Tonsilloliths – How It Occurs and What Are the Treatment Options

Tonsilloliths or more popularly known as tonsil stones are small, mostly round in shape, whitish or yellowish in color, solid mass that occurs in the tonsillar tissues. Tonsilloliths is common in a person suffering from recurrent episodes of tonsillitis. Many a times you have found such people smelling very bad; most probably they are suffering from tonsilloliths. It is a very rarely reported disease, by and large diagnosed accidentally after imaging modalities (X-ray, CT scan or MRI scan) of the head and neck region.

Tonsils are a pair of fleshy tissues present over the back of the throat. They act as first line of defense against many invading organism. As bacteria or viruses are passed through them, tonsillar tissues capture the organism. Immediately, lymphocytes are released from the tonsil to neutralize the organism. Being the integral part of our immune system, lymphocyte can kill foreign proteins by releasing several immunoglobulin like Immunoglobulin G, Immunoglobulin A and Immunoglobulin M. In this process, organisms are killed along with some of the healthy tonsillar tissues. Both the dead cells are piled up in the tonsillar crypts. With the action of some mineral salts like calcium apatite and magnesium oxalate, they are solidified to form a round mass called tonsilloliths or tonsil stones. As the stone increases in size, the central part of it goes under putrefaction and some gases (hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan) are released. These gases are the source of bad breath in a patient suffering from tonsilloliths.

There are chronic sore throat, malaise, fever and other flu-like symptoms. Bad breath is common in a patient having large tonsillolith.

Regular brushing your teeth with good quality toothpaste can reduce the chance of tonsillolith formation. Fluoride present in most of the toothpastes hinders bacterial growth. Gurgling with warm saline water three times a day can reduce sore throat symptom. It will also help in reducing bacterial growth. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of powdered turmeric, black pepper and warm water. It will help you in reducing bad breath also.

Nasal sprays, drops and cough syrups are not useful in treating this disease permanently. Only symptomatic relief can be achieved. The symptoms will recur as soon as you stop medication.

Surgery to evacuate tonsillolith with or without removal of the stone is the definitive treatment in allopathic medicine. But it should be the last resort.
Recently, a 3-step Chinese herbal therapy for effective treatment of tonsillolith is getting much popularity. As this treatment method directly addresses the root cause of the disease, it results in permanent cure without any operation.

The best way to Roast a Leg of Lamb

My school teacher asked me this question when I was thirteen years old “which one of these courses do you want to take cookery or needlework?” I replied “cookery.”

Next day all the students’ assigned the cookery course trundled along to meet Mrs Butt, the domestic science teacher, she informed us girls’ that we were all going to be instructed about the practical and theoretical side of catering.

Lessons began, apple crumble was first on the menu, followed by pancakes, beef stew and roast chicken; I started to gain confidence and thought I could cook.

Mother produced a leg of New Zealand lamb from the refrigerator which appeared to be rather fatty, and I volunteered to be the chef. I put the meat into a roasting tin, proceeded to swamped it with oil and then proudly placed it in the oven.

When the meat was ready I took it out of the oven, and served it up to the family, it was greasy and smelt horrible, I had neglected to drain the fat during the cooking process and my brother still refuses to eat lamb.

Practise makes perfect, I can now produce a delicious leg of lamb which is enjoyed by everybody except my brother.

Recipe

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

Leg of lamb 2.75kg (6lb)
1 clove of garlic (thinly sliced)
Fresh Rosemary
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cold water

Make some slits with a sharp knife in the leg of lamb, inside each incision put a piece of garlic and some rosemary, spread the mustard over the meat, and season with salt and pepper.

Place a wire rack inside the roasting tin, pour some water into the container, position the meat on the rack and put the joint into a pre-heated oven.

When the roast is ready set the meat aside to rest, use the juices from tin to make the gravy, serve with new or roast potatoes, mint sauce, peas and cauliflower.

