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  • pixeltheatre 12:05 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Daring Bakers – 1st Challenge: Bostini Cream Pie 

    Bostini Cream PieMy first challenge as a Daring Baker was a take-off on my favorite cake and donut: Boston Cream Pie. I was a little surprised, I confess, at how complex the recipe first read. I had never done a chiffon cake before, and although I had made custard in the past, I had never done it with nine egg yolks!

    Nonetheless, on a day off from work, I got everything ready and followed the directions. The orange chiffon cake came out really nice. Boy, that stuff is easy to eat…it’s so light. The custard didn’t turn out as well, though. I may have undercooked it, or the “heavy whipping cream”, the recipe called for, was not heavy enough. Still, all was not lost. It turned into a very nice, and slightly citrusy, ice cream. 🙂

    I really enjoyed this challenge and can’t wait to see what’s in store for November.

    For some history on Daring Bakers, please click over to Andrea’s article on this wonderful community. Andrea’s own blog can be found at Andrea’s Recipes.

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    • Anne 1:24 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      What a lovely presentation! Great job!

    • Anne 3:25 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Glad you did the challenge! well done 🙂

    • Lisa 4:13 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful lil Bostinis!

      And what an excellent idea for the ice cream!

      Congrats on your first challenge. =)


    • baking soda 5:11 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Will someone please tell Santa I really need an ice cream maker? This custard would have made great ice cream.

    • Sheltie Girl 7:38 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful job on your first challenge. Doesn’t it feel good to get it finished and to know you did it?


      Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

    • slush 8:12 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      OooOoo, it would have made a nice ice cream, I wish I had thought of that!

      Great job on your fist challenge, Bravo!

    • Courtney 8:26 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      well done, looks great, happy first challenge done!

    • brilynn 8:55 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Well done on your first challenge! I turned my leftover custard into ice cream too!

    • Belinda 9:38 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, how pretty…your plate looks like it should be on its way to a table in a fancy schmancy restaurant! Well done on completing your first challenge as a Daring Baker! This is my second time around, and isn’t it fun?! 🙂

    • Brittany 9:55 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You so totally rocked your first challenge! Congrats : )

    • Susan 10:41 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Beautifully presented and I’ll bet the ice cream was terrific!

    • Deborah 11:32 am on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Your plating is wonderful! And I can just imagine how good that ice cream was.

    • April 2:55 pm on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I love your presentation of the bostini’s!! Beautiful!

    • Chris 4:42 pm on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Great job! Welcome to the DBs!

    • Ivonne 4:45 pm on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I found the cake really easy to eat! I mean so easy I almost had no cake left for the bostinis!

      You did a great job – congratulations on your first challenge!

    • erincooks 4:51 pm on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the DB’s! I love the heart shaped cakes. Very nice touch.

    • Jen 7:13 pm on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I agree, isn’t that cake lovely? I think it was my favorite part of the whole thing. Your bostinis are beautiful – congrats!

    • maria~ 7:17 pm on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      That looks wonderful! I love that you cut them into heart shapes 🙂

    • Ashley 7:37 pm on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations on your first challenge! I like how it looks like you dipped the piece of cake in chocolate.

    • pixeltheatre 10:15 pm on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Oh my goodness! I wasn’t expecting all these very nice comments…. Thanks everyone for the kind words. They are much appreciated… I’ll be posting more when I return from hip surgery on Friday.

      Stay tuned!



    • Julie 11:46 pm on October 29, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I like your plate! It all looks good. Your red ramekin looks like the red ramekins I got packaged with my creme brulee torch!

    • breadchick 5:54 pm on October 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I love the Red! Great job on your first challenge!!!

    • Elle 7:45 pm on October 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Love your presentation and that is great that you did such a fantastic job on the chiffon since you had not made one before. Glad that you are a Daring Baker!

    • Andrea 8:36 pm on October 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Very pretty presentation! I really like the heart shaped cake. Oh, and I bet that ice cream was fantastic! 🙂

      And thank you very much for the shoutout on my article! Very nice of you!

    • Christina 10:45 pm on October 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful job with the plating! I don’t know if this was intentional, but I like how the heart is tilted over just so.

      Congrats on your first challenge!

    • Dolores 3:03 pm on October 31, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Easy to eat indeed! Congratulations on a successful first challenge, and welcome to the group!

