Ever wondered how the rest of the world celebrates their New Year’s Eve? What are their New Year’s traditions and beliefs? Well, I was curious so I did some research and boy am I amazed. Thought I should share it with you. Here goes:
In Spain, the Spaniards celebrate New Year’s Eve by eating grapes. They invite several friends over for a late dinner. Late meaning 9:00 in the evening at the earliest! A few minutes before 12:00 a.m., they bring out the dessert which consists of bunches of grapes. With each ring of the midnight bells, everyone eats one grape. This tradition which has been passed on for many generations is meant to carry with it some good luck for the New Year.
In Colombia, it is the custom to construct a dummy representing the closing year. Each family member donates some clothing that is no longer worn to make the dummy. They then stuff it using straw and firecrackers. Every participating member then takes a piece of paper and writes down a bit of bad luck or some fault that they would want to free themselves of. At 12:00 am on the button, the dummy is lit and left to burn until all that is left of it are ashes. The old year’s faults and bad luck is thought to disappear together with the dummy.
In Greece, it is a tradition to serve New Year’s Bread at 12:00am on January 1. They place either a coin or a charm inside this special bread. At exactly midnight, the head of the family slices the bread and distributes it to each family member, in age order. The member who receives the piece of bread with the coin or charm is believed to be showered with good fortune throughout the New Year.
New Year’s Resolutions- It’s that time of year again. Some of the resolutions that you are thinking about for this year were on your list last year and the year before… and the one before that. The truth is that you very possibly even started following through on some of them. Every 12 months, you promise to start anew or to make a change or two. You’ll quit doing this and you’ll start doing that. You are not alone! It appears to be that the majority of the world is riding on the same boat.
Here are the top ten New Year’s Resolutions (not in any specific order) for you to think about:
1. Lose Weight : Unless you are 100% determined and make a promise to get fit, it will never happen. It’s your choice. Skip the elevator and head for the stairs, go for the fruit instead of the chocolate…etc.
2. Stick to a Budget: The best defense is a good offense. Sticking to a reasonable financial plan is a brilliant move as it avoids overspending and guarantees peace of mind. All beginnings are hard. The good news is that the longer you stick to a budget, the easier it becomes.
3. Get out of Debt: If you are unable to pay cold cash for it, you could do without it. Make it that effortless and you will find yourself debt-free in no time.
4. Make More Time for Family and Friends: It’s time to set your priorities straight. Start right now by taking day-to-day measures that will produce nothing less than an extra special family.
5. Find True Love: More and more people seem to be searching for that special someone who they will love forever. However, we don’t believe that that romantic relationship is anything more than a fairytale. That fairytale can become a reality. It is up to you to make it happen.
Nipping a cold in the bud is the best ‘medicine’ for a cold or flu since there is no known cure. The number one way that will reduce your chance of catching the flu is by getting the flu shot. You’re not guaranteed not to catch the flu, but it definitely significantly reduces the risk. You’re right that it is not the natural way to do it, however it works best.
There are other steps you can take. Here are some suggestions for you to take a ‘shot’ at. Don’t worry; they are all pain-free.
#1- Naturally, we tend to cover our mouth with our hands when we cough and/or sneeze. That’s definitely the polite thing to do. However, without realizing it, we touch keyboards, doors, phones and countless other objects with the hand that was the recipient of thousands of germs. Germs have a very long life span and are easily picked up by the next person whose hand touches that same object. If you find yourself in a position where you have no access to running water, then what you can do is either use hand sanitizer or rub your hands together as strongly as possible for about a minute, which helps break up the germs. Ideally, you should cough and/or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.
#2- If you have enough time from when you feel the need to cough and/or sneeze and the actual action, take the time to grab a tissue, and then throw it into the garbage can at once.
#3- Never sneeze directly onto the people around you. Always turn your head away.
Having a hard time deciding what to buy your loved one, a close family member, a good friend or that special neighbor for the Holidays? Well, we at TigerChef.com, have decided to try and help you out with a random survey made amongst our friends and co-workers. Here are some suggestions that you may find useful.
- ‘Personalization is the key. My closest friend always makes picture boards. Using her creative talents, she arranges photos that include herself and the person she is making it for. She actually once put together a CD for me with six of
my most favorite tracks on it.’
- ‘My children made a “Lifetime Book” for us for our 40th anniversary. They got all our buddies- some of whom we had not been in contact with for quite some time- and family members – to write down a personal reminder of a little memory that we shared together. They also got a great deal of pictures to go along with the memories. Thrilled? An understatement! We were extremely emotional since we had never realized that so many people think so highly of us and that we had touched so many lives that significantly.’
- ‘No matter what time of year it is, if you see something, buy it- particularly at sale time. That way, when the holiday rolls around and it’s present time, you can shop in your own closet first and you will discover a nice amount of gifts you can choose from. Trust me, it saves you a big headache.’
When we think pickles, we think cucumbers. Although the most universally pickled vegetable is the cucumber, there are many other vegetables, and even some fruits, that can be pickled such as beets, olives, cabbage, peppers, mushrooms…etc.
Pickles are made by placing the fruit or vegetable in a brine solution, usually made out of salt, water, spices, peppercorn and most importantly, vinegar. The vegetable can be left in the solution for hours, days and even weeks, depending on how pickled you like the vegetable to be, after which a large amount of the natural juices have been exchanged with an acidic solution.
