Friday, October 14
Today I have a Mexican brownies recipe for you. And it’s fair trade. And it’s delicious. Are you ready? Let’s go!
I love Mexican chocolate. I was first introduced to this wonderful flavor by my Mexican college roommate Estela. She brought me Abuelita Mexican hot chocolate tablets from home and I hoarded, um, I mean cherished them. (Okay, hoarded. I would not allow anyone to use that chocolate willy nilly!) Fast forward to today and basically if we go anywhere and anything is Mexican chocolate flavored, I order it. The hint of cinnamon and chile peppers paired with chocolate just makes me happy. (And it reminds me of Estela, too, which also makes me happy!)
Fair Trade USA approached me to help celebrate their Fair Moments campaign this month, which is all about showing how our small everyday decisions can have a huge impact, something I really believe. For the post I wanted to share a recipe that used lots of great fair trade ingredients, but for some reason I was having a hard time settling on something. Then, as I was sitting in my kitchen staring at a pile of fair trade goodies with the kids, discussing what we could make, Cate mentioned brownies. Then the cinnamon started chanting, “Abuelita, Abuelita, Abuelita” and I knew Mexican brownies had to happen. (Okay, maybe that last part didn’t happen, but whatever. Close enough.)
Brownies are one of our family’s favorites and probably the most frequently baked item around here, after chocolate chip cookies, of course. Anna and I decided to make the Mexican brownies together and had a great conversation about what fair trade means. We talked about which ingredients in the recipe were fair trade and about how they are ingredients we use all the time. It was really cool neat sharing this with my daughter and I was grateful I could show her how we actively support such a great cause day to day.
The best part was taste testing with Anna and my mom, trying to get the perfect amount of cayenne pepper and cinnamon in the brownies. In case you’re wondering, we succeeded. The brownies came out awesome and everyone in the family loved them (even my mom who was most certainly suspect when I used the words “cayenne” and “brownies” in the same sentence). The cinnamon and cayenne flavors come through but in a subtle way and without too much heat.
Before we get to the post, let’s do a Fair Trade giveaway! One lucky, randomly-selected winner will receive a package from Fair Trade USA with the following goodies:
- Wholesome Vanilla Frosting
- Cascadian Farm Organic Soft Baked Squares
- Marich Chocolates
- Mighty Leaf Tea
- Chuao Chocolates
- Honest Tea
- Larabar Chocolate Cherry Bites
- Frontier Natural Products Co-Op Cinnamon Sticks
- SunSpire Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
- Spectrum Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
- Arrowhead Mills Organic Coconut Flour
- Immaculate Baking Co.’s Organic Chocolate Chip Mix
- Lundberg Family Farms Organic Jasmine Rice
- High Brew Coffee Cold Brew
To enter this Fair Trade giveaway, please do the following:
- Leave a comment on this post! (Optional: Tell us your favorite fair trade ingredient that you use all the time!)
- Bonus entry: Like Fair Trade USA on Facebook! (Please leave a separate comment indicating you have done so. If you already follow, that counts!)
- Like This Week for Dinner on Facebook! (Please leave a separate comment indicating you have done so. If you already follow, that counts!)
- Follow This Week for Dinner on Pinterest! (Please leave a separate comment indicating you have done so. If you already follow, that counts!)
- All comments must be posted by Midnight PT on October 31, 2016.
And now, the recipe! I basically just used Ruth Reichl’s “A Better Brownie” recipe, which is one of my most favorite brownies. The brownies come out super fudgy and rich with this amazing crusty top that is to die for. Click here for the original non-spicy version. If you want to try the spicy version, here you go!Mexican BrowniesPrep timeCook timeTotal timeThis is one of my favorite brownie recipes, originally written by Ruth Reichl. I've given the recipe a Mexican twist with sugar and spice and everything nice...and Fair Trade!Author: Ruth Reichl (with Jane Maynard adaptations)Serves: 16Ingredients
- 5 ounces unsalted high-fat butter (I use regular old salted butter!)
