Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Music Minute: Evan and Vanessa - In Our World There Are No Strangers (Bilingual Spanish/English Album)

Husband-and-wife duo, Evan and Vanessa, are thrilled to announce the September 28, 2018 release of their new bilingual (English/Spanish) album for children and families, In Our World There Are No Strangers/En Nuestro Mundo No Hay Extranjeros.

Evan and Vanessa have spent years creating their own sound, combining with it a philosophy rooted in the idea that international harmony can be enhanced by teaching children empathy, respect, and understanding through songs and stories of other cultures. Their efforts are bolstered by Evan's exemplary musicianship (he sings and performs on over 20 instruments) and Vanessa's beautiful voice, her extensive training in Montessori education methods, and the fact that, not only is she a native Spanish speaker, but her experiences as a child in Ecuador have given her a "hands on" feel for an intrinsically Hispanic way of seeing the world.

In Our World There Are No Strangers/En Nuestro Mundo No Hay Extranjeros is, in its entirety, performed in both English and Spanish, with numerous multicultural references and instrumental sounds threaded through each song in intriguing ways. For instance, one song might be in English and use instruments that originated in Mexico, while another might be in Spanish but have lyrics that were originally English, while featuring instruments from China, the U.S., and Ecuador..

"The Traveler" is an original tune to which Evan lends an exotic atmosphere by artistically improvising a counterpoint on his guzheng, a Chinese wooden harp. Two particular favorites of Evan and Vanessaare the meditative "Tu Tu Teshcote," an ancient Aztec lullaby, and "Coloring Book," an original with its three separate verses prefaced by sounds of the sea before Vanessa begins to sing to the accompaniment of guitar and flute, which culminates in a symphonic scaled synthesizer climax. The album's title track is the gentlest kind of anthem, in which Vanessa sings accompanied by guitar and sustained chords on the synthesizer, with a lovely flute duet interlude that returns to provide a mystical epilogue.

In Our World There Are No Strangers/En Nuestro Mundo No Hay Extranjeros will be available at Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, and www.EvanandVanessa.com.

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Evan and Vanessa - Performance Highlights - Fall 2018
Sept. 21 - Scott County Public Library - Georgetown, KY
Sept. 29 - NuLu Fest Main Stage - Louisville, KY
Oct. 13 - Foxhollow Farm Fall Festival - Crestwood, KY

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Visit Evan and Vanessa's website HERE.
Evan and Vanessa on Facebook.
Evan and Vanessa on Youtube.

Consumer Critique: Zoup!

Hello, Fall! Zoup! celebrates the return of the fall season with a buy a bowl, get a bowl free offer beginning Sept. 17 -23. As the cooler weather approaches, cravings for customer favorites like Chicken Potpie or Lobster Bisque are quick to join. Looking to try something new? For a limited time, Zoup! is bringing back their popular Brewhouse Cheddar soup, so now is the time to give it a try with this BOGO offer! Guests presenting the offer on their mobile device or a paper printout will receive a free bowl of soup with the purchase of a bowl of soup (of equal or greater value).
*Offer is for in-store purchases, not online orders. Does not apply to new seasoned Zoup! Bread Boules.

I had a chance to try out some Zoup! in their Minnesota location. My biggest problem? Their location isn't in a suburb I visit often (they're south of St. Paul, we live north of St. Paul). If they ever opened a north metro location I would definitely visit often. As it is, it still would be a great place to visit for some comfort food - perfect for winter. 

It appears the menu changes on a fairly regular basis, so it's not going to be a dull place to visit. Don't like soup? They have sandwiches, salads, and other extras too. I found their soup rich and hearty, and their bread was a hit with the whole family. If they have a location near you, I definitely recommend it!

About Zoup!
Founded in 1998, Zoup! is the leading fast casual soup restaurant that is defining the category with its premium and proprietary soups and other recipes. It is an established brand throughout the United States and Canada with almost 100 restaurants in 17 states and provinces. Zoup! was named one of Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers in 2018. For more information, visit zoup.com or zoupfranchise.com.

