#TravelTuesday – Anatolia, Turkey

Categories: News

12-9-14Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Anatolia, Turkey, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day Calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. Cappadocia (pictured above): Countless centuries of wind and water have sculpted Cappadocia’s surrealistic landscape from the soft volcanic terrain: Minarets, cones, spires, “fairy chimneys,” and rocky pinnacles in shades of pink and russet brown soar as high as five-story buildings.

  • Where: Urgup is 41 miles/66 km southwest of Kayseri, the closest city with an airport.
  • Best Times: April-June and September-October for nicest weather.

2. Pamukkale: A beautiful freak of nature, Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) resembles a series of bleached rice terraces as you approach. The white travertine tiers, joined together like huge water lilies by petrified waterfalls and gleaming stalactites, are a result of hot mineral springs, whose calcium-rich deposits have been accumulating for millennia.

  • Where: 116 miles/186 km east of Kuşadasi.
  • Best Times: May-June and September-October for cooler weather.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and the calendar line here.

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Picking Next Year’s Calendar, and Getting Philosophical About Another Year

Categories: Calendars, News

I’ve heard people sing the praises of the Google calendar, and I use an Outlook calendar to make sure I remember work meetings, but when it comes to personal preference, I’m firmly on Team Paper Calendar (as teams go, we’re one of the most organized ones out there). I carry a planner in my bag at all times, on my desk sits a page-a-day calendar, and on my cubicle wall hangs a 12 x 12 wall calendar.

I’m someone who tends to like routines: the routine of flipping to the next day in my calendar every morning when I get to work (or a double flip if it’s a Monday), and the ritual of marking the first day of a new month by flipping a calendar page. When someone visits my desk to talk to me about a deadline, I rotate myself to the right almost by instinct–that’s where my wall calendar is, and I need to look at it in order to visualize lengths of time that would otherwise be totally abstract. As cliche as it is, the start of a new month always manages to sneak up on me, and turning a wall calendar page feels like a fitting reminder that a period of 28 to 31 days has come and gone–or at least more fitting than having to write a rent check or pay a bill.

This goes double, or more like duodecuple, when the year ends and instead of turning a page, it’s time to replace the calendar altogether. I think of the calendars that have accompanied me at my desk for the past few years–the Shoes Gallery this year, and before that, Handbags, and Art, and it’s crazy to think that I’ve flipped at least 900 pages in my time here, at least 900 times like sands through the hourglass, so passed days of my life. And I think about how my new calendar, whichever one or, more likely, ones that I choose, will be with me for a whole ‘nother year, bearing witness to novel reactions like, “wow, can’t believe it’s 2015!” and “how is already February?,” and before long, “July!? The year is half over!”

   

There are dozens of calendars in Workman’s arsenal to choose from. Setting the right tone is important–after all, we’re going to be spending a year together. Balance is a consideration too: I want a wall calendar that complements, but doesn’t overlap with, whatever page-a-day I choose. There’s the impulse to try something new and pick a calendar I haven’t used before, but there’s also the draw of the familiar, and the thought of going back to an old favorite. Then, frankly, there’s the practical: what can I actually find when I decide it’s time to take the plunge, ideally well before December 31st?

If all goes according to plan, I think I’ve settled on my choices for the year: The New Yorker Covers Gallery on my desk and Flower Recipe on my wall. Wish me luck. I don’t know where 2015 will lead me, but I do know that wherever it is, I’ll probably have a calendar by my side.

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Sunday Cookie Swap: Bittersweet Decadence Cookies

Categories: Baking, Cookbooks, Holiday, Recipes

This blog post was written by editorial intern Perry, who once had great culinary aspirations that included Parisian pastry school.

Cookies - Finished

Bittersweet Decadence Cookies

Now that Thanksgiving has past and it is socially acceptable to be excited about Christmas, we’ve decided to share with all of you one of our great traditions here at Workman – the Holiday Cookie Swap. Every year at the holiday party, a bunch of us bake cookies and have a cookie swap. We all bring in a batch of homemade cookies, put them all out on a table, and then everyone can put together a box, providing families, roommates and (let’s be honest) ourselves with an assortment of homemade cookies for the holiday.

And now we’d like to invite you to join the fun! For the month of December, we are going to post a delicious cookie recipe every Sunday until Christmas from one of our cookbooks that you can try at home. We’ll share our experiences making them and we hope you’ll do the same in the comments section below!

