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The holiday season is upon us! And there is no better way to get into the spirit than by baking some desserts to enjoy with hot cocoa on a cold winter evening. Here are three sweet, short and easy recipes to kick off the season of holiday cheer.
Gingerbread houses and gingerbread men are staples of the holiday season. They’re super cute, super simple and something you can decorate with your personal touch.
1 (3.5 ounce) package cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. In a bowl, mix together the dry butterscotch pudding mix, the butter and the brown sugar until it is nice and even, then stir in the egg. After this add in the flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon.
2. Once you’ve got a nice dough, cover and chill until firm for around an hour.
3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease baking sheets.
4. Roll your dough out and get to cutting with your gingerbread man templates and place them about two inches apart on the baking sheet.
5. Bake ten to twelve minutes, cool and decorate them with icing as you please!
Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
The holiday season can be a tough time for our vegan family members and friends as a lot of those delicious family recipes aren’t so friendly. Luckily there’s a wealth of delicious vegan holiday recipes so a new tradition can begin, and why not start off with gorgeous crinkle cookies.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup vegan butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. red food coloring
1 cup vegan white chocolate chips, optional
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for coating
1/2 cup powdered sugar, for coating
1. Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and put that to the side.
2. Using a whisk, or a mixer if you prefer, beat the butter and sugar until it’s nice and fluffy and add the applesauce ¼ cup at a time. When that is mixed add in the vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar and the food coloring. It’s going to look a little curdled, but that’s okay.
3. Slowly add the dry ingredients until it’s well combined, then cover the dough and leave it in the fridge for at least two hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the granulated sugar in a dish. Put the powdered sugar in a separate one. Roll your cookie dough into balls and then generously coat in the granulated sugar first, then the powdered sugar. Place on the baking tray then cook for 10 minutes.
5. Take them out while slightly underdone (don’t worry, it’s safe), then let them cool.
Courtesy of mydarlingvegan.com
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...even in the kitchen with these simple sugar cookies.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter
1 (3 ounces) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees and sift the flour, salt and cinnamon and put it to the side.
2. In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter, add the egg yolk and sugar, and beat them until they are nice and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla, orange zest and very slowly add in the dry ingredients.
3. Spread the dough on the cookie sheet and cut out the snowflakes then bake for 10-15 minutes.
4. When they’ve got a nice brown center, remove them and let them cool before adding a nice dusting of sugar.
Courtesy of allrecipes.com
The final step of each of these recipes is to enjoy the cookies! Finals time is coming and life can be stressful, but remember to take a step back and have a little fun. Keep these in mind when you get a little bored and need something fun to do in the kitchen.
Every year, on the fourth Thursday of November, the country pauses to celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday to give thanks for what we have and to spend time with loved ones.
However, despite it being such a prominent holiday, the true story of Thanksgiving is virtually unknown despite versions of the story being taught as early as elementary school.
Most people know the pleasant version due to movies or children’s books. The pleasant version goes that the Pilgrims arrive and are approached by a friendly Indian, Squanto, who somehow spoke English. He teaches them the ways of the new land they came to in hopes of religious freedom. The pilgrims prosper, and everyone has a great big feast to celebrate.
However, this is not the truth, and there is no happy ending.
The Pilgrims were separatists who sought to establish a religious theocracy in the new land, and they also came here to make money, according to The New York Times.
The pilgrims sold many Indians into slavery. Squanto, whose real name is Tisquantum, was a former slave earlier settlers had sold, which is why he was able to communicate in English. He sought friendship with the pilgrims because his entire tribe had been eliminated by the smallpox disease European settlers brought across the seas.
According to the New York Times, Squanto taught the settlers how to harvest, fish and what grains to plant. He even taught them to build better homes. In the fall, after a successful summer, Squanto, the neighboring Wampanoag Indians and the Pilgrims did gather for a celebration of their harvest.
However, shortly after this, the European settlers attempted to enslave the Indians to keep them working for them, as the Indians were getting tired of the strenuous work. This led to the massacre of Indians who revolted and the eventual virtual elimination of Native Americans from the Eastern colonies, according to the New York Times.
This is the true story of Thanksgiving.
In the wake of Hurricane Michael, several cities in the Florida panhandle are destroyed and many are still without power. The Alpha Zeta chapter of Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) at Mercer University seeks to offer help to those still in need.
