Hakka Pun Choy Banquet

On January 13, 2013, a village in Shenzhen, China celebrated the completion of a community centre and an art museum by holding a large feast for its residents.

The following pictures show the residents and guests enjoying the traditional local Hakka pun choy.

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The Instant Wine Refresher

The Ravi wine chiller is based on the innovative concept of cooling wine at the very moment it’s served. It’s not the bottle that is cooled, but the wine itself. The cooling process takes place as the wine passes through ravi. With an internal tube made from the same stainless steel used for fermentation tanks, ravi maintains the wine’s characteristics and never alters the taste

The ergonomic, easy-to-use product is designed by Canadian designer Michel Dallaire. Simply place it on the neck of the wine bottle. Since not all wines are drunk at the same temperature, Ravi has a valve that lets user control the flow of wine to obtain the desired temperature.

Ravi is based on a concept that will cool the wine to the ideal temperature instantly and will keep working for more than an hour after taking it out of the freezer.

Places Ravi in the freezer for 6 hours before use. Once remove from the freezer, simply assemble Ravi’s two components and put the device on the neck of the wine bottle.

Source: Ravi

The Anytime Workout While Sitting

Hip Stretch

All you need is to be sitting in a chair to do the Figure Four Stretch.

  1. Sit tall with your shoulders level. Look straight ahead as you cross your right ankle over your left knee.
  2. Push gently on your right thigh. Feel the stretch in the outside of your right hip. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat on opposite leg.


  • Do not allow your body to rotate toward the leg that is being stretched.
  • Keep your shoulders level side to side.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Does Sugar Make You fat?

Eating too much sugar can make you fatter, finds a study.

What do we know already?

Sugar has been blamed for causing tooth decay, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, gout, fatty liver disease, some cancers, and hyperactivity. So far, only the link with tooth decay has been firmly established.

Diet is notoriously difficult to study because researchers often have to rely on people reporting what they ate over the past week, month, or year. All sorts of psychological blind spots stop people recalling the details of their eating habits accurately.

Another problem with finding firm links between sugar consumption and disease is that sugar is a very broad term that covers everything from table sugar (sucrose) to starch and pectin (a setting agent in jams and jellies). Studies have tended to define sugar differently, making it difficult to compare results across studies.

To find out if there is a link between sugar consumption and body weight, researchers looked for well-designed studies that only examined a category of sugar called “free sugars”. Free sugars are monosaccharides and disaccharides that are added to foods by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, plus those naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices. They include sucrose, fructose, glucose, and lactose.

The researchers excluded studies that looked at weight loss or that included people who were ill.

Out of 17,340 studies, they found 68 that met their criteria.

What does the new study say?

Looking at the combined data from the studies (called a meta-analysis), the researchers found that adults who decreased their sugar consumption had an average weight loss of 0.8 kilograms, compared with people who didn’t reduce their sugar consumption. Study durations ranged from 10 weeks to eight months.

In studies where people increased their sugar consumption, there was an average weight gain of 0.75 kilograms, compared with people who didn’t increase their sugar consumption. Most of the studies lasted less than eight weeks.

When the researchers looked at a couple of studies of longer duration (one of 10 weeks and one of six months), they found that increased sugar consumption among adults was associated with an average weight gain of 2.7 kilograms.

In studies where sugars (a type of carbohydrate) were swapped for other carbohydrates, no significant change in weight was seen.

Some of the studies involving children were less conclusive because children found it more difficult than adults to stick to the dietary advice. However, the researchers found that, over a year, children were 55 percent more likely to be overweight if they consumed at least one sugar-sweetened drink a day, compared with children who consumed none or very little.

The researchers guess that the reason people get fat when they eat more sugar could be because it “increases energy consumption to an extent that exceeds energy output and distorts energy balance”. This is a scientist’s way of saying: “sugar makes you eat more”.

How reliable is the research?

This type of study is called a systematic review. It looks at several smaller studies in order to get a bigger, more reliable picture than you would get from individual studies. In this case, the researchers combined the results from 68 studies.

This is a well-designed study but it is only as good as the studies on which it is based. Although the studies relied on people reporting what they ate — which is prone to error — the researchers looked at the data in lots of different ways and found the link between sugar and weight remained consistent.

What does this mean for me?

This study supports the argument that consuming too much sugar, especially sweetened drinks, can make you gain weight. Being overweight puts you at risk of having heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and some cancers.

Sugar should make up no more than 10 percent of your total energy intake.

Source: Best Health

Swiss Chard Empanadas


Empanadas Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lard or unsalted butter, chilled
2½ tbsp unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 tsp salt
About 1/3 cup ice water

Swiss Chard Filling

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 bunches Swiss chard, trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped and stems diced into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
1 egg, beaten (for glaze)
Freshly cracked pepper


  1. To make dough, in large bowl, combine flour, lard, butter and salt. Mix lightly with hands until mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Using a fork, slowly add ice water until dough forms. Knead until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Assemble empanadas on lightly floured board, roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a round, 3-inch cookie cutter, cut 12 rounds. Place 2 tbsp of filling on one half of each round, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Dampen edges with egg glaze. Fold over to enclose filling. Seal edges with fork.
  3. Arrange empanadas on tray. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
  4. To prepare filling: In large frying pan, warm olive oil. Add onion, salt, pepper and sauté until onion turns lightly golden, 7-10 minutes. Add stems, cooking 1-2 minutes. Add leaves and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. Place in bowl, let cool. Add cheeses and lime juice. Mix well. Season to taste.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place empanadas on baking sheet. Brush tops with egg glaze and sprinkle with cracked pepper. Using a knife, cut 2 or 3 small slits in each top for steam to escape.
  6. Bake until golden, 30 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes twelve empanadas.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Manitoba Style

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