Saturday, December 31, 2016

Image result for Happy new year animated greetings

The New Year is a blank page and the pen is in your hand -  Write a beautiful story for yourself

Friday, December 30, 2016

New Year's Menu

Spicy Deviled Eggs
8     large eggs
1     teaspoon prepared mustard
1     tablespoon pickle juice
1/2  cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper
lettuce (optional)
1 .  As always, the key to great cooking is to be prepared and to use quality ingredients.
2 .  This recipe works best if you use fresh eggs. Ask you grocery store clerk for the freshest eggs, less than 7 days old.
3 .  Place your eggs in a saucepan and cover with at least one inch of cold water. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook eggs for 8-10 minutes after water begins to boil. Remove from heat and rinse eggs in cold water so that they peel more easily.
3 .  Peel the eggs and halve them lengthwise. Remove the yolk, setting egg whites aside. Push yolks through a fine sieve into a small mixing bowl. If you’re without a sieve just mash the yolks well with a spoon or fork.
4 .  Combine the yolk mixture together with mayonnaise, prepared mustard and pickle juice to produce a smooth texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and give one finally mixing.
5 .  Using a teaspoon or pastry bag fill egg white halves with mixture. Place egg halves on serving dish, cover with plastic rap. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
6 .  Just before serving, slightly garnish each egg halve with paprika. If desired serve on washed lettuce leaves.

1 .  Fried Chicken – this crispy and crunch fried chicken will go good with some collard greens, black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese.
2 .  Barbecue Ribs – we usually cook the fried chicken and also serve the barbecue ribs, because we like having the option of serving two meats. Most folks like the added variety.
3 .  Deviled Eggs Appetizer - these delicious appetizers, aka finger foods get passed around and are eaten up in no time.
4 .  Collard Greens – prepare and eat the collard greens so that you don’t end up broke. The greens are said to bring you the money.
5 .  Black Eyed Peas - it’s tradition to eat the black-eyed peas so that they bring you good luck the entire year.
6 .  Macaroni and Cheese – this dish compliments the black-eyed peas, collard greens and is consistently a favorite.
7 .  Corn Bread - if you’re eating collard greens you need to have some cornbread and this recipe will work for you.
8 .  Banana Pudding – this is one simple recipe you can prepare with all that fuss that normally comes along with preparing a dessert.
9 .  Chocolate Pecan Pie - we add chocolate to the traditional pecan pie to put on such a unique spin you will wonder why you didn’t discover this yourself.

Okay it's time for you to get in the kitchen and cook yourself a delicious meal.  
Please use the search gadget on the sidebar to see all the recipes .
(Example) Type in fried chicken  , it's easy as 1-2-3 . 

Happy New Year  ... the PICs

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Decorations you can eat ... Kids love to make 'em and eat 'em

  • 6 cup Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 10.5 oz Marshmallows
  • Green Food Coloring
  • 12 Miniature Reese's Cups
  • ⅓ cup M&M Minis
  • 12 Candy Stars
  • 3 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Milk
  • 3 tbsp Corn Syrup


    1. To help in forming the cone shape, I took the foam that comes in a waffle cone pack to protect the cones and cut it to make a form to help shape the trees.
    2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    3. In a medium to large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.
    4. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
    5. Add enough food coloring to make mixture dark green (it will lighten when cereal is added).
    6. Remove from heat.
    7. Add the Rice Krispies cereal and stir until cereal is well coated.
    8. Allow to set about 4 minutes.
    9. Butter your hands and form mixture into cone shapes.
    10. Place cones onto prepared pan.
    11. Allow to cool and firm up for several hours.
    12. Mix powdered sugar, milk and corn syrup in a bowl until smooth.
    13. Transfer to piping bag or zippered bag to pipe onto Krispie trees.
    14. Pipe like a garland around each tree.
    15. Space M&M minis like ornaments onto the garland.
    16. Pipe a dab of icing on top of tree to act as glue and attach star.
    17. Place a Reese's upside down on pan. Pipe icing on it and place tree on top.
    18. Allow to set before serving.

    I used a group of them for a centerpiece with little elves and reindeer and a couple of candles and noticed half an hour later that two trees were missing. I rate that as an unqualified success. Enjoy.

    Borrowed the recipe from:

    Monday, December 19, 2016

    Buttery Christmas cookies that melt in your mouth

    These buttery cookies are among our favorites. Make the dough a day ahead and chill it. It's easier to work with. You can even freeze it for as long as you wish. You can decorate with  edible glitter, wonderful colors of decorator icing, and different sprinkles. There are lots of options in the baking section of your supermarket to make your Christmas roll out cookies spectacular. Paste food coloring comes in more vibrant colors than the typical liquid coloring.