Mealtime Magic: Coffee Tips from Melitta Coffee

In advance of National Coffee Day next Saturday, Melitta Coffee is taking a look back at their century-long commitment to innovation, spurring from founder, Melitta Bentz, the inventor of the pour-over. In fact, every time you take a sip of drip coffee it’s a nod to Melitta Bentz, who revolutionized the process back in 1908 when she invented pour-over coffee. We’ve come a long way since she first punched holes in a brass pot, took a piece of paper from her son’s notebook and created the first two-part filter system.

Here are some helpful tips on behalf of Melitta Coffee – everything your readers will need to enjoy that delicious coffee shop experience right from the comfort of home. Follow along, and a great cup of coffee (or two or three) is just a mug away.
Brewing Tips:
So, what’s the secret to a really great cup of coffee? Melitta’s got a few simple tricks to help perfect your brew-at-home skills:
1.       Buy coffee weekly or bi-monthly. Once opened, ground coffee begins to stale in about 24 hours. To slow this process, store coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place.
2.       For the fullest flavor, buy (or grind your own) extra fine grind coffee. When using finer grinds, it’s possible to use less coffee due to higher extraction levels. We recommend 2 level teaspoons per 6 ounces of water.
3.       Use paper filters to effectively trap bitter sediments. Cone shaped filters allow for full saturation of the grounds, but all good, quality paper will ultimately enhance the final cup.
4.       Drink coffee as soon as possible after brewing. If left on a burner, the coffee will continue to cook and
starts to degrade in as little as 20 minutes.
5.       For the single-serve coffee drinker, never sacrifice flavor and quality for convenience. Be sure to buy eco-
       friendly, as well.
For additional tips to a better cup, visit: https://www.melitta.com/en/The-perfect-Cup-510,5987.html
Recently, the brand released two new vintage-inspired products, the Signature Series Pour-Over and the Heritage Series Pour-Over Set.

Movie Minute: Saved by the Bell - the Complete Collection

It's a bummer that summer's over, but Shout! Factory starts the new school year off with a bang by unveiling the final list of bonus features for Saved by the Bell: The Complete Collection, a "Max-ed" out, completist's DVD set of the iconic and addictive '90s Saturday morning sitcom.
From 1989 to 1993, for a generation of TV viewers, "Saved by the Bell" was the show that perfectly echoed their lives in middle school and high school and it became a cultural touchstone, changing teen programming forever. To help this ultimate collector's release matriculate, the pop culture mavens at Shout! have assembled an extra-credit worthy line-up of bonus programming, including two BRAND NEW documentary featurettes: "Past Times at Bayside High: Making Saved by the Bell," a retrospective documentary featuring interviews with writer/producer Peter Engel, producer Franco Bario, writer/producer Tom Tenowich, writer/producer Bennett Tramer, actress Lark Voorhies, and more; and, "Bayside's Greatest Hits: The Music Of Saved By The Bell," a documentary short featuring songwriter/composer Scott Gale and composer Rich Eames! Additional bonuses include more in-depth featurettes, audio commentaries, a 16-page episode guide and more!
Set in the fictional town of Palisades, California and in the hallways of Bayside High, the breezy adventures of Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and his friends -- Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen), A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez), Jessie Myrtle Spano (Elizabeth Berkley), Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies), and Samuel "Screech" Powers (Dustin Diamond) unspooled in hilarious fashion across 86 unforgettable episodes and home audiences can relive the laughter, lessons, and love all over again with this loaded set containing more than 46 incredible hours of Bayside bliss, including every episode from 1988's "Good Morning, Miss Bliss" which became "Saved By the Bell: The Junior High Years" and the fan-favorite "Saved by the Bell" to "Saved By the Bell: The College Years" and the two feature-length TV movies that followed.
Complete List of Bonus Features 
  • NEW Documentary features: "Past Times at Bayside High: Making Saved by the Bell" and "Bayside's Greatest Hits: The Music Of Saved By The Bell"
  • Featurette: "Saturday Morning: From Toons To Teens"
  • Featurette: "It's Alright: Back To The Bell"
  • Featurette: "The First Of Its Class: From Sit-Com To Icon"
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Photo Galleries
  • 16 Page Episode Guide  
About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory's entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast entertainment distribution network which delivers culturally relevant programming, movie and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America and across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory owns and operates Shout! Studios, Scream Factory, Shout! Factory Kids, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory TV. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com.

