Quantcast
DECK THE HOLIDAY'S

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WINTER FESTIVALS IN QUEBEC, CANADA, EH!!!








   Visitors from all over the world will be playing in the snow and enjoying the winter festivities at one of the biggest winter celebrations that Canada has to offer.  Quebec, Canada has been host to the winter wonderland known to locals as "Carnaval de Quebec", for more than 50 years and shows no signs of slowing down anytime in the near future as this year's carnival will see more than 400 unique activities.  It has been dubbed as the "The coolest Part in the World", and why not?  It has all of the offerings that you would expect form traditions Nordic culture, only they have went all out and included events for people of all generations, tastes, and backgrounds.
\\














    The Winter Carnival got its start in 1894 and has grown each consecutive year by updating events and festivities to fit every lifestyle.  Starting at the end of January and lasting up until the middle of February.  Quebec opens its doors for a winter celebration that includes snow baths, glittering night parades, slide runs, ice fishing, concerts, snow rafting, snow sculpture competitions, a canoe race over the frozen St. Lawrence River, horse-drawn sleigh rides, husky powered dogsled rides, and skating.












      Music, dancing, live entertainment, deliciously prepared cuisine, rides and activities are also part of the Winter Carnival.  The activities are non-stop throughout the week, but the special events are typically held during the weekend.  If this isn't enough to tantalize your taste buds, then the city of Quebec itself might be what you are hungering for.  The medieval setting is something straight out of a book as you will delight in seeing everything from the French architecturally designed homes nestled along narrow, winding streets to the colorful and inviting restaurants and shops that demand your attention.  It is truly one of the most beautiful destinations that you will ever have the pleasure of laying your eyes on.














    The heart of the carnival is set up at the Plains of Abraham where the French and British once battled, but is now home to grazing cattle and the Winter Carnival.  A particular favorite is the St. Hubert Derby that easily draws crowds of people waiting to see the single and double championship drivers of the horse team competition.  While other visitors can't wait to chill out in the Ice Palace and see the one of a kind structure made up entirely of ice.  Children gather in large crowds awaiting the arrival of Bonhomme the snowman who  plays as Master of Ceremonies during the snow bath event where daring adventurists play in the snow the Eskimo way, in bathing suits.












   The city of Quebec not only offers fun winter festivities, but it also holds the allure of being the only walled city in North America.  More than 1.5 million visitors find their way to the Carnival de Quebec, and most of them will eventually find their way to the ancient part of the walled city that houses French neighborhoods that closely resemble a European village of sorts.  Brightly lit shops and local cuisine can be found along the heart of the city as well as scenic views of the lake and mountains.

ANGEL FOOD CUPCAKES WITH COOL WHIP FROSTING!





   This recipe comes from www.clairekcreations.com .  Two things that always go well together, cool whip and angel food cake (possibly with some strawberries)!



Today I am very excited to play host to my very first guest post! I discovered Mother Thyme a few months ago and I love reading her fabulous recipes. She’s the woman behind the delicious tomato pasta sauce and choc-ginger biscuits. Please make her feel welcome and be sure to stop by and check out all the fabulous recipes on Mother Thyme.




Hi everyone! I’m Jennifer from Mother Thyme. I am so thrilled to be guest posting on my foodie friend Claire’s fabulous site today!
Today I will be sharing with you a light and refreshing dessert that you can enjoy without the guilt, Angel Food Cupcakes. These cupcakes are light and airy and made with a few simple ingredients such as egg white, confectioners sugar, sugar, salt and vanilla. The egg whites are whipped to form stiff peaks that makes this batter light and airy.
Sure I could have topped these cupcakes off with a creamy, eat with a spoon buttercream frosting, but that defeats the purpose of composing a light cupcake. My first thought was to just add dollops of cool whip on top of these cupcakes with slices of strawberries, but after some experimenting and recipe developing I came up with this creamy, delicious cool whip frosting that is flavored with vanilla and a hint of almond. This frosting is creamy, tasty, and delicious without all the extra calories and fat. So instead of having one cupcake, let’s have two (or maybe three)!
Thanks for letting me share my recipe here with you today. Be sure to stop by and say Hi to me at Mother Thyme. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!
Enjoy!




