Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Bars Recipe

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Ingredients

  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine , melted
  2. 1-1/2 cups sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  7. 1/4 cup milk
  8. 1-1/4 cups chopped pecans or walnuts , divided
  9. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  10. 1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) REESE’S Peanut Butter Chips
  11. 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  12. 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2 baking pan.
  1. Combine melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl; beat well. Add flour, cocoa and milk; beat until blended. Stir in 1 cup nuts. Pour into prepared pan.
  1. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or just until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  1. Melt 1/2 cup butter and peanut butter chips in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Add sweetened condensed milk, stirring until smooth; pour over baked layer.
  1. Place chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 45 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred. Drizzle bars with melted chocolate; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Cut into bars. Cover; refrigerate leftover bars. Makes about 24 bars.

Credit: Hersheys

Happy French Toast Day!!! – Fluffy French Toast Recipe

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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.

Health Benefits of Eating Nuts – Cashews can help Depression

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  • Nuts and seeds are rich in energy and nutrients. Nuts nutrition loaded with excellent source of monounsaturated-fatty acids (MUF) such as oleic and palmitoleic acids, which help to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol.” Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in MUF to prevent coronary artery disease, strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
  • They are rich source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like Linoleic acid, a-Linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid, Docosahexonic acid Research studies have suggested that n-3 or ?-3 fats by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action help to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers. Omega-3 fatty acids also offer some benefits in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and in cases of Schizophrenia, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Nuts and seeds are the storehouse of health benefiting poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as carotenes, resveratrol, lutein, cryptoxanthin, etc. These compounds have been found to offer protection against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral/fungal infections. Studies suggests that resveratrol in peanuts reduces stroke risk by alterating molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels, reducing their susceptibility to vascular damage through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure) and increased production of the vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide.
  • Nuts nutrition is complete in the sense that in addition to calories, and vitamins, they are rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, fluoride and selenium. Manganeseis a co-factor for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and plays important role in prevention of dental caries.
  • They contain very good levels of vitamin-E, a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E is required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin; thus, protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • Nuts nutrition provides many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. These vitamins are essential for optimum health and well-being.

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Two handfuls of cashews is the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac. Inside you, the essential amino acid L-tryptophan is broken down into anxiety-reducing, snooze-inducing niacin. Even more important, tryptophan is also made into serotonin, one of your body’s most important neurotransmitters.

Serotonin gives a feeling of well-being and mellowness, or as the Australians would say, “no worries.” This is such a profound effect that Prozac, Paxil and similar antidepressants usually either mimic serotonin or artificially keep the body’s own serotonin levels high. You can do the same thing with your food. And no one can tell us that beans, peas, cheese, nuts and wheat germ are toxic if you eat a lot of them!

Plenty of carbohydrates (starches) in your meals help tryptophan get to where it does the most good: in your brain. In order to cross the blood-brain barrier to get in, carbos are required. So cheese and crackers provides a better effect than the cheese standing alone. An egg or two on toast is better than just the egg. Beans, peas, and nuts already contain carbohydrate, so you are all set there.

Credit: Nutrition and You

Sweet Honey Baklava Recipe

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This honey baklava is flaky, crisp and tender and I love that it isn’t overly sweet. It’s basically a party in your mouth. I am a huge fan of baklava and this is the BEST baklava recipe I have ever tried. Hands down. You will love the hint of mellow lemony flavor which offsets the sweetness and compliments the cinnamon. It’s truly delicious. Store-bought baklava has nothing on this and trust me, I’ve been around the block when shopping for baklava!

Any baklava is a little tedious to make, but I’ve shared all of my best tips and advise to ensure you are successful in making yours. You will love that this recipe can be made several days in advance of your shindig and keeps beautifully at room temperature for at least a week.

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) pkg phyllo dough; thawed according to package instructions
2 sticks (1/2 lb) melted unsalted Butter
1 lb (about 4 cups or 3 3/4 cups chopped) walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon?)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey
Melted chocolate chips & chopped walnuts for garnish, optional.

Directions:

1. Thaw phyllo dough according to package instructions (this is best done overnight in the fridge, then place it on the counter for 1 hour before starting your recipe to bring it to room temp).
2. Trim phyllo dough to fit your baking sheet. My phyllo dough package had 2 rolls with with a total of 40 sheets that measured 9×14 so I had to trim them slightly. You can trim one stack at a time then cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out.
3. Butter the bottom and sides of a 13×9 non-stick baking pan.