    1 cup butter, softened (NO substitutes)
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg
    2 Tbsp. orange juice
    1 Tbsp. vanilla
    2-1/2 cups flour
    1 tsp. baking powder

    Prep Time: 25 minutes
    Cook Time: 7 minutes
    Total Time: 32 minutes
    Yield: 36 cookies

    In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, orange juice, and vanilla and beat well to combine. Sift flour and baking powder and add to butter mixture. Mix until a dough forms. Cover and chill dough until firm, about 2-3 hours.
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough, 1/2 at a time, on a well-floured surface, with stockinet covered rolling pin, to a 1/4" thickness. Cut with shaped cookie cutters.
    Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 6-10 minutes until very lightly brown.
    When cookies have cooled, frost with Buttercream Frosting (directions below), tinted different colors with liquid or paste food coloring. I love making the Santa hats.

     1 cup butter, softened
     6-7 cups powdered or confectioner's sugar
     1/4 tsp. salt
     6-9 Tbsp. milk
     2 tsp. vanilla

    In​ a large bowl, cream butter until very fluffy.
    Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and salt and beat again.
    Continue adding sugar and milk in small batches, alternately, beating until very fluffy; this will take about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Makes about 2 cups.
     Have fun creating colorful, tasty, Christmas treats. If you have leftover frosting, put it between graham crackers for a fabulous after-school snack for your kids (or you!).

    To freeze cookie dough, prepare and divide into four portions. Shape each portion into a 1/2" thick disc. Freeze on waxed paper lined cookie sheets, then pack into hard sided freezer containers. Label; freeze up to 6 months. To thaw and bake, let freezer container stand at room temperature for about an hour. One at a time, use each disc, rolling out and cutting cookies (keep remaining dough covered).

    Keep a big plateful of cookies out for kids and guests. They'll love 'em and Santa will appreciate it too.

    Sunday, December 18, 2016

    Maxy sez :10 High-Sodium Foods to Avoid

    By Chris Iliades, MD  Reviewed by Pat F. Bass, III, MD, MPH

    Americans love sodium chloride, also known as common table salt — and they consume far too much. Unfortunately for savory-food fans, a diet high in sodium can wreak havoc on your health. According to the Harvard School of Public Health excess sodium increases your blood volume and with it, the strain on your heart and blood vessels. So how much sodium can you safely eat each day? The latest dietary guidelines recommend keeping sodium levels below 2,300 milligrams, or just 1 teaspoon, per day. And the American Heart Association (AHA) has an even lower threshold, encouraging people to keep their intake below 1,500 mg.

    While most people already know it's best to steer clear of high-salt foods like movie-theater popcorn and French fries, you also need to be on the lookout for less obvious foods that are loaded with sodium. From canned veggies to bread, here are more salt mines to beware of.
    1 . Deli Meats
    "Most people know better than to shake table salt all over their food, but there are plenty of hidden sources of sodium in our diets," says Lanah J. Brennan, RD. "Sliced deli meats and hot dogs are packed with sodium." One hot dog can contain up to 700 mg of sodium, while just one slice of regular deli ham can have over 300 mg. "Choose fresh meats or fish instead, and try making an extra serving at dinner and using the rest to make your lunch the next day," she advises.
                                                                           2 . Breakfast Cereals
    The average American consumes more than 3,000 mg of sodium per day, but your body only needs about 500 mg, or less than one-quarter teaspoon. Cereals and other processed foods account for a large majorityof our sodium intake. One cup of cornflakes can have more than 200 mg of sodium per serving, which can add up quickly if you aren't measuring portion sizes. And other processed breakfast foods are even worse: "Biscuit and pancake mixes can have up to 800 mg of sodium per serving,” says Brennan. “Instead, try making your own mixes from scratch using low-sodium baking powder and baking soda."
     3 . Vegetable Juice
    Even a healthy-sounding option like vegetable juice can be high in salt. That's why it is important to read labels closely. Sodium content is listed per serving size; to be considered a low-sodium serving, it should read 140 mg or less. Even a can of tomato juice can be a mini-sodium bomb at up to 700 mg per 8-ounce serving. Your best bet is to squeeze your own fresh vegetable juice — a small tomato has only 11 mg of sodium.
                                                         4 . Canned Soups and Vegetables
    Anything in a can could be a sodium bomb. "Check all those can labels and choose products with less sodium per serving," warns Brennan. Some canned soups may contain up to 1,300 mg of sodium. On the other hand, you can make your own soup using low-sodium broth and fresh ingredients. To lower sodium intake, buy your vegetables fresh instead of from a can, and be sure to rinse all canned veggies to remove excess sodium before eating. A half-cup of freshly cooked carrots has only 45 mg of sodium and a cup of green beans has just 1 mg.
    5 . Flavor Packets and Condiments
    Instead of using the salty flavor packets that come in boxes of macaroni and rice dishes, make your own flavorings with fresh ingredients. By using fresh herbs and spices you can infuse plenty of flavor into your dishes without any additional sodium. Consider seasoning with lemon juice, ground pepper, cumin, garlic, onion powder, and fresh herbs. 