Oven temperature 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

Calculate cooking time

Allow 10-12 minutes per 450g (lb) for rare add an extra 12 minutes.
Allow 15 minutes per 450g (lb) for medium-rare add an extra 15 minutes.
Allow 20 minutes per 450g (lb) for well done add an extra 20 minutes.

Use a meat thermometer if you do not want to guess, remember that ovens vary, test from time to time to see whether the joint is cooked.

Source:

  1. How To Roast a Leg of Lamb: The Simplest, Easiest Method …
  2. Rosemary and Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb Recipe : Emeril Lagasse …

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Recipes Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate ganache

This recipe can be used as filling or can be whipped and used to decorate cakes. You can use semi sweet chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate as the main ingredient.

Ingredients

9 ounces bitter sweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy or double cream

1 table spoon dark rum

Preperation

Place the chocolate in a medium size bowl and set aside. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a boil and do not leave unattended as it can spill over. When the cream has come to a boil, add the pieces of chopped dark chocolate to the cream. Whisk thoroughly and remove from heat. Add the rum after the mixture has cooled down for a few minutes.

Allow the chocolate ganache to cool for 15 minutes before spreading it over the cake. You can also refrigerate the chocolate ganache and use as chilled frosting.

Source:

  1. Chocolate Ganache Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. Easy Chocolate Ganache Recipe – Chowhound

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Ribollita Recipe

Ribollita, which means “boiled again”, is a wonderful soup! Keep it overnight in the fridge before serving since it always tastes better the next day. This soup is filled with ingredients that are incredibly good for you, especially the kale, which supports good digestion. Serve this as a guilt-free meal for the whole family!

If you wish, you may add some chopped yellow onion to the soup, and sprinkle with dried sourdough bread crumbs before serving, but neither is necessary. But don’t forget to drizzle each serving with a little extra-virgin olive oil before serving for that authentic Tuscan touch!

RIBOLLITA RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 slice Canadian bacon, julienned
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 oz) Italian plum tomatoes (no salt added), chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
2 (19 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch kale, cleaned and chopped
8 cups water
2 tablespoons minced sage leaves, or 2 teaspoons dried
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Use a nonstick saucepan to heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then saute the onions, bacon, and garlic until the onions are softened. Add the tomatoes, celery, and carrot, then simmer until the celery and carrot are softened.

2. Add the beans, kale, water, sage, salt, and pepper, then bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat again and let simmer, stirring frequently, until the kale is tender and the mixture becomes thicker.

3. Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

4. Cover the soup in a large container and refrigerate for several hours to overnight.

5. To serve, reheat soup over low heat and drizzle each portion with 3/4 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil.

Source:

  1. Ribollita Recipe – NYT Cooking
  2. Ribollita Recipe : Giada De Laurentiis : Food Network

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Recipes Apple and Bacon Pizza

This apple-bacon pizza is a big leap from the traditional pizza topped with pepperoni and cheese. However, the flavors are unbeatable and the sweetness from the apples will be enjoyed by everyone especially the kids. Not only is this pizza packed with flavor, it is simple to put together for a quick weeknight family dinner.

Ingredients for an Apple-Bacon Pizza

1 Ready-to-use pizza crust

2 Tbsp butter

2 Apples, cored and cut into 1/4 inch lengthwise slices, thin-skinned apples work best.

1 Tbsp brown sugar, packed

1 Cup pizza sauce

1 Cup Mozzarella cheese

3/4 Cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 to 3/4 Cup cooked bacon, chopped into small pieces

Cook Directions:

•Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the apples and brown sugar to the melted butter. Cook until the sugar is fully melted and the apples are light sautéed, about 2-3 minutes. Stir continuously while cooking.

•Place the pizza crust on a pizza pan or pizza stone. Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the crust. Top the sauce with half of the Mozzarella and the blue cheese. Over the cheese, place the apples and bacon. Top everything with the remaining Mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Personal Recommendations:

The blue cheese in this recipe adds such wonderful flavor but you can add even more by using a flavored blue cheese. In the dairy section of your supermarket, look for the Athenos brand blue cheese that is sold in different flavors like basil and tomato.

