Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Arthritis and Travel

Cooking With Arthritis Blog: Arthritis and Travel: July is vacation month. Kids are out of school, the weather is hot, and it's a great time for a mid-year getaway. But fo...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, June 1, 2009


Good Eving All !

This site has moved to a website. We are bigger and better. There are many pages of information, links to hundreds of sites in the circle, recipes, kitchen tips, cookbooks for sale, a forum to post your story, place ads and a recipe contest! You can make friends and email each other, live chat , music and more will be added 6/02/2009 by midnight. You can serch the web right from the home page. We offer up to the minute news with a live feed on several pages. There is also a in the news page and a Did you know page. So please feel free to stop by and visit , sign the guest book or better yet Join a place you can feel at home. This weeks featured member is DR. Talli . Come read about her and follow the link to her podcast about arthritis pain. Hope to see you there ! Just click the link below and your ready to go!


Saturday, May 30, 2009


Elizabeth Wald's story:

Let me tell you like it is. I have been blessed with a handicap. This may sound strange but it is really true. Having lost my career as a fitness instructor to daily pain and nerve damage from foot surgery - it was funny how I just kept on going until my body gave out. I was in denial. I really never gave thought to my Rheumatoid arthritis.
What can be the most beautiful result of this?
I will tell you, my RA friends. You learn who you are on the inside. You respect your limitations. You get rid of those myths that the outside has to be beautiful. In my generation, I grew up with the narcissistic mother. I was never good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, and when I got ill, I looked great to Mother - after all - I had lost weight and looked anorexic! What was missing in this generation was the concept of EXERCISE. Movement. The intrinsic values of feeling strong and healthy. The inner values of exploring our creativity. This was never top priority throughout my childhood, which extended to my adulthood.
Suffering from physical pain every day, I have learned that people do not want to hear about it. This is when you learn who your real friends are........... TO READ MORE OF LIZZY'S STORY AND VISIT HER WEB-SITE GO TO ... http://mobilegourmet.webs.com/


Acceptance may be one of the toughest things one faces in life. Some need to accept a new family member or a loss of a loved one, others a boss that is a real Jerk and then there are people like myself that have to accept pain and sickness. Whatever it is you need to accept it never seems easy. My Mother used to tell me you live to you die. I have adapted her theory to fit my situation, Yes you live until you die, but what you do in between is your choice. You can spend your time by simply existing or you can be productive and live life to its fullest. I personally have chosen the latter. I have not always felt this way. Being born with a birth injury and developing five forms of arthritis in my twenties made it really hard to see any light much less one at the end of a tunnel. But I found my light. Believe it or not having rheumatoid arthritis has shown me the way. When I first developed the disease I thought it was just an ache and a pain, no problem I will take an aspirin. I was so very wrong ! Pain is an understatement and deformity is a given! It was not only just an ache and pain it is a very debilitating and crippling disease that effects more than 46 million people in the US, 300,000 of that number are children and those numbers are rising.

RA steals the patients life slowly starting with employment and eating its way through the family and friends unit. RA , also causes the person to feel constant pain at some level and always being tired or having the feeling of being worn out does not help matters.

I think one of the most frustrating things about arthritis is people simply do not understand the disease. When you tell people who have no arthritis you have RA,or RSD, or Fibro , Lupus or one of the over 100 different forms of arthritis, the reply is I think I may have it , my elbow hurts when it rains, my favorite is hey I got an aspirin that will do the trick. Knowledge is power. It is our job to make the American public aware of the severity of arthritis and auto immune system diseases and who it effects and how they can help us in our battle against it. I got a little off track.

