Ray J Kim Kardashian: Ray J “I Hit It First” isn’t about Kim Kardashian

Ray J released the music video Monday for his latest single, which he says is not about Kim Kardashian except for the fact that it totally is.

The only reason Kardashian is famous is because she made a sex tape one time and it was “leaked” for all the world to see. Ray J, better known as that guy who was in Kim Kardashian’s sex tape, knows this fact all too well, so he decided to capitalize on it.

In the song he sings about an unnamed lady who is famous for being in a sex tape and then dating high-profile athletes and rappers.

The song is aptly and hilariously titled “I Hit It First” and to be fair, Ray J is kind of correct. However, the D-list R&B singer has insisted that the song is not about Kim. News.yahoo reported

But the incredibly obvious lyrics, such as “She might move on to rappers and ball players* / But we all know I hit it first,” and now the music video that stars a Kardashian lookalike — complete with terrible fashion sense and reality TV cameras — suggest otherwise.

If you haven’t laughed yet today, do yourself a favor and watch the music video for “I Hit It First.”

*Kanye West and Kris Humphries, respectively.

Ray J Kim Kardashian: Ray J 'I Hit It First' Romantic paean to Kim Kardashian

Ray J Kim Kardashian are the former lovers but its seems the ray j  'I Hit It First' new video relate to there story. f I had one wish, it would be for blackened Drake (sorry Tyrese, you lost the crown) to sit the hell down and petition for ‘One On One’ to come back for another season.

The music video for “I Hit It First” chronicles the tale of how Moesha’s brousin was the fairy godmother in the Cinderella story that is ex-girflriend Kim Kardashian. Lord send me a sponsor worthy of Teairra Mari so he can go buh-buy-buy-buy-buy. Adelaidenow reported

You can go ahead and press play if you want, or log on YouTube and watch tutorials on how to properly fade your drawn on eyebrows. I’m pretty sure you can decide which is more important.

Chad Johnson homeless man: Chad Johnson taken homeless man shopping

Chad Johnson homeless man went to shopping. The NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson helped a homeless man out this past weekend by taking him out on the town, including shopping and buying him a drink, reported Black Sports Online on April 28.

Johnson is known for being both kind and approachable, traits that are not always associated with celebrities and professional athletes. When the homeless man, named Pork Chop, asked Johnson for a beer, he gave him much more. As is popular these days, Johnson took to Twitter to document the encounter, posting both photos and anecdotes from their adventures. Examiner reported

Johnson, formerly known as Chad Ochocinco, is currently looking for his next gig in the big leagues. He enjoyed much success with the Cincinatti Bengals, but has bounced around with other teams after that stint ended. He was most recently on the Miami Dolphins roster, but was dropped after an arrest for domestic battery.

Chad Johnson homeless man: Chad Johnson takes homeless man shopping

Chad Johnson homeless man went to shopping. The NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson helped a homeless man out this past weekend by taking him out on the town, including shopping and buying him a drink, reported Black Sports Online on April 28.

Johnson is known for being both kind and approachable, traits that are not always associated with celebrities and professional athletes. When the homeless man, named Pork Chop, asked Johnson for a beer, he gave him much more. As is popular these days, Johnson took to Twitter to document the encounter, posting both photos and anecdotes from their adventures. Examiner reported

Johnson, formerly known as Chad Ochocinco, is currently looking for his next gig in the big leagues. He enjoyed much success with the Cincinatti Bengals, but has bounced around with other teams after that stint ended. He was most recently on the Miami Dolphins roster, but was dropped after an arrest for domestic battery.

Chad Johnson homeless man: Johnson helps homeless man clean up

Chad Johnson homeless man good deed hit Twitter over the weekend as the former NFL star promoted his own good deed. According to Fox Sports on April 29, Johnson tweeted about his experiences hanging out with a homeless man named PorkChop.

The tweets started when Johnson said he gave PorkChop a "G-shock" watch so he can tell the time and jammed out to music from Johnson's iPhone. Next, they posted a photo of them together. He next said his plans was to simulate what the Kardashians did by cleaning up a homeless guy and taking him out.

Later, Johnson said that PorkChop didn't know his own last name, but he bought him some new clothes at Urban Outfitters and then took him to a nightclub called Cameo and promised him free alcohol and a possibility of getting laid. It was a night that PorkChop might never forget.

If this sounds too strange to be true, you might not be familiar with Chad Johnson. The former Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots wide receiver has always been known to promote himself to the fullest extent. He was often penalized when playing for the Bengals for coming up with elaborate touchdown dances, started his own reality show similar to "The Bachelor" where he gave women the chance to date him, shared another reality show with Terrell Owens, and finally legally changed his name to his number, calling himself Chad Ochocinco.

After a stint with New England where he was humbled by remaining relegated to a backup role, he quietly changed his name back to Chad Johnson and has since found himself unattached to any team. The Chad Johnson homeless man escapades are enough to get him a little attention again.

Chad Johnson homeless man: Chad Johnson took homeless guy to Urban

Chad Johnson homeless man spends time together when Chad Johnson, the troubled former NFL star who is looking for a second chance in the league, recently stumbled upon another man who was down on his luck.

The 35-year-old Johnson sent out a series of tweets Saturday suggesting that he was hanging out with a homeless man known as "Pork Chop." Johnson's adventure started with a tweet that read, "Homeless dude asked for a beer, I bought him a case of a 24 n a pack of Newports, we balling together f--- it... "

After buying Pork Chop the cigarettes and beer, Johnson tweeted that he gave the man a watch so he could tell what time it was.

After sitting down with Pork Chop for a drink, Johnson had an interesting idea:

It is questionable to make decisions based on the Kardashian family's reality show, but Johnson went for it. He appears to have taken Pork Chop to Urban Outfitters, where Johnson bought him some new clothes. thepostgame reported

Johnson later tweeted that he and Pork Chop were going to a club and jokingly said they should go job hunting together.

On Sunday, Johnson and Pork Chop reunited for another day of fun.

Looking past how bizarre this seems, if this is all true, Johnson deserves a tip of the cap. It hasn't been the easiest year for the former Pro Bowler, but it's gestures like this that suggest he is moving on from his troubled past.

Ponytail stunt death: Stuntman Sailendra Nath has Heart Attack

Ponytail stunt death horrified onlookers when lot of onlookers gathered at the Teesta river in West Bengal, India. Sailendra Nath Roy, 48, was attempting a stunt where he crossed the river suspended by a zip wire attached to his ponytail. According to the BBC on April 29, Roy died after suffering a heart attack.

Roy was trying to cross the Coronation Bridge, and sources indicate this was one of many dangerous stunts like this he had attempted over the years. In fact, he did a similar ponytail stunt in 2007 when he was filmed by television cameras flying from one building to another. Police say that Roy did not have permission to be on the bridge doing this stunt.

The ponytail stunt death happened as Sailendra Nath Roy walked across a zip wire 70 feet above the river. It seems he had made it approximately half the distance across when he started to struggle. About 30 minutes later, he became still. He was reportedly hanging for about 45 minutes before police could get him down from the zip line. Doctors indicate he had a massive heart attack.

Roy held a Guinness World Record after a March 2011 stunt where he travelled the farthest distance doing his signature trick with the zip wire and his hair. The ponytail stunt may have made him famous, but it also seems to have lead to his death. Hundreds watched as the ponytail stunt death transpired, but there were not emergency personnel on the scene to get to him quickly enough to save his life.

Phil Jackson cancer: Reveals Phil had prostate cancer in 2011

Phil Jackson cancer was recently revealed that in March 2011, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

According to a report by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register, Jackson postponed surgery until after the season, instead opting to control the cancer temporarily using drugs.

"Shocking," Pau Gasol told the OC Register of the news Jackson revealed in hopes of giving the team extra motivation. "But then you also could understand certain moments of his demeanor, energy and involvement because of what he was going through health-wise. It explained certain things. It was a shock. A difficult moment for the team.” Foxsportswest reported

Unfortunately for Jackson's bid for ring No. 12, not all Lakers were as inspired as the Zen Master would have liked.

Although the team went 12-1 that March, things came to a crashing end soon after.

In Game 2 of the second round against the eventual champion Dallas Mavs, Metta World Peace - then known Ron Artest - was suspended one game for a hit to J.J. Barea's face. Then in Game 4, the Lakers' final game of the season, both Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum were ejected for a hit on Dirk Nowitzki and Barea, respectively. Bynum, who ripped off his jersey while walking off the court, was later fined and suspended for the first five games of the following season.

Jackson, who is said to be "itching" to return to the NBA in a front-office role, has since been linked to job openings with the Lakers, Cavs, Raptors and Bobcats, and as the Lakers sit on the verge of another sweep, this time against the Spurs, the "We Want Phil" chants are strong as ever at Staples Center:

Phil Jackson cancer Battle Revealed in His Book

Phil Jackson cancer battle in 2011 is a big part of his upcoming book, “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.” Jackson was coaching the Los Angeles Lakers at the time, and Yahoo! Sports shared the details on April 28 of how the illness impacted the team's playoffs.