    Also, be careful about pouring on condiments. Ketchup has about 150 mg of sodium per tablespoon, and soy sauce can pack a whopping 1,000 mg of sodium per tablespoon.
                                                                         6 . Frozen Meals
    The frozen foods section of your grocery store can be another hiding place for salt. Frozen meals like pizza or meatloaf dinners might contain up to 1,800 mg of sodium — enough to put you over the AHA's daily limit in just one meal. Excess salt causes your body to retain fluid, which will not only leaving you feeling bloated, but can also lead to high blood pressure. Look for low-sodium options or, better yet, cook your own meals from scratch.
    7 . Spaghetti Sauce
    Spaghetti may make a frequent appearance in your dinner rotation, but you might want to rethink how you prepare the dish if you are worried about your sodium intake. One cup of spaghetti sauce can have a sodium content of 1,000 mg. If you're a fan of meat sauce you then have to factor in additional sodium for sausage or meatballs. As an alternative, a low-sodium pasta sauce with no salt added can be as low as 100 mg of sodium per cup, or make your own spaghetti sauce from ripe plum tomatoes and fresh basil and garlic. You can also toss spaghetti with fresh veggies and olive oil for a healthy, no-sauce dish.
                                                                  8 . Bread and Tortillas
    When it comes to breads, rolls, and tortillas, once again, you need to read the labels carefully. Don't assume that all grains are the same. One 6-inch flour tortilla can contain more than 200 mg of sodium, and that number jumps to over 500 mg for a 10-inch tortilla. Instead, choose plain corn tortillas, which contain just 11 mg of sodium for each 6-inch round. And if you're grilling this summer, a hamburger bun can add an additional 250 mg of sodium to your meal. Instead, try swapping in a lettuce wrap or Portobello mushroom bun for added nutrients and flavor, without any extra sodium.
    9 . Dairy Products
    Dairy is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, but some products may not be a smart choice when it comes to managing high blood pressure. Some dairy foods like cottage cheese, buttermilk, and processed cheeses can be high in salt. "Cheeses, especially processed cheese like American cheese, can contain up to 400 mg of sodium per ounce," says Brennan. For a lower-sodium option, choose a fresh mozzarella at 175 mg of sodium per ounce or Swiss cheese at less than 60 mg per ounce.
                                                                     10 . Salty Seafood
    Seafood is a great addition to a heart-healthy diet — prepared in a healthy way, seafood can help lower cholesterol, which in turn helps lower blood pressure. But you need to choose your seafood wisely, as options like shellfish and canned tuna fish are high in salt. Three ounces of canned tuna has 300 mg of sodium, and four large shrimp have 200 mg. Better seafood choices include fresh tuna, salmon, halibut, and haddock.

    Maxy sez  have a very Merry Christmas  and a Happy New Year ... Maxy will return with new posts January 8, 2017 .
    Be careful out there 

    Friday, December 16, 2016

     Dear Sha
    May you live long and happy
    In love and good health.
    May devotion and friendship
     Be the best of your wealth.
     May the dreams you hold dearest
    Be those that come true.
    May the kindness you show
    Keep returning to you.

    Much love and many wonderful birthday wishes
    Aunt Jeannie


    Thursday, December 15, 2016

    Food for Thought :Try This Sweet Home Remedy That Fights The Flu

    The Remedy Chicks 
    By Linda B. White, MD
    Sneeze in progress, showing respiratory droplets. CDC Public Health Image library ID 11162, James Gathany

    The holidays are a time of warmth and generosity. We share food and exchange gifts, cards, hugs, kisses, and, occasionally, infectious microorganisms. Nothing quite blights a holiday gathering like an outbreak of influenza.

    Influenza viruses are highly contagious, spreading easily via respiratory droplets—tiny drops of moisture released into the air when an infected person talks, coughs, and sneezes and inhaled by innocent bystanders.  Symptoms include sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, body aches, headache, fatigue, fever, and chills.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, peak months for influenza are December, January, and February, though cases occur as early as October.  That’s why you should get vaccinated against influenza early in the fall.  Because the viruses change with time, you need a yearly flu shot.

    Other preventive strategies include frequent hand washing, staying away from sick people, staying home if you’re sick (no matter how much you wanted to go to that holiday party), and coughing into the crook of your elbow (rather than your hand).

    In addition, the  Remedy Chicks recommend you make a batch of elderberry syrup to have on hand should illness strike.  Here’s why: European black elderberries (Sambucus nigra) have immune-enhancing and antiviral activity against influenza and other respiratory viruses. Three small studies have found that special elderberry extracts reduced symptom severity and duration in people with influenza. Two of the studies used a widely available product called Sambucol.

