Bridal Shower Cookies

Bridal Shower Cookies

Tis’ the season. The temperatures are warming up, flowers are in bloom.  Many mother’s  and bridesmaids are planning engagement parties and bridal showers. Brides and babies have been keeping us so very busy the last couple of weeks. I thought I would share with you some of the sets that we have created.

Mason Jars and Vintage Cars is the theme for these bridal shower cookies. The bride’s colors of choice were grey, yellow and white.

Mason Jars and Vintage Cars

He asked…She said yes, it quickly becoming a favorite set for engagement parties. One of the great things about choosing a custom dozen is that you can mix and match cookies based upon your theme of choice.  Many of my clients will choose to mix and match the different custom dozens to get the overall look they are going for with out breaking the bank.

engagement party ideas

Katherine_Evan Engagment

Bridal shower teas have become really popular theme in the last year.

bridal shower cookies

While some brides are all about pale pinks and soft pastels, the bride below loves the Mackenzie Child’s pattern. Her one request. She wanted bright-colored flowers with the classic black and white check print but no pink. No pink whatsoever.  We used our favorite color palette, Mint loves Lilac for the flowers to go with the prints.

bridal shower cookies

They say it is all about the dress, right? For these bridal shower cookies, they wanted to have fun dress designs for a party all in white.

wedding dress cookies

While I am here I had to share some of our wedding party gifts. Katie, from It’s a Girl Thing Monograms decided to have some fun and created custom sets for each of the people in her wedding party. She is planning a gorgeous Charleston wedding.  Some of our Will You be My Bridesmaids sets are available for direct sale in our Etsy Shop.

will you be my bridesmaid

That is the great thing about cookie gifts, you can create all sorts of styles and looks to fit your wedding. From classic styles to fun, flirty or vintage we can create it for you.

Bridal Shower Cookies

Cookie gifts created for the flower girls, Jr. Groomsmen and ring bearers.

bridal shower cookies

Let us know if we can create bridal shower cookies are wedding party cookies for your event.

 

Gluten Free Brownies

Gluten Free Brownies

Going Gluten Free-ish – the long road to healthy with Roasted Vegetables & MahiMahi and Chocolate Quinoa Brownies

Gluten Free Brownies

When I told Melissa I was attempting to go gluten free to try and take control of my health, she immediately asked me to do a blog post about it. Of course I said yes.  If you’ve visited my blog Trilogy Edibles, you probably know about my journey with severe back issues.  In 2013 I went through two lower back surgeries and four epidurals to try and get me back walking without pain.  As we entered 2014, not yet 100%, I decided that it was my turn to take control of my health, even with all the restrictions.

Now I knew going completely gluten free was crazy.  I’m a baker after all.  I need to taste test everything.  Even after years of using these recipes and knowing them better than anything, you just never know when you make a bad batch.  I’m proud to say that’s never happened.

The first week was the easiest so far in the month.  You know that feeling after you decide to do something and you go full guns.   Then there are a few cheats the second week, then you don’t notice the cheats in week three.  And then there you have it, back to your old habits.  Now I’d like to say, I didn’t slide completely into my old habits, I stayed at the few cheats.

I also used MyFitnessPal.com to help me track what I ate.  I wanted to keep between 1200-1400 calories per day.  It’s not a lot but when you can’t really exercise, you can’t just eat whatever you want.

My menus for breakfast and lunch didn’t vary much each week.  I stuck with either a protein shake or eggs for breakfast and then either a salad or veggie burger no bun for lunch.  Then dinner was always a protein of some kind (chicken, fish, beef) with salad, quinoa with brown rice, or veggies.

I also decided to make a few gluten free recipes as well.  The best crock pot chili and a roasted garlic and butternut squash soup that tasted sinful but wasn’t.  I also made a roasted veggie dish with Inland Market Sea Salt and Roasted Garlic Mahi Mahi that was out of this world.  That’s one of the dishes I’m going to share with you today.

Now you’re probably wondering, how bad was the cravings and the cheating?  They were not bad actually but as I said, I knew that I would cheat.  I think that’s the trick, don’t beat yourself up about it.  I didn’t and I found I didn’t cheat nearly as much as I thought I would.

So after this experiment, would I go totally gluten free?  Nope, I love bread too much.  But it did introduce me to other options, like quinoa instead of rice as a side or using it in baking.  And that’s the second recipe I’m going to share with you today.

