chocolate malted waffles

Every time I think I’ve moved a few steps forward, life sends me a reality check. My mind has been restless, probably because of the million things on my To Do list. I’m sure the key lies in surrendering to the chaos a little, and not worrying so much about the future. It’s hard when you’re a perfectionist to accept that the world itself is an imperfect place. Just writing ever so briefly about the clutter in my head helps me feel a little less encumbered by it all.

There’s good news for all the busyness, though. I mentioned last time that I was writing for Relish Magazine again. Shifting my focus a little in my writing, not having every word flecked with memories of Michael, is important. It’s good to get out of my own head, and necessary if I’m going to really sustain and nurture a life without him. Of course, he’s always in my writing, even if I don’t mention him with a specific reference. As I was developing my recent recipe for Relishβ€”chocolate malted waffles, all I could imagine was his reaction to waking up to them on Valentine’s Day. He had this way of closing his eyes when he took the first bite of a new recipe, and a wave of calm delight would wash over his face when it was a winner.

These waffles are the perfect way to say I love you to the girls when they wake up tomorrow (you can get the recipe for them here). I’ll set the table with cloth napkins, and make fresh-squeezed clementine juice as I do every morning. Then I will focus on being happy, because for all I’ve lost there is still so much left to love about my life. Most importantly, there are the two little girls watching my every move with the same chocolate brown eyes as their daddy. It is through those eyes that they will learn how to be happy even in the most trying times life can hand them. It is through my actions that they will learn happiness is a choice we work towards every day.

Music Pairing: Love is a Rose by Neil Young

Last Valentine’s Day: chocolate pistachio madeleines.


Homemade with Love update: I’ve added more places where the book is available for presale, If you click on the link now, you can pre-order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Amazon Canada, and it is available internationally from The Book Depository with free shipping!


  • Rose D’Angelo Frenchtown, NJ: Those precious little brown eyed girls are so lucky to have you…

  • ashley: oh jennie,
    your posts bring me to tears. i hope you know how many readers you have out here rooting for you as well. not just those cute little girls we can’t get enough of on instagram. πŸ˜‰

  • Rocky Mountain Woman: Yes! Exactly!

    You have come so far, sweetie!



  • Susan: My heart is glad to hear you exude hope for the future, and that you are getting back to your new normal…happy!
    You. Have. Come. A. Long. Way!!!

  • dervla @ the curator: those waffles look gorgeous … love the image of your girls staring at you with their daddy’s eyes. I hope all three of you have a wonderful day tomorrow.

  • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.): Jennie, your words are always so beautifully crafted. Wishing you and the girls lots of group hugs this St Valentin. XOX

  • cherie: Thank you for words I needed to hear today

  • Tracey A: Morning Jennie
    Much love from ALL of us. Love your recipes and strength. Remember to keep it up…
    Rainbows hugs, vanilla, sunshine and a bucket full of carnations and roses, today and all the days ahead.
    Love Tracey and Mikey

  • Maria in NJ: hmmmm…we have the choice to be happy, those are really some deep words there. everyday i think of him, it makes me so sad, of what i lost, but i also have a good life now too, how do you stop loving someone? can someone answer that…

  • Caroline @ Pink Basil: Beautiful post! After having a terrible day yesterday those are wise words that I needed to hear πŸ™‚

  • Sarah: I’ve had chocolate waffles, and I’ve had malted waffles, but I’ve never had their LOVE CHILD! And now I really really want to.

  • Leire: I was lucky to have parents who worked really hard like you do to teach me “happiness is a choice we work towards every day”
    Your word fill my hungry heart, thank you

  • Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs: Jennie these are perfect for a Valentine’s weekend brunch! Thanks for sharing!

  • robin: Youre a good mama and youre doin a good job:)

  • Kara: These look awesome! Wondering what kind of waffle iron you use. Thanks!

  • Jennifer Perillo: Hi Kara, my waffle iron is from Cuisinart. I love that it makes smaller-sized waffles that easily heat up in the toaster.

  • Kara: Thanks, Jennie! Ah, I didn’t clue in that it was a Belgian maker, been using the cuisinart round classic. I do like the shape for the toaster, though, will have to keep that in mind.

  • Lilly Sue: Enjoyed finding your blog through Domestic Fits. I am very sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine. Through your writing I can tell you are very strong. Always do the things you love and try not to stress about the little things πŸ™‚