    You can make your elderberry syrup.  Though your product won’t be identical to laboratory-made extracts, the creation is easy, gratifying, and delicious. Herb stores and online bulk herb retailers carry dried European black elderberries.  A reasonable substitute is American elderberry (Sambucus nigra, subspecies, canadensis). Verify the species of local varieties before consuming. Use only ripe, black elderberries.  Never eat species bearing red fruit, which are poisonous.

    Our recipe also includes cinnamon and ginger, which are warming, immune-enhancing, and antioxidant.  Ginger inhibits some respiratory viruses, though it may not fight influenza viruses. It also counters inflammation, fever, pain, and cough—all of which can accompany the flu.

    Elderberry Syrup – from 500 Time-Tested Home Remedies and the Science Behind Them

    3     cups water
    1     cup dried elderberries
    1/8      cup cinnamon chips
    1      tablespoon ginger
    ¾      cup honey

    Bring the water to a boil in quart-sized saucepan. Add the herbs. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes until the water level is reduced by half.

    Drape a piece of cheesecloth over a large strainer set atop a medium-size mixing bowl. Pour the mixture through the cheesecloth. With clean hands, fold the corners of the cheesecloth and wring out the liquid. Discard the herbs.

    Measure the liquid and pour it into a clean saucepan. Add enough honey so that the ratio of herbal tea to honey is 2:1. (If you have 1½ liquid, you’ll add ¾ cups honey.)  Stir on low heat until the honey and tea are well mixed. Voila, you have a syrup!  Add a splash of brandy to preserve.  Jar, cap and refrigerate. After three months, discard unused syrup.

    At the first sign of influenza (or after a recent exposure), take 1 tablespoon four times a day.  Give children half that dose. Do not give to infants under the age of 12 months.  (You can also add this syrup to smoothies, fruit salads, and atop French toast.)
    Stay well. ----- The Remedy Chicks
    The next few months I will bring  you topics on health (men and  ladies) Hope you enjoy  them as much as I  enjoy bringing them to you .

    Look for some interesting things next year on men and ladies health

    A proud Grand-poppa             G.

    Sunday, December 11, 2016

    Maxy sez : Diabetes and Heart Disease Risks You Shouldn’t Ignore

    By Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D.
    Let’s have a heart-to-heart talk about diabetes and cardiovascular health. If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of serious problems such as heart disease, heart failure or stroke — at least twice the risk of someone without diabetes. Moreover, you are also more likely to develop these problems at a younger than average age, and have more serious heart attacks.

    According to the American Diabetes Association, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

    Here’s one reason why: Diabetes is characterized by chronically high blood glucose levels. Over time, these elevated levels can cause fatty deposits called plaque to build up along the walls of your blood vessels, a condition known as coronary heart disease. As the plaque becomes thicker, the blood vessels become harder and narrower, making it difficult for blood to flow freely to the heart and damaging the heart muscle.

    Diabetes can also raise the risk of blood clots, which can cause stroke. Stroke happens when the flow of blood to the brain is blocked, depriving brain cells of the oxygen they need to survive.

    Diabetes also makes people more vulnerable to heart failure, which impedes the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently to the rest of the body and can cause shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat.

    In addition to diabetes itself, people with diabetes are more likely to have other health problems that raise the risk of cardiovascular problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure, or unhealthy cholesterol levels. Obesity and high blood pressure force your heart to work harder than normal to pump blood through your body, which increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.

    Often, people with diabetes have too much “bad” LDL cholesterol and not enough “good” HDL cholesterol, as well as high levels of blood fats called triglycerides. In people with diabetes, this combination is known as diabetic dyslipidemia and can contribute to coronary heart disease and stroke.

    Estrogen helps protect women from heart disease, so women who have not gone through menopause have a lower risk of heart disease than men of the same age. However, diabetes removes this protection — women who have diabetes have an increased risk regardless of age.

    You don’t necessarily need to have full-blown diabetes to have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems. Even having prediabetes — blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to qualify as diabetes — can raise your risk.

    Having diabetes doesn’t mean a heart attack or stroke is inevitable. You can reduce your risk by taking the same preventive actions recommended for anyone who wants to keep their heart healthy. Eat a heart-smart diet that is high in soluble fiber and low in saturated fat and trans fats. Get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week, and maintain a healthy weight. In addition to benefiting your heart, losing weight can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, and may even reverse it.

    Talk to your physician or diabetes educator about specific actions you can take to help protect your heart and reduce your risk.

    Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D., is an endocrinologist and the Corporate Vice President for the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute at Scripps Health in San Diego.