- 5 ounces unsweetened fair trade chocolate
- 2 teaspoons best-quality, fair trade vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons fair trade ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fair trade cayenne pepper
- 4 farm fresh organic eggs (Jane note: my eggs are not farm fresh, everything turns out fine!)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose white flour (spooned into a cup and leveled with a knife)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Butter a 9x9 or 8x8 square pan and line the pan with parchment paper. Butter the bottom and sides once again.
- Melt the chocolate and the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
- Beat the eggs and salt in a stand mixer. Add the sugar and beat on high for about 10 minutes, until the mixture has turned very light and thick. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs, beating on low until just mixed.
- Gently stir in the flour until it just disappears.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, place in the middle of the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 350ºF. Bake for 40 minutes; the brownies will be quite fudgy and a toothpick should come out not quite clean. Cool on a rack.
- Lift the brownies out of the pan by pulling up on the parchment paper. Set on a cutting board and cut into pieces.
The little plates in this post are from Q Squared NYC, in case you need to buy them because they are the CUTEST.
Wednesday, May 4
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, which means two things for me. First, I am planning on not cooking this Sunday, or even parenting much at all (that’s how I like my Mother’s Day, nice and lazy). Second, I’m teaming up with Fair Trade USA once again to celebrate the amazing women farmers of fair trade! I think this might be my 4th Fair Trade Mother’s Day recipe and giveaway…I’ve lost track! Anyway, since it’s not Mother’s Day quite yet, I am still in the kitchen and today I’ve cooked up a batch of double chocolate coconut cookies that I am certain you will love.
But before we get to the recipe we need to meet a farmer. And do a giveaway, which includes tons of awesome fair trade goodies. Let’s go!
This year Fair Trade is focusing on the women of fair trade through their #FairHer campaign. Like ONE, another non-profit organization I work with frequently, Fair Trade recognizes how important it is to help women in order to tackle poverty. In fact, you can’t tackle poverty without focusing on women. And the work Fair Trade does empowers women in many ways, especially given that women produce more than 50% of the world’s food (ummmm…btw…they only own 2% of the land).
To make this all a little more real, I’d like you to meet one of those women farmers, Virginia Jimenez, a sugar cane farmer & member of the CORA Cooperative, a Fair Trade Certified organic sugar producer in Paraguay. Gimenez has been involved with sugar cane all her life, as both her father and late husband were sugar cane producers. Her late husband, Mario Miranda, joined CORA in 2010 and died a year later. Gimenez, a mother of four, has taken over as the CORA-affiliated producer.
Here are a few of Virginia’s thoughts: “For us, the access to machinery that CORA provides is key for our annual production [note: according to CORA, they are able to lend the use of machinery at low or no cost by using some of the Fair Trade premium fund]. I also like the ideals behind CORA. Their strict rules are good for our society. For example, the controls regarding the use of child labor is very good. The safety workshops have also been great help. And the idea of producing organic sugar cane without chemicals is very important. My husband believed strongly in this. If we were able to increase our earnings, whether from sales or from the premium fund, I would like to see our health services improved. We do not have medical attention here on a daily basis. If a poisonous snake bites someone, we have to go really far.”
So, keep an eye out for that fair trade symbol on the food you buy. It’s helping wonderful women like Virginia. A sincere thank you to Virginia for sharing her story and thoughts with us!
I mentioned a giveaway, didn’t I? Fair Trade USA sent me a package of goodies to provide inspiration for today’s recipe, and one of you lucky people will receive the same package! It just might be their best one yet. Click here to read about all of the products included!
Here’s how to enter the giveaway! (Comments must be posted by Midnight PT 5/11/16):
- Simply leave a comment on this post! That’s it!
- Bonus entry: Follow Fair Trade Certified on Facebook (leave a separate comment for bonus entry, if you already follow just let us know!)
- Bonus entry: Join the This Week for Dinner email newsletter list! (leave a separate comment for bonus entry, if you already subscribe just let us know!)
