Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dinner and Dessert for Jeanette

I dedicate this post to my friend Jeanette from Starting Over. On Monday, I got an email with some heartbreaking news- Jeanette passed away on Christmas morning.

Jeanette and I became friends in early 2010. She found this blog and emailed me to tell me that she loved and trusted the recipes I shared. You see, Jeanette was in a car accident several years ago and suffered some brain damage that affected her olfactory gland, which in turn meant that she could not taste or smell. She enjoyed textures and she ate for health, but she couldn't really enjoy food like you and I do. She relied on the people she cooked and baked for to tell her how something tasted. When she received requests for recipes, then she knew it was a keeper. One day she emailed me to say "You know because I can't taste I always come to your blog for new recipe ideas. I never worry about how things will turn just don't know how much I appreciate you and your recipes. This is the first time since I lost my taste and smell that I am not afraid to try new things for my friends and family." That means the world to me.

This fall, Jeanette went in for back surgery to repair some ruptured discs. When she went home she was filled with nuts, bolts and screws holding her all together. She was in pain. Over the next few weeks, she returned to the hospital for more surgeries- a total of 6, I believe. Then she had a stroke which affected her speech. She was on bed rest and pumped full of drugs. All through this, she was still upbeat and positive. I was not there, I have never met her in person, but we communicated via email quite a bit, or when she was able to. I considered her my friend. She's still my friend though there will no longer be emails shared between us. I will miss that.

She was a kind soul and a symbol of strength. I don't know of anyone else who has been through so much and still had a smile on her face. She still laughed and joked and shared stories with me. She told me about how she would make costumes for her rabbits and dress them up as other animals. She told me about her pot belly pigs- Hamlet and Yam Yam and how when they were little she tried to sneak them into WalMart. And how she bakes them cornbread on their birthdays. ha! More recently she took her dogs to the drug store to get their passport photos taken, just because she wanted decent photos of them. She told the people there that her dogs were famous and they needed passports to travel outside the country. She was a hoot! She loved animals and had several dogs to keep her company and love on.

Jeanette shared with me memories of her late daughter Jenee', which I was more than happy to read about, honored really. I don't know why Jeanette's life was cut short. I don't know many details of her death except for that she is no longer here. I do know that she loved her husband and her family with all of her heart and she'd do anything for them. She had a big, generous heart and I will never forget her. I believe there is a Heaven, and that Heaven is anything you dream it can be. I believe in my heart, that in her Heaven, she no longer hurts. And that she joins her daughter, her father and her dogs, Keelie and Ning.

In her Heaven, there will be scramble dogs and soft chocolate chip cookies and she will not only eat them, she will taste and enjoy them! These two recipes came from her blog. The scramble dogs are basically chopped up chili dogs in a bowl with the added crunch of oyster crackers on top. The chocolate chip cookies are thick and soft and a favorite of her husbands. We ate them and felt like she was sitting down with us for dinner. I hope you'll make them and feel the same.

Aunt Nette's Scramble Dogs adapted from Starting Over

Printer Friendly Version

  • 1 hot dog bun, toasted and chopped
  • 1 all beef wiener, cooked and chopped
  • chili
  • chopped onions
  • mustard
  • 4 dill pickle slices, chopped
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • oyster crackers

Toast a hot dog bun and cook your wiener. Chop both into bite sized pieces and set aside.

Place your chopped and toasted hot dog bun in a bowl. Scatter the wiener on top of the bun and pour chili over it.

Top with shredded cheddar cheese, diced onion, dill pickles slices, and a squirt of mustard. Top scramble dog with a handful of oyster crackers. Dig in!

Serves 1

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies from AR via Starting Over

Printer Friendly Version

  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

Makes approx. 3 dozen.

NOTE: I used a medium ice cream scoop to portion out the cookie dough. I got 32 cookies and baked them for 13 minutes on parchment lined sheets.

Please, please please, take a moment to visit her blog and leave a note for her husband, Doug. He is stationed in Saudi Arabia for work and is trying to make his way back to the States to be with his wife. I'm not sure if he's made it home yet, but prayers for him would be much appreciated. I wish him peace and blessings.

Jeanette you will be missed.

~Monica H


Cool Chic Style Fashion said...

Happy New Year ♥
Moltissimi Auguri
per uno splendido 2011

Selba said...

Sorry to hear about Jeanette. What a beautiful dedication post you made for her, Monica. I definitely will visit her blog.

Ruth Hiebert said...

I am so sorry to hear of Jeanette's passing.Losing a friend,even if it was a blogging friend is painful.Thanks for sharing this and may you feel peace and have happy memories of this special lady.

Treehouse Chef said...

what a beautiful tribute to your friend. You touch so many lives. Thanks for sharing.

Blog is the New Black said...

Sorry for your loss. This was a sweet post! :)

Keeley said...

Monica, this is a wonderful tribute to your friend. I love how blogs bring women together who would never meet in real life. It sounds like Jeanette had a great sense of humor, despite her circumstances. Thanks for sharing these recipes and this story.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

What a wonderful tribute to your friend. I agree, just because you have not met her does not make her any less your friend.

How sweet of her to open up to you and to tell you all of those things.

She sounds like a hoot! Love the story about the dogs and the passport!

Happy New Year. Keep doing what you do so well.

Patty said...