Enough about me, let’s get started shall we!  So here’s dinner.

Gluten Free Brownies 2

  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms (whatever you prefer)
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 filet Sea Salt and Roasted Garlic Mahi Mahi (Inland Market)

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a cast iron skillet (or one that can go into the oven) heat olive oil.
  3. Sautee the onion until translucent then add in the rest of the veggies.
  4. Lastly add the garlic.
  5. Cube the mahi and add into the veggies.  Cook for a couple minutes.
  6. Put the skillet into the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Take out and serve.  The entire pan is 300 calories.  It’s usually two meals for me and it’s so so so good.
  8. Now you could do this with any pre-seasoned fish.   Salmon is also really really good.

So you’ve had a really healthy dinner, let’s splurge on dessert.  How about a gluten free brownie?

Gluten Free Brownies 2

Gluten Free Quinoa Brownies (makes 15 brownies)

  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup good cocoa
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup cooked quinoa (follow the instructions on a package)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a blender blend the eggs until mixed, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the quinoa and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the baking powder and salt.
  5. In a sauce pan, melt butter and add sugar and cocoa.  Mix well.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the sugar/cocoa mixture.
  7. When combined add the chocolate chips.
  8. Pour into a well-greased pan 9”x13”
  9. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  10. Cool and enjoy!
  11. Each brownie is less than 200 calories with 3 grams of protein!

So there you have it, gluten free doesn’t have to be taste free!

Thanks for letting me share my little experiment with you and I hope you’ll swing by Trilogy Edibles and see what else I make up in the kitchen, both gluten and gluten free goodies!

You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Superhero Cookies for The Brunette Baker

Who doesn’t love Superhero cookies? But superhero cookies and finding out if you have won $200 in cash is even better. Everyone wants a super power.  What’s your super power?  Some people can run a 5 minute mile, some people can finish the CrossFit Angie workout in 11 minutes, and some people can get 1500 on the SAT. Well, I am proud to say I really can’t do any of those things. I would love to be able to run fast but I waddle like a turkey. I would love to finish Angie in under 15 minutes but it takes me about 28 minutes. I would have loved to done well on the SAT, but sadly I did not. Standardized tests are my kryptonite. My husband and I still argue as I think they are stupid.  If you could have superhero cookies designed for you, what would you choose?

superhero cookies

About a month ago I asked Jenny Jack this very question. What type of cookies would you like if I made some for your birthday? She replied, hands down super hero cookies.  Well, I guess with a name like Jenny Jack, what else could she possibly want. Could she have a cooler name? It’s almost like she was meant to be a super hero.  I thought I would end off her birthday giveaway bang. She gets her cookies and some lucky winner gets $200.00 in cash.

superhero cookies

See, I told you. How cool does that double J look? Clark Kent, Steve Rogers, and Jenny Jack. See it fits right in. It’s like she was meant to be apart of the Justice League.

superhero cookies

Now be honest, when you go to blog do you just grab the recipe and dash?  Do you actually read the blog post? If you have never been to Jenny’s blog, here are some of my favorites. Not just because of the recipes, but because Jenny is super funny.

superhero cookies

Right about now I am sure you are thinking, can I just know if I won the cash or not? While it is wonderful that Jenny is getting super hero cookies,  I just want to know if I am $200 richer.

Congratulations Melissa Smith, you are the lucky winner!

The Brunette Baker Birthday Giveaway

The Brunette Baker Giveaway

Do you know Jenny? She is the chief blogger behind The Brunette Baker and she has been celebrating her birthday all month. The month is coming to an end and we all joined forces for a birthday giveaway.  Jenny’s birthday has become the gift that keeps on giving. Cameras, an Ipad and now some cold hard cash. If you are not interested in cash and you just want birthday cake then you should read her latest post. It’s all about a Wacky Cake.

birthday giveaway

What would you do with a $200.00 gift card from the birthday giveaway? Here are a few ideas  you could spend your winnings on from the people sitting around me:

Hayley {my assistant}: she would put it towards her school bills. You have to love the price of college textbooks, right?

Jude {my son}: He would put it in his Aston Martin fund jar. He is quite excited that he now has 0.0012% saved towards his dream car.

