If you’re struggling to keep warm while not overturning your entire kitchen, we feel you. Many a night do we run inside from the cold and scramble to get a warm, hearty meal on the table. Luckily, that task has been made easier by way of four delicious soups that only require 6 ingredients. Yep, you’re not hallucinating: S-I-X.
Happy National Tortilla Chip Day! Although we love a good homemade chip, no tortilla is complete without a delicious bowl of dip to sink it into. While you could just open a jar of salsa or mash up an avocado, why not do this day justice with a cheesy, gooey homemade dip? These four dips will become your tortilla chip’s new BFF.
No passport necessary! Go around the world this week with five delicious meals from Korea, Spain and more. These dinners are super quick and comforting, plus, they taste way better than airplane food!
Monday, February 23
With the 87th Oscars coming up this Sunday, you should start thinking about what to serve for your party. The best way to entertain for any TV-watching party is with small bites, so your guests can keep their eyes on the screen and not on their fork and knife. So let them dip, much and snack their way through, from the red carpet pre-show to the closing credits. With food this good, they won’t even wish they were there!
Beauty editing can be all kind of things: an eye feast, a funfest—a crazy education (true story: when a friend was studying for his medical boards, I did better on the dermatology practice tests than he did). But one thing the gig is not, typically: a big soul stirrer.
Last week, however, I lucked into an exception: a Look Good Feel Better workshop. This free program—which I’d been invited to observe by the underwriting foundation—exists solely to help cancer patients handle the side effects they see in the mirror.
The point, of course, is not to feel runway-ready (forgive me: I’m getting a thousand New York Fashion Week press releases per minute as I write). The point is simply to feel like oneself—an often elusive state for anyone who doesn’t think she looks like herself.
And while the women at the session I sat in on were remarkably beautiful, they’d all seen their share of change: Most had lost their hair; some had lost their brows—everyone had newfound skin care concerns. Speaking of, I should note that each participant gets a cosmetics kit, and the contents are always screened for toxicity.
The workshop was led by a volunteer veteran of the beauty industry who’s versed in everything from blush blending to wig washing—and wise-cracking, when a group clearly needs a good laugh.
She kept the intros intentionally brief—a detail that might have been lost on me had I not been struck by something a friend said several months ago, mid-chemo: Feeling obliged to talk about your cancer, even among people who can relate, gets old fast.
Then again, there’s perhaps no better ice breaker than group grooming. It feels like such a throwback—seriously, when did you last primp en masse? at a slumber party? bunk night?—the sheer girliness seems to take women out of themselves. Yes, even if they’re learning how to keep scarves from slipping off their newly exposed scalps.
As I followed the participants through their two-hour session, I kept trying to figure out what accounted for the amazing transformation I was witnessing: That escapist element? The makeup itself (which, for the record, was fabulous by any standards)? The expert tutelage? Or simply being pampered?
In the end, I suspected the answer was all of the above, with a heavy emphasis on options A and D. And according to one graduate of the program, I wasn’t too far off: “It was the beautiful women, both inside and out, who gave me an opportunity to think about something other than cancer. I instantly felt brighter. It was just such a nice contrast—and that in itself was inspiring.”
Indeed, however face-brightening the blush—or natural-looking the penciled-on brows—there’s no cosmetic that can hold a candle to the gorgeous glow of kindness.
To find a workshop near you, click here. And many thanks again to the workshop participants—as well as to the Personal Care Products Council Foundation and NYU Langone’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center—for allowing me to observe.
Happy Presidents’ Day! Whether you’re enjoying a long weekend or not, there’s always time to honor our past Commanders in Chief, and what easier a way than by cooking up some of their favorite meals? From sea to shining sea, check out some of our previous presidents’ favorite foods.
Given his New England background, John F. Kennedy loved a bowl of Clam Chowder
February is National Hot Breakfast Month, so how are we celebrating? By eating breakfast for dinner, of course! There’s no better feeling than coming in from the cold after a long day and sitting down to a warm, hearty and comforting meal that reminds us of the weekend. So enjoy these breakfast classic this week for dinner. By the time the weekend comes, you’ll feel like you’ve been relaxing all week!