You can replace the apples for other in-season fruit like pears. For a lighter version of this pizza, opt for part-skim Mozzarella cheese, low-fat blue cheese, and replace regular pork bacon with turkey bacon. This recipe can also be used for fun snack for the kids by replacing the pizza crust with English muffins. If you have kids that don’t like the extras on their pizza like mushrooms and onions, they will love the addition of apples however; the blue cheese might be too strong for young palates.

Source:

  1. Maple Apples, Blue Cheese and Bacon Pizza – foodiecrush
  2. Caramelized onion, apple and bacon flatbread pizza – Culinary Ginger

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Recipes Spinach Dip

Spinach dip is a party pleaser every time, even for those who don’t care for spinach, including myself. However, when you combine spinach with other ingredients it takes on a whole new taste that is sure to please the taste buds of almost anyone. This is my favorite spinach dip and it’s quick and easy to make.

Ingredients

8 ounce package of frozen spinach (thawed)
1 package of onion or ranch dip mix (your choice)
1 12 ounce tub of sour cream

Cook the spinach according to the package directions, puree using a food processor. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well, refrigerate till cold.

You can serve it in a bread bowl, or in a dish surrounded by vegetables, crackers or bite size bread pieces.

It makes a great holiday party dish just be sure to add a few red cherry tomatoes to your platter for the extra splash of holiday color.

Source:

  1. Best Spinach Dip Ever Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. Hot Spinach Dip Recipe & Video | Martha Stewart

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Recipes the Perfect Yorkshire Pudding

this is the perfect Yorkshire pudding mix coming from someone who is English and makes them every week its a very simple recipe requiring just four ingredients

2 eggs
two heaped tablespoons of plain flour (all purpose )
a pinch of salt
about a 1/4 pint or 125 mils of water

put your flour salt and one egg into a jug and mix with a fork when it has been mixed together add some of the water and whisk either using a hand whisk or an electric whisk add a little more water if it is too thick it should resemble American pancake batter leave to one side but keep going back to it every ten minutes and giving it a good whisk for about two three minutes keep doing this for about two hours (trust me it works really well if you do) meanwhile put your small muffin case with a little oil in each hole into a preheated oven it needs to be a high temp about gas mark 7 or 220 leave for about five to ten minutes or until the oil bubbles slightly just before you take the muffin case out of the oven add the other egg to the mixture and whisk very well add a little mixture into each muffin hole put into the oven and cook for about ten minutes they should rise perfectly be soft light and crispy and if they are a little soggy on the bottom they are alot nicer

Source:

  1. Sky High Yorkshire Pudding Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. The Food Lab: The Science of the Best Yorkshire Puddings | Serious …

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Recipes Low Fat Meatloaf

Married life and three kids later, I am always on the look out for great tasting food that is healthy. I have found a majority of the recipes I have tried lack in either texture or flavor. My cooking skills have always been a thing I take a lot of pride in. When I cook for family or friends I want to present food I want people to be satisfied. One of the biggest challenges I have come across is developing my own recipe for a meatloaf (one of my husbands favorites) that is better for you. After a lot of trial and error, I have come up with a lower fat lower calorie meatloaf that still tastes great. By substituting ingredients, the calories drop from this family favorite.

Ingredients

2 pound ground turkey
2 cups instant mashed potatoes
Egg whites from 2 eggs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup shopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 tablespoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 can reduced sodium stewed tomatoes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Combine all ingredients except stewed tomatoes in a loaf pan. Mix thoroughly. Press the meat evenly though the pan. Top with stewed tomatoes. Bake in oven for approximately 45 minutes, until meat is no longer pink throughout. Serve.

This is a relatively easy meatloaf recipe. My youngest daughter was so fond of it she asked me not to tell her Grandma that she believes my meatloaf is better than hers.

