Guide to Salami

Salami isn’t just found in downtown delis and big city supermarkets. Its appeal is such that it even gets mentions in ski magazines and can be enjoyed at ski resorts, served with black bread and fondue. Consumed worldwide, salami – or Salame, or Kielbasa – is best known to Americans as “Italian Salami”.

Developed centuries ago, salami always kept well for Italian peasants who developed this uncooked, fermented, air-dried sausage which lasted up to a year without refrigeration. The name salami originates from “sale”, Italian for salt.

Originally salami was a term used to refer to any salted meat. Later the definition was narrowed to specify ground or minced, salted and spiced meat. This meat product is forced into a thin, transparent tubing of animal “gut”, cylindrical in shape, and then tied off at the ends.

Most people are familiar with salami made from pork and beef. It has also been made with venison, horse, lamb and goat. Salami may include fat, wine, wheat, cornstarch, salt, herbs and/or spices.

Some varieties of salami

Milanese – Beef, pork and fat are minced and added in equal amounts. Seasoning comes from garlic, pepper, and white wine.

Genoese – A fatty salami, named after its place of origin and featuring white peppercorns.

Fegatelli – Air-dried, Corsican style. Pork liver, pork meat and fat are combined with garlic, red wine, spices and sea salt.

Finocchiona – Pork shoulder (lean pieces) and fat are mixed with fennel seeds, garlic and wine.

Pepperoni – Pork butt with the fat included is combined with lean beef, garlic, red wine, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika and anise seed.

Essentials supplies for a homemade salami sandwich

The foundation of a great homemade salami sandwich is the bread. While it’s a personal choice, as is the type of salami used, recommendations include rye, pumpernickel or some variety of hard roll. Plain wheat or white bread will do, but will not typically stand up to the bulk and weight of the ingredients.

Besides the salami itself, a great salami sandwich will include some or all of the following ingredients: mozzarella cheese, mixed greens or arugula, roasted red peppers, brine-cured black olives, and tomatoes.

Brush the cut sides of the bread with olive oil; pile on the aforementioned ingredients and the salami of choice. As an option, before assembling the sandwich cut everything into chunks and mix in a bowl with olive oil and herbs. Once the sandwich is completed, it can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated. Giving the ingredients time for a blending of flavors will result in the finest of sandwiches.

Salami round the world

For old-time salami and pastrami in the U.S., venture to Hobby’s Deli in Newark, New Jersey. Try a #13 – turkey, chopped liver and salami, coleslaw and Russian dressing sandwich.

At the Ragazzi Ristorante Pizzeria in the Cayman Islands, dine on a mouthwatering antipasto comprised of prosciutto, bresola, and salami with roasted red peppers and parmesean.

Hoxton Apprentice Restaurant and Grill in London features a Hoxton Deli Platter with bresola, salami, Milano, Parma ham, grilled flat bread, olives, peccarino, quince and pesto.

Genoese salami and Ligurian pesto is often found in the local cuisine of Genoa, Italy, although locals aren’t afraid to admit that salami produced in their area is of poorer quality.

Warmth and humidity are required for the curing process that produces every variety of salami. The average curing time is thirty-six weeks. Salami that has been aged longer produces a more distinct flavor. Less than thirty-six weeks and the taste is sweeter.

Salami for sandwiches is sliced thin and layered on. Salami to be used in cooking is sliced thickly and chopped into chunks. An exception is pepperoni which is cut into thin slices and cooked atop pizza.

Reference:
1. Guide to Cured Italian Meats: Salami, Salame, or Salumi – Scordo.com
2. Guide to Salumi: Cured Meats of Italy – Huffington Post

Blue waffles

“A ‘waffle’ is a slang term for a vagina. A ‘blue waffle‘ is a slang term for a vaginal infection that is intense. It is essentially a slang term for a serious or exceptionally ugly vaginal infection/STD in the vagina. The infection may cause lesions in the exterior of the vagina, along with bruising, which causes it to appear blue in color.”

