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Monday, February 28, 2011

Chicken Soup: Comforting chicken soup recipes for cold and flu season

Ward off winter germs and soothe your soul with one of these chicken soup recipes from The Canadian Living Test Kitchen.

By Christine Picheca, Online Food Editor
Recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Chicken soup recipes
Grandmothers around the world tout their chicken soupas being good for what ails you. Chicken soup has been hailed as a cure for the common cold and an antihistamine (and even nicknamed “Jewish penicillin” – a nod to moms who have served it up to their sick kids.) Grandma may be on to something - the fabled healing properties of old-fashioned chicken soup has garnered a growing body of scientific evidence:

•    Pulmonary specialist and professor at the UCLA School for Medicine, Irwin Ziment, M.D.,  has shown an amino acid released from chicken during cooking chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems and found in some cold medications.

•    Spices such as garlic and pepper - ancient treatments for respiratory diseases - work by thinning mucus and make breathing easier.

•    The steam itself may be the real benefit - sipping the hot soup and breathing in the steam helps to temporarily clear congestion.  

While there is no conclusive evidence of a cure-all, it does seem probable that chicken soup helps alleviate annoying symptoms. At the very least, chicken soup provides a hot comforting meal and re-hydration. So as Grandma told you  -  slurp up when you're feeling under the weather. 
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Cocktail Party : Sweet and savoury recipes to celebrate the holidays!

[Pomegranate Margarita]

1 Pomegranate, seeded and juiced, (or ½ cup of pomegranate juice)
Juice of 5 limes, reserving 1 small wedge to moisten glasses
Kosher salt, for rims of glasses
3 ounces gold tequila (90 ml)
1 ounce orange-flavoured liqueur, like Cointreau or Grand Marnier (30 ml)
1 teaspoon powdered sugar (5 ml)
Ice cubes
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Chill two long-stemmed glasses.
Juice the pomegranate by rolling it under the heel of your hand, using enough pressure to soften the fruit. Carefully cut a 1-inch slit in the skin (if you do it under running water the juice won’t splatter.) Over a wide-mouthed glass, squeeze out as much juice as possible. Split the fruit apart and remove the seeds, reserving about 2 tbsp. of intact seeds for garnish.
Place the seeds in a large resealable plastic bag, and press down on the seeds with the heel of your hand to extract the rest of the juice. Strain out the seeds. All together, you should have about ½ cup of pomegranate juice.
Salt the rims of the glasses by rubbing the reserved lime wedge around them, then dipping them in kosher salt.
Combine the pomegranate juice, tequila, liqueur, lime juice, sugar, and a handful of ice cubes in a cocktail shaker, and a shake vigorously until it’s all frothy.
Strain into glasses, and garnish with the reserved pomegranate seeds.

By the foodnetwork.ca Editorial Team

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dae-Ji 대지돈까스 : Highly recommended Korean (Special Pork Cutlet) restaurant in downtown Vancouver area.

This place is always full during lunch time. The people here are great, and the food portions are just incredible. Its a great place to get lunch for around $8 bucks, however it can feed two people (you and a mini version of you).
I usually eat the whole thing, and drowse off in class, but atleast i have a smile on my belly.
They are known for their pork cutlets, but seriously all their food is good. Also they are very sanitary, which you wouldn't think based on the look of their sign board, but have no fear. The open kitchen allows you to see whats going on. Try this hidden gem, its tiny.  
-Yelper Salim H. Vancouver, BC

Great little fried cutlet joint.  Chicken, Pork, Fish, deep fried with some kind of sauce on it.  Rice and Salad and Miso soup on the side.  Everything under $10.  I love the "do just one thing and do it well" mentality.  There's not much else here, except for the kimchi fried rice with egg, which is also a great vegetarian option.
-Yelper Jordan H. Vancouver, BC

I'm a big fan of Japanese tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet), so I was intrigued when I saw a Korean pork cutlet place. It was great! I had the kimchi roll pork cutlet: kimchi wrapped in pork and fried. The sauce looked a bit dodgy but was delicious. Spicy pickles and salad on the side with rice made for a great dinner.
-Yelper Ryan S. Chapel Hill, NC USA

Order Now! (Click here) Enjoy at Home~

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What To Eat After Drinking To Replace Nutrients ?

Drinking alcohol is one habit that many people cannot get over with. However, alcohol consumption is associated with many health risks. Alcohol modifies the environment inside the liver in a way that it cannot perform its normal functions for a small period of time.