This week, I chose to make the Bittersweet Decadence Cookies from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies.

Cookies - CookbookThis great cook book won the 2010 IACP Baking Book of the Year. The pictures are gorgeous and it is uniquely organized by texture. So there’s a section on crispy cookies, chewy cookies, gooey cookies, etc. I was drawn to the chunky section. I’m usually a pie kind of gal myself, but you can’t beat a cookie chock full of stuff. These decadence cookies are full of chocolate chunks and nuts, all held together by a bittersweet dough. Once I got a look at the picture, I was hooked! You’ll find the recipe at the very bottom of this post, but first, let me show you how it went for me.

Cookie Night In The World’s Smallest Kitchen

Baking these went really smoothly for me. Now I consider myself a pretty proficient baker—up until about two months ago, I was seriously considering pastry school. But you don’t have to have much experience to make these little beauties! The real challenge was dealing with my tiny New York kitchen:

Cookies - Kitchen

Yes, this is literally the whole thing.

Despite the small space (my roommate Alexa—who you’ll meet later—and I affectionately call our apartment, “The Shoebox”), I soldiered on. I gathered up the necessary ingredients….

Cookies - Ingredients

You’re looking at a majority of my counter space.

… and got started! This recipe involves 3 bowls and a double boiler. I mixed up my dry ingredients in one bowl, the egg/sugar mixture in another, and melted the chocolate and butter together in the third.

Cookies - Double Boiler

Once I combined all of those together, I end up with a dough that looked like this:

Cookies - Dough

This was the exact moment that my wonderful roommate, Alexa, walked in and grabbed a spoon:

Cookies - Alexa

Alexa approves;)

I then scooped the dough out onto a cookie sheet and baked them for 14 minutes. Apparently, my oven runs pretty cold; when I took the first batch out, they were only half-baked. I ended up turning the oven up to 450°F (my oven runs really cold) and 10 minutes later they were perfect! Know your oven, people. Know your oven.

Cookies - Roommate Love

That’s me in the hat!

Needless to say, these cookies turned out pretty damn good! Fresh out of the oven, they were warm and gooey with a nutty crunch in every bite. Alexa’s boyfriend was pretty excited when he came home from a hard day at work to find a plate of awesome waiting on the counter. (Editorial intern Rachel would like to add that she was equally excited when I brought a few extras into the office on Wednesday morning.)

The best part is that these are easily customizable to your tastes – you can throw anything you want in there! Next time, I’m going to mix in crushed potato chips and see what happens!

If you’d like to see what else Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies has to offer, you can get a copy by following the links at the bottom of this post. And if you’d like to tell us about your experience making these cookies, or if you have any other cookies you’d like to see us try, let us know in the comments!

 

Bittersweet Decadence Cookies

Makes 30-36 cookies
Ingredients
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 oz bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate with up to 60% cacao or 7 oz chocolate with 61% to 64% cacao, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar (plus 1 tablespoon if using chocolate with 61%-64% cacao)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate with any percentage cacao you like, chopped into generous-sized chunks, or purchases chocolate c hunks
2 cups walnut or pecan halves or large pieces
Equipment
Cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk.
3. Place the 8 ounces of chocolate and the butter in a large heatproof bowl set directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until just melted and smooth. Remove the chocolate from the skillet and set it aside. Leave the heat on under the skillet.
4. In another large heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together thoroughly. Set the bowl in the skillet and stir until the mixture is lukewarm to the touch. Stir the egg mixture into the warm (not hot) chocolate
[This is important—if the chocolate is too hot, you'll end up with scrambled eggs. And that would be super gross.]
5. Stir in the flour mixture, then the chocolate chunks and nuts.
6. Scoop slightly rounded tablespoons of batter and place 1.5 inches apart onto the lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the surface of the cookie looks dry and set and the centers ares still gooey. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back half way through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool. Let the cookies cool completely before storing or stacking. May be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
* To Make The Dough Ahead: Refrigerate or freeze scoops of batter until hard. Place them in an airtight bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or place in a second freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw frozen scoops in the refrigerator. Place scoops on lined pan, bring to room temperature, and bake as directed.
** The intern surprise: add crushed potato chips

Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies is available now from any of the following online retailers:

AmazonBarnes & Noble | IndieBound | Workman

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Friday Link Round-Up

Categories: News

Happy Friday, book lovers! It was a week full of Thanksgiving leftovers, too much shopping, building colossal paper machines in the office, and smelling pine everywhere. Here’s what we read along the way.