Jackson was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2011, but he did not tell his team until two months later. The Los Angeles Lakers were in the midst of a playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks when Phil Jackson's cancer news was shared with them. The book details how Jackson sensed the team needed something to push them, so after talked with captains Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant, Jackson shared the news.

It was, of course, a difficult time for the team. Phil Jackson had decided to delay his needed surgery until after the season was complete, and some players apparently found that difficult to know. The team was eliminated from the playoffs that year after some very challenging moments and losses. Phil Jackson's cancer details come as a shock to many, but it seems he is doing well now. There have been escalating rumors he will step back into a role in the realm of the NBA, but so far nothing official has fallen into place.

Phil Jackson cancer

Phil Jackson cancer, last time the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs (as could happen Sunday as the Lakers trail the Spurs 3-0) it was 2011, when the Lakers were the title defenders. The Dallas Mavericks made short work of Los Angeles in the second round (and went on to win a title). After that loss, Phil Jackson walked away from the Lakers as coach.

Trying to motivate his team during that playoffs Phil Jackson told the players he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

That was not made public at the time but is part of Jackson’s book “11 Rings” that comes out in May, and was reported now by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.

Jackson was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2011. After doctors assured him the cancer could be controlled by drugs temporarily, Jackson waited until after the season to undergo surgery.

Jackson decided to divulge his situation to his players when he sensed the team was lacking something in the playoffs.

“Shocking,” Pau Gasol said Saturday, remembering Jackson’s disclosure to the team. “But then you also could understand certain moments of his demeanor, energy and involvement because of what he was going through health-wise. It explained certain things. It was a shock. A difficult moment for the team.”

The revalaton may not have had the impact Jackson desired on his team — if you remember that series against Dallas the Lakers faded and got worse as it went on. The Lakers were overmatched that playoff run (they needed Andrew Bynum and didn’t have him, Kobe Bryant’s knee was gimpy) but that team just came apart and wasn’t disciplined at the end.

That revalation also explains part of why Jackson was ready to move on from the team at that point. There were certainly other factors involved, but he needed time to recover and recuperate.

That time off to get healthy (he had surgery but we don’t have a formal update on his status) would explain why he is ready to return to the game now — he feels like his old self. Not that he wants to coach, but a few teams are interested in him possibly taking on a team president kind of role.

Ponytail stunt death

Ponytail stunt death, An Indian daredevil died during a botched stunt that involved him going across a zipline with his ponytail. Sailendra Nath Roy, 49, held the Guinness World Record for covering the most distance on a zipline hanging by his hair. But when he tried to cross the River Teesta on Sunday in West Bengal on a 600-foot-wire above the water, he hit a snag. His hair got caught halfway and he could not move. Roy started screaming as he tried to inch forward, according to witnesses.

“Roy tried frantically to get hold of a second rope to reach the finishing point,” police officer K. Jayaraman told the AFP news agency.

After around 20 minutes, he went limp and was rescued by local people. He was declared dead by a suspected heart attack when he was sent to a hospital 280 miles away.

The BBC reported that Roy hung by his hair for around 45 minutes before he was taken down.

“He was desperately trying to move forward. He was trying to scream out some instruction. But no one could follow what he was saying. After struggling for 30 minutes he became still,” said Balai Sutradhar, a photographer covering the event, told the BBC.

Police said that Roy had not been given permission to carry out the stunt.

“His wife used to urge him to quit doing dangerous stunts. Mr Roy convinced her that crossing the Teesta river would be his last. Unfortunately, that became his last stunt,” a friend, who remained anonymous, told the broadcaster.

Roy in 2008 pulled the Darjeeling train with his ponytail and in 2007, he used his ponytail to fly from one building to another.

Beatles record broken: Emeli Sande makes history Smashes The Beatles chart record

Beatles record broken by Emeli Sande Official Chart history Smashing The Beatles chart record, Our Version Of Events leaps ahead of The Beatles' Please Please Me to spend the most consecutive weeks in Top 10 of any debut album.

Emeli Sandé’s chart success shows no signs of slowing, as the Scottish singer/songwriter today makes Official Chart history.

The Official Charts Company can confirm that Emeli Sandé has smashed The Beatles’ chart record of spending the most consecutive weeks in the UK’s Official Albums Chart Top 10 of any debut album.

Our Version Of Events, the debut release from the 2012 BRITs Critics Choice winner which was released in February of last year and went on to become the biggest selling album of 2012, has not dropped out of the Top 10 since its release - that’s a staggering 63 weeks! In doing so, Sandé overtakes British music icons The Beatles who held the record for almost 50 years previously with Please Please Me. The debut album from the Fab Four spent 62 weeks inside the Top 10 between its release in 1963 and 1964.

Our Version Of Events has to date sold 1.82 million copies in the UK, spending 10 weeks at Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart, and breaking the 100,000 sales in a week tally on three separate occasions. With 429,000 sales racked up already since the new year, the album is leading the way as 2013’s biggest seller also. The album has also enjoyed platinum status in Germany, France, Belgium and Ireland. Officialcharts reports

Emeli is no stranger to the upper echelons of the Official Singles Chart either, appearing on two Number 1 singles (Read All About It with Professor Green, and Beneath Your Beautiful with Labrinth), and having a total of 9 Top 10 singles under her belt.

"I’m completely lost for words and this is something I could only have dreamed of," Emeli tells OfficialCharts.com. "The Beatles are the greatest band of all time and their legacy lives on and continues to inspire all of us that make music. I’m so happy that so many people have connected with the stories and the songs on the record, this really is our version of events now. I’d like to say thankyou to everyone that has bought, played or shared my music in the last year, without your support this would never have been possible."

Official Charts Company Managing Director, Martin Talbot, comments:

“It has been an incredible past 15 months for Emeli Sandé – and to break a record which was set almost 50 years ago by The Beatles is arguably the greatest achievement of all. Across her 63 Top 10 weeks, she has been Top 5 for almost 75% of the time - a remarkable record, by one of the most remarkable new British acts to emerge for many years.”

In this new video interview, Emeli takes us on a trip through her career from medical student to getting her first break in music, being nominated as Critics’ Choice at The BRITs, opening (and closing!) the London 2012 Olympic Games, right through to becoming a fully-fledged Official Chart record breaker today!

Beatles record broken: Emeli Sandé Blows a Beatles Chart Record

Beatles record broken by the Scottish artist Emeli Sandé. Beatles fended off all contenders for half a century, but the Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé has toppled one of the band’s longest-standing chart records. Ms. Sandé’s debut album, “Our Version of Events,” has spent the last 63 weeks in the British top 10, surpassing the 62 consecutive weeks that the Beatles’ debut, “Please Please Me,” spent in the top 10 in 1963 and 1964.

Ms. Sandé’s status as the new record-holder for the most tenacious debut album was announced on Sunday by the Official Charts Company, a British organization that has been overseeing these records for the last 60 years, and whose charts are broadcast weekly by the BBC, and published in Music Week. Ny-times reported

Ms. Sandé, 26, has been writing music inspired by Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill, often with a social or political undercurrent, since she was 11, and had a songwriting contract with EMI Music Publishing before she was signed by Virgin Records as a performer. But she prudently also prepared for a potentially lucrative fallback career, in case making music did not work out: she was a fourth-year medical student at the University of Glasgow in 2009, when one of her songs, “Diamond Rings,” became a hit for the rapper Chipmunk, emboldening her to pursue her musical career. Ny

“I’m completely lost for words and this is something I could only have dreamed of,” Ms. Sandé said in an interview on the chart company’s Web page. “The Beatles are the greatest band of all time and their legacy lives on and continues to inspire all of us that make music. I’m so happy that so many people have connected with the stories and the songs on the record, this really is our version of events now.”

Ponytail stunt death: India's Stuntman dead for hanging on a wire with his ponytail

Ponytail stunt death caused due to hanging on a wire with his ponytail. The stunt that involved him going across a zipline with his ponytail Guinness Book of World Records is full of individuals who have put their lives at risk in order to gain notoriety as the ‘best.’

An Indian man named Sailendra Nath Roy, who already holds a Guinness World Record for the category of ‘traveling the farthest distance on a zip wire attached to hair’ died Sunday after trying to recreate the stunt, according to a One News Page report from April 29.

Roy was performing the feat in front of spectators over the Teesta River in West Bengal Sunday. He was suspended from a 180-meter-long zip wire at a height of 20 meters.

Witnesses say that Roy had progressed about halfway across the wire, but suddenly began to struggle and was unable to go any further. After a few moments, he went still.

It took approximately 45 minutes to bring Roy down from the wire. No emergency personnel were standing by for his stunt.

The 48-year-old daredevil was pronounced dead at the hospital with doctors saying he suffered a massive heart attack.

Roy received his Guinness World Record in March 2011. He also made headlines for pulling the Darjeeling toy train with his hair.

Beatles record broken: Emeli Sandé broke record held by The Beatles for 50 years

Beatles record broken by the Scottish singer Emeli Sandé broke a record held by The Beatles for 50 years yesterday when her debut album, Our Version of Events, stayed in the top 10 of the UK albums chart for a 63rd week.

