Friday, December 27, 2013

Betty's Recipes & More: Edible Horn For Your New Year's Eve Party

Betty's Recipes & More: Edible Horn For Your New Year's Eve Party: Here is a recipe that I came across I though what a great idea Many (oh, so many) years ago, my siblings and I would sneak out of ...

Edible Horn For Your New Year's Eve Party



Here is a recipe that I came across I though what a great idea
Many (oh, so many) years ago, my siblings and I would sneak out of bed, sit on the stairs, and watch the festivities during our parent's New Year's Eve parties.  If we were lucky someone would bring us a plate of food to share before we were hurried off to our beds. The noise would keep us up for a while but inevitably we'd fall asleep before the ball dropped in Time Square, missing out on all of the fun. Before we knew it the sun  was peaking in through our windows awaking us with the hope of a wonderful new year.

I knew that there were treasures to be found downstairs amidst the party mess, so I would hop out of bed to see what I could find. Hats, horns, blowers, beads, poppers, and confetti, which had all been used to ring in the new year, were now left abandoned on tables, chairs, and even the floor. I'd search for the prettiest tiara and the most colorful beads to wear with my pajamas then would spend the day  having fun tooting horns, rattling noise makers, and throwing confetti. Oh, to be a kid again!
For New Year's this year we are invited to a friend's house and their will be  young children, teens, and adults celebrating together so I decided to create a sweet treat that everyone will enjoy.  Being I have such fond memories surrounding New Year's party favors, I decided to make an edible version of a colorful party horn by dipping a sugar cone into white chocolate then sprinkling on colorful sanding sugar. Each horn is completed by adding a white modeling chocolate blower. Yep, I'm using modeling chocolate again. It is just so versatile. I hope many of you have, by this point, tried your hand at making it and are comfortable with it. If not, you can always use store bought fondant. For this recipe you can even use vanilla Tootsie Rolls or any kind of white taffy.

These edible horns will, I am sure, be a huge hit with kids, and adults who love sweets. You can  serve them for dessert on New Year's eve or wrap them in cellophane bags, and give them as party favors to your guests. For an extra special treat, why not fill them with some candies or nuts.

 

Ingredients:

12 sugar cones (ice cream cones)
22 ounces melted and tempered pure white chocolate (with cocoa butter)
                or melted white confectionery coating/candy melts
variety of colored sanding sugars
white modeling chocolate (recipe here -  you'll need a 1/4 recipe)*

* you can also use 1/3 pound white fondant or 12 vanilla Tootsie Rolls or white taffy 

Special equipment needed:

tall glass (a little wider than a sugar cone)
parchment paper or wax paper
rimmed baking sheet (helps to keep the colored sugar contained)
skewer

 
Pour melted and tempered white chocolate or melted confectionery coating/candy melts into a tall glass. Hold onto the tip of a sugar cone and dip it into the glass. Coat all but the very tip of the sugar cone with white chocolate. Remove the cone from the glass and allow the excess chocolate to drip off. While wet, sprinkle colorful sanding sugar all over the cone (inside too, if you'd like.) Set on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place the dipped cones in the refrigerator is using pure white chocolate and into the freezer if using confectionery coating for about 10 minutes until the white chocolate hardens. Refill glass as needed. When you start to run out of white chocolate, you'll need to use a spoon or spatula to get the chocolate up to the tip of the cone. You will have left over white chocolate. This could be used to make your modeling chocolate or you can spread it on a parchment lined baking sheet, harden it, and use it for another project. 

A few tips here:
Work over a rimmed baking sheet so the sanding sugar doesn't go all over your floor. As you work with these horns and touch the sugar, some of it will come off, so be careful where you place your modeling chocolate, as you don't want the sugar to stick to it. The sanding sugar  may color your fingers (temporarily, until you wash your hands.) So, as to not turn your white modeling chocolate a color, use one hand to hold the white modeling chocolate and the other to hold the cone. Wash or wipe your hands after handing each cone and keep the work surface clean. I used a variety of colorful sanding sugars, and when I was finished , I mixed the sugars that had fallen onto my baking sheet all together and sprinkled this mixture over one of my horns (upper left.) Keep your edible horns stored in an airtight container. They will keep for at least a month. Wrap in clear cellophane bags to give as party favors. These horns would also make great birthday party favors or sweet treats. 

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Betty's Recipes & More: JonBenet Ramsey murder remains unsolved 17 years l...

