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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 11/09/11

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

DIY CUPCAKE WRAPPERS!!

  This diy comes to us from www.notjustpaperandglue.com .  Something to dress up your cupcakes and you could probably make some smaller ones for your candies too.  Good luck!

   Welcome to Homemade for the Holidays! Since we have lots and LOTS of cupcakes here, I thought it would be fun to share a Cupcake Wrapper Tutorial with you!
During a Live Chat recently in the Seasonal Celebrations Community, my friend Tammy from Not Just Paper and Glue, mentioned that she makes her own cupcake wrappers. When she showed me a picture, I thought they would be perfect for our Homemade for the Holidays series!




Here’s Tammy…



  1. Cut a piece of patterned cardstock 2.25 x 12 inches
  2. Use decorative scissors or a border punch along one edge.
  3. Score paper strip every .25 inches
  4. Here is the reverse side of the strip of paper after it has been scored.
  5. Accordion fold along score lines.
  6. The entire strip is now accordion folded.
  7. Apply adhesive to one end.
  8. Attach to opposite end to form a circle.
  9. Begin to fan out the top edge to shape into a cupcake liner.
  10. Continue to shape the liner.
  11. Here is what your liner should resemble after you have shaped it.
  12. Punch or cut out two circles. The largest should be 2 1/8 inch in diameter.
  13. Apply adhesive to the smallest circle.
  14. Layer onto largest circle.
  15. Apply glue to the bottom edge of the cupcake liner.
  16. Place liner on the circle base and set aside to dry.
Here is your finished cupcake liner. This makes a great way to present your cupcakes for gift giving for any occasion.

THE YULE LOG, A TRADITION EVERYONE CAN ENJOY!



   Burning Yule logs is a tradition dating back long before the birth of Jesus. In pre-Christian times, the Yule log was burned in the home hearth on the winter solstice in honor of the pagan sun god Odin, known also as the Yule Father or Oak King.
The winter solstice, known amongst pagans as Yule or Gwyl Canol Gaeaf, falls on December 21 or 22, whichever is the shortest day and longest night of the current year. The Yule festival symbolizes a battle between the powers of light (Oak King) and powers of darkness (Holly King). A Yule log, typically a thick branch taken from a oak tree, would be burned in the hearth beginning on this night as a celebration of the Oak King's triumphant defeat over the Holly King.



Burning the Yule log

    The traditional Yule celebration would begin at dawn with the cutting of the oak branch, which was then ceremoniously carried into the house. Lit by the father or oldest member of the family, the Yule log would be left to burn for the next 12 days. When evening arrived the family would gather for dinner, which would typically included mutton, goose, pork, beef, special Yule breads, porridge, apples, sweets, nut and Yule ale.
As Christianity spread throughout Europe the traditional Yule celebration became associated with the celebration of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, the Yule
Father being replaced with Father Christmas. In Serbia, the Yule log, or badnjak as it is called there, is cut and burned in the hearth as part of its Christmas festivities. In years past, the head of the family would go into the forest on Christmas Eve morning to cut down the badnjak. Before bringing it home he would take the log to the church for a special blessing. In more recent years, the badnjak ins usually gotten at marketplaces or form the churches.

Oak King

    The Yule log is a part of French tradition as well, especially it's Yule Log Cake or Buche de Noel. This traditional Christmas dessert is made from a sponge cake that has been baked in a shallow pan. After baking, the cake is filled with a creamy frosting, rolled up into a cylinder, and frosted with the remaining frosting along the top and sides so as to resemble a tree log. A small portion of the cake is usually cut off and placed alongside or on top of the larger piece in order to reveal the bark-like appearance of its insides. For some bakers, adding meringue mushrooms for that extra woodsy look not only enhances the realism of their Yule log but also is a lot of fun. "The Bouche de Noel" is a very favorite, traditional French cake during the holidays.
The creation of this culinary Yule Log, now baked throughout the world, dates back to Napoleon I. A stern believer that cold air caused medical problems, Napoleon issued a proclamation requiring households in Paris to keep their chimneys closed during the winter month, preventing resident from burning the Yule log.



