Well, here we are with another couple of Virtual Holiday Home Tours. I am very excited to showcase these beautiful homes with their gorgeous decorations. Let’s get right to it.
When we left off, we were in Ventura County, CA. This home is also in Ventura County. We met the Michener Family after we left the Southern California area through some dear, dear friends. Mrs. Michener is one of those people, who the minute I met her, I knew we would be great friends. The family is warm, loving, kind and fun.
…a whole lotta fun. They are also very gifted and crafty. The entire family got together for the “Snowflake Project” and then Mrs. Michener hung them from the ceiling making the whole living room look Merry and Bright.
What would Christmas be without Christmas Trees and the ornaments that are unique to each family. They are kind of like snowflakes: no two trees are alike. I love those old fashioned bubble candle ornaments. I think we had some once upon a time. Not sure where they are now. You can also see the Michener Family are a fun-loving and artistic family…
Thank you, Michener Family, for your hospitality and beautiful Christmas decorations.
And Merry Christmas to you!
Time for a snack.
When was the last time you made fudge? My mom always offered fudge at Christmas, mostly because it was one of her father’s favorite things. I frequently made it for her and, although I don’t like a lot of fudge because it is very sweet, I do like this recipe which we got off the back of the Marshmallow cream jar.
I think the Jet Puff people removed the recipe for a while and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find it, but it’s back…on the back. The original recipe called for margarine, because back in the day everyone thought margarine was better for you than butter. I never trusted margarine because it tasted weird, but that’s the only thing my mom served, so that’s what we used. However, I used real unsalted butter in this recipe. I switched over to butter when my kids were very small and I used to hide it in the back of the refrigerator so that any of my butter Nazi friends that might look in my fridge for lemonade or something wouldn’t see it. I just didn’t want to have the “butter is bad for you” conversation. Lo and behold, butter is not bad for you. At least it’s better than margarine.
At any rate, this recipe is pretty easy. The hardest part is stirring it around for 4-6 minutes until it gets to the proper temperature.
Line a pan with foil. When everything is mixed in, pour it into the pan and let it cool. If you are in a hurry, put it in the fridge for a while. Cut it up and serve it.
Now, you can serve fudge any time of the year, but I don’t know anyone who does. I only see it at Christmas time. And now you can buy it at grocery stores and little specialty stores. I’m sure the fudge is good, but it is not as good as this recipe. The marshmallow creme gives it a really smooth and creamy consistency (no sugar crystals). It takes no time to make and it’s great to serve at an Open House or a Holiday Home tour.
If you have elves, they are more than happy to help serve fudge. They work cheap (fudge crumbs keep them going for hours.)
I’ll give you the recipe at the end of the post. For right now, it’s back to the Holiday Home Tour.
Our next stop is back in Northern California. We are stopping by the beautiful Baker Home. We have been friends with the Baker family for over 20 years. My children hung out with their three boys and got themselves into quite a bit of mischief. In fact, they would have made good elves.
At any rate, Mrs. Baker is a dear, dear friend and her home, in West Sacramento, is exquisite.
I love to visit my friend at Christmas time because her entire house is decorated and she has been collecting Christmas decorations for years. You might find yourself spending hours just walking around and looking at everything she has…and the decorations are arranged beautifully. Note the little baby dolls hanging off the bannister in the above photo.
Look at those darling little snowmen and a tree dedicated to Bees. I think I’ve mentioned before about the Bees (a group of my lady friends who have a yearly retreat at Lake Tahoe with me.) We are always giving each other little gifts and frequently they are ornaments.When you walk into the Baker home the first thing you see is this gorgeous tree and sweeping staircase. I love the way she decorates this tree and the rest of her house, for that matter. Thank you Baker family for letting us tour your home and your decorations.
Here’s the fudge recipe. I really think you should make it for Christmas. Your friends and relatives will be happy you did
time prep: 10 mintotal: 25 minservings total: 40 servings, about 2 squares each
Ingredients3 cups sugar3/4 cup butter
or margarine1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup) (Do not use sweetened condensed milk.)3 pkg. (4 oz. each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped1 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme1 cup chopped PLANTERS Walnuts1 tsp. vanilla
- LINE 9-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Bring sugar, butter and evaporated milk to full rolling boil in 3-qt. saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 4 min. or until candy thermometer reaches 234°F, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
ADD chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until melted. Add nuts and vanilla; mix well.
POUR into prepared pan; spread to cover bottom of pan. Cool completely. Use foil handles to lift fudge from pan before cutting into squares.
And it’s just that simple.
Enjoy, and we do have a few more homes on the tour in days to come.