Grilled Parmesan Garlic Asparagus

I learned long ago in music appreciation class about the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while at the churches raise the roof with their song. Music is most prevalent in film. The goth har

can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, cialis 40mg relaxing, ambulance exciting, doctor festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class about the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while at the churches raise the roof with their song. Music is most prevalent in film. The goth har

can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, cialis 40mg relaxing, ambulance exciting, doctor festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class about the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while at the churches raise the roof with their song. Music is most prevalent in film. The goth hard rockers are mostly associated with the darker society
At the time unconventional methods of phsycho therapy were not prevelant. I had to get a major in phycho
can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, what is ed relaxing, patient exciting, more about festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class about the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while at the churches raise the roof with their song. Music is most prevalent in film. The goth har

can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, cialis 40mg relaxing, ambulance exciting, doctor festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class about the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while at the churches raise the roof with their song. Music is most prevalent in film. The goth hard rockers are mostly associated with the darker society
At the time unconventional methods of phsycho therapy were not prevelant. I had to get a major in phycho
can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, what is ed relaxing, patient exciting, more about festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In religion some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while other churches raise the roof with their song. Modern dance clubs are nothing like our parents sock hops. The electronic vibes stir up
Music is most prevalent in film. The goth hard rockers are mostly associated with the darker society
At the time unconventional methods of phsycho therapy were not prevelant. I had to get a major in psychology with a minor in humanities.
can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, doctor relaxing, clinic exciting, shop festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class about the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while at the churches raise the roof with their song. Music is most prevalent in film. The goth har

can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, cialis 40mg relaxing, ambulance exciting, doctor festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class about the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while at the churches raise the roof with their song. Music is most prevalent in film. The goth hard rockers are mostly associated with the darker society
At the time unconventional methods of phsycho therapy were not prevelant. I had to get a major in phycho
can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, what is ed relaxing, patient exciting, more about festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In religion some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while other churches raise the roof with their song. Modern dance clubs are nothing like our parents sock hops. The electronic vibes stir up
Music is most prevalent in film. The goth hard rockers are mostly associated with the darker society
At the time unconventional methods of phsycho therapy were not prevelant. I had to get a major in psychology with a minor in humanities.
can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, doctor relaxing, clinic exciting, shop festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical– parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In religion churches reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while other churches raise the roof with their song. Modern dance clubs are nothing like our parents sock hops of the 50’s. The electronic vibes stir up aggression and excitement. Music coupled with dance such as in the salsa can create feelings of passion.
Music is most prevalent in film. The goth hard rockers are mostly associated with the darker society. Soldiers battle to the war cry of hard rock and metal. Music elicits fear by building suspense.
At the time unconventional methods of phsycho therapy were not prevelant. I had to get a major in psychology with a minor in humanities.
can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, price relaxing, more about exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class about the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while at the churches raise the roof with their song. Music is most prevalent in film. The goth har

can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, cialis 40mg relaxing, ambulance exciting, doctor festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class about the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while at the churches raise the roof with their song. Music is most prevalent in film. The goth hard rockers are mostly associated with the darker society
At the time unconventional methods of phsycho therapy were not prevelant. I had to get a major in phycho
can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, what is ed relaxing, patient exciting, more about festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In religion some churches more reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while other churches raise the roof with their song. Modern dance clubs are nothing like our parents sock hops. The electronic vibes stir up
Music is most prevalent in film. The goth hard rockers are mostly associated with the darker society
At the time unconventional methods of phsycho therapy were not prevelant. I had to get a major in psychology with a minor in humanities.
can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, doctor relaxing, clinic exciting, shop festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical– parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio. In religion churches reverent hymns are sung to invite the soft spoken spirit while other churches raise the roof with their song. Modern dance clubs are nothing like our parents sock hops of the 50’s. The electronic vibes stir up aggression and excitement. Music coupled with dance such as in the salsa can create feelings of passion.
Music is most prevalent in film. The goth hard rockers are mostly associated with the darker society. Soldiers battle to the war cry of hard rock and metal. Music elicits fear by building suspense.
At the time unconventional methods of phsycho therapy were not prevelant. I had to get a major in psychology with a minor in humanities.
can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, price relaxing, more about exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.
I learned long ago in music appreciation class the surreal power of music. As teenagers we scoffed at our parents distaste in Music. Many a comedy sketch played off the stereotypical– parent yells at teenager to turn the ruckus down senerio.
Music is an integral component in religious ceremonies. In some denominations reverent hymns are sung while other churches raise the roof with their song. Music is a way to connect to deeper emotions and is often used in mediation to connect to another level of the subconscious. Music can evoke joy, information pills peace and relaxation. It can also
Modern dance clubs are nothing like our parents sock hops of the 50’s. The electronic vibes stir up aggression and excitement. Music coupled with dance such as in the salsa can create feelings of passion.
The effects of music is most prevalent in film. Music composers are just as key as the actors for their ability to shift our emotions moment to moment. They can convey through what The goth hard rockers are mostly associated with the darker society. Soldiers battle to the war cry of hard rock and metal. Music builds suspense when something scary is about to happen.
At the time unconventional methods of phsycho therapy were not prevelant. I had to get a major in psychology with a minor in humanities.
can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, information pills relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

The power of music

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

The writer is a Carnatic musician based in Chennai.

Music has the power to cause emotions to well up within us. These feelings are gripping – often irresistible – and seem to emerge from nowhere. These feelings colour our moods, affect our perceptions and generate a behavioural pattern. The indisputable fact about music is its power to evoke emotions. Is there anyone, for whom, music is completely emotional – neutral? Music has the ability to inevitably tap the still, mysterious deep well of our emotions.

Avinash Pasricha

However, music can produce various emotional responses in different individuals and even different responses in the same person at different times. Music may produce expressions of various emotions – peaceful, relaxing, exciting, festive, boring, unsettling, unstimulating, invigorating … and so on.

Music is an extremely versatile medium of communication. It is capable of exploring all the features that are used in verbal communication. Moreover, it does so in an explicit and structured way, which makes it an interesting and useful window into human communication, in general.

The repetition of a line as in a lullaby, the regular beating of a drum – they produce a feeling of physical ease and lull the child to sleep. The rhythmic sound of the train, of waves breaking on the shore, the song of a cricket at night – why, even the electric fan is able to produce a soothing physical quiet. But good music does not stop there. It touches our emotions. True music really far deeper and touches our very soul and leaves its imprint on us. It may not be possible to explain or describe this reaction in ordinary language. It can only be felt. It is one of those mystic experiences, which baffle analytical explanation.

Music is known to endow the listener with aesthetic or intellectual pleasure. It can be simple, complex, subtle, overt – and these features may reside in one of the different aspects of the music e.g. rhythm, melody. Some of the greatness of music however, lies in its holistic nature that all the elements form a unique wholeness which may not be understood by studying the parts separately. However complex, music is readily appreciated by the mind without the need for formal knowledge.

The lay listener may not be able to hear which instruments are playing, or which pitches are used. Yet, he or she may have no problem appreciating the music as a whole. An experienced listener, on the other hand, may be able to transcribe every note, but might still be at a loss to understand why the music is so pleasing to listen to even for the time!

As a performer, I believe that music can recreate emotions and get the listeners involved with my emotions. Any particular music has an inherent emotion. And, there is the emotion that one feels while rendering. Besides, the listener is in an emotional state while listening to that music – which is also important because it could be possible that this will now be linked to the emotional state of the listener. So he or she can use the song to recreate this emotion. Very often we hear people say “This is my song” and feel that special emotion again.

Rhythm and melody are two facets of music that lend themselves to enjoyment in their individual capacities. The experience of beat and rhythm has a simple relation with joy, well-being and even excitement. Babies spontaneously start to rock and move when they hear music with a pronounced beat in a medium or fast tempo. By changing rhythm, we can change the aesthetic appeal of a piece of music. Even a change of tempo can cause variations in the aesthetic appeal.

Similarly, melody, which is the soul of music, can create different types of feelings in listeners. Some melodies bring soulfulness, some sadness, some bring jubilance or tranquility.

Music is created from the heart and moulded by emotion. As musicians, we are inherently creative – so people say – and we have the ability to derive intense pleasure from a particular piece of music, which we listen to or produce. Here, I am referring to an aesthetic experience, which everybody must have felt. Tears of joy, a tug at the heart, goose pimples… True art always comes as an irresistible inner urge. We hear a song of Thyagaraja and are enthralled just as we gaze at a majestic temple or an ancient sculpture with wonder. All such works of art are the result of an inner urge. That is why it is something inherently beautiful.

… And there can be no enjoyment more impersonal and sublimating than what it offers. It prepares the very soul for something higher.

Parmesan Garlic Asparagus

With the arrival of Spring comes the fresh picked asparagus. We love asparagus. They make a lovely dish to accompany any holiday meal. They are fantastic in omelets as well as soups and stir-fry’s. Asparagus is a perennial, purchase find related to the lily with fern like leaves and flowers.  The spears are actually shoots grown from a mother plant called the crown. It takes up to 3 years for crowns to develop enough to begin producing shoots, ed but once they do they can produce for up to 20 years.  Asparagus are grown in purple, white and green varieties with 1/2 to 1-inch thickness. Look for firm unmarred stalks with tightly closed heads. Never freeze asparagus as they will become mushy and loose their flavor.

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, rough bottoms removed
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 tbsp butter
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Wash and dry asparagus. Lay single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with a little oil. Roll asparagus in oil to lightly coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 350 for 10 minutes. Check to see if tender, can easily pierce with a fork. If done pull out of the oven. Cut butter into slivers and lay across spears. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to oven for 3 minutes more to melt cheese and butter.

Serves 4

Herbed Boiled Potatoes

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
2 eggs, approved room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, more about melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1 cup brown sugar, information pills packed

2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Directions:
kitchenaid mixer. I added the sugar and milk and stirred to dissolve than added the yeast and let proof, about 5 mins. Than I added the melted butter and eggs and mixed while adding the salt and flour, one cup at a time, till well blended. Than I used my Kitchenaid dough hook and mixed on low for about 7 mins to knead. I put the dough in a bowl, covered w/ a damp cloth and I put that in my oven (oven was off) and I let that rise for about an hour. I also took the suggestion to mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar before adding to the rolled out dough, I just pressed the mixture into the dough before I rolled it up. I used dental floss

1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Harvest Cinnamon Rolls
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/CinnamonRollsFantastic.htm
1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
Butter Frosting (see recipe below)

* The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out. I have these cinnamon rolls both with and without this ingredient with excellent results.

Bread Machine Recipe:

Add all the ingredients, except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting, in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

NOTE: Check the dough (don’t be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

Standup Mixer Recipe:

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
Food Processor Method:

Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients, butter, and egg. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a soft ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
TWO OPTIONS:

Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

* At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for 1 month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

* If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. NOTE: If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

Bake Immediately After Making:

Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

* Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.

* Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

Yields 15 cinnamon rolls.
CINNAMON FILLING:
1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
2 eggs, approved room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, more about melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1 cup brown sugar, information pills packed

2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Directions:
kitchenaid mixer. I added the sugar and milk and stirred to dissolve than added the yeast and let proof, about 5 mins. Than I added the melted butter and eggs and mixed while adding the salt and flour, one cup at a time, till well blended. Than I used my Kitchenaid dough hook and mixed on low for about 7 mins to knead. I put the dough in a bowl, covered w/ a damp cloth and I put that in my oven (oven was off) and I let that rise for about an hour. I also took the suggestion to mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar before adding to the rolled out dough, I just pressed the mixture into the dough before I rolled it up. I used dental floss

1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Harvest Cinnamon Rolls
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/CinnamonRollsFantastic.htm
1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
Butter Frosting (see recipe below)

* The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out. I have these cinnamon rolls both with and without this ingredient with excellent results.

Bread Machine Recipe:

Add all the ingredients, except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting, in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

NOTE: Check the dough (don’t be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

Standup Mixer Recipe:

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
Food Processor Method:

Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients, butter, and egg. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a soft ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
TWO OPTIONS:

Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

* At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for 1 month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

* If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. NOTE: If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

Bake Immediately After Making:

Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

* Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.

* Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

Yields 15 cinnamon rolls.
CINNAMON FILLING:
1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Several months back I received a request for more Low-Glycemic friendly recipes. The ban on sugar was foremost on my mind at the time anyway. We were heading into the holiday season when in times past seemed like a nonstop overload on sweets. Generally we have a dessert once a week, sickness Sunday or Monday, this with a little treat on Friday for the kids if they have a good week. Which dose not seem like that much except for the weeks when there are leftovers we feel  cannot go to waste and the extras around the holidays and special occasions. One of the concerns I had was how I felt obligated to have a sweet treat for every celebration or accomplishment. I even had a bag of M&M’s for the toddler as bribery to get him to potty train. The other concern I had was how sick I felt every time I ate sugar. I was even turned off by the bit of brown sugar in my oatmeal. It seemed like sugar was in charge of our lives and I needed to to something about it.

The Trap:

Sugar is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol for birthday parties. Sugary confections are commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. Convenience foods such as crackers, bread, lunch meats, canned fruit and juice all have sugar in them. The little dark truth many of us do not want to accept is that for years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems; yet, we as a nation continue to allow our children, especially teenagers, to over consume the foods that contain this addictive drug.

Sugar comes from varying sources and are found in just about everything we eat. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, jams, syrups, honey, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that are all highly processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose) release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons)

A Lesson in Biology:

When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface,  another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin. Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin. An influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This causes a chain reaction rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and promotes the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high blood pressure.

The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

A diet rich in fresh in fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. When we fill up on vitamin deficient foods we are too full to eat the nutritious foods our body needs to run and we risk upsetting our body’s delicate balance. Our cells need vitamins and mineral to keep our bodies healthy and running efficiently. If our cells are busy absorbing an overload of glucose rather than vitamins we become vitamin deficient. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. To avoid a spike in blood sugar and keep hunger at bay always eat a carbohydrate with a protein. Read the labels, most breads that say they are whole wheat are really enriched and loaded with sugar. Flavored yogurts are  another trap to beware of. Try substituting the sugary ones for plain yogurt or cottage cheese with sliced fruit. It will take some getting used to but your body will love you for it. Make the switch to wheat or other whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and barley. Most importantly limit sweets and non-nutritional foods such processed snacks, juices, desserts, breads and enriched pasta, white rice and Russet potatoes. Today, there are numerous natural alternatives to sugar. Use the following guidelines for substituting sugar in cooking and baking.

