The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook and Cooking through My Grief

Taking it one recipe at a time. 2013 will be mainly focused on "The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook," by Dinah Bucholz, and how doing what I love, cooking, being with my family and reading Harry Potter will help me process my grief associated with loosing my 3 week old daughter, Ruby, on November 18th, 2011.
Join me for a "culinary magical masterpiece" throughout 2013!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ruby's Wish

I have been working on the logistics of our start up Non-profit organization and it has been taking so much time and thought and energy. My husband and I are so excited to get this up and running though and are very excited to see how far we can reach and how many lifes will be blessed from this! Please go visit our Facebook page so you can keep up with our progress. Just look up "Ruby's Wish" and like us. We are trying to get 200 likes by the end of March! Please help us reach that goal:)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Now and Forever/ Pumpkin Bread

I know it is March and the uproaching March 21, 1st day of Spring cannot get here fast enough! So making pumpkin bread kind of took me back two seasons ago, but I was pregnant and I had a new baby, the last two I have missed out on a lot of things I LOVE in the fall. One of these is the fall soups and breads-so, I broke down and made some Pumpkin Bread. First off, this was a fantastic recipe! It cooked up perfectly! It wasn't heavy or mushy in the middle like some Pumpkin bread can be. I loved that Bucholz suggested to sprinkle powdered sugar on top! It was a perfect way to finish off the bread before it got devoured!!! It excited my pallet to eat and makes me wish I had another loaf ready to eat just writing about it! I did add a few things to the bread that I love. One is I added some walnuts, I always love a little crunch in my pumpkin/bannana breads, and I also added some chocolate chips, lets face it, I'm a chocoholic, I just have to have it!
  In Memory of Ruby this week I have spent some time just talking about her with Rose. Just taking little Moments of every day, keeping her alive in our family, not wanting Rose to forget. And then Rose surprises me and in return reminds me every day, "Ruby is In our Heart Mom!" "Ruby is in our heart Dad." I don't know who taught her this, or if this is how she makes sence of everything, but I like this response better than her old one where she would say "Ruby is in the Hospital," even though it has been months, and months since we last saw her. "Ruby is in our Hearts," brings so much peace with it! And the reality is that we will never forget her because truly our hearts will never forget our beautiful little girl!

 This past weekend there seems to have been a lot of death and as always, the emotion that goes along with loosing a loved one-saddness.  To them I guess my thoughts and message would be that even though you no longer get to hold, touch, and interact with your loved one, THEY ARE IN YOUR HEART! Now and forever!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A house of Learning/Order

In my last post I made reference that we are starting some new schedules in our home. It is working BEAUTIFULLY!!! So I thought I would share it with you. First off, it has taken me 4 years of trial and error until I have finally come upon this wonderful schedule that works within our lifestyle! It also has taken me 4 years to realize that I cannot be a "last second" Mom any more. I need order, but more importantly Rose and Clark need order. So, if you are looking for a new "order" of things perhaps this will be your magical ticket...also don't think you need kids to make this work! If you just need order and a schedule for you give it a try! I found myself frustrated at Rose, Clark and Brian the majority of the time because they were taking up ALL of my time-lets face it, even Moms need a few moments to themselves. This has helped me out tremendously because I feel that everyone's time needs are met, for the most part. The biggest change has been that I have been so much more patient, loving, and kind to Rose because she no longer is an energy sucker from me-and in turn she is so much more patient, loving and kind to me, because she knows what we are doing and how the order of her day will play out! It is now a beautiful dance of life! Thank you schedule!!!
Here is our daily plan-weekends are a bit messed up, but I still try to stick to this as much as possible and honestly the routine snack time seems to be the most wonderful, ingenious thing I have done yet for my daughter!
8 a.m ish.-(I don't wake my kids up in the morning so typically we aren't up and going til around 9, unless Rose has preschool)
       Dress, hair, brush teeth
       Straighten room
       Scripture power(we read a story or two from the friend, or watch a spiritual video on-line)
       Alone Play time
10:30-Morning Tea (that just sounds cool, we don't really drink tea, but this is a planned out snack, morning snack is usually fruit based, canned or fresh)
       Chore Card-See below for details on how I attempt to make this a fun part of the day:)   
       Structured craft, cooking, computer time etc...this is time with Mommy
1-3 -Story time
       Imagination time a.k.a. nap time-This can be mommy nap time or used as time for my checklist of things to do. I typically try to get dinner prepared at this time as things seem to get crazy once the kiddo's wake up.
3:30-Afternoon Tea (typically a veggie snack)
4 pm-Gym time (I go to the gym to work out, kids play in the child center)
       Educational t.v time
       Get table set for dinner
5:30-6:00-Dinner Time
       Clean up dinner, do dishes
7 pm-Bath time
       Night time snack
       Family Sweep-walk through the house and pick up things/organize before bed
       Brush teeth
       Family scriptures/prayer
8 pm-Bed time-Yay, we all made it through another day!!!

