In Pictures: Cakes for the Fall Season

New offerings from Juchheim Japan

Roasted Stuffed Lamb


1 (4-1/2 1b) boneless leg or shoulder of lamb (not tied)
2 tbsp butter, softened
1-2 tbsp plain flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken or beef stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
watercress, to garnish
sauteed potatoes, to serve


5 tbsp butter
1 small onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup long grain rice
2/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 lamb’s kidneys, halved and cored
10 oz young spinach leaves, well washed
salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the stuffing, melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until just softened, then add the garlic and rice and cook for about 1-2 minutes until the rice appears translucent, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the stock, salt and pepper and thyme and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 18 minutes, covered, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Tip the rice into a bowl and fluff with a fork.
  4. In a small frying pan, melt about 2 tbsp of the remaining butter over a medium-high heat. Add the kidneys and cook for about 2-3 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned, but still pink inside, then transfer to a board and leave to cool.
  5. Cut the kidneys into pieces and add to the rice, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  6. In a frying pan, heat the remaining butter over a medium heat until foaming. Add the spinach leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes until wilted, drain off excess liquid, then transfer the leaves to a plate and leave to cool.
  7. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.
  8. Lay the meat skin-side down on a work surface and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Spread the spinach leaves in an even layer over the surface then spread the stuffing in an even layer over the spinach.
  10. Roll up the meat like a Swiss roll and use a skewer to close the seam.
  11. Tie the meat at 1-inch intervals to hold its shape, then place in a roasting tin, spread with the softened butter and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1-1/2 to 2 hours until the juices run slightly pink when pierced with a skewer, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 57-60°C/135-140°F (for medium-rare to medium).
  12. Transfer the meat to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for about 20 minutes.
  13. Skim off as much fat from the roasting tin as possible, then place the tin over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil.
  14. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned, stirring and scraping the base of the tin. Whisk in the wine and stock and bring to the boil, then cook for 4-5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Season and strain into a gravy boat.
  15. Carve the meat into slices, garnish with watercress and serve with the gravy and potatoes.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Taste of France

In Pictures: Burgers of Restaurants in Winnipeg, Canada

Denmark to Ban PFAS in Food Packaging

Brian Bienkowski wrote . . . . . . . . .

Denmark will ban the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in paper and cardboard used in food packaging within the next year under a proposal from the country’s Ministry of Environment and Food.

The ban, estimated to take effect by July 2020, would make Denmark the first country to ban the class of chemicals from food contact materials. PFAS chemicals are often used as water and grease repellents, winding up in paper and cardboards that come into contact with food. The compounds can then migrate into the food and people.

Exposure to the chemicals has been linked to multiple health impacts, including testicular and kidney cancers, decreased birth weights, thyroid disease, decreased sperm quality, high cholesterol, pregnancy-induced hypertension, asthma and ulcerative colitis.

“I do not want to accept the risk of harmful fluorinated substances migrating from the packaging and into our food. These substances represent such a health problem that we can no longer wait for the EU,” Denmark Food Minister Mogens Jensen said in a statement.

In addition to citing health concerns and European Union inaction, the Ministry of Environment and Food noted the chemicals are “very difficult to break down in the environment,” and “accumulate in humans and animals.”

PFAS compounds are also widespread in the U.S.—showing up in both drinking water and food. The Denmark ban comes just months after Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced a bill to ban PFAS in food containers and cookware. The bill, introduced in May, has yet to be heard by committee.

And just last month the U.S. nonprofit Environmental Working Group called for a U.S. ban on PFAS in food packaging. In calling for the ban, Scott Faber, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs for EWG, pointed out the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed 69 different PFAS compounds, produced by 19 chemical companies, in food packaging.

In recent years, Europe has made more progress than the U.S. on chemical regulation. In April, the EU Parliament called on EU countries to “swiftly take all necessary action” to regulate endocrine disrupting chemicals.

U.S. environmental nonprofit Green Science Policy Institute applauded Denmark’s move and hopes it spurs similar action in the U.S.

“We congratulate Denmark on leading the way for healthier food and hope this will encourage similar action across the EU, the U.S. and worldwide,” said Arlene Blum, PhD of the Green Science Policy Institute and the Department of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, in a statement.

“Given the potential for harm, we must ask if the convenience of water and grease resistance is worth risking our health.”


Even Small Improvements in Cholesterol, Blood Pressure Help Prevent Heart Attack

Serena Gordon wrote . . . . . . . . .

Small, lasting changes in cholesterol and blood pressure levels can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes over a lifetime, new research suggests.

The large study found that a combination of a drop in LDL cholesterol (the bad type) of 14 mg/dL and a 5 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) cut the lifetime risk of heart disease and stroke in half.

And, the more those levels fell, the greater the reduction in heart disease and stroke risk.

“Small changes in blood pressure and cholesterol over decades can lead to huge benefits. Changes that are doable with a healthy diet and exercise can cut cardiovascular risk by 50%,” said Dr. John Osborne, a spokesman for the American Heart Association and director of cardiology at State of the Heart Cardiology, in Dallas.

Osborne wasn’t involved in the new study, but is familiar with the findings.

A number of past studies have shown that lowering blood pressure or cholesterol for five years or so can have an impact on cardiovascular disease. But it’s been difficult to know how a lifetime of these changes could affect the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The new research included almost 440,000 people, average age 65, enrolled in a long-term study in the United Kingdom. Fifty-four percent were women.

The study participants were recruited between 2006 and 2010. The follow-up lasted through 2018. During that time, almost 25,000 people had a non-fatal heart attack, a stroke caused by a blood vessel blockage (ischemic) or a heart disease death.

The researchers looked for study participants who had genetic variants that led to them having lower LDL cholesterol and systolic blood pressure throughout the study. Using a statistical technique called Mendelian randomization, the investigators were able to estimate lifetime effects of lower cholesterol and systolic blood pressure compared to people without these gene variations.

The study found the combination of an LDL reduction of 39 mg/dL and a 10 mm Hg lower systolic blood pressure could decrease the lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease by 80%. The same combination also lowered the lifetime risk of death due to heart disease by more than two-thirds.

Osborne said that much of a reduction might be tough to achieve with just diet and exercise, but it’s “doable” with medications.

“In clinical trials, we’re often just looking at five or six years. Now, we can appreciate the effect of those changes over decades of life,” he said.

Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, also reviewed the findings.

“We know that elevated bad cholesterol and elevated blood pressure are two independent, modifiable risk factors for heart disease. The combination of the two elevate this risk further,” he explained.

But, Bhusri said, this study revealed that “even a modest decline had a major impact on the diagnosis of heart disease.” He added that this study also shows what happens if someone adheres to a healthy lifestyle or medications to lower these risk factors over a lifetime.

“Adherence to lifestyle changes and to medications is a major predictor of heart disease,” Bhusri said.

The study was presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Paris. It was simultaneously published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Source: HealthDay

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