It's the longest time a debut album has stayed in the top 10: The Beatles' 1963 record Please Please Me spent 62 weeks.

Sande's album was released in February 2012 and has already broken 100,000 sales in a week three times. Telegraph music critic James Lachno said the record was "a hugely impressive introduction to a dynamic, arresting talent". Telegraph reports

Our Version of Events has sold 1.82 million copies and three UK number one singles have been released from it: Read All About It with rapper Professor Green, Beneath Your Beautiful, a collaboration with musician Labrinth, and Next to Me, the third most played pop song of 2012.

“This record is so significant to me for many different reasons. I’m so happy and I’m thankful to you all. We made history!!” the singer wrote on Twitter this week. Theepochtimes reported

The album was released February 2012 and broke 100,000 sales in a week several times. It has sold 1.82 million copies in all.

“It feels quite surreal to even have your name mentioned in the same sentence as The Beatles,” Sande, 26, told the paper.

“Our Version of Events” won British album of the year at the Brit awards this year. She also was called best British female solo artist.

Sandé, who is 26, said: "It feels quite surreal to even have your name mentioned in the same sentence as The Beatles."

Jersey Shore actor hospital

Jersey Shore actor hospital, One of the actor's from MTV's "Jersey Shore" is paying a visit to the hospital, and it is because of a lot of pain.

The Huffington Post reported on Monday, April 29, 2013, that Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, simply known as just "Ronnie" to so many, has been hospitalized and is being treated for possible kidney stones.

The 27-year-old is in a Florida hospital per the actor's representative.

"Ronnie was admitted to an Orlando area hospital late Saturday night," the Jersey Shore star's rep says.

"He's in a lot of pain and is expected to remain there for several days."

Word is already out that some of his "Jersey Shore" mates have gotten news of where he is located. It is reported that his 26-year-old girlfriend, Sammi Giancola, is on her way to be by his side while he is in the hospital.

Ortiz-Magro was in Orlando already to promote Smush Cocktails, his new alcohol line. While promoting it at the Wine and Spirits Wholesales of America Convention, his rep says he "started feeling uncomfortable."

Denise Richards skinny: Denise Super-skinny with Thin arms pictured

Denise Richards skinny look with thin arms was pictured recently. She once starred as a curvaceous Bond Girl opposite Pierce Brosnan where she displayed her enviable figure in a series of revealing outfits. But more than ten years on from The World Is Not Enough, Denise Richards appears to have taken her diet and exercise regime to extreme levels. The 42-year-old actress looked shockingly thin as she stepped out in the Calabasas area of Los Angeles on Monday, showing a gaunt face and skeletal arms which seemed to age her almost overnight.

The big shrink: Denise Richards showed a gaunt face and skeletal arms as she picked up her daughters from a gymnastics class in Calabasas on Monday. The big shrink: Denise Richards showed a gaunt face and skeletal arms as she picked up her daughters from a gymnastics class in Calabasas on Monday. Despite sporting a loose fitting sleeveless top, there was no disguising Denise's extremely thin frame and lack of body fat. The former wife of Charlie Sheen wore her blonde hair pulled into a ponytail which only served to accentuate her increasingly gaunt features.

The actress and model was picking nine-year-old daughter Sam, from a gymnastics class and clutched a phone, a flask and a bottle of water as she made her way inside. Who's that girl? Denise's loose fitting top did little to hide her decreasing frame. Lean on me: The star showed off a figure which contains virtually no body fat. Slimmed down: The actress is a big fan of healthy eating and Pilates. The star's weight has come under scrutiny in recent months, with friends of the star forced to deny she had a problem. Daily mail reported

'Denise has always been thin. Her whole family is thin,' the associate told The Huffington Post back in February. 'She hasn't changed anything, her workout is still Pilates. 'But she is literally on the go non-stop. She's a single mom to three active girls, and sometimes helps Brooke [Mueller] out with her boys. That alone keeps her moving non-stop.' Busy mother: Denise has been described as being constantly 'on the go,' and picked up daughter Sam from gymnastics on Monday

Busy mother: Denise has been described as being constantly 'on the go,' and picked up daughter Sam from gymnastics on Monday

Naturally thin: Friends of the star were forced to come to her defence when her weight came under scrutiny earlier this year

Brooke, 35, has four-year-old twin sons Bob and Max with Sheen who she divorced in 2011.

Denise has suffered somewhat of a stressful year with her beloved bulldog Hank dying in January.

Her ex-husband Charlie Sheen has also been vociferous in his posts on Twitter regarding their daughter Sam's bullying at her former school.

However, the insider told the website that events of the past months had nothing to do with Denise's low weight.

Healthy figure: Denise played Dr Christmas Jones in 1999 Bond film The World Is Not Enough. Seen left with James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan

'The last few months she has been working a lot and just juggling everything,' they said. 'She has honestly never have felt better.

'It's important for her to always instil good, healthy body image to her girls. I don't think she's lost weight, maybe just leaned out a little and certainly not on purpose.'

Denise once revealed how she stays slim using mainly a mixture of Pilates and an 80 per cent vegetarian healthy diet.

'I am very active,' she told Self magazine. 'I found what works for my body - everyone's body is different and I think it's best to find what works for you.

'For me it's Pilates and dance. My diet is 80 percent vegetarian and I eat all day long. I have lots of little meals; it's best for me. I found eating three big meals I felt too full and got tired especially after lunch.

'I eat lots of fruit, veggies, egg whites, oatmeal, a little chicken, eggs, rice - that's mostly my diet. I do splurge on ice cream and I love pretzels. Good spirits: Denise seemed happy, and smiled broadly as she returned to her car. Growing up fast: Denise and Charlie's daughter Sam showed looked like she will match her mother's height. 'My abs get the best workout with my Pilates reformer - I had two C-sections and it was the only thing I found that got my tummy flat.' However, the star said she feels much happier in her 40s. 'Turning 40 I honestly feel better than ever,' she said. 'I feel more confident with my body than I did in my 20s' Stressful year: The star's beloved dog Hank died and her husband Charlie Sheen revealed daughter Sam had been bullied at school

The man who has eaten at 6,300 different Chinese restaurants across America



A Chinese food lover has eaten at 6,300 different restaurants and travelled across America feeding his obsession with Oriental cuisine.


But despite eating Chinese food all his life, David Chan still cannot use chopsticks.


Mr Chan's quest began in earnest after college when he tried to eat at every Chinese restaurant in his home city of Los Angeles.


His passion for the cuisine has since taken him to 50 states.


The 64-year-old accountant has charted every meal on an Excel spreadsheet and over the past 58 years, Mr Chan has tried a new Chinese restaurant on average every three days.


His incredible feat is even more remarkable as Mr Chan hated Chinese food when he was a child.

The third-generation Asian-American preferred spaghetti or meatloaf until he discovered the joys of Chinese food when he was at college.

Such is Mr Chan’s expertise on Chinese food that restaurant critics often ask him for suggestions on good places to try and he has also written about the country’s cuisine and history.

He said that he discovered Chinese food as a way of connecting with his culture.


When he got his first job, Mr Chan befriended a group of colleagues from Hong Kong and they set out on trying every restaurant they could find.


Mr Chan told The Los Angeles Times: 'I've always been a collector. I collected stamps and records.'

However, his love of Chinese food did not stem from childhood.




Koi Palace topped topped the list as Mr Chan praised it for its continuing excellence



Mr Chan has travelled around the U.S. sampling traditional and American-Chinese fusion food (file picture)

MR CHAN'S TOP 10 RESTAURANTS



1) Koi Palace, Daly City, California: Mr Chan praised it for continuing excellence

2) Sea Harbour, Rosemead, California: He said it brought 'high quality dim sum' to the area

3) Elite Restaurant, Montery Park, California: Praised for its interesting range of dim sum

4) King Hua, Alhambra, California: Mr Chan said it has similar dim sum to Sea Harbour

5) Lunasia, Alhambra, California: The expert said it has an 'innovative' menu such as foie gras dim sum

6) Din Tai Fung, Arcadia, California: The only Shanghai style restaurant in the top 10

7) Yank Sing, San Francisco, California: Mr Chan praised the dim sum specialist for 'evolving'

8) Seafood Village, Monterey Park, California: The Hong Kong-style restaurant is 'highly regarded'

9) 101 Noodle Express, Alhambra, California: Mr Chan said the restaurant's star dish the Shandong beef roll has given it prominence

10) Jai Yun, San Francisco, California: Mr Chan said it is one of the 'quirkiest' Chinese restaurants in the U.S.

He said he was brought up as an American by his parents who wanted to ‘protect’ him from discrimination.


When he was younger the only Chinese restaurants were in Chinatown and in 1950 he was one of just 8,067 Chinese people living in Los Angeles.

Mr Chan told the Los Angeles Times: ‘Unless you lived in San Francisco, you were an oddity.’

Chinese immigration became more prevalent when he was studying at UCLA after the government relaxed laws that had only allowed 105 people each year to move from China to the U.S.

