Happy Cherry Dessert Day!!! – Health Benefits of Cherries (What is your favorite Cherry Dessert?)

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Health Benefits of Cherries

  1. Protection from Diabetes

Sweet cherries have a lower glycemic index of 22, lower than apricots (57), grapes (46), peaches (42), blueberries (40) or plums (39). This makes them a better choice of a fruit snack compared with many other fruits, especially for diabetics.

  1. Helps You Sleep Better

Tossing and turning at night?  Cherry juice to the rescue! Drink cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before your evening meal. In a study, participants boosted their melatonin intake by following this routine. Cherries are a good source of melatonin.They have also been found to help with jet lag.

Note: there is a higher level of melatonin in tart cherries compared to sweet cherries.

  1. Decreases Belly Fat

Tart cherries reduced belly fat in a study. Researchers found rats that were fed whole tart cherry powder, in a high fat diet, didn’t gain as much weight or build up as much body fat as rats that didn’t.

  1. Helps Ward of Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association includes cherries as one of the memory boosting foods because they are rich in antioxidants.

  1. Reduces Risk of Stroke

Tart cherries provide cardiovascular benefits. The anthocyanins, which are the pigments giving  tart cherries its red color, may activate PPAR which regulates genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism and thus, reduce risk factors for high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. – Research University of Michigan Health System.

  1. Slows the Aging of Skin

Cherries have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit. Antioxidants help the body fight the free radicals that make us look old. Drinking one glass of tart cherry juice daily slows down the aging process, according to Scientists from the Michigan State University. Cherry juice is also recommended as an alternative treatment for other skin conditions.

  1. Lowers Risk of Gout Attacks

Eating cherries lowers risk of gout attacks by 35 percent in a study with 633 gout patients, done by by Yuqing Zhang, professor of medicine and public health at Boston University. Gout patients who consumed cherries over a two-day period had a 35 percent lower risk of gout attacks, compared to those who did not eat the cherries. “Our findings indicate that consuming cherries or cherry extract lowers the risk of gout attack, the gout flare risk continued to decrease with increasing cherry consumption, up to three servings over two days.” said Zhang.

  1. Reduces Muscle Pain

A cup and a half of tart cherries or one cup of tart cherry juice can reduce muscle inflammation and soreness studies suggest. A group of marathon runners drank tart cherry juice twice daily for seven days before their race. The group who drank the cherry juice group experienced less muscle pain after the race than those who drank another fruit drink.

  1. Good for the Heart

Cherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension. The phytosterols in cherries help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

  1. Helps with osteoarthritis relief

The pain and discomfort of swollen joints were reduced when tart cherry juice was consumed twice a day for three weeks in a study of twenty women ages 40 to 70 with inflammatory osteoarthritis.

Credit: Care 2

Photo Credit: CD Kitchen

Happy National Wine Day!!! – What is your favorite Reds or White wines? – Gives us your recommendations

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National Wine Day is celebrated annually on May 25.  Each year, on this day, people enjoy a glass of their favorite wine with dinner, for dessert, with friends, at a restaurant, at home or at a wine-tasting event.


Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes or other fruits. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients.  Yeast consumes the sugars in the grapes and converts them into alcohol. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different types of wine. The well-known variations result from the very complex interactions between the biochemical development of the fruit, reactions involved in fermentation, and human intervention in the overall process. The final product may contain tens of thousands of chemical compounds in amounts varying from a few percent to a few parts per billion.

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Wines made from fruits besides grapes are usually named after the fruit from which they are produced (for example, pomegranate  wine, apple wine and elderberry wine) and are generically called fruit wine. The term “wine” can also refer to starch-fermented or fortified beverages having higher alcohol content, such as barley wine or sake.” (Wikipedia)

  • In 1867, Archaeologists in Speyer, Germany discovered the oldest bottle of wine in existence while they were excavating two Roman stone sarcophaguses.  It dates back to at least 325 AD.  The bottle of wine is now on display at the History Museum of the Pfalz in Germany.

Credit: National Day Calender

Photo Credit: The Times

Sideways – The Life Of Wine

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Happy National Vanilla Pudding Day!!!

