Gadget: Waffle and Hot Sandwich Baker

Vitantonio Brand with Variety of Option Plates

Waffle Plates

Square Hot Sandwich Plates

Madeleine Plates

Panini Plates

A Total of 12 Kinds of Plates


Thai-inspired Pasta Dish with Red Curry, Chicken and Peanut Butter


1/2 (500-g) pkg spaghetti pasta
1/3 cup peanut butter, preferably natural
3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces


  1. Cook pasta, following package directions, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk peanut butter with 1/4 cup water, curry paste, soy and honey.
  3. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Add oil, then onion and chicken. Stir-fry until chicken is no longer pink, 4 minutes.
  4. Add peanut-butter mixture and reduce heat to medium. Stir frequently until chicken is cooked, about 2 minutes.
  5. Ladle out 1/2 cup pasta water and add to sauce. Add broccoli to pasta water for last minute of cooking. Drain pasta and broccoli, then return to pasta pot.
  6. Stir in chicken mixture until combined. Serve with chopped peanuts if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chatelaine magazine

Video: The Ultimate Pancakes Guide

Everyone seems to swear by a different pancake recipe. How can you griddle up the perfect pancakes for your Saturday morning breakfast?

Watch video at You Tube (5:00 minutes) . . . . .

What Role Does Diet Play in Gout Management?

You’ve experienced the horrible pain of a gout attack. And you don’t want it to happen again. The doctor says you need to get your serum uric acid (SUA) level below 6 mg/dL. She says you should change your diet and take urate-lowering medicine to achieve that goal. But how much does food really matter and what diet should you follow?

The Role of Purines and Uric Acid

Too much uric acid in your body causes gout. Most of your uric acid (about two-thirds) is produced by your body naturally. The rest comes from your diet, often in the form of purines. Purines are substances in animal and plant foods that your body converts to uric acid. If you can’t flush the uric acid out through your kidneys, it can build up in the bloodstream and be deposited as needle-shaped crystals in your joints. These crystals cause the severe inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack.

People who follow even the strictest low-purine diet will reduce their uric acid levels by only a small amount. Larry Edwards, MD, vice chairman and professor, department of medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville says, “You can lower your uric acid a little bit – by no more than 1 mg/dL – but that’s not going to get most people who have clinical symptoms of gout into the range that they’re going to stop having flares.”

Randall N. Beyl, Jr, MD, a rheumatologist in Albertville, Alabama agrees “when my patients hit SUA numbers in the double digits, I’m telling them it’s not if they’ll have gout in the future it’s when they’ll have an attack. Even on the best diet possible, we’re never going to control the disease with diet alone.”

For a person not taking urate-lowing medicine, a more restricted diet can decrease the number of food trigger flares they have. Dr. Edwards says, “If patients cut back on beer binges and shrimp boils, it will cut down on the number of flares they have, but it’s not going to cure their gout.”

“Once they’ve been on a urate-lowering drug for a while and reach the target SUA of <6 mg/dL, then dietary indiscretions are not as big a problem,” Dr. Edwards explains. “They won’t have to be so restrictive with their food once the disease is controlled pharmacologically.”

Diet or Genetics?

“The causes of gout, by and large, are not dietary,” says Dr. Edwards. “That’s one of the great myths about this disease, and it’s part of the reason patients are embarrassed to talk about their gout.” Gout is a metabolic disease with primarily genetic origins, he explains.

Many things contribute to whether you develop gout and have ongoing attacks. Some you can change, most you can’t. Factors you can’t change include:

  • Race: African Americans are more prone to gout than whites.
  • Age: Your risk of gout gets higher with age.
  • Sex: Younger men are four times more likely to develop gout than women; and after the age of 65, men are three times more likely to develop gout than women.
  • Genes: Some people are predisposed to have higher uric acid levels and a lower ability to eliminate uric acid.

But you do have control over your weight. Being overweight is a big risk factor for developing gout and metabolic syndrome (METs). The combination of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and obesity (METs) is linked to high serum urate and gout.

Even though a low-purine diet alone won’t cure you of gout, eating well and reaching a healthy weight will decrease your overall risk of gout and the complications of metabolic syndrome. Dr. Beyl says, “Of all modalities we know in terms of diet, weight loss is proven to be the most effective to help prevent gout flares and help lower uric acid numbers.”

Gout Diet

Dr. Edwards recommends patients not be overly focused on a low-purine diet, “These terribly restrictive diets just burn the patients out.” He says a weight reduction diet for people who are overweight is important and following a Mediterranean diet probably has the most impact on uric acid levels and general health.

Dr. Beyl agrees that patients should focus on foods that will benefit their overall health and lower their risk of metabolic syndrome: plant-based proteins, vegetables, fruits and nuts. He does suggest patients limit intake of foods that increase uric acid levels — like red meat, beer, liquor, and high fructose corn syrup. “Being careful but not overly restrictive with your diet will help your gout medicine be more effective and prevent flares,” Dr. Beyl says.

Source : Arthritis Foundation

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Gout diet: What’s allowed, what’s not . . . . .

Penicillin Misconceptions May Raise Post-Op Infection Risk

Surgical patients who report having a penicillin allergy face a 50 percent higher risk for a post-op infection compared to patients who report no drug allergy, new research finds.

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital attributed the higher surgical-site infection rate to the use of alternative antibiotics.

Since many people erroneously believe they’re allergic to penicillin, the findings suggest this common misconception may put some patients in harm’s way.

“This study has direct clinical significance,” said study lead author Dr. Kimberly Blumenthal, who is in the division of rheumatology, allergy and immunology.

“We already know that more than 95 percent of patients who believe they have penicillin allergy can actually tolerate the drug,” she added.

The study results indicate that a preoperative penicillin evaluation could effectively reduce surgical site infections in these patients, Blumenthal said in a hospital news release.

Four in 10 hospital infections occur at surgical incision sites, the researchers noted. Such infections can sometimes lead to serious complications and even death.

The researchers analyzed the medical records of 8,400 patients who underwent surgery between 2010 and 2014 for issues such as hip or knee replacement, hysterectomy, colon surgery and heart bypass.

More than 900 had an allergy to penicillin noted in their medical records prior to surgery.

More than 200 patients ended up with some type of surgical site infection, the study team found. That included 2.6 percent with no known allergy to penicillin and 3.5 percent of patients who believed they were allergic to the drug and therefore didn’t receive it.

Based on the findings, the study team said prospective surgical patients who believe they are allergic to penicillin should undergo a fresh allergy evaluation in advance of their operation.

The findings appear in the Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Source: HealthDay

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