Betty's Recipes & More: JonBenet Ramsey murder remains unsolved 17 years l...: JonBenet Ramsey murder remains unsolved 17 years later Thursday marks 17 years since John and Patsy Ramsey awoke the day after Christma...

JonBenet Ramsey murder remains unsolved 17 years later

JonBenet Ramsey murder remains unsolved 17 years later




Thursday marks 17 years since John and Patsy Ramsey awoke the day after Christmas to find their daughter, 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet, missing. The girl would be found dead hours later in the family's basement.
 
BOULDER, Colo. - Thursday marks 17 years since John and Patsy Ramsey awoke the day after Christmas and found their daughter, 6-year-old JonBenet, missing. A ransom note, found inside the house, said the child had been kidnapped. But hours later, the little girl's body was found in the room in the family's basement. She had been strangled.
Seventeen years later, JonBenet's mother is dead. Her father has remarried. And no one has been arrested in her murder.
Prosecution unlikely, police say
In October, Boulder Police said prosecution was "unlikely."
Police chief Mark Beckner issued a statement that said the investigation into the murder of the 6-year-old girl was currently considered a cold case.
"The case is still open, but is not actively being investigated and there are no new leads," Beckner said. "While we believe at this point it is unlikely there will ever be a prosecution, the Boulder Police Department still holds out some hope that one day the district attorney and the Boulder Police Department will be able to put together a case worthy of presenting to a jury."
It was also in October that we learned that the Grand Jury that investigated the murder case in 1999 voted to indict her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, on charges of child abuse resulting in death and accessory to a crime. However, the indictment was not accepted by then-District Attorney Alex Hunter because he said he didn't think he could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the parents were guilty.
At the time, Hunter said the grand jury had concluded without finding "sufficient evidence to warrant a filing of charges against anyone." News of the grand jury indictment wasn't revealed until Boulder Daily Camera reporter Charlie Brennan filed a story on its existence earlier this year.
DNA testing
Boulder police told 7NEWS that more than 150 DNA samples had been tested in the investigation. More than 140 people had been investigated as potential suspects, but none could be linked to the crime.
In 2008, JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, and JonBenet's brother, Burke, were exonerated by new DNA testing techniques, according to then-District Attorney Mary Lacy.
Lacy said the DNA testing pointed to a stranger.
The Ramsey family
Patsy Ramsey died from cancer in 2006, 10 years after her daughter was murdered. She is buried next to her daughter in Georgia, where the Ramseys moved from Boulder.
John Ramsey remarried in 2011 -- five years after Patsy's death.
John Ramsey released a book earlier this year called "The Other Side of Suffering." It recounts how John Ramsey's faith helped him navigate course from suffering to forgiveness, according to ABC News.
Ramsey said he remembers his daughter as a tomboy, who loved to hike and play with her older brother, Burke.
"I see her, you know, in shorts and t-shirt and hair kind of scruffy and just kind of a kid," he said.
JonBenet Ramsey would have been 23 years old.
May she RIP
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Betty's Recipes & More: Christmas In Bethlehem Draws Crowds To Holy Land T...

Betty's Recipes & More: Christmas In Bethlehem Draws Crowds To Holy Land T...: BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world packed the West Bank town of Bethlehem for Christ...