    • Julius 3:27 pm on October 31, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Your bostini looks like so much fun! 🙂

      Julius, The Occasional Baker

    • Jenny 5:09 am on November 1, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I like the little bits of oranges on your plate! Nice work.

    • Tartelette 8:14 pm on November 1, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hope the surgery went well. Nver had a Boston cream donut, but now I am intrigued!! Gret job on your first challenge!

    • Inne 7:41 am on November 3, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Great job and I love your presentation.

    • Cheryl 10:12 am on November 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful presentation on the bostini. Looks like it should be in a restaurant.

    • Gabi 3:47 pm on November 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Good luck on the hip surgery!
      I love the slightly tilted heart on top of the custard-
      Looks beautiful!

    • peabody 1:58 am on November 7, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      The cake was light, I found myself eating and eating it and not getting full.

    • MyKitchenInHalfCups 1:12 pm on November 7, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Lizanne your presentation is fabulous. So glad you’ve joined the group. Hope all goes well with you now.

    • trouroSew 7:54 am on September 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      неплохая мысль +1

  • pixeltheatre 10:20 pm on October 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Virtual Food Fight!! 

    General Mills' Food Fight WebsiteGeneral Mills has launched a new interactive site to promote healthy eating by challenging visitors to a virtual food fight. You pick one of three opponents and get to lob various foods as the actors move around the frames. I was impressed at the use actors and technology. However, I found the controls not very responsive or accurate. But then again, that just could be my aim that’s off…

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  • pixeltheatre 8:56 pm on October 23, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Pop goes the schnitzel! 

    German meat producers Toennies has announced they have successfully developed aSchnitzel schnitzel that can be cooked in a toaster. The product wil be introduced in German supermarkets in 2008. Other countries will follow later on. Story from Taste.com.au. (Photography by Ben Dearnley)

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  • pixeltheatre 12:58 pm on October 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Toasted Pepita Dip – Weekend Cookbook Challenge #21: Hallowe’en 

    From wikipediaHallowe’en may conjure up thoughts of candies and cookies, but after doing three cooking challenges in a row involving sweets, I needed a break. Luckily the Weekend Cookbook Challenge #21, hosted by mlb of Je mange la ville blog this month, was pretty liberal in how we tie our recipe to Hallowe’en.

    After flipping through countless pumpkin recipes, most involving breads or muffins, I finally found something interesting in The Whole Foods Market Cookbook: Toasted Pepita Dip. It had some of my favorite ingredients, namely, jalapeños, cilantro, cayenne, cumin and lime. A pleasant surprise with this recipe was how low in fat pepitas are compared to other seeds and nuts (eg: 1/3 cup: sunflower seeds: : 24 g. fat; almonds: 24 g. fat; cashews: 21 g. fat; pepitas: 4 g. fat. from Whole Foods Market website)
    Toasted Pepitas Dip
    The results were a nice, spicy, crunchy and refreshing dip. A nice change from the usual cream cheese (though there is some sour cream here) and artichoke, crab or spinach dips. Another keeper. Thanks for the challenge MLB!

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    • michelle 8:57 pm on October 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Ohhhhhh…. that looks good and sounds healthy — always a great combination! 🙂

      Thanks so much for joining in this month!

    • pixeltheatre 10:40 pm on October 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You’re welcome, Michelle. Thanks for hosting this challenge!


    • Sara 8:15 am on October 23, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      What an interesting sounding dip! I had no idea that pumpkin seeds were so much lower in fat, I’ll be keeping that in mind. Thanks for joining WCC this month, hope to see you again!

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  • pixeltheatre 4:07 pm on October 19, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Retro Recipe Challenge #9: Québec’s traditional sugar pie recipe 

    This challenge called for a recipe with sugar. What better representative for this than my home province’s famed Tarte au sucre. I dug into my oldest cook book (publ. 1955) for this one. Jehane Benoît was Québec’s Julia Child of the mid-1900 to mid 1980’s. She was the dean of Québec cuisine. I inherited this book from my mom and have been carting around since the 80’s. I had never actually done any recipes from it until now. To keep the whole challenge as retro as possible, I also did Mme Benoît’s dough recipe for the crust. This will be a keeper as it turned out to be quite flaky and quick to do. Who knew?!… Here is the translation of both recipes, in the same format as they appear in the book:

    Hot Water Pie Dough
    1 – Put in a bowl 1/2 cup of fat or vegetable shortening. Add 1/4 cup of boiling water. Beat until creamy
    2 – Sift together 1-1/2 cup of pastry flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt
    3 – Add liquid ingredients to sifted ingredients. Mix until all form a soft ball. Cover and store in refrigerator 1 hour. Use for any type of dough.
    4 – For a richer dough, beat 1 egg with the water and shortening.

