Friday Feasts: The Lunch Project and Also… Thank Goodness January Is Almost Over


When we set out as two non-cooks on a self-imposed project to actually cook recipes from Pinterest every Friday in January for our Friday Feasts, didn’t know what to expect. Would it change our lives? Would we discover that we secretly love cooking? Would our families come rushing to the dinner table to taste our lovingly created concoctions?

Well, we can now answer these questions with a resounding: NO.

It turns out we couldn’t be more thrilled that this is the last Friday in January. We are totally ready to hang up our potholders after today’s presentation.

Before we get to that, we have something ACTUALLY wonderful and food related to cover first.

The Lunch Project.

The Lunch Project is a fantastic organization started by three moms in North Carolina to provide a hot lunch for the over 900 children at the Lemanyata Primary School near Arusha Town, Tanzania.

In Tanzania, teachers make due with three to four students to a desk, not enough books, and leaking roofs. Oh….and student teacher ratios of approximately 100:1. Yes, that was not a typo 100:1.

If that wasn’t enough barrier for these children to receive a good education, they areΒ already often malnourished and must walk great distances to school. Can you imagine how difficult it is to learn under these conditions?

The Lunch Project aims to help these children by providing them with a hot meal at lunch. It even employs moms to make the meals, which gives their families much needed income.

How much money does it take to feed over 900 children a hot lunch? We thought it surely had to be a huge amount, something that was way out of the question for regular people. We were stunned when we realized that it really wasn’t.

It costs $85 to sponsor a lunch for over 900 children in Tanaznia.
We were SOLD!! We are proud to announce that The Dose of Reality is sponsoring lunch today at theΒ Lemanyata Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania. Yay!!
Januari 008
We hope you check out The Lunch Project website and follow them on FB to see the good work they are doing toΒ provide hope, love and a sense of community – one bowl at a time!
Now, back to cooking that’s less uplifting…ours.

During this Friday Feasts nightmare adventure, we realized one reason we don’t cook more. It’s kind of tiring. And lots of the recipes from our Feed Me, Mom board have like multiple ingredients. And by multiple, we mean more than three.

Thankfully, we have reached the last Friday in January and no one in our families have required medical intervention for food poisoning and our kitchens are still relatively intact. We haven’t even set off our smoke detectors once! Clearly, this whole endeavor was a win, and we should obviously quit while we are ahead. After all, without us to sustain the take-out industry, it will probably go under. We can’t have that kind of thing on our conscience, y’all.

Since Ashley already made Beef Burritos and Lisa already made Tilapia and a Cauliflower side dish, we decided it was only fair if we BOTH chose a recipe to make for our final week. The obvious category was dessert. After all, we were headed out on a girls’ weekend away at the beach, and there is nothing better than putting yummy treats and good girly, girl conversation together. We decided on cookies since they were easiest to pack. Lisa chose Lemon Crinkle Cookies, and Ashley chose Chocolate Chip Rolo Cookies.

Ashley took the plunge first. It got tricky quickly because it turns out that the recipe for the Chocolate Chip Rolo CookiesRolo cookies called for making chocolate chip cookie dough from scratch. WHAT??!! Ashley’s eyes crossed when she got to the fourth ingredient. Let’s just say that a phone call was made to Lisa that involved a string of expletives and an alternate plan. Surely, the same cookies could be made by sticking a frozen Rolos in prepackaged cookie dough, right? Who would honestly know the difference? Turns out NOBODY. HA! Take that homemade cookie dough! So, a word of advice on this one…if you are looking for a cookie recipe that involves exactly two ingredients, then this is the one. Because, quite honestly, when you are eating a chocolate chip cookie with a Rolo in the middle, you don’t really care about the way it was made. All the fabulous ladies on the beach trip agreed that they were delicious. There was not a single cookie left over, and they fought over the crumbs.

