Sunday, December 25, 2011

From Our Home to Yours...

Merry Christmas from the Moores!

Wishing you all a magical day filled with abundant blessings as you are surrounded by the ones you love most!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dudley the Elf

Long before Elf on a Shelf, the Nido girls had an annual, magical visitor straight from the North Pole. Too shy to see us, he would appear after we were asleep, and visit with my dad over mugs of hot cocoa. His visit came after our family tree was lit with red lights and decorated from head to toe. This is a tale, as told by my dad, is near and dear to my heart. So many of my favorite memories of the magic of Christmas, all lead back to Dudley the elf.

The Tale of a North Pole Ambassador
written by: The Elf Whisperer

On a snowy winter’s evening in mid-December 1989, after locking the doors and taking a gander at the sparkle and glow of our home we created for Christmas, I reduced everything to darkness and was headed up the stairs when I was startled by a rustling noise coming from the direction of our kitchen. Frightened, I eased my way down the steps and around the corner, only to find a strange little man sitting at the kitchen table. He had a luminescent glow about him and was so short that his feet didn’t even touch the floor. He smiled, but didn’t say a word. Suddenly, I felt I was having some crazy dream, until he spoke.

“Where are the girls?” he said.

Okay, I thought that maybe I’m crazy, but I’ll play along so he won’t harm me. “They’re in bed”, I said.

“Did Nina say her prayers?” he asked.

How does he know her name, I wondered? I wasn’t sure what to do next but he seemed pleasant enough, so I answered his questions. “Yes she did” I said.

“But, before that you had to discuss what she was going to have for breakfast in the morning” he said. “Her palate is quite mature for her young age. That’s going to be trouble for you when she grows up”.


He squinted and the corner of his mouth turned up in a half-smile that told me he knows more than I can ever imagine. “What about Andi? Has she quit talking and gone to sleep yet?” he said.

Now I was worried. He knew too much about my precious girls for my liking. “What do you want, and who are you anyway?”

“The name’s Dudley and I come from the North Pole. I’m the Chief Elf and everything goes through me.”

“How did you get here and why did you choose us?”

“Serendipity” he said. “I was out for a ride and saw the warm red glow from your Christmas tree. I couldn’t resist.”

“Okay, so what do you want from me?”

“Just a mug of hot cocoa.”

Still wary of this funny-looking little fellow, I asked how he got here. “Olaf” he said

“Pardon me?”

“Olaf” he said again.

“Is that a foreign car I’ve never heard of?” I said.

“No. He’s a reindeer. One of the spare ones. My favorite. Let me show you.”

He led me out to the porch where to my astonishment, was a large smiling reindeer. He had a fuzzy brown rack with enough points to hang 20 stocking caps, bells around his neck and a saddle strapped to his back. Now I was convinced that this wasn’t a dream and I wasn’t on Candid Camera. We returned to the kitchen and I fixed each of us a mug of hot cocoa. We chatted about all kinds of things, but he was especially interested in Nina and Andi and their activities. He asked if I would take him up to their bedrooms so that he could give them a kiss on the cheek. We tiptoed up the stairs and went into Andi’s room first. He bent over and gave her a kiss on the cheek and of course, she didn’t stir. We proceeded to Nina’s room, and being the light sleeper, as soon as he kissed her, she grumbled and rolled over. Dudley made a beeline for the stairs and ran down to the kitchen.

I followed him and asked “what’s the matter?”

“I’m shy. Your girls can’t see me. Only you.”

“How long have you been doing this” I asked.

“I’ve been the chief since I was 348 years old.”

“How old are you?”

“572 years. I must go.”


“I must be back to the North Pole by daybreak.”

Before he left, he reached into his pocket and pulled out two small trinkets to leave for the girls, and promised he would be back next year and the year after that.........

He returned the following year and every year after that and still does today, always bearing three small trinkets. His arrival is always the evening after our family Christmas tree is put up. How does he know? He waits for the warm red glow. Since that first December night, we added one more daughter, Natalie to our family. As the girls got older, my kitchen table chats with Dudley changed as did our beverage of choice. We now chat over a pint of ale and discuss their boyfriends, husbands, college, careers and whatever else is on our minds. Even though he has never seen them, he knows them as well as I do. Dudley knows...........