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Today is National Vanilla Pudding Day! The delicious, creamy pudding we know and love today has been around since the 19th century. Most culinary historians agree that our modern recipe evolved from custards, which date back to Ancient Rome.

Jell-O introduced its first line of instant pudding in the 1950s. The advertising campaign announcing the new product promoted it as a “busy-day dessert.”

 

To celebrate National Vanilla Pudding Day, make some delicious homemade vanilla pudding from scratch, or from an instant mix! For an extra special treat, pair it with fresh fruit or chocolate.

Credit: Punchbowl, Daily of the Day

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Happy National Quiche Lorraine Day!!! – Quiche Lorraine Recipe

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Ingredients

1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts

8 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 green onions, chopped

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided

6 large eggs

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preparation

Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pieplate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.

Bake at 400° for 7 minutes; remove from oven.

Cook bacon pieces in a large skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels, and crumble. Sprinkle bacon, green onions, and 1 cup cheese into prepared crust.

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients; pour mixture into crust, and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese and nutmeg.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes.

Credit: My Recipes

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Wisdom Wednesdays – Love Thy Neighbor

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Happy National Devil’s Food Cake!!! – Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting Recipe

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Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

2-1/4 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1 cup water  

 FROSTING:

1/2 cup butter, cubed

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 

3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

 1/2 cup whole milk

 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and cooled chocolate. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream and water, beating well after each addition.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.

For frosting, in a small heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. In a large bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating until light and fluffy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Yield: 12 servings.

Credit: Taste of Home

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There goes my Diet!!! – S’mores Oreos (What are your Vices?)

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Credit: Michael De Souza

According to the LA TimesNabisco’s newest flavor includes a graham cracker-flavored cookie with a chocolate-marshmallow creme filling.  Think s’mores that have been sitting out overnight. Still good, just cold. 

The cookie taste likes a graham cracker, and the filling a mix of chocolate and the classic Oreo creme. Before you know it, you’ve eaten half the bag.  

Looking back at some of Nabisco’s recent Oreo flavors, including red velvet, watermelon, fruit punch and limeade, it’s safe to say the s’mores cookies are a step in the right direction.

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AMY SCATTERGOOD / LOS ANGELES TIMES

The new Oreos will be available starting May 22 for a limited time and retail for $4.49. 

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Happy National Cheese Soufflé Day!!! – Classic Cheese Soufflé Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces)

PREPARATION

Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 400_F.Butter 6-cup (1 1/2-quart) soufflé dish. Add Parmesan cheese and tilt dish, coating bottom and sides. Warm milk in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming.

Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses raw taste, about 3 minutes (do not allow mixture to brown). Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 1 minute. Pour in warm milk, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Scrape soufflé base into large bowl. Cool to lukewarm. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm or room temperature soufflé base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions while gradually sprinkling in Gruyère cheese. Transfer batter to prepared dish.

Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375_F. Bake until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top and center moves only slightly when dish is shaken gently, about 25 minutes (do not open oven door during first 20 minutes). Serve immediately.

Credit: Epicurious

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National Chocolate Chip Day!!! (May 15th) – Bacon & Chocolate Chip Cookies With Maple Cinnamon Glaze

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INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, extracts and eggs until creamy. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir together.
  • Dough will be slightly soft. If you want a more cakelike cookie, add another 1/2 cup of flour. Mix in chocolate chips and crumbled bacon. Stir until well integrated.
  • Place dough on a sheet of wax paper and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Remove dough from fridge. Pinch off 1 ½ -inch pieces and roll into balls. Set dough balls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten dough balls in the center slightly with your fingers. Bake about 10 minutes, or until the dough starts to turn golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack while you make the glaze.
  • Maple-Cinnamon Glaze: Mix 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon maple extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon cinnamon with enough water to make a thick glaze, about 3 tablespoons. Mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. If lumpy, use a whisk.

Spread a small amount of glaze on top of each cookie and top with a small piece (1 to 1 ½ inches) of crisp bacon.

Credit: Food.com

Happy Buttermilk Biscuits Day!!! – Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Using fingertips, rub 3/4 cup chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened. Using 1/4 cup dough for each biscuit, drop biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.

Photo Credit: http://secretlifeofachefswife.com