Monday, February 16
Whatever your thoughts on Valentine’s Day, and whatever your relationship status, there’s one way to commemorate the occasion that pretty much everyone can get behind: chocolate-drizzled spa services. Want a sensual celebration for two? Indulgent consolation for one? Silent protest against the romance industrial complex? These five treatments serve admirably as any of the above.
Photo courtesy of Westward Look
The Sonoran Spa’s Chocolate Stone Massage at the Westward Look, a Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ
Get it while it’s hot! This is a limited-engagement treatment involving warm basalt stones that have been bathed in ridiculously delicious-smelling, skin-soothing chocolate oil. You’ll be plied with them for 80 otherworldly minutes, then—if you can manage to sit up straight (or even remember your own name)—you’ll be treated to a champagne chaser in the relaxation area (from $150 for 80 minutes; westwardlook.com/offers/tucson-spa-specials).
The Joya Spa’s Chocolate Mousse Body Wrap at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
Elsewhere in Arizona (which happens to be my home state, so I’m exercising authorial privilege and listing two places there), you can get slathered in chocolate sugar mousse, wrapped in mylar, then treated to scalp massage or reflexology while you “set” for 20 minutes. During that time, any dead skin cells that that survived the manual sloughing will be eaten away by the enzymes in the antioxidant-rich mousse. Next comes a shower—and a final rubdown with a blend of avocado oil, hyaluronic acid, vanilla extract and, of course, essential oil of cocoa (from $159 for 50 minutes; omnihotels.com/hotels/scottsdale-montelucia/spa/seasonal-specials).
The Well Spa & Salon’s Berry, Wine and Chocolate Delight Transformational Facial at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, WI
Encompassing multiple important food groups in one (wine, chocolate, creamy things), this treatment gets going with a cranberry-scented cleansing milk and shea butter sugar polish. Next comes a mask of decadent, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate—followed by even more antioxidants: a cocktail of wine grapes and peptides. By the end, your skin is so de-stressed and plumped up, you’d be carded if you decided to pop over the winery that supplied the grapes. (from $120 for 50 minutes; grandgeneva.com/well-spa-lake-geneva).
Photo courtesy of Jade Mountain
The Kai en Ciel Spa’s Chocolate Delight at Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia
If you want a side of tropical gorgeousness with your spa treatment, head to one of the lushest, most mountainous islands in the Caribbean—Saint Lucia—and check into Jade Mountain. The property has its own organic cocoa plantation (1000 trees and counting), and when you’re not making your own edible treats at the resort’s Chocolate Lab, you can basically become a human tartufo at the spa. When you sign up for the Chocolate Delight, you’ll be coated in alternating layers of hot and cold chocolate, then left to drift into another stratosphere while your skin binges on all the antioxidants and moisture ($150 for 60 minutes, jademountain.com/wellness/spa).
Photo courtesy of Paresa Resort
The Spa by Paresa’s Chocolate Menu at the Paresa Resort in Phuket, Thailand
If you can’t get enough chocolate in your system—and miles in your frequent flier account—this motherlode’s for you: On Thailand’s dreamy, turquoise coast, you’ll find an entire cocoa-loco spa lineup. There’s the Dark Chocolate Champagne Body Wrap, the White Chocolate Latte Footsie (a hot milk and cocoa butter-based pedi), the Chocolate Honey Facial and—for anyone who wants to swim in the stuff—the Organic Chocolate & Coconut Bubble Bath. Go ahead. No judgment (from $52 for 60 minutes, paresaresorts.com).
Image via Starbucks
According to Match, more than 3 million of its members list “coffee and conversation” as a top interest. With that in mind, Match has introduced a new “Meet at Starbucks” feature, which will allow members to send an invite to another member to set up that first coffee date. The best part– the app will find a convenient location using the Starbucks store locator.
But wait– there’s more! Today, participating Starbucks locations will feature a special pairings menu from 2pm- close, including a selection of coffee and treat pairings available at $5. It’s the world’s largest Starbucks date!
If you’re not spending the weekend snuggling up to your sweetie, have no fear: have a party! Whether you’re aiming for ladies’ night in or a single and mingle night, there’s no better time than Valentine’s Day to gather with friends and eat like you mean it. These dishes are fun, festive and easy to share at a party. Plus, the Tex-Mex theme reminds us of warmer days amid this arctic winter.
Pass Chilled Avocado Soup Shots to initiate the party mood