Know the Terms:

  • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
  • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Pure Fruit Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods.  Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided.  Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
  • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

Sugar Substitutes:

Agave Nectar– is a syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substirute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
2 eggs, approved room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, more about melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1 cup brown sugar, information pills packed

2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Directions:
kitchenaid mixer. I added the sugar and milk and stirred to dissolve than added the yeast and let proof, about 5 mins. Than I added the melted butter and eggs and mixed while adding the salt and flour, one cup at a time, till well blended. Than I used my Kitchenaid dough hook and mixed on low for about 7 mins to knead. I put the dough in a bowl, covered w/ a damp cloth and I put that in my oven (oven was off) and I let that rise for about an hour. I also took the suggestion to mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar before adding to the rolled out dough, I just pressed the mixture into the dough before I rolled it up. I used dental floss

1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Harvest Cinnamon Rolls
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/CinnamonRollsFantastic.htm
1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
Butter Frosting (see recipe below)

* The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out. I have these cinnamon rolls both with and without this ingredient with excellent results.

Bread Machine Recipe:

Add all the ingredients, except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting, in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

NOTE: Check the dough (don’t be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

Standup Mixer Recipe:

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
Food Processor Method:

Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients, butter, and egg. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a soft ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
TWO OPTIONS:

Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

* At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for 1 month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

* If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. NOTE: If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

Bake Immediately After Making:

Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

* Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.

* Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

Yields 15 cinnamon rolls.
CINNAMON FILLING:
1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Several months back I received a request for more Low-Glycemic friendly recipes. The ban on sugar was foremost on my mind at the time anyway. We were heading into the holiday season when in times past seemed like a nonstop overload on sweets. Generally we have a dessert once a week, sickness Sunday or Monday, this with a little treat on Friday for the kids if they have a good week. Which dose not seem like that much except for the weeks when there are leftovers we feel  cannot go to waste and the extras around the holidays and special occasions. One of the concerns I had was how I felt obligated to have a sweet treat for every celebration or accomplishment. I even had a bag of M&M’s for the toddler as bribery to get him to potty train. The other concern I had was how sick I felt every time I ate sugar. I was even turned off by the bit of brown sugar in my oatmeal. It seemed like sugar was in charge of our lives and I needed to to something about it.

The Trap:

Sugar is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol for birthday parties. Sugary confections are commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. Convenience foods such as crackers, bread, lunch meats, canned fruit and juice all have sugar in them. The little dark truth many of us do not want to accept is that for years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems; yet, we as a nation continue to allow our children, especially teenagers, to over consume the foods that contain this addictive drug.

Sugar comes from varying sources and are found in just about everything we eat. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, jams, syrups, honey, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that are all highly processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose) release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons)

A Lesson in Biology:

When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface,  another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin. Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin. An influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This causes a chain reaction rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and promotes the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high blood pressure.

The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

A diet rich in fresh in fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. When we fill up on vitamin deficient foods we are too full to eat the nutritious foods our body needs to run and we risk upsetting our body’s delicate balance. Our cells need vitamins and mineral to keep our bodies healthy and running efficiently. If our cells are busy absorbing an overload of glucose rather than vitamins we become vitamin deficient. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. To avoid a spike in blood sugar and keep hunger at bay always eat a carbohydrate with a protein. Read the labels, most breads that say they are whole wheat are really enriched and loaded with sugar. Flavored yogurts are  another trap to beware of. Try substituting the sugary ones for plain yogurt or cottage cheese with sliced fruit. It will take some getting used to but your body will love you for it. Make the switch to wheat or other whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and barley. Most importantly limit sweets and non-nutritional foods such processed snacks, juices, desserts, breads and enriched pasta, white rice and Russet potatoes. Today, there are numerous natural alternatives to sugar. Use the following guidelines for substituting sugar in cooking and baking.

Know the Terms:

  • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
  • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Pure Fruit Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods.  Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided.  Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
  • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

Sugar Substitutes:

Agave Nectar– is a syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substirute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

Photo by: Romain Behar

Photo by: Romain Behar

Sugar, sildenafil in its various forms is found in practically everything from crackers and breads to dressings, cure meats, ed juices, jams, yogurt, nuts, some root vegetables and fruit. “White Sugar” is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol at birthday parties and a social obligation to every loving parent who wants to bring a smile to their child’s face. Sugary confections are so prevalent in our society that they have become commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. For many of us, serving up a treat is ingrained in us just as much as saying please and thank you. As a result, natural sugar substitutes are growing in popularity as concerned parents seek to dispel the harmful effects of “sugar”.  However, the little dark truth many of us do not want to accept, or some do not realize, is that anyway you look at it a sugar is a sugar.

The average American consumes about 1/2 cup of sugar a a day. A regular can of soda contains a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar; the total recommended daily allowance of sugar for men. It is interesting to note that this statistic is not just related to decadent desserts. Anything made with sugar, natural or refined, can have the same effects.

Know the Terms:

  • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
  • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits, honey and some root vegetables.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods. Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
  • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

For years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems. Glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that they are all processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose), often used in the form of concentrated fruit juice, jams and honey, release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons, Our Sweet Ending: Health Consequences With High Fructose Corn Syrup.)
A Lesson in Biology:

When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface, another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin.

Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This reaction causes a chain of events by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and ultimately promoting the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high-blood pressure. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

Just as an influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin levels, excess sugars in the liver can lead to the production of excess Triglycerides. Triglycerides and Cholesterol are needed by the body to function. Triglycerides are a form of fat in the blood stream that provide the energy needed for cells to function. Cholesterol is used for building cell membranes and making essential hormones. As before mentioned, simple sugars are converted to glucose in the liver. Foods with a high glycemic index* are converted too fast. The overload of sugar in the liver prompt the body to produce more Insulin. Excess calories which have not been used for energy are converted into triglycerides right away. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells to be released as energy between meals. The more calories we consume the the greater chance of having high triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.

*The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat but can also be used by those looking for alternatives to table sugar. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

All Things in Moderation:

The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. Most importantly remember moderation in all things is the key. Sugar-free does not mean sugar-less. Sugar-free is a termed used when refined sugar has been replaced by a natural or artificial sweetener. Any use of these powders and syrups are still considered “added sugar” and should be limited. As a side note we all process sugars differently. Some individuals would do well switching over to a natural sweetener particularly diabetics, those with allergies and Celiacs disease to name a few. Use the following guidelines for substituting natural sugar in cooking and baking.

Photo by Scott Bauer
Photo by Scott Bauer

Sugar Substitutes:

Agave Nectar– is a fructose syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substitute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
2 eggs, approved room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, more about melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1 cup brown sugar, information pills packed

2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Directions:
kitchenaid mixer. I added the sugar and milk and stirred to dissolve than added the yeast and let proof, about 5 mins. Than I added the melted butter and eggs and mixed while adding the salt and flour, one cup at a time, till well blended. Than I used my Kitchenaid dough hook and mixed on low for about 7 mins to knead. I put the dough in a bowl, covered w/ a damp cloth and I put that in my oven (oven was off) and I let that rise for about an hour. I also took the suggestion to mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar before adding to the rolled out dough, I just pressed the mixture into the dough before I rolled it up. I used dental floss

1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Harvest Cinnamon Rolls
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/CinnamonRollsFantastic.htm
1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
Butter Frosting (see recipe below)

* The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out. I have these cinnamon rolls both with and without this ingredient with excellent results.

Bread Machine Recipe:

Add all the ingredients, except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting, in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

NOTE: Check the dough (don’t be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

Standup Mixer Recipe:

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
Food Processor Method:

Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients, butter, and egg. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a soft ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
TWO OPTIONS:

Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

* At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for 1 month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

* If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. NOTE: If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

Bake Immediately After Making:

Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

* Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.

* Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

Yields 15 cinnamon rolls.
CINNAMON FILLING:
1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Several months back I received a request for more Low-Glycemic friendly recipes. The ban on sugar was foremost on my mind at the time anyway. We were heading into the holiday season when in times past seemed like a nonstop overload on sweets. Generally we have a dessert once a week, sickness Sunday or Monday, this with a little treat on Friday for the kids if they have a good week. Which dose not seem like that much except for the weeks when there are leftovers we feel  cannot go to waste and the extras around the holidays and special occasions. One of the concerns I had was how I felt obligated to have a sweet treat for every celebration or accomplishment. I even had a bag of M&M’s for the toddler as bribery to get him to potty train. The other concern I had was how sick I felt every time I ate sugar. I was even turned off by the bit of brown sugar in my oatmeal. It seemed like sugar was in charge of our lives and I needed to to something about it.

The Trap:

Sugar is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol for birthday parties. Sugary confections are commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. Convenience foods such as crackers, bread, lunch meats, canned fruit and juice all have sugar in them. The little dark truth many of us do not want to accept is that for years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems; yet, we as a nation continue to allow our children, especially teenagers, to over consume the foods that contain this addictive drug.

Sugar comes from varying sources and are found in just about everything we eat. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, jams, syrups, honey, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that are all highly processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose) release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons)

A Lesson in Biology:

When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface,  another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin. Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin. An influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This causes a chain reaction rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and promotes the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high blood pressure.

The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

A diet rich in fresh in fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. When we fill up on vitamin deficient foods we are too full to eat the nutritious foods our body needs to run and we risk upsetting our body’s delicate balance. Our cells need vitamins and mineral to keep our bodies healthy and running efficiently. If our cells are busy absorbing an overload of glucose rather than vitamins we become vitamin deficient. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. To avoid a spike in blood sugar and keep hunger at bay always eat a carbohydrate with a protein. Read the labels, most breads that say they are whole wheat are really enriched and loaded with sugar. Flavored yogurts are  another trap to beware of. Try substituting the sugary ones for plain yogurt or cottage cheese with sliced fruit. It will take some getting used to but your body will love you for it. Make the switch to wheat or other whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and barley. Most importantly limit sweets and non-nutritional foods such processed snacks, juices, desserts, breads and enriched pasta, white rice and Russet potatoes. Today, there are numerous natural alternatives to sugar. Use the following guidelines for substituting sugar in cooking and baking.

Know the Terms:

  • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
  • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Pure Fruit Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods.  Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided.  Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
  • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

Sugar Substitutes:

Agave Nectar– is a syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substirute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

Photo by: Romain Behar

Photo by: Romain Behar

Sugar, sildenafil in its various forms is found in practically everything from crackers and breads to dressings, cure meats, ed juices, jams, yogurt, nuts, some root vegetables and fruit. “White Sugar” is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol at birthday parties and a social obligation to every loving parent who wants to bring a smile to their child’s face. Sugary confections are so prevalent in our society that they have become commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. For many of us, serving up a treat is ingrained in us just as much as saying please and thank you. As a result, natural sugar substitutes are growing in popularity as concerned parents seek to dispel the harmful effects of “sugar”.  However, the little dark truth many of us do not want to accept, or some do not realize, is that anyway you look at it a sugar is a sugar.

The average American consumes about 1/2 cup of sugar a a day. A regular can of soda contains a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar; the total recommended daily allowance of sugar for men. It is interesting to note that this statistic is not just related to decadent desserts. Anything made with sugar, natural or refined, can have the same effects.

Know the Terms:

  • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
  • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits, honey and some root vegetables.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods. Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided. Devoid of any nutrients.
  • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
  • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

For years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems. Glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that they are all processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose), often used in the form of concentrated fruit juice, jams and honey, release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons, Our Sweet Ending: Health Consequences With High Fructose Corn Syrup.)
A Lesson in Biology:

When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface, another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin.

Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This reaction causes a chain of events by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and ultimately promoting the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high-blood pressure. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

Just as an influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin levels, excess sugars in the liver can lead to the production of excess Triglycerides. Triglycerides and Cholesterol are needed by the body to function. Triglycerides are a form of fat in the blood stream that provide the energy needed for cells to function. Cholesterol is used for building cell membranes and making essential hormones. As before mentioned, simple sugars are converted to glucose in the liver. Foods with a high glycemic index* are converted too fast. The overload of sugar in the liver prompt the body to produce more Insulin. Excess calories which have not been used for energy are converted into triglycerides right away. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells to be released as energy between meals. The more calories we consume the the greater chance of having high triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.

*The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat but can also be used by those looking for alternatives to table sugar. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

All Things in Moderation:

The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. Most importantly remember moderation in all things is the key. Sugar-free does not mean sugar-less. Sugar-free is a termed used when refined sugar has been replaced by a natural or artificial sweetener. Any use of these powders and syrups are still considered “added sugar” and should be limited. As a side note we all process sugars differently. Some individuals would do well switching over to a natural sweetener particularly diabetics, those with allergies and Celiacs disease to name a few. Use the following guidelines for substituting natural sugar in cooking and baking.

Photo by Scott Bauer
Photo by Scott Bauer

Sugar Substitutes:

Agave Nectar– is a fructose syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substitute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

Potato Eaters

Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

the-red-vineyard
The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette and recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

auvers-town-hall-1890

starry_night
Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

vase-with-12-sunflowers

Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

irises

On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Plant Sunflowers.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx

    1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45
    degrees C)
    2 eggs, approved room temperature
    1/3 cup margarine, more about melted
    4 1/2 cups bread flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

    1 cup brown sugar, information pills packed

    2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/3 cup butter, softened

    1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
    softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Directions:
    kitchenaid mixer. I added the sugar and milk and stirred to dissolve than added the yeast and let proof, about 5 mins. Than I added the melted butter and eggs and mixed while adding the salt and flour, one cup at a time, till well blended. Than I used my Kitchenaid dough hook and mixed on low for about 7 mins to knead. I put the dough in a bowl, covered w/ a damp cloth and I put that in my oven (oven was off) and I let that rise for about an hour. I also took the suggestion to mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar before adding to the rolled out dough, I just pressed the mixture into the dough before I rolled it up. I used dental floss

    1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
    2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
    3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

    Harvest Cinnamon Rolls
    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/CinnamonRollsFantastic.htm
    1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
    1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    5 cups bread flour
    1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*
    3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
    Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
    Butter Frosting (see recipe below)

    * The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out. I have these cinnamon rolls both with and without this ingredient with excellent results.