Sources: In April 2013, New Jersey city councilperson Kathy McBride ended up being the item of some derision when, according to the Trentonian, she reported at a city board conference that she’d got an “alarming call” from a constituent who needed to understand “exactly what was the City of Trenton doing about an outbreak that is known as heaven Waffle Disease?” McBride was buffooned for not understanding that an April Fool’s prank had seemingly taken in her and taking the problem seriously. Recommendations to “Blue Waffle Disease” hit the Web around March 2010 when a picture of scabbed, blue-tinted labia was published in addition to the claim the picture pictured a sort of vaginal infection caused by a sexually transmitted disease (a state which was allegedly common enough that it’d been determined and provided the slang name “blue waffle illness”).

Much conversation guaranteed about an electronic manipulation or whether the picture was actual, and, if the former, whether it actually envisioned an illness (rather than, say, bruising resulting from some other type of injury or rape). Whatever the sources of the picture, “blue waffle disease” is a little little fiction and not an understood sign or consequence of any STD-associated infection. As reported in the Women’s Health Foundation site, Dr. Amy Whitaker, an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology at the University of Chicago Hospital, stated of the commonly distributed “blue waffles” picture that: There isn’t any disease called “blue waffle illness,” in the clinical world.

There’s no illness that triggers a blue look in the external genitalia. I’d never heard of this until our section was written to by you and inquired about it. The typical belief amongst doctor with whom I’ve talked or emailed about this is that it’s a hoax; the photo and “imitation” disease used to entice folks into some web site. The image itself is upsetting. It’s not impossible a bluish appearance to external genitalia may be from bruising, which might result from a sexual assault from force. Bruising definitely would not be bright blue, although I can not say, clearly, if that’s the instance here.

No STDS cause outside bruising. Also, there seems to be a couple of lesions, which may be an STD of some kind (for instance, a herpes lesion), even though it’s definitely not clear from the image. It even seems that there may be some kind of laceration on her best labia, a “wound” of forms, but again it is cloudy. That could even be from force, or it may be an STD that shows with a lesion in the vulva. On the flip side, the whole thing might be ‘Photoshopped,’ and nothing in it signifies anything ‘actual.’ Regardless, this isn’t the normal appearance of any STD or any illness of vulva or the vagina.

Columbia University’s Go Ask Alice! Well-Being column additionally notes that “blue waffle illness” is a scam: “Blue waffles,” or “blue waffle illness,” is numerous matters, but real isn’t one of these. It’s an urban myth, a misconception, an exaggeration, a gossip, a hoax, etc. about a fictitious sexually transmitted infection (STI). In the event you do an image search, you will locate (fake) images online. The azure describes among the supposed signs, and waffle is slang for vagina. Other assumed symptoms thus does how the source spread, all the details transforming in time like a huge video game of phone and change based in it. One reason the blue waffle myth might have spread so rapidly is due to confusion and the panic surrounding sexual health and STIs.

Symptoms related to the fantastic condition are suggestive to symptoms of STIs or existing states. For instance, a reddish or inflamed vagina or vulva, stinky release, and itching or using all could be indications of bacterial vaginosis (or vaginitis). Blisters and wounds? Now it seems like herpes. Blue? Maybe this could be described by the darker color of the clitoris and inner lips when elevated blood flow as a result of arousal occurs in some girls. Or maybe a darker bluish color may result from a yeast infection or long-term irritation of the vulva, called Lichen simplex. One common variant in the blue waffle myth is the fact that it’s an STI that passes only from females to males and may result from improper hygiene. Maybe this appears indicative of the inclination to attribute, objectify, and vilify girls of our society.

The Indomitable Apple in Historic Relief

Apples are a symbol of purity and good health. With this symbolism in mind, students have given teachers an apple to show appreciation. Some slogans we are all familiar with are: An apple a day keeps the doctor away, a child is the apple of his parents eye, and we all want a slice of apple pie. Let us not forget calling someone a bad apple. Apples have been read about, talked about and eaten throughout history.