Yuel log cake or Buche de Noel

    French bakers invented the Buche de Noel as a symbolic replacement. In England, according to the Pennsylvania Forest Stewardship Program, On Christmas Eve, members of the household ventured into the woods to find and cut a great tree, preferably an oak. Size was important, because the Yule log had to burn throughout the twelve days of Christmas. Once cut, the log was dragged home with much celebration. As many people as possible grabbed onto the ropes to help pull, because doing so was believed to bring good luck in the new year. Even passersby raised their hat in tribute.
The Yule log was dragged to the hearth of the great open fireplace, a common household feature in old England. The log was lit with a scrap of burned log carefully preserved from the previous year, a practice that ensured the continuity of good fortune not only from year to year, but also from generation to generation.



    As a Christmas tradition, burning the Yule log eventually spread from England to America. It's more popular fame as a tradition in the U.S., especially in New York, comes in the form of a televised Yule log broadcasted first in 1966 at the WPIX television station in New York when Fred Thrower, the then General Manager for the television station, brought the tradition of burning the Yule log into viewers homes. Inspired b a Coke commercial he had seen depicting Santa Claus in front of a fireplace the previous year. Thrower, and then WPIX-FM programming director Charlie Whittaker, created the Yule Log, a Christmas program featuring an actual Yule log burning in a fireplace. The crackling wood fire, accompanied by the music of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis and others, played non stop for two hours on Christmas Eve. Filmed at Gracie Mansion, the Yule Log was Thrower's Christmas gift to New Yorkers who hadn't a home hearth. The program aired continuously from 1966-1989.


Buche de Noel Recipe

Picture of Buche de Noel Recipe


Total Time:

        9 hr 23 min

Prep:

     1 hr 0 min


Inactive:

          8 hr 0 min

Cook:

       23 min

Yield:
       12 servings
Level:
Intermediate

 

Ingredients

Walnut Biscuit:

  • 5 eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 25 grams granulated maple sugar
  • 125 grams cake flour, sifted
  • 3 ounces toasted walnuts, finely chopped

    Directions

    Pastry Cream
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 55 grams cornstarch
    • 40 grams sugar, plus 75 grams sugar
    • 75 grams maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons whiskey (recommended: Jack Daniels)
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
    • 2 cups milk
    • 28 grams butter
    • 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
    • 1 cup heavy cream

    Buttercream:

    • 113 grams sugar
    • 3 large egg yolks
    • 1 whole egg
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons whisky (recommended: Jack Daniels)
    • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
    • 12 ounces butter, room temperature

    Sugared Cranberries:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2 cups cranberries (cannot have been frozen)
    • Candied walnuts, store-bought
    • Candied orange peel, store-bought
    Maple Tuiles
    • 225 grams butter, at room temperature
    • 350 grams maple syrup
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 240 grams egg whites
    • 225 grams all-purpose flour
    • Luster dust, optional

    For the walnut biscuit:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a half sheet pan, line with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust with flour.
    Whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Beat in both sugars and whip to a stiff, glossy meringue.

    Alternately fold the cake flour and egg yolks into the meringue in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour. Fold in the nuts.

    Spread the batter evenly in the pan, and bake until the cake is pale gold, the center springs back when you press it lightly with your finger, and the edges start to pull from the sides of the pan, 10 to 12 minutes.

    For the pastry cream:

    Whisk the yolks, cornstarch, and the 40 grams sugar in a medium bowl; the mixture will be very thick, but try to whisk enough to remove most of the lumps.
    Put the 75 grams sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until dark brown; don't worry if it crystallizes a bit. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the maple syrup, then whisk in the whisky, turn up the heat, and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to boil off the alcohol.

    Whisk the milk and vanilla bean scrapings into the caramel mixture and bring to simmer. Slowly whisk about half of the hot mixture into the yolks, then whisk that mixture back into the pot, bring to a boil, whisking, and cook, still whisking, until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, salt and maple extract. Pour into a shallow dish, press plastic wrap onto the surface, and chill until set and very cold, about 4 hours.

