Vive le Chocolat

Chocolate is my favorite food group. I would agree that I am a true chocoholic. Chocolate is a fruit but in my opinion it deserves to be its own group. There is only one reason to get out of bed.  Someone once told me they have to reward them selves for getting out of bed so they had a piece of chocolate. This is my kind of morning reward. My favorite forms of chocolate are, hot chocolate, chocolate muffin, chocolate pancakes, chocolate bagels, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate cookies, fruit dipped in chocolate, Rocky Road  ice cream, chocolate cookies and “Symphony bars”. My favorite movie is of course “Chocolat” Basically anything chocolate.

 In memory of my brother who died in 2012. He loved chocolate. dennsis raceThis is a picture of him at the end of a 200 mile bike race from Logan UT to Jackson Hole WY.

Chocolate milk was his favorite snack with chocolate chip cookies of course.

This was served at his memorial.

My brother died after a long fight with depression. He is missed.

Chocolate Milk a la Dennis

Chocolate ‘R’ US  This is written in his words

1 really big glass
Ice cold milk
Hershey’s cocoa mix (no substitutes)
Semi sweet chocolate chips

Pour milk in glass, add a handful of chocolate chips. Add a couple or 3 big spoonfuls of Hershey’s mix. Stir. Pick chocolate chips out with a spoon and chew. Wash ’em down with chocolate milk. (Note: for the supreme effect swish the chocolate milk around in your mouth and let it rest on your tongue for an instant before swallowing).


A side note on depression. Living with depression can at times seem like a hopeless task. I have suffered with it for 24 years. Every day I have to fight my depression. It is not easy. I have spent years locked in my house because my depression would not let me leave. I live with severe paranoia and thoughts of suicide daily. It is only by the grace of God and the faith and prayers of my family and friends that I have survived. My dear brother did not survive. He is my inspiration to find a reason to live.

My tools for surviving are: A supportive medical doctor who believes my symptoms are real. Seeing a psychiatrist who has more knowledge on medicines available. A tireless psychologist with a doctorate who does not give up on me when I give up on myself. I have to take my medicine everyday without fail. I don’t enjoy it, without it I will die. Utilizing other homeopathic remedies.Essential oils, herbal supplements, acupuncture. My children who have been raised by a depressed mother who love me and call me, when I bury myself in my misery, they pull me out. My dear sweet 76 year old mother, who has lived with a depressed husband, a son, a daughter and grandchildren. She has never given up on any of us. My siblings who tirelessly pray for me, and call me when I don’t call them. My loving heavenly father and the atonement of my Savior, for giving me the strength to live and saving me from myself, when I wanted only to return to them. This blog is a coping method to release some of my pain, by offering my talents to the world.

If you or someone you love is suffering. Please get help today. I have lost years to this disease. We lost my brother to this disease. I pray you get help today and get your life back. If you are a danger to yourself, call someone! If you need to go to the hospital GO! It will change your life!

                                     There is a way out
Here is a helpful website
5 ways to fight depression
5 Ways to Fight Depression

Contact your local NAMI they can put you in touch with local support groups.
Call your local county or state mental health department. They offer counseling and Dr. services at low costs.

There is help, there is hope. There is a way out to a happier life.




Festival of Green

In honor of my dear friends Cindy, Lexi, Kenzi and Ryli. one day I invited these friends over for a festival of the green party to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day We were eating our delicious dinner with our green hats and green party favors. When cute little Kenzi Jo says. “Its’ my moms’ birthday”. We then sang happy birthday Cindy dear, while eating our green cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream. For many years we shared the festival of the green with this wonderful family.

My family of course loves it. My kids all beg for it. We don’t know why but we only eat it once a year. The best part of this meal is the Reuben we get to eat the next day. I usually cook two roasts because one just isn’t enough.


Corn Beef
End of the rainbow fluff
Green shamrock Jigglers
Irish red roasted potatoes
Green Luck of the Irish bread
Shamrock juice

Corn Beef
Place a corned beef in a crock pot, add seasoning packet cover with 2-3 cups water simmer on low all day

1 head cabbage
½ hour before serving corn beef drain the juice and boil the cabbage in the juice for 15 min.


End of the rainbow fluff
1 small pkg instant pistachio pudding
2 cups milk
1 small bowl cool whip
2 cups rainbow miniature marshmallows
1 small can pineapple tidbits

Combine pudding, and milk. Let set, stir in remaining ingredients chill until dinner.


Green shamrock Jigglers
2-1/2 cups boiling water (Do not add cold water.)
2 pkg. (8-serving size each) JELL-O Gelatin, any flavor

STIR: boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 3 min. until completely dissolved. Pour into 13×9-inch pan.
REFRIGERATE: at least 3 hours or until firm.
DIP: bottom of pan in warm water 15 sec. Cut into 24 decorative shapes using 2-inch cookie cutters, being careful to cut all the way through gelatin to bottom of pan. Lift JIGGLERS® from pan. Reserve scraps for snacking. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.


