4 out 50 of the Best Foods in the World

Food, a term we all discover at a young age. We also all discover our favorites. Every place in the world has its specialties. Living in America gives the advantage to try most of those Best Foods. But in case you think you are missing out, making them at home is always an option. CNN Travel recently published an article about the 50 best foods in the world. Here are a few and the recipes to go with them.

Poutine, Canda

Poutine originates from our northern border country, Canada. Who doesn’t like french fries? Now add brown gravy and cheese, it will literally melt in your mouth. This Allrecipes Real Poutine recipe is easy to make, something the whole family can enjoy, and one of the more well known Best Foods in the Canada area.

Ingredients

1, 10.25 ounce, of canned gravy

About 5 medium potatoes (depending on how many you are making)

1 quart oil for frying the potatoes

2 cups cheese curds

DIrections

Cut the potatoes into fry-like shapes. Put the oil in a deep, heavy, skillet or you can use a deep fryer; Heat the oil to 365 degrees F. This is when the gravy should be heated up. Open the canned gravy and pour into a small saucepan, heating the gravy up on medium heat.

Gently put the fries into the fryer/ pan. Make sure to cook them until they are golden brown. Line a plate or platter with paper towels to let the access grease to drip off of the fries. Place the fries on a platter. Then this is when the cheese should be sprinkled on top of the fries. Take a large spoon or ladle and pour the gravy over the cheese and fries.

French Toast, Hong Kong

Tired of the same old french toast recipe? Hong Kong is famous for their french toast and thankfully The Hungry Chilipinos posted a recipe for us to follow.

Ingredients

¼ cup or 2 oz of evaporated milk

1 tablespoon of condensed milk and some extra that will be used to drizzle on the toast

2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter

2 slices of Japanese Milk Bread or Texas Style Toast

1 oz of butter

1 cup of vegetable oil or coconut oil

2 eggs

¼ cup of golden syrup

Directions

Beat the eggs and evaporated milk together in a bowl. Take the bread slices and spread the peanut butter and condensed milk. Soak the bread pieces in the egg and milk mixture, the bread should not be extremely soggy or too dry.

Fry the bread for about 2 minutes on each side; it should be golden brown. Place the toast on a cooling rack, if you have one, or a plate with paper towels to drain the grease off. Take the toast and place on a plate. Drizzle with syrup, and place a dab of butter on top. Take the leftover condensed milk and drizzle on top; serving immediately.

Tacos, Mexico

There couldn’t be a Best Foods list without tacos on it! Everyone loves tacos, so why not make them at home. The Food Network has the perfect beef taco recipe.

Ingredients

¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper

½ teaspoon of chili powder

½ teaspoon of cumin

½ teaspoon of paprika

½ teaspoon of salt

½ yellow onion, diced

½ teaspoon of ground black pepper

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 pounds of ground beef

Fixins

20 fajita-size flour tortillas

18 hard taco shells

1 pound of Cheddar-Jack cheese, grated

15 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 head of green leaf lettuce, shredded

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. For the beef: In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and the onions. Cook until the onions start to soften, then add the ground beef. Cook the meat until it’s completely browned, then drain the fat. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper and stir thoroughly to combine them all together.

Add ½ cup of hot water and stir. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. For the fixins: wrap the flour tortillas in foil and warm in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Before serving, crisp the taco shells in the oven according to the package instructions. Serve with the grated cheese, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

Ice Cream, global

Who doesn’t enjoy ice cream? Especially when it can be easily made at home. Taste of Home published a recipe that we can’t resist.

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups half-and-half cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients, stirring to dissolve sugar completely. Transfer the mixture into a 13×9-inch dish. Put the dish in freezer until cold. Freeze until edges of mixture begin to set, this will take about 20-30 minutes. Take the mixer out and using a hand mixer, beat mixture until smooth. Continue this process every 30 minutes for the next 3 hours. Creating the perfect vanilla ice cream.

For more delicious recipes, click here.

The Top Threes of Houma You Won’t Want To Miss

Regional Military Museum

The Regional Military Museum is the perfect day spot to visit in Houma. Experience the history of the brave women and men who have fought to defend our country. The museum strives to remember the sacrifices all those women and men endured; past present and future.   

