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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 04/27/13

Saturday, April 27, 2013

QUEEN'S DAY IN AMSTERDAM!





   Queen's Day in Amsterdam is a unique night and day carnival like event on the 30th of April each year and during the night before...so called Queen's Night.  What is special about the Queen's Day?  How about  having elements of a huge party across the whole city, it is combined with the market in the streets in the whole entire city.
   Queen's Day in Amsterdam attracts 700,000 visitors, which makes the city crowded beyond any acceptable norm.  Despite overcrowding, the atmosphere on Queen's Day is traditionally relax and joyful.  The usually mild weather makes the Queen's Day the day to be in Amsterdam.






The Tradition of Queen's Day

   Queen's Day is celebrated in the whole country of the Netherlands for more than 50 years.  Amsterdam celebrations are the most raucous.  Over the years, the popularity of the event grows bigger and bigger, as crowds of people from all over Europe come to attend.





Free Market (Vrijmarkt)

   The Dutch love to trade, they have it in their blood.  Queen's Day is an occasion to trade all things that are unnecessary at home.  They come to trade with neighbors and visitors in town.  More a social occasion that a real commercial opportunity, the free market is a unique family event with children actively participating also, it's not just an event for adults.  Prices are symbolic and the most important thing isn't the trading but enjoying the day and having fun.




Transportation During Queen's Day

   As a large part of the Amsterdam center is filled with such a large crowd, no transportation is possible in the city itself, you will have to walk to wherever that you want to go.  No cars are allowed on Queen's Day in the Amsterdam center.  All public transportation, including trains are on a special schedule for this day and night.





Queen's Night (Koninginnenacht)

   The celebrating of Queen's Day begins on the evening of the day before, usually at 7 p.m., and goes on until the early hours of Queen's Day.  It is called Queen's Night, when all clubs across the Netherlands organize special festivities.  Especially for the younger adult crowds, this is the night to be in Amsterdam.  Amsterdam is bustling all through the night, as many young adults move across the city hopping from one party to the next, while others prepare for the market, the following day.
   The quarter of Jordan is one of  the most crowded places to be on Queen's Day.  Not only with traders, food concessions and beer stands, but also with large groups of people singing traditional Dutch songs.  These are simple, rhythmic songs, mostly describing the beauty of Amsterdam.  While you might not be able to follow the words, the whole atmosphere is always unique, friendly, and relaxed.




Some Dutch Pastries

   There are rock concerts that usually begin about 11 a.m. and go on until late in the afternoon attracting thousands of people.
   All clubs in Amsterdam organize special parties on this day.  In many parts of the city, you can hear the music blaring out of speakers around many corners of the city.  Many of these turn into improvised parties.  There are boats full of dancing people circulating up and down the canals in Amsterdam.



The Queen of Holland

Accommodations for Queen's Day

   If you plan to visit Amsterdam during the next Queen's Day, make your hotel reservations many months in advance.  There is absolutely no chance to find a good hotel or even a hostel at the last minute, any private apartment or bed and breakfast's are usually taken years in advance.





Tips if you decide to go for Queen's Day

  • As you are going to spend most of your day around big crowds, leave your valuables in your hotel.
  • You're going to be walking alot, so comfortable shoe are an essential.
  • Take a lot of change.  You may want to buy something in the market, plus you may want to buy food or beverages while you are out during the day.
  • All the main grocery stores are open on Queen's Day.  You may get food and drink at a better price than at a booth.
  • While you may drink alcohol in the streets on Queen's Day, it is not allowed to carry more than one drink at a time.
  • Consider leaving your camera at the hotel.  Take part in the event, there are many offering to take pictures, which you can always download later from the web.

MINT CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE POPSICLES! YYYYYYUUUUMMMMMMM!







Hey, GoodLife Etc. readers! I’m taking over the GoodLife Eats section today and filling in for Katie while she continues to unpack and organize in Colorado.
It’s scorching hot here in my neck of the woods, so just the thought of turning on my oven makes me break out into heat-induced hives. However, there’s one minor issue – I operate a baking blog.
Since I can’t leave my readers hangin’, I’ve been trying to come up with creative ways to satisfy their cravings for sweet indulgences without forcing them – or me – to break a sweat.
If you follow My Baking Addiction, you’ve probably realized that I’ve been on a pretty serious No Bake Cheesecake kick. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip together a quick dessert that your whole family will love. And they’re pretty much foolproof so you can adapt the ingredients to add your own special twist and create a signature sweet treat.
When playing around with a mint chocolate version of no-bake cheesecakes, it occurred to me that freezing the base recipe might mean pretty phenomenal mint chocolate cheesecake popsicles. At first I was a bit skeptical that the base would actually freeze, but let me tell you, they were a raging success.
The frozen whipped topping and cream cheese allow the popsicle to maintain a slight softness – almost like a fudgesicle. Combine that winning texture with the crunch of Magic Shell and the cool from chopped up mint chocolate cookies and you have a dessert to remember!
If you’re curious how I served these up cheesecake style, head over and check out my post. I hope you’re having a fantastic start to summer. Stay cool – eat popsicles.




Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Popsicles


YIELD: 8-10 popsicles
PREP TIME: 10 minutes plus freeze time
Print Save Recipe

Ingredients:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
12 Andes Creme de Menthe Cookies, finely chopped (see note below)
Magic Shell, optional

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add in the extracts and mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until until it is fully incorporated into the cream cheese mixture. Fold in mint chocolate cookies.
2. Spoon the filling into a pastry bag or large zip top bag. Snip enough of the end off the bag to allow you pipe the mixture into your popsicle molds. Once your molds are full, gently tap the popsicle mold base on the countertop to help release any air pockets. Freeze according the manufacturers directions.
3. If desired, garnish each popsicle with Magic Shell and chopped cookies.
Tip: If you have an issue releasing your popsicles from the molds, run a little warm water along the sides of the molds, this will usually cause them to release with ease.

Notes:

- If you cannot find the Andes Creme de Menthe Cookies, feel free to substitute Mint Oreos.
- I have not attempted this recipe with a substitute for the frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip).
- Due to the soft texture of this recipe, it is not recommended for use in a Zoku Quick Pop Maker.

APRIL FOOL'S DAY TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD!!





   April Fool's Day is rapidly approaching, and April Fool's celebrations will be occurring all around the world.  But not all April Fool's Day celebrations will be the same; April Fool's Day in one country is often quite different than in another.
  • April Fool's Day in the U.S. is usually a day of trickery, pranks and outrageous stunts.  The media becomes involved, running bogus news stories or promoting false products.  The April Fool's Day celebrations can occur any time of the day and can be as simple or complex as the trickster wishes.  The victim of the prank is supposed to maintain good humor about it, and traditionally he or she will attract bad luck by getting upset about he prank.
  • April Fool's Day in France is traditionally call Poisson d'Avril, which translates to "April Fish".  The term refers to the fish that are recently hatches and therefore naive and easy to catch.  The traditional April Fish prank in France is to tape a fish to someones back, and call them a Poisson d'Avril when they discover it.  Originally, the fish was a real dead fish, but nowadays it is most often a paper fish.  April Fish is also a common prank on April Fool's Day in Italy, called Pesce d'Aprile in Italian, April Fish trickery can last all day, and may include other kinds of tricks.
  • April Fool's Day in Canada is similar to April Fool's Day in the U.S., and also incorporates the tradition of Poisson d'Avril from French April Fool's Day celebrations.  On Canadian tradition comes from investigator James Randi, who annually announces a tongue in cheek award called the Pigasus Award on April Fool's Day.  These "awards" seek to expose paranormal or psychic frauds or to ridicules institutions that promote paranormal claims.  Past Pigasus awards have been given to the Kansas school board, John Edwards and Nostradamus.  New "winners" will be announced on April Fool's Day.
  • In Scotland, April Fool's Day celebrations last for two days.  April Fool's Day in Scotland is sometimes called "Tally Day" or "April Gowk".  The traditional prank for the first day is to send people on a fools errand.  You give someone an urgent note that they are supposed to deliver, but the note informs the receiver that it is an April Gowk joke, and they send the person to yet another person, who sends them somewhere else...etc.  On the second day, the traditional prank is to stick an April Gowk sign on someones backside, similar to a "Kick Me" sign.  April Gowk pranks are usually only played in the morning, and if someone tries one after noon, they are considered the fool instead.
  • April Fool's Day in Poland is called "Prymas Aprylis".  In addition to being a day of pranks, April Fool's Day celebrations often involve dressing up in costumes.  April Fool's Day in Poland is largely a holiday for children, but adults also get in on the fun.  In recent years, Polish media has also taken part in the April Fool's Day celebrations.
  • There are a few countries that have April Fool's Day celebrations on days other than April 1st.  In Denmark, for example, April Fool's Day celebration are held on May 1st, and the day is called Maj-kat, or May-cat.  Hispanic countries such as Spain and Mexico observe the Feast of the Innocents of December 28th by pranking and tricking people just as in April Fool's Day celebrations.  Victims of pranks are not allowed to be upset, because the pranksters are representing the innocents.  Yet another prank day similar to April Fool's Day celebrations occurs in Iran near the beginning of April, called "Sizdah Bedar".