Since bourbon is from the south, it understandably pairs well with most southern dishes—especially dishes that feature fattier meats, like bacon, ham, etc.  It’s important to remember that when pairing foods with bourbon, you don’t want one to overpower the other.  Based on this principle, nuts pair well with bourbon, because they each have equally rich flavors.  Fruits pair well with bourbon, too.

 

The sugars in certain fruits can sometimes create flavor changes in the bourbon, making for an all-new drinking experience. Chocolate is also great to pair with your bourbon.  In general, anything with sweet, smoky, or slightly spicy flavors will most likely pair well with bourbon.  Once you find your favorite flavor profiles, you can get creative and start making your own innovative food pairings to go with this classic southern drink.

Red River single barrel

Our oldest and finest bourbon. Carefully selected from different parts of our racks and tasted to ensure perfection. This is bottled from one single barrel rather than blended from several as well as bottled at a higher proof for a more concentrated flavor. Irresistible to whiskey enthusiasts and coveted by collectors.

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Pillars of the Amarillo Community
CASA - Pillar of the Community

RAVONDA HARDCASTLE

ADVOCATE OF THE MONTH - MARCH

 

Currently in her fourth year as a Volunteer Advocate, Ravonda is more determined and dedicated than ever. For the past year, Ravonda has been working with a teen boy placed in a treatment center in Dallas. This exceptionally bright young man has autism, and attends school with teachers and courses designed to compliment his strengths and learning style.

 

Ravonda has never allowed distance or her kiddo's medical issues get in the way of her fierce advocacy. Now that he is nearing the age of 18, Ravonda is working harder than ever to locate the best adult placement facility to continue his care.

 

A retired educator, Ravonda is currently working three CASA cases, and loves the challenges and rewards they bring. She also attends continuing education seminars whenever possible, and it was at an Amarillo College Criminal Justice Program course that we were able to present her with this award.

 

 

Thank you, Ravonda, for everything you bring to CASA - we are certainly blessed by your time and talent!

STRANGE BUT TRUE HEALTH TIPS

 CRAZY HEALTH TRICKS THAT REALLY WORK

 

Many methods to improve your health are pretty straightforward: to lose weight, eat less and exercise more; to boost your energy, get more sleep; to prevent dehydration, drink more water. Others, however, are totally counterintuitive. The following 12 tips really do work - but they may leave you scratching your head.

 

1.DRINK COFFEE TO HAVE A BETTER NAP In a Japanese study that examined how to make the most of a nap, people who took a "coffee nap"—consuming about 200 milligrams of caffeine (the amount in one to two cups of coffee) and then immediately taking a 20-minute rest—felt more alert and performed better on computer tests than those who only took a nap.

Why does this work? A 20-minute nap ends just as the caffeine kicks in and clears the brain of a molecule called adenosine, maximizing alertness. "Adenosine is a byproduct of wakefulness and activity," says Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine. "As adenosine levels increase, we become more fatigued. Napping clears out the adenosine and, when combined with caffeine, an adenosine-blocker, further reduces its effects and amplifies the effects of the nap."

 

2. FOR HEALTHY TEETH, DON'T BRUSH AFTER EATING Don't brush your teeth immediately after meals and drinks, especially if they were acidic. Acidic foods—citrus fruits, sports drinks, tomatoes, soda (both diet and regular)—can soften tooth enamel "like wet sandstone," says Howard R. Gamble, immediate past president of the Academy of General Dentistry. Brushing your teeth at this stage can speed up acid's effect on your enamel and erode the layer underneath. Gamble suggests waiting 30 to 60 minutes before brushing.

 

3. TO WEAR A SMALLER SIZE, GAIN WEIGHT Muscle weight, that is. If two women both weigh 150 pounds and only one lifts weights, the lifter will more likely fit into a smaller pant size than her sedentary counterpart. Likewise, a 150-pound woman who lifts weights could very well wear the same size as a 140-pound woman who doesn't exercise. The reason: Although a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, muscle takes up less space, says Mark Nutting, fitness director of SACO Sport & Fitness in Saco, Maine. "You can get bigger muscles and get smaller overall if you lose the fat," he says. "The bulk so many women fear only occurs if you don't lose fat and develop muscle on top of it." Cut back on calories and add weight to your workout to lose inches.

 

4. TO EAT LES, EAT MORE Grabbing a 100-calorie snack pack of cookies or pretzels may seem virtuous, but it's more likely to make you hungrier than if you ate something more substantial, says Amy Goodson, RD, dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. "Eating small amounts of carbohydrates does nothing but spike your blood sugar and leave you wanting more carbs." Goodson recommends choosing a protein such as peanut butter or string cheese with an apple. "They are higher in calories per serving, but the protein and fat helps you get full faster and stay full longer—and you end up eating fewer calories overall," she says.