Jacob Pate, ATO vice president, said that after he and his brothers saw the devastation in Florida, they couldn’t sit idly by.
“We saw all the damage,” he said. “And immediately decided we wanted to do something to help.”
The fraternity accepted donations and supplies the entire week of Oct. 15-19, right after the hurricane passed through.
In just five days, the brothers of ATO collected gas, gas cans, coolers, tarps, water, Gatorade, non-perishable food and other items to aid the victims of Hurricane Michael.
They reached out to the local Ronald McDonald House for a trailer to help transport donations for their first trip to Florida Oct. 19, where they stopped in Lynn Haven and Panama City.
Pate also said the brothers will be volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse is a non-governmental organization that provides aid to people affected by natural disasters and other tragedies as part of Christian missionary work, according to its website.
The brothers will be helping this charity to clean up the debris, cut up trees and tarp houses. Pate said the fraternity has raised over $300, some of which will be donated to help the organization stock up on supplies.
“We understand there’s only so much we can do,” Pate said. “But we want to help as much as possible. We’re also planning another trip down in the near future to help with rebuilding and also deliver whatever supplies people may need.”
He said ATO will continue helping with relief efforts throughout the semester.
“For the next trip, we’re trying hard to make it a school wide thing to help with the rebuild. We’re thinking of a weekend in November,” Pate said.
The fraternity will also continue to accept items or monetary donations at their house in Greek Village.
If school has you stressed and you find your mind is in need of some “renewal”, consider spending an evening downtown at the 567 Center for Renewal for an inexpensive, relaxing art class.
The center was started eight years ago when the New City Church discovered they’d outgrown their usual gathering place at the Cox Capitol Theatre.
Melissa Macker, the executive director, said she doesn’t like to call herself the founder because the center was a result of many volunteers’ ideas and hard work.
“The pastor of New City Church used the theatre as a place for bands to come and play and for artists to come and show their work,” Melissa said. “But as the center grew more popular, the Capitol Theatre was not big enough to hold everyone, so the pastor started looking for other places to host his group.”
This was when the 567 Center for Renewal was reborn, the name originating from when the New City Church rented out the 567 Cafe on Cherry Street to host the artists and bands.
“The renewal part of the name comes from our mission of wanting to ‘renew’ Macon. We wanted to help revitalize the previously vibrant art scene,” Macker said.
After six years, the business moved to yet another building as they continued to grow, and they are currently located at 533 Cherry St.
“We kept the name because everyone just calls us “the 567” for short,” Macker said.
The 567 Center for Renewal sells work offered by professional artists and photographers, but also teach small art classes three to seven times a week.
“It’s a part of revitalizing the scene,” Macker said. “We showcase mostly local talent and occasionally national talent. By hosting art classes we’re also inspiring new talent and helping artists thrive.”
Most classes range from $25-$28. Attendees are charged a one-time fee.
“It’s meant to be fun and relaxing,” Macker said. “Just come down when you want to or need to and have a good time.”
Some of the classes they have offered before include “Coffee and Canvas” (coffee provided), and “Watercolor and Wine”, where the wine isn’t provided, but attendees are free to bring their own.
“Our most popular (event) is definitely Corks and Canvas, which is another sip and paint. It’s hosted every week and anyone over 18 can come and feel free to sip sparkling apple juice,” Macker said.
While at the 567, patrons can also purchase artwork made by professional artists such as homemade pottery shot glasses, post-cards, sculptures, and, of course, paintings.
If you want something cute to hold your warm drinks in this fall, the 567 will hold a four-week-long “Make a Mug” class where all material is provided and you simply make your own mug with full access to the studio.
“It’s $100 and you get to take your time and truly learn with all supplies provided. Students leave feeling confident and holding their very own pieces with beautiful art and glazes,” Macker said.
There’s also a pottery studio for general creation where students can enter the studio anytime and use the supplies. This access costs $40 a month.
“We also have our First Friday celebration like the rest of downtown Macon. That’s when we showcase our new exhibits. It’s free to attend,” Macker said.
On Nov. 3, be sure to stop by from 6-9 p.m. to check out Martha Lynn Fortson’s abstract painting showcase.