Lets get back to acceptance. It is really hard to accept the fact that you have this awful disease. A million thoughts running through your head on what happens now. Well; what happens now is up to you. You control your destiny not your disease. Yes, there is pain, deformity loss of job, friends and family members tired of you being sick. All of this is not only difficult but life changing . You are now at a point in your life where you decide what you are going to do with the hand dealt to you. You can not give it back or give it away, you are stuck with it for better or worse its your hand. The only thing you can do at this point is move forward. Reinvent your life. Take steps to turn your adversity into a positive. Use your disease to help others. The person you help may not even be handicapped or physically challenged in any way. The person you help may become stronger just by watching your strength. They may follow their dream just because you never gave up, you fought and persevered despite your disease. Remember someone is always watching you. It may be your son or daughter a friend or stranger, no matter who it is your actions could change their life. I have devoted my entire adult life to helping others. I am following my dream. I now invite you to follow yours. I would love to hear your story. Come join me on my new web site where you can share your story and enter a recipe contest learn ways to cope and so much more. Do not forget to sign the guest book or better yet Join! http://mobilegourmet.webs.com/

Friday, May 29, 2009

Good Morning Everyone!
Summer is here and let the cookouts begin! There is one dish that finds it way to every cookout, potato salad. I used to find it such a hassle to make on bad pain days, not any longer. I am going to share my tips and recipes with you today. My first tip is to use red skin potatoes. The skin is thin enough to leave on the potato, just be mindful to wash each one thoroughly. Actually during the cooking process it will lose some of the skin. To fill the cooking pot with water for cooking use a plant stand with wheels and a plastic measuring cup. Simply place the pot on the plant stand next use the cup to fill the pot, and then wheel the full pot across the counter to the stove top for heating. Cook the potatoes whole, it is much easy to dice after they are cooked and fully cooled. To remove the potatoes from the pot place a strainer on top of another pot and use a spider to remove the potatoes. When the water is completely cooled use the measuring cup to remove the used water. When the pot has a manageable amount of water tip the pot in to the sink to empty. Follow this same procedure for boiling the eggs. To assure the shell comes off easily always use fresh eggs. Place the eggs into cold water and bring to a boil, cover boil for three minutes, remove from heat allow standing covered for 25 minutes. When done move the pot of eggs back to the sink and hold each egg under cold water while peeling for easy removal of shell. To chop eggs with ease use a small hand held french fry or butter cuber, you may also use the egg slicer the egg will break up in the mixing process. To chop all the vegetables going into the salad use a food processor and pulse just a few times to get a rough chop. Mixing can be a night mare when in pain. I have two different techniques you may try. The first is when you are having a minimal pain day, using clean rubber gloves the kind you may have for cleaning, mix all ingredients together. The second option is use the dough hook attachment on a stand mixer to do all of your work for you, do not over mix or use the paddle or whisk attachment or you will have mashed salad.

Succulent Chicken and Bacon Potato Salad

Yields 12 servings

4½ lbs. potatoes (new red)
3 cooked and seasoned chicken breasts or any leftover chicken, diced
3 large stalks of celery, diced small
6 hard boiled eggs
2½ c. Hellmann’s mayo
½ tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. parsley for topping
¼ tsp. Colman’s Dry Mustard
1 tsp. (heaping) Grey Poupon Mustard (Harvest Coarse Ground)
½ lb. bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar mix
1 large tomato, diced small
½ c. walnuts, chopped
½ c. diced seedless grapes

Boil potatoes until tender. Let cool about 20 minutes. Dice the potatoes and place in a big bowl. Cook’s Note: Mix salad while the potatoes are slightly warm so the ingredients will marry well. Add to the potatoes chicken, celery, eggs, mayo, celery salt, kosher salt, pepper, dill weed, Grey Poupon, mustard, bacon, cheese, tomato, walnuts, and grapes. Mix well. Top with fresh parsley and chill at least 4 to 6 hours; overnight is so much better. This is one salad that is hearty enough to be used as the main course for brunch or a single serving meal on the go—it is wonderful anytime.

