What is the Difference Between Sport and Energy Drinks

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Sport drinks are flavored beverages that often contain carbohydrates minerals and electrolytes and sometimes other vitamins and nutrients. Energy drinks typically contain stimulants such as caffeine and guarana with varying amounts of sugar protein, vitamins, sodium and other minerals.

Sport drinks are flavored beverages that often contain carbohydrates minerals and electrolytes and sometimes other vitamins and nutrients.  They may have some benefit for the young athlete who participates regularly in endurance or high intensity sports when used in addition to plain water for hydration.  They are not recommended for general consumption or as a substitute for water due to their high calorie content and use of citric acid linked to obesity and dental erosion.

Energy drinks typically contain stimulants such as caffeine and guarana with varying amounts of sugar protein, vitamins, sodium and other minerals.  According to a recent study by the AAP some energy drinks can have as much as 14x the amount of caffeine found in the average cola product.  They can lead to difficulty sleeping, headaches, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, and irregular heartbeat.  Depending on the amount of stimulant in the beverage, over use can cause toxicity and even death.    There is even the risk for physical dependence and addiction to the stimulants in these beverages.  Therefore energy drinks are never recommended for children or adolescents and should never be consumed by them.

By Patricia Callahan, MD, pediatrician, ThedaCare Pediatrics-Appleton

Understanding the Stigma Around Antidepressants

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The stigma around antidepressants and mental health is quite common. While depression and substance abuse aren’t rare throughout the world, few people choose to solve the real cause of this problem. In fact, the stigma around getting treatment for mental health disorders is a major reason for suicide.

As a result of this stigma, few people understand the benefits of using antidepressants as treatment. While many choose to demonize this medication, the reality is that antidepressants are a lifesaving option for those undergoing treatment for depression.

The Stigma Around Antidepressants

The sooner the health industry and the world at large understand that depression is a life-threatening illness, the healthier the conversation surrounding depression and antidepressants will be. Most of the stigma surrounding antidepressants is due to the misconceptions about this medication.

Many choose to focus on the negative side effects of antidepressants rather than treating depression itself. While antidepressants are an effective treatment for certain mental health issues, this medication can cause side effects like emotional dulling and an increase in suicidal thoughts. However, with proper guidance from medical professionals, doctors can minimize the side effects of antidepressants.

The Truth About Antidepressants

Many of the misunderstandings about medication for depression stem from the idea that antidepressants are a cure-all for this type of illness. In reality, doctors often prescribe depression medication alongside therapy and similar treatments. With the option to receive treatment in a rehab facility, many residents are able to stop using antidepressants altogether.

When attending a rehab treatment center, residents can expect treatment options such as:

  • Substance abuse services for prescription drugs
  • Personalized and individualized treatment plans
  • Individual and weekly therapy sessions
  • Daily clinical classes
  • Group activities, peer monitoring, and family activities
  • Areas and times for holistic therapies

The Link Between Depression and Substance Abuse

Research shows that there is a connection between substance abuse and mental illness. The reason a rehab center plays such an instrumental role in overcoming substance abuse and depression is that it addresses this link between the two disorders.

In many cases, individuals turn to substance abuse to help them cope with their mental health disorders. With the expert treatment medical professionals provide at a rehab center, you will receive a customized treatment plan that addresses any substance use disorders related to depression and other mental health issues.

Recovering from Substance Abuse

While people continue to stigmatize mental health and treatment, the truth is that many individuals who use antidepressants experience substance abuse, too. The best way to treat this type of substance abuse while treating depression is to visit our mental health treatment center.

At Rose Hill, you can expect resources such as:

  • Residential treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Mental health treatment
  • Transitional living
  • Extended residential treatment

With the help of our treatment center, you will be able to overcome your dependency on any substances. We use various therapies and services like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy to help people overcome their dependency.

In addition to beginning the road to recovery, treatment centers will provide the necessary tools to treat your depression. For those who are fighting with mental illness and substance abuse, the right treatment center will address all symptoms of these disorders. Moreover, you’ll learn various relapse prevention tools and coping mechanisms for depression to keep you grounded in healthy living practices once you’re out of rehab.

Holiday Depression: How to Beat the Holiday Blues

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Learn why people get depressed over the holidays and how you can overcome end of the year sadness

You made it through Thanksgiving with a smile. And now comes the holiday doubleheader of Christmas and New Year’s when most everyone seems to ooze good cheer and merriment. So what do you do when the world around you is wrapped in red and green and you’re feeling blue?

First, recognize that you’re not a Scrooge and you’re most definitely not alone. The “holiday blues” are real and much more common than you think. Second, be kind to yourself. Try not to chastise yourself for what you are and what you’re not feeling. And third, take a few minutes to read about some of the major causes and best remedies for the “holiday blues.”

What Is Holiday Depression?

While “holiday depression” is not a clinical diagnosis, the stress, anxiety and sadness of the season can contribute to a more long-term condition, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). And for those with mental illness, many say it becomes “a lot” worse (24%) or “somewhat” worse (40%) during the holidays.

Stressors unique to the holidays can include:

  • Spending more money than usual (or feeling pressured to do so).
  • Having more social or familial obligations than usual.
  • Pressure to maintain happiness or be in “the holiday spirit.”
  • Having more opportunities — and permission — to eat, drink and otherwise indulge.
  • Having more intense travel plans, accompanied by all the worries about being on time and not forgetting the presents and how weather will affect the trip.

The holidays can also dredge up other uncomfortable feelings around loneliness and loss.

What Causes Holiday Depression?

Loneliness

For people without a significant other, who don’t have family or who live far from family, the holidays can be especially tough. While longing for company, lonely people may isolate even more leaving them feeling even worse.

Remedies:

  • Resist the temptation to hunker down. Get up and get moving even if it’s only for a series of short excursions to your favorite café or bookstore. The goal is to be around people. Having a brief conversation or simply exchanging smiles lifts your mood says Kenneth Yeager, PhD, clinical director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
  • Find new ways to keep yourself occupied so you don’t dwell on your aloneness. Book a tour and see the city you live in through the eyes of enthusiastic visitors suggests psychotherapist and trauma expert Ross Rosenberg of Clinical Care Consultants in Arlington Heights, IL. Just being a part of an animated group can reenergize you. Or volunteer at an animal shelter or somewhere that gets you out of your head while keeping your spirit engaged and uplifted.
  • Call someone that you think might be feeling like you. “Take a chance,” says Rosenberg. You may find that person is happy to chat or share some time with you. “Let yourself feel the pleasure of connection without the fear of rejection,” Rosenberg adds.

Loss

If you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, the idea of experiencing happiness during the holidays might make you feel guilty or disrespectful to the memory of that person.

Remedies:

  • We all experience some degree of survivor guilt says Dr. Yeager. But it’s important to not let “expectations about how you should feel dictate how you actually feel,” he says. “Being respectful to those we’ve lost should include memories of good times together. A smile is just as loving as a tear.”
  • While you shouldn’t feel guilty, it’s OK to feel sad and to acknowledge to yourself and to others that you miss your loved one.

Missing Holidays Past

Memories and traditions are a big part of the holidays. If your current life circumstances aren’t the best, you may get stuck longing for the happier times in the past at the expense of the present.

Remedies:

  • Create new traditions. There are no hard rules for what your holiday should look like. If you’re worried that repeating an old tradition will make you sad, reinvent it for the present. No kids at home. Make that family cookie recipe for children stuck in the hospital.
  • And if it’s too difficult to stay where you are, give yourself permission to go somewhere that doesn’t hold any memories. Book a hotel in a town nearby or a city far away, plan a few activities, buy yourself a present and revel in the anonymity, suggests Rosenberg.

What are the Symptoms?

Post-holiday depression can manifest as more withdrawn, more irritable or more impulsive behavior. Changes in sleeping or eating — either doing more or doing less — are common signs of someone experiencing depression.

If you notice these changes in yourself or a loved one, seek the help of a medical or mental health professional.

How to Overcome Holiday Depression

Ultimately, beating the holiday blues is about staying “true to who you are,” says Dr. Yeager. That may mean saying “yes” to parties and gathering, knowing that you can always leave if necessary. It means respecting your limits without succumbing to self-isolation. It means giving yourself credit for being as merry as you can.

And, above all, it means recognizing and being grateful for all the little joys and moments of happiness in your life.

Dealing with Post-Holiday Depression

First, realize what is causing you to be blue. Do you miss the merriment of family and friends gathered around good food and good conversation? Are you grieving someone who couldn’t be with you, either because of a death or because they just couldn’t make it work around other obligations? Are you sad the holidays weren’t “as good” as ones before, either from childhood or simply when you had less to deal with?

Address your specific feelings with some of the above ideas, or those you come up with. Taking care of yourself — good sleep, healthful diet, physical activity and other forms of self-care — is also crucial.

Finally if, despite your best efforts, you are still constantly sad or anxious, have trouble sleeping, feel physically hurt or ill, or feel hopeless or helpless, contact a doctor or mental health professional.

Is Seasonal Depression a Factor in the Post-Holiday Blues?

Some people are more prone to feeling down or depressed in the darker, colder days of winter. Those diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a mood disorder associated with depression and related to light variations among the seasons, can exhibit symptoms including mood changes, sleep problems, lethargy, overeating and anxiety.

A diagnosis of SAD can be made by a medical professional after three consecutive winters of these symptoms if they are also followed by complete remission of symptoms in the spring and summer months. Treatments include spending time outdoors, phototherapy, and medication if indicated.

Margaret Jaworski

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and COVID-19

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Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a serious condition that appears to be linked to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Most children who become infected with the COVID-19 virus have only a mild illness. But in children who go on to develop MIS-C, some organs and tissues — such as the heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, digestive system, brain, skin or eyes — become severely inflamed. Signs and symptoms depend on which areas of the body are affected.

MIS-C is considered a syndrome — a group of signs and symptoms, not a disease — because much is unknown about it, including its cause and risk factors. Identifying and studying more children who have MIS-C may help to eventually find a cause. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health are working with doctors and researchers across the country to learn more about risk factors for MIS-C, share data, and improve diagnosis and treatment of MIS-C.

Rarely, some adults develop signs and symptoms similar to MIS-C. This new and serious syndrome, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A), occurs in adults who were previously infected with the COVID-19 virus and many didn’t even know it. MIS-A seems to occur weeks after COVID-19 infection, though some people have a current infection. If MIS-A is suspected, a diagnostic or antibody test for COVID-19 can help confirm current or past infection with the virus, which aids in diagnosing MIS-A.

MIS-C is rare, and most children who have it eventually get better with medical care. But some kids rapidly get worse, to the point where their lives are at risk.

Much remains to be learned about this emerging inflammatory syndrome. If your child shows any signs or symptoms, get help fast.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) include those below, though not all children have the same symptoms.

  • Fever that lasts 24 hours or longer
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Skin rash
  • Feeling unusually tired
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Red eyes
  • Redness or swelling of the lips and tongue
  • Redness or swelling of the hands or feet
  • Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

Emergency warning signs of MIS-C

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds — depending on skin tone
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake up or stay awake

When to see a doctor

If your child has any of the emergency warning signs listed above — or is severely sick with other signs and symptoms — get care immediately. Take your child to the nearest emergency department or call 911 or your local emergency number.

If your child isn’t severely ill but shows other signs or symptoms of MIS-C, contact your child’s doctor right away for advice. Doctors may want to do tests — such as blood tests, or imaging tests of the chest, heart or abdomen — to check for areas of inflammation and other signs of MIS-C.

Causes

The exact cause of MIS-C is not known yet, but it appears to be an excessive immune response related to COVID-19. Many children with MIS-C have a positive antibody test result. This means they’ve had a recent infection with the COVID-19 virus. Some may have a current infection with the virus.

Risk factors

In the U.S., more Black and Latino children have been diagnosed with MIS-C compared with children of other races and ethnic groups. Studies are needed to help determine why MIS-C affects these children more often than others. Factors may include, for example, differences in access to health information and services as well as the possibility of risks related to genetics.

Most children with MIS-C are between the ages of 3 and 12 years old, with an average age of 8 years old. Some cases have also occurred in older children and in babies.

Complications

Many specialists consider MIS-C to be a complication of COVID-19. Without early diagnosis and appropriate management and treatment, MIS-C can lead to severe problems with vital organs, such as the heart, lungs or kidneys. In rare cases, MIS-C could result in permanent damage or even death.

Prevention

In the U.S., the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available to people age 5 and older. A vaccine can prevent you or your child from getting or spreading the COVID-19 virus. If you or your child gets COVID-19, a COVID-19 vaccine could or prevent you or your child from becoming seriously ill. Also, if you and your child have been fully vaccinated, you and your child can more safely return to many activities you may not have been able to do because of the pandemic.

If you or your child haven’t been vaccinated, you can take many steps to prevent yourselves from getting the COVID-19 virus and spreading it to others. The CDC recommends following these precautions for avoiding exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Keep hands clean. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid people who are sick. In particular, avoid people who are coughing, sneezing or showing other signs that indicate they might be sick and contagious.
  • Practice social distancing. This means that you and your child should stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people when outside of your home.
  • Wear cloth face masks in public settings. When in indoor public places or outdoors where there is a high risk of COVID-19 transmission, such as at a crowded event or large gathering, both you and your child — if he or she is at least 2 years old — should wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth. Further mask guidance differs depending on whether you are fully vaccinated or unvaccinated.
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth. Encourage your child to follow your lead and avoid touching his or her face.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or your elbow when you sneeze or cough. You and your child should practice covering your mouths when you sneeze or cough to avoid spreading germs.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces every day. This includes areas of your home such as doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, countertops, tables, chairs, desks, keyboards, faucets, sinks and toilets.
  • Wash clothing and other items as needed. Follow manufacturers’ instructions, using the warmest appropriate water setting on your washing machine. Remember to include washable plush toys.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

75 BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS OF 2022, GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU ON THE NICE LIST

Get in the holiday shopping spirit with spectacular gifts that’ll have everyone feeling festive.

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If you’re in the middle of planning out all your Christmas shopping, you’ve come to the right place. Thanks to online ordering, getting Christmas gifts for the holidays is easier than ever. Whether you’re shopping for Mom and Dad, your bestieboss, or boo, these coveted Christmas gift ideas are guaranteed to make anyone’s holiday special. From the latest tech gadgets to hot new toy trends, we’ve found more than 70 top gifts that they’ll be thrilled to find under the tree.

Best of all: You don’t have to spend big to score the ultimate present. Most of these awesome finds fall within the affordable under $50 category, so you can blow your giftee away without busting your budget. Use the money you’ll save to spoil yourself with something special, or choose to donate it to a noble cause. It is the season of giving, after all.

And while it’s nice to know that 2-day shipping exists (Amazon Prime is a true Christmas miracle), shipping delays are still common, especially around the holidays, so we recommend starting your gift shopping now. You wouldn’t want to rely on that as your only gifting strategy, or — gasp! — pay extra for express shipping at the very last minute.

We’ve done the hard work for you and selected the very best Christmas gifts of 2022. So relax, binge-watch all of your favorite holiday movies, and enjoy the Christmas season knowing that everyone on your list is taken care of.

1

FOR STRUGGLING SLEEPERS

Sleep Aid Device

Give the gift of sweeter dreams with a genius sleep aid device that’ll permanently put your recipient’s troubled nights to bed.

An illuminated metronome system will teach them how to doze off naturally with an expanding light that’ll prompt them to breathe in and retract when it’s time to breathe out.

2

Classic Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment

$109 AT AMAZON

FOR THE SPA LOVERS

Classic Bidet Toilet Seat Attachment

It may seem strange to opt for a bidet as a Christmas gift, but let’s be real: It adds a bit of spa-like luxury to any bathroom. Trust us — we’ve tried it. This option by Tushy has pressure and angle control, so it’s bound to be just right for whomever you gift it to.

3

BEST RAVE-WORTHY HAIR TOOL

One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer

Now 19% off

$32 AT AMAZON$35 AT WALMART$33 AT BUY BUY BABY

For salon-quality blowouts they can achieve at home, this detangling hot air brush will leave her hair dry, silky, and super volumized. Its unique oval shape allows for extra lift at the roots and curlier ends, so they’ll never miss using a traditional blow dryer. This is one Christmas they’ll never return.

