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Amanda Harkness - page 3

Amanda Harkness has 59 articles published.

has written for Green Life Guides, LLC, an eco-friendly lifestyle website, and contributed articles for Green Life Guides to Huffington Post Weddings, Huffington Post Green, The Daily Meal and Martha Stewart Weddings. She has also published poetry in the Albion Review, contributes DIY articles to Moxy Magazine and writes entrepreneurial topics for the women’s website, She's Self Employed. In her spare time, Amanda makes hand forged metal jewelry and loves to travel. She has an M.S. in Publishing from Pace University and currently lives in New Haven, CT.

Extend Your Gardening Season with a DIY Cold Frame

in Non-Fiction by

I am a vegetable-growing novice but there is one thing that I do know – August still provides plenty of time to plant a plentiful harvest, especially if you get down with your handy self and take a little time to construct a cold frame. Simply put, a cold frame is a structure that traps heat from the sun and allows you to grow warm weather crops even as autumn approaches and the temperature begins to dip. Cold frames extend your growing period by two to three weeks at each end of the season. You can use a cold frame in August and continue your garden into the fall, or you can also use it in early spring when the…

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Fear the Walking Dead Prep: Snacks to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

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Hungry people in zombie shows have been doing it all wrong. I’m often shaking my fist at these fictional characters and yelling at the TV, wondering why Carl from The Walking Dead is so excited about acquiring a stinking can of chocolate pudding. He probably almost had his arm chewed off just to get it, not to mention that those food runs they’re constantly making are dangerous and produce nothing but boring processed foods. They probably should have just been making jerky all along. I’m not sure how they spent their time pre-zombie apocalypse, but if they were smart, they could get ahead of the game by churning out sweet and salty, perfectly-preserved meats. Now that AMC’s spin-off, Fear the…

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Cold Brew Coffee and Chocolate Cloud Pie to Sweeten Your Weekend

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You can have your coffee and, according to recent news, you can smoke it, too. Although some may be looking for an extra caffeine boost in the form of vaping, I’m an old-fashioned girl. To me, coffee should be kept in liquid form – it does the job just fine that way. In the summertime, I prefer mine in cold brew form, with a side of pie. My first cold brew coffee experience happened three years ago when I went to visit a friend down South. We walked into a coffee shop filled with giant glass chambers where the cold brew coffee materialized in front of us, drip by drip. Looking back on it now, it makes sense that I…

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Cooking Up the Best Writing on Food

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When you think about it, good writing is a lot like good cooking. An effective author has to prepare the correct mix of words, sentences and paragraphs spiced with just the right adjectives, adverbs and punctuation marks to make the brew go down best for readers. If you’re a foodie who loves to write, then Dianne Jacob’s Will Write For Food (Lifelong Books 3rd Edition, July 2015) is a treasure trove of practical tips and techniques for those looking to thrive and survive in the food writing arena. Jacob has a wealth of knowledge in the field as a popular speaker at food writing conferences and workshops around the globe. She also happens to teach food writing courses. The classroom…

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Getting a Taste of Summer From Audrey Hepburn’s Kitchen

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Audrey Hepburn was a girl after my own heart – or perhaps in this case, my stomach. She was not without her vices in the kitchen – Hepburn’s favorites included pasta, chocolate, vanilla ice cream with fudge sauce, wine and of course, an after dinner cigarette. Her son Luca remembers her propensity for eating generous helpings of pasta and gaining no weight (a trait that Ms. Hepburn and I do not share!) Luca also provides us with a heartwarming look her classic dishes in Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen by Luca Dotta with Luigi Spinola (Harper Design, June 16, 2015). Each page is filled with photographs, handwritten recipes, cooking tips and notes written to friends. Her beloved…

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Philpott’s Campfire Cookbook is Your Trailside Friend

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If you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of a grueling hike without any power snacks, (cue hangry, trail-side rage rant) or if you’ve ever awkwardly made sandwiches on your knees because you ran out of table space, (there were so many ants on the ground!) or if you couldn’t figure out how to cook eggs and prepare coffee at the same time because you only brought one cooking pot (throws hands up in frustration) then Don and Pam Philpott’s Campfire Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Eating Well in the Wild (Thunder Bay Press, August 11, 2015) is for you. All of the above has happened to me and I can tell you right now that figuring out the answers…

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5 Lines We Loved From Clueless on its 20th Anniversary

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I was 10 years old the first time I watched what has become a cult classic—Clueless—which made stars of Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd. July 19 marks the 20th anniversary of this film based on Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. The first time I watched this saccharine-sweet high school flick, I was instantly obsessed. It seemed like styles from the movie instantly began to infiltrate popular culture: I and every girl I knew had a fuzzy feather pen at school, plaid raged in its 90s glory transformed into schoolgirl skirts and crystal chokers adorned trendy girls’ necks. All of that fabulous lingo we’ve come to know and love spouted by the likes of Cher, Amber, Tai and Dionne was overheard in…

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Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson Shows You How to “Make it Messy”

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Marcus Samuelsson, whose heady stew of an Ethiopian-Swedish upbringing cooked up a world-famous career as a chef, actually wanted to be a professional soccer player. When it became clear he was too small to go pro, he traded in his cleats for the Rolls-Royce of kitchen knives, the Sabatier, and embraced the organized chaos also known as the restaurant kitchen. He reveals the outsized appetites that inspired his stunning career in Make it Messy: My Perfectly Imperfect Life (Delacorte Books, June 2015) written with Veronica Chambers. His upbringing was molded by the sights and smells created by many different cooks, starting with the essence of his biological mother’s cooking – the Ethiopian spice, berbere – but his real culinary journey…

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Gourmet food served Curbside: Food trucks have grown up!

