I have been a Big Brother twice. The first time was way back in the late 80's. "Little" Justin is now all grown up and doing well in Ohio. My current Little Brother, Larry, is 11 years old and we've been matched now for more than two years. Being a "Big" is a very rewarding thing to do because more than anything, these kids just need your time. So, I'm delighted to be helping in another way as Big Brother/Big Sisters of Houston hosts their first "Big Taste" at the Corinthian on April 21st. Along with dozens of other wonderful Houston restaurants, we'll be giving out sweets to folks whose ticket purchase goes to fund important programs at BBBS. Join us!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Monday, April 1, 2013
Who makes YOUR food? So often the answer is “How the heck would I know?” Much of our food comes from distant places. Even in restaurants, you rarely see the people making your tasty meal.
We opened our current bakery in 2010 and from the beginning, we wanted transparency in how and where your cookies are made. Our open kitchen design is a rarity in bakeries. Everyday our customers marvel at the team of people they see mixing, rolling, baking and decorating their cookies. Many times our customers are so transfixed by what our crew is making they order something related to whatever is in production at the moment!
An open kitchen is a first step in knowing how your cookie came to be, but who are those people and what are their stories? Today we begin a multi-part series of profiles on the talented and dedicated people who make magic everyday at our bakery.
Name: Katherine “Katie” Rangel
Where did you grow up? Sugarland, TX
Position/Title at MCJ: General Manager
How did you get into cooking? My first job was at a candy store when I was 14 years old. I have a major sweet tooth. I used to dine out with my firend’s parents at fancy restaurants so I was exposed to many different cuisines and it caught my interest. After high school I enrolled in Houston Community College’s baking and pastry program and studied under a Belgian chef name Eddy Van Damme (he was fantastic). I also did an internship at Mark’s American Cuisine and worked in a handful of other places to gain experience. I was then hired as the first employee at Michael’s Cookie Jar and have been happily working there ever since.
Favorite Cookie: Chocolate Chip - hot, gooey, and fresh out of the oven.
Favorite food: Almond Croissants and the Chile Rellenos at Hugo’s Mexican Restaurant.
Guilty pleasure: Watching a movie, sitting alone on my couch with a glass of wine.
Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon: Playing with my family in the park.
Hobbies: I like to read, draw, and paint.
An interesting or secret fact about yourself: I can speak Spanish, I have an armful of tattoos, and matching moles on my feet.
If you never had to work what would you do? I would make croissants all day and take care of my son.
What is the last book you read? Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat by Howard Lyman.
What is on your bucket list? Travel the world and drag race on a professional speedway.
Favorite Quote: “When I am in trouble eating is the only thing that consoles me...at the present I am eating muffins because I am unhappy. Besides, I am particularly fond of muffins.” - Oscar Wilde
Favorite Hangout Spot: Lounging in the grass at the Menil Collection in Montrose
Thursday, March 21, 2013
|We were delighted to be part of the annual "Just Desserts" event sponsored by the Girl Scouts. Our dessert was made using the "Thanks-A-Lot" cookie.|
It's that time of year again - when young girls wearing green and khaki vests camp outside the entrances and exits of stores and co-workers hang up order forms by their desks beconing you with the temptation of gluttonous bliss which we gleefully flock to and pay money for because they are only available once a year causing demand to soar - that's right, it is officially girl scout cookie season!
Members of the GSUSA have been selling cookies since 1917 to raise funds on an individual basis. It wasn't until 1933 when Girl Scouts in Philadelphia organized the first official sale, selling homemade cookies at the windows of local utility companies. The first Girl Scout cookie recipe was a sugar cookie and in 1936 the national organization began licensing commercial bakers to produce their cookies.
The main licensed companies are Little Brownie Bakers (LBB), a subsidiary of Keebler, which is owned by Kellogg's; and ABC Bakers, a subsidiary of Interbake Foods, which is owned by George Weston Limited. ABC Bakers has been licensed to produce Girl Scout cookies since 1936. Up to 28 varieties of Girl Scout cookies are offered and the same cookies may be sold under different names by different bakeries, with the choice of bakery determining the name.
