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My socks are missing

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Do you know why my socks are missing?  Because you rocked them off!  I could not have imagined the bake sale going any better than it did.  When I imagined what the day would be like, I thought I’d be checking my email once an hour, being excited that there would be maybe one or two new bids, updating my post, and then returning to doing something else in the mean time.

Instead I was glued to my computer the entire day, getting new emails at least every fifteen minutes if not more often.  Not every one was a bid, but that’s how often I was receiving emails about the bake sale.  And yeah, that collage up there was about how it went for me on Friday, feeling like a train wreck when I had to act like a normal person and wake up at 8 AM (I was up until 4 am, which is actually an early bedtime for me), but then I was pretty much rocking out (not necessarily with banana bread in hand but I think you get the idea-lol) for the majority of the day-it was so exciting the day just flew! And then by the end of it, I was melting with exhaustion. It. was. awesome.  (BTW, try not to be too jealous of how photogenic I am!)

I know you’re dying to know how we did with raising money for Suzie so without further ado, here’s the breakdown:

Total bake sale bids: $860

Donations from Suzie’s friends and family: $315

Extra donations from bake sale bidders & bidders that didn’t win anything but donated anyway: $265

Total to date: $1440

I’m so happy with the amount we were able to raise!  Her medical expenses will be much more, but $1440 is a whole lot more than she had to put toward them, and she will be that much less in debt after her gallbladder surgery. And I’m not done yet!  I have a few more tricks up my sleeve.  :)

But first, I want to thank everyone who donated, baked goods or money (in some cases, you did both!) everyone who played a part-not only those who made bids or donated money/baked goods, but also those who tweeted and shared on Facebook and in messages.  One friend sent me a message saying she asked Martha (Stewart) to retweet about the bake sale and she was going to hit up Ellen next. Bwah!  So that’s why we did so good! ;)

OK, so are you ready to hear about these tricks I have up my sleeve?  First of all, I started “selling” my award-winning recipe for carrot cake for donations, and that’s part of the reason why there was so much extra donated from winners and from non-winners that participated in the sale.  And I’m now going to open this up to every one.  If you make a minimum $5 donation on Suzie’s fundraising page, I will email you my blue ribbon & sweepstakes carrot cake recipe as soon as you forward your donation receipt to VRAKLIS@YAHOO.COM.    (Sweepstakes means it won best of all cakes submitted for judging, not just best carrot cake.)  I will not be blogging this for at least another year so you will have a recipe that is pretty special and not readily accessible.

The other trick up my sleeve is something else donated that didn’t make it to the bake sale in time.  My Foodie Mama, whom I’ve mentioned extensively in many posts, has kindly offered two of her cookbooks, which she will sign to the winners with whatever inscription they choose.  Marina has won hundreds (and hundreds!) of ribbons for her recipes, sweet and savory alike, over the last thirty years.

Just a few of Marina’s ribbons.

I have blogged some of the recipes in this book so you can sneak a preview of the yumminess you’re in store for by checking out my posts on Cookie Brittle, Chocolate Eclair Squares, Heavenly Peanut Butter Pie, Crab & Avocado Enchiladas, and Fiesta Chicken & Southwest Cornbread Casserole.  She has a special section in the back for some of her award-winning recipes, including that peanut butter pie, and she is also offering to include four bonus recipes with each cookbook: Grace’s Danish Pastries Tea Cakes, Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies, Four Layer Dessert, and Eggnog Pie Apple Pie Cookies (Marina realized too late her Eggnog Pie is already in the cookbook so I had to update this).

Marina’s 4-Layer Pistachio Dessert

If you’d like a cookbook, you can email me at VRAKLIS@YAHOO.COM with your bid ($10 minimum starting bid).  The auction on these will run until the end of the week and I’ll email the two highest bidders on Saturday. I will put the current high bids on this post so you can check back from time to time to make sure you’re still one of the high bidders. :)  Current High Bids: Joan $10

The last trick I have up my sleeve is something I would need help with.  I would like to put together a PDF cookbook holding all my own award-winning recipes so that I could “sell” it for more donations for Suzie.  But I simply don’t have the time to put it together.  If there is anyone reading this that has mad Adobe skillz and also has time to put the cookbook together, please let me know!  I would be so grateful.