I think it’s time to get cooking with all these yummy fair trade ingredients!
Today’s cookies may not be fancy but they are pretty much perfect. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, these chocolate cookies are filled with dark chocolate and coconut, one of my favorite flavor combinations. And there are so many ingredients in these cookies that can go fair trade, from the sugar to the vanilla to the chocolate! For this batch I used Guittard’s organic semisweet chocolate baking wafers, which are my favorite chocolate chips to use in any cookie recipe. I also used Lake Champlain’s organic unsweetened cocoa, another fabulous chocolate source that I can’t get enough of.
Enjoy! And Happy Mother’s Day!Double Chocolate Coconut CookiesPrep timeCook timeTotal timeAuthor: Jane MaynardServes: 3 dozenIngredients
- 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Generous ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut (I love wide sliced)
- 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips (I love Guittard's baking wafers)
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, mix together the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed for approximately 5 minutes. (Yes, 5 MINUTES...you want it to mix for a long time.)
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on medium speed for another 2-3 minutes.
- Place a sifter over the bowl and add the salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour and cocoa powder to the sifter, then sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix on low until just mixed.
- Add coconut and chocolate chips and mix with a large spoon until evenly distributed.
- Place dough in 2-tablespoon dough balls on a cookie sheet, leaving a few inches between each cookie.
- Bake for about 12-14 minutes. The cookies shouldn't look wet beneath the surface (if that makes sense).
- When you take them out of the oven, drop the pan flat onto the counter or stovetop to force the cookies to settle.
- Let cool a few minutes before eating. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Dough balls can also be frozen and cookies cooked from a frozen state, you just may need to add 1 or 2 minutes to the cook time.
Thursday, October 1
It’s October, which means many things. Halloween. Pumpkins. Apple picking. And Fair Trade Month!
I absolutely LOVE working with the folks at Fair Trade USA and I am so happy to help them celebrate Fair Trade Month once again! Today we have a Ugandan farmer’s story to share, a giveaway and a FANTASTIC recipe, one that I’ve been meaning to share with you for years. I also have a super simple request, which I’ll get to when we start talking about the giveaway. Are you ready? Let’s go!
I have always loved the opportunities that Fair Trade provides for farmers, but after visiting Malawi earlier this year, it holds an even stronger hold on my heart. Fair Trade works with farmers in Malawi and I love knowing that the good people of that country are benefiting from what Fair Trade has to offer. One of my biggest takeaways from that trip was that we need to find sustainable ways to help people and advance development. Fair Trade is one of the tools that can help us do just that.
Click on the infographic above to zoom in.
The Fair Trade farmer I would like to share with you today is Chelimo Annet, an inspirational coffee farmer & member of the Coffee A Cup Cooperative Society in Uganda. Chelimo has been farming coffee since 1994 and has 500 coffee trees. She supplements her income by growing bananas & eggplant.
Chelimo says that one of the primary benefits of being in a Fair Trade cooperative is that she is able to get coffee seedlings. Some of her trees are very old and don’t yield as much coffee as they used to, so raising young coffee trees is important. Another big benefit has been the additional income she receives for her coffee, which has enabled her 6 children to attend school. EVERY SINGLE PERSON I met in Africa used increased income to send their children to school before anything else. Participating in Fair Trade co-ops gives people the chance to give their children the one thing they want more than anything else – an education. It’s powerful stuff. When I read how she was able to send her children to school, oh man, my heart.
