31 December 2009

30 December 2009

Funny New Years Quotes

From Denny: Here's a fun sampling of the funny quotes and more I posted about New Year's. For the full post, check out The Social Poets blog: Funny New Years Quotes, Smarter New Years Resolution Tips - Cheeky Quote Day! 29 Dec 2009.

*** Update: Catch up on the latest 2010 New Year posts -

*** Check out the latest cartoons where the embed codes are active :)

Best New Years Cartoons 2010

New Years: Funny Quotes, Resolutions Tips, Poems

New Years Quotes

* Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to. - Bill Vaughan

* The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to. - P. J. O'Rourke

* An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. - Bill Vaughan

* May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions! - Joey Adams

* New Year's Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot! Unless, of course, those tests come back positive. - Jay Leno

New Year's Poem

Happy New Year!!

A New Years toast to love and laughter
and happily ever after

A health to you, a wealth to you,
And the best that life can give to you.

Dance as if no one were watching,
Sing as if no one were listening and
Live every day as if it were your last. - Anonymous

Funny New Year's Resolutions

* But can one still make resolutions when one is over forty? I live according to twenty-year old habits. - Andre Gide

* Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man. - Benjamin Franklin

* Your Merry Christmas may depend on what others do for you. But your Happy New Year depends on what you do for others. - Anonymous

*** For the full post, check out The Social Poets blog, Funny New Years Quotes, Smarter New Years Resolution Tips - Cheeky Quote Day! 29 Dec 2009.

*** ALSO: Rare Blue Moon Shines on New Years Eve, Origin of 6 Meanings

8 Easy Yummy New Years Recipes to Warm Your Guests

Fun Kid Recipes, Activities Keep Them Busy For Holidays

*** THANKS for visiting!

29 December 2009

Fun Kid Recipes, Activities Keep Them Busy For Holidays

From Denny: These chefs came up with some great food ideas of keeping little hands and minds busy during those long holiday visits away from home. First up in this video is an adorable cut and paste arts and crafts collage project for collecting images of what they best hope for the New Year of 2010.

The fashion projects are especially clever! They use out of fashion costume brooches as refrigerator magnets. (Now why didn't I think of that one? I was just going through my closet the other day and wondering what to do with those same items. Will definitely use this useful idea.)

Then for the youngest kids they came up with using different colored beans and lentils to create the "sand" for an indoor winter sandbox to for play! Hey, you can always make soup out of it as soon as the weather warms up and they can go outside to play. :) At the end of the video they even offer a few local travel tips to keep kids entertained.

How do you like this cute little bird gif I just found today? He sure is one tolerant bird! Feel free to use him on your blog or site as he is free.

Featured recipes:

Whoopie Pie cookies
Winter Apple Charlotte dessert

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Whoopie pie

From: Chef Jansen Chan, executive pastry chef at Oceana restaurant

Serves: 12


For the pies

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup cocoa
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 3/4 tsp. salt
• 4 oz. (1/2 cup) butter
• 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

For the vanilla fluff filling

• 1 3/4 cup. plus 2 T. sugar
• 10 T. water
• 1 envelope gelatin powder (1/4 oz.)
• 3/4 cup egg whites
• 1 1/2 pounds butter, room temperature (substitute 1/2 pound of peanut butter for butter and omit vanilla for a peanut butter filling)
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


For the pies:

In a bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt together. In a mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Slowly add the egg and vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl thoroughly and add little bit of the dry ingredients. Mix and then add a little bit of the buttermilk. Alternate this process until all the drys and buttermilk are used.

Scoop 1/4 cup of batter on to a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake at 375 degrees F for 15-18 mins., rotating once.

Remove from ovens and let cool on trays.

For the vanilla fluff filling:

Soak gelatin in 2 tbls. of water. In a heavy-duty pot, stir together sugar and water until dissolved. Cook at a high heat until 266 degrees F.

Meanwhile, in a mixer, whisk whites until light and foamy and carefully slowly pour hot syrup into the whipping whites. While still hot and whisking, add bloomed gelatin and continue whisking until cool.