Ranging from tart to sweet in taste and crisp to soft in texture, apples are one of our favorite fruits. In our pies, on our waffles, or quickly grabbed for a snack from the fruit bowl, apples are interwoven into our lives. An integral part of our past, and sure to be included in our future, and if we are lucky, for dessert.

The origin of apples can be traced back as far in time to Adam and Eve. Eve ate the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden. It is still being debated exactly where the first apple tree bloomed. One theory is the first apple plant grew in Alma-Ata, meaning mother of apples, located in Kazakhstan, now part of Russia. Kazakhstan was once a section of Central Asia.

Ancient Egyptians grew apple trees, as did the Greeks and Romans. It’s still debated as to who was first, but the Greeks are said to be the first to grow fertile trees, with the sweet taste we so love to consume today. When immigrating to the New World, European settlers brought apple trees over to cultivate and harvest. That being said, the pilgrims were the first to plant apple trees in the United States. “They planted their first trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.”

In American history, Johnny Chapman spent close to 50 years planting apple trees. An American folk hero and legend, popularly known as Johnny Appleseed, he would carry a bag of apple seeds and plant them in the mid-western states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He helped others to plant and cultivate apples, and in return some of them would give him food and a place to rest. It takes 4-5 years for an apple treat to fruit, so Johnny would visit people often, keeping an eye on the apple trees. His original orchards can still be found and descendants of his original apple trees are still produced today.

An interesting fact of history is apples were used to make alcohol before being utilized for the delicious recipes we make today. The first apple ciders had a pizzazz we now add to our mixed drinks. It was more popular than coffee in days of old.

More than 7000 varieties of apples exist around the world. Out of the over 2000 in the United States, only 100 are commercially grown. Some of those are Cortland, McIntosh, Red Delicious, and Braeburn.

For snacking, McIntosh is considered to be the best, with Red Delicious coming a close second. Some of the best varieties for baking are Braeburn, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith.

Now that fall is here, apples are ripe for the picking. Apple dumplings, fresh apple muffins, or homemade applesauce are all recipes that will spice up this autumn. Celebrate this colorful season with your favorite recipe, or try a new one. Whether a novice or culinary expert, its a perfect time to celebrate apples.

Sources:
http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mjappleseed.html
http://www.geocities.com/perfectapple/history.html
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/apples/facts.html (quote of planting in Bay Colony)

Fun Facts about Peanut Butter and Jelly

Americans have been enjoying peanut butter sandwiches since the late 1880’s when physician Ambrose Straub first started to grind peanuts into a paste for his geriatric patients who had trouble chewing solid foods.  The ground peanut sandwiches tasted delicious and it didn’t take long for Americans to add something sweet.  And voila!  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches quickly became all the rage and Americans haven’t stopped eating them since. 

After Straub got a patent for his peanut mill in 1903 he sold all the rights to Baylee Foods in 1904 and the company debuted peanut butter at the World’s Fair.  World War I soldiers carried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with them onto the battlefield.  In the 1920’s and 30’s American markets started seeing brands like Peter Pan and Skippy being produced commercially.

Today peanut butter and jelly remains a favorite sandwich found in lunchboxes everywhere.  They are inexpensive to make, nutritious and taste delicious.  So if peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a favorite of yours here are some peanut butter and jelly facts that you may find very interesting:

Make peanut butter is the leading use of peanuts in the US.  Peanuts add about $4 billion to the annual economy. 

To get Mr. Ed to talk producers used what else?  Peanut butter.

 November is peanut butter lover’s month in the United States.

Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.  Maybe Mr. Ed suffered from arachibutyrophobia?

Americans spend over $800 million per year on peanut butter. 

The largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich every made was made in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on September 7, 2002.  It weighed in at over 900 lbs.  It contained 350 pounds of peanut butter, and 144 pounds of jelly.  The rest was bread. 

 It takes 540 peanuts to make just one 12 ounce jar of peanut butter. 

Demographic studies have been done by peanut butter manufacturers to find out who likes what type of peanut butter.  This is what they discovered.  Men prefer chunky peanut butter.  Women prefer creamy.  The east coast in general, likes creamy peanut butter while generally speaking the west coast prefers chunky.  How do you compare with your neighbors?

