Seriously Tempting No-Bake Desserts to Try This Summer

If you can’t even imagine turning on the oven during the summer heat, no-bake desserts are the perfect alternatives to your usual fresh baked cookies. These oven-free desserts are just as delicious as more traditional options, and they’re often much easier to prepare, which leaves you with more time for lounging by the pool! Here are three no-bake dessert recipes to try at your next potluck dinner.

7-Layer Ice Cream Cake [marthastewart.com]
Cool off after a summer dinner with this colorful ice cream cake. Pound cake creates a sweet, dense base stacked between layers of tasty vanilla ice cream, while thick meringue is a wonderfully fluffy replacement for the usual heavy icing.

Creamy Layered Lemon Squares [snackworks.com]
Swap out your usual lemon square recipe for something much quicker — and cooler. Basic graham crackers create a crunchy crust, and the addition of ripe strawberries makes this dessert perfect for the summertime.

Hawaiian Cookie Balls [kraftrecipes.com]
The kids will adore these fun and tasty cookie balls made with sweet, crushed pineapple and flaky coconut. You can also decorate them with colorful gel icings and sprinkles to turn them into fun ducks or chickens for a child’s birthday party.

Let’s Clear the Air: The 4 Best Air-Purifying Houseplants

Have you ever considered adding a few air purifying plants to your apartment's decor? Not only do lush, green plants brighten up a space, they also clean the air and help remove toxins. Here are four of the best houseplants for air purification.

  • Boston fern. This tried-and-true houseplant doesn’t just look great, it also removes more formaldehyde from the air than any other type of plant. With its long, textured leaves and springy shape, ferns are ideal for an empty space on a shelf or even the floor.
  • Palm tree. If you want something a bit bigger, classic palm trees are also very good at removing formaldehyde from the air. They’re very easy to care for, and they add a tropical look to your home.
  • Golden pothos. This is one of the most popular houseplants, and for very good reason. It is almost impossible to kill, which makes it a great starter houseplant, and it’s also effective at purifying the air.
  • Peace lily. The flowering peace lily is one of only a few that will bloom indoors, and it removes benzene and certain VOCs from harsh cleaning products.

Natural Air Cleaners [Rodale’s Organic Life]
Types of Houseplants To Clean Indoor Air [Sustainable Baby Steps]
10 Clean-Air Plants for Your Home [This Old House]

Windsor Gold Featured Partner

Book Review Tuesday

In "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing", author Marie Kondo guides readers on a joy-based decluttering journey designed to not only reduce unneeded items in the home, but to also inspire a calmer, more motivated mindset. This book recommendation comes to us from a resident who recently made the transition from Dallas to DC. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the amount of stuff one accumulates! After discovering this book, our resident was able to cut his clutter in half, and in so doing came to a deeper understanding of what makes home, "home".

(Photo courtesy of Amazon.com)

Four Kitchen Terms Every Budding Chef Should Know

Becoming a more adventurous cook has it benefits, namely the delicious new food you can create and the sense of accomplishment in doing so. In order to try new things in the kitchen, however, it's necessary to understand some previously unfamiliar cooking terms. Here are four you should keep in mind when you're trying out a new recipe:

  1. Reduce. Savory sauces often call for part or all of them to be reduced. This means to thicken them by boiling them down so as to intensify flavor without adding any fat.
  2. Deglaze. If you’re preparing a meat or vegetable, you can deglaze it once it's browned by adding wine or stock to the pan over high heat. The deep coloring that is remaining in the pan is scraped and mixed with the wine or stock
  3. Marinate. To marinate means to let meat or veggies set for a few hours in either seasoned liquid or dry herbs and spices. During this time, the food absorbs flavors, and it will retain them during cooking.
  4. Dredge. Often before you cook or fry dishes like chicken fingers or eggplant, the recipe asks you to dredge them. This means coating them with either bread crumbs or flour.

The Basic Kitchen: Glossary of Cooking Terms [Le Petites Gourmettes]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [Better Homes and Gardens]
Cooking Terms [Recipe Goldmine]
Glossary of Cooking Terms [Cookery]
Culinary Terms: Food Dictionary and Glossary of Cooking Terms [Culinary Arts About.com]

5 No-Bake Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Sometimes you crave a sweet dessert after your evening meal, but digging out pans and preheating the oven just seems like so much work. If you want to create a tasty, creative dessert dish without messy baking, no-bake recipes are a convenient alternative.

You can make just about any type of treat with a no-bake recipe, from cookies to bars to candies. These five recipes are also perfect for last minute dinner parties or those times when the kids need a snack for school with little advance notice.

