My Recipe

Stir-fried Escargots with XO Sauce


1 (7 fluid oz) can escargots
1 (about 160 g) farmer sausage
4 oz celery
4 oz green bell pepper
4 oz red bell pepper
1 (8 fluid oz) can whole water chestnut
1 Tbsp garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp ginger (minced)


3 Tbsp XO sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp chili oil
1/2 tsp chicken broth mix
1/2 tsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp cornstarch
3 oz water


  1. Rinse and drain escargot.
  2. Cut sausage into 1/2-inch dices.
  3. Cut celery, bell peppers into 1/2-inch dices.
  4. Rinse and drain water chestnut. Cut each into halves or 4 pieces.
  5. Mix sauce ingredients.
  6. Blanch escargot in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.
  7. Heat wok and add 1 Tbsp oil. Stir-fry celery and peppers for 30 seconds. Add water chestnut, toss for 30 seconds. Remove.
  8. Add 1 Tbsp oil to wok. Stir-fry sausage for 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, toss for 30 seconds. Add escargot, stir-fry for 30 seconds. Return vegetables in Step 7 to wok. Add sauce. Keep tossing until sauce reboils. Remove.

Cute Snack

Sweet Hedgehog Bun

The bun is made by an eatery in Yokohama’s Chinatown. The filling inside the deep-fried steamed bun is creamy custard.

The price of the snack is 100 Yen (US$0.83) each.

Chronic Insomniacs May Face Increased Risk of Hypertension

Insomniacs who take longer than 14 minutes to fall asleep face a greater risk of hypertension, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

The study, conducted at West China Hospital, is the first to test whether insomnia with physiological hyperarousal, defined as a longer time to fall asleep, is linked to hypertension.

“We observed a strong correlation between the degree of physiological hyperarousal and hypertension,” said Xiangdong Tang M.D., Ph.D, co- author of the study and professor of sleep medicine at West China Hospital, Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.

“In other words, those insomniacs who were hyperalert during the day and unable to relax and fall asleep during the Multiple Latency Sleep Test (MSLT) had the higher risk of hypertension,” said study co-author Alexandros Vgontzas, M.D., professor of sleep research and treatment in the Department of Psychiatry at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Penn.

Insomnia is the most prevalent sleep disorder in the general population. One-fourth to one-third of the general population complains of difficuly falling asleep and about 10 percent have chronic complaints and seek medical help for insomnia.

Researchers studied 219 chronic insomniacs and 96 normal sleepers (average age 40 and more than 60 percent women). They defined chronic insomnia as difficulty sleeping for more than six months.

The participants spent one night monitored in a sleep lab and took the MLST the next day. Monitoring included four 20-minute nap opportunities at two-hour intervals: 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Half the participants took 14 minutes or less to fall asleep and half took more than 14 minutes to fall asleep. Those that took more than 14 minutes to fall asleep were considered “hyperaroused.”

Hypertension was based on blood pressure measures or a physician’s diagnosis. Researchers controlled for confounding factors such as obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes, smoking, alcohol and caffeine use.

Chronic insomnia combined with an MSLT score greater than 14 minutes increased the odds of hypertension by 300 percent. MSLT scores greater than 17 minutes increased the odds by 400 percent.

“Long latency times to fall asleep during the day may be a reliable index of the physiological hyperarousal and biological severity of the disorder,” Vgontzas said.

Traditionally, insomnia has been perceived as a nighttime sleep disorder; however, several studies suggest it’s a state of 24-hour hyperarousal.

A more biologically severe type of insomnia is associated with 24-hour hyperarousal and significant cardiometabolic consequences like hypertension. The less severe form has primarily psychological roots.

Feeling hyperalert or sleepy doesn’t allow people to function at their best, feel well during the day or sleep well at night, Vgontzas said.

“Although insomniacs complain of fatigue and tiredness during the day, their problem is that they cannot relax and that they are hyper,” he said. “Measures that apply in sleep-deprived normal sleepers — napping, caffeine use or other stimulants to combat fatigue — do not apply in insomniacs. In fact, excessive caffeine worsens the hyperarousal.”

Source: American Heart Association


Insomnia Linked to High Blood Pressure in Study …..

Appetizer Wraps with Asparagus and Avocado


24 asparagus
1 ripe avocado (about 8 oz), pitted and peeled
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1½ cups cooked, cold brown tong-grain rice
3 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
3 whole wheat (wholemeal) tortillas, 10 inches in diameter
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped red onion


  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 2 inches water to a boil. Place the asparagus in a steamer basket, cover, and steam until just tender, 6-8 minutes. Remove the asparagus and immediately rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the avocado, lime juice, and garlic into a coarse purée.
  3. In another small bowl, stir together the rice and yogurt to mix well.
  4. Heat a dry large frying pan (not one with a nonstick surface) over medium heat. One at a time, heat the tortillas in the hot pan until softened, about 20 seconds per side.
  5. Lay the tortillas flat on a clean work surface. Spread the avocado mixture equally among the tortillas. Top each with an equal amount of the rice mixture, asparagus, cilantro, and onion.
  6. Fold in both sides and the bottom of each tortilla up over the filling, then roll to close. If made in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Return to room temperature before serving.
  7. To serve, cut each wrap in half crosswise.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Today’s Comic

Enlarge image ….