Asthma – Identifying And Taming Triggers

Even before asthma is diagnosed, many people who have asthma can recognize triggers that set off their breathing problems. Certain triggers are obvious — being around animals, exercising, or coming down with a cold or virus. It makes sense that things that stimulate inflammation, such as allergies, can make asthma symptoms worse.

Identifying Your Triggers

Finding some triggers may take a bit of detective work. If you don’t know what triggers your asthma, think about your past few asthma attacks:

  • What were you doing at the time of a flare-up? Did you just finish vacuuming or raking leaves? Were you over at a friend’s house?
  • Are your breathing problems worse indoors or outdoors? During the day or at night? At home or at work? In damp, moldy rooms, such as basements?
  • Did you move into a new home or start a new job?
  • Have you recently started taking a new drug?
  • Have you noticed your asthma is worse after eating any particular foods?
  • Do you have heartburn, allergies, or sinus problems?
  • Is your asthma a year-round problem? If not, what part of the year is best? What part is the worst?

Based on your answer to these questions, your doctor may be able to help you identify your most problematic asthma triggers. If these questions don’t clarify what might be triggering your asthma and you are having trouble tracking down your triggers, try recording in a notebook or diary how your breathing feels throughout the day. Note where you go and what you do. You and your health-care provider may be able to see some patterns that point to your triggers.

Once you’ve identified the things that might be triggering your asthma, it’s time to launch a three-pronged defense:

  • Remove your triggers.
  • Avoid coming in contact with them.
  • Pretreat yourself if you think you’ll be exposed to a trigger.

Removing Your Triggers

Triggers can be anything from house dust (and the proteins that are shed by the tiny dust mites that live in it) to a variety of foods or drugs. Here are a few ways to remove some common asthma triggers from your home:

  • Clean out areas in the home where mold and dust can collect. (Ideally, have someone without asthma or allergies do this.) Vacuum rugs and carpets at least once or twice a week. Dust and clean other things that collect dust, such as Venetian blinds, draperies, or cloth-covered furniture.
  • Use special covers for your mattress and pillows that can protect you from exposure to dust mites. Change sheets and pillowcases at least once a week and wash them in water hotter than 130Ί F.
  • Keep pets outside. Better yet, don’t have pets that trigger your asthma.
  • Keep stuffed animals out of the bedroom or wash them weekly in hot water to kill dust mites.
  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Start a campaign to eliminate cockroaches at home. Never leave food out. Buy traps or poison baits if you have a serious problem.
  • Clean moldy areas with solutions containing bleach.

Before taking expensive steps that are advertised to help asthma, talk with your health care professional about what might help you. Dehumidifiers or central air conditioning may help make the air less hospitable to mold. Vacuum cleaners are available with special filters that trap dust particles. These filters, also found in air purifiers, are called high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These investments are not necessary for every person who has asthma, but they may be recommended if your asthma can’t be controlled easily.

Avoiding Exposure To Your Triggers

Some triggers can’t be removed, such as materials that are built into your home itself or a partner who smokes. If your asthma has a trigger that you can’t eliminate, you need to try to avoid the trigger instead. Here are a few tips on taking evasive action:

Avoid cigarette smoke. This may be as simple as moving from one room to another or as difficult as helping a family member to quit. If someone in your home smokes, ask him or her to smoke outside or to smoke only in a particular room that you don’t need to go into.

Keep an eye on pollen counts and air pollution readings. If pollen or air pollution aggravates your asthma, stay inside — if you can — on days when these are bad. Also, keep the windows and doors closed during allergy season.

If you must go outside, don’t plan strenuous activities. Because pollen counts are usually highest in the morning and drop throughout the day, plan your outdoor activities for later in the day.

Reassign home tasks. If you have a seasonal allergy or an allergy to mold, let someone else mow the lawn or rake the leaves. If house dust stirs up your asthma, hand off the dusting and vacuuming jobs.

Change how you do certain activities. If exercise aggravates your asthma, try swimming instead of riding an exercise bike or running on a treadmill. The humid air around a pool is less likely to trigger airway tightening during exercise. Stretches that warm you up before exercise and help you cool down afterward may also help you avoid triggering asthma during exercise.

Avoid cold air. Keeping the air you breathe as warm and humid as possible by covering your nose and mouth with a scarf on cold or windy days can help prevent cold-induced asthma symptoms.

Get allergy shots. If year-round allergies to things such as mold or house dust trigger your asthma, allergy shots may help. Although you can take steps to reduce the levels of mold and dust inside your home, sometimes allergy shots are the only way to really get control of your symptoms.

Get a flu shot. Viral infections such as the common cold or influenza (the flu) often trigger asthma attacks. A flu shot can help you avoid this very unpleasant trigger. Find a way to remind yourself when it’s time to have your flu shot each year. For example:

  • Mark a date on your calendar for your flu shot.

