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  1. Our favorite tradition is Christmas Breakfast Sausage Casserole from All Recipes.com. I put the casserole in the oven when the presents are being opened. It's so delicious.

    Happy Holidays to all.

  2. I love all of your recipes, but making homemade chocolates is a little ambitious for me. I love drooling over your pictures though. 🙂 Dark chocolate anything is my favorite!

  3. I love your tutorial on dipping chocolates. I wish I were brave enough to try it. It reminds me of my mom making candies for the holidays. My favorite was the English Toffee which I would stuff myself with at every opportunity.

    Thanks for bringing back precious Christmas season memories.

    Blessings,

    Cassandra from Renaissance Women

  4. These look awesome and I love all of the detailed pictures! I have never had good luck with caramel in the past likely because I didn't have a candy thermometer. I have one for this year's baking and look forward to try this recipe!

  5. When do you add the nuts to the caramel? I’ve tried with mixed results. Sometimes it’s perfect, and other times it get sugary with little sugar crystals throughout, but the part without nuts is great. Thanks for your reply

    • This is the tricky part about caramel. Once removed from the heat you do not want any agitation because this will cause the crystals to form. I poured 2 cups pecans into the bottom of the pan and carefully poured the caramel over the nuts. My fingers are crossed, but so far no sugar present.

  6. I always fix a standing rib roast for Christmas and my family loves it…but the thing I love most is all the baking.
    Cinnamon rolls, pound cakes, cookies, and yeast rolls are done as gifts. I also make truffles…my son's favorite!

    Thank you for sharing so much here! Now I'm off to search out some of your chocolate recipes!

    Care to share any chocolate book titles?

    Merry Christmas and God bless you and your family!

    • My favorite Candy book in called "Candymaking" by Ruth Kendrick. She's an awesome dipper and now has a business making beautiful chocolates called "Chocolat" Thanks for sending your family traditions. They just make my mouth water. After reading all the comments Christmas boils down to just being with family. It's the best.

  7. I can't believe I sitting here crying while I read about your family traditions and the amazing food. I want to come to everyone's home for Christmas to watch and learn. I love family and I love reading about your families. What a wonderful Christmas I am having. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Alisha M:
    My favorite thing to make around christmas time is fresh homemade molasses crinkles. They are similar to gingerbread cookies but they are moist and also extremely delicious!

  9. Kristen H:
    Baking cookies, hands down. I've slowly taken over baking most of our Christmas cookies, using recipes that my mom and grandma have made for years. My favorite are Neopolitan cookies (some people call them rainbow cookies). They're 6 different layers, and a labor of love, but everyone's favorite! It's my daughter's first Christmas this year, and I can't wait until she's old enough to start "helping" me in the kitchen!

  10. Sarah:
    Can't wait to make these. The hand dipped chocolate may be a bit much for me to handle. A favorite for us is gingerbread cookies from colonial Williamsburg. My husband went to college there and I visited a lot as a child.

  11. Valentina:
    "Ny favorite holiday food tradition are different patties like meat, green onion and specially cabbage. My mom made it always. I like specially curds patties, in Russia
    name vatrushki. We have a lot food traditions,maybe I cann't write down here all of it. I'm from Russia and I learn English. I like to read your blog, because it very interesting for me."

  12. Phyllis:
    We love to make pizelles and rosettes. My husband is Italian and these Christmas goodies were always made by his Mom. I roll the pizelles and then dip in chocolate. Really yummy! Thank you for the caramel recipe. P

  13. Jessica:
    i have two small children (3 &4) and they love to get in the kitchen on christmas eve and bake santa chocolate chip cookies, and we leave fresh carrots for the reindeer. baking with the kids and creating the magic of christmas is definitely my favorite holiday food tradition.

  14. Monica:
    Is it sad that I have to enter here to get your chocolates! My mom is only so kind with the ones you give her. Favorite food tradition is the cheeseball that was first given to our family as a gift and we have been making ever since.

    • Oh Monica. We need to get together more often. We need to have a kitchen party with all the girls and make goodies. Charees would love it. I only wish she hadn't moved…ugh.

  15. Megan G:
    I also love to make candy! !!! When I was 10 and living back east I needed my mom to make pecan logs and she said she would if I shelled all the pecans her parents sent her from texas. I did and she used her mothers caramel recipe and made a divinity veneer and she would dip the log of divinity in the hot caramel and then roll it in the freshly shelled pecans. My fingers were bleeding but I think those were my favorite pecan logs ever! !! I've made them many times since and have found much easier ways to make them.

  16. Kate:
    My mom makes absolutely amazing poppyseed cookies with chocolate centers. She finally handed over the recipe a few years ago. I am excited to take them to a cookie exchange this year, but I can't share the recipe with my new friends!