Good Morning Everyone!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Good Morning Everyone !
The time is near for my latest book to be released. Only a little over a month to go ! I am very excited to reveal the book's cover to all of you today. As some as you may already know this is has been my baby so to speak for the past year. I have worked diligently to finish this book that will help so many regain their Independence in the kitchen. I am very passionate about helping the physically challenged , as a physically challenged person myself I know the trails we meet on a daily basis. I also know the need to live a life that is as normal as possible. I was so tired of reading arthritis self help tips and recipes that told me to buy pre - chopped and instant foods or cook in the microwave foods, that I could just vomit. Just because I am challenged and have serve pain why should I reduce myself to instant foods. My book has step by step instructions and full color photos to teach each and everyone of you techniques to regain your Independence pain free and fearless. The recipes range from gourmet through ethnic to everyday American foods. You will find breads, sauces, desserts, entrees as well as soups, salads and appetizers. There is something for everyone physically challenged or not. The book includes a culinary resource guide as well as kitchen tips and my personal story of triumph. Keep watching for a book tour schedule as well as an event schedule coming in August.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Free Medication As seen on Montel Williams patient assistance programs 1-573-996-3333

Free Medication As seen on Montel Williams patient assistance programs 1-573-996-3333

Shared via AddThis

MAINTAIN Program Offers Free Arthritis Drugs to Eligible Unemployed Americans

Tuesday May 19, 2009
Many of us know someone who has lost their job. Every day in the news there are stories about companies closing, rising unemployment statistics, people losing health insurance and their homes to foreclosure, and some who are unable to buy food or medicine. But there are also stories of companies and individuals who are trying to help those who have been most affected.
Pfizer employees who were witnessing friends, family, and neighbors struggle to make ends meet after losing their jobs were motivated to do something to help too. The employees proposed the idea for the MAINTAIN (Medicines Assistance for Those who Are in Need) program to the company’s senior leadership team within the last month. The employees were willing to donate their own money towards the program. The idea was considered a winner. According to Pfizer, "the program, which applies regardless of prior family income, will be open for enrollment through December 31, 2009 and applies to eligible Americans who have become unemployed since January 1, 2009. It is designed to help recently unemployed Americans and their families who have lost their insurance and who are taking Pfizer medicines to continue treatment for free for up to one year."
More than 70 Pfizer primary care medicines, which are used to treat various conditions, will be available through the program. For more specific eligibility information, call 1-866-706-2400 or fill out this application.
Related Resources:

MAINTAIN Program Offers Free Arthritis Drugs to Eligible Unemployed Americans

MAINTAIN Program Offers Free Arthritis Drugs to Eligible Unemployed Americans
Tuesday May 19, 2009
Many of us know someone who has lost their job. Every day in the news there are stories about companies closing, rising unemployment statistics, people losing health insurance and their homes to foreclosure, and some who are unable to buy food or medicine. But there are also stories of companies and individuals who are trying to help those who have been most affected.
Pfizer employees who were witnessing friends, family, and neighbors struggle to make ends meet after losing their jobs were motivated to do something to help too. The employees proposed the idea for the MAINTAIN (Medicines Assistance for Those who Are in Need) program to the company’s senior leadership team within the last month. The employees were willing to donate their own money towards the program. The idea was considered a winner. According to Pfizer, "the program, which applies regardless of prior family income, will be open for enrollment through December 31, 2009 and applies to eligible Americans who have become unemployed since January 1, 2009. It is designed to help recently unemployed Americans and their families who have lost their insurance and who are taking Pfizer medicines to continue treatment for free for up to one year."
More than 70 Pfizer primary care medicines, which are used to treat various conditions, will be available through the program. For more specific eligibility information, call 1-866-706-2400 or fill out this application.

