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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Default Welcome to the 2012 advent calender!

    Let the celebration begin!!!
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Default Dec 1st

    The holidays seems to be the time to pass around home made treats. Cookies, canned jams, and quick breads are all favorites. This is a recipe that was given to me last month by someone who likes to give them out to their friends at Christmas time. (The prices she included is for the US. I'm not sure what they would cost to make somewhere else.)



    Chocolate Covered Pretzels

    Supplies:

    1 bag brown melting chocolate - $2.99 (Michaels)

    1 bag red melting chocolate - $2.99 (Michaels)

    1 bag white melting chocolate – $2.99 (Michaels)

    2 bags pretzel sticks - $2.00 (Dollar Tree)

    2 14-ounce bags caramels - $5.38 (Target)

    4 hot chocolate cups - $4.00 (Dollar Tree)

    Directions:

    1. Melt caramel on very low heat until smooth consistency.
    2. Grease a cookie sheet.
    3. Dip pretzel half way in caramel and lay on greased sheet.
    4. Melt chocolate in the microwave.
    5. Once caramel is hardened dip the pretzel in chocolate to cover the caramel and lay back on the greased sheet.
    6. Wait to cool.
    7. Melt red and white chocolate separately in the microwave and spoon into baggies
    8. Cut a tiny hole in the corner of the baggie and drizzle over top of the brown chocolate.
    9. Wait to cool completely and place 7 pretzels in a hot chocolate cup with cute ribbon tied around the handle.


    Total Cost:

    $21.00 for 30 pretzels
    $5.00 per cup of 7 pretzels


    Now she just melted pre-made caramel but if you don't add a little milk to it the caramel can get pretty hard when it cools so I thought I would provide a second link that goes with the picture. This recipe includes a homemade caramel sauce for those who aren't afraid to give it a try.

    Cheat Day Cafe: Chocolate Covered Caramel Pretzel Rods


    Just for the record, if you haven't had Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Sticks yet, try them, they're amazing!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Default

    Oh, yum. I love that sweet/salty thing.

    The season is off to a great start. Thanks, Ariadne!
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  4. #4
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    Default

    I have made these before, and they are so good! Mine weren't as pretty because I didn't think to do the white chocolate drizzle, though. I had forgotten about these - thanks for the reminder!

  5. #5
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    Default

    Here are some jokes that are so bad they're good:

    What do you call a circular decoration made from $100 bills?
    A wreath of Franklins

    What did the gingerbread man put on his bed?
    Cookie sheets

    Which brings us to:
    When I was a kid one thing you could always count on at Christmas time was my grandmother making gingerbread cookies. Of course I liked how they tasted, but one of the things I loved about them was that she would paint on their clothes with an egg wash. It made the painted areas shiny, and they all looked different. We all chose our cookies based on how they were decorated. Being kids, it just made them taste better, you know?

    It's simple to do, and you can put it on sugar cookies or any other roll cookie. Mix an egg white with a bit of water to thin (about 1/4 teaspoon), then add food coloring until you get your desired color. Apply it to the cookies before baking with new paintbrushes (just use the cheapest kid brushes you can find with plastic bristles). Bake as directed in your recipe.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I had to say "a wreath of Franklins" outloud before I got it. Terrible, Andrea, just terrible (I'm gonna steal it).
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #7
    V.I.P. Ariadne's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    (I'm gonna steal it).
    I already did. :P It got the appropriate groans from my family.

    Thanks for the tip Andrea. I am totally using it for our holiday cookies this year.

  8. #8
    Senior Member walladah's Avatar
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    Default December 3rd, Greetings from Crete!

    Actually, the weather is summer-like and i think i will go out again in summer sandals today. However, all shopwindows are in Christmas decoration since mid-November and people are preparing to decorate homes and verandas.

    December 3rd is timely enough to prepare some handmade decoration!
    This year i am very much for recycled light bulbs - i copied the idea from a friend's posting on facebook and then i realised that the internet is full of this! I will try this with a bulb i have already kept aside and if it goes well, i will post the photo! Merry Christmas, Merry Winter Solstice everyone!

    http://www.betterbudgeting.com/christmasornaments10/penguinandsnowm

    http://www.home-dzine.co.za/crafts/craft-lightbulb.htman.htm


    Recycled Christmas bulbs | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

  9. #9
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post
    I had to say "a wreath of Franklins" outloud before I got it. Terrible, Andrea, just terrible (I'm gonna steal it).
    No problem. I stole it myself!

    Walladah, thanks for the links! I've been saving my bulbs to make some of these, but what I didn't think of before was saving the longer bulbs like in the second link. I have that kind in my dining room, and I love how they look like the regular tree lights once they're painted. Will definitely save them once they burn out again!

  10. #10
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    Default Dec 4

    Today I hope you are wearing your brown shoes and are giving yourself a treat with some cookies. As Shanazel listed in the http://bellydanceforums.net/off-topi...-december.html-thread, Dec 4 is Bona Dea's Day, Cookie day and Wear Brown Shoes Day.

    Bona Dea, the Good Gooddess, was a divinty in ancient Rome associated with chastity and fertility in women, healing and the protection of the Roman state and people. On Dec 4 she was celebrated by all the women, and men were not allowed to participate in the ceremonies. If you are curious you can read more about her here.


    Now, while we're into religious days:
    Today is also St. Barbara's Feast Day.
    St. Barbara was an early Christian saint and martyr. She is one of the 14 Fourteen Holy Helpers in Roman Catholicism, as these helpers intercession is believed to be particularly effective. This group of helpers in need originated in the 14th century in Rhineland during the plague known as the Black Death.

    But St. Barbara continues to be a popular saint, even in modern times, as the patron saint of artillerymen, military engineers, miners, gunsmiths and others who work with explosives and cannons. She is associated with lightening and fire, as her father who got her killed because she converted to Christianity and refused any offers of marriage, got killed by the lightening.

    Despite being removed from the liturgical calendar of the roman rite in 1969, she is still celebrated by Orthodox Christians and Anglicans.

    In relation to St. Barbara's day, the Polish mine workers have their own festive day «Barbórka». It is also celebrated in other strong mining regions in the Czech republic and Germany, where it is called «Barbarafeier». You can read more about it here.



    But are there any connections between St. Barbara and bellydance?
    Not directly, but there is a connection to the Middle East!

    Saint Barbara's day, or Eid il-Burbara is celebrated in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine among Arab Christians. It is a feast day similar to that of North American Halloween where children go trick or treating while singing a special song for Eid il-Burbara and Halloween decorations such as jack-o'-lanterns can be seen.
    The general belief among Syrian and Lebanese Christians is that St. Barbara disguised herself in many different characters to elude the Romans who were persecuting her. While fleeing, she supposedly ran through a freshly planted wheat field which grew instantly to magically cover her path. This miracle is recreated symbolically today by planting wheat seeds (or chick peas, barley grains, beans, lentils etc) in cotton wool on Saint Barbara's feast day. The seeds germinate and grow up to around 6 inches in time for Christmas, when the shoots are used to decorate the nativity scene.

    Traditional food made on this feast is Burbara, a bowl of boiled wheat grains, pomegranate seeds, raisins, anise and sugar offered to the masquerading children.

    If you want to try making Burbara, you'll find a recipe here.

    Sources: Saint Barbara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Eid il-Burbara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    So join the miners and Christians in the Levant and the followers of Bona Dea
    and celebrate by dancing and playing all night and day long
    !
    Last edited by Daimona; 12-04-2012 at 10:41 PM. Reason: formatting and image and spelling
    --
    Daim.

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