On the machine still, slowly add butter, a tablespoon at a time, until the butter is fully incorporated. Add salt and vanilla extract and mix.

Ready to use immediately.

Winter Charlotte

Chef Jansen Chan, executive pastry chef at Oceana restaurant

Yields: 8” d x 3” h cake pan or 9” d x 2” h cake pan


• One 8” d x 3” h cake pan or 9” d x 2” h cake pan
• 1 loaf of brioche, challah or white bread
• Butter (for coating)
• Sugar (for coating)

For the filling

• 2 pounds Golden Delicious apples
• 2 pounds Granny Smith apples
• 2 pounds Bosc pears
• 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
• 1/3 cup lemon juice
• 1 cup sugar


For the Winter Charlotte filling:

Peel and chop each fruit. Cut pieces into about 1/2” cubes. Random sizes are OK. Place all ingredients except dried fruit in a wide sauté pan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for ten minutes, or until juices are released. Turn heat to medium high and continue cooking for another 10-15 mins, or until juices are evaporated. Add dried fruit and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly.

To assemble:

Line the bottom of the cake pan with a circular piece of parchment paper. Butter the top and sides. Then, coat the inside with sugar, releasing any excess sugar.

Cut brioche into rectangles (2” or 3” high, depending on the height of the pan) and triangles. Brush lightly with melted butter. Line the bottom of the pan with triangular pieces, overlapping pieces of bread, butter side down. Line the sides with the rectangular pieces of bread, again, overlapping the pieces of bread.

Fill cavity with slightly hot fruit filling. Don’t worry if the mound is higher than the pan, the fruit will sink and shrink.

Top pieces with any remaining buttered brioche. Don’t worry about being decorative as this will be the bottom of the charlotte. Place a piece of foil loosely on top to prevent overbrowning.

Bake at 400 F for 40 mins, rotating once in the middle. Remove foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before unmolding. Place a plate upside down on the charlotte and flip the entire charlotte. Carefully remove the cake pan, releasing the charlotte. Let cool for an hour.

Serve warm with crème anglaise or whipped cream.

Free Clipart

*** ALSO: 8 Easy Yummy New Years Recipes to Warm Your Guests

*** THANKS for visiting!

26 December 2009

Funny Cartoonists 26 Dec 2009

From Denny: Here's a sampling of what is happening over at The Social Poet this Saturday, enjoy! I just love editorial cartoons; they really capture the mood of the country. It's fun to look back over the year to see what was happening politically in a society as the cartoons often speak more truth than all the news articles which are often funded by some lobby. At the very least cartoons give us the public reactions to what our politicians are doing - or claim to be doing. :) Take a look:

*** For the full post of a slew of funny cartoons, pay a visit to The Social Poets where I park them every Saturday, go here.

*** THANKS for visiting and hope you had a great holiday!

24 December 2009

Original Christmas Poem Story: The Night Before Christmas

From Denny: This fun poem has a lot of riff off imitators that make us smile too! Here in Louisiana there is the Cajun version that follows.

The Night Before Christmas

By Clement Clarke Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

Cajun Night Before Christmas

By J. B. Kling, Jr. (1973)

Twas the night before Christmas an' all t'ru de house,
Dey don't a ting pass Not even a mouse.
De chirren been nezzle good snug on de flo',
An' Mama pass de pepper t'ru de crack on de do'.

De Mama in de fireplace done roas' up de ham,
Sit up de gumbo an' make de bake yam.
Den out on de by-you dey got such a clatter,
Make soun' like old Boudreau done fall off his ladder.

I run like a rabbit to got to de do',
Trip over de dorg an' fall on de flo'.
As I look out de do'in de light o' de moon,
I t'ink, "Mahn, you crazy or got ol' too soon."

Cux dere on de by-you w'en I stretch ma'neck stiff,
Dere's eight alligator a pullin' de skiff.
An' a little fat drover wit' a long pole-ing stick,
I know r'at away got to be ole St.Nick.

Mo' fas'er an' fas'er de' gator dey came
He whistle an' holler an' call dem by name:
"Ha, Gaston! Ha, Tiboy! Ha, Pierre an' Alcee'!
Gee, Ninette! Gee, Suzette! Celeste an'Renee'!

