Saturday, December 5, 2015

Heather Long #Holiday #Giveaway: Birthdays and Christmas and Giveaways OH MY by @JenniferKacey #Foodie #HardCandy

Today’s my birthday!!!!!

Really REALLY my birthday!!! So what better day to share the love with one of my favorite recipes and an awesome giveaway!! Here’s my giveaway – it has a little bit of everything in it! Bag, T-shirt, pink collar, candy, pens and buttons and TWO autographed Gena Showalter books!!

Okay – a little bit about the recipe which is for Hard Candy. This is something I’ve made forever and something I look forward to all year. My mom shared it with me probably 25 years ago. We normally make it for Christmas and give it away to friends and family. Think Jolly Ranchers but in TONS of different kinds. We use Lorann oil which you can easily find online. It’s sold in drams. 1 dram or 2 dram bottles is all I’ve ever seen.

Here’s the recipe and I have ingredient amounts written at the top for 2 dram and 1 dram amounts. The bottles we used to buy were all 2 drams and that’s the first set of amounts, but then I found a huge lot sale on ebay with 1 dram containers so I halved the recipe. To make this you’ll need the ingredients listed below plus a saucepan, rubber scraper, candy thermometer, and food coloring. I always add additional coloring to the batches when I add the oil. Why? Cause a rainbow of colored candy is Sooooo pretty!!

**WARNING** - this recipe is for boiling sugar and super extreme holy goodness strong flavoring. This can hurt you VERY badly if you don’t watch what you’re doing. Yes I’ve been burned. By both the sugar and the oil. The strongest flavors I make are cinnamon and wintergreen. SUPER concentrated. Worst burn I’ve ever gotten was from the vapor off the cinnamon when mixed into the base. It wasn’t awesome so please be careful. Don’t breathe the fumes and don’t stand over it when you mix the oil into the sugar. The exhaust fan over your stove is your friend!!

And onto the awesomeness!!

This is what the oil looks like and some of the flavors you can get. Literally tons to choose from and you can also make taffy from the oil too. I made two different batches on this go round and selected watermelon and cinnamon ‘cause they’re my favorites.

Here’s a pic of the 1st three ingredients in the saucepan and the candy thermometer in place to watch the temp of the sugar mix.

You’re going to stir this constantly until the mix boils, the sugar crystals dissolve out and the ingredients turn clear.

There’s no mistaking when this happens and it’s really cool to watch!
Now you just let it be and watch the temperature. It’s going to take a bit but don’t leave it unattended. There are different stages marked on a candy thermometer. You will let this heat until it reaches the hard crack stage. Around 305°F. While you’re waiting you need to lay out foil where you’re going to pour the candy when it’s finished. I use the big BIG foil and I fold up the edges all around to create a dam the candy can’t flow out of. And make sure whatever you’re going to be pouring it onto is going to be able to take lots of heat.

Now you want to remove it from the heat and let the boiling stop. It happens pretty fast. And you want to remove the candy thermometer. Helpful hint. Don’t put your candy thermometer in anything else right now. And don’t rinse it off in the sink. The temp difference will shatter the thermometer. Done it…several times! I normally set mine on the edge of the sink so the working end is over the sink.

This is where you will add your flavor of choice and food coloring. The oil normally smokes when you add it so be careful. And if you get any of the oil on you when you’re doing this wash it off immediately. Burns are not fun. Once everything is all mixed in then you pour the candy onto your foil. The candy will make hard strings. It’s really neat! This is what it looks like.

And this is what two kinds look like. Mmmmm….

Now you let it cool completely. Moving it to another spot on the counter periodically will cool it faster.

When cool you sprinkle powdered sugar on all of it. This is to keep it from all sticking together when you break it up and bag it.

Then you use something food safe and hard to break it up into pieces that you like. Big, small, whatever. I always go with the less is more ‘cause once you break it up to much than all you have is candy shards which is meh. Here it is all bagged up and yummytastic!!

Loved getting to share with you guys and nominate someone you adore to win goodies. Loved getting to spend a little bit of my birthday with you. Hope everyone has as great a day as I’m going to have!! And happy eating!

Decadently Yours,
Jennifer Kacey

Need something to wet your whistle while you wait to see if you won goodies??
May I suggest a delicious bite out of the Members Only series........ :P

The books in the Members Only Series can be found here...

