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Doug Stephan Coffee
Doug Stephan Coffee
November 22, 2014

Click the link below to find out how you can give a daily cup of milk to a child in need with your daily cup of coffee!

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Posted by Ken at 4:50 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

5 Things You Need to Know About Tree Nut Allergies Before You Shop
5 Things You Need to Know About Tree Nut Allergies Before You Shop
November 22, 2014

According to Food Allergy Research and Education, approximately 1.8 million Americans are allergic to tree nuts. The reactions are among the leading causes of fatal and near-fatal reactions to foods. Tree nuts include walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, and more. Tree nuts are not: peanuts, which are legumes, or seeds, such as sunflower or sesame. Most who are diagnosed with a tree nut allergy must avoid them for life.

Whether it's you or someone you know with a tree nut allergy, avoiding allergens is a must. SupermarketGuru has compiled a list of the things you must know when shopping for a tree nut allergy.

Always ask! Tree nuts are very versatile ingredients and can sometimes pop up in unexpected places. It is important to stay vigilant and read labels. Here are some unexpected foods that may contain tree nuts: salads and dressing, barbecue sauce, breading for chicken, pancakes, meat-free burgers, pasta, fish dishes, pie crust and honey.

Labeling is required. All FDA regulated manufactured food products that contain a tree nut as an ingredient, are required by law to list the specific tree nut on the product label.

What exactly to look for on labels? Avoid foods that contain nuts or any of these ingredients: almond, artificial nuts, beechnut, Brazil nut, butternut, cashew, chestnut, chinquapin, coconut, filbert/hazelnut, ginkgo nut, hickory nut, litchi/lichee/lychee nut, macadamia nut, marzipan/almond paste, Nangai nut, natural nut extract (e.g. almond), nut butters (e.g. cashew butter), nut meal, nut meat, nut paste (e.g. almond paste), nut pieces, pecan, pesto, pili nut, pine nut (also referred to as Indian, pignoli, pigñolia, pignon, piñon, and pinyon nut), pistachio, praline, shea nut, and walnut.

Cross contamination. Similar to a peanut allergy, it is important to read labels for the ingredients listed above, as well as paying attention to the statement on the label, "produced on shared equipment with tree nuts..." Products with this label should also be avoided. To the same tune, ice cream served in an ice cream shop should be avoided; cross-contamination occurs frequently because of shared scoops.

What about coconut? Coconut is the seed of a drupaceous fruit, and has typically not been restricted in the diets of people with tree nut allergy. The same for shea nut butter. The confusion is with the labeling of coconuts; in October 2006, the FDA began identifying coconut as a tree nut. Ask your doctor if you need to avoid coconut.

Keep in mind that allergies are individual and it is important to discuss with your physician how to go about testing various "safe" tree nut foods so that you can find out what works for you.

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Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Gluten Free and Still Feeling Sick?
Gluten Free and Still Feeling Sick?
November 22, 2014

It is estimated that 18 million Americans suffer from some kind of gluten sensitivity, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms ranging from GI upset to insomnia to anxiety. Unlike celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestines if gluten is consumed, there's no lab test to confirm a sensitivity. An elimination diet, eliminating all gluten for at least 3 weeks, is a good indicator.

In dollars and cents, sales of gluten-free products were expected to total $10.5 billion last year, according to Mintel; the firm estimates grater than $15 billion in annual sales in 2016. But are all the shoppers that are keeping the gluten free market alive truly sensitive to the protein, or is it something else about the food that we're reacting to? Emerging research points to an intolerance to FODMAPs, Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols. Specific types of carbohydrates found in all different kinds of foods, including certain fruits and vegetables.

The FODMAP diet isn't entirely gluten free but does eliminate wheat, barley and rye, as they contain one of the FODMAP carbohydrates.

Here are the basics and some of the foods that contain FODMAPs:

Fructose: high fructose corn syrup, honey and certain fruits like apples, blackberries, boysenberries, dates and figs.

Lactose: milk, soft cheese, sour cream, chocolate, buttermilk and custard.

