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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: April 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

BLACKBERRY SWIRL POUND CAKE!

   This recipe was found at www.marthastewart.com .  Good luck!









Enjoy this cake on its own or with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
                         
  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Total Time 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield Serves 9

 

Ingredients


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 6 ounces blackberries (1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; butter parchment. In a food processor, puree blackberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  3. Transfer half the batter to pan and dot with 1/2 cup blackberry puree. Repeat with remaining batter and puree. With a skewer or thin-bladed knife, swirl batter and puree together. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 30 minutes. Lift cake out of pan and place on a serving plate; let cool completely before slicing.


Cook's Note

Change it up: Swap 6 ounces raspberries or blueberries for the blackberries.

THE IDITAROD, THE LAST GREAT RACE ON EARTH, PART 2!!!!







History of the Iditarod

    The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race first ran to Nome in 1973, after two short races on part of the Iditarod Trail in 1967 and 1969. The idea of having a race over the Iditarod Trail was conceived by the late Dorothy Page. In 1964, Page was chairwoman of the Wasilla-Knik Centennial and was working on projects to celebrate Alaska's Centennial Year n 1967.
    She was intrigued that dog teams could travel over land that was not accessible by autos. In the early 1920's, settlers had come to Alaska following a gold strike. They traveled by boat to the coastal towns of Seward and Knik and from there, by land into the gold fields. The trail they used is today known as The Iditarod Trail, one of the National Historic Trails as so designated b the U.S. Congress. In the winter, their only means of travel was by dog team.










    The Iditarod Trail soon became the major thoroughfare through Alaska. Mail was carried across this trail, people used the trail to get from place to place and supplies were transported via the Iditarod Trail. Priests, minister, and judges traveled between villages via dog teams.
    All too soon the gold mining began to slack off. People began to go back to where they had come from and suddenly there was less travel on the Iditarod Trail. The use of the airplane in the late 1920's signaled the beginning of the end of the dog team as a standard mode of transportation, and of course with the airplane carrying the mail, there was less need for land travel. The final blow to the use of the dog teams came with the appearance of snowmobiles in Alaska.












    By the mid 60's, most people in Alaska didn't even know there was an Iditarod Trail or that dog teams had played a very important part in Alaska's early settlement. Dorothy Page, a resident of Wasilla and self made historian, recognized the importance of an awareness of the use of sled dogs as working animals and of the Iditarod Trail and the important part it played in Alaska's history.
    She presented the possibility of a race over the Iditarod Trail to Joe Redington, Sr., a musher from the Knik area. Soon the Pages and the Redingtons began promoting the idea of the Iditarod Race to the extent that Joe and Vi Redington moved to the Knik area from their homestead at Flat Horn Lake and they have never moved back.










    The Aurora Dog Musher Club, along with men from the Adult Camp in Sutton helped clear years of over growth from the first 9 miles of the Iditarod Trail in time to put on the first short Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1967. A $25,000 purse was offered in that race with Joe and Vi Redington donating one acre of their land at Flat Horn Lake adjacent to the Iditarod Trail to help raise the funds. ( the land was subdivided into one square foot lots and sold with a deed and special certificate of ownership, raising $10,000 toward the purse) Contestants from all over Alaska and even two contestants form Massachusetts entered that first Iditarod Race, but a newcomer, Issac Okleasik, from Teller, Alaska, won the race with his team of large working dogs. The short race of approximately 27 miles, was put on again in 1969.






Joe Redington Sr.








    The goal was to have the race go all the way to the ghost town of Iditarod in 1973. However in 1972, the U.S. Army reopened the trail as a winter exercise and in 1973, the decision was made to take the race the 1,000 plus miles to Nome. Redington and Page were instrumental in getting the first long Iditarod on its way to Nome in 1973, amidst comments that it couldn't be done. There were many who believed it was crazy to send a bunch of mushers out into the vast uninhabited Alaskan wilderness. But the race went on. 22 mushers finished that year and to date, there have been over 400 finishers. Mushers have come from Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Italy,Japan, Austria, Australia, Sweden and the Soviet Union as well as from about 20 different states in the United States.












    The late Dorothy Page, the "mother of the Iditarod" is quoted in the October 1979 issue of the Iditarod Runner on her intent for the Iditarod: "To keep the spirit of the Iditarod the same. I don't even want to see high pressure people getting in and changing the spirit of the race. We brought the sled dog back and increased the number of mushers. It is really an Alaskan event. I think the fact that it starts in Anchorage and then ends in Nome has opened up a whole new area for people in Alaska. I think they appreciate that it puts them in touch with the pioneer spirit".