I’m terribly sorry this post is so long, I’m done now except for a reminder.  Don’t forget the sign-up deadline for the cookie swap is this Friday, November 9th.  Click here for details. Peace out my Cornicopi-cats!

P.S. You owe me a pair of socks!


THE Online Bake Sale

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Update: The bake sale is over. If you missed it or weren’t a successful bidder, I will make you an offer Monday or Tuesday that you can’t refuse. :)  Click here to see how much we’ve raised for Suzie so far!

Welcome to my online bake sale to raise money for Suzie, a friend who fell ill at the beginning of October and needs help paying her medical bills.  (You can read more about Suzie’s situation here.)  The blogging community, along with some friends, have joined together to make this bake sale happen, and you’d better be ready for some deliciousness because it’s about to smack you in the face!

Below you’ll find a list of yummy goodies that have all been donated by bloggers & friends, which are awaiting your bids. :) Before you start bidding, please review the Rules & Logistics. All funds raised from the Online Bake Sale will go directly to Suzie to pay her medical bills. I will update the ‘bid section’ on the bottom of this post throughout the day, so you can see the high bids for each item. Bidding for the Online Bake Sale will run from now until 10 pm CST tonight and I will notify the winners by email (you can also check the final bids on this page to see the list of winning bidders). A few quick reminders:

  • There is a minimum bid of $15 on each item.
  • All bids must be emailed to VRAKLIS@YAHOO.COM with the item you are bidding on in the subject (bids in the comment section will not be counted).
  • If a baked good does not specify a certain shipping location then it is open to U.S. Residents only. I have put those available for international shipping at the end of the list to make them easier to find.  If you have questions, please let me know.
  • The funds from winning bids must be posted to Suzie’s fundraising page within 24 hours of receiving the winning confirmation email or the next highest bidder automatically wins.
  • Winning bidders can expect to have their product shipped within five (5) to seven (7) days of the bake sale as long as shipping address is received promptly.

Now that we’ve got the rules all figured out let’s get to the fun part! Here’s to you getting the goodie you can’t live without! Let the bidding begin!!!

1 batch (about 2 1/2 dozen) Snickercrinkles (a cross between snickerdoodles and molasses crinkles) from Faith of An Edible Mosaic.


1 batch (about 5 dozen) Florentine Lace Cookies sandwiched with chocolate from Faith of An Edible Mosaic.

1 lb. granola of your choice from Katrina of Baking and Boys!  Pictured are 1) Dark Chocolate Raspberry 2) Camilla’s Pecan Stovetop Granola 3) Coconut Lime Granola with Pecans 4) Loaded Fruit & Nut 5) Banana Split  6) Peanut Butter  7) Chunky Monkey 8) Ultimate Healthy Granola, or request a custom blend–Katrina will work with you.


1 dozen large 4″ Jacque Torres’ New York TimesChocolate Chip Cookies from Katrina of Baking and Boys!

2 dozen Wookie Cookies (double chocolate chip, cinnamon-laced cookies) from Debbi Does Dinner Healthy.

Plum Jam and Country Peach Preserves (1 pint each, 2 pints total) from Natasha’s Kitchen.

Healthy Pumpkin Bread made with unsweetened applesauce and flax seed from Jorie of Midwest Maven.

Apple Cider Applesauce Coffee Cake

Apple Cider Applesauce Coffee Cake from Suzanne of A Pug in the Kitchen

1 dozen Brownie Pops from Angela, The Squishy Monster.

1 batch (about 6 cups) Pumpkin Granola from Sarah, The Pajama Chef.  This item is customizeable-specify with or without nuts, with no or more dried fruit.

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies from Joanne of Eats Well with Others.

A gift basket from Jane of The Healthy Beehive that includes 4 homemade jellies in 12 oz. jars (Raspberry Jam, White Balsamic Peach Jam, cantaloupe jelly, and cherry marmalade), and 4 bars of her homemade soap (2 Vanilla Dreams, 1 Cappucino Layered Soap, and 1 Goat’s Milk Soap).

2 dozen Blue Ribbon Almond Fudge Cookies (gluten-free) from Veronica’s Cornucopia.

1 batch of Cinnabon Caramel Corn, regular or vegan from Veronica’s Cornucopia.