Dann {husband}: I wish I could attach the email of his answer. He said cookie cutters. Now I have a whole closet full of cookie cutters and he never plays with them.  He claims that he waits until I go to sleep and he sneaks out.  For anyone who knows my husband, and the fact that he is asleep at eight, would then have to lead to you believe that I am asleep by seven.   Then email number two came in and he said he would take his family out to dinner. This one is my favorite. Once every four months he takes Jude and I out to the Capital Grille for dinner. It has become a fun family tradition. I love it. There are no cell phones and there is no gobble down the food and dash. We sit for about an hour to two hour talking and enjoying each others company.

Me:  I would actually use it to purchase a KopyKake projector to giveaway for hitting 10,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook.

birthday giveaway

Meet my partners in crime for the birthday giveaway:

The giveaway is open to US, Canadian, and UK residents.

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Super Bowl Cookies 2014

Super Bowl Cookies 2014

Well it’s here, the last day of the football season. I love creating a special set of Super Bowl cookies every year for our family party but trying to come up with new ideas isn’t always easy. I must say I am always bummed when this day comes. No more football theme song on Sundays. No more Sunday baking with my boys watching the game on the couch and tackling noises fill the background.  No more watching Jude fire team players because they aren’t playing up to his expectations. It’s just fun. It’s what we do. At the beginning of the season we all guess who we think will be in the Super Bowl. This year one of us was actually right. Jude nailed it. He said, the Seahawks and the Broncos.  It sounded like a great game to me, but I doubted we would end up with such a great Super Bowl. In the back of my head, I thought, we will probably get stuck with the Patriots again playing whomever.

Super Bowl Cookies

I am so glad I was wrong.  Making these Super Bowl cookies was actually fun. You can’t go wrong with ideas like the “big apple”, bowling pins for players and the show down of the snack foods for these Super Bowl cookies.  By the way, if you are still looking for a an easy snack for the Super Bowl, check out my turf brownie bites.

Super Bowl Cookies

Let’s get real. Super Bowl XLVIII is actually the snack food bowl. It’s the show down between Skittles and Papa John’s pizza.  When I was brainstorming for these Super Bowl cookies, I hit a brick wall. Then it came to me. We are having a bunch of teenagers over for the Super Bowl. I am going to make hast tag cookies. Easy and fun. It’s a win/win situation. Until my husband chimed in….

Super Bowl Cookies

My husband is always telling me, please keep it simple. Don’t make anything crazy. Well there is nothing crazy about #hashtag cookies. But if you are married to man who thinks social media should be outlawed you get a rather interesting reaction.

Melissa:  Super Bowl Cookies that have hashtags. Easy, original and fun.

Dann: You don’t want to be a hipster doofus.

Melissa: What?

Dann: Oh, if you make hashtag cookies, you are a hipster. You don’t want to be a hipster.

Super Bowl Cookies

Our family is rooting for the Hawks! On game day, my son is decked out from head to toe. I think he might be running for 12th man of the year.

Super Bowl Cookies

Originally, I was only going to make Seahawks cookies but my husband said we are an equal opportunity Super Bowl cookie house. Now in all seriousness I think I hear Peyton in my sleep saying, “Omaha”. Come on, tell me I am not the only one.

Super Bowl Cookies

Have fun! What ever you are doing today. Where ever you are going. Have a great time. Enjoy the company you are with and most importantly: GO HAWKS!

 

Valentines Day Cookies – Gift Options

Valentines Day Cookies {Gift Options}

Valentine’s Day is just right around the corner. Don’t let time get away from you. Put in your order for your Valentines Day Cookies today. While we always offer our standard custom dozens, this year we are offering Valentines Day cookies on special as well.  If you don’t see an offering that fits for you, feel free to email us to develop your custom gift.

