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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 01/24/12

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A GREAT FROSTING RECIPE FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIKE FROSTING!







    This recipe comes from www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com .  Give it a try see if they're right!

There are two kinds of people: those who lick the frosting off a piece a cake and then those who eat the cake and not the frosting. What do I prefer? Do you even have to ask? Both, together...in copious amounts. For those who aren't frosting people, their reasons usually are that it's too sweet. I've never had that feeling but most of you know my sweet scale by now is a little skewed. This frosting is for those that don't like it too sweet. I've been wanting to try this frosting ever since I saw it on the Pioneer Woman but was a little hesitant because it was flour based which didn't sound appetizing at all and then it said to cook the frosting. Cook the frosting? The result is silky, light, whipped cream-like frosting.


The Best Frosting I Ever Had


My husband teaches early morning seminary at our house. For one of his student's birthday's he asked if I could make cupcakes. What teenager, or adult for that matter, doesn't want cupcakes at 6:00 AM? I'm always looking to make goodies so I said of course.

I was still sleeping when the birthday boy, Kevin, ate his birthday cupcake but my husband said he kept declaring that it was the best frosting he ever had.

I said, "Did you tell Kevin that's actually the name of the frosting?"

My husband said, "No. But he liked it so much he did ask if it would be too weird if he gave you a hug."

Hmm...at that moment it might have been a little weird since I was in bed...sleeping.

That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had

Ingredients

5 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup granulated white sugar (not powdered sugar)
Directions
In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. It took me around 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. You can place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools if you are in a hurry. Stir in vanilla. This mixture must be completely cooled in order for the frosting to work.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat until it all combines and resembles whipped cream. Make sure you scrape down the sides every so often so that it all gets incorporated and whipped. If it's not looking like whipped cream, keep on whipping. This frosting is great for piping. Best served the same day.
Source: The Pioneer Woman

DIY BOXWOOD WREATH TOPIARY!







   This diy comes from www.bystephanielynn.com .   This could be used all year long, almost anywhere that you would want to put it.  Just a real nice project to add some decor to your home or apartment.


How to Make a Preserved Boxwood Wreath Topiary

I love the classic look of wreath topiaries not only for the holidays, but throughout the year, and boxwood is one of my favorites. A quick web search will show just how expensive some of the pre-made versions can be, however with a few supplies you can easily create your own, even if you don't have a lush boxwood bush right in your backyard.


Materials Needed:
Fresh Cut Boxwood Tips
Foam Wreath
Wooden Dowel
Floral Wire
Floral Foam
Vase or Container

Additional Supplies Needed:
Scissors, pruning shears

{optional} If you would like to preserve your box wood stems you will also need an extra container, glycerine and water.


If you are not lucky enough to have mature boxwood plants right in your own backyard, fresh cut tips can be purchased right from your local nursery or even Home Depot this time of year. A 1lb bunch only cost around $5.00 and will give you more than enough cuttings for a 10 inch wreath form.

If you want your wreath topiary to extend past the holiday season the cuttings will need to be preserved prior to making the wreath; as preserved boxwood can last for quite a long time. To do this mix one part glycerine with 2 parts water in a small container. To help the stems absorb the mixture, re-cut a quarter inch from the bottom of each branch, and place them in the solution for at least two weeks. You may need to replenish the solution as it evaporates.

If you decide not to go the preserved route I would suggest to at least soak the cuttings in a container of warm water for at least 24 hours prior to making the wreath.


To help conceal any open spaces the wreath form used should be green. I purchased the 10 inch foam form used for this project at the dollar store, however any forma can be spray painted green as well.

To prepare the wreath form cut a wooden dowel the length needed to fit into the container you will be using. {the dowel should be long enough to touch the bottom of the container} Stick the dowel into the side of the foam wreath form - If it is loose, a little hot glue can be used to secure in place.


Begin by placing three to four boxwood cuttings on the wreath form and secure them in place with floral wire. The initial round of cuttings should cover the top and both sides of wreath fairly well.


After securing the ends of the stems, bend the cuttings around the wreath form and secure a second time with more wire, as shown above. The very tops of the cuttings should be left unsecured at this point. {see below}


Take the next three to four cuttings and slide them under the tops of the first layer, then secure in place as above.


Continue until the entire wreath form is covered.


Turn the wreath over and trim the floral wire, tucking the ends down so they do not snag anything. The same process as above can be used to cover the back of the wreath if desired.


Tuck in additional cuttings to cover any wire that may be showing.


Wrapping the entire wreath only takes about twenty minutes to complete and it is a really simple process.


To finish, cut a piece of floral foam to fit into the container you will be using. Stick the dowel through the foam to secure into place.


The topiary can be decorated with ribbon or ornaments or left natural for a classic look that can be used year round.


I hope you have been inspired to bring a little of the outdoors inside this holiday season.

THE TOUGH GUY COMPETITION FROM STAFFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND!! THE MOST ENDURING 1 DAY RACE IN THE WORLD!!!










