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Festive Holiday Treats

Homemade candy has been a tradition for us every year around this time.  Jamie's family has the best recipe for homemade pralines, and we love making them as much as eating them.  Today, we made our first batch of the year.  Now, understand that this batch came out looking very ugly.  Jamie was a little embarassed that you had to see them.  It can take a few times to get the pralines looking pretty, but they sure taste good no matter what.

Here's what you'll need:
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter
5 oz evaporated milk
not pictured: wax paper and candy thermometer
And of course, it's always nice to have a little helper in the kitchen.  This is what my "helper" does.

Boil sugar, brown sugar, and evaporated milk until it gets to "soft ball" stage on the thermometer.  Stir rapidly and continuously.  Take off heat, add butter, a capful of vanilla, and pecans.  Stir and spoon quickly onto wax paper.

As I said, not so pretty, but you get the idea.

In the mood for a festive holiday drink?  
Try this recipe a good friend gave us this year for mulled wine.  I got to have one little sip {wish I could have had more}, and trust me, it's delish!  It will go perfectly with your yummy batch of homemade pralines, and is wonderful on those cold nights by the fire {I'm just taking a guess on that one}.

1 1/3 c of water
6 oz frozen concentrated cranberry juice
3 T honey
8 cinnamon sticks, broken
6 whole cloves
4 cardomom pods, opened
2 c dry red wine
1 c cranberry liquer or creme de cassis

Heat water, concentrate, cinnamon cloves, and cardamom to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and smimmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in wine and liquer.  Garnish with cinnamon stick.


Note:  It was brought to my attention that our last name was misspelled on our Christmas card, so please ignore that!  It has been taken care of.  Thanks mom!

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