    Bread Machine Recipe:

    Add all the ingredients, except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting, in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    NOTE: Check the dough (don’t be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

    Standup Mixer Recipe:

    In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
    Food Processor Method:

    Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients, butter, and egg. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a soft ball.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

    After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
    Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
    With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
    TWO OPTIONS:

    Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

    * At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for 1 month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

    * If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. NOTE: If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

    Bake Immediately After Making:

    Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

    * Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.

    * Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.

    Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

    Yields 15 cinnamon rolls.
    CINNAMON FILLING:
    1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
    1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
    4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    Several months back I received a request for more Low-Glycemic friendly recipes. The ban on sugar was foremost on my mind at the time anyway. We were heading into the holiday season when in times past seemed like a nonstop overload on sweets. Generally we have a dessert once a week, sickness Sunday or Monday, this with a little treat on Friday for the kids if they have a good week. Which dose not seem like that much except for the weeks when there are leftovers we feel  cannot go to waste and the extras around the holidays and special occasions. One of the concerns I had was how I felt obligated to have a sweet treat for every celebration or accomplishment. I even had a bag of M&M’s for the toddler as bribery to get him to potty train. The other concern I had was how sick I felt every time I ate sugar. I was even turned off by the bit of brown sugar in my oatmeal. It seemed like sugar was in charge of our lives and I needed to to something about it.

    The Trap:

    Sugar is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol for birthday parties. Sugary confections are commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. Convenience foods such as crackers, bread, lunch meats, canned fruit and juice all have sugar in them. The little dark truth many of us do not want to accept is that for years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems; yet, we as a nation continue to allow our children, especially teenagers, to over consume the foods that contain this addictive drug.

    Sugar comes from varying sources and are found in just about everything we eat. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, jams, syrups, honey, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that are all highly processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose) release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons)

    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface,  another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin. Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin. An influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This causes a chain reaction rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and promotes the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high blood pressure.

    The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    A diet rich in fresh in fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. When we fill up on vitamin deficient foods we are too full to eat the nutritious foods our body needs to run and we risk upsetting our body’s delicate balance. Our cells need vitamins and mineral to keep our bodies healthy and running efficiently. If our cells are busy absorbing an overload of glucose rather than vitamins we become vitamin deficient. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. To avoid a spike in blood sugar and keep hunger at bay always eat a carbohydrate with a protein. Read the labels, most breads that say they are whole wheat are really enriched and loaded with sugar. Flavored yogurts are  another trap to beware of. Try substituting the sugary ones for plain yogurt or cottage cheese with sliced fruit. It will take some getting used to but your body will love you for it. Make the switch to wheat or other whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and barley. Most importantly limit sweets and non-nutritional foods such processed snacks, juices, desserts, breads and enriched pasta, white rice and Russet potatoes. Today, there are numerous natural alternatives to sugar. Use the following guidelines for substituting sugar in cooking and baking.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Pure Fruit Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods.  Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided.  Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substirute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Sugar, sildenafil in its various forms is found in practically everything from crackers and breads to dressings, cure meats, ed juices, jams, yogurt, nuts, some root vegetables and fruit. “White Sugar” is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol at birthday parties and a social obligation to every loving parent who wants to bring a smile to their child’s face. Sugary confections are so prevalent in our society that they have become commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. For many of us, serving up a treat is ingrained in us just as much as saying please and thank you. As a result, natural sugar substitutes are growing in popularity as concerned parents seek to dispel the harmful effects of “sugar”.  However, the little dark truth many of us do not want to accept, or some do not realize, is that anyway you look at it a sugar is a sugar.

    The average American consumes about 1/2 cup of sugar a a day. A regular can of soda contains a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar; the total recommended daily allowance of sugar for men. It is interesting to note that this statistic is not just related to decadent desserts. Anything made with sugar, natural or refined, can have the same effects.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits, honey and some root vegetables.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods. Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    For years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems. Glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that they are all processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose), often used in the form of concentrated fruit juice, jams and honey, release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons, Our Sweet Ending: Health Consequences With High Fructose Corn Syrup.)
    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface, another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin.

    Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This reaction causes a chain of events by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and ultimately promoting the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high-blood pressure. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    Just as an influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin levels, excess sugars in the liver can lead to the production of excess Triglycerides. Triglycerides and Cholesterol are needed by the body to function. Triglycerides are a form of fat in the blood stream that provide the energy needed for cells to function. Cholesterol is used for building cell membranes and making essential hormones. As before mentioned, simple sugars are converted to glucose in the liver. Foods with a high glycemic index* are converted too fast. The overload of sugar in the liver prompt the body to produce more Insulin. Excess calories which have not been used for energy are converted into triglycerides right away. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells to be released as energy between meals. The more calories we consume the the greater chance of having high triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.

    *The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat but can also be used by those looking for alternatives to table sugar. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    All Things in Moderation:

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. Most importantly remember moderation in all things is the key. Sugar-free does not mean sugar-less. Sugar-free is a termed used when refined sugar has been replaced by a natural or artificial sweetener. Any use of these powders and syrups are still considered “added sugar” and should be limited. As a side note we all process sugars differently. Some individuals would do well switching over to a natural sweetener particularly diabetics, those with allergies and Celiacs disease to name a few. Use the following guidelines for substituting natural sugar in cooking and baking.

    Photo by Scott Bauer
    Photo by Scott Bauer

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a fructose syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substitute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette and recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    vase-with-12-sunflowers

    Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Plant Sunflowers.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Parmesan Garlic Asparagus

    With the arrival of Spring comes the fresh picked asparagus. Asparagus is a vegetable related to the lily. The spears are actually shoots grown from a mother plant called the crown. It takes up to 3 years for crowns to develop enough to begin producing shoots, page but once they do, try they can produce for up to 20 years.  They come in purple, generic white and green varieties. The plant itself is a perennial with

    1 pound asparagus, rough bottoms removed
    1 tbsp butter
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    salt and pepper
    Olive oil
    1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    Wash and dry asparagus. Lay single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little oil. Roll asparagus in oil to lightly coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 350 for 10 minutes. Check to see if tender, can easily pierce with a fork. If done pull out of the oven. Cut butter into slivers and lay across spears. Sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven for 3 minutes more to melt cheese and butter.
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx

    1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45
    degrees C)
    2 eggs, approved room temperature
    1/3 cup margarine, more about melted
    4 1/2 cups bread flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

    1 cup brown sugar, information pills packed

    2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/3 cup butter, softened

    1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
    softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Directions:
    kitchenaid mixer. I added the sugar and milk and stirred to dissolve than added the yeast and let proof, about 5 mins. Than I added the melted butter and eggs and mixed while adding the salt and flour, one cup at a time, till well blended. Than I used my Kitchenaid dough hook and mixed on low for about 7 mins to knead. I put the dough in a bowl, covered w/ a damp cloth and I put that in my oven (oven was off) and I let that rise for about an hour. I also took the suggestion to mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar before adding to the rolled out dough, I just pressed the mixture into the dough before I rolled it up. I used dental floss

    1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
    2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
    3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

    Harvest Cinnamon Rolls
    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/CinnamonRollsFantastic.htm
    1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
    1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    5 cups bread flour
    1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*
    3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
    Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
    Butter Frosting (see recipe below)

    * The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out. I have these cinnamon rolls both with and without this ingredient with excellent results.

    Bread Machine Recipe:

    Add all the ingredients, except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting, in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    NOTE: Check the dough (don’t be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

    Standup Mixer Recipe:

    In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
    Food Processor Method:

    Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients, butter, and egg. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a soft ball.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

    After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
    Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
    With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
    TWO OPTIONS:

    Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

    * At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for 1 month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

    * If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. NOTE: If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

    Bake Immediately After Making:

    Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

    * Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.

    * Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.

    Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

    Yields 15 cinnamon rolls.
    CINNAMON FILLING:
    1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
    1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
    4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    Several months back I received a request for more Low-Glycemic friendly recipes. The ban on sugar was foremost on my mind at the time anyway. We were heading into the holiday season when in times past seemed like a nonstop overload on sweets. Generally we have a dessert once a week, sickness Sunday or Monday, this with a little treat on Friday for the kids if they have a good week. Which dose not seem like that much except for the weeks when there are leftovers we feel  cannot go to waste and the extras around the holidays and special occasions. One of the concerns I had was how I felt obligated to have a sweet treat for every celebration or accomplishment. I even had a bag of M&M’s for the toddler as bribery to get him to potty train. The other concern I had was how sick I felt every time I ate sugar. I was even turned off by the bit of brown sugar in my oatmeal. It seemed like sugar was in charge of our lives and I needed to to something about it.

    The Trap:

    Sugar is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol for birthday parties. Sugary confections are commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. Convenience foods such as crackers, bread, lunch meats, canned fruit and juice all have sugar in them. The little dark truth many of us do not want to accept is that for years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems; yet, we as a nation continue to allow our children, especially teenagers, to over consume the foods that contain this addictive drug.

    Sugar comes from varying sources and are found in just about everything we eat. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, jams, syrups, honey, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that are all highly processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose) release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons)

    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface,  another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin. Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin. An influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This causes a chain reaction rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and promotes the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high blood pressure.

    The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    A diet rich in fresh in fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. When we fill up on vitamin deficient foods we are too full to eat the nutritious foods our body needs to run and we risk upsetting our body’s delicate balance. Our cells need vitamins and mineral to keep our bodies healthy and running efficiently. If our cells are busy absorbing an overload of glucose rather than vitamins we become vitamin deficient. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. To avoid a spike in blood sugar and keep hunger at bay always eat a carbohydrate with a protein. Read the labels, most breads that say they are whole wheat are really enriched and loaded with sugar. Flavored yogurts are  another trap to beware of. Try substituting the sugary ones for plain yogurt or cottage cheese with sliced fruit. It will take some getting used to but your body will love you for it. Make the switch to wheat or other whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and barley. Most importantly limit sweets and non-nutritional foods such processed snacks, juices, desserts, breads and enriched pasta, white rice and Russet potatoes. Today, there are numerous natural alternatives to sugar. Use the following guidelines for substituting sugar in cooking and baking.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Pure Fruit Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods.  Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided.  Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substirute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Sugar, sildenafil in its various forms is found in practically everything from crackers and breads to dressings, cure meats, ed juices, jams, yogurt, nuts, some root vegetables and fruit. “White Sugar” is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol at birthday parties and a social obligation to every loving parent who wants to bring a smile to their child’s face. Sugary confections are so prevalent in our society that they have become commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. For many of us, serving up a treat is ingrained in us just as much as saying please and thank you. As a result, natural sugar substitutes are growing in popularity as concerned parents seek to dispel the harmful effects of “sugar”.  However, the little dark truth many of us do not want to accept, or some do not realize, is that anyway you look at it a sugar is a sugar.

    The average American consumes about 1/2 cup of sugar a a day. A regular can of soda contains a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar; the total recommended daily allowance of sugar for men. It is interesting to note that this statistic is not just related to decadent desserts. Anything made with sugar, natural or refined, can have the same effects.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits, honey and some root vegetables.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods. Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    For years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems. Glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that they are all processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose), often used in the form of concentrated fruit juice, jams and honey, release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons, Our Sweet Ending: Health Consequences With High Fructose Corn Syrup.)
    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface, another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin.

    Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This reaction causes a chain of events by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and ultimately promoting the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high-blood pressure. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    Just as an influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin levels, excess sugars in the liver can lead to the production of excess Triglycerides. Triglycerides and Cholesterol are needed by the body to function. Triglycerides are a form of fat in the blood stream that provide the energy needed for cells to function. Cholesterol is used for building cell membranes and making essential hormones. As before mentioned, simple sugars are converted to glucose in the liver. Foods with a high glycemic index* are converted too fast. The overload of sugar in the liver prompt the body to produce more Insulin. Excess calories which have not been used for energy are converted into triglycerides right away. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells to be released as energy between meals. The more calories we consume the the greater chance of having high triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.

    *The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat but can also be used by those looking for alternatives to table sugar. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    All Things in Moderation:

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. Most importantly remember moderation in all things is the key. Sugar-free does not mean sugar-less. Sugar-free is a termed used when refined sugar has been replaced by a natural or artificial sweetener. Any use of these powders and syrups are still considered “added sugar” and should be limited. As a side note we all process sugars differently. Some individuals would do well switching over to a natural sweetener particularly diabetics, those with allergies and Celiacs disease to name a few. Use the following guidelines for substituting natural sugar in cooking and baking.

    Photo by Scott Bauer
    Photo by Scott Bauer

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a fructose syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substitute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette and recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    vase-with-12-sunflowers

    Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Plant Sunflowers.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Parmesan Garlic Asparagus

    With the arrival of Spring comes the fresh picked asparagus. Asparagus is a vegetable related to the lily. The spears are actually shoots grown from a mother plant called the crown. It takes up to 3 years for crowns to develop enough to begin producing shoots, page but once they do, try they can produce for up to 20 years.  They come in purple, generic white and green varieties. The plant itself is a perennial with

    1 pound asparagus, rough bottoms removed
    1 tbsp butter
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    salt and pepper
    Olive oil
    1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    Wash and dry asparagus. Lay single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little oil. Roll asparagus in oil to lightly coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 350 for 10 minutes. Check to see if tender, can easily pierce with a fork. If done pull out of the oven. Cut butter into slivers and lay across spears. Sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven for 3 minutes more to melt cheese and butter.

    English Herbed Boiled Potatoes

    Herbed boiled potatoes is a family favorite. We often serve them on Valentine’s Day, viagra 100mg Easter and other special occasions. This version of red potatoes transforms the ordinary boiled or baked potato into something spectacular that your guests will really enjoy.

    Potatoes can be very tricky to cook sometimes. To test doneness spear the potato with a skewer, try or knife. If it sticks or does not easily pierce it is not done. If is falls apart or quickly slips off it is too done. A perfectly cooked potato should easily slide off the skewer. Shaking the pan fluffs the potatoes up a bit. It is a trick often used before roasting peeled potatoes to give them a nice coated texture.