  17. Cathy:
    "Pies we always had delicious pies for Christmas,savory and sweet.
    I will be trying these caramels I have tried them before but didn't have much luck but love the detail you have given.
    "

  18. Mary Ann G:
    "Every Christmas morning before going to the tree to open Christmas gifts, the children had to eat some traditional Swedish rice pudding. This is a tradition that came from my childhood, supposedly from a long ago ancestor from Sweden ( or maybe that was just a good story!) Rice pudding reminds me of my mother and grandmother and nutmeg and coziness!
    I often serve it with raspberry sauce, and hide an almond in it to see who can find their almond first.
    "

    • My best friends mother is from Norway. I was always so jealous of this same tradition that her family had. They would sprinkle the porridge/pudding with cinnamon, nutmeg and a pat of butter. She told me how exciting it was to be the one to find the almond. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Laura:
    "I live in Cork City in Ireland and a very popular thing to eat here at Christmas is Spiced beef. We prepare it on Christmas Eve. It is a Silverside of beef that has been rubbed with a special mix of herbs which include Allspice, juniper berries,cloves pepper , salt and other 'secret' ingrediants. People buy it from the butcher as the process of doing it yourself can take weeks. It is then boiled for 2-3 hours. The smell around the house is so distinctive and really says Christmas to me. It is served on Christmas day alongside the Turkey and Ham. It is also delicious in a sandwich with horse radish sauce. When I was a child I thought every county in Ireland had this and although it is getting more popular now it has its roots firmly based in my home city of Cork.
    Thank you so much for writing your lovely blog."

    • I want to have that aroma in my home. The beef sounds so amazing. I'm so happy you found my blog in Ireland. What a great tradition and story. Thank you so much for sharing with me. I will always remember City of Cork.

  20. Vanessa:
    On Christmas Eve we eat pirogy as part of our Slovak traditional meal. We have at least 4 different kinds (lekvar, cottage cheese, cabbage & potato) Sometimes we try making a new variety, but these are the ones guaranteed to be there! When we were younger, my sisters, cousins and I would sit around the dinner table, once all was cleaned up and eat clementines & grapes. We would use the orange peel and squeeze it next to a candle flame to ignite the oils in the peel 🙂 We still sometimes do that even as adults now 🙂

  21. Katie:
    Every year for at Thanksgiving my grandfather would challenge me to a pie eating contest; who ever ate one slice from as many pies wins. He always did this because he knew he would win, as I never liked pecan pie or mincemeat. My grandfather was my favorite person in the world. He died some years ago, and every Thanksgiving I still feel completely guiltless in eating as many slices of pie as I want, because it reminds me of my amazing grandfather.

  22. Rosalie:
    My mother was born in New Mexico and my Dad in Spain. So I was brought up on a variety of ethnic food. For +-mas, I make tamales, Biscochitos, Posole, and pork strips marinated in red chile that's eaten with flour tortillas. I was the only one in a rather large family who learned how to make both the flour tortillas and corn tortillas. On +mas Eve we have the Spanish side: a Paella with lots of seafood. ( When my son was little, he asked why we shorten Christmas with an "x"? He thought it made more sense to use a "cross". Your candy looks delectable!

  23. Debra G:

    Growing up my mom always made homemade scalloped potatoes and a full size ham on Christmas morning. We still make this simply delicious meal but have moved it to Christmas Eve Dinner. I learned to bake from her and my grandmother and still make so many of their special treats along with many from my baking business. Food and family filling the home…nothing better!! Oh except maybe to win this yummy giveaway!! Here's hoping!! Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  24. Hope M:
    In my house, every year we make a birthday cake for Jesus (because everyone needs a cake for their birthday, after all). The cake is any flavor (typically chocolate) and is surrounded by so many happy family memories that it always taste amazing!

  25. Lindsey:
    My dad has always made clam chowder and challah for the family on christmas eve. When I was 15 I decided to become a vegetarian and my dad, not wanting to leave me out of the tradition, made me my own pot of potato chowder on christmas eve. It is delicious and he has made it for me, without fail, for the past 14 years. Thanks, dad!

  26. Christine:
    Every year, a couple weekends before Christmas, my family gets together and spends an entire weekend baking our hearts out. We bake tons of treats to share with family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. I love it because we get to spend some extra time together during the holidays and I always leave with tons of yummy treats to share.

  27. Brittany P:
    Christmas Day we have a traditional English dinner with prime rib and pop-overs because your recipes taught my mom how to make it! I also love the fresh cranberry/pomegranate jello we have with It too! My mom won the golden ticket last week I hope mine comes on Friday the 13th! 😉

  28. Marsha B:
    Oh, your candies all look wonderful! I just found your blog not too long ago and I am enjoying everything you write about. I love ham for Christmas with the green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and all the other trimmings. I love to bake cookies, but with just my hubby and me, we don't need to eat all the cookies!

  29. Jen J:

    My favorite holiday food tradition is making homemade caramels for my family and friends. People start asking me in October when it will be caramel making time and I just have to tell them to be patient. I think that yours are marvelous too Janet and I love that you put so much work into your chocolates and then share them with all of us!

