apple peanut butter treats – a bake sale for Muffin

You all know I have a soft spot for dogs.

I am partial to dachshunds at my house, and we currently have two rescues – sweeties Basil and Rosemary. They came to us with limited background story, but enough quirks to know they had not been given the best life before coming to our home.

I cannot imagine the horrors so many animals face, and I wish I could help them all.

Right now, there is a dog in desperate need of our help – whenever I hear details of Muffin’s story, I go hug my two pups close. They wiggle away and wonder what’s up. Muffin was found, neglected and severely abused, and is currently in the care of a rescue organization.


My friend Kita from Pass the Sushi will be adopting Muffin as soon as this sweet pup is ready. Kita has already spent time with Muffin, and says she is a sweetie:

“As you all know, we are rooting on Lil Miss Muffin, a pup found neglected and abused. She is with the wonderful people at Response-A-Bull rescue as they continue her treatment and long road to recovery. Muffin is amazingly, one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met, even after all she has been through. Her personality is soft and affectionate. She loves to snuggle on the sofa, and with that big cone, it can be quite the entertainment to watch her settle into your lap. But worth it. Very very worth it. With such a long road ahead of her, we are hoping to help raise some awareness and help with the cost of the increasing medical expense for Muffin.”

Today a large group of bloggers are coming together to help Muffin with a bake sale. I am contributing Basil’s favorite, apple peanut butter dog treats.


There are many tasty treats up for bid, and bids get you raffle tickets for a Le Creuset French oven! Please visit the auction today and help this sweet pup!


tomato bisque with grilled cheese sliders #WeCare

I feel extremely grateful to have a home, power, running water, food. I also feel helpless as people I know on the East Coast have lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.

The perspective leaves me incredibly humbled. I want to help.

Each day I hear new stories from friends who literally have lost everything – either themselves or those close to them. Homes, businesses, livelihoods, lives. I know the stories I am hearing are very few – the real impact of this storm is staggering and reaches far and wide.

So many people urgently need help.

Being on the other side of the country, it is impractical to offer a place to stay or even a warm meal, shower and a place to recharge. So I support the efforts with donations to The Red Cross, and encourage others to do so as well. Anything and everything helps.

Today I am joining some fellow food blogger friends coming together to support and give to those in desperate need. We are sending this plea over our great reach of social media, in hopes of raising funds and supporting those impacted.

The American Red Cross is accepting donations (financial donations have immediate impact).

All month long, Macy’s is accepting donations at all store registers, and matching them in an effort to exceed one million dollars.

People are setting up individual Amazon wishlists and Target registries for those who lost everything – a great idea and another way to help. Smaller support organizations are setting up registries with cleaning supplies and other essentials, for the people out there helping the efforts directly.

I encourage everyone to donate to The Red Cross – any amount helps – and to encourage others to do so as well.

My continued prayers for everyone affected by this disaster, and great appreciation to those helping with the rescue and relief efforts.

…and if I could, I would make enough of this comforting soup and sliders to share with everyone.

Italian tomato bisque

dairy, soy, and gluten free, vegan

1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter (Earth Balance soy free)
2 tablespoons dried oregano
7-10 leaves fresh basil, chiffonaded
10 roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
sea salt, to taste

Sauté onion and garlic in butter. Add oregano, basil, tomatoes, bell pepper, vegetable broth and salt, simmer until softened. Transfer mixture to blender (in batches if necessary), add (drained) cashews and puree on high until smooth. Return to pot to keep warm. Season with salt and pepper. 

Serve with grilled cheese sliders, a perfect vehicle for soup transport.

You could also spread the word by sharing this post or placing the #WeCare badge on your website. This code gives you this badge which links directly to The American Red Cross:

American Red Cross

<div align="center"><a href="" title="American Red Cross"><img src="" alt="American Red Cross" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


Cookies for Cody bake sale

Remember my samoa cookies?

Want some?

Now is your chance.

My friend Stephanie has a four year old nephew battling neuroblastoma.
A large group of bloggers, cookbook authors and companies have come together to help the family, and the bake sale / cookbook auction begins today. All for Cody.

The bake sale has two sections – traditional goodies and vegan/gluten free. The list of cookbooks and company donated items is in a third section, and there are many great titles (over fifty!). The auctions run through August 5th.

You bid by leaving comments on the photos using a Facebook account. Winning bidders will be contacted through Facebook.

