Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Website!!

We have a new website, designed to make ALL our lives easier!
Please visit
From there, you will be able to find out all of our info, meet the Round 4 Hosts, and once you have registered, you can join a team with a click of a button!
Please come on by ...and register!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Team Adrienne's House Round 3 Round Up!

Can you believe Round 3 is over already? Me neither! But I am ready for Round 4!
Here is a recap of what Team Adrienne’s House sent out to our soldier Sgt. Mark Martin:

Adrienne – Adrienne’s House – Peanut Butter M&M Rice Krispie Treats

Madame Zhou – Madame Chow’s KitchenChunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Denise Corradetti – Corradetti Clan - Chocolate Chip, Sugar Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies and Brownies and some single serve Iced tea mix, granola bars and a local favorite Butterscotch Taskykakes

Erin Garrard – Our Bread and Butter – Macadamia Coconut Bars and Popcorn Balls

Mary Ann Murray - Macadamia Cherry Lime Biscotti and Almond Biscotti.

Stacey Elizabeth Doniger - peanut butter cookies, Butterfinger Bars, Snickers Bar, candy, toiletriesletters from me and some pictures/letters from my 1st grade students

Brenda Watwood – Ranger Cookies and a savory cookie Pepper, Cheese, Cornmeal Nut cookies, and tossed in a big bag of gummy bears and some breath mints

Beverly Hittle - chocolate chip, scottie, oatmeal coconut cookies

Greg Johnson – Oatmeal Cookie Guy - oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and coffee cake cookies, and some Halloween candy--Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids

Beth Greenberg - Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts and Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Cookie and some gum and powdered drink mix.

Danielle Crane – Make No Little Meals and her friends Nikki, Lindsay and Robin – Made With Love - Choco. Rice Crispy Treats, Choco. Peanut Butter Biscotti, White Choco. Almond, Cranberry, Pecan Biscotti, Banana Walnut Bread, Choco. Softie Cookies With White Coco. Chips, Oatmeal Brownie Gems, Oatmeal Craisin Raisin Cookies And Pumpkin Culster Cookies, also included was couple bottle of Coffee Syrup.

HOLY COW! Are you as impressed as I am? This was an absolutely amazing Team. Hope to see everyone for Round 4!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lots of Happenings...

All kinds of things going on!!
We are just wrapping up Round Three - a very successful round I must say!! We had the 10 posted teams you saw here on the site, plus 2 overflow teams that I hosted for "late bakers" and even a private team from Myrtle Beach!! What great idea by Chris from Legends In Concert of Myrtle Beach - she organized her staff, got a soldier related to the group and then baked and they shipped 25 packages to their troop! What an effort! Please take the time to visit their blog...they really did a great job!

Another great effort is in the works by Fran, one of our hosts from this round. She has decided to spin off a local chapter in Northern Ohio for bakers who don't blog like we she is rounding cookies up in a whole new way. Check out her spin-off at
Good luck Fran!

There were also countless groups of bakers all over the country (and even abroad!! We're going global!) that banded together and baked in mass quantities this go-round...I jus hope all of you will join in again for Round 4! This will be a great round to get in on - Halloween ship dates! Think of how much fun you can send in a Halloween goody box!

We are working on getting a new, improved and user-friendly site up - but even if it isn't quite ready, I will hopefully have all of the teams announced by the end of the week so that you can sign on for a soldier. keep in mind, you MUST sign on EVERY month you want to bake...just because you baked one round doesn't mean we expect you to bake again...and each round offers up new soldiers into the mix. So please, sign on to a new team every round if you intend to bake.

Lastly, we have been in the news EVERYWHERE it seems over the past month...many places I didn't even know! So, if you saw us or heard us somewhere, please add it to the comments on this post - I would love to know! A big thanks to Morgan, one of our bakers for getting us some airtime in San Diego on KSON FMs Morning Show - I hope to have the soundclip up later - and also to Pam in Texas for getting us on the Tyler TX news with her fabulous baking!!

Email me if you would like info on how to get on your own local news or in the local paper - you deserve a lot of credit!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Team Your Place Gourmet Gets Press!

Woo-Hoo! Team Your Place Gourmet got some press! An article appeared in the Arizona Republic this week. Check it out HERE.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Introducing Team Daleske!

I'm Steph from Mostly Useless Drivel and I'm honored to be hosting CPT Christopher Daleske! Let me tell you a little bit about our soldier....

