Happy National French Toast Day!!! (Nov. 28th) – Fluffy French Toast

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Fluffy French Toast

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 12 slices

  • 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 
1 cup milk
  • 
1 pinch salt
  • 
3 eggs
  • 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 
1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 
12 thick slices bread
  • PREP
10 mins
  • COOK
20 mins
  • READY IN
30 mins

Directions

  • Measure flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.
  • Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat.

Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated. Cook bread on each side until golden brown. Serve hot.

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Happy National Cake Day!!! (Nov. 26th) – Almost-Famous Molten Chocolate Cake

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Almost-Famous Molten Chocolate Cake

Almost-Famous Molten Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

For the Cakes:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 tablespoons melted, 4 tablespoons at room temperature)

1/2 cup natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder, plus more for dusting

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the Fillings and Toppings:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Caramel sauce, for drizzling

1 pint vanilla ice cream

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the cakes: Brush four 1 1/4-cup brioche molds (or use 10-ounce ramekins or jumbo muffin cups) with the 2 tablespoons melted butter. Dust the molds with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Bring the milk and 3/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; set aside.

Combine the vegetable oil, 4 tablespoons room-temperature butter and the sugar in a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl and beater as needed. Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and the vanilla; beat 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl. Add 1 egg and beat 1 minute on medium-low speed, then add the remaining egg and beat 1 more minute.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture, then the hot milk mixture. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the molds, filling each slightly more than three-quarters of the way.

Transfer the molds to a baking sheet and bake until the tops of the cakes are domed and the centers are just barely set, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack; let the cakes cool until they pull away from the molds, about 30 minutes.

How To Assemble the Cake:

Make the Filling: Microwave the chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate starts to melt, 1 minute, 30 seconds. Let sit 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Reheat before using, if necessary.

Use the tip of a paring knife to gently loosen the cakes from the molds, then invert the cakes onto a cutting board.

Use the knife to cut a 1 1/2-inch circle on the top of each cake, cutting almost to the bottom.

Hollow out the cake with a spoon; save the scraps. Wrap the cakes with plastic wrap and microwave until steaming, 1 minute.

Drizzle plates with caramel, then unwrap the cakes and place on top. Pour about 3 tablespoons filling into each cake.

Plug the hole with a cake scrap. Save or discard any remaining scraps.

Top each cake with a scoop of ice cream. Spoon more chocolate sauce on top, spreading it thin so it hardens into a shell.

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Happy National Gingerbread Day!!! (Nov. 21st) – Cholly’s World-Famous Gingerbread Cake

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Cholly’s World-Famous Gingerbread Cake

Ingredients

1 cup dark molasses

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter, at room temperature

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs Unsweetened cocoa and/or powdered sugar (optional)

Fresh mint sprigs (optional), rinsed

Preparation

  1. In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in molasses and baking soda. After mixture stops foaming, stir in 1/2 cup cold water; let cool to room temperature, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves.
  3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs until blended. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add flour and molasses mixtures alternately until incorporated, then beat on high speed until well blended. Pour into a buttered and floured 9-inch square pan.
  4. Bake in a 325° regular or convection oven until a toothpick inserted in center of thickest part comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack at least 1 1/4 hours.
  5. Pour about 1/4 cup crème anglaise onto each plate. Cut cake into pieces (see notes) and set them in sauce on plates. If desired, lightly sift cocoa and/or powdered sugar over each plate and garnish with a mint sprig. Offer remaining crème anglaise to add to taste.

Simply Calphalon Nonstick 6-Piece Bakeware Set

Train, Eat, Rest, Repeat – The Benefits of Deadlifting

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1. Increased Fat Burning

Alwyn Cosgrove, a personal trainer and fitness author, recently wrote about a study where: “Overweight subjects were assigned to three groups: diet-only, diet plus aerobics, diet plus aerobics plus weights. The diet group lost 14.6 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. The aerobic group lost only one more pound (15.6 pounds) than the diet group (training was three times a week starting at 30 minutes and progressing to 50 minutes over the 12 weeks).

