Thursday, December 11, 2014

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Happy New Year America!


Click here to enjoy my Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year eCard and "Have a Merry Christmas, Hanukkah and a very Happy New Year America!"

Twelve more days until Christmas: Merry Christmas America ... Happy New Year too! The Gift of Silver Bells and Chocolate!


"...When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things -- not the great occasions -- give off the greatest glow of happiness..."
~~ Bob Hope

(May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003)English-born American comedian and actor on Broadway, in vaudeville, movies, television, and radio.

Back in Thanksgiving 2013 America was celebrating Thaksgivekkah. Now this year, for the 5th time in 109 years, come this Christmas Eve, December 24, 2014, the 8 lights of Hanukkah will be colliding with Christmas lights on Christmas trees, homes and retail stores.

The last time this happened was 55 years ago (in 1959), when many families and friends homes had two trees lit -- the traditional Christmas Tree and Traditional Hanukkah Bush.


"This is one of those years, not that rare in fact, when Christmas and Chanukah coincide on the calendar. Chanukah starts on the night of December 20 and ends during the day of December 28. So on December 25 Jews and Christians will be celebrating their respective holidays. Why and how this happens when it does is way too complicated and uninteresting for this forum. How we all deal with the reality is much more compelling." ~~ Rabbi Michael Mayersohn Since his ordination in 1979, Rabbi Michael has been helping people learn Torah, go through life cycle celebrations and serve the needs of Jewish and Christian people throughout his life's journey.More info at californiarabbi.com

Like many households during Christmas season, in the center of our table you will find all sorts of desserts --cookies, cakes, Italian pastries, etc.

During the 12 days before Christmas and the 8 lights days of Hanukkah have fun decorating, baking and partying with family and friends.

During the 12 days before Christmas and the 8 lights days of Hanukkah have fun decorating, baking and partying with family and friends.

There are so many other traditions and cultural customs during this festive season. Week-long holiday, Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st and symbolizes "fruits of the harvest." Held in the United States since 1966, Kwanzaa honors African heritage in African American culture. Kwanza was created by Maulana Karenga in 1965 and has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba). Traditions include baskets full of fruit and gift-giving.

Every once in a while during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I would bring that favorite, rich treat to my family table -- dark, decadent chocolate mousse.



Every once in a while, I would bring that favorite, rich treat -- dark, decadent chocolate mousse.

What makes mousse so unique is the light and airy texture from air bubbles.


Depending on preparation and mix intensity mousse variations range from light and fluffy to creamy and thick and can be sweet, bitter or savory. The great thing about this dessert is the prep time is only six minutes and then all you need do is refrigerate it for an hour.

INGREDIENTS:
[Use numbers in parentheses for larger quantity servings
► 1 (4) teaspoon unflavored gelatin
► 1 (4) tablespoon cold water
► 2 (8) tablespoons boiling water
► 1/2 (4) cup sugar (can substitute with splenda, equal, etc.)
► 1/4 (1) cup cocoa (AT LEAST 60% cocoa concentration for best flavor)
► 1 (4) cup whipping cream (can substitute w yogurt but texture will change
► 1 (4) teaspoon vanilla extract
► chocolate curls

OPTIONAL:
► 2 tablespoons of instant espresso
► Be imaginative. Try something different and share it by commenting on this blog
► I've tried with the usual raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, but also tried cinnamon sticks, walnuts, cranberries, etc.

Step 1 : Gelatin mixture (3 min)
► In a small bowl sprinkle unflavored gelatin over the cold water; let stand 1 minute
►Add the boiling water, stirring, until gelatin is dissolved.


Step 2 : Mousse (3 min)
► In a separate bowl combine the sugar, cocoa, whipping cream, and vanilla; stir to blend
► Beat on medium speed of electric mixer, scraping the bottom of the bowl a few times, until the mixture is stiff
► Add the gelatin mixture and beat until well blended.

Step 3 : Spoon in dish and chill (60 min)
► Spoon the chocolate mousse into dessert dishes or glasses
► Sprinkle mousse with chocolate curls, if desired
►Chill for at least 1 hour before serving makes eight 6oz servings (parenthesis numbers make up to 32 6oz servings


Total time - 1 Hour and 6 Minutes


Click this link to view my eCard and "Have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!"

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