Gadget: Cordless Ice Shaver

Handy and Convenient Making Shaved Ice in the Kitchen or at the Table Using Ice Cubes from the Refrigerator

The Device Is Powered by Four AA Batteries

Makes Shaved Ice for Recipes of Food and Drinks

In Pictures: Hawker Food of Singapore

Chicken Rice

Laksa

Carrot Cake

Fried Hokkien Mee

Fish Balls Mee

Mee Kuah

Char Kway Teow

Kway Chap

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Padang

Surge in Pollen May Spur Many Cases of Dry Eye

High pollen levels in the spring are linked to dry eye, a new study suggests.

“Finding this correlation between dry eye and different seasons is one step toward helping physicians and patients treat the symptoms of dry eye even more effectively based on the time of year,” said lead researcher Dr. Anat Galor, an associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Miami.

Dry eye causes burning, irritation and blurred vision. It costs the U.S. health system nearly $4 billion a year, Galor’s team said in background information with the study.

The researchers analyzed 3.4 million visits to Veterans Affairs eye clinics nationwide between 2006 and 2011. During that time, nearly 607,000 cases of dry eye were diagnosed.

April had the highest rate of patients diagnosed with dry eye, nearly 21 percent. April is also when pollen levels usually peak each year.

In terms of seasons, there was a spike in spring when 18.5 percent of patients were diagnosed with dry eye, and another spike in winter. Rates were lowest in summer, at just over 15 percent, according to the study published online recently in the journal Ophthalmology.

The increase in dry eye cases in winter may be due to low indoor humidity associated with heating, according to the study authors. (Humidifiers can offset this, they suggested.)

“For the first time, we’ve found what appears to be a connection between spring allergens like pollen and dry eye, but also saw that cases rose in winter,” Galor said in a journal news release.

The evidence linking pollen and dry eye suggests people with dry eye may benefit from allergy prevention in addition to treatments such as artificial tears, the researchers said. They recommended wearing goggles outside for yard work and using air filters indoors.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Low Calories and Fat Chocolate Pie

Ingredients

Crust
8 whole graham crackers (wholemeal biscuits)
2/3 cup 100% unprocessed wheat bran
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 egg whites

Filling

1/3 cup cornstarch (cornflour)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3½ cups nonfat milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (essence)
16 strawberries, hulled

Method

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Coat a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make the crust, in a food processor, process the graham crackers and wheat bran to fine crumbs. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and egg whites and process just until all the crumbs are dampened.
  3. Put the mixture in the prepared pan and firmly pat and press it over the bottom and sides of the pan, taking care not to make the edges too thick.
  4. Bake until the crust has browned lightly, feels firm but not hard, and gives to moderate pressure, about 15 minutes. If overbaked, it will be brittle when cold. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  5. To make the filling, into a heavy saucepan, sift together the cornstarch, sugar, and cocoa powder. Gradually whisk in the milk. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking almost constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently, whisking constantly, 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Cool for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the plastic wrap from the filling and stir in the vanilla. Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
  7. To serve, cut into wedges. Garnish with the berries.

Makes 8 servings

Source: Mayo Clinic


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