  • Link the flu shot with an important date or ritual in late fall. (Most offices and hospitals start vaccinating in October or November and carry through until early March.)
  • Make your flu shot part of your pre-holiday planning in November.

If these simple measures don’t improve your asthma, a referral to an allergy specialist can help. A specialist can test you for allergies using blood samples and skin-prick testing. If these tests find specific allergies, allergy shots can help calm the immune system’s overboard response to these triggers and so may dramatically improve your asthma.

Pretreatment: Stopping Asthma Before It Starts

You don’t live in a bubble, so you can’t always avoid the things that trigger your asthma. Maybe you’re visiting friends who have cats or planning to ski for a few hours. If you can’t really avoid a known trigger, using one of your asthma drugs about 30 to 60 minutes beforehand can help prevent an attack. Your doctor will tell you which drug to take (usually albuterol or cromolyn) before exposing yourself to the trigger or exercising (if you have exercise-induced asthma). If the trigger is something you’re allergic to, such as pollen or cat hair, taking an antihistamine before coming in contact with the trigger also will help. Although pretreatment often can help you avoid breathing problems, make sure you know what to do next if you start having symptoms during your exposure, you also may take some acupuncture therapy, acupuncture is proven to help Asthma and allergies, reducing your symptoms and help when you have to go to trigger situations, visit AB Acupuncture to know more.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain with Herbs, Part I

Few headlines strip a magazine off store shelves faster than “New Arthritis Cure Found”. The phrase “Arthritis Cure Formula” on bottles containing herbal supplements provides similar selling power to the manufacturers of such products. Why is this so? What is it about arthritis that has so many who suffer from it grasping for whatever relief might be out there?

The reason, quite simply, is that arthritis hurts. And people, in general, don’t like pain. And arthritis pain is always present, affecting every aspect of its sufferers’ lives. And-contrary to some advertising claims-there is no cure, which leaves people always scrambling to find something new to help them feel better.

There. I’ve said it. The unfortunate truth. Arthritis, regardless of the type, is an incurable condition for which existing treatments are designed purely to alleviate the pain.

There are many types of arthritis which basically fall under one of three categories, 1) mechanical arthritis, in which there is a structural degeneration of one or more of the joint components such as bone or cartilage, 2) inflammatory arthritis, in which the body’s immune system attacks something in the joint tissues it doesn’t like and 3) arthritis as a result of both structural damage and inflammatory processes. I think it’s safe to say that many with arthritis, no matter what the type, suffer from pain caused by a combination of structural damage and inflammation. Sometimes the structural damage comes first and sometimes the other way around but eventually, you end up with both processes acting to cause arthritic pain.

The vast majority of medications for the treatment of arthritis deal with the inflammatory component. When the inflammation is reduced, the pain associated with it is lessened. The same is true with herbal remedies. In this and in the article which follows, we will learn about the commonly used herbal therapies for arthritis, explore how they work, and sift through the available research on their use.

First, I’d like to talk a bit about glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. They are both popularly used these days by many arthritis sufferers. Many people I know swear by their effectiveness and use them faithfully for arthritis relief. There is research that indicates they are effective. They are not herbs, though, but rather are glycosaminoglycans, chemical substances that are the precursors to healthy joint cartilage. Because they have no particular anti-inflammatory properties, there is no reason not to also use an herb or conventional medication along with them in order to help alleviate the inflammatory component of arthritic pain.

Speaking of herbs…

White willow bark was used for pain and fever relief for centuries by the Europeans and later by American colonists. It is literally extracted from the bark of a white willow tree and is also known as “natural aspirin”. There is a good reason for that nickname. Chemically, it is nearly identical to aspirin.

White willow bark contains salicin, a precursor chemical that, once ingested and absorbed, is transformed by the body into salicylic acid which has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. (Aspirin, by the way, is acetyl-salicylic acid. Not much of a difference, chemically speaking.) Because one ingests a precursor to the active ingredient and not the active ingredient itself, the onset of action for pain relief is slower than with, say, taking aspirin. The side effects can be expected to be similar to those with aspirin. Needless to say, it’s probably not a good idea to take white willow bark and aspirin together unless you want a very big stomachache.

The recommended dose of white willow bark is 1-3 grams of dried bark taken three times a day. The bark is steeped into a tea before consumption. This translates into a daily dose of salicin of between 60 and 120 milligrams (an average aspirin is 325 milligrams). Somehow this doesn’t seem to be enough medication to make any difference. In fact, one source I found revealed that one would have to drink a quart of tea made from superior grade white willow bark (containing 7% salicin) to consume the equivalent of two aspirins. Of course, herbalists can justifiably argue that there may be other constituents in white willow bark that work along with the salicin to impart anti-inflammatory pain relief to its users. I suspect this is the case. In any event, it might be worth looking into if you are interested in herbal relief for arthritis. As always, read labels carefully before purchasing any product.

