Give Back Friday

I have two traditions that I keep year after year on Thanksgiving weekend. One is baking a homemade pumpkin pie, and eating it for days after the holiday. And the second is making sure to donate to a hunger-related charity at some point during a holiday weekend in honor of food. I know that many people take a moment to be grateful for what they have, and I think that's great. But, I think we can all do better than that. There are even people that go the extra mile and volunteer in a soup kitchen, but that's not feasible for everybody. This is one time that logging on to a website and posting a $25 donation isn't a lazy form of support. It's exactly what you should be doing in between online shopping, wish list making, and eating leftovers. There are so many charities to choose from locally and nationally. In NY, I normally donate to Meals-on-Wheels, or the Foodbank of NYC. But if you're not sure where best to donate, you can always check CharityWatch or Feeding America for suggestions and a rating system on good organizations devoted to hunger issues around the country. It's something small that everyone can do between other less-than-ideal traditions such as, stampeding chain box stores and gorging themselves on food till they fall asleep. Feeling grateful for all that you have shouldn't end with navel-gazing at how content you are with your own life, but really extend into giving back just a little, because people going hungry in this country does not have to happen.

Green tea madeleines and the power of sweets


Last Saturday's Bakesale for Japan was a huge success. It took place in cities around the country and together we raised a lot of money. A lot. Like $124,000 lot. I have always believed in the power of sugary goods.


This is just a quick update to let you know what a success this sale was. Our NYC organizers (Lillian and Celia) did an amazing job, and nationally this sale accomplished what it set out to do, raise some serious money to help with disaster relief efforts in Japan. NYC raised $4644 dollars alone. Not too shabby. Too bad NYC has banned bake sales in public schools, especially when they can really be a great way to raise money and get kids and parents into the kitchen. I'm sharing the recipe for these Green Tea Madeleines, because they're my new favorite madeleine flavor. They're pretty much the same recipe as the Strawberry Madeleines I made last year for Mother's Day, but using matcha powder instead of strawberry jam. I prefer the flavor of the green tea ones a little better, and they're perfect for people who don't like very sweet baked goods. Now all I need is an ice cream maker to put the rest of my matcha powder to good use...

Green tea madeleines

Green Tea Madeleines

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon - 1 1/2 teaspoons matcha powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour madeleine pans well.

Melt butter and set aside to cool. Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer till blended. Beat in vanilla, 1 teaspoon matcha powder, and salt. Add additional half teaspoon of matcha till batter is desired color. Add flour and beat until just blended.

Gradually add cooled melted butter to mixture, beating until just blended.

Spoon one tablespoon (or teaspoon if making mini-sized) of batter into each cake shell. Bake until puffed and edges are lightly golden, about 12-15 minutes (4-5 minutes for mini-pan). Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and finishing cooling on a wire rack.

Bake for Japan NYC

This Saturday, I will be donating baked goods for the NYC support of Bake for Japan, a sale that is happening in cities all over the country to help raise funds for Peace Winds, a disaster relief charity. The sale will be held at the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene.

If you cannot make it out to the Brooklyn Flea this weekend, or have friends that would like to make monetary donations to Peace Winds Japan, please direct them to this page at FirstGiving.  It is the page that is set up to collect the funds from the Bake Sales as well as for anyone who'd like to donate but cannot make it to any of the sales.  100% of the funds will be funneled through to Peace Winds Japan. For more on Peace Winds Japan, or the Peace Winds America, here is where you can read more about these NGOs disaster relief efforts. Also check out Lillian's sale page for an updated listing of all those bakeries and bloggers donating to the sale.

This weekend, the Brooklyn Flea will be moving back outdoors to its Fort Greene location. Come hungry, there will be a lot of sweet buys, including my green tea madeleines.