    Friday, December 9, 2016

    Spare Ribs ... Easy & Yummy Good

    2         tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2         tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
    1-1/2      tablespoons kosher salt
    1-1/2      tablespoons fennel seeds
    2         teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    2         teaspoons chopped sage
    2         teaspoons chopped thyme
    2         teaspoons sweet paprika
    1         teaspoon crushed red pepper
    1         teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2      teaspoon ground allspice
    6         pounds pork spareribs
    3         tablespoons balsamic vinegar 

    1 .  In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, rosemary, kosher salt, fennel, black pepper, sage, thyme, paprika, crushed red pepper, coriander and allspice. Rub the spice paste all over the spareribs and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.
    2 .  Preheat the oven to 325°. Arrange the ribs on a large, rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan, meaty side up. Roast the ribs for 2 hours, or until tender.
    3 .  Preheat the broiler. Brush the meaty side of the ribs with the balsamic vinegar and broil 6 inches from the heat until browned, about 2 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut between the ribs and serve.
    A slightly spicy medium-bodied red with low acidity or a lighter-bodied Sangiovese-based red like Chianti.

    Heart healthy

    Thursday, December 8, 2016

    Shrimp Fried Rice

     6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

    3       (3-1/2-ounce) bags boil-in-bag long-grain rice
    1       (10-ounce) package frozen green peas
    Cooking spray
    2       large eggs, lightly beaten
    1       tablespoon canola oil
    1       cup chopped green onions
    1       tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
    12     ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    2        tablespoons rice vinegar
    2        tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
    1         teaspoon dark sesame oil
    1/4       teaspoon salt
    Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)

    1 .  Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Remove rice from bags, and return to pan. Add peas to the pan, stirring well. Cover and keep warm.

    2 .  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add eggs to pan; cook 1 minute or until set. Remove eggs from pan; coarsely chop. Return pan to heat; add canola oil to pan. Add onions and ginger to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are done.

    3 .  Add shrimp mixture and eggs to rice mixture; stir well. Combine vinegar and the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Drizzle vinegar mixture over rice mixture; stir well.
    Heart healthy

    Wednesday, December 7, 2016

    Ground Beef and Pasta Casserole

    This casserole is perfect for your busy week when getting in and out of the kitchen needs to be a snap. With very simple prep work, it will become a weeknight staple in your household.

     Serves 6 (serving size: 1-1/2 cups)          Total time: 45 Minutes

    2        small onions, peeled and quartered
    2        large carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
    1         tablespoon olive oil
    4         garlic cloves, minced
    1         tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
    1/2      teaspoon crushed red pepper
    1/2      teaspoon salt, divided
    1          pound extra-lean ground sirloin
    3 1/2    cups unsalted chicken stock
    6          tablespoons sliced fresh basil, divided
    2          tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
    1          tablespoon red wine vinegar
    12        ounces uncooked whole-wheat chiocciole or rigatoni (such as Bionaturae)
    1          (26.46-ounce) carton strained tomatoes (such as Pomì)
    4          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
    1          ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

    1. Place onions in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add carrots; pulse until finely chopped.

    2. Preheat oven to 350°.

    3. Heat a large high-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion mixture; cook 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, red pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add beef; cook 5 minutes. Stir in stock, 4 tablespoons basil, tomato paste, vinegar, pasta, and tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil; cook 13 minutes or until pasta is almost done, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

    4. Arrange mozzarella over pasta mixture. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano; bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until pasta is done. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil.
    Heart healthy

    Sunday, December 4, 2016

    Maxy sez : Smoking Plus Diabetes a Very Deadly Mix

    Chances of an early death double if smoker also has the blood sugar disease.
    By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay News

    While smoking is tough enough on health, adding in diabetes boosts the risk of an early death even more, new research confirms.

    Heavy smokers who also have diabetes are at twice the risk of an early death compared to smokers without the blood sugar disease, the study found.

    "Smoking is bad for all, but even more in those with diabetes," said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. He reviewed the new findings.

    The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado, Denver, and involved data on more than 53,000 Americans  who were either current or former heavy smokers.

    The overall risk of an early death was roughly double if the smoker had diabetes, the researchers reported. Overall, almost 13 percent of smokers with diabetes died during the seven-year study period, compared with just under 7 percent of those who weren't diabetic.

    Women with diabetes seemed even more vulnerable than men when it came to lung cancer, specifically.

    The study found that female smokers with diabetes had an 80 percent higher risk of dying from lung cancer, compared with female smokers who didn't have the illness.

    That trend was not seen among men, however. For males, having diabetes was tied to higher odds for early death overall, but it did not seem to be linked to   higher risk of dying from lung cancer, specifically, the findings showed.

