Favorite Beers

My top 10 personal favorites:
1. Hoegaarden Original White Ale (Belgium)
2. Erdinger Weibier Kristallklar (Germany)
3. Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale (Ireland)
4. Sapporo Draft (Japan)
5. Sternen Weizentrumpf (Switzerland)
6. Asahi Super Dry (Japan)
7. Qingdao Tsingtao Premium (China)
8. Heineken Lager Beer (Netherlands)
9. Tiger Lager Beer (Singapore)
10. San Miguel Dark Lager (Philippines)

A good beer not only quenches your thirst; it relaxes your senses and ignites your spirits. When you need a beer, quality, not quantity, counts. Beer is an acquired taste. Any beer must be consumed cold, preferably served in a chilled glass or mug. Usually, 1 mug or glass is sufficient for a verdict of its ranking. By the time you are tipsy, you have probably had too much and any liquid would almost taste the same.

Sternen Weizentrumpf was the latest addition to my list of favorites. I tried it for the first time 3 weeks ago. We just had a walk along the lake and stopped at a quaint little cafe for a drink. I decided I wanted a beer, since I was on holiday. My boyfriend, who usually prefers espresso, decided to join me in trying the draught beer they served. The first sip went down smoothly. Its mild wheat malt aroma and sweet banana zest was refreshing. That beer, accompanied by a view of the lake at summertime children playing happily, swans and ducks peacefully swimming about, occasionally dipping their heads under water and pointing their tails to the blue sky; made it a beautiful day. We had seconds and it was just as good as the first.

My first taste of beer was Tiger, at the legal age of 18. I worked in a restaurant which served Tiger and Heineken as its only alcoholic beverages. 90% of the foreign patrons preferred the local beer. Curiosity killed my teenage abstinence. Sorry to say, it tasted like bitter horse piss. No, I haven’t tried any piss in my life but I imagined it might have tasted like that. My verdict changed when I was challenged to a full mug of Tiger beer on my 21st birthday. Honestly, the second mug was really quite nice although it still had a bitter aftertaste. After that, I simply lost count and had a wonderful time.

Each year after that, I added a new beer to my favorites’ list. The one I had the most of was probably Heineken because it was commonly available and inexpensive. Similar to Tiger was its slight bitter finish. Hoegaarden and Erdinger are the 2 top favorites I could not decide between. I love the light and fresh citrusy taste of Hoegaarden Original White Ale which leaves a sweet, slightly spicy note. I also enjoy the refreshing fizziness and lovely wheat flavors of Erdinger Weibier Kristallklar. Coming up next is smooth, rich Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale. Somebody told me that Kilkenny was almost a full-calorie meal on its own (like Guinness Stout) so I limited myself to it.

Asahi and Sapporo are the best Japanese beers. Clean tastinge, almost like fresh water, with Sapporo slightly more flavorful. Qingdao Tsingtao Premium is similar in tropical lightness and a very effective thirst-quencher. I think I only tried San Miguel once & it made it to this list because of its tasty sweet dark malt aroma with a slightly dry ending.

There it is my favorite beers, for now. It may change soon, as I travel the world to discover more good beers.

Source:
1. America's Top 10 Favorite Beers – InvestorPlace
2. Butter vs. Oil: Which Is Better?
3. Best Beer – Brewmasters' Favorite Beers of 2015 – Thrillist

Image Credit
www.beersweetbeer.com

Fish Recipes Fish Tacos Easy Fish Dishes Healthy Fast Meals

Fish Tacos when I first heard of fish tacos I thought my friend was crazy.  Fish with salsa and sour cream sounded absolutely disgusting and I had no desire to even walk into a restaurant that had fish tacos on the menu. Thank god my friend was bossy and made me go, fish tacos have become one of my favorite meals. They are delicious, good for you and so very very easy to make.  I am going to give you two basic recipes but feel free to change the fish or the toppings or the cooking method.  Once you get familiar with the dish there are endless combinations and the only thing stopping you will be your imagination.