Christmas In Bethlehem Draws Crowds To Holy Land To Celebrate Birth Of Jesus




BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world packed the West Bank town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations on Tuesday, bringing warm holiday cheer to the biblical birthplace of Jesus on a cool, clear night.
The heavy turnout, its highest in years, helped lift spirits in Bethlehem as leaders expressed hope that the coming year would finally bring the Palestinians an independent state of their own.
"The message of Christmas is a message of peace, love and brotherhood. We have to be brothers with each other," said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, as he arrived in town.
Excited tourists milled about the town's Manger Square, stopping in restaurants and souvenir shops and admiring a large, illuminated Christmas Tree. Marching bands and scout troops performed for the visitors in the streets, and on a stage next to the tree.
Will Green of New York City, along with his wife, Debbie, and their 2-year-old daughter Daphne were among the crowds of people who greeted Twal's motorcade as he entered town from nearby Jerusalem.
Green said that being in Bethlehem for Christmas was a dream come true. "All the stories that we grew up with. It's here. It's part of our life. We heard them in the family, school and church. This is the birthplace," he said.
Green slowly pushed a stroller and his wife held their daughter as they followed a crowd toward the Church of the Nativity, built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was born.
Palestinian dignitaries greeted Twal at the entrance of Bethlehem. His motorcade crawled through the town's narrow streets as he stopped to shake hands and greet the throngs of visitors. It took him nearly 90 minutes to make the short trip to the Church of the Nativity, where thousands of people were gathered ahead of Midnight Mass.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, were among the dignitaries expected to attend the service.
The number of visitors remained below the record levels of the late 1990s, when Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts were at their height.
Following a Palestinian uprising that began in 2000, the numbers plunged. But thanks to a period of relative calm, they have been steadily climbing in recent years — and are expected to get an extra push this year thanks to the resumption of peace talks.
"Our message is a message of justice and peace," said Palestinian Tourism Minister Rula Maayah. "We Palestinians are seeking peace and we deserve to have peace and our children deserve to live in peace."
Maayah said the number of visitors to Bethlehem was expected to jump by about 14 percent from last year.
A spokesman said 10,000 foreign visitors had entered town by the early evening, slightly higher than last year. Israel's Tourism Ministry, which coordinates the visits with the Palestinians, said the number could reach 25,000 during the holiday season.
Despite the Christmas cheer, Mideast politics loomed in the background. In order to enter Bethlehem, Twal's motorcade had to cross through the hulking concrete separation barrier that Israel built during the uprising. Israel says the barrier is needed to keep attackers from entering nearby Jerusalem, but Palestinians say the structure has stifled the town and stolen their land.
Maayah said that the barrier, along with nearby Israeli settlements and Israeli control of archaeological sites in the West Bank, has made it difficult to develop the tourism sector.
In addition, few Palestinians seem to think that the current round of peace talks will bear fruit. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry relaunched the talks last summer, but there have been no signs of progress.
Israel carried out a series of airstrikes and other attacks Tuesday in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the deadly shooting of an Israeli civilian who had been working along the border. The fighting, which left a 3-year-old Palestinian girl dead, was the heaviest in more than a year.
Christmas also serves as a reminder of the dwindling numbers of Christians who live in the Holy Land. Over the decades, tens of thousands of Christians have left, fleeing violence or in search of better opportunities overseas. Christians now make up a tiny percentage of the population.
Bethlehem is now only one-third Christian, with most residents Muslim. In an annual gesture, Israel permitted some 500 members of Gaza's small Christian community to leave the Hamas-ruled territory and cross through Israel to attend the celebrations in Bethlehem.
But for one night at least, residents and visitors brushed aside their troubles to celebrate the holiday.
Nick Parker, a student from Georgia Tech University, said he was enjoying the food and making friends with local residents and fellow travelers.
"It's special to be here where Jesus was born," he said. "It's a special opportunity, once in a lifetime."

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#Island #Bites: #Polvorones ( #Puerto #Rican #Shortbread #Cookies)



What is a polvorón?
Polvorón is a soft, dense and crumbly (shortbread-type) cookie, popular in Latin America, Spain and also Philippines. Polvorón basic ingredients are flour, sugar and lard. It is a type of "mantecado", spanish shortbreads made withmanteca(lard). Every country has its own versions of polvorones. Puerto Rican version is simple and delicious.

 

 
Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp almond extract

Instructions
Cream together butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt and extracts. Mix until combined.
Add the flour slowly and mix until incorporated. The dugh must be thick and manageable.
With a scoop or your hands, form small balls (about 1 tbs each). Place in a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes or until completely baked (bottom must be golden but top must be pale). Let them cool at least 10 minutes.

*Tip
You can also...
Press your thumb to make an indent in each cookie before baking them, and fill with any fruit jam. Guava paste is the favorite here in the Island.
After you let it cool completely, roll them in powdered sugar

 
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THE POWER OF THE HOODIE-WEARING C.E.O. #Mark Zuckerberg,

No-Bake #Cranberry #Granola #Cookies

No-Bake Cranberry Granola Cookies


Forget preheating the oven!
These easy no-bake cranberry cookies come
together right on your stove top.


Ingredients
1 bag (11 oz)  oats 'n dark chocolate protein granola
1 cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup pistachio nuts
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

 
Directions
  • Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. In large bowl, mix granola, cranberries and pistachio nuts.
  • In 2-quart saucepan, mix brown sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
  • Pour syrup over granola mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Drop mixture by scant 1/4 cupfuls onto waxed paper. Cool completely, about 30 minutes
*TIPS
Substitute walnuts or cashews for the pistachio nuts, if you like. Bits of any dried fruit can be substituted for the dried cranberries.
Dress up these no-bake treats with a drizzle of melted white baking chips or semisweet chocolate chips.

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