Lisa started the lemon cookies only a few hours before leaving for the beach trip.Lisa's Lemon Crinkle Cookies There is nothing like baking with the added bonus of time pressure! This recipe contained four ingredients (don’t be too impressed, one of them is cake mix so there is no scratch baking going on or anything). It turns out that these are the perfect cookies to make under a time crunch because they were SO EASY. Well, except for one thing. In the recipe they caution that the dough is “sticky”. Um, yeah. Sticky doesn’t even begin to cover it. She quickly figured out you have to plop a glob of dough in the powdered sugar and then ball it up from there. Oh, and the cookies smell a bit like lemon car air freshener while baking. But if that doesn’t bother you, then you should try these because the finished product is nothing short of heaven on a plate. At last count, Ashley ate somewhere in the neighborhood of 57 cookies. Everyone else had to split the remaining three cookies. Whatever.

Our final verdict on the Pinterest project is this:

Paula Deen and Rachel Ray have absolutely nothing to worry about. We’re pretty sure their careers are completely safe from us taking over their gigs! And needless to say, we still have Domino’s Pizza on speed dial!

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Friday Feasts: The Lunch Project and Also… Thank Goodness January Is Almost Over — 53 Comments

  1. First whenever you bake anything there is generally a mess the size of California hence why I bake and hubby does the dishes because usually after I bake something great, I collapse.

    The cookies looks good and we have thoroughly enjoyed your adventures in cooking!

  2. What a great way to finish the project – cookies are always the perfect ending. (They look delish!) I also look for recipes with minimal ingredients – too many and I get a little intimidated.

  3. It’s so great that you’re doing the lunch project πŸ™‚
    And the cookies look so delicious – I want a few of those lemon crinkle cookies and also some chocolate chip rolo cookies for my better half, please.

  4. I have to bake something for a cake walk tomorrow, and I’m debating making something from scratch or using a cake mix…and I think I’ll go with the latter (though those crinkle cookies look pretty amazing!) Good job on your project, excited to see what the next adventure will be!

  5. Well, I’m still proud of you for trying! Now you know that you can if you need to, and you’ve learned a lot about modifying recipes (i.e. subbing already made cookie dough for making some from scratch). Who knew you were so brilliant when it came to cooking, right? πŸ™‚ I also have a 3 ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe if you’re interested. Well, 4 if you count the chocolcate kiss on top…if you want to include that part. Oh, and I so know a lot of tricks to simplifying meals, so feel free to email me any time. πŸ™‚ I’m happy to help!

  6. They both look really good. I like the idea of putting a rolo in cookie dough so you can take credit for them being “homemade”. Totally works for me!

  7. I wanted to start baking and I’ve only done three things so kudos to you for sticking with it…

    BTW, I’m hosting a cute Valentine’s day giveaway on my blog.Please visit and pass the word around.

  8. {Melinda} I would never complain about anything with chocolate or Rolos. Ever. Kathy is the cook. I cook because, well, eating is essential to life. Perhaps I would enjoy it more if my family liked more than three ingredients.

    Love the lunch project … that is awesome. We just did a ministry at our church at Christmastime where we fed 80 orphans in Ecuador for a year. Feels awesome to make a real and practical difference in people’s lives.

    • WOW, a year?! That is AMAZING!! πŸ™‚ What a fantastic gift!
      Eating is essential to life. That totally made me giggle!

  9. LOL..LOL! At least you ladies tried! I’m glad you at least have some new “tried” recipes to add to the list! I can’t believe I missed the fish dish last week, but it looks really good! Those cookies look good too! Good job ladies! πŸ™‚

    • We did try, Britton, and really, doesn’t that count?! πŸ˜‰ And yes, we have a few new recipes should we ever decide to enter the kitchen again! πŸ™‚

  10. LOVE that you “ate 57 cookies!” I spit out my coffee on that one! Good job to you both – and I might try the rolo idea this weekend!!

  11. The lunch project is so cool!! That’s so awesome you are helping out. I will have to check out their website.

    Nice job on the cooking adventures, you guys kicked ass! You should check out the cookbook Six Ingredients or Less-it’s a real cookbook, and it has pretty good stuff. My mom used to make rice pilaf and this thing called “Chinese Browned Chicken” from there that was super easy to make. And everything (duh) only has 6 ingredients at most.