4

FOR THE OUTDOORSY-ISH ONE

Portable Campfire

$28 AT AMAZON

For anyone who loves to sit back and relax near the campfire but doesn’t have the space or wherewithal to build one, gift them this nifty little thing for Christmas.

The candle-like “campfire” has 3 to 5 hours of burn time and is sleek enough to bring the campfire wherever — be it the beach, the backyard, or anywhere else!

5

THE PERFECT CROSSBODY

Kelsey Crossbody

$45 AT AMAZON

Inspired by the silhouette and functionality of a classic camera bag, this crossbody cutie will keep all your essentials organized and safe without weighing you down. It has two large zippered compartments to stow items like your wallet and sunglasses and a smaller outside pocket to fit your phone or other slim belongings.

6

FOR THE TECHIE WHO LOVES MUSIC

AirPods Pro

Now 28% off

$180 AT AMAZON$200 AT WALMART$215 AT B&H PHOTO

Begone, wires! Music junkies who always have their headphones on will seriously appreciate the wireless technology these AirPods offer. Unlike the original AirPods, they feature superior active noise cancellation, complete with transparency mode for clearer hearing and connecting. If you’re feeling extra generous, add a case to protect their new wireless earbuds.

7

FOR THE MINIMALIST-MINDED CHEF

Always Pan

$145 AT OUR PLACE

The seemingly minimalist design of this sophisticated pan conceals a complex secret inside. It’s actually eight pieces of cookware in one, containing a frying pan, sauté pan, steamer, skillet, saucepan, nonstick pan, spatula, and spoon rest in a single simplified unit, making it an ideal Christmas gift for apartment dwellers who are tight on room.

8

FOR THE COZY CONNOISSEUR

Warmies Slippers

$22 AT AMAZON

Pop these plush puppies into the microwave, and toes will be toasty in no time. The all natural grain and dried lavender fill in these microwavable slippers will provide a soothing weighted feel and release stress-busting aromatherapy benefits into the air. It’s a thoughtful Christmas gift anyone can use.

9

FOR THE PAPER-OBSESSED PUZZLER

Custom Front Page Puzzle

$60 AT NYTIMES.COM

This personalized 500-piece puzzle is a fun and interactive option that’s unlike anything they’ve ever received before. Select a meaningful day — their birthday, anniversary, or date of a significant milestone — and the seller will create a puzzle featuring the front page of The New York Times from that day.

10

FOR CREATIVE KIDDIE CODERS

Artie 3000 Coding Robot

$41 AT AMAZON$45 AT WALMART$67 AT QVC

Kiddie coders can get creative with a design-drawing STEM toy that offers pre-programmed options for beginners, plus advanced apps that’ll help them expand their knowledge as their skills grow. It comes with an Artie 3000 robot, four washable markers, and activity cards. In no time, they’ll be pros at creating with Python and JavaScript!

11

FOR THE ONE WHO’S ALWAYS ON 1%

3-in-1 Wireless Charger

$38 AT AMAZON

If your loved one is an Apple user, they’re sure to love this Christmas gift. It will not only give them a designated space to store all their devices but also offers wireless charging. Its sleek design can hold an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, so all their devices can charge at one time without a mess of cords.

12

FOR THE SHUTTERBUG

Sprocket Portable Photo Printer Starter Bundle

$130 AT AMAZON$130 AT WALMART

It’s all about instant gratification these days, so help them turn their digital memories into physical memorabilia with a click of a button. This HP Sprocket starter bundle is a fun Christmas gift that’s capable of printing 2×3-inch photos on the included Zero Ink paper. They can even edit photos before printing with Sprocket’s mobile app.

The bundle includes a deluxe case, sticker sets, twin tip markers, square hanging frames, and an album to store all their pics.

13

FOR THE WINTER COMMUTER

Bluetooth Beanie

$30 AT AMAZON

If they already own a great pair of wireless earbuds, this beanie will easily take their place in the winter months. This Bluetooth speaker-and-beanie combo make it possible for your recipient to listen to all their favorite tunes, skip back and forth through their playlists, and even take phone calls, all while keeping their head cozy.

14

FOR THE COMPETITIVE COMRADE

HUES and CUES Vibrant Color Guessing Game

$25 AT AMAZON$25 AT WALMART

Get ready for a colorful game night! This eye-catching board game will test everyone’s knowledge and guessing capabilities. Players will take turns trying to guess a specific hue from the 480 color squares on the board. The player with the most points on the grayscale scoring track wins the game.

15

FOR THE EXPERIMENTAL OENOPHILE

Starter Pack

$48 AT USUALWINES.COM

Treat the self-proclaimed wine connoisseur in your life with this Usual Wines starter pack. Usual Wines are sustainably farmed with minimal intervention and free of added flavorings, colorants, and sugar. This starter pack includes six generous single-serve bottles of an effervescent brut, a fruity red, and a crisp rosé for them to enjoy.

16

FOR COMFY STEPS

Cloud Slides

Now 40% off

$22 AT AMAZON

Give them the chance to feel like they’re walking on clouds with these popular slides. The soles of these slides are 1.5 inches thick, lightweight, and compression-resistant for a stable, supportive fit they’ll want to take off.

Best of all, it’s available in 21 unique colors to match anyone’s style.

17

FOR CORD-FREE LISTENING

Bluetooth Headphone Adapter

$55 AT AMAZON$58 AT WALMART

If you’re looking for a gift for the one who’s always catching flights, look no further than this TikTok famous gadget.

It has a battery life of over 16 hours and can wirelessly connect up to two wireless headphones via Bluetooth, so they can enjoy all the in-flight entertainment without ever dropping a penny on those airline headsets.

18

FORE A TEE-RIFIC GIFT

Golf Practice Net

Now 11% off

$80 AT AMAZON

If your dad can’t always hit the links, this is the best Christmas gift to bring the links to him. It comes with a carry bag, golf hitting mat, a tee holder, five golf balls, and a hitting net that features one large target and three chipping target pockets so he can practice all his shots and swings from the comfort of his home.

19

FOR SECRET FAMILY RECIPES

My Family Cookbook

Now 22% off

$27 AT AMAZON$30 AT UNCOMMON GOODS

Since your family will be together for the holidays, get them all to share their favorite recipes in this cookbook. This blank recipe book has space to be filled with more than 80 recipes, photographs, and other materials. It’s fabric-bound and contains 230 heavyweight pages for a gift that’s made to last for years.

20

GREAT FOR SIDE SLEEPERS

Wireless Sleep Headphones

$100 AT AMAZON

If your loved one typically has trouble falling asleep with headphones, especially when lying on their sides, these Bluetooth sleeping headphones with flat speakers will be a useful Christmas gift. It has built-in control buttons, clear sound quality, and a 12-hour battery life so they can listen throughout the night for restful sleep.

21

TO HOLD EVERYTHING

Go Getter Bag 2.0

$158 AT LULULEMON

Give your giftee this versatile gym bag from Lululemon that’s great for everyday use. It has designated space for sweaty workout clothes, their water bottle, and all other essentials. It’s made of water-repellent fabric and also features padded handles for comfy carrying, an interior padded pocket for a 16-inch laptop, and a quick-access pocket for their phone.

22

A MUST-HAVE OUTDOOR PICK

Rendezvous Camping Chair

Now 33% off

$60 AT AMAZON$63 AT WALMART$67 AT MOOSE JAW

Fans of the great outdoors will appreciate having a comfortable place to sit wherever they go. From sunny beach days to hanging around a campfire, this foldable chair will be their favorite Christmas gift. The TechMesh fabric offers breathability, while the sturdy steel frame offers support and stability as they relax.

23

FOR THE KIDS

Sunny The Bright Light Chameleon

Now 10% off

$14 AT AMAZON$14 AT WALMART

This colorful toy is one of the best Christmas gifts for kids. Like a real chameleon, Sunny The Bright Light Chameleon changes color according to its mood. This interactive toy chameleon also responds to petting, feeding, the sound of your voice, and music. Plus, it’s designed for endless play to keep the little one entertained.

24

COMMUTER COMPANION

The Backpack

$149 AT DAYOWL.COM

Don’t be fooled by the minimalist design — because this backpack offers major storage. It has multiple pockets, including a padded laptop pocket ideal for a 16-inch laptop, a secret side pocket that’s perfect for keys, and even a spill-resistant bottle pocket that can fit up to a 750-milliliter water bottle.

25

FOR QUALITY ATHLEISURE

Sunday Performance Jogger

$98 AT VUORI

A great pair of joggers are always a welcomed gift for him. Made of moisture-wicking material, this pair from Vuori is quick-drying, offers four-way stretch, and will become a new staple in his closet. It also features a drawcord, an elastic waistband, and a zippered pocket to easily store important items when he’s on the move.

26

A RECYCLED KITCHEN NECESSITY

The reBoard

$35 AT MATERIAL

Give their kitchen a surprising sustainable upgrade with this BPA-free cutting board made from kitchen plastic scraps and renewable sugarcane. It’s available in six gorgeous colors to compliment any kitchen aesthetic.

Plus, 50% of proceeds from the color To Pó-Po, with Love will benefit Heart of Dinner, which delivers care packages to elders in the AAPI community throughout New York City.

27

FOR LIGHTWEIGHT TRANSPORTATION

Soltera Ebike

$1,299 AT AVENTON BIKES

If they’ve been considering joining the world of e-bikes, this Aventon Soltera electric bike is a splurgeworthy gift that’s sure to impress them. Despite being an electric bike, this single-speed bike is agile and lightweight, so they can zip through the city and carry it with total ease.

It’s also available in a 7-speed option as well.

28

FOR THE AT-HOME BARISTA

Limu Ethiopia Single Origin Coffee

$26 AT AMAZON

Looking to gift a guarantee for good mornings this Christmas? This blend of Arabica beans is sure to please. It’s a light roast with low acidity and notes of chocolate, blueberry, and honey. A cup of this coffee will make you want to actually get up in the morning.

29

FOR THE INTREPID TRAVELER

Self Cleaning Water Bottle

$99 AT AMAZON

Frequent travelers know that keeping a water bottle on hand is always a smart move, but finding a good spot to fill up with filtered H2O while in transit can be tricky.

This USB-rechargeable water bottle from LARQ is not only insulated, but it uses an internal UV-C LED light that activates every 2 hours to purify the water and eliminate up to 99.99% of contaminants.

30

FOR TINY KICKS

Smallbirds Wool Runners

$60 AT ALLBIRDS

This pint-sized version of one of Allbirds’ most-loved styles — wool runners — will make your littlest recipient squee with joy. These Smallbirds wool runners are made with natural materials, feature elastic laces, and have a small carbon footprint for a sustainable Christmas gift.

Plus, since messes happen, they’re machine-washable — which is a parent’s dream.

31

BEST HANDBAG

The Naturals Crossbody

$68 AT BEISTRAVEL.COM

A great handbag can last a lifetime, making it one of the best Christmas gifts you can give. This crossbody bag by Shay Mitchell’s brand Beis is beautifully constructed with faux croc material, three pockets, and a knotted crossbody strap. The gorgeous cognac color goes with almost any outfit during any season.

We especially love the contrast of the acrylic handles with the material of this compact handbag.

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SCENTED CANDLE ALTERNATIVE

Smart Fragrance Diffuser

$44 AT TRYPURA.COM

This smart diffuser is an upgrade from the traditional scented candle gift — and our editors are obsessed with it. Your recipient will appreciate the ability to control this diffuser from anywhere with the app. They can create custom schedules, adjust fragrance intensity, and swap between the two scents to fill their space when and how they want to.

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TRIPLE-THREAT SKIN CARE

Mini Cream Discovery Set

$70 AT WALMART

This cream set from Sol de Janeiro will become their new go-to product when they want super smooth, soft skin and smell absolutely heavenly. This trio works to firm up, brighten, and hydrate their skin. It includes three body creams — Brazilian Bum Bum, Bom Dia Bright with Vitamin C, and Coco Cabana Intense Hydration.

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BEST PHOTO GIFT

Custom Photo Woven Throw Blanket

$70 AT AMAZON

If you live far away from friends and family, this blanket can help them feel like you’re wrapping them up in a hug, no matter where you are. Choose a favorite photo, upload it, and you’ll soon have your own woven blanket to give to loved ones this Christmas.

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FOR THE PERSON WHO WORKS FROM HOME

Temperature Control Smart Mug 2

$144 AT AMAZON

Keeping tea, coffee, and hot cocoa warm has never been easier than with Ember’s genius smart mug. It can be controlled with a smartphone and has a long lasting battery. It’ll maintain their preferred sipping temperature, so they don’t have to keep running to the microwave ever so often to heat up lukewarm liquids.

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FOR THE PREPARED SURVIVALIST

Emergency Preparedness Kit in Bin

$295 AT JUDY.CO

You never know what tomorrow will bring, but with this all-inclusive emergency bin from JUDY, you can at least be prepared. It includes six pre-packed boxes featuring essential tools for warmth, safety, and first-aid, plus enough food and water to sustain four people for up to 72 hours of self-sufficiency.

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BEST TECH GIFT

Essentials Catch:2 Dual Wireless Charging Station

$80 AT AMAZON

We all have a tendency to throw our keys, change, and phone down onto the first surface we encounter in our home, but what if that surface could corral your items and charge your phone?

Courant has created a chic linen catch-all wireless charger, making sure your phone is juiced up before you grab your keys and walk out the door.

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FOR THE FASHIONISTA

The Perfect Black Pant

$135 AT AMAZON$148 AT NORDSTROM$148 AT BLOOMINGDALE’S

Not only do these pants carry the name “The Perfect Black Pant,” but believe us — they actually live up to all the hype! They’re a flattering pair of pants with the comfort of leggings but with a more formal look. It has a high-waisted silhouette, split cuffs, and four-way stretch for total comfort.

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FOR THE FIERY FOODIE

Truffle-Infused Hot Sauce

$13 AT AMAZON$18 AT BLOOMINGDALE’S$18 AT NEIMAN MARCUS

This best-selling hot sauce is literally the best thing you can gift a foodie who has a penchant for dabbling in all things spicy — and our editors can’t get enough of it. The heat of red chiles blended with the umami (savory mouthfeel) of black truffle takes this designer sauce to the next level. This gift set includes two bottles.

While you’re at it, try Truff’s pasta sauce, too.

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FOR THE PET PARENT

Custom Pet Portrait Cookie Cutter

$42 AT ETSY

Give your favorite baker the tools they need to create the cutest cookie they’ll ever eat. Simply send in an image of their beloved pet, and the seller will create a customized cookie cutter that looks just like their animal companion. It’s a unique gift that will make the most adorable and delicious cookies!

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FOR THE SENTIMENTAL SWEETHEART

Engraved Date Necklace

$22 AT AMAZON

This trendy personalized necklace is delicate enough to wear every day, but it’s the personalized date that’s engraved on its silver pendant that makes it extra special.

Choose a meaningful date, like a birthday or anniversary, for a tangible memento from those memories that she can keep close to her heart.

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FOR THE LONG-DISTANCE DUO

Long Distance Friendship Lamp

$184 AT AMAZON

If you’re separated by distance from a loved one, gifting a set of two light-up friendship lamps will help your loved ones feel closer, no matter the circumstance.

Whenever you think of your recipient, reach out and touch your lamp to send love their way. Their corresponding unit will instantly light up, emitting a soul-warming ambient glow that’ll make them feel fuzzy inside.

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FOR LAZY LOUNGING

Dream Jersey Crew Neck Lounge Set

$109 AT AMAZON

Is there anything better than curling up in cozy loungewear on a cool day? This jogger and crew neck lounge set is made of über soft jersey that feels like a hug once you put it on. It’s even chic enough to wear out of the house, which is always a plus.

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FOR THOSE WHO LOVE DISCOVERING NEW BEAUTY BRANDS

Beauty Box Subscription

$15 AT BIRCHBOX

The most popular — and definitely among the most valuable — subscription box out there, Birchbox, was made by women for women to test their preferred products before the bigger buy.

An A+ pick for besties, each box features five trial-sized products you can tailor to her interests, including samples from cult classics and emerging brands. There’s one for men, too!

