Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate’


I’ve often imagined being a rich, famous, and well respected author.  I would use less words per sentence, but more flowery speech.  I would say things like,

“Yes, dear, that was a lovely Cabernet.  I particularly enjoyed the bouquet of cherry and hint of chocolate undertones.”

and

“My darling, I’m not quite sure that I agree with your assessment of this week’s The Tudors but I still respect you nonetheless.  Perhaps my agent will be so kind as to set up a tea with the cast Sunday next and we can discuss each of our theories with them then.”

My list of book titles would be expansive.

  1. How To Write A Short Story and then not finish it
  2. Book Of Useless Poetry
  3. Things You Should Never Say To Your Children but probably say every day anyway
  4. How To Do It All Wrong And Still Have A Successful Marriage
  5. How To Have A Successful Relationship With Your Mom When She’s Your Facebook Friend
  6. When You Have One Baby Milestone Book And Three Kids
  7. When Even The Cats Are Girls
  8. Green Tea Tastes Like Grass but I love it anyway
  9. How To Cook Using Chocolate As Much As Possible
  10. How To Wing It And Not Let On
  11. When Your Cats Love You More Than Your Kids D0
  12. Self Taught Chef-ing On A Ridiculous Budget
  13. No, My Life Isn’t a Dramedy In Spite Of My Blog
  14. At Least My Life Isn’t a Soap Opera
  15. I Love My In-Laws; Am I Crazy?
  16. How To Gain Weight Even When You Eat Right
  17. How To Be A Horrible Housekeeper and still keep up appearances
  18. All The Reasons To Wake Up Every Morning although mainly it’s because you can’t sleep in
  19. Criss Cross Applesauce and other stupid phrases school taught my kids
  20. How Life Turned Me Into An Advocate
  21. What I Want To Be When I Grow Up… and other things I can put off  until tomorrow
  22. Why Birthdays Are Important To Celebrate For Everyone
  23. 1-2-3 Can Mommy Have a Time Out Now?
  24. How To Make Marriage Work Even When One Of You Snores
  25. Living With What Life Throws At You and maintaining faith while still standing

Hmmm.  I think I can turn several of those “book titles” into blog posts. Ding!

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Cadbury's Mini Eggs

Cadbury's Dark Mini Eggs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been praying that the weather would warm back up soon, and the last few days have been gloriously sunny and pretty.  They’ve reached the low 50*s and been comfortable, which has been better on my poor joints and bones.  Stress always pushes that back a bit and of course makes my flare-ups worse, but with warmer weather I can sit in the sun and feel a lovely natural warmth loosen the pain a little bit.

Tonight or tomorrow, we’re supposed to get some much-needed rain.  Connecticut has been red-flagged for being severely high risk for brush fires and worse since it’s so dry and we’re in a rain deficit, partly because of the mild winter.  But I’ll be honest… I’m dreading it.

I’m dreading the migraine and the body pain, especially since I’m coming out of a moderate flare-up already.  I’ll be sure to take my Vitamin B-Complex and stay hydrated, and of course “get enough sleep” is always on my calendar.  But I know what’s coming if the weather men are right.

What am I saying? How often are the weather men really right? My body is right more often than they are.

My real saving grace is yoga.  Ease the back, the hips, the shoulders… redirect the stress and nervous energy.  Bring oxygen to the muscles.  ::sigh::  Pretend that it worked better than it did.  Tolerate it because I have to and there’s no alternative.  Then raid the girls’ Easter baskets.

No, not that part.  I have my own chocolate.  My favorite Easter candy is the Cadbury Mini Egg.  I love those little bits of sweet-smelling crusty sugar coating smooth chocolate.  I love the purple ones.  Chocolate makes me happy and there’s a scientific reason!!!! yes! a legitimate reason! to eat chocolate! I swear! I don’t have the research handy at the moment, but that would be a great post.

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This is my go-to Chocolate Chip Cheesecake recipe.  It’s easy and inexpensive but it’s delicious.  I always get requests for it.  It originally came out of my Best Chocolate Recipes Cookbook from Favorite Brand Names something like 18 years ago.  I change it up occasionally because it’s pretty versatile, and it’s easy to remember without having to refer to the written recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake:
2 (8oz) bricks of cream cheese (Philly really does work best)
½ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 ready 9″ graham pie crust (I like to use the Keebler 2 extra servings crust, it’s perfect for this recipe)

1. Mix cream cheese, sugar & vanilla until creamy at med speed with electric mixer.
2. Add eggs, but incorporate one at a time.
3. Mix until well-blended.
4. Stir in 3/4 cup of chips.
5. Pour into crust & sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chips.
6. Bake at 350* for 40 minutes or just until center is almost set. If you are using FAT FREE CREAMCHEESE add 10 minutes to bake time.
7. Cool.
8. Refrigerate 3 hr. or overnight.