Christopher calls Hilton Head Island South Carolina home but also claims Summit, NJ...a small town in Union County. He attended High school at Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, PA and was a member of the regimental band on a music scholarship during High School. He then continued on to Jr College and was comissioned as a 2nd LT in the Army through Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne PA in 2001, transferred to Clemson University in South Carolina in 2001-2004. He joined TKE, a social fraternity, and graduated with a BA in Political Science and a BA in History (he's talented and a genius!). He was initially stationed at Fort Bragg, NC with the 18th Fires BDE, and then transferred to the 18th Airborne Corps for the current deployment.
Christopher married his college sweetheart in July of 2007, and was deployed just seven short months later, in Feb 2008. He expects to come home in the Spring of 2009. His beautiful young wife is living with her parents until he comes home, and he plans on moving them to Virginia and working for the military in some capactiy upon his redeployment.
Christopher loves to travel and is so fanatical about college football that he stays up 'til 6 AM watching the games in Iraq! He's very active, loves sports and the ocean, and after being around the dusty brown of Iraq for so long, misses the snow, rain and everything beautifully green.
Christopher is the unofficial Morale Officer to the men and women around him. He shares everything he gets from home to lighten the mood and morale for his friends and fellow soldiers over there. He even stores up any party related items he recieves from home for impromtu birthday celebrations for those around him.
Most importantly, he thanks God every single day for keeping his friends, family, countrymen and women safe and for all that they do. How about a HUGE thanks to Christopher for all that he does to keep all of us safe!

Let's all pray for the safety and health of CPT Daleske, and all of our soldiers serving in the armed forces. And those of you who are so inclined, well let's bake our little hearts out and shower him with the love and gratitude he deserves!

If you would like to join Team Deleske, just send me an email at and I'll get you his address ASAP! Be sure your name is on it somewhere, so I can give you a little shout out, and if you have a webpage of your own, include the URL.

Meet our amazing team......

Dalia Concepcion
Jennifer Abrams
Carol Curro of Katonah, NY
Jenny Fisk
Randy & Val Monday
Beth Ann
Renee Meaux
Katie Jones
Lisa stein
Dolores Ferraro
Tracey Kelly
Abbie Jackson of Birmingham, AL
Lan Pham
Sarah Witgen
Tracy Johnson
Stacey Jensen
Monica Harvell
Julie Schaeffer
Lorna Cohen
Kassie Green
Pamela Houchins
Sue Kelly

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Team Spatulas & Corkscrews

Hi! My name is Donna from Team Spatulas & Corkscrews and I'm recruiting volunteers!

Last month was my first time sending cookies overseas to soldiers in Iraq. I never did that before because unlike most of you, I didn't personally know one soldier in the armed forces! I was also scared I'd screw things up and the box would end up in limbo somewhere. Well, it didn't and the troops were thrilled. And you know what? I felt really good about it too! I was thrilled to be part of a bigger, worthwhile cause.

Now, it's my turn to get excited excited because I'm hosting a team of my own -Team Spatulas & Corkscrews! Since I didn't have a soldier, Susan found one for me! I don't know too much about my guy, I don't even have a photo, but what I do know is that he needs our support and gratitude for serving his country. His name is Michael Jones and he's a Chaplain with the 10th Mountain Division (they are famous!) stationed out of Fort Drum, New York. He is now in Iraq, stationed at Camp Victory, and obviously, as a chaplain will have access to MANY soldiers to share all these care packages with. So, now I'm the one asking for help! As the host for Team Spatulas & Corkscrews, I'm sending out the call...would you be willing to send a package of love and cookies, brownies, candy, etc to Chaplain Michael Jones? I need 25 bakers to fill out my team. That shouldn't be too hard to do right?

Believe it or not, Operation Baking Gals has grown to over 500 bakers in just 3 short months! Wouldn't you just love to be one of them?

We'll send all our boxes at the same time, so Chaplain Michael gets them in one enormous delivery! Won't he be surprised? They should be shipped out during the week of September 27th - October 6th. When I did this this last month, I was shocked that the price of a HUGE box of goodies only cost me $8.00! That's all the way to Iraq! You can even ask for a free Military Flat Rate box from the PO to keep the cost down. (Your mileage may vary.)