Angel Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Almond Cool Whip Frosting
(Click here for a print friendly version)


Yield: 1 ½ dozen cupcakes
Angel Food Cupcakes
Ingredients
12 large egg whites (about 1 ½ cups)
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
½ cup sugar
1 cup cake flour (plain flour)


Directions

Preheat oven to 350F degrees (160C). Line cupcake tin with liners, set aside.
Using an electric mixer with whisk attachment combine egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl. Blend on medium speed for 4-5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Gradually add in sugars and continue to blend until just combined. By hand fold in cake flour.
Pour batter into cupcake liners filling ¾ full. Bake for 15-18 minutes until cake tester comes out clean and top is firm. Do not overbake.
Cool on wire racks completely before frosting.
Vanilla Almond Cool Whip Frosting
Ingredients
1 3.4oz (90-120g) package of vanilla instant pudding
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 8oz tub (240) of cool whip, thawed (fat free, light or regular)

In a medium bowl combine pudding, milk and almond extract until smooth. Fold in cool whip until combined. Frost as desired.




THE TAIWAN LANTERN FESTIVAL!!!










    The 15th day of the first lunar month each year, known as "Yuan Xiao", it is one of the three major traditional festivals in Taiwan.  It is also the first festival celebration after the start of the Lunar New Year.  Special events include the Taiwan Lantern Festival, Pingxi Heavenly Lanterns, Taitung Bombing of the god Handan, the Beehive Rockets of Yanshui, the Taipei Lantern Festival, and traditional celebratory temple rituals.
   Since 1990, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau has organized the Taiwan Lantern Festival, and this year, the the festival enters its 22nd year.






Year of the Rabbit Lantern





   The centerpiece of the event is a giant themed lantern modeled on the Chinese zodiacal animal of the year, accompanied by subsidiary lanterns and special lantern areas such as the Hope & Wishes lantern section, the Fun Filled lantern section and many others, all of which successfully display the art of lantern making.  During the official opening ceremony, performing groups from Taiwan and overseas enliven the festivities, making this an event you don't want to miss.












History

   Starting in 1990, the Tourism Bureau integrated civilian and local governmental resources to conduct the event to celebrate the Lantern Festival (15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar).  The purpose of the festival is to spread the traditional folklore of the festival.





Image result for taiwan lantern festival 2015






   The firecrackers ceremony of the Wumiao Temple in Yenshui Township was held by ancient people in order to show respect for the exploits of Guan Yu.  Fengpao, is the ceremony to start the burning of thousands of firecrackers hung on  15 to 75 foot high wooden stands.  This ceremony starts from 6 p.m., and goes on until 5 the next morning.  Thousands of visitors attend the ceremony.

Friday, March 13, 2015

TOP SELLING CANDIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD!

  You wouldn't wear the same food costume every Halloween — so why trick-or-treat with the same candy? This year, try something new. If you're already well-versed in the categories of movie treats and nostalgic candies, then consider serving various candies from around the world. Need a bit of an education in global candy culture? Then test your knowledge of the world's candies and check out some of our favorites here.



Bounty, United Kingdom

Bounty, United Kingdom



   Mounds lovers will appreciate Bounty, a coconut-filled bar enrobed with milk chocolate.



Botan Rice Candy, Japan

Botan Rice Candy, Japan

   Even if you've never been to Japan, you may have come across Botan Rice Candy in Asian supermarkets. Botan, which means "peony," is a prominent brand in Japan and makes a sticky rice candy with a slightly citrusy flavor.



ToffeeCrisp, United Kingdom

ToffeeCrisp, United Kingdom

   NestlĂ© makes a number of chocolate bars in Europe that aren't readily available in the United States. One of them is ToffeeCrisp, a staple in the United Kingdom. The long, slender milk chocolate bar is filled with crackling puffed rice and caramel. Its motto? "Somebody, somewhere, is eating a ToffeeCrisp."



Cheong Woo, Korea

Cheong Woo, Korea

   Leave it to South Korea to come up with pumpkin candy — a mellow, slightly salty candy with a prominent squash-like flavor and the texture of Starburst. If you can track it down, it's perfect for this time of year.



