Fudgy No-Bake Brownies

*Two of the Daily Dozen ✔︎ (Other Fruits and Nuts and Seeds)

Having women over in the mid-afternoon, what snack or treat to serve. Of course, it depends on why we are getting together. For current events, wine might be a good choice. This week, I was having a small knitting group over to share and work out pattern issues, so forget the wine.

The thought of serving something full of sugar or fat did not appeal to me. With hours to spare, my solution was a five ingredient recipe that was 100% whole food and healthy. No fat, sugar, or salt. Fat in nuts and sugar content in dates don’t count. They come along with other ingredients that together make them healthy. Dates are touted as the “richest source of dietary minerals.” Like other dried fruit, they are calorie dense.

How did the Fudgy No-Bake Brownies taste to my knitting sisters? Susan D. said it tasted great and then reached for a second piece. Beth declared, “It’s like heaven. I could eat every piece left on the plate.” Finally, Barbara A., a self-declared sweet toother, said it was so sweet that eating one piece more than satisfied her urge for a sweet treat. Then two  took home a piece for hubby.

Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts

1 1/3cups pitted dates

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup crushed pecans

Directions:

Grind walnuts and dates in a food processor until finely ground. Add almond butter and process until well mixed. Add cocoa powder and pulse to mix well.

Transfer the brownie mixture to an 8 inch square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper to make it easier to remove brownies from pan. Use your fingers to press the mixture evenly into the pan. With brownies firmly pressed into the pan, sprinkle the top evenly with crushed pecans. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into squares or triangles, or small clouds. ⛅️

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Super Green Smoothie

*Six of the Daily Dozen ✔︎ (Greens, Other Vegetables, Other Fruits, Nuts and Seeds, Herbs and Spices, Beverages)

Ingredients:

2 cups packed fresh baby spinach

1 large apple

1/2 avocado (peeled and pitted)

1 cup diced pineapple

3 soft pitted dates

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2/3 mint leaves (I skipped it thinking it would be too minty)

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

**2 teaspoons blended and peeled lemon or lime

2/3 cup water

Ice cubes optional.

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a powerful blender.

Personal experience suggest to sip it leisurely. Slow intake sates better and longer.

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*Michael Greger (author of How Not to Die), nutrition researcher and medical doctor, spends his working hours learning about foods’ special nutrients and studies that show the benefit or lack of. Putting what he learned to practice, he’d keep a daily list of what the research said to eat. Long story shrunk, he created a list of “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen” turned into an app of what to eat daily.

Why am I telling you this: When I list a recipe, it will include how many of the daily dozen foods you ate.

**Cooking with lemon or lime juice, you miss out on the fiber and all the nutrition attached to it. Time Saver: Peel and blend a whole lemon(s) and then freeze in 1-teaspoon portions using a small silicone ice cube tray. Then just pop it out of the tray, each square equals a teaspoon.

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The measuring spoon container’s cameo appearance–hm.

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Clearly, I have some work to do with my photos. Anyhow, each square holds a teaspoon of lemon. My squares, as if it needs pointing out😄, are not full. So, my estimate is that those two lemons delivered 12 teaspoons of lemon. Michael Greger’s recipes often include teaspoons of lemon.

Small silicone ice cube tray

Almond Milk

Every morning, after my walk, I sit down with a green tea soy latte and listen to a three-minute meditation on an app, uPray It was after of those moments, right after I told my husband, Tim, that I intended to cook every recipe in a new cookbook, that I had what seemed like a good idea.

Some years ago, I watched a film about a woman in New York who cooked every recipe in her Betty Crocker cookbook. My idea: I would do the same. I’ll cook when the spirit moves me, not as a scheduled commitment. Regular readers of my newsletter know that cooking is not one of my top twenty favorite activities. But cooking using whole foods, nothing processed, that’s good for the body, gets me back into the kitchen.

So, when you don’t see a recipe in a given week, please refer to “cook when the spirit moves me” comment. You can interpret this to mean that the ghost of Betty Crocker didn’t stop by at my house that week.