Mike Nido, aka The Elf Whisperer, lives a quiet life with his family in Charlotte, North Carolina and still waits up every year for Dudley.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I so wish this commercial still made its way onto our TV screens every year. This has been my favorite Christmas commercial since I was a child. And it makes me cry. Every. Single. Time. Folger's will do that to a sappy little elf like me! I always wished for a big brother, just so I could re-enact this scene in my own home.

After all, these little snippets of love and joy really are what the Christmas season is about.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Olive & Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

I could make a meal out of Olive Tapenade. Give me a spoon, and I'm a happy girl! I love the salt richness of the olives and the extra bite of garlic and herbs. If you're looking for an interesting spread to serve on crostini for pre-Christmas dinner appetizers, this is for you!

This creation was the result of not having enough roasted red peppers in my fridge to make my red pepper pesto, so I grabbed the green olives and my mini Cuisinart and mixed up my very own tapenade. The roasted red peppers cut the saltiness of the olives perfectly. Oregano and garlic add the perfect sidekick flavors and trusty extra virgin olive oil smooths it down. There are no rules when it comes to how you enjoy your tapenade. Eat this with fish, chicken, or on toasted crostini. Or just grab a spoon.

Olive & Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

1 cup green olives
1/3 cup roasted red peppers
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Place all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until you get a consistency similar to the picture above. Be careful not to over-process. One too many pulses and your tapenade will become juice!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Handmade Holiday Cheer: Personalized Ornaments

Happy Christmas week!

I was looking for a few extra goodies to add to some Christmas care packages and when I saw this post from Nina last week, I new that the personalized ornaments were in my crafting future. I'm a sucker for anything personalized. Bonus points if it's Christmas related.

I picked up some bright colored ornaments at Hobby Lobby as well as some festive ribbon. I used white craft paint that I already had at home to carefully paint names on the ornaments. I tied pretty little bows atop the wire loop and this simple Christmas craft was complete! Don't forget to use fray-check or clear nail polish on your ribbon ends!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Red Velvet Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

As I mentioned a few days ago, I spent last Saturday baking up some Christmas treats. These cookies made their way onto the baking list and I do believe they will remain on my list for years to come. I love red velvet anything and with only a handful of ingredients, this is such a simple cookie to make. They're pretty, they're pepperminty and bonus points because they're a festive color- red! If you are not a peppermint loving soul, I do believe a simple red velvet crinkle cookie would be delightful. I just happen to love that candy cane crunch!

Red Velvet Peppermint Crinkle Cookies
recipe from Duncan Hines

1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
6 tablespoons butter
2 large eggs
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup crushed candy canes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter and set aside to cool. Place cornstarch and powdered sugar in a shallow bowl (I recommend using a pie dish) and mix well with a fork.

Place cake mix, eggs and cooled butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until well blended. Stir in crushed candy cane. Using your hands, form dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture. Place on a cool, un-greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time, for 9-11 minutes, in the center of the oven.

Cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Our Christmas Kissed Casa

I love, love, love decorating for Christmas! My family's home was nothing short of magical at Christmastime and now that I have a home of my own, I've recreated the feeling as Mark and I start to make our own memories and traditions together. I love that from the moment you arrive at our front door, our house is literally kissed with Christmas all over. I love red, green and lots of sparkle! Every room in the house has something special to smile about.

Mark and I made a trip to The Reindeer Ranch to get our tree this year which was so much fun. We picked out a 10 foot North Carolina Fraser Fir that sits front and center in our living room. Mark is finally learning this year that the first person up is responsible for turning the tree on. There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning and walking out to pour your coffee while seeing a perfectly glowing Christmas tree. It's like a Folger's Coffee commercial every single morning. I know, such a Yuletide freak I am!

Our tree has no special theme. Only memories! I'm thankful that both Mark and I have families that started the tradition of giving ornaments every year. I plan on doing the same thing for our future minis. Our tree is filled and holds a combined 61 years of ornaments! We have ornaments from the time we were both born until now and each holds a serial memory. There are no two ornaments alike! Our tree is covered in 2,200 lights! Our personalized Pottery Barn tree skirt was a wedding gift from our dear friends.

I grabbed an eggnog latte, turned on The Holiday and did some Christmas wrapping! Cheerful presents under the tree are such a pretty sight.

Our stockings match our tree skirt and are a new addition to our decor this year! They're hanging with care.