    According to study lead researcher Dr. Kavita Garg, the findings indicate that "taking control of diabetes is important among smokers, whether they undergo screening for lung cancer or not, because diabetes is an independent risk factor for dying."

    RELATED: Smoking Plus High Cholesterol Ups Heart Attack Risk

    Garg is a professor of radiology at the university. In the study, her team looked at data from people who took part in the National Lung Screening Trial. That U.S. trial compared CT chest scans against chest X-rays, to see how each fared as early screening for lung cancer in current and former heavy smokers.

    More than 5,000 of the smokers in the trial (nearly 10 percent) also had diabetes. Participants with diabetes tended to be older, and to smoke and weigh more than those without diabetes, the researchers  noted.

    Garg's team analyzed the risk of dying from lung cancer, other cancers and from any cause. Over the seven years of the trial, nearly 4,000 participants died, including more than 1,000 from lung cancer and more than 800 from other cancers.

    Zonszein said the new findings should come as little surprise.

    "We all know that smoking is not good for patients with diabetes -- it worsens peripheral artery disease [poor leg circulation] and heart disease, and predisposes people to an early lung cancer death or disability by chronic obstructive lung disease [COPD]," he said.

    More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Dr. Gerald Bernstein, an endocrinologist and coordinator of the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, added that "the bigger picture makes these findings even more  ominous."

    That's because even among people with pre-diabetes -- a precursor to diabetes -- "smoking is as big a risk for dying as high blood pressure and high cholesterol," Bernstein said.

    Bernstein concedes that quitting smoking is hard, and takes more effort than just taking a pill to control blood pressure or cholesterol.

    But, another expert said, battling a smoking habit and diabetes at once can be challenging.

    "When patients are diagnosed with diabetes, quitting smoking does not always seem like a top priority," said Patricia Folan. She directs the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y.

    Patients are often overwhelmed by the many lifestyle changes required to control their diabetes, she said.

    "Often, what is not appreciated is the fact that the complications of  diabetes -- an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, damage to blood vessels, kidney disease, infections, ulcers, amputations and blindness -- are more likely to occur if you are smoking," Folan explained.

    However, "quitting smoking will improve the overall health of patients with diabetes and make it easier for them to exercise and control their diabetes while avoiding the complications of the disease," she added.

    The results of the study were scheduled to be presented Tuesday at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago. Data presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    Wednesday, November 30, 2016

    Broccoli Casserole

    Mix pantry staples with broccoli to create a comforting casserole that works for weeknights as well as holiday spreads. If the kids enjoy this recipe, try other veggie-loaded casseroles to sneak nutrients in their meals.
     10 Servings

    1        pound broccoli, cut into pieces
    1        (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
    2        large eggs, lightly beaten
    1        cup mayonnaise
    1-1/2    cups shredded Cheddar
    1         stick (1/4 pound) salted butter, cut into pieces
    1        sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (1/3 of a 12 ounce box)

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

    Steam broccoli until crisp-tender, 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water.

    Mix soup, eggs, mayonnaise, cheese, butter and pepper in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and combined.

    Drain broccoli; spread evenly in baking dish. Pour cheese mixture on top. Sprinkle with crackers. Bake for 30 minutes.

    Leftover will last 3/4 weeks in freezer.

    Heart healthy

    Tuesday, November 29, 2016

    Baked Potatoes

    4      (12-oz.) russet potatoes
    1      small shallot, minced
    1      garlic clove, minced
    2      tablespoons olive oil
    1/2    pound greens, washed, trimmed, and chopped
    2       teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    1/8    teaspoon ground red pepper
    1/2    cup sour cream
    1/2    cup butter, melted
    1-1/2    teaspoons kosher salt
    1/2     teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/2    teaspoon hot sauce
    1       cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
    Vegetable cooking spray

    1. Preheat oven to 400°. Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake directly on oven rack 1 hour or until tender. Cool 10 minutes.2. Sauté shallot and garlic in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat 1 minute. Stir in greens and next 2 ingredients. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Cook 10 minutes or until tender.3. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; carefully scoop pulp into a large bowl, leaving shells intact. Mash together potato pulp, sour cream, next 4 ingredients, and 1/2 cup cheese. Add greens mixture. Spoon into potato shells, and place on a lightly greased (with cooking spray) baking sheet.4. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Top with remaining cheese, and bake 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts and potatoes are thoroughly heated.

    TIPS :
    1 .  Potatoes are great to serve for weeknight dinners and weekend entertaining. From mashed potatoes to potato salad, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy these simple, but versatile vegetables. They can make a great addition to any meal from breakfast to dinner. They are the perfect side dish for any meal, and also make great appetizers for entertaining. If you are feeling adventurous, you can  developed a way to add them to a pizza crust. Keeping potatoes stocked in your pantry should be a no-brainer. You can pull them out and transform them into the perfect dish for any occasion.

