Friday, July 28, 2017

Braised Chicken and Leeks

Tender chicken thighs slowly simmered with leeks and cream. Your home will be filled with appetizing aromas.


4 chicken thighs, skin removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
3 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
3 cups (750 mL) of leek whites, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
1 tbsp (15 mL) flour
1 cup (250 mL) 15% cream


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Using a knife and your fingers, remove the skin from the chicken thighs. Season with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, brown the chicken in the butter over medium-high heat. Place in a rectangular baking dish. In the same frying pan, brown the bacon for a few minutes and then place on a paper towel. Sweat the leek over medium heat. Pour off the fat and deglaze with white wine. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes until the leeks have wilted. Add flour to the cream. Pour in the cream, heat, and then pour over the chicken. Top with the bacon. Cover and bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. Remove the lid or aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

Friday, July 14, 2017

This oil fights inflammation, protects your skin and promotes hair growth -

This oil fights inflammation, protects your skin and promotes hair growth -: This oil has been used for thousand years in traditional medicine for a variety of health conditions. Mothers and grandmothers all over the world used it with their children and grandchildren at the first sign of illness. Even though it tasted unappealing, it worked! Yes, you guessed it! We are talking about castor oil and …

Monday, July 10, 2017

Soothing Eye Pillow

Why aren't eye pillows standard equipment in today’s world? Whether you’re a harried business executive or an overwrought homemaker, taking a few moments to sit back and slip this lavender-filled pillow over your eyes can transport you beyond the cares of the daily world.    
This eye pillow is easy to make, but it can look as lavish as you’d like. For a gift, make it from luxurious fabrics such as silk, brocade, or satin. Embellish it with ribbons, delicate beading, or bits of fine lace.
The popularity of lavender as an aromatic and healing herb spans centuries. Greeks and Romans added it to their bathwater. During the Middle Ages, housewives strewed lavender stalks on floors to mask household odors, and the British herbalist Gerard prescribed lavender to alleviate a “light migram or swimming of the braine.”
More recently, research has confirmed the wisdom of these traditions. Lavender indeed calms the nerves and relaxes the muscles, helping those who need a short, restful interlude or an introduction to quiet slumber. Those who use it also report a brighter mood and improved spirits after combining a short rest with the scent of lavender.
The gentle, long-lasting aroma of lavender released from our eye pillow can help soothe tired eyes and calm an anxious mind. Silk or cotton on one side feels pleasant next to the skin while the sheer fabric on the other side reveals the pretty lavender buds. Flaxseed adds just enough weight to keep the pillow comfortably in place and helps block the light for better rest during daylight hours.
We chose lavender for our eye pillow, but a number of other herbs can be mixed to create soothing scents. You may wish to try a lemon-scented eye pillow, substituting equal parts of dried lemon verbena, lemon thyme, and lemon balm for the lavender. Another traditional favorite is a combination of dried rose petals with dried rose-scented pelargonium leaves in place of the lavender. Both dried sweet woodruff and dried hops are long-time friends of the weary.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Do Fragrant Plants Repel Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes Repelled By Fragrant Plants

Mosquitoes are a pain for every gardener, and over the years a number of plants have been recommended to repel mosquitoes.  Almost all of these plants are fragrant and include such things as catnip, citronella grass, beebalm, marigolds, lemon balm, lavender, geraniums, thyme, wormwood, rosemary and various mints. If you plant these in your garden you will have less mosquitoes – or so the proponents claim.
Will plants growing in your garden or on your deck keep mosquitoes away?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Swimming against the current to prevent tragedy

By Kathleen O'Grady
Managing Editor
Kathleen O_Grady
Click image for Hi-Res
MONTREAL, Que./Troy Media/ - Summer is almost upon us, so the other day I spent $418 on 11 half-hour swimming lessons for my nine-year-old son at the local rec centre.
Why so costly?
Because my son has autism, the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder in Canada. He's not able to take regular swim classes, which cost a fraction of the price.
The pool environment is too stimulating. He gets distracted by the playful reflection of light off the water, by the high ceilings that catch the children's voices in booming echoes and the ceiling fans, which are endlessly swirly. With all this sensory input, he can't easily focus on what the swim instructor is saying. He also doesn't always understand the social dynamic or verbal instructions of a group-based lesson.
This hypersensitivity to his environment, along with processing delays in verbal and social communication, are common hallmarks of autism. The upshot: he requires private swimming lessons - something that costs me in the neighbourhood of $1,200 annually. But it's well worth it.
A new American study has confirmed what every autism family has heard anecdotally: accidental death by drowning is a significant risk for kids with autism. Researchers at the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University looked at more than 39 million death records over 16 years (up to 2014) to determine the relationship between autism and death by injury.
The results are pretty bleak. Overall, individuals with autism died on average almost 36 years younger than the general population. Almost 28 per cent died prematurely by injury, which includes complications from epileptic seizures and suicide (both epilepsy and depression are common in this population).
According to the study, individuals with autism also die by accidental injury at a rate three times higher than the general population. The rate was particularly high for children younger than 15 years of age.
According to the researchers, almost half (46 per cent) of unintentional injury deaths for those with autism occurred by drowning - and the "danger years" are between ages five to seven.
When compared with typically developing peers, researchers found that children with autism drown 160 times more frequently - an astounding statistic.
Several earlier studies show similar patterns of a significantly increased risk for accidental drowning for those with developmental disabilities, including autism, although the range of risk varies widely.
The good news is that something can be done. These are preventable deaths. And public health officials should put concrete and actionable ways to prevent accidental drowning in this specific population at the top of their to-do list.
The first solution is obvious - and cheap as chips.
Providing accessible water safety courses and swimming lessons tailored to those with autism would be cost-effective to implement and have almost immediate impact. Such programming would have the double bonus of providing both safety and recreational benefits for autism families.
Working with and adequately funding organizations like SwimAbility, a volunteer-run swim program for those with developmental disabilities (which operates on a shoestring budget and always has more demand than it can meet), could be a good place to start.
Education and awareness of water danger risks targeted at the caregivers for this population should also be a priority. Providing funds to help families and schools put physical safety measures in place - gates and specialized locks, for example - would also help.
But part of the conversation also has to be about the lack of adequate supports for families caring for autistic children experienced across the country.
One challenge of caring for a young child with autism is their tendency to wander - a common characteristic for around half of those on the spectrum. They're also often attracted to water as a pleasing visual sensory stimulus. And they're more likely to have irregular sleep patterns, which means they may wake and wander while the rest of the family is sleeping.
Put this all together and you have a population particularly vulnerable to accidental death by drowning.
So what else can governments do?
Provide funds for regular respite for caretakers and give autism moms and dads a needed break.
If any other population had as much as 160 times greater risk for a preventable death, you could be sure it would garner headlines and immediate public health action.
Public health and children's ministries should work together to find solutions. Kids with autism are already vulnerable on so many fronts. Let's work together to avoid unnecessary tragedy. Let's all have a safe and water-friendly summer.
Kathleen O'Grady is a research associate at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University, Montréal, and managing editor of  She's the mother of two boys, one with autism.
© 2017 Distributed by Troy Media