Holidays · New Traditions

Cinnamon Hard Candy for the Holidays

Cinnamon hard candy is a holiday tradition that began in my household about 12 years ago. Daughter, Megan, received a bag of candy from a friend and we were instantly in love with it.  We’ve made several batches every year to give to family and friends.  The sumptuous smell of cinnamon lingers in your home for the day. The candy keeps for a long time, especially in the dry Colorado climate.  It’s pretty to wrap up in festive bags for gifts.

Cinnamon Candy Gift Bag

CINNAMON HARD CANDY

1 cup white sugar
1 cup karo syrup
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon oil (usually behind the prescription counter at your grocery store)
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring                                                                     powdered sugar

Ingredients for Cinnamon Hard Candy
  • Combine sugar, syrup and water in a sauce pan.
  • Boil without stirring, over medium-high heat until it reaches hard crack stage (300-310 degrees).
  • Once the candy starts to thicken and turn golden brown, watch carefully or it can scorch.
  • When done, remove from heat and quickly add cinnamon oil and food coloring
  • Pour into a metal pan that has been lined with about 1/4 to 1/3″ powdered sugar.
Cinnamon Hard Candy Mixture poured into pan with powdered sugar
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of candy immediately. Let cool until the edges start to firm up and then immediately begin to score the pieces from around the edges and keep cutting inward, in squares, as the candy hardens.  This makes it easier to break into more uniform pieces once the candy has hardened.
Cinnamon Hard Candy scored in pan
Family Favorites · My Roots

Traditional Midwest Red Chili

Cold weather means it’s chili time! My mother’s traditional red chili is still a favorite of mine, but I confess I now used canned, diced or crushed tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes.

When I was a child, the only thing served with chili was saltines.  Who knew there wer so many ways to serve Chili (or is it Chile?).

Red Chili served with tortilla chips and shredded cheese

Now I have been awakened the versatility of chili and how to serve it. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Chili served on top a baked potato with shredded cheese (add sour cream if desired)
  • Chili served on top of a half of peeled and seeded avocado
  • Chili with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, green onions
  • Chili with cornbread
  • Chili on top of hot dogs with onion

    Red Chili on baked potato with grated cheese

What are unique ways that you serve chili?

Today, I am sharing my Mother’s chili recipe. Add as much chili powder or crushed peppers as desired and enjoy!

MOM’S RED CHILI

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 can chili beans
1 quart tomatoes (I prefer crushed)
1 tablespoon sugar
chili powder to taste
salt & pepper

  • Brown and drain hamburger. Add onions and cook until tender.
Browning ground beef, onions and peppers
  • Add rest of ingredients and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
Red Chili simmers
  • Serve naked (as is) or with chopped onions, cheese, tortilla chips, crackers or try one of the versions listed above.