       I also have different day activities. We haven't done these yet because my baby is sick and we haven't been going out, but when he decides to get better these are some of our goals:
       Tues-Stay home day! Cook with Rose (we make fresh homemade bread weekly, so this is a cooking day.
       Thurs.-Zoo or museum day/Morning field trip
       Fri-Swim @ the gym-most of the morning

Things to remember about schedules: They are fantastic to have but be flexible. For example I have a little baby who doesn't understand that I have a 3 year old who also needs attention. Sometimes his feeding schedule interfere's with my time with Rosie, but if this happens we work around it. Clark is on a fantastic schedule though, so most times I know when I need to feed him and when he is ready for his naps so I get good, quality time with my Rose. (if you have a baby and are in need of a schedule, try the "baby wise" plan-I adapted the 3 hour schedule, my own style and it has been a baby life saver for me!)

"You've Got Mail"-Chore Cards

Please don't judge me too harshly, I am somewhat computer illiterate and don't have time or patience to create a beautiful chore card system. So, yes, what you see is hand drawn, and you will notice very quickly that my artistic talent is slim to none! But it truly doesn't matter what a stick figure looks like, right? Besides Rose has not looked at me and said "Mother, (she really does call me Mother, so cute!) Why did you not create these pictures using some cool method on the computer." I'm sure some day she will be excited to teach me how to do that though!
   So the system is: I created 7 chore cards-things that are doable for a 3-4 year old with my help of course-but that is how she learns. One of the chore cards is "Play a game with Mother"-I added this to add an element of fun to the cards, but I am also teaching her how to follow rules and how to have a good time, even if she looses. The problem is she has won every game we have played so far! This girl is AMAZING at chutes and ladders! I cannot stay away from those darn chutes!
A few other chore cards are: mop floor, sweep floor, vacuum floor, wash dishes, clean bathroom, and dust.
I found an ADORABLE little mailbox at target last weekend that was on clearance in the dollar section! Didn't know they clearanced their dollar section, but know I do. I got it for .30 cents! Its perfect! In the morning I have the mailbox filled with her chore cards and the little red flag up. She LOVES to put the flag down and pull out a card. I let her pull out 3 cards and she gets to choose which one she wants to do. Sometimes they get tweaked a bit. Like yesterday she pulled out dusting, but she wanted to wash my sliding door window instead-so I of course let her do that and I dusted. Once the card is picked for the week I put it to the side, so eventually everything in the mailbox gets done. I didn't realize how amazingly helpful this little chore mailbox would be, but I now feel like I'm getting the little things done that never get done and am not neglecting my children-we do it togther!
Here is my picture, seriously, don't judge the simplicity! ;)

Happy Scheduling!!!

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a bhouse, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” D&C 88:119

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Walking through the Calm/Dundee Cake (fruitcake) for kids

