The friend effect: why the secret of health and happiness is surprisingly simple

People who eat socially are more likely to feel better about themselves. Photograph: PeopleImages/Getty Images For some, eating alone can be a joyous thing: forking mouthfuls of pasta straight from the pan, peanut butter licked off a spoon, the unbridled pleasure of walking home from the chippie alone on a cold night. But regularly eating meals in isolation is a different story. This one factor is more strongly associated with unhappiness than any other apart from (unsurprisingly) having a mental illness. This is according to a new study by Oxford Economics that…

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The secret behind the hole in your doughnut

1. An overview If you are a dessertarian, you will not be able to say no to the colourful, soft and spongy dessert that always comes with a hole in the centre. Can you guess which dessert we are talking about? Yeah! You guessed it right, it’s ‘Doughnuts’. While we relish the endless flavours available in the market, we never give some thought to the reason behind the hole at the centre of the dish. Let’s understand the idea and reveal that whether it was a deliberate act or merely…

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Flashback mode: The best of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show over the years

  At the end of November, some of the most stunning women on Earth will be jetting off to Shanghai, China, to star in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (VSFS) — one of the world’s most hotly followed events. The show, which this year brings a collaboration with fashion house Balmain, will be broadcast November 28 on CBS. Ahead of the big day, here’s a look at some standout moments from previous editions of the VSFS, since it began in 1995. In 2006, iconic model Gisele Bündchen said goodbye to the Victoria’s…

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Instant Mashed Potatoes Are The Secret To Amazing Gnocchi

Most kitchen hacks fall into the don’t knock it ’till you try it camp: You’re going to get eye rolls until people experience the genius for themselves. And to be honest, a big ol’ eye roll was exactly what we did when we first read that a box of instant mashed potatoes is the key to the fluffiest gnocchi ever. It seems insane — barbaric, even — that a shortcut could actually produce better-tasting pasta. But get this: The internet is flipping out about it … in a really good way. When you break it down, the…

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Goan Vindaloo: Secret Tips to Making the Spicy Vindaloo Masala Paste

Ask any Goan or those who are familiar with Goa and they would tell you that Goa is so much more than gorgeous beaches, vibrant beach shacks, enigmatic pubs and party scenes. An erstwhile Portuguese colony, Goa has successfully managed to retain its vintage glory through architecture (tall churches, quaint streets, picturesque buildings), as well as local customs and food. The Portuguese influence is more prominently seen in the local cuisines, one such dish being the Vindaloo. Introduced to the Indian shores by the Portuguese colonists, the Vindaloo curry now…

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Fashion Week’s Dirty Little Secret: Laundry

PARIS — Past the plush Napoleon III sofas, through a forest of orchids and under the keen eye of doormen in pillbox hats, a guest crept out of the Ritz Paris hotel on a mortifying mission. The guest, dear reader, was me (while working on an article about the Ritz during fashion season some years ago), and this was not a walk of shame. With a lumpy bag humped over my shoulder, I was headed to a coin-operated laundromat, surely the first guest at this storied establishment to take out…

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Iftar Special: How to Cook Raan and Secret Tricks to Make the Meat Tender

Ramadan is not only that auspicious month in the Islamic calendar, but also a chance for people across different cultures to get a taste of some of the most mouth-watering and sought after festive dishes, cooked with utmost dexterity. One such example is the raan, which is popularly cooked during Iftar, and is a must try for all the meat lovers out there. Once considered a great finger licking experience for the great Mughal Kings, it goes way back to nomadic roots, developing in campfires and military kitchens in Central…

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Food prices steady, but is there a secret behind that?

Food More than two weeks after confiscatory demonetisation sucked cash out from the economy, the food market has remained by and large steady, rather deceptively so. This held true at small retailers and vegetable shops in the cities and towns that Express checked out. There are small differences, but all marginal. The perishable commodities – tomato was a common casualty – did witness a downturn, but mostly due to stock clearance sale in the evenings. But the figures may not tell the full story. This is not stability, insist traders,…

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Secret Teacher: I moved to Africa – and realised how flawed British education is

Ten years ago, I took my first job as an English teacher in an east London comprehensive next to a large council estate. I had gravitated towards the profession because it was in my family. My father was a lifer at his school and vastly improved the chances of thousands of students over 30 years; I wanted to be able to say the same for myself when I reached retirement age. After a gruelling training year, I felt like I was on course to achieve that. I came home exhausted…

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The US Supreme Court’s Secret to Civility? Lots of Good Food and Wine

            The scales of justice might not be the only ones getting a workout at the highest court in the land. At a Smithsonian-led discussion on Wednesday night about the Supreme Court’s food culture, two justices revealed that the institution’s civility is fed by a veritable buffet of shared meals, from casual lunches to elaborate dinners. Here’s how birthday lunches go when the court is in session, per Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “The chief brings in wine and we toast the birthday boy or girl,”…

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