So, whadaya think? Can you see it in your heart to send a box of love and cookies to a bunch of homesick soldiers? If so, just send me an email at and I'll add you to Team Spatulas & Corkscrews! Leave your name and url if you have a blog too. When I receive your email, I'll get back to you with all the info you need to send Chaplain Michael 25 boxes of goodies the week of September 27th - October 6th!

Check out my blog Spatulas & Corkscrews for some important shipping info, like what to put in the box, etc, and we'll get you all hooked up. ENLIST NOW! And don't forget to tell your friends and your friends friends. You get the picture!

Team Spatulas & Corkscrews Bakers

Donna (ME!) @ spatulas & corkscrews
Erika @ stampin' mama
MacDuff @ jon and macduff
Lianne from IL
Tara @ smells like home
Christine @ blenders galore
Susanna @ card of the week
Sheri @ cooking mom
Tracy @ stampingly creative art
Lisa from NY
Virginia from MO
Christi @ blessings on paper
Sandy @ eat real
Gabi @ the feast within
Katie from CA
Karyl from TX
Kim @ 3rd generation cake lady
Teresa @ diddle daddle designs
Ellen @ sweet dumpling
Tracey @ trouble with trixie

Monday, September 15, 2008

Team 10th Mountain

Hi! I'm Fran from Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie. A few months ago, I had been talking with online friends about troops overseas, and wouldn't we love to be able to find a soldier and send him/her a goodie box, just as a show of support and thanks. Just a little morale boost and a taste of home. But we weren't sure how we would find the soldiers, not knowing any personally. Just days later, I saw a post on the Daring Bakers website from Susan. Is that fate, or what?! I immediately signed on and sent my package to the USS Abraham Lincoln. This month, for Round 3, it's my turn to be a host.
So, could YOU help me bake this time? Our soldier is Richard Martin and he is a member of the 10th Mountain Division- Army Light Infantry based out of Fort Drum NY. I have been told he has LOTS of soldiers he will be sharing with. I have been told these heroes could really use a morale boost - and an unexpected shipment of goodies could really be the ticket. Will it bring them home? No it won't. But it will remind them of it...and that's a really positive thing in such a negative place. Capt. Ballard (our Round One soldier) told Susan in an email that "I just hope these ladies know that they are doing a good thing. Even if it is 'just' baking cookies...". These guys are protecting our rights, our liberty, our freedom. The least we can do in return is share a few homemade cookies with them. If you are up for helping me support this group of soldiers stationed in Iraq, please send an email to
When I receive your email, I will respond with all the info you will need to ship to our guy Richard in Iraq.We will all ship our boxes at the same time - Beginning the week of Sept. 27th. If you get a free special APO Military Flat Rate box from the Post Office, the shipping should be very low for 1 large box. (Approx $12.95 or less). Please join the effort to support our troops!
Our team to date (9/23) includes:
Melissa - Lost Nation, Iowa
Courtney L
Mary - San Francisco, CA
Linda - San Diego, CA
Sandy - Jasper FL
Patty Z - Westlake OH
Joanne M - Westlake OH
Janet A - Chicago IL
Tonia O
Jaime P
Nayeli H
Martha S
Marca D
Jen C

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Team Superfluous

Hello! This is Sabrina from Team Superfluous! I am so excited to be hosting this round. It was great to be a part of the last round and now here we are again. My blog is a great mish-mash of all sorts of things, sometimes food, sometimes laughs, but always a little superfluous.

I don't know a whole lot about this soldier, but does that really matter, let's send out some love anyway!
What i have been told by Ms. Susan our fearless leader is, "SFC Israel Reichard is a good guy and he LOVES the Snickerdoodles you ladies mailed last time. If you can put something together (specifically Snickerdoodles) and mail to him, I know it would be a huge morale booster.
He's an 'adopted' West Virginian from my cousin Jason's last deployment. He's a great guy
with no real family back in the states. If you ladies could send him some
love, I know he'd forever grateful."

So how about it? Let's team up and make this soldier's day! Email me at sabrinarobideau (at) hotmail (dot) com if you want to join the team or if you have any questions. I will send you the information you need, including the address of our soldier. Please add your name, your website (if you have one) and the URL so I can post it on my blog.

Last round I made some swell Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from a Dorie Greenspan recipe, and I think I might be using more of her infamous recipes... This is going to be fun!!!!

