Chocolate Decadence Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Multiple Lines of Chocolate Products

September 12, 2011 – Chocolate Decadence, Eugene, Oregon, is recalling multiple lines of chocolate products because they may contain undeclared milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

There has been one allergic reaction complaint and confirmed to date in Connecticut. The products were distributed nationwide through Internet sales and through retail stores.

The products include Chocolate Decadence chocolate bars, almond clusters, assorted fruit clusters, chocolate buttons (raspberry, espresso, pure dark, mint, peanut butter), truffles, fudge, and molded chocolates.

The smaller packages are in clear cellophane bags with uniquely identifying paper wrappers. The bars are wrapped in silver foil and wrapped in earth-toned paper wrappers (see attached label).

There are no codes, best by dates or expiration dates observed on the retail packages.

The recall was initiated when the Connecticut customer became ill after eating the chocolate. Subsequent investigation revealed that the chocolate had been manufactured on production lines that had previously been used to process milk chocolate.

Consumers who have purchased Chocolate Decadence and who have allergy or severe sensitivity to milk are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Chocolate Decadence at 1-800-324-5018 from 8 AM-5 PM PST or at the company’s website See the entire FSIS Report here:  Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts Chocolate Decadence Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Multiple Lines of Chocolate Products.

Craving Mexican Food/Drink Again…

I love eating authentic mexican food.  I usually follow Rick Bayliss’ recipes from his PBS series and/or one of his many cookbooks.  My favorite all-time place for delicious Mexican Food is his Topolombampo restaurant and/or Frontera Grill.  At least once a year I head to Chicago for my real Mexican food/margarita fix–within walking distance to the hotel –of course.

My daughter, on the other hand, loves Taco Soup.  A recipe very far from anything you will find at a true authentic Mexican Restaurant.  But, this one is very kid friendly and can be made healthy.  Trader Joe’s company offers in the recipe healthy, vegetarian and slow cooker options.   I use fresh tomatoes in lieu of canned and opt for fresh jalapeno a sprinke of cumin and fresh cilantro instead of the taco seasoning mix. 

 “Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour / Serves: 6-8

This soup combines the flavors and textures we all love about tacos, into a hearty soup – and it’s easier to handle than messy tacos! I love crowd-pleasing one-pot meals like this, where everyone can customize their own toppings. I think the one topping that is mandatory is tortilla chips!


  • 1 (approx 1.3 lb) pkg boneless chicken breasts or thighs, or 1 pkg Chicken-less Strips (vegan/vegetarian option)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can corn, or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (optional; omit for a thicker stew)
  • Your choice of toppings (tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions, chopped onions, jalapenos or chiles)


1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook onions for 5 minutes, or until softened.
2. Add remaining ingredients and heat to boiling. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 1 hour.
3. Remove chicken, shred, and return to pot. Stir and heat through before serving.

Note: see below for slow-cooker instructions.

Additional Notes

Slow cooker method: Place all ingredients into a crockpot and cook for 5-6 hours on low setting. Remove chicken, shred, and return to crockpot. Stir and heat through before serving.


Cooking with Trader Joes Cookbook: Dinner’s Done!”

See the complete recipe and notes here:

Food revolution–is it our battle?

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC was an interesting reality tv show.  The reality was not confined within the walls of one family or one couple. It was a reality show about how one town’s consumption of processed food and poor eating habits was impacting the health of  many of the town’s residents.  The shows primary focus was on school food, but showed families and individual’s eating habits too.  The reality of it is that the problem is not with one small town, but it is an epidemic all over America. It is our battle. 

If you have watched the series, you may have realized that Jamie does really care about people and is incredibly moved by what children eat.  His meme is that this generation of children is the first to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.   This should be very disturbing to all Americans.  This celebrity stranger cares more about these people and their children, than they care for themselves. 

