Family is growing

A little background. I live on 4 acres of orange trees in Southern California. Yes there is property out here. 
We have 5 dogs, 6 cats, a Blue n gold macaw, and a fish. On top of all the rabbits and gophers and who knows what else lives in the wild out here. 

Mr. Alex on the other hand. Born and raised in North Carolina in the cities. Near Charlotte to be exact. He was never able to have animals yet he LOVED them He loves the idea of having a bunch of farm animals and just adores my kitties (since he does know I think they are my children) He did have a cat as a child but that was as far as his animal training has gone

Well this leads me to yesterday. I was working (since I work at home) and Alex comes home from work and goes I might need to barrow $50 and I am not telling you why. I am like why in the world do you need to barrow money and knowing we are trying to save money for the wedding and etc. Finally I convince him to break down to tell me why.. he wants a GOAT yes a goat. I am not sure how he getting this goat home, or what he even thinks he will be doing with this goat & where this goat will be living because the 5 dogs roam the yard and they are NOT small. (two akitas, one husky, one lab/mix and a dog we call a pig but the vet says is part yellow lab). I am thinking of everything on why he should NOT get this goat. than I automatically think OK in three days he will be over this goat idea just like has over the Zonkey idea. The monkey Idea. the turtle idea. You name it, I am sure Alex has tried to find a way to buy it. 


Alex now has the goat owner on the phone and saying he will be there in 5 minutes to pick the goat up! I am thinking what in the world. my house has turned into a petting zoo. Him & my cousin go get the goat (since my cousin owns the truck) & bring Floppy (goat's name) home. Floppy was in need of a new home (& she was giving him away for free). His old owners husband was dying from diabetes and the wife was moving into a smaller home and could no longer care for Floppy. The grandchildren could not keep the goat either even though the little boy thought floppy was HIS goat.That is where Alex comes in to rescue poor floppy! It has not even been 24 hours yet with floppy at our house but he has a NEW home. LETS HOPE HE SURVIVES WITH THE DOGS!

Please meet the newest edition to our family.

There is floppy & Grizzly in the front yard


Homemade Alomnd Roca

Yes you read that correct.. HOMEMADE CANDY! It is probably one of my favorite things of Christmas time around our house. We ONLY make it around Christmas to keep it as something sweet & something to look forward too (Not to mention it can get a little expensive)

1 cup butter (salted)
1 cup brown sugar (we use golden brown sugar) 
2/3 cup almonds (cut those into thirds)
6 Hershey chocolate bars
a lot walnuts to cover both sides of the candy (we probably used close to 8 cups)
one glass cake dish 
wood spoon
sauce pan
wax paper
cutting board
candy thermometer

To begin:

1.cut each almond into thirds until you have 2/3 cups. (we have tried every other way to make it a faster process but this seems to be it) place those into a bowl

2. break apart 3 chocolate bars into a separate bowl (this is one side of the candy DO NOT eat any)

3. break apart the last 3 chocolate bars into a different bowl (this is for the other side - DO NOT EAT)

4. We use a Cuisinart food processor and throw in a bunch of walnuts. Use whatever you have to crush but do not make too fine walnuts or you will need a lot to cover both sides (see below picture to see what I am referring too). 

5.get a piece of wax paper that will cover the cutting board  (You want the cutting board bigger than the glass dish)

6. butter the bottom of the glass dish to make it easier for candy to fall out (otherwise it sticks)

7. once your preparations are done, place cup of butter and cup of brown sugar into a sauce pan. ALWAYS keep stirring until the candy thermometer says "Hard Crack" (ours is a bit off so we usually go until 325 F. (if you do not continually stir it will burn) Add almonds around 315F. and stir.
It should look like this

8. Once you have reached 325F. pour the brown sugar/butter/almonds mix into the glass pan (make it semi thin by spreading it throughout the bottom of glass dish with wood spoon). place one bowl of chocolate bars and use wooden spoon to spread around to make a coat. 

9. Use walnuts to cover entire chocolate to make it easier to put up and not get chocolate all over fingers 

10. (you need to kinda do #8 & #9 fast before it cools down too much) Now comes the tricky part: place the wax paper and cutting board over the glass dish and flip. allowing the candy to fall onto the cutting board (you might need to help it and use a knife or something to get under it to begin its fall - BE CAREFUL) 

11. Repeat #8 & #9. Place the last bowl of chocolate onto the candy and using a wooden spoon spread all over candy (it should be melting) to make a layer than use walnuts to cover 

12. Place in fridge for at least 5 hours to allow it to set and cool. (we usually do this at night and allow it to be in the fridge over night) Use a knife and cut into bit size pieces 


should look like this:

Let me first say - this is the first time I have wrote out THIS recipe EVER If you have ANY questions about it please ask. It really is yummy (just make sure not to burn the butter/brown sugar/almond mix) It makes for good presents for the people you have a tough time picking a present for.
for present: 
All you need to do is find a tin (we usually go to Big lots or 99 cent store) and fill the tin, tie a bow and your done.

Is there any holiday food traditions you keep just for the holidays?