    Beat the cold pastry cream in a standing mixer until smooth. When ready to use, whip the cream until it is very stiff, then beat into the pastry cream. Chill until ready to use.

    For the buttercream:

    Put the sugar in a medium pot and add enough water just to moisten; use your fingers to wet the sugar evenly. Bring to a boil. While the sugar is heating, start beating the yolks and egg in a standing mixer with the whisk attachment.
    When the syrup reaches about 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer (softball stage), pour it into the yolks with the mixer still running, taking care not to pour it onto the whisk.
    Beat until cooled to room temperature. Beat in the whisky and the maple extract.

    Cream the butter in another mixing bowl using the paddle attachment. Beat in the cooled egg mixture until smooth. You can use it right away, or chill it overnight; if you chill it, rebeat when you are ready to assemble the cake.

    For the sugared cranberries:

    Have a cookie sheet or shallow dish and a slotted spoon next to the stove.
    Put the sugar in a medium pot and add enough water just to moisten; use your fingers to wet the sugar evenly. Add the cinnamon stick.

    Bring to a boil, add the cranberries, and immediately pull from the heat. Transfer the cranberries to the cookie sheet with the slotted spoon. Cool.

    For the maple tuiles:

    Cream the butter, maple syrup, vanilla bean scrapings and salt until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat in egg whites until smooth. Beat in the flour. Let the batter rest and hour or so at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before baking.
    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with a silpat. Using a stencil, smear the batter thinly on the silpat and bake until dark golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan while still warm. If you want to shape the cookies, put them over a bottle or rolling pin while warm; let cool. If desired, brush lightly with luster dust.

    Assembly:

    Turn the cooled cake onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper with a long side near you. Spread the chilled pastry cream evenly over the surface, leaving a 2-inch border across from you. Using the parchment paper to lift, roll the cake as tightly as possible. Set seam side down on a platter or large pan, and chill for an hour or so.
    Frost the cake with the buttercream, smoothing the surface so it looks like bark.

    Decorate with candied cranberries, walnuts, orange peel, and tuiles.

    Ingredients

    Walnut Biscuit:

    • 5 eggs, separated, room temperature
    • 100 grams granulated sugar
    • 25 grams granulated maple sugar
    • 125 grams cake flour, sifted
    • 3 ounces toasted walnuts, finely chopped

    Directions

    Pastry Cream
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 55 grams cornstarch
    • 40 grams sugar, plus 75 grams sugar
    • 75 grams maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons whiskey (recommended: Jack Daniels)
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
    • 2 cups milk
    • 28 grams butter
    • 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
    • 1 cup heavy cream

    Buttercream:

    • 113 grams sugar
    • 3 large egg yolks
    • 1 whole egg
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons whisky (recommended: Jack Daniels)
    • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
    • 12 ounces butter, room temperature

    Sugared Cranberries:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2 cups cranberries (cannot have been frozen)
    • Candied walnuts, store-bought
    • Candied orange peel, store-bought
    Maple Tuiles
    • 225 grams butter, at room temperature
    • 350 grams maple syrup
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 240 grams egg whites
    • 225 grams all-purpose flour
    • Luster dust, optional

    For the walnut biscuit:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a half sheet pan, line with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust with flour.
    Whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Beat in both sugars and whip to a stiff, glossy meringue.
    Alternately fold the cake flour and egg yolks into the meringue in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour. Fold in the nuts.
    Spread the batter evenly in the pan, and bake until the cake is pale gold, the center springs back when you press it lightly with your finger, and the edges start to pull from the sides of the pan, 10 to 12 minutes.

    For the pastry cream:

    Whisk the yolks, cornstarch, and the 40 grams sugar in a medium bowl; the mixture will be very thick, but try to whisk enough to remove most of the lumps.
    Put the 75 grams sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until dark brown; don't worry if it crystallizes a bit. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the maple syrup, then whisk in the whisky, turn up the heat, and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to boil off the alcohol.
    Whisk the milk and vanilla bean scrapings into the caramel mixture and bring to simmer. Slowly whisk about half of the hot mixture into the yolks, then whisk that mixture back into the pot, bring to a boil, whisking, and cook, still whisking, until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, salt and maple extract. Pour into a shallow dish, press plastic wrap onto the surface, and chill until set and very cold, about 4 hours.
    Beat the cold pastry cream in a standing mixer until smooth. When ready to use, whip the cream until it is very stiff, then beat into the pastry cream. Chill until ready to use.