Fructans: wheat, barley, rye, garlic, onions, and inulin (found in leeks, artichokes, and asparagus).

Galactans: beans, lentils, chickpeas and soybeans.

Polyols: avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, and plums, as well as artificial sweeteners with isomalt, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol.

One theory behind FODMAP-caused irritation is that these carbs draw excess water into the intestines, which are then fermented by gut bacteria in the large intestine. The excess water causes diarrhea, while the fermentation causes gas and bloating.

If you've eliminated gluten but are still experiencing GI symptoms, it might be worth exploring the FODMAP diet to see if those carbs are the culprits. Speak with your health care professional before making any changes to your diet as there is still a lot of unknown about cutting the FODMAPS from your diet, as it might be challenging to make sure you are getting the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. The FODMAP diet is usually intended for a short period of time, and after several weeks adding back restricted foods one at a time to see if there is an effect is the typical protocol.

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Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Will Apple Pay Replace Gift Cards?
Will Apple Pay Replace Gift Cards?
November 22, 2014

Retailers have long known of the hidden bounty in gift cards. Billions of dollars in lost, forgotten, unredeemed cards represent a mammoth seasonal present to stores. Even cards that are eventually used enhance profits because retailers gain from the float; they often have cash in hand long before any merchandise is bought.

What a subsidy by consumers - who expect to buy $31.74 billion in gift cards this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Gift Card Spending Survey. That's $172.74 per card purchaser, up from $163.16 last year.

What's been missing in the process of selling, gifting and redeeming gift cards is a closed loop - one that would enable cardholders to more assuredly capture the full amount of their balances, or that would allow retailers to issue reminders after a certain period of time that a balance exists, The Lempert Report observes. While this may be fraught with fraud potential, security could be built in. It also seems a bit unfair to us that no safety net has existed for consumers because gift cards are bearer instruments.

We urge retailers to rethink gift cards to encourage a system of high redemption rates that maximize value to consumers - and minimize the unearned profits to retailers from unused cards. Why take money from their very own pockets? It's solid, ethical business - with a long-tail benefit that could be monstrous to the first retailers adopting such practice.

Why monstrous? Because 62% of shoppers want to receive a gift card this holiday season - this makes gift cards "the most requested gift item eight years in a row," states NRF. A safety-net policy could be a huge differentiator that wins with consumers on an emotional level, we believe.

Until retailers shift, however, consumers have the promise of Apple Pay, which already has some of the nation's major banks aligned with it. Among them: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi and Capital One. Also accepting Apple Pay are Whole Foods Market, Meijer, Walgreens and SpartanNash.

Here's our vision: Shoppers who buy gift cards with Apple Pay could have recipients link them to one of their bank accounts or an e-mail address. For a used card with just a nominal balance remaining, press a button to transfer that balance to a bank account. For a card that has gone unused for a stipulated period - say, a couple of months - a reminder notification goes out.

Who'll be first to work on this?

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Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Steal This Recipe® Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes
Steal This Recipe® Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes
November 22, 2014

In the heart of downtown Minneapolis you'll discover Hell's Kitchen; named after the New York neighborhood, and also because of the charged atmosphere of the restaurant's kitchen!

This indulgent breakfast, or any time recipe, was stolen with permission from Mitch Omer, joint owner and chef with partner Steve Meyer. Hell's Kitchen serves 'real food, carefully prepared from scratch' which has been described as "unique but not fancy; interesting but not fussy". Some of the enticing dishes on the menu are: Toasted Sausage Bread, Jamaican Jerk Burger, Megu BBQ Beef Ribs and Charred Sea Bass with jerk seasoning and pineapple jalapeno salsa.

With Gospel Sunday brunches, served by pajama clad waitresses, the ambiance at Hell's Kitchen reflects the owners' unique, yet easy going style of cooking and about this recipe, Mitch says "You can adjust the quantities and ingredients to better suit your personal tastes. That's what good cooking is all about." The food at Hell's Kitchen is unapologetically not health food, which fits Mitch's tendency to favor the extreme in all aspects of his life.