Double-Chocolate Mascarpone Raspberry Pie [Better Homes and Gardens]

Creamy Frozen Lime Pie [Recipe Lion]

No-Bake Snickers Caramel Apple Pie [Fox News]

Cookies & Crème Pudding Pops [Kraft]

Strawberry Freeze [Kraft]

Love to Cook? Master These Must-Know Knife Techniques

If you love to cook, you know how important it is to use the proper cutting techniques in every recipe. Many people don't know the proper names of these techniques, however, which often leads to using the wrong one. Here are three important types of cutting that are essential for everything from entrees to desserts.

  1. Julienne. To julienne, you want to cut vegetables or other food items into stick-shaped pieces that are long and thin. Start by cutting the item into a square, then slice it into rectangular-shaped pieces lengthwise. Repeat the same step on each of the rectangles until you're left with pieces that resemble matchsticks.
  2. Chiffonade. This type of cut sounds fancy, but it actually just refers to cutting herbs or thin leaf vegetables. Roll the herbs up into a tight tube, then roughly chop across with a sharp knife. It doesn't matter how the cuts look, just that the pieces are small enough to sprinkle throughout a dish.
  3. Dice. Dicing is similar to chopping, but it creates entirely uniform pieces for dishes like stews or fruit salads. Begin with a rectangular shape and continue to cut it both directions until you're left with uniform pieces in the size that you desire.

Knife Skills: Different Types of Cuts [The Culinary Cook]
Top 10 Knife Skills [How Stuff Works]
Perfect Your Knife Skills With This Chef's Guide to Knives [Lifehacker]

Test Your Vocabulary With These Fun Online Quizzes

Learning new words is something that can greatly advance your career goals and improve your conversational skills in general. Here are few fun online quizzes that will help you improve your vocabulary—without making you feel like you’re studying!

Merriam-Webster’s Name That Thing
This visual vocabulary quiz from the makers of the popular dictionary asks users to identify a photo of a strange object from three choices of words. While most vocabulary quizzes simply ask you for the definition of a word, this one will actually make it possible to use these words in real life situations.

AARP’s The Right Word
This fun vocabulary game is designed especially to help you to improve your memory as you age. The game asks you to match words with their corresponding definitions, and it becomes increasingly difficult the longer you play.

Games With Words Vocab Quiz
Researchers at MIT developed this challenging vocabulary test in order to study how people’s vocabularies are influenced by age and other factors, but it also offers you the benefit of improving your vocabulary in a fun way. It also only takes about 5 minutes to complete, so you can test your skills while waiting in line or even on your lunch break.

How to Adapt Your Skincare Routine to the Spring Season

While your face may require heavy creams and serums to shield it from the cold winter air, you likely don’t need so many rich products once the weather warms up. Here are a few expert ways that you can change your skincare routine to adapt to the changing seasons.

  1. Switch to a lighter moisturizer. Instead of slathering on a rich, moisturizing facial cream every evening, invest in an equally high quality but more lightweight moisturizer. Be sure to choose one that also contains SPF, as more time spent outdoors requires more sun protection.
  2. Use a toner. If your face tends to sweat a lot or become oilier during warmer weather, you may need a refreshing toner to help keep oil in check. You can sweep this product across the skin after removing your makeup or any time you want to create a more matte appearance.
  3. Use a stronger, gel-based cleanser. If the spring weather causes your skin to break out or become oily, you may also require a more thorough cleanser. Choose a gel or foam option to really clean deep within the pores.
  4. Carry oil-blotting sheets. For quick touch-ups when your skin gets a bit shiny throughout the day, carry oil-blotting papers in your purse or gym bag.

What to Do When Climate Change Affects Your Skin [Paula’s Choice Skincare]
Seasonal Skincare [True Holistic Beauty]
Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine: How To Declutter & Organize Your Makeup [Beauty World News]

Three Websites to Buy Modern Furniture Online

With its clean lines, bright pops of color, and timeless look, there’s a lot to love about modern furniture. This style has seen a major resurgence among design enthusiasts, and lucky for you, there are a number of affordable websites that offer stylish modern furniture. Here are some of the best:

West Elm
Fans of modern furniture look to the expertly arranged displays in West Elm stores for design inspiration, but if you don’t have a location in your area, the retailer's online store is just as inspiring. From tufted headboards to mid-century inspired buffets with slim wooden legs, West Elm is a fairly affordable option for modern furniture pieces and home decor items.

Design Within Reach
Design Within Reach aims to reintroduce the iconic styles of designers like Herman Miller into today’s furniture market. The online shop carries beloved pieces like Eames chairs, and it even offers items from up-and-coming modern furniture designers.

CB2
CB2 operates as the modern sister company of Crate & Barrel, and its price points are a bit lower, as well. Large-scale furniture pieces like bed frames, sectional sofas, and dressers are mixed in with industrial light fixtures, geographic-print linens, and other modern decor items on this easy-to-navigate site.

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