Saturday, January 29, 2011

How To Fold A Fitted Sheet

Folding a fitted sheet is a tedious and untidy task for me until i recently saw Martha Stewart on the  Oprah Show where she showed a tidier and simpler way of folding fitted sheet. I tried a numerous number of times before I got the hang of it. Here's how she did it :-

There is a foolproof technique for folding a fitted sheet. These instructions are for a right-handed person; just reverse them if you're left-handed.

1. Stand holding the sheet by the two adjacent corners of one of the shorter edges. With the sheet inside out, place one hand in each of these two corners.

2. Bring your right hand to your left, and fold the corner in your right hand over the one in your left, enveloping it. Next, reach down and pick up the corner that is hanging in front; bring it up, and fold it over the two corners in your left hand; the corner that's showing will be inside out.
3. Bring the last corner up, and fold it over the others; with its right side showing, it should envelop the other three corners.

Step 2 to 3 is  a lil' bit confusing so it is easier to lay it on a spacious place

Turned the right hand corner underneath so that it is easier to tuck it into the left hand corner

4. Lay the folded sheet on a flat surface and straighten it into the shape shown.

5. Fold the two edges in so all the elastic is hidden

6. Fold the sheet into a rectangle.

7. Continue folding until the rectangle is the size you want it to be

Read more at How To Fold A Fitted Sheet - Martha Stewart Home and Garden

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rachael Ray’s Eggplant (Terung) Parm Stacks

 Enclosed some recipes which are good for our heart and healthy too. It is easy to cook, all we need is to improvise accordingly.

This eggplant dish puts a healthy spin on the deep-fried eggplant parm dinner that everyone loves. This eggplant is layered with roasted tomatoes and cooked dark greens. Easy to make, Rachael’s recipe limits salt and fat without sacrificing taste. 

Serves 4 to 6
6 Roasted Tomatoes with their juice, chopped
2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1/2 inch-thick rounds (about 2 lbs)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped or thinly sliced
1 small chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped, optional
1 sprig fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup corn meal, a couple of handfuls
2 tsp fennel pollen or ground fennel seed, optional
Vegetable oil plus omega-3, for shallow frying
1 lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 bundle fresh green or red chard, washed, stemmed and shredded
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup fresh basil leaves

Set aside or prepare the roasted tomatoes. Salt the eggplant and drain in colander, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a little extra virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, chili pepper, if using, marjoram, salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and sweat the onions 10 to 15 minutes, until very soft and sweet. Add the roasted tomatoes and stir, then let the sauce thicken 15 minutes, uncovered over medium heat. The mixture should be very thick.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. While the sauce cooks, make a breading station (3 sections) for the eggplant: flour, beaten egg, and bread crumbs mixed with cheese, corn meal and fennel. Coat the eggplant slices in order and arrange on a plate. Heat a thin layer of frying oil in a large heavy-bottom skillet over medium to medium-high heat and cook the eggplant 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain the eggplant on a cooling rack, wipe out the skillet and repeat. Sprinkle the hot eggplant with a little salt. When all of the eggplant has been cooked, wipe the pan clean again and heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in the skillet over medium heat, add the garlic and stir 1 minute. Add the greens and wilt them, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Turn off the heat. Build stacks on cooling rack placed over baking sheet: eggplant, chard, tomato-onions, basil leaves, mozzarella and eggplant. Place in oven 5 minutes to melt the mozzarella. Serve immediately.

Prep Time: 15 min
Inactive Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
Level: Intermediate

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray from Cooking Channel's Week in a Day.

Art Smith's Red Bell Pepper Soup

If you have heart disease, even a small amount of fat in your diet can be a big problem. In Dean Ornish's plan to Reverse Your Heart Disease in 28 Days, only 10% of your diet comes from fat.

Chef Art Smith, who was once Oprah's personal chef, offers this delicious recipe to trim the fat from your diet with heart-healthy ingredients that will still tickle your taste buds. 
Bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C. This wonderful soup, with its Mediterranean flavor, showcases them with tomatoes, jalapeno pepper and basil. It is a perfect summer soup to make while these vegetables are in season. It can be served hot or cold.