Other Novels By Jennifer Kacey
Elite Metal – Book one in the Elite Warriors Series
Elite Ghosts – Book two in the Elite Warriors Series
Final Surrender – The Surrender Series
Violet's Shadow – The Shadow Mates Series
Aslan’s Stranger – Fantasies A-Z Series

Jennifer Kacey is a writer, mother, and business owner living with her miniman in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.

Heather Long's Holiday Giveaway

As we go into the holiday season, I have been asking myself what I can do or how I can give to others. It has been a tough year for my family and a tough year for many families whether it is our soldiers fighting overseas, their families waiting at home, death in the families, divorces, economic hard times, cutthroat politicians trading on fear and hate and last, but most certainly not least tragedies such as those faced in Paris, Beirut, and many other places.

We are very familiar with the choke of the times. Here, I wanted to give something back this holiday season. Years ago, one of my local radio stations used to have write ins for people to nominate families for Christmas or holiday gift certificates. Nominated families or individuals included those who really were not going to have much to celebrate because they couldn't afford gifts or decorations or a big Christmas meal.

Beginning today and lasting until December 18, I am hosting a holiday give away post featuring an item and the author who is giving it away. To enter, all someone has to do is nominate the person they want to send the gift to and post a short reason why. If that person wins, then the gift will be sent to the recipient with a note wishing them a happy holiday season signed from the author giving it away, me and of course the person who entered them.

So far, I have several authors and items pledged to this effort. Be sure to visit daily throughout the holiday season and nominate those you love and care about and send them a gift – and yes, I will send them around the world!

Holiday Giveaway Rules

For a chance to win:
  1. Nominate the person you want to send that day’s gift to and a short reason as to why. (All entries in comments are counted toward final giveaways whether you use rafflecopter or not)
  2. For an extra entry, spread the word about this giveaway: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. - leave a link in the comments. 
  3. Leave your email with your comment ONLY IF it is NOT part of your profile.
  4. This giveaway is open to everyone for nominations, however you cannot enter yourself.
  5. You may only win one gift to send.
  6. Giveaways begin November today and run through December 18.
As a special edition to the giveaway, several of the authors have donated towards gift cards that will go to three lucky commentators for giving the gift of caring to someone else in their lives. Every time you nominate someone for a prize is an opportunity to be listed in this giveaway. The final winners will be announced on December 19, so be sure to watch for it!

Thank you to the readers for hanging out with me each day, even when I have nothing to say (which is far more often than I'd like!).

Today's Giveaway

How would someone you love enjoy a $25 gift card just in time for the holidays? Nominate them in the comments. Be sure to check the previous pots, winners are being posted.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I am going to have to try this even though my past experiments in candy making have sucked. I nominate my friend and single parent Debi Earwood. Shared on Facebook, TSU and Google plus

  2. I would nominate my son's best friend, He is a 14 year old, his parents just split up and because of the move he was told that they will not have Christmas this year he's hurt about Christmas but devistated about their breakup because he and his brother have been split up also. It's a very sad situation. I would love to help to do something nice for this family in these hard times. My heart is broken for this young man. :(

    1. Break Ups are the worst around the holidays!!

  3. I have never tried making hard candy... wow! Happy B-day to you Jennifer Kacey!
    As for nominating someone... my mom... for all she does or us... I would like to see something a little extra come her way! greenshamrock at cox dot net :)

  4. Happy birthday
    Mom so she can read the books

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. Happy, happy birthday! I pick my friend Jeanette (I've mentioned her in previous comments), who definitely deserves a treat!

    --Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  6. Happy Birthday! I would nominate my friend Nicole. She's having surgery Tuesday morning, and could definitely use some pampering!

    brooke811 at ymail dot com

  7. Happy Belated Birthday, Jennifer!! I hope that you enjoyed it!
    I nominate a good friend of mine, Kaylan. She has been through a lot in losing her jobs twice in the past few years. She could use some sweets in her life. :)
    Thank you, ladies! You are wonderful!
    trb0917 at gmail dot com

  8. ***Closed*** Thank you all for sharing your stories. selected Tabitha B. Your nomination of your son's best friend won the $25 gift card. If you can reach out to me at heather (a) heatherlong (dot) net we will get this gift on its way.

  9. My heather(at)heatherlong(dot)net email appears to not be working currently, winners please fill out this form so I can get your gifts on their way: