Twins Judy & Joy: Chocolate: Mom's ultimate passion

It is early morning and the house is very still. The sun is starting to rise, and I can feel its warmth through the window of the kitchen door.

“Wow, where are all the fingerprints? Someone must have cleaned it before they went to bed.” What a great way to start Mother’s Day,” I say to myself. “Somebody actually did something.”

The scent of the lilacs Judy brought over yesterday fills the kitchen and the flowers will be stunning for the table today. As I sip my hot black “cuppa” coffee my mind starts to wander, and my eyes fill with tears. I remember the lilacs at our grandparents’ house — such wonderful memories. I am missing them terribly, especially today. Happy Mother’s Day Nana...

Very soon Mom will arrive along with the rest of the family. The noises coming from upstairs remind me that my quiet time is over, and it is time to get busy preparing the meal. The table is set perfectly and the special meal we have chosen for Mom has her favorite ingredient, chocolate! For Mom and I, chocolate is our ultimate passion and we try to sneak it in at every meal. The cream infused whipped potatoes are almost done and I have chosen a delicate pinot grigio, Mom’s favorite. I will also place a fresh pink orchid flower on the plates for this special day.

My favorite memories are the times we all gather around a table, share a story and a laugh. “La Familia,” Mom always says, “there is just nothing more important.”

Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy!

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Filet Mignon with Chocolate Port Sauce

This recipe is surprisingly easy and has an unexpected ingredient — chocolate!

2 tenderloin steaks

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon cracked white/black pepper

sea salt to taste

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1/4 cup port wine

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup beef stock

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

1/2-1 ounce bittersweet chocolate

2 tablespoons butter

Brush steaks all over with one tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper on both sides of tenderloins. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and turn heat to medium high; pan should be very hot. Add steaks and cook (3 to 4 minutes per side, based on your preference for doneness).

Remove tenderloins from skillet and keep warm. In the same skillet, stir in minced shallot; cook for one minute. Pour in the port and balsamic vinegar. Simmer until the port reduces to the consistency of chocolate syrup, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add stock and rosemary, and return to simmer. Whisk in chocolate until melted and slightly thickened. Lastly, whisk in 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Re-season to taste.