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Copyright 2013 Timothy Tonge/CRFD

Copyright 2013 Timothy Tonge/CRFD

As many people who watch the news and goings on on Facebook may know, there was a huge forest fire in Colorado earlier this year. Black Canyon Forest Fire is the biggest forest fire in recorded Colorado history. This fire happened just a year after another huge fire in the same area devastating the community. There were 14,280 acres affected, 509 homes lost, and two fatalities.

I live over 80 miles north of where the Black Canyon Fire was, and there were days where ash was literally falling from the sky. We couldn’t play outside because of all the smoke and ash.

The community is coming together and trying to re build after the devastation. This is where we come in.

This is the idea of Judy from Savoring Today who started this out with a lovely Veal Parmesan recipe. See her original post here. The highlights are:

As you read this, would you please consider:

• If you’re a food blogger, do what you do best—make some comfort food and share the recipe. Along with that recipe, you have my permission to share any part of this post you’d like, along with the volunteer and donation links below so your readers will know how to help. [If you share any photos, please give proper credit.]

There’s no deadline, but sometime this summer would be nice. Please use hashtags#blackforestfire and #comfortfoodforCOfires when promoting the post on social media. If you leave a link to your post in the comments here, I will share it too.

• As a reader, you can help a Colorado community ravaged by fire. Give a donation to one of the organizations already on the ground helping locally through the links below—animal shelters, clothing and supply centers, community services, ministries, and volunteer organizations. Your generosity goes a long way in providing the relief and comfort these families need.

The purpose of this post is to spread the word about how to help the Black Forest community recover from this devastating fire. If you are so inclined to help me spread the word through a Comfort Food blog post or donate to one of the following organizations, you have my deepest gratitude.

American Red Cross — The Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross responds to wildfires in communities throughout Colorado.

Black Forest Animal Sanctuary — Monetary donations will go to help with vet bills of injured animals and other needs.

Books of Hope — Books to Children Impacted by the Black Forest Fire. Please join the Junior League of Colorado Springs in raising money to donate books to the children impacted by the Black Forest Fire.  Educational Development Corporation and Usborne Books & More will match all monetary donations at 50% with no limit! The total number of books donated will be 150% of the amount raised and every dollar raised goes towards books. All donations are 100% tax deductible.  You may also call the Junior League office during office hours: Mon-Thursday, 10AM-3PM at (719) 632-3855 to make a donation over the phone.

Care & Share of Colorado Springs — Text “Donate” to 41010 and a $10 donation will appear on your next phone bill. Message and Data Rates Apply. Online Donations indicate the donation is for “fire response.”

Colorado Horse Food Bank — Currently assisting El PasoCounty with distribution of hay to victims of the Black Forest Fire.

Flying W. Ranch Animal Ranch & Shelter — Helping to shelter animals displaced by the Black Forest Fire.

Mercy’s Gate — Mercy’s Gate began 30 years ago as a food pantry called Northern Churches Care.  Our mission was to join together to love our` neighbors in Colorado Springs by helping with their physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual needs.

mGive Foundation Colorado Relief Fund — We are collecting donations via text. Text FIRE to 27722 to donate $10.00. Full Terms are here: and our full press release is available here:

Pikes Peak Community Foundation — launched the Emergency Relief Fund for the Pikes Peak Region:  Black Forest Fire to benefit non-profits, first responders, and other agencies providing local disaster relief.

The Salvation Army of the Pikes Peak Region — Cash donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of the disaster survivors without incurring many of the costs associated with sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods.

Samaritan’s Purse — Samaritan’s Purse mobilizes staff and equipment and enlists thousands of volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters in the United States.

Volunteer Opportunities for those in Colorado:

Disaster Assistance Relief Center is the primary center for most services offered to those affected by the Black Forest Fire. Email to volunteer or offer a service to the Center.

Black Forest Animal Sanctuary is in need of donations and volunteer help. To volunteer, call 719-494-3934 and ask for Tracy.