Meet the Team:
Jennifer Grimes
Theresa Evans-Wooten
Randy and Val Monday
Christine Brisby
Barbara Lohen
Morgan Cartusciello
Tia Lyn
Dolores Ferrero
Elizabeth de Saint -Aignan
Kim Onstott
Amanda Jayla-Onstott
Nanette Taho
Mary K

Team Adrienne's House - Updated

Welcome to Adrienne's House sit down, relax, put your feet up. Heck put your feet on the furniture, we don't mind around here.

Our soldier this time around is Sgt. Mark Martin of Chatsworth Georgia. He is a father of 3 stationed in Iraq at Camp Victory inside Baghdad on his THIRD TOUR of duty! He is quoted in "The View From the Right" regarding the back-to-back deployments of troops as saying "We are so stretched that constantly, if we are not training back home, we are here."

Camp Victory is the primary component of the Victory Base Complex which occupies the area surrounding the Baghdad International Airport. It has several living support areas; Freedom Village,[2] and Dodge Cities North and South, along with building 51F, which is commonly known as "Area 51". There are also two smaller living areas reserved for government contractors, as well as a third for employees of an Iraqi contracting company.

But what it doesn't have is fresh baked cookies and muffins!

Personally, I think I will be making some Tollhouse chocolate chips and some good ol Rice Krispie Treats. Wouldn't you like to join me in some baking fun? Please email me at to join this team.

Meet the team!
Stacey Doniger
S Beener
Brenda Watwood

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Team Your Place Gourmet

September brings round 3 of Operation Baking Gals and I am hosting a team of my own. Team Your Place Gourmet's soldier is my friend Robyn's son, Nick. Nick is a 20 year old LCpl in the Marine Corps, deployed to Afghanistan. He is an infantryman in 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment serving at Forward Operating Base Bala Baluk in Western Afghanistan. Nick and his unit deployed to Afghanistan on April 7, 2008 and will remain there through the month of November. They are headquartered at Marine Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California.
This is how it works: Ship anytime the week of September 27th - October 6th and use the USPS for your package that will be going to a camp in Afghanistan. What can you bake? That's up to you! Just keep in mind that it will take about one week to get to Nick and will be subjected to temperatures over 100 degrees and lots of jostling around along the way.

If you or any of your baking friends want to join my team, please post a quick comment here and email me at chefkim (AT) yourplacegourmet (DOT) com and I'll send you more info and Nick's address.

Thank you for participating!
Your Place Gourmet - Personal Chef Service

Here's Team Your Place Gourmet so far:
Jen Barber of Goodyear, AZ
Brent Evans of Charlotte, NC & Personal Chefs Network
Brenda Bernardi of Goodyear, AZ
Rosa Santiago de Boyd of Goodyear, AZ
Rose Carameli of Lorain, OH
Marianne Qoyawayma of Scottsdale, AZ
Amanda Jagla-Onstott of Hercules, CA
Michelle Roles of Avondale, AZ & Michelle Roles Photography
Jennifer Wolfe of Surprise, AZ
Debbie Burgess of Lancaster, SC & The Hungry Fox PCS
Mike & Robyn Harris of Avondale, AZ
Amy Menousek of Goodyear, AZ
Linnea Cummings of Anchorage, AK & Alaska Dinner Factory

Ann Hanson of Goodyear, AZ
Traci Grisham of Litchfield Park, AZ
Heather of Brooklyn, NY & Sherry Trifle
Cat of The Cat's Pajamas
Anna of Mediocre Chocolate
Amanda Petker of Clermont, FL & The Waterside Novice Baker
Rachel Feinberg of New York, NY & Sweet Tarte
Jennifer Herman of Waddell, AZ
Kimberly Jones of Goodyear, AZ
Ginger Harmon of Goodyear, AZ
Charlene Onstott of Phoenix, AZ
Willa Epperson of Surprise, AZ
Lisa Lanza of Southington, CT
Our team is full! Don't let that stop you! Please send an email to and put "Any Soldier" in the subject line.
Check out the article in the AZ Republic!

Team We'll Eat Everything!