    2 .  To freeze big items like cooked potatoes and meatballs, arrange in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan, and freeze 1 to 2 hours; transfer to a zip-top bag. You'll avoid one frozen mass, plus single servings thaw faster.
    Heart healthy

    Sunday, November 27, 2016

    Collard Greens Creole Style

     Crispy bacon, sautéed onion, ham, and garlic perfect these Southern-Style Collard Greens, making them an essential part of your traditional Southern feast.
    Makes 10 to 12 servings          Total time: 3 Hours, 

    12        hickory-smoked bacon slices, finely chopped
    2          medium-size sweet onions, finely chopped
    3/4       pound smoked ham, chopped
    6         garlic cloves, finely chopped
    2        (32-ounce) containers chicken broth
    3        (1-pound) packages fresh collard greens, (bunches) washed and trimmed
    1/3     cup apple cider vinegar
    1       tablespoon sugar
    1       teaspoon salt
    3/4     teaspoon pepper

    1. Cook bacon in a 10-qt. stockpot over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes; add ham and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients. Cook 2 hours or to desired degree of tenderness.
    TIP :
    Leftovers can be frozen up to 3/4 weeks .

    Heart healthy

    Maxy sez : Why Does Diabetes Make You So Thirsty?

    By Sanjay Gupta, MD
    Excessive thirst, or polydipsia, can be triggered by different factors such as eating too much salt or taking medications that cause dry mouth. Thirst is also a symptom of diabetes. For people with diabetes, thirst can be a sign of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar.

    The kidneys play a vital role in regulating levels of blood sugar by filtering the blood and absorbing excess glucose. When very high levels of sugar build up in the blood, the kidneys can’t keep up and they produce more urine than normal — a condition known as polyuria. As a result, you can become dehydrated.

    “People who have well-controlled diabetes should be at no increased risk for excessive thirst compared with somebody who doesn’t have diabetes,” says Noah Bloomgarden, MD, assistant professor of medicine-endocrinology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and clinical endocrinologist in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York. “It’s really poor control of one’s blood sugar and an increase in urination and excretion of water that makes people [with diabetes] feel very thirsty and increases their need to maintain water balance.”

    As Dr. Bloomgarden points out, even people who are doing a good job of controlling their diabetes can develop very high blood sugar. A cold, infection, or even a very stressful situation can cause blood sugar to rise, and excessive thirst may be the first sign that something is wrong. “If you’re experiencing excessive thirst, you should contact your doctor immediately, because it may indicate severe hyperglycemia,” says Bloomgarden.

    If you have diabetes and you’re not sure whether you’re unusually thirsty, Bloomgarden suggests that you check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is normal but you’re thirstier than usual (or you’re going to the bathroom more often), consult your doctor.

    If you are experiencing excessive thirst related to hyperglycemia, it’s imperative to get your diabetes under control. Make sure you’re following the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor, including any lifestyle recommendations such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. If you’re having trouble sticking with your treatment plan, you may benefit from consulting with a certified diabetes educator, who can help you self-manage your blood sugar.

    It’s also important to make sure you’re drinking enough water, especially if your blood sugar is elevated. The Joslin Diabetes Center recommends drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water a day.

    “There are no complications associated with increased thirst if people are able to drink water freely,” says Bloomgarden. But it can become a major issue if somebody is elderly or isn’t mobile and doesn’t have the ability to access water or other liquids. “Then they can get profoundly dehydrated, and that can be extremely dangerous,” he warns.

    Do you have a health-related question for Dr. Gupta? You can submit it here. For more health news and advice, visit Health Matters With Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2016

    Much love and a big kiss
    Aunt Jeannie

    * 900 YEARS OLD I AM .... FAR TO GO YOU HAVE *


    Your friend I am


    Monday, November 14, 2016

    Corn Chowder with Shrimp

    Serves 6
    Make a creamy corn chowder even better with the addition of fresh shrimp, carrot, and red bell pepper.
    4        cups low-sodium chicken broth
    2        16-ounce  bags frozen corn
    1        onion, finely chopped
    1        red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    2        carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
    2        russet potatoes, diced
    1        bay leaf
    Salt and pepper
    1         pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1/2      cup heavy cream, optional
    1/4     cup chopped fresh parsley

    1. Combine chicken broth, corn, onion, bell pepper, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, 1 cup water and 1 tsp. salt in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until vegetables are tender, about 6 hours.

    2. Puree 3 cups of soup in a blender and return to slow cooker. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook until shrimp are pink and firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in cream, if desired, and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
    Heart Healthy

    Sunday, November 13, 2016

    Maxt sez : 6 Diabetes Medication Mistakes to Avoid

    By Beth W. Orenstein Reviewed by Pat F. Bass, III, MD, MPH
    Treating type 2 diabetes can be tricky. Here are common mistakes that can prevent you from taking your medication as prescribed and tips for avoiding them.
    If taking medication is part of your type 2 diabetes treatment plan, following your doctor's directions is essential.