Treatment for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy ( RSD ) may be right arouind the corner

Good Morning everyone! Today I would like to address RSDS / RSD. This is something I have been dealing with for over 15 years. As I stated in earlier posts I have 6 forms of arthritis. I was just diagnosed with the sixth form last week. As you may or may not know any form of arthritis comes with chronic pain as does RSD. What is RSD? What is CRPS? Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy , RSD, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, CRPS, burning pain. This disease causes severe pain. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy ( RSD ) is a chronic pain disorder associated with sensitivity to light touch, swelling, skin color and temperature changes, weakness, abnormal sweating, muscle atrophy, and subsequent depression. This disease is believed to be caused by and injury to a limb. Fortunately for RSD sufferers have options to relieve the pain. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has proven to offer tremendous relief for suffers of RSDS , HBOT can provide an effective treatment.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, is an FDA approved therapy, but unfortunately it is not yet approved for treating RSD and CRPS, but expected to be approved for RSDS. This treatment works by utilizing 100% oxygen administered under increased pressure. It is a very safe, painless, and a cost effective means of treating the chronic debilitating pain of RSD and CRPS.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has proven itself to be a very viable option to treat reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). Numerous articles in the medical literature have shown the reduction in pain and swelling associated with RSD and a return of function using hyperbaric oxygen. Best of all for RSD patients, this is accomplished without the need for painful injections, narcotics, or surgical implants for pain management. Most RSD sufferers find that following the first few treatments they are able to achieve a full night’s sleep for the first time in years. They then notice the decreased need for narcotics, improved thinking, with a diminished depression. The swelling of the effected arm or leg associated with RSD diminishes and they are able to start physical therapy with marked improvement in muscle strength. Many people afflicted with RSD have then been able to return to a happier and more productive life, frequently returning to their prior occupation.

There are FOUR Main Symptoms/Criteria for a diagnosis of CRPS/RSDS:
Constant chronic burning pain.
Spasms-in blood vessels and muscles of the extremities
Insomnia/Emotional Disturbance (including limbic system changes)
Not all four symptoms are required for a diagnosis but most patients do have at least three out of the four at any one time.

Boost chronic pain relief with the natural endorphins from exercise.
Endorphins are brain chemicals that help improve your mood while also blocking pain signals. Exercise has another pain-reducing effect -- it strengthens muscles, helping prevent re-injury and further pain. Plus, exercise can help keep your weight down, reduce heart disease risk, and control blood sugar levels -- especially important if you have diabetes. Ask your doctor for an exercise routine that is right for you. If you have certain health conditions, like diabetic neuropathy, you will need to be careful about the types of activities you engage in; your doctor can advise you on the best physical activities for you. There is a wonderful site that is very informative The Amercian RSD Hope.............. This site provides answers to most of your questions about the disease and pain releif options. I urge you to talk to your doctors to see if HOT could be helpful with your chronic pain.

The American RSDHope is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of this little known disease and helping patients and their loved ones to cope with the myriad problems that accompany it. This is one of the best sites for answers that I have ever looked over.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Good Morning Everyone! I will not be writing in my blog today or tomorrow. Have a wonderful holiday weekend from my family to yours! May the sun always shine on you!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Attention Pennsylvania Advocates!!

U.S. Senator Robert Casey has become an official CO-SPONSOR of the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act! Thanks to all of your efforts to let your elected officials know that arthritis is a serious disease that impacts 46 million adults and 300,000 children in our country. Please write, email or call Senator Casey's office, or even write a letter to your local newspaper editor to say thank you for his support.

A message for you to personalize is available at the Arthritis Action Center: http://capwiz.com/arthritis/home/

Letter to the Editor writing tips can be found here: http://www.arthritis.org/media/advocacy/ambassador-kit/SampleLettertoEditor.pdf

Click here (http://capwiz.com/arthritis/dbq/media/) to find contact information for your local newspapers.

Know someone who has a story to share about how Arthritis is affecting their life? Use the Tell-A-Friend option http://capwiz.com/arthritis/taf/ and help spread the word.

Thank you for making a difference


Two ChoicesWhat would you do?.....you make the choice.

Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and itsdedicated staff, he offered a question:'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.Where is the natural order of things in my son?'The audience was stilled by the query.The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'Then he told the following story:Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father Ialso understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.However, as Shay stepped up to theplate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.The game would now be over.The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!Run to first!'Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.B y the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!Shay, run to third!'As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY:We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.You now have two choices:1. Delete2. ForwardMay your day, be a Shay Day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Fire roasted red pepper mayonnaise

2 c. Hellmann’s mayonnaise
1 fire roasted red bell peppers, jarred and diced
2 drops hot sauce
½ tsp. garlic, minced, jarred
1 T. fresh parsley leaves
Pepper to taste
Place all the above ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth, just a few seconds will do the trick!. Serve on hamburgers, lunch meat sandwiches any thing you like. Me personally I just love this mayonnaise on a nice steak sandwich. Physically challenged this one is for you; let the food processor do all the work, while you are a hero to your friends and family. You will surely be beaming when your guests ask, where you got this, and your answer is I made it. Don’t be surprised if you hear get out a whole lot, it is that good.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Good Evening All!
Have you noticed that your pain levels increase at bed time making it hard to fall sleep or maybe stay asleep. I suffered this dilemma for years. I dreaded bedtime due to severe pain. I came up with a routine that has been a literal miracle for me. About one hour before bedtime I fill my tub with hot water and soak in the bath for about 30 to 40 minutes. While I am soaking I turn my electric blanket on low just to slightly warm my bed. Right before retiring for the night I eat warm fruit, apples peaches ect.... with cinnamon. I turn my sound machine on and close my door and out goes the lights. I find it is just the right amount of heat to relieve my pain to fall asleep. I used to try to sleep with the TV on invariably that never worked, it always seemed to take longer to fall asleep . After heavy research I found one must clear the mind in order to get a good nights sleep. It was hard at first to adjust to no TV but I did and my sleep pattern has been much better.
Another thing I found out is that people that suffer from RA need to have vitamin D. About a year ago I started taking a vitamin D supplement and it has helped with my pain . I have also learned from great trial and error that when I avoid fatty meats and high fat and sugar items I have less pain and swelling. There are some scientists that believe that some peoples RA is caused from food allergies. My advise to you is research any and all information out there about your disease . Work along side with your doctors to help them help you. It is your life and you only have one. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to do everything in your power to live the best life ever! I hope you have a wonderful pain free evening. Feel free to post any helpful tips you may have . I love learning new ways to cope with an old problem. Remember you have a friend here.

Good Morning everyone! I briefly touched base on tips for preparing summer picnics. Today I would like to talk a little bit about making an edible center piece for your table. This is a nice alternative to the everyday veggie platters that we all love to serve at picnics and parties. The picture you see to the left is one I made last summer for a Birthday party.

The things you need to create this basket are as followed;

basket or serving bowl that is big enough for a small head of cabbage, fresh small head of cabbage fresh Kale, sharp bamboo skewers, green onions,,mini red,green and yellow peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, carrots and bread sticks and lastly your favorite vegetable dips in smaller bowels.

Assembly: Place a small head of cabbage firmly in the basket or bowl. Cover the cabbage with the kale. Cut the green onion stalks from the onion heads. Place each skewer into the stalk of the green onion, using the dull end slide a small piece of kale on to the top of the skewer to reassemble a leaf then slide a vegetable onto the skewer. If you are having problems getting the vegetable on to the skewer Peirce the veggie first with the point of a sharp knife then slip the veggie on to the skewer. Repeat this until you have enough vegetables to fill the basket. Now arrange the basket to look like a bouquet making sure you fill the basket full enough so very little kale is showing. Once you have completed your centerpiece place in the middle of your table and surround with small dishes of dip. Good- Luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It really does not get any better than this! This is my family four of my grand kids and my oldest son preparing for a wedding. I totally forgot about any pain I had last Friday night as I watched my family partake in the wedding ceremony. I had only feelings of joy! So as I have been saying in earlier posts if you have a happy mind your body will follow. My Mother once said to me when she looks good she feels good. I followed her advice. I always try to look my best. It really helps I have noticed when I do not follow this simple rule I do have more pain. Mind of matter!


I am posting a link to a wonderful site that caters to arthritis suffers needs. To find everything you need to make cooking and life in genral fearless and pain free check out the following site.
Elderluxe, has the most up to date gadgets.