Mealtime Magic: Unique Pumpking Recipes

As soon as the temp drops below 70 degrees, you can count on everything pumpkin flavored, from M&M’s to bagels. To help satisfy your fall cravings, Guiding Stars’ registered dietitians have created a list of 7 recipes to eat pumpkin this season.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Number of Servings: 1 (517 G) Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 5 Minutes
  • 1/4 c. quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 T. ground flaxseed
  • 1 c. skim milk, warm
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Dash ginger
  • Dash cloves
  • Dash allspice
  1. Combine oats and water and microwave. Under cook so that it remains watery.
  2. Scoop oatmeal into blender. Add pumpkin, spices, ground flax and milk. Blend on low for a few seconds and then high until well blended. Thin with additional skim milk if needed. Sweeten with a drizzle of pure maple syrup or Stevia if desired.

Pumpkin Irish Oatmeal
Number of Servings: 4 Servings (407 G) Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons date puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in an oven-proof lidded pan. Stir in the oats and fry them, stirring frequently until they smell toasted.
  2. Push the oats to the side and add remaining oil. Add in the pumpkin. Fry it in the oil, only stirring after about a minute. Stir in the sugar and spices and continue frying the puree until the color darkens slightly and the raw smell disappears.
  3. Pour in the milk and whisk everything to combine. Whisk in the water, vanilla and salt. Put a lid on the pan and put it in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes. Stir and allow oatmeal to sit for a few minutes to thicken and cool before serving.
Pumpkin Popovers
Number of Servings: 12 (119 G) Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 1 hour
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF, placing a 12-cup muffin pan on a baking sheet in the oven to heat with the oven.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, egg whites, milk, and oil until smooth.
  3. Combine flour, salt, pie spice, and cayenne in a large bowl. Whisk the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients until smooth.
  4. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and coat it with cooking spray. Divide the batter among the prepared cups. Bake the popovers until they are puffed and browned (25-30 minutes).
  5. Remove the popovers from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF. With a small knife, cut small slits into the sides of the popovers, 3 or 4 per popover. Bake until fully cooked (7-10 minutes).
Pumpkin Bites
Number of Servings: 25 (26 G) Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • 1 1/4 c. dates, chopped
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 T. chia seeds
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
  • 1 c. pumpkin seeds, toasted
  1. Combine the dates, pumpkin puree, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Stir in the oats, coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
  3. Shape spoonfuls of the mixture into 1” balls. Store in the refrigerator.
Soft Pumpkin Bars
Number of Servings: 12 (85 G) Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. cloves
  • ⅛ tsp. allspice
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups almond milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • ¾ cup pumpkin seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray a bread pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together all dry ingredients, except pumpkin seeds.
  3. Gently stir in wet ingredients. Fold in pumpkin seeds.
  4. Spread evenly in loaf pan. Bake until the top is set and nicely browned, 40-45 minutes.
  5. Cool completely before slicing into bars. Wrap individually and store in either the fridge of the freezer for the longest shelf life.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Number of Servings: 15 (42 G) Prep Time: 30 Minutes Cook Time: 2 hours 30 Minutes
  • 6 dates
  • 1 cup instant oats
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¾ cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp. dark chocolate chips
  1. Soak dates in enough warm water to cover for at least 1 hour. Purée with just enough of the water to achieve a smooth paste.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  3. Stir together oats, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, pumpkin purée, and vanilla. Stir in the puréed dates.
  5. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops onto a baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch (12-15 minutes). Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely (1 hour).
Pumpkin & White Bean Alfredo
Number of Servings: 8 (211 G) Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • 8 oz. fettucine, cooked
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 ½ cups skim milk
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 (15 oz.) can no-salt-added white beans
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until soft.
  2. Stir in the pumpkin and milk. Simmer until slightly thickened. Stir in the cheese and nutmeg.
  3. When cheese is melted in, stir in the beans and kale and simmer until warm.
  4. Toss the pasta in the sauce and serve hot.
Pumped-Up Pumpkin Bread
Number of Servings: 36 (61 G) Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 10 Minutes
  • 4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup soy flour
  • ¼ cup flax meal
  • ½ cup wheat bran
  • 4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans pumpkin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl combine the wheat flour, soy flour, flax meal, wheat bran, baking soda, and spices. Mix until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar and all eggs until the sugar is dissolved, then mix in the pumpkin, applesauce, oil, and salt.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently until well combined.
  4. Divide batter among three greased 8″x4” bread pans, smooth the tops, and bake at 350ºF until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (50-60 minutes).
To make cookies: Spoon onto a cookie sheet by the tablespoon and bake at 350ºF until they spring back to the touch (10-15 minutes).
To make muffins: Fill muffin cups  full and bake at 350ºF until a toothpick inserted into the middle should comes out clean (20-30 minutes).

