What’s for Dinner?

4-course Italian Dinner

The Menu

Cuttlefish Mille-feuille, Zucchini and Crispy Potato

Raviolo Soufflé

Steamed Codfish, Gaeta Black Olive Layer, Almond and Semolina

Dessert – Cannelloni of Watermelon and Yogurt Ice Cream

Petit Fours

The Restaurant

Chinese-style Braised Oysters


16 oz shucked oysters, drained
3 slices ginger, shredded
8 cloves garlic, deep-fried
3-1/2 oz roasted pork, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 piece Chinese sausage, sliced
1/2 small carrot, sliced
6 dried black mushrooms, soaked and halved
1/2 oz dried cloud ears, soaked and trimmed
4 tbsp Shao Hsing wine
2 stalks green onions, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces


2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt


1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce


  1. Combine oysters and marinade ingredients in a bowl. Stir to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add oysters and poach 1-1/2 minutes or until oysters become firm.
  3. Combine seasoning ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in a hot wok over high heat. Saute ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add roasted pork, Chinese sausage, carrot, mushrooms and cloud ears. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, add oysters and wine, stir-fry another 30 seconds. Add remaining seasonings. Mix well.
  5. Transfer to a heated clay pot. Braise over low heat 3 to 5 minutes. Add green onion. Mix and serve.

Source: Gourmet DIY

Infographic: 15 ways to Stay Focused All Day

See large image . . . . .

Source: Business Insider


Megan Ware wrote . . . . . .

Lobster is a type of shellfish typically boiled or steamed for consumption. Lobster can be eaten as a main course, on a roll or added to rich dishes like pasta, mashed potatoes and eggs Benedict, adding an element of decadence.

Despite its desirable reputation today, lobster was not always known as a pricey indulgence. In the 17th century, colonists in Massachusetts considered lobster shells in a home to be a sign of poverty and only fed lobster to their servants.

In the 1940s, you could buy a can of baked beans for 53 cents per pound and canned lobster for 11 cents per pound.

Lobster is now seen as a delicacy, in part because of the discovery that cooking the lobster live made it more appetizing, as opposed to killing it first and cooking it later.

Lobster is rich in copper and selenium, and also contains a number of other important nutrients.

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, one cup of cooked lobster (approximately 145 grams) contains 129 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrate and 28 grams of protein, as well as 2% of daily vitamin A needs, 7% of calcium and 2% of iron.

Lobster is a rich source of copper and selenium and also contains zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B12, magnesium, vitamin E and a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

Lobster does contain cholesterol. However, recent studies have suggested that the cholesterol content in foods does not necessarily increase harmful cholesterol in the body and that saturated fat intake is more directly related to an increase in harmful cholesterol levels. Lobster is not a significant source of saturated fat.

Possible benefits of consuming lobster

Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of fish and shellfish like lobster decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease while promoting healthy cholesterol levels.

Fish and shellfish are especially important for providing omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in very few foods. A three-ounce portion of wild spiny lobster is estimated to provide 200-500 milligrams of omega-3s while the more common northern lobster provides 200 milligrams or less for the same portion. To compare, three ounces of wild salmon provide over 1500 mg of omega-3s.

Although the fatty acid content in lobster is not the highest among fish and shellfish, it should still be a source to consider based on the fact that most people are not getting enough omega-3s from food.

Lobster is a good source of selenium, a nutrient that is crucial to proper thyroid functioning.Thyroid disease

Thyroid disease

Selenium has been shown to be a necessary component for proper in thyroid function. A meta-analysis has shown that those with thyroid disease who are selenium deficient experience pronounced benefits when increasing their selenium intake, including weight loss and reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.1 Lobster is a good source of selenium, along with Brazil nuts and yellowfin tuna.

Mental health benefits

According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to decrease aggression, impulsivity and depression in adults. This association is even stronger for kids with mood disorders and disorderly conduct issues, like some types of ADHD.


Copper works together with iron to form red blood cells. Anemia occurs when you do not have enough red blood cells or your red blood cells do not function properly. Consuming adequate copper will benefit people with all forms of anemia.3,4 Many people do not get enough copper in their diet. Lobster has one of the highest levels of copper of any food.

Source: Medical News Today

Do you Think Before You Breathe? Survey Finds Broad Misconception About Impact of Cleaner Indoor Air

A survey of more than 100 building designers, engineers, managers, owners and tenants revealed that the majority are confused about the costs and benefits of maintaining good indoor air quality.

Do you know how easy it is to improve the quality of the air you breathe every day? Or how much indoor air quality affects your health and productivity? If you’re not sure, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by a group of Drexel University environmental and architectural engineering researchers, there is quite a bit of confusion about the costs and benefits of indoor air quality improvement—even among building owners, designers, managers and tenants.

