Archive | October, 2012

Candy Apple Pork Chops

A Halloween Dinner Spookatcular from The Organized Cook. Candy Apple Pork Chops with Red Skittles. See how easy it is to make this terrifyingly tasty dinner… Boo!


Get The Recipe

Print this fun and easy dinner recipe here:

Candy Apple Pork Chops recipe

Candy Apple Pork Chops recipe

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A Story of Sisters

In the past, I’ve described the character differences in my daughters, Cassidy and Brooke, in many ways, like Cass is my “rule follower” and Brooke is my “rule breaker” (but in a good way).

Today’s photo shoot gave me a better analogy.  Cassidy reminds me of “Sandy” in the movie Grease while Brooke is ringer for “Stephanie Zinone” in Grease 2.  Both girls are fabulous, smart and beautiful… but in very different ways.


Sandy played the innocent high school student from Australia who was thrown into culture shock in 1950’s-California when she befriended the bad-girl girls of the Pink Ladies and fell in love with Danny Zucko, a boy gang member from the wrong side of the tracks.


Stephanie Zinone in Grease 2 was the rough-edged, gum-smacking beautiful member of the Pink Lady gang who pumped gas after school and fell in love with Michael Carrington, the pretty-boy foreign exchange student from England.


While both have kind hearts, Cassidy loves to follow the rules, while Brooke likes to find ways over and around them without fully breaking them (plausible deniability, I always say).


Brooke loves to antagonize Cassidy as an easy target but is the first to jump to her defense when anyone else gives her a hard time.  I’ve seen Ms. Brooke in action and she is nobody you’d want to mess with- her quick wit and tongue is combined with a finger point and hip action that would make any member of the Scorpions shake with fear (rival gang in the movie Grease).


At the age of eight, Cassidy is already talking about plans for her million dollar Beverly Hills wedding, while Brooke- on the other hand- I worry may one day elope to Thailand with her fiance and get matching tattoos in place of wedding bands.


Cassidy loves to smile and pose for photos, while Brooke is like a moving target who considers you lucky if she decides to stop just long enough for you to snap a photo or two… all the while Cassidy is holding the same pose.


While both have amazingly tender hearts, Brooke speaks from a place of wisdom far beyond her years.  When Brooke likes to make references to her previous lives, Cassidy gets frustrated and yells, “Brooke!  You were born in Henderson, Nevada!”


One day, not too long ago I was dealing with a difficult decision and felt very down-hearted.  Although I didn’t let on to the kids that anything was wrong, I was tying Brooke’s shoe when she reached down and grabbed my face, and while looking deep into my eyes said, “You’re not going to give up, are you.”  She was four at the time and had no idea what challenges I was facing.  But deep down, she always knows.


Cassidy loves to eat healthy food and is always super conscious about avoiding anything deemed unhealthy.  Brooke is still trying to convince me that fries are a vegetable.


Cassidy is protective of her “things” and keeps treasures meticulously stored in piggy banks, boxes and dresser drawers under strict orders for nobody to touch.  Brooke, on the other hand, has the “give you the shirt off her back” mentality and cares very little for keeping possessions and will give Cassidy anything she asked for.


One time after a heated argument, Kevin and I sat like two school children in front of their teacher while Brooke lectured us about “not forgetting about love“, and  how “love is the most important thing“…. yes, these were her exact words.


And I still carry around this note from Brooke that she left in my bag that says, “Listen With Your Heart”.

For Halloween this year, Cassidy is excited to be Hermione Granger from the movie Harry Potter.  Brooke is even more excited to be dressing up as Lord Voldemort, Harry’s evil arch nemesis.

Much like the fact my sister and I are so different- without one being better than the other- my wish for Cassidy and Brooke is that they always appreciate and accept what makes them so individually special.

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Manic Monday Giveaway with Pyure Organic Stevia

The holiday baking season is upon us.  Recently I made homemade Organic Coconut Chocolate with Pyure Organic Stevia and it was amazingly delicious and delightfully healthy.

Homemade Coconut Chocolate recipe

Organic Coconut Chocolate with Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener Recipe

My healthful homemade snack made me think about this year’s upcoming baking season with pumpkin pies, cake pops and gingerbread men dancing around in my head.  I thought about all of the recipes I could substitute sugar with Pyure Organic Stevia as a healthy alternative.

This week The Organized Cook is excited to be giving away a gift package of Pyure Organic Stevia to one lucky winner as part of our Manic Monday Giveaway to experience it was yourself.

Enter The Giveaway

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The Recipe

For a recipe and photo tutorial of our Organic Coconut Chocolate Recipe using Pyure Organic Stevia, visit:

organic stevia

Organic Coconut Chocolate Recipe with Pyure Organic Stevia Photo Tutorial

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Organic Coconut Chocolate with Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener

I’ll never buy chocolate again.  This recipe for Organic Coconut Chocolate made with Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener takes minutes to prepare and can cure the biggest of chocolate cravings without the guilt.

Pyure Organic Stevia

Pyure Organic Stevia

Organic Coconut Chocolate Recipe

Organic Coconut Chocolate with Pyure Organic Stevia

Organic Coconut Chocolate with Pyure Organic Stevia


  • organic virgin coconut oil- 1/2 cup
  • organic unsweetened cocoa powder- 1/2 cup
  • Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener- 6 tablespoons
  • organic vanilla extract- 1 teaspoon


  1. Mix together coconut oil and cocoa powder until smooth.
  2. Add Pyure Organic Stevia and vanilla then stir until smooth.
  3. Pour into individual molds or shallow tray.
  4. Transfer to refrigerator to hardened.


All Natural and Healthy

Over the past three years, I’ve consciously worked to lower sugar in my diet.  Aside from the history of diabetes in my family, I’ve come to understand the overall negative side effects of a diet rich in sugar.Virgin Coconut Oil

Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener is an all-natural sweetener derived from a plant.  Instead of a sweetener substitute, stevia can actually be termed a supplement with many reported health benefits including lower blood pressure and blood sugar.

Stevia is gluten-free and calorie-free making it a preferred sweetener for many dieters or people managing diabetes.

Coconut oil is another healthy diet supplement with reported health benefits including increased metabolism for weight loss, lowering of cholesterol and immune system support.

With my Organic Coconut Chocolate Recipe using Pyure Organic Stevia, next time I’m craving chocolate, I’ll be guilt-free knowing that this chocolate is actually healthy for me.


Organic Coconut Chocolate Recipe Photo Tutorial

Organic Coconut chocolate recipe

How To Make Organic Coconut Chocolate


Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil


How To make coconut chocolate

Mix coconut oil and cocoa powder together until smooth


coconut chocolate recipe

Mix until smooth



Add Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener


Mix Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener into mixture until smooth




Pour into shallow tray or individual molds.


Refrigerate until hard.


Organic Coconut chocolate recipe

The Health Food Chocolate



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