It was during his college years that Mr Chan began to connect with Chinese culture and took a course called Orientals in America.



Mr Chan said he one of the favorite parts of his hobby is seeing how the cuisine has evolved over the decades.


He says he finds American-Chinese fusions - such as the Chow Mein sandwich served with gravy that he found in New England - as interesting and enjoyable as traditional Chinese food.

While there is only one restaurant that he returns to, ABC Seafood, Mr Chan said the current number one Chinese restaurant is Koi Palace in Daly City, California, where they specialise in dim sum at lunch and Hong Kong-style seafood at dinner.


Mr Chan's son Eric believes his father's obsessions stems from him being a natural collector.
He said: 'If you collect enough of something, you can capture its essence. Maybe that's what he's trying to do with food.'

Jersey Shore actor hospital: Ronnie hospitalized for kidney stone

Jersey Shore actor hospitalized with kidney stones its was being reported the actor was admitted late Saturday night. The famous "Jersey Shore" actor Ronnie Ortiz-Magro has ended up in the hospital. On April 29, The Huffington Post reported that Ronnie is being treated for kidney stones.

Ronnie had to go into the hospital late on Saturday night. He was in a lot of pain and they found it he had kidney stones. The reality TV star is expected to stay in the hospital for several days while he is treated and gets rid of the stones.

Ortiz-Magro has been tweeting and not saying a lot yet. He said "hospital" and also that kidney stones were something he would never wish on anyone.

He was put in the hospital in Orlando. He was there to help promote Smush Cocktails at the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America Convention. This is his new line of alcohol.

Hopefully the "Jersey Shore" actor will heal quickly. Kidney stones is terrible pain and luckily he is at the hospital now to get treated.

One of the actor's from MTV's "Jersey Shore" is paying a visit to the hospital, and it is because of a lot of pain. The Huffington Post reported on Monday, April 29, 2013, that Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, simply known as just "Ronnie" to so many, has been hospitalized and is being treated for possible kidney stones.

The 27-year-old is in a Florida hospital per the actor's representative.

"Ronnie was admitted to an Orlando area hospital late Saturday night," the Jersey Shore star's rep says.

"He's in a lot of pain and is expected to remain there for several days."

Word is already out that some of his "Jersey Shore" mates have gotten news of where he is located. It is reported that his 26-year-old girlfriend, Sammi Giancola, is on her way to be by his side while he is in the hospital.

Ortiz-Magro was in Orlando already to promote Smush Cocktails, his new alcohol line. While promoting it at the Wine and Spirits Wholesales of America Convention, his rep says he "started feeling uncomfortable."

Ronnie later tweeted a simple message:
"Hospital"

He later tweeted:
"Wouldn't wish this feeling on anyone! #KidneysFML"

Celebrity chefs 'exacerbate Britain's obesity crisis



Nigella Lawson and other celebrity chefs are 'exacerbating' the country's obesity crisis by encouraging people to eat dishes packed with fat, a new study has warned.

Nutrition experts tested more than 900 recipes from 26 famous cooks and found 87 per cent fell 'substantially short' of the Government's healthy eating recommendations.

Just 13 per cent recommended ingredients that would create a healthy meal based on guidelines devised by the Government's Food Standards Agency.



Nigella Lawson was one of the celebrity chefs whose recipes were tested by nutrition experts

Researchers from Coventry University, who are publishing their findings today, refused to name the chefs involved beyond making clear they are household names.

However, previous studies have shamed the likes of Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Jean-Christophe Novelli and John Burton-Race.

Nigella's most recent TV series and book for the BBC, Nigellissima, was promoted with images of the cook looking remarkably slim following a punishing exercise regime.




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By contrast, some of the recipes in the book could see a follower eating the recommended maximum calorie count for an entire day in a single sitting.

Her desserts included a chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake, which contains more than 7,000 calories, while here ice cream brioche came in at 2,144 calories.

The brioche may be delicious and indulgent, but it contains more than the 2,000 calories that a woman should eat for one day.



Rick Stein's Raspberry Cranachan has been highlighted for its high cream content

Nigella has also been criticised for her heavy handed use of butter in her egg and bacon pie. A single serving contains 38g of fat, which is also double the recommended daily maximum for a woman.

Rick Stein's Raspberry Cranachan has been highlighted for its high cream content.

The recommended daily saturated fat limit is 30g for men and 20g for women in order to head off clogged arteries, obesity, heart attack and stroke.

Stein's creamy pudding weighs in at 36g of saturated fat per serving, putting it well above the daily ration.

The study, published in the Food and Public Health journal, found that many celebrity chef recipes in cookbooks contained 'undesirable levels' of saturated fatty acids (SFA), sugars and salt which are linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.



Nigella's most recent TV series and book for the BBC, Nigellissima, could see a follower eating the recommended maximum calorie count for an entire day in a single sitting

Lead author Dr Ricardo Costa, a senior lecturer in dietetics at Coventry University, explained the decision not to name the chefs and recipes that were examined.

'This study is not about naming and shaming celebrity chefs. However given the level of trust the public tends to place in the nutritional integrity of these cooks' recipes, it's important to highlight where they're falling short of healthy eating benchmarks,' he said.

'When you have celebrity chefs involved with promoting many of the Government's healthy eating initiatives, you inevitably encourage a culture of confidence in their culinary practices.

'I think there ought to be a tightening up of regulation around what these chefs can present on their own terms when it comes to nutrition or healthy eating messages, particularly in light of the results of this study.'

Some 92 per cent of celebrity chefs sampled had at least one recipe with saturated fatty acids above the recommended intake for one day, the study found.

One meal contained more than five times the recommended amount, while half of the chefs had recipes with salt content equalling or exceeding the daily recommended limit of 6g.

Researchers also found 96 per cent were high in saturated fat, while 65per cent had a high level of sugar.

Dr Costa added: 'If people regularly use the recipes found in these cookbooks, it could be that celebrity chefs are exacerbating public health nutrition issues in the UK.

'Our research is aiming to draw more focused attention towards the recipes of professional cooks in the public eye, and will hopefully prompt the chefs to consider working with qualified dietetic and nutritional professionals in the future to reverse their potential negative impact.'

The study's authors said evidence showed three-quarters of the public believed celebrity chefs promoted healthy eating.

The experts formed their list of famous chefs from the best-selling cookbooks on Amazon, as well as those listed on the Good Food Channel's website.

The study found that recipes from male celebrity chefs contained substantially more energy, macro-nutrients, sodium and salt per portion on average than their female counterparts.Nigella has said her weight is always likely to fluctuate. She tweets regularly on what she is eating and her daily diet appears to include a lot of healthy options, such as smoked salmon, rye bread, eggs, avocados, houmous and salad.

Stilton's boost in cheese war: Village aims to win back right to make famous blue that bears its name



A great British cheese is under threat -- because young people are afraid to eat the mould, according to a new report yesterday.

Sales of Blue Stilton have plummeted among younger age groups, and most people who buy the traditional delicacy are approaching middle age, the latest research shows.

Industry experts say that the number of people under 45 buying Blue Stilton has dropped by 18 per cent in the last two years alone.

Consumption by those under 30 has slumped by 23 per cent and few people under 25 would consider buying it regularly.

But cheese experts are warning that if the trend continues it could mean that Blue Stilton, which has been in production in the UK for almost 300 years, would only be available overseas.

Now The Co-op has decided to step in to lend British Stilton producers a helping hand.

It has issued an emergency SOS - Save Our Stilton - to shoppers to protect Blue Stilton’s unique flavours and taste.

Said Co-operative cheese buyer Mark Cloudy: “ This cheese is part of Britain’s heritage. We can’t stand by and let it fade away - yet the people who like it are getting old.

'Millions of young people have been taught not to eat food with mould on it, and that view is having a catastrophic effect upon Blue Stilton. They take one look at the blue veins running through the cheese and then turn away.


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'We want to tell everyone just how good Blue Stilton is. It is one of the best cheeses in the world, and it’s produced here in Britain - but yet few people realise what a gem they have on their own doorstep.'


Ironically, while Blue Stilton is declining in popularity in Britain, overseas buyers can’t get enough of it. The cheese is regarded as a supreme delicacy in Europe and across America, with buyers prepared to pay up to £30 a kilo - over three times the UK price.



Millions of young people have been taught not to eat food with mould on it, and that view is having a catastrophic effect upon Blue Stilton




Some experts even prefer it to the world renowned Roquefort blue cheese from France, because it has less salt and a much smoother, balanced taste.

Now the Co-operative, which actively supports British producers, is calling upon leading TV chefs to join their campaign to save the traditional cheese,

As well as producing new customer recipes which using Stilton, it believes that the likes of Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal and Nigel Slater have can play a vital role in making Stilton great again.

Said Mr Cloudy: 'Cookery programmes are watched by millions of people every week. Seeing British chefs using Blue Stilton would help a new generation of consumers to discover what a wonderful ingredient Blue Stilton is.

'We also want to make the cheese popular again to help British cheese producers. Local companies employing local people depend upon Stilton sales to make a living.