1. Happiness Expert Paul Dolan: What Makes Me Happy via The Guardian. In a sea of articles on how to find happiness, this is a thought-provoking point of view. Dolan says, “Long holidays are a good example of the stories people tell about their happiness. ‘Oh, we simply love our two weeks every year in Marbella,’ so goes the story. No, you bloody don’t: it’s too hot and the kids get on your nerves more than they do at home.”

Paul Dolan in gym

2. What a Difference 6 Months Make: Calendars Then Versus Now via Clickhole. We at Workman love a good calendar joke, and this one is right up our alley.

calendar

3. In Conversation: Chris Rock via Vulture. Frank Rich sits down with the well-known comedian to discuss self-censorship, the worst audience he’s ever had, and his new movie, Top Five (in theaters today!).

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4. Frozen-Obsessed Puppy Wakes Up From Nap to Sing ‘Let It Go’ via Huffington Post. This was our procrastination video of choice this week. That puppy, though.

dog-let-it-go

5. Leaving Academia for Buzzfeed: Six Months Later via Buzzfeed. An update on one writer’s journey from the humanities classroom to her first piece that went viral, and what she’s learned along the way.

6. What It’s Like to Fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class via Medium. Tip from editorial assistant Sarah: this article is even more mind-blowing when you read it sitting in coach, waiting for the plane to take off with a crying baby two seats in front of you. But really, this guy is the happiest person ever to be on a plane, and we can’t blame him.

And just because, we’ll leave you with this. Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

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Wednesday Cute: The Fantastic Fennec Fox

Categories: Pets, Wednesday Cute

Today’s installment of Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who has always dreamed of having a cute animal sidekick.

Have you ever seen the Studio Ghibli classic Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and desperately wished that you too could have a cool fictional fox-squirell pet?

Teto 1

This is Teto. He is adorable, but feisty!

Well, the waiting is over because here is the real life version. Meet the Fennec Fox:

Fennec Fox 3

The fennec fox is the smallest fox in the world, weighing between 1.5-3.5 lbs.

Fennec Fox 4

They live in the Sahara Desert and parts of North Africa, where their many adaptions help them survive the harsh environment. Fennec foxes are nocturnal, which keeps them out of the heat. Their ears contribute as well by helping to dissipate body heat. Thick fur helps insulate these little guys at night and protect them from the sun during the day.

Fennec Fox 2

Fennec foxes live in small groups no larger than 10, in underground dens. These groups usually consist of a parent couple and their offspring. Some fennec families even connect their dens, creating a little neighborhood. They exhibit a lot of social behavior–fennec foxes living in captivity love  playing roughly together, like puppies, and then taking a nap together later.

Fennec Fox 12

Fennec Fox 11

Fennec Fox 5

Snuggle Buddies :D

They are hunted by humans for their fur and to be captured and sold as exotic pets. While they are not considered an endangered species, the trading of fennec foxes is regulated to keep it that way.

Fennec Fox 6

If you are already dreaming of having your very own special fox friend as a pet, take a breath. There are some things you should know first. Fennec foxes that are sold as pets usually come from a breeder and can be fairly pricey. They’ve been described as friendly and energetic pets, a sort of cat/dog combo in terms of personality. However, they can be difficult to potty train (and will likely never be completely house broken). Since they are nocturnal, they can also get noisy at night.

Fennec Fox 10

Keeping a fennec fox as a pet requires a big time commitment. They need a lot of time with their owner in order to bond properly. Their living space is also an issue. Some owners keep them inside, in which case the house needs to be fox proofed, which can be difficult. They are very curious creatures and will get into everything, given the opportunity. Some choose to keep them outside, which may involve some special fencing. Since fennec foxes are very good at digging, the fence needs to be partially buried, in addition to other techniques, or they will escape.

There is also the simple matter of legality–fennec foxes are legal to own as pets in some places and illegal in others, so before you even think about getting one, you should check your local laws and see if you need any kind of permit.

Fennec Fox 8

If you plan on buying a fennec fox as a pet, it is incredibly important to remember that this is a wild animal. Fennec foxes have not been bred to be domestic animals and, while fairly docile, they can be unpredictable. If you travel often and leave them alone for too long, it is entirely possible that they will forget you. They might also bite or scratch for no apparent reason. Because of this, they should not be left alone with small children.

