July 7, 2011

Just One Look....That's All It Took!

Chocolate ... The #1 food craved by women! Is chocolate the "Food of the Gods", an indulgence, or a necessity of life?

A Maine House Mosaic

Chocolate has exceptional nutritional qualities, being a high energy food in a small volume. It not only contains carbohydrates, fats, and vegetable proteins, but also has large quantities of potassium and magnesium, some calcium and sodium, and
vitamins A1, B1, B2, D, and E.

Chocolate contains a number of other substances in small,
but effective, quantities:

Theobromine, which stimulates the central nervous system, facilitates muscular exertion, acts as a diuretic and appetite stimulant.

Caffeine, which increases resistance to fatigue, intellectual activity, and watchfulness. An average size chocolate bar contains approximately 6 mg of caffeine,
compared to 100-150 mg in a cup of coffee.

Phenylethylamine, which is the chemical released in our bodies when we fall in love and is chemically similar to amphetamines, therefore acting as a psycho-stimulant.

Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that increases the production of serotonin, an anti-depressant and natural stress-reducer. In fact, a decrease in serotonin levels in the brain may trigger cravings for starches, sweet foods and chocolate.

Endorphins, natural opiates that are released by the brain in increased amounts when eating chocolate, thereby elevating one's mood and reducing pain.

Phenols,which are also found in red wine, tea, fruits and vegetables, and
may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Catechins, which are antioxidants that may help protect the body against cardiovascular disease and possibly cancer, are found in substantially
higher quantities in chocolate than in black tea.

Anandamide, which mimics the effects of marijuana by acting on the same brain receptors, resulting in a very mild "high". Plus, chocolate has two ingredients that inhibit the natural breakdown of anandamide and hence may prolong the feeling of well-being.


These are two of the best and easiest chocolate dessert recipes!

Estelle's Chocolate Cream Dessert
First Layer
1 Cup flour
1 stick Margarine, softened
1 Cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together and press into a 9"x13" baking dish.
 Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Let this cool.

Cream Layer
1 (8 ounce) Cream Cheese, softened
1 Cup Cool Whip
1 Cup Powdered Sugar

Mix together and spread over the cooled first layer.

Chocolate Layer
2 (3 ounce) chocolate instant pudding
3 cups milk

Mix as directed. Spread over the cream layer.

Fourth Layer
Top with remaining cool whip.
Cover and Refrigerate over night. 

Rich Chocolate Cups
1 (8 ounce) Cream Cheese
1/8 t. salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

Blend cream cheese, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Add egg and beat until smooth.
 Stir in chocolate chips.

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 t. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla

Prepare filling, set aside. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
 Add remaining ingredients blend well with mixer.
Fill 18 muffin cups 1/2 full with batter.
Spoon 1 T. cheese filling onto each cupcake.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

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