Friday, March 31, 2017

Roasted Beets with Mushroom Bordelaise


Roasted Beets with Mushroom Bordelaise




Ingredients
2 6-oz. golden beets, scrubbed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms (about 3 oz.)
1 medium shallot, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preparation





1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Roast until very tender, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes.


2. Remove beets from oven. Open foil packets slightly to vent and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Using a clean towel, gently rub peels off beets; discard peels. Slice beets crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds.


3. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallot, and 1 tablespoon of the thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in mustard, salt, pepper, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter until butter is melted and incorporated.





4. Fan out beet slices on each of 2 plates. Top evenly with mushroom bordelaise and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tablespoon thyme.

Broccoli Steaks with Parmesan Bread Crumbs


Broccoli Steaks with Parmesan Bread Crumbs


Ingredients
2 ounces French bread, torn
1 12-oz. head fresh broccoli
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preparation





1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pulse bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form, 6 to 8 times.


2. Cut broccoli lengthwise into 4 wedges, making sure florets stay attached to the stem. Warm 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small skillet over very low heat until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer to a small bowl, add Worcestershire sauce, and stir to combine. Brush broccoli evenly with Worcestershire mixture.


3. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place broccoli quarters in skillet, cut side down. Cook, brushing occasionally with Worcestershire mixture, until caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven; roast until broccoli is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.


4. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same small skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and thyme. Cook, stirring often, until bread crumbs are toasted, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and pepper. 5. Place 1 broccoli wedge on each of 4 plates; top evenly with bread crumb mixture.

Eggplant Steaks with Tapenade


Eggplant Steaks with Tapenade


Ingredients
2 1-lb. eggplants
1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup drained oil-packed sundried tomatoes
2 ounces pitted picholine olives (about 1/3 cup)
2 ounces pitted kalamata olives (about 1/3 cup)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Preparation





1. Cut 2 1 1/4-inch-thick slices lengthwise from center of each eggplant; reserve curved ends for another use. Brush eggplant slices with grapeseed oil; sprinkle evenly with paprika, salt, and pepper, pressing to adhere.


2. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Grill eggplant steaks until charred and tender, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat.


3. Pulse tomatoes and olives in a mini food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in olive oil and vinegar. 4. Place 1 eggplant steak on each of 4 plates. Top eggplant with tapenade. Sprinkle with basil.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

One Life Ends

Life ends as the leaves change
on an aging tree
It's last leafs drops
with the faintest of a breeze
To descend slowly flowing
on the winds of time
crisp golden browns
oranges, reds and yellows
to blanket mother earth
from the cold winters chill
snow flurries drifting
softly threw the meadows
silence stirs deep
in the winter air cool and calms as mother nature sleeps
 

her seeds ready to bare
awaiting the sound
of bird song from winters thaw
a dark gray sky in spring
as mother nature 
buds with life 
a new beginning

I Am Invisible

I Am Invisible

It seems as though I'm here

but I am really gone
No one seems to see me
so I become withdrawn

I hide my true feelings
for I feel if I should cry
they see me as a weakling
so my feelings I deny

I am invisible
the true me hides within
I have to be strong and hold it together
I bear it all with a grin

I think of my family 
and try to stay strong for them
but sometimes I just need someone
when I am at my brim

I don't ask for sympathy

for I do have my pride

but there comes a time

I have to put it all aside

 

I won't deny the tears

I shed them all alone

or just hide them from the world

my feelings are unknown

I am invisible

no one see's the true me

but I know what lies within

I know someday I'll let me be free 

 

Nike stays ahead of the pack - USA TODAY


USA TODAYNike stays ahead of the packUSA TODAYNike continued to remain ahead of the pack, beating earnings estimates in the third quarter. Diluted earnings rose 24% to $0.68 per share in the quarter that ended Feb. 28, far surpassing analyst estimates of 52 cents per share, according to S&P Global
http://usat.ly/2mNjwz1

Closer To Her Oblivion





she once had an azure soul
with a tiny splash of
cerulean-

she once had a pure soul,
that was no longer
clean-

In the depths of her
bare bronze skin she
held her meaning for
life.

She felt the rush of the
tides as she drowned...
deeper and deeper-
closer and closer...
          -to her oblivion.

No matter the distance,
no matter the resistance,
she held the dread of
death in her essence.