  I know I have been distracted and not staying on top of my Harry Potter posts, I'm sorry to all of my faithful readers! :) Life gets busy sometimes, lets just say that.
  Well tonights Dinah Bucholz Harry Potter treat is the Dundee Cake, which is a fruit cake, and is actually a very yummy fruit cake. I sound a bit skeptical but I really don't like fruit cake and was not looking forward to making it, but I am learning to love Dinah's taste on her take of the HP menu. This recipe calls for apple juice and juice from an orange. I was fresh out of apple juice, but had a beautiful green apple. So we pulled out my amazing Breville, juicer, and made our own. If you have never juiced a green apple before I highly recommend it! YUMMY! We also juiced a minneola, which is like an orange, but perhaps a bit more tart. They are my favorite!!! I believe they are only available in grocery stores right now though, so run to the store and buy yourself a box of mineola's! You will not regret it! I took a picture of tonights treat, just wanted you to be aware that I attempted toasting almonds, I say attempted because you will notice that I blackened most of them...that is because I have not mastered multi-tasking yet, or perhaps I should say I have not learned that I shouldn't multi-task! Either way, Dinah has also taught me to fall in Love with everything Almond! I love almond extract and toasted almonds! Super, super yummy and add a fantastic flavor!
  This week Brian and I made a strange realization. We realized one night as we were having a discussion that we were struggling, having a difficult time. Why is this, we wondered. Both of our children are healthy, we are financially stable, our cars are running great, we have been amply blessed-so why are we not connecting??! And we realized that looking back on our marriage we have litterally spent most of it in high stress situations and have not learned how to relax, and enjoy the calm of life. It was time for a change, truly we should be walking blissfully everywhere we go because of the low level of stress! We have tried to make a few changes in our day to day schedule-and by changes I mean actually making a schedule, making time for each other-puting dating on the top of our to-do list, spending time with our children and just learning to enjoy a calm life. It is interesting how when things are calm there is this strange level of discomfort and a sense that we must cause some sort of upheaval to have purpose again. So, all of those years that we spent praying that the rocks in our road would be removed perhaps have been answered, and the Lord is now smiling down on us as we learn how to enjoy the calm. I put this in as part of my Ruby post because I don't think we are alone with this feeling. Perhaps others have felt the way we do, after walking through a refiners fire, of sorts, and truly needing your spouse as a strength and help, you wake up at some point after that and realize that you have spent way too much time stressing and having the water over your head you forgot to take care of the seemingly little things, like the love notes, the phone calls, the flowers and even just the kind words. I guess I am realizing that life ebbs and flows, and my one true constant is my husband, and we are learning, and sometimes struggling to learn how to continue to Love through all the changes of life!
Have you experienced this? has this ebb and flow of life effected you in your relationship? Just hoping we aren't alone...


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Peas and Carrots

Last weeks Harry Potter treat I ended up doing 2 recipes...Peas and Carrots! The peas were super yummy and the carrots were ok. I think carrots cook up perfectly and don't need any added sweeteners, so that is why I say they are ok. With the simplicity of the meal I can't help but think of the simplicity that can be present in life. My little Rose and Clark remind me of this daily. Rosie asks "I want snuggles Mother", which reminds me to slow down and take a few minutes with her. Clark rolled over for the first time yesterday, which reminds me that no matter how much I want to just bottle him up and keep him little forever, it can't happen. I love the little smiles and little hands I get to hold everyday. It seems like such a battle to slow down and yet those moments are the ones that matter most at the end of my day.
  Another thought on Peas and Carrots, although they are very different vegetables they seem to go together so well at a meal! Our family is somewhat set up like peas and carrots, with Ruby in heaven and us here. We keep Ruby alive in our life by still praying every day for her, that she is happy, we reminse of her life and wonder what she is up too know, every day. We ask Rosie where Ruby is...sometimes she say's she is at the hospital, but most of the time she says she is with Heavenly Father, and that makes us all smile. I'm sure that Ruby, though she is in heaven is very near us at times. I believe that even though she was taken home earlier than we had hoped she is still a very present blessing and sweet addition to our family.

"For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
Isaiah 55:12

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Grieving Grandparents/Cherry Bakewell Cake (from Hermoine)