Now that we’ve met Chelimo,
I think it’s time for a giveaway! Fair Trade would like to share some of the fruits of their farmers’ labors with you! Today one lucky commenter will get a package of wonderful Fair Trade goodies, including products from:
- Cascadian Farm
- Lake Champlain Chocolates
- Numi Organic Tea
- Frontier Natural Products Co-Op
- Barefoot & Chocolate
- Alter Eco
- Pura Vida by S&D Coffee
- Spectrum Essentials
To enter the giveaway, please do the following by Midnight, PT on October 31, 2015 (prize must be shipped within the U.S.): Leave a comment on this post! Easy peasy! Bonus Entry: Please pretty please repin this pin by clicking here. Be sure to leave a separate comment on this post letting us know you did! My recipe is part of a Fair Trade USA recipe rally and the two recipes with the most repins on the Fair Trade pin board will earn the winning bloggers a trip to visit Fair Trade farms in the Dominican Republic. Honestly, I would write about Fair Trade no matter what and it’s totally fine if I don’t win, but it would be fun! 😉 Bonus Entry: Like Fair Trade USA on Facebook and leave a separate comment letting us know you did!
This giveaway is now closed. Comment #26 Kim was the randomly-selected winner. Congrats, Kim!
Last but not least, today’s recipe. I have been making these Mini Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes since long before the blog existed. It was sort of my crowning glory recipe. I found it in the Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book, a cookbook I received as a wedding gift. I’ve had it on my “blog post topics to write about” list for years because these little cakes deserve a big blog post. I was actually having a hard time figuring out what recipe I wanted to make with the Fair Trade goodies I received and then it hit me: lava cakes! What better way to use a bag of fair trade chocolate chips than to create molten lava chocolate. NONE, I tell you.
This chocolate lava cake is the real deal. No cheating by putting a piece of candy in the middle. No chocolate chips mixed in the dough to make it seem gooey. This cake is naturally volcanic and wonderful and rich and chocolatey and gourmet and wonderful. The cakes are not hard to make, I promise. I mean, you are gonna get a few dishes dirty and figuring out when to take them out of the oven is tricky, but the recipe is straightforward and uses ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen. And you have the chance to use several fair trade ingredients, from chocolate chips to cocoa to vanilla, all common fair trade products.
That’s it for today! An awesome fair trade farmer, a delicious giveaway, and one of my favorite recipes EVER. Happy Fair Trade Month! And good luck on the giveaway!Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes (a.k.a. Chocolate Lava Cakes)Prep timeCook timeTotal timeAdapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Baking BookAuthor: Jane MaynardServes: 9Ingredients
- 1 cup salted butter
- 1¼ cup good quality semisweet chocolate chips (you can use bittersweet, too, but it will be CRAZY rich)
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup flour
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate chips over medium-low heat. Once melted, set aside to cool.
- Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl. Beat on high with a stand mixer or hand mixer for 5 minutes. Mixture should be pale yellow and thickened.
- While eggs are mixing, grease 9 5-oz. ramekins then coat with granulated sugar. Set aside.
- Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat on medium speed until just mixed, about 30 seconds total.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into the bowl. Beat on low speed, just until blended, about 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula and give it one more quick stir by hand.
- Spoon batter into prepared dishes, dividing evenly. Ramekins should be about ⅔ full.
- Bake for 10-14 minutes, until the cakes have risen slightly, feel firm at the edges and are softer in the center when pressed gently with your finger. The hardest part of this recipe is taking the cakes out at the right moment! Too soon and there is too much lava, too late and there is no lava. The cakes will have risen about a ¼ inch and look cooked on the top surface. The center should feel softer than the edges and be a dimple. Rest assured these cakes are still gooey goodness even if you pass the lava stage, so don't stress.
- Cool in dishes for 5 minutes, then, using pot holders, invert each cake onto a serving plate. Cool 15 minutes before serving. I personally just keep the lava cakes in the ramekins - I think it's prettier this way, it's easier, and it's just as delicious!
- Optional: serve sprinkled with sifted powdered sugar and chocolate spirals and raspberries. I never do this. I just care about eating the cake as quickly as possible.
Thursday, July 16
Hey everybody! I am officially on vacation and enjoying every second. Also, flying with kids is SO MUCH EASIER now that I my youngest is almost 4 years old and my oldest is 10. I didn’t even have that anxious feeling in my stomach that normally accompanies our plane rides. I really am shocked at how much easier it was than it has been for, oh, the last 10 years.