    Sugar pie recipeSugar Pie
    1 – Cover an 8-inch pie plate with dough. Spread with 1/2 inch of brown sugar or maple sugar. Wet with 3 tablespoons of cream or milk; dot with a few small dices of butter.
    2 – Cover, to taste, with a few strips of dough and bake in a 400F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

    The results (picture below) were quite good, despite my fear that it would taste way too sweet. I have another quick recipe I usually use when making this dessert. It’s more on the caramel-creamy side, compared to this one. It’s one of my stand-bys when invited to dinner, and goes really well “à la mode”.
    Sugar pie
    Quick Sugar Pie
    (Recipe: courtesy of Mme Paquin, Trois-Rivières)
    1 cup of brown sugar, packed
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    1 tablespoon flour

    Mix ingredients in bowl. Throw in a frozen pie crust and bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. It tastes even better cold, the day after. 🙂

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    • Sue 12:32 pm on October 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Ça, c’est en plein la recette de ma mère. Elle aussi avait ce fameux livre ! C’est ma conception d’une tarte au sucre. Ciao

    • pixeltheatre 4:31 pm on October 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Aye, c’est de l’histoire, hein?… C’est incroyable l’influence que cette femme a eu sur notre cuisine.

      Merci pour ton commentaire, Sue! 🙂

    • BC 5:10 am on October 23, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve never cooked sugar pie – it scares me a little but I’d love to try a piece. I have a recipe booklet of Jehane Benoit for cooking lamb and it is fantastic.

    • pixeltheatre 9:01 pm on October 23, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      It’s actually really easy to do. The quick recipe I have here is very straightforward. Then again, living in Ottawa, you should cross into Gatineau and visit a St.Hubert BBQ restaurant. They serve a wicked sugar pie!

      Cheers and thanks for posting, BC! 🙂

    • Dolores 9:57 pm on November 1, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for this contribution to RRC9 — and for introducing me to Jehane Benoit. I’ve done a bit of research… she’s clearly a fascinating woman with a wealth of culinary knowledge I’m going to tap into.

    • Julie 10:06 pm on November 2, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      It does sound sweet, but that’s what the challenge asked for! It sounds very appealing!

    • melyndahuskey 2:12 am on November 3, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Sugar pie is a term of endearment in our house–who knew that it was also a famous speciality of Quebec? I’m going to have to try it, so everyone has a point of reference for the pet name from now on!

    • Laura Rebecca 10:21 am on November 3, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I love that you reminded us that simple recipes can turn out fantastic desserts! (Definately need to be reminded of that after the last Daring Bakers challenge…)

      Great job & thank you for participating in the RRC!

    • pixeltheatre 12:57 pm on November 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @Dolores: Thanks for hosting the RR #9. It was great fun to do.

      @Julie: It certainly fulfilled the sweetness requirement 🙂

      @melyndahuskey: Let me know how it turns out…

      @Laura Rebecca: It’s nice to have a quick recipe to whip up in emergencies…Thanks for the post!

    • gourmandemodeste 1:06 pm on November 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Salut je viens de découvrir ton blog, il est super! J’ai googlé pour des vieilles recettes de Jehane Benoit et il n’y en a pas tant que ça sur le web.

    • pixeltheatre 9:25 pm on November 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Merci Gourmandemodeste! J’aime également vraiment ton site. Il est important, je crois, de revisiter ns souches culinaires de temps en temps…Il y a là des bonnes leçcons à revoir…

    • Mike 11:54 am on December 9, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Although I don’t miss the Quebec winters, there is no Tarte au Sucre or Poutine in Arizona. Thanks for the reciepe.

    • pixeltheatre 11:16 am on December 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You’re welcome, Mike! Thanks for dropping by…

    • Canusa Foodie 11:26 am on December 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Mmmmm Sugar Pie. My favourite as a child. My co-worker’s husband is of French Canadian heritage and we are going to be sharing this old fav on the weekend!
      Q: Anyone have a source in USA for the great Fromage en grains that is used in poutine? I miss it so and engorge myself during every return visit to the Gaspe. Merci!

