Hey friends, I want to share some delicious chocolate recipes with you. Who doesn't love chocolate? Well, I guess there are some people, but for the most part, so many people I know ADORE chocolate. I prefer dark when I'm eating pure chocolate, but I love a milk chocolate dessert.
Anyway, I am sharing these chocolate recipes in memory of my friend Joan Hayes, the creator and author of the very popular blog, Chocolate, Chocolate and More. Last week Joan passed away in her sleep, she was only 49 years old. Joan complained of a stomach ache and severe nausea before she went to bed. She died in her sleep of a massive heart attack, leaving behind three young children.
I was absolutely stunned and heartbroken to hear the news. We had just talked the day before, as we did almost every day. I am still in shock that my friend, who was so full of life, passed away so suddenly. It is a reminder of how short, how precious and how fragile life really is.
One Bowl Brownies
All the recipes I'm sharing with you today, are from Joan's site. She loved chocolate and dessert more than anything. Her sister just wrote a post about why Joan leaned towards the sweeter things in life. I learned something new about her and where her love of dessert came from.
Chocolate Coconut Bars
I met Joan several years ago at a small, intimate dinner in Seattle with a handful of other bloggers. Until then we had only known each other virtually through the blogging world, which is actually pretty connected.
It was a super-fun night and it was obvious we were going to be good friends. In fact the next day we took off from the conference on a little adventure. We were shopping in a suburban neighborhood of the city and could see Lake Washington below us in the distance. Joan was determined to get us to the shore of that lake. Her tenacity led us through streets, neighborhoods and broken sidewalks until we found the most beautiful spot on the shore. We had no idea this little carved out space was even there. It turned out to be a great afternoon full of laughter and mayhem with Joan and couple other friends. We had a blast just hanging out. That was the beginning of our friendship.
When I received the news Joan had died, I was honestly stunned. Her cousin had posted a message on her Facebook page and I just wanted to believe it was some type of joke. There was no way Joan, who was bursting with life and adventure, had passed away without warning.
Within minutes I had 10 messages from other close friends who were also in complete shock. No one could really believe it, or wanted to. It was heartbreaking news.
Joan was one of those "special people", someone everyone was drawn to. Her personality was contagious, infectious and magnetic and her southern accent was on par. Anytime I read anything she wrote I could hear her drawl. She helped and supported the blogging community tirelessly. That's obvious by how many were devastated by her passing. She was a force. Someone who made things happen. She did not take no for an answer and I loved that about her.
And because Joan touched so many us and helped us all during the short time we knew her, the blogging community has come together in the most amazing of ways. We are all helping to keep her site going as a benefit to the three young children this single-mother has left behind. There have been guest posts set up for months and others are sharing her recipes on Facebook and Pinterest.
Believe or not, a blog can continue to generate income, even if the original owner is no longer at the helm. This income will continue to benefit Joan's family.
How can you help? Visit her site! She has so many amazing dessert recipes. Share her blog and her recipes with friends and family. With the holidays coming up, this is a great site to turn to for some decadent holiday treats.
Joan and I returned to Seattle a few short weeks ago for a blogging conference. We had a great lunch at the top of the Space Needle with another friend. We spent almost the whole day there, taking pictures (Joan was always up for a goofy picture). I'm so glad I got to see her one more time.
We said goodbye the next day. She was off to Jamaica the next week and I was headed to Iowa. We knew we'd see each other again soon. It wasn't goodbye, just so long. If I only knew...
Joan Hayes 1966-2015, Photo Credit: Pineapple and Coconut
Today just happens to be National Chocolate Day. Without even knowing it, the food blogging community chose today to celebrate and remember Joan on the internet. If you read lots of food blogs, you are bound to run into many posts celebrating Joan today. We are trying to get the hashtag #ChocolateForJoan trending on Twitter. If you have an account, please tweet something chocolatey with the #ChocolateForJoan hashtag. It would mean so much! In fact, if you search this hashtag, you will find lots of posts to retweet.
Thank you for being such an inspiring friend. Thank you for all your advice, business-sense, your no nonsense attitude and your willingness to always have fun while eating lots of chocolate. Thank you for making me laugh so hard, until I couldn't breath. I will miss you my friend and remember our good times always. May you rest in peace.