Okay, enough travel talk, today I have a public service announcement. I must share two of my favorite goodies with you because it would be a crime not to.
First off, we flew through SFO this week and had a layover in Terminal 2. That terminal is, in the words of my friend Rebecca, magical. I love it when I have a layover there and usually spend a small fortune on food. My favorite spot in the terminal is a shop and deli called Napa Farms Market. They carry a vast array of wonderful Bay Area food products. One of the brands they carry is CC Made, a Berkeley-based artisanal caramel company I discovered at a food show years ago. CC Made has a dark chocolate caramel sauce that is TO DIE FOR, but they never have it at Napa Farms Market…until this week! When I saw it on the shelf I think I may have done a little jig. I know I at least squealed. I believe you can buy the sauce on the CC Made website, in case you need to get your hands on a jar, too!
The second item I want to share is barkTHINS. Fair Trade USA has sent me samples of barkTHINS several times and I even created a granola bar recipe using their pumpkin seed flavor. Anyway, suddenly I’m seeing barkTHINS EVERYWHERE…from gas stations to grocery stores to Costco, so I can regularly feed my addiction. My kids are addicted, too. barkTHINS are dangerous. So, maybe this public service announcement is more to warn you about the addictive power of barkTHINS than anything else! 😉
That’s all for today! Enjoy the goodies!
Thursday, May 7
As you know, every few months or so I do a post with Fair Trade USA to help spread the word about the great work they do. This week we’re celebrating Mother’s Day together by sharing the story of a mother from Uganda, giving away a big ol’ bunch of awesome Fair Trade goodies and sharing a fair trade recipe!
If you want to read more about what fair trade is, click here. Fair Trade USA says it all a whole lot better than I do. In a nutshell, buying fair trade products means you are supporting farmers in truly meaningful and sustainable ways in more than 70 countries. One of those farmers is Komuhendo Jacqueline, an inspirational tea farmer & member of the Mpanga Growers Tea Factory in Uganda.
Komuhendo Jacqueline and her family have been growing tea since 2009. She says that the biggest benefit to selling Fair Trade Certified tea is that it has enabled her to pay for school fees for 3 of her children. It has also enabled her family to start sustainable food security projects for their home that can continue for years to come. She hopes to sell more of her tea so that she can send her other 4 children to school.
Fair Trade has helped Komuhendo Jacqueline and her community in so many ways, including building a nearby well that has provided much closer access to clean water, building a health clinic, providing shelter for workers during the work day, creating a women’s organization that helps empower women to be a more active part of generating income for their families in a region where traditionally men have taken sole ownership of tea farming, and MORE. It’s really amazing the long-term and meaningful ways fair trade has helped women and mothers in this community.
Learning about Komuhendo Jacqueline’s story has been especially poignant for me this week as I will be flying over her home in just a few days’ time! As I have mentioned, I am traveling to Malawi with ONE and Heifer International this week. Malawi is another country where farmers have benefited from Fair Trade efforts through the production of coffee, sugar and tea, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to meet the people of this country and talk to farmers.
I could go on and on, but I think it’s time to give away some goodies and share a recipe with you!
First, the giveaway. Fair Trade USA will send one lucky, randomly-selected commenter all of the following goodies!
- Just Love Coffee
- Whole Foods Ceylon Cinnamon
- Lake Champlain Old World Drinking Chocolate
- Wholesome! Blue Agave Syrup
- Nutiva Coconut Oil and O’Coconut Bites
- UNREAL candy
- Traditional Medicinals Green Tea
- Numi Organic Tea
- EcoLips Lip Balm
- prAna Tote Bag
- Cascadian Farm Organic Soft-Baked Squares
- Simple Truth
- Vosges Chocolate
- Near East Quinoa
- Arrowhead Mills Coconut Flour
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post! (Comments must be posted by Midnight, PT May 18, 2015. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address.)
