Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Food Favorites.

Christmas is one of the most festive holidays on the calendar. If you are searching for the perfect holiday recipes, don't miss some of the  ‘All Time Favorite Christmas Foods and Drinks’ mentioned below……Happy Eating and Enjoy!

1. Apple cider
Apple cider recipes
Warm up your holiday get-togethers with a mug of apple cider. Consider these delicious apple cider variations or use them as inspiration to come up with a few of your own.
2. Egg nog
Homemade holiday egg nog recipes
What is Christmas without a holiday nog? If you are the type of holiday purist who refuses to buy nog in a carton, you’ll love stirring up one of these rich and creamy egg nog recipes (there is even a Skinny Nog for the diet-conscious!).
3. Leg of lamb
Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto
An elegant holiday entrée, a juicy slice of boneless lamb spiraled with a homemade mint pesto will make for a memorable mouthwatering affair.
4. Roasted Turkey
A new way to roast turkey
If the turkey bones are getting in the way of you carving perfect slices for the Christmas feast, try roasting a boneless turkey. Not only is deboning easy, your boneless turkey cooks faster – a bonus when you need the oven to finish up the sides or pies.
5. Turkey Stuffing
Cornbread Turkey Stuffing
A simple cornbread stuffing can often be the most loved side on the Christmas table. Moist, fluffy and flavorful, this recipe is a comfort food all by itself.
6. Candied sweet potatoes
Candied sweet potatoes
If you like upping the sweetness of your sweet potatoes, give these candied sweet potatoes a place on your Christmas table. (If those aren’t sweet enough, give the Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie a try!)
7. Cranberry sauce
Homemade cranberry sauce recipes
Though cranberry sauce in a can is a convenient grab, its flavor pales in comparison to a homemade simmered sauce with ruby red berries and your choice of signature ingredients.
8. Pumpkin Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pecan Pie with Cognac Whipped Cream
Love pumpkin but can't pass up that rich, nutty slice of pecan pie? Give yourself a double treat – make a pumpkin pecan pie and top it off with a cognac-spiked whipped cream.
9. Christmas cookies
Our best Christmas cookie recipes
Whether you are giving family and friends gifts from the kitchen or organizing a Christmas cookie swap, peruse our scrumptious list of cookie recipes – including our five favorites.
10. Christmas candy
Quick and easy Christmas candy recipes
Get ready for fudge, butter toffee and hard candy in minutes with these time-saving holiday candy recipes made in the microwave. Perfect for last minute gift giving!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Origin of Christmas Carols.

Christmas carols were first introduced in Church by St Francis of Assisi, the Roman Catholic Priest, in Grecchio, Italy in 1223. Before that, carols were sung in homes and other private places as most churches originally considered the singing of carols to be a pagan custom. The carols he lead the congregation in were Bible based, though were not considered hymns.

Some of the first Christmas carols were not written. They were passed on by one person to another verbally. Only during the 14th century carols became a popular religious song form. The theme often revolved around a saint, the Christ child or the Virgin Mary, at times blending two languages such as English and Latin.

By the 15th century the carol was also considered as art music. During this time, elaborate arrangements were made and carols were considered an important contribution to English medieval music. The Fayrfax Manuscript, a court songbook featuring carols, was written by the end of the 15th century. The songs were written for 3 or 4 voices and themes were mostly on the Passion of Christ.

By the 16th century though, the popularity of carols faltered, almost disappearing entirely if not for the revival that happened by the middle of the 18th century. Most of the carols we know today were written during this period. Instead of singing in private places, church choirs began singing Christmas carols with biblical themes as well as the first street carolers began a new Christmas tradition.

A few of the old favorite authors and composers are as listed:

"Silent Night" was written as a poem by Pastor Joseph Mohr on Christmas Eve in 1818. Because the church organ was broken, the church organist, Felix Gruber, wrote music to the words and played a guitar as he, the pastor and church choir sang.

"Joy to the World" was written by Issac Watts as part of his version of Psalm 98. The composer of the music for this carol is not known.

Photo Credit:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shelf Life of Kolaveris ?

‘Hit’ songs go viral on Internet in record time and are consigned to oblivion in just as little time. The answer could lie in Gen Y’s channel-surfing syndrome. Nothing holds their attention for long, they are always on the look out for the next best thing.

That’s not to put down the Tanglish youth anthem. After all, the composition by the 21-year-old Anirudh Ravichander has got nearly 1.4 crore hits — and the count is going up — since it was leaked on YouTube on Nov 16. It has been shared more than 10 million times on Facebook, and the #kolaveri hashtag is a trending topic on Twitter.

Which is all very well, but it is in the very nature of a modern-day ‘hit’ that it is doomed to oblivion just as fast. Blame it on a digital generation which has the attention span of... ummm... let’s say of a child eating an ice-cream and already looking forward to the second helping.

Dr Kartik Kashyap, a consultant psychiatrist from Pragnya Brain Mind clinic, sums up new-age attitudes nicely. “We live in times when people are always impatient. The hectic lifestyle and impatient attitude calls for immediate recreation and songs like Kolaveri connect with people. But in a matter of months or even weeks, people want to know what’s next, what is he going to sing? 

Every decade has its share of good, bad and the ugly. It’s difficult to predict what will become a hit. For all you know, 20 years down the line Why this Kolaveri Di could be played out on the ‘retro’ or ‘classic’ hour. Who knows?  

Till then Happy Listening ……