1. The “classic” fish taco

Ingredients

You want a firm hardy fish, about six ounces a person.  Try halibut or talipia.

Season the fish – use a blend of Mexican spices, Cinnamon, cumin, hot pepper, paprika anything that sounds good.  Season the fish on both sides

Grill the fish – you can do this on an outdoor grill or in a cast iron pan.  If using a grill make sure you wipe it down with a little oil before you start so the fish does not stick.  If you are using a case iron pan make sure that it is nice and hot.  Either cooking method means you have to place the fish over the heat and leave it there for about three minutes and then turn.  The fish should feel firm to the touch when it is down and be white.

Avocado – the fresher the better – mash it up into a paste or cut it into chunks whatever you prefer.  Squeeze a little lime juice over the avocado.

Fresh salsa or pico de gallo. 

FRESH cilantro

Flour tortillas.  You can use corn tortillas, but it is my opinion that the flour tortillas are better.  They have a mellower taste so the freshness of the fish and other ingredients can shine.

All that is left is to put it all together.  A couple ounces of fish, a few tablespoons of the fresh avocado with lime juice, the fresh salsa and cilantro. Roll it up and enjoy.  Serve it with beer or a margarita or fresh brewed ice tea.   Say a prayer of thanks and take a big bite. YUMMY

2. Blackened Fish Tortilla – these are so good you may not be able to talk while you are eating

Once again you need a nice sturdy and hardy fish.  Halibut or tilapia works well.  You want a fish that can stand up to being cooked and not flake, but also one that does not have a strong taste

Season the fish with blackening spice.  I like Paul Proudhon’s.  It can be found in any decent grocery store in the spice isle and he has one especially for fish.  You can also make your own.  Basic ingredients are Cayenne pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, paprika, white pepper and some star anise.  Feel free to add or delete anything.  Always remember that recipes are suggestions and you are the cook.

Season the fish on both sides and cook it in a case iron pan.  Make sure the pan is hot hot hot.  It should be smoking when you put the fish in so make sure the fan is on as you do not want to set off your fire alarm.  Once again your fish should be cooked in 7-12 minutes depending on the size of the fish and the temperature of the pan.

The topping for this is an apple, pear and chipolte honey sauce.  Very easy to make and so good you may want to make a lot because it is possible that you might just consume the whole thing standing at the stove “testing it”.  For a basic batch, peel, chop and core two apples and two pears.  It is important to peel the fruit otherwise the skin may be really chewy and hard to eat.  Put the apples and the pears in a pot with a few tablespoons of water and a few tablespoons of honey.  Just enough to make sure all the fruit is covered.  You can always add more if needed.  Next add a jar of chipolte peppers.  Before you add the peppers drain the jar and chop up the peppers into small pieces.  Chipolte peppers are jalapeno peppers that have been smoked.  The smaller the pieces the better.  Also buy a small jar.  You want about a 1/3 of peppers to the apple/pear ratio.  Let it all cook and simmer together for about 10-15 minutes and remove from the stove.  Test it – depending on the time of year you may need to add a few teaspoons of sugar.  If you do put the sugar in, put it in slowly and make sure it dissolves.

In this recipe you really want to use the flour tortillas.  They mellow everything else out a little.  If you are trying to up the vitamins and nutrients you can garnish with some FINELY chopped cabbage – make sure it is FINELY chopped.  It will give your taco a little more texture and is also very good for you.

Once again you are ready to assemble.

Tortilla – fish – chutney – cabbage if desired and then a prayer of thanks a big bite and a bigger sip of beer.

Enjoy!

Source:
1. 12 Fish Taco Recipes – Cooking Light
2. Sacred Heart Diet Plan Review
3. Easy Fish Tacos Recipe – Chowhound

Image Credit
cdn-image.foodandwine.com

Eggs the Perfect Diet Food

Once shunned by consumers concerned about their health, the egg has been redeemed by recent research that shows the benefits of eating eggs far outweigh any negative effects.