 

5. SKIP ENERGY DRINKS WHEN YOU'RE TIRED Energy drinks contain up to five times more caffeine than coffee, but the boost they provide is fleeting and comes with unpleasant side effects like nervousness, irritability, and rapid heartbeat, says Goodson. Plus, energy drinks often contain high levels of taurine, a central nervous system stimulant, and upwards of 50 grams of sugar per can (that's 13 teaspoons worth!). The sweet stuff spikes blood sugar temporarily, only to crash soon after, leaving you sluggish and foggyheaded—and reaching for another energy drink.

 

6. DRINK WATER WHEN YOU ARE BLOATED When you feel bloated, drinking water sounds as if it would only make matters worse, but it can often help, says James Lee, MD, gastroenterologist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. If you're on a high-fiber diet, for instance, then your body needs more water to work more efficiently, says Dr. Lee. "Water mixes with water soluble fiber and makes it into a gel like substance. This affects the motility of the gut and reduces the symptom of bloating." Drinking more water also relieves bloating caused by dehydration. When you're dehydrated, your body clings to the water your body does have, causing you to puff up.

 

7. DITCH DIET SODA TO LOSE WEIGHT You should ditch all soda, including diet. Research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that overweight and obese adults who drank diet beverages ate more calories from food than those who drank regular soda. Additionally, a University of Texas study found that diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater increase in waist circumference than non-drinkers over the course of about 10 years.

 

"In addition, many people think 'low-fat,' 'low-sugar,' or 'light' means fewer calories, but that's not always true," says Goodson. "Typically when manufacturers cut something out and the end result tastes just as good, they've added something like additional sugar."

 

8. DRINK A HOT BEVERAGE TO COOL OFF Which will cool you off faster on a steamy summer morning: iced coffee or hot? Two recent studies say the latter—and so do other cultures where drinking hot tea in hot weather is the norm, like in India. When you sip a hot beverage, your body senses the change in temperature and increases your sweat production. Then, as the sweat evaporates from your skin, you cool off naturally.

 

9. EXERCISE WHEN YOU ARE TIRED After a long, exhausting workday, exercising sounds like the last thing you'd want to do, but getting your sweat on will actually energize you. Fatigue along with mood and depression improved after a single 30-minute moderate intensity exercise session, according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. "Everything we do uses oxygen, so when you exercise it helps you work more efficiently and you don't tire as easily," says Nutting. "You also function better mentally."

 

10. HANDWRITE NOTES TO BOOST YOUR BRAINPOWER Typing notes enables you to jot down more material, but you're more likely to remember those notes if you handwrite them, according to research from Indiana University. "To learn something means you have processed it," says Dr. Towfigh. "And when you take handwritten notes you 'process' or learn more information. You begin the learning process as you listen to the lecture." Plus, since you look at the page on which you are writing, you naturally review the material and reinforce the information you've already processed, Dr. Towfigh says.

 

11. TO IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP, SPEND LESS TIME TOGETHER Jumping from one social event to another without any time to come up for air could sacrifice the quality of your relationships. Spending time alone allows you to process your thoughts rather than act impulsively and, as a result, you get to know yourself better, says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love. "Alone time enables you to be more in touch with yourself and can better give and receive," Lombardo says. "In addition, it reduces stress and anxiety, which could also contribute to relationship strains." Meditate, go for a walk, sit in a café and people watch, or even clean out your closet, she suggests.

 

12. DITCH ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP TO PREVENT ILLNESS Reaching for the soap bottle labeled "antibacterial" won't necessarily reduce your risk of getting sick or passing illness to others—in fact, there is no evidence that antibacterial soaps are more effective than regular ones. What's more, long-term exposure to some ingredients in these products, such as triclosan, may pose health risks like bacterial resistance or hormonal effects, according to a 2013 FDA statement. More research on the effects of triclosan is needed, and in the meantime, the FDA is working toward requiring manufacturers to prove their products are safe for long-term use—and the state of Minnesota has banned triclosan-containing products altogether, which goes into full effect in 2017.

Amarillo Gardening and Outdoors Livings Tips

   16 PLACES YOU SHOULD GO

 IN TEXAS  IN 2017

Your Amarillo Adventure Awaits

  THE 16 PLACES YOU SHOULD GO

 IN TEXAS IN 2017

 

1. PALO DURO CANYON (CANYON)

It's second in size only to the Grand Canyon itself, and its towering red rocks definitely don't appear to belong in Texas. You can even stay in a cabin at its peak and enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of West Texas.

 

2. TRINITY RIVER PARK (DALLAS)

The park, which is currently under construction, will be the largest urban nature park in the nation. It will include trails, playgrounds, and plots of sprawling green lawn, and will convert the area around it from a chronic floodplain to a flourishing utopia.

 

3. BARTLETT

Bartlett is a "Living Ghost Town" - that is, a town where a few families still reside, but has a near-abandoned downtown square. It's full of 19th and 20th - century architecture and was the filming location for several movies including "The Dalton Boys" and "The Stars Fell on Henrietta".

 

4. BRENHAM

This hill country town has wide open pastures, vibrant bluebonnets, a lavender farm, wineries, and the famous Blue Bell Factory.

