Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fried Butter? No, Really.

Who doesn't like a little fried goodness every once in a while? My personal favorite - fried Snickers. I know it sounds disgusting but don't knock it until you try it. It's divine!

There is, however, a limit. Unfortunately the people at the State Fair of Texas don't agree. Every year they come up with a "friend specialty" that is highlighted at the Fair. One year it was friend Twinkies, another fried Coca-Cola. Don't even ask me how one goes about frying Coca-Cola.

This year? Fried butter. Yes people, fried butter. Take a food item that's already loaded with saturated fat and yes, let's fry that baby up! Here's more information on fried butter and other concoctions that will be available in case you have a led stomach.

DALLAS — Last year, Chicken Fried Bacon and a Fried Banana Split took top honors at the annual Big Tex Choice Awards to pick the best new foods at the State Fair of Texas.
This year, the competition is equally innovative (and similarly deep-fried).
Cast Your Vote

Which new State Fair food sounds tastiest to you?
Deep Fried Butter
Twisted Yam on a Stick
Fernie's Deep Fried Peaches & Cream
Texas Fried Pecan Pie
Country Fried Pork Chips
Sweet Jalapeno Corn Dog Shrimp
Fried Peanut Butter Cup Macaroon
None of the above

Deep Fried Butter could push the grease-o-meter to a new high. "100 percent pure butter is whipped 'til light and fluffy, then specially sweetened with a choice of several flavors." It is then surrounded by a "special dough" and quick-fried.

Twisted Yam on a Stick consists of "a delicious, towering, spiral-cut sweet potato on a 13-inch skewer." After being plunked in the fryer, it is then "gently rolled in butter" and dusted with sugar and cinnamon.

Fernie's Deep Fried Peaches & Cream do
es not appear to have any butter in the recipe, but other ingredients include "a delicious batter of cinnamon, ginger, coconut, graham cracker crumbs, eggs and milk." It is then (natch) deep-fried and served on a plate, drizzled with raspberry sauce, sprinkled with streusel and topped with whipped cream. Wait — there is vanilla buttercream icing provided on the side.

Texas Fried Pecan Pie sounds pretty conventional (except for the fried part, of course). It is served with caramel sauce "then topped with whipping cream and chopped, candied pecans."

Country Fried Pork Chips could be your main course, with seasoned, thin-sliced pork loin "surrounded by a tasty corn meal batter and deep-fried." You can get ketchup with it, but why not go whole hog and pour on the cream gravy?

Sweet Jalapeno Corn Dog Shrimp sounds almost too simple: "Shrimp on a stick is coated with a sweet and spicy corn meal batter, then deep-fried to a golden brown and served with a spicy glaze." This could actually have some nutritional value.

Fried Peanut Butter Cup Macaroon is about what you'd expect from the description. It is, of course, "dusted with powdered sugar" after the oil drains. And you probably wouldn't want to get it without the available scoop of Blue Bell ice cream, would you?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Smoking Ban Cuts Heart Attacks

According to this story below from U.S. World News & Reports, the smoking ban has taken a dramatic and positive toll on the number of heart attacks. Read on for more info...

Health Buzz: Smoking Bans Curb Heart Attacks and Other Health News
By Megan Johnson
Posted September 22, 2009

Research Finds Public Smoking Bans Reduce Heart Attacks
New research suggests that cities that enact smoking bans in restaurants, bars, and other public places curb heart attack rates as a result, HealthDay reports. Two studies published in separate journals incorporated data from 24 smoking ban studies in cities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Combining the studies showed that heart attacks dropped by at least 17 percent one year after the bans took effect. University of Kansas Prof. David Meyers told HealthDay: "The risk reduction got bigger the longer the ban was in effect." Meyers's study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed that after one year, heart attack risk declined an average 25 percent. One Montana city that banned smoking saw heart attacks decline by 45 percent, Meyers said. But after the ban was lifted, heart attack rates rose to their previous level, he said. The other study appears in the journal Circulation.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Swine Flu Blues

Hey guys, sorry for the major lack of posts this week. I have been battling a serious case of the flu since last weekend and am finally inching way to feeling like a normal human being again. My main indicator something is not right with my health: Friday night I could not even stand to think about eating my all-time favorite cuisine, Mexican food.

Anyways, I'm planning on spending this weekend cuddled up in my bed with a hefty stack of chick flicks. Chat with you next week!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ole' Buddy's Oyster Burger

For those of you not raised on the Gulf Coast or near any coast at all, oysters might have a...slimy connotation. I, on the other hand, couls slurp those suckers down all day. Below is a winning recipe from a recent contest by the Daily Press for the best burgers. Enjoy!

Ole' Buddy's Burger
The recipe was submitted by Van Kennedy of Hampton.

1 side of a hamburger bun
1/4 pound ground beef
1 medium oyster
Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Lemon juice, to taste

Smear the bun with margarine and grill until toasted. You may also sprinkle the roll with Old Bay seasoning. Shape the ground beef into a patty and grill with olive oil. Steam the oyster until done. Place the burger on the bun, spread a heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise on the burger, or more according to taste. Top with the oyster, pressing it down into the mayonnaise. Squeeze two or three squirts of lemon juice on top of the oyster and burger.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Two Cheers for Thunder Thighs!

According to a recent study, having larger thighs might actually prove beneficial to your heart. Check out this article from the Los Angeles Times for details...

We know having a large waistline is unhealthy. But big thighs, it appears, may protect against heart disease and premature death.

A study published on BMJ.com found that men and women whose thighs are less than 60 centimeters - 23.6 inches - have a higher risk of premature death and heart disease compared to those with thighs exceeding 60 cm. Having thighs that are even bigger than 60 cm, however, confers no added benefit. The study is the first to suggest that thigh size matters.

The researchers, from Copenhagen University Hospital, examined almost 3,000 people who were followed more than 12 years. The relationship between thigh size, heart disease and early death was found even after the scientists controlled for other factors, such as body fat, smoking and cholesterol levels. The study also found that cardiovascular death risk was more strongly related to thigh circumference than to waist circumference.

It seems logical that large thighs signal a higher fat content, which would be bad for cardiovascular health. So why are slender thighs worse? The authors suggest that small thighs could mean there is too little muscle mass in the region. The presence of muscle tissue influences insulin resistance and other cardiovascular risks.

The authors recommend more emphasis on lower-body workouts to strengthen legs.

". . .Behaviors to selectively reduce waist circumference are generally unknown," they wrote. "Thigh muscle mass, on the other hand, can be selectively increased by lower body physical activity."

However, an editorial accompanying the paper calls for more research before everyone grabs a tape measure. Future studies should assess whether efforts to increase thigh muscle mass through additional leg exercises cuts cardiovascular risk more than would be expected.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Never Fail Pie Dough

Okay, let me just say it - I really, really, REALLY stink at making pie dough. In fact, in order to avoid the pending frustration and cursing that will eventually occur I usually just buy the dough. Until now!!! This recipe really is a no-fail pie dough recipe.

Never Fail Pie Dough
Makes five single crusts
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1¾ cup margarine
½ cup cold water
1 large egg
1 tablespoon white vinegar

1. Mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in margarine, using a pastry blender or a fork, until the mixture has grains the size of peas.

2. In a large cup, mix water, egg and vinegar with a fork. Sprinkle vinegar mixture on flour mixture, blending as you sprinkle. When mixtures are blended, knead two to three times. Roll out on floured board or freeze.