Monday, November 29, 2010

Story time with cookies

Kendra has a lot of yummy ideas over at My First Kitchen.

I first found her blog during the month of October when she participated in a "31 days of..." series of posts. While several bloggers followed the format along different themes, her series was entitled "31 Days to an Inspired Table."

I'm not sure why (because the name doesn't imply this), but I thought it was about decorating, or setting a nice eating area. I was only mildly interested, but clicked on her blog anyway. Instead what I found was Kendra's skill, insight, and passion for creating something much more substantial through the tradition of sharing meals with others. So much more than a food blog, she seeks to inspire her reader to infuse the time around the table with thoughtfulness and warmth in a variety of ways.

I loved her ideas. They were simple and felt attainable. But most of all, I loved how they pulled on something deeper in me: that instinctual craving to nurture my loved ones. I often feel the instinct and lack the skill, and she shared her giftedness with me.

(for examples of her great posts from this series, try Day 1, where she suggests we take a look at what defines our family's food culture, or Day 8, where she reminds us to have fun at the table.)

For the first 21 days of December, Kendra's posting the finalist entries of a contest which I entered. It is called "A Cookie and a Story," where writers were asked to share a favorite cookie recipe along with a personal story that goes with the treat. My recipe is for Italian Anise Cookies, and my story is about heritage, tradition, and the things that can't be watered down over time like genetics can. One of the photos I submitted to go along with my story is above. And guess what? I was chosen as a finalist (yay!).

My entry will be up on Dec. 17th (don't worry, I'll remind you again) and readers are to vote for the favorite!

Until then, I encourage you to check out Kendra's blog. She is filled with talent in matters of the kitchen and of the heart. I might win some awesome stuff for my kitchen, but you will receive some great inspiration and delicious recipes to serve up to your loved ones. I'm sure she has some killer ones in store for the holidays. (Not to mention all the other yummy cookie recipes you can steal from my adversaries the other finalists over the next few weeks.)

Won't you be glad to have some freshy ideas for that cookie exchange?

{And did you SEE that chubby wonderfulness on my baby girl in the top photo from seven years ago? Wow.}

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