Check out the rest of the recipe at Nastaha’s Kitchen

Happy National Pickle Day!!! – Benefits of Eating Pickles

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National Pickle Day is observed annually on November 14. It may be a Dill, Gherkin, Cornichon, Brined, Kosher Dill, Polish, Hungarian, Lime, Bread and Butter, Swedish and Danish, or Kool-Aid Pickle. Whichever is your choice, eat them all day long.

The term pickle comes from the Dutch word pekel, meaning brine.  In the United States, the word pickle typically refers to a pickled cucumber.

Health Benefits of Pickles

Free radical scavenging from antioxidants: Pickles can be good source of antioxidants, especially Decalepis hamiltonii or Swallow root. As the vegetables or unripe fruits are stored fresh without cooking, the antioxidants present in those vegetables or unripe fruits are preserved as it is. Antioxidants are those micronutrients that help in protecting our body against the attacks of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable chemicals that are produced during cellular metabolism. These unstable chemicals react with our cells and damage our DNA to become unstable and in the process, create more and more free radicals. We can protect ourselves from free radical attacks by consuming food with high antioxidants. A lot of emphasis these days is put on antioxidants by dieticians and doctors.

Supply of probiotic or gut-friendly bacteria: Probiotic bacteria are those friendly bacteria that are present in our digestive system. These bacteria actually help us in the digestion of food. Sometimes, due to the use of antibiotics, along with invading bacteria, these friendly bacteria are also killed. The fall in their numbers can cause digestive problems that can be solved by eating pickles made without the use of vinegar. Naturally fermented salt pickles encourage the growth of these friendly bacteria, which will replenish the numbers in our digestive system and restore our health.

Supply of essential minerals and vitamins: Fresh pickles, dips or chutneys are made from leafy vegetables or herbs such as coriander, curry leaves, spinach, parsley, and amaranth. These fresh pickles are interesting and appetizing ways of making children eat their share of leafy vegetables and herbs, which are otherwise boring for children. Eating freshly made pickles not only tastes good, but they also supply essential vitamins such as vitamin C, A, K, folate and minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium. Vitamins and minerals are vital micronutrients which protect us from diseases, help us build immunity, bone strengthening, vision protection, curing anemia, and various other functions.

Diabetes Control: Studies have shown that consuming vinegar based pickles improves hemoglobin levels in diabetic patients, which in turn helps in controlling diabetes. The acetic acid present in vinegar has been noted to be responsible for this phenomenon. However, care must be taken to avoid the consumption of salted pickles as excess salt increases blood pressure.

Improves Digestion: In India, Indian gooseberry or amla (phyllanthus emblica) is one of the favourite fruits that are pickled. This fruit is believed to possess several health benefits according to Ayurveda treatments and moreover, since amla is a seasonal fruit, unripe amla pickles are prepared. It is customary practice in some Indian families to have amla pickle as the first course or an appetizer as it is believed that amla pickle improves digestion.

Credit: Organic Facts

Sausage & Swiss Stuffed French Toast Recipe

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Using this quick two-part method, youll get perfect French Toast every time. Couple that with this sausage and swiss cheese stuffing, and you have something to really drool over.

Ingredients

1 loaf of sourdough French bread
1/2 lb. ground grass-fed beef (see resources)
salt, pepper, garlic, and rubbed sage (in generous proportions) (find organic bulk spices)
4 oz swiss cheese, shredded
1 C. milk
4 eggs from pastured hens
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla  

Want to know how to cook French Toast to perfection?

Directions : View recipdirections on foodrenegade.com

You know what’s good with a Donut? A Cappuccino – Happy Cappuccino Day!!!

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National Cappuccino Day is observed annually on November 8.

Traditionally prepared with espresso, hot milk and steamed-milk foam, a cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink.

The word cappuccino comes from the Capuchin friars and is the diminutive form of cappuccio in Italian, meaning hood or something that covers the head.   This popular coffee beverage got it’s name not from the hood on their habits but from the color of the hooded robes that the friars wore.  (The Capuchin friars is an Order of friars in the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans.)

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  • In 1945 Achille Gaggia invented the modern espresso machine which further popularized the cappuccino.
  • Mid 1990′s – Cappuccino was made more widely available to North Americans as upscale coffee houses sprang up.
  • Late 1990′s to Early 2000′s – Cappuccinos became popular in the United States concurrent with the boom in the American coffee industry.
  • Start of 21st Century – A modified short-cut version of the cappuccino started being served at fast-food chains.
  • While steaming the milk you must pay close attention to attain the correct ratio of foam, thus making the cappuccino one of the most difficult espresso-based beverages to make properly.
  • A skilled barista may create artistic shapes while he/she is pouring milk on top of the espresso coffee.

