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Lamb and Pasta Hotpot


1 tablespoon oil
1-1/4 pounds lean boneless lamb, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 rosemary sprigs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-1/2 cups light beer
2-1/2 cups water
8 ounces frozen peas
1 pound pasta spirals
2/3 cup sour cream
croutons, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole or heavy-based saucepan. Add the lamb and brown the cubes all over.
  2. Stir in the onion, carrots, rosemary sprigs and seasoning. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes, then add the beer and water. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat and cover the pan. Leave the hotpot to simmer for 1-1/4 hours, stirring occasionally until the lamb is tender and the cooking liquor is well flavored.
  3. Taste for seasoning, then add the peas. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat and cover the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta, stir well, then bring back to a boil. Partially cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes, only allowing the hotpot to boil very slowly.
  5. Top individual portions of the hotpot with sour cream and sprinkle with paprika. Sprinkle with croutons and serve piping hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Fresh Pasta Cookbook

My Food

8 Courses Fusion Tasting Menu I Cooked on 2108 New Year’s Eve

Pumpkin soup, toasted pumpkin seeds, black truffle oil, and home-made sourdough pretzel

Lobster salad with fresh fruits

Himimatsutake (姫松茸) and shimeji mushroom stuffed in chicken broth-braised daikon

Grilled sea scallop on squid-ink spaghetti nest with truffle cream

Braised abalone and asparagus with abalone sauce

Tea-smoked pompano (煙鯧魚) with daikon spaghetti and Japanese mayo

Rack of lamb, carrot spaghetti, cabernet merlot balsamic reduction

Avocado chocolate pudding with fresh berries, dried pineapple flower, and chocolate-dipped candied orange peel

Food Brings Double Dose of Pleasure to Your Brain

There may be a powerful reason why you can’t resist that plate of brownies.

It turns out that eating causes the release of dopamine in your brain not once, but twice, German scientists report.

First, the feel-good hormone is unleashed as you eat. But the same thing happens again once that food hits your tummy, they said.

To come to that conclusion, researchers used a newly developed PET scan technique. Scans let them identify when dopamine is released, as well as the areas of the brain linked to dopamine release.

“While the first release occurred in brain regions associated with reward and sensory perception, the post-ingestive release involved additional regions related to higher cognitive functions,” said senior study author Marc Tittgemeyer, from the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne.

For the study, 12 volunteers received either a milkshake or a tasteless solution as PET scan data was recorded.

The researchers found that the desire for the milkshake was linked to the amount of dopamine released in particular brain areas as it was first tasted. But the higher the desire, the less dopamine was released after the milkshake was ingested.

The report was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

“On one hand, dopamine release mirrors our subjective desire to consume a food item. On the other hand, our desire seems to suppress gut-induced dopamine release,” said lead author Heiko Backes, group leader for Multimodal Imaging of Brain Metabolism at the Institute.

Backes added that suppression of dopamine being released upon ingestion could cause overeating of desired foods.

“We continue to eat until sufficient dopamine was released,” he said in a journal news release. But this hypothesis needs to be tested in further studies.

Source: HealthDay

Kidney Disease Risk Tied to Sugar-Sweetened Drinks

People who drink lots of sugar-sweetened drinks may be putting themselves at a heightened risk for kidney disease, a new study suggests.

The study of more than 3,000 black men and women in Mississippi found that those who consumed the most soda, sweetened fruit drinks and water had a 61 percent increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

That water was included in the increased risk surprised the researchers. It’s possible, however, that participants reported drinking a variety of types of water, including flavored and sweetened water. Unfortunately, that information was not included in the Jackson Heart Study, which was used for the project.

Specifically, the researchers looked at beverage consumption as reported in a questionnaire given at the start of the study in 2000 to 2004. Participants were followed from 2009 to 2013.

“There is a lack of comprehensive information on the health implications of the wide range of beverage options that are available in the food supply,” said lead study author Casey Rebholz.

Rebholz is an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

“In particular, there is limited information on which types of beverages and patterns of beverages are associated with kidney disease risk in particular,” she added.

And while the study found an association between sugary drink consumption and kidney disease, it couldn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The study findings were published online Dec. 27 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

In an accompanying journal editorial, Dr. Holly Kramer and David Shoham of Loyola University in Chicago said the findings have public health implications.

Although a few U.S. cities have reduced consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by imposing taxes on them, others have resisted these efforts, the editorial noted.

“This cultural resistance to reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption can be compared to the cultural resistance to smoking cessation during the 1960s after the Surgeon General report was released. During the 1960s, tobacco use was viewed as a social choice and not a medical or social public health problem,” Kramer and Shoham wrote.

In another editorial, a kidney disease patient, Duane Sunwold, said he changed his eating and drinking habits to put his disease in remission. He’s a chef who offers recommendations to other kidney disease patients who are seeking to cut back on sugar-sweetened drinks.

Source: HealthDay

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