RSS Feed
  1. Be Prepared – Boy Scouts and Bakers

    June 11, 2012 by diane


    After a hiatus, I’m back with the baking – this time, making about 130 cupcakes with my hubby and children for the Boy Scouts to celebrate nine young men who have worked hard enough to classify as Eagle Scouts.  My husband, Richard, made the actual cupcakes, and he and the children stacked them neatly for me to frost. I completely cheated this time – using vanilla and chocolate commercial frosting, along with smaller batches of homemade buttercream. We now own way too many cupcake pans – but it’s getting easier and easier.

    And I’m thrilled to say, we were able to serve vanilla, chocolate, Oreo, rosettes, German chocolate and cookies-and-cream iced cupcakes. The best sign of success: No leftovers.

    Meanwhile, the Alpharetta UMC has completely taken over the loving duty of taking care of the Atlanta Day Shelter and its bakers will be delivering their monthly shipment this Saturday. Like the Boy Scouts, they seem totally prepared!

  2. Some Sugar for Baked With Love

    April 11, 2012 by diane

    We made our first delivery to the Atlanta Day Shelter, with five big bakers’ boxes of cupcakes from five different bakers – peeps, pink ones, green ones and chocolate ones, trimmed in sugar pearls.  Here was the wonderful response from Ginny, our contact:

    The cupcakes look WONDERFUL!! Our Kitchen Manager, Ms. Ozzie, was so excited this morning when she got here and saw the beautiful work you and your volunteer team did. What a special treat for our guests to have homemade cupcakes…thank you all so very much for sharing your time and baking talents!

    Our work is done  – for now. But meeting with volunteers tomorrow night who want to help us, so stay tuned. And we will need “all hands on deck” for Mother’s Day. If you’d like to help, or get started with your own charity outreach, let us know. And please take photos and notes to share with this site.



  3. Egg-actly What We Needed

    April 5, 2012 by diane

    The merry band of BWL bakers has been scrambling about, getting ready to make more than 200 cupcakes for the Atlanta Day Shelter. About 200 cupcakes means about three dozen eggs.

    We had it covered – but serendipity is a wonderful thing. This week,  Stephen Brown, of Atlanta’s Cohn & Wolfe, suggested that local chefs and foodies try Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs for their recipes and report back.

    Being neither a chef nor an archetype  foodie, I – like Oliver Twist – timidly asked Stephen if BWL could get a crack at those eggs too. After all, I do know the basics – flour, sugar, real butter and great eggs – are the critical ingredients to delicious cakes. And when given a choice – anyone – high brow, low brow, grown-up or kid – can indeed taste the quality.

    Stephen, Pete & Gerry graciously granted my request. Then, Claire Addison, manager of the East Cobb Fresh Market, helped me track the compact boxes of six in her store.

    Being an Ohio farm girl – who, as a child, gathered eggs after school for her neighbors – I can appreciate a well-run, compassionate farm. Pete and Gerry’s is a real family farm “that has produced eggs for four generations in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains.” They’re committed to producing fresh, organic, cage-free, Omega-3 eggs from hens that are Certified Humane.

    Heirloom hens are kept in spacious cage-free barns where “they can roam, scratch, perch and nest as they please.” This makes my daughter, Emmie, 8, very happy.

    When introduced to the idea that most chickens are caged, her brow furrowed. “What?” “Why?” The discussion went from bad to worse, as she learned that the chickens are often packed tightly. “That’s just not right.”

    So the idea that these eggs came from “happy hens” was happy news indeed. Especially when we believe that compassion is the cornerstone of this mission.

    But how did they look and taste? Sublime.

    From their beautiful mocha shells to their deep golden yolks, these are just pretty to behold. And taste? We thought the flour, sugar and butter were good enough, but it’s clear using such high quality eggs could be an addictive habit. They made the batter more creamy, more flavorful. And the cupcakes, baked, stayed moist and firm. Little dollops of joy.

    Thank you Pete & Gerry. You’ve made our Easter cupcakes egg-cellent.

    Emmie and Eggs




  4. Malik’s Fried Pies

    March 30, 2012 by diane

    I know a lot of teen boys, and they’re a rough crowd. All pent-up energy, with the sleekness of youth. Except….

    Except, they’re still boys. With stinky clothes, and silly humor, and all sorts of things that can test a mother’s love. Malik is part of all of that – but more.

    He’s smart and responsible, playing and mentoring his two nephews, EJ, 6, and MaChi, 2.

    And he  loves music. He has taken drum lessons since he was 3. Malik got his talent from his dad, who passed away 10 years ago. And not only has he picked up his father’s abilities, but continued his traditions: His dad was the Minister of Music for the church, and now Malik often plays drums on Youth Sundays.

    That could have been enough. He’s a nice kid. A talented kid.

    But Malik also has compassion.