According to an article at purehealthmd.com, eggs have been given a bum rap, but actually are one of the most nutrient rich foods anyone can eat. Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin A, potassium and many B vitamins. The egg contains diverse nutrients specifically needed for brain function and healthy nerves. However, because fats have been blamed in recent years for increased risk of heart disease and other health problems, consumers reduced or eliminated eggs from their diets. But eaten in moderation, eggs are an exceptional source of nutrients needed for good health. Eggs contain almost every nutrient known to be essential to humans.

Carotenoid nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, contained in eggs, may help prevent diseases that affect the eyes, such as macular degeneration. The nutrients also contribute to a lower risk of developing cataracts.

All nine essential amino acids are found in one egg. An added benefit is that one egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein, needed by the body to build, maintain and repair cells and produce enzymes, hormones and antibodies.

A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. Other studies have found eating eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.

Choline, a nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and the cardiovascular system, is found in eggs. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline, making eggs a good source of the nutrient.

One egg contains 5 grams of fat, which includes 1.5 grams of saturated fat. The fat contained in eggs is the good kind of fat. Studies show moderate consumption of eggs does not negatively impact cholesterol. Two eggs per day do not affect a person’s lipid profile and may improve it.

Eggs contain natural Vitamin D, a nutrient needed by the body to combat many diseases. Research now shows Vitamin D plays a role in preventing fractures, aging, heart disease, diabetes, and other maladies. Vitamin D is made naturally in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, but also is contained in foods such as eggs. The vitamin, which actually is a hormone, regulates hundreds of genes. Some genes involve the immune system and the body’s defenses against viruses.

One recent study showed women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%. Another study, reported by Wellsphere (stanford.wellsphere.com) showed that choline, found in eggs, when consumed by pregnant women, may help prevent or reduce breast cancer in daughters.

Eating eggs also can contribute to improved health of hair and nails. Eggs have a high sulphur content and many vitamins and minerals that are needed for healthy hair and nails. Those deficient in sulphur or B12 may find their hair grows faster when they make eggs a regular part of their diet.

Cooksrecipes.com cited a number of studies that have shown eggs to contribute to a healthy diet and provide a number of benefits. The recent studies, from 2006 and 2008 articles in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the European Journal of Nutrition, the Nutrition Bulletin of the British Nutrition Foundation, the International Journal of Obesity, the Journal of Gerontology, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, refute prior claims that eating eggs is unhealthy. The studies showed:

Older adults who eat the most high-quality protein lose less lean muscle than those who do not. One source of high-quality animal protein is eggs.

Choline and betaine, found in eggs, salmon, broccoli, and cauliflower, may help reduce risk of inflammation in cardiovascular diseases, bone loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.

Eggs should not be excluded from dietary advice for weight loss. Two eggs per day did not have a negative effect on blood cholesterol.

Dietary cholesterol intake may be associated with increases in lean mass after strength training.

There are exceptions to the recommendations to eat eggs regularly. Those who have a medical condition or allergy that may be affected by consuming eggs should consult a doctor before making eggs a part of their diet. But for most individuals, eating eggs will not only provide a great tasting meal, but will give health a boost. Give eggs a try with the following recipes.

Cooksrecipes.com offered the following recipe in its category for egg recipes:

Breakfast Burritos (2 servings)

2 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar or Swiss cheese
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons salsa

Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Place tortillas on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and tortillas just begin to brown. Meanwhile, beat eggs with hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Melt butter in a medium skillet. Add eggs and scramble. Just before mixture is set, stir in salsa. Divide eggs between tortillas. Add green onions and salsa. Roll up and serve immediately.

Another quick egg breakfast recipe is offered by eggs.ca.com, a site that also is a source of egg history and other egg-related information:

Ratatouille and Scrambled Eggs (4 servings)

Cooking spray
1 large potato, peeled, diced and cooked (about 1 cup/250 mL)
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup/250 mL)
4 small zucchini, diced (about 4 cups/1 L)
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced (about 1/2 cup/125 mL)
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 eggs
12 cup skim milk

Spray a large non-stick skillet generously with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add potato, onion and zucchini and saut until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in diced tomato, oregano, salt and pepper; keep warm.