Recipe time! Today I have a recipe for Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Shortbread. In the interest of full disclosure, Nate and Cate did NOT like these cookies. My neighbor Kat, who does TONS of gluten-free baking and loves and cares about food very much, loved the cookies. I personally think the cookies have a wonderful flavor and I do like them. Just know this is a cookie that is meant to be nibbled…coconut flour absorbs fluid better than a sponge, and that still applies even when it’s in your mouth! Sit down with a nice cup of fair trade tea and slowly enjoy your delicious cookie!Gluten-Free Coconut Lime ShortbreadPrep timeCook timeTotal timeA very flavorful, gluten-free shortbread cookie. Eat in nibbles, no big bites!Author: Jane MaynardServes: 7 cookiesIngredients
- 6 tablespoons fair trade coconut flour
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened to room temp
- 2 tablespoons fair trade unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons fair trade agave nectar
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Mix all ingredients very well using a fork or pastry blender. Make cookie balls out of ~2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Roll in your hand, set on a a parchment paper or silpat lined cookie sheet and gently press the cookie flat to about ¼" thick.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Let cool completely before moving off of the cookie sheet or they will crumble.
Tuesday, December 2
Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is where it’s at! If you don’t know what Giving Tuesday is, click here to watch an introductory video. Essentially it’s a bunch of really great people from all over the world coming together to GIVE and to also share ideas for giving. To show my support I want to highlight a few organizations that I have personally supported and worked with.
ONE: I love ONE because it’s all about advocacy. They don’t ask for money, they just ask for your voice. Click through to ONE’s website to find out all of the amazing ways to make your voice heard and help those in the world who need it most. If you really want to shop and support ONE at the same time, buy the Alex and Ani New Beginnings bracelet. I bought this for myself as a stocking stuffer but, alas, it will never make it to my stocking. It just really, really, really wanted to be on my wrist.
To The Market: This website just launched and it is beyond beautiful. The woman who started the organization To The Market (also named Jane!) is filled with so much positive energy (and smarts) I almost don’t know what to do with her. 😉 To The Market’s goal is to support survivors by selling their goods. Read more here and don’t forget to shop!
fashionABLE: I love fashionABLE and am basically swimming in their scarves. I also bought myself a beautiful bag that I have yet to open because we’re saving it for Christmas morning. That closed box is taunting me and I don’t know how much longer I can stand it! Anyway, fashionABLE creates sustainable business for women in Africa and the founders are amazing and also filled with energy that inspires. Click through to learn more and shop!
Heifer International: Last year I bought some goat shares. Maybe this year we’ll make it a llama. I’m still deciding. No matter what, it’s gonna be cute. Heifer is the best, click through to find out more!
Fair Trade USA Holiday Guide: Fair Trade USA, another organization I love, put together an awesome fair trade shopping guide, so make sure to check that out, too!
I KNOW there are so many worthy organizations out there, but I wanted to share the ones that I have most recently supported myself because A) I know from personal experience that they are awesome, and B) I know that these organization really truly help people – it’s not lip service.
Happy Giving Tuesday! Whether you get out there and shop from companies that give back, make a donation to your favorite non-profit or you just deliver cookies to the widowed elderly woman down the street, get out there and give. It’s the best way to kick off the holidays!
And please share your favorite giving organizations in the comments! The more suggestions the merrier!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 2:19 pm 4 Comments
Categories: fab faves, the goods Tags: fair trade, fair trade usa, fashionable, giving back, giving tuesday, heifer international, live fashionable, ONE, to the market |
Thursday, May 1
Today I’m excited to partner with Fair Trade USA to celebrate Mother’s Day through their Moms Make a World of Difference efforts. Today’s post is full of goodies, including a delicious recipe for the Fair Trade Brunch, a really awesome giveaway, and the story of a mother in Rwanda who’s life has been improved thanks to fair trade practices. I studied international relations and women’s studies in college and these issues have long been dear to my heart, so I’m more than delighted to help spread the word!
Fair trade benefits all of the farmers it touches, but I can see how it is especially helpful for women. So many women in developing countries are tasked with both supporting their families monetarily and being the primary caregiver for the children. The burden can be great, but I have heard stories time and again about real women in these countries who, through fair and good employment, are able to not only provide for their families financially but also spend more time with their children.
