It’s that time of year: Join me at the Desserts First fundraiser for Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana


It’s that magical time of year when Girl Scout cookies and top Louisville chefs come together for Desserts First, an annual fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. At the event, which takes place this Wednesday, chefs have to create appetizers, drinks and desserts that incorporate Girl Scout cookies. This year’s participants include:

Arctic Scoop | Bake My Day | Bernoulli Small Batch Ice Cream | Bill’s Famous Spreads  | Bristol Bar & Grille | Cellar Door Chocolates | Corbett’s: An American Place | Feast BBQ | Flour de Lis Bakery | Four Roses Bourbon | Gary’s on Spring | Jack Fry’s | Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon | Ladyfingers Catering | Louisville Cream | The Melting Pot | RedHot Roasters | Roux | Scarlet’s Bakery | Teacups & Bombshells Cafe |  Terri Lynn’s Catering by Design | Varanese | Vincenzo’s | Ward 426

Winner gets glory and maybe a little indigestion from all those cookies.

I love Desserts First for a couple of reasons. I’ve volunteered with Girl Scouts since my boisterous Brownies were dainty Daisies (about three years in non-Scouting terms) AND I get to be a judge at the event for the second year in a row. Wait, one more reason – tasty treats.

There’s still time to buy tickets to the event online. If $65 isn’t in your pre-income tax return budget, consider buying a box from the next Girl Scout you see stationed around town.


10th Annual Desserts First fundraiser

When: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24

Where: Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center, 1860 Mellwood Ave., Louisville

Cost: $65

For more info: Desserts First website, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana


Join me at the Girl Scouts fundraiser Desserts First, Feb. 25

Brownies from Girl Scout troop 628 work on their painting badge. Their self-portrait game is on point.
Brownies from Girl Scout Troop 628 work on their painting badge. Their self-portrait game is on point.

Volunteering with the Girl Scouts for the past year and a half has given me the chance to help girls grow into independent thinkers and leaders. To help empower these young ladies, I’ve had to put on my big-girl pants and take chances.

I camped for the first time in my life last year (it was in a lodge, BUT STILL). I learned how to build a fire so I could teach second graders about fire safety. And I’ve learned how to lead and cooperate with the eight wonderful women who co-lead our colossal troop of 45 girls. At some point between mediating a cheating allegation during a tense game of Marco Polo and holding my breath as I showed a timid girl how to light a match, I became a stronger woman along with my girls. So when the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana asked me to be a guest judge at their annual foodie fundraiser, a resounding “YAAAAAS” was the only suitable response.

An entry in last year's Desserts First competition.
An entry in last year’s Desserts First competition.

Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana’s ninth-annual Desserts First event is a culinary competition to raise money for the non-profit organization. The event will feature local chefs, bakers and bartenders slinging out dishes that include Girl Scout cookies as a key ingredient. Think the TV show Chopped, but with a Girl Scouts theme. Desserts First takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center. This year’s theme is “The Technology of Cooking,” so I’m expecting to see (and taste) some neat uses of tech in the kitchen.

Tickets for the event are $55 apiece. HOWEVA, there’s currently a special going on now through Feb. 24 where you can buy two tickets for the price of one. That’s BOGO, people. A small price to pay for the empowerment of young girls.

Samoas have never looked so good.
Samoas have never looked so good.

Still not convinced? Check out the lineup of this year’s Desserts First restaurant competitors:

Adrienne & Co., Bake My Day, Bill’s Famous Spreads, Bluegrass Brewing Company, Bristol Bar & Grille, Cake Flour, Cellar Door Chocolates, Comfy Cow, Crescent Hill Craft House, Desserts by Debbie, Feast BBQ, Flour de Lis Bakery, Galt House Hotel, Gary’s on Spring, Highlands Tap Room, Hillbilly Tea, John Conti Coffee, Lady Fingers, Mango’s Mexican Grill, Melting Pot, Q&A Sweet Treats, Red Hot Roasters, Roux, Varanese, Vincenzo’s

And did I mention that there’s a killer group of judges that you might know from their blogs, Twitter and the rest of the interwebs? Me (yep, I’m calling myself killer because I’m leaning in), @CHRISTINEinLOU (a fellow Troop 628 co-leader), @BellaPortaro, @AllisonRMyers and @louisvillenoms are going to have a great time judging. Meet us there, won’t you?

Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana’s Desserts First fundraiser

  • 6-8 p.m., Feb. 25
  • Mellwood Arts Center, 1860 Mellwood Avenue, Louisville
  • Tickets: $55 (or BOGO if you buy now!); click here to buy tickets
  • For more information: Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana website or event page

It’s cookie time. Have you found your Girl Scout?

I was never a Girl Scout. I blame my brother, who quit Cub Scouts after my mom had bought all the swag. The wasted money sullied any kind of scouting for me.

That absence in my childhood fed my admiration for the Girl Scouts. I’m all for the empowerment of girls — and accessories that display your talents and achievements.

Old-school Girl Scouts. (Flickr Creative Commons)
Old-school Girl Scouts. (Flickr Creative Commons)

Late last year, I became a volunteer for Troop 628 of the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, thanks to my friend Christine. Now, I get to see how powerful it is to teach girls they can do anything. I get to watch girls who are eager to learn new things and not ashamed of that hunger for knowledge.

I also have a good line on where to get some Girl Scout cookies.

Sweet, glorious Girl Scout cookies. (Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, Flickr Creative Commons)
Sweet, glorious Girl Scout cookies. (Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar, Flickr Creative Commons)

Buying a box is a lot more than just breaking your New Year’s Resolutions (like you were going to make it past February with those, anyway). We’re raising little entrepreneurs. From Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana’s website:

The Girl Scout cookie program is much more than a fundraiser. It’s a fun way for girls of all ages to earn the money that fuels their dreams. And it’s a powerful, hands-on leadership and entrepreneurial program where girls learn goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics.

The Girl Scout cookie program can lead to bigger things for girls in business, in society and in life. Helping girls dream more, have more opportunities and do more than they ever thought possible.

Want to support girls? Just want something to calm that aching sweet tooth? Here’s how you can get your hands on some Girl Scout cookies:

  • You’ll see Girl Scout cookie booths popping up in front of stores around the city Feb. 21 to March 16. A certain awesome troop will be stationed at the Holiday Manor Kroger during the coming weeks. Come say hi and buy a box or two.
  • You can also ask a Girl Scout you know if she’ll take an additional order.
  • There’s a neat Girl Scouts app to lead you to your nearest Girl Scout booth.
  • Remember, cookies are $3.50 a box.
  • On Feb. 26, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana will host the annual Desserts First fundraising event. Chefs from around Louisville will make desserts using Girl Scout cookies. Click here for more information about the event.


Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time for an important question: What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?