To de top o' de porch to de top o' de wall,
Make crawl, alligator, an' be sho' you don' fall."
Like Tante Flo's cat t'ru de treetop he fly,
W'en de big ole houn' dorg come a run hisse's by.

Like dat up de porch dem ole 'gator clim!
Wit' de skiff full o' toy an' St. Nicklus behin'.
Den on top de porch roof it soun' like de hail,
W'en all dem big gator, done sot down dey tail.

Den down de chimney I yell wit' a bam,
An' St.Nicklus fall an' sit on de yam.
"Sacre!" he axclaim, "Ma pant got a hole
I done sot ma'se'f on dem red hot coal."

He got on his foots an' jump like de cat
Out to de flo' where he lan' wit' a SPLAT!
He was dress in musk-rat from his head to his foot,
An' his clothes is all dirty wit' ashes an' soot.

A sack full o' playt'ing he t'row on his back,
He look like a burglar an' dass fo' a fack.
His eyes how dey shine his dimple, how merry!
Maybe he been drink de wine from de blackberry.

His cheek was like a rose his nose a cherry,
On secon' t'ought maybe he lap up de sherry.
Wit' snow-white chin whisker an' quiverin' belly,
He shook w'en he laugh like de stromberry jelly!

But a wink in his eye an' a shook o' his head,
Make my confi-dence dat I don't got to be scared.
He don' do no talkin' gone strit to hi work,
Put a playt'ing in sock an' den turn wit' a jerk.

He put bot' his han' dere on top o' his head,
Cas' an eye on de chimney an' den he done said:
"Wit' all o' dat fire an' dem burnin' hot flame,
Me I ain' goin' back by de way dat I came."

So he run out de do' an, he clim' to de roof,
He ain' no fool, him for to make one more goof.
He jump in his skiff an' crack his big whip,
De' gator move down, An don' make one slip.

An' I hear him shout loud as a splashin' he go,
"Merry Christmas to all 'til I saw you some mo'!"

*** THANKS for visiting and have a great Christmas Day!

22 December 2009

Flourless chocolate espresso cake with berries

From Denny: A flourless chocolate cake is always awesome. How about kicking it up a notch by adding rich dark expresso to it? Then pile on some wonderful berries to finish. Skip the usual Christmas suspects of fruitcakes soaked in bourbon for the past year, go chocolate! :)

If you don't have time to fit this into your holiday plans, keep it in mind for New Year's or Valentine's! I know I will! Guess I have a lot of chocolate on my brain as I just finished making 84 cookies today for some of my husband's accounts who requested them - and by the time I'm finished it will be around 400. Nothing like last minute requests to slow down your posting! :)

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake with berries

Chef Jim Nuetzi, Capital Grill


• 1 lb. Guittard semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
• 1 lb. Unsalted butter, diced
• 1 C. Freshly-brewed espresso
• 1 C. Golden brown sugar
• 8 Eggs, beaten to blend
• Bath of hot water
• Fresh raspberries For garnish

Raspberry sauce

• 1 1/2 lbs. Raspberries
• 1/4 lb. Sugar
• 1/2 tsp. Salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of a 9-inch diameter cake pan with 2 inch high sides with parchment. Place all chocolate in large bowl.

Bring butter, espresso and sugar to boil in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Add chocolate; whisk until smooth and cool slightly.

Whip eggs till blended. Stir eggs into chocolate mixture until blended. Do not whip.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Place cake pan in roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.

Bake until center of cake is set and tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 minutes.

Remove pans from water and chill cake overnight.

Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Using oven mitts, hold pan bottom over low heat for 15 seconds, warming slightly to release cake. Place platter over pan. Hold pan and platter together tightly and invert. Lift off cake pan, peel off parchment and dust top of each cake with cocoa powder.

Cut cake into ten slices and garnish with fresh raspberries and raspberry sauce.

Raspberry sauce:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the raspberries, sugar and salt.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Combine all ingredients in a blender, puree, and pour through a strainer.

*** THANKS for visiting and have a great holiday!
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