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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 01/14/14

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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.

BATTLE OF THE ORANGES FESTIVAL AND CARNIVAL FROM IVREA, ITALY!!





The Battle of the Oranges is a carnival and festival in the Northern Italian city of Ivrea, which includes a tradition of throwing of oranges between organized groups. It is the largest food fight in Italy.


History of the Festival

    The festival's origins are somewhat unclear. A popular account has it that it commemorates the city's defiance against the city's tyrant, who is either a member of the Ranieri family or a conflation of the 12th century Ranieri di Biandrate and 13th century Marquis William VII of Montferrat. This tyrant attempted to rape a young commoner (often specified as a miller's daughter) on the eve of her wedding, supposedly exercising the (possibly fictional) droit de segneur. His plan backfired when the young woman instead decaptated the tyrant, after which the populace stormed and burned the palace. Each year, a young girl is chosen to play the part of Violetta, the defiant young woman.





    Every year the citizens remember their liberation with the Battle of the Oranges where teams of "Aranceri" (orange handlers) on foot throw oranges (representing ancient arrows and stones) against Aranceri riding in carts, representing Arduino's allies. During the 19th century French occupation of Italy the Carnival of Ivrea was modified to add representatives of the French army who help the miller's wife. The carnival may have started in the 12th century and also includes a large bonfire.






The Celebration

    The core celebration is based on a locally famous Battle of the Oranges that involves some thousands of townspeople, divided into nine combat teams,who throw oranges at each other....with considerable violence...during the traditional carnival days: Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The carnival ends on the night of "Fat Tuesday" with a solemn funeral. Traditionally, at the end of the silent march that closes the carnival the "General" says goodbye to everyone with the classical phrase in dialect "arvedse a giobia a 'n bot", translated as "we'll see each other on Thursday at one", referring to the Thursday the carnival will start the next year".






Miller's Daughter

    One of the citizens is elected Mugnaia. The legend has that a miller's daughter (a "Mungnaia") once refused to accept the "right" of the local duke to spend a night with each newly wed woman and chopped his head off. Today the carriages represent the duke's guard and the orange throwers the revolutionaries. Spectators are not allowed to throw oranges, but visitors are allowed to enlist in the teams. if they wear a red hat they are considered part of the revolutionaries and will not have oranges thrown at them.





    Originally beans were thrown, then apples. Later, in the 19th century, oranges came to represent the duke's chopped off head. The origin of the tradition to throw oranges is not well understood, particularly as oranges do not grow in the foothills of the Italian Alps and must be imported from Sicily. In 1994 an estimated 580,000 pounds of oranges were brought to the city, mainly coming from the leftovers of the winter crop in southern Italy.