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FOR THE ARTSY FRIEND

Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera

Now 11% off

$75 AT AMAZON$80 AT WALMART

The Fujifilm Instax Mini instant camera is a great Christmas gift for that friend who loves to snap photos constantly, and now the pics don’t have to sit in their camera roll! It comes in vibrant light blue, dark blue, green, pink, and smokey white, so you can pick the color that matches their personality.

Just be sure to order some film packs to go with it so they can take pictures of everyone else opening presents!

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FOR THE STUDENTS

Kånken Water Resistant Backpack

$80 AT NORDSTROM$80 AT ZAPPOS$90 AT SHOPBOP

For the student or commuter in your life, a great backpack makes for the best Christmas gift. Kånken bags are stylish in their simplicity and are available in tons of colors to match anyone’s aesthetic. This version is also water-resistant, making it perfect for rainy days or snowy commutes.

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FOR TINY TOTS

Bixbee Bootie

$40 AT NORDSTROM$40 AT ZAPPOS$40 AT BUY BUY BABY

Who says the little ones can’t get some new kicks? These fuzzy booties each have an adjustable hook-and-loop strap that will keep their toes warm and go with just about any outfit. They come in sizes 0-18 months.

Plus, you get to say you got their baby their first pair of UGGs.

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FOR PET PARENTS

Harness Walk Kit

$98 AT WILDONE.COM

There’s something about a matching harness and leash that makes you feel like you have it all together when you go out for a walk. This set is not only chic, but the harness is supportive and safe for your doggo. It can help keep them from pulling too hard when they see something exciting, making things easier for you and keeping them from choking themselves.

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FOR THE ORGANIZED TRAVELER

The Waverley Convertible Bag

$210 AT LOANDSONS.COM

If you’re looking for a gift for someone who’s got the whole travel thing down — meaning they can fit all the essentials in a carry-on, no matter how long the trip — this is the one for them.

This do-it-all tiny bag can be worn cross-body, used as a clutch, or worn as a belt bag. Inside, it has one zipper pocket with card slots inside and a slip pocket to hold non-valuables. There’s even a card slot on the back of the bag for easy metro card access.

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FOR THE GROOMING-OBSESSED

Harry’s Winston Set

$25 AT HARRY’S

While grooming kits are a solid Christmas gift option, the Winston set from Harry’s is a practical (yet slightly more luxe) gift for the guy who appreciates a proper shave.

It includes a foaming shave gel, three German-engineered blade cartridges, and a weighted, ergonomic handle that can be engraved for a personalized Christmas gift.

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FOR THE COFFEE PURIST

Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker

$45 AT WILLIAMS SONOMA

Shopping for a coffee elitist who’d instantly roll their eyes at the thought of a pod-powered pour? This elegant glass option from Chemex will preserve the integrity of their favorite ground beans to brew the most flavorful batch possible. It’s a timeless gadget that’s totally worth the hype and is hands-down one of the best Christmas gifts to get the coffee lover in your life.

Lovers of learning will appreciate the opportunity to educate themselves in a series of online classes taught by more than 65 famous instructors.

They’ll learn cooking from Gordon Ramsay, creativity and leadership from Anna Wintour, tennis from Serena Williams, and so many more great skills from outrageously inspiring individuals.

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FOR THE WINTER COMMUTER

Women’s Packable Down Jacket

Now 32% off

$34 AT AMAZON

Give the gift of a warm and sleek winter coat with this packable down number. The down-filled channels help hold heat in, and there’s even a hood to ward off brisk winter winds. Best part? It packs down into a small pouch, so it’s easy to stow away.

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FOR LIGHTING UP ROOMS AND LIVES

Long-Lasting Candle

$42 AT ONEGRIDCANDLE.COM

While a candle can certainly light up a room, this one is designed to light up lives. Each candle is poured by women refugees in the USA, using 100-percent soy and coconut wax and natural cotton wicks. They burn for about 55 hours, making them a long-lasting gift, too.

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FOR THE COFFEE CONNOISSEUR

Clara French Press

$99 AT FELLOWPRODUCTS.COM

Sometimes, less is more in terms of brewing a morning cup of joe. This sleek French press not only looks great on the counter but it’s made of double-walled steel to keep coffee hot for longer. There are also markings on the inside for the perfect bean-to-water ratio.

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FOR ON-THE-MOVE MUSCLE RELIEF

Theragun Mini

$199 AT AMAZON$169 AT WALMART$199 AT DICK’S SPORTING GOODS

If working from home has left their back feeling tight and achy, this tiny Theragun will loosen built-up tension with a powerful percussion massage. It’s the brand’s smallest device to date, making its convenient pocket size ultra portable for on-the-go relief. Plus, it uses QuietForce Technology for a near-silent experience when in use.

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FOR THE FRIEND WHO JUST MOVED UP NORTH

Women’s Thickened Down Jacket

$160 AT AMAZON

This infamous “Amazon jacket,” has garnered more than 16,000 positive reviews and not without good reason. It features a fleece lined hood, zippers on both sides to expand the jacket for free movement, and six large pockets to store basically everything because the last thing you want to hold on a cold day is a purse.

$21 AT AMAZON

A lot of us have been working out in our living rooms or bedrooms for over a year now, so why not continue to upgrade someone’s home setup? These sliders by Bala (makers of the fashionable weighted bangles) are small and easy to store away, but they’re perfect for ab workouts or even just leveling up a yoga routine.

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FOR HOT SLEEPERS

Tree Napper Weighted Blanket

$269 AT BEARABY

Weighted blankets are great for anyone who has trouble falling asleep. They actually help stimulate serotonin production and decrease stress hormone production, which is the perfect combination to help anyone drift off. This one by Bearaby is hand-knitted and made of eucalyptus fibers, which help wick away moisture, keeping you cool at night.

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FOR THE LITTLE ONE WHO LOVES SURPRISES

Cutetitos

$10 AT WALMART

Your little one will be surprised for so many reasons when they spot this playful plushie toy under the tree.

Inside a tiny tortilla blanket lies an adorable new friend, but they won’t know which one they’re going to get until they unwrap it, so anticipate multiple waves of excited screams.

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FOR GATHERING AROUND THE FIRE

Janesville Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit

$128 AT WAYFAIR$175 AT QVC$176 AT BED BATH AND BEYOND

There’s something about sitting around a fire with friends that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. With this fire pit, you can feel that way every night if you wanted to! It’s the perfect gift for the friend who always hosts or has a backyard begging for a fire pit to gather around.

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FOR APPLE FANS

iPhone 13

$929 AT AMAZON$979 AT WALMART$1,093 AT TIGERDIRECT.COM

The iPhone is a perennial best gift. And the iPhone 13 — which we happen to think is the best iPhone to date — will brighten anyone’s Christmas morning.

It brings welcome improvements, including more power, a vastly more sophisticated camera setup, and a brighter display. The new iPhone also comes in a slew of eye-catching colors to match anyone’s unique style.

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FOR THE SPAGOER

Classic Bathrobe

$109 AT PARACHUTE HOME

We’re calling it: This bathrobe is a perfect go-to gift for when you’re fresh out of ideas but you still want to impress. Available in six soothing shades, this plush robe is made of soft and cozy Turkish cotton, has two front pockets, and will honestly make anyone’s (Christmas) day.

Revoked Card Game

$22 AT AMAZON

Celebrate Black popular culture with a nostalgia-packed card game that’ll get the whole family involved.

Trivia questions like “How many fights did Will Smith get into before his mom got scared?” are balanced with debate-initiating prompts like “Who is the best rap artist out right now?” as well as more serious topics that’ll lead to thought-provoking conversation.

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FOR THE DOG MOM AND DAD

Dog DNA Test Kit

Now 20% off

$159 AT AMAZON$159 AT CHEWY$159 AT WALMART

While DNA kits for humans are an unforgettable Christmas gift, why not get DNA kits for the dogs in your life. Who wouldn’t want to know more about their pooch? With a simple cheek swab, you can reveal more about breed information, disease predisposition, and ancestry of their pooch in 2-4 weeks!

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FOR THE IT-GIRL

Croissant Dôme Hoops

$78 AT MEJURI

Sometimes a classic Christmas gift is the way to go! These croissant-inspired hoops are on every it-girl’s wish list. This pair of earrings feature a timeless, elegant design that’s still super sleek, trendy, and will be what they reach for to complete any look. It’s available in gold vermeil and sterling silver.

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FOR THOSE WHO LOVE A HOME WORKOUT

The Mirror

$1,495 AT MIRROR

If YouTube workouts and quarantine walks just aren’t cutting it anymore, go all-in with Mirror’s all-in-one exercise system that’ll get you moving at home. They’ll get unlimited access to live and on-demand classes in more than 50 genres and even receive feedback on their workout performance.

When not in use, it functions just like a regular mirror, so it won’t disrupt your home’s decor.

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FOR THE FRIED FOOD FIEND

8-in-1 Digital Air Fryer

Now 33% off

$80 AT AMAZON$100 AT WALMART$85 AT WAYFAIR

Gift them this popular programmable air fryer so that they can cook up all of their favorite crispy foods without any of the guilt. Eight presets will make it easy to switch from dippable chicken fingers to decadent fried Oreos, and because it offers a bake function too, there are practically no limits to what they can make.

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FOR THE ORGANIZED TRAVELER

Go Pouch Set

$39 AT BAGGU

Ideal for toting along makeup in her purse or keeping tech items safe and separated, this set of three Baggu pouches will come in handy for plenty of uses. The set is offered in a variety of patterns printed on recycled heavyweight nylon and is completely recyclable for convenient cleaning.

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FOR THE BOUGIE BATHROOM

Linen Spa Bath Sheet

$99 AT LINOTO

These luxurious bath sheets will make getting out of a hot shower just a little bit easier. Made with imported Belgium linen, this is a Christmas gift that’s made to last for years. These sheets are thick, soft, and super absorbent, but they dry faster than traditional towels, thanks to their lightweight linen fabric.

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FOR SAFER SOUND STREAMING

Kids Smart Speaker Player

$110 AT AMAZON

This child-friendly “smart” speaker is controlled by physical cards that kids can scan to play music, audiobooks, podcasts, and more. It can also be used as a night light, clock, and sleep trainer. Unlike the Amazon Echo for kids, there’s no camera, no microphone, and no ads, to ensure total privacy and safety for your tot.

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FOR THE HOME CHEF

The Coated Pan

$95 AT MATERIAL

We’ve never swooned over a piece of cookware as much as we have with this one. This 10.5-inch stainless steel pan from Material has copper at its core, ensuring quick heating and consistent distribution throughout (no hot spots here!).

It’s oven- and dishwasher-safe, and its nonstick coating is fume-free and long-lasting.

Imagine never having to worry about where you left something ever again. Thanks to Apple AirTags, you can gift that sense of relief! These tags stick onto just about anything — from wallets to dog collars — and they work as a tracker, so your gift recipient will always know where their things are. And if they do lose something, they can report it as lost in the Find My network, which comes standard with all Apple devices.

More: 8 Apple AirTag Accessories For Peace of Mind With a Personal Touch

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FOR THE ASPIRING DESIGNER

iPad 9th Generation with Cellular

Now 11% off

$410 AT AMAZON$474 AT WALMART$419 AT B&H PHOTO

Available in silver and space gray, the latest iPad model is one of our favorite luxury Christmas gifts this year. It has an upgraded processor and improved graphics, plus a gorgeous 10.2-inch Retina display.

This iPad is also compatible with the Apple Pencil stylus, making this pick an incredibly capable tool (and gift idea!) for those in creative fields. We even named it one of the all-around best tablets to use.

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FOR STARTING OFF THEIR SMART HOME

Echo Dot 4th Generation

$50 AT AMAZON$50 AT DELL.COM$50 AT B&H PHOTO

The Echo Dot 4th Generation flaunts a nicer, rounder design with a fabric-bound speaker than its predecessor.

It can connect to a larger audio system via Bluetooth or a standard 3.5-millimeter audio cable for an even fuller sound. This is at a perfect price point for gifting the beginner who wants to transform their crib into a smart home!

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christmas gifts for everyone on your list

Is Cooking From Scratch Always Better? It Might Be…

Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

It might be time to ditch that box of pancake mix and the canned soup—you’re ready to start cooking from scratch.

Cooking from scratch all the time can seem intimidating. Who am I, the Pioneer Woman? Thank goodness for the luxury of premade foods. If we so choose, we have a bevy of ready-to-eat foods at our fingertips. We need only unwrap the twisty tie around the plastic bag to have a piece of bread, or open a can and heat in order to enjoy a soothing bowl of soup.

But, let’s be honest, there’s a reason we crave home-cooked meals after traveling—just as there’s a reason kids come home from college and eat parents out of house and home. Homemade food is widely renowned as the best food.

5 Things to Start Cooking From Scratch

The benefit of making things from scratch is that you control the ingredients. You can use fresh-from-your-garden produce, locally sourced protein and whole grains—and nix all the other unpronounceable additives that might come along with premade foods.

Here are the other pros and (not-so) cons of making five convenience foods from scratch.

Soup

Pros: The possibilities for homemade soup are endless—from a Cheeseburger Soup to a Cheesy Broccoli to a Comforting Chicken Noodle. Making soup from scratch is going to be, hands-down, more delicious than canned. Fresh ingredients often have far more flavor.

But the other bonus is you can lessen your sodium intake—some popular canned soups have up to 900 mg of sodium per 1/2-cup serving, and the American Heart Association recommends an ideal limit of 1,500 mg of sodium daily for adults.

Cons: Of course, making soup from scratch takes a bit longer than nuking a bowl in the microwave. You may have to chop some carrots, blend some tomatoes or mince some cilantro. But in the end, you will find the time is worth it.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I was talking about stuffed peppers with the other cooks at the restaurant where I work. We decided to mix similar ingredients for a soup. Customer response was overwhelming! —Krista Muddiman, Meadville, Pennsylvania

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Cheesy Ham Chowder

My five children all agree that this soothing recipe is wonderful. The soup is full of potatoes, carrots and ham. The best part is that I can get it on the table in only a half hour of hands-on time. —Jennifer Trenhaile, Emerson, Nebraska

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Cabbage and Beef Soup

When I was a little girl, I helped my parents work the fields of their small farm. Lunchtime was always a treat when Mother picked fresh vegetables from the garden and simmered them in her big soup pot. We loved making this delicious recipe. —Ethel Ledbetter, Canton, North Carolina

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Cheeseburger Soup

A local restaurant serves a similar cheeseburger soup but wouldn’t share its recipe with me. I developed my own, modifying a recipe I already had for potato soup. I was really pleased with the way this all-American dish turned out. —Joanie Shawhan, Madison, Wisconsin

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Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

Each spring my husband takes our dogs and searches for wild asparagus. He’s been so successful that I finally developed this asparagus soup recipe. We look forward to this special soup every year.—Betty Jones, Kohler, Wisconsin

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Seafood Cioppino

If you’re looking for a great seafood recipe for your slow cooker, this classic cioppino recipe is just the ticket. It’s brimming with clams, crab, fish and shrimp, and is fancy enough to be an elegant meal. —Lisa Moriarty, Wilton, New Hampshire

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Cheesy Broccoli Soup in a Bread Bowl

This creamy, cheesy broccoli soup tastes just like the one served at Panera Bread! My family requests it all the time. You can even make your own homemade bread bowls with the recipe on my blog, Yammie’s Noshery. —Rachel Preus, Marshall, Michigan

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Lentil & Chicken Sausage Stew

This hearty and healthy stew will warm your family right down to their toes! Serve with cornbread or rolls to soak up every last drop. —Jan Valdez, Chicago, Illinois

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Cream of Cauliflower Soup

This mildly cheesy cauliflower soup is a favorite of mine. I make it often in summer, although it’s good anytime. —Karen Brown, West Lafayette, Ohio

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Veggie Meatball Soup

Veggie Meatball Soup

It’s a snap to put together this hearty soup before I leave for work. I just add cooked pasta when I get home, and I have a few minutes to relax before supper is ready. —Charla Tinney, Tyrone, Oklahoma

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Sweet Potato and Crab Soup

This sweet and savory soup is quick and easy to prepare. You can substitute butternut squash or pumpkin for the sweet potatoes, depending on what you have on hand. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana

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Shrimp Gazpacho

Here’s a refreshing take on the classic chilled tomato soup. Our twist features shrimp, lime and plenty of avocado. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Quick Mushroom Barley Soup

Quick Mushroom Barley Soup

I surprised my mother with a visit some years ago, and she was preparing this soup when I walked in. It was so wonderful that I asked for the recipe, and I’ve been fixing it ever since. —Edie Irwin, Cornwall, New York

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Red Lentil Soup Mix

Red Lentil Soup Mix

Give your friends the gift of good health. Red lentils are a protein powerhouse, and loaded with folate, iron and fiber. Oh, and this soup tastes amazing, too. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Tuscan Cauliflower Soup

A classic Tuscan soup has lots of potatoes, but I make mine the low-carb way with cauliflower. Turns out, it has a heartier flavor. —Heather Bewley, Bemidji, Minnesota

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Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Soup

I love that I can top this creamy soup with anything my heart desires, which means I can eat it several days in a row without ever having to have it the same way twice. You can substitute fresh onions and celery in this recipe if you prefer, but using the dried version makes it easy to throw together on a weekday morning. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Clam Stew

This clam stew highlights the fresh, sweet and salty clam flavor, with the chorizo adding a little kick. Fresh Swiss chard greens from our garden, corn and cannellini beans round out the flavor profile. The best part, though, is dipping crusty bread into the delicious broth! —Pamela Gelsomini, Wrentham, Massachusetts

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Chicken Bean Soup

This easy soup is tasty and nutritious, too. I like to top individual bowls with a few sprigs of fresh parsley. Home-baked rolls- I use frozen bread dough- are an added treat. —Phyllis Shaughnessy, Livonia, New York

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Tomato-Orange Soup

Tomato-Orange Soup

Who knew orange and tomato were such a good pair? Whenever I serve this, I keep the recipe handy for requests. —Barbara Wood, St. John’s, Newfoundland

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Carolina Shrimp Soup

Fresh shrimp from the Carolina coast is one of our favorite foods. We add kale, garlic, red peppers and black-eyed peas to complete this wholesome, filling soup. —Mary Marlowe Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina

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Creamy Fresh Asparagus Soup

Tangy lemon and sweet tarragon give this creamy asparagus soup a springtime flavor you’ll savor and share. —Stacy Mullens, Gresham, Oregon

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Pico de Gallo Black Bean Soup

Everyone at my table goes for this feel-good soup. It is quick when you’re pressed for time and beats fast food, hands down. —Darlis Wilfer, West Bend, Wisconsin

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Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup

Low-sodium ingredients don’t diminish the full flavor of this brothy ground turkey vegetable soup. The turkey lends a heartiness that everyone will welcome on a cold blustery evening. —Bonnie LeBarron, Forestville, New York

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Easy Pork Posole

Looking for a meal in a bowl? Sit down to a Mexican classic full of cubed pork, sliced sausage, hominy and more. It all goes into the slow cooker, so you can come home at night to a table-ready dinner. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas

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Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup

When cooler weather comes, soup is one of our favorite meals. I developed this recipe for my husband and me. I wanted it to be a healthier version of all the cream-based soups out there. After a bit of trial and error, this is the keeper. —Elizabeth Bramkamp, Gig Harbor, Washington

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Put a little spice in your menu with my favorite Anaheim pepper recipe. The peppers, jalapenos and cayenne heat up this full-flavored tortilla soup. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona

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Sausage & Greens Soup

I always have an abundance of fresh vegetables on hand, so I wanted to create a delicious soup to enjoy during the colder months. I think I found a winner! —Angie Pitts, Charleston, South Carolina.

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Fennel Carrot Soup

Fennel Carrot Soup

This soup is perfect as a first course for a special-occasion dinner. It gets its delicious flavor from toasted fennel seeds—a pleasant complement to the carrots, apple and sweet potato. —Marlene Bursey, Waverly, Nova Scotia

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Hearty Beef Barley Soup

Hearty Beef Barley Soup

My entire family just loves this delicious and comforting soup. Loaded with chunks of tender beef, the rich broth also includes plenty of fresh mushrooms, sliced carrots and quick-cooking barley. —Barbara Beattie, Glen Allen, Virginia

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup

The only thing that beats the comforting flavor of this thick and hearty loaded baked potato soup is possibly the idea that it simmers on its own all day in a slow cooker. —Barbara Bleigh, Colonial Heights, Virginia

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Beef & Black Bean Soup

I lead a busy life, so I’m always trying to come up with timesaving recipes. This zippy and colorful soup is one of my husband’s favorites. It has been a hit at family gatherings, too. —Vickie Gibson, Gardendale, Alabama

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Cabbage And Beef Soup Exps4261 Gb143373c01 16 3b Rms 2

Cabbage and Beef Soup

When I was a little girl, I helped my parents work the fields of their small farm. Lunchtime was always a treat when Mother picked fresh vegetables from the garden and simmered them in her big soup pot. We loved making this delicious recipe. —Ethel Ledbetter, Canton, North Carolina

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Chicken Potpie Soup

My grandmother hand-wrote a cookbook. She included this amazing pie crust, and I added this delicious chicken potpie soup for it. —Karen LeMay, Seabrook, Texas

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Split Pea Soup with Bacon & Crab

Split Pea Soup with Bacon & Crab

Many split pea soups use ham and bacon for good, smoky flavor. Taking it one amazing step farther-add crabmeat. Freeze this one without toppings (freeze the cooked bacon separately), then reheat soup in a saucepan. Feel free to add more chicken stock or broth when reheating if you need it. Sprinkle bacon and fresh crab on top of bowls of hot soup. —Stephen Exel, Des Moines, Illinois

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Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup Exps120053 Edsc163648d01 07 2bc Rms 3

Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

Every fall and winter, our staff has a soup rotation. I have modified this recipe so I can prep it the night before and put it in the slow cooker in the morning. My colleagues love it! —Sharon Gerst, North Liberty, Iowa

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Potato Clam Chowder

Potato Clam Chowder

I ran across this recipe in one of my antique cookbooks. It’s a timeless classic I like to prepare for friends and family throughout the year, but especially during the holidays. —Betty Ann Morgan, Upper Marlboro, Maryland

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Up Next: The Best Soup Recipes of 2021

The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

My first Wisconsin winter was so cold, all I wanted to eat was homemade chicken noodle soup. Of all the chicken noodle soup recipes out there, this one is my favorite, and is in heavy rotation from November to April. It has many incredibly devoted fans.—Gina Nistico, Denver, Colorado

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Grandma S Chicken N Dumpling Soup Exps Chbz19 5165 C10 24 4b 35

Grandma’s Chicken ‘n’ Dumpling Soup

I’ve enjoyed making this rich homemade chicken dumpling soup recipe for more than 40 years. Every time I serve this type of soup, I remember my southern grandma, who was very special to me and was known as an outstanding cook. —Paulette Balda, Prophetstown, Illinois

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Broccoli Chowder

Broccoli Chowder

Sue Call of Beech Grove, Indiana serves this comforting soup on chilly stay-at-home evenings. Nutmeg seasons the light creamy broth that’s chock-full of tender broccoli florets and diced potatoes.

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Easy Beef Soup Exps Ft21 10037 F 1117 1

Easy Beef Soup

This colorful, easy beef soup comes together in minutes. Even my husband, who admits he’s no cook, makes it on occasion.” —Agnes Bierbaum, Gainesville, Florida

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Cream Of Celery Soup Exps Ft21 28681 F 1105 1 11

Cream of Celery Soup Recipe

This rich cream of celery soup recipe will warm up any family gathering or quiet evening at home. With just the right amount of onion flavor, it’s creamy and crowd-pleasing. —Janet James, Bluff City, Tennessee

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French Onion Soup Exps Sbz19 294 C09 14 2b 2

French Onion Soup

My daughter and I enjoy spending time together cooking, but our days are busy so we appreciate quick and tasty recipes like this one. Hot and delicious, this soup hits the spot for lunch or dinner. —Sandra Chambers, Carthage, Mississippi

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Pasta Fagioli Soup Exps Sddj19 38088 E07 13 1b 9

Pasta Fagioli Soup

My husband enjoys my version of this dish so much that he doesn’t order it at restaurants anymore. With fresh spinach, pasta and seasoned sausage, this fast-to-fix soup is a meal on its own. —Brenda Thomas, Springfield, Missouri

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Country Fish Chowder Exps Sbz19 3580 C09 14 7b 6

Country Fish Chowder

You’ll think you’re on Cape Cod when you taste this thick, wholesome chowder made from a recipe I’ve treasured for many years. It’s one of my husband’s favorites. He likes it more and more because over the years I’ve “customized” the basic recipe by including ingredients he enjoys. —Linda Lazaroff, Hebron, Connecticut

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Fennel Carrot Soup

Fennel Carrot Soup

This soup is perfect as a first course for a special-occasion dinner. It gets its delicious flavor from toasted fennel seeds—a pleasant complement to the carrots, apple and sweet potato. —Marlene Bursey, Waverly, Nova Scotia

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Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

I came up with this creamy chicken rice soup recipe while making some adjustments to a favorite stovetop chicken casserole. We like this soup for lunch with a crisp roll and fresh fruit. —Janice Mitchell, Aurora, Colorado

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Weeknight Turkey Tortilla Soup Exps Sdon18 55924 C06 19 1b 2

Weeknight Turkey Tortilla Soup

This is now my family’s most requested soup—so much so that they will make sure I have leftover turkey. You can spice up this soup and make it more hearty by adding smoked sausage or andouille and some Cajun seasoning to taste. —Gail Lucas, Olive Branch, Mississippi

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Potato Soup Exps Cwdj17 44986 C08 19 5b 4

Potato Soup

I decided to add some character to a basic potato chowder with a jar of roasted red peppers. The extra flavor gives a deliciously different twist to an otherwise ordinary soup. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma

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The Best Chicken & Dumplings

 Homemade chicken and dumplings from scratch harken back to my childhood and chilly days when we devoured those cute little balls of dough swimming in hot, rich broth. It’s one of those types of soup you’ll want to eat again and again. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona

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English Pub Split Pea Soup Exps Edsc18 184673 B03 20 1b 5

English Pub Split Pea Soup

This family favorite is the same recipe my grandmother used. Now with the magic of the slow cooker, I can spend 15 minutes putting it together, walk away for five hours, and come back to “soup’s on.” Finish it with more milk if you like your soup a bit thinner. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida

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Beet Borscht

Beet Borscht

My mother used to make this hearty soup from her garden’s bountiful crop of beets and other vegetables. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington

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Cheesy Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cheesy Cream of Asparagus Soup

Kids may not want to try a vegetable soup, but once they spoon up a mouthful of this cheesy variety, the flavor will keep them coming back for more. —Muriel Lerdal, Humboldt, Iowa

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Land of Enchantment Posole

My family named this spicy soup after our state moniker, “New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.” We usually make it around Christmas when we have lots of family over…and we never have leftovers. —Suzanne Caldwell Artesia, New Mexico

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Egg Drop Soup Exps Sbz19 23868 E 09 14 8b 46

Egg Drop Soup

We often start our stir-fry meals with this fast egg drop soup recipe— it cooks in just minutes flat. There are many versions of the recipe, but we like the easy addition of cornstarch to thicken the soup and give it a rich, golden color. I got the recipe from my grandma’s old cookbook. —Amy Beth Corlew-Sherlock, Lapeer, Michigan

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Classic French Onion Soup Exps Thfm18 160479 D10 17 2b 26

Classic French Onion Soup

Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does: I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah

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Beef Lentil Soup Exps2553 Gb143373b01 16 1bc Rms 6

Beef Lentil Soup

You can prepare this soup as the main course in a hearty lunch or dinner. On cold winter evenings here in New England, I’ve often enjoyed sipping a steaming mugful in front of our fireplacel. —Guy Turnbull, Arlington, Massachusetts

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Quick Cream Of Mushroom Soup Exps Sdam17 11767 B12 02 8b 7

Quick Cream of Mushroom Soup

My daughter-in-law, a gourmet cook, served this cream of mushroom soup recipe as the first course for a holiday dinner. She received the recipe from her mom and graciously shared it with me. Now I’m happy to share it with my own friends and family. —Anne Kulick, Phillipsburg, New Jersey

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Over The Rainbow Minestrone Exps Cscs21 174716 B04 07 2b 2

Over-the-Rainbow Minestrone

This colorful soup is vegetarian-friendly and full of fresh flavors from a rainbow of vegetables. You can use any multicolored pasta in place of the spirals. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Cheddar Potato Chowder

Cheddar Potato Chowder

I only made this soup occasionally because the original recipe was quite high in fat. I doctored it up a bit, using healthier ingredients, and now we eat this rich flavorful chowder more often.—Ellie Rausch of Goodsoil, Saskatchewan

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Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Exps Sdfm18 205272 C10 05 7b 7

Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

For national soup month in January, I came up with a new recipe every day. This one is my favorite! It’s so easy, with just a touch of special Thai flavors. For an even richer flavor, try using whole coconut milk. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan

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Cheese Soup with a Twist

Cheese Soup with a Twist

One of my favorite childhood memories is of my Aunt Claire serving up hearty bowlfuls of her famous cheesy soup. She would pair this cheese soup with a slice of warm buttered bread for a downhome lunch. —Rob Feezor, Alexandria, Virginia

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Crab Corn Chowder

Crab Corn Chowder

No time to make a homemade soup? Think again! You’ll be ladling out steamy bowls of satisfying chowder in no time. Canned corn and crab blend beautifully in this creamy, colorful soup. —Sarah McClanahan, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Split Pea Soup with Ham & Jalapeno

To me, this spicy pea soup is total comfort food. I cook it low and slow all day, and it fills the house with a yummy aroma. It’s so good with a nice, crispy baguette. —Chelsea Tichenor, Huntington Beach, California

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Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

My dear friend Shirley shared this recipe with me several years ago. Every time I think of her, I make the soup. I sometimes add a cup of cheddar cheese at the end and melt it in for an extra measure of comfort. —Carol Brault, Woodville, Wisconsin

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Hearty Vegetable Soup Exps Hc17 15651 D01 20 6b 32

Hearty Vegetable Soup

A friend gave me the idea to use V8 juice in vegetable soup because it provides more flavor. My best vegetable soup recipe is perfect to prepare on a crisp autumn afternoon. —Janice Steinmetz, Somers, Connecticut

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Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock

Peppercorns and a handful of herbs add the perfect seasoning to this low-sodium stock developed here atTaste of Home.

Browning the chicken and sauteeing the veggies gives it more flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Fresh Corn & Potato Chowder

Fresh Corn & Potato Chowder

This corn chowder recipe was one of my favorites as a child in upstate New York, and I still love it today. For extra depth, place the spent cob in the soup, simmer, then remove. —Tracy Bivins, Knob Noster, Missouri

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Easy Hamburger Soup

Lunches on the run will be a little tastier with this hot and hearty beef and barley soup. The recipe is very simple to prepare. —Mary Prior, Rush City, Minnesota

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Chicken Barley Soup

No question—this is my favorite barley soup! It’s so filling that I serve it as a hearty main dish, and I have given the recipe to many of our friends and relatives. It simply tastes too good to keep to yourself! —Diana Costello, Marion, Kansas

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Italian Sausage and Zucchini Soup

Everyone in my family likes this soup recipe. Sometimes I add mini farfalle because my grandchildren say the noodles look like tiny butterflies. This recipe also works in a slow cooker. —Nancy Murphy, Mount Dora, Florida

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Best Ever Potato Soup Exps Mrrmz16 9739 C09 01 2b 55

Best Ever Potato Soup

You’ll be surprised at the taste of this rich and cheesy easy potato soup. It really is the best potato soup recipe, ever. I came up with it after enjoying baked potato soup at one of our favorite restaurants. I added bacon, and we think that makes it even better. —Coleen Morrissey, Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania

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Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I was talking about stuffed peppers with the other cooks at the restaurant where I work. We decided to mix similar ingredients for a soup. Customer response was overwhelming! —Krista Muddiman, Meadville, Pennsylvania

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Cheesy Ham Chowder

My five children all agree that this soothing recipe is wonderful. The soup is full of potatoes, carrots and ham. The best part is that I can get it on the table in only a half hour of hands-on time. —Jennifer Trenhaile, Emerson, Nebraska

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Cabbage And Beef Soup Exps4261 Gb143373c01 16 3b Rms 2

Cabbage and Beef Soup

When I was a little girl, I helped my parents work the fields of their small farm. Lunchtime was always a treat when Mother picked fresh vegetables from the garden and simmered them in her big soup pot. We loved making this delicious recipe. —Ethel Ledbetter, Canton, North Carolina

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Cheeseburger Soup Exps Sbz23 2832 Dr 10 06 1b V2

Cheeseburger Soup

A local restaurant serves a similar cheeseburger soup but wouldn’t share its recipe with me. I developed my own, modifying a recipe I already had for potato soup. I was really pleased with the way this all-American dish turned out. —Joanie Shawhan, Madison, Wisconsin

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Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

Each spring my husband takes our dogs and searches for wild asparagus. He’s been so successful that I finally developed this asparagus soup recipe. We look forward to this special soup every year.—Betty Jones, Kohler, Wisconsin

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Ciopanno mixed seafood soup course with a spoon

Seafood Cioppino

If you’re looking for a great seafood recipe for your slow cooker, this classic cioppino recipe is just the ticket. It’s brimming with clams, crab, fish and shrimp, and is fancy enough to be an elegant meal. —Lisa Moriarty, Wilton, New Hampshire

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Cheesy Broccoli Soup In A Bread Bowl Exps Tohcom22 191564 P2 Md 05 11 5b

Cheesy Broccoli Soup in a Bread Bowl

This creamy, cheesy broccoli soup tastes just like the one served at Panera Bread! My family requests it all the time. You can even make your own homemade bread bowls with the recipe on my blog, Yammie’s Noshery. —Rachel Preus, Marshall, Michigan

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Lentil Chicken Sausage Stew Exps Sscbz18 133317 B09 13 2b 3

Lentil & Chicken Sausage Stew

This hearty and healthy stew will warm your family right down to their toes! Serve with cornbread or rolls to soak up every last drop. —Jan Valdez, Chicago, Illinois

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Cream Of Cauliflower Soup Exps Ssmz20 14667 B10 09 2b 22

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

This mildly cheesy cauliflower soup is a favorite of mine. I make it often in summer, although it’s good anytime. —Karen Brown, West Lafayette, Ohio

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Veggie Meatball Soup

Veggie Meatball Soup

It’s a snap to put together this hearty soup before I leave for work. I just add cooked pasta when I get home, and I have a few minutes to relax before supper is ready. —Charla Tinney, Tyrone, Oklahoma

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Sweet Potato And Crab Soup Exps Sdas17 202268 B04 11 6b 3

Sweet Potato and Crab Soup

This sweet and savory soup is quick and easy to prepare. You can substitute butternut squash or pumpkin for the sweet potatoes, depending on what you have on hand. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana

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Shrimp Gazpacho Exps Sdjj17 29782 B02 22 7b 14

Shrimp Gazpacho

Here’s a refreshing take on the classic chilled tomato soup. Our twist features shrimp, lime and plenty of avocado. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Quick Mushroom Barley Soup

Quick Mushroom Barley Soup

I surprised my mother with a visit some years ago, and she was preparing this soup when I walked in. It was so wonderful that I asked for the recipe, and I’ve been fixing it ever since. —Edie Irwin, Cornwall, New York

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Red Lentil Soup Mix

Red Lentil Soup Mix

Give your friends the gift of good health. Red lentils are a protein powerhouse, and loaded with folate, iron and fiber. Oh, and this soup tastes amazing, too. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Tuscan Cauliflower Soup

A classic Tuscan soup has lots of potatoes, but I make mine the low-carb way with cauliflower. Turns out, it has a heartier flavor. —Heather Bewley, Bemidji, Minnesota

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Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup Exps Sdon17 204681 C06 29 2b 13

Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Soup

I love that I can top this creamy soup with anything my heart desires, which means I can eat it several days in a row without ever having to have it the same way twice. You can substitute fresh onions and celery in this recipe if you prefer, but using the dried version makes it easy to throw together on a weekday morning. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Block Island Littlenecks With Chorizo Exps Rc21 263882 B07 27 11b

Clam Stew

This clam stew highlights the fresh, sweet and salty clam flavor, with the chorizo adding a little kick. Fresh Swiss chard greens from our garden, corn and cannellini beans round out the flavor profile. The best part, though, is dipping crusty bread into the delicious broth! —Pamela Gelsomini, Wrentham, Massachusetts

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Chicken Bean Soup Exps22521 Lsc143267d10 01 1bc Rms 5

Chicken Bean Soup

This easy soup is tasty and nutritious, too. I like to top individual bowls with a few sprigs of fresh parsley. Home-baked rolls- I use frozen bread dough- are an added treat. —Phyllis Shaughnessy, Livonia, New York

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Tomato-Orange Soup

Tomato-Orange Soup

Who knew orange and tomato were such a good pair? Whenever I serve this, I keep the recipe handy for requests. —Barbara Wood, St. John’s, Newfoundland

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Carolina Shrimp Soup

Fresh shrimp from the Carolina coast is one of our favorite foods. We add kale, garlic, red peppers and black-eyed peas to complete this wholesome, filling soup. —Mary Marlowe Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina

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Creamy Fresh Asparagus Soup Exps175413 Th143191b11 21 2b Rms 7

Creamy Fresh Asparagus Soup

Tangy lemon and sweet tarragon give this creamy asparagus soup a springtime flavor you’ll savor and share. —Stacy Mullens, Gresham, Oregon

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Pico de Gallo Black Bean Soup

Everyone at my table goes for this feel-good soup. It is quick when you’re pressed for time and beats fast food, hands down. —Darlis Wilfer, West Bend, Wisconsin

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Vegetable Turkey Soup Exps Ft21 27276 F 1117 1 7

Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup

Low-sodium ingredients don’t diminish the full flavor of this brothy ground turkey vegetable soup. The turkey lends a heartiness that everyone will welcome on a cold blustery evening. —Bonnie LeBarron, Forestville, New York

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Easy Pork Posole Exps Mcbz16 119489 D07 13 1b 2

Easy Pork Posole

Looking for a meal in a bowl? Sit down to a Mexican classic full of cubed pork, sliced sausage, hominy and more. It all goes into the slow cooker, so you can come home at night to a table-ready dinner. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas

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Roasted Cauliflower Red Pepper Soup Exps Hck 195172 17 A08 12 1b 4

Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup

When cooler weather comes, soup is one of our favorite meals. I developed this recipe for my husband and me. I wanted it to be a healthier version of all the cream-based soups out there. After a bit of trial and error, this is the keeper. —Elizabeth Bramkamp, Gig Harbor, Washington

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Put a little spice in your menu with my favorite Anaheim pepper recipe. The peppers, jalapenos and cayenne heat up this full-flavored tortilla soup. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona

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Sausage & Greens Soup

I always have an abundance of fresh vegetables on hand, so I wanted to create a delicious soup to enjoy during the colder months. I think I found a winner! —Angie Pitts, Charleston, South Carolina.

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Fennel Carrot Soup

Fennel Carrot Soup

This soup is perfect as a first course for a special-occasion dinner. It gets its delicious flavor from toasted fennel seeds—a pleasant complement to the carrots, apple and sweet potato. —Marlene Bursey, Waverly, Nova Scotia

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Hearty Beef Barley Soup

Hearty Beef Barley Soup

My entire family just loves this delicious and comforting soup. Loaded with chunks of tender beef, the rich broth also includes plenty of fresh mushrooms, sliced carrots and quick-cooking barley. —Barbara Beattie, Glen Allen, Virginia

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Loaded Baked Potato Soup Exps Hscbz17 41010 C07 27 4b 4

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

The only thing that beats the comforting flavor of this thick and hearty loaded baked potato soup is possibly the idea that it simmers on its own all day in a slow cooker. —Barbara Bleigh, Colonial Heights, Virginia

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Beef Black Bean Soup Exps Sscbz18 14994 B10 18 1b 8

Beef & Black Bean Soup

I lead a busy life, so I’m always trying to come up with timesaving recipes. This zippy and colorful soup is one of my husband’s favorites. It has been a hit at family gatherings, too. —Vickie Gibson, Gardendale, Alabama

Go to Recipe

Cabbage And Beef Soup Exps4261 Gb143373c01 16 3b Rms 2

Cabbage and Beef Soup

When I was a little girl, I helped my parents work the fields of their small farm. Lunchtime was always a treat when Mother picked fresh vegetables from the garden and simmered them in her big soup pot. We loved making this delicious recipe. —Ethel Ledbetter, Canton, North Carolina

Go to Recipe

Exps159216 Th2379807a10 31 1bc Rms 5

Chicken Potpie Soup

My grandmother hand-wrote a cookbook. She included this amazing pie crust, and I added this delicious chicken potpie soup for it. —Karen LeMay, Seabrook, Texas

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Split Pea Soup with Bacon & Crab

Split Pea Soup with Bacon & Crab

Many split pea soups use ham and bacon for good, smoky flavor. Taking it one amazing step farther-add crabmeat. Freeze this one without toppings (freeze the cooked bacon separately), then reheat soup in a saucepan. Feel free to add more chicken stock or broth when reheating if you need it. Sprinkle bacon and fresh crab on top of bowls of hot soup. —Stephen Exel, Des Moines, Illinois

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Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup Exps120053 Edsc163648d01 07 2bc Rms 3

Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

Every fall and winter, our staff has a soup rotation. I have modified this recipe so I can prep it the night before and put it in the slow cooker in the morning. My colleagues love it! —Sharon Gerst, North Liberty, Iowa

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Potato Clam Chowder

Potato Clam Chowder

I ran across this recipe in one of my antique cookbooks. It’s a timeless classic I like to prepare for friends and family throughout the year, but especially during the holidays. —Betty Ann Morgan, Upper Marlboro, Maryland

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Up Next: The Best Soup Recipes of 2021

The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

My first Wisconsin winter was so cold, all I wanted to eat was homemade chicken noodle soup. Of all the chicken noodle soup recipes out there, this one is my favorite, and is in heavy rotation from November to April. It has many incredibly devoted fans.—Gina Nistico, Denver, Colorado

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Grandma S Chicken N Dumpling Soup Exps Chbz19 5165 C10 24 4b 35

Grandma’s Chicken ‘n’ Dumpling Soup

I’ve enjoyed making this rich homemade chicken dumpling soup recipe for more than 40 years. Every time I serve this type of soup, I remember my southern grandma, who was very special to me and was known as an outstanding cook. —Paulette Balda, Prophetstown, Illinois

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Broccoli Chowder

Broccoli Chowder

Sue Call of Beech Grove, Indiana serves this comforting soup on chilly stay-at-home evenings. Nutmeg seasons the light creamy broth that’s chock-full of tender broccoli florets and diced potatoes.

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Easy Beef Soup Exps Ft21 10037 F 1117 1

Easy Beef Soup

This colorful, easy beef soup comes together in minutes. Even my husband, who admits he’s no cook, makes it on occasion.” —Agnes Bierbaum, Gainesville, Florida

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Cream Of Celery Soup Exps Ft21 28681 F 1105 1 11

Cream of Celery Soup Recipe

This rich cream of celery soup recipe will warm up any family gathering or quiet evening at home. With just the right amount of onion flavor, it’s creamy and crowd-pleasing. —Janet James, Bluff City, Tennessee

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French Onion Soup Exps Sbz19 294 C09 14 2b 2

French Onion Soup

My daughter and I enjoy spending time together cooking, but our days are busy so we appreciate quick and tasty recipes like this one. Hot and delicious, this soup hits the spot for lunch or dinner. —Sandra Chambers, Carthage, Mississippi

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Pasta Fagioli Soup Exps Sddj19 38088 E07 13 1b 9

Pasta Fagioli Soup

My husband enjoys my version of this dish so much that he doesn’t order it at restaurants anymore. With fresh spinach, pasta and seasoned sausage, this fast-to-fix soup is a meal on its own. —Brenda Thomas, Springfield, Missouri

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Country Fish Chowder Exps Sbz19 3580 C09 14 7b 6

Country Fish Chowder

You’ll think you’re on Cape Cod when you taste this thick, wholesome chowder made from a recipe I’ve treasured for many years. It’s one of my husband’s favorites. He likes it more and more because over the years I’ve “customized” the basic recipe by including ingredients he enjoys. —Linda Lazaroff, Hebron, Connecticut

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Fennel Carrot Soup

Fennel Carrot Soup

This soup is perfect as a first course for a special-occasion dinner. It gets its delicious flavor from toasted fennel seeds—a pleasant complement to the carrots, apple and sweet potato. —Marlene Bursey, Waverly, Nova Scotia

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Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

I came up with this creamy chicken rice soup recipe while making some adjustments to a favorite stovetop chicken casserole. We like this soup for lunch with a crisp roll and fresh fruit. —Janice Mitchell, Aurora, Colorado

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Weeknight Turkey Tortilla Soup Exps Sdon18 55924 C06 19 1b 2

Weeknight Turkey Tortilla Soup

This is now my family’s most requested soup—so much so that they will make sure I have leftover turkey. You can spice up this soup and make it more hearty by adding smoked sausage or andouille and some Cajun seasoning to taste. —Gail Lucas, Olive Branch, Mississippi

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Potato Soup Exps Cwdj17 44986 C08 19 5b 4

Potato Soup

I decided to add some character to a basic potato chowder with a jar of roasted red peppers. The extra flavor gives a deliciously different twist to an otherwise ordinary soup. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma

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Exps179666 Th153343d04 22 2b 9

The Best Chicken & Dumplings

 Homemade chicken and dumplings from scratch harken back to my childhood and chilly days when we devoured those cute little balls of dough swimming in hot, rich broth. It’s one of those types of soup you’ll want to eat again and again. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona

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English Pub Split Pea Soup Exps Edsc18 184673 B03 20 1b 5

English Pub Split Pea Soup

This family favorite is the same recipe my grandmother used. Now with the magic of the slow cooker, I can spend 15 minutes putting it together, walk away for five hours, and come back to “soup’s on.” Finish it with more milk if you like your soup a bit thinner. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida

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Beet Borscht

Beet Borscht

My mother used to make this hearty soup from her garden’s bountiful crop of beets and other vegetables. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington

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Cheesy Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cheesy Cream of Asparagus Soup

Kids may not want to try a vegetable soup, but once they spoon up a mouthful of this cheesy variety, the flavor will keep them coming back for more. —Muriel Lerdal, Humboldt, Iowa

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Land of Enchantment Posole

My family named this spicy soup after our state moniker, “New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.” We usually make it around Christmas when we have lots of family over…and we never have leftovers. —Suzanne Caldwell Artesia, New Mexico

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Egg Drop Soup Exps Sbz19 23868 E 09 14 8b 46

Egg Drop Soup

We often start our stir-fry meals with this fast egg drop soup recipe— it cooks in just minutes flat. There are many versions of the recipe, but we like the easy addition of cornstarch to thicken the soup and give it a rich, golden color. I got the recipe from my grandma’s old cookbook. —Amy Beth Corlew-Sherlock, Lapeer, Michigan

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Classic French Onion Soup Exps Thfm18 160479 D10 17 2b 26

Classic French Onion Soup

Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does: I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah

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Beef Lentil Soup Exps2553 Gb143373b01 16 1bc Rms 6

Beef Lentil Soup

You can prepare this soup as the main course in a hearty lunch or dinner. On cold winter evenings here in New England, I’ve often enjoyed sipping a steaming mugful in front of our fireplacel. —Guy Turnbull, Arlington, Massachusetts

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Quick Cream Of Mushroom Soup Exps Sdam17 11767 B12 02 8b 7

Quick Cream of Mushroom Soup

My daughter-in-law, a gourmet cook, served this cream of mushroom soup recipe as the first course for a holiday dinner. She received the recipe from her mom and graciously shared it with me. Now I’m happy to share it with my own friends and family. —Anne Kulick, Phillipsburg, New Jersey

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Over The Rainbow Minestrone Exps Cscs21 174716 B04 07 2b 2

Over-the-Rainbow Minestrone

This colorful soup is vegetarian-friendly and full of fresh flavors from a rainbow of vegetables. You can use any multicolored pasta in place of the spirals. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Cheddar Potato Chowder

Cheddar Potato Chowder

I only made this soup occasionally because the original recipe was quite high in fat. I doctored it up a bit, using healthier ingredients, and now we eat this rich flavorful chowder more often.—Ellie Rausch of Goodsoil, Saskatchewan

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Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Exps Sdfm18 205272 C10 05 7b 7

Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

For national soup month in January, I came up with a new recipe every day. This one is my favorite! It’s so easy, with just a touch of special Thai flavors. For an even richer flavor, try using whole coconut milk. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan

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Cheese Soup with a Twist

Cheese Soup with a Twist

One of my favorite childhood memories is of my Aunt Claire serving up hearty bowlfuls of her famous cheesy soup. She would pair this cheese soup with a slice of warm buttered bread for a downhome lunch. —Rob Feezor, Alexandria, Virginia

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Crab Corn Chowder

Crab Corn Chowder

No time to make a homemade soup? Think again! You’ll be ladling out steamy bowls of satisfying chowder in no time. Canned corn and crab blend beautifully in this creamy, colorful soup. —Sarah McClanahan, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Exps191631 Edsc163648d01 07 5b 3

Split Pea Soup with Ham & Jalapeno

To me, this spicy pea soup is total comfort food. I cook it low and slow all day, and it fills the house with a yummy aroma. It’s so good with a nice, crispy baguette. —Chelsea Tichenor, Huntington Beach, California

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Exps189699 Cw153050a06 24 5b 3

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

My dear friend Shirley shared this recipe with me several years ago. Every time I think of her, I make the soup. I sometimes add a cup of cheddar cheese at the end and melt it in for an extra measure of comfort. —Carol Brault, Woodville, Wisconsin

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Hearty Vegetable Soup Exps Hc17 15651 D01 20 6b 32

Hearty Vegetable Soup

A friend gave me the idea to use V8 juice in vegetable soup because it provides more flavor. My best vegetable soup recipe is perfect to prepare on a crisp autumn afternoon. —Janice Steinmetz, Somers, Connecticut

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Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock

Peppercorns and a handful of herbs add the perfect seasoning to this low-sodium stock developed here atTaste of Home.

