Our family enjoys all types of candy for the holidays. I also like making candy as gifts. This year instead of making lots of different types, I stuck to just two. Divinity is the first candy we made this year. You just don’t see this one around very much anymore. It takes me back to when I was a little girl. You can replace the corn syrup with simple syrup. I have a recipe below for that. There are different types you can try. I like using crunched up candy canes in mine. You can add a couple of drops of mint extract instead of vanilla, chopped nuts, or just eat it plain.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup white corn syrup (you can use simple syrup if you can’t do corn syrup – recipe below*)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (not imitation)
- 1 cup nuts (this is optional – we do chopped walnuts)
- 4 all natural candy canes
- Heat the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir to combine, but once the sugar is melted do not stir any longer. Using a candy thermometer, heat the mixture until it reaches 250º F, hard ball stage.
- As the syrup is cooking, whip egg whites, along with a pinch of salt, until stiff peaks have formed.
- When the sugar syrup has reached hard ball stage (250º F), remove it from the heat and begin to slowly pour it into the beaten egg whites, whipping together at a high speed.
- Add the vanilla and continue whipping the mixture on high until it holds its shape and does not fall back onto itself, about 5-6 minutes or longer. I keep mixing on high until the mixture starts to loose its glossy look.. it should start to look dull white. While the candy is mixing place candy canes into a zip lock back and smash until the canes are small chunks. Once you are ready to stop the mixer, stir in the candy crunchies with a tablespoon just until just combined.
- Using two teaspoons and working quickly, drop scoops of divinity onto sheets of waxed or parchment paper.
- Allow the divinity to dry and harden. This usually takes a couple of hours to overnight. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
Place ingredients in a saucepan; stir until sugar is melted. Cool.
This year I tried a new recipe for our fudge that turned out very nice. I did let the fudge sit out overnight on the counter before I cut it into squares. Don’t forget to use the foil in the pan and butter it well so it is easy to take out. You can also use the simple syrup in place of the corn syrup for this recipe. This recipe also makes nice gifts for the holidays.
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup milk (whole)
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 3 squares (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate – total of 3 ounces
- 1 1/4 cups butter
- 2 teaspoon real vanilla
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional – we use walnuts)
1. Butter 8 x 8 x 2 glass pan. Line with foil leaving excess over the sides. so that here is enough to grab onto to pull the fudge out of the pan once it has cooled. Butter the foil.
2. Butter sides of a 3 1/2 quart saucepan.; mix sugar with dry gelatin. Add milk, corn syrup, unsweetened chocolate, and butter.
3. Cook over medium heat and, stirring frequently with a metal spoon, to 238 degrees on candy thermometer, or until a little in cold water forms soft ball that flattens when removed from water.
4. Remove from heat. Pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla. Cool 25 minutes.
5. Beat with wooden spoon until candy thickens; usually takes about 10 minutes. Stir in walnuts. Spread in prepared pan. Let cool several hours, then cut into squares. Makes about 2 1/2 pounds.
From Cindy’s Kitchen ~ Merry Christmas
It’s the most germ filled time of the year! Well, that may not be entirely accurate, but it flows nicely to the tune of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”; and germs are plentiful this time of year, so we took a little poetic license. The point is that winter is here. A time spent huddled together indoors spreading good cheer and germs of all sorts.
Being the good parents we are, we tell our children to cover their coughs and sneezes. We teach them to aim for their inner elbow, but we know many coughs and sneezes go into their hands …. or directly into the air. And let’s face it, tissues aren’t always handy and those noses need to be wiped somehow.
Now that you have those images in your mind, let’s talk about hand washing. We tell our kids to wash their hands constantly and that is in fact great advice. But what are our kids using to wash their hands?
It’s become common for most places to provide antibacterial soap. Sounds great doesn’t it? A little rub-a-dub-dub with that magic formula and all the bacteria gets washed away! Wait a minute. Not so fast! Science doesn’t exactly back that up.
The active ingredient often found in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers is called Triclosan. It was first used in 1972 by surgeons. That same year, Congress instructed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish guidelines for the use of antibacterials in soaps. As of 2017, this quote is found on the FDA website: “FDA is undertaking a review of active ingredients used in a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) antiseptic rubs and wash products.”
In 1978 the FDA said Triclosan was “not generally recognized as safe and effective.” Also, a 2011 study by E. M. Clayton found that children who had greater amounts of Triclosan in their system were more likely to suffer from asthma and allergies. This might be in response to antibacterials killing both harmful and beneficial bacteria. The children’s immune systems actually became weaker.
