Happy National Pastry Day!!! – Tell us what’s your favorite pastry?

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 George eating an Eclair out of the Garbage

 

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

Weekend Inspiration – Be a Role Model by Rosa Parks

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Calamari Fritters Recipe

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Ingredients

200 gm flour

Salt

Paprika powder

Black pepper

600 gm squid, cut into 5mm/ 1/4 inch rings

For Chilli Mayo:

2 Tbsp of mayonnaise

1 red chilli, sliced

1 teaspoon of capers

1 teaspoon of cut gherkins

Juice of 1/2 lemon

A pinch of paprika powder

Directions

Season the flour with salt, pepper and paprika powder.

Mix the squid with flour until they get fully coated.

Fry in the deep fryer for 2 minutes.

Serve with chilli mayo.

For chilli mayo
:

Mix the mayonnaise with red chilli, capers, gherkins and lemon juice and give it a good stir.

Season with Paprika powder.

Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

Survival of the Fittest – Benefits of Eating Apples

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  1. Get whiter, healthier teeth

An apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.

  1. Avoid Alzheimer’s

A new study performed on mice shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.

  1. Protect against Parkinson’s

Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fibre foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein.

  1. Curb all sorts of cancers

Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Researchers at Cornell University have identified several compounds—triterpenoids—in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Their earlier research found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumours in rats. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. has recommended a high fibre intake to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

  1. Decrease your risk of diabetes

Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.

  1. Reduce cholesterol

The soluble fibre found in apples binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.

  1. Get a healthier heart

An extensive body of research has linked high soluble fibre intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.

  1. Prevent gallstones

Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fibre to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.

  1. Beat diarrhea and constipation

Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fibre found in apples can help. Fibre can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.

  1. Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fibre in your diet.

  1. Avert hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anal canal and while not life threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fibre can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.

  1. Control your weight

Many health problems are associated with being overweight, among them heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fibre. Foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.

  1. Detoxify your liver 

We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best—and easiest—things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits—like apples.

  1. Boost your immune system

Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.

  1. Prevent cataracts

Though past studies have been divided on the issue, recent long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants—like apples—are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to develop cataracts.

Credit: Best Health Mag

The Truth Hurts – You have no rights by George Carlin

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Wisdom Wednesdays – The writing is on the wall

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Chocolate Mousse Pie Recipe

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Instructions

For the chocolate cookie crust:

  • Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  • Place the cookies in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until the pieces are about the size of peas. Stop the motor, add the melted butter, and continue to process until the crumbs are fine, about the size of coarsely ground coffee (you will need 1 1/2 cups). (Alternatively, place the cookies in a resealable plastic bag, press out the air, and seal. Using a rolling pin, smash into uniform fine crumbs. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the melted butter, and mix until evenly combined.)
  • Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and, using the bottom of a cup or your fingers, press firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake until fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before making the filling, about 40 minutes.

For the chocolate mousse:

  • Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Place the chopped chocolate and 1/4 cup of the cream in a large heatproof bowl. (Place the remaining cream back in the refrigerator until ready to use.) Nest the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until smooth and combined with the cream. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, wipe any moisture from the bottom of it, and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (make sure the bowl and whisk have no trace of oil or fat on them, or the whites won’t whip properly). Mix on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute; transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. (Alternatively, you can whip the whites by hand in a large bowl for about 3 minutes.)
  • Clean and dry the whisk attachment and mixer bowl. Place the remaining 3/4 cup of cream in the bowl and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. (Alternatively, you can whisk the cream by hand in a large bowl for about 3 minutes.)
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate, then gently stir in the rest (try not to deflate the whipped cream). Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate-cream mixture just until there are no longer large blobs of whipped cream or egg white (do not overmix). Spoon the mousse into the cooled pie crust and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate uncovered until set, at least 2 hours.

For the whipped cream:

  1. 
When ready to serve, place the bowl of the stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, and cream to the bowl and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes. (Alternatively, you can whisk the cream by hand in a large chilled bowl for about 3 to 4 minutes.) Spread or decoratively pipe the whipped cream from a pastry bag evenly over the pie.
  2. To garnish, hold the piece of chocolate with a paper towel in one hand and use a vegetable peeler to shave the desired amount over the top of the pie.

Credit: Chow

Poetry Mondays – Cat’s Tongue by Ryan Fu

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I stand across from you


in our tiny studio apartment

letting the silence fill up the space

as I wonder what happened to us.

We used to be inseparable,

but now we’re ghost, haunting each other

waiting on faith like Jack and Rose

onboard the Titanic.

I wonder if one our cats could talk,

what they would say?


They probably would say what we were

too scared to say.

That this is over.

There’s no going back.

You can’t put a Band Aid


in a gaping hole. 

So, I stand across from you


in our tiny studio apartment.

Between us an ocean of unhappiness


waiting for a life raft.

RYAN FU

Unknown

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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.