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In Memory of Elle

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars for #ElleAPaloozaI have been sitting here for the past hour, staring at the blinking cursor on my screen, truly unable to put into words what I want to write.

This sucks. Hug your family. Love fiercely. Never take a single day or moment for granted…There, can that be it? That pretty much sums up how so many of us are feeling right now.

On January 29th, I woke up, and like normal after everyone was off to school, I sat down at my computer and checked my email and then Facebook. This update on a dear blogging friends facebook page stopped me in my tracks…

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 1.59.21 PM

I spent the next several hours glued to my chair, unable to really believe what I had read. In fact, I honestly thought maybe it was a horrible joke and someone had hacked into Elle’s facebook page.  She was chatting and bantering with people just the day before!

The sad truth is, Elle (as we all knew her), suddenly passed away from a pulmonary embolism on January 28th. She was a young, vibrant, 45 year old, with 4 young kids, and a devoted, loving husband. That truth hits hard, doesn’t it?

I don’t remember exactly when I met Elle, but it was very early on, not long after when I started my blog. Elle was one of the “old timer” bloggers…back when food bloggers were a part of a very small circle of friends. When SEO and Pinterest and Social Media didn’t really matter (well, because it didn’t exist) and we were all blogging merely for the great love of it. It was a different time… I sometimes think a better time, but instead I’m going for different.

Eat Well Love Fully(Words by Elle’s dear friend, Dawn, from Vanilla Sugar Blog)

When I say I lost an “online” friend, it sounds so insignificant… it sounds like a “pretend” friend or a make believe friend. I imagine it’s kind of how people feel when they say they met their spouse online. I know some people get it… but just because I never had the opportunity to meet Elle in person it does not diminish how I and others felt about her. She had a significant impact on our community, and was loved by so many. There is now a very big void in her space.

From the day her daughter announced her passing, up until the current afternoon, there have been posts flooding in on Elle’s page from friends she knew in real life and friends she knew virtually…and it’s clear that she quietly impacted the lives of so many people, including mine.

Friends of Elle have joined together this weekend to cook from Elle’s New England Kitchen and share posts about the loss of our friend. I hope you’ll take a moment to read through and share in the life of a wonderful woman who will be forever missed by so many. You can see other blogger’s posts in honor of Elle by following the hashtag #ElleAPalooza on Facebook and Twitter, by visiting the #ElleAPalooza event page or by visiting the Friends of Elle Facebook page.

For now, goodbye friend. You’ll be dearly missed. I promise we will continue to keep your light shining.

I chose to make these Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from Elle’s New England Kitchen because, as the mom of 4 kids, her post about the bars resonated with me so. They are a simple and quick dessert, earning quick “mom of the year” accolades from my own 4 kids. 

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from Elle's New England Kitchen


  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 11.5 oz bag chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350, and lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. Mix the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt, stir until completely blended.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spread into the pan, and bake for 25-27 minutes, or until light golden brown on top. Cool and cut into squares.
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  1. So so sad, Kristen. She was one of the first people I met on twitter. I even won a giveaway on her blog and I still use the carving knives I won on her blog. She was so sweet to everyone and you’re right…times were so different back then. These bars are so beautiful and you shared such a loving tribute to her. xoxo

  2. You have put into words exactly how I feel. We were pretty much the same age so, it does hit close to home. I’m glad I got to know her (and you!) thanks to this blogging thing. Thank you for this post, Kristen. Hugs!!!

  3. Karen Beth Martin says:

    … And hugs to good friends too. My heart to you in your loss. <3

  4. I’m glad to see you found your words. I know writing blog posts like this is difficult, but you did it beautifully. And you captured something that I believe to be true, too. Back in the day, blogging was different and food bloggers were different, focused on the love of cooking and the joy of sharing with others. Elle was a gem of a woman who helped remind me — all of us, really — to keep it real and stay true to ourselves. She will be missed greatly by our blogging family.

  5. Beautiful post, Kristen. I too met Elle online and I am still in disbelief. My heart just aches for her family. I wasn’t able to do a personal post on our Nestle blog but have been reading the most beautiful posts from others. I nearly lost my husband to a pulmonary embolism a few months ago so this hit so, so close to home (I’m still coping with the fact that my husband was perfect one day, and the very next we nearly lost him). This is a reminder to never take one day for granted. Keep your loved ones very close :) xo

  6. For the whole food blogging world, this is such a shocking loss. For those of us who knew Elle, she was such a bright light who always shot straight from the hip. Her passion for her family and the food she shared with us will live on and though she will be so sadly missed, she will never be forgotten

  7. You said it beautifully, Kristen.

  8. Delicious looking cookies in honor of a great gal. I’m trying to put the finishing touches on my post. sigh

  9. Oh Kristen my heart is aching for you. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for the important reminder to love deeply.

  10. Kristen, your words are beautiful and I am sure Elle is smiling down at you sending you much love. Thanks for the reminder to not take our loved ones for granted. Life can change on a dime, for sure, so it’s important to make every minute count. Hugs XO

  11. So so sorry, Kristen. Life is full of so much loss, so many tragic reminders. So sweet of you to memorialize her in this way. Praying for peace for her family. xoxo

  12. this is so touching and i couldn’t help but tear up. you are such a wonderful person. sending some prayers to elle’s family.

  13. As we all know, on-line friends are as real as they come. Elle was proof of that.
    Lovely tribute and cookie bars, Kristen.

  14. Thanks for sharing Kristen…I can hardly stand it. Thankful for every single dadburned day! breaking my heart.

  15. I wish it didn’t take loss to remind us to live with intention. Sending love and prayers to Elle’s family. Thank you for the reminder to live life and love to our fullest capacity. Big hugs, Kristen. xoxo

  16. I met Elle on a recipe site YEARS ago. We kept in touch via Facebook when we abandoned said recipe site.
    I’ve also been silently following your blog for some time, lurking I suppose you would say.

    And today I find that all three of us are connected. Surprise. I too am very saddened. And my heart breaks for her family.
    This was a lovely tribute. Thank you.

  17. Kristen you wrote this perfectly.
    Just wonderful.
    Thank you my dear.
    And thank you for being such a sweet & dear friend.

  18. Beautiful post Kristin. Lovely tribute to a lovely woman who meant so much to everyone.

  19. You said it perfectly, Kristen. Thank you for finding your voice.

  20. This is a beautiful post. My heart goes out to you, Elle, and her family.


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