Video: Spongebob Pancake Art

How to make your own pancake art using pancake mix, food coloring and squeeze bottles! How to get the right consistency, coloring and nail that flip!

Watch video at vimeo (17:03 minutes) . . . . .

Ricotta Fritters with Orange Sauce


1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 cup vegetable oil, to fry
2 tablespoons confectioners’ (icing) sugar
1 orange, cut into segments, to serve

Orange Sauce

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons light (single) cream
1 tablespoon orange liqueur


  1. Make the sauce: Mix the orange juice, sugar, butter, cream, and orange liqueur in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer until the sauce thickens. Keep warm.
  3. Whisk the ricotta, flour, sugar, eggs, and orange zest in a small bowl until well blended.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan to very hot.
  5. Drop tablespoons of the batter into the oil. Fry in small batches until golden brown, 2-3 minutes each side.
  6. Drain on paper towels.
  7. To serve, pour the orange sauce over the fritters and dust with the confectioners’ sugar. Top with the orange segments and serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Modern Mediterranean Cooking

Video: Sanitizing N95 Respirator Masks in an Electric Multi-cooker

A University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign study found that 50 minutes in an electric cooker, such as a rice cooker or Instant Pot, decontaminated N95 respirators, both inside and out, while maintaining their filtration and fit.

The researchers note that the heat must be dry heat – no water added to the cooker – and a small towel should cover the bottom of the cooker to keep any part of the respirator from coming into direct contact with the heating element. The P3 setting seen on the video is the rice cooking preset on the model used. The researchers recommend consulting your user’s manual for a setting that will maintain around 212ºF for 50 minutes.

Watch video at You Tube (2:29 minutes) . . . . .

Body Weight Has Surprising, Alarming Impact on Brain Function

As a person’s weight goes up, all regions of the brain go down in activity and blood flow, according to a new brain imaging study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. One of the largest studies linking obesity with brain dysfunction, scientists analyzed over 35,000 functional neuroimaging scans using single-photon emission computerized tomography from more than 17,000 individuals to measure blood flow and brain activity.

Low cerebral blood flow is the #1 brain imaging predictor that a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease. It is also associated with depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, addiction, suicide, and other conditions. “This study shows that being overweight or obese seriously impacts brain activity and increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease as well as many other psychiatric and cognitive conditions,” explained Daniel G. Amen, MD, the study’s lead author and founder of Amen Clinics, one of the leading brain-centered mental health clinics in the United States

Striking patterns of progressively reduced blood flow were found in virtually all regions of the brain across categories of underweight, normal weight, overweight, obesity, and morbid obesity. These were noted while participants were in a resting state as well as while performing a concentration task. In particular, brain areas noted to be vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease, the temporal and parietal lobes, hippocampus, posterior cingulate gyrus, and precuneus, were found to have reduced blood flow along the spectrum of weight classification from normal weight to overweight, obese, and morbidly obese.

Considering the latest statistics showing that 72% of Americans are overweight of whom 42% are obese, this is distressing news for America’s mental and cognitive health.

Commenting on this study, George Perry, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Semmes Foundation Distinguished University Chair in Neurobiology at The University of Texas at San Antonio, stated, “Acceptance that Alzheimer’s disease is a lifestyle disease, little different from other age-related diseases, that is the sum of a lifetime is the most important breakthrough of the decade. Dr. Amen and collaborators provide compelling evidence that obesity alters blood supply to the brain to shrink the brain and promote Alzheimer’s disease. This is a major advance because it directly demonstrates how the brain responds to our body.”

This study highlights the need to address obesity as a target for interventions designed to improve brain function, be they Alzheimer disease prevention initiatives or attempts to optimize cognition in younger populations. Such work will be crucial in improving outcomes across all age groups.

Although the results of this study are deeply concerning, there is hope. Dr. Amen added, “One of the most important lessons we have learned through 30 years of performing functional brain imaging studies is that brains can be improved when you put them in a healing environment by adopting brain-healthy habits, such as a healthy calorie-smart diet and regular exercise.”

Source: ISO Press

Many Stay Optimistic Until Old Age Hits

People tend to be optimistic for most of their life, even when they have to cope with serious challenges, a new study finds.

Researchers surveyed 75,000 people aged 16 to 101 in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands to assess their optimism and outlook about the future.

“We found that optimism continued to increase throughout young adulthood, seemed to steadily plateau, and then decline into older adulthood,” said study author William Chopik, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University.

“Even people with fairly bad circumstances, who have had tough things happen in their lives, look to their futures and life ahead and felt optimistic,” he added in a university news release.

“Counterintuitively — and most surprising — we found that really hard things like deaths and divorce really didn’t change a person’s outlook to the future,” Chopik said. “This shows that a lot of people likely subscribe to the ‘life is short’ mantra and realize they should focus on things that make them happy and maintain emotional balance.”

The study was published online recently in the Journal of Research in Personality.

From the time people are 15 to almost 60 or 70, they become more and more optimistic, according to Chopik.

“There’s a massive stretch of life during which you keep consistently looking forward to things and the future,” he said. “Part of that has to do with experiencing success both in work and life.

“You find a job, you meet your significant other, you achieve your goals and so on. You become more autonomous and you are somewhat in control of your future; so, you tend to expect things to turn out well,” Chopik noted.

But as people move into old age, optimism can decline, likely due to health concerns and knowing that most of their life is behind them.

“Retirement age is when people can stop working, have time to travel and to pursue their hobbies,” Chopik said. “But very surprisingly, people didn’t really think that it would change the outlook of their lives for the better.”

One of the study’s most important findings is people’s resilience.

“We oftentimes think that the really sad or tragic things that happen in life completely alter us as people, but that’s not really the case,” Chopik said. “You don’t fundamentally change as a result of terrible things; people diagnosed with an illness or those who go through another crisis still felt positive about the future and what life had ahead for them on the other side.”

Source: HealthDay

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