    Water
    2 pounds red potatoes, skins on
    2 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp chopped parsley
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    Salt and pepper

    Wash potatoes thoroughly. Place in a pot and cover with water. Season with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to boil until tender 15-20 minutes. Drain. Hold the lid tightly on the pan and shake a few times to fluff the potatoes. Toss with the butter, garlic and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Springtime Chocolate Nests

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try try visit 1853 in Groot-Zundert, information pills Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, cost the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try visit 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, adiposity 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try visit 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, adiposity 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, no rx 1853 in Groot-Zundert, physician Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try visit 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, adiposity 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, no rx 1853 in Groot-Zundert, physician Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, what is ed 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try visit 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, adiposity 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, no rx 1853 in Groot-Zundert, physician Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, what is ed 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, about it Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try visit 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, adiposity 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, no rx 1853 in Groot-Zundert, physician Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, what is ed 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, about it Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, remedy Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this site the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try visit 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, adiposity 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, no rx 1853 in Groot-Zundert, physician Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, what is ed 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, about it Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, remedy Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this site the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, order 1853 in Groot-Zundert, ed Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette and recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    vase-with-12-sunflowers

    Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Plant Sunflowers.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try visit 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, adiposity 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, no rx 1853 in Groot-Zundert, physician Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, what is ed 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, about it Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, remedy Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this site the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, order 1853 in Groot-Zundert, ed Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette and recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    vase-with-12-sunflowers

    Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Plant Sunflowers.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Peruvian Lomo Saltado

    Lomo Saltado is a classic Peruvian dish. The variations are as distinct as the family making it. However, viagra potatoes and steak are the two main ingredients that always remain the same. This version is adapted from a tiny restaurant a friend took me to during one of our excursions.  When I asked the owner, cost Mama, search what the secret was she said, she marinates the steaks in grapefruit juice.

    I have spent the last 13 years periodically tinkering to come up with a version of Lomo Saltado that resembles Mama’s. It has taken me that long to understand the different flavors of herbs and spices.

    2 pounds potatoes, cut into fries or frozen fries cooked
    1 pound beef tenderloin
    1 grapefruit, juiced
    1 tsp cumin
    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 tbsp white vinegar
    salt and pepper, to taste
    3 tbsp oil
    1 hot red pepper, minced (optional)
    2 large red onions, sliced into thick strips
    1 large sweet red pepper
    6 Roma tomatoes, peeled and quartered

    Make marinade by combining oil, cumin, garlic, grapefruit, vinegar, salt and pepper for 30 minutes or longer.

    Fry or bake potato fries; keep warm.

    Cook steak until desired doneness. Remove; cover and keep warm. Add onions, red pepper and hot pepper, if using. Cook until tender but still crisp. Add tomatoes and cook a few minutes longer to heat through, but not mushy.

    To serve, slice steak into strips. Top with onions and peppers and then the french fries. Serve with rice or additional roasted veggies.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try visit 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, adiposity 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, no rx 1853 in Groot-Zundert, physician Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, what is ed 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, about it Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, remedy Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this site the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, order 1853 in Groot-Zundert, ed Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette and recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    vase-with-12-sunflowers

    Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Plant Sunflowers.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Peruvian Lomo Saltado

    Lomo Saltado is a classic Peruvian dish. The variations are as distinct as the family making it. However, viagra potatoes and steak are the two main ingredients that always remain the same. This version is adapted from a tiny restaurant a friend took me to during one of our excursions.  When I asked the owner, cost Mama, search what the secret was she said, she marinates the steaks in grapefruit juice.

    I have spent the last 13 years periodically tinkering to come up with a version of Lomo Saltado that resembles Mama’s. It has taken me that long to understand the different flavors of herbs and spices.

    2 pounds potatoes, cut into fries or frozen fries cooked
    1 pound beef tenderloin
    1 grapefruit, juiced
    1 tsp cumin
    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 tbsp white vinegar
    salt and pepper, to taste
    3 tbsp oil
    1 hot red pepper, minced (optional)
    2 large red onions, sliced into thick strips
    1 large sweet red pepper
    6 Roma tomatoes, peeled and quartered

    Make marinade by combining oil, cumin, garlic, grapefruit, vinegar, salt and pepper for 30 minutes or longer.

    Fry or bake potato fries; keep warm.

    Cook steak until desired doneness. Remove; cover and keep warm. Add onions, red pepper and hot pepper, if using. Cook until tender but still crisp. Add tomatoes and cook a few minutes longer to heat through, but not mushy.

    To serve, slice steak into strips. Top with onions and peppers and then the french fries. Serve with rice or additional roasted veggies.
    On Saturday or Sunday morning I like to make omelets as a way to use up left over vegetables. Ideally to make this recipe for potatoes and asparagus omelets use precooked cubed potatoes and steamed asparagus to cut down on cooking time. If leftovers are not available blanch the asparagus and potatoes in boiling water for 5-6 minutes. Our potatoes and asparagus omelet also makes for a tasty comfy dinner entree. Use 5 egg whites and 1 whole egg for a low cholesterol version.

    2 small red potatoes, recipe chopped into 1-inch bite sized cubes
    1/2 cup chopped 1-inch pieces asparagus
    1 tbsp chopped cilantro
    6 eggs
    1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    2 thin ham slices, medical chopped
    Butter
    Salt and pepper
    Salsa

    In a bowl whisk eggs together until well blended. Set aside.

    Saute potatoes and asparagus in 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat until browned and caramelized. Season with salt, ambulance pepper and cilantro. Reduce heat to medium.

    Pour whisked eggs over vegetables in pan. Once the egg starts to set gently lift one edge with a spatula and tilt the pan so the uncooked egg runs underneath. Repeat all around the pan until most of the omelet is set with a small amount of uncooked egg on top. Carefully use a spatula to flip the omelet over and turn off heat. Sprinkle with ham slices and cheese. Flip one side of the omelet over folding in half. Remove from heat. Top with a dollop of salsa and serve. Makes 2

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try visit 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, adiposity 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, no rx 1853 in Groot-Zundert, physician Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, what is ed 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, about it Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, ailment 1853 in Groot-Zundert, remedy Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, this site the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette  that he recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    vase-with-12-sunflowers
    Vase with 12 Sunflowers was considered a masterpiece and still remains one of Van Gogh's most popular works of art.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, order 1853 in Groot-Zundert, ed Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette and recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    vase-with-12-sunflowers

    Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Plant Sunflowers.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Peruvian Lomo Saltado

    Lomo Saltado is a classic Peruvian dish. The variations are as distinct as the family making it. However, viagra potatoes and steak are the two main ingredients that always remain the same. This version is adapted from a tiny restaurant a friend took me to during one of our excursions.  When I asked the owner, cost Mama, search what the secret was she said, she marinates the steaks in grapefruit juice.

    I have spent the last 13 years periodically tinkering to come up with a version of Lomo Saltado that resembles Mama’s. It has taken me that long to understand the different flavors of herbs and spices.

    2 pounds potatoes, cut into fries or frozen fries cooked
    1 pound beef tenderloin
    1 grapefruit, juiced
    1 tsp cumin
    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 tbsp white vinegar
    salt and pepper, to taste
    3 tbsp oil
    1 hot red pepper, minced (optional)
    2 large red onions, sliced into thick strips
    1 large sweet red pepper
    6 Roma tomatoes, peeled and quartered

    Make marinade by combining oil, cumin, garlic, grapefruit, vinegar, salt and pepper for 30 minutes or longer.

    Fry or bake potato fries; keep warm.

    Cook steak until desired doneness. Remove; cover and keep warm. Add onions, red pepper and hot pepper, if using. Cook until tender but still crisp. Add tomatoes and cook a few minutes longer to heat through, but not mushy.

    To serve, slice steak into strips. Top with onions and peppers and then the french fries. Serve with rice or additional roasted veggies.
    On Saturday or Sunday morning I like to make omelets as a way to use up left over vegetables. Ideally to make this recipe for potatoes and asparagus omelets use precooked cubed potatoes and steamed asparagus to cut down on cooking time. If leftovers are not available blanch the asparagus and potatoes in boiling water for 5-6 minutes. Our potatoes and asparagus omelet also makes for a tasty comfy dinner entree. Use 5 egg whites and 1 whole egg for a low cholesterol version.

    2 small red potatoes, recipe chopped into 1-inch bite sized cubes
    1/2 cup chopped 1-inch pieces asparagus
    1 tbsp chopped cilantro
    6 eggs
    1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    2 thin ham slices, medical chopped
    Butter
    Salt and pepper
    Salsa

    In a bowl whisk eggs together until well blended. Set aside.

    Saute potatoes and asparagus in 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat until browned and caramelized. Season with salt, ambulance pepper and cilantro. Reduce heat to medium.

    Pour whisked eggs over vegetables in pan. Once the egg starts to set gently lift one edge with a spatula and tilt the pan so the uncooked egg runs underneath. Repeat all around the pan until most of the omelet is set with a small amount of uncooked egg on top. Carefully use a spatula to flip the omelet over and turn off heat. Sprinkle with ham slices and cheese. Flip one side of the omelet over folding in half. Remove from heat. Top with a dollop of salsa and serve. Makes 2
    Wheat Free Birthday Cake Recipes – Carrot Cake (this recipe is also sugar free)

    1 1/2 sticks 6oz (3/4 cup) butter (softened)
    3 large eggs, story beaten
    6oz (3/4 cup) sultanas (golden Raisins)
    8oz (1 cup) carrot, peeled and grated, 1 firmly packed cup finely grated, 3 carrots
    1 large apple 9oz (1 1/8 cup) apple, peeled, cored and chopped
    9oz (2 1/4 cup) wheat free, all purpose flour
    2tsp baking powder
    2tsp nutmeg
    2tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt

    Before you start…

    Steam the apple chunks (or simmer in a little water) until tender, then drain and puree.
    Preheat the oven to 375 deg F, 190 deg C.
    Take the eggs from the refrigerator to bring them closer to room temperature.

    In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
    Stir in the apple puree, sultanas and grated carrot.
    Add the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt, then carefully fold them into the mixture (a palette knife comes in handy here!). The object of folding in the dry ingredients rather than simply stirring them in is to avoid losing the air you incorporated into the mixture by beating it.
    Line a 7″ cake tin with baking parchment and gently spoon in the mixture.
    Bake for around one hour, until a sharp knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

    Read more: http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/wheat-free-birthday-cake-recipes.html#ixzz0gbVsFYw9

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Sugar, cialis 40mg cialis 40mg in its various forms is found in practically everything from crackers and breads to dressings, price meats, juices, jams, yogurt, nuts, some root vegetables and fruit. “White Sugar” is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol at birthday parties and a social obligation to every loving parent who wants to bring a smile to their child’s face. Sugary confections are so prevalent in our society that they have become commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. For many of us, serving up a treat is ingrained in us just as much as saying please and thank you. As a result, natural sugar substitutes are growing in popularity as concerned parents seek to dispel the harmful effects of “sugar”.  However, the little dark truth many of us do not want to accept, or some do not realize, is that anyway you look at it a sugar is a sugar.

    The average American consumes about 1/2 cup of sugar a a day. A regular can of soda contains a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar; the total recommended daily allowance of sugar for men. It is interesting to note that this statistic is not just related to decadent desserts. Anything made with sugar, natural or refined, can have the same effects.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits, honey and some root vegetables.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods. Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    For years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems. Glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that they are all processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose), often used in the form of concentrated fruit juice, jams and honey, release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons, Our Sweet Ending: Health Consequences With High Fructose Corn Syrup.)
    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface, another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin.

    Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This reaction causes a chain of events by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and ultimately promoting the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high-blood pressure. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    Just as an influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin levels, excess sugars in the liver can lead to the production of excess Triglycerides. Triglycerides and Cholesterol are needed by the body to function. Triglycerides are a form of fat in the blood stream that provide the energy needed for cells to function. Cholesterol is used for building cell membranes and making essential hormones. As before mentioned, simple sugars are converted to glucose in the liver. Foods with a high glycemic index* are converted too fast. The overload of sugar in the liver prompt the body to produce more Insulin. Excess calories which have not been used for energy are converted into triglycerides right away. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells to be released as energy between meals. The more calories we consume the the greater chance of having high triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.

    *The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat but can also be used by those looking for alternatives to table sugar. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    All Things in Moderation:

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. Most importantly remember moderation in all things is the key. Sugar-free does not mean sugar-less. Sugar-free is a termed used when refined sugar has been replaced by a natural or artificial sweetener. Any use of these powders and syrups are still considered “added sugar” and should be limited. As a side note we all process sugars differently. Some individuals would do well switching over to a natural sweetener particularly diabetics, those with allergies and Celiacs disease to name a few. Use the following guidelines for substituting natural sugar in cooking and baking.

    Photo by Scott Bauer
    Photo by Scott Bauer

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a fructose syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substitute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Sugar, cialis 40mg cialis 40mg in its various forms is found in practically everything from crackers and breads to dressings, price meats, juices, jams, yogurt, nuts, some root vegetables and fruit. “White Sugar” is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol at birthday parties and a social obligation to every loving parent who wants to bring a smile to their child’s face. Sugary confections are so prevalent in our society that they have become commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. For many of us, serving up a treat is ingrained in us just as much as saying please and thank you. As a result, natural sugar substitutes are growing in popularity as concerned parents seek to dispel the harmful effects of “sugar”.  However, the little dark truth many of us do not want to accept, or some do not realize, is that anyway you look at it a sugar is a sugar.

    The average American consumes about 1/2 cup of sugar a a day. A regular can of soda contains a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar; the total recommended daily allowance of sugar for men. It is interesting to note that this statistic is not just related to decadent desserts. Anything made with sugar, natural or refined, can have the same effects.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits, honey and some root vegetables.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods. Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    For years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems. Glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that they are all processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose), often used in the form of concentrated fruit juice, jams and honey, release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons, Our Sweet Ending: Health Consequences With High Fructose Corn Syrup.)
    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface, another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin.

    Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This reaction causes a chain of events by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and ultimately promoting the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high-blood pressure. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    Just as an influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin levels, excess sugars in the liver can lead to the production of excess Triglycerides. Triglycerides and Cholesterol are needed by the body to function. Triglycerides are a form of fat in the blood stream that provide the energy needed for cells to function. Cholesterol is used for building cell membranes and making essential hormones. As before mentioned, simple sugars are converted to glucose in the liver. Foods with a high glycemic index* are converted too fast. The overload of sugar in the liver prompt the body to produce more Insulin. Excess calories which have not been used for energy are converted into triglycerides right away. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells to be released as energy between meals. The more calories we consume the the greater chance of having high triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.

    *The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat but can also be used by those looking for alternatives to table sugar. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    All Things in Moderation:

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. Most importantly remember moderation in all things is the key. Sugar-free does not mean sugar-less. Sugar-free is a termed used when refined sugar has been replaced by a natural or artificial sweetener. Any use of these powders and syrups are still considered “added sugar” and should be limited. As a side note we all process sugars differently. Some individuals would do well switching over to a natural sweetener particularly diabetics, those with allergies and Celiacs disease to name a few. Use the following guidelines for substituting natural sugar in cooking and baking.

    Photo by Scott Bauer
    Photo by Scott Bauer

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a fructose syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substitute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

    Springtime Chocolate Nests

    The birth of Spring is a marvelous sight to see here in the Valley. The medians along the highway flourish with a backdrop of orange and red poppies in addition to random purple and yellow wildflowers. The once boring lifeless hills awaken with the fresh scents of vibrant greens. The fragrant air recently cleaned by the passing rainstorm breathes life and beauty into the sleeping earth.

    These little chocolate nests are just as delightful as the surrounding landscape. They are a little messy to begin with but they are so darn cute. They would make an adorable place setting to welcome guests to for Easter day dinner or an extra special treat at a tea party. You could even share one with the Spring Bunny. So don the aprons and let’s make some Springtime Chocolate nests.

    8 oz dark, cure semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
    1 bag (2 1/2 cups) chow mein noodles
    Small egg shaped candies
    Waxed paper

    Place the chocolate in a bowl and microwave on medium for 30 second intervals, there stirring each time, until melted. Or place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over simmering water, stirring until melted.

    Gently stir in the chow mein noodles.

    Divide mixture into 5-6 mounds on the waxed paper shaping to form the nest with an indentation in the middle. Let set 15-20 minutes. Place a few eggs in the middle.

    The Art History of Vincent Van Gogh

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx

    1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45
    degrees C)
    2 eggs, approved room temperature
    1/3 cup margarine, more about melted
    4 1/2 cups bread flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

    1 cup brown sugar, information pills packed

    2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/3 cup butter, softened

    1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
    softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Directions:
    kitchenaid mixer. I added the sugar and milk and stirred to dissolve than added the yeast and let proof, about 5 mins. Than I added the melted butter and eggs and mixed while adding the salt and flour, one cup at a time, till well blended. Than I used my Kitchenaid dough hook and mixed on low for about 7 mins to knead. I put the dough in a bowl, covered w/ a damp cloth and I put that in my oven (oven was off) and I let that rise for about an hour. I also took the suggestion to mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar before adding to the rolled out dough, I just pressed the mixture into the dough before I rolled it up. I used dental floss

    1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
    2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
    3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

    Harvest Cinnamon Rolls
    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/CinnamonRollsFantastic.htm
    1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
    1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    5 cups bread flour
    1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*
    3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
    Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
    Butter Frosting (see recipe below)

    * The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out. I have these cinnamon rolls both with and without this ingredient with excellent results.

    Bread Machine Recipe:

    Add all the ingredients, except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting, in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    NOTE: Check the dough (don’t be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

    Standup Mixer Recipe:

    In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
    Food Processor Method:

    Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients, butter, and egg. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a soft ball.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

    After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
    Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
    With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
    TWO OPTIONS:

    Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

    * At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for 1 month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

    * If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. NOTE: If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

    Bake Immediately After Making:

    Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

    * Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.

    * Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.

    Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

    Yields 15 cinnamon rolls.
    CINNAMON FILLING:
    1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
    1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
    4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx

    1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45
    degrees C)
    2 eggs, approved room temperature
    1/3 cup margarine, more about melted
    4 1/2 cups bread flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

    1 cup brown sugar, information pills packed

    2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/3 cup butter, softened

    1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
    softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Directions:
    kitchenaid mixer. I added the sugar and milk and stirred to dissolve than added the yeast and let proof, about 5 mins. Than I added the melted butter and eggs and mixed while adding the salt and flour, one cup at a time, till well blended. Than I used my Kitchenaid dough hook and mixed on low for about 7 mins to knead. I put the dough in a bowl, covered w/ a damp cloth and I put that in my oven (oven was off) and I let that rise for about an hour. I also took the suggestion to mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar before adding to the rolled out dough, I just pressed the mixture into the dough before I rolled it up. I used dental floss

    1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
    2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
    3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

    Harvest Cinnamon Rolls
    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/CinnamonRollsFantastic.htm
    1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
    1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    5 cups bread flour
    1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*
    3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
    Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
    Butter Frosting (see recipe below)

    * The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out. I have these cinnamon rolls both with and without this ingredient with excellent results.

    Bread Machine Recipe:

    Add all the ingredients, except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting, in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    NOTE: Check the dough (don’t be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

    Standup Mixer Recipe:

    In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
    Food Processor Method:

    Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients, butter, and egg. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a soft ball.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

    After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
    Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
    With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
    TWO OPTIONS:

    Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

    * At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for 1 month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

    * If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. NOTE: If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

    Bake Immediately After Making:

    Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

    * Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.

    * Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.

    Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

    Yields 15 cinnamon rolls.
    CINNAMON FILLING:
    1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
    1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
    4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    Several months back I received a request for more Low-Glycemic friendly recipes. The ban on sugar was foremost on my mind at the time anyway. We were heading into the holiday season when in times past seemed like a nonstop overload on sweets. Generally we have a dessert once a week, sickness Sunday or Monday, this with a little treat on Friday for the kids if they have a good week. Which dose not seem like that much except for the weeks when there are leftovers we feel  cannot go to waste and the extras around the holidays and special occasions. One of the concerns I had was how I felt obligated to have a sweet treat for every celebration or accomplishment. I even had a bag of M&M’s for the toddler as bribery to get him to potty train. The other concern I had was how sick I felt every time I ate sugar. I was even turned off by the bit of brown sugar in my oatmeal. It seemed like sugar was in charge of our lives and I needed to to something about it.

    The Trap:

    Sugar is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol for birthday parties. Sugary confections are commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. Convenience foods such as crackers, bread, lunch meats, canned fruit and juice all have sugar in them. The little dark truth many of us do not want to accept is that for years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems; yet, we as a nation continue to allow our children, especially teenagers, to over consume the foods that contain this addictive drug.

    Sugar comes from varying sources and are found in just about everything we eat. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, jams, syrups, honey, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that are all highly processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose) release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons)

    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface,  another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin. Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin. An influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This causes a chain reaction rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and promotes the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high blood pressure.

    The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    A diet rich in fresh in fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. When we fill up on vitamin deficient foods we are too full to eat the nutritious foods our body needs to run and we risk upsetting our body’s delicate balance. Our cells need vitamins and mineral to keep our bodies healthy and running efficiently. If our cells are busy absorbing an overload of glucose rather than vitamins we become vitamin deficient. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. To avoid a spike in blood sugar and keep hunger at bay always eat a carbohydrate with a protein. Read the labels, most breads that say they are whole wheat are really enriched and loaded with sugar. Flavored yogurts are  another trap to beware of. Try substituting the sugary ones for plain yogurt or cottage cheese with sliced fruit. It will take some getting used to but your body will love you for it. Make the switch to wheat or other whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and barley. Most importantly limit sweets and non-nutritional foods such processed snacks, juices, desserts, breads and enriched pasta, white rice and Russet potatoes. Today, there are numerous natural alternatives to sugar. Use the following guidelines for substituting sugar in cooking and baking.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Pure Fruit Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods.  Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided.  Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substirute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx

    1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45
    degrees C)
    2 eggs, approved room temperature
    1/3 cup margarine, more about melted
    4 1/2 cups bread flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

    1 cup brown sugar, information pills packed

    2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/3 cup butter, softened

    1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
    softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Directions:
    kitchenaid mixer. I added the sugar and milk and stirred to dissolve than added the yeast and let proof, about 5 mins. Than I added the melted butter and eggs and mixed while adding the salt and flour, one cup at a time, till well blended. Than I used my Kitchenaid dough hook and mixed on low for about 7 mins to knead. I put the dough in a bowl, covered w/ a damp cloth and I put that in my oven (oven was off) and I let that rise for about an hour. I also took the suggestion to mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar before adding to the rolled out dough, I just pressed the mixture into the dough before I rolled it up. I used dental floss

    1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
    2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
    3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

    Harvest Cinnamon Rolls
    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/CinnamonRollsFantastic.htm
    1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
    1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    5 cups bread flour
    1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*
    3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
    Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
    Butter Frosting (see recipe below)

    * The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out. I have these cinnamon rolls both with and without this ingredient with excellent results.

    Bread Machine Recipe:

    Add all the ingredients, except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting, in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    NOTE: Check the dough (don’t be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

    Standup Mixer Recipe:

    In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
    Food Processor Method:

    Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients, butter, and egg. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a soft ball.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

    After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
    Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
    With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
    TWO OPTIONS:

    Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

    * At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for 1 month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

    * If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. NOTE: If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

    Bake Immediately After Making:

    Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

    * Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.

    * Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.

    Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

    Yields 15 cinnamon rolls.
    CINNAMON FILLING:
    1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
    1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
    4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    Several months back I received a request for more Low-Glycemic friendly recipes. The ban on sugar was foremost on my mind at the time anyway. We were heading into the holiday season when in times past seemed like a nonstop overload on sweets. Generally we have a dessert once a week, sickness Sunday or Monday, this with a little treat on Friday for the kids if they have a good week. Which dose not seem like that much except for the weeks when there are leftovers we feel  cannot go to waste and the extras around the holidays and special occasions. One of the concerns I had was how I felt obligated to have a sweet treat for every celebration or accomplishment. I even had a bag of M&M’s for the toddler as bribery to get him to potty train. The other concern I had was how sick I felt every time I ate sugar. I was even turned off by the bit of brown sugar in my oatmeal. It seemed like sugar was in charge of our lives and I needed to to something about it.

    The Trap:

    Sugar is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol for birthday parties. Sugary confections are commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. Convenience foods such as crackers, bread, lunch meats, canned fruit and juice all have sugar in them. The little dark truth many of us do not want to accept is that for years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems; yet, we as a nation continue to allow our children, especially teenagers, to over consume the foods that contain this addictive drug.

    Sugar comes from varying sources and are found in just about everything we eat. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, jams, syrups, honey, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that are all highly processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose) release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons)

    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface,  another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin. Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin. An influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This causes a chain reaction rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and promotes the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high blood pressure.

    The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    A diet rich in fresh in fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. When we fill up on vitamin deficient foods we are too full to eat the nutritious foods our body needs to run and we risk upsetting our body’s delicate balance. Our cells need vitamins and mineral to keep our bodies healthy and running efficiently. If our cells are busy absorbing an overload of glucose rather than vitamins we become vitamin deficient. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. To avoid a spike in blood sugar and keep hunger at bay always eat a carbohydrate with a protein. Read the labels, most breads that say they are whole wheat are really enriched and loaded with sugar. Flavored yogurts are  another trap to beware of. Try substituting the sugary ones for plain yogurt or cottage cheese with sliced fruit. It will take some getting used to but your body will love you for it. Make the switch to wheat or other whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and barley. Most importantly limit sweets and non-nutritional foods such processed snacks, juices, desserts, breads and enriched pasta, white rice and Russet potatoes. Today, there are numerous natural alternatives to sugar. Use the following guidelines for substituting sugar in cooking and baking.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Pure Fruit Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods.  Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided.  Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substirute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Sugar, sildenafil in its various forms is found in practically everything from crackers and breads to dressings, cure meats, ed juices, jams, yogurt, nuts, some root vegetables and fruit. “White Sugar” is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol at birthday parties and a social obligation to every loving parent who wants to bring a smile to their child’s face. Sugary confections are so prevalent in our society that they have become commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. For many of us, serving up a treat is ingrained in us just as much as saying please and thank you. As a result, natural sugar substitutes are growing in popularity as concerned parents seek to dispel the harmful effects of “sugar”.  However, the little dark truth many of us do not want to accept, or some do not realize, is that anyway you look at it a sugar is a sugar.

    The average American consumes about 1/2 cup of sugar a a day. A regular can of soda contains a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar; the total recommended daily allowance of sugar for men. It is interesting to note that this statistic is not just related to decadent desserts. Anything made with sugar, natural or refined, can have the same effects.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits, honey and some root vegetables.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods. Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    For years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems. Glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that they are all processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose), often used in the form of concentrated fruit juice, jams and honey, release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons, Our Sweet Ending: Health Consequences With High Fructose Corn Syrup.)
    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface, another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin.

    Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This reaction causes a chain of events by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and ultimately promoting the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high-blood pressure. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    Just as an influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin levels, excess sugars in the liver can lead to the production of excess Triglycerides. Triglycerides and Cholesterol are needed by the body to function. Triglycerides are a form of fat in the blood stream that provide the energy needed for cells to function. Cholesterol is used for building cell membranes and making essential hormones. As before mentioned, simple sugars are converted to glucose in the liver. Foods with a high glycemic index* are converted too fast. The overload of sugar in the liver prompt the body to produce more Insulin. Excess calories which have not been used for energy are converted into triglycerides right away. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells to be released as energy between meals. The more calories we consume the the greater chance of having high triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.

    *The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat but can also be used by those looking for alternatives to table sugar. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    All Things in Moderation:

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. Most importantly remember moderation in all things is the key. Sugar-free does not mean sugar-less. Sugar-free is a termed used when refined sugar has been replaced by a natural or artificial sweetener. Any use of these powders and syrups are still considered “added sugar” and should be limited. As a side note we all process sugars differently. Some individuals would do well switching over to a natural sweetener particularly diabetics, those with allergies and Celiacs disease to name a few. Use the following guidelines for substituting natural sugar in cooking and baking.