The Regional Military Museum is still expanding so if you have already gone, there is probably something new waiting for you. The best part is the tours; there are many hands on exhibits. You can even schedule a LCVP ride (Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel) just like the ones that were used to storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.

The museum also offers a Memorial Brick Program, giving people the option to engrave a brick that will be put in front of the museum’s new building. This is a great gift to remember a family member or friend who helped defend our country.

Southdown Plantation

The Southdown Plantation also known as The Terrebonne Museum is not only a museum but it can also be used as a venue. The museum offers guided and unguided tours. Established in 1828, the plantation has a rich history of a sugar plantation; over 10 different exhibits inhabit the museuming. So that means there is something for everyone.

The Southdown Plantation also offers it’s guest the availability of booking venues as well. Who wouldn’t want to host a dinner or a wedding on a plantation that beautiful.

Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge   

Maybe Museums aren’t your thing; Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge  gives the adventure a perfect escape. This refuge, established in 1996, is over 4,000 acres of leves, man-made canals, and freshwater marsh which is all divided by the Intercoastal Waterway. Louisiana is famous for its marshland so why not experience it in full force.

The best part about the refuge is the amount of activities you can enjoy. This is the perfect place to take that old boat out. Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to enjoy a boat ride. Or what about those old fishing poles? Pack up the tackle box and head out there.

Don’t own a boat? Don’t worry, the refuge offers an amazing nature trail that is only accessible during the day. The trail passes thru the many different habitats that make up this beautiful state. The refuge also offers its guest the option of hunting.

Make sure you check out the rules and regulations and the permits before visiting the refuge. You don’t want to get there and then have to turn back because you forgot something!

3 Places to stay

A Chateau on the Bayou Bed & Breakfast

Need a place to stay but you don’t want the traditional hotel? Look no further than A Chateau on the Bayou Bed & Breakfast, just 15 minutes away from Houma. This Bed and Breakfast is in a central location making activities endless. Enjoy the relaxing stay on the bayou.

The best part about this Bed and Breakfast is that they have so many options and packages for you to choose from. You can even plan a girls trip! Check out their website for more awesome options.

Waterproof Plantation

Traveling with an RV and need a place to park it? Hideaway Ponds is a RV resort that is located in Gibson, Louisiana, just 20 minutes from central Houma. Hideaway Ponds has their own map which can be printed out and used by their guest to find the activities on the sight.

Some of the amenities include: a dog park, a fishing pond, a catfish pond, a pool, a club house, a laundry station and paddle boats. The resort is a vacation in itself!

Courtyard by Marriott

Want to go for the more traditional route? Courtyard by Marriott offers many amenities for those who are seeking. The Bistro at the hotel has many food and drink options for its guest. There is wifi throughout the hotel, free of course. There is even an outdoor and indoor pool.

Need to host a business event? Courtyard offers more than 4,000 square feet of meeting space. Completely equipped with “state of the art audio visual equipment with multimedia capability”.

3 Places to Eat

Cristiano Ristorante

Cristiano Ristorante offers northern Italian cuisine; using only local and fresh ingredients. Located in Houma, this restaurant gives you some italian heritage while still experiencing southern hospitality. Their menu offers endless options, they even offer brunch and a brunch menu.  

Big Al’s Seafood Restaurant

Wanting a more cajun casual restaurant? Big Al’s Seafood Restaurant has exactly what you’re looking for. Offering boiled and fried seafood dishes. Even alligator is a huge hit on their menu. Recently they added Charbroiled Oysters and guest can’t stop asking for them. They even cater!

Bilello’s Cafe

Craving a Poboy? Bilello’s Cafe has almost anything you could think of. Not a fan of Poboys? Their menu also offers pasta.  All you have to do is check out their Gallery page to see some of their delicious meals. But make sure you have eaten before you look because you might end up driving to Houma to get a taste.

For more Louisiana related articles, click here.

Best Places to Watch Flowers Bloom

Have you ever thought about taking a vacation just to Watch Flowers Bloom? Well, you should. We go to see the mountains and the sand so why not the flowers? There are places all over the world, but some are right in our backyard. Travel+ Leisure recently posted an article showcasing the top places to visit to see the flowers bloom, here are 8 of those spots.