My parents gave me this beautiful, hand painted nativity a few years ago. It's white with simple gold detailing and I love it sitting on our bookshelf. The camels are my favorite.

Last year, I discovered my love for filling every open container with ornaments. It's a fun and easy way to add Christmas happys all over the house. I filled my trifle dish with red, silver and gold ornaments and keep it on our coffee table.

In our small powder room, I filled a metal bucket with ornaments, cinnamon pine cones and some clippings from our tree.

The Santa soap dispenser is back this year and sits next to this hand painted ceramic tree! My mom painted these little gems years ago and she sent one home with my over Thanksgiving. These little light up trees were always a favorite of mine when I was younger and I smile every time I walk by and see it glowing.

This year, I tried something new with some extra ornaments and hung them from the light fixture above our table. I'm loving the way they ornaments look like they just float.

I love this simple wreath hanging over our kitchen window above the sink. I picked it up at our local nursery and added my own sparkly gold bow. It's real and smells delightful!

And because I need something pretty to look at while I work, a tiny Charlie Brown tree in my office. It's decorated with small gold balls, white twinkle lights and gold swizzle sticks. This is the same tree that used to twinkle in my bedroom growing up, so it has a special little place in my heart.

I'm linking my Christmas decorations up with Erin for the last post of this fun Holiday link up! It's been so much fun to take a virtual Holiday Home Tour of blogland.

We're off t0 look at Christmas lights around our town. We have mint chocolate chip ice cream, Christmas pajamas and the movie Elf waiting for us when we get home. (with a special appearance by Mr. Buble on Saturday Night Live!) Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Handmade Holiday Cheer: White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

I spent last Saturday in the kitchen with our sweet neighbors trying out some new Christmas recipes. We made three types of cookies, cake batter bark and this White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn that has already seemed to make its way out of the kitchen and into our bellies in less than a week. Santa isn't the only one with a bowl full of jelly at this time of year. Ha!

A lot of sweet, a slight dusting of salt and peppermint crunch in every bite, this festive popcorn is a guaranteed holiday hit. Serve it in festive bowls at a Christmas party or package it up and deliver Christmas happys to your family and friends. Or, you can always enjoy it Moore style: grabbing a handful every time you pass through the kitchen.

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn
recipe from Plain Chicken

2 bags microwave popcorn (no butter, slightly salted is best)
1 6 oz. box of candy canes, crushed
1 package Almond Bark
1 tsp. peppermint extract

Pour popcorn in the largest bowl that you have. You may also divide it in half, creating two batches if you don't have a bowl large enough. Pour crushed candy canes over the top of the popcorn. Melt almond bark on the stove, using a double boiler or double boiling method. While almond bark is melting, clear off counter space and line with parchment paper. Once the bark has fully melted, add peppermint extract. Pour the minty mixture over the popcorn and stir until all of the popcorn is kissed with chocolate. Dump popcorn onto the parchment paper and allow to harden.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh What Fun It Is To...Create!

I am having so much fun with these cheerful link ups this week! Every morning is a huge Christmas fest as I drink my coffee and catch up on my blog reading. My mother always says that everyone has a little creativity in them and I believe that even more than ever before, especially now being a part of the blogging community. Today's link up is hosted by one creative mama, Meredith from The Tichenor Family!

My creative wheels turn at a high speed during Christmas and even though I feel as though I've worked harder than a North Pole elf crafting my Christmas loving heart away, I'm starting to panic because there are still a few things I want to get done and Christmas is LESS than two weeks away!

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my mom and I made our own Advent Calendars.

I made a Pottery Barn inspired wreath for our front door.

My "little sister" that volunteer with came over last week and we made our very own gingerbread house! She absolutely loved it, and then told me she couldn't wait to grow up so that she could become baker and open her own business. So cute.

I cannot take credit for the idea below, but I could not leave it out of this post. This creation made its way to our doorstep earlier this week and when I opened it, my eyes filled with tears. Our fabulous wedding photographer had been holding onto a little momento from our Wedding Day. During our toast, when the champagne was popped, the cork hit Lindsay in the head! She tucked it away in her bag for safe keeping. I keep all corks. I have the cork from the Champagne toast my dad gave us on the night we got engaged, I have the cork from the bottle of wine we drank at Pane Caldo in Chicago on our one year anniversary and I have the corks from the bottle of wine we opened on a random Tuesday last winter. I don't know how it never occurred to me that we didn't have the cork from our Wedding Day.

