A ‘Spicy’ Twist to a Classic Holiday Candy

 

I’m not sure why Peanut Brittle is associated with Christmas but it seems as though this is the time of year when most people make it; or you see the boxed version in the stores. 

I grew up making Peanut Brittle every holiday season with my Grandma and my Mom. Watching the candy thermometer until it got to the exact temperature, stirring constantly, making sure it didn’t get too hot or burn to the bottom of the pan.

I was thrilled when I came upon this spiced up version of an old classic. I love spice! Mexican spice, Indian spice it doesn’t matter….and there really isn’t any spice better to me than Cayenne Pepper. (I so miss Caribou Coffee’s Spiced Mocha that they used to serve this time of year which included Cayenne Pepper but I digress).

I came across this recipe in the Better Homes & Gardens magazine six years ago and I have made it every year since. It actually comes from a recipe book put out by the actress Sandra Bullock’s sister, Gesine Bullock-Prado. 

SPICY BRITTLE!! (yes it has Cayenne Pepper in it so it is fabulous)

2 cups sugar

½ cup corn syrup

¼ cup unsalted butter

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. baking soda

3 cups salted, dry-roasted peanuts

1. Spray a large sheet pan with nonstick baking spray. In a large, heavy stockpot over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

2. Clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pot and boil mixture without stirring until temperature reaches 300.

3. Immediately remove the pot from the heat. Sprinkle baking soda over the syrup and stir. The contents will bubble vigorously. Stir in the peanuts.

4. Quickly pour mixture evenly onto prepared sheet pan. Use a small spatula (sprayed with nonstick baking spray) to spread the brittle in the pan while it is still warm.

5. Cool completely and break into pieces

This peanut brittle is the perfect blend of sweet, salty and spicy. The spice keeps the candy from being too sweet. The salt keeps the spice from being to spicy. The flavors keep you reaching for another piece, and another piece. There really is no reason to stop.

Package the candy is a tin or clear bag, tie with a bow and you have a fabulous homemade Christmas gift or Hostess gift.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Can I Decorate My Home for Christmas When It’s for Sale?

As a Home Stager I get that question a lot. There is a very short answer….Absolutely!

Christmas is a widely celebrated holiday that most people understand. If it is your tradition I don’t feel that you need to put that aside just for selling your home. The potential buyer will most likely also celebrate and decorate for Christmas and may appreciate seeing the perfect place for the tree and the warmth of the holiday in their future home.

There are a few caveats, however to decorating your home for Christmas while it is for sale. That caveat being, how into Christmas are you?

If you are a person that loves Christmas and it comes out in your home decorations to the tune that you have 53 bins of Christmas decorations then you may need to tone it down and only use 3-4 of those bins. 🙂

 

 

 

The goal is for the architectural features of your home to still be seen through the Christmas decor. If the decorations are so thick and overwhelming, the buyer will not be able to visual what the house looks like without all the extra items.

It may also make the rooms appear smaller and darker.

 

     Putting up a Christmas tree is totally acceptable but be a little more conscience of where you place it. Perhaps the traditional spot isn’t the best place when you have people coming through. You may need to put it in a different room or in the lower level. Keep the traffic flow areas open, don’t cover up a beautiful view and don’t get a tree that is so large it takes up most of a room.

One other suggestion I have is to decorate with as little red and green as possible. I know those are the traditional Christmas colors but the more you can use gold, silver, and white will keep the space more neutral and not clash with your regular color scheme.

 

 

 

I hope that gives you some guidance on how to still enjoy the Christmas season in  your home while having potential buyers taking a look.

Always get professional advice from a trained Home Stager when selling one of your largest assets.

 

Trays, trays and more trays!

If I was to say that I own ‘a few’ trays. That would be putting it mildly. Whether I am decorating a home or staging a vacant home trays are always in my game plan.

If I was to come into your home for a Home Staging Consultation or a Redesign Consultation you would probably hear me say “do you have any trays?”

I use them everywhere.

In kitchens:

 

 

 

 

On coffee tables:

 

 

 

 

 

On ottomans:

 

 

 

 

In Offices:

 

 

Even in bathrooms:

 

 

 

 

Trays pull things together so it doesn’t look like random accessorizing. They also add interest and character. If you don’t own any trays keep your eyes open for large ones, small ones, rectangle and round. Wood, metal, wicker it doesn’t matter. Brown, silver, or turquoise…have fun with it and start experimenting.

 

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