Serves 4
8 oz red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 small Vidalia onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 1/2 cups strained canned tomatoes
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp chopped rosemary or oregano

Place the red bell peppers, onions, garlic, jalapeno and tomatoes in a saucepan with the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil over medium heat. When the vegetables are tender, puree the mixture in a blender a little at a time. Cool the soup and add the fresh herbs.

Art Smith's Portobello Mushroom Napoleon With Balsamic Reduction (good for heart)

4 to 6 large portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 medium red bell peppers
1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
10 oz baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp minced parsley or basil

Preheat the over to 350 ° F. Remove the stems from the portobellos and wipe them clean with a paper towel. Place the mushrooms on a plate and brush both sides with balsamic vinegar.

Cut the bell peppers into quarters and spray them with nonstick cooking spray. Place the pepper quarters on a cookie sheet and roast them in the oven for 30 minutes. Combine the vegetable broth and garlic in a saute pan. Cook until the garlic is soft but not browned. Add the baby spinach and cook it until it is wilted. Season with salt.

Place the portobellos on a baking sheet, sprinkle them with the pepper and roast them in the oven for 10 minutes. While the mushrooms are cooking, place the remaining balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan or saute pan. Reduce the liquid over medium heat until the mushrooms are done.

Layer the spinach and then a piece of bell pepper on top of each mushroom, and place them back in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the mushroom napoleons from the oven. Place them on plates with a spatula, drizzle each one with the balsamic reduction, and sprinkle with the fresh herbs.

Recipe from The Dr. Oz show




Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

This food pyramid is a basic guideline for our eating plan and  choosing a right diet can help boost immunity, fight cancer and increase longevity.

Alternative health expert Dr. Andrew Weil’s food pyramid will help you eat the optimum amount of fruits, vegetables and even pasta to prevent inflammation and reduce your risk of chronic diseases. The 5 Foods  for Better Health are examples of anti-inflammatory food.

Article is from The Dr. Oz show.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The 5 Foods for Better Health

Changing your eating habits can do more than trim your waistline. With the right ingredients you can lower your cancer risk and potentially increase your lifespan. Learn more about the 5 foods from alternative health expert Dr. Andrew Weil's ultimate eating plan.

1. Cooked Asian Mushrooms (Serving size: Unlimited) 
Mushrooms contain immune system boosting compounds, helping to prevent illness. At less than 100 calories per cup, they’re good for your diet too. But be careful, you’ll lose the benefits if they’re not cooked well. Here are some varieties to try: shitake, maitake, oyster and enoki.

2. Whole Soy Foods (Serving size: 1-2 servings a day)
When you’re shopping, look for whole soy foods over isolated soy protein powders like fake meats with soy isolate. Try eating tofu, tempeh, soy milk, edamame and soy nuts. They’re good sources of protein and help guard against hormonally driven cancers, such as prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Note : edamame is a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean

3. Cruciferous Vegetables (Serving size: Unlimited)
Cruciferous vegetables belong to the cabbage family. What’s great about these greens is that they protect against cancer. Look for cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, kale and brussels sprouts.

4. Healthy Fats (5-7 serving a day; 1 serving is equal to 1 teaspoon of oil)
Not all fats are bad for you – some types actually protect your heart, like omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re looking to increase your intake of good fats and cut out the bad ones, make sure you add these to your grocery list: hemp seeds, flaxseeds, walnut oil, olive oil, hazelnut oil and omega-3 eggs.

5. Whole and Cracked Grains (3-5 servings a day; 1 serving is 1/2 cup cooked)
The good types of whole grain products are ones where you can actually see the grain or large chunks of grain. These foods won’t raise blood sugar the way products made with flour and sugar do. Stock up on basmati rice, wild rice, brown rice, buckwheat, barley, groats and quinoa.

Groats - a form of processed cereal grain. 
Quinoa  - a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown for primarily its edible seeds.
Article extracted from The Dr. Oz Show.Added to Articles on Tue 11/02/2010


Sunday, January 23, 2011

5 Superfoods To Eat Now

Why do some cultures live longer and healthier with lower rates of diseases like diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's? The answer may simply be the foods they eat every day, so why not give them a try?