Iditarod Today

    The race has started in downtown Anchorage since 1983. The teams leave the start line at the corner of 4th and D, at two minute intervals. Starting at 10 a.m. There are usually over 65 teams starting and some years even more.
    The mushers follow a multi use trail through Anchorage and out to Tudor Road. A telephone auction is held each year whereby fans can be a rider in a musher's sled from the start line for the first 8-9 miles. This auction opens on October 1st and closes at 5 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on January 31st. The money raised is used to offset expenses of the race and to provide each musher who finishes the race after the top 20 (who received cash prize winnings), with $1,049. This helps the mushers get their teams home. The mush along the Glenn Highway into the VFW Post 9785 in Eagle River. From there the dogs are loaded into dog trucks and taken home for the night. This is a ceremonial start and does not count in the overall time to Nome.












    On Sunday, March 8th, mushers will again line up at the old Wasilla Airport in Wasilla about 40 miles north of Anchorage. At 10 a.m. the first teams will depart on their way to Nome.
    From Wasilla, they travel to Knik Lake, the last checkpoint on the road system. Spectatros may drive the 17 miles from Anchorage to Eagle River and the approximately 30 miles from Eagle River to Wasilla. It's about 13 miles from Wasilla ti Knik. Once the mushers leave the Knik checkpoint, they are off the road system for the duration of the race.











      It is impossible to predict the exact day or time that the first musher will cross the finish line in Nome. However, it is expected to be between 9 and 12 days, making it on the second Tuesday or Wednesday. Doug Swingley, the 1995 Champion, completed the course in 9 days, 2 hours, 42 minutes and 19 seconds to become the first usher from outside Alaska to ever win the Iditarod.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

HERE'S SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT WHEN MAKING!! HOW ABOUT SOME ROADHOUSE CINNAMON ROLLS???



Harry's Roadhouse Cinnamon Rolls





Recipe from: Harry's Roadhouse Cookbook
by Harry Shapiro and Peyton Young
This is the recipe that makes me feel like a magician. It is not that difficult, but it takes planning: you need to make the dough a day ahead. But when these beauties come out of the oven, all worth it. We serve cinnamon rolls on Saturday and Sunday mornings only. It’s one of the rituals I love about the restaurant. Because they take a while to rise, the rolls usually don’t come out of the oven until close to 8:00 a.m. The counter at Harry’s is usually packed by this time, and all the customers "ooh" and "aah." That makes it worth getting out of bed at 5:30 a.m. on a weekend morning!

This recipe makes 6 large cinnamon rolls and can easily be doubled. 

PREP TLME: 10 minutes to make dough 

10 minutes to assemble rolls 

TURNOUT TIME: 8 hours plus 1 1/2 hours
FEEDS: 6 
  • DOUGH

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

  • FILLING

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans













  1. In a large bowl, mix yeast in water. The water should be lukewarm (about 100 degrees F), not hot, or it could kill the yeast. Mix in 1/2 tablespoon sugar and set bowl in a warm place. If your yeast is good, the mixture will foam up in a few minutes. If not, get some fresh yeast and start over.
  2. To make the Dough: Put flour, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Turn on low until ingredients are just combined. Cut butter into little pieces and add to dry ingredients. Turn the mixer motor on low and let butter incorporate until the mixture is crumbly. Add egg yolks, then the risen yeast mixture, and finally the milk. These additions should happen quickly so the dough does not become too wet for the milk to be incorporated well. Put dough in a large plastic container with room to grow, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight
  3. To assemble rolls: On a floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle about 20- by 30-inches (if dough is too sticky, knead in a little additional flour into it before rolling). Brush with a thin layer of melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans. Roll up the dough starting on the short side to create a log. With your hands, shape the log into an evenly thick roll and cut into 6 equal pieces. Grease the muffin tin cups and place each slice into a cup. Put in a warm place to rise. This usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm the spot is. The dough will be soft and a little spongy when ready to bake.
  4. Cover the rolls with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Then uncover and bake for 15 minutes more, until the rolls are golden brown au over. Flip the tin upside down and the cinnamon rolls will come right out. Let sit for a couple of minutes and then invert the rolls and serve warm with butter. Ahhhh!

CARNIVAL FROM BRAZIL!!








    The Carnival of Brazil, is an annual festival held 46 days before Easter. On certain days of Lent, Roman Catholics and some other Christians traditionally abstained from the consumption of meat and poultry, hence the term "carnival", from carnelevre, "to remove meat". Carnival celebrations are believed to have roots in the pagan festival of Saturnalia, which, adapted to Christianity, became a farewell to bad things in a season of religious discipline to practice repentance and prepare for Christ's death and resurrection.