If you’re interested but can’t make it to any upcoming events, be sure to check out the center’s website at 567center.org and follow them on Facebook at the 567 Center for Renewal.
This past weekend, Macon held one of largest gatherings of Native Americans in the United States for the 27th consecutive time: The Ocmulgee Indian Festival.
It boasted over 200 craftsmen and artisans showcasing their handiwork, engaging storytellers and gifted dancers. There were also living history demonstrators who portray past heritage in form and with items from that era, further accenting the long and rich culture of Native Americans.
The Festival was named one of top 20 events of the entire Southeastern United States by the Southeast Tourism Society, and the renowned event draws more than 17,000 guests to the Ocmulgee Monument each fall.
Featuring over 2,000 displays and artifacts open to the public, the Ocmulgee Indian Festival allows another generation to experience first-hand the innovative arts and rich heritage of our nation’s first people through not only interaction, but observation. See below for pictures from the celebratory event.
Coming to Macon Monday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m., Postmodern Jukebox will be performing in the Grand Opera House.
“Many students’ impression of the Grand is that it’s old and stuffy and not for them,” Director of Arts Marketing Sarah Webster said. “But that’s just not true at all.”
The band was started in 2011 by Scott Bradlee in New York.
“They are the very definition of energizing and electric,” Webster said. “It seems they will bring a great show close to campus for people of all ages to enjoy.”
Postmodern Jukebox, or PMJ as they are commonly referred to, are a YouTube sensation and as of today, they have over 757 million views total on their channel of the same name and still receive millions of view per video since their upstart in 2014. Their content is comprised of covers of popular and classic songs like “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey and “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars.
“They’re very popular because their music is always relevant. They take songs we already know and love from the charts and rework them in a way that’s still fresh and engaging,” Webster said. “They’re always transforming things. Unrecognizable but still enjoyable.”
Their concerts are also described by Webster as very high energy and excited, and a view of live videos posted to Youtube of the band seems to confirm this. The abundance of cheers were an indication that the band’s performance may be anything but predictable.
They even bring in as guests superstars such as Hailey Reinhart and Casey Abrams, both of whom were on top singer show “American Idol.”
“The lineup is never set to one group,” Webster said. “So every performance is a surprise for the audience and who will appear is not set in stone, with the exception of Bradlee, the founder.”
This show is in Macon instead of Atlanta, which is typically a more popular spot for music.
“They have the same touring company as Grammy award winning blues singer Johnny Lang, who will also be stopping here on Feb. 20 and when you have artists like that in the same company, it’s kind of like a packaged deal,” Webster said.
“When PMJ called and said they would love to stop by, the Grand jumped at the chance to host the group,” Webster said.
The show costs $35, and there’s also a VIP package which is $165. It includes a post-show meet and greet, a commemorative laminate, a signed poster from the group and a picture.
The Grand Opera House isn’t offering student discounts for this show, but frequently, it offers discounts on musicals, Webster said.
Are you looking for a job? Getting ready to graduate soon and have no idea where you’d like to head or what you’d like to do? Or maybe you’re just looking for some networking experience and future career options?
Make plans to stop by Mercer University’s Spring Career Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14 to find all of the above.
The event will be held in Heritage Hall in the University Center and will feature businesses and companies that range from Pepsico to architectural groups and electrical companies, all of which are looking for a wide range of employees. To learn more about who will be there head over to handshake.com to view the event.
Charlene H. Leach, the assistant director for the Center for Career and Professional Development said that all students should consider coming out to the event.
“Often times some students feel as though their particular field isn’t catered to these type of events, but that that isn’t the case at all,” Leach said.
She urged students to stop by regardless of their background or major because you never know the kinds of connections you might make at the event.
“You can browse the different companies by major if you’d like, but most recruiters aren’t looking for that,” Leach said. “They’re looking for a student and future employee they believe will fit well with their company and has a well-developed skill set.”
It is recommended that students dress professionally for the event but it is not required for them to attend.
“We won’t turn them away if they aren’t dressed correctly, but they definitely should if they are able. It provides the best representation of themselves and the university,” Leach said.
Students should also bring several copies of their resumes to the Career Expo to hand out to potential employers. If you don’t have one already prepared, Career Services, located on the third floor of the CSC, can help you create one.