'We hope that our campaign will help Blue Stilton cheese makers of all sizes continue to thrive for decades to come.'

Industry expert say that the number of people under the age of 45 buying Blue Stilton has dropped by 18 per cent in the last two years alone.

Consumption by those under 30 years of age has dropped by 23 per cent. And few people under the age of 25 would consider buying it regularly.

Blue Stilton was first produced in Britain in 1730 and is named after the village of Stilton where the cheese was first made.

Blue mould is encouraged to grow on the cheese deliberately to create a distinctive acidic tang which blends perfectly with the cheese’s rich, creamy texture - and it is perfectly safe to eat.

So highly regarded is the cheese that it is the only British variety to have been granted protected trademark status. Only Stilton made from pasteurized cows milk in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire can legally use the name. Just five dairies currently make the cheese.

Traditionally Blue Stilton is eaten with port at Christmas, but is often used in classic recipes such as Stilton and Pear salad, and cream of celery or broccoli soup. To enjoy the full flavours of Blue Stilton, it should be removed from the refrigerator approximately one hour before serving, to let the cheese reach room temperature.

Now your frothy coffee and muffin is blamed for Britain's childhood obesity crisis



Blame for the child obesity crisis has been laid squarely at the door of coffee shops such as Starbucks – and parents who allow youngsters to snack.

Plain-speaking health minister Anna Soubry accused coffee chains of tempting children with large syrup-laden coffees topped with marshmallows and cream, followed by an enormous muffin.

She warned that young people have no idea how many calories they consume because most outlets do not provide such details on their walls.



Frothy coffees and mid-morning muffins have been blamed for fuelling Britain's obesity crisis by health minister Anna Soubry



Miss Soubry, 56, said: ‘I have no problem with coffee shops, but young people go in and have a large coffee – not a small one – which has syrup in it.


‘It might have marshmallows on top, and then perhaps another little dollop of cream, because it is just a snack, a treat or elevenses.


‘“And by the way”, they say, “I think I’ll have one of those very nice muffins”. They do not know how many calories that is.’

The minister also accused parents of failing to teach their children not to eat between meals.

‘Let us talk about something that did not exist when I was young – the concept of snacking,’ she said.
‘I was positively told not to eat between meals.



Ms Soubry warned young people do not know how many calories there are in the 'dollop of cream' on their drinks

‘If we now look in the real world at how young people live and at what they feel is acceptable, it includes going into the many coffee shops that exist.’ Almost a third of children are currently overweight or even obese – so fat their health is in danger.

Miss Soubry has previously attacked bakeries for selling cakes and croissants that are too large, and has called for supermarkets and restaurants to reduce portion sizes.

She warned that child obesity not only costs the NHS lots of money, but also costs in ‘human terms’.

‘Many of us who see children who are overweight or obese are upset and concerned about that, because we know that many of those children will not only suffer from health issues, but will be bullied,’ she said.

The minister added that people of all ages needed to be better at counting calories but said she did not want to ‘demonise’ any food.

She recalled that the concept of ‘snacking’ simply did not exist when she was young, and that she was told in no uncertain terms by her mother and father that she should only eat at mealtimes.

Miss Soubry, the public health minister, made her comments just days after claiming the Prime Minister only gave her the job because she was a woman.

She told Total Politics magazine that her position was seen by many as a ‘soft girly’ job, and was concerned that David Cameron had seen fit to give it to ‘the girl again’.

Almost a third of children are currently overweight or even obese – so fat their health is in danger.

The minister has previously attacked bakeries for selling cakes and croissants which were too large, and has called for supermarkets and restaurants to do more to reduce portion sizes.

In the Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday, Miss Soubry said child obesity was such a problem because youngsters were much more likely to eat between meals than those of her own generation.

She said the proliferation of coffee shops such as Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero on Britain’s high streets were making the problem worse, because they were popular with young people.

‘Let us talk about something that did not exist when I was young—the concept of snacking,’ she said.

‘I was positively told not to eat between meals. If we now look in the real world at how young people live and at what they feel is acceptable, it includes going into the many coffee shops that exist.'




The straight-talking minister said that when she was young she was told not to eat between meals

The minister’s attack on coffee stores like Starbucks is just the latest criticism of the company, which has been accused of not paying corporation tax, and refusing to filter out porn from its public wi-fi system – putting children at risk. The firm has since imposed a filter.

Miss Soubry warned that not only did child obesity cost the NHS lots of money, it also costs in ‘human terms’.




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‘Many of us who see children who are overweight or obese are upset and concerned about that, because we know that many of those children will not only suffer from health issues, but will be bullied.

‘Many of them are unhappy that they cannot, as they perceive it, join in the sport or physical activity enjoyed by their friends. There is a real human cost to overweightness and obesity.’

The minister also refused to backtrack on comments made earlier this year – and widely criticised at the time – that it was possible to tell which children were poorer because they tended to be fatter.

She said: ‘We know that 12.3 per cent of reception children who are overweight or obese are from the most deprived backgrounds, as opposed to 6.8 per cent who are from the least deprived backgrounds.

‘I do not know why, but we cannot use the word “poor” anymore. By year six, 24.3 per cent of overweight and obese children are from the most deprived backgrounds, compared with 13.7 per cent from the least deprived backgrounds.






‘I hope that those facts speak loudly, and I also hope that everybody takes this away: the reason why I feel this way with such a passion is that if someone comes from a poor, deprived background, they have enough problems as a child, and enough bad things going against them to prevent them from having a great start in life, without the burden of being overweight or obese.’

The minister said people of all ages needed to be much better at counting their calories.

‘It is a surprise to people—even to supposedly intelligent, grown-up people such as ourselves—when they find out the calorific content of foods that we see and perceive as treats and snacks,’ she said.

‘Equally, I want to make it clear that we should never demonise any food. There is nothing wrong with chips, or burgers; what is important is that it is all good food in moderation.’

Miss Soubry, a former presenter of This Morning, is making a career out of courting controversy. Soon after taking office she provoked anger by saying she supported the legalisation of assisted dying.

Sweat dripping into sauces and hair dangling on food



Masterchef bosses have been criticised by viewers for allowing contestants to get away with 'stomach-turning' hygiene standards on the show.


Viewers of the hit BBC1 programme, hosted by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace, say they have been turned off the cookery contest by the contestants' kitchen habits.


In one episode, viewers watched as a contestant's sweat dripped into a sauce, while in another a female chef's long hair was seen dangling over her lamb tagine.



Masterchef bosses have been criticised after viewers complained about a contestant's sweat dripping into a sauce. Elsewhere, a female chef's long hair was seen dangling over her lamb tagine





Masterchef judge John Torode speaks to the contestants during one of the episodes

Other turn-offs included contestants wearing jewellery and nail varnish in the kitchen and cross-contamination of food.


Viewers have posted on a BBC message board complaning about the standards of hygiene.


One poster on the BBC Points of View online messageboard wrote: 'When you are cooking food for other people I think that hygiene standards need to be some what higher!


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'Rings and nail varnish on fingers and greasy hair falling into food is not really nice and I often wonder how Gregg and John can so happily tuck into it when they must surely have seen how the food is prepared. It puts me off yuuk!'


Another viewer wrote: 'Does the production team know anything about food hygiene? John Torode certainly does that's for sure but the contestants certainly don't!

'I just watched the episode aired on the 17th (April) and I am concerned about the mass catering challenge.



One viewer asked how Masterchef judges Gregg Wallace (left) and John Torode (right) were able to 'tuck into' the food when they had seen how it had been prepared

'One of the contestant's hair was almost being stirred into her lamb dish whilst the other contestants were using the first chopping boards they came to........ Red for vegetables.....Yellow boards for fruit?


'Picky picky but I teach this for a living and I teach about cross contamination which includes colour coded chopping boards.


'Does the BBC care what it's teaching the public or are they only concerned with recipes.'


Another viewer responded: 'I'm with you! One episode saw someone drip sweat into a sauce, barf!


'Also the wearing of rings and/or nail varnish also turns my stomach. When I was a gel strictly hair tied back, no jewellery and if we had nail varnish on, off to the science lab to get it taken off with acetone.'


Viewers said they were disgusted by an episode in which the cooks were sent to Heathrow Airport to prepare lunch for 200 employees.


During the challenge 27-year-old contestant Shivi Ramatour's long hair was seen spilling out of her chef's hat as she stirred her lamb tagine.


Dozens of viewers took to Twitter to point out the incident.


One viewer tweeted: 'Why are none of these chefs in #masterchef wearing hairnets in the professional kitchen? I hope the customers like beef a la hair.'


Another tweeted: 'Erm, will the posh hot girl on #masterchef please stop flicking her hair into the food!!'


The contestants' failure to use the correct chopping boards during this episode was also a hot topic on Twitter.


One viewer tweeted: 'Does #masterchef not know the environmental health laws? Hair must be totally covered in the kitchen, the boards have colours for a reason. #Appalling hygiene examples peppers on a red board is a no-no also two young ladies whose hair hanging over the food. Bad bad bad.'