With every glass of alcohol consumed, the liver needs to work a bit extra so as to remove the toxins accumulated due to alcohol consumption. Another risk associated with alcohol drinking is excess urination. This results in dehydration due to loss of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the body. As a result, many alcoholics suffer with hangover, a condition characterized by headache, nausea, irregularly functioning abdomen, muscle ache and even fatigue. The best way to avoid hangover is to replace these lost nutrients. Below listed are some important tips for avoiding hangovers and replacing lost nutrients.

Alcohol is less toxic when consumed on a full stomach. Food slows down the absorption of alcohol. However, one should avoid consuming excess of fats while taking food. A good food is one that has balanced levels of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Proteins should be the maximum, followed by carbohydrates and lastly fats.
It is important to take some vitamin C after a drink. This acts as an antioxidant and helps the liver in removing toxins from the body. Two teaspoons of lemon juice along with a teaspoon of sugar and half glass of water is useful in stabilizing the blood glucose levels inside the body.
Another good remedy for hangover cure is to have a banana. One can consume a banana milkshake that is sweetened with honey. Banana helps in removing any stomach upsets and honey replenishes the lost sugar levels. Milk aids in rehydrating the system and also is useful in replacing the lost nutrients.
B-vitamins are heavily lost during urination after alcohol consumption. Hence, it is important to have a multi-vitamin tablet before going to bed.
A chicken soup is also another useful alternative.
One important home remedy is to consume a spoonful of ginger along with honey. Honey is rich in fructose and potassium.
Peppermint has anti-flatulence properties. This can be taken along with tea or as a dried herb.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

10 Yummy Snacks That Kids Can Make

An easy way to get kids involved in cooking is by teaching them how to make quick, delicious snacks. If you're busy, prep the ingredients on the weekend, and put them in plastic bags so kids can grab and assemble as they get hungry.
Cheese and Fruit
Kids love cheese
Apple-cheese towers: Thinly sliced apples are combined with favorite cheeses. Alternate slices of apple and cheese, and secure with toothpicks.

Fruit, yogurt and granola parfaits: In a tall glass, let kids layer yogurt, chopped fruit and granola.

Pears and hummus: Pear slices dipped into creamy, store-bought hummus.
Sweet Treats
Quick Snack
Cream cheese and jam on rice cakes: Spread a layer of cream cheese on a rice cake and top with a favorite jam.

Trail mix: In a bowl, have the kids mix almonds, mini chocolate chips, raisins and a lightly sweetened cereal or pretzel rounds. Bag and go.

Homemade granola: In a bowl, combine 3 cups steel-cut oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup maple syrup, almonds pecan or walnuts and 1 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tbsp. vanilla extract. Spread on a baking sheet and bake in a 325° oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until dry and fragrant. Let cool, and add 1 cup of raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries. Store in two containers. Freeze one, and store the other in the fridge for quick snacks. 

Popcorn with ginger and honey: Microwave a bag of butter-flavored popcorn, empty into a bowl, let cool for three minutes and and toss with 1 tbsp. honey and 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger root.
Mini Meals
Fruit smoothies (with supervision): In a blender, combine 1/2 cup ice cubes, 1 cup milk, 1 cup frozen fruit, 2 tbsp. honey, 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Mix on "high" for two minutes (you hold the lid). Optional: Add 2 tbsp. wheat germ or flax seed for added protein and healthy fats.

English muffin pizzas: Mix one can tomato paste with 1 tsp. of sugar and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Spread thinly on English muffins, top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Toast in toaster oven for five minutes or microwave for one minute. 

Ants on a log: Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese and top with raisins.

Peanut butter pretzel sandwiches with honey: Spread peanut butter on lattice pretzel squares or rounds, drizzle with honey, and top with a second pretzel.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ladies Tea Party Ideas Casual to Formal

A ladies tea party, or rather an adult tea party,(men are not banished),is a great way to spend time with one friend or many. Having a cozy tea for two, baby shower, bridal shower or a Victorian tea party? You will find some great tea party ideas and guidelines here so you don't forget a thing.

The joy of a ladies tea party, no matter what the theme, is that you can sit down with your guests and enjoy the event also. All preparations are done in advance, so there is no need for you to spend half your time in the kitchen. The only thing you may need to 'do' is make another pot of tea!The idea of a Tea Party dates back to the Victorian Era when a lady of fashion, Catherine of Braganza, or Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, (there is some debate on this issue),ordered tea and cakes to be brought up for her since she would be having dinner later in the evening. She enjoyed it so much she began inviting friends to 'Afternoon Tea'. Then of course it became all the rage to hostess an afternoon tea.

Nowadays, you can serve almost anything you like at a ladies tea party, as long as it is easy to eat without a knife, and generally without a fork. (although not always, a high tea will need silverware) Doing so makes it easy for your guests to mingle around the room and not be too dependent on a table to eat from.