 This week I made my Harry Potter meal at my Mothers. It turned out delicious! It almost tasted like a cherry cobler, but with toasted almonds on it! (thanks to my Mother who knows how to toast almonds to perfection!) My Mom is the whole reason my sister and I love to cook! She has inspired us so much in fact that we look at cook books during our free time and dream about making so many yummy things! I was thinking that this post will be in Memory of Grandparents and their grief. I guess really the people I should have writting this post is Ruby's Grandparents, but I will put things in my perspective and they can add any additional thoughts if they would like.
 I never realized how Grandparents can be so involved and conected to their Grandchildren. Perhaps because I didn't have a close relationship with my Grandparents it hindered my depth of understanding. Ruby's Grandparents were at the hospital with us, every opportunity they got! The strength that Brian and I recieved from them is insurmountably large! We could lean our grief on our parents, and our hope would come from them also. One particularly hard day at the hospital I went home and my Dad put his arm around me and told me that "Ruby isn't giving up, Why am I?" It was true, I was giving up hope and just having his loving arms buoy me up like that refreshed my will to continue to fight for Ruby right along side her. Then, when the time came for her to leave this world I told Brian that the only people I wanted in the room with us when she passed was our parents, I guess somehow Ruby heard that wish, and she passed away in the quite hours of the night with just us, our parents and a few doctors/nurses in the room. We all shared our grief that night, and reminsisced of our fond memories of Ruby's short life. And then we all together started the walk of grief, all 6 of us. I feel that everyone's grief is their own and their stories can be so different, and as time progressed I realized that in some ways my parents grief was deeper then my own. I grieved for my loss of Ruby, but they grieved for the loss of a beautiful Granddaughter and grieved from seeing their children burdened with loss, and not having any way to make it better. It makes sence since as a parent I want to take away all the pain and hurt from my Rose and Clark, and from watching my parents and Brian's parents I realize that that never changes with time.
  It is so wonderful to be able to walk this path of sorrow and sweet memories with my parents and my in-laws. There was a magical connection that happened to us all the night that Ruby passed away, I can't explain what exactly that magical connection is, but it is there. Perhaps we are all just knit tighter together from an immense amount of Love we all share for our little Ruby!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sweet Memory Sunday

We have been trying, and trying, and trying to get Rose to pray. I hate to admit it but I have even offered her coins for her piggy bank if she would...for some reason she just doesn't like to. But Brian and I have faithfully been having her say her prayers before bed-the one prayer we won't let her get out of. Last night she fianlly said her prayer ON HER OWN! It was so sweet and it felt like heaven was in the room with us! Rosie's prayer went like this, "Heavenly Father, Thank you for basketball(she played with her Daddy earlier that day). And Thank you for cookies (we had made cookies). Amen. That was it, and it was beautiful! It reminded me of how complicated my prayers have become when truly all I need to do is thank heavenly father for the little things that I am blessed with every day:)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Filling the Hole/Bourbon(Pinapple) Glazed Pork Loin with Peaches (for Adults)

Yes, this meal was an Adult meal, but I made it kid friendly by substituting the bourbon with Pinapple juice instead. It was super yummy (and I'm not that big of a fan of Pork Loin) You make this meal with peaches, and you marinate the meat in a sweet/not too spicy marinade for 24 hours. The reason I don't like pork loin is because usually there are no flavors that truly excite my pallete while I'm eating it. This meal was an exception. It was so yummy to eat along with the peaches beside it, but I think the real secret was the 24 hour marination. As I was making this meal I was thinking how would I tie this into my blog...when I made a connection to the time it took to prepare this meal, and how much time it takes to fill the hole that Ruby left behind. I have been told, and I believe that the hole will never heal. In fact its a rather strange spot sometimes it seems small, almost like its better, and then in the most unexpected moments it is ripped wide open again. My Chiropractor told me this week that he enjoyed reading my posts when Ruby was fighting for her life, he told me that we used a whole lifetime of Love in 24 short days, and that he truly was amazed at our ability to do that. I never thought of it like that but its true, our little Ruby used up every ounce of Love we could give her while she was here, but it did not end when she passed away. Perhaps that is one reason why having her absent is so hard. We still have many more "lifetimes" of love to give to her!
  As we were grieving Ruby's loss last year I found out I was pregnant with my third baby. We were so excited! There were so many times when my arms and heart would just ACHE for a baby to hold! We weren't sure what to expect when our baby arrived as far as how we would feel emotionally. Clark was welcomed into our hearts and our home the instant he was born! He just fit into his place in our hearts, but he didn't replace Ruby's spot...I think that was what I was unsure of, or perhaps hoped. In fact a few weeks ago I was holding him, rocking him to sleep when my Ruby hole suddenly opened wide and the empty, achyness started to grow with in me. I squeezed Clark up closer to me, gave Ruby a few minutes of remembrance and the emptiness started to subside, and I might of squeezed Clark a little to tight as he woke up a bit and whimpered. Perhaps the secret to the hole is not pushing it away, but maybe it is ackknowledging that it is there, it is real, it exists.  I realize now that each one of my children has an equal portion of my heart and at different times it will ache for each of them. Its just that Ruby's is a constant ache and learning how to live day by day with that ache is just like my marinade. Over time the memories become sweeter, the bitterness seems to subside some but my hole will always be there until we meet again!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

God Be with You Till We Meet Again

"The purpose of mortality is to learn and to grow to be more like our Father (in Heaven), and it is often during the difficult times that we learn the most, as painful as the lessons may be."