The following recipe surpasses any brownie recipe you have ever had. The age old question is brownie or cake.? The texture is of a cake the look is of a brownie, you decide. This simple but delicious chocolate treat that makes 24 servings is extremely light and moist. So if every time you make a pan of brownies they are gone in a second. This is the recipe for you!

Bayou Sludge cake
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
½ cup Hershey’s coco powder
¼ tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter melted
½ cup canola oil
1 cup water
1 cup butter milk
1 tsp; baking soda mixed into the buttermilk 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 eggs room temperature
2 Tablespoons Godiva Liqueur, original flavor it is a chocolate flavor
Candy ice crystals for decorating

Prepare a 17.31 x 12.25 baking sheet with non stick baking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, coco and salt set aside. Using a medium sauce pan add butter, oil and water heat over medium heat just until melted and whisk until blended, remove from heat, allow standing 5 minutes. Mix the buttermilk and baking soda together and allow standing about 3 minutes. In a bowl of a stand mixer armed with the whisk attachment add butter mixture and turn mixer speed to medium slowly temper in the buttermilk mixture. To the stand mixer bowl mixture slowly add the dry ingredients with blended add eggs mix for about 30 seconds scraping the sides until well blended, lastly add the liqueur mix until blended, pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 16 to 20 minutes until pick comes out clean, remove from oven and allow standing for about 5 minutes. In the mean time while the cake in the oven prepare frosting, you will be icing this cake while it is hot.

1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup buttermilk
1 lb. Confectioners sugar
5 Tablespoons of Hershey’s coco powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Godiva liqueur original flavor, it is a chocolate flavor

In a small sauce pan melt butter. Place the melted butter into a clean stand mixer bowl allow standing for 5 minutes to slightly cool. Temper in the buttermilk while mixer is on medium low speed. Slowly add powder sugar until blended add coco, vanilla and liqueur turn up to medium to medium high and mix until creamy it will be pour able but not watery. When the cake comes out allow standing for 5 minutes and pour icing over the cake and spread out evenly over entire cake, allow standing for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with ice crystal candy or candy of your choice. Serve warm or completely cooled it is really great ether way.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Good Morning All!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends. This morning I would like to talk about preparing for the summer gatherings. As you know the family picnics are right around the corner as is all the work to prepare for them. Lets imagine you have 40 people coming for a picnic this Saturday, and you are expected to prepare the food. It is Monday morning and your joints are aching, your body is tired, your may thinking I surely have to feel better by the weekend. As we all know when you have arthritis there is no guarantee that you will feel any different on Saturday than you do on this day. However; there are things you can do. Start your day off with a nice long hot bath or shower, dress in lose fitting comfortable cloths and most importantly pace your self. You have to find a happy medium between your daily act -ivies and rest, never allow yourself to become completely exhausted. Next make a plan! Sit down and plan out your week. For example Monday shopping for the picnic or party, nothing else on this day just shopping! Tues gathering all decorations and supplies needed and so on. Plan your menu with plenty of make ahead dishes. Delagate authority! give other family members jobs to do. Ask some of your close friends to pitch in with the preparing of the meal. The day of the party or picnic allot time to rest between activies, Then enjoy your guests. When I have to prepare alot of food my hands swell. I will let you in on a little pain reliving swelling reducing secret. I fill a thick square glass with ice cubes and a cold drink while I am visiting with my guests I wrap both hands around the drink . This helps with the pain as well as reduces the swelling and no one is the wiser. When it is time to clean up, inlist every spare hand. Do not be a hero, when your friends ask to help LET THEM! I know you are saying I am the host I need to do it all, not anymore you don't. Your friends and family know you have arthrits and its OK to accept thier help. So the next time you are planning an event follow these few rules and your event will be less painful.

Its even OK to ask the kids to help prepare the food, You may or may not want to serve it to your guest but you will create an ever lasting memory as I did above with my grandkids. Have a wonderful pain free day!