    Photo by Scott Bauer
    Photo by Scott Bauer

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a fructose syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substitute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx

    1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45
    degrees C)
    2 eggs, approved room temperature
    1/3 cup margarine, more about melted
    4 1/2 cups bread flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

    1 cup brown sugar, information pills packed

    2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/3 cup butter, softened

    1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
    softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Directions:
    kitchenaid mixer. I added the sugar and milk and stirred to dissolve than added the yeast and let proof, about 5 mins. Than I added the melted butter and eggs and mixed while adding the salt and flour, one cup at a time, till well blended. Than I used my Kitchenaid dough hook and mixed on low for about 7 mins to knead. I put the dough in a bowl, covered w/ a damp cloth and I put that in my oven (oven was off) and I let that rise for about an hour. I also took the suggestion to mixed the butter, cinnamon and sugar before adding to the rolled out dough, I just pressed the mixture into the dough before I rolled it up. I used dental floss

    1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
    2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
    3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

    Harvest Cinnamon Rolls
    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/CinnamonRollsFantastic.htm
    1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
    1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    5 cups bread flour
    1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)*
    3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
    Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
    Butter Frosting (see recipe below)

    * The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out. I have these cinnamon rolls both with and without this ingredient with excellent results.

    Bread Machine Recipe:

    Add all the ingredients, except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting, in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions for a dough setting. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    NOTE: Check the dough (don’t be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time). If you can’t judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.

    Standup Mixer Recipe:

    In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
    Food Processor Method:

    Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients, butter, and egg. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a soft ball.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly-oiled surface (I use a nonstick cooking spray), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes.

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

    Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

    After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.
    Brush the 1/2 cup softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush. Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.
    With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared baking pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.
    TWO OPTIONS:

    Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

    * At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I’ve actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for 1 month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

    * If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I’ve done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. NOTE: If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

    Bake Immediately After Making:

    Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven.

    * Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.

    * Baked in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.

    Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Spread Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

    Yields 15 cinnamon rolls.
    CINNAMON FILLING:
    1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
    1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
    4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    Several months back I received a request for more Low-Glycemic friendly recipes. The ban on sugar was foremost on my mind at the time anyway. We were heading into the holiday season when in times past seemed like a nonstop overload on sweets. Generally we have a dessert once a week, sickness Sunday or Monday, this with a little treat on Friday for the kids if they have a good week. Which dose not seem like that much except for the weeks when there are leftovers we feel  cannot go to waste and the extras around the holidays and special occasions. One of the concerns I had was how I felt obligated to have a sweet treat for every celebration or accomplishment. I even had a bag of M&M’s for the toddler as bribery to get him to potty train. The other concern I had was how sick I felt every time I ate sugar. I was even turned off by the bit of brown sugar in my oatmeal. It seemed like sugar was in charge of our lives and I needed to to something about it.

    The Trap:

    Sugar is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol for birthday parties. Sugary confections are commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. Convenience foods such as crackers, bread, lunch meats, canned fruit and juice all have sugar in them. The little dark truth many of us do not want to accept is that for years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems; yet, we as a nation continue to allow our children, especially teenagers, to over consume the foods that contain this addictive drug.

    Sugar comes from varying sources and are found in just about everything we eat. Glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, jams, syrups, honey, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that are all highly processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose) release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons)

    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface,  another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin. Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin. An influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This causes a chain reaction rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and promotes the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high blood pressure.

    The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    A diet rich in fresh in fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. When we fill up on vitamin deficient foods we are too full to eat the nutritious foods our body needs to run and we risk upsetting our body’s delicate balance. Our cells need vitamins and mineral to keep our bodies healthy and running efficiently. If our cells are busy absorbing an overload of glucose rather than vitamins we become vitamin deficient. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. To avoid a spike in blood sugar and keep hunger at bay always eat a carbohydrate with a protein. Read the labels, most breads that say they are whole wheat are really enriched and loaded with sugar. Flavored yogurts are  another trap to beware of. Try substituting the sugary ones for plain yogurt or cottage cheese with sliced fruit. It will take some getting used to but your body will love you for it. Make the switch to wheat or other whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and barley. Most importantly limit sweets and non-nutritional foods such processed snacks, juices, desserts, breads and enriched pasta, white rice and Russet potatoes. Today, there are numerous natural alternatives to sugar. Use the following guidelines for substituting sugar in cooking and baking.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Pure Fruit Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods.  Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided.  Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substirute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Photo by: Romain Behar

    Sugar, sildenafil in its various forms is found in practically everything from crackers and breads to dressings, cure meats, ed juices, jams, yogurt, nuts, some root vegetables and fruit. “White Sugar” is a sweet additive substance that has become an iconic symbol at birthday parties and a social obligation to every loving parent who wants to bring a smile to their child’s face. Sugary confections are so prevalent in our society that they have become commonplace when celebrating holidays, at gatherings and events. For many of us, serving up a treat is ingrained in us just as much as saying please and thank you. As a result, natural sugar substitutes are growing in popularity as concerned parents seek to dispel the harmful effects of “sugar”.  However, the little dark truth many of us do not want to accept, or some do not realize, is that anyway you look at it a sugar is a sugar.

    The average American consumes about 1/2 cup of sugar a a day. A regular can of soda contains a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar; the total recommended daily allowance of sugar for men. It is interesting to note that this statistic is not just related to decadent desserts. Anything made with sugar, natural or refined, can have the same effects.

    Know the Terms:

    • Glucose- a simple sugar made by the body through the digestion of carbohydrates. It is the body’s chief source for fuel.
    • Sucrose- common white table sugar. It is highly processed from the sugar cane plant. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Fructose- highly processed natural sugar derived from fruits, honey and some root vegetables.  Fructose is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Crystalline Fructose-  highly processed corn starch or sucrose (table sugar). Devoid of any nutrients.
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup- highly processed corn, wheat and rice. Most used ingredient in processed foods. Is linked to heart disease and high cholesterol; consumption should be limited if not avoided. Devoid of any nutrients.
    • Lactose- natural sugar found in milk.
    • Maltose- malt sugar processed from honey, barley, wheat, rice or other grains. Generally used in making beer and as an additive to some processed foods.

    For years sugar has been identified as the leading culprit in a myriad of health problems. Glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, artificial sweeteners and even alcohols are problematic in many ways in that they are all processed so you cannot always assume that even a natural sweetener is the healthiest. For example, fruit derived sugars (fructose), often used in the form of concentrated fruit juice, jams and honey, release glucose (a sugar produced by the body for fuel) faster than sucrose (table sugar). Fructose is broken down in the liver therefore when the liver becomes overloaded with fructose it begins to convert the sugar into triglycerides; a major culprit of insulin resistant cells and diabetes. Moreover, Fructose does not shut off appetite hormones triggering a greater chance of overeating which sets off a whole other chain of events. Along with the effect sugar has on blood sugar levels, not to mention the extra calories, sugar contributes to aliments  such as  obesity, diabetes, allergies, yeast infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, liver disease, vitamin deficiency, suppressed immune system, infections and Autism to name a few. (Effects of Sugar 146 reasons, Our Sweet Ending: Health Consequences With High Fructose Corn Syrup.)
    A Lesson in Biology:

    When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, cereals and sweets are common sources of glucose. Glucose, commonly referred to as sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies especially our muscles and the brain. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. A hormone Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas in response to the increase of glucose in the blood. The blood carries the sugar and the insulin to the cells. Most cells have insulin receptors which bind the insulin that is in circulation. Once a cell has attached insulin to its surface, another receptor is activated that will absorb the glucose from the blood to the inside of the cell. Without insulin our cells cannot access the calories contained in the glucose to use as fuel.

    People with Type 1 Diabetes do not make insulin. These individuals require insulin shots that allows the cells to use glucose for energy. If cells become  resistant to insulin, the body will begin to produce more of it to compensate. Insulin resistance happens when cells have been inundated with insulin for so long, that the receptors lose their sensitivity to it. Those with Type 2 Diabetes have insulin resistant cells; meaning the cells are slow to respond to the insulin therefore they cannot effectively absorb the sugar. This causes the sugar to accumulate in the blood thus leading to increased production of insulin.

    Too much insulin released into the blood stream can upset the blood sugar balance triggering the release of more insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a safe level. This reaction causes a chain of events by rapidly dropping blood sugar levels thus inducing hunger and ultimately promoting the storage of fat making way for rapid weight gain and high-blood pressure. On the flip side, if we starve ourselves the body will in turn attack our muscles, organs and bone tissue to convert proteins into glucose to keep the body going.

    Just as an influx of glucose can cause a spike in insulin levels, excess sugars in the liver can lead to the production of excess Triglycerides. Triglycerides and Cholesterol are needed by the body to function. Triglycerides are a form of fat in the blood stream that provide the energy needed for cells to function. Cholesterol is used for building cell membranes and making essential hormones. As before mentioned, simple sugars are converted to glucose in the liver. Foods with a high glycemic index* are converted too fast. The overload of sugar in the liver prompt the body to produce more Insulin. Excess calories which have not been used for energy are converted into triglycerides right away. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells to be released as energy between meals. The more calories we consume the the greater chance of having high triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides can lead to high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.

    *The glycemic index is a valuable tool for those with diabetes to help monitor how they eat but can also be used by those looking for alternatives to table sugar. The glycemic index measures how quickly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. Foods that rapidly release glucose (dried fruits, white potatoes, candy, enriched breads, rice, sweetened cereals) are high on the glycemic index because they cause a spike in the blood sugar levels. Foods that slowly release glucose (raw fruit, nuts, kidney bean, barley) are low on the glycemic index providing a gradual healthy rise in blood sugar.

    All Things in Moderation:

    The rule of thumb is to eat moderately throughout to day to keep the blood sugar from fluctuating too high or too low. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins in addition to daily exercise will aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check. Most importantly remember moderation in all things is the key. Sugar-free does not mean sugar-less. Sugar-free is a termed used when refined sugar has been replaced by a natural or artificial sweetener. Any use of these powders and syrups are still considered “added sugar” and should be limited. As a side note we all process sugars differently. Some individuals would do well switching over to a natural sweetener particularly diabetics, those with allergies and Celiacs disease to name a few. Use the following guidelines for substituting natural sugar in cooking and baking.

    Photo by Scott Bauer
    Photo by Scott Bauer

    Sugar Substitutes:

    Agave Nectar– is a fructose syrup made from a spiky desert cactus plant native to Mexico. It is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar so you can use less. Has a minimal effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Can be used to sweeten drinks and  in baking. Agave nectar will not alter the flavors in your recipe as honey or maple syrup might do. When used in baking add the total amounts of sugar and multiply by 2/3. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe use 2/3 cup agave. You will need to decrease the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons and reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; baking several minutes longer. The herbal supplement containing agave should not be consumed when pregnant, but the nectar is fine.

    Brown Rice Syrup– has half the sweetness of sugar and tastes vaguely of butterscotch or caramel. Brown rice syrup contains about 13 calories per teaspoon and is less sweet than sugar. Breaks down relatively slow but because it is a derivative of maltose diabetics should avoid using this sweetener as it causes a spike in blood sugar.  Rice syrup may be used to make cookies, crisps, granola, pies, and puddings. Combine with another sweetener such as maple for cakes. Substitute each cup of white sugar with 1 1/3 cups of brown rice syrup. As with agave nectar, slightly reduce liquids by 2 tablespoons and the temperature by 25 degrees.

    Barley Malt Syrup– barley malt syrup can be used as a sweetener with cereals, breads and other dense bread-like baked goods  and baked beans. Substitute 1-1/3 cups barley malt for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup barley malt.  Purchase only 100 percent barley malt, not barley/corn malt syrup.  Store refrigerated.

    Maple Syrup– Grade B syrup- is boiled down maple tree sap containing  17 calories per teaspoon. Maple syrup still retains minerals manganese and zinc but is high on the glycemic index making it off limits for diabetics. Substitute 2/3 to 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid in recipe by 3 tablespoons.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of maple syrup. Decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees.

    Maple Sugar– use in all baked goods.  Substitute 1 cup maple sugar for 1 cup white sugar.  No reduction of liquid is necessary.  Add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup.  Store in a tightly closed container and sift before using.  Mix with liquid to make glazes.

    Honey– can be used in almost any recipe. Use to sweetening teas, cereals, salad dressings, in the place of jam, in baking and cooking. Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Reduce liquid by 1/4 cup.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup honey.  Reduce oven 25 degrees and adjust baking time. Children under 1 year of age should not consume raw honey. Honey can affect blood sugar levels and is not recommended for diabetics. Raw honey is considered a superfood and is used as a natural remedy for many health aliments. Processed honey has been stripped of the essential vitamins and minerals and is devoid of any nutritional value. Often high fructose corn syrup is added to processed honey.

    Erythritol– an ingredient largely found in packaged foods is used in a powder form to sweeten coffees and teas. It is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It is the result of breaking down, fermenting, and filtering sugar cane or corn starch until only crystals left. Erythritol won’t decay your teeth however it can cause problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Stevia– is derived from a plant native to South America. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar but is technically not a sugar. Stevia has zero calories, does not feed yeast or cause any of the numerous problems associated with sugar. Some evidence shows that Stevia may help lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is available in liquid and powdered form in the vitamin aisle. You can also grow your own plant, or buy the dried herb. Use Stevia for sweetening plain yogurt, salad dressing, grapefruit, coffee and teas. Stevia may be used in recipes in the place of other sweeteners.

    Apple Juice– concentrated apple juice is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice. Use freshly juiced, no sugar added, in cooking and concentrated apple juice for baking.

    Applesauce– substitute each cup of sugar with one cup of applesauce, reduce the liquid content slightly. Diabetic friendly.

    Bananas– has a high natural sugar content. Use to sweeten cereals, baked quick breads such as muffins and pancakes and in the place of jam on a peanut butter sandwich.

    Prunes– add prunes to sauces, or use real prune juice in marinades and sauces.

    Date sugar– use in combination with other sweeteners in crisps, granola bars or as a topping.  Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup white sugar.  Add hot water to dissolve date sugar before using in batters.  Reduce temperature as date sugar tends to burn easily.

    Xylitol– is a sugar alcohol derived from berries or corn cobs that looks and tastes just like sugar. Use Xylitol derived from berries instead of corn. Does not spike blood sugar like honey or refined sugar. Prevents cavities, can be used as an alternative to flouride and has been proven to help ear and sinus infections. Not a great substitute to bake with. Use to sweeten cereal, hot drinks and yogurt. Substitute 1 cup for 1 cup ratio. Available at health food stores or online.