    Tough Guy claims to be the world's most demanding 1 day survival contest.
First stages in 1986, the Tough Guy Challenge is held on a 600 acre farm in Perton, Staffordshire, near Wolverhampton, England, and is organized by Billy Wilson. It has been widely described as "the toughest race in the world", with up to 1/3rd of the starters of the racing failing to finish in a typical year.
    After the 24 stages of this winter event, Wilson still claimed nobody had ever finished all the course according to his extremely demanding rules. The race, and its summer equivalent, has suffered 2 deaths during its history.
    Taking place at the end of January, often in freezing winter conditions, the Tough Guy race is staged over a course of between 7 and 8 miles. It consists of a cross country run followed by an assault course. The organizers claim that running the course involves risking barbed wire, cuts, scrapes, burns, dehydration, hypothermia, acrophobia, claustrophobia, electric shocks, sprains, twists, joint dislocation and broken bones.
Although the course is adjusted each year, its features have included a 40 foot crawl through flooded underground tunnels, balancing planks across a fire pit, and a 1-2 mile wade through chest deep muddy water. Marshals dressed as commandos fire machine-gun blanks and let off thunder flashes and smoke bombs over the heads of competitors as they crawl under a 210 foot section of barbed wire. Until 2000, some runners took part in the event carrying heavy wooden crosses.







    Entry fees range from 80 British pounds to 1000, depending on the sign up date. Entrants have to be 16 years old or older. The event regularly attracts fields of up to 6,000 competitors, many from the U.S. and more than 20 countries around the world.
Before taking part, entrants must sign a "death warrant", which acknowledges the risks and dangers, and which the organizers claim absolves them of any legally liability. First aid is provided.
    The winner of Tough Guy in 2009 was James Appleton, a 23 year old student from Cambridge University in 1 hour and 18 minutes.
    In 2010, despite especially cold conditions, Paul Jones (1:18:53) won the race and 5 other men were
inside 1 hr. 21 min.





Deaths and Injuries

     In 2000, 1 competitor collapsed midway through the race and later died in the hospital, reportedly of a massive heart attack brought on by extreme hypothermia. According to race records, this was the first fatality in 15 years of the race.
In 2007 a man in his 30's collapsed and died when taking part in the summer version of the competition, the "Nettle Warrior".
    Other injuries suffered in the event are common. Local newspaper reports suggested that among the competitors in the 2009 event, one suffered a broken neck, while there were a dozen broken or dislocated bones and 600 runners, including the winner, suffered hypothermia.





The Nettle Warrior

    Nettle Warrior is the summer version of Tough Guy, first stages in 1998, and is normally run at the end of July. Though the course is essentially the same as Tough Guy, there are some differences. Nettle Warrior involves 2 laps of an area the organizers have called "The killing fields", a log carry and some rafting as part of "The Lake" obstacle.

The Competition Course

    The Race consists of a cross country run, followed by an obstacle course, referred as the "Killing Fields".

  • Country miles-A 6 mile cross country run.
  • Slalom-An up and down slalom, consisting of running up a hill and back down.
  • Ghurkha Grand National-A series of fences, ditches and jumps with cargo nets to scramble under.
  • The Tiger (followed by Sting in the Tail)-A 40 foot A-frame, crossing through hanging electrified cables and another 40 foot A-frame.
  • Scaffold Bridge-This is traditionally the location of a water break.
  • Colditz Walls-Three progressively higher walls-6, 9 and 12 feet high.
  • Behemoth-Four tall platforms with ropes stretching between them.





Battle of the Somme

  • Fiery Holes-A series of muddy water ditches, followed by burning bales of hay.
  • Tire Crawl-Tunnels created from tires.
  • Swamp-Knee deep mud crossing with a vacuum that will suck in the strongest of men.
  • Vietcong Tunnels-Underground tunnels created from concrete pipes.
  • Sky Walk and Paradise Climb-A cargo net which leads out to ropes draped across a pond.
  • Splosh Pool-A recreation of walking the plank.
  • Underwater Tunnel-Three poles to duck under, leading up to the underwater tunnel.
  • Brandenburger Gate-40 foot vertical wall climb.






Deux Chevaux Island

  • Death Plunge-Planks of wood extending out over a lake.
  • Jesus Bridge-A bridge of barrels and planks of wood.
  • Dans Deceiver-A vertical cargo net, followed by a declined cargo net.
  • Dragon Pools-Series of ropes stretched across the pool.
  • Somme Surprise-Barrel rafts tied together to form a bridge.
  • Stalag Escape-20 foot crawl through mud, under barbed wire.
  • Tire Torture-A path of randomly laid tires to stumble across.
Pedestrian Bridge

  • The Anaconda-A series of large concrete pipes.
  • Viagra Falls-A steep muddy hill.





Last Man Standing

    There is also a smaller course for participant of that day's event. It consits of:
  • 45 foot underwater swim.
  • Scottish Thistle Hill roll.
  • Lassoed Legs Lake Lope.
  • Highwire Brandenburg Bootlace Struggle.
  • Highwire TG bootlace Blaney Kiss.
  • Bite electric wire.