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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 01/01/13

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

GIANT DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES!






   This recipe comes from www.annies-eats.com .   Enjoy making these extra large cookies.  But, don't forget to share!  Enjoy!


Giant Double Chocolate Cookies








   Now this, my friends, is a cookie. A whopper of a deep dark chocolate cookie, and it’s chock full of chocolate chips. It’s thick, chewy, and just sinful. The glass of milk is not just a prop – it’s a necessity in this case. These cookies definitely earn the title of “giant”, considering that 4 ounces of dough is used for each one. I’m not such a fan of quarter-pounder burgers, but quarter-pounder cookies? I’m totally on board. If you don’t have a kitchen scale yet (tsk tsk), here is the perfect excuse. How else will you know that each cookie is exactly 4 ounces? This is important business, people. Truth be told, I actually haven’t eaten an entire cookie at once. I keep eating half at lunchtime and half after dinner. Believe me, I could – I just like having dessert twice instead. I also froze half of the dough balls, and I know I’ll be thankful for that move when an emergency chocolate craving kicks in.
   These cookies are a knock-off of the version sold at the popular Levain Bakery, whose claim to fame is…you guessed it, their giant cookies. This is a unique cookie dough. You start out mixing it just like any other cookie dough, but it is very thick and ends up requiring a brief hand kneading to be sure the ingredients are evenly distributed. It may seem a little strange but these cookies are worth it. These are definitely best enjoyed straight from the oven, but keep well in an airtight container. As with most cookies I make, I like to give the leftovers a 10 second warm up in the microwave before enjoying to make the chocolate chips all gooey and melty. Yum.














Giant Double Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 12 very large cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup dark cocoa powder
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended. Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined.
Divide the dough into 4 ounce portions (or divide into 12 equal pieces). Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc. Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart. Bake 16-20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

CELEBRATE A HOLIDAY EVERYDAY IN JANUARY!!












  • January 1st-New Year's Day- You already knew this one. Celebrate by getting ahead start on breaking your New Year's resolutions.

  • January 2nd-55MPH Speed Limit Day-Observe the 55 MPH holiday by driving the speed limit in your state or country. Or if you don't like it just say "I can't drive 55"!

  • January 3rd-J.R.R. Tolkien Day-Invite a Hobbit over for dinner! YAAAA!

  • January 4th-World Hypnotism Day- Try to hypnotise your children into doing what you want them to do. (like that's going to happen).





  • January 5th-Bird Day- Go out and pet a parrot and keep your fingers away from the beak.

  • January 6th-Epiphany-Go to church and ring some bells.

  • January 7th-I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore Day- Got a beef with someone, go up to them and yell this catchy little phrase to them.

  • January 8th-Bubble Bath Day- When's the last time you've seen any man take a bubble bath. Women, go ahead and have a "calgon take me away night".

  • January 9th-Balloon Ascension Day-This is the day you get to blow up a balloon with some helium, stick a note in it and let it fly!





  • January 10th-National Cut Your Energy Cost Day-Go green! Turn the lights off and live by candlelight for the day.

  • January 11th-National Clean Off your Desk Day-Admit, it, your desk could use a good cleaning.

  • January 13th-Rubber Duckie Day-It's your lucky day. You get to take another bath this month, even if it's not time yet.

  • January 14th-Dress Up Your Pet Day- Do we really think the dog or cat really likes to be dressed up!!





  • January 15th-Humanitarian Day- Try doing a good deed for someone today.

  • January 16th-Appreciate A Dragon Day-Dragons need to be appreciated, too....YES they're real!!

  • January 17th-Customer Service Day-No matter how tempting it may be, do not allow yourself to do something weird to that persons food.

  • January 18th-Thesaurus Day-Write a story, poem or a short note today. Use your computer's thesaurus to change all the adjectives to a synonym of that word.

  • January 19th-Rid The World Of Fad Diets And Gimmicks Day- DVR a bunch of shows and then when you get home fast forward through the infomercials.

  • January 20th-Camcorder Day- Today is the day to make a home video and submit it to America's Funniest Home Videos. Make sure you take your camcorder where ever you and your family go.

  • January 21st-National Hugging Day-"Keep on Huggin".

  • January 2nd-Answer Your Cat's Questions Day- This is for the people that can see dead people and skip where ever they go.

  • January 23rd-National Handwriting Day-Write yourself a letter then learn how to analyze your handwriting. You might learn a little about yourself (Psycho!!).

  • January 24th-Belly Laugh Day-Tell one of your good jokes to someone, just make sure it clean.






  • January 25th-A Room Of One's Own Day- As a parent I wish I had one of these. (looking for plans to make a man cave!)

  • January 26th-National Peanut Brittle Day-Try not to let it get stuck in your teeth.

  • January 27th-Thomas Crapper Day- He was the inventor of the toilet. Try to use it at least a couple extra times on this day to salute Mr. Crapper.

  • January 29th-Fun At Work Day- How many of us think a job is fun ? ......... Anyone?..... Anyone?






  • January 30th-Inane Answering Message Day- I'll let you decide how to celebrate this one.

  • January 31st-Inspire Your Heart With Art Day-Go to an art gallery and gaze at the paintings and sculptures.

TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE!!











   This uniquely American event began as a promotional effort by Pasadena's distinguished Valley Hunt Club. In the winter of 1890, the club members brainstormed ways to promote the "Mediterranean of the West." They invited their former East Coast neighbors to a mid-winter holiday, where they could watch games such as chariot races, jousting, foot races, polo and tug-of-war under the warm California sun. The abundance of fresh flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add another showcase for Pasadena's charm: a parade would precede the competition, where entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of blooms. The Tournament of Roses was born.






1958 US Continental Army Band
1958 U.S. Army Continental Band






   "In New York, people are buried in snow," announced Professor Charles F. Holder at a Club meeting. "Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise."
    During the next few years, the festival expanded to include marching bands and motorized floats. The games on the town lot (which was re-named Tournament Park in 1900) included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations and a race between a camel and an elephant (the elephant won). Reviewing stands were built along the Parade route, and Eastern newspapers began to take notice of the event. In 1895, the Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the festival, which had grown too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle.
   In 1902, the Tournament of Roses decided to enhance the day’s festivities by adding a football game – the first post season college football game ever held. Stanford University accepted the invitation to take on the powerhouse University of Michigan, but the West Coast team was flattened 49-0 and gave up in the third quarter. The lopsided score prompted the Tournament to give up football in favor of Roman-style chariot races. In 1916, football returned to stay and the crowds soon outgrew the stands in Tournament Park. William L. Leishman, the Tournament’s 1920 President,






1905 Chariot Races
1905 Chariot races





envisioned a stadium similar to the Yale Bowl, the first great modern football stadium, to be built in Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco area. The new stadium hosted its first New Year’s football game in 1923 and soon earned the nickname “The Rose Bowl.”
   The Tournament of Roses has come a long way since its early days. The Rose Parade’s elaborate floats now feature high-tech computerized animation and exotic natural materials from around the world. Although a few floats are still built exclusively by volunteers from their sponsoring communities, most are built by professional float building companies and take nearly a year to construct. The year-long effort pays off on New Year’s morning, when millions of viewers around the world enjoy the Rose Parade.
   Nicknamed “The Granddaddy of Them All” the Rose Bowl Game has been a sellout attraction every year since 1947. That year’s contest was the first game played under the Tournament’s exclusive agreement with the Big Ten and Pac-10 conferences. The 1998 Rose Bowl Game was the 52nd anniversary of that agreement, the longest standing tradition of any collegiate conference and a bowl association. Now, as part of the Bowl Championship Series, the Rose Bowl has hosted the National Championship Game between the top two teams in the nation in 2002, 2006, 2010 and will host the National Championship again in 2014.












Rose Parade History

   This uniquely American event began as a promotional effort by Pasadena's distinguished Valley Hunt Club. In the winter of 1890, the club members brainstormed ways to promote the "Mediterranean of the West." They invited their former East Coast neighbors to a mid-winter holiday, where they could watch games such as chariot races, jousting, foot races, polo and tug-of-war under the warm California sun. The abundance of fresh flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add another showcase for Pasadena's charm: a parade would precede the competition, where entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of blooms. The Tournament of Roses was born.
   "In New York, people are buried in snow," announced Professor Charles F. Holder at a Club meeting. "Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise."