Fennec Fox 7

Whether you wish to own a fennec fox as a pet or just admire them from afar like myself, there is no doubt that these guys are super cute.

Fennec Fox 9

Sweet dreams:*

 

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#TravelTuesday – Sicily, Italy

Categories: News, Travel

 

travel tuesday

Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Sicily, Italy courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day Calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. Aeolian Islands: Named for Eolus, god of the winds, the seven Aeolian Islands (Isole Eolie) float off of Sicily’s northeastern flank. Washed by Italy’s clearest waters and blessed with grottoes, bays, hidden coves, black and sand beaches, and still-active volcanoes, the islands are a world unto themselves.

2. The Gems of Palermo: No other city in Europe has hosted such a variety of civilizations and waves of conquerors as Palermo, shaped by 25 centuries of tumultuous history. Examples of this rich and eclectic heritage begin with the Palazzo dei Normanni, home to the island’s 9th-century Arab rulers and transformed into a sumptuous palace (now the seat of Sicilian government).

3. Sicily’s Greek Temples (pictured above): At the southeastern tip of Sicily, in Siracusa, which once rivaled Athens in power and splendor, a Greek presence remains in the amazingly well-preserved Teatro Greco, which stages classic plays each summer.

4. Taormina and Mt. Etna: This airy, mountainside town 650 feet above the Mediterranean Sea has been enticing travelers since the days of ancient Greece. Soak in Taormina’s charm on a leisurely passeggiata along its bougainvullea-swathed strip of boutiques and ceramic shops, then linger for a lemon granita (shaved ice) or fruit-studded cannoli in an outdoor pasticceria or café.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die book and calendar line here.

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#ReadWomen2014 – Jessica Hagy

Categories: News

Jessica_HagyJessica Hagy is our #ReadWomen2014 Author of the Month! She is an artist and writer best known for her Webby award-winning blog, IndexedA fixture in the creative online space, Jessica has been prolifically illustrating, consulting, and speaking to international media and events since 2006.

Her work has been described as “deceptively simple,” “undeniably brilliant,” and “our favorite reason for the Internet to exist.” Her style of visual storytelling allows readers to draw their own conclusions and to actively participate in each narrative. “Her images don’t always tell us what to think; quite often, they elegantly offer us ideas to think about.”

Jessica got her start on Forbes.com where she’s a weekly blogger, by creating a “How to Be Interesting” post that went viral, attracting over 1.4 million viewers, with tens of thousands of them liking, linking, and tweeting the article. This genius idea led to her first book, How to Be Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps). It’s a book about exploring, so explore below to find out more about Jessica, How to Be Interesting, and hew newest book, The Art of War Visualized, which is out in March 2015!

Q: How to Be Interesting started off as a blog post. Were you surprised when it went viral and eventually turned into a book?

A: That post originally went up in November, but it really took off when people started making “be more interesting” their New Year’s resolutions. The views started racking up, and I knew I had to put a proposal together. I’m glad it struck such a chord, and a lot of the comments the article generated informed the tone of the book. The feedback loop of the internet can be a great resource for writers.

Q: Is there an eleventh piece of advice that you would give to someone who wants to be interesting?

A: The eleventh piece of advice would be to look for what’s interesting in other people. Finding people who are curious, adventurous, and admirable is easier than you think; those people are everywhere, and you already know a lot of them. Listen closely to any conversation, and you’ll find fascinating stories and great, inspiring, weird, and silly details.

Q: Where did you get the idea to write and illustrate The Art of War Visualized?

A: I realized that I had three copies of that book in my house, but I’d never really read it all the way through. The book is written in verse form, and each verse felt like the caption for an image that wasn’t there yet—an image I knew I just had to draw up.

Q: Did anything surprise you while working on the book?

A: I was mostly surprised by how thoughtful the Art of War is, instead of brutal. The book has a reputation for being really mean and masculine, but Sun Tzu seems a lot more measured and human than his legend would lead us to believe. I wanted to faithfully illustrate that patience and thoughtfulness, especially the idea of strategy being decidedly more valuable than aggression. We all that that little flicker of raw aggression, that teeth baring, stabbing prey through the heart instinct, but this book really preaches that that instinct is a liability, and that thinking beyond emotion is the only way to victory.

Q: Who are your favorite female authors?