Kinder Country, Germany

Kinder Country, Germany

   I wasn't sure what to make of Kinder Country, which was described on the wrapper as "milk chocolate with rich milk filling." It was unlike anything I'd ever had in the States: a creamy, milky white center, made crunchy with puffed rice and then doused in milk chocolate.



Lion, United Kingdom

Lion, United Kingdom

   I was really happy to bite into a Lion Bar, another chocolate confection that hails from the UK. It was similar to a ToffeeCrisp, with caramel, crisp cereal, and a wafer enrobed in milk chocolate and reminded me of an even heartier 100 Grand. This lion was one of my top candy picks and definitely made me roar.



Baci, Italy

Baci, Italy

   Hershey's isn't the only one with kisses — Italy has its own version, Perugina's Baci. These chocolate bonbons are filled with hazelnut chocolate cream, topped with a whole hazelnut, and wrapped in a love note.



Peko Milky Candy, Japan

Peko Milky Candy, Japan

   Peko-chan Milk Candy is commonplace among children in Japan. The individually-wrapped candies are firm yet chewy and have a distinctive sweet milk flavor.



Yorkie, United Kingdom

Yorkie, United Kingdom

   The Yorkie bar — originally titled so because it was made by Rowntrees of York — was created in the 1970s as a larger chocolate bar alternative to Cadbury's Dairy-Milk. To this day, the chocolate stays true to its original branding with the slogan, "It's not for girls!"



Chimes Mango Ginger Chews, Indonesia

Chimes Mango Ginger Chews, Indonesia

   I'd never heard of Chimes Mango Ginger Chews before, but these individually-wrapped Indonesian ginger candies in the quaint tin turned out to be my favorite. They had a latent heat and spiciness to them, thanks to ginger that's grown on volcanic soil in East Java.



HOW TO MARBLE ROYAL ICING!

 This diy is from www.sweetopia.net .  Another get turtorial to add a little decorating tip for your cookies and cakes.  Sit back, relax and take it in.  OOOOMMMM!!!






It’s called marbling, feathering or swirling, which is basically when one or more colors of icing are applied to a base coat of icing, and then a toothpick, cake tester, pin or skewer is dragged through the icing to create a marbled or swirly effect.



Each combination of colors creates another look.



Just by changing the way you set up your lines and drag the toothpick, completely different designs emerge.



You can incorporate the swirled icing into your design, like these feathered cookie friends:



How to Make Marbled, Swirled or Feathered Decorated Cookies


If you’d like to try the marbled effect, the most important thing for your success is the consistency of the icing. To help you with that, my cookie decorating tutorial goes over some tips and the 10-second rule here.



Once you have your cookies baked and icing made, it’s time to begin by piping your outline. I like to use a piping bag fitted with a coupler and #2 tip.
Fill or flood your cookie with royal icing right away. You could leave the outline to set to create a solid dam, but you’ll be able to see the border when the icing dries.



Once you’ve filled the whole cookie in, shake it gently left to right on your work surface, to help smooth the icing out.



Add your second (or more), layers or colors of icing. Work as quickly as you can before the icing sets.



Take a toothpick, pin, skewer or dough tester (hey, whatever works!), and drag it through the icing. In this case I drew S-like shapes. The image below shows which direction I dragged the toothpick in.



Finish off the edges with dots or another design of your choice and you’re done!




The hearts are made by piping dots and dragging the toothpick through the center of each dot.





Let your cookies dry, package and ribbon.




Simple, easy, fun and impressive!
If you prefer video, I’ve got a video tutorial on marbling here for you to watch.
*
I’d also like to send out a big thanks agian to Bridget at Bake at 350 for having me as a guest contributor for her blog a few weeks ago. In case you didn’t see the post, it’s what I’ve shared with you here today, and if you haven’t seen Bridget’s eye-candy cookies and baked goods of all kinds yet, check them out by clicking here!
*
Happy marbling!
xo,
Marian
p.s. Update – I’ve received so many emails asking where I got my square, fluted cookie cutter, so here’s the link for you.

CARNIVAL OF BINCHE FROM BELGIUM!!!!








    The Carnival of Binche is an event that takes place each year in the Belgian town of Binche, during the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. The carnival is best known of all the others that take place in Belgium, at the same time and has been proclaimed as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Its history dates back to approximately the 14th century.