Whisk eggs with milk in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Spray a 10-inch (25 cm) non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in egg mixture and reduce heat to medium-low. As mixture begins to set, gently move spatula across bottom and sides of skillet to form large, soft curds. Cook until eggs are set but still moist.

Divide scrambled eggs between 4 warm plates. Top each plate with an equal amount of ratatouille.

Source:
1. 6 Reasons Why Eggs Are The Healthiest Food on The Planet
2. South Beach Diet Phase 2: Benefits, Tips, and Reviews
3. Are Eggs Really Nature's Perfect Food? – Huffington Post

Image Credit
www.leaderpost.com

Do you have a Recipe for Victoria Sponge Cake

I have always loved baking, I started making cakes, scones and pastry at a very young age and learnt from any child’s best teacher – my mum!

Cookery, Domestic Science, Home Economics, Food Technology – whatever title cooking ever came under at school was always my favourite subject and so I expect that it was no surprise that food and cooking became the career path that I should choose.

One of the first things I ever learnt – and that I ever taught – in cooking was cake making; there are basically three main methods of cake making – whisking method, rubbing in method and the creamed method, and it is from the latter method that we get the most famous, and most delicious cake the Victoria Sponge Cake.

As it’s name implies, the Victoria Sponge got it’s name from Britain’s famous and illustrious queen – Queen Victoria because of her love for a sweet treat with her afternoon tea.

Although many people add whipped cream to the jam as a filling to this cake traditionally the only filling used in a true Victoria Sponge is raspberry jam, and the top should be simple dusted with sieved icing sugar.

That most revered group of British bakers – the Women’s Institute, hold baking competitions for the best Victoria Sponge cake, this is taken MOST seriously, the cakes must be moist, well risen, buttery and contain only good raspberry jam and a dusting of icing sugar.

I make no apologies for the long detailed description of the method of making this quintessential British tea time treat, as it is a cake of such importance – it MUST be made correctly.

VICTORIA SPONGE CAKE
INGREDIENTS
6oz caster sugar
6oz soft butter (do use butter rather than margarine for then best results)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs (must be at room temperature for best results)
6oz self-raising flour
1-2 tablespoons of milk
4-5 tablespoons raspberry jam
Icing sugar for dusting

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/gas mark 4.
2. Grease and line two 8in sandwich tins with greaseproof or parchment paper.
3. Put the caster sugar and butter into a large mixing bowl and whisk them together with an electric hand whisk until it has become very pale- almost white – in colour.
4. Crack the eggs into a separate small bowl or jug and beat them together using a fork.
5. Using the whisk return to the bowl of  creamed sugar and butter and whisk in about 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg until it is totally incorporated, then add another 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg and continue to whisk and add the egg in about 2 tablespoon amounts until it is all in the mixture.
6. Continue until all the egg mixture in incorporated well into the mixture.
7. Whisk in the vanilla.
8. Sift the flour into the bowl with the mixture with a metal spoon, do not beat but fold it in gently, add in the salt and then stir it all in using a spoon until there are no lumps of flour.
8. Stir in the milk.
9. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins, spreading out evenly and gently with a palate knife.
10. Bake for about 25 minutes until well risen and golden brown. To test if the sponge is done insert a skewer into the middle and if it comes out clean the sponge is ready.
11. When cooked leave them to cool in their tins for 10 minutes, then turn them out, upside down, onto a cooling rack. Leave them to cool completely to room temperature.
12. When the sponges are cool, choose the best sponge cake as the top of the cake.
13. Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the bottom cake.
14. Lay the other cake on top, topside up. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Follow these instructions and you will end up with a Victoria Sponge Cake that the WI and Queen Victoria would be very proud of!

Source:
1. Sponge cake
2. Are Protein Shakes worthy Money?
3. Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe – Allrecipes.com

Image Credit
ichef.bbci.co.uk

Determining the Worlds best Whiskey

The first thing that struck me about Green Spot was how distinctively Irish it looked in its packaging. But that might be because there is still a ghost of the old, original brand still lurking somewhere in this spirit. Pat Whiskey, as it used to be known, with a man looking the worse for wear, bursting through the label, which was a dark green colour, and from where Green Spot gets its name, is perhaps a reminder of old Ireland that we can still enjoy today.