   During the next few years, the festival expanded to include marching bands and motorized floats. The games on the town lot (which was re-named Tournament Park in 1900) included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations and a race between a camel and an elephant (the elephant won). Reviewing stands were built along the Parade route, and Eastern newspapers began to take notice of the event. In 1895, the Tournament of Roses Association was formed to take charge of the festival, which had grown too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle.
   The Tournament of Roses has come a long way since its early days. The Rose Parade’s elaborate floats now feature high-tech computerized animation and exotic natural materials from around the world. Although a few floats are still built exclusively by volunteers from their sponsoring communities, most are built by professional float building companies and take nearly a year to construct. The year-long effort pays off on New Year’s morning, when millions of viewers around the world enjoy the Rose Parade.













History of the Tournament House


   Tournament House is the official headquarters of the Tournament of Roses Association, its staff and the 935 volunteers who work year-round to organize the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.
The house was built by architect G. Lawrence Stimson in 1906 and his father, prominent builder George w. Stimson. The younger Stimson paid great attention to detail in his design and construction. Within the structure’s three stories are 22 rooms and 18,500 square feet of artistry; ornate molded ceilings, inlaid marble floors, and finely crafted woodwork. The interior’s full grandeur was restored in a renovation project completed in 2002.
   This elegant Italian Renaissance-style mansion was presented to the city of Pasadena in 1958 by the William Wrigley family for the exclusive use of the Tournament. Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. purchased the home in 1914 for $170,000. A year later, he paid $25,000 for the adjoining property, clearing the way for the 4.5-acre garden. In its time, the Wrigley’s winter residence was considered a more modest home on “Millionaire’s Row.” But of their six homes across the country, the Pasadena getaway was Mrs. Wrigley’s favorite. She delighted in watching the parade from her own front yard.
   The interior of the house features richly paneled rooms, inlaid marble floors and ornate molded plaster ceilings. Among the highlights of the tour are a one-of-a-kind Waterford rose bowl commissioned for the centennial of the Tournament of Roses; and the formal portrait of the reigning Rose Queen. Exhibited items of interest are crowns and tiaras worn by former Rose Queens and Princesses and Rose Bowl related trophies and memorabilia.
   Outside the House, the Centennial Rose Garden features the All-America Rose Selections (AARS) award-winning Tournament of Roses rose developed especially for the Tournament of Roses Centennial. Surrounding Tournament House are the Wrigley Gardens, which feature a 4½-acre floral display of more than 1,500 varieties of roses, camellias and annuals.
   Tournament House and its surroundings provide a majestic backdrop for many Tournament activities, including the highly anticipated announcements of the Grand Marshal, Rose Queen and Royal Court. The many treasures throughout the house recall past tournaments and highlight a rich history of grace and style.

NATIONAL FOOD HOLIDAYS IN JANUARY!!!









  When January comes along, you may think that the food holidays have come to an end, but you'd be wrong. January is filled with many food holidays. Here is a list of the food holidays you can look forward to in January.






  • January 1st-Apple Gifting Day- This is such a fun day to celebrate. A fun way to enjoy this national food holiday is to bake an apple pie or some other favorite apple dessert that you may like. Christmas may be over, but it's never a bad time to bake a gift for someone.

  • January 2nd-National Cream Puff Day- If you're tired of baking, never fret. You can always head to your local bakery and pick up some delicious cream puffs.

  • January 3rd-Chocolate-Filled Cherry Day- Go out and enjoy a handful of some chocolate covered cherries. I can't seem to find any that are filled with chocolate.

  • January 4th-National Spaghetti Day- Who doesn't love spaghetti (besides me)? On this food holiday, shake things up by making something different. Or at least make a homemade sauce or pasta!







  • January 5th-National Whipped Cream Day- Whipped cream can be enjoyed in all kinds of ways.  On this food holiday, why not have some strawberry short cake with lots and lots of whipped cream.

  • January 6th-National Shortbread Day-On this food holiday, do something fun. Make a batch of shortbread cookies and take them to some of your co-workers.

