Monday, April 9, 2012


   These adorable, rich cakes, from Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Le Croquembouche in Montreal, are brightened with fresh fruit.



  • 2tablespoons(1/4 stick) butter
  • 6Anjou pears (3 1/2 to 3 3/4 pounds), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3cup(packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2tablespoonshoney


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3/4cup(1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for coating cups
  • 1cupsugar
  • 4large eggs
  • 1 1/2teaspoonsvanilla extract
  • 1 1/3cupsall purpose flour
  • 1teaspoonbaking powder
  • 1/2teaspoonsalt


  • 1/2cupapricot jam
  • 1tablespoonwater
  • Powdered sugar
  • Sliced fresh pear



  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in each of 2 heavy large skillets over medium-high heat. Add half of pears to each skillet. SautĂ© until tender and beginning to brown, 10 to 11 minutes. Add half of brown sugar and half of honey to each skillet. Stir until pears are coated and sugar melts, about 1 minute. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to bowl. Cover and chill.


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray ten 3/4-cup custard cups with nonstick spray, then coat each with butter. Beat 3/4 cup butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and beat until blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Beat dry ingredients into butter mixture.
  • Divide batter among cups. Make well in center of batter in 1 cup. Spoon 1/4 cup pear mixture into well. Repeat with remaining cups and pear mixture. Bake until tester inserted into cake portion comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes.


  • Turn cakes out onto plates. Bring jam and 1 tablespoon water to simmer in small saucepan, stirring to loosen jam. Brush jam mixture over cakes.
  • Sift powdered sugar over edges of cakes. Garnish with pear slices.


     Children's Day Festival (English: International April 23rd, Children's Day Festival; Turkish" Uluslarasi 23 Nisan Cocuk Senligi) is a festival which is celebrated on April 23rd each year in Turkey. This festival is gathering the children from a ll over the world under the motto of "Love, Friendship and Peace". The festival is organized by Turkish Radio and Television Corporation.


    The April 23rd Children's Festival , a children's festival which was gifted to Turkish children by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, to mark the opening of the Assembly. The festival has been celebrated internationally since 1979. The Children's Festival was first celebrated in Turkey on April 23rd, 1920, when the Turkish Grand National Assembly was opened. The festival intend to contribute creation of a world where children can live peacefully by developing sentiments of fraternity, love and friendship.

    The greatest aspiration of Ataturk, who saved his country from occupations and introduced reforms in all fields hence changing the viewpoint of the nations it was modernization, in other words, an industrialized country that the industry of the Republic which it was founded on was out of date and poorly equipped, Ataturk endeavored to achieve modernization through educational reform, and thus entrusted Turkey to the children and the youth. Ataturk knew that modernization could not be achieved in a rapid way; therefore, he presumed that the Turkish children educated at schools resting upon positive sciences could attain his goals. He believed his nation and lived for what he believed. This is the main philosophy of the April 23rd festival. As can be seen, the educated children and youth have made great contributions to the creation of modern Turkey. Present day Turkey has evolved over the years and has attained a level of a modern state.

    As UNESCO proclaimed 1979 as the International Year of the Child, director of children's programs of TRT Ankara Television Tekin Ozertem and his assistant Canan Arisoy, developed a project aimed at embracing all the children in the world. Upon approval of the project by top executives of the TRT Corporation, preparation for the organization commenced. Thus, the first celebration of TRT International April 23rd Children's Festival took place on April 23rd, 1979 in Turkey, with participation of five countries, namely Russia, Iraq, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria. Today, TRT International April 23rd Children's Festival is celebrated every year with participation of approximately fifty countries. From 1979 to 2000, celebrations were performed in the capital city of Ankara. In the following years, celebration took place in Turkey's various major cities such as Izmir, Istanbul and Antalya. Nane Annan, wife of the former U.N. Secretary, General Kofi Annan, became the honorary guest of celebration on April 23rd, 2000. In her speech at the gala, Mrs. Annan expressed her pleasure at participating in the celebration and passed greeting form her spouse Kofi Annan. Mrs. Annan also called on the entire world to say "Yes" to the aspiration of children.

   After her speech, "the common declaration of the children from forty countries", which was approved by the children at the International Children's Congress on April 18th, and was read in English and Turkish. The declaration was presented to Mrs. Annan to hand it over to Kofi Annan. Children aged between eight and fourteen attend the festival. The program covers from April 16th to the 26th. The invited groups are made up of nearly twenty children and six executive leaders. By April 15th, guests arrive in the city where the celebrations will take place. TRT appoints a guide for each groups and the guide enable coordination with group leaders. Through primary schools in the festival city, each group is entertained by families of their

   Turkish peers in a warm and affectionate gathering. In this way, children of the world recount positive traits of the Turkish nation to their own families and friends when they return to their home countries. This makes the Turkish people gratified. Festival Week begins with a Parade. During the parade, guests wear their traditional outfits, perform their traditional music and dance on the largest street in the city. In the days following, guest countries perform shows in large parts and embrace in the culture of the Turkish people. Festival week continues with the children's visit to the mausoleum of Ataturk, the leader who gifted this festival to the Turkish children. Then, the children are welcomed by the President of the Turkish Republic, the President of the Turkish Naitonal Grand Assembly, and the Director General of TRT.