    “It's important you take your medications on schedule because they have a timed-release,” says Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the co-author of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies, and founder of Your healthcare provider has calculated the dosage and scheduling to best manage your blood sugar levels and keep them within normal range.

    There's no single, exact formula when it comes to treating diabetes. But following your individualized course of diabetes medication makes it more likely to work as desired, says Matthew Corcoran, MD, CDE, ASCM, an endocrinologist in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, and founder of the Diabetes Training Camp at Franklin & Marshall College near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

    Controlling type 2 diabetes through medication and lifestyle changes can help you avoid serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, and kidney and nerve damage, according to the Independent Diabetes Trust. Yet it can be easy to get off track with your diabetes treatment plan, especially if you're newly diagnosed and think of yourself as healthy, according to a study published in April 2015 in Diabetes Care.

    Here are common mistakes that may prevent you from sticking to your prescription routine and how you can avoid making them.

    Mistake # 1 You don't realize the role of your medications. “It is important you understand how the medications you are taking work,” Dr. Corcoran says. You’re more likely to take them properly if you do — and if you don't, ask questions of your healthcare providers. “Don’t be shy about asking your doctor to explain how your medication works,”  he says.

    Mistake # 2 :You forget or skip doses. Sometimes it happens, and you should know what to do if you miss a dose. Ask your doctor if you should take it as soon as you realize the mistake, or simply take the next dose on schedule. Don’t simply double up. To stay on track, set reminders, such as an alarm on your smartphone or computer. Try to connect each dose with another daily activity done at the same time. “For instance, if you are to take your medication before breakfast, keep the medication bottle by the area you eat or next to your toothbrush as part of your morning routine,” Smithson says. Once you develop a habit of taking your medications at certain times, she says, you'll be less likely to forget or delay.

    Mistake 3 # : You stop taking your meds if you experience unpleasant side effects. Some diabetes drugs can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea — any of which could tempt you to go off your care plan. Don't do that, Corcoran says. Instead, talk to your doctor about the side effects. There are many different diabetes medications available, and more on the horizon, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center, so you have options. An alternative drug or a different dosage of your current medication may help alleviate side effects, Smithson says.  

    Mistake 4 :You take the wrong dose or the wrong medication. If you’re on insulin for type 2 diabetes, you may be given long-acting and short-acting insulin to take at different times, and the doses for each are likely to be much different. For example, short-acting insulin is designed to quickly lower blood sugar and is tied to pre- or post-meal blood sugar. "If you are supposed to take 40 units of long-acting at bedtime, but take the short-acting insulin instead, your blood sugar could fall too low. Pay attention each and every time you take insulin and make sure you’re grabbing the right one,” Corcoran says. It may be helpful to color-code your vials or keep the long-acting and short-acting on different shelves of the refrigerator, he suggests.

    Mistake 5 :You confuse the medications for your various health conditions. You may be taking medications not only for diabetes but for other illnesses as well. Consider using a daily pill organizer with various compartments for each day — morning, afternoon, and evening. Sit down every Sunday night and carefully fill your pillbox. It’s also wise to use just one pharmacy so that the pharmacist can cross-check all your prescriptions for possible drug interactions. Also, be sure to tell your doctor about any other prescriptions or over-the-counter medications or supplements you’re taking, Corcoran says.

    Mistake 6 :You ignore signs that your medication isn't as effective as it used to be. Over time, your diabetes medications may need adjustment, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. A drug might stop working. Losing or gaining weight, or exercising more or less, can affect your medications and dosing schedule. If you’re having symptoms of low or high blood sugar, or if your blood sugar numbers are going out of range, talk to your doctor. “You need to work continually with your doctor so that you don’t have unexpected low or high blood sugars,” Corcoran says.

    Friday, November 11, 2016

    Shrimp & Potato Chowder

    Makes about 2 quarts      Total time: 50 Minutes
    Add shrimp a few minutes before serving so they don't overcook.
    2               tablespoons butter
    3               bunches green onions, sliced
    1-1/2         pounds new potatoes, diced
    2               cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
    1-1/2         cups heavy cream
    1/2            cup dry white wine
    1                teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4            teaspoon black pepper
    1/2            pound medium-size raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
    2               teaspoons hot sauce

    1. Melt butter in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add green onions, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute.

    2. Add potatoes and next 5 ingredients, and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

    3. Stir in shrimp and hot sauce, and cook 3 minutes.

    CHOP, CHOP Cut onions and potatoes into pieces that are the same size. This will ensure they cook uniformly.
    Heart healthy