    Sucanat– is unrefined sugar cane  juice that is dried until it crystallizes; retaining all the vitamins and minerals of the original product. It is fairly inexpensive. Sucanat is similar to brown sugar in look and taste and sweeter than refined sugar. Use 2/3 cup of Sucanat to 1 cup sugar. Does not melt well; may use in combination with other sweeteners: brown rice, barley malt or agave.

    Amasake– Oriental whole grain sweetener made from brown rice. Is thick with pudding-like consistency. Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazake base for 1 tablespoon honey or 2 tablespoons sugar.  Use in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles or muffins.

    Sugar Cane Juice– use in moderation as you would raw honey.

    Black Strap Molasses–  is all the nutrition taken away during the refining process of sugar cane into white sugar. Use in the place of corn syrup.

    Turbinado sugar–  is partially processed sugar. Often referred to as raw sugar.

    Corn Syrup– has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

    Splenda– research has shown Splenda to be an unhealthy sugar alternative. It is toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain.

    vangogh-self-portait-as_an_artist
    Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

    March 30th marks the birth of the great painter Vincent Van Gogh.Van Gogh was born March 30, try 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland. During the brief 10 years that Van Gogh pursued painting he produced some 900 paintings and 1100 drawings.  Though he had little success during his lifetime his status as an artist has been compared to the likes of Rembrandt.

    Potato Eaters

    Van Gogh was taught drawing in middle school by a successful artist from Paris. Although he excelled in the subject he found the boarding school “gloomy…cold and sterile…” He immediately dropped out of school and returned home. His Uncle persuaded him to take a job with a local art dealer in London where he was successful for a time later commenting it was the “happiest year of his life.” However after accepting a 2nd transfer to the Paris office he became notably displeased with his situation and was shortly thereafter terminated.

    Cafe Terrace at Night (1888)

    Van Gogh had thought to become a Pastor like his father and in May 1877  left for Amsterdam to study Theology. Religion would later prove to be an unsuitable profession for the emotional Van Gogh. After he failed the Theology exam he took a position as a missionary in a coal mining village in Belgium. He was later released for being “too overzealous.” The church authorities felt his choice of living conditions undermined the church. All was not lost for while Van Gogh was in Belgium he spent much of his time drawing portraits of the villagers. After his dismissal he lingered for a spell in Belgium working on his drawings.

    the-red-vineyard
    The Red Vineyard was the only painting Van Gogh sold.

    In 1886 Van Gogh traveled to Paris at the behest of his parents and brother Theo. Theo, the manager of Goupil’s gallery, was so impressed by Vincent’s drawings he convinced Van Gogh to study with the accomplished Willem Roelofs. Willem was dissatisfied with Van Gogh’s dark somber palette and recommended he attend the Royal Academy of Art. Van Gogh would later be influenced in the art of Impressionism by greats such as Cormon, Pissarro, Monet and Gauguin.

    auvers-town-hall-1890

    starry_night
    Starry Night was the only work he managed to produce while checked into the Insane Asylum at Saint Remy in 1889.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death. The piece was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.
    The Blossoming Almond Tree painted in the Saint Remy asylum 1890 a few months before his death was dedicated to Theo's newborn baby, Vincent.

    Unfortunately Van Gogh was plagued with mental illness that ultimately lead to his demise. SadlyVan Gogh only sold one painting while alive. His fame would not come until eleven years after his death at a gallery showing in his name organized by his widow Johanna Gesina Bonger van Gogh. After the death of Van Gogh Johanna actively began collecting all his letters and artworks.  It was her hard work  and dedication that brought about the recognition Van Gogh so rightly deserved.

    vase-with-12-sunflowers

    Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather

    irises

    On March 30th we pay tribute to the remarkable artist Vincent Van Gogh was.

  • Visit an art museum.
  • Make a Sunflower Cake.
  • Plant Sunflowers.
  • Take a nature walk.
  • Take the night off to star gaze.
  • Make a craft, draw or paint one of your favorite Van Gogh pieces. For inspiration visit the Van Gogh Gallery to view all 2000 works of art.
  • Scrumptious Honey Whole Grain Cornbread

    Historically cornbread has been around long before the first European settlers arrived. The Native American Indians taught the new settlers how to grind corn into corn meal to make “Pone”. Using a simple mixture of ground corn meal, doctor water and salt this early version of cornbread became a valuable staple to the New settlers those first few years after their arrival. Cornbread was especially popular throughout the Civil War as it was quick and cheap to make. The ingredients used depended on the region; for instance, rx the addition of sugar and flour was typical of the North while the South favored an unsweetened version cooked in a cast iron skillet. Cornbread has had quite a makeover over the years. The variations are endless with each family claiming to have the best recipe ever.

    You would think my dad being a farmer from Georgia would have passed along a treasured recipe. All we got was Betty Crocker and Jiffy. Needless to say I was never a fan of cornbread as it was always dry and flavorless. Then I met the Odoms in Woodville Texas. A loverly little town in East Texas with fresh air, tons of trees and lots of old 19th century houses. Odomville was a small community comprised of the descendants of the Odom family located about 30 minutes out of town heading East toward Fred Texas.

    During my visits in Odomville I mostly enjoyed sitting at the kitchen table with Mr. Odom and Alice eating a square of cornbread. Alice died of old age shortly after I arrived in Woodville. It was a somber time for us all even more so for her beloved Mr. Odom. They had known one another since childhood and the loss was almost more than he could bare. I continued to visit Mr. Odom when in the area as I so enjoyed his stories of Odomville. And so it was on my last day in East Texas I was with him at the kitchen table once again sharing a meager snack of cornbread and milk.

    I am extremely particular about cornbread. There are but two recipes I can say I have enjoyed one being Alice Odom’s recipe and the other one is this recipe for honey whole grain cornbread. The sweet kiss of honey mingles well with scrumptious earth grains. Serve as a side with chili or a salad.

    Source: Mayfiles
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    2 eggs
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 cup whole grain flour
    2/3 cup honey
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 cup yellow cornmeal
    1/2 tsp salt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9X13 baking dish; set aside.

    In a medium bowl, mix honey and butter until combined. Add eggs, buttermilk and soda; mix well.

    In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, flour and salt. Add flour mixture to milk mixture; folding just until combined. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

    Notes:
    If you do not have a natural foods market near by Whole Grain Flour can be found in most supermarkets that sell Bob’s Red Mill flours. If you cannot find whole grain try blending 1 part kamut + 1 part spelt + 1 part hard white wheat.

    Chicken Lo Mein

    Illustration by: Richard Svensson
    Illustration by: Richard Svensson

    I have been referred to as the “Kool Aide Mom” once or twice because our home is the place to be if you want to have fun. There is always something going on here. We love celebrating holidays official and corny made up ones. That is why we put just as much effort into Saint Patty’s Day as we do any other holiday. I started a tradition years ago when the cousins still lived nearby. That year I made a hat out of paper, order filled it with spritz cookies and left it on their doorstep. Down the walkway I placed little Leprechaun footprints running every which way leading into a bush. I also dropped a half eaten apple for extra fun. The little kids went nuts. They searched the yard trying to find the little Leprechaun.

    Maewyn Succat was born to a Roman Official sometime around 385 AD near Wales. He was later taken prisoner (at the age of 16) by Irish sea-faring raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn was not a religious boy before his time spent in Ireland where he turned to God in prayer in search of solace. He wrote that he believed his misfortune was due to his apostate attitude toward God. He remained captive for six years as a slave tending the sheep and pigs before  he had a vision from God telling him he would soon return home. Maewyn escaped by ship to Gaul where he dedicated his life to serving God. He changed his name to Saint Patrick while attending the Seminary in France.  He believed that his calling was to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Eleven years later he would return to Ireland to fulfill that calling . He was revered by those whom he converted yet despised by those who favored the Celtic pagan ways and saw him as a threat. He spent 30 years  building monasteries and schools working to establish Christianity in Ireland. Saint Patrick died March 17th 461 AD.

    There are many old Irish legends that describe the miracles Saint Patrick performed but they are just that, purchase old legends.  St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in 1737. The Saint Patrick feast day remains a religious holiday in Ireland while here in the states it is a festive occasion celebrated by wearing something green and other symbols we have come to associate with St. Patrick’s Day. The use of the shamrock was believed to have originated with Saint Patrick. As legend states he used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity being the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock thus became a symbol of Christianity in Ireland. To the Celtic people of ancient Ireland, the shamrock represented the rebirth of spring. (Ireland is referred to as “The Emerald Isle” due to the lush green landscape.) Historically, the color green was used by revolutionary groups in Ireland. By the 17th century, when the English began to suppress the Irish, the shamrock became a symbol of hope and Irish nationalism. Thus it was only fitting for the color green to become part of the official Irish flag in 1919.

    The Leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a mythical creature. The Leprechaun stems from the Irish pagan belief in fairies. It is said that the Leprechaun is a crafty workman who guards the pot of fairy gold. The Leprechaun, the rainbow, the pot of gold and the clover are symbols celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day here in the United States to make St. Patrick’s Day a fun family affair.

    Other ways to celebrate Saint Patty’s day may include:

    • Cook up a pot of Stew and a loaf of Brown Bread or Corned Beef and Cabbage or Green Eggs and Ham.
    • Go on a picnic to enjoy nature.
    • Perform a family service project.
    • Attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
    • Play Rainbow Bowling. Fill water bottles with different colored water.
    • Go on a scavenger hunt in search of a pot of gold (chocolate) coins using paper shamrocks for clues.
    • Set up a Leprechaun maze stringing different colored string throughout the house with a prize at the end.
    • Make green cupcakes or cookies with green frosting.
    • Tie green balloons to the car.
    • Dye the milk green.
    Illustration by: Richard Svensson
    Illustration by: Richard Svensson

    I have been referred to as the “Kool Aide Mom” once or twice because our home is the place to be if you want to have fun. There is always something going on here. We love celebrating holidays official and corny made up ones. That is why we put just as much effort into Saint Patty’s Day as we do any other holiday. I started a tradition years ago when the cousins still lived nearby. That year I made a hat out of paper, viagra buy patient filled it with spritz cookies and left it on their doorstep. Down the walkway I placed little Leprechaun footprints running every which way leading into a bush. I also dropped a half eaten apple for extra fun. The little kids went nuts. They searched the yard trying to find the little Leprechaun.

    A little Irish History

    Maewyn Succat was born to a Roman Official sometime around 385 AD near Wales. He was later taken prisoner (at the age of 16) by Irish sea-faring raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn was not a religious boy before his time spent in Ireland where he turned to God in prayer in search of solace. He wrote that he believed his misfortune was due to his apostate attitude toward God. He remained captive for six years as a slave tending the sheep and pigs before  he had a vision from God telling him he would soon return home. Maewyn escaped by ship to Gaul where he dedicated his life to serving God. He changed his name to Saint Patrick while attending the Seminary in France.  St. Patrick believed that his calling was to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Eleven years later he would return to Ireland to fulfill that calling . He was revered by those whom he converted yet despised by those who favored the Celtic pagan ways and saw him as a threat. He spent 30 years  building monasteries and schools working to establish Christianity in Ireland. Saint Patrick died March 17th 461 AD.

    There are many old Irish legends that describe the miracles Saint Patrick performed but they are just that, this old legends.  St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in 1737. The Saint Patrick feast day remains a religious holiday in Ireland while here in the states it is a festive occasion celebrated by wearing something green and other symbols we have come to associate with St. Patrick’s Day. The use of the shamrock was believed to have originated with Saint Patrick. As legend states he used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity being the Father, sildenafil the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock thus became a symbol of Christianity in Ireland. To the Celtic people of ancient Ireland, the shamrock represented the rebirth of spring. (Ireland is referred to as “The Emerald Isle” due to the lush green landscape.) Historically, the color green was used by revolutionary groups in Ireland. By the 17th century, when the English began to suppress the Irish, the shamrock became a symbol of hope and Irish nationalism. Thus it was only fitting for the color green to become part of the official Irish flag in 1919.

    The Leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a mythical creature. The Leprechaun stems from the Irish pagan belief in fairies. It is said that the Leprechaun is a crafty workman who guards the pot of fairy gold. The Leprechaun, the rainbow, the pot of gold and the clover are symbols celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day here in the United States to make St. Patrick’s Day a fun family affair.

    Other ways to celebrate Saint Patty’s day may include:

    • Cook up a pot of Stew and a loaf of Brown Bread or Corned Beef and Cabbage.
    • Fry up Green Eggs and Ham.
    • Cook up a batch of rainbow colored pancakes.
    • Serve a bowl of pineapple jello (Pot of coins).
    • Leave gold coins in the kid’s shoes.
    • Go on a picnic to enjoy nature.
    • Perform a family service project.
    • Attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
    • Play Rainbow Bowling. Fill water bottles with different colored water.
    • Go on a scavenger hunt in search of a pot of gold (chocolate) coins using paper shamrocks for clues.
    • Set up a Leprechaun maze stringing different colored string throughout the house with a prize at the end.
    • Make green cupcakes or cookies with green frosting.
    • Tie green balloons to the car.
    • Dye the milk green.
    Illustration by: Richard Svensson
    Illustration by: Richard Svensson

    I have been referred to as the “Kool Aide Mom” once or twice because our home is the place to be if you want to have fun. There is always something going on here. We love celebrating holidays official and corny made up ones. That is why we put just as much effort into Saint Patty’s Day as we do any other holiday. I started a tradition years ago when the cousins still lived nearby. That year I made a hat out of paper, viagra buy patient filled it with spritz cookies and left it on their doorstep. Down the walkway I placed little Leprechaun footprints running every which way leading into a bush. I also dropped a half eaten apple for extra fun. The little kids went nuts. They searched the yard trying to find the little Leprechaun.

