Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fritters Day DECEMBER 2, 2015

DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate Fritters Day

Fresh, tart fruit or savory vegetables shallow fried in delicious batter – what more could you ask for to celebrate Fritters Day?

Word of the Day


Definition:(verb) To make uneasy or perplexed; disconcert.
Usage:Her extreme candor would often discomfit strangers who suddenly found themselves privy to her most private thoughts.


The Monroe Doctrine (1823)

In his 1823 address to Congress, US President James Monroe laid out the terms of the American foreign policy that would become known as the Monroe Doctrine, effectively declaring the Western Hemisphere off-limits to European colonization. Concerned that European powers would attempt to restore Spain's former colonies, he declared that any attempt by a European power to control any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be viewed as a hostile act.

Georges-Pierre Seurat (1859)

Seurat was the French neoimpressionist painter who devised pointillism, the technique of juxtaposing tiny brushstrokes of contrasting colors. He used this method to create huge compositions, including his masterpiece, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. One of the most intellectual artists of his time, Seurat influenced a return to deliberate design in painting at a time when sketching from nature had become the mode.

Historic summit on gene editing and 'designer babies' convenes

Don't look now, but the future just pulled into town. Hundreds of scientists, policymakers and the president's science adviser have gathered Tuesday in Washington for what will be a three-day summit on genetic engineering, with a focus on a new astonishing  technology.

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1816 - The first savings bank in the U.S., the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opened for business.

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1901 - Gillette patented the KC Gillette Razor. It was first razor to feature a permanent handle and disposable double-edge razor blades.

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1939 - New York's Laguardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago landed at 12:01 a.m.

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1982 - Doctors at the University of Utah implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Barney Clark. He lived 112 days with the device. The operation was the first of its kind. 

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1998 - Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates donated $100 million to help immunize children in developing countries. 

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2010 - NASA announced the discovery of a new arsenic-based life form. 


If You Were Born Today, December 2

You are spontaneous, fun, moody, and intriguing. Others are drawn to your adventurous spirit and sunny personality. Variety is what you crave, although without solid footing you don't feel at all comfortable about seeking it. You can be highly creative, and it is especially important to channel your creativity, because without focus, you can easily feel uncertain, lost, and confused. You are constantly working on your self-confidence in this life time, although others might not know this about you until they truly have been let in to your heart. Famous people born today: Britney Spears, Nelly Furtado, Lucy Liu, Maria Callas, Stone Phillips, Monica Seles.

Picture of the day
Gebang is an 8th-century Hindu temple located on the outskirts of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Built by the Medang Kingdom, the temple was buried by lahar from Mount Merapi until it was rediscovered and reconstructed in the 1930s. Gebang measures 5.25 by 5.25 meters (17.2 ft × 17.2 ft) at the base, and has a height of 7.75 meters (25.4 ft).

Picture of people paddleboarding in Slovenia

Silhouettes at Sea

Photograph by Davorin Volavsek, National Geographic Your Shot
“[This] photo was taken alongside our Slovenian coast in early September,” writes Your Shot member Davorin Volavsek. “The sight of the sun setting behind the group seemed magical, and I just had to take the photo.”

Knit Chanukah Menorah


Reversible Brioche Sweater



crochet, CHANUKAH

crochet, CHRISTMAS

crochet, toddler and child




Sweet Potato Latkes With Toasted Marshmallows

Sweet Potato Latkes3


1 lb sweet potatoes
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
½ tsp salt
1 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil


Peel and coarsely grate the sweet potatoes.
Place grated potatoes in a dish towel and wring out as much excess liquid as possible. This step is key to making sure your latkes are crispy. In a medium bowl stir together potatoes, flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar. Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl. Fold eggs into potato mixture until combined.
Heat oil in a deep skillet over moderately high heat.
Check to see if oil is hot enough by putting a small drop of the potato mixture in the oil. If it starts bubbling it is ready for frying.
Spoon approximately 1/8 cup potato mixture per latke into the oil. Flatten with a spatula and don’t crowd the pan otherwise the latkes won’t crispy properly.
Reduce heat to medium and cook until golden brown, about 1- 2 minutes per side.
Transfer latkes to a cookie rack to cool.
Turn on your oven’s broiler. Place latkes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and top each latke with marshmallows. Place latkes with marshmallows in the oven and watch carefully to make sure the marshmallows don’t brown too much.
Once marshmallows toasted until just brown, remove from oven and serve.

stephanie o'dea
thanks, shelley, for your recommendation of this recipe

CrockPot Brown Sugar Chicken Recipe

It should be noted that this chicken has been named "Candy Chicken" in our house. I don't think my kids have ever eaten so much chicken in their lives. If you are bored with dried out, boring chicken, you must try this. You simply must. Go. 
Now. Go to the store and buy the ingredients.

The Ingredients.

--12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or 6 boneless, skinless breast halves
--1 cup brown sugar (it's okay if you use splenda.)
--1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (stay with me...)
--2/3 cup vinegar (I used white wine, but think regular white would be fine)
--3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
--2 T soy sauce 
--1 tsp ground black pepper

The Directions.

Use a 4 quart crockpot for this recipe. 

Plop the chicken into your crockpot. Cover with the brown sugar, pepper, chopped garlic, and soy sauce. Add the vinegar, and pour in the soda. It will bubble!

Cover and cook on low for 6-9 hours, or on high for 4-5. The chicken is done when it is cooked through and has reached desired consistency. The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be.

Serve over a bowl of white rice with a ladle full of the broth.

The Verdict.

Seriously. Go to the store. This is what's for dinner.




Maybe have you ever thought about your table decoration for Christmas ...? From my side I imagine sweet and simple at the same time, very poetic winter and a little too small. What a program! To create my decor, I initially made a centerpiece with paper doilies trees. Some small items will be scattered around, but chuuuuuut ... it's a surprise to you that I reserve Friday;) Meanwhile, I realized this little step-by-step photos so that you can also compose your beautiful forest!

Hardware side, you will ...

- Paper napkins of different diameters (here 17, 15 and 11cm)
- Large pikes skewers and 2.5cm diameter wood beads (the same as for the crib)
- A small pruning shears, a glue gun, scissors and a tube of glue (I forgot to put on the photo ^ _ ^)

First, cut out the doilies on the shelf according to the diagram above.

Glue about 1/4 of paper placemat as pictured.

Then fold it on itself so as to form a paper cone.

Do the same with the other mats.

Slide the largest placemats on the toothpick.

Hold the mat with his hand and then thread a wooden bead.

Then thread the way placemat, a wooden bead and doily.

Turn all on the table (pic down) and put on a final pearl after the largest placemat.

Block this last bead with a hot glue point.

Carefully turn and presto ... a nice tree!

Make several and cut the toothpicks at different heights with the pruning shears.
Just plant them on a slab of foam board to create your forest

santa belt with soda can top


One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives. - Euripides

thanks, patty


thanks, helen, for the next two pics

"Welcome" in Irish Gaelic (Ireland) - Céad míle fáilte romhat

need help learning to type?

 thanks for the gnomes, sheri

Nine Things you didn't know about Chanukah

Chanukah, which starts at sundown on Sunday, Dec. 6, is one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays in the United States. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing new to learn about this eight-day festival. From the mysterious origins of gelt to an Apocryphal beheading to Marilyn Monroe, we’ve compiled an item for each candle (don’t forget the shammash!) on the Hanukkah menorah.
Hanukkah gelt
1. Gelt as we know it is a relatively new tradition — and no one knows who invented it.
While coins – “gelt” is Yiddish for coins, or money – have been part of Hanukkah observance for centuries, chocolate gelt is considerably younger. In her book On the Chocolate Trail, Rabbi Deborah Prinz writes that “opinions differ” concerning the origins of chocolate gelt: Some credit America’s Loft candy company with creating it in the 1920s, while others suggest there were European versions earlier that inspired Israel’s Elite candy company. Prinz notes, as well, that chocolate gelt resembles a European Christmas tradition of exchanging gold-covered chocolate coins “commemorating the miracles of St. Nicholas.”

