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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY BUTTERFINGER RECIPE!!

   This recipe was found at www.inkatrinaskitchen.com.  Go ahead and make it!   I dare you!!




My method was a little bit different from the original which calls for 16oz of candy corn and 16 oz of peanut butter. Since making these I found that Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen made them too. And yeah hers are adorbs so check them out.


Here's what I did:


Ingredients:
  • 3 cups candy corn
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • Chocolate for dipping

Directions:


1. Melt candy corn in the microwave for about 60 seconds. Check and stir returning to microwave for 15 second intervals until completely melted.
2. Add peanut butter and combine. Return to microwave if necessary to incorporate until creamy.
3. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan (or whatever pan you like to get the thickness you desire) and let cool about an hour.
4. Cut candy into desired shape and cover in melted chocolate.


**I used a circle cutter and black chocolate for some of the candies. To make traditional butterfingers cut into rectangles and cover in milk chocolate.

**I made the pops by cutting the circles then returning them to the microwave for about 10 seconds to soften the candy enough to insert the stick. Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in chocolate first before inserting onto the candy and let it harden up for about 15 minutes before continuing to cover the whole pop in chocolate.

**If your candy gets too hard to cut just return to the microwave for a few seconds.

**I would describe the texture of these as firm and chewy. So while it doesn't have the crisp of a classic Butterfinger the taste is still spot on. It's scary how close the taste is!

DIY BOOK PAGE LEAVES!

   This comes from www.madincrafts.com .  These don't have to made just in the fall.  Leaves look good all year round.  Enjoy!



PB Fall Knockoffs - Book Page Leaves

   Once again I am loving the gorgeous seasonal decor for sale at Pottery Barn, but there is no way I am willing to spend that much money. Even though it is lovely. Really. So, like usual, I brainstormed a few ways to use bargain priced items to replicate their ideas as best I can.

I considered making this another Dollar Barn series, but since so much of what I used was from my stash, I can't be sure that I everything was originally from the dollar store. If I think you can find the materials I used at the DT (or similar materials), it will be mentioned.

The major motifs I "borrowed" from PB are fall leaves, glass containers, and fall fruits and veggies - all pretty standard for autumn decorating. The one little idea I stole from them, and then ran with, is the addition of some book page leaves like those seen here.








You can't actually buy these from PB, so I feel a little less guilty commandeering the idea. Book page crafts have been all over the web this year, so this is hardly a PB original idea but I liked the idea of adding the bookish touch to my favorite season.

I already defiled an old dictionary for my Key Storage Makeover project, so I used more pages for these leaves, but any book will do. You can even pick one up from the dollar store if you aren't willing to destroy one you already own.








All you have to do is tear a few pages out of the book, keeping the binding intact if you are able.








Trace a leaf (real or fake) with pen or pencil. If you have kept the binding intact for these pages, you can easily cut several leaf shapes out at once.








Voila! Lovely little book page leaves.

I used these leaves in several places in my fall decorating, and you will see them peeking out at you in the next few posts. Last year, I made a Fall Wreath out of dollar store materials, but I wanted to freshen it up just a little this year.








All I had to do was wire in a few of my book page leaves and now the wreath looks even cuter!








Cool what just a little change can do, right?

LA TOMATINA FROM BUNOL, SPAIN!!




    La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, in which participants throw tomatoes at each other. It is held the last Wednesday in August, during the week of festivities of Buñol.
History

Changes Throughout Its History

    The tomato fight has been a strong tradition in Buñol since 1944 or 1945. No one is completely certain how this event originated. Possible theories on how the Tomatina began include a local food fight among friends, a juvenile class war, a volley of tomatoes from bystanders at a carnival parade, a practical joke on a bad musician, the anarchic aftermath of an accidental lorry spillage. One of the most popular theories is that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration.
    In 1950, the council allowed the party to happen. The next year however it was not approved, thanks to pressure from town residents and other participants.
When the festival was finally officially sanctioned, the launching of tomatoes became inventive. Methods such as using water canons, catapults and filling of fountains of rivals became common. Between the noise and chaos, participants typically primed






with those who were mere spectators, including local personalities. By 1957 the festival was once again banned with strict penalties, including imprisonment, threatened against those flouting the ban. In that year, the neighborhood decided to organize what they called "the funeral of the tomato", which came in a procession carrying a coffin with a great tomato, accompanied by a band playing funeral marches along the path.
    Due to local pressure, in 1959 the town finally approved the Tomatina, but imposed a rule that people could only throw tomatoes after a horn sounded and should end when it sounded a second time.
    Between 1975 and 1980 the festival was organized by the ordeal of San Luis Bertran, who supplied the tomatoes, replacing the previous arrangement of participants bringing their own. The party became popular in Spain thanks to Javier Basilio reporting the issue in the RTVE Informe Semanal in 1983.