A beautiful tribute to your friend. Jeanette's dinner being served in our house tonight.

vanillasugarblog said...

that is just heartbreaking. thank you for doing this for her and her hubby. rest in peace dear Jeanette.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This is such a touching and inspiting story Monica. Thank you so much for sharing your friendship and Jeanette with us. She obviously touched so many lives.

Rachel (rachescakes) said...

Monica- I am sorry she passed. I am marking this recipe to try.

Unknown said...

That is one fabulous lady, we could all learn to be happer.

Thanks for sharing.

Barbara said...

How sad for you that a friend is gone, but how beautiful that the internet offered you such a lovely friendship. We'll try the chili dogs -- they sound great!

oneordinaryday said...

You've written Jeanette a beautiful tribute, Monica. From the way you've described her, I have a feeling she'd be tickled that you and the mister enjoyed some of her favorite recipes.

wooliegirl said...

What a blessing Jeanette left with us through her recipes. You have honored her here with your words and I found it very touching, thank you!
I will make her cookies this week in honor and memory of her.

Pink Little Cake said...

This is a beautiful post,it is wonderful that you are honoring her here.

Kerstin said...

Such a beautiful tribute Monica, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Unknown said...

My prayers are with Jeanette's family. She sounded like an amazing and very strong women/friend!!

cookies and cups said...

This is such a nice post, Monica!
I can't think of a better way to honor someone than chocolate chip cookies...and I mean that in complete seriousness...
Here's to Jeanette...cookies for everyone!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful post, you are such a talented writer!! Your cooking looks fabulous too of course :)

I like the new look of your blog!

Alleen said...

Yum! Although, I think I have eaten my fair share of cookies these past weeks to last my the entire 2011!!

Happy New Year!

From the Kitchen said...

Monica, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, Jeanette. What a sweet and loving tribute you've made for her here. Thanks for sharing that tribute with us as well.


Janet said...

You are amazingly good. A perfect friend.

I wish I'd known Jeanette as you did!

The Food Librarian said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. She sounds like a wonderful person; your tribute to her is lovely.

AllThingsYummy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. The memories you shared about her are precious. In stories, recipes and love you honor her memory.

White Toast with Butter said...

What a lovely dedication to your are the best.

Susan at said...

Monica - aren't you a sweet friend. I am so amazed my the Cyber world - how you two became such good friends - and had never met. Sounds like you two were lucky to have each other.

I am so sorry for the loss of Jeanette but I look forward to trying BOTH of her recipes.


Smitten Sugar said...

Sorry to hear about your friend what what a nice way to honor her!

Happy New Year

Gone said...


Your tribute to your friend and mine...was very touching...and right on target! Jeanette was such a sweet woman and will be terribly missed.

NOTE: Doug did get home and Jeanette's memorial was last Friday. Here's the link to her

Guest Book:

The Funeral Home (her obit is in the right column):

Her Hubby Doug's FaceBook page:

I did a short tribute for her, too.

I just thought that perhaps you would like to have these. Happy New Year, dear.


Heather at Kitchen Concoctions said...

Monica, what a beautiful blog post in memory of your friend. Thanks for sharing about Jeanette and about yall's friendship.

cupcakesandcoffee schwartz said...

Thanks for sharing this about your friend. It was a lovely dedication to her.

Maria said...

Sorry to hear the news. Lovely tribute to your dear friend.

Laura said...

scramble dogs? love it my kids will go crazy for these! sorry to hear about your friend but she can taste food now in heaven

(Nicole) The Very Hungry Caterpillar said...

oh that was a very sweet post. thank you for sharing your feelings.
This was the picture of cookies I was looking for that looked so good, but the pudding tipped me off that this is the same cookie recipe I make and love all the time.... maybe that is why I thought they looked so good. thanks

Allie said...

So very sad. It sounds like you were a great friend and inspiration to her just as she was to you. Thank you for sharing Jeanette with us.

Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer said...

Lesson, to live and be thankful even in the hardest times. Thanks for sharing her strength. She would love your post :)

Desi said...

Monica, you seem like such a great friend. Thanks for taking the time to share Jeanette with us so we can see what a great person she was too. You are so thoughtful for that.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

What a beautiful post my friend!

I'm certain Jeanette is looking down smiling and asking for someone to pass her a CC cookie!

Thanks for sharing Jeanette with us. Seeing her through your eyes & reading a few of her upbeat posts makes me wish I knew her.

Susan at said...

Loved your story about Jeanette. I shared her Soft Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on my blog! Thanks for sharing! The cookies were yummy!


Unknown said...

My thoughts are with Jeanette's family in this trying time. :-(

Sophie said...

What a loving and heartbreaking post. Indeed, she does sound like she was a strong woman. I know she smiled down on you when you published this sweet post for her :).

Melissa said...

I found your yummy blog from and boy am I glad I did. I have many new things to make thanks to you (and Coleen). These cookies are fantastic.

vickie johnston said...

much love to your friend jeanettes family...i know how it feels to lose someone also...thank you for telling us about her she is blessed and has blessed you also. i will definately try her recipe and dedicate it to her...

Hennifer said...

I made these today with Giradhelli bittersweet chips. So yummy!

I also made one of your biscuit recipes, also yummy!

Thanks for being so dependable.

Anonymous said...

And Nobleness walks in our ways again; "To walk." buffetted their brows and beat their breasts, continually

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