Valentines Day Cookies

Option 1:  $16.00 plus shipping

  • You & Me message cookie
  • 6 Salted Butterscotch cookies

Valentines Day Cookies

 Option 2:  $24.00 plus shipping

  • Sealed with a Kiss Envelope cookie
  • Be Mine cookie letters

Valentines Day Cookies

 Valentines Day Option 3:  $26.00 plus shipping

  • Pick one Envelope cookie of your choice {Envelope with heart, Envelope with Kiss, You & Me, or Girl with Hearts} If you would like to add an additional envelope cookie they are $4.00 each.
  • 11 filler heart cookies {small and mini}

Valentines Day Cookies

 Option 4:  $30.00 plus shipping {Dozen}

  • 1 envelope cookie of your choice {You&Me, Heart, or Kiss}
  • 4 xoxo cookies
  • 6 small heart cookies

Valentines Day Cookies

Option 5:  $20.00 plus shipping

  • Will You Be Mine message cookie
  • 4 Fudge Brownies

Valentines Day Cookies

Option 6:  $25.00 plus shipping

  • Lips and Mustache Cookies
  • 11 filler heart cookies {small and mini hearts}

Valentines Day Cookies

Option 7:  $50.00 plus shipping

  • The message cookie instead of saying Happy Anniversary would say Happy Valentine’s Day

To Place an order:

  • Send an email to Melissa@thebakedequation.com
  • Provide which option number you would like to order. If you need to choose a specific envelope cookie, please include it in the email.
  • Provide shipping address information
  • Paypal email address if different than the one you are using
  • If you are local please let us know if you would like to pick up in Anthem or in North Scottsdale

 

 

Gluten Free Muffins: Orange Chocolate Chip

Gluten Free Muffins: Orange Chocolate Chip

People often ask if I eat gluten free. I don’t eat gluten free because I have to, but I eat mostly gluten free by choice.  Gluten free muffins can be a great snack with out a lot of sugar.  I really do believe most things are good in moderation.  With the rise of many gluten driven intolerances I have been wanting to broaden my skills and create delectable gluten free treats. While gluten free baking can be more expensive,  I believe the extra cost is worth it for high quality ingredients. In my personal opinion, I believe that cheap ingredients, the rise of chemicals in our foods and GMO created foods are leading to many of our digestive problems.

Gluten Free Muffins Orange Chocolate Chip

When I delved into the gluten free baking world I realized there are a lot of different ingredients that can make up a gluten free flour mix. I felt kind of lost. I would go to the store to look for some of the different gluten free ingredients and there was not a lot of selection. That is why I love Cup4Cup. While most people often tell me how expensive it is, it is also very expensive to buy all the ingredients that make up a mix: white rice flours, brown rice flours, tapioca starch, potato starch and xanthan gum.  You can order Cup4Cup at Vitacost for about $15.19 for 3 lbs. Another great resource is Cup4Cup’s website. You can find recipes and retailers who carry the product. What I like about Cup4Cup is that you can sub into so many recipes with the same great taste. We use at Cup4Cup in our Carrot Ginger Cake and people never know it is gluten free.

Gluten Free Muffins Orange Chocolate Chip

Gluten Free Muffins:  Orange Chocolate Chip {Printable Recipe}

  • 2 cups Cup4Cup gluten free flour mix
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg {room temperature}
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup regular or mini chocolate chips

Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Line a 12 muffin cup pan with liners.
  2. Zest one large orange. Approximately, one large orange will yield 1 tablespoon of zest.
  3. Then cut both your oranges in half and juice. Use a strainer to strain out the pulp. Two large oranges will yield approximately 2/3 cup of orange juice. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients. Cup4Cup flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on the stir setting on your electric mixer until the dry ingredients are combined.
  5. Stir in wet ingredients: orange juice, zest, oil, egg, vanilla bean paste.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Use ice cream scoop to evenly distribute muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes since ovens vary. Muffins will brown on top.
  9. To prepare the glaze whisk the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. If you want a thinner glaze add more milk.
  10. Once muffins have cooled place the cooling rack over a baking sheet.
  11. Use a spoon to cover the tops of the muffins with glaze or dip them upside down into the glaze.

Gluten Free Muffins Orange Chocolate Chip

Want a gluten free savory suggestion?  One of our favorite gluten free recipes right now is for pizza puffs from Alida’s Kitchen. We subbed Cup4Cup flour in the recipe and they were wonderful. The best review was from my son Jude. Jude has quite a discriminating palette and he had no idea these savor puffs were gluten free. You will love the versatility of Cup4Cup.