I’ve heard say it’s the stuff of legend, so I was quiet excited at the prospect of my first taste of this hard to get Irish whiskey. Only 500 cases are made each year, all for the home market. But without those 6,000 bottles appearing mostly on the shelves of Mitchell’s shop, at 21 Kildare Street, Dublin, every year, there would be an awful lot of disappointed whiskey drinkers, and I’d be one of them, as once you’ve tasted this dram you have to have at least one bottle always in your stash.

A “pot still” whiskey is made in copper stills using malted and unmalted barley. Green Spot is made from seven and eight year old Midleton pot still, with 25% of the spirit having matured in sherry casks, which gives the whiskey a smooth and oily character.

The nose is dense and the pot still appears older than its eight years. Hints of marzipan and chocolate are apparent. Add a finger or two of water and the bouquet opens with new sensations of sherry casks, that retain an antique smell of wine cellars but refreshed by the sweet aromas of grass and flowers, like spring air.

In the tasting the first thing to hit my palate was a warm, creamy glow of oak and spices, sweet, rich and full bodied, but very smooth and creamy. The finish was long and warming, bursting with flavours and pot still maltiness. This is definitely a dram to savour as every mouthful is as surprising as the last. Mitchell’s Green Spot is unquestionably one of the world’s great whiskeys and I urge anyone who enjoys a tipple to try this one, if you can get hold of a bottle, that is.

Source:
1. World Whiskies Awards
2. Ideal Protein Products
3. Scots left reeling as Canadian whisky named world's best

Image Credit
drinks.seriouseats.com

Do you have a Recipe for Baked Apples

I have always loved cooking and was lucky enough to grow up in a household with a mum who loved to cook and cooked really good, wholesome foods mainly passed down from her mother before her.

I think my subsequent career in the food history all came about because of the love of food that I picked up at my mother’s and grandmother’s knee as a very small child.

A trip to stay with my  grandmother was always much appreciated as I knew that I would be eating, and helping my grandmother to cook, some fantastic but simple and often frugal meals.

At the bottom of my grandparents garden was an apple tree that every autumn produced a fine selection of baking apples and one of my favourite desserts at this time was one of my grandmother’s delicious baked apples that she stuffed with raisins or dates and that we had served with thick , smooth, creamy and sweet custard – ah happy memories!

Even in today’s society with desserts like sticky toffee pudding being more popular there is still a place for the fantastic baked apple. Luckily baked apples really are one of the easiest puddings to make as well as being really delicious and very economical – especially in the autumn when Bramley apples (which are best apples to use for this recipe as they turn out light and fluffy) are so plentiful.

This recipe is just the way that my grandmother used to make the dish and it is lovely with either hot creamy custard or with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream – the contrast in temperature between the hot apple and cold ice cream works a treat.

BAKED APPLES
Makes 4 portions

INGREDIENTS
4 medium Bramley apples of an even size
4 oz soft brown sugar
4 oz butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sultanas, sultanas or chopped dates

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 180 C/350/F/Gas Mark
2. Cut out the core from top of the apple but do not cut all the way through. Rub around half the butter around the inside of each cored apple
3. Score around each apple around 1/3 down from the top – be careful not to cut through the apple – just the skin.
4. Place the apples in a shallow baking dish, base down .
5. Mix together remaining butter, 3oz of the sugar and fruit of choice.
6. Stuff each apple with the fruit and butter mixture.
7. Sprinkle remaining sugar  with the cinnamon over the top of the apples .
8. Bake in the  preheated oven for 15 minutes, until the sugar begins to caramelise and the apples are tender.

This is true comfort food and I’m sure that you’ll love this dish.

