve accomplished.

The Year of the Vegetable: Cocktails and Desserts

We’ve declared 2016 to be The Year of the Vegetable, and eating your veggies has never been easier (or tastier!). We’ve shown you how to take veggies from side to main in the tastiest ways possible: build-your-own bowls, good-for-you tacos, and the best-ever veggie burger. For the final part of this package, we’re switching gears to our favorite veg-forward indulgences: cocktails and desserts! Make Happy Hour even happier and decadent desserts even more special with these healthy recipes.


Green-Tomato Mojito

When it comes to tomatoes, think beyond the Bloody Mary. Matthew Biancaniello, author of Eat Your Drink, muddles Day-Glo Green Zebra tomatoes in his mojito. They have “the perfect balance of fruitiness and acidity,” he says.

Read more

The Year of the Vegetable: Building the Best-Ever Veggie Burger

The star of our “Year of the Vegetable” package from the June 2016 issue is — without a doubt — the Best-Ever Veggie Burger. Take one bite and you’ll see why! It’s a mashup of our favorite elements of five of the country’s tastiest veggie burgers, at Farm Burger, Superiority Burger, Butcher & Bee, Salvation Burger and LocoL. Below, see the drool-worthy burgers that blew up our Instagram feeds and sparked our inspiration.

Photo: @dana_bowen

Veggie Patty

Nuts, grains and legumes are the “meat” of the best new veggie burgers. This patty, inspired by Superiority Burger’s top-secret formula and April Bloomfield’s Indian-influenced version at Salvation Burger in NYC, combines toasted walnuts, farro (which crisps up for a nice crust) and lentils for a protein punch.

Photo: Superiority Burger by @basictown

Photo: Salvation Burger’s veggie burger by @thecookbookgirl

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes & Zucchini Pickles

Skip the ketchup and get that rich-tangy flavor from oven-roasted tomatoes, like they do at Butcher & Bee in Charleston, S.C. While you’re at it, switch up your pickle, too. Butcher & Bee use pickled zucchini, not cukes, on its veggie burgers.

Photo: @allisonkimchi

Iceberg Lettuce & Muenster Cheese

At Superiority Burger in NYC, chef Brooks Headley tops his meatless patties with iceberg, the queen of burger lettuces, which adds major crunch and won’t wilt like fancier lettuces do. Muenster, his cheese of choice, melts like a dream.

Photo: @umieats

Balsamic Onion Relish & Sesame Seed Bun

The sweet-tart balsamic onion relish at Farm Burger‘s Georgia and Alabama outposts puts the raw onion slice to shame.

Photo: @anniebabex3

 Smoky Scallion Mayo

Every self-respecting burger needs a special sauce. Charred scallions bring flame-broiled flavor to this creamy take on the grilled scallion relish at LocoL, the new California-based joint from chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson.

Photo: @blissisthis

Craving more? Check out how to make veggie-based tacos, build-your-own vegetable bowls and more in our June 2016 issue, on newsstands now!

The Year of the Vegetable: Tacos

Veggies are having a huge moment right now, and delicious things happen when they get the taco treatment. In honor of our special vegetable package in our June 2016 issue, we’re celebrating chefs’ favorite veg-centric recipes— and let’s be honest: everything tastes better wrapped in a tortilla. You might even find yourself choosing cauliflower over carnitas next Taco Tuesday!

Cauliflower Al Pastor Tacos

This vegetarian taco from Ray Garcia, chef-owner of B.S. Taqueria in L.A., was inspired by tacos al pastor, a classic recipe made with pineapple and spice-marinated pork roasted on a spit. You won’t miss the meat! Read more

The Year of the Vegetable: Bowls

After years of celebrating all things meaty, chefs have vegetable fever… and so should you! Behold the country’s most inspired veg-centric dishes, plus a crisper drawer full of recipes and tips. Whether it’s the cauliflower in your taco or the beets in your chocolate pudding, eating your vegetables never tasted so good—or felt so cool! Each week, we’ll be sharing recipes from our special package in our June 2016 issue, on newsstands now. Below, dig into our favorite bowl recipes. They’re so good, they’ll bowl you over!

Greens Bowl with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce Read more

Empty Nesters: How does one fill an entire house?

Home and Market Editor Lisa Freedman and her husband just bought a house two hours outside of New York CityYay! The only issue? They don’t have anything to put in it. Follow her as she shops, tackles some DIY projects and works her decorating magic.


Working as a Home and Market Editor, I get to see all sorts of amazing products that readers can buy and put in their homes. I’ve always been so incredibly jealous of said readers because my small one-bedroom apartment in New York City couldn’t hold a fraction of the stuff I’ve featured. I seriously once had to talk myself out of getting a beautiful marble rolling pin because I knew it wouldn’t fit in my triangle-shaped rental kitchen. (I sadly use a glass bottle every time I have to roll out dough… on the coffee table).

But recent changes have me in the opposite situation: My husband and I just bought a house in Upstate New York and now we have too much space. I know, woe is me. The few items we do own, have to stay in our city apartment (where we live during the week for our jobs), so we have absolutely nothing to put in our new home. We have no furniture, no hand-me-down rugs, no bath towels—nothing!

Our incredibly empty house—and keys—on closing day!

Luckily, the woman we were buying the house from was willing to sell a few of her old pieces to us at a reasonable price. For just $350, she left us the kitchen table (with two extension leaves) and four bedframes and box springs. Huzzah!

If only we had asked to buy her chairs…

The rest of the rooms remain creepily empty. And actually, the dining room and bedrooms are still pretty darn empty! For someone who likes instant gratification, it’s tough knowing that this will be a slow process. I can’t expect to furnish an entire house in a week. Or even a month!

The empty living room plus two small tables we impulsively bought
at Olde Good Things in 
NYC before we even closed on the house.

It will be a slow and difficult process, as we attempt to blend our love of industrial, mid-century and farmhouse design into one 266-year-old stone house. And no, that’s not a typo—the house was built in 1750 (though some records indicate it could have been even earlier). I’ll be posting updates over the next few months, so check back often! You’ll be sure to pick up a few tricks along the way.