12 half-pint jars of Baja Fresh Grilled Salsa from My Bizzy Kitchen.

Two loaves of super moist Pumpkin Bread from The Gingersnap Girl. Gloria said this ships great, as she has sent it twice to the military overseas (pictured in one of her military shipment boxes).

1 dozen Double Chocolate Biscotti from Heather of Join Us, Pull up a Chair (pictured with nuts but the dozen up for sale will not have nuts).

1 batch (minimum of 20 pieces) of Toot, from Fari & Azita of Fig & Quince. Toot (what a name!) is a Persian confection that translates to Marzipan Mulberry, as they are fashioned to look like mulberries with pistachio “stems” sticking out of the tops.

1/2 pint of Grape Jam with Orange Essence and 1/2 pint of Vintage Secret Family Recipe Grape Jelly, from Debra of Eliot’s Eats.  Both are made with her homegrown grapes.  Please note that although 7 jars are pictured, only TWO are up for auction.

2 dozen Candy Cookies from Desi of Steak ‘n Potatoes Kinda Gurl.

2 dozen Ginger-Toffee-Molasses Cookies from Chris of The Cafe Sucre Farine.

2 dozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles from Renee of My Kitchen Adventures.

2 dozen Monster Cookies from Julie’s Eats & Treats.

2 half-pint jars of Kelly’s Jelly: Spiced Pear & White Peach.  Kelly is a co-worker of mine and she uses fruit from her own trees to make her jelly-it is divine and my absolute favorite jelly. I have both kinds in my fridge right now!

2 dozen large Chocolate Chip Cookies from Adriene Rathbun, a friend that does cooking classes here in Wichita.

2 dozen Butterfly-Stamped Sugar Cookies, individually bagged and tied with ribbons, from my friend Tina Freels. She’s a sugar artist and I can attest to her baking skills!  This is a nut-free item.

1 dozen KISD Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies from Lauren of Keep it Sweet Desserts.

3 half pint jars of Robin’s Triple Berry Jam. Ingredients are sugar, pectin, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and butter.


1/2 batch (about 3 1/2 cups) of Coconut-Sour Cherry Granola from Melissa Likes to Eat.  Will ship internationally.

4 dozen Green Spelt Cookies from Angie’s Recipes. Ships to Germany only.

A pumpkin gift basket including  Pumpkin Pie Biscotti drizzled with white chocolate, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and a batch of Spicy Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds from Alice of A Mama, A Baby, and a Shar-pei in the Kitchen. Will ship to the US, Italy, Portugal, Japan, the UK, and Canada – including any APO/FPO addresses.

A signed copy of Faith Gorsky’s An Edible Mosaic cookbook. (!)  That’s right, if you win one of the first two items in the bake sale, you will be eating cookies prepared by a famous cookbook author. :)  I purchased two copies of Faith’s soon-to-be released Middle-Eastern cookbook and Faith has offered to sign one to the highest bidder with the inscription you desire.  Please be aware that you will not receive this until later in the month, as it will ship to Faith on November 6th, when it releases, and then she will ship it to you after signing it. You can preview some of the recipes in it here, here, and here. Will ship internationally.

Bidding is now closed. And just look how well we did!  Thank you!  If you see your name below and have not received an email from me, please send an email to Bakers, I will send address information to you once the donation for your item has been confirmed.