    A little Irish History

    Maewyn Succat was born to a Roman Official sometime around 385 AD near Wales. He was later taken prisoner (at the age of 16) by Irish sea-faring raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn was not a religious boy before his time spent in Ireland where he turned to God in prayer in search of solace. He wrote that he believed his misfortune was due to his apostate attitude toward God. He remained captive for six years as a slave tending the sheep and pigs before  he had a vision from God telling him he would soon return home. Maewyn escaped by ship to Gaul where he dedicated his life to serving God. He changed his name to Saint Patrick while attending the Seminary in France.  St. Patrick believed that his calling was to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Eleven years later he would return to Ireland to fulfill that calling . He was revered by those whom he converted yet despised by those who favored the Celtic pagan ways and saw him as a threat. He spent 30 years  building monasteries and schools working to establish Christianity in Ireland. Saint Patrick died March 17th 461 AD.

    There are many old Irish legends that describe the miracles Saint Patrick performed but they are just that, this old legends.  St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in 1737. The Saint Patrick feast day remains a religious holiday in Ireland while here in the states it is a festive occasion celebrated by wearing something green and other symbols we have come to associate with St. Patrick’s Day. The use of the shamrock was believed to have originated with Saint Patrick. As legend states he used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity being the Father, sildenafil the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock thus became a symbol of Christianity in Ireland. To the Celtic people of ancient Ireland, the shamrock represented the rebirth of spring. (Ireland is referred to as “The Emerald Isle” due to the lush green landscape.) Historically, the color green was used by revolutionary groups in Ireland. By the 17th century, when the English began to suppress the Irish, the shamrock became a symbol of hope and Irish nationalism. Thus it was only fitting for the color green to become part of the official Irish flag in 1919.

    The Leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a mythical creature. The Leprechaun stems from the Irish pagan belief in fairies. It is said that the Leprechaun is a crafty workman who guards the pot of fairy gold. The Leprechaun, the rainbow, the pot of gold and the clover are symbols celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day here in the United States to make St. Patrick’s Day a fun family affair.

    Other ways to celebrate Saint Patty’s day may include:

    • Cook up a pot of Stew and a loaf of Brown Bread or Corned Beef and Cabbage.
    • Fry up Green Eggs and Ham.
    • Cook up a batch of rainbow colored pancakes.
    • Serve a bowl of pineapple jello (Pot of coins).
    • Leave gold coins in the kid’s shoes.
    • Go on a picnic to enjoy nature.
    • Perform a family service project.
    • Attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
    • Play Rainbow Bowling. Fill water bottles with different colored water.
    • Go on a scavenger hunt in search of a pot of gold (chocolate) coins using paper shamrocks for clues.
    • Set up a Leprechaun maze stringing different colored string throughout the house with a prize at the end.
    • Make green cupcakes or cookies with green frosting.
    • Tie green balloons to the car.
    • Dye the milk green.
    Illustration by: Richard Svensson
    Illustration by: Richard Svensson

    I have been referred to as the “Kool Aide Mom” once or twice because our home is the place to be if you want to have fun. There is always something going on here. We love celebrating holidays official and corny made up ones. That is why we put just as much effort into Saint Patty’s Day as we do any other holiday. I started a tradition years ago when the cousins still lived nearby. That year I made a hat out of paper, healing filled it with spritz cookies and left it on their doorstep. Down the walkway I placed little Leprechaun footprints running every which way leading into a bush. I also dropped a half eaten apple for extra fun. The little kids went nuts. They searched the yard trying to find the little Leprechaun.

    A little Irish History

    Maewyn Succat was born to a Roman Official sometime around 385 AD near Wales. He was later taken prisoner (at the age of 16) by Irish sea-faring raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn was not a religious boy before his time spent in Ireland where he turned to God in prayer in search of solace. He wrote that he believed his misfortune was due to his apostate attitude toward God. He remained captive for six years as a slave tending the sheep and pigs before  he had a vision from God telling him he would soon return home. Maewyn escaped by ship to Gaul where he dedicated his life to serving God. He changed his name to Saint Patrick while attending the Seminary in France.  St. Patrick believed that his calling was to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Eleven years later he would return to Ireland to fulfill that calling . He was revered by those whom he converted yet despised by those who favored the Celtic pagan ways and saw him as a threat. He spent 30 years  building monasteries and schools working to establish Christianity in Ireland. Saint Patrick died March 17th 461 AD.

    There are many old Irish legends that describe the miracles Saint Patrick performed but they are just that, information pills old legends.  St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in 1737. The Saint Patrick feast day remains a religious holiday in Ireland while here in the states it is a festive occasion celebrated by wearing something green and other symbols we have come to associate with St. Patrick’s Day. The use of the shamrock was believed to have originated with Saint Patrick. As legend states he used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity being the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock thus became a symbol of Christianity in Ireland. To the Celtic people of ancient Ireland, the shamrock represented the rebirth of spring. (Ireland is referred to as “The Emerald Isle” due to the lush green landscape.) Historically, the color green was used by revolutionary groups in Ireland. By the 17th century, when the English began to suppress the Irish, the shamrock became a symbol of hope and Irish nationalism. Thus it was only fitting for the color green to become part of the official Irish flag in 1919.

    The Leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a mythical creature. The Leprechaun stems from the Irish pagan belief in fairies. It is said that the Leprechaun is a crafty workman who guards the pot of fairy gold. The Leprechaun, the rainbow, the pot of gold and the clover are symbols celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day here in the United States to make St. Patrick’s Day a fun family affair.

    Other ways to celebrate Saint Patty’s day may include:

    • Cook up a pot of Stew and a loaf of Brown Bread or Corned Beef and Cabbage.
    • Fry up Green Eggs and Ham.
    • Cook up a batch of rainbow colored pancakes.
    • Serve a bowl of pineapple jello (Pot of coins).
      • Leave gold coins in the kid’s shoes.
      • Go on a picnic to enjoy nature.
      • Perform a family service project.
      • Attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
      • Play Rainbow Bowling. Fill water bottles with different colored water.
      • Go on a scavenger hunt in search of a pot of gold (chocolate) coins using paper shamrocks for clues.
      • Set up a Leprechaun maze stringing different colored string throughout the house with a prize at the end.
      • Make green cupcakes or cookies with green frosting.
      • Tie green balloons to the car.
      • Dye the milk green.
      Illustration by: Richard Svensson
      Illustration by: Richard Svensson

      I have been referred to as the “Kool Aide Mom” once or twice because our home is the place to be if you want to have fun. There is always something going on here. We love celebrating holidays official and corny made up ones. That is why we put just as much effort into Saint Patty’s Day as we do any other holiday. I started a tradition years ago when the cousins still lived nearby. That year I made a hat out of paper, viagra buy patient filled it with spritz cookies and left it on their doorstep. Down the walkway I placed little Leprechaun footprints running every which way leading into a bush. I also dropped a half eaten apple for extra fun. The little kids went nuts. They searched the yard trying to find the little Leprechaun.

      A little Irish History

      Maewyn Succat was born to a Roman Official sometime around 385 AD near Wales. He was later taken prisoner (at the age of 16) by Irish sea-faring raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn was not a religious boy before his time spent in Ireland where he turned to God in prayer in search of solace. He wrote that he believed his misfortune was due to his apostate attitude toward God. He remained captive for six years as a slave tending the sheep and pigs before  he had a vision from God telling him he would soon return home. Maewyn escaped by ship to Gaul where he dedicated his life to serving God. He changed his name to Saint Patrick while attending the Seminary in France.  St. Patrick believed that his calling was to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Eleven years later he would return to Ireland to fulfill that calling . He was revered by those whom he converted yet despised by those who favored the Celtic pagan ways and saw him as a threat. He spent 30 years  building monasteries and schools working to establish Christianity in Ireland. Saint Patrick died March 17th 461 AD.

      There are many old Irish legends that describe the miracles Saint Patrick performed but they are just that, this old legends.  St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in 1737. The Saint Patrick feast day remains a religious holiday in Ireland while here in the states it is a festive occasion celebrated by wearing something green and other symbols we have come to associate with St. Patrick’s Day. The use of the shamrock was believed to have originated with Saint Patrick. As legend states he used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity being the Father, sildenafil the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock thus became a symbol of Christianity in Ireland. To the Celtic people of ancient Ireland, the shamrock represented the rebirth of spring. (Ireland is referred to as “The Emerald Isle” due to the lush green landscape.) Historically, the color green was used by revolutionary groups in Ireland. By the 17th century, when the English began to suppress the Irish, the shamrock became a symbol of hope and Irish nationalism. Thus it was only fitting for the color green to become part of the official Irish flag in 1919.

      The Leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a mythical creature. The Leprechaun stems from the Irish pagan belief in fairies. It is said that the Leprechaun is a crafty workman who guards the pot of fairy gold. The Leprechaun, the rainbow, the pot of gold and the clover are symbols celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day here in the United States to make St. Patrick’s Day a fun family affair.

      Other ways to celebrate Saint Patty’s day may include:

      • Cook up a pot of Stew and a loaf of Brown Bread or Corned Beef and Cabbage.
      • Fry up Green Eggs and Ham.
      • Cook up a batch of rainbow colored pancakes.
      • Serve a bowl of pineapple jello (Pot of coins).
      • Leave gold coins in the kid’s shoes.
      • Go on a picnic to enjoy nature.
      • Perform a family service project.
      • Attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
      • Play Rainbow Bowling. Fill water bottles with different colored water.
      • Go on a scavenger hunt in search of a pot of gold (chocolate) coins using paper shamrocks for clues.
      • Set up a Leprechaun maze stringing different colored string throughout the house with a prize at the end.
      • Make green cupcakes or cookies with green frosting.
      • Tie green balloons to the car.
      • Dye the milk green.
      Illustration by: Richard Svensson
      Illustration by: Richard Svensson

      I have been referred to as the “Kool Aide Mom” once or twice because our home is the place to be if you want to have fun. There is always something going on here. We love celebrating holidays official and corny made up ones. That is why we put just as much effort into Saint Patty’s Day as we do any other holiday. I started a tradition years ago when the cousins still lived nearby. That year I made a hat out of paper, healing filled it with spritz cookies and left it on their doorstep. Down the walkway I placed little Leprechaun footprints running every which way leading into a bush. I also dropped a half eaten apple for extra fun. The little kids went nuts. They searched the yard trying to find the little Leprechaun.

      A little Irish History

      Maewyn Succat was born to a Roman Official sometime around 385 AD near Wales. He was later taken prisoner (at the age of 16) by Irish sea-faring raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn was not a religious boy before his time spent in Ireland where he turned to God in prayer in search of solace. He wrote that he believed his misfortune was due to his apostate attitude toward God. He remained captive for six years as a slave tending the sheep and pigs before  he had a vision from God telling him he would soon return home. Maewyn escaped by ship to Gaul where he dedicated his life to serving God. He changed his name to Saint Patrick while attending the Seminary in France.  St. Patrick believed that his calling was to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Eleven years later he would return to Ireland to fulfill that calling . He was revered by those whom he converted yet despised by those who favored the Celtic pagan ways and saw him as a threat. He spent 30 years  building monasteries and schools working to establish Christianity in Ireland. Saint Patrick died March 17th 461 AD.

      There are many old Irish legends that describe the miracles Saint Patrick performed but they are just that, information pills old legends.  St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated in America in 1737. The Saint Patrick feast day remains a religious holiday in Ireland while here in the states it is a festive occasion celebrated by wearing something green and other symbols we have come to associate with St. Patrick’s Day. The use of the shamrock was believed to have originated with Saint Patrick. As legend states he used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity being the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock thus became a symbol of Christianity in Ireland. To the Celtic people of ancient Ireland, the shamrock represented the rebirth of spring. (Ireland is referred to as “The Emerald Isle” due to the lush green landscape.) Historically, the color green was used by revolutionary groups in Ireland. By the 17th century, when the English began to suppress the Irish, the shamrock became a symbol of hope and Irish nationalism. Thus it was only fitting for the color green to become part of the official Irish flag in 1919.

      The Leprechaun with his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a mythical creature. The Leprechaun stems from the Irish pagan belief in fairies. It is said that the Leprechaun is a crafty workman who guards the pot of fairy gold. The Leprechaun, the rainbow, the pot of gold and the clover are symbols celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day here in the United States to make St. Patrick’s Day a fun family affair.

      Other ways to celebrate Saint Patty’s day may include:

      • Cook up a pot of Stew and a loaf of Brown Bread or Corned Beef and Cabbage.
      • Fry up Green Eggs and Ham.
      • Cook up a batch of rainbow colored pancakes.
      • Serve a bowl of pineapple jello (Pot of coins).
        • Leave gold coins in the kid’s shoes.
        • Go on a picnic to enjoy nature.
        • Perform a family service project.
        • Attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
        • Play Rainbow Bowling. Fill water bottles with different colored water.
        • Go on a scavenger hunt in search of a pot of gold (chocolate) coins using paper shamrocks for clues.
        • Set up a Leprechaun maze stringing different colored string throughout the house with a prize at the end.
        • Make green cupcakes or cookies with green frosting.
        • Tie green balloons to the car.
        • Dye the milk green.
        Illustration by: Richard Svensson
        Illustration by: Richard Svensson

        I have been referred to as the “Kool Aide Mom” once or twice because our home is the place to be if you want to have fun. There is always something going on here. We love celebrating holidays official and corny made up ones. That is why we put just as much effort into Saint Patty’s Day as we do any other holiday. I started a tradition years ago when the cousins still lived nearby. That year I made a hat out of paper, viagra filled it with spritz cookies and left it on their doorstep. Down the walkway I placed little Leprechaun footprints running every which way leading into a bush. I also dropped a half eaten apple for extra fun. The little kids went nuts. They searched the yard trying to find the little Leprechaun.

        A little Irish History

        Maewyn Succat was born to a Roman Official sometime around 385 AD near Wales. He was later taken prisoner (at the age of 16) by Irish sea-faring raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn was not a religious boy before his time spent in Ireland where he turned to God in prayer in search of solace. He wrote that he believed his misfortune was due to his apostate attitude toward God. He remained captive for six years as a slave tending the sheep and pigs before  he had a vision from God telling him he would soon return home. Maewyn escaped by ship to Gaul where he dedicated his life to serving God. He changed his name to Saint Patrick while attending the Seminary in France.  St. Patrick believed that his calling was to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Eleven years later he would return to Ireland to fulfill that calling . He was revered by those whom he converted yet despised by those who favored the Celtic pagan ways and saw him as a threat. He spent 30 years  building monasteries