2023 Holiday Candy Menu

4 Chocolate is the name of our family chocolate making group. It’s comprised of the primary 4 makers: my mom (Theresa), my older sister (Amy), me, and my younger sister (Amanda). We have been making holiday candy together for as many years as we’ve been around to enjoy eating it! […]


2022 Holiday Candy Menu

You know those epic stories of how a family bands together and overcomes incredible obstacles? My family did that this year to continue our holiday tradition of making candy together. Each piece made was part of a greater Christmas Miracle that will become a family holiday legend. 2022 just asked […]


Diagnosis: Breast Cancer

I cut my hair to emotionally prepare for losing my hair during chemotherapy. It’s not for everyone, but it did help me transition from long locks, to hair coming out, to shaved head with really no hair.


Big Slick Chocolate Menu

This post highlights the bonbons made specifically for, and donated to support the Big Slick fundraiser benefiting Children’s Mercy Hospitals.

breakfast, Dairy Free, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Recipes

Blueberry Scones GF + Vegan

with Maple Vanilla Coconut Yogurt I have a “thing,” about making sure that people with food sensitivities are included in celebrations. Whether it’s a birthday party where allergies need to be considered, a meal for a friend in need, or serving up treats to the school staff for appreciation events, […]

Multiple Sclerosis, wellness

Diagnosis: Multiple Sclerosis

The process of being diagnosed with a chronic illness is not always straightforward. This post describes my experience in being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Books for Grown Ups

Top 5 Books I read in 2021

The top 5 books I read in 2021


2021 Holiday Candy Menu

The 2021 holiday candy menu.

chocolate, Chocolate, Dessert, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes, Snacks

Autumn Harvest Toffee

My Autumn Harvest Toffee has been making the rounds in my fall baking for a few years. It’s one of the most requested pieces of candy by my spouse and a few of my closest friends. One friend says this toffee is “everything.” Plenty of warm spices and crunchy seeds […]

Multiple Sclerosis, wellness

Keep Trying Hard Things

I grew up very active and athletic. When I was young, I was the only kid in my grade to make it to the top of the rope in the gym climb. Yes, I totally just dated myself as a child of the 80’s with that. I was tough and […]

Dessert, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Strawberry Shortcake

A buttery, flaky, fruity, creamy, and utterly divine strawberry shortcake recipe.

Dairy Free, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes

Vegan Strawberry Guava Macarons

“That was heavenly” – Sarah, neighbor and resident macaron tester. “Grhmmmmp, Ohummmmm, Yuuuuuuuuuum.” – Daughter and macaron critic. More and more, I find myself in situations where I wish I had a quality vegan dessert recipe up my sleeve. Whether it’s staff appreciation, book club, or a neighborhood gathering, I’m […]


Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

A soft and fluffy cake version of America’s favorite cookie.

chocolate, Chocolate, Dessert, Kid Friendly, Party Food

Black (Cocoa) Frosting

Pitch black frosting without a drop of artificial color!

Multiple Sclerosis

Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

A post promoting MS Awareness To describe living with a chronic illness, it’s going to seem like complaining. So take this more as a list of experiences, rather than a list of complaints. I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS nearly 5 years ago. In that time, many things have […]

chocolate, Dessert, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes

Spiced Nutella King Cake

A chocolatey twist on a traditional Mardi Gras king cake.

Beverage, chocolate, Chocolate, Dessert, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes

Hot Buttered Rum Bombs

An adult version of a hot chocolate bomb. Full of rum, warm spices, and dark chocolate.

Books for Grown Ups

Top 5 Books I read in 2020

These are my 5 favorite reads from 2020.

appetizer, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes, Snacks

Party Crackers

Flavorful, no bake, oyster crackers perfect for any occasion involving snacks. New Year’s Eve is approaching, and my family will skip a big meal in favor of a smorgasbord of our favorite homemade snacks and appetizers. There will be little pigs in blankets, Mexican cheese dip with chips, steamed Chinese […]


2020 Christmas Candy Menu

A family collaboration of bonbons and candies to give as holiday gifts.

Dessert, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes, Tips and Tricks

Cut Out Sugar Cookies

A flavorful sugar cookie that is thick and will hold it’s shape when baked.


Chocolate Pumpkin Piñata

Learn how to make a fully edible chocolate delight.

Dessert, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes

Salted Caramel Apple Spice Cake

An autumnal dessert, destined for the family recipe books.

Dessert, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes

Salted Caramel Sauce

A versatile dessert sauce ready to top, fill, glaze, drizzle, and make all your dessert dreams come true.

All Natural, Dairy Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Instapot, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Spiced Apple Butter

If you have the opportunity to pick apples out at an orchard, or even better, from your backyard; this recipe for spiced apple butter is a “must have.” PSA: Apple butter is not butter. It’s apples and spices cooked down to the point of being so thick, it spreads on […]

Tips and Tricks

Taking a Break During a Pandemic: Part 3

Tips, tricks, and recipe links for preparing your meals on a road trip.