If you’ve been enjoying the benefits of herbal tea and would like to expand your experience with eastern medicine, consider booking an acupuncture appointment with AB Acupuncture.

Acupuncture and Fertility

Outlined below is some of the evidence gleaned from recent studies in the area of fertility and acupuncture.

Acupuncture has become widely recognized as an effective treatment for fertility issues such as unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, polycystic ovary syndrome, male infertility, etc. Acupuncture can be used on its own or in conjunction with orthodox reproductive medicine (assisted reproduction – see IVF below). In one study acupuncture was shown to be as effective as fertility drugs at assisting pregnancy; [The numbers in square brackets refer to references below]. In other clinical trials comparing acupuncture to drug or hormonal treatments, acupuncture was shown to enhance pregnancy rates (when compared to controls) for example to 69% (vs. 40%), and 65% (vs. 45%), and ovulation rates by 87% (vs. 70%)and 60% (vs. 25%). One study demonstrated 95% pregnancy rates after 5 cycles using acupuncture.

Studies have also shown that there are fewer side effects and abortions with acupuncture, hormone levels, and follicular development is better [8-10] and endometrial thickness is improved.

Acupuncture has been shown to increase uterine and ovarian blood flow and to positively affect hormonal disturbances such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and anovulation.

The above studies suggest that acupuncture is a useful therapy for those wishing to get pregnant.

The Basis of Acupuncture

Acupuncture theory is based on the idea that our bodies can become imbalanced as a result of our physiology, environment, or emotions. These imbalances eventually lead to diseases such as infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, or other anovulatory conditions, not to mention conditions such as premenstrual syndrome and painful periods. By arriving at a diagnosis the acupuncturist can set about repairing the underlying imbalances that are causing the problem and therefore restore the individual back to health.


I usually recommend an initial series of between 4 and 6 weekly treatments in order to begin the process of rebalancing the body. After this, it would be typical to have two treatments per monthly cycle, one at approximately 10 days and one at 21 days until pregnancy is achieved.

Assisted IVF

The use of acupuncture with IVF has become routine in most units today, underlining the popularity of this approach. Recent studies have shown that using acupuncture in conjunction with IVF increases pregnancy rates to 41% compared to the more typical 26% without acupuncture. Acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow to the womb, relax the muscles of the womb to prevent cramping (and consequent expulsion of the embryo), and also reduce the general anxiety associated with the IVF procedure.

And After you become pregnant!

Acupuncture is a safe, effective, and drug-free way of treating illness during pregnancy. For example, it can help with pregnancy-induced morning sickness and back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Acupuncture can also turn breech babies with an 80% success rate thus avoiding the need for a cesarean section. If you’d like to try the treatment for yourself, visit AB Acupuncture here.

Recipes with cider that you should try

Apple spinach salad & crispy almonds:apple-spinach-salad-and-crispy-almonds

A perfect salad for the day when you want the meal to taste like you had hours to spend in the kitchen but you had only 20 minutes. It takes 4 to 5 minutes and it makes everyone ask, “What did you do to these almonds?” Spinach tossed with grilled chicken or pulled from a rotisserie chicken; it all comes together with dressing and almonds that are candied like a brittle.

Yield: 6-8 Servings

1/4 cup minced shallot or red onion

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Sugar, to taste

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup sliced almonds (about 3 ounces)

10 ounces baby spinach leaves, washed and dried

2 medium-size red-skinned apples quartered, cored, thinly sliced

2 cups shredded roasted chicken

Combine onion, cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, sesame seeds, and paprika in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar.

Melt butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add almonds. Stir until almonds begin to color, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar and a pinch of salt over. Stir until sugar melts and begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes longer.

Transfer almonds to plate to cool. Combine spinach, apples, and chicken in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Mix in almonds and serve.


Porch swing at the old sage:


Carolina Cider’s Cider

1 oz Bourbon

½ oz fresh lemon juice

1/2 oz fresh orange juice

1/2 oz maple syrup.


Combine all ingredients except cider in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass over ice. 


For more recipes like these ones, click here.


Pork Chops With Apples And Cider

There are some culinary combinations that cannot be improved upon, and apples and pork is surely one of them. This recipe calls for pan-frying boneless pork chops and serving them with butter-browned apples and a Normandy-style sauce made with cider and cream. It makes for a perfect cold-weather meal.