Caramel Delights / Samoas
Peanut Butter Patties / Tagalongs
Peanut Butter Sandwiches / Do-si-dos
Shortbreads / Trefoils
There are even some new flavors available this year. Don't resist the temptation, go ahead and buy a box of your favorites - I know I will!
Also, at Michael's Cookie Jar we like to hear from our customers. Tell us what your favorite flavors are and we might make it in our bakery one day or maybe even all year round.
Monday, March 4, 2013
I love the smell of cookies baking. It brings back such comforting and happy memories of childhood. I’m sure every family has a long and interesting history of their own cookie making experiences and traditions.
In fact, cookies go back a long way in world history! Nobody is actually sure who created the very first cookie, but as the story goes, it was a mistake. Many cooking experts believe that centuries ago - before thermometers and electricity - cooks who wanted to test the temperature of their ovens would bake a small amount of cake batter to find out if the oven was hot enough to bake an entire cake. Not wanting to waste precious food, these early bakers ate their samples and later decided they were worthy of a spot in the “pastry case!”
The earliest cookie-style cakes are thought to date back to 7th century Persia (now Iran), one of the first countries to cultivate sugar (luxurious cakes and pastries were well known in the Persian Empire). Sugar originated in the lowlands of Southeast Asia, spread to Persia, and then to the Eastern Mediterranean. With the Muslim invasion of Spain, then the Crusades and the developing spice trade, the cooking techniques and ingredients of Arabia spread into Northern Europe where baked goods became mainstream items.
By the end of the 14th century, one could buy little filled wafers on the streets of Paris and as people started to explore the globe, biscuits (hard cookies) became the ideal traveling food, because they were portable and stayed fresh for long periods of time.
Today there are thousands of different cookie recipes around the globe and at Michael’s Cookie Jar we celebrate a few of the most popular ones such as the French palmier, the Mexican ojarasca, the Italian biscotti, the Austrian linzer, and the Jewish rugelach in addition to our American classics - Yum.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday sits Small Business Saturday®, a day dedicated to helping small businesses and their communities..
Michael’s Cookie Jar is proud to take part in Small Business Saturday this year and we want to encourage you to Shop Small® with us on November 24th.
On Small Business Saturday, we are excited to offer easy parking, complimentary hot cocoa and cookie treats at Michael's Cookie Jar on Friday and Saturday from 11AM-close. And from 2 pm-5:30 pm (4:30 pm on Saturday) we'll have cookie decorating!
Visit ShopSmall.com to learn about other ways to get involved and support your favorite small businesses. Also, don’t forget to “Like” and recommend us on Facebook at facebook.com/michaelscookiejar!
Thank you for supporting Small Business Saturday 2012..
photo by www.morrismalakoff.com
Thursday, October 4, 2012
We will be hosting a Halloween Open House on Oct. 31 to benefit The Children's Assessment Center, an organization that helps victims of child abuse.
Many kids and grown-ups are looking forward to having an exciting and safe Halloween this year, and they won't be disappointed when they come to the Weslayan Plaza on Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 5 to 8 p.m. as we join together with other participating merchants to hold a Halloween Open House.
We want to provide a safe and fun environment for our customers to enjoy the cool Houston air on Halloween and since children are such an important part of our customer base, we wanted to raise money and awareness for The Children's Assessment Center which provides vital services to abused children.
The event starts at Michael's Cookie Jar at 5330 Weslayan. Guests check in, make their donation (suggested $10), and enjoy treats, games and cookie decorating. From there, the guests will visit all the other participating merchants in the Weslayan Plaza, namely GameStop, Menchies, Curves West University, West U Vet and Bernie's Burger Bus, where they will receive treats, play games and win raffle prizes. There will also be photos with a pet snake and pet bobbing for apples, courtesy of West U Vet.
Everyone is encouraged to come in costume to participate in the costume contest at 7 p.m.
Every dollar raised represents important funds to support the direct service programs which are critical to the hope and healing of young victims of child abuse. We strongly believe in the welfare and protection of our young people.
For more information about the Halloween Open House, please call 713~771~8603 or go to www.michaelscookiejar.com. Remember, we are located at the corner of Weslayan & Bissonnet, behind Petco. Click here for a map.