A: Alice Munro, Jennifer Egan, Caitlin Moran, Lionel Shriver, Barbara Ehrenriech, Linda Hirschman, Sally Hogshead, Madeleine L’Engle, Joan Didion, and on and on and on. I gravitate toward writing that’ll push buttons, instead of just entertain.

Q: What are you reading now?

A: I’m rereading Geek Love. I’m halfway through my issue of Granta, and I’m dipping in and out of Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism.

 

Order your copy of How to Be Interesting from the following online retailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Workman

INTERESTING COVER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-order your copy of The Art of War Visualized from the following online retailers:

Amazon| Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Workman

ART OF WAR COVER

 

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Soup Night!

Categories: Cookbooks, Cooking, News

I don’t have an oven. Usually, I consider this a good thing. An excuse to order Thai food all the time. More space for clothes and books. But when I wanted to host a dinner party, my kitchen was a problem.

Then I started reading Soup Night by Maggie Stuckey. I might not be able to make casserole or roast chicken or other impressive dinner party fare you see in Norman Rockwell paintings, but I could surely make some soup, right? With a Crock-Pot, a hotplate, and a copy of the book, I set off on my quest.

The concept of a Soup Night is charmingly simple: Once a month, the neighborhood flocks to a different home for a night of socializing over two big batches of soup, typically one meat and one vegetarian. To reduce the burden on the host, guests bring bowls, booze, side dishes, and desserts. (Soup Night also includes some recipes for breads, salads, and sweets.) The result? A closer, stronger community–all thanks to soup.

Since this was my first time cooking for a large group, I decided to start a bit smaller. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for my neighbors (or if my neighbors were ready for my amateur cooking), so I did a Soup Night test-run with friends. My wife and I made Pumpkin Curry Soup and Surprise Beef Stew (more on the “surprise” later). Both were delicious and incredibly easy to make.

PUMPKIN CURRY SOUP

You can put those leftover Thanksgiving ingredients to use with this sweet and slightly spicy pumpkin soup! Since we used lactose-free milk instead of cream, we added a can of sweet potato puree for some extra thickness and creaminess.

Pairs well with Wolaver’s Pumpkin Ale.

Pairs well with Wolaver’s Pumpkin Ale.

Serves 6

Ingredients
4 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (we used vegetable)
1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin puree (we added a can of sweet potatoes, as well)
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups heavy cream (or lactose-free milk, which we used)
Optional: Chives or pumpkin seeds for topping

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Blend the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a blender (careful, it’s hot) and puree until smooth, then return it to the pot. Or use an immersion blender and puree the mixture right in the pot.
  1. Add the broth and pumpkin (and sweet potatoes, if you’re adding them) to the mixture in the pot and stir to combine. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, bay leaf, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer.
  1. Stir in the cream (or, in our case, lactose-free milk) and return to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes; remove and discard the bay leaf.
  1. Adjust the seasonings; serve hot. While the recipe recommends topping with chives, we went with roasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

 

My "kitchen."

My “kitchen.”

SURPRISE BEEF STEW

Some of my friends were afraid the “surprise” here was just my way of rebranding a mistake I made while cooking. But rest assured, it’s a good—and intentional—one: coleslaw. You might be skeptical; I was, too. But the slaw added a perfect creaminess to the stew. Everyone loved it. If you find yourself making leftover turkey sandwiches in the days ahead, the coleslaw—with its mixture of mayo and mustard—makes a sweet, crunchy topping.

Serves 4–6

Surprise!

Surprise!

Ingredients
Stew
1 cup all-purpose flour, approximately
Seasoned salt
1 ½ pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup olive oil (more if needed)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon paprika
3 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 carrots, cut into bite-size chunks
3 thin-skinned potatoes (such as red, Yukon Gold, or Yellow Finn)
 
Coleslaw
1 head green cabbage
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
¼ cup cream (or lactose-free milk, which we used)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions
For the stew:

  1. Mix the flour and seasoned salt, and dredge the meat until each piece is well coated (a plastic bag is handy for this). Add the oil to a large soup pot, deep skillet, or Dutch oven and brown the meat over medium-high heat. Work in batches if needed to make sure each piece is well browned.
  1. To the same pot, add the onion and garlic (add a little more oil, if needed), and sauté until the onion is soft. Add enough beef broth to cover the meat, along with the sugar, allspice, paprika, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat. Simmer until the meat is tender, about 40 to 50 minutes (or longer, if you’d like).
  1. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. If the liquid seems thin, mix a little cornstarch with cold water and add it a little at a time.

