Deck The Halls Holiday Home Tour Part II AND Is fudge a bad word?

Welcome Holiday Home Tours

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.

Welcome to the Micheners
Welcome to the Micheners

…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.

Snowflake Factory
Snowflake Factory
Christmas Trees
Christmas Trees (as usual, click on the picture for a larger view)

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…

Michener 3 opening along with being very strong Christian believers.

Michener 4 openingAnd, at the back of their property they maintain a beautiful symbol of their belief and the reason for the season, Jesus Christ.


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.

Jet Puff Marshmallow Creme
Jet Puff Marshmallow Creme

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.

Pour it into a foil lined pan and let cool
Pour it into a foil lined pan and let cool

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.

Serve a plate and some milk
Serve a plate and some milk

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.)

Edmond's brother, Elvis, helps hand out the fudge
Edmond’s brother, Elvis, helps hand out the fudge

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.

Welcome to the Baker House
Welcome to the Baker House

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.

knicknacks baker 1Here she shows off little vignettes of things that are special to her.  I’m sure each item has a story and she is a great story-teller.  You can see that she has some lovely antiques.

baker 2

My friend also has a little Christmas Village.  I’m wishing more and more that we had put up ours.  Next year, I promise.baker 3

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.baker 4When 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

Here.  Take a piece
Here. Take a piece.  Who could resist?

Fantasy Fudge

time prep: 10 min
total: 25 min
servings total: 40 servings, about 2 squares each


3 cups  sugar
3/4 cup  butter or margarine
1 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, chopped
1 jar  (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
1 cup  chopped PLANTERS Walnuts
1 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.

Save a piece or two for Santa
Save a piece or two for Santa

Enjoy, and we do have a few more homes on the tour in days to come.

Published by

Karen Schmautz


10 thoughts on “Deck The Halls Holiday Home Tour Part II AND Is fudge a bad word?

  1. I’m wishing I put up my village too! Also, when I was little our front door had a fan window above and narrow rectangle windows on each side. One of my favorite memories is of the little bubble lights in each rectangle up one side, across the top and down the other. Was too little to pay attention to how he attached them and made them fit exactly but that’s how I remember them! Thanks to all your friends for sharing their homes and decorations!

  2. I agree about fudge: it’s not any easier to make in December, but somehow that’s the only time I make it (and am doing this year too). Yours looks lovely, especially with the walnuts which I imagine help to temper the sweetness? Scrummy!
    Lots of lovely festive photos too 🙂

  3. Well, we’re clearly slackers compared next to these folks. Wow! Talk about being into Christmas. Great photos… and no fudge isn’t a bad word. Not unless you’re trying to avoid desserts over the holiday–and what kind of insanity is that? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Yes, Chef. Ken

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