    For the buttercream:

    Put the sugar in a medium pot and add enough water just to moisten; use your fingers to wet the sugar evenly. Bring to a boil. While the sugar is heating, start beating the yolks and egg in a standing mixer with the whisk attachment.
    When the syrup reaches about 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer (softball stage), pour it into the yolks with the mixer still running, taking care not to pour it onto the whisk. Beat until cooled to room temperature. Beat in the whisky and the maple extract.
    Cream the butter in another mixing bowl using the paddle attachment. Beat in the cooled egg mixture until smooth. You can use it right away, or chill it overnight; if you chill it, rebeat when you are ready to assemble the cake.

    For the sugared cranberries:

    Have a cookie sheet or shallow dish and a slotted spoon next to the stove.
    Put the sugar in a medium pot and add enough water just to moisten; use your fingers to wet the sugar evenly. Add the cinnamon stick.
    Bring to a boil, add the cranberries, and immediately pull from the heat. Transfer the cranberries to the cookie sheet with the slotted spoon. Cool.

    For the maple tuiles:

    Cream the butter, maple syrup, vanilla bean scrapings and salt until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat in egg whites until smooth. Beat in the flour. Let the batter rest and hour or so at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before baking.
    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with a silpat. Using a stencil, smear the batter thinly on the silpat and bake until dark golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan while still warm. If you want to shape the cookies, put them over a bottle or rolling pin while warm; let cool. If desired, brush lightly with luster dust.

    Assembly:

    Turn the cooled cake onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper with a long side near you. Spread the chilled pastry cream evenly over the surface, leaving a 2-inch border across from you. Using the parchment paper to lift, roll the cake as tightly as possible. Set seam side down on a platter or large pan, and chill for an hour or so.
    Frost the cake with the buttercream, smoothing the surface so it looks like bark. Decorate with candied cranberries, walnuts, orange peel, and tuiles.

    DIY APOTHECARY JARS!!

       This great tutorial comes from www.thatswhatchesaid.net .  You make these for all year around depending on how you paint them and what you would fill them with.  I am definitely goint to make a few a these for Christmas time, instead of going out and paying $20-30 dollars on one.





    My Take on Apothecary Jars





    Supplies:

    • (3) Glass Jars
    • (3) unfinished wooden Candle Sticks
    • (3) 4″ unfinished wooden plaques
    • (3) 3″ unfinished wooden plaques
    • (3) unfinished wooden finials
    • STRONG glue or Epoxy
    • Spraypaint





    1. Start out by removing all the price tags. This will take you forever! Goo Gone may also be your friend right now! Hobby Lobby is laughing at me right now because their damn SKU tags stick like mad to that damn unfinished wood! (Yes, I am bitter)

    2. Glue the TOP of your base plaque to the BOTTOM of your candlestick. Let Dry. (tick, tick, tick)

    3. Take your finial and glue it to the lid of your jar. Let dry. (tick, tick, tick, tick)

    4. Take Base/Candlestick in Step 2 and glue TOP of candle stick to TOP of plaque, so that the Plaque’s larger side is facing up. You now have the base for your apothacary jars. Let dry (tick, toc, tick, toc, tick, toc)

    You then have these guys:





    5. Spray paint the finished bases and the lids. Work in light even coats and let first coat dry before reapplying. (seriously more waiting) Be sure to spray the top of the base well because your clear glass jar will sit on top and you won’t want to see unfinished wood there.

    6. Glue the BOTTOM of your jars onto the TOP of the bases. Let dry. (Might as well make a drink at this point..you have to do more waiting!)

    7. Finally the best part! Fill the jars!!! Since it is almost September, and to me, September is Back to School Month…I choose to fill mine with Pencils, Jumbo Crayons and Gluesticks and bottles!