How special is this ornament that Lindsay made us!? She took our cork, placed it in a plastic ornament with some simple brown crinkles and added a ribbon topped with a sweet "just married" medallion. This would be a great gift for any newlywed couple. Thank you Lindsay, you are the best!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh What Fun It Is To...Cook!

Duchess of Fork

Today's link up is hosted by Molly of Duchess of Fork and I'm so excited to share one of my favorite family recipes. I'm all about the food over here so it should go without saying that this might be my favorite link up of the week! The Italian Pizelle cookie is a Christmas staple in my family kitchen and it would not be Christmas without them. These cookies are light, crisp and in my heart they are guilt free because they are like eating air...only a little sweeter. One is never enough.

Pizelles make a beautiful addition to a Christmas party dessert bar, on a plate of cookies taken to the neighbors or wrapped up with cellophane and a giant bow to accompany a hostess gift. A Pizelle iron is an essential kitchen appliance in all Italian homes and a worthwhile investment for anyone wanting to add a sweet Italian tradition to your Holiday baking list!

Italian Pizelles

6 eggs
3.5 cups flour
1 c. cool melted butter
4 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. anise extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat pizelle griddle. Sift flour and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Beat eggs, adding sugar gradually. Add butter and anise, slowly add in the flour/baking powder mixture until you have a sticky, doughy mixture. Drop dough in tablespoonfuls onto the griddle. Cook until the steam stops and the cookies have turned a golden color. Remove with a fork and cool on wire racks. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Oh What Fun It Is To...Entertain on New Year's Eve!

According to Nina

I am excited about this Holiday link up hosted by some lovely bloggers this week! Today, I'm linking up with Nina to share my sparkly plans for our New Year's Eve guests! I fondly refer to my family as the party type and we wouldn't have it any other way. My parents love to entertain and they have certainly shared that love with me. We're Italian. It's what we do. There is nothing better than hosting friends and family in your home and making them feel all warm and fuzzy and loved. And the more, the merrier!

The newlyweds are making their way from Washington D.C. to spend New Year's weekend in the Midwest and I'm bursting with excitement. I am not wishing away Christmas but I am just so excited for their arrival! Meghan and I have been dreaming up our little New Year's Eve party for what seems like months and we can't believe it's only a few weeks away. I also made her promise me that she would watch the end scene in The Holiday because that is exactly what I envision!

I picked up some inspiration from Pinterest and I plan on finalizing my menu before we head south for Christmas. I'm looking forward to a fancy night at home with heavy hors d'oeuvres, festive cocktails, bite sized sweet treats and twinkle lights. Any home party is not complete without living room dancing and we can't forget to add a new dress to the list! MOD & Scott- we can't wait for your arrival!

Source: via Nina on Pinterest

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spread the Cheer

'Tis the season. Remember to give more, smile more, sparkle more and love more. Spread the cheer.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Giveaway, Gift Guide, & Giving Back

'Tis the season for giving (and getting) and the inter-webs are filled with tons of fun and festive giveaways. I've rounded up something I've been working on as well as a gift guide and a giving back opportunity from two of my friends.

Giveaway: The 25 Tacky Days Sweepstakes

This Sweepstakes is near and dear to my heart, as I have been working for the past couple of months with an amazing team of people developing a new site that will be launching in 2012. I have taken on the role of The Social Media Manager and am loving it! To spread some Christmas cheer, we're hosting a 25 day giveaway. That's 25 chances to win what totals $2700 in prizes! $100 Visa Gift Cards are being given away daily and on 12/13 and 12/24, we're giving away Amazon Kindle Fires! Enter here:, or by clicking the 25 Tacky Days widget on my sidebar. One entry is all it takes- don't miss out! If you Tweet, you can follow us, birdie style (@tackyco).

Gift Guide: 25 Days of Iron Mamas Clean Eating

Iron Mamas is my go to website for kicking my workouts up a notch. I used to take classes from Kelly when we both lived in Charlotte and am so happy she now shares them on her website. Kelly recently started a clean eating blog, Clean Eating, Iron Mamas Style where she posts clean recipes and great nutrition advice. During the month of December, she's doing a 25 day series where she is posting recipes, tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holidays and creative gift ideas for the healthy foodies in your life! She has already given some great ideas and I can't wait to see what else she shares. Head over to her blog to get some of these great ideas (and for extra motivation to stay healthy during the ultimate season of sweets and treats, too!)

