Where Foodies Come To Talk

Michigan Cherry Production Is In For A Tumultuous New Year

Cherries are an important part of Michigan’s agricultural success, amounting to 75 percent of all cherry production in the U.S and 90,000 tons of pure profit for a number of associated industries that make use of the tart fruit. At least for now. The industry is fragile, unstable, at very much at risk from international competition and natural weather events. Turkey in particular is “dumping” cherry products into America, undercutting the Michigan staple.

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Everything You Never Knew You Needed To Know About Blue Crab

Whether or not you recognize its name, the blue crab is a shellfish favorite. The delectable crustaceans are tiny, and have kept some coastal communities thriving for hundreds of years. It’s scientific name, callinectes sapidus, is a mashup of Greek and Latin words that mean beautiful savory swimmer when put together. Here’s everything you never knew you needed to know about our tiny blue friends.

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Tom Colicchio’s Small Batch Is Finally Open For Business

Long Island is the home of Tom Colicchio’s first new restaurant in over two years, named Small Batch for its typical American cuisine. What’s so big about the new establishment? It’s big news if you’re a fan of Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, and anyone who’s enjoyed his cooking is most definitely a fan. If that weren’t enough, the restaurant promises to only use locally sourced ingredients.

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The Best Houston Restaurants

If there’s one thing Texas does really well, it’s provide good, family-friendly food at a fair price. Back in 1998, it was heralded as the “dining-out” capital of the United States by USA Today, and not much has changed ever since. Residents of Houston eat out more often than most others who live in big cities, and they fall in second place when it comes to the lowest prices on food. If you’re in the mood for some good eats, then look no further.

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Nashville’s Meteoric Rise To The Steak Hall Of Fame

For years, Nashville has been known for a number of delectable dishes, most of which are popular throughout Tennessee. When visiting, you might try its Meat and Three options, fried pickles, fish, sweet potato fries, cornbread, mac n’ cheese, country ham, and more. There’s nothing wrong with any of those choices, but Nashville is becoming famous for something else: its steak.

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The Origin Of Chicken-Fried Steak

What is chicken-fried steak? Surely you jest with such an egregious inquiry. Chicken-fried steak is a delicacy that could only have evolved from good Texan culture. It’s a thin slice of beef, breaded and fried to delightful perfection. It’s cooked just like fried chicken, and most often comes with a generous helping of mashed taters and delicious gravy. If that doesn’t sound like heaven on earth, then we don’t know what does.

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What Is The New Jersey Pork Roll Versus Taylor Ham Debate?

New Jersey is known for many things. Pumping your own gas is against the law. The only noteworthy stadium houses New York teams. Everyone has an attitude (but only if you’re an outsider looking in). Everyone’s in a hurry. It’s the birthplace of Bruce Springsteen. Oh, and then there’s Jersey Shore, a popular MTV show whose take on the “Pork Roll versus Taylor Ham” debate has fired up residents everywhere. The source of the debate is one of the most popular breakfast meats in Jersey, and your answer most likely depends on where you’re from.

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The Health Boosting Benefits of Oat Straw

Oat straw (Avena sativa) is a medicinal herb and popular nootropic. As the name suggests, it’s taken from the straw part of the popular cereal grain.

Lots of people are aware of the health-boosting qualities and fat burning benefits of oats. Eating a bowl of porridge for breakfast can help lower cholesterol and set you up for the day by providing an ongoing supply of energy. Fewer people realize the value of the straw section of the plant.

As a nootropic agent, oat straw can offer a surprising array of cognitive benefits and it’s often used to reduce neurological pain and anxiety. Oat straw boasts very good stress reducing abilities as well. The pharmacology of the ingredient is also interesting. It provides numerous nutrients, including calcium, which allows it to calm some of the symptoms of arthritis and osteoporosis.

Historical Value as a Nootropic

People have been exploiting the brain-boosting capabilities of oat straw for many thousands of years and it’s sometimes described as being a “nervine herb”. This is an umbrella-term that is applied to herbal ingredients that have the ability to act on the nervous system and produce beneficial results including improved neural function and stress reduction.

Historically, oat straw was also often used as an aphrodisiac and male potency booster, but these days scientists are more interested in its value as a nootropic and its use in this role can be traced back to the Middle Ages when it was used as a tonic to strengthen and improve cognitive function. Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179) favoured its use so much she said it was her favourite “happiness herb”.