Source:
1. Baked Apples Recipe : Trisha Yearwood : Food Network
2. Atkins Diet Food List
3. Baked Apples Recipe – Allrecipes.com

Image Credit
bakedbree.com

Coffee is healthy

Even though one of my favourite composers, Johann Sebastian Bach, wrote a cantata that criticized coffee drinkers. Talleyrand [a French Politician] wrote that he received his inspiration from the coffee cup.

Coffee for me is an inspiration to write and discuss clearly the issues of the day and is a right. Coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver, type I and type II diabetes, mellitus, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

The reasons for the health benefits of coffee lie in the fact that it possesses antioxidants which slow down or even prevent Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver, type I and type II diabetes mellitus, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Coffee is also, in my opinion, a cure for the common cold where antibiotics and cough medicines fail. Coffee especially with hot milk [in an espresso form] is consumed and the heat inside the coffee releases the mucus and all other forms of nasal and chest congestion from the body and reduces fever. I cannot speak for others, but every time I have had a cold with chest and nasal congestion, I would drink hot coffee and hot milk and the cure comes within one to five hours.

Coffee has also been instrumental in reducing the pain in the left side of my body. What is the ingredient for reducing pain? The ingredient is the caffeine. It is for this reason that Eli Lilly and Company once included caffeine in their pills such as Darvon and Darvocet. The caffeine in the coffee passes through the muscles and relaxes them and with that, there is a disappearance of the pain.

Coffee is also used as a relaxant for those who are afraid to speak in public or in the case of an interview. I usually use coffee for that reason as well.

The people who talk about the health risk of coffee are nothing more than fear mongers. I respect their viewpoints. Although they are not willing to take the risks because of one or two articles that associate coffee with one health risk or another.

We might as well ban life since life is full of risks and events in life can prove hazardous to one’s health. Coffee is not just a health benefit, it is a symbol of freedom for those who love their coffee. Any attempt to ban coffee will have the same effect as prohibition did for alcohol between 1919 to 1933.

Source:
1. 11 Reasons You Should Drink Coffee Every Day – Huffington Post
2. How Inuit Eat
3. 13 Proven Health Benefits of Coffee (No. 1 is My Favorite)

Image Credit
www.working.com

Delicious Side Dishes

Here is a great side dish with potatoes, pesto, and sun-dried tomatoes. Below this recipe is a recipe for homemade pesto. This is cooked in a slow cooker (crock pot) and serves approx 4-6.

3 Tbls olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup oil-packed or reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store bought
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Heat 2 Tbls of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and cook 1 minute longer; set aside.

Lightly oil a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker. Arrange one half of the potatoes in the bottom of the insert. Top with half of the onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and dot with half of the pesto. Top with a layer of the remaining potatoes, the remaining onion mixture, and the remaining pesto and season again (if you wish) with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low for approx 6 hours until the potatoes are tender.

In a small skillet, toast the bread crumbs in the remaining 1 Tbls olive oil over medium hat until golden brown. Set aside.

When you are ready to serve, top evenly with the bread crumbs.

Recipe for pesto:

2 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the garlic and pine nuts in a food processor or blender and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the basil, salt and pepper to taste and process until ground into a paste. With the machine running, stream in the olive oil through the feed tube, processing until well blended.

Source:
1. side dish Archives – Damn Delicious
2. Is Tea A Diuretic
3. Side Dish Recipes – Allrecipes.com

Image Credit
www.mystargames.com

Coffee is a Health Benefit – Benefit

If people are drinking about 500,000,000 cups of coffee a year and the population is increasing, is coffee a health benefit or a health risk? The number of cups of coffee that people drink each year may not be a valid statistic to justify whether coffee is beneficial to health but the results of several studies are.

A study performed by The National Health Service of Finland shows that drinking seven cups of coffee per day may dramatically improve the health of men and women. The risk of type 2 diabetes can be lowered by the number of cups of coffee consumed each day.  According to this study drinking 0-2 cups of coffee per day has little or no effect in reducing diabetes. Drinking 3-6 cups of coffee per day can reduce the probability of developing diabetes. And drinking 7 or more cups of coffee per day increases the probability of not developing diabetes. The results from the study are even more dramatic for obese and inactive people.