Viewers of the show have raised concerns over issues including cross-contamination and the failure of bosses to provide chef whites for the contestants during the studio-based challenges Meanwhile, other frustrated viewe

Espressimo! Salt caramel espresso sundae










Whisk 150g · 5oz dulce de leche or Nestlé caramel with ¼ tsp fine sea salt and 2 tbsp cold espresso in a small bowl until smooth, cover and chill until required (it will keep well for several days). Have ready 1 x 500ml tub chocolate ice cream such as Green & Black’s. Peel and finely slice 2 bananas. Divide or layer the ingredients to your liking in bowls or drop a scoop of ice cream in the base of 4 tall sundae glasses, scatter over half the banana, drizzle ½ tbsp of the caramel sauce on top, and then repeat with the ice cream and banana. Dollop over 1 tbsp of whipped cream, drizzle over the rest of the sauce and scatter over some finely sliced pecans, or pop half a Flake in the top.

Recipe: Asparagus curd tart








Makes 1 x 23cm • 9in tart

1 x 500g packet shortcrust pastry or
for home-made see you.co.uk
flour for rolling


Filling

600g • 22oz finger-thick asparagus
200g • 7oz quark
1 medium egg separated
40g • 1½ oz unsalted butter melted
sea salt and black pepper
200g • 7oz feta diced
150g • 5oz cherry tomatoes halved
1 tbsp good olive oil
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Have ready a 23cm • 9in loose-bottom tart tin. Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface, lift and press it carefully into the tin, run a rolling pin over the top to trim the edges and reserve the trimmings.

Prick the base with a fork, line with foil, tucking it over the top to secure the pastry to the tin, and weight with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the foil and beans, patch cracks if any with pastry trimmings and return to the oven for 10 minutes more or until lightly coloured.

Trim the asparagus (discard the trimmings at the point where the stems become visibly tough
and peel thicker stems as necessary). Cut off and reserve the asparagus tips and slice the stems into 4cm • 1½ in lengths. Cook the stems and spears separately in salted boiling water for 2 minutes, drain each in a colander and refresh under the cold tap.

Whiz the quark, egg yolk, butter and some seasoning in a food processor until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl. Whisk the egg white until stiff in a medium bowl using an electric whisk and fold into the quark mixture. Set aside half the asparagus tips and fold the remaining tips and the asparagus stems into the quark mixture, with half the feta. Spoon evenly into the pastry case.

Toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil in a medium-size bowl, then gently fold in the reserved asparagus tips and remaining feta. Scatter this evenly over the top of the tart and grind over some black pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly golden and set, then remove and leave to cool to room temperature.

Bring home the bakeoff! Bunch of roses madeleines



Baking these madeleines for someone is a far better ‘I love you’ than a bunch of flowers.


Makes 16
100g (3½oz) salted butter
100g (3½oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
100g (3½oz) plain flour, sifted
A few drops of rosewater
For the fondant icing
200g (7oz) ready-to-roll fondant icing
40ml (1½fl oz) water
A few drops of rosewater
Pink or red food colouring
100g (3½oz) white chocolate



Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5 and place a madeleine tin in the freezer. Melt the butter until it just starts to brown. Set aside. Beat the sugar and eggs for 4 minutes or until frothy and falling in ribbons from the whisk. Add the flour and butter down the side of the bowl so you don’t deflate the mix, then fold in until smooth. Add rosewater to taste. Remove the tin from the freezer and spoon about 2tsp of batter into each hole. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. Remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack. Beat the icing until it breaks up, then add the water and whisk until pourable. Add a little colouring and rosewater to taste, then spoon on the madeleines. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water then pipe over the icing.

Espressimo! Coffee victoria










MAKES 1 x 20cm · 8in CAKE
225g · 8oz unsalted butter softened plus
extra for tin
225g · 8oz golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs
225g · 8oz self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
100ml · 3½ fl oz cold espresso


FILLING
100g · 3½ oz unsalted butter softened
100g · 3½ oz icing sugar sifted
1 tbsp cold espresso


ICING
150g · 5oz icing sugar sifted
2 tbsp cold espresso
30g · 1¼ oz unsalted butter softened

TO FINISH
chunks or shavings of fudge or walnut halves
icing sugar for dusting

♥ Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Butter two 20cm · 8in loose-bottomed cake tins at least 4cm · 1½ in deep and line the bases with baking paper.

♥ Using an electric whisk on high speed, first whisk the butter in a large bowl for 1-2 minutes until very pale and fluffy, then add the sugar and continue to whisk for another 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well with each addition until the mixture is amalgamated. Sift and whisk in the flour and baking powder in two goes, just lightly, then whisk in the coffee. Divide the mixture between the tins, weighing them for accuracy, and bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge and leave to cool.

♥ For the filling, cream the butter in a medium bowl using an electric whisk for about 1 minute until very pale and fluffy, then gradually whisk in the icing sugar and whisk for 1 minute longer. Finally whisk in the coffee. Remove the collars from the cake tins and peel off the base papers. Spread one sponge with the filling, taking it up to the edge (for a professional finish, you can pipe a decorative rim, as in the picture). Place the second sponge on top.

♥ For the icing, blend the icing sugar and coffee together to a smooth paste in a medium bowl, then gradually whisk in the butter in small pieces using an electric whisk at high speed, to create a thick but light frosting. Slather this over the top of the cake using a palette knife and taking it up to the edge.

♥ Decorate with chunks or shavings of fudge (or walnut halves, if you prefer), dust with icing sugar and set aside in a cool place for a couple of hours for the buttercream filling to set and the icing to harden slightly. Loosely cover and store in a cool place. The cake will keep well for a couple of days.


Recipe: Asparagus beetroot and pistachio salad









SERVES 4

600g • 22oz white or green asparagus
as in season
250g • 9oz cooked and peeled
unvinegared beetroot
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
sea salt and black pepper
1 head of black garlic cloves peeled
2 handfuls of baby leaves for example
ruby chard and lamb’s lettuce
30g • 1¼ oz pistachios coarsely chopped optional



Trim the asparagus (discard the trimmings at the point where the stems become visibly tough and peel thicker stems as necessary). Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the asparagus and cook for 5-6 minutes for white asparagus, or until just tender when you cut the thickest section using a sharp knife. Drain in a colander and refresh under the cold tap to stop any further cooking, then set aside to cool.
Trim, halve and thinly slice the beetroot, dress with the vinegar and oil, season with salt and pepper, then mix in the garlic.
Divide the asparagus among four plates, spoon the beetroot over, then scatter over a few baby leaves and drizzle over the beetroot dressing juices. If wished you can also scatter with pistachios.

Bring home the bakeoff! Salted Peanut and Chocolate Florentines



hese are inspired by Nigella Lawson’s Nut Bars, which are an absolute favourite of mine.




Makes about 12


60g (2oz) unsalted butter
60g (2oz) light brown muscovado sugar
2tsp liquid glucose
4 dried apricots, finely chopped
150g (5½oz) salted peanuts, roughly crushed
1½tbsp plain flour
100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, broken up

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Place the butter, sugar and glucose in a small saucepan and set over a medium heat. Stir until everything has melted and mixed together. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining ingredients, stirring well until everything is well mixed and the peanuts and apricots are coated in the sweet, buttery syrup. Dollop teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to the baking sheets, leaving large gaps between each one to allow the florentines to spread. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheets. Once cool, they should be bronzed and hard. Peel the baking paper from them and line them up on a wire cooling rack, with a sheet of foil underneath to catch drips. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Drizzle, pour or dollop chocolate over the florentines and allow to set.

Espressimo! Mocha mousse cake












MAKES 1 x 20cm · 8in CAKE
250g · 9oz dark chocolate about 50 per cent cocoa
250g · 9oz unsalted butter diced
plus extra for the tin
1 heaped tbsp light muscovado sugar
50ml · 2fl oz cold espresso
1 tsp dark rum
6 medium eggs separated
50g · 2¼ oz ground almonds
cocoa for dusting


♥ Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 20cm · 8in loose-bottomed cake tin about 8cm · 3¼ in deep.

♥ Break up the chocolate and gently melt it with the butter and muscovado sugar in a large mixing bowl set over a pan containing a little simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth and combined (if necessary, you can give it a quick whisk). Stir in the espresso and rum.

♥ Whisk the egg yolks for a couple of minutes in a medium bowl using an electric whisk until very pale, moussey and doubled in volume. Fold into the chocolate and butter mixture, followed by the ground almonds.

♥ Using clean beaters, whisk the egg whites until stiff in a large bowl and fold into the chocolate base in three goes. Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 15 minutes until the cake appears risen and cracked around the outside and the surface has set with a glossy sheen; it will remain a little liquid in the centre.

♥ Run a knife around the top of the edge and leave it to cool in the tin, then loosely cover and chill for several hours or overnight. Lightly dust with cocoa before serving, then remove the collar of the tin. The cake is delicious both chilled and at room temperature (when it will be softer and more mousse-like). It will keep for several days.

