Cookies Across America Tour - New Horizons in the Kitchen Blog at - 259224

New Horizons in the Kitchen

Cookies Across America Tour 
Dec. 2, 2011 1:21 pm 
Updated: Dec. 3, 2011 5:18 am





My freezer is filling up with freshly-baked cookies for this year’s Cookies Across America campaign.  I’ll be out of town for two weeks this month, so if this is going to happen prior to Christmas, I need to get knee-deep in butter, sugar, and flour.  And a look at my kitchen is a testimonial that it’s starting to happen.


My first tray of cookies will go next door.  My neighbor, Karen, very recently lost her courageous five-year battle with ovarian cancer at age 57.  She leaves behind her husband, son, daughter and one grandchild.  Seems like only yesterday, she was calling out my name to come over, she wanted to show me her new kitchen.  Two weeks later, she was gone, and this will be her family’s first Holiday season without her.   I’m hoping some home made cookies will bring a little cheer into their house and let them know that they’re in our thoughts.


I’ve talked with the manager of in-kind donations at Metropolitan Ministries about the campaign, and she’s very excited that I’ve decided to include them.  I was watching 60 Minutes on Sunday evening, and they did a segment on the homeless in the U.S, more specifically families living in cars and trucks.  One of the families featured was in Florida, and they mentioned that one-third of all the homeless people in the U.S. live in Florida.  That statistic stunned me. 


Metropolitan Ministries is a non-profit organization that serves the poor and homeless men, women, and children in the Tampa Bay area.   They provide transitional housing with supportive services of counseling, food and nutrition, education and literacy, children services, recovery and sobriety, employment services, community living and pastoral care.  On a daily basis throughout the year, they feed 1,700 people and provide Holiday food boxes to 30,000 families.   Since inception in 1972, Metropolitan Ministries has served 23 million hot meals. This organization won “Best Non-Profit” in the recent “Best of the Bay 2011” Poll where nearly 300,000 readers participated.  Without a doubt, an incredible organization which we have supported for many years.


During the Holiday season, they have many volunteers providing help in the kitchens, in the dining halls, as well as receiving and organizing food donations for the gift food boxes.  The Donations Manager asked me how I felt about donating cookies to the volunteers.  They are such an important link to making things flow smoothly, so I’m thrilled that in a small way I can say “thank you” to them this year.  I then went to the Dollar Store, bought about 150 decorative little gift bags, and the plan is to fill each bag with three cookies and tie it up with a ribbon. 


And there will be two more platters of cookies delivered.  One will go to our local fire department and the other to our mechanic.  Yes, that’s right, our mechanic who has taken care of our cars for 25 years.  I’m recently retired from  a sales career which involved logging many miles on the car.  Never had a breakdown when I was on the road, and I know that to a large extent that’s because of this very conscientious mechanic.  May sound a little silly, but he’s getting cookies, too!


I have some personal recipes that I’ll be preparing, but below are some photos of what I’ve baked to date from the Allrecipes site, mostly double batches.  I’ll be home for about four days between trips this month, so the cookies that cannot be frozen will be prepared then.  The Metropolitan Ministries cookie bags will be delivered on December 22, and the trays will be delivered on December 23rd.


Recent times have been tough for many people.  I live in a state that still has out-of-sight unemployment rates and foreclosures with no relief in sight in the short term.  Many of the folks who are in need of help this year are the same people who were providing help just a few years ago. 


So won’t you join me in the Cookies Across America campaign and bring a little joy to those who are in need or maybe just a “Thank You” to somebody who has helped you in the past.  Baking and sharing cookies is a small way for you to show that you care.  And you know what?  I bet you’ll feel really good about it!

 Brickle Cookies

 Brown Butter Cookies

 Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies

 Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies

 Easy Lemon Cookies

 Original Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate Cookies

Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies

I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position), and I'm not compensated for my work with Products received from advertisers are only used for experienced-based reviews.  The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of lutzflcat.