  • January 7th-National Tempura Day- Tempura is a batter that is usually found on Asian foods, such as sweet and sour pork. To enjoy this day, head out and pick up some Chinese food for dinner.

  • January 8th-English Toffee Day- You can always make your own English toffee. But, if you want to celebrate this day, there is an easier way, just buy a Heath candy bar.

  • January 9th-National Apricot Day- Apricots are tasty and healthy. On this food holiday, grab some dried apricots and mix them with some nuts and other dried fruit to create a trail mix.






  • January 10th-Bittersweet Chocolate Day- Bittersweet chocolate makes some very good brownies. Do I need to say anything else?

  • January 11th-Milk Day- I love milk, especially over ice! Have a glass with the leftover brownies you made a couple days ago.

  • January 12th-Curried Chicken Day- Are you tired of the same old dinners every night? Then why not celebrate this food holiday and make something different!

  • January 13th-National Peach Melba Day- Peaches, raspberries, and ice cream, does it get any better than that!!

  • January 14th-National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day- On a cold day with a bowl of soup, nothing is better than soup and a hot pastrami sandwich, this is a food holiday that'll warm your insides.







  • January 15th-Strawberry Ice Cream Day- January is the perfect time to enjoy a food holiday that brings out the summer when it's cold outside. How about a creamy, thick strawberry shake!

  • January 16th-International Hot and Spicy Food Day- If you love spicy food, you'll love this food day. Prepare all your favorite appetizers, buffalo wings, jalapeno poppers and some spicy dipping sauce.

  • January 17th-Hot-Buttered Rum Day- If you drink alcohol, this is a great way to warm up on a cold January evening. If you don't, just buy some buttered Rum Lifesavers.

  • January 18th-Peking Duck Day- If you love Asian dishes, this is the food holiday for you. Take your sweetheart out for a nice Chinese dinner for two.

  • January 19th-National Popcorn Day- Do you really need a reason to have some popcorn!







  • January 20th-National Cheese Lover's Day- There are so many different ways to enjoy this holiday. You could serve nachos, cheeseburgers, or just go out an get a cheese pizza.

  • January 21st-New England Clam Chowder Day- This is another great food holiday to celebrate on a cold January evening.

  • January 22nd-National Blonde Brownie Day- Sure chocolate brownies are delicious, but blondies are also quite tasty as well.

  • January 23rd- National Rhubarb Pie Day- I just want to know one thing...who's the one who ever thought of this kind of pie, especially one with strawberries in it....what a waste of some perfectly edible strawberries.

  • January 24th-National Peanut Butter Day- This has to be one of the best food holidays. Enjoy some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Maybe take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.








  • January 25th-National Irish Coffee Day- If you don't drink alcohol, you can find Irish cream coffee creamer to enjoy instead.

  • January 26th-National Pistachio Day- What better way to enjoy this food holiday than to sit back with a bowl of pistachios while watching some T.V.!

  • January 27th-Chocolate Cake Day- Obviously, no one will have to be forced to partake in this food holiday!

  • January 28th-National Blueberry Pancake Day- If you're looking for a healthy food holiday, make some whole wheat pancakes and sprinkle on your blueberries right before flipping it.

  • January29th-National Corn Chip Day- Buy a bag of Frito's, some chili, add a little cheddar cheese and enjoy.







  • January 30th-National Croissant Day- Enjoy this food holiday with some scrambled eggs and bacon.

  • January 31st-Brandy Alexander Day- If you like to drink, you'll love this food holiday! Cheers!

THE HOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS PARADE!!!



Christmas parades can be seen in cities and towns nationwide. The parades help usher in Christmas.
Christmas parades can be small with just a few floats, and a couple of bands, or very large with a lot of floats, several bands, clowns, assorted groups, and cars carrying important people from the community. But whether the Christmas parades are small or large in size doesn't matter, it's what is at the end of the parade that makes all the difference and that would be Santa Claus! Seeing Santa Claus means the Christmas season is here!
Christmas parades have been going strong for 90+ years. When Christmas parades first started it was more of a way for people who lived in small towns to get together and socialize with each other while watching a very short parade. The parades were something the communities looked forward to every year.
One such Christmas parade in California started in 1928. It was one of the smallest parades ever. There was only one actress and Santa Claus with his live reindeer. This Christmas parade was named "The Santa Claus Lane Parade", and it kept that name for many years.


