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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 04/02/13

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

TOP 10 BEST CHRISTMAS DUETS!!


  This is a nice light list of songs to increase your Christmas spirit on this wonderful holiday. It includes some songs that commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, and some that are more modern in concept – but regardless of the type, they are all great songs and perfect for the first prize of our competition. Merry Christmas!



10. Josh Groban and Brian McKnight/Angels We Have Heard on High




   This is quite a great Christmas carol that is sung beautifully by Josh Groban and Brian McKnight. “The words of the song are based on a traditional French carol known as Les Anges dans nos Campagnes (literally, The Angels in our Countryside). Its most common English version was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick.



9. Billy Porter and Vanessa Williams/Joy To The World




   “Joy to the World” is one of the best-known and best-loved of Christmas carols. It contains a message of joy and love replacing sin and sorrow. It may also be interpreted to be about life after the second coming of Christ. The hymn is significant for its widespread use throughout Christian denominations and for the musical stature of the people who created it.
   This is a great Christmas carol everyone can sing along to, and the duet by Billy Porter and Vanessa Williams is amazing.



8. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl/ Fairytale of New York




   This is a popular and lovely Christmas song by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl that was released in 1987.



7. Olivia Newton-John and Jon Secada/ Every Time It Snows




   Olivia Newton-John and Jon Secada duet to a beautiful and gorgeous song with lovely lyrics.



6. Christina Aguilera and Brian McKnight/ Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas




   “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is a Christmas song written for the MGM Musical, Meet Me In St. Louis. This nice duet by Christina Aguilera and Brain McKnight is quite fabulous.




5. Alan Jackson and Alison Krauss /The Angels Cried




   This is a wonderful and touching duet that is simply magnificent.



4. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan/ Baby It’s Cold Outside




   I think “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is a fantastic duet that can be sung by any male and female singer. It’s such a fun and awesome song and the duet by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan is great.



3. David Bowie and Bing Crosby /Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth




   “The Little Drummer Boy” is a popular Christmas song, with words and music by Katherine K. Davis. One of the most popular versions of this song is the “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” duet by the unusual paring of Bing Crosby and David Bowie. The duet was recorded in 1977 for a Bing Crosby Christmas special, and reappears annually in holiday music rotations.



2. Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion/ The Prayer




   The Prayer is an amazing duet by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. They are both fantastic singers and the song is so beautiful.



1. Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra /White Christmas




   This is a classic and terrific duet by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.




CHOCOLATE MOUSSE LOAF WITH RASPBERRY PUREE!


Effortlessly elegant, chocolate mousse makes a cool partner for any occasion. For a party-pretty presentation, chill individual portions in heart-shaped ramekins or china teacups, and serve the sauce on the side in a cream pitcher.



Chocolate Mousse Loaf with Raspberry Purée Recipe

  

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whipping cream, divided
  • (8-ounce) packages semisweet chocolate squares
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed
  • Garnishes: fresh mint sprigs, fresh raspberries

Preparation

  1. Line a 9- x 5-inch loafpan with plastic wrap, extending edges of wrap over sides of pan; set aside.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup whipping cream, chocolate squares, corn syrup, and butter in a heavy saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until chocolate melts. Cool.
  3. Beat remaining 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold into chocolate mixture. Pour into prepared pan, and chill at least 8 hours.
  4. Process raspberries in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Pour purée through a fine wire-mesh strainer, if desired, pressing with the back of a spoon; discard seeds. Chill.
  5. Invert mousse loaf onto a serving platter, and remove plastic wrap. Slice loaf, and serve with raspberry puree. Garnish, if desired.                           

SCOPPIO DEL CARRO FROM ITALY!!!









    The Scoppio del Carro ("Explosion of the Cart") is a folk tradition of Florence, Italy. On Easter Sunday, a cart, packed full of fireworks and other pyrotechnics, is lit and provides a historic spectacle in the civic life of the city.

A Little History on the Festival

    The event of the Scoppio del Carro has its origins in the First Crusade, when Europeans laid siege to the city of Jerusalem in a conflict to claim Palestine for Christianity. In 1097, Pazzino de' Pazzi, a Florentine from a very prominent family, was by tradition, the first man to scale the fortified walls that surrounded Jerusalem. As a reward for this act of bravery, his commander gave him three flints (fire starters) from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which were then carried back to Tuscany. These were and still are kept in the Chiesa delgli Santi Apostoli.













    It became the practice for a "holy fire" to be struck from these flints at Easter tide, which was then carried throughout the city by groups of young men bearing torches. In time, this tradition evolved into something similar to what is seen today.....a cart bearing a large candle was rolled through the city to the cathedral, from where the holy fire would be distributed.
    By the end of the 15th century,the Scoppio del Carro transformed into its present form.
    The ultimate origins of the event may be of pagan origin, since it involves a display of great noise and light to ensure a good harvest. Additionally, farmers from the Florentine countryside still observe the Scoppio del Carro with interest because of this.











The Main Event

    On the morning of Easter Sunday, the 30 foot tall antique cart ( in use for over 500 years), moves from the Porta al Prato to the Piazza del Duomo. Hauled by a team of white oxen, festooned with garlands of the first flowers and herbs of spring, the cart is escorted by 150 soldiers, musicians, and people dressed up in their 15th century costumes.










    Meanwhile, a fire is struck using the historic flints form Jerusalem at ApoChiesa degli Santi Apostoli. It is then carried by the procession to the cathedral square by members of the Pazzi family, clerics, and city officials.
    The cart is loaded with fireworks while a wire, stretching to the high altar inside the churches cathedral, is fitted with a mechanical dove (the "columbina"). Shortly thereafter, at the singing of the song, "Gloria in Excelsis Deo", during Easter Mass, the cardinal of Florence light a fuse in the columbina with the Easter fire.  It then speeds through the church to ignite the cart of fireworks outside.











    During all of these stages, the bells of Giotto's campanile ring out.
The complex fireworks show that follows, last approximately 20 to 30 minutes. A successful display from the "Explosion of the Cart" is supposed to guarantee a good harvest, stable civic life, and good business.