For all the beauty
she used to encompass,
for all the days he
left her a carcass,
she never did learn
her life- long lessons.

Few in the world
felt as she did.
Few were relieved
when running in circles.
Many a time she saw
the sun as an awakening-
a breath of fresh air,
but no other knew
the depth of her glare-
her life not so fair.

There are places she
wondered and reasons
she pondered,
and even though she
was abandoned she
still could not conquer-
for dreams are not
stronger when nightmares
wander.

Her deep ocean blue
demons surrounded as
she drowned....
deeper and deeper-
closer and closer
            -to her oblivion.




Friday, March 17, 2017

Avocado Truffles



Avocado Truffles


Ingredients
4 ounces 70% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons pureed avocado, fresh or frozen and defrosted
Pinch of sea salt
1/8 unsweetened cocoa powder
Preparation





1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over a pot of boiling water or in a bowl over warm water. Stir in avocado and salt. As you stir, it should thicken to a frosting-like texture.


2. Cover and chill bowl until ganache thickens, about 25 minutes. Using a melon baller, scoop bite-size pieces of ganache and roll them in your hands to form balls. If balls just aren’t forming, refrigerate ganache for 30 minutes more. 3. Place cocoa powder in a small bowl, then roll each of the truffle balls in cocoa powder to coat. Store them in a cool spot or in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Thai Stuffed Avocado



Thai Stuffed Avocado


Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 peeled, deveined, and cooked shrimp, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 teaspoons chopped peanuts, for garnish
  • 2 stems cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • 1 scallion, sliced into rounds, for garnish
  • Sriracha, for serving

Preparation


1. Mix together fish sauce, lime juice, tamarind paste, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add shrimp.
2. Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Carefully remove peel, keeping halves intact. Top each avocado half with shrimp mixture and garnish with peanuts, cilantro, and scallion; serve with sriracha to taste. 

Honeyed Frozen Yogurt With Berry Swirl


Honeyed Frozen Yogurt With Berry Swirl
http://bit.ly/2nILqx9

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What Is the Anthropocene and Are We in It?

What Is the Anthropocene and Are We in It?



Efforts to label the human epoch have ignited a scientific debate between geologists and environmentalists

Have human beings permanently changed the planet? That seemingly simple question has sparked a new battle between geologists and environmental advocates over what to call the time period we live in.

Accepting the Idea of Extinction


According to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), the professional organization in charge of defining Earth’s time scale, we are officially in the Holocene (“entirely recent”) epoch, which began 11,700 years ago after the last major ice age.

But that label is outdated, some experts say. They argue for “Anthropocene”—from anthropo, for “man,” and cene, for “new”—because human-kind has caused mass extinctions of plant and animal species, polluted the oceans and altered the atmosphere, among other lasting impacts.

Anthropocene has become an environmental buzzword ever since the atmospheric chemist and Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen popularized it in 2000. This year, the word has picked up velocity in elite science circles: It appeared in nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles, the publisher Elsevier has launched a new aca­demic journal titled Anthropocene and the IUGS convened a group of scholars to decide by 2016 whether to officially declare that the Holocene is over and the Anthropocene has begun.

Many stratigraphers (scientists who study rock layers) criticize the idea, saying clear-cut evidence for a new epoch simply isn’t there. “When you start naming geologic-time terms, you need to define what exactly the boundary is, where it appears in the rock strata,” says Whitney Autin, a stratigrapher at the SUNY College of Brockport, who suggests Anthropocene is more about pop culture than hard science. The crucial question, he says, is specifying exactly when human beings began to leave their mark on the planet: The atomic era, for instance, has left traces of radiation in soils around the globe, while deeper down in the rock strata, agriculture’s signature in Europe can be detected as far back as A.D. 900. The Anthopocene, Autin says, “provides eye-catching jargon, but from the geologic side, I need the bare bones facts that fit the code.”

Some Anthropocene proponents concede that difficulty. But don’t get bogged down in the mud, they say, just stipulate a date and move on. Will Steffen, who heads Australia National University’s Climate Change Institute and has written articles with Crutzen, recommends starting the epoch with the advent of the industrial revolution in the early 1800s or with the atomic age in the 1950s. Either way, he says, the new name sends a message: “[It] will be another strong reminder to the general public that we are now having undeniable impacts on the environment at the scale of the planet as a whole, so much so that a new geological epoch has begun.”