Healthy Habits: Ovarian Cancer

Back pain, bloating, and fatigue…what woman hasn’t experienced these symptoms at least once in her lifetime?

As women age, some may write off aches and pains as daily routine. Unfortunately, when these common symptoms persist, they could be a serious sign of ovarian cancer.[i] Women may also be surprised to know that even though the rate of ovarian cancer has been slowly falling over the past 20 years[ii]:

·         There are approximately 225,000 women in the US living with ovarian cancer, many of whom were diagnosed when their disease was already in advanced stages
·         About 14,070 women will die from ovarian cancer this year
·         About 22,240 will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer   
·         Only 20% of ovarian cancers are found at an early stage[iii]
·         Approximately 85% of women with advanced ovarian cancer will recur after treatment[iv], and once recurrence occurs, the disease is considered incurable

The good news is that new treatments, known as maintenance treatments, are now available for women whose disease has recurred and has either fully or partially responded to chemotherapy. These treatments can help extend the time between potential recurrences, also known as progression-free survival. While listening to your body and knowing the symptoms of ovarian cancer is crucial for early diagnosis, these new treatments help to empower women by providing new options to delay disease progression when previously, observation was the only option.  

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and I have a chance to post this interview with leading gynecologic oncologist Dr. Robert Holloway who discusses new treatments for recurrent ovarian cancer. Joining her is Anne, who shares her personal experience with the disease, and how she was able to persevere and overcome challenges despite her diagnosis.

Interview courtesy of TESARO, Inc.

Consumer Critique: Zolli Pops, Zolli Drops, and Zaffi Taffy

13-year-old Candy Queen Alina Morse made history as the youngest person to land the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine (Sept. 2018): "Young Millionaires - Meet the next Generation of Leaders." She invented a candy that cleans your teeth, and now markets to major chains like Amazon, Walmart, Kroger and Whole Foods

I had a chance to try out her three products - Zolli Pops, olli Drops, and Zaffi Taffy. They started when Alina asked why there wasn't a candy that was both delicious and good for teeth. These candies are all natural, gluten-free, vega, and non-GMO. They use xylitol and erythritol, and are designed to neutralize acid, promoting tooth health by reducing the risk of tooth decay, dental caries, and cavities. 

Best of all, they actually taste pretty good! They're much better for teeth than sugary lollipops, and I really loved the taffy.

Alina donates 10% of profits to fund an increase in oral health education in schools, as well as contributes her suckers to institutions and dentists who promote oral health education in addition to her partnership with Special Olympics. Alina's Zolli Candy is on the forefront of a category providing growth for retailers, and healthier options for consumers.