The weight training group lost 21.1 pounds of fat (44% and 35% more than diet and aerobic only groups respectively). Basically, the addition of aerobic training didn’t result in any real world significant fat loss over dieting alone.”

Lifting weights and resistance training will burn more fat than just dieting or dieting with cardio exercise alone.

2. Better Posture

Deadlifting increases your core strength and adds to core stability, according to Robson. Deadlifting targets all of the muscles responsible for your posture and enables you to keep your back straighter during regular daily activities.

3. More Muscles Worked

The Deadlift works more muscles than any other exercise, including the squat. The lift engages all of the major muscle groups, according to exercise physiologist Kevin Farley. If you need to do one exercise, this is the one to do. The Deadlift works your lower and upper body, including your back muscles.

4. Increased Real Life Lift

When you do other lifting exercises, like a bench press, for example, you’re not doing anything you might really do in real life. When are you ever going to have the need to lay on your back and push something in the air — unless you’re giving your two-year-old “flying lessons.” The Deadlift develops the muscles you need to actually carry something, like a bucket of water, those heavy grocery bags or your neighbor’s dining room table.

5. It’s Safe

The Deadlift is one of the safest weightlifting exercises you can perform. You aren’t going to get pinned under the weight or have to worry about it pulling you over backwards. If you get into trouble, you can simply drop it…making for a loud bang, no doubt, but no damage. You also don’t have to have a spotter to perform this exercise.

6. Improved Grip Strength

According to Outlaw Fitness: “Deadlifts are renowned for their ability to build massive amounts of grip strength, and for good reason. Your fingers are literally the only things connecting you to the weight of the bar. Your forearms have to work incredibly hard as you progress in weight to keep the bar from falling out of your hands. Subsequently your grip strength grows by leaps and bounds.”

7. Increases Hormones

Now don’t worry, these aren’t the hormones that will make you more emotional! Instead, by doing at least 8 to 10 repetitions of Deadlifts with significant weight, you can increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone produced by your body. Testosterone increases muscle growth and improves muscle repair while growth hormone, which is produced by your pituitary gland, promotes tissue healing, bone strength, muscle growth and fat loss.

8. Cheap and Easy

A lot of exercises require a lot of equipment, special shoes or whatever. Not the Deadlift. Just a bar with some weight. Pick it up. Simple. You can usually find freeweights and a bar at a thrift store – or being given away by a friend – making it even cheaper.

9. Increased Cardio

Believe it or not, doing 10 repetitions of Deadlifts will increase your cardiovascular ability. You might want to make sure you have somewhere to sit down when you’re done!

10. Prevents Injury

The Deadlift can help prevent injuries by increasing the strength of your muscles around critical tendons and ligaments. Supporting joints with strong muscles is crucial to preventing injury, especially in the hamstrings and lower back, according to Outlaw Fitness.

Credit: Life Hack

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Happy National Pumpkin Day!!! (Oct.26th) – Shopsin’s Pumpkin Pancakes

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Shopsin’s Pumpkin Pancakes

SERVES 8

INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups flour

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. ground allspice

1 cup canned pumpkin purée

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

6 tbsp. canola oil

Butter and maple syrup, for serving

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, ginger, salt, and allspice. Add pumpkin, cream, milk, and eggs; whisk until smooth. 
  1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Using a ¼-cup measuring cup, pour batter into skillet to make three 3″ pancakes. Cook until bubbles begin to form on the edges, 1–2 minutes. Flip and cook until done, 1–2 minutes more. Repeat with remaining oil and pancake batter. Serve pancakes hot with butter and syrup.

Credit: Savuer

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Happy National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day (Oct.21) – Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

  • 
1/2 cup white sugar
  • 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 
2 eggs
  • 
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 
1 pinch ground cloves
  • 
1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • PREP
30 mins
  • COOK
40 mins
  • READY IN
4 hrs 10 mins

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Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
  • Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

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Brain Ninjas – Quickly Find 3 Words that REALLY Describe YOU

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I personally found “Fat“, “Broken” & “Whore” in that order… -_-

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Brain Ninjas – YOU CAPTION THIS!!! (Ryan Fu with Marge Simpson)

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Keep an Eye Out – Foods for Healthier Eyes

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Perceiving the world in colors, shapes, and movement is a gift most take for granted. Until the day one’s vision begins to cloud over, lose clarity, or fade away completely, such an incredible sense is easily relied upon… and therefore is devastating when lost.