American’s favorite type of jelly?  Strawberry and grape are the most popular by far. 

The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts/peanut butter per year. 

So how do you rate as far as your favorite type of peanut butter?  What about how you like to eat your peanut butter and jelly?  Or maybe you like just peanut butter sans jelly. Lots of people use honey, bacon, bananas, etc in place of jelly.  However you enjoy your peanut butter sandwich; with or without jelly, you should have peace of mind knowing that you are enjoying a nutritious snack and that you are contributing to the success of America’s farmers because the United States is the biggest producer of peanuts in the world.

Reference:
1. Peanut Butter and Jelly History – 11 Things You Didn't Know about …
2. Peanut Butter & Jelly – A PB&J for Every Moment – Smucker's

The Benefits of Mushrooms

The benefits of mushrooms are the main reason I like using them for cooking. Remember that mushrooms aren’t vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Mushrooms are part of the fungi kingdom. You have to be extremely careful with mushrooms. Safe place to get your mushrooms will be from the store. Do not pick wild mushrooms unless you grow your own. You have to know what you’re doing first before growing your own mushrooms.

But the right mushrooms do have benefits. Mushrooms are something I do have as a favorite topping on my pizza. They are incredibly meaty from what I can tell. It can be a perfect alternative to a meat topping if you feel like eating a meatless pizza. That is one example of the benefits of edible mushrooms.

They have a good flavor and texture which is important. One of my favorite types of mushrooms happens to be the portabella mushroom. I enjoy chopping up portabellas when I’m cooking up stuff like steak or chicken. Chopped portabella mushrooms mixed with chopped onions do make a great topping for steak. It also makes a great topping for burgers. Place the chopped portabellas on top of the patty and top with some cheese which is pretty delicious.

You can add mushrooms to just about any sandwich, pizza, soup, salad, and sandwich. Stuffed mushrooms tend to serve as a great appetizer. Stuffed mushrooms tend to be one of my favorite appetizing dishes.

But asides from taste, mushrooms do possess health and nutrition benefits. They are very low in calories and combined with a salad makes for a delicious meal. Mushrooms possess low amounts of sodium and fat which is important for those wanting to manage their own weight. Most of the content of mushrooms is eighty to ninety percent water which is good. Mushrooms tend to “sweat” and dry off when the water content is low.

Mushrooms tend to be a great source of fiber as well. If you’re looking to add fiber in your diet, you can add mushrooms to your cooking.

They possess potassium which is important to elevate one’s blood pressure and reduce the chance of stroke. The potassium that mushrooms possess is also good for one’s leg muscles.

Shiitake mushrooms are used for cold and flu. In a sense, those mushrooms are used to boost one’s immunity.

When consuming the right mushrooms, not only are they delicious but you reap the health and nutritional benefits as well. If you want a meatless substitute that is “meaty”, then mushrooms are the way to go.

Can Believing in God Kill Your Sex Life?

Judging by the sheer number of children being popped out by deeply religious couples – “19 Kids and Counting,” anyone? – I would have assumed that many believers have pretty rocking sex lives.

But according to a recent study reported by Tracy Clark-Flory over at Salon.com (“Do atheists have better sex?”), non-believers are having more fun between the sheets. And their happier hanky-panky is thanks not to superior skills (so stop gloating, godless heathens) but due to less guilt surrounding sex.

The study, titled “Sex and Secularism: When Happens When You Leave Religion?,” found that those actively engaged in some religious belief were less likely to report satisfaction with their sex lives, and were also less likely to indulge their sexual fantasies with a partner. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the more religious the household they were raised in, the more guilt they reported feeling surrounding sex. Also, when people ditched their religious beliefs, they reported that their sex lives improved.

Writes Clark-Flory: “Roughly 55 percent said sex ‘greatly improved’ after losing their religion, compared to 2.2 percent who said it got worse.” (Note, though, that this could be an example of exaggerated self-reporting).

