Tag: Because

The Best Slow Cookers to Buy (Because Not All Crock-Pots Are Created Equal)

Though there are some superheroes who manage to whip up delicious meals from scratch after a long day at work, we can’t all be like that. For the rest of us, there are slow cookers. Throw in some protein, grains, veggies, and sauce before heading out the door, and when you come home, you’ve got a tasty, piping hot meal waiting for you. (OK, so it’s not quite that easy. You should follow a recipe, but you get the point.)

Still, not all slow cookers are created equal. Since you’ll be leaving the appliance unattended for hours, you want to pick one you can trust. Here are our four favorite models:

If You’re on a Budget

Crock-Pot 4-Quart Slow Cooker

Crock-Pot 4-Quart Manual Slow Cooker

If you’re looking for a no-frills, top-notch slow cooker, this is the model to buy. It looks nearly identical to the one our mom had 20 years ago—it’s what marketers would spin as “a timeless design.” But, as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Plus, its four-quart size makes it ideal for small kitchens where counters and cabinets are a precious commodity.

($ 19.99, crock-pot.com)

If You Like to Party

Hamilton Beach Stay-or-Go Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach Stay-or-Go 6-Quart Portable Slow Cooker

Need to cook something for a crowd? Let us introduce you to your new best friend, the Stay-or-Go slow cooker. Making big meals—without slaving away in the kitchen—has never been easier. And if you’re leaving the house for your party, you don’t have to worry about spilling your dish in transport. The locking mechanism on top keeps everything sealed (and warm) until you’re ready to serve.

($ 22.49, target.com)

If You Cook Tons of Meat

Hamilton Beach Set-n-Forget

Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

Now we’re getting to the models with cool bells and whistles. This step up from run-of-the-mill slow cookers comes with a built-in meat thermometer. Next time you’re cooking a full chicken or a roast, poke the meat with the thermometer and set your desired temperature. Once the meat reaches the right temp, the cooker automatically turns from “cook” to “warm”—meaning the meat comes out perfectly juicy every time!

($ 49.49, target.com)

If You Love Gadgets

Crock-Pot with WeMo

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo

This model is pricey, but it comes with a really cool feature: If you download the WeMo app and plug in your Crock-Pot before you leave home, you can turn this model on and adjust the temperature from anywhere. But, you ask, isn’t a slow cooker’s selling point that you can turn it on before you leave for work, not worry about it all day, and come home to a perfectly cooked meal? Well, yeah. But there are plenty of slow cooker recipes that require more precise timing, so being able to control the Crock-Pot from a distance can be really helpful.

($ 129.99, crock-pot.com)

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8 Jarred Salsas to Buy Because They’re Better (and Way Easier) Than Making Your Own

We’re pretty sure chips and salsa is everyone’s preferred party snack. In the middle of football season—a.k.a. the season for hours-long group hangouts with mountains of food—you should be armed with the chunkiest, spiciest, hold-up-to-chips-iest salsas out there. We’ve rounded up the best of the best, from fruity to garlicky to just plain perf. So now you can spend all your time focusing on the homemade guac.

Best Classic:

salsas: green mountain

Photo: Amazon

Unlike many standard salsas labeled “medium,” Green Mountain Medium Salsa wasn’t loaded with sugar to kill the kick. In fact, between the bits of garlic and pepper seeds, plus hits of cilantro, it tasted the most “homemade” of the bunch, and for that, it gets our stamp of approval.

Photo: Big Bag Fresh

We don’t want to be #mainstream, but there’s no denying it: Tostitos Medium Chunky Salsa is one of the best. Though it is medium, it packs decent heat, and the big bites of pepper and onion bring big flavor without tasting like gazpacho in the slightest.

Best Riff on Original:

salsas: Rojos

Photo: Refrigerated and Frozen Food

Rojo’s Southwestern offering gets it name (and rockin’ flavor) from chipotle peppers and jalapeños. Though a little less chunky than we’re typically looking for, Rojo’s Fire-Roasted Medium Salsa gets our vote for taste.

salsas: Newman's

Photo: Walmart

Paul Newman just gets us. When we asked ourselves, “What was regular salsa missing?” Paul answered with a jar of Newman’s Own Roasted Garlic Salsa. Smoky and strong, this probably isn’t a first-date salsa… unless you’re us and don’t give AF.

Best Verde:

salsas: chi chis

Photo: Walmart

A bit sweet, Chi-Chi’s Salsa Verde paired well with eggs and quesadillas alike. We might not dip a chip in verde alone, but it livened up meals without distracting from the main attraction.

salsas: 365

Photo: 365 By Whole Foods

Ditch the hot sauce; salsa verde is the only condiment you should douse on your food. 365 Roasted Verde Salsa‘s tangy yet sweet base is welcome on any taco of ours.