Serve with Tieton Dry, Sparkling Perry or Yakima Valley Dry Hopped Cider

Yields: 4 to 6 servings

For the Spiced Salt

¼teaspoon black peppercorns


4 allspice berries

2 tablespoons roughly chopped sage

1 and 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

For the Pork and Sauce

6 boneless pork chops, 4 ounces each, about 1/2-inch thick

2 large apples

2 tablespoons butter

All-purpose flour, for dusting

½cup hard cider, plus 2 tablespoons

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 teaspoons potato starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

3 tablespoons crème fraîche

1 tablespoon Calvados, apple brandy or Cognac, optional

2 tablespoons finely cut chives

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Make the spice salt: Put peppercorns, cloves, allspice and sage in a spice mill or mortar and grind to a powder. Remove to a bowl and stir in salt. Season pork chops on both sides with salt mixture. (There will be some salt mixture remaining; use it to season the sauce, Step 4.) Cover and leave chops at room temperature to absorb seasonings for at least 30 minutes.

Peel, quarter and core apples, then cut each apple into 12 wedges. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a wide skillet and raise heat to medium-high. Add apple wedges in one layer and brown gently on one side, about 2 minutes. Brown on the other side and cook for 2 minutes more, or until apples are cooked through but still firm. Remove apples from pan and keep warm.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan and swirl to melt. Dust pork chops with flour, and place in pan and brown gently for about 4 minutes per side. Adjust heat if necessary to keep pork from cooking too quickly. Remove chops and keep warm on a platter in a low oven. Discard remaining butter.

Add ½ cup cider to pan, raise heat to high and cook down to a syrup. Add mustard and chicken broth, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add potato starch and stir with a wire whisk as the sauce thickens. Stir in crème fraîche. Season to taste with remaining spiced salt. Add 2 tablespoons cider and the Calvados, if using. Cook for 1 minute more.

Spoon sauce over the chops, then spoon the apples around the platter. Sprinkle with chives and parsley.

Interested in more recipes? Be sure to check out the recipes suggested by the Carolina Cider Company.


Best pizza toppings from the Mediterranean

We just got back from traveling in the South of France, and as you’d expect, the food was fantastic. One of the most enjoyable parts of our trip was visiting the fantastic food markets. Each town has its own market day, and some have a market every day but Sunday. The Saturday market in the town of Arles is one of the best in the area. And there’s a permanent market in Antibes that’s open every day but Sunday.

The restaurants here serve lots of fresh seafood and other ingredients that you find in the market — vegetables, herbs, and olives. Because the South of France is so close to Italy, there’s also lots of pasta, dishes with tomatoes, and pizza.

There’s a pizza restaurant in just about every small town, and many of them having wood-burning ovens. They don’t make traditional Neapolitan pizza here — the crust is thicker and there are more pizza toppings. But they do create a delicious pie.

We were a little surprised by the pizza toppings, which don’t vary a lot. Nowhere did we see pepperoni, Italian sausage, or the usual pizza meats. Here, as in Spain, it’s all about the ham. Jambon cru, which is like prosciutto, is the most popular choice. Some places, you’ll see specific types of ham, such as Serrano or Iberico ham from Spain.

Seafood, especially anchovies, are also popular toppings. But you’ll also see tuna and calamari.

Most places offer both white and red pizzas. White is sauced with crème Fraiche, which is absolutely delicious. The white pizzas are best with vegetables like caramelized onion and mushroom.

The French are known for their fabulous cheeses, and here’s where they make their mark. Unlike in American and Italy, mozzarella isn’t the star of the show when it comes to pizza cheeses. Emmental, which is similar to Swiss cheese, and is made in Switzerland, is very popular. Chevre, or goat cheese, is also used a lot, and it’s frequently combined with arugula.

Gruyere, Fontina, Reblochon, Comte, and Roquefort all makes delicious pizzas.

Many of the pizzas we had has a black olive in the center, and virtually all of them had a drizzle of excellent local olive oil. This really brought all the flavors together and improved the overall taste. A carafe of olive oil with chili peppers is served with your pizza. It’s pretty spicy and adds a nice zing.

We found an artisanal olive oil at our local farmers market and we’ve started drizzling it over our pizzas. It wasn’t inexpensive, but it was well worth the money.

The best pizza we had in the South of France was at La Cantina in Saint-Remy-en-Provence. The town itself is quite charming, one of the cutest in the region. And the restaurant was surprisingly quite modern. But the pizzas there were some of the best we’ve ever has, anywhere.

If you’re around Boyne City or Howards City, be sure to check out BC Pizza for delicious pizza and pastries.

Apple and Blueberry Cider Recipe

Apple and blueberry cider is a delicious diversion from a more mainstream cider recipe that will slake any thirst and delight the drinkers palate with its unique flavour. Sweetening is optional though I do recommend it as it enhances the berry flavour of the cider.



