It’s Mardi Gras Time! Bring On The Beads And King Cakes!

(PCM) Happy Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday!  Mardi Gras is the cultural celebration in preparation prior to the fasting season of Lent!  The holiday, heavily celebrated in New Orleans, consists of many parades, dancing, wearing costumes, overturning social conventions and general fun and debauchery.

According to Wikipedia, Mardi Gras arrived in North America as a French Catholic tradition with the Le Moyne brothers, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, in the late 17th century, when King Louis XIV sent the pair to defend France’s claim on the territory of Louisiane, which included what are now the U.S. states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

In 1723, the capital of Louisiana was moved to New Orleans, founded in 1718. The first Mardi Gras parade held in New Orleans is recorded to have taken place in 1837. The tradition in New Orleans expanded to the point that it became synonymous with the city in popular perception, and embraced by residents of New Orleans beyond those of French or Catholic heritage. Mardi Gras celebrations are part of the basis of the slogan, Laissez les bons temps rouler, (Let the good times roll).

The parades in New Orleans are organized by Carnival krewes. Krewe float riders toss throws to the crowds; the most common throws are strings of colorful plastic beads, doubloons (aluminum or wooden dollar-sized coins usually impressed with a krewe logo), decorated plastic throw cups, Moonpies, and small inexpensive toys. Major krewes follow the same parade schedule and route each year.

King-Cake1

Another Mardi Gras tradition is the King Cake. For those that don’t know a King Cake is traditionally a braided bread like cake often baked with cinnamon swirls and light frosted with confectioners sugar icing and decorated with the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold and green.

Traditionally a small plastic baby is baked into the King Cake as well and the person who gets the baby in his or her slice of cake is said to be blessed with luck and prosperity throughout the year and they must provide the King Cake for next year’s celebration.

Below find a fabulous King Cake recipe that was featured in Southern Living:

Ingredients
1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour*
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Purple, green, and gold-tinted sparkling sugar sprinkles

Creamy Glaze ingredients:
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 4 tablespoons milk

Preparation:
Stir together first 4 ingredients. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk, adding additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until spreading consistency.

Cake Preparation:
Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.

Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.

Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes). Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.

Also, if you can’t be in New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras, don’t fret! You can join the party from the comfort of your own home with Earthcam! Take part in the festivities with EarthCam’s live streaming webcams, regardless of your location.

The post It’s Mardi Gras Time! Bring On The Beads And King Cakes! also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

8 Must Have Apps To Plan Valentine’s Day Last Minute!

Valentines-Day3

(PCM) Whether you met that special someone on February 13th forgetting that the next day is Valentine’s Day or cupid’s big day simply slipped your mind, we’ve got you covered with the 8 must-have apps to plan a successful Valentine’s Day last minute.

1. Open Table: No dinner reservations? No problem! Find available tables near you or wherever the night may take you, make reservations instantly and discover restaurants with the OpenTable app. With over 20,000 bookable restaurants in the US, Canada and Mexico, OpenTable helps you spend less time waiting and more time enjoying your meal.

Available on: iOS and Android

2. Red Stamp Cards: Need a thoughtful Valentine’s Day card in a hurry? Snap a photo + quickly create a thoughtful card for your Valentine with the free Red Stamp Cards app! Cards can be tweeted, texted, emailed or posted to Instagram and Facebook for all to see.

Available on: iOS and Android

3. BloomThat: Have flowers delivered to you in under 90 minutes. BloomThat provides a fresh take on flowers where you can forget the 8-hour delivery window. Individually crafted bouquets, handwritten notes and bike messenger deliveries create a unique experience that makes it fun to both send and receive flowers.

Available on: iOS

4. Ibotta: From chocolates, candies and wine to champagne, movie tickets and restaurant dinner deals, Ibotta is here to help you plan the perfect Valentine’s Day! Enjoy your romantic day while putting real cash in your pockets. Unlock and redeem rebates on all your favorite Valentine’s Day items at over 200 of the biggest retailers in over 100,000+ locations across the country. With Ibotta your ideal Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to break the bank.

Available on: iOS and Android

5. Slots of Love – Romance Ideas & Tips: Let’s face it, everyone can use a helping hand this Valentine’s Day! With Slots of Love you will always have romance ideas at your fingertips. You can either use the slot machine to randomly suggest an idea or you can brown ideas for him and her. Comes in handy if you’re searching for that quick romance action or idea!

Available on: iOS

6. Couple: Score some major bonus points with your Valentine with the Couple app that organizes an syncs you and your sweeties memories. Share photos, create personalized calendars, write lists and more with your partner instead of clogging up your single love sick friends’ feeds on social media.

Available on: iOS and Android

7. Valentine’s Day Recipes: Cook a romantic meal for two that your Valentine will think took you ages to plan. Making delicious food can be easier than ever with nearly 140 easy Valentine’s Day recipes. With all this, plus easy-to-follow-instructions and beautiful full-color photos of every recipe, dinner for two will be served shortly!

Available on: iOS

8. DateEscape: If all else fails this Valentine’s Day and you need to plan a quick exit from a disaster date, DateEscape can make it happen. Exit boring (and creepy) dates with ease. Spark jealousy in the opposite sex as DateEscape places fake emergency calls and texts to bail you out of a sticky situation.

Available on: iOS

The post 8 Must Have Apps To Plan Valentine’s Day Last Minute! appeared first on The World Of Pop Culture.

January 26 Is National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!

Bubble-Wrap1

(PCM) We don’t think that there is anyone who can resist the temptation, when seeing Bubble Wrap, to start popping it like crazy. It is both satisfying and therapeutic in an odd sort of way. Many people use popping Bubble Wrap as the ultimate stress reliever and there have even been smart phone apps created to simulate Bubble Wrap popping in case you can’t get your hands on the real thing.