One of the more surprising tidbits is that despite much higher rates of self-reported sexual guilt among believers, their sexual behaviour is not notably different from that of non-believers. It seems we all masturbate, watch porn, engage in oral sex and have pre-marital sex at similar rates. The authors summarize: “Guilt is a key component of religious attitudes about sex but actual behaviour[s] … do not change appreciably with religiosity.” It’s just that non-believers have less fun and more guilt while doing it.

So do you think that religious beliefs can have an impact on the quality of someone’s sex life? It makes sense to me – I’ve heard as much from friends who spent their childhood Sunday mornings in Catholic churches. However, I imagine the type of faith matters significantly, and whether the respondents in the survey were single or married.

But if you spent a big chunk of your formative years being told that sex is dirty and you deserve to be punished, I can see how that might put a kibosh on your adult sex life – unless, of course, you’re really into that.

Papaya and its uses

The Papaw, It’s been called the poor man’s banana. It is a fruit that vaguely resembles a pear in shape, although it is larger than a pear. It is a yellow/green color. It is edible and has been recommended for its medicinal value. It grows in the Southern and Central parts of the US, including Texas and Ohio. They are grown in other parts of the world also, such as Guyana, Brazil, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The seeds of the papaw can be used to make a beverage which many say it is delicious. It can be flavored with a bit of cinnamon and clove to add to the delicious flavor.

A delicious papaw drink is made out of these ingredients: (1) Seeds taken from a yellow papaw; (2) 3 pints of water or more; (3) sugar to taste and a few cloves and cinnamon if you desire. Put the ingredients into a covered bottle and leave it for three days. Strain and serve with ice. It doesn’t take much to bring out the natural flavor of the papaw.

IN Brazil they are called mamo. In parts of the Caribbean they are known as fruta bomba. Mexicans speak of them as melon zapote, and Australians and South Sea islanders call them papaw. But others prefer the Latin name, Carica papaya. You may know them as melons on a tree.

The Papaw is the only member of the custard apple family that grows outside the tropics. They are succulent, melon-shaped fruits with certain health benefits. They have a very unique flavor with a very creamy texture. They are delicious ripe, in season. Finding them might be somewhat of a challenge as they are not sold in most mainstream supermarkets. Somewhat like cantaloupes, roundish or pear-shaped, they can weigh over a pound each, are 3 to 20 inches long, and grow in clusters of 30 or more individual fruits, directly on the trunk of the papaw tree.

This plant of the papaya looks like a small palm tree, with a crown of leaves but no lateral branches, and attains an average height of 10 to 13 feet. Although having the appearance of a tree, it is really a herbaceous plant, with a fleshy rather than a woody stem. Some call it the “giant plant.” Its deeply lobed leaves remind you of fig or maple leaves, although those of the papaya sometimes measure 2 feet across and are borne on hollow stalks.

Papaya plants develop to their full size within less than a year. Development begins from the black, round, wrinkled, pea like seeds found in the hollow inside. And the plants are ready to bear fruit at any time during the year. Usually the papaya tree is female, always producing an abundant crop of roundish fruits. But there are also male plants with bisexual flowers, which produce cylindrical fruits on long stalks. They may live five or more years.

Although papaws are similar to muskmelons in taste and shape, the skin is smooth. It turns from green to yellow while ripening, in about nine months. The fruit flesh usually is yellow or orange yellow, sometimes salmon colored, and is about 1 inch thick. It has very little fiber, and its characteristic flavor, unlike that of any other fruit, is slightly sweet, with a pleasant musky tang.

Why not try some papaw for breakfast or dessert? Some enjoy it rawwhen ripe, of coursewith or without sugar or lemon. Many Brazilians prefer it in fruit salad, together with banana, mango and pineapple. Or they make it into a delicious drink by mixing the ripe flesh in a blender together with pineapple or other fruits. Others prefer papaw or papaya as a sauce, prepared by cooking unripe fruits and adding sugar and perhaps grated coconut.