Giving Back: Donation December

My west coast sister, Danica, is doing something AMAZING. She is raising money on her blog for Locks of Love. She is committing to raise $500 during the month of December at at the end of the month, she will donate 10 inches of hair! This is the third time she will be donating to Locks of Love. That's a total of 30 inches of hair. If you are looking for little ways to give back this holiday season, you can click over to Chic Runner and read her Donation December post. Make sure you have a tissue and if you donate, tell her that I sent you!

Hope everyone is having a merry & bright week!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reindeer Games

On Saturday, Mark and I pulled on our cowboy boots and ventured over the river and through the cornfields to Hardy's Reindeer Ranch. I have had a bit of an obsession with this place ever since I discovered it and getting our Christmas tree anywhere else didn't seem as festive. REAL LIVE REINDEER. You can't get more magical than that. Unless, of course, those reindeer appeared on your roof.

We walked through the little shop, drank hot spiced cider and made friends with the lazy little Reindeer. We opted out of the grab an ax and cut your own tree deal and we picked out a giant Fraser Fir that was raised and brought to Illinois from my beloved North Carolina. I really believe that Fraser Firs make the most beautiful Christmas trees and I'm so thankful that Mark agrees.

The ride home was quite an eventful one. In between Mark deciding to meander and take the long way home, and me making the care shake as I danced to Christmas music, we stopped not once, but twice, to get out and make sure that our tree wouldn't come tumbling off of our car! I could barely take a picture because I was laughing so hard as we got out of our car in the middle of the cornfields (literally) to check on our tree. At this point, 'NSYNC "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" had just come on the radio, and I had a little impromptu concert in the middle of a country road while Mark worked so hard to keep the tree tied up and safe. What has our life become!?

I'm so blessed to be stuck with this guy for life. As we make our own traditions and memories, especially during the Christmas season, my heart explodes with love and happiness. Life is so much sweeter when you have someone to share the little moments in life with. My sisters said during their Maids of Honor speech at our wedding, "Mark must be really special guy for Nina to move all of the way to the middle of Illinois for him".

(for the record, my sisters are almost always right)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Garlic & Herb Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin

As I took a pork tenderloin out of the freezer this morning to make tonight, it occurred to me that I have never shared this recipe on my blog. This is a favorite in our house and quite honestly, good enough to make for your next dinner party. If you are not a garlic person, this recipe may not be for you because I believe what makes this tenderloin so tasty is the garlic that is hiding in each bite. Fresh herbs are best, but I have used dried herbs as well. Ladies...make this for your meat loving husbands! Actually, scratch that. Pour yourself a glass of Pinot give them this recipe and tell them it's so easy, even they can make it. Real men can cook. And you deserve a night off.

Garlic & Herb Dijon Roasted Pork Tenderloin

1 boneless pork loin (we usually eat a small 2 lb. loin so double this for a larger cut)
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, mustard and herbs. Set aside. With a pairing knife, make slits evenly all over the pork. Place pieces of garlic in all of the slits. When you are done stuffing the garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper to season. Less is more with the salt and remember your mustard will add saltiness. Place pork in a baking dish and using a kitchen brush, cover the tenderloin with half of the dijon herb sauce. (sometimes, I will throw in some onion quarters in with the pork, too for extra juices and flavor)

Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover and brush the remaining dijon herb sauce on the pork and place in the oven for another 20 minutes, uncovered. Cook tenderloin until the internal temperature reaches 150-155 degrees.

Allow tenderloin to sit covered for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with mashed sweet potatoes and a baby greens salad.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Handmade Holiday Cheer: Pottery Barn Inspired Wreath

Pottery Barn has always been one of my favorite catalogs to grab decorating inspiration from. I love flipping through the pages at all of the pretty things. I fell in love with this photo of a Christmas entryway last year and have been excited to recreate this wreath ever since.

I already had a nice, plush wreath on hand as well as several packages of shatterproof ornaments from Target. I fluffed my wreath and arranged the greenery before I got started. I grabbed my glue gun and as I made rings of hot glue on the bottom of each ornament, I stuck the ornaments to my wreath until it was full and happy and sparkling.

