New Mint Chocolate of Kit Kat Japan

Premium Mint and Premium Peach Mint

The price is 348 yen (plus tax) each.

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Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust

Ingredients

7 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1-3/4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
3 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
1/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
2 pounds Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Method

  1. Weigh or lightly spoon pastry flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine pastry flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cheese in a large bowl, stirring well to combine.
  2. Add oil and milk. Stir until a moist dough forms. Divide dough in half and press each half into a 4-inch disk. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Combine apples and vinegar in a large bowl. Toss well to coat.
  5. Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring until well combined.
  6. Pour sugar mixture over apple mixture. Toss well to coat. Set aside.
  7. Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll 1 dough piece between plastic wrap into a 10-1/2-inch circle.
  8. Remove top piece of plastic wrap. Fit dough, plastic wrap side up, into a 9-inch pie plate. Remove remaining plastic wrap.
  9. Spoon apple mixture into dough. Roll remaining doughpiece between plastic wrap into an 11-1/2-inch circle.
  10. Remove top piece of plastic wrap and top pie with dough, plastic wrap side up. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Press edges of dough together, fold edges under, and flute.
  11. Cut slits in top of dough to allow steam to escape.
  12. Carefully brush egg yolk over dough and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes.
  13. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (do not remove pie from oven). Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes or until crust is browned and filling is bubbly.
  14. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour before slicing into wedges.

Makes 10 servings.

Source: Everyday Whole Grain

In Pictures: Donuts of American Donut Shops

6 Reasons Why We Enjoy Listening to Sad Music

Shahram Heshmat wrote . . . . . . . . .

Sadness is a primary emotion that is expressed and perceived equally across cultures. Basic emotions (e.g., anger, happiness, and sadness) are innate and universal. Understanding basic emotions in music is very quick and does not require musical training. For instance, hearing a sad cello performance may induce a genuine state of sadness in a listener.

The most important musical cues for the expression of sadness in Western music include lower overall pitch, slower tempo, use of the minor mode, dull and dark timbres, and less energetic execution (Juslin, 2013). Sadness is generally seen as a negative emotion. But we tend to find it pleasurable in an aesthetic context (known as the paradox of enjoying sad music). What is the nature of the pleasure that people experience from listening to sad music? Accumulated evidence suggests that pleasure in response to sad music is related to a combination of the following factors (Eerola, et al., 2018; Sachs et al 2015).

1. Nostalgia. Sad music is a powerful trigger for nostalgic memories of foregone times. Such reflective revisiting of nostalgic memories may enhance the mood, especially if the memories are related to pivotal and meaningful moments in life (i.e., high school, or college). We enjoy the sweetness of these memories via vivid imaginations. There is some pleasure felt in recollecting the good times, as well as sadness from missing them.

2. Vicarious emotion. Music generates vicarious (substitute) emotions in listeners without real-life implications. Music helps to channel one’s frustration or purge (catharsis) negative emotions (anger and sadness). When we listen to sad music (or watch a sad film), we are disconnected from any real threat or danger that the music (or movie) represents. When we cry at the beauty of sad music, we experience a profound aspect of our emotional selves (Kawakami, et al., 2013).

3. Prolactin. At the biological level, sad music is linked to the hormone prolactin (associated with crying), a chemical that helps to curb grief (Huron, 2011). Sad music tricks the brain into engaging a normal, compensatory response, i.e., the release of prolactin. In the absence of a traumatic event, the body is left with a pleasurable mix of opiates with nowhere else to go. Prolactin produces feelings of calmness to counteract mental pain.

4. Empathy. Empathy plays a significant role in the enjoyment of sad music. Empathy can be broadly defined as a process by which we can come to understand and feel what another person is experiencing. Expressions of sadness and grief are likely to rouse support and help in others. Similarly, listening to sad music may evoke an empathic concern in those with a strong disposition to empathy.

5. Mood regulation. Sad music produces psychological benefits via mood regulation. Sad music enables the listener to disengage from distressing situations (breakup, death, etc.) and focus instead on the beauty of the music. Further, lyrics that resonate with the listener’s personal experience can give voice to feelings or experiences that one might not be able to express oneself.

6. An imaginary friend. Music has the ability to provide company and comfort. People tend to listen to sad music more often when they are in emotional distress or feeling lonely, or when they are in introspective moods. Sad music can be experienced as an imaginary friend who provides support and empathy after the experience of a social loss. The listeners enjoy the mere presence of a virtual person, represented by the music, who is in the same mood and can help cope with sad feelings.

In short, music has the proven ability to affect emotions, mood, memory, and attention. The emotional power of music is one of the main motivations of people who devote so much time, energy and money to it (Juslin, 2013). The ability of music to express emotions is also the reason for its application in music therapy. The knowledge about ways in which sad music becomes enjoyable can inform existing music therapy practices for mood disorders. The primary way by which music listening affects us is via changes in stress response. For example, in one study, participants were randomly assigned to either listen to music or take anti-anxiety drugs. The patients who listened to music had less anxiety and lower cortisol than people who took drugs. Music is arguably less expensive than drugs, is easier on the body, and doesn’t have side effects (Finn & Fancourt, 2018).

Source: Psychology Today

The Best Exercises for Brain Health

Len Canter wrote . . . . . . . . .

There’s a lot you can learn from your elders, starting with the results of a multi-year study of exercise and brain health in seniors.

Researchers from Columbia University and the University of Miami compared results of two sets of brain scans and tests measuring memory and thinking skills in 876 seniors. The tests were done five years apart.

The investigators found a greater mental decline for those who reported low-activity exercises, such as light walking and yoga, compared to those with high-activity levels and exercises like running and cardio workouts.

The difference was equal to 10 years of brain aging, and that was after taking into account other factors that can influence brain health, such as excess weight, high blood pressure, smoking and drinking, according to the findings published in the journal Neurology.

Researchers are also learning about the brain benefits of cardio exercise from lab studies — those done on animals. One study found that sustained aerobic activity — such as daily jogging for several miles at a moderate pace — can encourage the growth of new brain cells, even later in life.

Research into which specific cardio activities are best for each of the sexes is ongoing, so there’s still more to learn. In the future, the goal is to learn more about how to individualize exercise for brain health.

This isn’t to say that other types of exercise aren’t important parts of an overall fitness regimen. Strength training helps you stay independent, while yoga, other flexibility exercises and balance work help prevent dangerous falls and keep you limber.

It may be hard to begin an exercise program if you’ve never been active, but it starts with your mindset: Don’t think of exercise as a necessary evil, but rather as something positive you do for yourself because of all the things it gives back.

Source: HealthDay


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