noms for a cause

The world has been going through some rough times lately. I’ve felt a bit fickle with my recipes and giveaways in the midst of it all, but it’s also overwhelming. In the long run, all I can hope for is that these bites bring comfort.

But another thing we can do, hopefully all of us are doing, is give. In whatever way, raising money is key. And it’s not always about the dollars you can hand over, but in the case of a bake sale, the items you can bake. The time you can spend helping. The promoting you can do. So I’m baking. For the and for the NYC Bake Sale for Japan.

Growing up, bake sales were small. They were local, focused on a group in a school or in a church or a festival. For a trip, for new uniforms, for some new resources or education to share with the community.  Never would I have imagined that a bake sale could happen on the same day for the same cause worldwide. And online? A virtual bake sale? No, not even until recent years could my brain wrap around these ideas.

But they exist, and for great reason. On March 30th, there will be the . Hosted and organized by ,  will be offering up homemade goodies for sale. They will be shipped to the winner’s front door, hopefully still fresh and delicious as they were out of the oven. All money raised will go to Second Harvest Japan.

Right after that, on April 2nd, it is the worldwide Bake Sale for Japan. Bake sales are happening all over the United States and the world, and in New York City, the Brooklyn Flea is hosting us, and Sweets By Sillianah is organizing. All money raised will go to Peace Winds Japan.

I’m also here to give you a little sneak peak at the planned treats, especially all you online shoppers. So here’s the deal: the latest hit of my baking career has turned into cake pops. I enjoy making them, people seem to enjoy eating them. They also seem to be shippable. So for the online auction, there will be cake pops of three flavors available for auction.

  • Funfetti cake with vanilla frosting
  • Chocolate cake with chocolate / coffee / peanut butter frosting [your choice]
  • Vanilla cake with lemon / coconut / strawberry /vanilla frosting

Cake pops are composed of cake, baked and thoroughly crumbled, mixed with frosting, put on sticks, dunked in candy melts, and sprinkled with the pretty, pretty sprinkles of your choice. The cake and frosting are from scratch, no exceptions.

In addition, I have one dozen salty-sweet chocolate chip cookies with butterscotch sauce. [Also known as Not Yo Moma's Chocolate Chip Cookies.] This recipe borders between a chewy and a crispy cookie, puffing up a bit but spreading as well. These cookies are full of browned butter, brown sugar and chocolate, with a touch of salt. And the butterscotch sauce that joins it is both loaded with vanilla and sea salt. Packed in a separate jar to keep your cookies fresh and not soggy, you can dip them, drizzle them, or eat them straight up.

Also, let me guarantee that of TTT and Lilian of SBS speak much more eloquently about the ins and outs of both events. They both have many details on their sites, so if you have any questions, or just want to learn more, do check out the pages. And if you’re interested in baking for either bake sale, wait are you waiting for? Contact the organizers soon!

  • Online bake sale:
  • NYC bake sale:
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jam winners!

Thanks to everyone that played along with Emily’s first giveaway adventure! So I forgot to specifiy, the winners on the blog and Facebook were chosen with Random.Org. And now, I present you with winners!

First, on the blog we had ten beautiful comments. [No really, mouthwatering suggestions abound.] But the winner was…

Autumn! She happens to be a canning/swapping/blogging buddy, and the writer of the very awesome Autum Makes and Does! It’s a great, and also gluten-free, blog. I discovered she was doing a giveaway this week as well, so a little giveaway karma seemed to be sent her way by way of random numbers.

Now, on Facebook, I have 41 new fans and the winner over there was…

Which, no collusion involved, happened to also be a blogging friend of mine, Anna of Very Small Anna. She’s a baker who makes rather pretty cupcakes that are a far cry from the monstrosity of Crumbs.

So there you go, the first giveaway. I really hope to do more of these, whether it’s jarred goodies, products or items I love, or whatever else floats my way. And thank you for playing along!

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golden child jam – and a giveaway!

During the winter months, those of us particularly obsessed enthralled with eating seasonal foods have a tough time of it. My love of kale and winter squash only stretch so far. But there are a few highlights in the fruit world, earlier and later in the cold months. First, quince pops up in farmers markets, a slow cooking savior from the apples. Then finally, citrus makes an appearance in grocery stores. And in the midst of cara cara and blood oranges, tangelos, pomelos, the meyer lemon is one citrus that gets a lot of attention.

These golden children of the winter season just happened to be languishing in my refrigerator together when my roommate and I went through an epic cleaning. “Keep them in until Friday, if I don’t do something with them, I’ll toss them.” This was on Sunday. By Tuesday, it dawned on me – put them together! Floral, honey scented quince and tart, sweet, almost piney meyer lemons living together? Of course! And let me tell you, this jam might be the best thing I’ve canned in my ten month spree. It’s a mix of marmalade and jelly, chopped lemons mingling in smooth quince.

But, and there’s always a but, the recipe is sort of a mess. Because this recipe started with my attempt at membrillo. Which started with white wine poached quince. They were pureed, equal amounts of sugar added, baked on low, and then cut and dusted in sugar. Except I did not have time to individually wrap the pieces. So the stack of membrillo squares languished for a few weeks , letting off more liquid. What I’m giving you is the best approximation of a recipe. A technique, more than anything. Because the jam pictured is three pounds of membrillo puree, one and a half pounds of meyer lemons chopped in the food processor, that hung out together for three days before canning. Continue reading

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hopping on the bandwagon

I’ve been a pretty eager since falling into its madness (New York City is a major tweetheaven). And as soon as I launched this site, I grabbed the handle. But I never quite knew what to do with it.

But, I finally launched . And with that, I hop on the total social media bandwagon. I hope that these venues create more instant communication. Have a recipe idea? Or a restaurant you think I should check out? Feel free to write it on the wall. Or tweet me. I’ll slowly be feeding all food-related tweets to , and somehow not bombarding my personal account with them.

One last thing: I’ll let you in on a little secret. I may just be doing a little giveaway this week. And my Facebook fans might have one of their own. These pages are for you, so , if it pleases you, and , if you’d like.

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saturday snapshot

Late afternoon brunch for one on a quiet Saturday.

Whole wheat buttermilk biscuits, tomato jam and sour cream scrambled eggs, with a honey almond [milk] chai. And it may have been eaten cold because I was obsessing over taking other food photos. Letting my food blogger colors shine.

Hope you’re having a delicious Saturday!

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