About the chef: Mitch Omer is the manic-depressive, recovering drug addict, wild-eyed owner of the two successful Hell's Kitchen restaurants in Minnesota (Minneapolis and Duluth), and co-author with Ann Bauer of Damn Good Food: 157 Recipes from Hell's Kitchen. He's much more mellow than the man he once was, having given up drugs, had a successful gastric bypass and being happily married to Cynthia, his third wife. He's not only up front about his rock 'n' roll past, but successfully leverages his image to bring in customers - and gives them a free cinnamon roll if they come for brunch still dressed in their pajamas.

Hell's Kitchen
80 South 9th St.
Minneapolis MN 55402
612.332.4700

Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes are served at Hell's Kitchen for $12.25.
This recipe makes 16 hotcakes.

Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes Ingredients:
6 egg whites
9 egg yolks
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3cup all-purpose flour
Unsalted butter, melted (for the skillet)

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions:
Pour egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a wire whisk attachment, and whisk on high speed until firm peaks form.
Reduce the speed to low. Slowly add egg yolks, and then gradually add melted butter.
Continue whisking on low speed until well incorporated. Stop the mixer, and add sugar, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk on medium speed for 1 minute.
Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add flour. Continue mixing for about 1 minute. Stop the mixer, and scrape the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula.
Return the mixer to medium speed, and mix for about 1 minute.
This makes about 4 cups.
Mitch finds it best to refrigerate the batter for a few hours prior to making the hotcakes. This allows the melted butter to firm up slightly in the mix and keeps the batter from spreading out too thin on a hot griddle.
Refrigerated in a covered container, this batter will keep safely for up to 3 days.
To cook the hotcakes, heat a large skillet over medium high.
Brush the skillet with melted butter, and drop batter into the hot skillet in ¼-cup portions.
Leave about 2 inches between hotcakes to allow them to spread.
Cook until bubbles appear and bottoms are golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Flip hotcakes and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet.
Mitch garnishes the cooked hotcakes with a handful of fresh blackberries, blueberries, and quartered strawberries, then dust with a vanilla powdered sugar, and serve with a side of butter and warm maple syrup.

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Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

From Tom Parsons - What Are The Best Days Of The Week To Buy Cheap AirlineTickets
From Tom Parsons - What Are The Best Days Of The Week To Buy Cheap AirlineTickets
November 21, 2014

For years we've been telling you that in order to get the best priced domestic fares, you should buy tickets Tuesday afternoon through Thursday night, but a recent study calls this into question.

The ARC Airline Recording Corporation (ARC) found that by looking at the average price paid, Sunday was the cheapest day to buy, with an average fare of $432 roundtrip for domestic fares, followed by Saturday, with an average fare of $439.

What the study didn't break down is purchases from leisure travelers versus business travelers. Leisure travelers typically purchase well in advance of their flight, and are able to get much cheaper fares compared to business travelers, who purchase with little to no advance, and pay a higher price for that lack of advance ticketing. The report says Sunday is the cheapest day to purchase, but the $432 average fare on Sunday is higher than the 21-day advance fares we see, and much higher than the sale fares we typically see run Tuesday through Thursday.

Click the link below for the rest of the article and for Tom's deals!

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Posted by Ken at 6:49 PM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Boy says electric shock turned him into magnet
Boy says electric shock turned him into magnet
November 21, 2014

A Russian 12-year-old may become the first real-life X-Men hero after an electric shock apparently magnetized his body.

Nikolai Kryaglyachenko, 12, said he leaned on a lamppost with faulty wiring on his way home from school one day and the resulting electric shock turned him into a living magnet that attracts metal objects.

"When I woke up the next day and got out of bed, I found some coins that had been lying on the mattress had stuck to my body. Then when I was having breakfast and dropped my spoon, it stuck to my chest," the boy told Omsk TV and Radio Company.

Kryaglyachenko, who has been compared to X-Men villain Magneto, said he doesn't have much control over the magnetism.

"I can do things I couldn't do before, but I don't have a lot of control over it. Even when I do not want to do it, I still attract things. Once I even attracted a glass -- it just moved towards me," he said.