Here are some other gluten-free baking resources that we love:

 

 

 

 

 

New Years Eve Cookies

New Years Eve Cookies

I seriously can not believe it is in the end of the year. I love making New Years Eve cookies. After the craziness of Christmas passes, you would think I would not want to see another cookie for quite awhile.  After all the Christmas cookies are delivered, I take a week off and go snowboarding with my son. It is our yearly mother and son trip. Once our trip is over, I am normally itching to get back into the kitchen.  I decided this year that black and gold are the theme of our New Years Eve cookies. While it seems good in practice, black is a very tricky color. I am not a fan of putting heavy dyes in my royal icing. What to do with these New Years Eve cookies? Dark chocolate to the rescue. You can not go wrong with chocolate, ever. If you need a chocolate recipe, we posted one for the Great Food Blogger cookie swap earlier this month.

New Years Eve Cookies

Yesterday, while I was shooting the pictures for these cookies, I got tagged by the ever talented Christina, over at Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe. What did she want to know? Eight things. Eight things people might find random or did not know about me. Well, why not share them in my New Years Eve cookies blog post.

New Years Eve Cookies

  • Most people would describe me as outgoing, but in reality I would love to be a hermit. I would love to just stay in doors, learn not to talk so much, and create new recipes.
  • Most people would describe me as creative and would like to shoot me when I say I am not. I am creative in a way people don’t often think about. Most people equate creativity to those who can draw free hand or make things on a whim. I am not that type of creative. I can see things in my head but I definitely need patterns and help creating it. Thus, creativity is not easy for me. It takes a lot of time. My doodles are of stick figures and ampersands. Speaking of ampersands. I love them.

New Years Eve Cookies

  • I think espresso makes everything better. Even New Years Eve cookies. If it is not liquid espresso, then powdered will do.
  • I have an unnatural fear of the dentist, which even that is an understatement.  No dentist has ever harmed me, but at 40 I am still petrified. For example, 3 years ago I did Invisalign. My Invisalign treatment has been over for over a year, yet I still have the buttons on my teeth. I am too scared to go get them off. I go and get my cleanings but you can leave me and my buttons alone. My husband is really hoping that in 2014 I will get them removed.

New Years Eve Cookies

  • I love studying the Scriptures and spending time in discipleship with young women. Helping women understand the truth and live it out is a passion of mine.
  • Now, I hit number six and I am stuck.  So I am grabbing a life line and asking my husband what he thinks. He said, “I don’t think most people know that you are funny.” He thinks most people would view me as serious.  I am both types of funny. I am really good and doing dumb stuff and I am also good at sticking my foot in my mouth, both of which, are humorous to watch.

New Years Eve Cookies

  • Every time my husband and I leave a dinner party or a friend’s home I will always analyze if I talked too much. I love to interact with people but at the same time I don’t want to dominate a conversation. One day I will master the skill. One day it will not bug me.
  • I love listen to sermons while I decorate cookies. Most people would say they love to listen to music. Learning while decorating is super relaxing to me. Strange I know. The only time I listen to music while decorating is during the holidays. I love putting Rudy, Pirates of Caribbean or Robin Hood on Pandora. There is something fun about swashbuckling tunes while decorating.

New Years Eve Cookies

I hope you have a very wonderful New Year celebrations with your family. I would love to hear something funny about you.

New Years Eve Cookies

Cheers! Thank you for letting me share my New Years Eve cookies and a few tidbits about me.

 

 

Christmas Cookies and a Cutter Giveaway

Christmas Cookies and a Cutter Giveaway

I can’t believe we are just a couple of days away from Christmas. This year blew by in a flash. We have packaged up the last of our Christmas cookies today and we are finally on vacation for a week.  It’s been an amazing year. We have been a part of so many special occasions and celebrations.  I wanted to share a few of our favorite sets of Christmas cookies that we created this year and one special winner will be the new owner of an awesome set of cookie cutters designed by Cakes by Ximena.

Christmas Cookies

This Christmas I decided it was time to get over some of my cookie making fears. I am truly bad at having to create people and animals. I am so thankful for the reindeer tutorial Krista, from Cookies with Character, created for a guest post over at Sweet Sugarbelle’s. I started seeing the cutest reindeer pop up all over social media sites. Normally my animals come out looking like some GMO experiment gone wrong. I have now come to grips that if it is supposed to look realistic it’s not my kind of cookie. One of my friends called my reindeer a Mooseer a couple of years ago!I decided to let go of my animal cookie making fears and give this funky reindeer a try for some of our Christmas cookies.  I am officially in love with our new fun reindeer which I am sure is going to become a classic.