Tips and Tricks

Taking a Break During a Pandemic: Part 2

My thoughts on where/how to stay overnight. Traveling beyond the safety of our home meant nights away from our safe, clean, beds. Choosing places to stay where we would feel safe and how we would manage more than one location also required some thought and consideration. For most of the […]

Tips and Tricks

Taking a Break During a Pandemic: Part 1

Tips and Tricks to navigating a road trip safely during a pandemic.

chocolate, Dessert, Kid Friendly, Lunch Box, Recipes

Peanut Butter Buddy Bars

A throwback dessert bar that is essentially a chocolate chip studded peanut butter blondie with a chocolate topping. This simple family favorite can serve a crowd, or one die hard peanut butter fanatic, and is easy enough for young bakers to make with minimal adult assistance. My daughter made the […]

All Natural, breakfast, Dairy Free, Dairy Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Fresh Blackberry Lime Preserves

A versatile condiment made from blackberries, lime, and local honey. No canning required.

Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes, Tips and Tricks

Color Technique: Macarons

Holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations are times when you want your food to be as festive as the day. Sometimes that means making a traditional food. Other times, that means taking a food you love and dressing it up for the occasion! Our Independence Day celebrations looked a little different […]

chocolate, Dessert, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes

S’mores Overload Cake

A decadent homage to the All-American S’mores in cake form.



An online bake sale to promote awareness and affect change. This blog is not meant to be a platform for politics. It is a place for me to share recipes, kitchen tips, health experiences, and share ideas on how I strive to maintain wellness in life. I do not believe […]

Multiple Sclerosis, wellness

MS in the Summer

Balancing Motherhood, MS, and the FOMO. I was always a summer sun person. As as child, I played outside or swam everyday until dark. As a teenager, I swam in the early mornings and again in the evenings for swim team, playing outside with friends much of the day in […]

chocolate, Dessert, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Rocky Road Ice Cream

I have had the song, ” I love Rock N’ Roll” in my head for days, but I’ve been singing it as “I love Rocky Road! Put some choco-late in my ice cream baby!” I suppose I’m a bit of a nut, and I like chocolate covered chopped nuts in […]

Dessert, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Fresh Fruit Pie

Summer cannot go by without having at least 1 fresh fruit pie. The first pie is always strawberry and marks the start of the summer. Peach is my favorite and usually marks the middle of summer. Growing up, we had a raspberry bush and had raspberry pies to wrap up […]

appetizer, Dessert, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes, Supper

House Pizza

Pizza Dough recipe and tricks for delicious homemade pizza in 30 minutes. I am no stranger to a good pizza delivered to my door, but I also love to make homemade pizza. I can use local honey and whole wheat pastry flour to make my dough a little healthier without […]

Beverage, Party Food, Recipes

Limey Tequila Sunrise

A light tequila cocktail that is just as lovely to look at as it is to drink.

Beverage, Recipes

Pineapple Citrus Sparkler

Mother’s Day Cocktails Part 1 Quarantine 2020 is still going strong, and I couldn’t bear the thought of a Mother’s day without imbibing in a bit of cocktail. It’s usually mimosas out at a restaurant, but since that is not going to be happening this year, I decided to get […]

Dessert, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes

Crème Brûlée

A delicate French custard with a caramelized sugar topping.

breakfast, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Smoothie, Wahl's Protocol Friendly

Ginger Peach Smoothie

A peachy keen smoothie to start any kind of day.

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, side dish, Wahl's Protocol Friendly

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I know my blog and social media feeds are a bit sugar heavy, but I do actually make and eat lots of veggies. This particular recipe is gluten free, dairy free, Wahl’s protocol friendly, and whole 30 friendly. Brussels sprouts were practically a four letter word when I was growing […]

breakfast, chocolate, Dessert, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes

White Chocolate Lemon Scones

With Lemon Curd and Fresh Whipped Cream The flavors of this scone paired with lemon curd and fresh whipped cream will burst on your tongue like a welcome ray of spring sunshine. This recipe is a lot like a lemon version of strawberry shortcake. The buttery scone is studded with […]

chocolate, Dessert, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes

Double Chocolate M&M Cookies

Spring Style Soft, brownie-like cookies studded with chocolate chips and M&Ms. Who can resist? This recipe has been a family favorite for years! The original recipe is from Baker by Nature. No stand mixer or fancy tools required! Just lots and lots of chocolate! YUM! Purchase the seasonal versions of […]

chocolate, Dessert, Party Food, Recipes

Double Chocolate Eclairs

breakfast, chocolate, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Smoothie, Wahl's Protocol Friendly

Mint Chocolate Smoothie

A healthy green smoothie that will make your think you’re drinking a milkshake!

chocolate, Dessert, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes

Chocolate Cake with PB Frosting

A moist chocolate cake with creamy peanut butter frosting.