    Since 1980 the City Council provides participants with tomatoes, each year a greater tonnage than the previous year. Visitors became attracted to the event and in 2002 it was declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest. In 2008 a soundtrack was created, the song of the Tomatina "Todo es del mismo color" created by the bunyolense rock band "Malsujeto".









   Description At around 10am festivities begin with the first event of the Tomatina. It is the "palo jabón", similar to the greasy pole. The goal is to climb a greased pole with a ham on top. As this happens, the revellers work into a frenzy of singing and dancing whilst being showered in water from hoses. Once someone is able to drop the ham off the pole, the start signal for the tomato fight is given. The signal for the onset is at about 11 when a loud shot rings out, and the chaos begins.











    Several trucks throw tomatoes in abundance in the Plaza del Pueblo. The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where they are less expensive and are grown specifically for the holidays, being of inferior taste. For the participants the use of goggles and gloves are recommended. The tomatoes must be crushed before being thrown so as to reduce the risk of injury.










   After exactly one hour, the fight ends with the firing of the second shot, announcing the end. The whole town square is coloured red and rivers of tomato juice flow freely. Fire Trucks hose down the streets and participants use hoses that locals provide to remove the tomato paste from their bodies. Some participants go to the pool of “los peñones” to wash. After the cleaning, the village cobblestone streets are pristine due to the acidity of the tomato disinfecting and thoroughly cleaning the surfaces.Trivia La Tomatina Buñol has inspired other similar celebrations in other parts of the world:


  • Since 2004 the Colombian town of Sutamarchán holds a similar event on the 15th of June when a surplus of tomatoes is harvested.
  • In Costa Rica the town of San José de Trojas (Valverde Vega Canton) celebrates a tomatine during the local Tomato Fair in February.








   In the town of Dongguan in southern Guangdong province in China, a tomato fight is held on the 19th of October, during which they use up to 15 tons of tomatoes.
  • The City of Reno, Nevada in the United States also has an annual hour long tomato fight that started in 2009. The event seems to take place on the last Sunday of August, and is organized by the American Cancer Society. Organizers also named the festival La Tomatina, and give full credit for the idea to the Spanish festival.
  • On February 12, 2011, at the field of Esparraguera, town of Quillón, VIIIth Region, Chile, the first version of the Great Tomato War was held under the auspices of the local municipality and a private firm. Like the spanish Tomatina, it was a playful battle involving young people.







   The video game company Namco included in the 6th installment of the saga Tekken fighting game, a scenario that mimics the Tomatina buñolense.
  • The festival was recreated for the song Ik Junoon (Paint it red) from the 2011 Hindi film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

THE HISTORY OF PIZZA!!



    Pizza is one of my favorite foods, it's probably alot of other peoples favorites too. Especially here in the U.S. I thought this story of one of America's favorite foods just to break away from the stuff that happens each and every day. It's not just a Italian favorite, but also probably one of most Americans top foods to eat.
    The history of pizza is cloudy at best, with a variety of theories and speculation. Some claim it is based on the pita bread found in the Mid-East. There is also a theory that pizza came from the unleavened bread "matzo" brought to Rome by Italian legionnaires. Others insist, pizza evolved from the famous "foccacia" served in Rome about 1,000 years ago, as a snack. Another theory is that pizza was brought to Italy by Greeks, during the first century.





    There may be as many theories about the origins of pizza as there are different types of pizza!
    There is agreement that pizza may have been developed by peasants in Naples, Italy. This early pizza consisted of flattened bread dough with olive oil, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Tomatoes were discovered in the "New World" and were for centuries, thought to be poisonous. A peasant may have tried to add bulk to his pizza by using the devils fruit. The first "pizza joint" was Port' Alba, opened in Naples in 1830.     This restaurant served pizza baked in ovens made from lava rock.






    Pizza, as we know it, is credited to one Raffaele Esposito of Naples. In 1889, to honor a visit by King Umberto I and Queen Margherita, he created a special pizza which resembled the Italian flag. The pizza consisted of basil (greeen), mozzarella, (white), and tomatoes (red). This dish sets the standard for our modern day pizza. This patriotic pizza was an instant success with the King and Queen, as well as his other patrons. He named this pizza in honor of the Queen, the Margherita.









    The first American pizzeria was opened in New York in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi. This restaurant, Lombardi's, is still in operation today. The pizza is baked in a coal burning oven with the same recipe Gennaro Lombardi brought from Naples in 1897.
There is no doubt that Italian immigrants brought pizza to the United States, as part of their culture from the "Old World". Pizza was generally seen as a snack, not for a meal. Many Italians looked upon pizza as "peasant food"! They would use a little left over dough and tomato sauce. If available, cheese and meat was occasionally used.