The study, which was originally published in the journal Indoor Air with new findings recently presented at the annual meeting of The Society for Risk Analysis, Michael Waring, PhD, and Patrick Gurian, PhD, faculty members in Drexel’s College of Engineering, indicates that there are some serious misperceptions about how much it would cost to improve air quality and how much it actually helps.

“We spend 90 percent of the day inside buildings, but we may think of indoor air quality as a matter of comfort or aesthetics, rather than something that has demonstrated impacts on our health and productivity.” Gurian said.

Research from Drexel environmental engineers indicates that the people who design, build, manage and occupy buildings are misunderstanding the importance of indoor air quality and how easily it could be improved.

The survey participants were a group of 112 informed building stakeholders, including building owners, building managers, designers, consultants and tenants. The survey presented two basic ideas for improving air quality: increasing ventilation and using better air filters at the same time. Both of these are relatively minimal changes in the world of indoor environment management, and both can usually be done without any changes to existing building mechanical systems. And research has shown that making these improvements is a good way to avoid sick building syndrome and sick-day absenteeism.

“There’s little disagreement that increasing ventilation and upgrading filtration of indoor air will improve air quality for building occupants,” Waring said.

Despite this research establishing the benefits of these improvements, among each category of participants, the majority of those surveyed were unsure whether the suggested changes would have much of an effect on productivity, absenteeism and health. And the majority of the building tenants surveyed thought it was unlikely that the owner of their building would ever install such upgrades.

The survey also revealed an eye-opening misperception in the overall cost of making these indoor air quality improvements.

“What we found startling was the overestimation of what these improvements would cost as a percentage of the overall energy bill. On average, the participants thought it would cost about 10 times more than it actually would,” Waring said.

“This is a real missed opportunity,” Gurian said. “Because it doesn’t take much time or effort to make these changes and improve indoor air quality—but the benefits in terms of health and productivity of the building occupants are most likely significant.”

“Even among this group of people, who all have some background knowledge about buildings and their operation, there seemed to be a demonstrable misunderstanding of how little these improvements cost and how much they can benefit the health and productivity of building occupants,” Waring said.

Increasing ventilation, according to Waring, can be as easy as opening a window or, opening an outdoor air damper for a mechanically ventilated building.

Simple measures, like opening windows to improve air flow and changing air handling filters more frequently, are known to have a big impact on indoor air quality.

“There is strong evidence for a link between ventilation rate and occupant welfare and productivity,” Gurian said. “It is well-known in the indoor air field that higher instances of airborne disease infection in commercial buildings are associated directly with low ventilation rates. Increasing ventilation rates above minimum standards has been shown to reduce symptoms of ‘sick building syndrome’ and absenteeism in offices.”

Coupled with the increase in ventilation rate, the survey asked participants to also consider the benefits and costs of upgrading a building’s air filter. The filter limits exposure to particulate matter that can be brought indoors with higher ventilation rates.

“The technical literature has well established that increased exposure to outdoor particle matter is correlated with increased cardiovascular and respiratory diseases,” Waring said. “If you’re increasing ventilation rate and potentially bringing more particles of outdoor origin inside, it only makes sense to improve the air filtration as well.”

Many building engineers and architects do learn about indoor air quality principles and work to incorporate them into new buildings. But as Gurian and Waring point out, these improvements could also be implemented in existing buildings as retrofits, which makes them able to be realized on a large scale.

Informal interviews with building managers indicate that maintaining functioning heating and cooling systems often consumes much of their time and efforts while considering how to improve the air quality systems is barely an afterthought.

“Increasing ventilation rate could be as easy as opening a damper or a vent,” Waring said. “And to make sure the air coming in is clean, you upgrade the filter. It’s as simple as that. This is an easy, impactful fix—we’re just trying to inform the decision-makers of that fact.”

But the education and incentives to shift perception of indoor air quality might be lagging. The researchers suggest that tying more air quality goals to the sustainability metrics used to rate buildings could be a step toward broader adoption of these methods.

They also suggest that some improvements and monitoring might be appropriate for individual residences.

“I can easily see indoor air quality technology and monitoring being incorporated in more residential climate control systems in the future,” Waring said. “For many subsets of the population indoor air quality is a real concern. For people with allergies, asthma or other sensitivities, it could start with improving the IAQ of their homes or apartments. But eventually more people will start thinking about the quality of air in their workplaces—as much as they think about the temperature and access to natural light. And that is when perception is going to start changing.”

Source: Drexel University

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