Cover of the new book "Yours, Unexpectedly"

Yours, Unexpectedly




For Merilee, it’s all about chocolate! So, if you’d like to begin and end your day with chocolate, here are some suggestions.

Matt’s Mom’s Chocolate Chip Happy Face Pancakes

These are Matt’s favorite “feel good” breakfast.


  • 1 ½ cups uncooked rolled oats
  • 2 cups milk, sour milk, or juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp Demerara sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 banana (optional)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • additional butter for griddle
  • chocolate chips (or blueberries)

Soak oats in milk until liquid is absorbed.

Melt and cool 4 tbsp butter.

Beat eggs lightly and add to oat/milk mixture.

If using banana, mash it and add it.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and stir into oat/egg mixture.

Add melted butter.

Grease griddle, skillet, or frying pan with butter and heat to medium heat.

Ladle batter to form desired size of pancakes.

For 3 ½ inch pancakes, cook 2-3 minutes until bubbles form and begin to break.

Press chocolate chips into the top to form a happy face, and flip pancakes to cook for an additional minute.

Serve with butter and maple syrup or fruit syrup.

Note: You can prepare the dry ingredient mixture in bulk and store, then add egg, milk, and melted butter when you are ready to make pancakes.


Books by Susan/Savanna

Cover of the new book "Champagne Rules" - a black man and a white woman kiss in deep wine-coloured light



Mousse au Chocolat

When Jenna has lunch on the cruise ship restaurant, La Vie en Rose, this is the dessert she enjoys.


  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup fine white sugar
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier (or Cognac, Kahlua, etc.)
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 3 tbsp strong coffee
  • 8 tbsp (1/4 lb) unsalted butter
  • whipping cream
  • vanilla or liqueur


Separate the eggs. In the top of a double boiler (or heatproof mixing bowl), beat yolks and sugar with an electric mixer or whisk until they’re pale yellow and thick enough to form a ribbon. Mix in liqueur. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and keep beating until mixture is foamy and hot (3-4 minutes). Set bowl over a pan of ice water and beat 3-4 minutes longer until it’s cool and the texture of mayonnaise.

In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, or a saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate with coffee, stirring constantly. Cut the butter into ½ inch pieces and beat into the chocolate/coffee mixture one piece at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk/sugar mixture.

In a fresh bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Stir ¼ of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remainder of the egg whites.

Spoon the mousse into individual soufflé dishes that have been brushed with vegetable oil.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until set.

Whip cream, add vanilla/liqueur to taste, and garnish soufflés.