Spicy Quail Skewer with Asian Salad


4 quails
1/2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
sea salt
1 tsp five-spice powder


1/3 cup sesame oil
2 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine)
2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 red chile, seeded and diced


1/2 small daikon
1 small green mango
handful of cilantro leaves
handful of shiso leaves


  1. First, soak 8 wooden skewers in cold water for at least 20 minutes. Cut along both sides of the backbone of each quail with poultry shears to remove it. Take out the giblets, then rinse the quails and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Open out a quail on a cutting board and press down with the palm of your hand to flatten it slightly. Use poultry shears to cut the quail in two so that each half has a breast connected to a leg. Push a skewer through each half, piercing through the leg and breast. Repeat for the remaining quails.
  3. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Set aside half for the salad and brush or rub the remainder over the quails.
  4. Lightly toast the Szechuan peppercorns in a dry skillet until fragrant. Tip into a mortar with a pinch of salt and grind with a pestle until finely crushed. Mix with the five-spice powder and rub over the quails. Cover loosely and let the quails marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
  5. For the salad, peel and slice the daikon and mango into thin sticks. Put them into a bowl along with the cilantro and salad leaves. Toss to mix.
  6. Preheat the broiler to the highest setting. Arrange the marinated quails in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler for 10 minutes, turning over halfway, until the skins are golden brown and the meat is firm and cooked through. Let rest for a few minutes while you toss the salad with the remaining marinade.
  7. Divide the salad between individual serving bowls and serve two quail skewers per person.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Recipes of Jason Atherton

In Pictures: Decorative Sushi

Kazari Maki Sushi

Positive Thinking

A famous writer was in his study room. He picked up his pen and started writing:

  • Last year, I had a surgery and my gallbladder was removed. I had to stay stuck to the bed due to this surgery for a long time.
  • The same year I reached the age of 60 years and had to give up my favourite job. I had spent 30 years of my life in this publishing company.
  • The same year I experienced the sorrow of the death of my father.
  • And in the same year my son failed in his medical exam because he had a car accident. He had to stay in bed at hospital with the cast on for several days. The destruction of car was another loss.

At the end he wrote: Alas! It was such bad year!!


When the writer’s wife entered the room, she found her husband looking sad lost in his thoughts. From behind his back she read what was written on the paper. She left the room silently and came back with another paper and placed it on the side of her husband’s writing.

When the writer saw this paper, he found this written on it:

  • Last year I finally got rid of my gall bladder due to which I had spent years in pain.
  • I turned 60 with sound health and got retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write something better with more focus and peace.
  • The same year my father, at the age of 95, without depending on anyone or without any critical condition met his Creator.
  • The same year, God blessed my son with a new life. My car was destroyed but my son stayed alive without getting any disability.

At the end she wrote: This year was an immense blessing of God and it passed well!!


See!! The same incidents but different viewpoints. If we ponder with this viewpoint that what could have happened more, we would truly become thankful to the Almighty.

Moral: In our daily lives we must see that it’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.

Sunday Funnies

Today’s Comic

Diet Food

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”

– Julia Child


The Pasta Diet

I’m starting a new program, called the Pasta Diet! The Italians have been using it for centuries. Here are the few simple steps:

1) You walka pasta da bakery.
2) You walka pasta da candy store.
3) You walka pasta da Ice Cream shop.
4) You walka pasta da table and fridge.



  • You dance and it makes the band skip.
  • You are diagnosed with the flesh eating virus, and the doctor gives you 22 more years to live.
  • You put mayonnaise on an aspirin.
  • You go to the zoo and the elephants throw you peanuts.
  • Your driver’s license says, “Picture continued on other side.”
  • You disappear and they have to use all four sides of the milk carton for your picture.
  • You learn you were born with a silver shovel in your mouth.
  • You could sell shade.
  • Your blood type is Ragu.
  • You need an appointment to attend an ‘open house’.