  • 4 litres (One Gallon) Apple Juice
  • 100-200 grams (3 1/2 – 7 ounces) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • One Red Apple Variety (eg Delicious), cored, peeled and diced
  • One Campden Tablet OR 1/10 level teaspoon Sodium Metabisulfite
  • 80g (3oz) Lactose OR 2g (1 teaspoon) wine sweeter (optional)
  • Cider Yeast



Sterilise your cider making equipment and anything that will come into contact with the cider or its ingredients. Rinse them thoroughly and allow them to drain. The plastic bag used for pulping the berries should not need to be sterilised.


Place the blueberries into a clean plastic bag such as a freezer bag, if the bag is thin perhaps consider using two or three, wrapping one with the other. Pulp the blueberries with a meat tenderiser or rolling pin, be gentle as not a great deal of force is required and the objective is to open the berries up not completely decimate them.


Wash, peel and dice the apple into 1/4 inch cubes. Add the apple juice to the sterile fermenter. If you elect to sweeten this cider and have chosen to add lactose mix it with a small amount of water and add it to the fermenter as well. Add the blueberry pulp.


If you have used fresh blueberries it would be wise to treat the cider with a crushed campden tablet or 1/10 teaspoon of sodium metabisulfite and allow it to stand for over 24 hours before pitching the yeast. If you have used frozen blueberries you can take a chance and not treat the cider but bear in mind the apple may have had wild yeasts on its skin that may have made its way into the fermenter on the apples flesh. Take a risk if you dare. If you are using freshly made juice that is not pasteurised or sterilized you should treat it with one campden tablet per gallon (4 litres) of juice.


Pitch the yeast and seal the fermenter making sure you add the correct amount of boiled water to the airlock. The airlock should start to bubble within about two days indicating that fermentation is taking place. The cider will need to ferment for around 2-3 weeks or possibly longer in colder weather. Once fermentation is complete the airlock will bubble far more slowly, perhaps once a minute or so and at this point you should rack the cider, transferring it into another sterile fermenter or vessel using a siphon, taking great care not to disturb the sediment on the bottom of the original fermenter. If you have elected to use an artificial sweetener it should be added at the first racking. Continue to rack the cider at two week intervals (or longer) until you are satisfied with the level of sediment suspended in the cider. Generally the cider will become clear after two or three rankings.


Bottle the cider in clean and sterile bottles. If a carbonate cider is desired prime the bottles by adding one teaspoon of sugar per 750ml (1.5 pints) of cider before sealing the bottle.


Store the cider in a dark place such as a cupboard at room temperature for at least three months before sampling. Generally ciders do not taste their best for at least 6 months and sometimes longer.




For an even greater blueberry taste consider using 25 percent blueberry juice instead of straight apple juice.


If you are using freshly made juice that is not pasteurised or sterilized you should treat it with one campden tablet per gallon (4 litres) of juice and allow it to stand for at least 24 hours prior to pitching the yeast regardless of what the recipe states.


Follow the instructions of renowned cider companies, like Carolina Cider from South Carolina, to add a professional touch to your recipe.

Pizza Universal Food

Tips for making Pizza at home

In earlier days, Pizza certainly was one that was most accepted. It continues to be one of the best-loved foods because of its mouth watery taste. In every country of the world, you can easily find restaurants that serve pizza. Pizza has adapted to most societies and is available in varying flavors around the globe, from Italy reaching distant places like Gujarat’s Pizza on the Rock and Boyne City’s BC Pizza. Nowadays, Pizza has become an international trend. And rightly this has happened because whatever region you live in, pizza has made its presence there. When some school children were asked where pizza originated, they presumed that it came from the place where they lived.

History of Pizza

In Southern Italy, around 997AD, the word pizza was first documented. It seems that the word pizza came from the word “pitta”, which is Middle Eastern usage for flatbread. It was frequently made in Naples and included tomato sauce, different fishes and also the bread which was made in Naples on a regular basis. However, it was in 1889, when a Naples chef cooked pizza for the Queen of Margherita (which got named as “Margherita pizza“) that most people started accepting pizzas. This pizza contained tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil and its color portrayed the hues of the flag of Italy. Previously, pizza was considered peasant food. But when Queen Margherita tried it, many other food lovers followed suit. It became a great tourist draw. Because of this, Pizza became more popular in Naples and many sellers sold it. In this way, Pizza became the national food of Italy.

 In the United States today, there are around 6,000 restaurants of Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut has made its mark in most nations in the world. Pizza Hut also has 5,600 plus store locations in 94 other states and nations. It is not just Pizza Hut, there are other Pizzerias as well that have made this food popular the world over, like BC Pizza which is present in 32 locations in the US. Dominos also claims to have 15,000 restaurants all over the world.

It’s not tough to make your own pizza, especially when you have a mixer grinder. With very little effort, you can make your own pizza crust using the mixer. It does all the effort for you!  If the mixer has an attachment of pasta roller then you can roll your pizza dough to make a thin crust. It is not an expensive affair.