To make this into Peanut Butter Cheesecake:
Beat 1/3 cup peanut butter in w/ cream cheese. Follow rest of directions as they are.

To make this into Banana Cheesecake:
Beat ½ cup mashed ripe banana in with cream cheese.

To make this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake:
Stir in chunks from 3/4 cup chocolate chip cookie dough; 1/2 cup into the batter, 1/4 cup sprinkled on top before baking.

To make this Cookies & Cream Cheesecake:
Omit cookie dough and use crushed/chopped Oreo or Hydrox cookies

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White chocolate is marketed by confectioners a...

Image via Wikipedia

Last night my Sweet Girl had trouble sleeping.  It’s been a while.  She was pensive and sad, but she was willing to talk to me.

But before I continue, I have to explain what she’s doing right now.  She thinks that she’s learned to hold her breath.

“Look! I’m holding my breath!”

Then she sucks in a deep breath, puffs out her cheeks, and quickly clamps her hands across her mouth to hold her face.  While she breathes through her nose.  But she’s HOLDING her breath.  With her hands.  Get it?  ::nudge nudge:: GET IT???

Okay, so last night she comes into my room with her head hanging, feet shuffling, and eyes teary.

“My eyes aren’t working.  They won’t stay closed and let me sleep.”
“Are you having trouble tonight?”
“It’s my eyes.  They won’t stay closed and my brain is all… um… ”
“Thinking? Is your brain doing too much thinking?”
“Okay, that.”

So I offered to let her lay in bed next to me and to give her some sensory input.  Her skin was dry and itchy so I massaged some of my favorite body butter on her, and that helped relax her perfectly.

“Are you feeling better?”
“What’s a casket?”
“O… kay.  We’ll go with that.  Is there something you want to talk about?”
“Yes.  Do we know someone who passed away?”
“Yes, honey.  Are you telling me you want to talk about Nonnu?”
::tears spring to her eyes::
“Yes, my Nonnu.  He had a casket.  Why a casket?”
“It’s a special silky kind of bed in a pretty box so that someone has a nice place to lay down when they’re buried.  Does that make sense?”
“Yes.  Why did we kiss roses for Nonnu when we… um… and we gave him the roses… we kissed roses… why we do that?”
“Why did we kiss roses at the cemetery? It was a special way to pass along a last kiss since we couldn’t kiss Nonnu’s cheek again.”
“Okay.”
::more tears::
“Do you miss your Nonnu?”
“I miss him.  I sad about Nonna missing him.  She always sad now.”
“Do you want to think about a happy memory about you and Nonnu? Do you remember when you and Nonnu would sit at the table with salad and hot peppers and bread?”
::giggles::
“Did you know that your name is very special to your Nonnu and Nonna?”
“No.”
“Well, it is.  You know how Daddy talks about your Uncle F? He was Daddy’s little brother.  That means he was Nonnu and Nonna’s son and your uncle, right?”
“Okay.”
“Well, his whole name was F-.  His nickname was Fe.  Your whole name is G F-a.”
::sweet smile and more tears::
“That made you very, very special to your Nonnu.  That’s why every time Nonna writes you a card, she writes it out to ‘G-a F-a.'”
“I like that.  My name is special.  Nonnu thought I’m special.”

It was so poignant and the look on her face was just so… angelic.  I couldn’t believe a.) the length of the conversation and b.) how much thought was going into what she needed to ask.  Encouraged, I prodded her a bit.

“You’ve been thinking about this a lot haven’t you? What else have you been thinking about?”
“I see Nonnu before he passed away.  You can’t say ‘die’ or ‘dead’ because those words hurt people’s feelings.”
“Yes, you’re right… passed away is a gentle way to say ‘died.'”
“I see Nonnu when he was died.  He was in bed.”
::more tears::
“Did that bother you? Or scare you?  Was that the wrong thing to do?”
“No! I not scared.  I sad.  I said good-bye to Nonnu.  He not scary.  It was sad.  Nonna was sad.  I sad for Nonna.  I sad for missing…  I just… I not…”
“It’s okay, honey.  I’m sad too.  You’re doing great.  I’m happy you talked to me.  Is there more you want to say?”
“Yes.  You are dangerous with a hair brush.  And I mad you not ever let me have chocolate again! I hate lactose intolerance! I not going to be lactose intolerance ever again! I want chocolate!”

And there we have it. The chocolate. I pointed out how many different ways she can have chocolate that doesn’t have milk in it, and how the next time I go shopping I’ll try to find some of her special chocolate. But the tears over the chocolate didn’t just glisten in her eyes as they had through the above conversation, or trickle down slowly.

They burst out of her eyes like a rain storm.

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