Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Just in a couple of weeks we will say good bye to 2010 and welcome 2011. With its sorrows and joy it was a year full with motions and emotions. The best part of the farewell is for sure celebrations of Christmas and New Year. I love this time because I feel myself again like a child and can enjoy all the beauties of the festivity.

Here I would like to share with you some stories and info about Christmas and New Year. Hope you will enjoy reading it.


Legend of Baboushka

The Russian version of St. Nicholas is Baboushka meaning 'grandmother' in Russian. The character had been much popular in old Russia before the revolution of 1917. It was reputed that Baboushka was old woman who had no family, rarely received guests and was so used to live alone in a big house that all she could think of was cleaning, doing the household chores and looking after her empty property. One cold evening, when she was scrubbing her floors, the three Wise Men passed her house on their way to see the Holy Child. They spotted her in the window and asked her to come with them to see the new King of the world. But she refused stating that her floors were not yet clean.

She invited them to her house to spend the night but they said that they were in a hurry and bid her farewell and went on their way. Later, that night Baboushka regretted her decision of not going with the three men and gathering a few trinkets from her meager possessions, set off to find them and the Holy Child. She kept on walking inquiring to several people about the three traveling men and the Holy Child destined to be the King of the world but could not find them. It is said that she is still searching and wanders from place to place in search of them. On the eve of Epiphany of 6th of January, she also leaves trinkets as gifts to the good children in the hope that they will help her find Baby Jesus.

Christmas Recipes:

Banana Sour Cream Bread


  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease four 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 3 cups sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and flour. Stir in nuts. Divide into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Sweet Potato Pie


  • 1 (1 pound) sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


  1. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
  2. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

How to Make:

A Wreath for All Seasons

We all know that first impressions count, so why not help your front door put its best face forward? This decoration extends a warm welcome to guests and allows your family's personality to shine. Starting with a store-bought grapevine wreath, you can have the whole household get into the act of customizing the embroidery-hoop ornaments in endless ways (we suggest a few easy techniques here).

Go beyond the holidays by hanging ornaments that celebrate achievements, announce happy events like birthdays and graduations, or cheer on a team. Add or remove ornaments each season, and the fun — and that terrific first impression — can last all year long.


  • Embroidery hoops (see tip below)
  • Solid-color fabric or canvas
  • Paintbrush and paint, paint pens, or other decorating tools (see instructions for details)
  • Outdoor Mod Podge

  • Greenery, faux berries, or other seasonal extras
  • Grapevine wreath
  • Floral wire


  1. For each ornament, measure the hoop, then cut a fabric circle that's an inch larger in diameter. Sandwich the fabric between the rings of the hoop, then pull the fabric taut and tighten the screw. Trim any excess fabric.
  2. Decorate the ornaments (see ideas below). Let them dry, as needed, then apply a coat of Outdoor Mod Podge for weatherproofing and let it dry. Attach the ornaments and greenery or other extras to the wreath with lengths of floral wire. For the greatest durability, hang the finished wreath in a protected spot.
  3. Stamp simple shapes by applying acrylic paint to a halved apple or a leaf, then pressing it onto the fabric (practice on paper first). Add details with a paint pen.
  4. For a 3-D effect, use strong glue, such as Crafter's Pick The Ultimate, to adhere collage materials like the fishing line shown here (made from a bit of cord) and metal charms.
  5. Acrylic paint and a brush are great for creating bold images like our pie design, and for livening up the hoop frames (paint them before adding the fabric). For more detailed designs, such as our horse drawing, use fabric markers or paint pens.
  6. Create ornaments from photos — like the dog portrait shown here — with inkjet-printable cotton sheets (we used Jacquard brand, available at craft stores). Follow the package instructions to transfer a digital shot or scanned drawing to the fabric, then use a paint pen for extra flourishes. (