In the ’50s and ’60s Pizzerias became very famous, so just to have pizza cars would queue up for miles.Chains of Pizzerias were born with increasing popularity and  globalization.

In the late 19th century, Italian immigrants started migrating to the US. This way pizza got entry into the United States . It became famous in cities like New York and Chicago, where the Italian immigrants’ population was very large. In the 1940s pizza got the biggest growth and became popular in the US when soldiers were coming back from World War II.They  took their appreciation for pizza with them.Troops located in Italy were not happy with the rations and were looking for nice food. When the soldiers’ demand grew, the local bakers could barely cope with the demand for pizza.


The best dessert is pizza

Pizzas are traditionally associated with savory dishes, and thinking of a dessert pizza is rather unusual for some people. Yet there is an abundance of dessert pizza recipes, and the variety of toppings is amazing. People who have a sweet tooth will definitely be spoiled for choice with desserts of the pizza type offered on a regular basis. There is a long list of delectable names of dessert pizzas: banana split and pineapple brownie pizza; pizza with grilled fruit and cream cheese; pizza with ricotta, plums, apricots and peanuts; layered pizza with pears, apricot preserves, granola and ricotta; pizza with blackberries; pizza with chocolate and nuts … The list can be continued with scores of other recipes making lavish use of fruits, chocolate, cream, ricotta over the tender cookie crust of dessert pizzas. Besides apples, pears, blackberries and plums, pineapples, kiwis and peaches are frequently featured in dessert pizza toppings.


Kids especially love desserts. They will be fascinated with the idea of making a difference to their idea of dessert by offering them dessert pizzas that have all their beloved sweet fruits on top of a delectable cookie crust. Chocolate chips, chocolate spread, peanut butter, marshmallows – these all have ample area for doing miracles on dessert pizza crust. Adults are bound to be equally impressed by dessert pizzas featuring heaps of fruits in colorful arrangements, together with fat free cream cheese – the healthy impact of such dessert pizzas is indubitable.




COOKING TIME: 15 minutes



  • Refrigerated sugar dough for cookies – 18 ounces
  • Frozen whipped topping, left to thaw – 8 ounces
  • Sliced banana – half a cup
  • Sliced strawberries – half a cup
  • Crushed and drained pineapple – half a cup
  • Seedless grapes, halved – half a cup



  1. Prepare your Californo pizza oven.
  2. Use the cookie dough to spread it evenly in a pizza pan. A cake pan can be used as an alternative. The dough should be spread thinly to achieve the perfect crust for the dessert pizza. Bake the pizza crust in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until it becomes golden brown. Leave on a wire rack to allow the crust to cool.
  3. Spread the thawed whipped topping on the cooled crust. For extra deliciousness and healthier impact use fat free cream cheese.
  4. Use the fruits to arrange over the crust in the decorative pattern of your preference. Any other fruits can be added if you have them ready at home and you know they are favorites with your family.
  5. Refrigerate the ready dessert pizza until it is ready to serve.
  6. When you serve the pizza, be ready to see delight in the eyes of both kids and adults, as well as anticipation of a unique dessert to enjoy and remember.


For the perfect home made dessert pizza, enthusiasts can search for recipes to prepare their own dough, adding flavors according to taste to enhance the delectability of their unique dessert.

A Translation of the Most Common Italian Ingredients

Italian cooking isn’t hard. It’s actually rather fresh and simple. But if you don’t speak fluent Italian, it can be rather hard to read some of the best recipes. Occasionally you will be asked for an ingredient that you may know under a different name. 


So in this post, we listed the most common Italian cooking ingredients with their English translations. We also add descriptions of the ingredient. In some cases, we even list where the ingredients are from.




  • Acciuga, Acciuughe or also Alice: Anchovies. These are also generally purchased under either oil or salt. 
  • Aceto: Vinegar. 
  • Aceto Balsamico: Balsamic vinegar. This is vinegar aged for many years (at least 10). These are also made in a similar way to a solero sherry. First, they start off in one barrel. Then they end up, after 6 changes, in a rather small barrel once evaporation has taken place. 
  • Aglio: Garlic. 
  • Alloro, also known as Lauro: Laurel or Bay leaf. 
  • Amaretti: Small almond flavoured biscuits. 
  • Anise: This is aniseed.



  • Baccala: Salted Cod. This is sometimes also known as stoccafisso (stockfish). 
  • Bigné: Choux pastry puffs. These are also often called profiteroles. 
  • Bocconcini: Bocconcini. This word means ‘small mouthful’. It is also used as the name for small balls of mozzarella.
  • Bottarga: Dried Mullet roe. 
  • Brodo: Stock. These can be made of meat, fish or even vegetables, for example.