The green fruit flesh cooked in syrup also is very tasty. Still others use the papaw unripe as a vegetable (cooked like squash), particularly in stews. Additional uses are in pies, sherbets and confections. Compote also is made from the green fruit, either cut in cubes or grated. Cut the fruit in cubes and leave them in water with a little quicklime (wrapped in a cloth) until the next day. Then rinse off the cubes and cook them with sugar or, for caramel flavor, with burned sugar. The quicklime hardens the outside, as in crystallized fruit. Unfortunately, papaws or papayas are highly perishable and are difficult to export, except when canned or as juice in soft drinks.

Medicinal Properties

The papaw tree is sometimes called the “medicine tree.” And that certainly is with good reason, since every part of it contains some medicinal properties. The hollow fleshy stem is rich in vitamins A, B and C, as well as in calcium, phosphorus and iron. In the trunk of the female tree are found 1-1/2 percent protein and 7 to 10 percent sugar. The milky juice in the stalks, leaves and unripe fruit is highly anthelmintic (meaning that it destroys intestinal worms). Also, the little black seeds digest and therefore eliminate all kinds of undesirable parasites in the intestines. Papaw or papaya helps to digest the protein of meat, eggs, milk, beans and similar foods, and, hence, promotes the proper functioning of the pancreas. Moreover, papaya alleviates indigestion, protects against infection, aids diabetics and hepatitis patients, and is used to clarify wine and beer.

But you may wonder, What is it that makes papaws so valuable as a remedy? It cannot be just vitamins and mineral salts. That is true. But have you ever heard about the enzyme papain? It is this enzyme that makes the papaw so unique in digesting proteins. Found exclusively in papayas, papain is similar to the animal enzyme pepsin. The pharmaceutical industry has long been benefiting from papain. By the way, the greatest amount of papain is found just under the skin of the unripe fruit. So, while the papaw is still hanging on a tree, long scratches are made in the skin. The white juice oozes out, similar to the exuding of latex from rubber trees, and is caught in containers. The cuts are repeated every three to five days. While papaws ripen, the flow gradually diminishes and it stops when they are fully ripe. The dried juice then is ready for shipping.

If you live in the tropics or visit them, you will appreciate the papaw or papaya even more, since, in such countries, you may be plagued with parasites such as hookworms that settle in your small intestine and colon. However, papain attacks and dissolves the keratinous epidermis of the most common parasites. Papain is harmless and is the cheapest worm remedy in the tropics. If you do not like eating papayas while they are green and rather bitter, why not chew and swallow a piece of the leaf or a tablespoonful of the seeds after each meal? This thought may not be so pleasant, but it certainly could protect your system against invading parasites. The seeds have a pungent taste, not unlike that of watercress or radishes.

Whenever you have a heavy, protein-rich meal, eat a slice of ripe papaw. It may save you from a bout with indigestion. Should you be the cook, wrap raw meat overnight in one of the big papaya leaves. You will be amazed at the tenderizing effect. Hunters and housewives in Brazil’s hinterland have been doing this for a long time. When they kill an old animal, they wrap its tough meat in papaya leaves and by the next day it is as tender as that of a young animal. An old chicken can be tenderized in the same way, or by rubbing it with papaya juice. For that reason, most commercial meat tenderizers contain papain.

But there are other benefits. Cook papaya flowers in water, add burned or brown sugar, and strain off the syrup. It makes a fine cough mixture. In Brazil, many people place a piece of papaya leaf on sores to promote healing. They simply tie the leaf directly onto the wound or sore. Also, mashed papaya flesh is used externally in treating skin blemishes.

Now that you “know” papaws much better, let us remind you where to find them. Although called “melons,” they do not grow on a vine. Rather, look up at them, for they are the “melons” on a tree.

Pumpkin Seeds Cheap Healthy Snacking

Pumpkin seeds are good for you and provide a lot of health benefits. It is shame that they are such an underrated snack. Many people don’t even think about pumpkin seeds except for on Halloween when they are cleaning out their pumpkins. After you learn about the health benefits of this inexpensive and great tasting snack, you just might make pumpkin seeds a regular part of your diet.

