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July 13

Sky driving is real

Tired of tedious long-distance drives on backed up highways? It seems that soon you’ll be able to pack your family in your car, drive it to a runway nearby, spread its wings and take off high into the sky, says the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. AMAC reports that “sky driving” is no longer a futuristic pipe dream; it’s a reality that a number of automobile manufacturers have on their drawing boards. A Slovakian company, Klein Vision Ltd, recently proved the viability of flying cars when its AirCar Prototype 1 made the first city to city flying car flight between two cities in in the Slovak Republic in 35 minutes. The AirCar is a sports car on land that easily converts into an aircraft powered by a 160 horsepower BMW engine that turns back into an automobile after it lands. It’s no one-off; at least four major car makers, including Volkswagen, Porsche, Daimler and Toyota, may soon be test flying their versions of flying cars.

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National French Fries Day

Some enjoy French fries with ketchup, others with mayonnaise. But have you tried them with grape jelly? How about sprinkle them with pepper or steak seasoning instead of salt? However you enjoy them, have some today to celebrate National French Fries Day.

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Consider Mediterranean fare for healthy living

The start of the new year often begins with resolutions made to fix bad habits and/or adopt new, healthier ones. Resolutions designed around healthy eating are popular.

The Mediterranean Diet has long been touted as an informed and balanced way of eating. While not a diet, it is an approach to eating that includes foods indigenous to the Mediterranean region. It is marked by large portions of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, as well as fish and other seafood. Poultry, eggs and cheeses are enjoyed in moderation, and fattier meats and sweet are allowed but should be limited. The guidelines also include plenty of water and a moderate amount of wine.

A transition to the Mediterranean diet doesn’t need to involve drastic changes. In fact, one can start slowly with a tasty side dish or appetizer. This recipe for “Dolmades” from “The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook” (Rockridge Press) by the editors of Rockridge University Press is a popular dish in Greece.

 

Dolmades

Makes 20

 

1          tablespoon olive oil

3          shallots, chopped

2          cloves garlic, minced

3⁄4       cup short-grain rice

1⁄4       cup gold raisins

1⁄4       cup pine nuts, toasted

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2⁄3       cup water

4          green onions, chopped

1          small bunch mint leaves, finely chopped

1          small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped

20        preserved grape leaves

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the rice, golden raisins, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Add 2⁄3 cup water, bring to a boil, and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow rice to cool. Add the green onions and herbs to the rice filling and mix well.

Rinse the grape leaves in water and stuff each leaf with about 1 tablespoon of the filling. Roll tightly and place each in a steamer, seam side down. Steam for about 10 minutes, until leaves are tender. Serve warm.