Irish red roasted potatoes
1 pound baby red potatoes
½ cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons of Mrs Dash garlic and herb seasoning

Cut potatoes in half, toss with melted butter and seasoning. Put in heavy baking dish. Bake uncovered for 30 min. Stir and cook 20 min more or until potatoes are soft.


Luck of the Irish bread

2 cups warm water
1 packets of rapid rise yeast
½ teaspoon green die
2 tablespoon yeast enhancer(gluten)
1 tsp salt
4 tablespoons sugar
½ cup melted butter
1 cup scalded milk cooled to 114 degrees° or warm to touch not hot

5-6 cups bread flour (white or wheat)

Dissolve yeast in water, add green die. When dissolved add gluten, salt, sugar. Mix well, add 1 cup bread flour, add milk and butter. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until a soft dough form. Let rise covered in a warm place for 1 hour until double in size.
Shape into 2 rolls place in greased 1 /12 pound loaf pans rise 30-40 min Bake in 350° oven for 45 – 60 min. Cover top with foil half of baking to time to prevent over browning.  Looks weird but tastes great.


Shamrock punch
Lime punch mix
2 cups sugar
2 quarts water
2 liters of sprite
Combine and serve


Reuben Sandwiches

1 loaf of marbled rye, siced (we love the Seinfeld episode about marbled rye, gotta love George)
1 pound corned beef
1 bottle of sauerkraut (I like the bottled it has a better flavor than canned)
4 slices baby Swiss cheese


1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons dill pickle relish
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon grated onion
Mix together

Heat electric griddle to 350-375º depending on your grills heat level.
Butter one side of two pieces of bread, on the opposite side liberally spread with the dressing. Place them on a hot griddle, butter side down. On one side put ¼ pound meat and a slice of cheese, on the other side put a couple tablespoons of sauerkraut. Put the two sides together when the bread is nicely toasted. Serve with some extra sauce for dipping.

It is almost impossible to eat one whole sandwich. I slice them in half, this will serve 8 people. Or one very skinny hungry boy 😉
You can add the sauerkraut later if desired so it is cold rather than warm.

There are many different ideas of what the dressing should be. Choose your favorite or try mine.
You could make your own sauerkraut but I want to eat now not in three months

Fudge Rubble Bars

Warm gooey fudge surrounded by chewy oatmeal cookie. I can not find enough words to describe how delicious these are. Warm gooey fudge surrounded by chewy oatmeal pretty much says it all. A neighbor gave these to me many many years ago. I had never tasted any bar cookie that was as yummy as these. So of course I had to have the recipe, you will find version all over the internet, I like this simple version. Chocolate and oatmeal are plenty of love for one cookie. My friend called them “Fudge Rubble Bars” and I have kept that name. The chewy oatmeal on top of the smooth fudge looks like a pile of rubble. This one is a must bake and share. It makes a 9×13 pan and if you cut it in 20-24 squares that is plenty. One cookie is more than enough to eat in one sitting. Pack them up quick and send them out the door or you will find that you have eaten more than a few cookies at the end of the day.


Place all ingredients in a mixer bowl, stir just until it looks crumbly. Reserve 1/3 of mixture for topping. Once the crust is mixed press 2/3 of mixture in a 9×13 pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

TIP:Using cold butter helps to achieve this. Cut the butter into 1 tablespoon pieces then mix in mixer.


Combine the ingredients for the filling. Melt in microwave for 1 minute then stir well, repeat until chocolate is melted, smooth and creamy.


Pour the melted fudge mixture over the oatmeal layer. Next take the reserved crust and crumble it over the fudge in small to medium clusters. Leave them as they fall, do not try to smooth them out. Bake at 350 ° for30-40 minutes until tops of clusters are golden brown. As these bake the fudge rises up and around the clusters of oatmeal surrounding them with warm gooey fudge. Let them cool for 20 minutes before cutting otherwise you will end up with a gooey oatmeal globs.

Pour the melted fudge mixture over the oatmeal layer. Next take the reserved crust and crumble it over the fudge in small to medium clusters. Leave them as they fall, do not try to smooth them out. Bake at 350 ° for30-40 minutes until tops of clusters are golden brown. As these bake the fudge rises up and around the clusters of oatmeal surrounding them with warm gooey fudge. Let them cool for 20 minutes before cutting otherwise you will end up with a gooey oatmeal globs.

Oatmeal Cookies (with Chocolate Chips)

Other people think oatmeal cookie means cinnamon and raisins.  I do not like raisins, I feel the same way about them as I do oatmeal. If you desire a raisin oatmeal cookie add 1 cup of raisins instead of chocolate chips and 1 tsp cinnamon.