What’s a parent to do? Teach your children to wash their hands with plain soap and water. It has been found to be just as effective as antibacterials in killing harmful bacteria.
If your child is asked to bring hand sanitizer to school, here is a recipe to make a Triclosan-free version. Blend 3 drops of liquid grapefruit seed extract (GSE) with each ounce of aloe vera gel. Place it in a plastic dispenser.
(Caution: full strength GSE is very acidic so be careful to avoid getting it on your skin.)
Have questions Feingold approved soaps or washes? Our website is full of helpful information or feel free to call us at 1-631-369-9340 (EST).
December is typically a hectic month filled with parties, school functions, baking, and …. shopping! It seems each year our gift lists grow as we welcome more special people into or lives. The ‘Season of Giving’ should give us happy feelings, but often our long lists gives us feelings of stress instead. On that note, The Feingold Association has a tip to help bring back the joy of giving; AmazonSmile donations.
While thoughts of strolling through the stores enjoying holiday music and decorations might bring a smile to your face, the reality often brings stress. The stores are overcrowded and instead of strolling through, you are carried by the tide of rushing shoppers. Instead of hearing the beautiful sounds of holiday music and cheer, you hear customer complaints and unhappy children. The items you hope to buy are rarely placed where they should be as other shoppers have already foraged through and everything is displaced.
It’s hard to feel joyful giving gifts when it’s so difficult to make the purchases. To avoid all the chaos, many have chosen to shop online as much as possible. No more crowds. No more angry people pushing you along. Items are simply found by typing in a search bar. Do you feel the stress melting away? Maybe even a little excitement at the thought of giving gifts again? We haven’t even shared our tip yet!
What if the gifts you purchase not only bring happiness to the person(s) you give them too, but also make donations to The Feingold Association with no extra cost to you?
How do I make this magic happen, you ask? By shopping on Amazon through the AmazonSmile link. On your first visit to smile.amazon.com , you will need to select The Feingold Association to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. If you already have an Amazon account, you will use that same account on AmazonSmile. Once you select The Feingold Association as your charity, everything is exactly the same as shopping on Amazon. When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization …. The Feingold Association!
Isn’t this a great way to support us? Shop the same way you normally do, on the same items you normally buy, for the same price you normally spend, and still make a donation. It couldn’t be easier!
We thank you in advance for shopping through AmazonSmile and choosing The Feingold Association as your charity. Donations go a long way to keeping our costs low. Remember, you can shop AmazonSmile all year long, not just for the holidays.
Thank you again, and Happy Holidays!
Here is a great recipe for those of you that like eggnog.
Separate eggs by placing the yolks into a large bowl and the whites into a small bowl and place them in the refrigerator to use later in the recipe. Beat the egg yolks with a hand mixer until light in color. Gradually beat in powdered sugar; then beat in milk and vanilla very slowly. Cover mixture and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour. This gets rid of the “eggy” taste.
Stir in additional milk . Beat heavy whipping cream into the mixture. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they are stiff, but not dry. Fold them into the eggnog mixture and refrigerate. Sprinkle some freshly grated nutmeg over each glass before serving.
*Since you are using raw eggs, you might prefer to use organic.
My family loves pie for Thanksgiving. Our favorites are pumpkin, cranberry cherry, apple crumble and pecan. If you have a food processor, this is one of the easiest pie crust recipes that I have found.. and it is yummy too!
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting your counter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup ( two sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice cold water
Place your flour, salt, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for a few sections to combine butter until it looks like coarse crumbs. Drizzle in the ice water through the feed tube of your processor, while pulsing until a large ball of dough forms. This should only take about 30 seconds. Turn ball onto a clean dry surface and divide in half. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and press down a bit to form a disc. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
When you are ready to roll out pie crust, place on lightly dusted counter-top and roll out to form a round circle that will fit into your pie pan allowing the crust to lay about one inch over the edge. Trim edges if you need to. If you are doing a single crust pie, turn the end of the crust under all around the edge. You can make a cute edge by crimping it with a fork or using your thumb and two fingers.
For a two crust pie simply leave the bottom edge flat; fill your pie with filling and cover with the top crust. You can crimp your pie edges and crimp with a fork or your thumb and fingers.
Bake according to your pie recipes directions.
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