How Oat Straw Benefits the Brain

The combination of natural compounds provided by oat straw benefit the brain in a number of different ways:

Boosted Cognition

The participants who took part in one study received either 800mg or 1600mg doses of oat straw and both doses were shown to be capable of boosting cognition. Cognitive function was assessed by measuring the participants’ attention levels, spatial-working-episodic memory, and executive function. Measurements were taken before the dose was provided and several times in the following six hours. The data obtained showed even an 800mg dose of oat straw was capable of providing excellent results.

Improved Cerebral Blood Circulation 

Oat straw boosts nitric oxide levels and improves circulation by providing vasodilation. This is probably one of the reasons why it has such a good reputation as an aphrodisiac. When the blood supply to the penis is improved, erection quality is improved too. By providing extra blood to the brain, oat straw can be very good for causing a rise in mental function as well. The brain needs oxygen and nutrients to function. The blood carries both these things to it, and a better circulation improves the supply. After one 24-week study, involving 37 adults (aged 60+), supplementation with 1500mg of oat straw was shown to improve cerebral vascular responsiveness by 42%.

Relief from Stress and Anxiety 

Oat straw reduces stress and anxiety by boosting alpha brainwave activity. Alpha brainwaves are also known to be important for rapid learning ability and memory formation and recall. The stress-reducing capability of oat Straw is further enhanced by its ability to increase dopamine release, thereby furnishing the body with an improved sense of satisfaction and pleasure. The results of one study, conducted in Germany and involving EEG brainwave monitoring equipment, show supplementation with oat straw boosts brainwave activity in the area of the brain that governs cognition. The subjects involved were able to perform better during arithmetic testing and made fewer errors.

Supports Long-Term Memory

Oat straw has been shown to improve long-term memory by prolonging cAMP activity in the brain. Using the Stroop Color-Word Test to ascertain memory capabilities, the scientists in charge of one study analysed the benefits provided by doses of 1600mg of oat straw per week and supplementation provided a 65-74% improvement in memory. The study can be read online in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine’s (July 2011). 

Protects Against Cognitive Disease and Decline 

Oat straw suppresses the activity of the inflammatory cytokines that are involved in some brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and manic depression. Science shows the ingredient also has a beneficial effect on monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B) and can, therefore, help protect against cognitive decline due to ageing. As people age, MAO-B levels begin to rise, leading to a fall-off in dopamine hormone levels that can result in decreased mental function.

In Summary

Oat straw offers a great deal of value as a nootropic ingredient. Not only does it have the ability to boost cognitive function in healthy individuals, it also offers protection against mental decline, be it due to ageing or disease. Oat straw has been used for hundreds of years, It’s a natural ingredient that’s as kind to the body as it is to the brain, has never been the focus of controversy, and is known to be well tolerated and does not have a reputation for causing nasty side effects.

Home-made Delicious Matcha Tea Cookie Recipes to Try

Mmm, cookies! Cookies serve as a delightfully sweet treat and are easy to whip up at home and enjoy. In this article, we will share some delicious cookie recipes using matcha tea. Love the taste of tea? Then you will adore these cookies! Looking for various other recipes, check this website out.

1. Green Tea Cookie Recipe

This is a simple and no-frills matcha tea cookie recipe that makes approximately 7 dozen cookies.  These cookies are crispy, buttery, and utterly delicious.

Ingredients

– 2 cups of flour (all-purpose)

– 1 tablespoon of matcha green tea powder

– 2 tablespoons of green tea leaves (finely ground)

– 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened (two sticks)

– 1/2 teaspoon of salt

– 1/2 powdered sugar, plus 2 extra tablespoons

Directions

1. Begin by mixing your flour, matcha, salt, and ground green tea leaves in a bowl. In a mixer bowl, cream together your butter and your sugar until fluffy and pale. This should take you roughly 3 minutes if you are mixing on medium speed. Then, on low speed, slowly begin to mix in your flour mixture.

2. Divide your dough in half. Place each half on a piece of parchment paper. Shape each half into a log that is 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Roll each log inside the parchment paper, and as you turn, press to release any trapped air. Once this has been done, allow your two logs to freeze for 1 hour.