Healthy Habits: Black Market Cosmetic Surgery

Seeking fuller lips, a larger derriere and bigger breasts, but unable to afford expensive plastic surgery procedures?  Many women in the U.S. are increasingly turning to the black market to alter their appearance. With the use of tools such as industrial silicone, which is only available at home improvement stores, many women in several states have died after people without medical training injected their buttocks with the silicone. Of those who survive the procedure, many are left with disfigured appearances and serious medical issues. To discuss the new trends of ‘black market’ cosmetic procedures and the dangers of them we turned to expert, Dr. Stanley Poulos, a board-certified plastic surgeon in the San Francisco area.

The rise of 'pump-up parties'
Especially notorious are "pump-up parties," where people, often members of the male-to-female transgender community, gather for liquid silicone injections in hopes of feminizing their appearance. According to a study reported at the 2006 meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, 11 women or transsexuals suffered silicone pulmonary embolism and died after getting liquid silicone injections. The study included 44 people over a 15-year period. Unfortunately, since this is an illegal practice, it's very difficult to know how widespread or what the numbers are. 

Dr. Poulos states that, “Pumping is becoming more and more common for those who cannot afford to go to a qualified plastic surgeon. The people who usually do the pumping are not doctors or nurses (they are neither licensed nor board certified), and they offer cosmetic services very cheap.  The silicone that they are injecting could be medical-grade, or industrial-grade, and you can’t really be sure what impurities it may have.”  Deadly complications from these procedures, and severe infections causing chronic health problems are documented yet people still put themselves at serious risk to save money.”

“While everything may look and feel great right after “pumping,” problems can occur months or even years later. The silicone can migrate to other parts in your body, then harden and cause chronic pain. It can also cause a multitude of other health problems and be disfiguring as well,” Poulos adds.   

How Legitimate Plastic Surgeons Perform a Buttock Enhancement
The surgery is actually a transplant of a patient’s own adipose (fat) tissue from one area of the body to the butt. Liposuction is used to remove excess fat from abdomen, flanks, back or thighs which is then prepared to allow injection into the buttock region to optimize body contour. Sculpting the soft tissues immediately surrounding the buttock defines the added fullness of the transplantation. “When it comes to your body you really do not want to take chances and since there is a specific way to administer the procedure to achieve an optimal result you really want to be armed with information about the right and wrong way a procedure is done,” advises Poulos.

Why is there a high death and disfigurement rate with Black Market Plastic Surgery?
Dr. Poulos says that, “Complications can occur even in optimal conditions, of course; but the individuals responsible for these and other deaths were subject to zero regulations and were operating in ill-equipped condominium basements, apartments, and private homes, with no safety backups or trained staff on hand to help if anything went wrong.”

Tips for Those Who Desire Plastic Surgery
Dr. Poulos stress that, “If you’re planning to undergo a cosmetic procedure, don’t let yourself be taken in by discount costs and false promises. Any procedure you have done should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon in a safe, accredited facility. Ask about potential risks, and don’t take any shortcuts. Your life is too important to risk over a lower price tag.” For those patients who can’t afford to pay for surgery outright, financing options do exist with some plastic surgery practices. Using financing options to proceed with board certified plastic surgeons can save your face and body, if not your life.

Partial List of Companies Who Finance Plastic Surgery Procedures
American Benefit Credit, Inc.

About Dr. Poulos:
Dr. Poulos is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon and Co-Founder with Yngvar Hvistendahl, M.D of Plastic Surgery Specialists recognized as one of the premier aesthetic surgery clinics in Northern California.

Dr. Poulos helped pioneer the quick lift facial rejuvenation surgery in California and has extensive experience in body contour procedures. With over 30-years’ experience in aesthetic procedures, Dr. Poulos has been on the forefront of innovative procedures such as the quick-lift facial rejuvenation, mommy makeover, and vaser lipo-contouring. Dr. Poulos co mbines his consistent knowledge of new treatment options with his mastery of facial and body symmetry.