To see all of the items in categories, visit here (when you get to a page of photos, click on each photo to bid).

If you would like to bid on my samoas, visit here.

Thank you!


giveaway winners!

Whew, that was fun. While I love hearing that many of you missed my regular recipe posts while I was away, I still like to do a giveaway series every now and then. I loved reading through the responses – I have some witty readers!

For the record, I missed sharing recipes too. I missed my kitchen. It is good to be back in it, I scrubbed it clean today. You know, as a holiday gift. To my kitchen.

Okay, lets get to it: I used random number generator to choose – f you are listed as a winner, please email me your full name and shipping information.

Superfood Cuisine  –> #210 Carolanne P

coffee & chocolate  –> #173 Kim

Jolly Llama  –> #36 Christin

Rawxies  –> #164 Lindsay

plate to pixel  –> #45 Francine

Sahale  –> #135 Lisa

bakers edge  –> #142 Caitlin

macrobar  –> #163 Jack  (and yes, I am shipping these, so I can ship internationally!)

thundershirt  –> #89 Tori

favorite things  –> #220 Karli

Candle 79  –> #25 Alexandra

Arcanatura  –> #31 Christina

Happy Holidays, everyone!


arcanatura pet giveaway

Happy Holidays!

Sticking with the pet theme, today’s giveaway is for natural pet products – one I use for Basil is the Resolution-3 Omega-3 DHA supplement, a vegan alternative to fish oil for pets. DHA benefits range from brain function to anti inflammatory – I began giving Basil an omega supplement because he has some knee issues (just like his mama…).

The other product is “Tick’d Off” – a two part tick removal system. I have not had to use it  (knock, knock), but it is nice to have. If I have it I won’t need it, right?

Giveaway is for one bottle of each, the DHA supplement and the Tick’d Off.

Five ways to enter, please leave a comment for each:

1) Do you use a DHA supplement? Do you give one to your pet?

2) Tweet this –>

enter the natural pet products giveaway from @spabettie and arcanatura –>

3) Stumble this (icon below) and like it (and follow me if you’d like!)

4) follow spabettie on twitter

5) like spabettie on facebook

Enter through December 20. Winner emailed December 21.

giveaway sponsored by arcanatura

See all of the Season of Giving Back Giveaways — CLICK HERE.


candle 79 giveaway

Happy Holidays!

As many times as I have been to my favorite city, I have yet to enjoy Candle 79, New York City’s premier sustainable restaurant. The Candle 79 cookbook went on sale November 1st, and I had my copy soon after! This book has the recipes for the restaurants earth-friendly upscale eats alongside stunning color photos. It is a beautiful piece of art, and would make a great gift.

I have already made several of the recipes – from seitan piccata (my favorite!) and live lasagna to pillowy doughnuts and the French 79 cocktail. I will be sharing reviews of some of these recipes later, right now, I want to give one of these beautiful books away!

Five ways to enter, please leave a comment for each:

1) What is your favorite cookbook or restaurant?


2) Tweet this –>

like the restaurant Candle 79? @spabettie is giving away the new cookbook –>

3) Stumble this (icon below) and like it (and follow me if you’d like!)

4) follow spabettie on twitter

5) like spabettie on facebook

Enter through December 20. Winner emailed December 21.

giveaway sponsored by Ten Speed Press

See all of the Season of Giving Back Giveaways — CLICK HERE.


my favorite things giveaway

Happy Holidays!

This giveaway was a fun one to shop for! I gathered up a few of my favorite things to share with you!

A rundown:

a package of colorful striped paper straws – people always ask about them.

One package of my favorite brand of cupcake cups, Sutton Gourmet Paper. They are brightly colored, and even the darkest cake doesn’t really show through. I picked up the fun zebra stripe for you.

Because I searched high and low for this ceramic egg crate, I picked up an extra. These are really fun – you can do things like this with them.

A pretty blue ceramic pint box. I love the farmers market. This reminds me of that.

My favorite set of bowls. They are kinda hard to get. I got some for you.

Five ways to enter, please leave a comment for each:

1) What is your favorite fun kitchen item?

2) Tweet this –>

enter to win @spabettie’s favorite things giveaway –>

3) Stumble this (icon below) and like it (and follow me if you’d like!)

4) follow spabettie on twitter

5) like spabettie on facebook

Enter through December 20. Winner emailed December 21.

giveaway sponsored by spabettie

See all of the Season of Giving Back Giveaways — CLICK HERE.