etrog sukkot
2. The first Hanukkah celebration was actually a delayed Sukkot observance.
The second book of Maccabees quotes from a letter sent circa 125 BCE from the Hasmoneans (the Macabees’ descendants) to the leaders of Egyptian Jewry, describing the holiday as “the festival ofSukkot celebrated in the month of Kislev rather than Tishrei.” Since the Jews were still in caves fighting as guerrillas on Tishrei, 164 BCE, they had been unable to honor the eight-day holiday of Sukkot, which required visiting the Jerusalem Temple; hence it was postponed until after the recapture of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Temple. Many scholars believe it is this – and not the Talmudic legend of the cruse of oil that lasted eight days – explains why Hanukkah is eight days long.

3. The books of Maccabees, which tell the story of Hanukkah, weren’t included in the Hebrew Bible – but they are in the Catholic Bible.
There are different theories explaining why the first-century rabbis who canonized the scriptures omitted the Maccabees, ranging from the text’s relative newness at the time to fears of alienating the Roman leadership in control of Jerusalem at the time.

Marilyn Monroe
4. Marilyn Monroe owned a music-playing Hanukkah menorah (the Marilyn Monrorah?).
When the Hollywood star converted to Judaism before marrying Jewish playwright Arthur Miller, her future mother-in-law gave her a menorah as a conversion gift. The Hanukkah lamp, which the menorah’s current owner says Mrs. Miller brought back from Jerusalem, has a wind-up music box in its base that plays Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem. It’s featured in the Jewish Museum in New York City’s exhibit “Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn,” but sadly you can’t wind it up.

chanukah hannukah dreidels dreydels
5. The game of dreidel was inspired by a German game played at Christmastime, which is itself an imitation of an English and Irish one.
Our Eastern European game of dreidel (including the letters nun, gimmel, hey, shin) is directly based on the German equivalent of the British totum game: N = Nichts = nothing; G = Ganz = all; H = Halb = half; and S = Stell ein = put in. In German, the spinning top was called a “torrel” or “trundl.”

Cheese latkes
6. Oily food (think latkes and sufganiyot) isn’t Hanukkah’s only culinary tradition.
Traditionally, Hanukkah has included foods with cheese in recognition of Judith, whose liberal use of the salty treat facilitated a victory for the Maccabees.  

7. On Hanukkah, we celebrate a grisly murder.
The aforementioned Judith had an ulterior motive for plying Assyrian general Holofernes with salty cheese: making him thirsty so he would drink lots of wine and pass out, enabling her to chop off his head and bring it home with her. The beheading – particularly the fact that a woman carried it out – was said to have frightened Holofernes’ troops into fleeing the Maccabees.

8. The next “Thanksgivukkah” (sort of), is only 55 years away.
In 2013, the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on Nov. 28 inspired everything from turkey-shaped menorahs to a giant dreidel float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. While experts say a full day of Hanukkah won’t coincide with the fourth Thursday in November for thousands of years, the first night of Hanukkah will fall in time for Thanksgiving dinner (assuming you have the meal at dinnertime rather than in the afternoon) on Nov. 27, 2070. 

Hanukkah Menorah
9. The largest menorah in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records is 32 feet high and weighs 4,000 pounds. The Shulchan Aruch stipulates that a menorah should be no taller than about 31 feet. Incidentally, Guinness lists at least three other Hanukkah-related records: most dreidels spinning simultaneously for at least 10 seconds (734), most people simultaneously lighting menorahs (834) and largest display of lit menorahs (1,000). We’d like to know the most latkes ever eaten in one sitting.


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