To Andrew Revkin, a New York Times reporter (now blogger) who suggested a similar term in 1992 that never quite caught on (“Anthrocene”), it’s significant that the issue is being debated at all. “Two billion years ago, cyanobacteria oxygenated the atmosphere and powerfully disrupted life on Earth,” he says. “But they didn’t know it. We’re the first species that’s become a planet-scale influence and is aware of that reality. That’s what distinguishes us.”


Humanity’s impact on the Earth is now so profound that a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – needs to be declared, according to an official expert group who presented the recommendation to the International Geological Congress in Cape Town on Monday.

The new epoch should begin about 1950, the experts said, and was likely to be defined by the radioactive elements dispersed across the planet by nuclear bomb tests, although an array of other signals, including plastic pollution, soot from power stations, concrete, and even the bones left by the global proliferation of the domestic chicken were now under consideration.



The current epoch, the Holocene, is the 12,000 years of stable climate since the last ice age during which all human civilisation developed. But the striking acceleration since the mid-20th century of carbon dioxide emissions and sea level rise, the global mass extinction of species, and the transformation of land by deforestation and development mark the end of that slice of geological time, the experts argue. The Earth is so profoundly changed that the Holocene must give way to the Anthropocene.

“The significance of the Anthropocene is that it sets a different trajectory for the Earth system, of which we of course are part,” said Prof Jan Zalasiewicz, a geologist at the University of Leicester and chair of the Working Group on the Anthropocene (WGA), which started work in 2009.

“If our recommendation is accepted, the Anthropocene will have started just a little before I was born,” he said. “We have lived most of our lives in something called the Anthropocene and are just realising the scale and permanence of the change.”

Prof Colin Waters, principal geologist at the British Geological Survey and WGA secretary, said: “Being able to pinpoint an interval of time is saying something about how we have had an incredible impact on the environment of our planet. The concept of the Anthropocene manages to pull all these ideas of environmental change together.”

High levels of nitrogen and phosphate in soils, derived from artificial fertilisers, could be taken as evidence of the onset of the Anthropocene. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Prof Chris Rapley, a climate scientist at University College London and former director of the Science Museum in London said: “The Anthropocene marks a new period in which our collective activities dominate the planetary machinery.

“Since the planet is our life support system – we are essentially the crew of a largish spaceship – interference with its functioning at this level and on this scale is highly significant. If you or I were crew on a smaller spacecraft, it would be unthinkable to interfere with the systems that provide us with air, water, fodder and climate control. But the shift into the Anthropocene tells us that we are playing with fire, a potentially reckless mode of behaviour which we are likely to come to regret unless we get a grip on the situation.” Rapley is not part of the WGA.

Martin Rees, the astronomer royal and former president of the Royal Society, said that the dawn of the Anthropocene was a significant moment. “The darkest prognosis for the next millennium is that bio, cyber or environmental catastrophes could foreclose humanity’s immense potential, leaving a depleted biosphere,” he said.

But Lord Rees added that there is also cause for optimism. “Human societies could navigate these threats, achieve a sustainable future, and inaugurate eras of post-human evolution even more marvellous than what’s led to us. The dawn of the Anthropocene epoch would then mark a one-off transformation from a natural world to one where humans jumpstart the transition to electronic (and potentially immortal) entities, that transcend our limitations and eventually spread their influence far beyond the Earth.”

The evidence of humanity’s impact on the planet is overwhelming, but the changes are very recent in geological terms, where an epoch usually spans tens of millions of years. “One criticism of the Anthropocene as geology is that it is very short,” said Zalasiewicz. “Our response is that many of the changes are irreversible.”

Human activity has left a permanent layer of airborne particulates in sediment and glacial ice. Photograph: Pool/Reuters

To define a new geological epoch, a signal must be found that occurs globally and will be incorporated into deposits in the future geological record. For example, the extinction of the dinosaurs 66m years ago at the end of the Cretaceous epoch is defined by a “golden spike” in sediments around the world of the metal iridium, which was dispersed from the meteorite that collided with Earth to end the dinosaur age.

For the Anthropocene, the best candidate for such a golden spike are radioactive elements from nuclear bomb tests, which were blown into the stratosphere before settling down to Earth. “The radionuclides are probably the sharpest – they really come on with a bang,” said Zalasiewicz. “But we are spoiled for choice. There are so many signals.”