Rolo M. Van Dam, a Harvard Medical School Professor, noted that coffee might be more beneficial than a risk for potential stroke candidates. The Harvard Study found that coffee may provide protection in men against Parkinson’s disease. It also showed that coffee might have anti-cancer properties. Researchers found that coffee drinkers were 50% less likely to get liver cancer than non coffee drinkers.

Coffee is being credited for more and more contributions to good health including managing asthma and stopping a headache.  

It is known that fruit is a necessary part of our body’s diet.  And coffee is the seed of a fruit similar to a cherry. It is rich in antioxidants, however the greater benefits are a direct result of it high caffeine content. An eight ounce cup of drip brewed coffee contains about 85mg of caffeine which is about three and one half times more than the same serving of tea, cola, or chocolate. Since coffee has been around for over a thousand years in spite of its negative publicity, maybe our bodies know something that we did not know. Maybe our bodies recognize that coffee is far more “healthful than harmful” as stated by Tomas DePaulis, PhD, research scientist at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for coffee studies.

Coffee’s health benefits may explain why coffee is the fastest growing part of the restaurant business and the second most traded commodity. Let’s not ignore the apparent indicators that clearly identify coffee as a health benefit not a health risk.

Source:
1. 13 Proven Health Benefits of Coffee (No. 1 is My Favorite)
2. Is Shrimp Healthy
3. Health Benefits of Coffee – WebMD

Image Credit
images.counselheal.com

Classic Pot Roast Recipe

Everyone should have a few classic, comfort food recipes in their arsenal. Classic Pot Roast with the traditional trimmings should be close to the top of the list. If the phrase Pot Roast brought to mind a picture of almost black, curling, tough meats, then you have not had good pot roast.

Good pot roast needs to cook for several hours, so using a slow-cooker is highly recommended.  The meal can be started in the morning and be ready at dinner time, which fits most people’s busy schedules.  The ingredients cook together all day to create the perfect blend of tastes.  Make sure your slow-cooker is large enough for the roast to sit on the bottom.  If needed, cut the raw roast into several pieces and arrange on the bottom.

Ingredients

There are several types of beef roast favored by pot roast chefs; chuck roast, round roast and rump roast are a few.  Any type of boneless roast works well with this recipe.  Chuck roast is often recommended as the marbling produces a juicy roast.  Usually plan on 4-6 ounces (uncooked) per person.

Potatoes and carrots are also needed.  Idaho Baker potatoes are the traditional choice for classic pot roast.  Plan on 2-3 small potatoes per serving.  You can either select fresh carrots or packaged baby carrots.  Never substitute canned potatoes or carrots.

Gravy can either be made from the drippings or you can use prepared brown gravy if you prefer.

Preparation

Allow the roast to thaw before cooking.  Place a large skillet on the range, sprinkle liberally with seasoning salt, garlic powder and onion powder.  Place the roast in the skillet and turn on to medium heat.  Leave for at least 5 minutes to brown on each side.

While the roast is browning, wash and peal the potatoes and carrots (if using fresh instead of bagged baby carrots).  Cut the pealed potatoes into 1 ½” cubes.  Cut the carrots into pieces no longer than 1 inch.

When the roast is browned in the skillet, turn on the slow-cooker.  Add about ½ cup water to the bottom.  Add any additional seasonings to the water as it will steam into the ingredients as they cook.  Layer the ingredients starting with the roast on the bottom, then the potatoes and finally, the carrots on top.  Put the lid on tight and allow cooking for at least 7 hours.  It is almost impossible to overcook this recipe in a slow-cooker.

A few modifications

If you wish to add mushrooms or pearl onions to the mix, place them on top of the roast, and then add the potatoes.  Flavor can be added by using half wine and half water, or for a very moist roast, use Coke instead of water. 

Source:
1. Classic Beef Pot Roast Recipe | MyRecipes.com
2. Banana Cranberry Pancake Recipe
3. Recipe Classic Pot Roast with Root Vegetables – Cook's Illustrated

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