Best Fruity:

salsas: desert pepper

Photo: Walmart

The salsa purists will probably poo-poo us for even liking fruity salsas, but we’re way into Desert Pepper Peach Mango Salsa. With sugar from the fruit perfectly cutting the spice, we found we were unable to stop dunking our chips. Spoiler alert: It also makes a rad marinade for chicken and tofu.

salsas: kyvan

Photo: Sauce World

Like its orange-fruit counterpart, KYVAN Hot Honey Apple Salsa surprised us with its delicious taste. Fruity salsas FTW. It’s spicy and sweet (though mild enough to let the tomatoes do the talking), and we can’t wait to dunk beef and turkey meatballs into it, cocktail-style.

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An Olympic Wrestler Won Gold in Rio Because of Her Anxiety, Not in Spite of It

We tend to think of anxiety as a bad thing—stopping us from hanging out with friends or keeping our minds racing when all we want to do is sleep. Anxiety feels like a burden, but in a personal essay in Sports Illustrated, Olympic wrestler Helen Maroulis explains how the disorder actually helped her win gold in Rio:

Before the opening ceremonies, I was pinned. My journal entry read:

“I can’t stop crying. I’m making myself sick. For the first time in my life, I explained to Terry [my Coach] what my anxiety was like. What it felt like to be afraid of irrational things. I was always afraid to tell him, because I was afraid he wouldn’t think I was mentally capable of a gold medal. And at the Olympics, I didn’t want to look weak.

He said that I was strong to reach out and talk to him. He also said when we are hyper-sensitive to everything, it’s our bodies way of preparing for battle.”

He was right.

Maroulis’s story isn’t meant to downplay the seriouness of anxiety, but rather show the advantages it can bring (so long as you deal with it in a healthy way, like she did):

My journey brought me to a definitive realization: We live in an illusion that champions are fearless, and that any admission to the contrary is defined as weakness…

There’s a stigma that only tough girls wrestle. There’s a stigma that only fearless people win. Yet here I stand in front of you. In front of our country. In front of the world—distinguished by my gold—and by the overwhelming feeling that all of my fears and all of my anxieties in that moment rolled down my body with every tiny bead of sweat, one by one.

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Take a #CelluliteSaturday Photo Because Those “Cottage Cheese Thighs” Are Totally Normal

There are a lot of selfies on Instagram, usually pics from a day you were really feeling it. But how about selfies of the parts we usually try to cover up? Well, now we’ve got #CelluliteSaturday.

Canadian body-positive activist Kenzie Brenna started the hashtag to remind us that cellulite is normal—and really common. About 90 percent of women (and 10 percent of men) have cellulite. It’s mostly genetic, and it affects people of all shapes and sizes. So you should get used to seeing it (even if you don’t want to post your own #CelluliteSaturday pic). But if you do, you can look to Brenna for some inspiration:

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Woman Shamed for Getting Dessert, Because Apparently That’s Everyone’s Business

It’s so messed up that we live in a world where people think it’s OK to comment on what we choose to eat. (Are you sure you want another slice of cake?) Rebecca Jane Stokes, an editor at Your Tango, experienced this firsthand while traveling home on the train with a bag of Insomnia Cookies (um, yum!).

Another rider approached her and said, “You’re so lucky, just eating whatever you want and not caring. I’m a dancer so I can’t do that.” Did this woman think she was giving Stokes a compliment? Did she expect Stokes to saying something like: ‘Yes, it’s so freeing just letting yourself go’?

The comment caught Stokes off guard (who expects to get called out for walking around with cookies?), but then her thoughts started swirling. She perfectly nails all of the things you want to say to someone who body shames you in public in an essay she wrote recounting the incident. Here’s an excerpt:

Do I tell her that I first knew I was fat when I was 7?

Do I tell her I saw my first nutritionist, started counting calories, and working out at the gym when I was 12?

Do I tell her that even on my good days I don’t look in the mirror and automatically like what I see there?

Do I tell her that every day is a battle to love myself?

Do I tell her that I’m still half convinced the last guy I dated didn’t want me in the end because I was too fat?

Do I tell her that the fact I am on a subway carrying a box of cookies is one of the bravest things I’ve ever done?

Do I tell her that she has just made one of my biggest nightmares come true?

Do I get snotty and say I can tell that she doesn’t eat much because of her wrinkled skin?

I am professionally glib. I’m a writer. I’m witty all day, or at least, I try to be. But it was after 10 and I was hot and tired.

So instead I just said “f*ck you” and left it at that.

Then, I shared this story on Facebook. I was touched but not surprised when so many of my friends reached out to express their indignation. I almost didn’t share the story at all, because I didn’t want to appear like I was fishing for what people view as compliments. “You aren’t fat, no!”

I wasn’t looking for false reassurance, I was looking for a place to share my anger.

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