Category Archives: Food

Bake It Happen: Bake & Share to help Cancer Research

Finding out that someone you love has cancer is one of the worst experiences anyone can go through. That happened to me when my very best friend was diagnosed. Because we live on opposite coasts, I felt totally powerless to help her. I couldn’t be there physically, but I was committed to offering whatever support I could—calls, text, research, etc.

All that web surfing introduced me to a lot of different charities that want to assist cancer patients and Bake It Happen is one of the most innovative. Started by two sisters whose mission is to find a cure for Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC), the concept is really cool: simply baking and sharing recipes to raise awareness. While breast cancer in general receives a lot of attention, MBC is much lesser known and 41,000 folks die from it every year!

Now in its 5th year, Bake It Happen has partnered with The Cancer Couch Foundation,Taste Buds Kitchen, Sweet Loren’s and Ford Warriors in Pink.

Bake It Happen has yummy recipes that you can bake and share. Not only does this increase exposure for the disease, but an anonymous donor has agreed to donate money for every share, with 100% of the funds raised from Bake it Happen going directly to The Cancer Couch Foundation.

After picking out and baking your favorite of the recipes, post it everywhere using the hashtag #BakeItHappen and their Instagram and Facebook accounts.

For more information about the Bake It Happen campaign, visit their website.

Vegetarian Friendly Sukkot Menu

The Jewish Journal has a sample menu for Sukkot that focuses on veggie friendly recipes. Even if you’re a meat eater like me, it’s nice to incorporate lighter, plant-based foods to celebrate the harvest holiday. Don’t these dishes sound really good?

  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Corn Bread
  • Rice and Fruit Stuffed Red Bell Peppers
  • Quick Tomato Sauce
  • Lemon Cake

In addition to the suggested menu, I’d add in a green veggie, either a side salad or fresh asparagus.

Whole Foods Unfairly Attacked for Yom Kippur Cake

It really is true that no good deed goes unpunished, evidenced by the unbelievable controversy surrounding the Yom Kippur cake created by Whole Foods.

Instead of recognizing this cake for what it was intended to be—a goodwill gesture—Whole Foods was mocked viciously, with multiple taunts about the holiday being a day of fasting. While that’s true, critical folks neglected to mention the obvious: the cake was designed for breaking the fast, not to be eaten inappropriately!

Others criticized the design itself, calling it an “odd collection of unrelated Jewish Symbols” and another who claimed it was better suited for Rosh Hashanah, because apples and honey were included.

Folks, this is pure and utter insanity. If someone extends a hand of friendship, are we supposed to smack it away? Of course not. Think of all the times in your life when you’ve had to shake a hand that was a bit dirty or germy. I know that’s happened to me. Did I refuse? No! I accepted their offer of friendship and returned the gesture, even if it was someone who had just sneezed all over the place.

We talk a lot about inclusion in the Jewish community. Those of us who grew up outside of metro areas are keenly aware of what it feels like to be left out, to find no Hanukkah decorations in a party store, no kosher food in a supermarket, no representation at all. Luckily, with more awareness, that issue is slowly changing for the better and we’re finding Jewish themed items all around the country.

When a store, any store, makes an effort to reach out to the Jewish community, I applaud it. Instead of nitpicking, I judge the overall tone and product. Looking at the Whole Foods cake, I see nothing but beauty. Clearly, whoever designed it has some knowledge of Judaism and mixing different symbols isn’t bad, it’s awesome. Anyone who interprets it to be negative is either unaware of the intent, or has their own mental problems.

I don’t have a Whole Foods in my local vicinity and it’s not where I shop regularly, but if I had stumbled upon a Yom Kippur dessert, it definitely would’ve caught my eye. I have honestly never seen anything like it and I think it’s wonderful in the extreme.

I can only hope and pray that this negativity won’t prevent companies from trying something similar in the future. By being critical of good attempts, it may worry others from even attempting it and that is incredibly sad.

National Coffee Day Freebies on 9/29

September 29 is National Coffee Day. It’s also my youngest sister’s 32nd birthday—pretty cool, huh? Since we’re both java junkies, all of these freebies sound awesome to us and probably will to most of you as well:

Cumberland Farms – free cup of coffee when you text the word FREECOFFEE to 64827. You’ll receive a mobile coupon in return.

Peet’s Coffee – free drip coffee or tea at participating café locations with the purchase of Peet’s coffee beans.

Wawa – free cup of coffee all day long.

Dunkin Donuts – buy one medium or large coffee and receive a free medium coffee. 

Krispy Kreme – free cup of coffee September 29th through October 1st (once daily). Choose any size hot brewed coffee or small premium iced coffee.

Cinnabon – free 12 oz. coffee for customers all day long.

Pilot Travel Centers – free small coffee, hot tea, or cappuccino of your choice.

Starbucks is supposedly NOT participating and McDonalds’s may or may not, depending on location. I’d call first to be sure.

For those who are planning to fast for Yom Kippur, my advice is to go very early since too much caffeine can make fasting more difficult. My goal is to visit maybe 2 or 3 places before 9:00 AM, which leaves plenty of time. Not a hard-and-fast rule, but that’s what works for me. Another thoughtful idea is to pick up the freebie and share the love with someone that doesn’t celebrate.