Stories of human magnets stretch back to the 19th century, with one woman being recorded in 1990 supporting 15 pounds of weight with her palm held vertically. However, some scientists have said stories of human magnetism can be attributed to nothing more than unusually sticky skin.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Black market craft beer is bad for business
Black market craft beer is bad for business
November 21, 2014

With all the things you can buy on the black market, from stolen Picassos to the occasional vital organ, you probably didn't think something as ubiquitous as beer could be covertly bought and sold.

But the world's most popular alcoholic beverage made its way to the black market and that could really screw up your enjoyment of your favorite craft brew.

CNN Money reports that the influx in demand for specialty beer is causing small batch brewers to sell in secret and online at high mark ups.

"Whether it's a top-rated brew or one with new or seasonal ingredients, everyone wants to get their hands on exclusive batches," beer cicerone Anne Becerra told CNN Money. "The demand is certainly there, and people are stepping in to fulfill that need in unsavory ways."

A specialty bottle of Stone Brewing Company beer that was sold in 2002 for around $8 was seen retailing for a grand online.

Aside from the price gouging, there are legal issues to take into account depending on which state you live in. Not to mention, since retailers are inflating the prices of the products, the actual breweries aren't profiting from the high demand.

Typically, price gouging is most frequent after natural disasters. Areas of Hawaii saw a huge uptick in the cost of necessities after a hurricane swept through the region this summer.

The overpriced sale of bootlegged beer isn't good for the breweries or the consumers -- it just lines the pockets of the seller. So, as much as you might be dying for a bottle of that fall harvest specialty brew, do you fellow beer drinkers a favor and skip the back alley buy.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Scientists: Be Lazy, Don't Rake Leaves
Scientists: Be Lazy, Don't Rake Leaves
November 21, 2014

Your honey-do list just got one item shorter, and you can tell your spouse he or she can't argue it-because scientists say so. Washington state's KING picks up some fresh advice offered by the National Wildlife Federation in a blog post titled "What to do With Fallen Leaves" (summary: not much). Leave your fallen leaves on the ground and you'll actually be doing Mother Nature a service, it explains, because dry, dead leaves create a healthy habitat for salamanders, chipmunks, earthworms, and more to live in or source food from.

Further, a number of butterfly and moth species pass the winter as pupae (ie, a non-feeding stage between larva and insect) within your leaves. Ditch the leaves, and you don't just get rid of them-you reduce the food supply available to birds in the spring. If you're too persnickety to have a leave-strewn lawn all winter, rake them off the lawn but into your plant and flower beds, the post suggests. Composting is a best practice, too, and leaf blowers absolutely are not: They create noise pollution.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Pro football player leaves behind $37 million contract to become a farmer
Pro football player leaves behind $37 million contract to become a farmer
November 21, 2014

A NFL player has left behind his $37 million contract in order to do something he has never done before: become a North Carolina farmer.

According to CBS News, St. Louis Rams center Jason Brown quit football to be a full time farmer and now is on a mission to feed the state's residents who are hungry.

Brown purchased 1,000 acres of farm land and has started growing crops like sweet potatoes and cucumbers.

"My agent told me, 'You're making the biggest mistake of your life,'" Brown told CBS. "And I looked right back at him and I said, 'No I'm not. No I'm not.'"

Brown learned the tricks of the trade from none other than watching videos on YouTube, since he had never actually farmed a day in his life. He also spent time gathering advice from local farmers in Louisburg.

He is calling the farm, the "First Fruits Farm," and as part of his plan, Brown is donating the first fruits of every harvest to area food pantries. He just recently finished his first harvest of a five acre plot of sweet potatoes; a whopping 100,000 pounds of food, which he donated to the needy.

He says his plan was inspired by God, and believes a life of service is much more fulfilling than his previous line of work.

"When you see them pop up out of the ground, man, it's the most beautiful thing you could ever see," Brown said, who says he's never felt more successful.

With his farm he plans to make a dent in his state's hunger population.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

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