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.

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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!

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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.

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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.


When life gives you lemongrass

What looks like leeks, smells like lemons and tastes great? Lemongrass, an aromatic plant that gives dishes like chicken curry or beef satay their signature fragrant flavor. Look for the fresh stuff at Asian markets, and choose firm stalks with green leaves. Before using, trim the tops and ends, and remove any loose outer leaves. Lemongrass is stringy so slice it thin for stir-fries or stews, or pulse it in a food processor for sauces or curries. To give chicken soup a lemony lift, whack the stalk with the flat edge of a knife blade to release its oils, add to the broth… then inhale.

Want to incorporate lemongrass into your cooking? Add these recipes to your repertoire!

Coconut Cod with Rice Noodles

Pomegranate-Lemongrass Fizz

Beef and Lemongrass Soup

Springtime pea recipes

Spring has sprung, and that means peas are in season! From English peas to snow peas to sugar snap peas, there’s so much you can do with this versatile veggie. Our test kitchen director Janet McCracken recently went on Pix11 News to talk about it, but there’s only so much you can fit into a short TV segment. Did you know that three-quarters of a cup of peas has more protein than an entire egg? Or that the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes ordered exactly 12 peas for dinner most nights? It’s true! Flip to page 25 in our May issue for more fun facts, cooking tips and recipes (wasabi pea stir-fry, anyone?). And while you’re here, check out some of our favorite reci-peas from the Rachael Ray Every Day archive (see what we did there?).

Penne with Peas & Mint

Spicy Sugar Snap Peas & Peanuts

Pea Pesto with Toasts

Creamy Rice and Sweet Peas

Oven-Fried Fish with Not-So-Mushy Spring Peas

What are your favorite things to make with peas? Tell us in the comments below!