Dec. 2, 2011 1:32 pm
Just fantastic! It's nice that you are spreading the love and cookies around. I'm very inspired and the cookies look fabulous! Your neighbors (and your mechanic) are lucky to have you :)
Dec. 2, 2011 3:12 pm
Thanks, Valerie. My apologies for this being so long, but Metropolitan Ministries is very dear to my heart, and once I get going about them, I can't stop. I know my neighbors will be thrilled, and my mechanic will be shocked, good guy that he is. :-)
Dec. 2, 2011 7:10 pm
Those cookies are beautiful! I know the ones receiving your kind Holiday gifts will be happy, happy, happy! Great photos and blog!
Dec. 2, 2011 8:30 pm
Beautiful blog. Those homeless statistics are astounding. Thanks so much for this blog and thank you for your commitment to other people who are not as fortunate. BTW Those cookies look amazing!
Dec. 2, 2011 8:49 pm
Love it! Great pics! I have to sort out my givings yet, my first DOES go to my neighbors who helped me out this year. I'm a new widow but I bake every year anyhow...who is gonna unwrap those Hershey kisses this year (may skip those but they are my FAV!)
Dec. 2, 2011 11:00 pm
Wow! Those look Fabulous! Terrific blog. Thanks for all the help and love you are giving to a much deserved organization. Bless you!
Dec. 3, 2011 5:08 am
Candice, thanks for the compliment on the photos. First try on these cookies and each turned out well.
Dec. 3, 2011 5:13 am
Thank you, Mauigirl. Yes, it's a very sad scenario with the homeless situation. Last year when I took my food donation down for Christmas, a very young mainstream couple with two small children were heading into Metropolitan Ministries. All it takes is a loss of a job, next comes the house, and then they're on the street. It really makes you appreciate everything that you have.
Dec. 3, 2011 5:17 am
Hi Cindy, I'll be thinking of you this year, too. I'm sure your neighbors will appreciate anything that you do for them. BTW, I wouldn't skip the hershey kisses...I'm pretty quick at unwrapping those babies!
Dec. 3, 2011 5:18 am
Thanks, Patty Cakes. My apologies to all for the length of this blog (yeah, I know it's long), but I'm passionate about the work that they do. Happy Holidays to you!
Click to Change your Profile Picture

Home Town
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Living In
Lutz, Florida, USA

Member Since
Jun. 2010

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Gardening, Boating, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Wine Tasting

Subscribe Today!

In Season

A Day To Remember
A Day To Remember

Memorial Day is a time to get together with friends and family for food, fun, and memories.

Potato Salad
Potato Salad

Nothing beats a big bowl of cool, creamy potato salad at your cookout.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

About Me
Retired from a high-stress sales career which involved lots of travel. I now have the time to relax, turn off the alarm clock and sleep in, read a book, magazine or the newspaper (every day, not just Sunday) and, most importantly, take in everything that the Florida lifestyle offers, and that's a lot! And, finally, I have the luxury to really pursue a lifetime passion, cooking.
My favorite things to cook
Enjoy all kinds of food and cuisines, and I literally can't think of one food that I would refuse to eat. And that even includes liver (don't like cooking it, but sure like eating it). I love good food, but you won't find me making a recipe that has 40 ingredients. I just don't have the attention span for that.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband's grandmother was from Bavaria, and his mother learned to cook many of her old-country recipes which she then passed on to me. Our traditional Christmas dinner is sauerbraten (which marinates for at least five days) with gravy, homemade egg noodles sauteed in butter, potato balls (which float to the top of the boiling water if prepared correctly), sweet and sour red cabbage, and freshly cooked apples (gotta have something healthy). It's an exhausting meal that literally takes all day to prepare, but it's worth the effort. Yeah, I know it's also a carbohydrate nightmare, but what the heck, we only have it once a year.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering the Christmas sauerbraten meal was a victory. Also, making homemade goetta, a breakfast meat from Cincinnati. My version is made with all pork, equal portions of boston butt and loin. Today's goetta in Cincy has beef in it, as does the recipe on this site, but I'm sticking with ALL pork. It is totally unhealthy for you, but it's a treat, and I don't make it often.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a number over the years like the potato balls mentioned above just disintegrating into a puddle of potato shreds. There's no recipe, it's just a matter of "feeling right" when you're mixing. Not long ago, I made a peach pie and got so caught up in trying to make the pie crust work that I forgot to add the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, etc.) to the peaches that were sitting in a bowl on the counter. Cooked it anyway, it was ghastly, and then threw it away. My ongoing tragedy is making pie crust. There must a black cloud hanging over my head when I'm making pie crust because I ALWAYS have problems. But I'm not giving up, one day this tragedy will turn into a triumph and be listed above!
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States