They’re available at any time during the day for all your resume needs, or you can reserve an appointment on handshake.
Career Services can also help with interviewing tricks and tips and they have an entire database of interview questions by field available via handshake.com.
On Tuesday, Feb.13 Career Services will also host a Pre-Career Expo Networking event for those who would like to start building connections early. It will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the University Center President’s Dining Room.
The event will provide a chance for students and alumni to meet with representatives from businesses that will be featured in the Career Expo the next day. It is designed for students who may be nervous about the Career Expo and give them a chance to network in a low-pressure, low-intensity environment.
“It feels more like talking with friends than an interrogation,” said Sophomore Donald Williams Jr, who attended the event last year.
Donald also said it helped him build connections with the businesses even though as a freshman he couldn’t formally take any jobs or positions they were looking to fill.
“I went as a freshman and it was great chance to polish my networking skills and I also connected with several people who work in the field I plan on pursuing and made great connections,” Williams said.
The Career Services team wants as many people as possible to come out. They’re hoping for students of all backgrounds, majors and years to gain a wealth of information and new skills to use for the years ahead.
Looking for something interesting and fun to help release that midterm stress this fall? Here’s a list of arts and entertainment events that will keep you entertained this month.
1) FRENCH CULTURE FESTIVAL
Oct. 9 - Nov. 3, FREE
France-Atlanta is offering a variety of events throughout the entirety of October and early November to serve your cultural appetite! Enjoy innovative films, live performances, exhibitions and workshops that show how beautifully intertwined French culture is with the Southeast. Most events are free, so visit the site, take your pic and have a great time!
2) NIGHTMARE GATE
Every weekend in October, 8 p.m.-midnight, $25
4179 Vansant Rd Douglasville, GA 30135
Get a jumpstart on Halloween festivities and test how genius you truly are at Nightmare Gate this weekend. The post-apocalyptic haunted house is set in the aftermath of an infectious disease that has decimated the hospital and now YOU have to escape and find the cure. Stop by this Friday or Saturday to find out if you’ll be a survivor…or a statistic.
3) ELEVATE 2017: ENLIGHTEN
Oct. 14-21, FREE
233 Peachtree St NE Harris Tower Suite 1700 Atlanta, GA, 30303
As the title of this event says, come out and “enlighten” yourself on the issues surrounding the plight of veterans and gentrification while also learning about the healing power of art. Professional artists lead panels and workshops about trends and how to aid your community through your passion. Mercer is all about giving back so learn how to better do that here!
4) HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL
Oct. 21, FREE
Little Five Points, Atlanta, GA 30307
Come out for Georgia’s premier Halloween bash in the most exciting part of Atlanta, Little Five Points. Free food, free drinks, live entertainment, pumpkin carving and the coolest street vendors will make for an amazing weekend and best of all, it’s free.
5) HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
Oct. 19- Oct. 22, $10
One Peachtree Pointe 1545 Peachtree St. NE #102 Atlanta, GA 30309
Movie buff? Drive down the Synchronicity Theatre to enjoy premier horror films made by the world’s top filmmakers. From documentaries to short films to feature length pieces, whatever film you choose to delve into will be something you won’t see anywhere else. It’s guaranteed to leave a mark you’ll never forget.
6) GLASS PUMPKINS
Oct. 8-31, $50
250 Freeman St, Decatur, GA 30030
Make a gorgeous glass pumpkin to celebrate and decorate for fall at Georgia’s premier glass-blowing site.
7) GATES OF MISERY
Every weekend in October and Halloween week, $8
174 Chatillon Rd NE Rome, Georgia 30161
Looking for something more traditional yet still a little creepy this Halloween season? The Gates of Misery in Rome, GA is one of the scariest haunted houses in Georgia. The 12,000 square foot walk through a haunted house is filled with torture, torment, terrifying screams and nightmares you’re afraid to face in a dark for only $8. Are you brave enough?
8) DOGGIE BIRTHDAY BASH
Oct. 21, 2-5PM, $8
Loring Heights Dog Park Loring Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Not into the scary and looking for something a little more wholesome this Halloween season? Scoop up your pup and drive down to baby Bosley’s birthday bash to spend time eating good food and petting cute pups to heal your college torn soul. Don’t have a dog? That’s fine! There’s plenty of adorable dogs to go around.