Music in the Kitchen: Favorite Recipes

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Music Group, The Runaway Hamsters, Cinnamon Sugared Candied Pecans

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Music Group, The Runaway Hamsters, Cinnamon Sugared Candied Pecans

How does the Runaway Hamsters spend Thanksgiving Holiday?

We try and celebrate Thanksgiving at home. With our music, sometimes that is a challenge, but we try and arrange it so that we can be home. Last year, we were in the process of recording our new project during the holidays, so we got home from Nashville just a couple days before Thanksgiving. Our mom loves to cook, so she always makes a huge meal with a gigantic turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes & gravy, rolls, oysters, sweet potatoes, and pies. She also makes pumpkin, chocolate cream, banana cream, pecan pie, and this delicious spice cake that we all love, and cinnamon sugared candied pecans. We usually eat mid-afternoon and then graze the rest of the day. Usually our Grampa and Uncle will come over for the day. When they leave, we send them home this huge care package so they can eat turkey and all the fixings for the next week. Our mom says that it is important to send people on the road with goodies. We think that is a great idea! So does our Uncle and Grampa. 🙂

We like to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every year. It’s fun to see all the cool floats, huge balloons, the different musical groups, and the Rockettes. We actually got to meet some of the Rockettes when they did a show in Boise, Idaho. They are so talented and kind! Then we watch a lot of football. ALL. DAY. LONG. Both of our parents LOVE football, so if that wasn’t on, it would be really weird. If the weather is nice we will go outside and play with our dogs, take them for a hike, and sometimes ride our bikes. The weather in Idaho can be really unpredictable. Sometimes it’s warm and other times we have snow, so you never know what it’s going to be like. We usually play board games or cards in the evening with a little snack, dessert again, or more nuts. We have this big table that we sit around and play for hours. Being home and celebrating the holiday’s with family are the best!

About the Recipe:
This is a recipe that we make a few times every year, but always at Thanksgiving. Our grandma always made it, and has passed it down from her family through a few generations. Our mom said she remembers being a little girl and watching her grandma, mom, and aunts make batches and batches of these. They would let them dry on trays and package them up, then give them to family and friends as a Thanksgiving tradition.

When we make these, we usually start out by putting on some great country & holiday music, get the fireplace going, and then gather all the ingredients that we are going to use and get ready to cook! Our mom usually makes them & we help her by eating the finished product 🙂 It is fun to help measure out the ingredients and put the thermometer into the pan. When the mixture is cooked, we get to add the vanilla and nuts then watch this cool reaction that happens when the vanilla goes in. It’s like a cool science experiment that you get to eat later. The candy mixture gets really hot and can burn you, so you would definitely want an adult there to help you make it. It smells so good, your whole house will smell awesome!

Cinnamon Sugared Candied Pecans
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. graduated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c water
2 1/2 c. pecans. You can use walnuts or almonds…but pecans are our favorite!

Heat nut halves on cookie sheet in 300 degree oven for 15 min, stirring often. Let cool.

In a large heavy sauce pan, combine sugar, water, cinnamon and salt. Stir until mixed then do not stir again.
Cook sugar, water, cinnamon and salt to soft ball stage (236 degrees on a candy thermometer) *Just put the thermometer in the pan, hook it to the side of the pan, but be sure it doesn’t touch the bottom so you get the right temperature of the candy DO NOT STIR and then you get to watch the thermometer rise. It takes a while. So, just watch and watch and watch.

Remove from heat once mixture reaches 236 degrees. Add vanilla and stir in nuts. It will bubble and make a cool reaction! Stir and stir and stir some more until the mixture becomes really creamy looking and starts to harden. Pour out onto cookie sheet, separate the nuts with a wooden spoon and let them cool. Then eat! You can reheat in the microwave if you want them warm. SO YUMMY!!!!

About The Runaway Hamsters:
The Runaway Hamsters consist of twelve-year-old Isabella and her triplet ten-year-old siblings — Abby, Gabby and brother Riley. Best known for their musical youth and huge hearts, The Runaway Hamsters create music that is original, engaging and heartfelt. They all love to write and help others and uses the hashtag #wehelpfriends. This started as simply forming a band, writing and recording a song for their good friend, a second grader, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer. “We made CDs which we sold to raise money that was donated to the hospital caring for our friend,” says the kids. “We raised over $1,200 and our story got picked up nationally and we began to get phone calls.”

Since then, they have performed from Nashville to LA, opened for Andy Grammer and even played the famous Bluebird Café. They recently wrapped up a performance at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles where they donated instruments and funds to the children at the hospital and became official Jr. Ambassadors. From Boise, Idaho, these kids have been featured on radio stations and in media outlets from coast to coast.

For more information, visit The Runaway Hamsters at the following:
Facebook: @TheRunawayHamsters
Twitter: @TheRunawayHamst
Instagram: @therunawayhamsters
YouTube: TheRunawayHamsters

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