Crested Butte, Colorado

Have you ever heard of a Wildflower Festival? Crested Butte, Colorado offers its visitors many different activities to enjoy; hikes/walks, garden tours, art workshops and more! It is the 33rd year that the festival is held. July 5tht o the 14th trails open for an unbelievable sight of wildflowers. Not only will you experience the flowers but because it is up in the West Elk mountains the view itself will be quite stunning.  

Kauai, Hawaii

The best part about Kauai, Hawaii is the McBryde Garden Biodiversity Trail. The trail offers guided and unguided tours. Endangered and rare plants are conserved here and you can even see how movies like Jurassic Park were made.  Make sure to visit their visitor information before making the trip so you have everything you need.

And the best part? Because the area is so wet all of the time, there is always something blooming.

Arizona-Sonora Desert, Arizona

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is over 90 acres of multiple attractions including; a botanical garden, natural history museum, zoo, art gallery, aquarium, and a zoo! On top of that the Museum’s mission is to help conserve the Sonoran Desert region. The Museum is also often named on the top ten zoological parks in the world. The unique thing about this Museum is that 85% of it is outside.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Every year in Chiang Mai (also known as the “rose of the north) there is a Flower Festival that is three days long. It is in February when the season is being to warm up. There are flower floats and Thai women, younger women, carry baskets around while wearing floor length gowns, and usually a band after. Much like our own parades. You can pick your own bundle of lilies.

Furano, Japan

Have you ever seen a lavender field? Furano, Japan’s mild summers make it one of the best places to grow lavender. Farm Tomita offers an unbelievable views, creating a rainbow that appears to look fake. July is the perfect time to go, they even have a lavender themed gift shop. They even have soft-serve that is lavender flavored.

Mainau Island, Germany

Mainau Island, Germany, also known as “Flower Island”. This island has over 110 acres of paths, flower beds, and sweeping lawns. There are two waves a blooming, one in late March and then the next one starting in late May. The island also offers places to eat and of course places to shop.

Bowral, New South Wales, Australia

Because Australia’s season are flopped from ours, it’s a perfect getaway during the colder months here in the states. There is an annual Tulip Time Festival.Corbett Gardens has been having the festival since 1911. It is also the center of the Spring Garden Festival, over 30,000 people visit the festival. The garden is usually free unless you are going during the Tulip Time Festival, so make sure you check so you don’t show up empty handed.

Giverny, France

Giverny, France  is known as the village where the painter Claude Monet lived for over 40 years. Giverny is home to his house as well as his garden, which reopened on March 22nd. You can even book a private tour to be guided thru Monet’s beautiful garden. Visit their website for all of your booking information.

For more travel related news and information, click here.

Alzheimer’s Patient Improvement Due to Hyperbaric Treatment

An article recently published by the Advocate, describes the amazing brain improvement of an Alzheimer’s patient after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is when the patient breathes in pure oxygen, usually in a pressurized tube or room. While in the room or tube, the air pressure will increase, this enables the patient’s lungs to take in more oxygen. The increase of oxygen stimulates stem cells and growth factors, which actually help heal the body.

Injured tissue needs more oxygen to heal and survive, that includes the brain. Dr. Paul Harch (LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine) and Dr. Edward Fogarty (University of North Dakota School of Medicine) have presented a case of a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’ disease“is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life”. This affects about 5.7 million Americans alone. Most of the people being over the age of 65. It also affects about 200,000 people who are under the age of 65.

Deaths because of Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise. 14 million cases are expected to be present by 2050. That’s only about 31 years away. “The load of toxins, food additives, pesticides in chemicals — all take a toll,”said Dr. Harch.

The case report that Dr. Harch and Dr. Fogarty presented was a case about a 58-year-old woman. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and her memory and motor skills were beginning to deteriorate. However, after 21 treatments of the Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, her activity and energy levels had improved. And most importantly her mood improved. Her performance of day to day activities improved and she could even work on crossword puzzles.

They then proceeded to 40 treatments. She began to eat more and she also was not as frustrated. Her memory increased which also meant her concentration increased. She was even sleeping better; her bad days became less frequent.

Not only did her actions and symptoms show the results of the treatment, but so did the PET scans that were taken of her brain. Dr. Harch states that even a third grader could notice that there was improvement. In the brain’s metabolism, the whole improvement went from 6.5 percent to 38 percent.   

If this treatment could potentially stop but also, just temporarily reverse what the Alzheimer’s disease did in the first place. This case study is just one out of eleven that will be using hyperbaric oxygen therapy as treatment for Alzheimer’s. Imagine if this is the outcome for all of the patients.

The only problem was that once the treatment stopped, her symptoms came back. Alzheimer’s has no cure, but the process can be slowed down. She was, thankfully, retreated for 20 months and the symptoms had stopped progressing.

Dr. Harch said, “The results of the study suggest that Alzheimer’s can be treated in the long term with hyperbaric oxygen therapy along with drugs”. He also describes how medicine is quite slow, doctors must overcome the misunderstanding of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Which he then goes on to describe as “gene therapy”.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not only for Alzheimer’s patients. Dr. Harch has used hyperbaric oxygen therapy on patients who have nearly drowned. He showed the regrowth of brain treatment, using hyperbaric oxygen therapy on a toddler who nearly drowned. Many doctors believed that the child would never talk or even walk again. But because of the therapy she is talking and she is even waking.

For more education related information, click here.

Louisiana Favorite’s: Extra Crawfish Tail Recipes

It is officially spring, feeling like summer. We all know that means one thing; it’s Crawfish time. All of the big pots have started boiling those mud-bugs. Crawfish boils usually end with no leftovers, but sometimes you will get lucky and have some extra. This means endless possibilities for Crawfish recipes. Louisiana Cookin’ recently published a blog with 9 recipes that you can use for those left of tails, here are three of them!

Tomato Crawfish Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 (16-ounce) package of cooked crawfish tails, make sure to rise them and drain them

⅓ cup powdered Tomato Mix

½ cup canola oil

1 teaspoon hot sauce

½ cup thinly sliced celery

1-pint grape tomatoes, they need to be halved

12 pickled okra pods, these need to be halved also

¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon of horseradish, make sure it is already prepared

2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the fresher the better

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1½ teaspoons dry mustard

Grab a medium mixing bowl and mix together the juice, powdered Tomato mix, salt, pepper, hot sauce, and horseradish. You then want to slowly add the oil, while constantly whisking the mixture to make sure it combines nicely. This is what will be used for the dressing.

In a different mixing bowl, combine the onion, okra, tomato, celery, and of course the crawfish. Take ¼ of your dressing and mix it into this bowl. Serve the extra dressing on the side so guest can add more if needed.

Crawfish Dip

INGREDIENTS

Crawfish

1 cup water

1-pound cooked crawfish tail meat

2 cups sour cream

1 (1-ounce) package dried porcini mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup unsalted butter

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Take a microwave safe bowl and heat up 1 cup of water on high. You want the water to be really hot, add the mushrooms until they soften. Strain the mushrooms but make sure to keep the liquid. Cut the mushrooms into fine pieces.

Take a medium saucepan, melt the butter, add the green onion, and then mix in the floor, letting it cook for 5 minutes

Take the mushroom liquid, the mushrooms, and the garlic, and add it to the saucepan. This needs to be brought to a boil.

Add the salt, pepper, and Crawfish; once adding the Crawfish continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Then reduce to low heat; add the parsley and sour cream.

Cajun Crawfish Bread

INGREDIENTS

1 (12-ounce) loaf French bread and halved it lengthwise

1 pound cooked crawfish tails

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons butter

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, it needs to be softened

¾ cup sweet onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, make sure they are minced

¾ cup green onion, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped parsley, fresh

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning*

½ teaspoon sweet paprika

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (with peppers)

First preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Take the bread halves and spread the mayonnaise on both halves.

Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the sweet onion and cook for about 5 minutes.

Then add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. The parsley, green onion, and crawfish should be add next, cook for about 5 minutes. The cream cheese and Cajun seasoning will come next. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir to make sure the

cheese is fully mixed.

Take the mixture and spread it on both halves of the bread, garnish with the cheeses and paprika. Bake the bread until the cheese looks melted then turn on the broil, you want the cheese to be slightly browned.
For more delicious recipes, click here.

