Category Archives: Food

Feeling Anxious? A Cup of Coffee with Satori Might Help

Coffee – Coffee has many benefits of its own as I have posted about previously. While I don’t use creamers in my coffee, the “Vanilla Steamer” from Satori Food Project might be something to think about.

Dr. Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori, while he was pursuing post-doctorate work in pharmaceutical sciences, wanted to find an easy way for people to manage stress and anxiety without prescription drugs. He worked with the startup accelerator Gener8tor and received an award from the National Science Foundation to further his efforts to create foods for mental health. The result is the Satori Food Project based out of the Concordia University of Wisconsin Pharmacy School.

They currently have two products – the powdered coffee creamer mentioned above and a hot chocolate mix. Both are enriched with magnesium, GABA, and L-theanine. They say on their website about their creamer:

You know that feeling you get when you’re painting, writing, or coding. You know. When you’re 100% focused on what you’re making. When you’re in that special place where joy meets skill meets performance…

Well, scientists have figured out the brain chemistry behind that special place, and they call it “FLOW”. And we have turned that discovery into a delicious vanilla steamer that unlocks your brain’s potential to get into Flow – and stay there.

. . . helps you calm your nerves and stay focused on accomplishing your goals. Imagine what you can do at the next level of CONSCIOUSNESS and Clear Thinking…

As for their hot chocolate, their website claims:

RELAX. Imagine finally returning home from a long and busy day. You did a lot of things. And you helped a lot of people. 

Now it’s time to lay on the couch, snuggle under a warm blanket, and watch your favorite shows with your favorite drink.

Satori Hot Chocolate Mix is a gourmet beverage that helps your brain CALMLY UNWIND and detach from a hectic day. Now it’s night-time. Your time.

A Peaceful Mind can be yours with every cup of SATORI Hot Chocolate. It gives your brain the vitamins it needs to relax after a busy day. No Artificial Flavors. NO PILLS. No Stress. JUST CHOCOLATE.

A $25 can of the hot chocolate mix will make eighteen 56 calorie cups of hot chocolate. The $25 can of Vanilla Steamer provides twentyone 63 calorie servings.

Perhaps one or both (you can buy a package with a can of each for $45) is something to help you through your day.

Atomo, the Coffee Replacement

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Coffee – Climate change is affecting the coffee fields around the world. Some predict that the supply of coffee will be severely curtailed in the years ahead. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture in their 2014 report “A bitter cup: climate change profile of global production of Arabica and Robusta coffee” predicts that less than half of the land now used for growing coffee will support the crop within 30 years.

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The Seattle based start-up Atomo is planning ahead to this potential shortage. It is trying to replicate the flavor and mouthfeel of coffee at a molecular level. There are more than 1,000 compounds in a roasted bean, and 40 of those are critical for taste. They hope also to remove or reduce the strong acids that give coffee its bitter taste.

They ran a small scale test on the campus of the University of Washington. Of the students participating, 70% chose Atomo’s “coffee” over Starbucks. They have a Kickstarted campaign going on to fund further development. At the time I wrote this post their campaign for $10,000 had already reached $11,698 and had 24 days remaining. If you pledge $24 or more they will send you enough Atomo to brew 50 8oz cups.

Atomo is more expensive coming in at around $0.48 per cup. Compare that to a 38.4 oz container of Folgers for $6.91 on Amazon which will brew (using the recommended 2 Tbsp. [10.6 g or 0.37 oz] of ground coffee) about 78 cups of the same size for about $0.09 per cup.

Atomo will likely come down in price as they ramp up production. The price of real coffee will likely begin to climb as the coffee fields are affected by climate change.

Good Instant Coffee?

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Coffee – I am not a fan of instant coffee. That is why the article “Specialty Instant Coffee” caught my attention.

Instant coffee has been around a long time. The first patent on it was granted in 1881 to Frenchman Alphonse Allais. The well known Nescafé brand was introduced in 1938. Instant coffee became a staple of the military during World War II.

