A custom recipe to be featured on the Food Network website for the A Fund For Jennie

by Irvin on September 2, 2011 · 18 comments

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By now you guys probably know that there’s an awesome new nonprofit organization called Bloggers without Borders. If not, go bounce over to their site and check it out (go on, I’ll wait). Their first campaign is to raise money for one of our own, a blogger name Jennifer Perillo whose husband passed away unexpectedly. I blogged about how I made a peanut butter pie in honor of her husband a couple of weeks ago, as well as the fundraising efforts that are going on last week and mentioned that I was going to auction something as well…that I would post about later. Well later is now.

Blogger without Borders logo

So here’s the deal. I’m auctioning off a custom made baked good and recipe that will be featured on Food Network’s Dish site. Say what?!? That’s right folks, you will help me create a dish that will be on the Food Network website! Oh the power you could have…

I’ve been working behind the scenes to make this special auction happen. Sure I could have made some cookies, candy, brownies or a cake and sold them to the highest bidder. I love to bake. Not a problem. But here’s what I love even more than baking. I love to bake for YOU. And though people profess to love my baked goods, I want my auction item to be extra special for the winner.

The way this is going to work is that I’ll ask the winner of the auction to supply three elements of the recipe and I will come up with an original recipe based around those three elements. For instance if the winner tells me: “Make a recipe with chocolate, strawberries and cake” I’ll come up with a unique recipe that will incorporate those three elements. The winner can give me any three elements they want. It can be “gluten free, cookies, blueberries” or “vegan, brown sugar, brownie” or whatever elements the winner wants to pick. You only get three, so pick your elements carefully.

I love making desserts for people. Now I get to make it for you. And Jennie.

I love making desserts for people. Now I get to make it for you. And Jennie.

Now there are a few caveats to this auction. Because I have to ship this item to you, please try to not pick elements that aren’t too fragile, or out of season and that would allow for packaging and movement across the country. In other words, I really don’t want to have to chase down dry ice to ship you ice cream and I haven’t a clue how I could ship spun sugar to you if you picked that as a element. Also this auction is open to the US and Canada only. Sorry international folks. Shipping across the world is just too difficult for me. However, if you international folks still want to bid, you can, and I’ll make you a custom recipe to be featured on Food Network but I just won’t be able to ship you the final baked good.

Finally, I want this to be a realistic recipe that I can create and others can as well, so please no super rare, insanely difficult ingredients to source. I know I’ve been known to use crazy ingredients in my recipes, but this is a recipe that is going to be featured on the Food Network Dish Site, so I want it to be accessible for everyone to make.

The winner of this auction will get the custom made baked good shipped to him or her as soon as I can perfect the recipe and their name featured on the title of the recipe. So let’s say the winner of my auction is Jenny Smith and she picks the elements “caramel, marshmallow and pineapple” for me to work with. I’d create the recipe “Grilled Pineapple S’mores on a Stick with Caramel Dipping Sauce for Jenny Smith” and it will be featured on the Food Network Dish site. Cool huh?

I’m starting the auction at a $100 with 100% of the proceeds going to A Fund for Jennie. The auction is open until next Friday, September 9th 2011 at noon San Francisco time. Leave a comment below to bid (you can bid anonymously, just make sure to leave a working email address so I can contact you if you win). Good luck and thank you so much for helping to support a fellow blogger in need.

[EDIT 9/8/11: A couple of people have questioned my intentions with this auction and I would just like to clarify that it was never my intent to use this auction as platform for self-promotion. The auction is first and foremost a chance to raise money for a fellow blogger in need. The winner of the auction will receive a baked good that I develop from the ground up, using ingredients or elements of their choice, a prize I had hoped would be worthy of bidding on.

The additional idea of featuring the recipe on the Food Network was something I had hoped would drive a higher bid. Not only would the winner get a custom baked good/dessert and recipe from me, but they would get their name featured on the title of a recipe featured on a high profile website. The write up for the recipe would explain why I created the recipe, talk about the campaign, link to the winner’s blog (if he or she had one) and hopefully raise awareness for both Jenny’s situation and the organization Bloggers without Borders. The Food Network, the non-profit organization Bloggers without Borders, along with the initial organizer of the campaign A Fund for Jenny, Shauna from Gluten Free Girl all approved of this auction. If you still have concerns about my intentions, feel free to email me directly and we can certainly discuss it privately in more detail, or click away and bid on another auction or donate directly.

No matter how you feel about this particular auction or about me personally, please realize it does not change the fact that someone lost a loved one and food bloggers across the board have rallied together to help her in her time of need.]

Jennie and Mikey

Jennie and Mikey

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily | Nomnivorous September 2, 2011 at 8:43 am

What a wonderful idea! I’ll start the bid at $100.


elizabeyta September 2, 2011 at 11:58 am

I will raise the bid to $200.