Almond Milk

This recipe is much easier than starting with soaking the almonds overnight.

Ingredients: 2 cups water and 2 Tbs almond butter.

Directions: Combine almond butter and water in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Add dates if you want it sweeter. Keep in refrigerator.

Almond milk is rich in magnesium and potassium, two nutrients we are often lacking.

Almond Milk

Not A Sweet Solution

Food companies have a way of increasing profits at the cost of our health. Commercials show beautiful and fit young people with emotionally charged music—like “Taste the Feeling” and “Put It Together”—full of energy having a great time. Sure, we know that drinking diet soda is not going to change our physical appearance or happiness, but what we may not know is the damage, drink by drink, that is taking place inside our bodies.

Artificial sweeteners trick the brain, and it feels cheated and wants more sugar to get calories out of it. If people are given Sprite, artificially sweetened soda, or unsweetened carbonated lemon-lime water, and don’t know which they are drinking, later when offered a choice of M&Ms, spring water, or sugar-free gum, guess what they pick. Those drinking the artificially sweetened drinks were nearly three times more likely to take the M&Ms than those who drank sugar-sweetened or unsweetened drinks.

Susan E. Swithers, a professor at Purdue, reviewed and evaluated the most recent research on the effect of drinking diet soda. “Whether consuming high-intensity
sweeteners, despite having zero or low calories, may result in overeating, weight gain, or other health problems.”
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From the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, regular consumption of diet soda expands your waistline and is a potential pathway for heart trouble in older people.

What happens to your body when you drink diet soda from minutes to an hour?

First 10 Minutes: The acid attacks the enamel on your teeth, and the artificial sweeteners trick your body into thinking you just ate sugar which your taste buds love.

20 Minutes: Like the regular soft drink, it triggers insulin which sends your body into fat storage mode.

40 Minutes: The combination of caffeine and aspartame is addictive, similar to cocaine, especially if you drink it on a regular basis.

60 Minutes and After: Depletes nutrients, makes you hungry and wanting more. If this doesn’t get you off the diet soda, consider this: It will never quench your thirst as it dehydrates rather than hydrates. Lack of water can lead to brain fog, poor concentration, fatigue, and feeling irritable.

The Coca-Cola Story

John Pemberton, known as “Doc” was injured in the Civil War when he tried to block a bridge leading into the heart of Columbus. As he fell back in pain, a Union soldier cut a deep slash from chest to stomach leaving Pemberton near dead. Back home, his injuries left him in contact pain. Like so many soldiers, he used morphine to ease the pain. After a while, the morphine’s effectiveness and he needed more frequent doses eventually developed a full-blown addiction .

CokeDoc, who was a chemist before the war, invented drugs to ease pain. His goal was a non-addictive replacement for morphine. Finally, he created what he was looking for, a combination of wine, coca leave kola nut, and an aromatic shrub called damiana. He called it Pemberton’s French Wine Coca.

There was no FDA (Federal Drug Administration) so Pemberton was free to make claims about the tonic’s medical benefits.  From an ad he placed in the newspaper in 1885:

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.41.02 AMFrench Wine Coca is endorsed by over 20,000 of the most learned and scientific medical men in the world…French Wine Coca, infallible in curing all who are afflicted with any nerve trouble, dyspepsia, mental and physical exhaustion, all chronic…wonderful invigorator of the sexual organs and will cure seminal weakness…

Coke did not do so well in its first year and Doc Pemberton died in August 1888. He never saw the commercial success he had been seeking.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.42.18 AMAfter Pemberton’s death, a man named Asa Griggs Candler rescued the business. In 1891, he became the sole owner of Coca-Cola. He hired traveling salesmen to pass out coupons for a free coke. Chandler advertised Coca-Cola syrup, a patented medicine, on posters and in calendars, making it a national brand. His claim was that it could get rid of fatigue and headaches.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.44.50 AMIn 1898, Congress passed a tax (on all medicine) in the wake of the Spanish-American war. Now Chandler wanted Coca-Cola to be sold as a beverage. He won the court battle and from then on, Coca-Cola was considered a soda drink. Soon after, Coca-Cola vending machines covered the U.S. landscape.