Early years when it was Santa Claus Lane Parade


The Santa Claus Lane Parade was and is a located in Hollywood, California. The parade went down Hollywood Boulevard. This street was decided on because the city wanted to attract families and shoppers to this area during the holiday season. That idea worked out very well and is still the route for the Christmas parade today, which is 81 years later.
During the 1930's, 40's, and 50's, the Santa Claus Lane Parade really grew. There started to be a number of Hollywood movie stars that were part of the Christmas parade and helped support it. Some of the early stars to be in the parade were Bette Davis, Gene Autry, Mary Pickford, and Angie Dickinson, just to name a few.
By the 1960's and into the late 70's, the Christmas parade was getting quite large. There were more and more movie stars and athletes riding in the parade. There were more floats, bands and clowns than ever before. There was even a variety of animals that graced the parade route.


Larry King and Newest wife



In the late 1970's, it was decided that there needed to be increased excitement surrounding the parade and the glamour of Hollywood needed to be brought to everyone. This was done in three ways. First, the name of the parade was changed from the Santa Claus Lane Parade to "The Hollywood Christmas Parade". The second this to happen was the broadcasting of the parade on station KTLA, so that people could watch it from home. The third thing was the parade route was lengthened to include Sunset Boulevard. These were all great decisions as they are still working today.
Today, "The Hollywood Christmas Parade" is star studded. There are more movie stars, athletes, and entertainers then ever before. There are equestrians, lots of bands that come from all over, numerous floats and of course Santa Claus, to finish up the parade and start the Christmas season.




Santa and friend


The Hollywood Christmas Parade, even though it's fun to watch and is very magical and glamorous, it still has educated the public about Hollywood and the interaction Hollywood has with the people of the United States.
Here is something to remember. Gene Autry wrote the famous song that was named after the Santa Claus Lane Parade. So, every time you hear the song "Here Comes Santa Claus", you will know it's about The Hollywood Christmas Parade and the children wating to see Santa Claus.

CHRISTMAS IN ALBANIA!



In Albania, Christmas is one of the most popular festivals and celebrated with great merriment by the local people who observe the occassion as a commemoration of the birth of Lord Jesus. The population of the country is mixed with Muslems and Christians. But Christmas in Albania is unique, what with both the communities celebrating the occassion with almost equal fervor.
Albanians share a wonderful bond with their family members and for them, family values stand above anything else. Hence Christmas in Albania is a family affair. Here, people love to celebrate the festival in the company of their entire family.
The Christmas traditions observed here are more or less similar to that of the rest of the world. Popular customs such as attending the midnight mass on 24th night and going to the church in the morning is religiously followed by all the Christians of Albania. The gift giving tradition, as observed in other western countries, has been in





practice here too for a long time. During Christmas, Albanians exchange gifts with their friends, family members and all those they interact with for the rest of the year.
Feasting takes a prominent place in the Christmas celebrations in Albania. On Christmas Day, every home in the country cook up sumptuous Christmas meals in the conventional manner. Stuffed Turkey and delectable desserts form the most important part of Christian meals. A specialty of the Albanian Christmas dinner is "Bakllava", the famous dessert known as "Baklavash" in America. One of the tastiest dishes of Christmas dinner in Albania, the "Bakllava" is actually like a pie, but far more tough to prepare.




The Christmas Tree is a prominent feature of Albanian Christmas. In Tirana, the capital city of Albania, a huge Christmas tree is decorated annually during Christmas. This is very similar to the famous Christmas tree decoration of New York. In many renowned hotels in the country, lavish parties are organized during the festival.

ALL SAINTS DAY!!







   All Saints' Day (in the Roman Catholic Church officially the Solemnity of All Saints and also called All Hallows or Hallowmas), often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honor of all the saints, known and unknown.
   In Western Christian theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries. In the Roman Catholic Church, the next day, All Souls' Day, specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven. Catholics celebrate All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven (the 'church penitent' and the 'church triumphant', respectively), and the 'church militant' who are the living. Other Christian traditions define, remember and respond to the saints in different ways.