    • Marty 12:39 pm on February 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Here is a website of a creamery in Wisconsin who delivers throughout the USA and they have cheese curds as well. http://www.westbycreamery.com

    • pixeltheatre 4:37 pm on February 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the tip, Marty. Now, I’m envious. I wish I could find it here in Vancouver…

    • Kaja 4:10 pm on December 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Sugar pie is great. my family recipe calls for eggs and maple but i will have to try this one too.

    • Paul 9:04 pm on December 25, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Salut de Chicago! It is Christmas and I just made sugar pie for dessert. My alltime favourite is from Cochon Dingue in Quebec. I have tried to replicate it different times – not quite there, but I think I’m getting close! . I shall have to try your version of this wonderful dessert too. As for poutine, I sometimes do the fast food version by 1. picking up cheese curds from a local store and 2. go through the McDonald’s drive-thru and get some really hot fries, then 3. drive home quickly where my wife has hot gravy waiting…and then put it all together. It’s a wonderful taste of Fast Food Quebec at it’s finest!

    • Kristy 1:11 pm on September 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      we went to Le Cochan Dingue a couple of years ago, and I LOVED the sugar pie there…..is this recipe the similar? I’ve tried to make a few different recipes and they are not close to their sugar pie!

      • pixeltheatre 8:12 am on October 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Kristy,

        There are so many variations of this dessert. Some are sugary, some more on the creamy side, and some even on the gelatinous side. It’s very versatile.

    • Louise 6:30 pm on October 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Growing up French Canadian there was never a special occassion with out sugar pie. I still make it and when I have guests that are not French they all want to try it. Most love it, who dosn’t like a sweet pie like that. In fact I am going to go make one for Thanks Giving dinner.

      • pixeltheatre 8:10 am on October 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for stopping by, Louise. For all its simplicity, sugar pie remains one of my favourite dessert. 🙂

    • Michelle Lemhouse 3:17 pm on June 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Does anyone have a recipe for sugar pie that has oatmeal as an ingredienta? That is how my mother always made it and only at Christmas. Unfortunalety I did not get the recipe before she passed away two years ago. I have no idea where she got this recipe, but my it’s my favorite dessert. Any one out there know of this? Thanks.

    • Jesster 11:10 am on May 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Salut a vous tous, j’adore votre blog !!!
      Je suis demenage en Californie depuis peu et je cherche deserperement du fromage en grain frais pour faire de la poutine et faire decouvrir ce petit bonheur a mes nouveaux compatriotes. Avez-vous des idees de ou aller ou comment faire ??


    • buttertartbliss 9:22 am on November 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for this great blog post, I especially loved the pics of Ms Benoit’s cookbook and her recipe. I found your post while looking for sugar pie/tarte au sucre recipes to compare to butter tart fillings. I’m trying to trace the origin of the butter tart, which is believed to originate in Canada. Some theorize it evolved from tarte au sucre, so it’s great to get this early recipe, thanks! Also, that’s an interesting pastry recipe, I’ve never seen one that uses boiling water before, usually it’s ice water!

    • http://tinyurl.com/chiapage14765 9:37 am on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Your personal posting, “Retro Recipe Challenge #9:
      Québecs traditional sugar pie recipe Bits ‘n Bites” ended up being well worth commenting here! Only needed to point out you actually did a tremendous job. Thanks -Jacquelyn

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  • pixeltheatre 9:01 pm on October 13, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Food – The Musical Number 

    Stumbled upon this video, through the Theatre Forté blog. Nice little tune…Very classic. 🙂

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  • pixeltheatre 4:16 pm on October 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Thai chili recipe lead to road closures in central London 

    An acrid smell emanating in the famed Soho district in London brought out a chemical response team from the London Fire Brigade last week. Passers-by were reporting a burning throat sensation as a result of the smell.

    Steve Bird of The Times of London reported:

    “As the ambulance service sent in its Hazardous Area Response Team Unit, firefighters wearing specialist breathing apparatus entered the deserted streets to seek out the source.
    Soon after 7pm on Monday they emerged from the smoke carrying a huge cooking pot containing about 9lb of smouldering dried chillies.”

    Turns out the chilies are used in the preparation of nam prik pao, “a super-hot Thai dip to accompany prawn crackers.”

    The Thai Cottage restaurant’s chef, Chalemchai Tangjariyapoon, explained:

    “I was making a spicy dip with extra-hot chillies that are deliberately burnt. To us it smells like burnt chilli and it is slightly unusual. I can understand why people who weren’t Thai would not know what it was. But it doesn’t smell like chemicals. I’m a bit confused.”