Tri-Lakes Cares needs volunteers to help sort and process donations, to distribute food and clothing, and help get items to families affected. Call 719-481-4864 ext 117 to volunteer.

Additional photos, videos, and news from the Black Forest Fire:

Aerial photos (some of these just take my breath away): Photos

Raw footage from The Denver Post of the fire: Video

Man who lost pets in Black Forest Fire surprised with new puppy: News Video

Evacuee returns to demolished home: News Video

Shift changes for the firefighters: Video

Chocolate Covered Strawberries With Whipped Cream

There is nothing so simple, yet delicious as chocolate covered strawberries. They bring joy to the soul, are easy to make and taste delicious. This is the easiest dessert to make and bring to the home of someone in need for a pick me up.


1 Pint Organic Strawberries

1/2 bag Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (affiliate link) (They are soy, dairy, grain, bad stuff free)

1 Ziplock Bag

1 C Organic Pasture Raised Heavy Whipping Cream

1 Tbsp Raw Honey

Hand Mixer




  • Wash the Strawberries and let them dry. 
  • Place them on parchment paper with the stems down and the tip of the fruit pointing up. 
  • Melt the chocolate by placing a glass bowl or pyrex bowl inside or on top of a pot of boiling water. This gently melts the chocolate without burning it.
  • Put the melted chocolate into a zip lock type bag and cut the very tip of the bag off.
  • Drizzle the chocolate onto the strawberries and let the chocolate col and harden. 

Whipped Cream:

  • Place the cool cream inside a wide mouth quart sized mason jar with the honey. 
  • Use an immersion blender or mixer and blend until it is the consistency of whipped cream. 
  • This will double in volume so be sure your mason jar or other container is large enough for the job! 

Move your strawberries and whipped cream to a nice plate and deliver it to those in need.



Welcome to Simple Meals Friday!

There is nothing like having a collection of simple meals to throw together in a slow cooker first thing in the morning or in a skillet as a last minute dinner. What are your favorite slow cooker, rice cooker, skillet meals and salads?
We want to know your easy to make meals. It’s great learn and be inspired by others. When you link up on any of our sites the links will show up on all the blogs.
Meet Your Hosts
  1. Katie of Nourishing Simplicity
  2. Amanda of Natural Living Mamma
Please Read and Follow these Simple Meals Friday Rules
  • Keep the foods “nourishing”, such as homemade chicken stocks, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats (lard, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, tallow), unrefined sugars, flours and salts and meats.
  • Please don’t include recipes using processed oils such as soy and canola oil, msg laden bouillon and other highly processed foods. If I notice a recipe using these ingredients it will be deleted. Try to incorporate traditional methods of preparing foods like, sprouting, soaking, sourdough and lacto-fermentation.
  • Link back to this blog hop, it is a common linking courtesy. It helps to build a stronger blogging community. That way we can all learn and share with each other.

We enjoyed reading all your submissions. The hosts will pick a favorite post to feature on next week’s Simple Meals Friday. If you want to be featured please be sure to link back to this blog hop. Our favorites will be featured on facebook and pintrest!

Featured Simple Meals


This week we are trying to beat the heat with two nourishing and icy treats! 



This Paleo Fudgesicle from Tessa the Domestic Diva is yummy push-up pop with a fun surprise!



This Kombucha Berry Popsicle from Phoniex Helix looks amazing! What a great way to use fresh summer berries and get a dose of probiotics at the same time!

About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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3 Responses to Chocolate Covered Strawberries With Whipped Cream and Simple Meals Friday

  1. […] ~~~ This post is linked to the following blog carnivals: Whole Food Friday, What Am I Eating?, Simple Meals Friday, Allergy Friendly […]

  2. […] whipping cream and raw honey. I discovered this easy frosting last month when I was reading about Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Whipped Cream […]

  3. […] Linked with Mostly Homemade Mondays, Natural Living Monday, Teach Me Tuesdays, Frugally Sustainable, Raising Homemakers, Works For Me Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Thrive at Home, Simple Meals Friday. […]

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