Greg September 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I’m having a hard time understanding why you need to be featured on Food Network if this is your charitable contribution to a cause. It seems to mostly benefit you. IMHO.


Irvin September 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm

This auction is about creating a custom baked good and recipe for the winner, where I make a baked good with the elements that the winner provides. If the winner loves chocolate and strawberries and is vegan, than I would create a custom baked good with those elements involved.

I came up with this auction because I thought I could raise more money by tying it in with a high profile food site like Food Network. I certainly could have kept the recipe here on my my site, which gets relatively low traffic. But I thought the chance to publish the recipe on a high traffic site, that the winner of the auction helps craft, where the winner’s name gets listed on the recipe title would be a bigger incentive. If the winner has a blog, I certainly would link to that winner’s blog as well in the headnotes.

On top of that, it was my hope that having the recipe featured on Food Network would create more publicity for Bloggers without Borders and their endeavors. This auction was not about me trying to promote myself and I’m sorry if it came across that way.


kitchenMage September 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Let me delicately agree with Greg. How is this a prize for someone else when it seems to be, largely, about you getting a recipe featured on a HUGE food site?


Lisa @ GF Canteen September 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Fabulous idea. FN is a site that gets tons of traffic and would be a great boost to BWOB and all its endeavors. Irvin is popular already and FN would come calling soon enough. Just in case people don’t know, this blog has been nominated for several awards and it is merely a matter of time before Irvin is guesting everywhere.

I think it is a fabulous idea and would be crazy in love with it if I won. A baked good from Irvin is a prize. Seeing my name in a recipe title – fun! And getting publicity for BWOB – fabulous. Everyone wins. Thinking about ingredients! I bid $225.


Julie September 2, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Wow, bitter Bettys (or Betties, as I want to cover my bases since you seem like an argumentative bunch)!

Kudos to Irvin for throwing something into the ring to help out Jennie and her girls.
I bid $250.
xo J


kitchenMage September 3, 2011 at 10:06 pm

At a time when the food webs are a buzz with talk of being nice and stuff, I appreciate the name-calling.


Teresa September 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I’m sorry you’re getting some pushback on this lovely auction idea. Your reasons for structuring your auction idea as you have are good ones and I bet the winning bidder is going to be pleased as punch.


Mary September 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I first met Irvin at a potluck-type event at 18 Reasons, a nonprofit that brings people together through food and art. Since then, I’ve run into him at several other food events. Irvin always has the best food and the best presentation. Yet, he’s always talking up someone else’s food, or making sure a newcomer feels welcome. Last night, I asked him about Jennie since they have mutual friends. Irvin said he was working on an auction to help raise funds for Jennie and her girls. He never mentioned the Food Network. He didn’t talk about himself. He only talked about the best ways to help Jennie.

Reading this blog post, I think the Food Network tie in is genius. As Irvin mentioned above it will help him raise more money for Jennie’s family and shine a spotlight on a great new org, Bloggers without Borders. Irvin previously co-sponsored an amazing bakesale for Japan that raised a ton of money. His heart is always in the right place.


Stacie Tamaki September 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I think it’s great what you’re doing to help Jennifer and Bloggers Without Borders. I learned from my own experiences that to be an effective advocate, for any cause, you pretty much have to be willing to climb to the highest mountain top, stand on any street corner and use every social media tool available to you to help publicize the cause you’re supporting. It’s publicity that drives awareness and sometimes you have to be willing to throw yourself out there front and center to be the best advocate you can be. You can’t be shy. Shy people can be great philanthropists and make anonymous monetary donations but, imo, advocates have to be willing to do whatever it takes even if it means sacrificing not only their time, effort and money but very often their anonymity and privacy to help those in need who are unable to help themselves. *HUGS* to you Irvin!


Jeff Miller September 2, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Great cause, cool prize. I bid $400.


elizabeyta September 3, 2011 at 6:13 am

Good Morning. I raise the bid to $500.


Elizabeth @duckandcake September 3, 2011 at 9:52 am

Love this idea! $550.


Karen Solomon September 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Love Love Love this idea! I can’t add to the bid, but i can chip in $100 for a single serving of whatever you come up with. Any other SF folks want to chip in here? Only with the grand winner’s permission, of course…


Irvin September 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm

As long as the winner is OK with that, I would be thrilled to make single servings of whatever I make for local SF folks for that donation. Thanks Karen!


Chrissy September 5, 2011 at 6:55 pm

What a creative way to raise money. I’m a little jealous that I can’t add to the bid, but am glad to see the $$ going up. I never followed Jennie’s blog, but am saddened by her loss. Being a mom of little ones myself, I can’t even fathom that. I do know all this support has to be very comforting to her. Can’t wait to see the recipe.


Jeff Miller September 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

I raise to $600.


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