Today happens to be National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day and there are many festivities happening to celebrate. In fact, students at Oral Roberts University will be making an attempt to break the World Record for the most number of people popping Bubble Wrap at the same time. The current World Record number is 942 people at a Minnesota Elementary School. ORU hopes to have over 1,000 people participate.

Bubble Wrap was actually created by accident back in 1957, when two men were attempting to create three-dimensional plastic wallpaper. That’s didn’t quite work out for them, but they did see the potential in their invention to be used in other ways. The invention made for great packing material and that led to the birth of the Sealed Air Corporation.

A fun factoid is that the two men also failed at marketing their invention as greenhouse insulation as well, and it was actually the IBM company who needed something to protected their equipment shipments in 1960 who found use for Bubble Wrap and the product than really began to soar in popularity.

The Sealed Air Corporation is even around to this very day and this year, as a tribute on National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day they have partnered with YouTube channel Dude Perfect and will reveal a special video at 6pm this evening.

Other than delightful “popping therapy” and packing material, there are plenty of additional uses for Bubble Wrap some of which include using it as insulation for drafty windows, wrapping it around the pipes in your home to prevent them from bursting, placing a sheet on your car windshield when there is a threat of ice or snow (simply pulls the sheet off and the ice/snow will be quickly removed with it) and even using it to insulate your pets outdoor homes to keep them warm as temperatures drop.

Such an amazing product/invention!  Happy “popping” everyone!

January 26 Is National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day! was contributed by a Myth

What McDonald’s French Fries Are Really Made Of

french-fries1

(PCM) There has been much speculation over the years at to exactly what McDonald’s french fries actually consist of, many were even curious if they were even made with potatoes at all.

Now McDonald’s has finally revealed just what goes into their french fry creation process and just how they come to get that lovely, yet unnatural golden color.

The list of ingredients that is featured in the video is definitely a little unnerving, however McDonald’s stands by their claim that everything is perfectly safe for consumption.  I am not too sure what Dimethylpolysiloxane or TBHQ actually is, but apparently they are chemicals the fries are dipped in so that they maintain their color and do not gray in the freezing process.

At least the video that shows the McDonald’s french fry creation process does happen to end with the guy actually digging up a potato, finally putting the rumor to rest that there are not actual potatoes in McDonald’s fries.

The post What McDonald’s French Fries Are Really Made Of also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

January 20 Is National Cheese Lovers Day!

cheese1

(PCM) Just thinking about today being National Cheese Lovers Day is already making me hungry!  It is about time there is a national holiday observation to give our beloved cheese the respect it finally deserves. Cheese is one of the most highly consumed and loved foods all over the world.

There have been many rumors about the origins of cheese, however the one that appears to have the most credibility is that an Arabian merchant first discovered cheese by accident when he put milk into his pouch made of sheep stomach and took a journey across the desert in 8000 B.C., there are also other legends that date cheese back to the year 6000 B.C.where it was made from the milk of cows and goats in Mesopotamia.

Eventually travelers from Asia brought the art of cheese making to Europe. It was incredibly popular during the Roman Empire and it was the Romans who brought cheese to England. Cheese-making was also incredibly popular in Italy and at one point Italy was the cheese-making center throughout all of Europe.

It was the early pilgrims who first brought cheese to America, as it was shown to be included on the Mayflower’s supply list in the year 1620. It was primarily created on farms up until the very first cheese factory opened in New York in 1851.

Since that time period, cheese production has hit an all time high and over 10 billion pounds were produced in the year 2012 alone. The two states with the highest cheese production are Wisconsin and California and cheese sales across the nation equal over $14 billion dollars.

Some facts about cheese that you may not know:

1. There are more than 2,000 varieties of cheese worldwide. However, mozzarella is the most popular and the most highly consumed.

2. Pizza Hut is the largest cheese-using fast food franchise. They use over 300 million pounds of cheese per year.

3. Cheese can help prevent tooth decay.

4. Cheese has been voted the number one food craving

5. Cheese can be made from the milk of many different animals including cows, goats, buffalo, horses and camels.

6. The only cheese that is native to American is American (of course), Jack, Brick and Colby.

7. The last week in June is National Cheese Week.

8. Approximately 10 pounds of milk is needed to create 1 pound of cheese.

9. The art of processed cheese was first developed in the year 1915 by J.L. Kraft, the founder of Kraft Foods.

10.The average American eats more than 27 pounds of cheese each year

 

January 20 Is National Cheese Lovers Day! was contributed by a Myth

Swiss Company Creates The First Ever Chairless Chair

chairless-chair1

(PCM) Have you ever dreamed about wanting to sit down at any given time anywhere you happen to be? Well, a Swiss company may have created just the solution you have been looking for with the “chairless chair”.

The concept is actually fairly simplistic. The “chairless chair” is a device that is worn on your legs and whenever you are ready to sit down, you just push a button and the mechanism locks into place giving you a chance to get off your feet.

The “chairless chair” was created by 29 year old Keith Gunura, who is the co-founder and CEO of noone. He claims that he came up with the idea for the “chairless chair” when he was about 17 years old and working in a UK packaging plant and wanting to find a way to get off his feet for a bit.

The device is lightweight and energy efficient and is best described as wearable mechatronic technology. The “chairless chair” comes in two versions, the primary version never touches the ground and the other version works with a users footwear and only touches the ground when in the stationary position.

While the item is not recommended for long-term sitting, it can certainly serve its’ purpose for giving users a small sitting break. It is currently being tested at BMW and Audi in Germany.

Swiss Company Creates The First Ever Chairless Chair was contributed by a Myth

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.15
Loading..