    Rhythm, participation, and costumes vary from one region of Brazil to another. In the southeastern cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, huge organized parades are led by samba schools. Those official parades are meant to be watched by the public, with mini parades ("blocos") allowing a public participation can be found in other cities. The northeastern cities of Salvador, Porto Segur and Recife have organized groups parading through streets, and the public interacts directly with them. This carnival is heavily influenced by African-Brazilian culture. Crowds follow the trio electricos floats through the city streets. Also in northeast Olinda, carnival features unique characteristics, part influenced by Venice Carnival mixed with cultural depictions of local folklore.










    Carnival is the most famous holiday in Brazil and has become an event of hug proportions. The country stops completely for almost a week and festivities are intense, day and night, mainly in coastal cities. The consumption of beer during the festival accounts for 80% of annual consumption and tourism receives a 70% boost of annual visitors. The government distributes condoms and launches an awareness campaign at this time to prevent the spread of AIDS and other STD's.

History of Carnival

    The modern Brazilian Carnival originated in Rio de Janeiro in 1641, when the city's bourgeoisie imported the practice of holding balls and masquerade parties from Paris. It originally mimicked the European form of the festival, later absorbing and creolizing elements derived from Native American and African cultures.
    In the late 19th century, the cordoes (cords, laces or strings) were introduced in Rio de Janeiro. These were pageant groups that paraded through city avenues performing on instruments and dancing. Today they are known as Blocos (blocks), consisting of a group of people who dress in costumes or special t-shirts with themes and/or logos. Blocos are generally associated with particular neighborhoods. They include both a percussion or music group and an entourage of revellers.











    Block parades have become an expressive feature of Rio's Carnival. Today, they number more than 100 and the groups increase each year in size. Blocos can be formed by small or large groups of revelers with a distinct title with an often funny pun. They may also not their neighborhood or social status. Before the show, they gather in a square, then parade in sections of the city, often near the beach. Some blocos never leave one street and have a particular place, such as a bar, to attract viewers. Block parades start in January, and may last until the Sunday after Carnival.










    Samba schools are very large groups of performers, financed by respected organizations who work year round in preparation for Carnival. Samba schools perform in the Sambadrome, which runs 4 entire nights. They're part of an official competition, divided into 7 divisions, in which a single school is declared the winner, according to costume, flow, them, and band music quality and performance. Some samba schools also hold street parties in their neighborhoods, through which they parade along with their followers.
    Carnival time in Rio is a very interesting, but also the most expensive time to visit Rio. Hotel rooms and lodgings can be up to 4 times more expensive than the regular rates. There are big crowds at some locations and life is far from ordinary in many parts of town.











Sambodromo

    The Carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo take place in the Sambodromo, locate close to the city center. In the city of Rio, the parades start at roughly 9-10 p.m., depending of the date and end around 5 in the morning. The Rio Metro (subway) operates 24 hours during the main parade days.
    The actual amount of spectators in the Sambodromo may be higher than the official number of seats available. Like any other event the better the seats the higher the price for them.









Music

Samba
    The Samba originated in Bahia from the African rhythms, it was brought to Rio around 1920 and is still one of the most popular styles of Brazilian music, together with Samba-pargode and Samba-reggae. From intimate samba-cancoes ( samba songs) sung in bars to explosive drum parades performed during Carnival, samba always evokes a warm and vibrant mood. Samba developed as a distinctive kind of music at the beginning of the 20th century in Rio. In the 1930's, a group of musicians led by Ismael Silva, founded in the neighborhood of Estacio de Sa, the first Samba school, Deixa Falar.
    In the following years, samba has developed into several directions, from the gentle samba-cancao to the drum orchestras which make the soundtrack of carnival parades. One of these new styles was the Bossa Nova.












    In the beginning of the 1980's, after having been sent underground due to styles like disco and Brazilian rock, the Samba reappeared in the media with a musical movement crated in the suburbs of Rio.
Axe'
    This is not exactly about style or musical movement, but rather about a useful brand name given to artists from Salvador who made music in northeastern Brazilian, Caribbean and African rhythms with a pop/rock twist, which helped them take over the Brazilian hit parades since 1992. Axe' is a ritual greeting used in Candomble' and Umbanda religions, and means "good vibration". The word music was attached to Axe', used as slang within the local music business by a journalist who intended to create a derogatory term for the pretentious dance-driven style.