Any occasion is a great reason to have a tea party, let alone a special occasion! Take a look at all the ideas below for all your events from a large formal affair to a small cozy tea for two.

A tea party is very easy to adapt to any occasion or event, because the tea party part remains the same, but the theme or event will obviously change what you plan to do at your party. You wouldn't plan to have games at your book club meeting, no more than have a discussion about the Jane Austen novel you are reading in your book club, at your baby shower. Now ~ If it's a baby shower for one of your book club members, that of course is another story!

Check with the guest of honor, adults especially, (if it's not you), and make sure they want to do crafts, games... Some people really dislike one thing or another. Since the party is meant to be enjoyed especially by the person in whose honor it is given, you want to make sure she will enjoy everything you are planning.

You will find great ideas and suggestions on the following pages to help you plan the best Tea. Since we want to let you focus on enjoying your party, we will cover main topics and give you plenty of 'how-to-do' directions.

Read More~

Friday, February 18, 2011

Best Food Choices For Busines Meetings: Keep Your Guests Alert, Happy, and Focused

Eat, Drink, And Be Wary

Best Food Choices For Busines Meetings:
Keep Your Guests Alert, Happy, and Focused

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” — George Bernard Shaw
Food is love. It is a powerful way to show that you care. But even love can go wrong. Whether you are setting up the meeting, assigning it to someone else, or hiring a meeting planner, make sure the food choices reflect the depth of caring and attention to detail that your business guests deserve.
This is not just good manners; it's good business. The right food at a business event can make the difference between focused, appreciative, alert participants and angry, bloated, and drowsy ones.
Many factors affect these results. They range from personal nutritional preferences to allergies and religious restrictions. Other factors include how messy a dish is and the time and dexterity required to consume it. Also, certain foods tend to induce sleep more readily than others.
Overall, the choice of food and the manner in which it is presented can say a great deal about your professionalism and attention to detail.
People are always forming and adapting their perceptions of you and your business. Make sure your food choices say the right things about you. The menu is the message!
Hamburgers, for example, send a different signal than lobster tails. So at your next business function, remember to have good EATS!
  • Ease of consumption -Avoid messy and difficult-to-eat foods.
  • Audience- Be sensitive to your guests and their special needs.
  • Timing - When you serve can dictate what you serve.
  • Selection- Make sure you offer your guests a variety of menu options.
With these principles in mind, let's take a closer look at the nuts and bolts (or pretzels and bolts if you're allergic) of thorough and thoughtful business catering:

No Muss, No Fuss

Many a slip between the cup and the lip
There is an art to freeing a lobster from its shell. It takes talent to pull away the tiny tidbits of meat that cling to a quail's delicate bones. Pizza and long pastas can also test the dexterity of your guests. Make sure your diners don't need to struggle or acquire new skills to consume their meals. The less effort your guests must put into eating, the more they can focus on the conversation or the business at hand.
Please Pass the Fixodent
Many people have medical conditions that affect their ability to eat certain foods. Dentures are just one example. Other examples include sensitive teeth and temporo-mandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), which can make hard chewing or opening wide excruciating. Dental work (bridges, braces, etc.) can also create problems with sticky foods like gum and taffy. In general, avoid foods that are hard to chew or especially sticky.
Fight Drops that Spot
When foods splash, splatter, and drip on shirts, blouses, and laps, diners get annoyed, embarrassed, and stained. Not only will this make them unhappy, it will also make them less presentable. No one wants the camera to zoom in on the keynote speaker only to reveal a big blotch of barbecue sauce on a white collar. Overdressed salads, soupy sauces, long pasta, BBQ, pizza, foods sitting in broth, and unwieldy giant lettuce leaves are common culprits.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Food for Healthy Nails

Nails are a protective horn at the end of our most sensitive extremities: fingers and
toes. They can often become injured from accidents or crushing weight such as
heavy walking or running. They can also become infected from bacterial or fungal
infections as well as separated from the nail bed or chipped from harsh weather.
The nails are often a reflection of our overall health or nutritional deficiencies. Some
ways to listen to what your nails are trying to tell you are:

o Iron/Protein/Calcium Deficiency = brittle, concave, ridged, white half moons
o Too much salt = external fibrous growths
o Nervousness / hyper thyroid = separation of the nail bed
o Respiratory Difficulties = bluish discoloration
o Bronchial Difficulties = yellowish discoloration
o Anemia = pale nail beds
o Vitamin A Deficiency = peeling nails
o Zinc Deficiency = poor nail growth
o Vegetable Quality Oils Deficiency = thin, brittle nails
o Consumption Extremes in Diet (especially meats and refined foods) = washboard