3. After 1 hour in the freezer, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While it is heating, unwrap your logs and begin making slices that are 1/4 inches thick. On parchment-lined baking sheets, place your cookie pieces 1 inch apart from each other. When your oven is ready, bake your cookies for 14 minutes, or until they are a golden color. Allow them to cool, and then enjoy!

2. Green Tea and White Chocolate Cookie Recipe

This is a delicious matcha tea cookie recipe that adds the element of white chocolate for an extra tasty finished cookie. This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

– 2 cups of flour (all-purpose)

– 1 tablespoon of matcha green tea powder

– 1/2 teaspoon of salt

– 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

– 1 cup of brown sugar (packed)

– 3/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted

– 1/2 granulated sugar

– 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

– 1 egg

– 1 egg yolk

– 1 1/2 cups of chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips

Directions

1. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper, and preheat your oven to 325 degrees. While it is heating, mix your flour, matcha powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Using your mixer, and in a larger bowl, beat together your brown sugar, white sugar, and butter until it is all well blended. Then, add your vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Beat until creamy.

2. Mix in your flour mixture until the dough is just blended. Then, add in your white chocolate and gently fold it into the dough using a wooden spoon. Separate your cookie pieces, using approximately 1 tablespoon-worth of dough per cookie. Place the pieces on your baking sheet(s), giving the pieces 2 inches of space from each other.

3. Bake the cookies for 9 minutes, or until they are a golden color. Allow them to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, and then transfer them to a rack so that they can cool down completely. Then, all that is left is to enjoy!These are two very delicious matcha green tea cookie recipes. We use matcha powder from PiqueTea as one of the well known brand in tea industry. Look for a kind that specifies it is okay to use for cooking. You may read “culinary grade” on the packaging. This type can be used for these cookies. Enjoy!

Tips to Help You Finish the Year Strong

With a new year around the corner, it is the season to make new goals for the year ahead and reflect on the year just passed. However, there’s still time left on the clock and it’s important to finish the year strong. Whether you’re in smooth sailing mode as a result of achieving your goals or still need to make a big push.

But before you head to the liquor store to pick up champagne for your year-end celebrations, refocus on your goals so that you can finish the year on a strong note. We encourage you to incorporate the three tips below.

Keep pushing, even if you don’t think you’ll achieve your goals

Too many people throw in the towel before the clock strikes zero. By doing so, they don’t get any closer to reaching their goals. Whether it be a monetary goal of making $10,000 in one month, a fitness goal of losing 10 pounds in a month, or investing in your dream car at the car dealership by the end of the year, perseverance is key.

You might not reach your biggest goals this year, but you shouldn’t stop just because of that fact alone.

Let’s say you want to lose 10 pounds in any given month. Week three rolls along and you still have seven pounds to reach your weight-loss goal. If you stop your workout and eating plans and revert back to your old habits, then you’ll get farther away from accomplishing your goal, you will stop your good habits, and you will likely gain back the lost weight. The better solution is to continue to put in the work and lose one to two more pounds, getting you closer to your goal because you didn’t quit.

Life is all about progress. While we only want to see the end result, focusing on our progress will not only get us closer to the end result but it will help build good habits. It will also help us continue to improve and make our lives better.

Forgive yourself

It’s OK if you didn’t reach your goals. What’s not OK is blaming yourself for the mistakes you made and for not achieving your goals. You have to forgive yourself if you’re going to move forward and become the person you want to be.

Forgiving yourself can help you reboot your mind, thought process, and path. You have to take care of your mental health and one of the ways you can do that is by letting go of the past and moving forward with a clear conscience.

Plus, letting go of the past can lead to you restructuring your plan so you continue to improve in your desired area before a new year begins.

Reflect and get to work

While New Year’s resolutions only work for around 9 percent of people, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reflect. It is true that reflection alone won’t help you start that marketing business for animal companies, but it can help you focus on what you’ve been doing right and wrong and also what you’re grateful for. You will be able to assess your life so you can make positive improvements that will pay off down the line.

Reflection helps you analyze your life, which can help you create new goals and plans. It i important to do this as the year closes so that you can finish strong, and be in a good mindset to start the new year. You don’t have to be like others and wait until the calendar to turn to a new year to start—you can get started immediately.

Once New Year’s Eve is here, you can celebrate the fact that you just ended the year on a strong note. Even if you didn’t achieve your goals, you got closer to reaching them and improved your outlook thanks to your strong finish.