    Malik sits on the teen board of the Community Welcome House, and works to try and raise money for the clients and their kids so they can go bowling, skating, movies and other stuff you do when your family’s not on the run from abuse.

    As part of that, the board – led by adults Linda Kirkpatrick and Carole Ann Fields- suggested volunteers hold a bake sale.

    “Malik has always loved watching his Granny - my mother-  in the kitchen,” his mom, Patrice, said. “He suggested we do fried pies for the bake sale and actually told me what to buy and how to prepare the pies.”

    Malik, unknown to his mom, had learned it all  from working with his grandmother. “This was a well-kept secret,” she said. And even though his grandmother had passed away about six years ago, Malik remembered.

     ”So we  made the fried pies ( peach, apple, cherry, sweet potato) and they were the hit of the bake sale,” Patrice said. “We made about 60 and they were gone within 30 minutes.”

    Ever since, Malik has been churning out pies for the home every week. A 14-year-old boy – taking a skill passed to him by his loving grandmother – and making a difference.

    It’s not what we expect from a teen boy. But isn’t it always good to remember that sweetness of spirit can arise in anyone -when given the chance and the purpose.

    Oh, and Malik comes by it naturally. His mom, Patrice, is one of 11 “Dancing Stars” – trying to also raise money for the Community Welcome House. Please click here and vote for her. It’s one dollar a vote.




  5. Kids and Cakes

    March 20, 2012 by diane

    My FB friend, Candi, wanted to point out a couple of other charities who could use bakers. Feed My Lambs is a nonprofit that provides free Christian preschools for at-risk children. They have a facility downtown Atlanta and in Cobb and Cherokee Counties. They also do Happy Birthday Jesus parties in December for the children – and need birthday cakes/cupcakes.

    She also pointed out Give a Kid a Chance – Cherokee holds a back-to-school bash each summer – but there are alot of kids and their families – maybe as many as 2,000-3,000 between the two locations. “Maybe homebaked cookies to go along with their free hot lunch? This year’s event is July 21.”

    “Just some food,” she wrote, “for thought!!”

  6. Fish and Bread

    March 18, 2012 by diane

    I thought I might have problems finding the need. What if  missions and shelters had everything – and everyone – they wanted? What if they didn’t want my cupcakes? What if….

    Matt of The Insight Program, after all, might have been the exception to the rule when he said, “Cupcakes? Teens? Bring it on.” But I know Matt, and he knows my baking. How will it go with someone I don’t know.

    It took less than 10 minutes to find out. After approaching The Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children, I got back a wonderful response from Ginny, the executive director for development.

    “We serve a dessert with each of our lunches. Usually, the desserts we serve are store- bought and lack that special “made with love” touch. Would it be possible to have you do cookies/cupcakes for us that would be easily served to individuals? On average we see around 120-140 women and children each day for lunch—would that be a doable size?”

    Um. No. Not by myself. I’ve already struggled with 50 cupcakes for Insight – not in the labor, but in the storing and the delivering. What have I done? Did I really just start, just to fail?

    But then a plan emerged – along with some charter “Baked With Love” bakers. We can’t cover everyone every day. But we could do one delivery a month – hopefully in April on the Saturday before Easter. In May, we would do the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

    Keisha W., Mary S., Lynne A, and I will each make cupcakes – a total of at least 150 – and meet at the shelter. What was overwhelming is manageable. What seemed impossible was done.

    We would like to do more (hint, hint: What You Can Do). But we will do what we can do with what we have in time and energy. I’ll let you know what happens.

  7. Spiritual Cookies

    March 18, 2012 by diane

    Oreo cupcakes, first delivery to Insight Program

    Oreo Cookies is celebrating its 100th year of being dunked in milk. So it only seemed fitting that it be incorporated into the first delivery to Atlanta’s The Insight Program as part of the Baked With Love outreach.

    One hundred years of business. One hundred times to establish a truth. It all makes cosmic sense, right?

    What didn’t make sense is how to store and transport all those Oreo cupcakes. I have quickly found I am woefully unready for this mission.

    After all, buttercream frosting tends to droop in the spring days of the South, so I was forced to clean out the fridge: Out with the pickles, out with the carrots, out with my (beloved) Diet Coke.

    And when I got ready to carry them, I found those big bakers’ cardboard boxes are a little too flexible for 50 cupcakes, with oreos precariously perched on the icing. In came the hubby for reinforcement – literally. (He, along with the kids, also made the delivery.)

    That big baker’s box was, however, a perfect tableau for Emmie’s art work and our Very Necessary “We Love You” – check it out on the What We Are Doing.

    The result? No cupcakes left within 20 minutes, and an enthusiastic ‘thumbs up’ from the teens for the Baked With Love outreach.

    Here’s the oreo cupcake recipe – although I skipped the mint.