EWG: Healthy Living App

Discover a tool to help you identify safe products and foods.

bonbon, Chocolate, Dessert, Gluten Free, Recipes

Blood Orange Caramel

A fruity, pink caramel that can be made soft to fill bonbons or firm for caramel chews.

breakfast, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Smoothie

PBJ Smoothie

Can a smoothie impersonate a fruity milkshake? Yup. And it can do it without added sugars or processed ingredients. Don’t tell the kids. The dates sweeten the smoothie as well as add additional fiber. Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as fiber and are rich in […]

chocolate, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes

Chocolate Fondue

Fondue Part 3 Chocolate fondue is the final stage of any good fondue party. Whether you’ve served other courses of fondue or you’re just doing the chocolate course, it is always a strong finish. Chocolate fondue is essentially a dessert bar that can be thrown together with items from the […]

Dessert, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Mom’s Banana Bars with Browned Butter Frosting

For all the banana bread, banana muffin, banana cake lovers out there; this is your cakey bar version of perfection. My mom has been making these bars for years and when it came time for my sisters and I to make desserts for our kids, the recipe was pulled back […]

Dairy Free, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes, Supper

Tempura Fondue

Kick your fondue game up a notch with tempura fried veggies and seafood.

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes, Wahl's Protocol Friendly

Seafood Broth Fondue

Fondue Part 2 After finishing a somewhat heavy cheese course, the kids usually run off to play and work up another appetite and the grown ups get to chat and prepare the next phase of the dinner: seafood broth fondue. This course of fondue is friendly to all sorts of […]

Kid Friendly, Party Food, Recipes, Supper

Cheese Fondue

The first in a series of fondue posts: Cheese Fondue for the whole family.

breakfast, chocolate, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Fudgy Chocolate Muffins

Decadent Chocolate Muffins

All Natural, wellness

Cloth Napkins: Respect your face, fingers, and planet.

Cloth napkins are earth friendly and create a uniquely inviting table.

All Natural, wellness

Unbleached Flour: A Healthy Kitchen Swap

Unbleached all purpose flour. A healthy, inexpensive kitchen swap.

breakfast, chocolate, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Red Velvet Waffles

Go Chiefs! It’s Super Bowl Sunday and our home team, the Kansas City Chiefs, are in the big game. I started the celebrating early with a Chiefs themed breakfast. There was cheering from the crew when the aroma of cocoa enhanced waffle batter began wafting through the house. Normally, I […]

All Natural, Instapot, Kid Friendly, Recipes, wellness

Elderberry: Fast Track Your Recovery

Reduce the time and intensity of a cold or flu. A recipe for cold/flu fighting elderberry juice.

Dessert, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes

DIY Marshmallow Fluff

Marshmallow Fluff from your kitchen instead of a jar!

Kid Friendly, Recipes

Grandma Vecchiola’s Italian Wedding Soup

An Italian version of chicken noodle soup. Meaty and hearty.

Multiple Sclerosis, wellness

Preparing for MRI: Tips and Tricks

Advice from a regular on how to prepare for MRI.

breakfast, Dairy Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Super Pancakes

Pancakes can be as personal as fingerprints. Do you like yours flat? Fluffy? Sweet? Whole grain? Flavored? The size of a plate? That’s not even addressing the toppings. Don’t even get me started on personal preference with pancake toppings! The opportunities for a delightful breakfast are endless. My family likes […]


Coconut Oil: My Big Fat Greek Windex

Practical uses for coconut oil.

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Wahl's Protocol Friendly

Cauliflower Fried Rice with Mushrooms

A healthy meal or side dish made with veggies! Grain Free, Dairy Free, includes tips to make it Soy Free, and Vegan.

Dessert, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Peppermint Fudge Swirl Ice Cream

Rich peppermint ice cream studded with candy cane pieces, chocolate cookie crumbles and a swirl of decadent chocolate fudge sauce.

Multiple Sclerosis

Living with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Perspective

My perspective living with relapsing remitting MS.

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Wahl's Protocol Friendly

Cheater Guacamole

Guacamole in under 5 minutes. Easily adjustable serving size.

Instapot, Kid Friendly, Recipes

Instapot Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard Boiled Egg Tutorial

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Smoothie, Wahl's Protocol Friendly

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

A creamy, chocolaty, nutrient packed smoothie, perfect for any breakfast lunch, or snack. Dairy free, no added sugars, and gluten free.


Top 5 Literature Picks in 2019

The 5 books I couldn’t put down in 2019. Not only could I not put them down, I’m still thinking about them!