In The East

   Eastern Christians of the Byzantine Tradition follow the earlier tradition of commemorating all saints collectively on the first Sunday after Pentecost, All Saints' Sunday (Greek: Αγίων Πάντων, Agiōn Pantōn).
   The feast of All Saints achieved great prominence in the ninth century, in the reign of the Byzantine Emperor, Leo VI "the Wise" (886–911). His wife, Empress Theophano—commemorated on December 16—lived a devout life. After her death in 893, her husband built a church, intending to dedicate it to her. When he was forbidden to do so, he decided to dedicate it to "All Saints," so that if his wife were in fact one of the righteous, she would also be honored whenever the feast was celebrated.   According to tradition, it was Leo who expanded the feast from a commemoration of All Martyrs to a general commemoration of All Saints, whether martyrs or not.
This Sunday marks the close of the Paschal season. To the normal Sunday services are added special scriptural readings and hymns to all the saints (known and unknown) from the Pentecostarion.







Communion during All Saint's Day





   The Sunday following All Saints' Sunday—the second Sunday after Pentecost—is set aside as a commemoration of all locally venerated saints, such as "All Saints of America", "All Saints of Mount Athos", etc. The third Sunday after Pentecost may be observed for even more localized saints, such as "All Saints of St. Petersburg", or for saints of a particular type, such as "New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke."
In addition to the Sundays mentioned above, Saturdays throughout the year are days for general commemoration of all saints, and special hymns to all saints are chanted from the Octoechos.

In the West

   The Western Christian holiday of All Saints' Day falls on November 1, followed by All Souls' Day on November 2, and is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.
   The origin of the festival of All Saints celebrated in the West dates to May 13, 609 or 610, when Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs; the feast of the dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Martyres has been celebrated at Rome ever since. There is evidence that from the fifth through the seventh centuries there existed in certain places and at sporadic intervals a feast date 13 May to celebrate the holy martyrs.   The origin of All Saints' Day cannot be traced with certainty, and it has been observed on various days in different places. However, there are some who maintain the belief that it has origins in the pagan observation of 13 May, the Feast of the Lemures, in which the malevolent and restless spirits of the dead were propitiated. Liturgiologists base the idea that this Lemuria festival was the origin of that of All Saints on their identical dates and on the similar theme of "all the dead".





   The feast of All Saints, on its current date, is traced to the foundation by Pope Gregory III (731–741) of an oratory in St. Peter's for the relics "of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world", with the day moved to 1 November and the 13 May feast suppressed.
This usually fell within a few weeks of the Celtic holiday of Samhain, which had a theme similar to the Roman festival of Lemuria, but which was also a harvest festival. The Irish, having celebrated Samhain in the past, did not celebrate All Hallows Day on this November 1 date, as extant historical documents attest that the celebration in Ireland took place in the spring: "...the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches [in Ireland] celebrated the feast of All Saints on April 20."
  A November festival of all the saints was already widely celebrated on November 1 in the days of Charlemagne. It was made a day of obligation throughout the Frankish empire in 835, by a decree of Louis the Pious, issued "at the instance of Pope Gregory IV and with the assent of all the bishops", which confirmed its celebration on November 1. The octave was added by Pope Sixtus IV (1471–1484).





All Saint's Day in the Philippines

   The festival was retained after the Reformation in the calendar of the Anglican Church and in many Lutheran churches. In the Lutheran churches, such as the Church of Sweden, it assumes a role of general commemoration of the dead. In the Swedish calendar, the observance takes place on the Saturday between October 31 and November 6. In many Lutheran Churches, it is moved to the first Sunday of November. It is also celebrated by other Protestants of the English tradition, such as the United Church of Canada, the Methodist churches, and the Wesleyan Church.
   Protestants generally regard all true Christian believers as saints and if they observe All Saints Day at all they use it to remember all Christians both past and present. In the United Methodist Church, All Saints' Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in November. It is held, not only to remember Saints, but also to remember all those that have died that were members of the local church congregation.  In some congregations, a candle is lit by the Acolyte as each person's name is called out by the clergy. Prayers and responsive readings may accompany the event. Often, the names of those who have died in the past year are afixed to a memorial plaque.
   In many Lutheran churches, All Saints' Day and Reformation Day are observed concurrently on the Sunday before or after those dates, given Reformation Day is observed in Protestant Churches on October 31. Typically, Martin Luther's A Mighty Fortress is Our God is sung during the service. Besides discussing Luther's role in the Protestant Reformation, some recognition of the prominent early leaders of the Reformed tradition, such as John Calvin and John Knox, occurs. The observance of Reformation Day may be immediately followed by a reading of those members of the local congregation who have died in the past year in observance of All Saints' Day. Otherwise, the recognition of deceased church members occurs at another designated portion of the service.