Source:

  1. Healthier Easy Meatloaf Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. Healthy Meatloaf Recipes – EatingWell

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How to Make Potato Scones

Potato scones are tasty and filling. Potato scones are served as a savory and are especially good served along with fried bacon and eggs, or maybe sausage grilled mushrooms and a tomato. Traditionally a scone is oven baked, it can be split in two and filled with a sweet or savory filling. Potato scones are different. The potato scone is flat and shallow fried in a little oil. Potato scones are easy and cheap to make. The preparation time required is minimal and they can be cooked and ready to eat in minutes. Potato scones are likely to be a firm favorite with all of the family.

Choose a good floury potato to make potato scones. King Edward, Desiree and Maris piper are all good examples of a floury potato.

Take one pound of floury potatoes. Peel them and place them into a pan with some lightly salted water. Bring the potatoes to the boil and then turn the heat down until they simmer. Cook the potatoes until they are soft. Drain the potatoes well and then mash them. Add a knob of butter to the mashed potatoes.

Weigh out four ounces of plain flour and stir it into the warm mashed potato. Then add a good pinch of baking powder along with a good pinch of salt. At this stage the warm potato mixture is thick enough to turn out onto a floured board ready to roll.

Lightly roll out the potato mixture until it is about a half an inch thick. Use a tea plate for a template and cut large circles out of the rolled potato mixture. Cut the circles in half or quarters. Take a fork and make a few holes in each of the thin potato scones. Set them aside ready to cook.

Heat a little oil in a skillet or a heavy bottomed frying pan. Place a couple of the potato scones into the hot oil and let them cook. The potato scones do not take long to cook through, three or four minutes on each side is sufficient. Serve them as they come out of the frying pan.

Potato scones make a very economical meal that can also be enjoyed by vegetarians. The hot potato scones are especially delicious served with plenty of grated cheese and smoked bacon. Leftover potato scones can be enjoyed by warming them up and buttering them. Buttered potato scones taste good served along with a large plate of home made soup.

Source:

  1. Potato scone
  2. Potato scones | BBC Good Food

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How to Maintain a Cast Iron Skillet

Face it, if they have tasted it, most likely, people prefer the food from a cast iron pan then from any other type. This is because cast iron provides even cooking and allows the flavors to be retained. If this is true, then why doesn’t everyone use them? They do not use cast iron for the simple fact that they either do not know how to properly maintain it or, if they know, they have the theory that is takes too much work.  That, of course, is false, maintaining a cast iron pan is fast and simple so that anyone can do it.

 If the pan is new, then the pan needs to be seasoned, they also need to be re-seasoned periodically after a lot of use. Cast iron has little pores that trap food, so baking on a layer of oil will prevent this food from sticking and from the food having a metallic taste.  Seasoning also prevents the cast iron from peeling or scraping with time.

 To properly season the cast iron, first the pan needs to be thoroughly washed and dried. Afterwards, fully grease the inside of the pan with any type of shortening or oil. Place the pan upside-down on a baking sheet and bake in an oven for an about an hour at a very high heat.  The baking sheet is there to catch any excess drippings from whatever was used to grease the pan. It is a good idea to repeat the seasoning process a few times before using with acidic foods, such as tomatoes or fruits, to ensure that you have built up enough of a grease coating so that the food will not stick to the pan or burn. If the pan starts to become dry to the touch and no longer feels greasy, or if your food is sticking and easily burning, this is a sign that it is time to re-season you cast iron pan.

Washing the cast iron is also quite simple. When washing the cast iron, never use soap, this will remove the seasoning job and you will have to do it all over again. It is best to use hot water and coarse salt. Salt can be used as an abrasive to remove the stuck on food bits without damaging the seasoning job. Afterwards, pat dry with a towel and place in an oven face down on a low heat to fully dry it and prevent rusting. If one takes all of these tips into consideration, then there should be no trouble at all with using cast iron pans and should result in a high quality meal that everyone will enjoy.

Source:

  1. Lodge : Seasoned Cast Iron Use and Care
  2. Cleaning and Seasoning a Cast-Iron Skillet – Real Simple

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