But developing cataracts, macular degeneration, dryness of the eyes, or any other eye concerns isn’t inevitable. Poor diet and less than optimal lifestyle choices contribute to the rapidly increasing diseases of the modern age, loss of eyesight being one of them.

And it is now clear that by adopting a healthier regimen and eating a plethora of nutrient-rich foods, healing of the eyes is possible. In fact, some of the most beneficial foods for support healthy eyesight follow. Bursting with enzymes, minerals, and nutrients, they are nature’s perfect offerings that can help regenerate the body and heal the eyes.

Along with removing processed, refined, and chemically-treated foods from your diet, consuming more of these foods will likely assist you in attaining better eye health in no time!

BILBERRIES

This fruit contains compounds which boost visual acuity and improve vision. In Italy, a study found that a mixture of these compounds called anthyocyanides, along with Vitamin E stopped the progression of cataract formation in over 95% of study subjects experiencing early-stage progression of this disease. But its secrets are not only now becoming known: British pilots back in World War 1 knew they were incredibly beneficial for the eyes, and consumed bilberries before flying. Tasty fruits with similar compounds that improve vision include blueberry, cranberry, blackberry, grape, raspberry, and wild cherry.

CARROTS

One normally associates carrots with improved vision, but likely doesn’t know the range of benefits they offer. The carotenoids in carrots (which give it its distinct color) help prevent cataracts, prevent cancer, and reduce one’s risk of developing cardiovascular ailments. Other great sources of carotenoids include leafy greens, and fruits and vegetables that are orange, yellow, or red in color.

ONIONS

Being an excellent source of quercetin, a compound research has linked to prevention of cataracts in diabetics, onions are an extremely beneficial food to consume to heal the eyes. However, as most of the quercetin is found in the skin, it may be optimal to cook this portion of the onion as well when preparing meals.

PURSLANE

The world’s richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids, purslane boasts a bounty of health benefits essential for supporting clear eyesight. It is rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and many antioxidants (including glutathione), which are all necessary for keeping the eyes healthy.

GLUTATHIONE

This compound is actually found in high concentrations in the lens of the eye, where it plays an important role in keeping it healthy. Glutathione functions as an antioxidant, maintains the structure of the lens proteins, plays a role in various enzyme systems, and can also take part in the transport of amino acids and minerals.

However, modern-day ways of living have created a lack of this essential compound. As stated by optometrist and licensed acupuncturist, Marc Grossman, OD, “The majority of the cataracts I see are low in the antioxidant glutathione.”
Thankfully it’s easy to get more: This powerful compound is found abundantly in raw fruits and vegetables, therefore eating more living foods will help it be restored.

TURMERIC

This anti-inflammatory root contains a large amount of carotenoids and vitamin C. It also shares carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and anti-oxidants.

BRAZIL NUTS

Brazil nuts are rich in vitamin E and selenium – both nutrients which help to prevent and inhibit cataracts.

SPINACH

Popeye was onto something! Spinach offers a bounty of lutein, which is known to help promote healthy vision and prevent other diseases of the eyes. This green is also rich in carotenoids and helps protect against cancer.

Diverting from natural law – eating wholesome, unprocessed food, getting plenty of rest, being outdoors, enjoying your life – results in a plethora of health issues. Thankfully nature offers many beneficial foods (and opportunities) to remedy diseases of affluence and heal.

If you seek to better your eyesight while safeguarding your future health, take action today by making more conscious dietary and lifestyle choices.

Credit: True Activist

Brain Ninjas – Are you a Positive Person? Find 3 Words you immediately see…

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Credit: Power of Positivity 

The Positive Dog: A Story About the Power of Positivity