What we eat actually does affect the appearance of these external parts of our
bodies. Start paying attention to your hands (and feet!) and feeding your body right.
The food we put IN the body affects the health of our nails, but that doesn't mean to
completely ignore the food we put ON the body either. Contrary to many fabulously
smart marketing campaigns you don't need to spend a lot of money on chemically
enhanced products to experience strength and beauty on your outside.
Natural oils are an excellent way to treat the external condition of the finger and
toenails. Different oils affect the body differently. A great way to determine what oil
would suit your body best is to examine your heritage and connect to the
predominant oil in that part of the world.
Once you have determined which is best for your particular body's need use some
time in the evening to take a "nail bath" (remember ... the skin is our most
absorbent organ ...)

1. Allow your nails to soak in a small bowl of oil or gently rub the oil into the nails
2. Cover with cotton gloves, cotton socks
3. Sleep

Top Three Oils to Treat Your Nails Right

1. Coconut Oil: one of the few significant plant sources of lauric acid. This medium
chain fatty acid, which is also found in human milk, enhances brain function and the
immune system.
2. Palm Kernel: when unrefined, this high saturation oil is the one of the most stable
of oils providing strength and ultimate saturation to the skin.
3. Olive Oil: the most stable vegetable oil, high in vitamin E, provides support to the
liver and gallbladder (yes, no matter how you take it into the body).
Now, take a minute and think about how those chemically enhanced skin and nail
products are affecting your body ...
To your energy and success, Heather

Read More~ 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Five Classic Rainy Day Recipes

1. Chicken and Biscuits

Photo © John Mitzewich
Is there anything homier than a bowl of chicken and biscuits? The slowly simmer vegetables, tender chicken, and rich gravy, topped with a hot buttermilk biscuit is the definition of comfort food.

2. French Onion Soup

Photos © John Mitzewich
French onion soup is one of America's most popular "restaurant soups," but with this easy recipe you can make it at home anytime you want. This French onion soup recipe is topped with the traditional Gruyere cheese, but any melting cheese will work.

3. Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole

Photo © John Mitzewich
This casserole recipe is an American icon. Tuna noodle casserole is a comfort-food classic that is very simple to make, and a very frugal to serve. The crisp breadcrumb crust atop the creamy egg noodles is a combo that is hard to beat!

4. Country Ham and Split Pea Soup

Photo © John Mitzewich
Split pea soup with diced country ham, is a hearty, soul-warming bowl of delicious goodness. It's also one of the easiest soup recipes there is.

5. Bowl of Chili

Photo © John Mitzewich
Check out this collection of classic American chili recipes from every region of the country. From the Texas "Bowl of Red" to Cincinnati Skyline Chili.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Real Taiwanese foods and drinks are now in downtown Vancouver! : Welltea

- Well Tea at BCIT Downtown- 

Well Tea, a famous Taiwanese restaurant/tea house, is now opening their third branch at BCIT downtown on June 11th. There, they have more than 100 different kinds of foods and 150 different kinds of drinks. As one of the Vancouver’s gourmet reporters, Loopp.comwent to this new place to take a look. 

This third branch of Well Tea is located at the center of Downtown, which is very convenient and easy to find for the customers. (In fact, even I could find here without any trouble not as usual!) Their glass-walled exterior has an open atmosphere. Now, let’s go inside and see more details!

The interior is very colourful and fashionable; there are about 80 seats, which can be used for many occasions. The sofa booths are comfortable for chat. Small table seats are good for groups. Fashionable stool seats make such a scene for best friends and lovers.

Their casher is very functional at the front door. We can order our take away food/ drink here. They use paper boxes and cups instead of plastic or Styrofoam ones. Well Tea is the first Asian restaurant in BC, who started to use those eco-friendly packages.

After looking around the interior, I ordered their specialties; I tried their bubble tea first, which realized me to come back soon. It was YAMMY.Well Tea uses the best tea, which they import directly from Taiwan, and makes more than 150 kinds of tea.

The green tea and black tea are their original blend. And also, you can taste ethnic and unique Taiwanese tea such as Osmanthus Oolong milk tea and Tieguanyin milk tea. You will feel the Well Tea owner’s mind; “I just want to use the best of the best.”

The other stunning feature about the bubble tea here is 6 kinds of toppings for it; Pearls (black tapioca), Coconut jelly, Egg pudding, Tapioca noodle, Kanten (agar), and Grass jelly. They may make you wonder how the texture is like, want to try everything and find out your favourite.