Other spikes being considered as evidence of the onset of the Anthropocene include the tough, unburned carbon spheres emitted by power stations. “The Earth has been smoked, with signals very clearly around the world in the mid-20th century,” said Zalasiewicz.

Other candidates include plastic pollution, aluminium and concrete particles, and high levels of nitrogen and phosphate in soils, derived from artificial fertilisers. Although the world is currently seeing only the sixth mass extinction of species in the 700m-year history of complex life on Earth, this is unlikely to provide a useful golden spike as the animals are by definition very rare and rarely dispersed worldwide.

In contrast, some species have with human help spread rapidly across the world. The domestic chicken is a serious contender to be a fossil that defines the Anthropocene for future geologists. “Since the mid-20th century, it has become the world’s most common bird. It has been fossilised in thousands of landfill sites and on street corners around the world,” said Zalasiewicz. “It is is also a much bigger bird with a different skeleton than its prewar ancestor.”

The 35 scientists on the WGA – who voted 30 to three in favour of formally designating the Anthropocene, with two abstentions – will now spend the next two to three years determining which signals are the strongest and sharpest. Crucially, they must also decide a location which will define the start of the Anthropocene. Geological divisions are not defined by dates but by a specific boundary between layers of rock or, in the case of the Holocene, a boundary between two ice layers in a core taken from Greenland and now stored in Denmark.

The scientists are focusing on sites where annual layers are formed and are investigating mud sediments off the coast of Santa Barbara in California and the Ernesto cave in northern Italy, where stalactites and stalagmites accrete annual rings. Lake sediments, ice cores from Antarctica, corals, tree rings and even layers of rubbish in landfill sites are also being considered.

Once the data has been assembled, it will be formally submitted to the stratigraphic authorities and the Anthropocene could be officially adopted within a few years. “If we were very lucky and someone came forward with, say, a core from a classic example of laminated sediments in a deep marine environment, I think three years is possibly viable,” said Zalasiewicz.

This would be lightning speed for such a geological decision, which in the past would have taken decades and even centuries to make. The term Anthropocene was coined only in 2000, by the Nobel prize-winning scientist Paul Crutzen, who believes the name change is overdue. He said in 2011: “This name change stresses the enormity of humanity’s responsibility as stewards of the Earth.” Crutzen also identified in 2007 what he called the “great acceleration” of human impacts on the planet from the mid-20th century.

Despite the WGA’s expert recommendation, the declaration of the Anthropocene is not yet a foregone conclusion. “Our stratigraphic colleagues are very protective of the geological time scale. They see it very rightly as the backbone of geology and they do not amend it lightly,” said Zalasiewicz. “But I think we can prepare a pretty good case.”

Rapley also said there was a strong case: “It is highly appropriate that geologists should pay formal attention to a change in the signal within sedimentary rock layers that will be clearly apparent to future generations of geologists for as long as they exist. The ‘great acceleration’ constitutes a strong, detectable and incontrovertible signal.”

Evidence of the Anthropocene


Human activity has:
  • Pushed extinction rates of animals and plants far above the long-term average. The Earth is on course to see 75% of species become extinct in the next few centuries if current trends continue.
  • Increased levels of climate-warming CO2 in the atmosphere at the fastest rate for 66m years, with fossil-fuel burning pushing levels from 280 parts per million before the industrial revolution to 400ppm and rising today.
  • Put so much plastic in our waterways and oceans that micro plastic particles are now virtually ubiquitous, and plastics will likely leave identifiable fossil records for future generations to discover.
  • Doubled the nitrogen and phosphorous in our soils in the past century with fertiliser use. This is likely to be the largest impact on the nitrogen cycle in 2.5bn years.
  • Left a permanent layer of airborne particulates in sediment and glacial ice such as black carbon from fossil fuel burning.


Fennel and Sugar Snap Pea Orecchiette


Fennel and Sugar Snap Pea Orecchiette
http://bit.ly/2mUC4SK

Bucatini With Artichokes and Caperberries


Bucatini With Artichokes and Caperberries
http://bit.ly/2mUzdZY

15 of the Worst Restaurant Customers Ever

Here are 15 of the worst and rudest restaurant customers ever, as described by chefs and severs. http://bit.ly/2jXxz6D