Top Places to See the Northern Lights

Want a unique vacation spot? Look no further than the Northern Lights. Once discovering this beautiful sight, you also have to find the best place to actually see them. Travel + Leisure recently published an article exploring the best places to see the Northern Lights; read the entire article here.

Northern Lights

Fairbanks, Alaska

Look no further than Fairbanks, Alaska. Chena Hot Springs Resort. This resort has everything you could ask for. Chena Hot Springs Resort even has its own viewing dome to watch the Northern Lights. Or if you prefer to just sit and relax with a fishing pole, the resort has its own Ice Fishing Tour. But probably the best part is the Chena Kennel that offers dog sled and dog cart rides year-round, depending on the weather of course.

The Northern Lights are seen between the hours of 11:30 pm and 3:30 am. The resort offers guests the service of being woken up by a phone call or a knock on their door when the Lights begin to appear.

Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

Stay within the states and see the lights from Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania. Hidden away from larger cities around them, this park is a Gold Level International Dark Sky Park. This means the park is a great place to view the Lights and even if you do not get to see them, the stars will be more than visible.

Churchill, Canada

Churchill is often known for the polar bears that roam the area. The Northern Lights can be seen here more than 300 nights out of the year. There is the option to book a vacation that is centered around learning at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. If for some reason you miss the lights, the polar bears will totally make up for it.

Yukon, Canada

Visit the Northern Lights Resort and Spa in Whitehorse to receive the perfect pampering before viewing the green and yellow lights in the sky. Yukon also offers its guest the unique experience to learn about the folklore and science that make up the colors of the lights in Watson Lake ate the Northern Lights Centre. The lights only come around Yukon territory during the months of August to about the middle of April.

Iceland

Iceland’s viewing season are the months of August through the first few days of May. Located In southern Iceland, the Hotel Rangá is the place to go. The Hotel offers many activities dedicated for the cold weather. Anything you could think of; prefer animals? Check out the dog sledding and whale-watching. Or take the water route and try the freshwater fishing and the glacier tours. The best part? The Hotel has a webcam that has a live stream of the Northern Lights, so you can check it out even before deciding to take the trip.

Scotland

Mirrie Dancers, that’s what the Scots call the Northern Lights. Start your stay off by checking in as a restored Shetland lighthouse, Sumburgh Head. Sumburgh Head offers its guest a view of a puffin nesting area. During your stay make sure to visit the Callanish Standing Stones, which is a man-made structure that is thought to be built around 5,000 years ago.

Finland

What better way to see the lights than in a glass igloo? Kakslauttanen Resort offers its guest this once in a lifetime opportunity. Finland has a view of the Northern Lights about 200 nights out of the year. These are not the only accommodations in Finland; find one that fits your needs.

Sweden

Interested in taking a trip that offers more than just the Northern Lights? Sweden is the place to be. Stay in the famous Icehotel. This structure, made out of ice, is rebuilt every year. The hotel offers many different options for its guest. Do you enjoy sleeping cold? Check out the cold room suites at the hotel or if you prefer warmer temperature they have warmer options.

Ever thought about taming a reindeer and searching for the Northern Lights? Try out the Lip Lip experience.  Photography tours are perfect for those who also want to capture the lights also while exploring them.

Greenland

Greenland offers what some would say, the best visibility of the lights in some places due to the low amount of light pollution in the area. The best time to go would  be between the months of September to the first couple of weeks in April.

Still want to experience an igloo? Hotel Arctic offers them. There is even an old U.S. military base, Kangerlussuaq, that is available to tour.

Tromsø, Norway

This area is known for having the most probability for seeing the lights. “The Gateway to the Arctic” is a go-to name for the city. Visitors have the unlimited options of tours available. The amazing views surround the city. Interested in trying reindeer stew? Check out Emma’s Restaurant for authentic, unique food options.

Svalbard, Norway

Norway does not disappoint with options for places to go to view the Northern Lights. Svalbard is a string of islands located in in the Arctic. Starting in mid-November and February, Svalbard experiences perpetual darkness which means even during the day the islands experience darkness. This means double the amount of times you can see the Northern Lights!

For more travel related news and information, click here.