    On the day before the festival, all the children gather to rehearse. When the big day comes, the gala of the festival takes place. In the gals, which lasts nearly four hours and it broadcat live, all the groups wear their national constume's and present three minute performances, accompanied with their traditional music.
    The gala continues with the children convey the greeting that they have brought from their home countries, and ends with a hand in hand dance of all the flowers of th world, in the name of peace and friendship. Through picnics and excursions on the 24th and 25th. On the last day of the festival, the children sense that it's coming to an end, some burst into tears, knowing that they have to leave behind new friendships they have made with their Turkish bothers and sisters.


   We’ve all had a rotten mood. For many people, eating food (such as junk food) can make their health worse; which only worsens their mood.
   But what if there was food that was healthy, and could also act as a natural anti-depressant? There are foods that meet those qualifications! Here are the 10 best foods, that will make you happy, and keep you healthy:

10. Swiss Chard

   This little-used vegetable contains a lot of magnesium. Magnesium is a nutrient that is a vital part of the biochemical reactions that increase energy levels in the human body. A study in 2009 in the “Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry” discovered that lower magnesium levels were associated with higher depression scores.

9. Blue Potatoes

   Blue Potatoes aren’t exactly a commonplace produce to find in a grocery store. However, they have powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins; anthocyanins provide neuro-protective qualities, like reducing the brain inflammation that is commonly associated with depression, and boosting short-term memory. Your thyroid gland is maintained, as well, by the iodine found in the peel.

8. Mussels

   Mussels have moderate to high amounts of Vitamin B12, Selenium, Iodine, protein, and Zinc, while being low in calories and fat. The Iodine helps to, as previously mentioned, support the thyroid gland, which helps to regulate mood and weight; the Selenium and Zinc help the thyroid gland, as well. The Vitamin B12 helps to strengthen and insulate a person’s brain cells, which keeps the brain sharp over time.
Note: Be sure to eat farmed mussels rather than wild mussels, as this will not only benefit your health, but the health of the environment as well.

7. Dark Chocolate

   Yes, you read that correctly. Dark chocolate has benefits that milk and German chocolate do not have. Dark chocolate improves the blood-flow to the brain, and provides an instant boost in concentration and mood. This will help you to feel more energetic and vibrant. However, don’t go overboard: The “Journal of Psychopharmacology” says that all you need is a few ounces of dark chocolate each day to reap the benefits.

6. Greek Yogurt

   Calcium – which Greek yogurt has large amounts of (more than milk) – helps a person’s brain by causing it to release happiness-inducing neurotransmitters. Greek yogurt also has more protein than regular yogurt, which makes weight-loss easier.

5. Asparagus

   Asparagus has high levels of folate and tryptophan. Low levels of folate have been linked to depression in half of all cases of depression, according to recent research. Tryptophan is also used by the brain to make serotonin, which is one of the human brain’s main mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters. Note: Turkey is also a great source of tryptophan. While it has been known to make people sleepy during Thanksgiving, the tryptophan requires calories in order to activate its sedative-like effects.

4. Honey

   In regards to health, honey is far better than regular sugar. Honey contains kaempferol and quercetin, which helps to prevent depression (and keep your brain healthy) by reducing inflammation in the brain. It also won’t send your body into “fat-storage” mode, like regular sugar can, by having less of an impact on blood-sugar levels.

3. Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes  62416 Zoom

   All tomatoes have a substance known as lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that fights inflammation in the brain and generally protects the brain. For best results, eat them with olive oil; olive oil helps to increase the absorption of lycopene.

2. Eggs

   Eggs contain moderate-to-large amounts of Zinc, Vitamin B, Iodine, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and protein. Not only can eggs keep you energized, they can also keep you full (stomach-wise) for longer! A 2008 study in the “International Journal of Obesity” found that people who had eggs for breakfast lost considerably more weight, compared to those who ate bagels for breakfast.

1. Coconuts

   Despite the fact that coconuts are most commonly found in unhealthy desserts, coconuts do contain medium-chain triglycerides. Medium-chain triglycerides are special fats that fuel better moods and promote general brain-health. Note: Coconut milk, on the other hand, is actually pretty unhealthy. Stick with unsweetened coconut shavings.