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2020’s Best Interior Design Books Put Comfort & Creativity First

Design has always been about the power of imagination. But this year, when being indoors made it much easier to take stock of what our spaces could be, design has taken on a certain level of much-needed hope. While the outside world might continue to be trying, with some effort, our homes (aka, our inner worlds) can be spaces full of comfort, calm, and inspiration. At least that’s the sentiment we felt as we gathered together our favorite interior design books of 2020.

These 12 titles feature well-known blogger and designer names alongside up-and-comers, and small footprint homes next to more expansive spaces. They detail useful tidbits on layering pieces in a living room and also describe the intricate histories behind those objects...

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How Soup Saved My Life—Twice

The part about surviving a terminal illness that no one talks about is that it’s almost as scary as being diagnosed in the first place. I survived the year I was given, only to encounter medical bills and a chorus of voices that seemed to question if I could meet a deadline, which is a grim fate for a cookbook author. A mist of pity hung in the air, its storm vanished but evident still. And I was the same through it all, having done nothing but breathed in and out every day, just in different rooms and being told different things about my body.

There is no such thing as “back to normal,” which is a phrase that I heard a lot then.
I had bartered all of my favorite foods—my career, even—for more time with my two young sons...

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The Secret to These Chic Wall Hooks? This Children’s Toy

When we moved into our house three years ago, we put our bedroom together with the hand-me-down, thrifted, and broken bargains that we moved from our apartment. We made it as comfortable as possible but our dressers had huge footprints without much actual storage, our bed frame was about to snap and because it felt a little hodge-podge, it wasn’t a space I cared to keep as clean as the rest of the house.

Then, earlier this year, we decided to replace our lead-painted windows. Because of health and safety regulations associated with lead dust, our family was asked to move out of the home for three weeks—along with every single piece of furniture, rug, and accessory...

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Do You Really Need to Wash Rice? Nik Sharma Has Thoughts.

If you’re like us, every time you hear about a kitchen hack—whether it’s advice from grandma or trending on TikTok—you wonder: But does it actually work? In The Kitchen Scientist, we’re asking author Nik Sharma (whose new book, The Flavor Equation, comes out in October!) to put it to the test.

It’s almost an unconscious act for most of us. Before we cook many ingredients, we inevitably make our way to the kitchen sink to wash them. This does a lot of things: It rids the food’s surface from grit, dirt, chemicals, and bugs. But in some instances, washing also helps improve the quality of a dish, especially when rice is involved.

I always wash my rice before soaking to get rid of all the unwanted things mentioned above—but also, more importantly, to get rid of any starch that’s pres...

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My Life Is Nothing Like My Jichan’s, But Our Tortilla Eggs Are the Same

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

In American popular culture, weekend mornings often consist of stacks of impossibly fluffy pancakes, crispy hash browns, and platters of wavy bacon. But when my siblings and I were growing up in suburban Orange County, Calif., on any given Sunday, you’d be more likely to find us ripping up tortillas over a skillet of hot oil—under the watchful eye of my father, who was on standby with a bowl of scrambled eggs, ready to douse the jagged little triangles at exactly the right moment.

Tortilla eggs, as my grandpa (or jichan, as I called him) dubbed them, is one of those dishes that’s as basic as a dish can be, but no less de...

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Why Wild Boar Bacon Is the Hero of My Fridge Right Now

Welcome to Living Wild by Danielle Prewett, a wild game cook and contributing editor at MeatEater. In this series, she explores what it means to eat consciously and live mindfully. For Danielle, that way of life relies on hunting, fishing, foraging, and gardening. Her stories aim to inspire you to live a life more closely connected to the earth and to celebrate its natural bounty in your kitchen.

One weeknight after a long day of work, I found myself hungry with what felt like nothing to eat. It’s an all-too-familiar feeling for many of us. Under normal circumstances, I would have run to the store and grabbed a few things, but these are not normal circumstances. I was forced to reconcile with current conditions and reevaluated what was available in my pantry.

I found sourdough that was...

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Is Mortadella the Best Cold Cut? (Is That Even a Question?)

Mortadella is having a moment.

As a cured meat obsessive, I’ve always vaguely known about it—mainly as an element of certain sandwiches, like the muffuletta. But it wasn’t until recently that I started encountering it almost every time I went out to eat.

Mortadella is an Italian cold cut made of pork and often studded with pistachios. It’s seasoned with a mixture of peppers, caraway, and garlic, and has a disarmingly silky texture, thanks to a healthy dose of pork fat. Its existence dates back to the Roman empire, and a cool 2,000 years later, mortadella is spreading like, well, whipped mortadella through the food scene in New York and beyond.

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There’s a whole herd of New York restaurants joining in on the fun...

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The Vegan Cookbook That’s Also a Call to Action

If anything, Haile Thomas’ food choices as a child were early indications. In the introduction to her new vegan cookbook, Living Lively, the food activist writes: “I despised the kids menu, and was kind of offended by it.” Instead, she adds, she picked off the adult menu, watched Iron Chef on repeat, and enjoyed nothing more than cooking Jamaican meals alongside her mother.

When she was eight, the family learned that her father had type 2 diabetes. His illness, she says, led to a transformation in their attitude toward food: from seeing it as a vehicle for love to something that was life-giving and empowering. By age 10, she was speaking about the link between wellness and food at conferences like TEDx...

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16 Small Pantries Big on Smart Storage Solutions

If you’ve been on Netflix lately, you’ve probably seen that the geniuses behind The Home Edit recently released their very own show, called Get Organized with the Home Edit. Over the course of the first season, Clea and Joanna help everyday people, as well as celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Khloé Kardashian, embrace organization throughout their homes.

While it’s always fun to ogle expansive homes with walk-in pantries and such, the reality is that most of us don’t have a ton of storage, especially in the kitchen. In fact, a lot of homes and apartments—my own included—are fairly sparse in the food storage department, which forces us to get crafty if we want to keep everything tucked away and organized.

If you’re ready to transform your more minimal pantry from messy an...

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How to Clean & Care for Stainless Steel Pans Like a Pro

The arrival of a new set of stainless steel cookware is a joyful occasion. The second you lay eyes on it—all shiny and pristine—you’re already dreaming of all the searing, caramelizing, and sautéing you’ll be doing. But in the same breath, you also think: Man, I really hope I don’t ruin this gleaming piece of perfection. Because as much as stainless steel pots and pans conduct, distribute, and maintain heat beautifully, and are an absolute joy to have around the kitchen, they also need your care and attention.

Let’s face it: bits of food will stick on, water spots will (too reliably) appear, and dings will happen. Luckily though, there are handy solutions for all this regular wear and tear...

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