But seriously, you prefer raisins to chocolate? Really?…Well, to each his own.

  • ¾ c. butter softened
  • 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1½ c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 3 c. oats, uncooked
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  1. Beat butter, sugars, together, add eggs and vanilla mix in mixer until creamy. Add flour, salt and soda blend well. Stir in oats.
  2. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake (350 degrees) for 12 to 15 minutes.


Granola goes awesome on yogurt. One time, I baked it too long.  This made it extra crispy and it had an extra nutty flavor. It was good on yogurt but too crunchy for eating.  This is a rather ingredient heavy recipe, but so worth it.  And naturally if your family doesn’t like something substitute or remove it all together.  Except the oats, cause that sort of makes it not granola, but gooey-toasted trail mix (actually that sounds pretty tasty).  Like I said one time I baked it too long, so don’t be surprised if the recipe doesn’t come out perfect for you the first time.  granola has a little bit of feel to it.  And it really is so worth it.  You get all the wholesome goodness by making your own granola.  So give it a try.

  • 8 cups rolled oats
  • 1½ cups quinoa
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • ¾ c coconut shredded
  • 2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dried pineapple, papaya, cherries, berries, apricots, coconut
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ c canola oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.
  3. Combine the oats, quinoa, sunflower seeds, coconut, almonds, and pecans in a large bowl.
  4. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes.
  6. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the cranberries and fruit. before storing in an airtight container.
*Oil is what gives this it’s crispiness


If someone asked me, “Do you like oatmeal”? My instant respond would be to curl up my nose and gag, with and emphatic “NO”! I was fed oatmeal every morning of my child hood, (well almost). I gagged on it then and I gag on it now. I had a childhood friend whose parents were German, they ate muesli for breakfast. At that time I thought how weird to eat oatmeal uncooked. I did however like it.
Oatmeal cooked for breakfast has different names in different regions of the world, such as gruel (sounds appetizing), porridge and mush. There are several versions in which you can buy oatmeal; rolled, quick, instant and steel cut. Oatmeal comes from the grain groats, which is steamed to remove the hull. Quick oats are cut into small pieces before being steamed and rolled. Instant oats have been cooked then dehydrated. Steel cut oats may be small and broken groats, left over from processing, which are steamed and rolled.
Rolled oats (my favorite) are steamed and flattened. I like these for baking because they have more body and are chewier. You can use any form of oats you desire for baking. Kids often like the quick oats because they require less chewing.
I do love baking with oatmeal. Nothing makes me happier on a rainy day than making something warm and gooey.  Rainy days are for baking.

Nurse Stacy Says

Oatmeal is a whole grain and is very healthy for you. Many studies have been done on the benefits of oatmeal for your heart health by lowering blood pressure and lowering cholesterol. Oats contain more dietary fiber than any other whole grain, reducing the risks of colon cancer. This makes your intestines happy. Oats contain manganese, selenium, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium, and zinc. Oats are also rich in carotenoids, and Vitamin E. Plus they are gluten free.

Medical News Today Info on Oatmeal

Calories per (3.5 ounce 1/2 cup of oatmeal) 390 cal

Carbohydrate 66 g

Protein 17 g

Dietary fiber total 11 g
– Soluble 5 g
– Insoluble 6 g

Total fat 6 g
– Saturated 1.217 g
– Monounsaturated 2.178 g
– Polyunsaturated 2.535 g
– Cholesterol 0 g

Calcium 54 mg
Iron 4.72 mg
Magnesium 177 mg
Phosphorous 523 mg
Potassium 429 mg
Sodium 2 mg
Zinc 3.97 mg
Copper 0.626 mg
Manganese 4.916 mg

17 essential Amino Acids

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • 2 heads of broccoli cut the flowerettes off the stem
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • Olive oil
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 quart half and half or evaporated milk
  • 2 cups cheddar or Colby jack
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Make a roux: In large skillet melt the butter, when it is bubbly add the flour stir rapidly until it forms a thick bubbly paste. Add the half and half, mix until creamy and thick. I like to use my hand held blender (Braun) to get out all the clumps see picture below. Turn heat down to low.
  2. Add broccoli, onions, paprika, nutmeg and salt. Simmer on low for 1 hour. Or in crock pot for several hours. Just before serving remove from heat let set ten minutes. Sprinkle cheese in stirring as you add a little bit at a time. If you add the cheese while the soup is still hot the cheese will curdle and the soup will be grainy and lumpy. Continue stirring until all cheese is mixed in. You can put back on heat on low if you want to get it back to piping hot. Thin if needed with some water. Taste for saltiness. The cheese will make it more salty.
Tip: you can also use any other vegetables to make a thick cheddar soup. Carrots, potatoes, cauliflower. Cooked crumbled bacon can also be added. Add 2 cloves minced garlic for these vegetables.