Monday, September 12, 2011

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip and Walnut Breakfast Cookies, and Southern NY Tier Flood Relief

This past Wednesday I received a text from my brother in New York. It read, "Evacuations all over. 10,000 people in Broome County. Jen will lose her house. I couldn't get back because they evacuated my town."

On Thursday, another text from my brother, "R u watching the weather channel? This is bad."

From Jen, another text, "I was able to get all my animals and a few things. Few clothes. Not much. Dogs swam to the road behind me to the car. Water to my waist carrying the cats in carriers and the bird. I saved the things that mattered, I would die if I wasn't able to get them out."

And today from my brother, "Got 80% of jens stuff to the curb. House is a loss. 14 feet of water was in there. Foundation is cracked in 5 places. Trying to salvage only clothing and kitchen stuff. The deck i helped build is 200 yards down road leaning on someone's house. Basically every one from home depot in jc to dunkin donuts in endicott within 3 blocks of river got same damage."

Jen is my brothers best friend of 3+ years that feels like 20 ;) . In these hard economic times, my brother has been staying with her. They help each other, a lot. Now, because of the flood, he's staying with his dear friends of 27 years, Carla and Arnie. Amazing, loving friends, who are also having to pump water out of their own basement.

I love Jen.

I love Carla and Arnie.

I don't love how little this tragedy has been on the news, and how little people know what is presently going on.

So I am asking all of you to donate to the American Red Cross, Southern Tier Chapter, in an effort to help not only my family and friends, but also the thousands of people that have had to evacuate from the homes that they've loved for generations.

One thing that Jen had text me was that local news stations were stating how they had no loss of life. But there was loss... Over 100 animals perished inside of Petco, as well as family pets throughout the area. Jen is angry, and rightfully so. In her words, "Just because they are animals and don't have jobs, didn't make them less valuable to the people that Cherish them."

I'm sorry, Jen... I wish I was there to give you a hug.

I made these breakfast cookies today because they are hearty, filling, and quick to fix. If you are in a flood relief area, maybe you could make these, and distribute them to those in need of a meal. I plan on selling some and donating the funds to the Red Cross chapter in my family's area.

To Bob, Jen, Carla and Arnie, this cookie is for you...

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip and Walnut Breakfast Cookies

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 c flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 large banana (I keep mine in freezer when they become over ripe,
using for recipes)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the banana well with a fork or whisk. Add the
peanut butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and buttermilk. Mix well.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just
combined. Stir in cinnamon chips and walnuts.

With an ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop out 12 equal portions
and place 2" apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or
sprayed with non-stick spray if you do not have parchment paper.

Lightly flatten tops of dough. Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes, or
until lightly browned.

Makes approximately 12 breakfast cookies.

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