Early instant coffee was made using a “spray drying” method which strips the coffee of most of its aromatic compounds. That resulted in poor flavor and coffee quality. A much better “freeze drying” process was developed after World War II that produces a much more flavorful cup of coffee.

I don’t plan to switch to instant coffee anytime, but in certain situations it may be the only option. At least with article cited above you have some recommendations for high quality instant.

 

Study Shows Dark Roast Coffee Helps to Protect Your DNA

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Coffee – I came across an article a short time ago that gave further reasons to drink coffee. In the study “Consumption of a dark roast coffee blend reduces DNA damage in humans: results from a 4-week randomised controlled study” published in the European Journal of Nutrition helps protect your DNA.

In this test, participants were split into one group that drank water and another that drank coffee. At the end of a month, those who had been drinking the coffee had fewer breaks in their DNA strands. The official conclusion of the test:

Our results indicate that regular consumption of a dark roast coffee blend has a beneficial protective effect on human DNA integrity in both, men and women.

Just one more test that indicates that drinking coffee in reasonable amounts is good for you.

Today is National Cheese Lover’s Day

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Food – Who knew there was a day dedicated to those who love cheese? I didn’t until I saw this today.

Thinking about it now I am not surprised. There are so many different and tasty varieties of cheese! On the National Day Calendar site they say:

The earliest record of cheese making dates back to 5,500 BCE in what is now Poland.  Today there are over 1,400 varieties of cheese.

The basic principles behind making cheese are quite simple. Let the milk sour (or scientifically, coagulating the casein protein). Then separate the curds (solids) from the whey (liquid). The curds are then salted and left to age.

For cheese lovers who think one day is just not enough to celebrate cheese, National Day Calendar has you covered for the entire year. There are 18 other cheese specific holidays on the calendar from National Cheese Doodle Day (March 5) and National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day (April 12) to Cheese Souffle Day (May 18), National Cheese Day (June 4), National String Cheese Day (September 20) and Moldy Cheese Day (October 9).  Let’s also not forget; cheese makes excellent desserts.  National Cheesecake Day is July 30, and there are three other flavors on the calendar along with National Cream Cheese Brownie Day just around the corner on February 10.    

I haven’t enjoyed any cheese yet today, but I am sure I will. I eat some kind of cheese almost every day. Mostly it is Cheddar, Muenster, or Swiss, but I will slip in some good Bleu cheese from time to time . . . I think I will go slice myself a few slivers of Cheddar and Muenster right now!

Las Vegas, Nevada – Texas de Brazil Steakhouse

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Food – A few nights ago we went with family to the Texas de Brazil Steakhouse in Las Vegas. This location is at 6533 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89119. This is only one of the many locations of this restaurant. Sadly, there is no location in Austin, Texas or Singapore . . . yet.

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First, there is a huge salad bar. This contains salad items and some hot side dishes. You can opt to just eat off of the salad bar ($19.99 for lunch, $29.99 for dinner). Easily I could eat my fill just at the salad bar and never have more than one serving of any item. The challenge is not eating too much from the salad bar before you are served the meats.

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The real attraction to this restaurant is the variety of meats that are brought to your table. The full experience is $32.99 for lunch and $51.99 for dinner and well worth it. Waiters bring skewers of meat by your table (examples shown in the photo above – NOTE all photos in this post from Google image search). You can pick and choose what to have added to your plate. They keep coming by until you are stuffed! The meats include Herb-Marinated Pork Loin, Picanha, Brazilian Sausage, Leg of Lamb, Chicken Breast Wrapped in Bacon, Alcatra, Lamb Chops, Filet Mignon Wrapped in Bacon, Parmesan-Crusted Pork Loin, Garlic Picanha, Braised Beef Ribs, Barbecued Pork Ribs, and Parmesan Drumettes. It was all wonderful!

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The service was excellent. The food was plentiful and delicious. We are already talking about returning the next time we are in Las Vegas with family. This is a great experience, though a little on the pricey side. Just make sure you prepare yourself before going and fast all day!


