Sunday, August 22, 2010

Purveyor of Hugs and Cookies

What started as way to share a little joy in the world of cyberspace, has evolved into something very real and tangible. At the end of June, Heartsong Cookies. LLC was born. And on Sunday, September 5 from 9-2 at Maitland Farmers' Market, Heartsong Cookies will go live for the very first time selling cookies to the general public. With the help of my friends a dream has come true. You may have wondered why I haven't posted anything new on Heartsong since May. I morphed my daily and into a new daily blog - The new blog documents my journey into entrepreneurship. I plan at some point to start posting recipes again, but decided I want to wait a while until I build up a clientele.

You can link to my new blog, facebook page or e-mail by checking out and clicking on one of the icons to the right. The new look was created by Morgan Slavens and David Claytor from Hatchet Design. Check out their site at They are two very talented young designers from my alma mater, University of Florida.

Many hugs,

Friday, May 28, 2010

Does Size Matter?

Suddenly my dreams of a cookie business actually seem within reach. I found a commercial kitchen available for rent, researched the real start up costs and am talking about it to anyone who will listen.

Last night I got out all four of my cookie scoops...from small to extra large and experimented on a batch of Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies. Does size really matter? I decided to find out. I began with the extra large scoop...looks kind of like a standard ice cream scoop. Increasing the cooking time slightly for the larger size, I baked two pans with very good results. I think this size may work best for single cookie sales at the farmer's market. Problem is one batch only yields about 16 LARGE cookies. Next step...pricing. I will have to get back to you on that one.

Many hugs,


Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Cherry On Top

Last night I baked cookies to be included in a Mother's Day goody basket raffled to raise money for breast cancer research. My friend Carolynn asked if I would be willing to donate some HeartSong Cookies. Of course! I was honored. I baked Dark Chocolate with Sour Cherries Cookies and Mixed Nut Chocolate Chunk Cookies and dropped them off this morning. This afternoon I learned that the basket raised over $2,300. The basket was filled with lots of gift cards and goodies. My cookies seemed like such an insignificant contribution, but Carolynn made me feel much better. She said my cookies were like the cherry on top.

Many hugs,


Monday, April 19, 2010

A Reminder of Why...

I copied this post from my daily blog - because I thought it was a story worth sharing twice.

Today was angst and stress filled. And then once again...magic happened. I received an unexpected voice mail message from Nancy, a woman I have never met, but certainly hope to one day. Her message explained she was the wife of NC State coach Dana Bible who HAD leukemia. She stressed the word HAD. He is currently in remission.

Let me explain the magic behind the call. Last month while visiting my son Ryan, an intern at NC State, I was lucky enough to attend a Spring football practice. I knew about the health challenges Coach Bible was enduring and made eye contact with him as he walked by at the end of practice. This was his first time back on the field in months. I asked a simple question as he walked by - "How are you feeling?" I got back a genuine response filled with the joy of being back doing what he loved and the pain of all the chemo treatments. We talked for several minutes. He didn't have to talk to me. I was a perfect stranger. But, he did and I made a connection, however brief.

I wanted him to know that people he didn't even know were thinking of him and sending good thoughts his way. He talked some more and shared several stories of the people that had reached out to him during his time of crisis. I asked if the chemo affected his taste buds. Could he eat cookies if I made him some? His face lit up and he said he would be all over homemade cookies. I told him I was a baker and I would bake some for my son to drop off the following week. He said he looked forward to them, gave me a fist bump and went on his way.

As promised over the weekend I baked a couple of batches of cookies...not my best work and assembled a basket for Ryan to drop off at the office. Coach Bible was not in, but his assistant said she would save them for him. I didn't hear anything else about the gift, but was very glad I fulfilled my promise.

I didn't hear anything else about those less than perfect cookies, until today. Today I received a huge reminder of why I bake for others. I received an awesome, perfectly timed message from Nancy Bible, the wife of Dana Bible, the NC State coach that HAD leukemia. She gushed over those silly cookies. Telling me they were the best cookies she had ever had. She shared the good news that Dana was in remission and thanked me for my thoughtfulness. Evidently Nancy LOVES cookies and is keeping my card for future visits to my website. She took the time to reach out to this perfect stranger and I am very glad she did. I sent hugs to her family and they sent the hugs back tenfold.

I have never met Nancy Bible, but I hope to one day real soon!

This is why I stay up until 1:00 a.m. night after night, spend money I don't have on ingredients and search for cookie perfection. I wouldn't change a thing!

Many hugs,


Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Life Well Lived - Day 246

This morning was a celebration of the life of Lula Frances Jones...a life well lived. Lula (Frances) was a woman I never met. Yet somehow as I watched the people that filled the church for her service, I felt like I had known her all my life. She was a woman who took care of those around her. A woman who loved her children with all her heart. A woman who loved to cook good Southern food...and share it with anyone that happened to stop by. She was a woman who loved to eat. A woman after my own heart. My eyes teared up as I watched my friend Dennis mourn her loss. The loss of his mother. I was sad I never met this woman who was so important to so many. Once again I was moved by just how many people are touched by the well lived life of just one.

Tonight after wolfing down a Salmon Cobb Salad assembled from Easter leftovers, I began to make Sugar Cookie dough for a First Communion Cookie Basket for my friend Rose. She is leaving for North Carolina to attend the First Communion service for her granddaughter and asked me to make something special for her to take. As I cut the dough with the cross cookie cutters, I thought this was a perfect way to end this special day.

Many hugs,


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Power of a Cookie

Yesterday morning my brother picked up the basket of White Chocolate Blueberry Pecan Cookies I baked the night before. This was not an ordinary basket of cookies. This was a basket with a purpose. This was a basket destined to be a part of his office bake sale to raise funds for Second Harvest Food Bank. His face lit up when I presented it to him. I was proud of the results and anxious to hear how his office would respond. Shortly after Michael got to work I got my answer with text messages and photos proclaiming the delight of his co-workers. The really cool thing about the cookies I made is for every one sold for $1.00, it yields $9.00 worth of food to go to a needy family. That means the 25 cookies I made will net $225.00 worth of food for Second Harvest. As I always say...never underestimate the power of a cookie.

Many hugs and more cookies with a purpose,


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Promise Of Heart Healthy Cookie

It bugs me to no end that I have neglected my HeartSong Cookies blog for over 4 weeks. Every time I log into my Diary of Cash Starved Foodie daily blog, the HeartSong listing moves further and further down my blog list. I have grand plans for a heart healthy cookie with whole grain flour, oats, less fat and lots of dried fruit and nuts. Unfortunately I have to work all weekend, but sometime in the next week I promise to bake again, share the hugs and post the recipe. After that, I am going back on the mission to find a gluten free cookie for Victoria. Her birthday is coming up in February and I have to find something I can send her that she can actually eat.

Many hugs,