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The Quick 10: The 10 Top-Earning Chefs

Today's Q10 comes to us straight from Forbes. Do a good job at Thanksgiving and this could be you, next year! These are yearly earnings, by the way, not total earnings.

10. Anthony Bourdain, $1.5 million. I was pleased to see this, because I love Anthony Bourdain. I especially like the episode of No Reservations where he ends up stranded in Romania because of a crappy rental car and his guide throws his back out trying to move the car. So, the guide drinks to try to alleviate the pain. Eventually, the guide (who was also Bourdain's friend) ended up pounding on a table with his fist drunkenly yelling, "Tony! Tony!" It was fabulous. The figure seems low to me, though, considering the restaurants, the show, the books, etc.

9. Bobby Flay, $1.5 million. I don't have much to say about Bobby Flay, "˜cause I don't really like him. OK, that's not fair. He is the owner and executive chef of six restaurants, has eight cookbooks, and has hosted seven Food Network shows.

8. Tom Colicchio, $2 million. The Top Chef judge owns the Craft line of restaurants, including 'wichcraft. He also used to be the co-owner, co-founder, and executive chef of NYC's Gramercy Tavern.

7. Mario Batali, $3 million. This seems low, too "“ he's owns not one"¦ not two"¦ but 13 restaurants in New York, L.A. and Vegas. But he's also got the cookware. I guess if he runs low on cash he could always approach Crocs about becoming a spokesperson.

6. Paula Deen, $4.5 million. My mom's favorite!

Two Food Network shows, cookbooks, a magazine, an memoir "“ Paula's money comes as much from selling her personality as it does from her butter-soaked, Southern-style food.

5. Alain Ducasse, $5 million. He tops Batali's 13 restaurants "“ Ducasse owns 22 across the world. But he's got some incredibly interesting side projects going on - he has two cooking schools in Paris - one for the general public and one specifically for chefs. His school for chefs is partnering with the European Space Agency for tastier astronaut meals.

4. Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, $5 million. He co-owns 17 Nobu sushi joints (yum). But I'm sure the real money comes from his movie royalties - he was Mr. Roboto in Austin Powers in Goldmember. On second thought, I bet his four cookbooks do OK, too.

3. Gordon Ramsay, $7.5 million. He might be a television personality, but no doubt the dude can cook. He's got a total of 13 Michelin stars, the third highest number in the world (Alain Ducasse and French Chef Joel Robuchon rank above him). Couple that with the cookbooks, the autobiographies and the T.V. shows, and you can see where the $7.5 million comes from.
2. Wolfgang Puck, $16 million. He started with Spago and now owns 15 other restaurants, plus Wolfgang Puck Express, which you can find in airports across the world. And he's developing his brand into your grocery store, too.

1. Rachael Ray, $18 million. You know, I liked Rachael Ray at first, but I'm waaaay over her. She was too everywhere, too fast. But being everywhere apparently meant lots of cash for Rachael, since she's bringing in $18 mil a year. That includes her Food Network shows, her magazine, her talk show, her EVOO brand olive oil and her Dunkin' Donuts endorsement.

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Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?
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Everyone knows to expect a partridge in a pear tree from your true love on the first day of Christmas ... But when is the first day of Christmas?

You'd think that the 12 days of Christmas would lead up to the big day—that's how countdowns work, as any year-end list would illustrate—but in Western Christianity, "Christmas" actually begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. According to liturgy, the 12 days signify the time in between the birth of Christ and the night before Epiphany, which is the day the Magi visited bearing gifts. This is also called "Twelfth Night." (Epiphany is marked in most Western Christian traditions as happening on January 6th, and in some countries, the 12 days begin on December 26th.)

As for the ubiquitous song, it is said to be French in origin and was first printed in England in 1780. Rumors spread that it was a coded guide for Catholics who had to study their faith in secret in 16th-century England when Catholicism was against the law. According to the Christian Resource Institute, the legend is that "The 'true love' mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The 'me' who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the 'days' represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn."

In debunking that story, Snopes excerpted a 1998 email that lists what each object in the song supposedly symbolizes:

2 Turtle Doves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

There is pretty much no historical evidence pointing to the song's secret history, although the arguments for the legend are compelling. In all likelihood, the song's "code" was invented retroactively.

Hidden meaning or not, one thing is definitely certain: You have "The Twelve Days of Christmas" stuck in your head right now.

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