Fashionistas

The content in this blog comes from online Fashion Encyclopedia (http://www.fashionencyclopedia.com) and photos from google images. 

Jeanne Paquin (1869-1936) was the first woman to gain international celebrity in the fashion business. Her design career spanned the three decades from 1891 to 1920. she was a Beautiful, chic, intelligent, and charismatic, Paquin was herself the best publicist for her own style She was born on the outskirts of Paris. As a young girl she was employed at a local dressmaker’s shop and then became a seamstress at the distinguished Parisian firm of Maison Rouff. In February 1891 she married Isidore Rene Jacob dit Paquin, a former banker and businessman.

The couple together worked toward a new business model to enter the fashion industry. With Madame as head designer and her husband as business administrator. The couple built a couture business whose worldwide scope and stylistic influences were unparalleled during the early years of the twentieth century. There pioneering approaches for marketing and alluring designs attracted the fashionable women of the world who were poised for a new fashion image at the end of the Victorian era. The diverse and esteemed client list included famous actresses and courtesans, European royals, and the wives of American business tycoons such as Rockefeller, Astor, Vanderbilt, Ballantine, and Wannamaker. In 1907 Isidore Paquin died suddenly, leaving Jeanne Paquin to head their fashion empire alone. Her half brother, Henri Joire, and his wife, Suzanne, joined her as partners in 1911.

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Madame Valentina was as exotic as her name. A Russian emigrée, she attracted attention in New York after her arrival in 1923 by looking like a woman at a time when women were trying to look like young boys. For dining in fashionable restaurants or attending the theatre with her theatre-producer husband George Schlee, Valentina wore her own designs—full-length, high necked, long sleeved gowns with natural waistlines, made of flowing black velvet—in contrast to the short, waistless, beaded flapper fashions that prevailed at the time. Instead of bobbed hair, Valentina emphasized high cheekbones and large soulful eyes by wearing her long blonde hair in a high chignon. Slavic reserve, thick Russian accent, expressive hands, and movement with a dancer’s grace completed her personality. She was her own best model and maintained a consistency of appearance throughout her long career.
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Claire McCardell was the founder of American ready-to-wear fashion, and in doing so defined what has become known as the American Look. She created casual but sophisticated clothes with a functional design, which reflected the lifestyles of American women. McCardell’s design philosophy was that clothes should be practical, comfortable, and feminine. Capitalizing on the World War II restrictions on the availability of French fashions and fabrics, McCardell designed simple, inexpensive clothes under the label Townley Frocks by Claire McCardell and later Claire McCardell Clothes by Townley.

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Warsaw-born Barbara Hulanicki first burst onto the fashion scene as a 19 year old Brighton Art College student in 1955, winning a beachwear competition sponsored by the London Evening Standard. After working as a freelance fashion illustrator for magazines including Vogue, Tatler, and Women’s Wear Daily, Hulanicki opened, with her late husband Stephen Fitz-Simon, Biba in 1964. Thanks to, ‘a rock ‘n roll friendly mix of mini skirts, feather boas, velvet tuis, tie-dye tees, and floppy felt hats’, regulars at the uber-fabulous & famous Kensington shop soon grew to include Marianne Faithfull, David Bowie, and Mick Jagger… as well as Anna Wintour, whose father secured his young fashionista-in-training a job there at age 15. Biba closed it’s doors in 1976 and Hulanicki went to work for Fiorucci and Cacharel. From 1980 to 1992 she designed a line of children’s wear called Minirock.

 

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By 1964, Rykiel had been nicknamed “The Queen of Knitwear” in the U.S., where an ardent following developed for her knits, which were sold in trendsetting stores like Henri Bendel and Bloomingdale’s in New York. For women who were rich and thin enough to wear them, these skinny sweaters, with their high armholes, imparted instant chic. Part of their appeal was in their distinctive colors and striped patterns. Black, navy, gray, and beige are still standards, but there was also a unique Rykiel palette of muted tones—stripes of grayed seafoam green and grayed teal. Although she herself does not wear red (she wears black, considering it a uniform), Rykiel still uses it consistently, with the shade changing from season to season.

