Apple Pie Sundaes with Cheddar Crust Shards


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2-1/2 tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 large apples, such as Pink Lady or Granny Smith—cored, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
2 pints vanilla frozen yogurt


  1. Make the shard. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour with 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Coarsely grate the cold butter into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and pulse twice. Add the cold water and cider vinegar and pulse just until the dough is evenly moistened.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until it just comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, or until chilled.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 9-inch square and transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes, until golden. Let cool.
  5. Prepare the Sundae. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the apples and toss to coat. Add the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and season lightly with salt. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender and translucent, about 15 minutes.
  6. Add 1/2 cup of water to the skillet and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Transfer half of the apples to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  7. Scrape the puree into a bowl and freeze until it is cold, about 30 minutes.
  8. Soften the frozen yogurt slightly and transfer it to a large bowl. Fold in the cold apple puree and freeze until the frozen yogurt is firm, about 30 minutes.
  9. Scoop the frozen yogurt into 8 bowls and top with the sauteed apples.
  10. Break the cheddar crust into large shards; serve with the sundaes.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Chef Breanne Varela

Gadget: Smart Toaster

Constantine Spyrou wrote . . . . . . . . .

Created by Revolution Cooking, the toaster comes with a touch screen that lets you control the level of browning on your bread. It even has a function that lets you see how brown the bread is without having to restart your toaster completely.

The smart toaster is designed to get a variety of baked goods, including bread, waffles, bagels, and more, to the shade of brown you want it to be. It can also customize based on whether what you throw inside is fresh, frozen, or being simply reheated, and comes with a digital or analog clock, in case you need your toaster to tell time as well.

Source: FoodBeast

Bee Healthy: Honey May Beat Cold Meds Against Cough

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

There may be no cure for the common cold, but a spoonful of honey might make it less miserable, a new research review concludes.

Parents have long used honey to soothe kids’ sore throats and cough — probably because their parents did. But the review of 14 clinical trials finds some science to back it up.

Overall, adults and kids given honey had less-severe, less-frequent coughing spells than those who received “usual care” — including over-the-counter cough syrups, cold and allergy medicines, and painkillers.

And while honey might not be a slam-dunk against cold symptoms, it’s reasonable to give it a try, experts said.

That’s partly because the cold-and-cough medicines sold in drug stores do not work well and can have side effects, said Dr. Russell Greenfield, an integrative medicine specialist who was not involved in the study.

“The reality is: We don’t have a good conventional therapy for the common cold,” said Greenfield, who is clinical physician executive of Novant Health Integrative Medicine in Charlotte, N.C.

In contrast, honey might be helpful, and it’s largely safe and relatively cheap.

The exception, Greenfield said, is babies: Children younger than 1 year should not be given honey, due to the risk of botulism.

Honey has a centuries-long history as a folk remedy, including as a balm for sore throats and cough. For the new review, researchers at Oxford University in England pulled together recent evidence on whether the nectar actually works.

They found 14 clinical trials done since 2007; most focused on children, but five involved adults. Each tested honey against standard cold-and-cough medicines or a placebo.

Overall, honey was better than usual care in limiting coughs.

“The majority of studies focused on cough, and the evidence is best for cough,” said lead review author Hibatullah Abuelgasim, a medical student at Oxford.

A few studies looked at other symptoms. A study of adults, for instance, measured throat irritation and found that honey seemed to speed recovery.

Given the mostly benign nature of honey, “it’s reasonable to try it — especially if it replaces potentially harmful alternatives,” Abuelgasim said.

One of those potentially harmful alternatives is antibiotics, which are commonly prescribed for colds. That’s despite the fact that antibiotics kill bacteria, and therefore, won’t work against the viruses that cause colds.

In some cases, a person with a cold may develop a secondary bacterial infection and need medication for it, Greenfield noted. But, he said, “colds, by definition, won’t respond to an antibiotic.”

What is the magic behind honey? It’s not entirely clear, according to Greenfield.

Honey contains antioxidants, he noted, and research suggests it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity. It also helps coat the mucus membranes, Greenfield said, which might bring some relief.

Plus, it’s sweet and “doesn’t taste bad,” he said. “In integrative medicine, we don’t discount the placebo effect — we try to use it.”

As for the best way to use honey — by the spoonful or mixed into tea, for example — the trials do not answer that. They used various modes of delivery, Abuelgasim said.

Her advice: “It may be best to take it how you prefer.”

With the world in the middle of a pandemic, however, even a cough should be taken seriously, according to Greenfield.

“These days, it’s a different animal,” he said.

So before turning to self-care with honey, Greenfield said, anyone who develops a cough or other possible symptoms of COVID-19 should consult their doctor.

The findings were published online in the journal BMJ: Evidence-Based Medicine.

Source: HealthDay

Low Vitamin K Levels Linked to Mobility Limitation and Disability in Older Adults

Low levels of circulating vitamin K are linked to increased risk of mobility limitation and disability in older adults, identifying a new factor to consider for maintaining mobility and independence in older age, according to a study led by researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

The study, published online in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, is the first to evaluate the association between biomarkers of vitamin K status and the onset of mobility limitation and disability in older adults.

“Because of our growing population of older people, it’s important for us to understand the variety of risk factors for mobility disability,” said Kyla Shea, first and corresponding author and a nutrition scientist in the Vitamin K Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University.

“Low vitamin K status has been associated with the onset of chronic diseases that lead to disability, but the work to understand this connection is in its infancy. Here, we’re building on previous studies that found that low levels of circulating vitamin K are associated with slower gait speed and a higher risk of osteoarthritis,” she continued.

The new study examined two biomarkers: circulating levels of vitamin K (phylloquinone) and a functional measure of vitamin K (plasma ucMGP). Using participant data from the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study (Health ABC), the study found that older adults with low levels of circulating vitamin K were more likely to develop mobility limitation and disability. The other biomarker, plasma ucMGP, did not show clear associations with mobility limitation and disability.

Specifically, older adults with low circulating vitamin K levels were nearly 1.5 times more likely to develop mobility limitation and nearly twice as likely to develop mobility disability compared to those with sufficient levels. This was true for both men and women.

“The connection we saw with low levels of circulating vitamin K further supports vitamin K’s association with mobility disability,” said senior author Sarah Booth, a vitamin K and nutrition researcher, and director of the HNRCA. “Although the two biomarkers we looked at are known to reflect vitamin K status, biomarker levels can also be affected by additional known or unknown factors. Further experiments to understand the mechanisms of biomarkers and vitamin K and their role in mobility are needed.”

The study used data from 635 men and 688 women ages 70-79 years old, approximately 40 percent of whom were black, who participated in Health ABC. In Health ABC, mobility was assessed every six months for six to ten years through annual clinic visits and phone interviews in the intervening time. For the present analysis, the researchers defined mobility limitation as two consecutive semi-annual reports of having any amount of difficulty either with walking a quarter of a mile or climbing 10 steps without resting, and mobility disability as two consecutive semi-annual reports of having a lot of difficulty or inability to walk or climb the same amount.

Circulating vitamin K levels reflect the amount of vitamin K in the diet. The best food sources of vitamin K include leafy greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli and some dairy products. For an average adult, one cup of raw spinach provides 145 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K1, or 181 percent of the Daily Value; one cup of raw kale provides 113 mcg, or 141 percent; and half of a cup of chopped boiled broccoli provides 110 mcg, or 138 percent.

Source: Tufts University

Today’s Comic