Presidents at the Barber Shop

George Bush and Obama ended up in the same barber shop.

Each being worked on by a different barber, not a word was spoken.

The barbers were even afraid to start a conversation, for fear it would turn to politics.

As the barbers finished their shaves, the one who had Obama in his chair reached for the aftershave.

Obama was quick to stop him saying, “No thanks, my wife Michelle will smell that and think I’ve been in a whorehouse all day.”

The second barber turned to Bush and said, “How about you sir?”

Bush replied, “Go ahead; my wife doesn’t know what the inside of a whorehouse smells like.”

Minifasting: How Occasionally Skipping Meals May Boost Health

If you’ve ever gone to sleep hungry and then dreamed of chocolate croissants, the idea of fasting may seem completely unappealing.

But what if the payoff for a 16-hour fast — which might involve skipping dinner, save a bowl of broth — is a boost in energy and a decreased appetite?

This is what we’ve experienced as we’ve tried out the so-called 5:2 diet. It’s an intermittent fasting approach that, as we’ve reported, has been popularized by books by British physician and television broadcaster Michael Mosley. The diet calls for two days per week of minifasting where the aim is to go a long stretch, say 14 to 18 hours, without eating. During these two fasting days, you also eat only about 600 calories, give or take.

It sounds tough. But here’s the easy part: The other five days of the week you forget about dieting and return to your normal pattern of eating.

It’s not really weight loss we’re interested in (though, admittedly, we ate and drank too much over the holidays).

The fascination is what researchers say may be the broader benefits. Scientists are looking into how fasting may help control blood sugar, improve memory and energy and perhaps boost immunity.

A study by researchers at the University of Manchester found that when overweight women followed a 5:2 approach, they lost more weight and body fat and improved their insulin resistance compared with women who followed a more traditional diet of limiting calories seven days per week.

One explanation for the success of the 5-2 dieters could be that a day of minifasting can lead to a diminished appetite. As Allison reports on All Things Considered, she found that she’s just less hungry the day after a fast.

Mark Mattson, a researcher at the National Institute of Aging, says when we go without food, the body uses up its stored glucose, the basic fuel for the body, and starts burning fat.

Mattson is interested in what happens to the brain — in terms of memory and learning — when the body starts to burn fat for fuel. And he’s been studying animals, mainly mice, for clues.

During fasting, he says, fat can convert to compounds called ketones, “which have beneficial effects in making neurons more resistant to injury and disease.” He’s planning a study in people to evaluate what effect intermittent fasting may have on brain health.

And, as Eliza has reported, scientists are also studying how intermittent fasting may help boost immunity, perhaps by making cells more adaptive to stresses such as injury and disease.

There may be an evolutionary explanation for this because humans (and other animals) have fasted intermittently for much of our time on Earth, after all. As a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences notes, “The most common eating pattern in modern societies, three meals plus snacks every day, is abnormal from an evolutionary perspective.”

Of course, doctors don’t recommend minifasts for everyone. Valter Longo, a gerontologist at the University of Southern California who studies fasting, notes that “it is very dangerous for people who struggle with eating disorders to fast.” And he advises everyone interested in fasting to see their physician and meet with a registered dietitian.

Longo and other experts gave Eliza some of their other tips on how to do it right:

  • Fasting is easier with a buddy.
  • On a minifast, choose the food you do eat carefully. Researchers recommend high-protein, high-fiber foods. Avoid refined carbs and sugar, which will spike blood sugar and may leave you hungry late in the day.
  • To minimize temptation, stay out of the kitchen and away from food establishments.
  • Try a pattern of weekly intermittent fasting for at least a month. Studies have shown that a long-term lifestyle change (and the benefits associated with it) is more likely for people who can stick with the diet for at least a month. And tolerating some hunger gets easier the longer you do it.
  • Don’t be surprised if there are some side effects, like trouble sleeping or gastrointestinal issues.

Source: npr