Help Me Win $10,000 to Teach Kids How to Cook!

It’s no secret I love oatmeal. (Or maybe it is, since it’s Dinner with Julie, not Breakfast with Julie… hmmm… do I detect a spinoff?)

So I’m more than a little excited to be one of twelve food bloggers kicking off the “Awaken Your Senses” challenge, sponsored by Quaker Oats. Here’s how it works…

Twelve of us food bloggers have come together to share our favorite food memories, which were translated into breakfast by David Lawrence of Good Bite. He has come up with all kinds of new ways to accessorize your morning bowl of oatmeal. (Which works out well for me, since W often eats oatmeal for dinner.)

One of my favourite food memories is baking with my Grandma. She, as so many grandmas are or were, was a fantastic baker, flawless pastry-maker, and kept her old walk-in fridge (it was built into the hallway) filled with tins of butter tarts, Matrimonial slice (date squares) and Oatmeal Crisps – lacy oatmeal cookies spiked with ginger and chunky marmalade, for which she was famous.

Here’s her recipe:

(You can find the translation here.)

But back to the challenge: it launches today! This very first round features myself and three of my favourite bloggers – Jaden of Steamy Kitchen, Catherine of Weelicious and Lisa of Homesick Texan. They are all elimination rounds – one of us will emerge triumphant (based on YOUR VOTES – no pressure), and every 2 weeks a new round of videos will be posted.

At the end of eight weeks the blogger’s video with the most votes wins, and $10,000 (US!) smackers will be donated to their charity!

Of course they are all fantastic and worthy charities, but I’d really love mine to win $10,000. I’m playing on behalf of Common Threads, an organization that teaches low-income children to cook to cook wholesome and affordable meals. As they put it, “we believe that through our hands-on cooking classes we can help prevent childhood obesity and reverse the trend of generations of non-cookers, while celebrating our cultural differences and the things people all over the world have in common. Through the simple process of preparing and sharing a nutritious meal, children who participate in our programs learn to connect with their bodies, their neighbors, and their world in bite-sized lessons.”

Come on, how could you not want to support that? So if you have a few seconds, I’d love it if you could visit the QuakerTalk Channel and vote for David’s “sweetheart swirl” (an homage to my Grandma’s marmalade cookies and Matrimonial slice), in support of Common Threads. Please? $10,000.00 could go a long way toward teaching kids a skill that will last a lifetime, and be passed on to future generations.


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19 comments on “Help Me Win $10,000 to Teach Kids How to Cook!

  1. Rebecca
    September 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I voted for you Julie! I hope your video wins $10,000 for Common Threads (so lots of kids can learn how to cook things like oatmeal — and I mean ordinary oatmeal, not the expensive, sugar-laden instant kind!) I will try the marmalade and dates in our oatmeal though. Sounds yummy.

  2. Natalie (Georgia)
    September 25, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I voted for you!!!

  3. JulieVR
    September 25, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks you guys!! I’m up against some seriously cool and popular girls here.. it’s kind of like being chosen for the floor hockey team!

  4. Betty
    September 25, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    You have my vote too Julie. Adorable picture of your son!

  5. Erica B.
    September 25, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    What a great cause and a great memory of your Gran. You’ve got my vote =)

    PS Love W’s haircut – that cutie could totallybe your pitchman hehe

  6. the other Al
    September 25, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I’ll vote for you Julie(cause I know how much you care about kids and their health) but I have a problem with packet oatmeal. Can un- processed oats be used?

  7. JulieVR
    September 25, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    But of course-the idea is that you can stir marmalade into oatmeal and sprinkle dates on top – it can be any kind of oatmeal you like! (He doesn’t use the flavoured stuff – it’s just plain.)

  8. Ann
    September 26, 2009 at 5:30 am

    You’ve got my vote, too! What a great contest idea.

    Thanks for reminding me about your Grandma’s cookies. I’m going to make them this weekend.

    I love that picture of W!! It put a big smile on my face. A great way to start the day!

  9. Allison
    September 26, 2009 at 6:37 am

    of course i vote for you!!!!

    good luck with this..


  10. Lauren
    September 26, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Good luck! Your oatmeal sounds delicious =D.

  11. Lana
    September 27, 2009 at 6:27 am

    I am going to make your Grandma’s cookies today!
    And I voted for you!

  12. Lana
    September 27, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I used peach conserve (like a runny marmalade) and chopped dates instead of raisins, also freshly grated nutmeg. OH! SO yummy! Crispy on the outside and tender inside and such a delicious flavour. If I wasn’t out of milk, I would eat the whole batch with a pot of tea.
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us again.

  13. Carolyn
    September 27, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I’ve voted for you 6x already. I’ll keep voting for you.

  14. JulieVR
    September 27, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Aw, you guys are so sweet!!

  15. Natalie from Ottawa
    September 28, 2009 at 6:45 am

    This might be a stupid question, but how do I vote? All I saw was the “thumbs up”. Is that it?

  16. JulieVR
    September 28, 2009 at 6:56 am

    I think so! Thanks!!

  17. Barb
    September 28, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Will do.

  18. jenn in niagara
    September 28, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    WOW that is so cool, and what a fantastic charity! i def. voted a few times, and i believe you just click on the thumbs up sign…
    good luck julie!

  19. Katharine
    September 29, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I voted for you too! I hope you win! We have oatmeal almost every morning. Just the regular variety with whatever fruit is in season. I personally like apples, cinnamon and raisins in mine. Yum yum!

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