Rykiel continues to design a complete range of clothes and accessories for women in the 1990s, drawn from her experiences and her fantasies, which she encourages women to appropriate and adapt whilst inventing and reinventing themselves. In addition to knits and jerseys, she uses crêpe for soft clothes, and woven tweeds and plaids for a more structured day look. Evening fantasies are best expressed in lightweight black luxury fabrics, often combined with sequins, metallic thread, embroidery, or elaborate combinations incorporating velvet.

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Vera Wang was exposed to fashion early in her life through her mother’s style and her affluent upbringing on Manhattan’s East Side. After graduation from college in 1971, Wang began working for Voguemagazine. At the end of her first year, she was promoted to fashion editor, the youngest in Vogue‘s history. In a nostalgic piece written for the magazine in March 2001, editors said of Wang, “As a young fashion editor, she used the perfection she learned as a skater to produce shoots with an ice-cool edge.” Despite a few fashion-shoot snafus, Wang held the position for the next 16 years.

After her stint at Vogue,Wang worked as a design director at Ralph Lauren; her responsibility included overseeing 13 accessory lines. Throughout her career, she wanted to be a fashion designer and this desire started to grow while she was shopping for a wedding gown for her upcoming nuptials to Arthur Becker in 1989. Frustrated with the gowns she saw, she designed her own and hired a dressmaker to create it at a cost of $10,000. Discovering a market niche for contemporary and elegant wedding gowns, in 1990 Wang opened her own bridal boutique with financial backing from her father in the upscale Carlyle Hotel on Madison Avenue in New York. She carried elegant bridal wear by well-known designers, but also to design wedding gowns herself.

 

 

 

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Donna Karan can be considered the designer who has made it fashionable to be voluptuous. She has based her corporate philosophy on clothes designed to hug a woman but also hide bodily imperfections. “You’ve gotta accent your positive, delete your negative,” she declared in a press release, emphasizing the fact that if you’re pulled together underneath, you can build on top of that. Karan firmly relates designing to herself and her role as a woman. She sees design as a personal expression of the many roles she has had to balance, being a wife, mother, friend, and businessperson. She believes her sex has given her greater insight into solving problems women have with fashion, fulfilling their needs, simplifying dress to make life easier and to add comfort, luxury, and durability.

 

Shortly after the launch of the diffusion line, Anne Klein II, in 1982, Karan felt ready to go it alone. Together with her husband, Stephen Weiss, she launched the first Donna Karan collection in 1985 and since then the company has grown at a dizzying pace. Karan is inspired by New York; she believes its energy, pace, and vibrance attracts the most sophisticated and artistic people in the world, the type of people and lifestyle for whom she has always designed. Her principle is that clothes should be interchangeable and flexible enough to go from day to evening, summer to winter. Fashion should be a multicultural language, easy, sensuous, and functional, a modern security blanket. Perhaps this explains why her fundamental trademark items, the bodysuits, unitards, black cashmere and stretch fabrics and sensuous bodywrap styles owe great allegiance to the innate style and taste of the artist.

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High Court Hazing

Becoming a US Supreme Court justice is the highest honor in American law.

Justice Elena Kagan is passing the torch, three unique responsibilities, to Neil Gorsuch, now the lowest person on the totem pole, who will keep it until the next justice is appointed.

One responsibility the Honorable Neil Gorsuch will take on is cafeteria duties, going over the monthly cafeteria agenda which may include finding a good recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

Another responsibility is to open the door to the conference room, their inner sanctum.  Kagan explains, “If I’m like in the middle of a sentence—let’s say it’s my turn to speak or something—and there’s a knock on the door, everybody will just stare at me, waiting for me to open the door,” Kagan said. “It’s like a form of hazing. So, that’s what I do, I open the door. Pronto”

The Supreme Court is a place of seniority. When they meet, the chief justice speaks first, and the rest speak in order of longevity. The most junior justice speaks last and is responsible to take notes of the proceedings.

 

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