Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

The Skinny on the French

There are few rooms that inspire such passions as kitchens.  They are fun, social places that inspire extreme joy. Like waiting for the “Triple Chocolate Death Brownies” in the oven.  Or bouts of godliness (beware mortals! I am doing SCIENCE…!)

Other times inspire FEAR and LOATHING.

Like this poor mother who decides to try French cooking:

I recently saw the movie Julie & Julia, and found myself fired up to learn how to cook like that.  My middle daughter loves to cook, and would like to learn how to cook more things, and I can’t cook, so I thought….hey, let’s do this thing!  I went out and bought the cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, subscribed to Julie’s blog so I could follow along her same journey, and set about picking the first dish!

(Sidenote:  When I say I can’t cook, I’m not exaggerating.  My poor family.  I’ve been known to ask questions like “how do you reheat pizza without a microwave?” or “what’s a broiler?”  or “why is there an oven made just for toast?”  As a wedding gift, I actually got the cookbook “How To Boil An Egg”.  You get the picture…)

So, I decide to start with this meal (is it a bad sign when you can’t pronounce any of the words for the foods you are about to cook and then eat?):

Potage Parmentier

Filets de Poisson Bercy aux Champignons

In layman’s terms, potato & leek soup with fancy fish.

First, let me say that after cooking this meal, I now understand why French women are skinny.

IT TOOK OVER 4 HOURS TO COOK THAT MEAL!!!!!!!

Oh Noes!!

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Blue M&Ms ‘mend spinal injuries’

The food dye that gives blue M&Ms their colour can help mend spinal injuries, researchers have claimed after tests on rats.

Published: 7:00AM BST 28 Jul 2009

Blue M&Ms 'mend spinal injuries'

On the downside, the treatment causes the skin to temporarily turn bright blue and BBG needs to be injected soon after the trauma

The compound Brilliant Blue G blocks a chemical that kills healthy spinal cord cells around the damaged area – an event that often causes more irreversible damage than the original injury.

BBG not only reduced the size of the lesion but also improved the recovery of motor skills, the rodent tests showed.

Those treated with BBG were later able to walk, although with a limp. Rats that did not receive the BBG solution never regained the ability to walk.

On the downside, the treatment causes the skin to temporarily turn bright blue and BBG needs to be injected soon after the trauma. The test injections were given within 15 minutes.

The new findings by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York build on work reported five years ago by the same team.

They discovered that adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – a chemical that keeps our cells alive – quickly pours into the area surrounding a spinal cord injury.

But they found it overstimulated otherwise healthy neurons and caused them to die from metabolic stress, creating a secondary injury.

Injecting oxidised ATP into the site of the injury helped stop this, they found.

But neurosurgeon Prof Maiken Nedergaard, who led the research, said: “No one wants to put a needle into a spinal cord that has just been severely injured so we knew we needed another way.”

The new approach of using BBG has answered this problem because it can be administered intravenously.

More tests will be needed to prove the safety of BBG before human clinical trials can begin.

But researchers are optimistic new treatments for acute spinal cord injuries could emerge in the next few years.

Wonderful Wine Cellars For Any Room in Your House

It’s elegantly simple and practical.  I just hope it doesn’t flood when it rains.