Let’s talk pickles as in pickled cucumbers.
Not all cucumbers are cut out to be made into pickles. The best cucumbers are small ones that are grown exclusively to be made into the many different kinds of pickles that can be found in grocery stores.
The most popular pickle is the “dill pickle” or “kosher dill”. A considerable amount of dill weed, plus a nice amount of garlic, is added to the brine to make what is called dill pickles. The pickles are then stored in large barrels until they are ready to be sold or eaten. This type of pickle is most commonly used as a side dish in restaurants and delis.
Whether you hosted or attended a party or prepared a festive meal, then you know nice and well what a difference centerpieces can make to a table. The same holds true with centerpieces for the Christmas dinner. I think I’m pretty safe to say that the Christmas dinner is the most significant one of the whole year and what wouldn’t you do to make it that much more special? Much thought goes into every iota of this special day- from the actual meal, to the presents, to the decorations, the tree and yes, even the centerpieces.
Before you start working on the centerpieces, you have put some thought into it. What is the atmosphere that you are trying to create? How tall/short would you like it be? How much money do you want to spend on them? How much time do you have on your hands to get them done on time? Etc.
Naturally, nothing says chic more than something traditional. Winter plants, candles, berries and fruits, all add to the decor in a very classy way and create a striking ambiance. They can be arranged in an endless amount of ways to create the desired effect.
With the Holidays upon us, and the celebrating that comes along with it, there is a huge probability of having your guests, or yourself for that matter, spill something by accident of course- on yourself, your rug, your tablecloth or practically anywhere! That something can vary between water- which is no big deal, all the way to gravy. Now what? How in heavens name will you ever get that nasty stain out of your tablecloth? Why not give these tactics a shot?
#1- Missed your mouth when you went for that luscious red wine? Grab the salt shaker and pour a very generous amount over the stain. Let the salt sit
on the stain for a minute or two and then scrape away the grains. Rinse the stain with water.
#2- Lost your balance when carrying the plate full of gravy? Chill out! All you have to do is scoop up the excess and sprinkle cornstarch over the spot. Let it stand for about fifteen minutes and then vacuum it up. Next, sprinkle carbonated water over the stain and blot dry it to disclose your freshly cleaned carpet.
#3- Coffee on the tablecloth? It’s simple. Just rinse the coffee stain using cold water, and then treat it with a mixture of one part white vinegar to three parts water. Rinse it with water and toss it in to the washing machine. It will come out as good as new.
There is nothing better than a chilled shake at any given time- no matter winter, summer, spring or fall. Milkshakes are a frothy blend of ice cream, milk, and syrup flavoring and can be made in numerous flavors. The problem with milkshakes is that when you think milkshake, you think fattening. Well, here’s a solution that we dieters have been looking for and it is definitely one of the easiest recipes to follow. If you are planning on serving it to your guests, don’t let them in on our little low-fat secret and trust me, they will never figure it out. For all you folks who want the real thing, don’t let the low-fat scare you. All you got to do is follow the recipe and eliminate the words low fat and fat free.
Get your blender and let’s get started.
- 2 packages cookies
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- 1 pt. low fat vanilla frozen yogurt, slightly softened
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fat-free whipped topping, optional
- Chocolate sprinkles, optional
When it comes to Thanksgiving, the most important “guest” at the dinner table is the turkey. All the others attending the feast will be “keeping an eye” on that turkey. Therefore, you really want to make sure that you choose the right size and type of turkey in order to create the ideal Thanksgiving dinner experience. The following are some tips to help you with your Thanksgiving turkey.
1) Knowing in advance how many other guests will be attending your dinner is an excellent idea and it will save you much headache. On average,
individuals (especially males) can consume approximately two pounds of turkey. As a rule, it is always better to have some left-over food rather than not having enough. You would never want anyone leaving your house hungry. If left-overs don’t sit well with you, just remember that you can always doggy bag whatever is left for your guests to take home with them.
2) A younger turkey is usually a better choice since they tend to be more tender and juicy than the adults.
3) When packaging the turkey, the skin is marked with an A, B or C. You definitely want to pick an A graded turkey since these are the ones that are just about bruise, blemish and feather free. As the letter decreases, so do the skin conditions.
Tums, Pepto-Bismol, Rolaids… Sound a little bit too familiar? Are you among millions of others that are in a constant, head-on battle with acid reflux or indigestion? In that case, try and use these doctor-approved tips which may help reduce or even actually put an end to that infuriating burn:
1) Take a chill on the food race. Where you rushing? The only thing that you “accomplish” by eating quickly is that you are producing a greater amount of stomach acid, which increases the risk of the acid making its way back up into your esophagus. When it comes to the food race, you always want to be the last to reach the finish line.
2) Any fizzy drink knocked-down in the second part of the day- including plain old carbonated water- increases your risk of night-time suffering by 31%. No. Your eyes are not tricking you, you did read right. Now, just a short lesson in biology- The gases do a great job at churning (whipping up) the acid in your stomach, which will prompt the esophageal sphincter muscle (the little door at the bottom of your esophagus) to welcome in the unwanted guests. Come-on fellows, can the coke!