   Numerous Italian bakeries offered pizza to their patrons. For many years, the only place to get pizza was in an Italian neighborhood. Here, pizza remained in the "underground" for decades. An undiscovered treasure that took a World War to make it a part of the American landscape!











    Pizza was popularized in the United States by returning W.W.II veterans. These soldiers had gotten a taste of pizza while they served in Italy. Upon returning, tales of pizza flourished, and with this word of mouth advertising, a demand for pizza grew. Pizza started to become mainstream.

AUGUST HOLIDAYS FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT!!






This month has some funny, exciting, and wacky holidays to celebrate all month long. In fact, there is at least one holiday to observe each day during the month of August (with the exception of the 2nd). Here are some suggestions for celebrating each day in August.



August 1: World Wide Web Day - Celebrate this holiday by spending your day exploring the World Wide Web.

August 2: Make Your Own Holiday - This one's obvious...

August 3: Watermelon Day - Try different recipes using watermelon. Eat watermelon at every meal. Don't just eat it - drink it!

August 4: National Chocolate Chip Day - You can't go wrong with chocolate chips. If you don't have time to bake cookies, they aren't bad alone!






August 5: International Beer Day - This should be a fun day for some of you.

August 6: National Fresh Breath (Halitosis) Day - Offer everyone you meet a stick of gum.

August 7: Lighthouse Day - I'm not really sure how one can celebrate Lighthouse Day.

August 8: Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day - Do that.

August 9: Veep Day - All I know is it has something to do with the Presidency...






August 10: S'mores Day - Is your mouth watering yet?

August 11: President's Joke Day (2010) - Crack a Presidential joke (in private if it may be offensive!).

August 12: Sewing Machine Day - Buy a sewing machine and learn how to use it. Use your newfound talent to make yourself a new wardrobe.

August 13: International Left Hander's Day - Honor all left handers by doing everything with your left hand today. Lefties, switch it up by using your right.

August 14: National Garage Sale Day - Hit all the local sales bright and early (before all the good stuff is gone).






August 15: National Relaxation Day - Hey, I knew you'd like this one!

August 16: Joe Miller's Joke Day - Crack some jokes.

August 17: Meaning of "Is" Day - What does "is" mean to you?

August 18: Bad Poetry Day - Hey, not all poetry has to be good. Write your very worst poem today.

August 19: "Black Cow" Root Beer Float Day - Not any old root beer float will do; it has to be "Black Cow".






August 20: Virtual World's Day - All reality aside, get lost in the virtual world for the day.

August 21: National Homeless Animals Day (2010) - There are tens of thousands of homeless animals in the world. What can you do to help?

August 22: Be an Angel Day - Or at least pretend.

August 23: Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and Its Abolition - Ahem--I said its abolition, not its existence.

August 24: National Waffle Day - Frozen waffles count.






August 25: Kiss and Make Up Day - In a tiff? Kiss and make up (at least for the day).

August 26: National Dog Day - What can you do on National Dog Day? Give your dog a bone.

August 27: Global Forgiveness Day - Have no worries. Forgive the globe....

August 28: Race Your Mouse around the Icons Day - Oh, boy! This one sounds like fun. And I can't forget; today is also 'Crackers over the Keyboard Day'.

August 29: National Sarcoidosis Day - Don't even ask what sarcoidosis is....






August 30: National Toasted Marshmallow Day - No, they can't be raw. You have to eat them toasted.

August 31: Love Litigating Lawyers Day - You gotta love 'em. You gotta.

AUGUST FOOD HOLIDAYS TO REMEMBER!!






August is the hottest month in the U.S., that means some really hot and happening food holidays too.








National Sandwich Month

We all love them so now lets learn about them. The term sandwich is occasionally used (informally) in reference to open-faced sandwiches; these normally consist of a single slice of bread topped with meat, salad vegetables, and various condiments. These differ from a normal sandwich in that they have a single slice of bread instead of two, with toppings instead of a filling. The open-faced sandwich also has a .....









National Peach Month

Are you ready to add some peaches to your menu this month? A medium peach (75 grams), has about 30 calories, seven grams of carbohydrates (six grams of sugar and one gram of fibre), one gram of protein, 140 miligrams of potassium, and 8% of the Dietary Reference Intake for vitamin C.







National Catfish Month

Catfish is eaten in a variety of ways; in Europe it is often cooked in similar ways to carp, but in the United States it is typically crumbed with cornmeal and fried. In Indonesia catfish are usually served grilled in street stalls called warung and eaten with vegetables. Catfish is high in Vitamin D. Farm-raised catfish contains low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a much higher proportion of omega-6 fatty acids.











Goat Cheese Month
Goat cheese has been made for thousands of years, and was probably one of the earliest made dairy products. Goat milk is often used by those who are young, are ill, or have a low tolerance to cows' milk. Goat milk is more similar to human milk than that of the cow, although there is large variation among breeds in both animals.