 

5. HAMILTON POOL (DRIPPING SPRINGS)

No Bucket list would be complete without Hamilton Pool. Easily the most beautiful place in Texas, this iconic swimming hole is a mystical, otherworldly experience that everyone deserves to have.

 

6. T.C. LINDSEY AND CO. GENERAL STORE (JONESVILLE)

In operation since 1847, it's the oldest general store in Texas. It represents everything our state is about and will leave you feeling nostalgic in the best way possible.

 

7. NACOGDOCHES

It's  the oldest town in Texas - what more of a reason do you need?

 

8. CATTAIL FALLS (BIG BEND)

This hidden gem is one that can't be passed up. It's an 80-foot waterfall cascading down the mountainside into a crystal-clear pool beneath it. You'll have to remind yourself that you're in Texas and not a tropical paradise.

 

9. NATURAL BRIDGE WILDLIFE RANCH (SAN ANTONIO)

Your African Safari dreams can become a reality without having to travel thousands of miles. Beware, the animals WILL try to stick their heads in your car!

 

10. GORMAN FALLS (BEND)

Scene from Tarzan or a breathtaking waterfall in Texas? You decide..

 

11. GUADALUPE PEAK TRAIL (SALT FLAT)

This high might be strenuous, but it definitely pas off when you reach the 8,000 foot summit and feel on top of the world.

 

12. BATTLESHIP TEXAS (HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL)

Battleship Texas is the only remaining ship that served in both World Wars. It's been converted into a museum memorializing its important contributions to our nation's triumphs and the brave Navy Seals who fought and died for our freedom.

 

13. ENCHANTED ROCK (FREDERICKSBURG)

Native Americans used to worship this pink blob because they mistook the natural creaks and groans of settling rock for evil, supernatural forces. Even though the folklore might not be true, it's still a beautiful place to visit and should be an addition to every Texan's 2017 Bucket list.

 

14. CATTLEMAN'S STEAKHOUSE (FABENS)

Not only does Cattleman's have amazing steak, but it's also located on a vast, gorgeous ranch called Indian Cliffs that looks like the set of an old Western movie. Some people have gone as far as deeming it the best steakhouse in Texas.

 

15. BARTON SPRINGS POOL (AUSTIN)

Barton Springs Pool is spring-fed with no chlorine added, and it still manages to be almost crystal-clear. That just goes to show how pure the water in the Texas Hill Country is.

 

16. DINOSAUR WORLD (GLEN ROSE)

Transport yourself back to prehistoric times at this unique park by admiring real fossils, a 27-foot long dinosaur skeleton, and life-sized animatronic replicas. You'll learn so much about these ancient, magnificent creatures.

Travel and Tourism Adventures around Amarillo.
gardening outdoors amarillo
Health and Fitness advice for the Amarillo Community

4 EASTER GAMES

 TO PLAY OUTDOORS

Beyond the traditional Easter Egg hunt, there are other fun outdoor games to consider. Most Easter games use basic supplies, making them simple and inexpensive to coordinate. The games can also lend themselves well to indoor versions. This allows you to move the Easter activities indoors if the weather does not cooperate.

 

1. EASTER OBSTACLE COURSE WITH EGG BALANCE

An Easter themed obstacle course gets everyone moving. Each player needs a spoon and either a hard-boiled egg or a plastic Easter egg. The players balance the egg on the spoon while navigating through an obstacle course set up in the backyard. Ideas for obstacles include sawhorses to climb under, Easter baskets to weave through and plastic eggs scattered on the ground that the players have to tiptoe around to avoid smashing them.

 

2. EGG ROLLING

Each player needs a different colored hard-boiled egg for this game. Place one white hard-boiled egg in the middle of the lawn or patio. Each player takes a turn rolling his hard-boiled egg. The goal is to get the colored egg to stop closest to the white egg. Keep extras of each color on hand in case one of the eggs cracks or gets squashed during the game.

 

3. EASTER EGG TOSS

This outdoor Easter game requires players to toss eggs back and forth without dropping them. Any type of egg works for this game, including raw, hard-boiled or plastic eggs. Real eggs, whether or not you boil them, will make a mess when dropped or tossed too hard, adding a layer of messy fun to the game.

 

Pairs of players start close together with only a few feet between each member of the pair. After successfully tossing and catching the egg, the pairs move back a step each for a greater distance and another toss. Continue widening the gap to make the game more of a challenge.

 

4. EASTER EGG HUNT VARIATIONS

Give a regular Easter egg hunt a twist for an interesting outdoor game. One option is to organize a treasure hunt instead of an Easter egg hunt.

 

Create a map with locations marked for different Easter treats. You might leave eggs, baskets or small Easter toys in each marked location. Include a larger basket at the end of the treasure hunt.

 

Another variation is to write a letter on each egg. After the kids collect their eggs, they use the letters to spell out as many words as possible. A special prize goes to the child who creates the most words from her letters.

 

 

 

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