Then, I ordered Chicken with three spices which won the Golden Chef Award at Chinese Restaurant Awards 2010 (a contest among Chinese restaurants in Vancouver presented by HSBC). The combination of complex spice and tender chicken was just amazing.

You may also want to try Deep fried chicken nuggets, which is the most popular menu at other 2 branches (Richmond restaurant and UBC one). Meanwhile, staff’s favourite is House Special beef noodle which is the traditional Taiwanese dish.

At Well Tea, you will be satisfied with their good food/drink, comfortable atmosphere, and good service as I felt. Let’s call up your friends and go eat at Well Tea!

Real More~

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Dinner Ideas: Last-Minute Menus & Recipes‎ : Happy Valentine's Day!

• Make your mousse first: After melting the chocolate, cool over an ice bath to hustle it along.
• Once the mousse is setting up in the fridge, you can turn your attention toward the scallop dish, and pouring yourself a glass of wine.
• Hint: The lemon creme fraiche drizzle is delicious with the scallops and couscous, but your date won't know if you skip it.


• Be sure to buy a day-old baguette for the bread pudding (or use whatever stale crusty bread you have at home). In a pinch, cube fresh bread and toast it in the oven to dry it out.
• Get the bread soaking in its bourbony bath while you prep everything else, so you can pop it in the oven when you sit down to eat.

  • • Be sure to double the mussels recipe for two, and have plenty of great crusty bread on hand for sopping up the broth.
  • • The sponge cups are way more forgiving than a souffle -- you can bake them before dinner and they won't deflate (you won't want to fuss with whipping egg whites after dinner, will you?)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Top 10 Rainy Day Activities with your Kids

slide 0

Family Movie Night

What's better than cuddling up with your kids, a blanket, and a bowl of snacks for a family movie night? On the next rainy evening, turn the family room into your own personal theater.Find a moviethe whole family will enjoy, settle in, and enjoy the show!

slide 1

Fort Fun

A tradition all kids participate in while growing up is making forts out of furniture, blankets, and cushions. The next rainy day that comes around, help your kids construct their own super fort in the family room. They'll stay busy all day long with fun, quiet activities to play inside their new imaginary castle.

slide 2

Break Out the Board Games

Spend some quality family time together with aclassic board game. Whether you are snapping up real estate in Monopoly or resisting the tempting treats in Candy Land, playing board games are a great way to spend a leisurely day at home.

slide 3

Rain Sticks

Kids can create this fun craft that mimics the rainy day outside. Gather up a paper towel tube, crayons, tinfoil, masking tape, dry rice, and a long pipe cleaner. Have your child color and decorate the paper towel tube. Next, fasten tinfoil to one end with masking tape. Coil the pipe cleaner and fit it into the tube, along with the rice. Secure the other end of the tube with tinfoil and tape. Your child's rain stick is now ready to make soothing rain sounds!

slide 4

Scavenger Hunt with Your Dog

If you happen to have a furry friend in your family, include him in your rainy day adventures. Hide doggy treats in puppy-friendly places, and see if Fido can sniff out all his hidden surprises. Time his progress and see if he can beat his record on the next rainy-day scavenger hunt.

slide 5

Kitchen Fun with Kids

As long as the kids are stuck indoors, why not spend the day together making afamily-favorite recipe? Make cooking fun with your "assistant chiefs" by assigning responsibilities. Not only will they feel important and useful, they'll also be proud of their delicious delicacy. Plus, you get to sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labor together.

slide 6

Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is another simple game favored by kids. Since kids are restricted indoors on a rainy day, they can use the whole house for this game, with your permission. Your kids won't be too difficult to find--just follow the giggles to their hiding spot. Play it up a bit and pretend they are impossible to find.

slide 7

Dance Party

Kids can go stir-crazy when cooped up indoors all day. Help release some of that energy with some energetic music and slick moves. Dancing around the house will bring you and your kids closer while you burn off pent-up energy and get some exercise. This fun, physical activity is sure to lead to a calm evening afterwards.

slide 8

Read a Book

This is one indoor activity that is educational and fun! Reading with your child will improve her reading skills and build her enthusiasm for books. Cuddle up in a blanket with her favorite book and read together. Take turns reading, or have her read to you to keep her focused and interested.

slide 9


Charades is a great family game for a rainy day. To begin, split into two teams and move into separate rooms. Each team should write down words, names, places, books, movies, etc. on pieces of paper. These are then exchanged with the other team's. Teams take turns picking a piece of paper and silently acting out what's on the paper. Each time a player takes a turn, use a stopwatch to track the time. The team with the shortest overall time is the winner. This is a great learning game that can help expand kids' vocabulary and knowledge.

Read More~