Recipe: Crispy salmon with lemon asparagus mimosa







SERVES 4





MIMOSA

4 medium eggs


SALMON

sea salt and black pepper
4 x 150g • 5oz salmon fillets skinned
optional splash of oil for frying


ASPARAGUS

500g • 18oz finger-thick asparagus
25g • 1oz salted butter
½ tsp finely grated lemon zest plus a generous squeeze of lemon juice
4 tbsp coarsely chopped
flat-leaf parsley
At least 30 minutes before eating, bring a small pan of water to the boil, add the eggs and cook for 10 minutes, then drain, refill with cold water and leave to cool. Separate the whites and yolks. Discard two of the whites. Finely chop the yolks and remaining whites, combine (this is the ‘mimosa’) and set aside.
Meanwhile, season the salmon, either leaving the fillets whole or cutting them into pieces.
Trim the asparagus and cut in half if long (discard the trimmings at the point where the stems become visibly tough and peel thicker stems as necessary).

About 10 minutes before eating, have a large pan of salted water on the boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 4-5 minutes until the thickest section is just tender. Drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for a few minutes.
Gently melt the butter in the pan, then return the asparagus, scatter over the lemon zest, add a squeeze of juice and gently toss, and mix in half the parsley.
Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. (The salmon cooks in its own oil, which gives a crisp outside; occasionally you may need to add a drop of oil.) Add the salmon to the pan and fry on one side for about 5 minutes until golden and crispy and you can see that it has cooked through by a third to half. Turn and cook the other side for about 3 minutes or until the salmon has just lost its translucency in the centre.
Serve with the asparagus on the side and mimosa and remaining parsley scattered over.

Bring home the bakeoff! Tropical fruit pavlova



've dedicated this recipe to my mum, who has to be the best pavlova maker in the world. She makes the gooiest, fluffiest meringue ever, and she isn't one to faff about – she adds nothing but egg whites and sugar and lets the oven do the work.




Serves 10-12


5 egg whites


285g (10oz) sugar


600ml (20fl oz) double cream


5 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced


200g (7oz) raspberries


200g (7oz) strawberries, hulled and halved


200g (7oz) blueberries

½ a mango, flesh diced into 1cm (½in) cubes


3 passion fruit, pulp only


Icing sugar to dust (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Using a piece of A4 paper as a template, draw a rectangle on the baking paper.


This will be the size of your meringue. To make the meringue, place the egg whites in a large, metal mixing bowl and whisk to stiff peaks using a hand-held electric mixer.


Continue whisking on a medium speed and add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking for 5 seconds or so after each addition and resisting the temptation to hurry the process.


Once the sugar is well incorporated, your meringue should be stiff and very glossy.


Spoon two-thirds of the meringue onto the baking paper and spread into the A4 shape. Put the remaining meringue in a piping bag with a large star nozzle and pipe little peaks all the way round the edge of the meringue.


Place the meringue in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 130°C/fan 110°C/gas ½. Bake for 75 minutes, then turn off the oven but leave the meringue inside for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight, with the door slightly ajar.

To make the topping, whisk the cream to soft, floppy peaks and spoon over the meringue. I only do this minutes before serving so that the meringue stays crispy and chewy.


Place the prepared fruits on top, dribbling the pulp of the passion fruit over last. Finish with a sifting of icing sugar, if you like.

Espressimo! Latte jellies












SERVES 6
6 gelatine leaves (for example Dr Oetker)
250ml · 9fl oz hot espresso
125g · 4½ oz golden caster sugar
550ml · 19fl oz single cream


TO SERVE
150ml · 5fl oz double cream
drinking chocolate powder or
cocoa for dusting
chocolate coffee beans optional


♥ Cut the gelatine into broad strips, place these in a large bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Pour over the hot espresso and stir to melt. Stir in the sugar and leave for 15-20 minutes, stirring now and again until completely dissolved. Stir in the cream and divide the solution among six 150ml · 5fl oz tea or coffee cups or individual glasses.

♥ Place on or in a tray or baking tray (for ease of handling) and cover with clingfilm, without allowing it to touch the surface of the jellies. Chill for half a day until set, or overnight.

♥ Whisk the double cream in a medium-size bowl until it forms soft, fluffy peaks, then dollop on top of the jellies. Dust with drinking chocolate powder or cocoa and top with a coffee bean. You can do this up to a couple of hours in advance of eating, in which case return them to the fridge.

Recipe: Asparagus, pea and mint soup







SERVES 4
300g • 11oz finger-thick or sprue asparagus
5 tbsp good olive oil
5 shallots peeled halved and thinly sliced
1 celery heart trimmed and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper
300g • 11oz shelled peas
900ml • 1½ pt chicken stock
20g • ¾ oz mint leaves


OPTIONAL FINISHES
olive oil for drizzling
extra small mint leaves for decoration
freshly grated parmesan
Trim and thickly slice the asparagus (discard the trimmings at the point where the stems become visibly tough and peel thicker stems as necessary). Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the shallots, celery and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened and relaxed, stirring frequently. Add the asparagus, season and cook for 3-4 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until glossy, then stir in the peas. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Whiz the soup with the mint in batches in a food processor until smooth with a little texture. Taste for seasoning and if necessary reheat, then serve with a drizzle of oil, a few tiny mint leaves in the centre and grated parmesan if wished. You can also shave curls of raw asparagus for decoration.

Bring home the bakeoff! My grand Almond and Pear Crown Torte



My brother-in-law, Mike, can’t eat anything with gluten in – so I created this just for him.



Pear Crown Torte with lemon drizzle icing

Serves 6
For the pears


6 small conference pears
800ml (1½pts) water
400g (14oz) caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways
Zest of 1 lemon
For the torte
6 eggs, separated
300g (10½oz) ground almonds
2tsp baking powder
2tsp almond extract
200g (7oz) golden caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
To finish
1tbsp demerara sugar
1tbsp lemon juice
250g (9oz) icing sugar
To prepare the pears, peel but don’t core them, and leave the stalks on. In a saucepan, bring the water to a gentle boil. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Break the cinnamon stick into 4 pieces and add to the pan, along with the vanilla and zest. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and add the pears. Poach for 10-20 minutes, or until a knife can easily pierce the flesh but the pears retain their shape. Remove the pears and place them on a sheet of kitchen paper to dry a little. Preheat the oven to 150°C/fan 130°C/gas 2. To make the torte batter, place the egg whites in one bowl and the egg yolks in another. Add the ground almonds, baking powder, almond extract, caster sugar and lemon zest to the yolks and combine. This will be a very stiff mixture and so will need some elbow grease and a firm wooden spoon.
Using a hand-held electric mixer, or a freestanding mixer with whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff white peaks. Take a third of this egg white and beat it into the stiff egg yolk mixture to slacken it slightly. Then tip the rest of the egg white into the yolk mix, and fold in gently using a thin spatula. It will take a while to incorporate the egg whites so they are evenly distributed, but try not to beat out too much air. Pour it gently into the tin to avoid bursting any bubbles, don’t pour it from a great height; get as close to the base of the tin as possible. Even off the batter with a spoon, then slot the pears around the edge, bottoms into the batter and stalky tops poking out. Sprinkle the top with demerara sugar. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top feels set. Due to the oil content of the ground almonds, this might look uncooked until it sets fully, so don’t worry if after this time it doesn’t seem baked – it will be. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tin. Mix the lemon juice and icing sugar together until the icing is pourable but thick – you may need to loosen it with a drop of water. Pour over the cake.

Liverpool ladies wear more make-up than any other British women



The uber-tanned and artificially enhanced cast of scripted reality show The Only Way Is Essex have made false nails, glue-on eyelashes and fake tan their own.


But according to the latest research, it is actually the ladies of Liverpool who wear more make-up than anyone else in the UK.


Researchers found one in ten women in the city, which is home to Coleen Rooney and Abbey Crouch, said they adopted a 'nice and thick' approach to applying make-up.

It also emerged that they spend 20 minutes making themselves up on a typical morning, and then a further eight minutes removing it at the end the day.






Scouse style: One in ten women in the city, which is home to Coleen Rooney and Abbey Crouch, said they adopted a 'nice and thick' approach to applying make-up

That tots up to the equivalent of more than seven days putting on and removing make-up every year.


Scouse girls typically need at least two make-up wipes to remove their war paint every day, or 730 over the course of a year, the research found.


The poll found 45 per cent of girls from Liverpool have regularly gone to bed with a full face of make-up and a third of those have kept it on for the next day after a quick touch-up.




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Girls from London and Newcastle were more likely to don false eyelashes and Manchester females wear the most fake tan.


The study also revealed more than one third of those polled said northerners were most likely to wear more make-up.


By contrast, girls from Plymouth, Norwich and Oxford we more likely to opt for a simple, classic look.






Wipe it off: Scouse girls typically need at least two make-up wipes to remove their war paint every day and it's women from Swansea, like Catherine Zeta Jones, who are most concerned about their skin



The poll also found women from the Welsh city of Swansea were the most worried about the amount of make-up they wear and the effect it has on their skin.