1. Sweet Potato
The women of Okinawa, Japan (who also happen to be the world's longest living ladies) enjoy a purple sweet potato they call Imo every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rich in beta-carotene and boasting 150% more antioxidants than blueberries, this easy-to-make treat can be simply incorporated into an American diet. And, if you can't find Imo specifically, our orange sweet potatoes pack a similarly healthful wallop.

2. Turmeric Tea (Kunyit)
You usually see the yellow spice turmeric in Indian curries, giving them their characteristic color. But those long-lived ladies of Okinawa slurp this spice in tea daily (and they have one-fifth the rate of breast cancer than their American counterparts). Studies have shown that turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that can help fight cancer.

3. Mangosteen (Manggis)
This sweet, tropical fruit originally from Indonesia has made its way onto supermarket shelves in the United States. Hidden inside a thick purple rind that you cut open, is a white, creamy flesh full of vitamins A and C as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants. If you can't find the fruit, the juice of the mangosteen, which is more widely available, is the next best thing. This is also available in tea form.

4. Mustard Greens
In Icaria, Greece, 1 in 3 people lives to the age of 90, making the Greek island one of the areas designated as a "blue zone," where people enjoy superior longevity. There are also no cases Alzheimer's disease reported there despite many people living to a ripe old age. One of the nourishing foods they enjoy are mustard greens. High in vitamin K (most Americans are deficient in this nutrient), the spicy greens are good for your blood and bone strength. Try them as the Icarians do: boil and then toss with a little virgin olive oil and lemon.

Other Names: Indian Mustard, Chinese Mustard, Leaf Mustard, Brassica Juncea
5. Barramundi Fish
If the Barramundi fish were a human, he would be a tree-hugging, salad-loving vegetarian. The Barramundi, hailing from the coast of Australia, eschews his fellow fish, dining on plankton instead. That means he doesn't load up on mercury-packed smaller fish and has extremely low levels of the toxin, which is especially important for pregnant women. Free of mercury, but full of heart- and brain-healthy omega-3s, the Barramundi, which is becoming more popular in the US, is a shoe-in for one of the top 5 superfoods. Bonus: the white meat is light, flaky and delicious.

From The Dr. Oz Show.Added to Articles on Wed 02/10/2010.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Health Secrets of the Mediterranean

Checkout what the people in the Mediterranean eats.

The countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea are some of the healthiest in the world. Read on to unlock their secrets for healthy living. 

Mediterranean populations are 22% less likely to develop breast cancer, 20% less prone to heart disease and at least 60% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than Americans. Learn why some of their staple foods are the keys to longevity.

Italy’s Health Secret:
Pasta With Tomato Sauce

Unlike the cream-based or sodium-packed sauces you find in restaurants and grocery stores, tomato sauces from the Mediterranean region are traditionally very simple, low in salt, fat and calories. Tomatoes have a host of health benefits, especially when cooked into a sauce.

Cooking tomatoes releases an antioxidant called lycopene that helps reduce your risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Additionally, tomatoes contain a compound that research shows can protect your arteries from the fats and cholesterol in your blood, lowering your risk of stroke, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Greece’s Health Secret:
Shared Habits

Studies of the healthiest, longest living people in Greece reveal that they eat many of their meals together, walk daily, and take midday naps. Eating with family and friends helps to reduce stress. 

Daily activity, even as little as a 15-minute walk, will help lower blood pressure, which decreases your risk for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Short midday naps also lower these risks, as getting regular rest lowers blood pressure and improves brain health.

Turkey’s Health Secret:
Snacking on Nuts

Turkey’s favorite snacks are loaded with health benefits. Nuts like pistachios and walnuts are loaded with healthy fats, including omega-3s, which lower your LDL cholesterol and regulate heart rhythm.

Nuts are also packed with fiber to maintain digestive health. If you’re concerned about the high-calorie content of nuts, remember this: Your body can’t digest nuts entirely, reducing their caloric value by 10-15% off of the total calories. 