I'm loving our cheerful and festive entryway! It's like a giant Christmas hug for anyone who enters our home.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cajun Shrimp and Guac Lettuce Wraps

Shrimp gets neglected in our dinner rotation but when it does make its way onto our menu, I fall in love all over again. It's both chic and easy and really one of those things you can whip up as a main course with just about anything you have on hand. I like to grab the frozen bags of peel and eat shrimp when they are on sale at my grocery store so that I always have a bag of little shrimpies on hand. Just run them under warmish water in a colander and they are thawed and ready for peeling, cooking and eating.

Y'all know we love wrapping things in lettuce around here. Add this recipe to your under an hour list! It's fresh, light and super healthy, too.

Cajun Shrimp and Guac Lettuce Wraps

For the shrimp:
1 lb. shrimp, peeled
3 cloves garlic, minced
Emeril's Essence for sprinkling (or any other Creole seasoning)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a small bowl, add the shrimp and a quick pour of olive oil. Add a few shakes of Emeril's and cumin and stir to combine and coat the shrimp. In a saute pan over medium heat, drizzle two turns of the pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Heat garlic and oil until the garlic is cooked and fragrant. Add the seasoned shrimp, and cook until pink.

Guacamole: (I learned this one by watching my Dad!)
2 large avocados
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
Juice from 1 fresh lime
Salt, pepper & cumin to season

Mash avocados with a fork and place in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mix and enjoy.

A good tip for green guac: To keep the guacamole a nice green color, save an avocado pit and place in the bowl with the guacamole.

Bibb lettuce works best for lettuce wraps, but Romaine works well, too. We wrapped our lettuce with the shrimp, guacamole, yellow bell peppers, roasted red peppers and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Make-A-Wish: Flour Power!

Calling all family, friends and readers in the Charlotte area!

Flour Power!
Combining Pastry Arts with the Power of a Wish
Friday, December 9, 2011
Founder's Hall
Charlotte, NC

My dear friend, Paul, is active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina and I am excited to team up with him and spread the word about an upcoming event! I have always had an extreme admiration for this organization and believe that the "power of a wish" is a magical thing! Make-A-Wish's mission is to: grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. This time of year brings a little extra happiness and the motivation to give back and spread cheer seems to take over all of us. Paul, along with a fellow M-A-W "wish granter" and a local chef came up with the concept for this fun foodie event. Chef Marsha Skidmore, who created a cake for one of Paul's wish kids, works in partnership with students from Johnson & Whales and helped pull this all together. Here is some more information, in Paul's words, about his M-A-W chapter, and what his wish kids will be doing on December 9:

"Our kids are between the ages of 2 ½ through 18 and the Central and Western NC Chapter serves 51 counties from the greater Charlotte area over to the western-most part of our state.

Typically, wishes fall into 4 categories:

I wish to be…
I wish to have…
I wish to go…
I wish to meet…

The average cost of our wishes is about $6,000.

For the event, we’ve paired 8 children from our chapter who have already had their wish granted. They were then paired with teams of student chefs from Johnson & Wales University. The kids and students attended a meet and greet where they all got to know each other and began the brainstorming session on cupcake flavors, designs etc. based on the kids wish experiences. So, imagine a trip of a lifetime, room makeover or shopping spree interpreted in edible art. The concept of the competition on 12/9 will follow the flow of popular culinary shows: teams will complete their designs, present to our panel of judges and a winning design will be chosen. Of course, samples will be available for the attending public.

In addition to the competition, and decorating demonstrations by Chef Marsha, we’ll have the following items available for a suggested donation at the event:

· Custom-designed recipe card sets of the 8 teams’ recipes (tied with ribbon and a wooden spoon): suggested donation $5.00

· Chance drawings for a couple of neat items

· Make-A-Wish t-shirts will be available as well.

Did I mention yet that the event is FREE and open to the public?! "

Check out the Flour Power Facebook page here. If you live in Charlotte, make sure you listen for advertisements on Kiss 95.1 FM and K-104.7 FM! CBS Radio is proud to sponsor Make-A-Wish locally. If you attend Flour Power!, look for Paul and tell him I sent you. You can give him a hug, too. He would LOVE it!!

If you have any questions about this event, or the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina, contact me and I'll put you in touch with Paul.