    You will see these little darlings again with their bellies full with different things for the different holidays! I already have plans for Halloween, Turkey Day and Christmas!! Can’t wait!
    Oh and someone wanted some creative credit for the contents of the jars…


    I love them! I hope you love yours as much also!

    My Project Notes:
    For the jars: I found mine at Hobby Lobby. You can do all the same size or mix and match. I decided with (2) medium size and (1) small size. The large size was just too tall. You can also use regular household jars (pickles, salsa, etc) I just preferred the width of the lids on these from Hobby Lobby. (alot of grocery stores carry jars of different sizes for canning or even Walmart)

    For the Candle Sticks: Heights are your preference again. You can go different heights or same. I did kind of the opposite of the jars and did (2) small and (1) large.(same thing here, a big box store)

    For the Plaques: These I found in the unfinished wood section of HL. They are to make plaques with. You will need a set of 3 to be your base of your candle stick and a set of 3 to be the base for your glass jar. Your size may differ from mine depending on the jars you use. (I reccommend big box store)

    For the Finials: Your choice. I only had one choice at HL and these are it! (I would suggest one of the big box lumber/hardware stores)

    For the Glue: I used 9001. It reminded me of Rubber Cement and took forever to dry. It was nice because I could center the candle sticks on the plaques but I am impatient and did I mention it took FOR-EV-ER to dry? (I'm leaning towards high temp hot melt glue or an epoxy, I've tried to use 9001 many times and just don't like it)

    For the Spraypaint: Choose a color already in your supply or one that matches your decor. Your choice. I went with both of the above and chose black. I had it and it matched! (for best results choose a flat black or white or even some kind of metallic.  I even found one paint that looks like oil bronze)



    THE FASCINATING STORY OF THE PILGRIMS!!



      The story of the Pilgrims has its origins in early 17th Century England. It was at that time, nearly four hundred years ago, when religious persecution was making it difficult for many people to practice their religions and live comfortably and safely in London and in the rural areas outside of London.   England, at that time, was a monarchy. Today, it is a Parliamentary Monarchy in which the Queen has no real power. At that time, however, the King had absolute power over all of the nation’s citizens and, as a result, could make the practice and observance of religion difficult. That is exactly what happened. Persecution ruled the day … especially if the religion you chose to practice was different from the “national religion.” England, at that time and today, as well, was and is primarily Protestant.
    These persecuted individuals met frequently and, after a time, decided to seek permission to start a new life in “the colonies.” Remember, it was very early in the 17th Century and there was no America … certainly no states, as well. Once granted permission to travel across the Atlantic Ocean, these persecuted people, dubbed Pilgrims, began to make plans for their trip and the new life that awaited them far from England.





       The planning took some time, well over a year, but it eventually began to materialize. In their original plan, there were to be two boats, not one … the Mayflower and a much smaller boat, each to be filled with crew and with Pilgrims. In fact, the first attempted voyage did have two boats, but a leak in the smaller vessel forced both boats to return to London.
       They remained there briefly until it was time once again to embark on their dangerous, but exciting, voyage. One hundred and two Pilgrims and as many as twenty-five to thirty crew members sailed toward the Americas in 1620. As you might imagine, it was not an easy trip.
       That’s because the boat, while large, was constructed entirely of wood. There were limited sleeping quarters, little or no sanitation. And, because of the fear of fire, all food was eaten cold, not cooked. This, of course, led to illness in many of the Pilgrims. But, they persevered.





       In fact, the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean took sixty-six days, more than two months. And when the Mayflower finally reached land, it was not their intended destination. They had hoped to sail to northern Virginia. Instead, a storm pushed them off-course and they ended up much further north, in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts..
    And that is where they stayed that first year … and for all the years that followed. It should be noted that the Pilgrims arrived in America ill-prepared for what they would face during the first winter. They did not bring food with them and did not know how to hunt, fish, farm or gather food for their survival. Fortunately for them, local Indians were friendly, not hostile and taught them the basic skills they would need to survive.
    That, of course, led to the first Thanksgiving which took place in August … not in November.