Pumpkin seeds are low in calories and high in minerals, protein and good fats. Good fats are the kind that your body needs to make your skin and hair healthy. Pumpkin seeds have been shown to lower cholesterol, have anti-inflammatory effects for arthritis, benefit prostate health and reduce the chances of prostate cancer and protect mens bones from osteoporosis. Pumpkin seeds have high amounts of vitamin k which helps to improve blood vessel circulation. In addition, pumpkin seeds help rid the body of intestinal parasites.

Pumpkin seeds taste great, are inexpensive and versatile. They can be added to cereals, vegetables and salads. They are great to add to baked products such as oatmeal cookies or breads.

You can buy pumpkin seeds already prepared or make your own. You can buy them raw or roasted. Like many foods, raw is the most nutritious, They taste good raw, but roasted does produce a wonderful flavor. On Halloween instead of throwing those seeds away, you might what to roast them for a healthy and tasty snack. Rinse off the seeds. Lay them out in a single layer on newspaper to dry overnight. Lightly salt them if desired and roast them on a baking sheet at 160 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. You want to be sure to cook them at a low temperature so that you don’t destroy the good fats that can degrade in high temperatures.

With all the health benefits, versatility and great taste, pumpkin seeds should be a staple in every persons kitchen.

American Stroke Association

When you think about heart disease, do you associate stroke with it? When I worked with the American Heart Association some years ago, we called strokes “brain attacks.” That’s essentially what a stroke is, a type of cardiovascular disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain.

Strokes account for 163,000 deaths per year. It’s the #3 killer behind heart disease and cancer. The American Stroke Association is the division of AHA that focuses on reducing disability and death from stroke through research, education, fund raising and advocacy. ASA offers a wide array of programs, products and services, from patient education materials to scientific statements.

Porkolt Hungarian Homemade Beef Stew with Dumplings

This delicious stew has thick gravy and it is the base of the famous gulyas-soup.

You will need:

1 good wooden spoon

1 large cooking pan

1 large onion

2 tablespoons of olive oil /sun flower oil / lard

50 g salty bacon

1 teaspoon of Hungarian sweet/hot paprika powder (depends on your style)

2 lb beef (leg, scapula), chopped into 1 inch cubes and salted gently

1 green pepper, chopped into 5-6 pieces

1 tomato, chopped into 8 pieces

some red wine/water

1 tablespoon of salt

Method

 1. Put the large cooking pan on the stove, heat oil, add small bits of bacon.

 2. Chop onion into small bits (size: 0.5 cm or less), than add to the oil.

 3. Cook over on gentle heat for 3-4 minutes (until it gets lightly brown). Stir it occasionally.

 4. Add the paprika powder and remove the pan from heat, otherwise the paprika gets bitter taste. Stir it perfectly.

 5. Put the pan on the lowest flame; add chopped meat, some salt, and stir, until it gets some color. If it starts to stick add some water or red wine, than stir it again until it starts to stick again. Repeat these about 3-4 times. The aroma and taste of this dish will be more intensive if you do so. This method is the soul of the stew.

 6. Add chopped green pepper and tomato, some more wine and bouillon and cover it. Leave on the lowest flame for 1 and half-two hours. Check the dish and stir it sometimes and add some water/ wine when it starts to stick.

Dumplings – Ingredients:

1 pot

1 large bowl

1 good wooden spoon

1 tablespoon or knife

1 wooden board

1 strainer

1 egg

¾ lb flour

salt

a cup of water

Method

Boil water with a tablespoon of salt in a large pot. Stir egg in the bowl with the wooden spoon. Add flour, water and a pinch of salt; stir them well, but not perfectly. It should be sticky – thick dough. If you wish to have more dough, simply add some more water and flour. Bring the large pot of salt water to boil. Pour the whole dough on the wooden board and cut into small pieces (about ¼ inch), and slide to the boiling water. Leave it until all of the noodles come up to the top.Take the ready noodle out with the strainer, and rinse them with water.

Serve it with a glass of red wine and decorate it with some green peppers and tomatoes.

Reference:
1. Pörkölt
2. Marha Pörkölt – Hungarian Beef Paprika Stew Recipe – Tori Avey