I share in Jamie’s passion for food and family.  I missed the episode on last Friday, but watched it this morning at   I actually started crying while watching.  This man, a chef and complete stranger to most of the individuals on the show, cares more about some of these children than their parents care for them.  Instead of allowing the children to eat his wholesomely planned lunches, parents were sending their young children to school with potato chips, pop, pop tarts and candy for lunch.  Other children stated they had pizza for breakfast, chicken nuggets for lunch, and chicken nuggest and fries for dinner.  The obesity was evident and related to lifestyle and eating habits.  UGH! 

The parents just don’t get it–you are what you eat.  Your children are obese, because you allow them to eat poorly too.  In this immediate gratification world, parents would rather throw convenience food at the kids, because that is what they like and that is what is cheap and came out of the freezer.  Parents spend more time searching for that flat screen tv, the new pair of shoes for mommy, which vacation to take, which accent pillows to buy, or which manicure to get than they do thinking about their family’s food choices. Can’t they see they are making decisions detrimental to their children’s well-being.   Pediatricians equate continued poor food choices and obesity to child abuse.  What do you think?

The food choices should not be a battle  — just a way of life.

Loving Jamie Olivers Food Revolution

Next week brings spring break and ample hours to blog — woo hoo!  I am preoccupied with several new men in my life.  I will tell you about them at the end of this blog.      

In the meantime, I am sure glad Jamie Oliver and ABC have decided to bring attention to poor eating habits in America.  It is not only the school lunch programs that need revamping, food habits of many families are in a terrible state.  Two parents working, sports, music lessons, errands…..never time to cook.   These folks believe that home-cooked foods are any food cooked at home.  Their home cooked meals include frozen pizzas, more chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, boxed macaroni cheese, cheese sandwiches made with plastic sheets of cheese.  These foods are over processed, over chemically preserved, over salted, and are a way of life for too many.

As a kid, I never liked cheese or pizza, macaroni and cheese, or grilled cheese sandwiches.  I grew up during the time of new-styled frozen dinners (Swedish meatballs, lasagna) in foil disposable baking pans, chinese food assembled from a two-part canned product poured over white rice, etc.  My mom even made soup from a soup-starter type product with dried up vegetables that you rehydrated with water.  I never understood how that really was a time or money saver.    My mom’s salads were always the same ice burg lettuce, a slice of tomato, and bottled italian dressing.  I did not eat much.  As a kid,  I always enjoyed grilled meat, fresh vegetables and  home-baked bread, but these were anomalies in my home.   I loved any frozen (not canned) vegetables: spinach, Brussel sprouts, corn, broccoli.   I also loved eating dinner at my best friend’s home.  Her family had six children and her mom cooked from scratch every day–every meal, every day.  In future blogs, I will share some of Mrs. Pukala’s wonderful recipes.  She was very frugal, but made healthy tasty food. 

So…..years later after working at a very stressful career and being liberated by my husband to travel the country with him, I settled down and followed a dream…I went to culinary school.  It was one of the most wonderful ways to learn how to like food.   I was allowed the opportunity to go to Schoolcraft Culinary School where the Master Chef to student ratio was 1:15.  That way of teaching no longer exists.  The master chefs are around, but barely do the direct teaching.  I learned food safety (the first necessity) then food cost, food quality, taste, portion and presentation.   Quality home cooking does not take a lot of time or money.  I beat Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals several times a week.  The correct tools in the kitchen help too.  Information on those tools will come in the blogs to come. 

It does not cost a lot to cook and eat with quality ingredients.  Please think about this cliche type statement: “you are what you eat.”  Would you rather be: tomatoes, basil, olive oil and sea salt or xantham gum, phosphoric acid, red 40, yellow 6?

Back to the new men in my life as a complete side note to this blog — but I must share them with you.  I am completely and totally in love with my husband and always have been, but he introduced me to two guys and is getting quite jealous about the amount of time which I spend with them.  Every Thursday and Sunday afternoon I dedicate to Adam and John.  I am getting Curry-ed away with them.  Please go to and download the No Agenda podcasts.  You may also link to the blog   They will change the way you think and live or think to live.  My eyes are open.

….until next time.  Please share your ideas about removing overly processed and overly chemically preserved foods from your life.  Please share your ideas about adding Adam and John to your life.