Credit: National Calendar Day

Eat more Oatmeal!!! – The many benefits of eating Oatmeal

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Helps control weight.

Let’s face it, we could all use some help at times, but did you ever think oatmeal could help control your weight? It’s true! According to a research study published in the October 2009 issue of “Molecular Nutrition & Food Research” a compound in oatmeal known as β-glucan reduces appetite by increasing the hunger-fighting hormone cholecystokinin.

Reduces blood pressure.

We all know that heart disease is a major problem in North America and throughout the world. One studypublished in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet which includes plenty of whole-grains (such as oats or wholemeal bread) is just as effective as taking anti-hypertensive medication to lower blood pressure!

Reduces cholesterol.

Have you ever heard of soluble fiber? Well, compared to other grains, oats actually have the highest portion of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps your intestinal tract trap substances associated with blood cholesterol.  Studies show that people with high blood cholesterol who eat just 3 g of soluble fiber per day can reduce their total cholesterol by 8% to 23% (remember that one cup of oats yields 4 g)!

Lowers risk of colon cancer.

Cancer of the colon is horrible and can be very painful. One study, pooled by researchers in Britain and the Netherlands, published evidence that there was a link between people who ate a high fiber diet (mainly from whole grains and cereals like oats) to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. This study also covered nearly 2 million people and specifically found that for every additional 10 grams of fiber in someone’s diet, there is a 10% reduction in their risk of developing colorectal cancer!

Stabilizes blood sugar.

What does this mean? We have all experienced a “sugar crash”/ “mid morning slump” after a big meal or sugary breakfast; well, with oatmeal, this doesn’t happen as much. As a result of oatmeal’s high soluble fiber content, its sugar is released more slowly into the blood stream (aka, it has a low glycemic index). It’s important to note that steel cut oats will have more of an effect on stabilizing your blood sugar than instant oats, because they are less processed and thus have more soluble fiber. Another added bonus, is because it takes longer to digest, you will feel full longer

Athletic performance.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how beneficial oatmeal was in giving me energy before my swimming practices while on the National Team for my town. Oatmeal, is a great carbohydrate and protein source, providing calories and energy for energy needs. Oats have been shown in scientific studies to favorably alter metabolism and enhance performance when ingested 45 minutes to 1 hour before exercise of moderate intensity.

Helps you sleep.

Our society has ingrained in us that oatmeal is a breakfast food, although it is also a wise choice before bedtime. In fact, the Scottish recommend a bowl of oatmeal in the evening to get you feeling nice and sleepy.

Why is oatmeal good before bed? Well, oats actually contain melatonin and complex carbohydrates that can help more tryptophan get into the brain and help you sleep, according to Dr.Oz. Furthermore, oatmeal contains many vitamins, including B6, which is a co-factor that also aids in the production of more serotonin in the brain.

Credit: Life Hack

American Beer Day!!! – What’s your favorite Beer? – Types of Beer that are bad for you

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(Credit: iStockphoto/Stratol)

There are more than 2,100 breweries that manufacture beer in the United States. They range in size from industry giants to brew pubs and microbreweries.

  • The U.S. produced 196 million barrels of beer in 2009.
  • The U.S. consumes roughly 20 US gallons of beer per capita annually.
  • In 2008, the United States was ranked sixteenth in the world in per capita consumption, while total consumption was second only to China.
  • Prohibition in the early twentieth century caused nearly all American breweries to close.
  • After prohibition was repealed the industry had consolidated into a small number of large-scale breweries.
  • The majority of the new breweries in the U.S. are small breweries and brewpubs, who, as members of the Brewers Association, are termed “craft breweries” to differentiate them from the larger and older breweries.
  • The most common style of beer produced by the big breweries is American lager.
  • Most of the smaller breweries, which were founded in the 1980′s, produce a range of styles.
  • Beer styles originating in the United States include:
    American pale ale, Pennsylvania porter, American IPA, steam beer, amber ale, cream ale and Cascadian dark ale.

Check out which Types of Beers you should avoid: 8 BEERS THAT YOU SHOULD STOP DRINKING IMMEDIATELY!!!

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Credit: National Calendar

The Simpsons: No Tv and No Beer

Full of Bologna Hot Dish Recipe

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FULL OF BOLOGNA HOT DISH

Prep Time: 20 Min

Cook Time: 30 min

Total Time: 50 min

Makes: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 ring Nueske Bologna, diced
  • 4 medium potatoes, sliced or diced
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 2 Tbsp. onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. green pepper, chopped (optional)

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Directions

Mix all the ingredients together and place in casserole dish. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Top with cheese and return to oven to melt cheese, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.