Now it's not that I have actual objections towards making money. Quite the contrary; I really like money--earned, found, gifted--it's really all quite lovely. The problem was that I never really approached any of these hobbies with quite the same mercenary eye as my dad. It may sound cliche, but I really do just love to write and cook and bake and blog and design websites and edit graduate school application essays. (OK, perhaps not so much the essays--will admissions season *ever* end?!) The thing is that these little hobbies actually start to add up after a while--software, drawing tablets, hosting fees, butter, cream, eggs, etc... Not to mention the time.
It all finally clicked a few weeks ago when I passed by a bakery not far from my office and saw in the window that they were selling rainbow cookies for $1.50 each. "What the heck!?" I thought to myself. They were rather generously portioned, but still I could not believe it. Just a month or so earlier I'd brought in a batch of 30 into my office for free. A batch that I'd made over the weekend and which my coworkers somehow managed to devour in minutes. I'd made them before and they're always a hit with coworkers, friends, and family. It's my most requested treat, and here I was giving it away when I could have been selling it for a buck and a half each.
So the wheels started turning and today I'm excited to announce that I'm going into the (virtual) bakery business. Come visit my brand new online bakeshop: http://alwaysorderdessert.etsy.com/.
I'm selling a small selection of cookies and cakes, all baked fresh to order and shipped priority across the contiguous United States (and parts of Canada). I'm starting small with Italian Rainbow cookies, Italian Rainbow cake, and my financier-madeleines, but hope to expand soon to include flourless tortes and a few other treats. I've already received my first orders and am giddy with excitement.
I'm giving away one final batch of Italian Rainbows to one lucky reader. (Shh...don't tell my dad!)
These moist little almond cakes are layered with organic raspberry and apricot preserves and topped with a yummy cap of bittersweet chocolate. I'm telling you, it's the perfect cookie and it could be yours.
Is your mouth watering yet? Here's the scoop. As you know, I love to read. I have an entire room in my apartment dedicated to my books ("the library"). How many New Yorkers do you know with a "library"? As a way of combining these two passions, I've been working on a little side project compiling a collections of wonderful food scenes in novels, stories, and creative nonfiction. There are the classics, of course (Proust and his Madeleines, the sexy rose petals in Like Water for Chocolate), but I want to find some new ones.
So, your mission, (should you choose to accept it): Send me a wonderful literary food scene that you've read and love. It can be as short as one great sentence describing the taste of tea or a ten-page soliloquy about ripe figs. The only requirements are that they are about food and that they come from a non-cookbook. Fiction is preferred, but great passages from food memoirs or other types of creative nonfiction are also OK. The classics are good, but those that are less obvious (perhaps even a bit obscure) will score slightly better (although it's really ultimately about how good it is).
I will select my five favorite passages (chosen both for originality and the quality of the passage) from all the entries and will post them on the blog for readers to vote. The entry that gets the most votes wins and I will send that person a beautifully packaged "Tea Party Box" of 24 decadent rainbow cookies.
But wait! There's more!
Since this is obviously meant to be a bit of self-promotion, I'm going to be awarding a SECOND batch of 24 to one randomly-selected entrant. You can double your chances to win in the random drawing by mentioning the contest (and my online shop) on your blog or website. Send me the link along with your entry and I will include your name twice in the final drawing.
So how does that sound? I can't even begin to explain how freaking excited I am about this!! (Yes. Freaking excited!)
The contest starts right now and I will be accepting submissions until midnight on Friday March 21st. The five finalists (as chosen by moi) will be posted on Monday the 24th and voting will continue until Sunday March 30th. The two winners will be announced on Monday the 31st and the prizes will ship out that week. Send your submissions to alwaysorderdessert (at) gmail (dot) com with the phrase "Contest Submission" in the subject line.
I can't wait to see your entries!
Oh! And if you can't wait to try my cookies (and how can you possibly wait? they're so damn good!) why not head on over to http://alwaysorderdessert.etsy.com/ and order yourself a batch.
All my blog readers get 10% off their entire first order just by mentioning one of my blog names in the buyer's notes section of your order. I take special custom order (birthdays, showers, parties, etc.) and for the New Yorkers in the bunch, save on shipping with my local delivery and pick-up options within Manhattan. Don't be limited by what you see on the site--I love getting creative! Just ask!