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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 11/24/14

Monday, November 24, 2014

HERE'S 4 OF THE BEST FUDGE RECIPES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE COMING YOUR WAY!!


Pumpkin nut fudge

IT'S HIP TO HAVE SQUARES THIS SEASON!

Close your eyes and think about those delightfully rich squares that come but once a year! Maybe you have wonderfully sweet memories of the candy your grandma made for you each Christmas. Maybe you're looking for a gift for someone who has everything. The goodness that is fudge not only makes a lovely, decadent holiday treat that's easy to make, but it also makes the perfect homemade gift for those you love, nicely packaged in glimmering holiday tins. Just be sure to make an extra batch or two for yourself!
Easy to make and a wonderfully sweet treat, these fudge recipes will help you make new holiday memories!



Pumpkin fudge

The combination of spices, pumpkin and chocolate is a treat in itself. This pumpkin fudge recipe will have your kitchen smelling divine and the goodies tasting even better!
Yields about 24 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup pureed cooked pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, pumpkin, milk and spices in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce it to a gentle simmer.
  2. Cook until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add the walnuts, butter and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is creamy. Pour into a buttered baking dish and chill for a couple hours until set. Cut into 1-inch squares.



Butter pecan fudge

A little nutty and a lot rich, you'll really enjoy a batch of butter pecan fudge. It's like taking a delightful bite out of a treat from the past!
Yields about 24 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, mix together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, whipping cream and salt, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Allow the mixture to boil for about five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix well.
  3. Fold in the pecans. Pour mixture into a waxed paper-lined 8 x 8-inch baking dish.
  4. Refrigerate until the fudge becomes firm; then cut into 1-inch squares.



Eggnog fudge

This recipe uses prepared eggnog from the store to help make fudge-making matters even easier. This is a true holiday treat that is rich and memorable.
Yields about 24 pieces

Ingredients:

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup prepared eggnog
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 cup butter, chilled
  • 1/2 (11 ounce) package white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped almonds

Directions:

  1. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside. Spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray while heating prepared eggnog and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon. Boil for about two minutes.
  2. Fold in the marshmallows, cinnamon and nutmeg. Return to a boil for about five to six minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. As the mixture boils, it will become brown. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the butter, white chocolate chips and almonds. Stir well until mixed and glossy.
  4. Quickly pour the mixture into a prepared pan. Cool at room temperature before removing from the pan and cutting into 1-inch squares.



Marbled fudge

The best of both worlds! Marbled fudge combines chocolate with marshmallow for a fluffy, rich, double-delicious treat.
Yields about 20 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and set it aside. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips and two tablespoons butter with the condensed milk, vanilla and salt.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the marshmallows with the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Spoon over fudge. With a knife or spatula, swirl it through the fudge.
  4. Refrigerate for about two hours or until firm. Remove from pan and peel off the foil. Cut into 1-inch squares.
Ah, the holidays… time to enjoy the season's sweets and treats. The goodness of fudge comes but once a year (thankfully), and since the time is here, you should make it worth your while!

DIY TIN CAN LANTERNS!

   This was found at www.growcreative.blogspot.com .  I would even use them for the holidays.  Whether it be leaf patterns or even, since Halloween is right around the corner, turn them into Jack o' lanterns or even skulls.  Good luck and have fun!


Tin Can Lanterns Tutorial


I love summer and I love that I finally have a backyard to have parties in! I made these tin can lanterns for a 4th of July party (not at my house) and they looked so lovely that I thought I would write a tutorial to share with you all.

So follow the tutorial below to get started making your own lanterns for your own outdoor summer party!


Materials:
recycled tin cans
hammer
nail
bailing wire
pliers
spray paint
tea light candle


Step 1: Remove labels and glue from the cans. I've found WD-40 to be very helpful with removing the glue.

Step 2: Fill cans with water and stick them in the freezer. Leave them in until the ice is solid. This helps the can hold its shape for the next steps.


Step 3: Take your frozen can out of the freezer. Using a hammer and nail, pound a hole near the top of the can. Flip the can over and make another hole straight across from the first hole. These will be used for the handle later on.

Step 4: Make your design. Use the hammer and nail to start punching out a design in your can. You can draw it our before hand or wing it. Either way, they turn out nicely.


Step 5: Once your design is all finished, let the ice melt out of the can and dry it out.


Step 6: Upon turning the can over, you'll notice a big bulge in the bottom. This comes from freezing water in it. But, it can be fixed! Just pound it down with a hammer so that it sits flat.

Step 7: Time to make a handle. Cut a 12 inch strip of bailing wire and curve the end of it to form a hook. Stick the hook through one of the top side holes.

Step 8: Twist the hook around to secure it. Make a hook on the other end of the wire. Stick it in the side hole on the other side and twist it around. There's your handle!

Step 9: Time for some spray paint! Paint several coats on to cover the entire can and handle. I used Krylon Indoor/ Outdoor paint and it worked great.




Step 10: Once the paint is dry, insert tea light candles and light them up! You're all ready to go!

THE FASCINATING STORY OF THE PILGRIMS!!







  The story of the Pilgrims has its origins in early 17th Century England. It was at that time, nearly four hundred years ago, when religious persecution was making it difficult for many people to practice their religions and live comfortably and safely in London and in the rural areas outside of London.   England, at that time, was a monarchy. Today, it is a Parliamentary Monarchy in which the Queen has no real power. At that time, however, the King had absolute power over all of the nation’s citizens and, as a result, could make the practice and observance of religion difficult. That is exactly what happened. Persecution ruled the day … especially if the religion you chose to practice was different from the “national religion.” England, at that time and today, as well, was and is primarily Protestant.
These persecuted individuals met frequently and, after a time, decided to seek permission to start a new life in “the colonies.” Remember, it was very early in the 17th Century and there was no America … certainly no states, as well. Once granted permission to travel across the Atlantic Ocean, these persecuted people, dubbed Pilgrims, began to make plans for their trip and the new life that awaited them far from England.










   The planning took some time, well over a year, but it eventually began to materialize. In their original plan, there were to be two boats, not one … the Mayflower and a much smaller boat, each to be filled with crew and with Pilgrims. In fact, the first attempted voyage did have two boats, but a leak in the smaller vessel forced both boats to return to London.
   They remained there briefly until it was time once again to embark on their dangerous, but exciting, voyage. One hundred and two Pilgrims and as many as twenty-five to thirty crew members sailed toward the Americas in 1620. As you might imagine, it was not an easy trip.
   That’s because the boat, while large, was constructed entirely of wood. There were limited sleeping quarters, little or no sanitation. And, because of the fear of fire, all food was eaten cold, not cooked. This, of course, led to illness in many of the Pilgrims. But, they persevered.











   In fact, the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean took sixty-six days, more than two months. And when the Mayflower finally reached land, it was not their intended destination. They had hoped to sail to northern Virginia. Instead, a storm pushed them off-course and they ended up much further north, in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts..
And that is where they stayed that first year … and for all the years that followed. It should be noted that the Pilgrims arrived in America ill-prepared for what they would face during the first winter. They did not bring food with them and did not know how to hunt, fish, farm or gather food for their survival. Fortunately for them, local Indians were friendly, not hostile and taught them the basic skills they would need to survive.
That, of course, led to the first Thanksgiving which took place in August … not in November.