All Saint's Day in Sweden





 Roman Catholic Obligations

   In the Roman Catholic Church, All Saints' Day is a Holy Day of Obligation in many (but not all) countries, meaning going to Mass on the date is required unless one has a good reason to be excused from that obligation, such as illness. However, in a number of countries that do list All Saints' Day as a Holy Day of Obligation, including England & Wales, the solemnity of All Saints' Day is transferred to the adjacent Sunday if 1 November falls on a Monday or a Saturday, while in the same circumstances in the United States the Solemnity is still celebrated on November 1 but the obligation to attend Mass is abrogated.


Customs

   In Portugal, Spain, and Mexico, offerings (Portuguese: oferendas, Spanish: ofrendas) are made on this day. In Spain, the play Don Juan Tenorio is traditionally performed. In Mexico, All Saints Day coincides with the celebration of "Día de los Inocentes" (Day of the Innocents), the first day of the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebration, honoring deceased children and infants. In Portugal, children celebrate the Pão-por-Deus tradition, and go door to door where they receive cakes, nuts and pomegranates. This only occurs in some areas around Lisbon.
   In Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and American Cities such as New Orleans people bring flowers to the graves of dead relatives.
   In Poland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Austria, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Catholic parts of Germany, the tradition is to light candles and visit the graves of deceased relatives.




Early All Saint's Day Epitaph





  In the Philippines, this day, called "Undas", "Todos los Santos" (literally "All Saints"), and sometimes "Araw ng mga Patay" (approximately "Day of the dead") is observed as All Souls' Day. This day and the one before and one after it is spent visiting the graves of deceased relatives, where prayers and flowers are offered, candles are lit and the graves themselves are cleaned, repaired and repainted.
   In English-speaking countries, the festival is traditionally celebrated with the hymn "For All the Saints" by William Walsham How. The most familiar tune for this hymn is Sine Nomine by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Catholics generally celebrate with a day of rest consisting of avoiding physical exertion.

FUDGE BROWNIE CUPCAKES WITH PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING!!

   This recipe comes from sallysbakingaddiction.com .   Here's a recipe for some small, tasty mini cakes, for not just you, but for the loved ones in your life.





I had my first bake sale this past weekend.
Reader Maggie (hi Maggie!) from the Hillyer Art Space in DC approached me this summer and asked that I bring and sell a few baked goods to their art showing.
The original brownie cupcakes on my blog have been so popular, I knew a fall-inspired version of them would be a huge hit.



Plus, I’m a tad obsessed with pumpkin and I don’t think I’m alone in that. ;)




Needless to say, these babies were the first item to sell out.
For the cupcakes, I remixed my original recipe and melted some good quality chocolate in the batter instead of cocoa powder. The melted chocolate makes these brownie cupcakes dense, rich, moist, and decadent.
Pure chocolate decadence.  Is there really anything better?




Yes.  There is something better.  Adding pumpkin.
The pumpkin cream cheese frosting was an afterthought. I spied some pumpkin puree leftover from my healthy pumpkin bars in my refrigerator, and instantly knew I should incorporate it into the cream cheese frosting.
It’s lusciously creamy, perfectly spiced with pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, and the dollop of pumpkin gives it a beautiful light orange color.  Doesn’t it just look like a puffy cloud on top?  So soft and silky.
I love the spice speckles peaking through!



What you will love most about this recipe is that it comes together fairly quickly.
With the dozens of cookies and other treats I made for the bake sale, an easy and quick cupcake was a glorious sigh of relief.
Wilton #12 piping tip always does the trick.