For the coleslaw:

  1. Shred the cabbage (or start with a bag of coleslaw mix from the supermarket, already shredded).
  1. Whisk the mayonnaise, sugar, and mustard together, and gradually add the cream (or lactose-free milk) until you get the consistency you like. Pour the dressing over the cabbage, mix well, and add salt and pepper; taste and adjust seasonings. Ideally, it’s best to let this “brew” for an hour or two before serving.
  1. As you serve, pass the coleslaw so that each person can take a large spoonful to stir into the stew.

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Overall, Soup Night was fun, delicious, and easy. Next step: Inviting the neighbors over for Round Two.

Soup Night is available now from any of the following online retailers:

AmazonBarnes & Noble | IndieBound | Workman

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Wednesday Cute: Thanksgiving Edition

Categories: Wednesday Cute

Today’s installment of Wednesday Cute is brought to you by Editorial Intern Rachel, whose dog is more likely to eat a turkey costume than wear one. And don’t even get her started on the cats.

Today, in honor of the eating extravaganza we call “Thanksgiving,” we give you Cute with a side of turkey:

Two Turkey Dogs

A quick Google Image search reveals a large variety of animals dressed like turkeys.

Turkey Cat 2

There are dogs.

Turkey Dog

We’re not sure the gobble was entirely necessary with this one…

Turkey Dog 2

… but it makes the costume on this one!

There are cats.

Turkey Cat

Unhappy Turkey Cat

Clearly, not everyone is on board with this.

There’s even the occasional turtle.

Turkey Turtle

BRB, searching for a knitting pattern so we can make a turtle cozy.

There’s even, well…

Turkey Horse

We want to believe that there’s a niche market for turkey costumes for horses.

However you celebrate—and whatever animal you choose to dress up as a turkey—we hope you have an excellent Thanksgiving!

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#TravelTuesday – Istanbul, Turkey

Categories: News, Travel

Travel Tuesday Post

Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Istanbul, Turkey, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day Calendar.

Straddling Europe and Asia, the pulsating metropolis of Istanbul has captured visitors’ imaginations for centuries with its dazzling legacy of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Today’s Istanbul offers the traveler a rich array of contemporary and historical museums, world-class restaurants, and glamorous hotels—a sensory overload where East meets West at every turn. Set against the backdrop of hills, water, and the delicate spires of minarets, this enchanting and complicated place radiates a unique energy.

Top Attractions:

1. Hagia Sophia (pictured above): The massive dome and four elegant minarets of the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya, Church of Holy Wisdom) elegantly rise above the chaos of downtown Istanbul.

2. Grand Bazaar: Everything imaginable can be purchased at Istanbul’s great Kapali Carşi (literally, “covered bazaar”), a warren sprawling across 65 streets that houses some 4,000 shops, tiny cafés, and restaurants.

5. Cağaloğlu Hamam: To relax in this chaotic city, indulge in a traditional Turkish bath.

Where to Stay:

1. Cirağan Palace Kempinksi: Built right on the Bosporus in the 19th century, the Cirağan Palace was home to some of the last Ottoman sultans and remains the summit of Turkish elegance.

2. The Marmara Taksim: Rising 20 stories above central Taksim Square in central Beyoğlu, the Marmara is a landmark with expansive views of the Bosporus.

3. Pera Palace: Founded in 1892, the grande dame of Istanbul’s hotels welcomed its first guests—passengers arriving on the Orient Express from Europe—in 1895 and was the choice of Agatha Christie, Greta Garbo, Mata Hari, and Ernest Hemingway.

Eating & Drinking:

1. Mikla: At Mikla, reckoned by many epicurean devotees to be Istanbul’s premier restaurtant, American-trained Turkish Finnish chef Mehmet Gurs has created a marriage of modern Mediterranean and Nordic flavors.

2. Imroz: In the never-ending parade of nearly identical fish restaurants on Nevizade Sokak, in bustling Beyoğlu, Imorz stands out for its fresher-than-fresh offerings and its extensive collection of meze.

3. Feriye Lokantasi: A 19th century civic building has been converted into a stylish waterside haven, where you can enjoy traditional old-Ottoman cuisine.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die book and calendar line here.

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