The Setting: A messy, messy apartment, made charming by a two-foot toddler and a five-foot, twinkling tree.
The Soundtrack: A Cook's Tour, Season 1, on Hulu. It's been a day-long marathon.
Steaming up the Stovetop: Jalapeno-cheddar hot-dogs with cider-braised onions--Hoosband's creation.
The Scenario: 'Tis the season for cookie swaps, gift-giving, and bake sales. This season, why not "bake a difference"?
I'm always telling myself I need to get out there and do more good for the community, humanity, or...well...others.
I spend most of my days cooking, writing, and working to be better at cooking and writing. Aside from taking care of my family as best as my disorganized brain and uncanny tolerance for mess will allow (I'm lucky they love me), I do very little to promote the needs of those other than myself.
So last year, when I heard of Cookies for Kids' Cancer, I thought: Organize a bake sale and bake cookies for a good cause? That's something I might just be able to do!
Last year's sale was a good effort--small, but someplace to start.
This year, with tremendous support from the small, graduate-student community I live in, we tripled what we raised last year and had a great time working together in the process.
Before the sale we held a baking/banner-making party, producing so many goodies that, even after our record-shattering two-day sale, we still had bags of leftovers. Excitingly, we were able to donate the excess treats to our local Ronald McDonald House, making sure the cookies still went to a good cause (and not into my belly, which had already had its share).
Whether you want to host a bake sale or simply make a difference through your holiday gift-giving, there are so many ways to help.
Fifty percent of profits from the sale of the adorable OXO Good Cookie Spatula (shown above) go to Cookies for Kids' Cancer. OXO sent me this one so I could spread the word, and I've been using it for all my holiday baking. Pretty cute stocking stuffer, don't you think?
There is also a gift shop on the Cookies for Kids' Cancer web page that sells everything from bake-sale kits to gourmet cookies to jewelry. I bought myself a sweet green T-shirt, but I also have my eyes on a chunky, baby-friendly necklace from Chewbeads.
Whatever your baking and gifting plans are this holiday season, here are a few of my favorite recipes to help spread the love (click the text under each photo for the recipe).
|Peppermint Bark Meringues|
|Cranberry Bliss Bars (My homage to Starbucks)|
|Malted Milk Triple Chippers|
|Homemade Oatmeal Creme Pies|
Thanks for reading! Here's to Being the Secret Ingredient in your life.