  30. Danielle:
    I have fond childhood memories of Christmas eve. I don't remember exactly what we ate as much as the ambience. We set up the food in front of the fire place in the living room where we hung out until the wee hours of the night, eating, talking, signing and playing games. Since we often had a house full of guests throughout the year, private family times like these were truly special.

  31. Carol W:

    When I return home from my mission, I would love to learn how to dip chocolates. Will you be teaching a class next Christmas season? P.S. I love your blog. I have made several of your recipes for my missionaries and they are always delicious! You are a fantastic cook not to mention writing an excellent blog with explicit instructions. I consistently find fabulous recipes on your blog. Thank you

  32. Beth C:
    Nana's Fudge! My Mother-in-law Ethel, aka Nana, made the most amazing old-fashioned milk chocolate fudge … no chocolate chips or marshmallow … just sugar, cocoa, milk and a little salt … cooked to the "soft-ball" stage and then allowed to rest with butter and vanilla until it was ready to be stirred into perfection by Pap-pap's or one of the boys' strong arms. We swore she used a magic pot and spoon, because no one could duplicate her fudge. We all tried to make Nana's fudge, but none of us really every succeeded … it just never tasted the same. She graciously tried to teach each of us … we just didn't have her loving touch. Nana passed away 18 months ago. Didn't even try to make the fudge last year … too soon and we were still immersed in grief. But this year, the family asked if I would try one more time. And so, after reading your advice about themometers I might add … and something she never used, I decided to attemptNana's Fudge one more time. I could never make it while Nana was alive, but I can now proudly say I have mastered Nana's Fudge. Only the best ingredients (which she always insisted on and we usually ignored), produced a creamy, smooth chocolate delight! It's a traditon I'm glad we'll be able to continue!

  33. Barbara P:
    Beginning Thanksgiving evening, it is all about cookies in our home. We spend a month making cookie dough of every possible flavor. E roll them, shape them and freeze them. Then throughout the month we bake them as needed. We supply platters and baskets of porkies for school functions, parties , etc. we also make up beautiful gift baskets and drop them off at friends and neighbors houses.my hour boys love this, and we have really taught them that Christmas is not about one day of getting presents, rather it is a season, a special spirit, of thinking of others and sharing our sweets and good fortune. Merry Christmas!!!!

  34. Carol W:
    I am serving a mission right now and I am overwhelmed at the great love people have for missionaries. I have 14 missionaries in my mission that don't have family support and when I sent an email to family and friends to buy Christmas gifts for these 14 missionaries, within 30 minutes I had all the missionaries taken care of. This is the third year I have sent out an email to friends and family in helping humble missionaries without family assistance. Despite economical times, people jump at the chance to help others in need. Our tradition is to help missionaries that don't have family support as these missionaries appreciate anything and everything that is given to them.

    • Amazing story. I'm so glad you shared that with me. If you ever need anymore help, I have an army of women that would jump at that chance to help the missionaries any where, any time. God bless and Merry Christmas.

  35. Jenni:
    I love baking Christmas cookies, I remember baking them with my mom when I was growing up and we would deliver plates full of cookies to neighbors and friends. Now my boys help me bake and last year we had a baby girl so I can't wait to include her in the tradition too!

  36. Amber C: It used to be the butterscotch rolls for Christmas morning breakfast but I think my favorite now is the real gingerbread houses we make. We used graham crackers when I when growing up but I'm now in charge of making real gingerbread for our houses and I adore the way it smells!

  37. This recipe is the scariest one I have ever seen. You are awesome.

    In Argentina we have Christmas Eve Dinner, and we are mostly Italians, so our tradition is to EAT. A lot. During hours. Usually we start around 8 pm with vermouth, cured meat and cheese and finish by 3 am with cider and turrón. After that we pass out and then we get toghether again to have lunch with the leftovers plus a few things more. Aaand we repeat it a week later for New Year's Eve Dinner. Aaaaaand this year, the next day we have to go to work (good.luck.with.that).

    Well, we may have one tradition in Christmas: someone gets picked up as the delivery guy and must hand out the presents, while everyone else munches on the pan dulce, the garrapiñada and the turrón.
    And another one in New Year: we, the cousins, try our best the lit up a paper lantern every year. And we fail spectacularly every year. Somebody call the Guinness World Records guys!

  38. Your caramels are delicious. I've been making them for years now. My sister in law use to be in your ward, and got the recipe from one of the church cook books. They are SOOO yummy!
    One of my recent traditions is making cinnamon rolls for my friends and family. I became single some years back and could not afford to buy gifts for all my single friends, so I made cinnamon rolls for them and their families. I gave them uncooked so they could cook them at home and enjoy them. It has been a hit each year. A few of my friends have even come over to help make them.
    I enjoy your blog!
    Jackie

  39. Hmmm, I sent this once, but it's not showing up. I must have done something wrong. ANYWAY, some of our favorite "must haves" for the holidays are Namaimo Bars, Butter Tarts and Sausage Rolls. We lived in Canada for 18 years and these traditional holiday foods stuck when we came back stateside.

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