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Every once in a while (OK, fine—every weekend) I seek out those drool-inducing caravans of munchie love that we call food trucks. Food trucks are becoming increasingly sophisticated –it’s not just kettle corn or tacos anymore. With these trucks, you’re getting premium eats in your city curbside—and you don’t even have to make a reservation. There’s nothing better than walking up to that welcoming wagon of wafting scents and asking for a paper cone filled with crispy pommes frites, or a falafel sandwich dripping with extra tahini sauce (and I call bonus points if you stumble across a food truck festival with a smorgasbord of culinary delights). With the new generation of food truck, your favorite restaurants and chefs serve…

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Spring is here! Time for tie dye and mai tais

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Fancy a mai tai with your tie dye? Thanks, I think I will. Remember tie dying T-shirts on your front lawn as a child? I certainly do.  I recall thinking that I was really innovative and creative when I bunched together random parts of a white cotton T-shirt with elastic bands to make splotchy patterns. Eventually, I got even lazier in my teen years and thought it was super cool to tie dye a vintage Grateful Dead concert Tee for an added splash of color. As it turns out, I know nothing about this amazing art form.  Tie Dip Dye: Fashion and Lifestyle Projects to Hand-Dye in Your Own Kitchen by Pepa Martin and Karen Davis (BARRONS, 2015) takes the…

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A little-gnome fact: Daily rituals can improve your life

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It might sound crazy, but you can save yourself from procrastination with the help of a tiny felt gnome. Have you ever started a project only to lose steam halfway through the process? How about when you planned out that exercise regimen, bought new workout gear and then tossed it all aside? (That poor yoga mat will never see the light of day again!) In the midst of life’s chaos, it’s hard not to get stuck. The hardest part isn’t wallowing in your own stuckness; it’s actually getting unstuck. It may seem daunting, but if you start small, you can do great things. That’s where the The Gnome Project: One Woman’s Wild and Woolly Adventure by Jessica Peill-Meininghaus (The Countryman…

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Indulge your sweet tooth on National Truffle Day

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May 2 is National Truffle Day—as if we needed an excuse to make these delectable confections. If anyone can offer a fun and laid-back book about making chocolates, it’s the Queen of the Chocolate Turtle and owner of Turtle Alley chocolate shop, Hallie Baker. In fact, the mastermind behind these scrumptious critters, who loves to hide everything from cranberries to chilies under those chocolaty turtle shells, encourages experimentation and making a mess in the comfort of your own kitchen. She also teaches the rules of baking—but don’t worry, anyone can do this with a little know-how.  Baker is not above telling first-time chocolate bark makers to rely on a chocolate thermometer and other tools to make tempering chocolate easier. Her…

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Ancient grains can give sweet treats a healthy boost

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Do the words “einkorn” and “spelt” leave you befuddled? I see you scratching your head. How about barley? Yes! I see a glimmer of recognition in your eyes—it’s that delicious grain in hearty winter soups   —an old friend. If you’ve ever cooked with barley, you know how easy it is to prepare. It also happens to be categorized as an ancient grain. If you’re a chronic cake baker, a cookie monster or a chocolate addict feeling the guilt of too many sweets, it’s time that you became acquainted with these increasingly popular foods. These grains are making a comeback and are more accessible than ever before. The best part is a new cookbook that covers decadent whole-grain brownies, cakes, cookies,…

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DIY Inspiration — Turn that tag sale junk into treasure

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Stop the car! Every spring I find myself in the same scenario —I’m driving down the road with friends on our way to a hike or BBQ and suddenly, there on the horizon, like a beacon in the night—is the first tag sale of the year. With a screech of brakes we all tumble out of the car and descend like a horde of hungry gnats on the tag sale sweetness. It’s not just the hunt that I love but the thrill of the perfect DIY find. But what to do after you’ve hauled your recycled treasure home? Kristen at The Frugal Girl advocates using an orbital sander, a nifty tool that can speed up your priming process. Don’t have…

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A taste of The Whisky Cabinet

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I am whiskey’s patient friend—but it wasn’t always this way. My relationship with whiskey started out hot and heavy—more a whiskey shooter than a whiskey sipper. Over time, my tastes matured, and I began to savor the slow and smoky sip of my favorite peaty winter-time whiskey, Laphroaig. Mark Bylok understands the complexity that comes with sipping whiskey and recognizes that while it can appear chaotic on the surface, you should never let that turn you away. Indeed, he says that “Like any worthwhile relationship, sometimes things take time.” In Bylok’s definitive guide, The Whisky Cabinet: Your Guide to Enjoying the Most Delicious Whiskies in the World (Whitecap Books Ltd.), he expertly details the jargon associated with whiskey, and the…

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Abs as Flat as a Book — 10 of the Hottest Men of 2014

in Romance by

Was 2014 a rough year for you? We have a little something to cheer you up. The hottest men around right now. That’s right, while you’re making your list of New Year’s resolutions, perhaps you should add this: stop and notice the finer things in life. Finer things being the AB-solutely sexy celebrity men who sauntered their way into our hearts this year. Has it occurred to you how many delicious men with killer abs appeared on our television and movie screens in 2014? Well, it’s time to take notice! That doesn’t even include the swoon-worthy athletes with admirable abs that excelled on the field this year.  Life is too short to miss a killer physique. We’re hot on the…

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