Sweets Celebrating the Year of Rooster

January 28, 2017 is the first day of the Chinese New Year

How Does Alcohol Get You Drunk?

This video explains the chemistry behind the effects of alcohol – drunkenness, frequent bathroom breaks and occasionally poor decision-making. Find out how it all comes down to ethanol (which, like all things, should be enjoyed in moderation).

Watch video at You Tube (3:26 minutes) . . . .

Chunky Vegetable-laden Fish Casserole Served with a Piquant Yogurt Topping


1 leek
2 celery stalks
1 carrot
1-1/2 pounds potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup button mushrooms
2-1/2 cups hot fish stock
1/2 pound skinless white fish fillet
1/2 pound skinless salmon fillet
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Spicy Yogurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pinch of chili powder
1 baguette


  1. Preheat the broiler to high.
  2. Slice and rinse the leek. Slice the celery, dice the carrot, and cut the potatoes into 1-1/2-inch chunks.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the leek, celery, and carrot, reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes and mushrooms to the pan and stir in the hot stock. Return to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Cut the white fish and salmon into 1-inch pieces and stir them into the casserole. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked.
  6. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, paprika, and chili powder. Slice the baguette and broil both sides for 2-3 minutes, or until golden.
  7. Stir the tarragon and parsley into the casserole just before transferring it to four large bowls. Serve with the spicy yogurt and toasted baguette slices.

Cook’s Tip

Select boiling potatoes rather than baking potatoes, as the pieces will hold their shape rather than breaking down.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Super Foods

What’s for Lunch?

US$29 Prix Fixe Lunch at Italian Restaurant Del Posto in New York

The Menu

Bread basket

Italian butter and whipped lardo


Roasted Vegetables with Robiola Sformato & Truffled Hazelnuts

Roasted lamb rack with tail ragu alla Puttanesca and sauteed basil

Dessert – Chocolate ricotta cake with toasted Sicilian pistachios and extra-virgin olive oil gelato


Del Posto Restaurant

Even One High-Fat Meal Can Harm Your Liver, Study Finds

Eating a high-fat meal — say, a cheeseburger and fries or a pepperoni pizza — disrupts liver function, a new, small study reveals.

Researchers found that the high levels of saturated fat found in such rich foods immediately alter the work of the liver, possibly setting the body up for serious disease down the line.

“The effects mimic the abnormalities seen in people with severe metabolic disease,” said study co-author Dr. Michael Roden, referring to conditions like fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.

“Our findings paint the picture of the earliest changes in liver metabolism leading to fatty liver diseases and liver cirrhosis in the context of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” said Roden. He’s scientific director of the German Diabetes Center at Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf.

How long these metabolic alterations last after people indulge in a rich meal isn’t clear.

The liver plays a crucial role in processing the fats and carbohydrates people eat.

In some cases when fatty foods are repeatedly eaten to excess, fats accumulate and cause a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver.

This condition has ballooned along with the U.S. obesity epidemic, and is thought to affect as many as 25 percent of people in the United States. It can lead to cirrhosis, a serious condition characterized by scarring of the liver.

Dr. Hannele Yki-Jarvinen is professor of medicine at the University of Helsinki in Finland. “We know diets high in saturated fat make the liver fatty,” she said.

“Saturated fats such as in butter, fatty cheeses and coconut oil are thus the worst thing to eat from the liver perspective,” said Yki-Jarvinen, co-author of a commentary accompanying the new study.

For the study, the researchers assigned 14 healthy, lean young men to consume a placebo or a dose of palm oil that varied according to their weight. The palm oil provided levels of saturated fat equivalent to that from an eight-slice pepperoni pizza or a cheeseburger with large fries, the report said.

This “fat loading” caused the liver to produce 70 percent more glucose, which could boost blood sugar levels over time, Roden said. Potentially, this could contribute to insulin sensitivity — a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

Fat loading also caused liver cells to work harder, which could stress them and contribute to liver disease, he noted.

In addition, the saturated fat lowered the liver’s ability to store glucose compared to fat, “which over time might favor fatty liver diseases,” Roden said.

It’s possible that healthy people could easily overcome these effects while those who repeatedly eat fat-laden foods might be less fortunate, Roden added.

Yki-Jarvinen said that while cirrhosis is difficult to reverse, most people can boost their liver health.

“If you change your diet to a more healthy one containing healthy fats, such as found in olive oil, your liver fat decreases in a few days,” she said.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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

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