    Events related to the carnival begin up to 7 weeks prior to the primary celebrations. Street performances and public displays traditionally occur on the Sundays approaching Ash Wednesday, consisting of prescribed musical acts, dancing and marching. Large numbers of Binche's inhabitants spend the Sunday prior to Ash Wednesday in costume.











    The centerpiece of the carnival, are clown like performers, known as Gilles. Appearing, for the most part, on "Shrove" Tuesday, the Giles are characterised by their vibrant dress, wax masks and wooden footwear. They number up to 1,000 at any given time, ranging in age from 3 to 60 years old, and are customarily male. The honor of being a Gille at the carnival is something that is aspired to by local men. From dawn on the morning of the carnival's final day, Gilles appear in the center of Binche, to dance to the sound of drums and ward off evils spirits by slapping sticks together. Later, during the day, they don large hats adorned with Ostrich plums, which can cost upward of $300 dollars to rent, and march through town carrying baskets of oranges. These oranges are thrown to, and sometimes at, members of the crowd that gather to view the procession. The vigor and longevity of the orange throwing event has in the past, caused damage to property...some residents choose to seal windows to prevent this.











    On Shrove Tuesday townspeople don their fancy costumes that were imagined and made months before and created by each participant. In the morning at approximately 8 a.m. the drums go from house to house to gather up the participants. At about 10 a.m., the small groups collected by the drums meet in the heart of Binche. It is the moment the townspeople prefer, when they discover the marvelous, original costumes. At about 3:30 p.m., people gather at the station area. The societies go back to the center of Binche, dancing to the music of the drums and the brass bands, forming a living multicolored ribbon.











    On Shrove Monday, the feast is a traditional, more private gathering of locals. To the tune of the viols and the hurdy-gurdies, they all go from pub to pub, and from pub to friends and neighbors houses, as they get ready to invite the voil, who are dancing in the streets.
    At about 3 p.m. the children gather, just like the adults had done the day before. The younger ones dance to the music of the drums and brass bands. They then convene in the Town Square, they all dance to the "rondeau de l'amite." Then after hours of dancing and singing until about 8 p.m., they leave to enjoy fireworks at the stationing area.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

NAPKIN RING IDEAS TO HELP TO SET THAT FESTIVE CHRISTMAS DINNER PARTY!

   This dify comes from www.theletteredcottage.net  Many get ideas on how to add that extra detail to your holiday dinner. Enjoy!


Christmas Craft: Festive Napkin Ring Ideas

Hey there!
Are you having a nice December? Hope so!
We saw our niece and nephew sing at church tonight and it. was. wonderful! There’s something about little ones signing & singing songs about Jesus that always makes me teary.

Speaking of Christmas and fellowship, if you’re hosting a family dinner and you’re looking for some inexpensive and easy ways to festify (get it? festive? fy?) your dining room/kitchen table, how about creating some holiday napkin ring bling!


All ya need are some napkin rings…
…a hot glue gun, glue sticks, and some “holiday bling” from the arts & crafts store…
Everything in the photo above was marked 50% off, so each item only cost between 50 cents and $1.
Normally, I wouldn’t have purchased so many different options, but I wanted to have fun creating a variety of looks for this post, so I just grabbed a bunch of stuff that looked like it would sit right on top of my napkin rings.
Kevin and I had a ball putting them together today, and of course we had to name them all too.
“Bingle Jells”
“Flutter By”
“Mistle. Yo”
“It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a napkin ring!”
And if you wanna get eggs-tra fancy schmancy with this one…(hardy har har)
Kinda pretty, huh?
Or is it weird to have a bird nesting in the middle of your plate right before you eat off of it?
Anywho…this next one isn’t quite as…uh…………….this next one doesn’t have eyeballs.
“Is that dessert on my plate, or just a really cute napkin ring?”
“Napkin ring/After Dinner Hint”
These little adhesive-backed poinsettias went on especially quick…
(You could probably even make these if you wanted to get really crazy. They’re just made out of felt and corn kernels.)
“I want some spaghetti-a, under my poinsettia”
And last but not least…
“Twilight”
Because if you don’t use some kind of sealer on the snowflake, and you wipe your face with this napkin, you’ll be as sparkly as a vampire in the sun.