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Home Front – Wartime recipes (2)

WWII – More interesting WWII era recipes that I wanted to share


If you are a student of the World War II era in history, you may find my pages “World War II Sources” (a collection of museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history) and “World War II Timeline” of interest.


 

Pacific Paratrooper

From: The 1940’s Experiment .

We discussed rationing and we’ve discussed just how well our parents and grandparents ate – despite the rationing and time of war when all the “good” stuff was going overseas!  So …. as promised, here are some more of the wonderful recipes from the 1940’s.

Please thank Carolyn on her website for putting these delicious meals on-line!

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Singapore, Singapore – Black Tap

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Food – A good friend here in Singapore recommended the Black Tap restaurant. We have now been there twice and have really enjoyed it. The Black Tap is located in the Marina Bay Sands Mall. Officially the address is 2 BAYFRONT AVE, SINGAPORE 018972. I didn’t realize it when I was there that the Black Tap is a chain of restaurants out of New York City.

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The Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino are shown above, with the Mall spread out at its base. The Black Tap is actually located at the near end of the Mall (building with the curved roof) shown in the photo above.

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It is one of the many shops and restaurants in the Mall. Notice at the bottom of the photo above you can see the ‘canal’ that goes through the center of this section of the Mall. It is complete with gondolas that you can purchase rides on.

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Exploring the Mall alone is worth a trip to the Marina Bay Sands.

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But we had come to the Mall specifically to dine. I chose the Steak Au Poivre Burger (a Blue Cheese Burger) with fries. It was very good.

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My wife had the Baja Grilled Chicken Sandwich with fries, which she enjoyed. While these, and the other items on the menu, were good, they were not why we visited the Black Tap.

The Black Tap also specializes in Crazyshake Milkshakes. If memory serves me, we ordered the Cookies ‘N Cream Supreme Oreo Shake (vanilla frosted rim with crushed Oreos topped with a ‘cookies ’n cream’ sandwich, crumbled oreo, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle) and the Sweet N’ Salty Peanut Butter Shake (chocolate frosted rim with chocolate gems & PB cups topped with a sugar daddy, pretzel rods, chocolate covered pretzel, whipped cream & chocolate drizzle). These are just two of the eight shake masterpieces that are available.

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We were lucky to have a seat where we could look over to where the shakes were being made. What better entertainment! Dining at the Black Tap is an experience I am sure I will repeat and I recommend it to anyone.


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Singapore, Singapore – Hard Rock Cafe

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Food – A few days back I took the two-mile walk to one of the local Hard Rock Cafe‘s here in Singapore. This one is located at 50 Cuscaden Road, #02-01, HPL House, Singapore 249724. There is nothing really unique about this location, but I find visiting a Hard Rock Cafe while traveling is like taking a little step back home to the States. Sometimes it is comforting to see food just the way you are used to seeing it.

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This location is pretty large and is set up for live music.

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It even has an upstairs with more room for seating. I visited in the early afternoon, so there were not many other customers. I suspect that the place is much more crowded in the evenings and especially on weekend evenings.

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While they have a nice menu, I kept my order simple opting for the cheeseburger and fries. It was a very good lunch!


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Singapore, Singapore – Black Angus Steakhouse

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Food – On one of my walks here in Singapore I came across the Black Angus Steakhouse. It is about two miles away so it is not a place I am able to visit very often. This location of Black Angus is at 1 Tanglin Rd, Singapore 247905. As stated on their website:

Black Angus Singapore is the only franchised Black Angus steakhouse licensed by the U.S. Principal for the whole of South East Asia.

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Black Angus Steakhouses originated in the US in 1964 and have several US locations, though I have not visited any. I have enjoyed a very good burger on both of my visits to this Singapore location. They have a good menu to choose from with several Steak and Prime Rib options.

I enjoyed my meal on both occasions and I am sure I will be going back. This is a nice place to have a casual, but very good dinner or lunch.


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