From The Dr. Oz Show.Added to Articles on Wed 01/19/2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Guideline for me and you on how to get a good night sleep. This article is from the O, The Oprah Magazine  |by Laura Beil  December 20, 2010

By staying up too late, we throw our bodies off schedule. The trick to restoring natural rhythm? Keep your days from bleeding into your nights.

Illustration: Holly Wales


If you work late, turn off any fluorescent lights, which are high in blue hues—the wavelength to which our time-of-day sensors are most sensitive—and use an incandescent lamp (higher in reds). If you're at a computer, lower its brightness setting.


Banish the TV from the bedroom (you can always DVR The Daily Show). Reading in dim but comfortable light before sleep is less disruptive to your system than the light from the tube.


If you need to get up in the middle of the night, try not to flip any switches. (One burst of brightness can temporarily suppress your body's production of melatonin.) Instead, keep a small flashlight by your bed or a night-light in your bathroom.


Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. It helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body's circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is an internal 24-hour “clock” that plays a critical role in when we fall asleep and when we wake up. 

Melatonin also helps control the timing and release of female reproductive hormones. It helps determine when a woman starts to menstruate, the frequency and duration of menstrual cycles, and when a woman stops menstruating (menopause). - you can read the details from University of Maryland


Make sure you eat breakfast: It helps signal your body that a new day is beginning. And catch some natural rays from the sun—perhaps by walking part of the way to work.


If you're indoors most of the time, try boosting your sunlight exposure by sitting near a window or eating lunch outdoor.

Hope the article  brings you some knowledge as it does to me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to Keep Your Food Fresh

We’ve all been there. You spend copious time and money selecting delicious produce, only to find them in various states of decay in your fridge. The freshness of certain fruits and vegetables is dependent on how and where you store them. Learn how to keep your favorite foods fresher longer. 

Store apples in a cool zone away from strong-smelling foods, so they won't absorb odors. If the refrigerator is jammed, you can also store apples in a cool, dark place. 

Store beets in the crisper; lop off greens before refrigerating and use them in a salad or cook them as you would spinach and other greens. 

Store broccoli and celery in the crisper.

Store cherries, unwashed, in a plastic bag in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. 

Store corn with the husks on, in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. 

Store grapes in a cool zone, unwashed and in a plastic bag or a plastic clamshell container. Pick out any spoiled grapes; one bad one can spoil the bunch.

Store green beans in an airtight container in a moderate zone. Don't snap off ends until they're ready to be used. 

Store leafy greens in a salad spinner (if you have one and have room in the fridge) after washing, or in the crisper. Otherwise, keep washed greens in a plastic bag lined with a clean cloth or paper towels; loosely tie the top of bag to retain moisture.

Store melons, once they've ripened, in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Wash the outside of a melon before cutting into it to avoid the spread of bacteria. 

Store mushrooms, unwashed, in a paper bag in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Never store them in plastic, which traps moisture and leads to slime.

Store peppers in a plastic bag in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Leave them whole and unwashed

Store yellow squash and zucchini in a plastic bag in a warmer zone of the refrigerator. Leave them unwashed, and use within 2 or 3 days of purchase.


Courtesy of Consumer Reports
 Articles on Mon 01/17/2011 from The Dr.Oz Show

Khadijah's Journey: Skid Row to Harvard

I'd like to share an amazing story of a teenage girl name Khadijah who grew up in homeless shelters but yet managed to enroll herself in the prestigious Harvard University.  She wrote an inspiring essays that helped her land a college scholarship. This is how her story goes...

Khadijah, a young woman from California, spent many nights doing her homework in bunk beds on the shelter's fourth floor, a safe place for those who don't have a home of their own. She wrote English essays, practiced math problems and studied for exams until the lights went out at 10 p.m.

Khadijah began moving from shelter to shelter with her mother and younger sister when she was 6 years old. When there were no shelters available, Khadijah says she and her family slept in bus stations or on the street.

Despite their circumstances, Khadijah says her mother always held her and her sister to a higher standard. "No matter where we lived, no matter how bad our circumstances may have been, my mom was always positive," she says.

In 12 years, Khadijah attended 12 different schools, but she kept up with her peers by spending day after day at the Los Angeles Public Library. "It changed my life," she says. "The library gave me some control over some aspect of my life. Even though I couldn't really control where I would live or anything, I could control how much I wanted to learn."