Celebrity make-up artist Caroline Frazer said: 'Make-up trends come and go just as they do with fashion or hairstyles.


'Some seasons the subtle, natural look is favoured, but on other occasions a more heavy, dramatic look like this season's red lips, fuller lashes and bright eye shadows.


'There is nothing wrong with wearing make-up, as long as it is removed properly to ensure it doesn't block pores or make skin look dull and lack luster. It's equally important to create the right canvas so make-up looks its best which some women forget.


'Great make-up isn't just about applying it well; it's also about looking after your skin so a healthier complexion shines through.



Concerned: The study also found 25 per cent of all women worry about the amount of make-up they wear and believe they could be suffocating their skin

'We are all guilty of occasionally going to bed with make-up still on, but it's really important not to do this regularly as it will take its toll on the skin.'


The study also found 25 per cent of all women worry about the amount of make-up they wear and believe they could be suffocating their skin.


To try and counteract this three quarters of women like to have a break at least once a week from wearing make-up.


Of the women polled by skincare brand Simple, more than half said that women who wear a lot of make-up are trying too hard and 34 per cent said they are hiding who they really are.


In contrast more than one in 20 felt they should wear more make-up to get ahead in their career.


Which is probably the reason why eight in ten women insist on applying make-up before they head to the office.


Half of women said they look 100 times better after they have applied make-up and 56 per cent said just a touch of make-up covers any blemishes.


Caroline Frazer added: 'It's encouraging that women give their skin a bit of a break from make-up.

'Whilst make-up will create a cover for blemishes it won't help skin in the long run, especially if you are prone to problem or sensitive skin.






Name and shame: The poll named and shamed glamour girl Katie Price as having the worst make-up and Harry Potter starlet Emma Watson as the best

'There is no excuse to not look after your skin, it's your insurance policy for the future - you only have one skin so look after it.'
The poll also named and shamed glamour girl Katie Price as having the worst make-up and Harry Potter starlet Emma Watson as the best.

From waving them in the air to wearing gloves in bed, make your hands look younger without surgery



However much we slather our faces in serums, eye creams, night creams and moisturiser, there is one part of the body that will always betray our age: our hands.


Last week, a survey suggested that ageing hands are one of our biggest beauty worries, with one in eight of us being more concerned about the condition of our mitts than our face.


As the years pass, skin on the hands thins, causing veins to become more prominent and liver spots to appear. While make-up can disguise tell-tale signs of ageing on the face, it's more difficult with hands - which is why it's often said that hands are the best indicator of age. Even Madonna, pictured right, who has 'anti-aged' almost every part of her body, resorts to fingerless gloves to cover hers.

But without injections of fat, fillers or laser treatment to remove age spots, how can you knock a few years off your hands? Here are some simple yet effective ideas.





Banish blotches

As we get older, the cells within the skin that make melanin (the brown pigment that gives us a tan) cluster together into visible marks known as liver or age spots. How many of these appear depends on how much exposure to sunlight our hands have had over a lifetime, but they can be softened without resorting to expensive laser treatment. Nivea's Q10 Plus Age Defying Hand Cream (£2.83) promises to reduce excess pigmentation, while Clinique's Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Correcting Hand Cream (£22.50) has been clinically shown to reduce dark marks as effectively as the prescription product hydroquinone.


You can even achieve the effects of a chemical skin peel by using Chrono Reverser Gel (£47.50, the-comfort-zone.co.uk). This contains polyhydroxy acids which mimic the effects of a chemical peel, leaving skin smoother and firmer. If used nightly for four weeks, it promises to fade age spots as well as fine lines.





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Slather on an SPF

Except when they are in gloves, our hands are continually exposed to the elements. Sun damage causes up to 80 per cent of the visible signs of ageing, and loss of firmness, roughness and age spots are all a direct result of how many UV rays our hands have picked up. Wearing sunscreen, or a hand cream containing both UVA and UVB filters, prevents future damage.


It doesn't have to be expensive - Superdrug's Solait SPF30 sunscreen costs £2.48 and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Anti-Ageing Hand Cream now contains SPF25 (£4.09, at Boots). Tinted face products work on hands too, and can disguise any redness around the knuckles. Sarah McNamara's Miracle Skin Transformer (£38 at Selfridges.com) is a tinted multi-tasker that not only smoothes and evens out skin tone but contains an SPF 20.




'The pared-back manicure is a key look this summer,' says celebrity nail technician Marian Newman

Nail it

The surface of your nails can become roughened, dull and discoloured over the years, so giving them a little TLC can have anti-ageing benefits. Nail care doesn't have to be elaborate. 'The pared-back manicure is a key look this summer,' says celebrity nail technician Marian Newman. 'Focus on creating a perfect short, curved shape for the nails, then use a quality buffer to bring out their natural shine.' Leighton Denny's Large Crystal Nail File (£15.50, Boots) is a long-lasting investment, as is Models Own 4-way Buffer Block (£3.50, Boots).


Dare to go bare

Nail colour that is garishly bright can draw unwanted attention to the hands.


Play it safe with a nude varnish, this summer's most fashionable shade, for what Revlon calls the 'mannequin hands' look, where your nails are almost the same colour as your fingers, creating the effect of long, elegant fingers (Revlon has eight nude shades to choose from, £7.99 at Boots and Superdrug).




Putting hands up keeps them cool and pale and makes bulging veins look temporarily less prominent

Hands up!

Adopt the time-honoured debutante's trick for achieving beautiful hands. They used to hold their hands in the air while being driven to a fancy party. Why? So that by the time they arrived, the blood had drained down from their hands, which would be fashionably cool and pale for when they had shake their hostess's hand. It also makes bulging veins look temporarily less prominent.




Rub it in

Anti-ageing creams for hands do exist! Dermaquest has a Glyco Hand Cream (£42, houseoffraser.co.uk) which contains 15 per cent glycolic acid to help speed up cell turnover and leave skin smooth and soft.


Palm off



The palms are the only part of the body that do not grow hair or tan

The peptides popular in face creams can also be found in hand lotions such as Renouve (£22 from victoriahealth.com), an alcohol-free 'anti-ageing hand sanitising lotion' .

The crème de la hand-crème has to be La Prairie's White Caviar Illuminating Hand Cream SPF 15 (£93, Selfridges.com). Ingredients include an exfoliating peptide, rich conditioners and SPF 15.





Little things count

Ragged cuticles make hands look unkempt and older. Soak them in warm water to soften them, then ease the cuticle back using a wooden orange stick, and rub in cuticle oil every night.
If you can't stand getting your fingers oily, try Margaret Dabbs Nourishing Nail and Cuticle Serum (£10, margaretdabbs.co.uk) or a cuticle pen such as Rituals Cuticle Treatment Pen (£7.50, rituals.com and John Lewis.



Ragged cuticles make hands look unkempt. Soak them to soften, then ease the cuticle back

Diet is everything

Eating well gives nails and skin a boost. Make sure your diet includes plenty of protein in the form of fish, eggs, lean meat and cheese. Packing in colourful vegetables will strengthen skin, too, and the antioxidants they contain improve its ability to stand up to sunshine and pollution.

Research by Dr Mark Birch-Machin, professor of molecular dermatology at Newcastle University, has found that a diet rich in tomatoes increases the skin's ability to protect itself, thanks to the antioxidant lycopene that they contain (it's the pigment which gives tomatoes their colour).

Other beneficial antioxidants include carotene, found in carrots, and anthocyanins, which give blueberries their colour.




Pop a pill

If your diet isn't providing the right nutrients, you can take supplements to strengthen nails and thicken skin. Studies have indicated that Imedeen Time Perfection tablets (£35, imedeen.co.uk) improve the density of ageing skin by 122 per cent, while Evelle (£35.95 from multivits.co.uk)claims to have a unique formula to support skin, nails and hair.




Packing in colourful vegetables will strengthen skin and the antioxidants improve ability to stand up to sun

Don't get in a lather

If your job involves lots of hand-washing, it's even more important to use a protective cream. Paediatric nurse Antonia Steven has created a remarkably good cream called 'Yes Nurse' (£5.49, yesnurse.co.uk).


Another cracker of a thick, protective cream is Farmers' Hand Cream (£12.95, welshlavender.co.uk), while Lanolips Rose Balm Intense for Very Dry Hands and Nails (£8.99, victoriahealth.com) is based on medical-grade lanolin.


Hand in glove

Using hand-treatment products overnight in conjunction with cotton gloves is a short cut to better-looking hands - the build-up of heat helps lotions to penetrate.

Facialist Sarah Chapman has created the gorgeous new Overnight Hand & Nail Treatment (£35 including gloves, spacenk.com), while Bliss Glamour Gloves (£36.50, blissworld.co.uk) have a self-activating, moisturising gel lining impregnated with vitamin E, olive and grapeseed oils. Wear them for 20 minutes at a time to soften, hydrate and smooth.


There is even a 'face-mask' for hands, the Sanctuary Anti-Ageing Intensive Hand Mask (£5.10 at Boots). Massage it in last thing at night, then pull on the gloves that come with it to help the product soften your skin overnight.