Hi Folks! I'm Lauren of I'll Eat You and I'm happy to be a host this time around for Operation Baking GALS. Team We'll Eat Everything is baking for Mark, a very special soldier and member of the Army National Guard. Mark is a single father from Philadelphia stationed in Iraq. He recently lost his fiancée and mother to his two daughters, Shanira, 3 and Dayonna, 2. This is Marks's second deployment, having served 3 years in Afghanistan before having children. When not serving our country in the gulf, Mark serves our youth as a teacher in a Philadelphia public high school. Mark's sister is my co-worker, and is taking care of her neices while their father is in Iraq. Shanira and Dayonna are very excited that I will be sending their daddy some cookies, and we have decided that they will help me bake! I'm looking for few people out there to join me and the girls to send some love over to their dad and his friends. Email me at and I'll put you on the team! I'll contact you later in the month with the address for shipping, which should take place from 9/27-10/6. Looking forward to meeting all of you!

Members of Team We'll Eat Everything!

Lauren of I'll Eat You (host, duh)
Joan of San Francisco, CA (hi mom!)
Abby of Philadelphia , PA
Carmella and Carlo of The Food Duo
Michelle of Culinography
Tami of Whisked Away
Alicia from Salem, OR
Jennifer of Jennifer's Haus
Katia of Tiny Truffles
Teanna of Spork and Foon
Janet of All I Want is Chocolate
Natalie of Crafty Natalie
Dianne of Dianne's Dishes
Lynsey of Lynsey Lou's

Team Pass the Sushi - Bring on the Cookies!

Hi! I'm Kita from my brand spanking new blog (which works in everything but Internet Explorer at the moment >.<) Pass the Sushi. This is my second round of Operation Baking GALS and I am super excited! I am looking for bakers to get their spatulas in hand and join me for this round of baking!

I am 22 and since the attack on New York 7 years ago many of my friends have been over seas. Many come home tired, some come home standing tall and proud with a new discovery of self worth, and some I have never heard from again. Many of my friends are still signing up; wanting more and more to do what they can.I have the utmost respect for the men and women who serve this country from day to day, so for them, lets get to baking!!!

Our mission, if we choose to accept it, is going to be a little tricky. We don't know much, but I'll fill you in on what I've got. Our soldier is Michael Harrison and his fellow companions of the 10th Mountain Division. They have been at work for quite some time now and could really use some snacks! More than just yummy treats, they could really use the morale boost!

If you would like to be on Team Pass the Sushi for Michael and his peers please email me at kita (at) passthesushi (dot) com. Please include your name, name of your blog and web site URL so that I can post it!

Last time I made cranberry orange muffins, chocolate chip cookies, and double chocolate cookies! If you need any help with ideas let me know! Thanks!!!

Team Pass the Sushi!

Shanna from Tennessee
Kelly of
Meredith from Wilmington, DE
Linda from Wilmington, DE (Meredith and Linda are a mother daughter team!)
Elisa from Newark, DE
Patricia from Austin, TX
Emily C
Stacy W
Angela S
Lisa L of
Paris M
Julie K
Tanya G
Lori B
Rachel of
And Me! Kita from Newark, DE

Join Team Lauer!

Hello out there! My name is Jennifer Lauer, sister to Susan (Susie Homemaker) Whetzel. I'm looking for a few good bakers to help me bake for a friend of mine. My soldier's name is Cpt. Jackie Buzzard. He is a great husband and a father to a teenage son. When he's not serving his country in the reserves, he works in federal law enforcement with my husband. His wife is a good friend of mine, as well. This is Jackie's second tour overseas and is due to come home in November. So, I am asking all of you to make the last couple of months of a long tour more bearable for him, because as we all know, the last leg of any trip is always the hardest. I know that he and his men would love some homemade goodies, from some caring folks. These guys are tired and anxious to come home, so lets give them a taste of it now! So, if you want to join my team, you can email me at or just leave me a comment saying "Sign me up!" and I will send you his mailing info later in the month in time for shipping. Shipping by the way is the week of Sept. 29th. So, thank you all in advance for your help!
The Bakers of Team Lauer:
Erin Morey
Susan Swearengin
Michelle Dargen of
Anna Scheminger of Maybe Just a Little Bite
Donna Stafford
Nikki St.Germain
Carrie Montanez
Katie of
Jan Connell
Patty Stanley
Sasha Arnett
Elizabeth de Saint-Aignan
Cheryl Spoehr
Dolores Ferrero
Randy and Val Monday
Fran Smith

Team Baking For Our Troops

Hi, everyone, my name is Lyndsay. My mom, Pam, and I baked cookies for the last round and enjoyed it so much we had to do it again! And this time, we are excited to be team leaders! We are new to the blogging world, so our blog so far is just what we baked last month and photos of it all! (

Our Soldier's name is Zachary Thomas Sain, and he is currently stationed in Iraq. He is the nephew of one of my mom's tennis friends. This round of home-baked goodies could not come at a better time for him because homesickness is getting pretty rough. It has been tough to hang on to a little piece of home, and his contact with loved ones last month cost him a 4-figure phone bill to prove it!!! Now, let me tell you a little bit about him.