During Khadijah's sophomore year in high school, she decided to do whatever it took to stay in one place. From that point on, she woke up every morning at 4:30 a.m. to catch a bus from Los Angeles' Skid Row to Jefferson High, which was two hours away. "Who wouldn't want to escape that kind of life in Skid Row or in the shelters to come to this?" she says. "That's what I focused on."

Khadijah never stopped believing education was her ticket to happiness. Last May, she graduated from Jefferson High with honors. She's now a freshman at the prestigious Harvard University.

Far from the pimps and prostitutes of Skid Row, Khadijah is embracing her new community, Cambridge, Massachusetts. "It's just so different from what I'm used to. [In] Skid Row, you kind of feel stuck because everything's just so squished together," she says. "Here, everything's so open. The air is so fresh and clean and clear."

If other children growing up in shelters knew what was out there and what was possible, Khadijah says their perspective would change.

"To any person, homeless or otherwise, who feels like they don't like the situation they're in and feels like they can't do anything about it, they can," she says. "For a while, that's all I had—the belief that I could do it. All you need is that belief because you can. I did it."

The Oprah Winfrey Show  |  October 05, 2009

Monday, January 17, 2011

3 Foods for a Healthy, Happy Stomach

Dr. Oz reveals the 3 essential foods we all need to keep our gut in check. Find out what they are and how they help keep us full, pain-free and regular. 

It’s obvious that the foods we eat have a direct impact on our stomachs and other digestive organs. It’s easy to identify when we’ve eaten too much, dined on something that disagrees with us or have gone too long without eating. It’s more difficult to note and easier to overlook, those foods that leave us feeling light and help our digestive system run smoothly. Dr. Oz identifies 3 foods guaranteed to keep your stomach healthy and your appetite satisfied.
  1. Pears are a great source of fiber, which helps soften and add weight to stool, moving it through the digestive tract. Pears also contain sorbitol, a sugar that attracts water into the intestines, further softening your stool.
  2. Yogurt helps digestion, improves the immune system and fights off bacterial infections. Within our stomach lining is a healthy bacteria known as probiotics. Yogurt is an excellent and delicious external probiotics source that aid in digestion and help keeps you regular.
  3. Ginger is part of the carminatives family; a group of herbs that help soothe the digestive track. It can aid digestion as well as relieve upset stomach, nausea and vomiting. Other herbs in the carminative family include cinnamon, sage and thyme.

    A Forward Award from Anymz (My kitchen)

    Thanks Anymz for acknowledging my humble blog. Her blog itself is full of mouth watering recipes and I always go there for ideas on what to cook or just drooling at the cooked dishes. Hope you go on cooking  creatively and sharing recipes on your blog.

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Cleaning the Fish Pond

    Recently, the UV light in the `koi pond' went faulty and leaks electricity that every time you touches  the water you'll feel the electrical jolt. My husband took it out and after that the water starts to turn murky and green. This makes him very uneasy. He wants the pond  to be crystal clear and  can't wait for the weekend to clean it, so,  he took the day off and starts his cleaning operation.
    Poor fishes had to endure green murky water
    Swimming aimlessly
    Transportation vehicle
    Temporary homes

     husband n son draining 2/3 of the water
    My husband drained 2/3 of the water, changed the filters and refill the pond with fresh water. According to the shop owner that we bought `stuffs' for the fishes, whenever we clean the pond we should not drain out all of the water so as not to disturb the ecosystem. We did just that but after a few hours the water was still murky. In the end, we had to call the contractor who constructed the pool and they reinstall the UV light and changed some blown bulb in the courtyard. But still,  it was not satisfactory. He went to the fish shop and seek advice from the the owner, then only we knew the water has turned green due to the algae formation and recommended pond treatments. And it works like magic. Tonight, i know my husband will sleep soundly, his project accomplished!!
    wonder if they notice the difference

    singing happily

    probably chanting `clean water!clean water!'

     trying to enhanced the pond by adding white pebbles

     our open courtyard  during the day

     and at night

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