As I started looking through the Moms Make a World of Difference website, this quote from Mukantelina Soline, a mom and coffee farmer in Rwanada, really stood out to me: “Growing coffee is hard work, but it is work that I love because it helps me improve the lives of my children.” Let me preface my next comment with this – I always feel incredibly blessed and grateful for my work and my situation. But that doesn’t mean that the stress of working and being the primary caregiver in our home doesn’t sometimes get to me. Even though my life and my work is different than Mukantelina’s, reading her words made me feel a kinship with her. It also made me realize that, when the stress starts to get me down, I just need to be grateful.
As I read more of Mukantelina’s story, I learned that she has three children – one in school, one who can’t go to school due to chronic illness, and a third who joins her as she works each day. By joining the Dukunde Kawa Coffee Cooperative in 2003, Mukantelina has received extra support with the processing and sale of her coffee as well as additional income. Now she spends more time with her family, and she has been able to get electricity for their home and a cow to provide milk for the family. This is why fair trade products are so amazing – when you buy these products, you know that it is making a real difference in real lives.
To prepare for the Fair Trade Brunch, Fair Trade USA sent me a box of goodies from 12 of their partner companies. SO MUCH GOODNESS. I was challenged to come up with a recipe for their online Mother’s Day brunch that uses 2 of the ingredients. I knew I had to use the Guittard chocolate because I’m completely obsessed with their chocolate (theirs are the only chocolate chips I buy and I can’t tell you how happy I am that I can finally get them at almost all grocery stores!). There was also a bag of brown muscovado sugar by India Tree that intrigued me. I thought about recipes that really feature brown sugar and shortbread immediately came to mind. And then I got cooking!
These simple shortbread cookies are, quite simply, delicious. The buttery, brown sugar flavor pairs nicely with the little punches of chocolate. These cookies would be a great addition to a brunch – a little something sweet that’s not too sweet. They are also good for just eating any old time. Like right now while I’m typing this post. (I literally just walked into the kitchen to get one!)
The winner of the giveaway was Kim, who said, “Your cookies look fabulous!” Thanks, Kim! And I hope you enjoy all your goodies (I’m sure you will)!
Before we get to the recipe, let’s do a giveaway! One of you lucky, randomly-selected people will win the same goodie box that I received. Here is what you’ll get! Whole Foods $25 gift card Guittard Semi-Sweet Etienne Baking Bars barkTHINS Snacking Chocolate sweetriot Dark Chocolate Quirky Quinoa Crunch bar Frontier Ceylon Cinnamon India Tree Brown Muscovado Sugar Allegro Coffee Café La Dueña (these coffee beans are seriously the yummiest thing I have smelled EVER.) Nutiva Coconut Oil and O’Coconut treats prAna Vanessa Scarf Numi Chocolate Rooibos Tea Choice Organic Green Moroccan Mint Tea Honest Tea Half & Half Tea with Lemonade Here is how to enter the giveaway! (All comments must be posted by midnight PT on Sunday, May 11 and prize must be shipped to a U.S. address.) Simply leave a comment on this post! Easy peasy! Bonus entry: Like Fair Trade USA on Facebook (leave a separate comment stating you followed to get the extra entry; if you already do, that counts!) Bonus entry: Follow Fair Trade USA on Pinterest (leave a separate comment stating you followed to get the extra entry; if you already do, that counts!) Bonus entry: Like This Week for Dinner on Facebook (leave a separate comment stating you followed to get the extra entry; if you already do, that counts!) Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Pinterest (leave a separate comment stating you followed to get the extra entry; if you already do, that counts!)
Now, let’s make some yummy shortbread!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 9:39 am 110 Comments
Categories: featured recipes, Food Matters, Recipes, sweet things Tags: brunch recipes, chocolate, fair trade, fair trade usa, FairMoms, guittard, shortbread |