  • Cacciatori: A small salami. They can be normal or spicy, for example. 
  • Cappasanta: Scallops. 
  • Capretto: Small goat. 
  • Carciofo: Artichokes. 
  • Castagna: Chestnuts. 
  • Cavalo: Cabbage. 
  • Ceci: Chickpeas. 
  • Cime di Rapa: Turnip Tops. 
  • Cinghiale: Wild Boar. 
  • Concentrato di Pomodoro: Tomato paste.
  • Coniglio: Rabbit. This is a popular dish in Italy. It is normally roasted or used in a stew, for example. 
  • Cotecchino: A large pork sausage that is boiled. 
  • Crema: Custard and even types of crème patissiere. 
  • Crespelle: Thin pancakes. 
  • Croccante: Crunchy. 
  • Crostata: Tart. This also often comes with a lattice top. These are also made with a jam filling.



  • Dolce: Dessert. This word also means “sweet”. 
  • Dolcelatte: A mild type of Gorgonzola.



  • Erbe: Herbs.




  • Fagioli: Beans. These are also a staple of many Italian meals. 
  • Farina: Flour. In Italian recipes, ‘00’ flour is normally used. 
  • Farro: Spelt. This is also an ancient grain. 
  • Fava: Broad beans. 
  • Fegato: Liver. 
  • Finocchio: Fennel. 
  • Fior di Latte: Cow’s Milk Mozzarella. 
  • Fiore di Zucca: Zucchini Flowers. 
  • Foccacia: A type of flat bread. This can be sweet or even savoury. 
  • Fontina: Cheese. 
  • Formaggio: The word used for cheese. 
  • Fragola: Strawberry. 
  • Frico: Wafer-thin cheese fritters from Friuli. 
  • Frittole or frittelle: Also means fritters. 
  • Frittata: Italian omelette. 
  • Fritto Misto: A mixed selection of fried morsels of food. 
  • Frutti di Mare: Seafood. 
  • Funghi: Mushrooms. This can refer to the wild or also the cultivated varieties. 
  • Funghi Secchi: Dried wild mushrooms.



  • Gambero: Prawn. 
  • Gelatina: Gelatine. 
  • Gelato: Ice cream or sorbet. 
  • Gianduia: A rich chocolate or chocolate cake. 
  • Gnocchi: Dumplings. These can be made from potato or pumpkin and flour, for example. 
  • Gorgonzola: A creamy blue vein cheese. It can be sharp or also sweet. 
  • Grana Padano: A type of cheese. It is also similar to Parmigiano Reggiano but from another area of Italy.
  • Grasso: Fat. 
  • Grissini: Bread sticks. 
  • Guanciale: Pigs cheeks. This is a gelatinous meat.



  • Insalata: Salad. 
  • Integrale: Whole wheat. This can refer to either bread or pasta, for example. 
  • Involtini: Small parcels of meat or fish.



  • Lampone: Raspberries. 
  • Lardo: Pork fat. 
  • Latte: Milk. 
  • Lattuga: Lettuce. 
  • Legumi: Pulses and beans. 
  • Lenticchia: Lentils. 
  • Lepre: Hare. This meat has a strong gamey flavour. 
  • Lievito: Yeast. 
  • Limone: Lemon. 
  • Lumaca: Snails.



  • Macedonia: Fruit salad. It can be made of either fresh or dried fruits, for example. 
  • Maiale: Pork. 
  • Manzo: A name used for young beef. 
  • Marmelatta: Marmalade. This is a type of fruit preserve. 
  • Mascarpone: A creamy cheese. It is usually used in desserts. 
  • Mela: Apple. 
  • Melanzana: Eggplant, also known as aubergine. 
  • Melone: The collective word for melons. 
  • Miele: The collective word for honey. 
  • Minestra: Soup. This normally consists of a broth. 
  • Minestrone: Vegetable soup. 
  • Mollica: Breadcrumbs. 
  • Montasio: A type of cheese from Friuli. 
  • Mortadella: A type of sausage (cold meat). 
  • Mostarda: Preserves served with savoury food such as boiled meats. 
  • Mozzarella: This is a creamy white cheese made from Buffalo milk.



  • Nero di Seppia: The ink from a cuttlefish. 
  • Nocciola: Hazelnut. These are used in gianduia. They are also used in Nocciola, which is an alcoholic beverage.
  • Noce: Walnut. 
  • Noce moscato: Nutmeg.



  • Olio d’oliva: Olive oil. 
  • Orzo: Barley. This is used in baking. It is also used as a type of imitation coffee.
  • Ossobuco: A dish of veal shanks. These come complete with bone marrow. 
  • Ostrica: Oysters. 
  • Oliva: Olive.