Eat Dessert first month

In Western culture dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. But during the month of August dessert lovers everywhere are given the go ahead to eat our desserts first and not feel bad about doing it. That's right August celebrates the sweet tooth.









National Watermelon Month







National Brownies At Brunch Month






National Water Quality Month

Movable Days

• National Mustard Day is the first Saturday.

• National Apple Week Is The Second week.


Daily Observances









• August 1 - National Raspberry Cream Pie Day

• August 2 - National Ice Cream Sandwich Day


• August 3 - National Watermelon Day


• August 4- National Chocolate Chip Day


• August 4National Champagne Day










• August 6National Root Beer Float Day


August 7- National Raspberries & Cream Day


• August 8- National Frozen Custard Day


August 9 National Rice Pudding Day










• August 10National S'Mores Day


• August 11- National Raspberry Bombe Day


• August 12- National Toasted Almond Bar Day


• August 13National Filet Mignon Day


• August 14National Creamsicle Day










• August 15National Lemon Meringue Pie Day


• August 16- National Rum Day


• August 17- National Vanilla Custard Day


• August 17- Cup Cake Day


• August 18- National Ice Cream Pie Day


• August 19- National Soft Ice Cream Day











• August 20- National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day

Friday, August 15, 2014

GHOSTS AND SPIRITS: JAPANESE, JEWISH AND NATIVE AMERICAN BELIEFS!!






  Since Halloween is just a few months away, and ghoulies and ghosties are on everyone's mind.  It might be a good time to explore how various cultures handle paranormal beliefs.  I will write about the basic beliefs of the Japanese, Jewish and Native Americans.
   We Americans are quite open minded about the paranormal, especially lately with the many different shows about ghosts and other paranormal activity.  More than 30 percent of all Americans believe in ghosts. I have never seen one personally, but the town I live in, in California has 2 expected places that are known for being haunted.  One I have stayed the night in (one of them is a hotel and the other used to be a boys prison).
   Let's put our beliefs aside for a moment and take a look into the basic beliefs of three other cultures regarding ghosts and spirits.

  JAPAN

   The Japanese culture, which is rich in superstition and the paranormal, is also very open to the belief of a spirit world.  In fact, many individual cultures of Japan believe that the living are always surrounded by spirits.
   Some among the ancient Japanese believed that spirits were the cause of disease and hunger.  They thought that evil spirits who were seeking retribution even brought on natural disasters like tidal waves, hurricanes, and floods.
  Another popular belief had spirits caught between the land of the living and the world of shadows.  These beliefs said that an unpurified human soul would return to the land of the living as a ghost.  Oftentimes, these spirits were believed to have returned because of certain unpardonable sins like envy, jealousy, or anger.  It was those unforgivable sins that spurred them on to seek revenge.
   Today, many Japanese still believe that spirits who are not delivered through prayer by those who love them, can be caught in limbo between the land of the living and the land of the dead.  For this reason, many Japanese death rituals are very specific and highly honored.

THE JEWISH FAITH

   According to some Jewish folklore, a spirit could attach itself to a living person for the purposes of controlling their behavior.  However, unlike possession as typically identified, this spirit, called a "dybuk", would stay only long enough to complete a particular task.  It was not believed that the spirit's intent was to overtake a living creature for an extended period of time.
   Such spirits were not necessarily bad either.  Some, in fact were believed to have been sent to assist the living.  For example, a person who was struggling with the same kind of issue might respond by latching onto the individual just long enough to help him or her through the problem.  Some referred to these ghosts as "spirit guides."
   Some Jewish people also believe that spirits were created in the twilight of creation, after man but before creation ceased.  As such, they are caught in limbo that is not of this world nor of the heavens.  Some call these entities angels while still others call them demons.

NATIVE AMERICANS

   The Native American culture has long embraced the idea of the spirit world.  However, the great spirits of Native America bore no resemblance to the ghosts or demons that we typically think of today.  Instead, these were considered to be the very spirits of nature herself-the sun and moon, the sky, the earth, the sea, trees, animals, and of course mankind.
   Native American spirits were to be sought and prized for the gifts that they bring and the lessons that they teach.  Some tribes believed that the best of their people, maidens and warriors alike, went on to become spirit guides.  These guides were supposedly capable of keeping their individual charges from going astray as well as for keeping their people, as a whole, on the right path.
   Other tribes embraced animal spirits as an important source of knowledge, strength, and character.  Still others put their beliefs in the Creator and the vast number of spirits that he would send to his people.
   As it turns out most cultures embrace the concept of phosts or spirits in some way.  Even heavily Communistic countries like China, still have stories and myths about ghosts, spirits, and demons.
  One last few words in closing.  This year as Halloween rolls around, don't worry about ghosts and ghouls and just have fun! TRICK-OR-TREEEAAT!!!!!