    The owner then further explained that due to the rainy weather, the smoke hadn’t dissipated as usual.

    I wonder if Chef Heston Blumenthal was in the area?…

    (Image courtesy of Daniel Risacher/Wikipedia)

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  • pixeltheatre 9:44 pm on October 9, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Keeping the cooking fires going… 

    A challenge for any single home cook, intent on improving his/her skills in the kitchen, is often to find reasons to cook. Cooking for one is not terribly inspiring as times. There’s nothing like a challenge to get the creative juices, well, cooking! Luckily, there are plenty of sites and blogs to tickle any cook’s fancy and stir them into action. 😉

    I’ve recently joined the Daring Bakers group, and am now working on my first challenge, due on October 29th. Stay tuned to this blog for the results. There’s a certain level of secrecy involved with this group, but anyone can join. Just email one of the organizers listed at the link above. Once on board, members get access to the DB blog to post and comments on fellow bakers posts and pictures. To my delight, I also found on this blog a series of other cooking challenges. There’s something for everyone there.

    Tonight I decided to kill two birds with one stone by cooking Shrimp Saffron Risotto. I started with the Saffron Risotto with Grilled Shrimp recipe from the Food Network and adapted to what I had at hand. I was quite happy with the results.

    The challenges answered were for:

    Sunita’s World Blog, Think Spice…Think Saffron

    The Baker & The Curry maker Blog, Risotto Relay

    Next up…The Retro Recipe Challenge No. 9: The Candyman from the Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity blog.

    Stay tuned!

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    • Deborah 7:51 am on October 10, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      This looks like a lovely risotto! The risotto relay was what finally got me over my fear of cooking risotto – I made my first recently.

    • Sue 3:55 pm on October 10, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      It looks absolutely delicious. How was it ?

    • pixeltheatre 9:55 pm on October 10, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, Deborah and Sue. It tasted great. It’s the first time I used saffron with this recipe. I’ll definitely keep using it in the future. 🙂

    • sunita 11:24 am on October 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Isn’t the Daring bakers a great group…I’m tackling my fourth challenge this month…before I digress, thanks you so much for your lovely entry..saffron does make a dish extra special, doesn’t it!

    • pixeltheatre 3:31 pm on October 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I’m really looking forward to baking this month’s challenge, Sunita. Tomorrow will be the day. Check the DB blog for results…

      And yes, saffron is definitely a spice I’ll use again. I look forward to next month’s spice challenge.


    • Zlamushka 11:20 am on October 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I got here through Risotto relay round-up. Wonderful entry! What a great idea! I am gonna have to try this soon!

      Saffron and prawns… yum!

    • pixeltheatre 8:23 pm on October 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      It was quite the combination, Ziamushka. I would have never thought of combining both together, but now, it will be a mainstay.

      Thanks for your post. 🙂

  • pixeltheatre 9:36 pm on October 3, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Dark chocolate: Special Rx for CFS? 

    BBC News has a report a couple of days ago on a pilot study conducted by Researchers from Hull York Medical School. A special dosage of dark chocolate was having a poistive effect on patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In fact, in the small study, two pateints actually felt enough better to return to work after a six-month absence. Professor Atkin explained:

    “Dark chocolate is high in polyphenols, which have been associated with health benefits such as a reduction in blood pressure.

    “Also high polyphenols appear to improve levels of serotonin in the brain, which has been linked with chronic fatigue syndrome and that may be a mechanism.”

    The conclusion to this report was that, though still more research is definitely needed, there was no harm in ingesting a small amount of dark chocolate every day. This advice to be taken in moderation, of course….

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    • Sue 8:49 am on October 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Entierement d’accord ! A dark chocolate a day, keeps the doctor away. Blague a part, il y a maintenant beaucoup d’aliments consideres comme des “presques remedes”: le curcuma, tous les fruits et legumes avec des couleurs tres foncees, les poissons gras et, bien sur…le vin rouge. Moi, j’applique toutes les recommandations de ces bons docteurs…

    • pixeltheatre 10:52 pm on October 7, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Merci pour le message, Sue! Ces recommendations sont toutes bonnes à suivre, et beaucoup plus faciles et agréables à avaler que les médicaments souvent prescrits pour cette maladie…:)

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