Snoopy “Puzzle Cookie”! “SNOOPY Puzzle Cookie BOOK” with Cookie Mold

A book with a cookie mold that allows you to make “puzzle cookies” that can be played as jigsaw puzzles. You can make all 15 types of cookies such as Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Woodstock.

The price is 1,480 yen (excluding tax).

Pot-roasted Chicken with Mustard

Ingredients

3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
one 3-1/2-lb free-range chicken
3/4 cup dry white wine
10 oz button mushrooms, wiped
6 tbsp Cognac
salt
black pepper

Sauce

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3/4 cup creme fraiche
2 tbsp whole -grain mustard
2 tbsp strong Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Savora mustard
1 bunch of fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Melt the butter and oil in a roasting pot or flameproof casserole dish on the stove top. Season the chicken, then add it to the pot, and color it on all sides.
  3. Put the chicken in the oven to roast for 1-1/4 hours, but every 15 minutes turn the bird, baste it, and add some white wine until you’ve used up all the wine. Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the pot and set it aside to rest.
  4. Slice the mushrooms, add them to the pot, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the brandy and flambe briefly, then set aside to keep warm.
  5. For the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the flour, and cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Pour in the milk, whisking well, bring to a boil, and cook for 7-8 minutes.
  7. Stir in the creme fraiche, then take the pan off the heat and whisk in the mustards and tarragon. Add the mushrooms and any liquid from the roasting pot to the sauce. Do not boil the sauce again, or it may separate and taste bitter.
  8. Disjoint or carve the chicken and serve with the mushroom sauce.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen

In Pictures: Home-cooked Chicken Breast Dishes

How a Manuka Honey ‘Sandwich’ Could be the Key to Fighting Infections

Layering minute amounts of Manuka honey between layers of surgical mesh acts as a natural antibiotic that could prevent infection following an operation, new research has shown.

Meshes are used to help promote soft tissue healing inside the body following surgery and are common in operations such as hernia repair.

However, they carry with them an increased risk of infection as the bacteria are able to get a hold inside the body by forming a biofilm on the surface of the mesh.

Skin and soft tissue infections are the most common bacterial infections, accounting for around 10% of hospital admissions, and a significant proportion of these are secondary infections following surgery.

Currently, any infection is treated with antibiotics, but the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains – or ‘superbugs’ – means scientists are on the hunt for alternatives.

Sandwiching eight nano-layers of Manuka honey (with a negative charge) between eight layers of a polymer (with a positive charge), the international team of scientists and engineers led by Dr Piergiorgio Gentile at Newcastle University, UK, and Dr Elena Mancuso, at Ulster University, showed it is possible to create an electrostatic nanocoating on the mesh which in the lab inhibits bacteria for up to three weeks as the honey is slowly released.

Publishing their findings today in the academic journal Frontiers, the team says the study highlights the potential benefits of infusing medical implants with honey.

Dr Piergiorgio Gentile, lead author and a Biomedical Engineer at Newcastle University, explains:

“Mesh is implanted inside the body to provide stability while the internal tissues heal but, unfortunately, it also provides the perfect surface for bacteria to grow on. Once the bacteria form a biofilm on the surface, it’s very difficult to treat the infection. By sandwiching the honey in a multilayer coating on the mesh surface and slowly releasing it, the aim is to inhibit the growth of the bacteria and stop the infection before it even starts.

“These results are really very exciting. Honey has been used to treat infected wounds for thousands of years but this is the first time it has been shown to be effective at fighting infection in cells from inside the body.”

Dr Mancuso, a lecturer within the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre (NIBEC) at Ulster University, adds:

“Although numerous antibiotic-based coatings, constructed through layered approaches, and intended for the development of antibacterial implants, have been investigated so far, it has been found that the effect of antibiotics may decrease with time, since antibiotic resistant bacteria may potentially develop.”

Ancient remedy

Honey has been used to treat infected wounds since ancient times, and thousands of years before the discovery of bacteria.

Most honey is believed to have some bacteria killing properties because it contains chemicals that produce hydrogen peroxide.

However, in 1991 a New Zealand study showed that when you remove the hydrogen peroxide from a range of honeys, Manuka – made from nectar collected by bees that forage on the wild Manuka tree – was the only type that kept its ability to kill bacteria. This is due to the presence of a unique ingredient, now identified as methylglyoxal, which has specific antimicrobial properties.

Using medical-grade Manuka honey, the team used the Layer-by-Layer assembly technology to create alternating layers of negatively-charged honey and positively-charged conventional biocompatible polymer to modify the surface of electrospun membrane, each layer just 10-20 nanometers thick.

Tested in-vitro on different soft tissue cell lines to test their biocompatibility, the functionalised meshes were exposed to a range of common bacterial infections such as MRSA, Staphylococcus and E coli.

“Too little honey and it won’t be enough to fight the infection but too much honey can kill the cells,” explains Dr Gentile. “By creating this 16-layerd ‘charged sandwich’ we were able to make sure the honey was released in a controlled way over two to three weeks which should give the wound time to heal free of infection.”

Dr Mancuso adds:

“With our study we have demonstrated the promising combination of a naturally-derived antibacterial agent with a nanotechnology approach, which may be translated to the design and development of novel medical devices with advanced functionality.”

Source: Newcastle University

FDA Testing Levels of Carcinogen in Diabetes Drug Metformin

Levels of possible cancer-causing chemicals in metformin diabetes medications are under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Metformin is a prescription drug used to control high blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Over the past year and a half, several types of drugs — including angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) used for high blood pressure and ranitidine (Zantac) for heartburn — have been found to contain small amounts of genotoxic substances called nitrosamines, such as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). A genotoxic substance is something that harms the genetic material in a cell.

Exposure to genotoxic substances above acceptable levels over long periods may increase the risk of cancer, the FDA said.

The FDA has been investigating the presence of nitrosamines in other drug products, and some metformin diabetes medicines in other countries were reported to have low levels of NDMA, according to Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

But NDMA levels in metformin drugs abroad are within the range that naturally occurs in some foods and in water, she noted.

Nonetheless, regulators in some other countries are recalling certain metformin drugs, Woodcock said. No metformin recalls affect the U.S. market at the moment.

Woodcock said the FDA is investigating whether metformin in the United States contains NDMA, and whether it exceeds the acceptable daily limit of 96 nanograms.

“The agency will also work with companies to test samples of metformin sold in the U.S. and will recommend recalls as appropriate if high levels of NDMA are found,” Woodcock said in an agency statement.

She cited several reasons why impurities can be present in drugs, including manufacturing processes or even the conditions in which they are packaged or stored.

“If as part of our investigation, metformin drugs are recalled, the FDA will provide timely updates to patients and health care professionals,” Woodcock said.

Meanwhile, patients who have been prescribed metformin should continue taking it to keep their diabetes under control, she said.

“It could be dangerous for patients with this serious condition to stop taking their metformin without first talking to their health care professional,” Woodcock added.

During the investigation, the FDA recommends clinicians continue to use metformin when appropriate because no alternative medications treat the condition in the same way, Woodcock said.

Source: HealthDay


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