Christmas Cookies

The other cookies that I try to stay away from are people. I have never created an elf, nor have I ever wanted to. But then Klickitat Street created the cutest cutters. I took a deep breath and said let’s give this a try. Well, I shouldn’t really say us. I gave these cookies to my  awesome assistant, Hayley to create.  Doesn’t she do an awesome job? I love her artistic ability. She is one of those natural artists. I, on the other hand, am one of those “wannabe” artists. I have to work really hard at it.

Christmas Cookies

This set has to be one of my favorite stories. A mom emails me a week before Christmas, and asks if there is any way that she could order a cookie set? Her daughter has asked for cookies for Christmas. We were completely booked, but how could I say no? Most little girls are asking for Barbies or dollhouses but not Isabella. She wanted Christmas cookies.

Nutcracker Suite

The other fun set we were able to create, was for Amaya. She is Juju’s Tutus sweet daughter, who if you are reading this my husband is still waiting for his “pirate tutu”. If you are in need of an amazing tutu for your little girl you must pop over and see Julie’s Facebook page. For her sixth birthday she had a Disney Nutcracker themed birthday tea. Take a moment to pop over to KSL photography to see the beautiful party.

Christmas Cookies

Reindeer Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Last but not least, it is time for the giveaway. I love these Helvetica cutters from Cakes by Ximena.  If you are still hunting for a gingerbread cookie recipe, you should pop over to our post from Thanksgiving, where I share our Spicy Orange Gingerbread recipe. Every time I post a picture using these cutters I get a ton of requests of where they can be found. Well one lucky winner will get one this Christmas along with a dozen salted butterscotch cookies.

Christmas Cookies

I want to say thank you to all who take time to read my blog and follow us on the various social media sites. I have had so much fun interacting with you and getting to know some of you. I hope you have a very merry Christmas with your families. Good Luck!

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Vintage Snowman Cookies for Desserts for the Deserving

Vintage Snowman Cookies for Desserts for the Deserving

A simple act of kindness can brighten anyone’s day. That is what I am hoping for these simple snowman cookies for my recipient of the Desserts for the Deserving initiative. Desserts for the Deserving was established in 2011, by Amanda Rettke from I am Baker. It was created with the sole purpose of bringing people joy. It is a non-profit movement where bloggers, bakers, crafters, and all forms of creative people offer up time and resources to bring strangers joy.  I am hoping that my snowman cookies will bring a smile to my recipient’s face.

Snowman Cookies by The Baked Equation

Normally, our gifts go out during the summer time. I was so excited this year to find out that it was going to be during Christmas. What a fun time to send an unexpected gift? I love that a simple random act of kindness can brighten anyone’s day. The other day, a stranger was in the drive thru line at Starbucks. The car in front of them had paid for their drink. The only distinguishing mark on the car was an Ironwood CrossFit sticker. The woman went on Facebook and sent a message to the owner about how hectic her life has been lately and what a wonderful pick me up the cup of coffee was for her that day. A simple cup of coffee or latte. Probably about $4.00, brightened someone’s day. It’s just that simple.

Snowman Cookies by The Baked Equation

As the weather turns chilly, our attitudes do not have to. When you are waiting in long lines, try to remember the workers at the stores are doing the best that they can. A kind word, a gracious response even if they are short with you can extend grace to another.  It starts with you and me. The other day a friend on Facebook has asked, “do manners still exist?” Even if it seems that manners are disappearing from our society. We can have them. We can teach them to our kids and we can model for our kids through our actions.

Snowman Cookies by The Baked Equation

One of the neat things about being involved with Desserts for the Deserving is to read the nominations. Friends, family, co-workers and neighbors nominate their friends. My nominee is known for her kindness and care for others. She has been experiencing difficult times and loss, yet in the midst of it all is a testimony of generosity.  While my gift of cheery little snowman cookies is small, I hope it brightens her day. Just like she has done for so many around her.

Snowman Cookies by The Baked Equation

So take a moment today or this week, to slow down. Enjoy the simple things of life. Buy someone a cup of coffee. Let someone go in front of you in line. Give a kind word to an overworked and probably very tired retail worker.  You never know, what a simple act of grace can do for someone else.