  • Pancetta: Cured pork. 
  • Pandoro: A cakey bread. It is also a traditional Christmas treat.
  • Pane: Bread
  • Panettone: A traditional Christmas cake. It is also originally from Milan. 
  • Panna: Cream. 
  • Panna Cotta: A sweet dessert. It is made from cooked cream and gelatin. 
  • Panzanella: A rustic bread salad. 
  • Panzarotti: This is a small half-moon shaped savoury pastry. 
  • Parmigiano Reggiano: This is probably Italy’s most famous cheese. 
  • Passata: Puréed tomatoes. 
  • Pasta: This word means dough. It is best known as a collective noun for products made from flour and egg or water. For example, spaghetti, fettucini, etc. 
  • Pecorino: Sheep’s cheese from central and southern Italy. The word pecora means sheep. 
  • Pepperoncino: Chilli. 
  • Pesto: A sauce made from basil leaves, pine nuts and parmigiano. 
  • Piadina: This is a delicious bread made from pork fat. It is also round like pizza.
  • Pinoli: Pine nuts. 
  • Piselli: Peas. 
  • Pissaladiera: A thick pizza. It also originates from the north of Italy. 
  • Pizza: A bread-like circle, usually topped with tomato and cheese
  • Pizzaiola: A topping for meat using various pizza ingredients. These can include tomatoes and vegetables. 
  • Pizzocheri: A long thick pasta. It uses buckwheat as a main ingredient. 
  • Polenta: Cornmeal. 
  • Pollo: Chicken. 
  • Polpette: Meatballs. 
  • Polpo: Octopus. 
  • Pomodoro: Tomato. 
  • Porchetta: This is a small, stuffed and roasted pig. 
  • Porro: Leek. 
  • Prezzemolo: Parsley. 
  • Prosciutto Cotto: Ham. 
  • Provolone: A type of cheese. 
  • Puntarelle: A variety of chicory.



  • Quaglia: Quail.



  • Radichio: This is a red variety of chicory. 
  • Ragu: A rich sauce used for pasta. 
  • Rana: Frog. 
  • Rapa: Turnips. 
  • Ricotta: A soft fresh cheese. 
  • Riso: Rice. 
  • Risotto: A dish of creamy boiled rice.
  • Rosmarino: Rosemary. 
  • Rucola (arugula): Rocket.



  • Salumi: This is salami. 
  • Sale: This is salt. 
  • Salsa: This refers to sauce. 
  • Salsa Verde: This is a green sauce. It is usually made from herbs. 
  • Salsiccia: These are sausages. 
  • Saltimbocca: This is a veal dish. It is usually made with prosciutto and sage. 
  • Salvia: This refers to sage. 
  • Sarda: These are sardines.
  • Scallopina: This is a thin slice of meat. This is usually veal, pork or turkey, for example. 
  • Scamorza: This is like a smoked version of mozzarella. 
  • Sedano: This is celery. 
  • Semifreddo: This is a soft ice cream. 
  • Seppia: This is cuttlefish. 
  • Sformato: This is a savoury pudding or mold. 
  • Sopressa and Soppressata: These are types of salami, also from Central Italy. 
  • Spiedini: These are skewers of food. 
  • Spinaci: This is spinach. 
  • Stoccafisso: This refers to dried cod.
  • Sugo: This is a fruit juice. 
  • Suppli: These are rice croquettes from Rome.



  • Tacchino: This is turkey. 
  • Tagliata: This refers to sliced beef. 
  • Taleggio: This is a soft white rind cheese. 
  • Taralli: These are savoury biscuits. 
  • Tartufo: These are truffles. 
  • Tiella: This is a baked dish containing onions, potatoes, garlic and olive oil. Other ingredients are then added to this dish, such as fish, pork, zucchini, for example. 
  • Timballo: This is a baked mold. It uses pasta or rice. 
  • Timo: This is Thyme. 
  • Tiramisu: This is a coffee-flavoured dessert. Its ingredients consist of cake, coffee and mascarpone. 
  • Tonno: This is tuna. 
  • Torrone: This is nougat. 
  • Torta: This refers to a cake or pie. 
  • Trippa: This is tripe. 
  • Tuorlo d’Uovo: This refers to the egg yolk.



  • Uova: This means egg. 
  • Uva: This means grape.



  • Verdura: These are vegetables. 
  • Vincotto: This is a cooked wine. 
  • Vitello: This is veal. 
  • Vitello Tonnato: This is veal, but with a tuna sauce. 
  • Vongole: These are clams.



  • Zabaglione: A dessert or sauce. Its ingredients are Marsala wine and eggs, cooked over a bain marie. 
  • Zafferano: This is the word for saffron. 
  • Zampone: Stuffed pigs’ trotter. 
  • Zeppole: These are fritters. 
  • Zucca: This is pumpkin.
  • Zuppa: A thick and rich soup.
  • Zuppa Inglese: An Italian version of an English Trifle.


Now you finally know the English translations for some of the most common Italian cooking ingredients. So you can make those authentic Italian recipes with ease! Finally, you can say buon apetito!