—Thomas S. Monson, "God Be with You Till We Meet Again", Liahona and Ensign, November 2012

  This quote is so very accurate to every aspect of life! As much as I love to learn and grow, a vacation to the Bahama's is a very nice break every now and then...of course we did that last year, so we probably can't do it again this year...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sweet Memory Sunday/Pumpkin Juice

  On Friday I made Pumpkin Juice from the Harry Potter cookbook on page 40. It was so sweet and super, super yummy! For the pumpkin I cooked and mashed my persoanlly prized homegrown pumpkin! I kind of didn't want to share the juice because it was so delicious, but my husband, parents, and brother were at my house so I had to share with them. The juice was so sweet that I decided to share a sweet memory of my Ruby.
  Ruby was born with multiple heart issues, we like to say she was born with a broken heart, and also down syndrome. My confession with Down syndrome is that my whole life I have been so uncomfortable around people with disabilities like that...not sure why, but I did. So it truly terrified me when we found out that our Ruby was coming with down syndrome. I wasn't sure how to react. Then, she was born, and she was beautiful, and she was a baby, just like any other baby. Perhaps I thought she would be something different, not sure what, but something. She had hiccups, and the tiniest baby cry! She loved to suck on her binky and sleep all the time, and poop in her diaper:) I loved that she was just another beautiful baby born to this earth, but the thing that I absolutly love and miss the most are Ruby's eye's. She had heaven in her eye's, and peace and love and acceptance. She had every quality of heaven and you could see it through her tiny little baby eye's.
 Perhaps if you were like me and totally uncomfortable around people/children with disabilities, perhaps the next chance you get to be around one of them look into their eye's! You might be surprised what you see and how you feel!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


     The other night I was laying in bed, trying to sleep and my mind wandered back to 2011, back to Rosie's surgeries, and the emotional pain for me having to watch her poked again, and again, and again and her screaming. Then it wandered to Ruby and the many times I felt tortured inside having to watch her be poked and poked and poked and unable to scream, because of her weak heart, and also because of the tube's down her throat, but I could see the tears pouring down her cheeks...I found myself cringing inside reliving every minute of pain for my daughters when the thought crossed my mind that its time for me to accept that this happened, and that I can't change it. I have to learn to accept every emotional upheaval in order to find peace. I then refocused my memories. Relived a few of the difficult ones and then told myself that that incident truly happened to my daughters, I really felt the anquish that I still felt that night, but its okay know. Its okay, I can exist with these memories and this pain, but the pain can lighten. With every bitter memory I am learning to accept and move on. In a way I guess I feel that through accepting it I am going to forget what Rose went through, or forget about Ruby. Yet, these memories I have are ones that may dim over time, but will never be forgotten. So, now that it has been a year I am realizing it is time to accept, still love myself and make an effort to move beyond the pain of the moments!
To my readers, who have dealt with painful memories of the past, how do you learn to overcome and live with that memory, but not have it consume you?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In Memory of Sandy Brook...

My heart continues to break and ache for the families who lost children and loved ones after the Sandy Brook shootings. I cry for those families as I know they lay their heads down at night, crying tears, wake up in the middle of the night feeling like some invisible rope is wrapped tightly around their hearts and sobbing and wake again in the morning, feeling the same way. Although we did not loose Ruby in that type of tragedy, I feel that loosing any child is a heart wrenching experience for all who are left behind.
  I have found over the last year and 1 1/2 months that even just being in the same room with someone who has lost a child gives me strength, and I feel such a connection to them, an unexplainable connection-perhaps it is because our angels are near us always, and the path of grief we walk as parents and grandparents, though different, is still a path of grief.
  I am wanting to pick up the pieces from where I left off last year...I am going to continue on my culinary masterpiece of cooking out of the Harry Potter cookbook, except this year I will only be doing one recipe a week, as I now have 2 sweet children at home and a Husband to entertain. I hope you will follow along with me as I share the journey we have been on and the journey that is ahead of us!