Current bids:
Faith’s Snickercrinkles: Letty $35.00
Faith’s Florentine Lace Cookies: Emma $25.00
Katrina’s Granola: Suzanne $20.00
Katrina’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies: Suzanne $30.00
Debbi’s Wookie Cookies: Michelle $25.00
Natasha’s Plum Jam & Country Peach Preserves: Emma $25.00
Jorie’s Healthy Pumpkin Bread: Cassandra $15.00
Suzanne’s Apple Cider Applesauce Coffee Cake: Angel $35.00
Angela’s Brownie Pops: MJ $15.00
Sarah’s Pumpkin Granola: Aimee $15.00
Joanne’s Pumpkin Swirl Brownies: Suzanne $35.00
Jane’s Jelly & Soap Gift Basket: Emma $50.00
Veronica’s Almond Fudge Cookies: Emma $25.00
Veronica’s Cinnabon Caramel Corn: Icy $30.00
Biz’s Baja Fresh Grilled Salsa: Christine $100.00
Gloria’s Pumpkin Bread: Erin $25.00
Heather’s Double Chocolate Biscotti: Suzanne $25.00
Fari & Azita’s Persian Toot: Danielle $15.00
Debra’s Grape Jam & Jelly: Biz $15.00
Desi’s Candy Cookies: Dru $20.00
Chris’s Ginger-Toffee-Molasses Cookies: Suzanne $30.00
Renee’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles: Desi $25.00
Julie’s Monster Cookies: Marie $20.00
Kelly’s Spiced Pear & White Peach Jellies: Erin $30.00
Adriene’s Chocolate Chip Cookies: Debbi $15.00
Tina’s Butterfly-Stamped Sugar Cookies: Leslie $25.00
Lauren’s KISD Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies: Katrina $25.00
Robin’s Triple Berry Jam: Erin $25.00
Melissa’s Coconut-Sour Cherry Granola: Aimee $15.00
Angie’s Green Spelt Cookies: Andrea $15.00
Alice’s Pumpkin Gift Basket: Icy $30.00
Faith’s cookbook: Lettie $40.00

Are you excited for THE BAKE SALE?

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Update: The bake sale is over. If you missed it, I will make you an offer Monday or Tuesday that you can’t refuse.  Click here to see how much we’ve raised for Suzie so far.

Do you know what time it is?  The online bake sale fundraiser for Suzie is tomorrow!  *happy dance*  I’m so excited and anxious to open the sale up to everyone because there are so many delicious treats that have been donated, and certainly something for everyone.  And I do mean everyone, even international readers!  I should start calling it an “Everything Sale” as there are now jellies, salsa, and even a signed cookbook in the mix!  I’ve kept the list of goodies updated as new donations came in, so you can preview everything here while you’re waiting for the sale to officially open. 

I am still accepting donations of baked goods (or other) until midnight tonight.  I will be getting home from work and checking my email at that time to update the bake sale draft.  All I will need is what you are donating, how much of it, a photo, and a link to the recipe if you have a blog and have posted it.

The bake sale will begin at 8 am CST on Friday, November 2nd, and will go all day until 10 pm CST.

I know many of you are curious as to how an online bake sale works, so here’s an outline of the Rules and Logistics, so you have a clear idea of how this works.

Online Bake Sale Rules & Logistics

First of all, please keep in mind that all donations go directly to Suzie to help her pay her medical bills.  Her health is improving but she still has at least one surgery she is facing and all the money raised is going to help her pay for it.  Most fundraisers benefit charity organizations and you never know which person/people your donation might be helping, but in this case you are directly helping a military mama whose first grandchild was born the same week she came down ill.  I thank everyone who is going to help her get well enough to meet her new grand-baby and keep going for all those who need her, including me. :)

Suzie is in the middle with her son next to her.

On Friday, November 2nd (tomorrow!) at 8 am CST, I will post all the items each baker has donated.  Each item will have a minimum bid of $15.  Once the items are officially posted all buyers will then e-mail with a bid of what they would like to purchase.

To have an official bid on an item you must e-mail me at  Any bids left in the comments section will not be reviewed, only bids e-mailed will be considered official and affirmative.

Think of the bid as a silent auction of sorts. All buyers will have until 10pm CST to submit their bid for the auction, and can bid as many times as they want.

I will be updating the current bids at the bottom of the bake sale post throughout the day so that you can see the current high bid. I am hoping this will encourage others to bid higher for the items they really want or bid for items that have not had a bid yet.

I will notify the winners by email and each winner will then donate the specified amount on Suzie’s fundraising page.  Once the donation goes through I will e-mail the baker the winner’s address and it will be the baker’s responsibility to send the baked goods to the winner within 72 hours.

The winner has 24 hours to make the online donation. If in that time frame the donation is not made, the next highest bidder will be contacted.

If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments below, and I hope to see you at the bake sale tomorrow! :)

Wait, you didn’t think I’d forget to announce the A Family Farm in Tuscany cookbook winner, did you?  OK, so I almost did. ;)  Congratulations to Kelly D, who said, “I like Eggplant Parmesan.”  A girl after my own heart. <3

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