  12. I love to cook, LOVE it. Especially when we are on a shoe string and have odd things in the cabinets. Like burritos fiesta nacho cheese soup mexican rice and chicken tenderloins. My kids BEG for the cheesy mexican chicken now, every week. So easy anyone can do it I promise. If you can open a can of soup and boil water you got it made. Those cookies look amazing. I loathe making chocolate chip cookies because I prefer them chewy and you have to substitute cornstarch for that.

    • YUM! That recipe sounds DELICIOUS! πŸ™‚ We are seeing the words you are writing, but is it really that easy??!! πŸ˜‰

  13. You guys! I made Rolo cookies last Christmas (2011) and they rocked. I used cake mix to make the cookies, though. Chocolatey chocolate with Rolos inside? Heaven! πŸ™‚

    The lemon crinkles look pretty! I like crinkle cookies but mine never look so cute.

  14. My heart was moved by The Lunch Project, and my appetite was moved by those cookies. I have a lot of emotions from this post, but none are stronger than the jealousy I feel about your girls weekend!

    • I feel EXACTLY the same way!!! SO much so Amy, that I am at this moment going to copy and paste your EXACT comment here:
      My heart was moved by The Lunch Project, and my appetite was moved by those cookies. I have a lot of emotions from this post, but none are stronger than the jealousy I feel about your girls weekend!
      I WANNA GO TO THE BEACH WITH GIRLFRIENDS AND EAT LOTS AND LOTS OF COOKIES. (Oh and yes- the lunch project is powerful…starving children that have to walk miles in the dessert to go to school…need to eat. But I really do want to go to the beach with my girlfriends and eat lots of cookies. I. Really. Do.)

      • Y’all are too cute! We strongly recommend a good girly girl weekend whenever you can get one! It is definitely the ticket to being a better, happier mom! πŸ™‚

  15. I am happy to say I got to try both cookies first hand and they were both delicious! So glad to be one of the recipients! ! Now I am going to go back and read about all the other Friday feasts i missed! It’s exciting and daunting to try a new recipe but I like how you keep it real by choosing recipes with few ingredients. Love the pics and how you add your commentary! Thanks for sharing information about the Lunch Project. Alot of times I want to contribute but feel like I don’t know if it is a reputable agency behind the cause.

    • The Lunch Project is definitely a sure thing Sheri! πŸ™‚ A great way to truly feel like you are making a genuine difference.
      So glad you were one of our girls on the weekend…is it too soon to start planning our next getaway?! πŸ˜‰

  16. I can’t remember the last time I had a Rolo but I suddenly have the desire to get some cookie dough and a pack of Rolo’s. How easy?

    The Lunch Box sounds like a wonderful project!

    Confusion: You ate cookies at the beach. In swimsuits, not in swimsuits? I’m too busy sucking in my stomach to eat at the beach. Brave, brave women!

    • Oh Gosh, there were no bathing suits on this beach vacay…in fact, true confession, some of us did not even actually see the beach. I know, right? There was however, cookie eating on couches wearing cozies! πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks so much Kate! It was a good idea…and definitely would have been more appreciated by us if we actually liked cooking! πŸ˜‰

  17. Fantastic to end with cookies!! And thanks for sharing the information about the Lunch Project. Sounds like something to look into . And I too would be looking forward to the end of January! I’ve been terrible about cooking dinner lately. It’s terrible and so uninspired!

  18. The lunch project sounds awesome! I thought I was the only one cooking totally stressed out! No more thAn five ingredients unless it is Thsnksgiv

  19. thanks for the info on The Lunch Project. I love finding and sharing worthy causes. I love to eat and we are fortunate and take for granted that food is on our table for every meal. It breaks my heart that kids and families go hungry a world away and yet even in our backyards. By the way, cookies are my weakness, those look great!

    • Totally agree with you Tanya. It always makes me sad when I see the amount of food that my own children let go uneaten. They just have no idea how lucky there truly are.
      The cookies are definitely tasty! πŸ™‚

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