Desserts First event belongs in my life’s highlight reel

Delicious treats from Bluegrass Brewing Company at Desserts First, a fundraiser for Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana.
Delicious triple cookie peanut butter square from Bluegrass Brewing Company at Desserts First, a fundraiser for Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana.

Last week was a whirlwind of wonderful. Between hosting two events (the University of Louisville’s Fryberger Greek Sing and The Moth StorySLAM), I was a judge at Desserts First, a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana that took place at the Mellwood Arts Center last week. I’m pretty sure my participation as a judge ranks in the top five best experiences of my life.

A view of the judges' table. I was super official with a score sheet and everything.
A view of the judges’ table. I was super official with a score sheet and everything.

More than 20 restaurants, caterers, bakeries and coffee shops made appetizers, desserts and drinks with at least one type of Girl Scout cookie as the main ingredient. The creativity levels were up to 11 when it came to incorporating Girl Scout cookies. There was a Trefoil-crusted lamb shank, Samoa cookie butter ice cream and a Savannah Smile poundcake, just to name a few that I still dream about. I was super impressed with Bristol Bar & Grille’s Tagalong chicken mole on top of a Trefoil-cornbread waffle. *insert wide-eyed emoji*

Chicken and waffles with two types of Girl Scout cookies from Bristol. Crazy idea, fantastic execution.
Chicken and waffles with two types of Girl Scout cookies from Bristol. Crazy idea, fantastic execution.

Flour de Lis Bakery took home the big prize for best dessert. The bakery killed it with a peanut butter chocolate stout pie. I did not get a picture because I ate my sample super fast. It was that tasty.

My buddy/fellow Girl Scout troop leader/fellow judge Christine and I had a great time judging. I hit my sugar high about an hour after this picture.
My buddy/fellow Girl Scout troop leader/fellow judge Christine and I had a great time judging. I hit my sugar high about an hour after this picture.

Being a judge was an honor, not just because I’m a Girl Scout volunteer, but because there are very few opportunities in life in which an organization sanctions you to judge others. It was like Cupcake Wars, except I didn’t have to endure catastrophes like the grits cupcake with a collard green filling (don’t even get me started on that episode). So thank you, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, for a valid reason to eat too many sweets and be judgmental.

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?