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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 02/03/12

Friday, February 3, 2012

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.




DIY GLITTER MASON JAR CANDLE HOLDERS!






   This diy comes from www.tatertotsandjello.com .  Enjoy a little candle magic!


Valentine Glitter Mason Jar Tutorial!!




Here’s a sparkly little Valentine idea.
Over Christmas I had seen some tutorials on making DIY glitter ornaments using floor wax.



I decided to try that with mason jars for Valentine’s Day. I discovered that floor wax might work great for ornaments, it does not work as well for votives with insides that might be touched — the glitter rubs off. So I experimented and found that the same technique can be used with polurethane instead of floor wax. Once the polurethane dries, it keeps the glitter on the mason jars. You can buy polyurethane at any hardware store.

Here’s what I did:


  • I used a few different sizes of mason jars. Plus some other sized jars like a pickle jar.
  • I took some vinyl (even shelf liner would work). I cut out heatrs of different size.
  • The next thing I did was stuck the vinyl hears inside of each of the jars, centering them in the middle of each jar.
  • Then I poured a little bit of the polyurethane into the jar and put the lid back on. Then I shook the polyurethane around in the jar until the whole jar was covered in polyurethane.
  • If there was a little extra polyurethane in the jar, I poured the excess into the next jar.
  • Then I poured glitter into the bottom of the jar and put the lid back on. Then shook the jar until glitter covered the inside. Next I took the lid off the jar and let it dry out overnight.
  • Once the polyurethane was dry, I peeled the heart off each of the jars.
  • The last thing I did was pour some Red Hot candies into the bottom of the jar and then I added a flameless votive tealight and lit it up.
*****NOTE — I had a reader ask about flamability with the tea lights and polyurethane. I didn’t even think of that. So to be safe, be sure to use FLAMELESS candles. You can buy them at the Dollar Store.






I love the way the light reflects off the glitter and shines through the heart opening in the mason jars.


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SO pretty!!




And such an inexpensive way to add some festivity to your mantel or it would be so pretty on a Valentine’s Day Dinner Table!!




Have a Lovely Day!!

xoxo

HARBIN INTERNATIONAL ICE AND SNOW FESTIVAL FROM CHINA!!








    The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has been held since 1963. It had been interrupted for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution, until it was resumed in 1985.
    Harbin, the capital of Heilonjiang province of China, it is one of the main sources of ice and snow culture in the world. Geographically, it is located in Northeast China under the direct influence of the cold winter wind from Siberia. The average temperature in summer is 21.2 degrees Celsius, -16.8 degrees Celsius in the winter. It can be as cold as -38.1 degrees Celsius in the winter.


Niagra falls sculpture


    The festival lasts the whole month. However the exhibits often open earlier and stay longer, weather permitting. Ice sculpture decoration technology ranges from the modern (using lasers) to traditional (with ice lanterns). There are ice lantern park touring activities held in many parks throughout the city. Winter activities in the festival include Yabuli alpine skiing, winter swimming in the Songhua River, and the ice lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden.






    The Harbin festival is one of the world's four largest ice and snow festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival.
    The 2007 festival featured a Canadian theme, in memoriam of Canadian doctor Norman Bethune. It was also a Guinness Record of the largest snow sculpture: over 500 feet long and 28 feet high, using over 13,000 cubic meters of snow. The composition consisted of two parts: "Niagara Falls" and "Crossing the Bering Strait" (the latter depicting the migrations of the First Nations).





Construction
    Swing saws are used to carve ice into blocks, taken from the frozen surface of the Songhua River. Chisels, ice picks and various types of saws are then are used by the ice sculptors to carve out large scaled ice sculptures, many of them intricately designed and worked on all day and night prior to the commencement of the festival. Deionized water can also be used, producing ice blocks as transparent as glass to make clear sculptures rather than translucent ones. Multicolored lights are also used to give color to the ice, creating variations on sculptured spectacles when lit up especially at night. Some ice sculptures made in previous years include: buildings and monuments of different architectural types and styles. Figures include animals, people and mythical creatures,there is also some slippery dips, ice slides and lanterns. Apart from winter recreational activities available in Harbin, these exquisitely detailed, mass produced ice sculptures are the main draw in attracting tourists from around the world to the festival.