Making Merry With Chocolate

Today we made my Grandmother’s Walnut Roca – nothing says celebration like melting chocolate!

I love you Grandma Zena, and I forever LOVE your Walnut Roca!

For those who asked here is the recipe!

Zena’s Walnut Roca


1 Pound butter

2 Cups White Granulated Sugar

Candy thermometer

4 Large 7 oz Hersey Bars or 28 oz of Fancy Dancy Chocolate of your choice

Walnuts — at least a pound.

Large Cookie Sheet


Take 1/2 cup of walnuts and chop them very fine, set aside.

Put butter and sugar in a sauce pan over a medium heat and sir like mad

(do not stop stirring this will take at least 10 minutes!).

Stir till it turns a caramel color and reads 300 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Note: as it gets close watch very carefully that it does not burn!

Add finely chopped nuts to toffee and mix thoroughly, spread the mixture onto a large cookie sheet in a very thin layer. Let fully cool.

While toffee sets up chop the remaining nuts finely.

Now rig up a double boiler and melt about 14 oz or half of your chocolate.

Spread one side of toffee sheet completely with chocolate, sprinkle heavily with half of your chopped nuts. With your hands lightly press nuts into chocolate.

Allow to cool completely. We set our outside in the winter air to speed this along.

When your chocolate is completely firm flip the toffee sheet over and repeat process on other side -

melt 14 oz of chocolate, spread melted chocolate onto toffee, add nuts and fully cool.

Now the hard part. This takes some strength! Snap off pieces of Walnut Roca – my mother scores hers before layer with chocolate to make this part easier. I just snap away!

Store in an airtight container.


This is the best candy you have EVER had and it is highly addictive!

I recommend gifting it quickly or you will eat it ALL.

December 18th, 2011 by zoe 6 Comments

Gift Monster Coloring Sheet

Have the children begun to turn green, have the presents been stolen from under the tree and “investigated” has the Gift Monster made an appearance? I have been feeling a bit of burn out in the Crafty Department lately so I borrowed this monster from one of my son Oliver’s drawings. I love the expressiveness that children’s drawing have — LOVE.

Print and color your own Gift Monster, and maybe …. add some teeth good for ripping open all those gifts for Grandma and Uncle Luke?

December 17th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

Big City Glow

I had a very special weekend with one of my boys in the New York. It was so sweet to have special alone time with each other.

Such a quiet and sweet break from the usual chaos of sibling rivalry.

As I watched my little boy navigate the crowded city in an angelic and ever cooperative mood the lack of struggle and strife  made me realize how hard it is to be a twin.

He wanted to take a train ride, get a candy cane and see a BIG Christmas tree.

So that is exactly what we did!


December 13th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

Tree Time

I love having a fresh cut tree strung with bright lights in the house. It’s dark at 4pm these days so just about anything with cheery twinkling lights and lush greenery is top notch!

We all bundle up and  head down the road to a local tree farm. The tree farm we frequent has an interesting style, they don’t cut the whole tree down but instead top them so a new tree grows from the same trunk. It’s a maze of evergreens and quirky stumps on a steep hillside and I love to hike to the top and take in the view. In search of winter cheer we embrace all the green and light we can this time of year as we head into the cold of winter.

December 12th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Making Woodsy Wreaths

On Sunday we went for a family walk. We gathered a big bag of Princess Pine from the forest floor. The children ran here and there excited to find a new patch, plucking it up and adding it to their bags.

Yesterday I used the metal hoops salvaged from a broken old lampshade and some thin wire to make a hand wrapped holiday wreath.

We bathed some pinecones in glitter too but they are still drying!

I think it came out swell and I love that we were able to gather it from our back yard!

December 6th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Here’s to…

Birthdays are always a good time to remind yourself of all the things you are still excited to explore, experience, share, learn and do.

It is not so much the number or age that matters but the joy of living. It’s a pretty darn good day to give thanks for the collage of atoms, genes and lineage that is YOU.

So I remind myself – embrace all the wrinkles and creaks that come with turning 29 because you only get to do it once. He he!


December 5th, 2011 by zoe No Comments