Browning the chicken and sauteeing the veggies gives it more flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Fresh Corn & Potato Chowder

Fresh Corn & Potato Chowder

This corn chowder recipe was one of my favorites as a child in upstate New York, and I still love it today. For extra depth, place the spent cob in the soup, simmer, then remove. —Tracy Bivins, Knob Noster, Missouri

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Exps33850 Ff163882d01 12 5b 2

Easy Hamburger Soup

Lunches on the run will be a little tastier with this hot and hearty beef and barley soup. The recipe is very simple to prepare. —Mary Prior, Rush City, Minnesota

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Exps2546 Mrr143297a09 12 5b Fullersoup 2

Chicken Barley Soup

No question—this is my favorite barley soup! It’s so filling that I serve it as a hearty main dish, and I have given the recipe to many of our friends and relatives. It simply tastes too good to keep to yourself! —Diana Costello, Marion, Kansas

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Exps184154 Sd153322b04 08 5b 15

Italian Sausage and Zucchini Soup

Everyone in my family likes this soup recipe. Sometimes I add mini farfalle because my grandchildren say the noodles look like tiny butterflies. This recipe also works in a slow cooker. —Nancy Murphy, Mount Dora, Florida

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Best Ever Potato Soup Exps Mrrmz16 9739 C09 01 2b 55

Best Ever Potato Soup

You’ll be surprised at the taste of this rich and cheesy easy potato soup. It really is the best potato soup recipe, ever. I came up with it after enjoying baked potato soup at one of our favorite restaurants. I added bacon, and we think that makes it even better. —Coleen Morrissey, Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania

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Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I was talking about stuffed peppers with the other cooks at the restaurant where I work. We decided to mix similar ingredients for a soup. Customer response was overwhelming! —Krista Muddiman, Meadville, Pennsylvania

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Yogurt

Pros: Active cultures in yogurt have been linked to improved digestive health and a reduced risk of heart disease, so, yay! There are yogurt starters you can buy that contain the live cultures you need. The flavor combinations you can think up in your homemade yogurt lab are nearly endless. Want to do a raspberry vanilla coconut banana? No one is stopping you. You control exactly what goes in it, and this includes the sugar—many store-bought brands are loaded with extra sugar or sweeteners.

Cons: You may want to buy a yogurt maker to help you in the process, but you can also use your Instant Pot. It’ll also take anywhere from six to 10 hours to make, and there can be a bit of trial and error before you find your groove.

Pancakes

Pros: First off, pancakes are pretty much the easiest type of cake you can make from scratch. Here is a simple recipe for pancakes that you can add any number of things to: blueberries, chocolate chips, peanut butter, cinnamon, apples—even bacon. Bonus, you get to skip the sodium caseinate, tocopherols and diglycerides that come in the box mix.

Cons: It’ll take you 6 minutes to make pancakes from scratch and 4 to make them from a mix.* (*OK, this is just a guess, but it can’t be too far off.)

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Cinnamon Honey Syrup

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Cinnamon Honey Syrup

This is a great breakfast for special days, but it mixes up so fast that it’s perfect for busy mornings as well. —LeeAnn Hansen, Kaysville, Utah

Go to Recipe

Fluffy Pancakes Exps Tohcom21 7539 G11 19 9b 15

Fluffy Pancakes

I found this fluffy pancake recipe among our old family favorites and adapted it to make a small amount. It’s quick and easy to prepare, but we still consider it a special treat. —Eugene Presley, Council, Virginia

Go to Recipe

Apple Pancakes With Cider Syrup Exps Mcmz16 38378 C05 20 8b 5

Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

Tender pancakes are filled with minced apple and raisin, and drizzled with apple cider syrup. They’re wonderful in the summer or on a cool fall morning. —April Harmon, Greeneville, Tennessee

Go to Recipe

Whole Wheat Pancakes Exps Lsbz18 23297 B01 19 5b 1

Whole Wheat Pancakes

To fix a large batch of tender pancakes for my five children, I rely on this quick and wholesome recipe. It calls for whole wheat flour and buttermilk, which make the pancakes filling but also light. Serve them with hot chocolate for a breakfast that’s sure to delight little ones. —Line Walter, Wayne, Pennsylvania

Go to Recipe

Cornmeal Pancakes

Cornmeal Pancakes

I like to joke that these pancakes are so light, you have to hold them down! When we have a chance, we make them with freshly ground cornmeal bought at local festivals. —Betty Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania

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Banana Oat Pancakes Exps Bmz17 28454 C09 29 1b 8

Banana Oat Pancakes

I concocted these fluffy banana oatmeal pancakes using a muffin recipe. We love them topped with strawberry jam for breakfast, supper or even just snacking. They’re delicious drizzled with maple syrup, too. —Janie Obermier, St. Joseph, Missouri

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Apple Dutch Baby Exps Fbmz18 29867 B05 08 5b 10

Apple Dutch Baby

This dish has been a longtime family favorite for Christmas morning. It is light, airy, and filled with eggs and juicy apple. I like to serve it alongside bacon or sausage. —Teeny McCloy, Red Deer, Alberta

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Better For You Buttermilk Pancakes Exps80167 Thhc2377560c03 06 1bc Rms 3

Better-For-You Buttermilk Pancakes

The name is just one reason you should try these for dinner; sweet, fluffy goodness is the other. —Janet Schubert, Rib Lake, Wisconsin

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Puffy Oven Pancakes Exps37359 Cft990854d49c Rms 2

Puffy Oven Pancakes

Puffy and pretty, with a refreshing hint of lemon, this berry-topped pancake is a cherished favorite of Lily Julow in Lawrenceville, Georgia. What a melt-in-your-mouth morning wake-up or addition to a special brunch!

Go to Recipe

Gluten-Free Breakfast Blintzes

Gluten-Free Breakfast Blintzes

These cheese-filled, berry-topped blintzes taste just as mouthwatering and special as they look. —Laura Fall-Sutton, Buhl, Idaho

Go to Recipe

Exps82264 Th143195c07 30 4b 2

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

These pumpkin pancakes are also delicious served with butter or whipped topping and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Freeze any extras in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then store in a freezer bag. They’re great fresh out of the toaster! —Mindy Bauknecht, Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Go to Recipe

Buttermilk Pancakes Exps Toham22 33639 B11 12 2b 9

Buttermilk Pancakes

You just can’t beat the best buttermilk pancakes for a down-home hearty breakfast. Pair it with sausage and fresh fruit for a mouthwatering morning meal. —Betty Abrey, Imperial, Saskatchewan

Go to Recipe

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes Exps Ghbz18 3290 B08 08 2b 3

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes

My family absolutely loves these oat pancakes. I make them every Saturday and Sunday. If I don’t, they don’t believe it’s the weekend! My son’s friends often spend the night, and I think it’s because they like these oatmeal pancakes so much. They are especially delicious served with molasses and syrup. —Sharon W. Bickett, Chester, South Carolina

Go to Recipe

Blintz Pancakes

Blintz Pancakes

Blending sour cream and cottage cheese, ingredients traditionally associated with blintzes, into the batter of these pancakes gives them old-fashioned flavor. Top these family favorites with berry syrup to turn an ordinary morning into an extraordinary day.—Dianna Digoy, San Diego, California

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Peach Pancakes With Butter Sauce Exps48140 Cx1785612c02 01 1bc Rms 7

Peach Pancakes with Butter Sauce

I am 10 and I enjoy helping my grandma in the kitchen. I love pancakes and peaches, so we came up with this recipe. —Mikayla Blackstar, Ponca City, Oklahoma

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Exps79375 Bb143289c07 22 3b 2

Berry Coulis with Dutch Pancakes

My husband makes his mom’s crepe-like Dutch pancakes with our kids on Saturdays. I came up with the berry sauce, and the dish is now our brunch standard. —Shannon Koene, Blacksburg, Virginia

Go to Recipe

Did you know pancakes are made all over the world? Check out our fluffy Japanese pancakes.

Sweet Potato Pancakes With Caramel Sauce Exps126525 Toh2237243d10 05 5bc Rms 2

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Caramel Sauce

Sometimes sweet potatoes end up as leftovers. It happens, but by happy chance, they go well in pancake batter and love to dance on a hot griddle. Topped with caramel sauce, butter and toasted cashews, they look nothing like yesterday’s forgotten dish. Don’t have leftovers? Use canned sweet potatoes. —Sheryl Little, Sherwood, Arkansas

Go to Recipe

For a new twist on pancakes, try out this pancake spaghetti.

Exps137158 Th153342b02 11 13b 4

Dad’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

My dad makes blueberry pancakes for us every Saturday without fail. The combination of oats, cornmeal and buttermilk in the batter gives the pancakes heartiness we can’t resist. —Gabrielle Short, Pleasant Hill, Iowa

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Chocolate Chunk Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

Chocolate Chunk Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

Chocolate and raspberries are two of my ideal ingredients, so I pack both into pancakes. I make them in honor of my sister, who adores chocolate. —Katherine Nelson, Centerville, Utah

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Aunt Edith S Baked Pancake Exps Ugfbmz 4269 C04 27 1b 12

Aunt Edith’s Baked Pancake

My aunt made a mighty breakfast that revolved around ‘The Big Pancake’. I always enjoyed watching as she poured the batter into her huge iron skillet, then created the perfect confection: a Dutch baby pancake. —Marion Kirst, Troy, Michigan

Go to Recipe

Exps79375 Bb143289c07 22 3b 2

Berry Coulis with Dutch Pancakes

My husband makes his mom’s crepe-like Dutch pancakes with our kids on Saturdays. I came up with the berry sauce, and the dish is now our brunch standard. —Shannon Koene, Blacksburg, Virginia

Go to Recipe

Morning Glory Pancakes

Morning Glory Pancakes

These pancakes were inspired by the popular Morning Glory muffins. They are fluffy and delectable without all the oil, but they have the same carrot, fruit and nut flavors.— Kurt Wait, Redwood City, California

Go to Recipe

Exps44542 Bb143289b07 22 10b 7

Danish Pancakes

I came to North America from Denmark decades ago, and my mother used to make these pancakes for me and my siblings while growing up. Today, my children and grandchildren love these, so I often have to double the recipe.—Lise Thomson, Magrath, Alberta

Go to Recipe

Chocolate Chip Elvis Pancakes Exps Ft19 166320 F 0829 1 3

Chocolate Chip Elvis Pancakes

I’m one of 13 children, so making a recipe that everyone likes can be a challenge. This chocolate peanut butter pancakes recipe was a Saturday-morning special that we all loved. —Keenan McDermott, Springfield, Missouri

Go to Recipe

Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes Exps Bbbz16 25056 05b 26 2b 6

Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes

This buckwheat pancake recipe uses buckwheat flour instead of the wheat-based variety. The light and tender buckwheat pancakes offer a nutty flavor and hearty texture. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Go to Recipe

Mini Chip Cocoa Pancakes Exps160494 Th2847293c12 19 8bc Rms 2

Mini-Chip Cocoa Pancakes

For the chocoholic in you, get your fix early by whipping up a batch of hot cocoa pancakes dotted with mini chocolate chips! — Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota

Go to Recipe

Almond Berry Pancakes Exps Qebz20 94480 B01 22 4b 2

Almond Berry Pancakes

Whole wheat flour and two kinds of berries add an extra helping of nutrition to these hearty pancakes. It’s a breakfast I feel good about eating. —Sarah Haengel, Bowie, Maryland

Go to Recipe

Pigs in a Pool

Pigs in a Pool

My kids love sausages and pancakes but making them during the week was out of the question. I bought the frozen variety on a stick but wasn’t keen on the calories, additives or price. This version of pigs-in-a-blanket is a tasty, thrifty alternative. —Lisa Dodd, Greenville, South Carolina

Go to Recipe

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

These popular pancakes are likely to spark a craving. For a different twist, switch the citrus ingredient to lime or lemon juice.—Brehan Kohl, Anchorage, Alaska

Go to Recipe

Exps171315 Sd153323c06 09 1b 2

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon-Apple Topping

When these pumpkin pancakes are on the griddle, people flock to the kitchen. Grab a spoon and top each stack with buttery, cinnamon-spiced apples. —Kami Button, Cheektowaga, New York

Go to Recipe

Dutch Baby Pancake With Strawberry Almond Compote Exps141004 Th2847293c12 18 2bc Rms 2

Dutch Baby Pancake with Strawberry-Almond Compote

Pannekoeken, or Dutch baked pancakes, are a treat in my husband’s family. You can also try this recipe with vanilla extract, blueberries and lemon peel. —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia

Go to Recipe

Berry Granola Pancakes Exps88837 Sd143205d01 24 1bc Rms 4

Berry Granola Pancakes

My son and I like to make this breakfast favorite together. You can leave the berries out of the mix and sprinkle them on top, or sub in chocolate chips or nuts instead. —Elizabeth Stewart, Crab Orchard, West Virginia

Go to Recipe

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes Exps160876 Thhc2377564d07 10 3bc Rms 2

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

These pancakes have less sodium per serving than other pancakes made from mixes. Decrease sodium even further by stretching the mix with banana, oats and walnuts. In our house we just sprinkle these with a little confectioners’ sugar, because the fruit is so sweet you don’t need syrup. — Patricia Swart, Galloway , New Jersey

Go to Recipe

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Cinnamon Honey Syrup

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Cinnamon Honey Syrup

This is a great breakfast for special days, but it mixes up so fast that it’s perfect for busy mornings as well. —LeeAnn Hansen, Kaysville, Utah

Go to Recipe

Fluffy Pancakes Exps Tohcom21 7539 G11 19 9b 15

Fluffy Pancakes

I found this fluffy pancake recipe among our old family favorites and adapted it to make a small amount. It’s quick and easy to prepare, but we still consider it a special treat. —Eugene Presley, Council, Virginia

Go to Recipe

Apple Pancakes With Cider Syrup Exps Mcmz16 38378 C05 20 8b 5

Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

Tender pancakes are filled with minced apple and raisin, and drizzled with apple cider syrup. They’re wonderful in the summer or on a cool fall morning. —April Harmon, Greeneville, Tennessee

Go to Recipe

Whole Wheat Pancakes Exps Lsbz18 23297 B01 19 5b 1

Whole Wheat Pancakes

To fix a large batch of tender pancakes for my five children, I rely on this quick and wholesome recipe. It calls for whole wheat flour and buttermilk, which make the pancakes filling but also light. Serve them with hot chocolate for a breakfast that’s sure to delight little ones. —Line Walter, Wayne, Pennsylvania

Go to Recipe

Cornmeal Pancakes

Cornmeal Pancakes

I like to joke that these pancakes are so light, you have to hold them down! When we have a chance, we make them with freshly ground cornmeal bought at local festivals. —Betty Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania

Go to Recipe

Banana Oat Pancakes Exps Bmz17 28454 C09 29 1b 8

Banana Oat Pancakes

I concocted these fluffy banana oatmeal pancakes using a muffin recipe. We love them topped with strawberry jam for breakfast, supper or even just snacking. They’re delicious drizzled with maple syrup, too. —Janie Obermier, St. Joseph, Missouri

Go to Recipe

Apple Dutch Baby Exps Fbmz18 29867 B05 08 5b 10

Apple Dutch Baby

This dish has been a longtime family favorite for Christmas morning. It is light, airy, and filled with eggs and juicy apple. I like to serve it alongside bacon or sausage. —Teeny McCloy, Red Deer, Alberta

Go to Recipe

Better For You Buttermilk Pancakes Exps80167 Thhc2377560c03 06 1bc Rms 3

Better-For-You Buttermilk Pancakes

The name is just one reason you should try these for dinner; sweet, fluffy goodness is the other. —Janet Schubert, Rib Lake, Wisconsin

Go to Recipe

Puffy Oven Pancakes Exps37359 Cft990854d49c Rms 2

Puffy Oven Pancakes

Puffy and pretty, with a refreshing hint of lemon, this berry-topped pancake is a cherished favorite of Lily Julow in Lawrenceville, Georgia. What a melt-in-your-mouth morning wake-up or addition to a special brunch!

Go to Recipe

Gluten-Free Breakfast Blintzes

Gluten-Free Breakfast Blintzes

These cheese-filled, berry-topped blintzes taste just as mouthwatering and special as they look. —Laura Fall-Sutton, Buhl, Idaho

Go to Recipe

Exps82264 Th143195c07 30 4b 2

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

These pumpkin pancakes are also delicious served with butter or whipped topping and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Freeze any extras in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then store in a freezer bag. They’re great fresh out of the toaster! —Mindy Bauknecht, Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Go to Recipe

Buttermilk Pancakes Exps Toham22 33639 B11 12 2b 9

Buttermilk Pancakes

You just can’t beat the best buttermilk pancakes for a down-home hearty breakfast. Pair it with sausage and fresh fruit for a mouthwatering morning meal. —Betty Abrey, Imperial, Saskatchewan

Go to Recipe

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes Exps Ghbz18 3290 B08 08 2b 3

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes

My family absolutely loves these oat pancakes. I make them every Saturday and Sunday. If I don’t, they don’t believe it’s the weekend! My son’s friends often spend the night, and I think it’s because they like these oatmeal pancakes so much. They are especially delicious served with molasses and syrup. —Sharon W. Bickett, Chester, South Carolina

Go to Recipe

Blintz Pancakes

Blintz Pancakes

Blending sour cream and cottage cheese, ingredients traditionally associated with blintzes, into the batter of these pancakes gives them old-fashioned flavor. Top these family favorites with berry syrup to turn an ordinary morning into an extraordinary day.—Dianna Digoy, San Diego, California

Go to Recipe

Peach Pancakes With Butter Sauce Exps48140 Cx1785612c02 01 1bc Rms 7

Peach Pancakes with Butter Sauce

I am 10 and I enjoy helping my grandma in the kitchen. I love pancakes and peaches, so we came up with this recipe. —Mikayla Blackstar, Ponca City, Oklahoma

Go to Recipe

Exps79375 Bb143289c07 22 3b 2

Berry Coulis with Dutch Pancakes

My husband makes his mom’s crepe-like Dutch pancakes with our kids on Saturdays. I came up with the berry sauce, and the dish is now our brunch standard. —Shannon Koene, Blacksburg, Virginia

Go to Recipe

Did you know pancakes are made all over the world? Check out our fluffy Japanese pancakes.

Sweet Potato Pancakes With Caramel Sauce Exps126525 Toh2237243d10 05 5bc Rms 2

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Caramel Sauce

Sometimes sweet potatoes end up as leftovers. It happens, but by happy chance, they go well in pancake batter and love to dance on a hot griddle. Topped with caramel sauce, butter and toasted cashews, they look nothing like yesterday’s forgotten dish. Don’t have leftovers? Use canned sweet potatoes. —Sheryl Little, Sherwood, Arkansas

Go to Recipe

For a new twist on pancakes, try out this pancake spaghetti.

Exps137158 Th153342b02 11 13b 4

Dad’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

My dad makes blueberry pancakes for us every Saturday without fail. The combination of oats, cornmeal and buttermilk in the batter gives the pancakes heartiness we can’t resist. —Gabrielle Short, Pleasant Hill, Iowa

Go to Recipe

Chocolate Chunk Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

Chocolate Chunk Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

Chocolate and raspberries are two of my ideal ingredients, so I pack both into pancakes. I make them in honor of my sister, who adores chocolate. —Katherine Nelson, Centerville, Utah

Go to Recipe

Aunt Edith S Baked Pancake Exps Ugfbmz 4269 C04 27 1b 12

Aunt Edith’s Baked Pancake

My aunt made a mighty breakfast that revolved around ‘The Big Pancake’. I always enjoyed watching as she poured the batter into her huge iron skillet, then created the perfect confection: a Dutch baby pancake. —Marion Kirst, Troy, Michigan

Go to Recipe

Exps79375 Bb143289c07 22 3b 2

Berry Coulis with Dutch Pancakes

My husband makes his mom’s crepe-like Dutch pancakes with our kids on Saturdays. I came up with the berry sauce, and the dish is now our brunch standard. —Shannon Koene, Blacksburg, Virginia

Go to Recipe

Morning Glory Pancakes

Morning Glory Pancakes

These pancakes were inspired by the popular Morning Glory muffins. They are fluffy and delectable without all the oil, but they have the same carrot, fruit and nut flavors.— Kurt Wait, Redwood City, California

Go to Recipe

Exps44542 Bb143289b07 22 10b 7

Danish Pancakes

I came to North America from Denmark decades ago, and my mother used to make these pancakes for me and my siblings while growing up. Today, my children and grandchildren love these, so I often have to double the recipe.—Lise Thomson, Magrath, Alberta

Go to Recipe

Chocolate Chip Elvis Pancakes Exps Ft19 166320 F 0829 1 3

Chocolate Chip Elvis Pancakes

I’m one of 13 children, so making a recipe that everyone likes can be a challenge. This chocolate peanut butter pancakes recipe was a Saturday-morning special that we all loved. —Keenan McDermott, Springfield, Missouri

Go to Recipe

Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes Exps Bbbz16 25056 05b 26 2b 6

Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes

This buckwheat pancake recipe uses buckwheat flour instead of the wheat-based variety. The light and tender buckwheat pancakes offer a nutty flavor and hearty texture. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Go to Recipe

Mini Chip Cocoa Pancakes Exps160494 Th2847293c12 19 8bc Rms 2

Mini-Chip Cocoa Pancakes

For the chocoholic in you, get your fix early by whipping up a batch of hot cocoa pancakes dotted with mini chocolate chips! — Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota

Go to Recipe

Almond Berry Pancakes Exps Qebz20 94480 B01 22 4b 2

Almond Berry Pancakes

Whole wheat flour and two kinds of berries add an extra helping of nutrition to these hearty pancakes. It’s a breakfast I feel good about eating. —Sarah Haengel, Bowie, Maryland

Go to Recipe

Pigs in a Pool

Pigs in a Pool

My kids love sausages and pancakes but making them during the week was out of the question. I bought the frozen variety on a stick but wasn’t keen on the calories, additives or price. This version of pigs-in-a-blanket is a tasty, thrifty alternative. —Lisa Dodd, Greenville, South Carolina

Go to Recipe

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

These popular pancakes are likely to spark a craving. For a different twist, switch the citrus ingredient to lime or lemon juice.—Brehan Kohl, Anchorage, Alaska

Go to Recipe

Exps171315 Sd153323c06 09 1b 2

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon-Apple Topping

When these pumpkin pancakes are on the griddle, people flock to the kitchen. Grab a spoon and top each stack with buttery, cinnamon-spiced apples. —Kami Button, Cheektowaga, New York

Go to Recipe

Dutch Baby Pancake With Strawberry Almond Compote Exps141004 Th2847293c12 18 2bc Rms 2

Dutch Baby Pancake with Strawberry-Almond Compote

Pannekoeken, or Dutch baked pancakes, are a treat in my husband’s family. You can also try this recipe with vanilla extract, blueberries and lemon peel. —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia

Go to Recipe

Berry Granola Pancakes Exps88837 Sd143205d01 24 1bc Rms 4

Berry Granola Pancakes

My son and I like to make this breakfast favorite together. You can leave the berries out of the mix and sprinkle them on top, or sub in chocolate chips or nuts instead. —Elizabeth Stewart, Crab Orchard, West Virginia

Go to Recipe

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes Exps160876 Thhc2377564d07 10 3bc Rms 2

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

These pancakes have less sodium per serving than other pancakes made from mixes. Decrease sodium even further by stretching the mix with banana, oats and walnuts. In our house we just sprinkle these with a little confectioners’ sugar, because the fruit is so sweet you don’t need syrup. — Patricia Swart, Galloway , New Jersey

Go to Recipe

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Cinnamon Honey Syrup

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Cinnamon Honey Syrup

This is a great breakfast for special days, but it mixes up so fast that it’s perfect for busy mornings as well. —LeeAnn Hansen, Kaysville, Utah

Go to Recipe

Breakfast Sausage

Pros: What goes better with pancakes than homemade breakfast sausage? And making it is no harder than combining some ground meat with lots of yummy spices—no sausage-making machine or casings required. Just form into patties and brown in a skillet. You can even make a double batch and freeze them for up to three months.

Cons: Your family will probably never want to go back to frozen sausage patties again.

Bagels

Pros: Homemade bagels are surprisingly easy to make, says cook Jennifer Reese, author of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. Dropping them in boiling water before baking may seem intimidating, but “boiling is what gives bagels their unique, tight, shrink-wrapped crusts.” You can watch her tutorial on bagel-making, and then try out these homemade cinnamon bagels.

Cons: Again, just time. About 1 hour to make from scratch versus 5 seconds to open a package of premade ones. But, you get to skip the preservatives by making your own and take out some aggression when it comes time to punch the dough.

In an ideal world, we’d have time to make all our food from scratch, but that’s not always possible. Luckily, there are a lot more healthy, premade options now than there were 20 years ago. There are organic microwavable meals, low-mercury canned tunas, low-sodium boxed soups and natural peanut and almond butters with no added sugar.

You can use premade foods as a shortcut, but I’d recommend pairing them with a vegetable. That means when you pop a frozen pizza in the oven, have a side of broccoli as well!

Vegetable Couscous Salad

Vegetable Couscous Salad

This salad is great as a side with any kind of grilled meat or fish. If you want to serve it as a vegetarian main, add some crumbled goat cheese or tangy feta cheese. —Patricia Levenson, SANTA ANA, California

Go to Recipe

Pressure Cooker Lemon Red Potatoes Exps Cfcsbz17 207938 B09 12 1b 5

Pressure-Cooker Lemon Red Potatoes

Amanda Kippert has been an award-winning freelance journalist for nearly two decades. She is based in Tucson, Arizona and specializes in food, health, fitness, parenting and humor, as well as social issues. She is the content editor of the domestic violence nonprofit DomesticShelters.org.

GRIEF & THE HOLIDAYS

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The holidays are times spent with our loved ones.” This has been imprinted on our psyche from a young age. Holidays mark the passage of time in our lives. They are part of the milestones we share with each other and they generally represent time spent with family. But since holidays are for being with those we love the most, how on earth can anyone be expected to cope with them when a loved one has died? For many people, this is the hardest part of grieving, when we miss our loved ones even more than usual. How can we celebrate togetherness when there is none?

When you lose someone special, your world lacks its celebratory qualities. Holidays magnify that loss. The sadness deepens and the loneliness can feel isolating. The need for support may be the greatest during the holidays. Pretending you don’t hurt and/or it isn’t a harder time of the year is just not the truth for you. But you can – and will – get through the holidays. Rather than avoiding the feelings of grief, lean into them. It is not the grief you want to avoid, it is the pain. No one can take that pain away, but grief is not just pain, grief is love.  Here is a video that may help you with www.Holiday Grief.com

There are a number of ways to incorporate your loved one and your loss into the holidays.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Years

These are the biggest and usually most challenging of all. You can and will get through the Holidays. Rather than avoiding the feelings of grief, lean into them. It is not the grief you want to avoid, it is the pain. Grief is the way out of the pain. Grief is our internal feelings and mourning is our external expressions.

Ways to externalize the loss – give it a time and a place
  •  A prayer before the Holiday dinner, about your loved one.
  •  Light a candle for your loved one.
  •  Create an online tribute for them.
  •  Share a favorite story about your loved one.
  •  Have everyone tell a funny story about your loved one.
  •  At your place of worship remember them in a prayer.
  •  Chat online about them.
Ways to Cope

Have a Plan A/Plan B – Plan A is you go to that holiday dinner with family and friends and if it doesn’t feel right, have your plan B ready. Plan B may be watching a movie you both liked, or looking through a photo album, or going to a special place you went to together. Many people find that when they have Plan B in place, just knowing it is there is enough.

Cancel the holiday altogether. Yes, you can cancel the holiday. If you are going through the motions and feel nothing, cancel them. Take a year off. The holidays will come around again and will always be there. For other people, staying involved with the holidays is a symbol of life continuing. Let the holiday routine give you a framework during these tough times, and lean on a holiday support system.

Try the holidays in a new way. Grief has a unique way of giving us permission to evaluate what parts of the holidays we enjoy and what parts we don’t. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to handle the holidays in grief. You have to decide what is right for you and do it. You have every right to change your mind, even a few times. Friends and family members may not have a clue how to help you through this time of year, and you may not either.

It is very natural to feel you may never enjoy this time of year again. They will certainly never be the same as before your loved one’s death. However, in time, most people are able to find meaning again in the traditions as a new form of the holiday spirit grows inside of them. Even without grief, our friends and relatives often think they know how our holidays should look, what “the family” should and shouldn’t do.

Do’s and Don’ts
  • Do be gentle with yourself and protect yourself.
  • Don’t do more than you want, and don’t do anything that does not serve your soul and your loss.
  • Do allow time for the feelings.
  • Don’t keep feelings bottled up. If you have 500 tears to cry don’t stop at 250.
  • Do allow others to help. We all need help at certain times in our lives.
  • Don’t ask if you can help or should help a friend in grief. Just help. Find ways; invite them to group events or just out for coffee.
  • Do, in grief, pay extra attention to the children. Children are too often the forgotten grievers.

Valentines Day

Valentines Day is a day to honor our spouse, girlfriend / boyfriend or anyone we are romantically involved with in the present. The past can represent a hole in your heart where your loved one used to be.

Tips
  • Write a love letter
  • Smile a smile for them
  • Light a red candle
  • Tell someone about them.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

Mother and Fathers Day are often thought of as an invisible sad day of mourning while many people are rushing around trying to get that perfect gift or make sure they remember to send mom / dad a card. There are over one hundred million Americans that for them, this is a sad day. Either because they have a mother or father who has died or a child has died.

Tips
  • Find ways to honor and remember your mother/ father or both.Think of ways to honor your child.
  • Light a candle
  • Say a prayer
  • Donate time or money in their name.
  • Do something you loved to do together on that day.

It isn’t as important how you remember, you honor them by the fact that you remember.

Just Remember

Holidays are clearly some of the roughest terrains we navigate after a loss. Finding meaning in the loss is as individual as we are. We often say a part of us died with them, but finding meaning is also realizing a part of them still lives within us. What is vitally important is that we be present for the loss in whatever form the holidays do or don’t take. These holidays are part of the grieving journey that we must fully feel. They are usually very sad, but sometimes we may catch ourselves doing okay, and we may even have a brief moment of laughter. Now more than ever, be gentle with yourself. Don’t do more than you want, and don’t do anything that does not serve your soul, your loss, or the meaning that still lives within you.

PTSD is not just for veterans, it’s a trauma disorder that affects millions

Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

by Yvonne Taunton

Research shows that individuals who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder, better known as PTSD, have experienced severe trauma at some point in their lives. The trauma could come in the form of sexual assault, a natural disaster, a car accident or anything that would prompt someone to have a harrowing reaction.

However, many believe that PTSD is a mental health condition that affects only those who have come back home from war, but this is not the case.

“We must see PTSD, and other trauma-related disorders, as mental health issues that face many survivors of human rights violations,” said Tina Kempin Reuter, associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences and director for UAB Institute for Human Rights. “Whether they’re survivors of genocide, ethnic cleansing, racial or ethnic persecution, and other forms of direct and indirect violence, many of these individuals continue to battle their traumas across their lifetime.”

PTSD affects 3.5 percent of the U.S. adult population, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or approximately 8 million Americans who live with the condition. Approximately 37 percent of people diagnosed with PTSD display serious symptoms.

The root cause of PTSD is a traumatic event, but the symptoms are what overwhelm people to the point where it is diagnosable. People with PTSD often have recurring, distressing and upsetting memories of the trauma, and continually have upsetting memories that are hard to stop.

Symptoms can include flashbacks, night sweats, insomnia, panic attacks, and isolating themselves from friends and family.

U.S. National Library of Medicine research indicates that, when people experience trauma firsthand, it changes the brain. Several areas of the brain are involved. A stress response includes the amygdala, hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. PTSD and trauma can cause lasting changes in those areas of the brain.

There are other disorders and mental health conditions that can appear along with PTSD, including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder and substance abuse.

Many who experience PTSD also may struggle with suicidal ideation and may attempt to take their life.

How to cope with trauma

PTSD is not necessarily preventable because individuals cannot control when trauma happens. However, they can be equipped to cope with the trauma afterward.

Causes of PTSD:A stressful experienceTraumaMental illnessPredisposition to mental illness or family history of mental illnessRisk factors for PTSD:Long-lasting traumaChildhood sexual abuseOther childhood traumaA job where you’re exposed to trauma, such as a military positionLack of a sound support systemSeeing someone get hurtA history of substance abuse

Reuter says it is vital to seek mental health treatment in the form of therapy and, if needed, a psychiatrist, after someone experiences a traumatic event.

“Significant barriers can prevent many individuals living with PTSD and other trauma-related disorders from seeking the treatment they need,” Reuter said. “These barriers include lack of access or knowledge about mental health resources, lack of insurance to pay mental health providers, physical disability or other disability preventing individuals to access care, discrimination, and the stigma often associated with seeing a counselor.”

Reuter says that, in recent years, the global mental health community has worked to address these and other barriers by promoting “e-counseling” — that is, communicating with therapists and mental health professionals over the phone or computer. 

“Programs like BetterHelp can assist people living with PTSD to find and utilize the counseling they need,” Reuter said. “We hope that, as more individuals living with PTSD take advantage of these services, they are able to live fuller and healthier lives.”

Reuter notes that PTSD is a treatable mental illness, and many experiencing it are not alone. Seeking help from a mental health professional is a first step, whether that is working with someone in their local area or finding the help of an online counselor, like one at UAB partner BetterHelp, which provides treatment plans for those suffering with PTSD.

Healing from trauma can be difficult, but it is possible. If you are experiencing PTSD, seek help from available resources. And if you know someone who is experiencing PTSD, encourage them to do the same. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national helpline is 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

What If We’re Not Just Friends?

Photo by Hannah Nelson on Pexels.com

Bestie, I’m afraid to ask you this…

by Kaitlyn Wylde and Bustle Editors

Two female friends laughing, wondering "Are we more than just friends"?

You text each other all the time. You’re always down to watch the same show. One minute you’re dishing with your BFF about spin class and your love of frozen yogurt, the next minute you’re wondering if your pal is about to lean across the couch and kiss you. Are these signs you’re more than friends, or just signs that you’re the best of buds? It can be hard to tell the difference between romantic relationships and platonic relationships, and often times, each kind of relationship is sprinkled with a bit of the other.

“The strongest relationships usually start as friendships, so the lines can get a bit blurred at times,” dating expert Noah Van Hochman tells Bustle. But if you’re starting to ask if you’re just friends or something more, it’s time to start planning that “What are we?” convo.

There can be lots of signals that your friend has a crush on you, or that you have a crush on them, or that you are both super hung up on each other and it’s only a matter of time before you start making out. The friend zone can be a confusing limbo if you’re physically attracted to the person — or a place you want you want to stay if you’re good with being just friends.

What’s more, some of the best romantic relationships are rooted in friendship, which can put pressure on analyzing even the most selfless friendships. No matter what the circumstances, whether you’re the one with the secret crush, you suspect your friend likes you, or it’s a mix of the two, make sure that you respect your friend’s space and their feelings.

To help give you a sense of whether to broach the topic — and how to make sure you’re doing it carefully, for both of your sakes — here are some reliable flags to tell if your friendship is becoming something more.

1. You Daydream About Them

If you’re sitting around daydreaming about your friend in class or at work, they might mean more to you than you realize. “Romantic fantasies when you are apart [are a huge giveaway],” clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., tells Bustle. Basically, if you can’t stop thinking about them — particularly when you’re apart from them, or doing something that has nothing to do with them at all — it can indicate you’ve got it bad for them.

2. You Get Jealous

When you have “jealous feelings” about a friend, you may be crushing, relationship coach Cindi Sansone-Braff, tells Bustle. These feelings can often strike especially hard when you find out your friend is in a relationship, or if they get into something new as your friendship unfolds. Here’s how the scenario goes: “You thought he or she was just your friend, and you loved talking with this person and hanging out with him or her, but then you find out they in a relationship, and all of a sudden, you start feeling jealous,” Sansone-Braff says.

“When you feel jealous of the other person’s time away, other interests, or even love interests, that is the time to reflect on what this person means to you,” Carlyle Jansen, author of Sex Yourself: The Woman’s Guide to Mastering Masturbation and Achieving Powerful Orgasms, tells Bustle, adding that if “you secretly find yourself wishing that they would break up,” it could mean that you want to step in.

Though you might not realize you’re doing it, this jealousy might cause you to negatively impact their relationship. “You start sabotaging their relationship in subtle and not subtle ways,” Jansen tells Bustle. This can manifest itself in ways you may not even realize, like planting ideas of their partner’s motives based on your own feelings about them, or as blatant as occupying their time so they don’t have as much to spend with their partner, creating a rift. Whether this is unintentional or not behavior, it’s best to recognize it for what it is.

“At this point, you need to come forward and admit your true feelings for this person, even if it means losing the friendship, or you need to back off from this person altogether,” Sansone-Braff tells Bustle. Being open and discussing your jealous feelings with your friend can strengthen your bond, too.

Another indication that you might have deeper feelings for a friend is if you don’t want that person to spend time with you and your significant other. “This may bring up feelings of disloyalty or shine a light on your conflicted feelings, therefore you seek to avoid it,” psychotherapist Terri Cole L.C.S.W., tells Bustle. If you notice an internal resistance to getting everyone together, you should take some time to consider why that is.

3. They Look At You Funny

“This can be a fine line, but often you can tell in the way that they look at you,” sex educator and author of Losing It: The Semi-Scandalous Story of an Ex-Virgin Danielle Sepulveres tells Bustle. “Strong eye contact that results in a vibe that feels almost palpable, even if you’re not reciprocating,” can mean that your BFF wants to become a BF or GF. “They go out of their way for you more than necessary and there’s a thoughtfulness that almost feels surprising,” she says. “They listen and remember things that you have said that even you yourself have forgotten.” After all, this is someone who is already loyal, who will already support and love you through good times and bad. If there’s a certain glint in their eye, this may mean they’re into you. Pay attention.

4. You Can’t Wait To See Them

If you’re dying to see your friend at all hours of the day it could be a sign you want something more. “The biggest sign for me was when me and my now-wife were dating, I couldn’t wait to see her,” relationship guru Rob Alex, PhD, tells Bustle. “I have had lots of great friends, but there is a magic in the air when that friendship moves to something stronger.” Though you might not be sure at first about whether you’re more than friends, when you know, you know. “You will start making up excuses to go see that special friend, you start remembering tiny details of when you are together, and when you look at each other there is more of a deep soul connection that just a passing glance,” Alex says. If you feel something that magnetizing, it may be a nudge from the universe that it’s a topic you want to explore.

5. You Want To Make Out “For Fun”

You can recognize that your friend is attractive without being attracted to them, but if you’re turned on by them, it’s a pretty clear indicator you interested in being physical. “When you want to make out with and sleep with a friend, that’s no longer a friend,” relationship expert April Masini tells Bustle. That line is crossed not when you act on your feelings, but when you simply feel them. “The minute you’ve got sexual feelings towards a friend is the minute they’re more than just that.”

6. You Want To Be More Intimate

Passionate women couple hugging in woods.
Studio CJ/E+/Getty Images

When it gets to this point, you’ve gone beyond just asking “Are we more than friends?” You’ll want to check in with yourself on how to proceed. “Here’s where you have to figure out if this person could turn out to be a friend with benefits, or if this could turn into a real relationship,” Sansone-Braff tells Bustle. Or, of course, there’s the third option — your friend might want to just be a friend, in which case a heavy dose of acceptance needs to come into play.

“Being honest about your feelings is necessary in all relationships, but in this instance, truth telling is paramount, or you can find yourselves giving each other a lot of mixed messages that could ruin your friendship and your chances for a real relationship in the future,” she says. Again, coming clean may be the best solution in terms of knowing whether or not the feeling is mutual — but if you know there’s no chance of romance, you have to respect the other person’s feelings and space, and know better than to bring it up if it’s only going to put undue pressure on the friendship.

7. You Have Butterflies

If you get that feeling when you’re around them, it’s a dead giveaway. Feeling different physically is a key indicator of more-than-friend-feelings. “Your heart beats faster when you see them, know you are going to see them, or hear from them,” Durvasula says. That said, butterflies can also indicate anxiety and conflicting feelings, so the presence of this sensation can lead to further reflection.

8. You Think & Feel About Them Differently

Somewhere along the line, the way you think and feel about this person changed. “You enjoy being around them in a way that is different from how you are with your other friends,” psychologist Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., tells Bustle. “You see qualities in them others don’t, and when something happens, good or bad, you automatically want to tell that person about it.” They’re the first one you want to talk to in the morning and the last you want to speak with at night. “They are the first one that comes to mind that you want to share with,” Martinez says.

9. The Way You Touch Changes

Maybe you don’t mean to do so, but do you find your hand brushing your friend’s arm … a lot?Though you haven’t made an actual move, if you’re analyzing the way you physically interact with your pal, something is afoot. “Your physical habits, even if not sexual, are changing,” relationship coach Chris Armstrong says. “You have moved from quick hugs to kisses on the cheek, hugging for longer periods of time to flirtatious touching,” he says.

So if you’re touching a lot, take note. “Walking in the mall or down a street,” van Hochman says, “[if] your movements always seem to bring you into just barely noticeable contact with one another, [it’s] a proof-positive sign of ‘more than friends.'” O-o-o-o-h!

Not only that, but if it feels natural, get ready. When this type of more intimate touching happens between friends and is “prevalent, natural and reciprocated,” your friend likely feels the same, Armstrong says.

10. It’s Never Enough

Smiling young Caucasian woman lying in bed and checking social media or reading news on smartphone.
urbazon/E+/Getty Images

Maybe you used to have a routine friend dinner once or twice a week, but nowadays waiting for Tuesday nights feels like torture. If that’s the case, take a look at yourself, Sansone-Braff says. “You used to be happy talking to this person once or twice a week, but now you find that he or she is your go-to person and you want to talk everyday.”

11. You’re Texting Up A Storm

You are texting more frequently, and at all hours of the night,” Armstrong says. Maybe you used to check in with your pal every few days, but now you’re sending “good morning” and “night-night” texts. Even when you’re not actively texting, they’re sending you Instagram memes or DMing you TikToks they think you’ll like. This signals that they’re thinking about you, or you’re thinking about them, even when you’re not “together.”

“Who we think about is who we connect with when we are alone,” Armstrong says. If they’re reciprocating, there’s a good chance that something you two are both wondering “are we more than friends?”

12. Your Friendship Changes In Subtle Ways

“The two of you wind up talking a lot and ignoring anyone else around,” psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, PhD, L.M.F.T., tells Bustle. “You start touching each other in a new way: He puts his hand on your shoulder, you touch his arm.” Or maybe you’re interacting in other ways — they check in with you to see if you’re going to run errands or out to lunch, Tessina says, and can they come with you? Regardless of whether this pal has expressly divulged their feelings for you, there’s a strong possibility that you two are more than friends already.

13. You Talk About Them, Like, All The Time

In addition to the fact that you daydream about them, you don’t cringe at the thought of being intimate, and you prefer to be with them than to be alone when you’re in a bad mood. But the biggest sign you’re sweating your bestie is that you are a total motormouth about them when they are not around. If you’re constantly finding ways to work them into conversations with other friends, life coach Kali Rogers tells Bustle, the romance bug has bitten.

14. They Call You Something Sweet

“A great sign to watch for is how the person refers to you,” Samantha Daniels, professional matchmaker, tells Bustle. “If he or she calls you their girlfriend [or boyfriend] straight out, then it’s obvious. However, if they use a pet name that has a romantic significance, like ‘my baby,’ ‘baby,’ ‘my sweetheart,’ ‘my babe,’ — that is a good indicator,” she says. That said, if you’re being introduced to your maybe-new-partner’s friends as something nebulous, it might be time for a heart-to-heart. “If the pet name is ‘my buddy,’ ‘my bestie,’ ‘my number 1,’ — that is more of a sign that you are still in the friend zone,” Daniels says.

15. You Feel Like You’re Not Getting Enough From Them

Friendships necessarily come with fewer expectations and responsibilities than romantic partnerships. But if you find that you’re holding your friend to the standard that you’d hold a partner, that could be evidence you want them to be more. According to relationship expert Harville Hendrix, PhD, “the appearance of some repetitive frustrations,” might mean that you’re not sure what you want from this person.

“What distinguishes romance from friendship is that friends tend to be mutually supportive with few expectations and if they want something, they talk about it with minimum conflict. Romantic partners tend to expect something, and when they do not get it, they eventually become critical and move into the power struggle,” Hendrix says.

How To Ask Someone If You’re More Than Friends

“Having open communication is important when it comes to dating status,” relationship coach and therapist Anita Chlipala, L.M.F.T., tells Bustle. “If you don’t know if you’re dating someone, you’re not.” So if you’ve been pals for a while, and you made out the other night, and now you’re wondering if you’re more than friends, assume nothing and speak up. “Someone who is interested in dating will make his or her intentions very clear and follow through consistently with actions,” she says. “Friends, or even friends with benefits, can also flirt and go out to dinner every so often.”

And If This Person Says You’re Just Friends…

If they feel the same way about you, awesome. If not, think about next steps. “You can still choose to be friends, if you can handle it, or you might choose to separate before you get your heart ripped out when this person falls in love with someone else, and you have to bear witness to this,” Sansone-Braff says.

Before you get super bummed about the fact that you’re in love with your best friend, remember this: “I actually feel that many relationships that are platonic and have some longevity and depth could be a deeper romantic relationship,” psychotherapist Michele Paiva, PhD, tells Bustle. “My feelings are that vulnerability, passion and respect are the trifecta of romance, so if those are in place, it is possible that the relationship could easily move from friend-zone to lovers.”

Experts:

Ramani Durvasula, PhD, Author and Psychologist

Cindi Sansone-Braff, Relationship Coach

Carlyle Jansen, Sex therapist

Chris Armstrong, Relationship Coach

Danielle Sepulveres, Author and Sex Educator

Rob Alex, PhD, Author and Sex & Relationships Expert

Harville Hendrix, PhD, Relationship Expert

Terri Cole L.C.S.W., Psychotherapist

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