He is 19 years old and graduated from high school in Champion, Ohio in 2006. He has three siblings back home (Amanda 17, Jeremy 14, and Bailey 12) and his mother, Jacquetta. He is an animal lover and has a golden retriever named Sampson. Zach loves listening to the "oldies" as well as new music. He is into cars and rebuilt a 1977 Jeep with his dad, Joe, before he passed away. Zach loves to go muddin' in his Jeep and also enjoys target shooting. He is even a member of the American Motorcycle Association. As for the future, he hopes to return home from service and continue serving his community as a police officer.

If you would like to join our team, please email me at , and I will give you his address!

Our Team:

Lyndsay & Pam - Youngstown, OH
Barb - Kremmling, CO (My Aunt!)
Marisa - Brooklyn, NY
Francine - Harvey, IL
Shanna - Chicago, IL
Patti - Maspeth, Queens, NY
Sara - Los Angeles, CA
Brittney - Selinsgrove, PA (or as she is referring to it as the middle of nowhere, literally) :-)
Kelly - CT
Kara - Falls Church, VA
Ashley - OK
Paige - Rock Hill, NY
Jeanne - Danville, IL
Elise - Newington, CT
Sharon - Southern CA
Suzanne - Goodyear, AZ
Lori - Alabama
Lori - Connecticut
Kristina - Portland, OR
Joanne - New York, NY
Rose - North Attleboro, MA

Monday, September 8, 2008

Round Three Starts Here!

More than TEN Hosts are heading up Round THREE of Operation Baking GALS! What does that mean to a baker?? Well, that means you choose!
The hosts will be posting Bios of their soldiers here on the site as well as their own sites and they are recruiting YOU to do some heartfelt baking! Please stay tuned to the GALS Site for info as we get it.

Here is the INFO you came for!!

Round Three Shipping Dates: September 27-October 6

When do you ship? Anytime during that timeframe. We want to bombard these troops with baked goods!!
Where do you ship? Your Host will send you an email letting you know the address.
What can you bake? Anything you want! These soldiers aren't picky! Most GALS tend to ship anywhere from 3 to 6 dozen cookies, though some have made 20-30 DOZEN by getting their friends involved in the effort! How many YOU choose to end is up to YOU. No amount is too small, it is the thought that really counts. Typical shipping in a Flat Rate Large Box for APO (available at your Post Office) runs $10.95 and you can pack it FULL for that cost. Smaller boxes are also available as well. Please refer to Cat's Post for more detailed info on what to ship, how to ship, how to package and more!
Who's YOUR Host? That's up to you! PLEASE send a host an email with the Subject Line - "I want on your team" and she will get back to you. So that others may see that you have enlisted to that team, your Host will be posting your name on the BIO of the soldier...that way we can keep track of who's shipping where! We want all of the soldiers to get lots of packages! If you haven't already emailed to join the Official Roster, please do so in addition to emailing your host...we want to know just how many bakers we really have!!
What if you can't choose a soldier? NO PROBLEM!! Just send an email to with the Subject Line - ANY SOLDIER and we will assign you to a host to round out the group. Again, we want to be as equal as we can be!
How will you get thanked? That's an important question..and it's one that makes Operation Baking GALS so unique! Not only does everyone know WHO they are baking for...Everyone gets THANKED! Your Host will be posting a thanks to each of her bakers on her own site after the ship dates have passed, sometime around September 1st.

Questions? That's what we are here for!! Just ask 'em!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Operation Baking Gals in the paper!

Hey everyone Steph Chows here and I just wanted to let everyone know that we made it into my local paper in Rochester NY!! Here is the link!!

So exciting!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Another New Team...Yes, Another!!

Hello everyone! Thanks for dropping by to catch up or find out what all the fuss is about!
Today there are hundred of bakers firing up their ovens, getting ready to bake and ship thousands of cookies to some very deserving troops...and as of last night, we have enough bakers to justify adding yet Another soldier to the mix!!

The soldier for this new team is stationed in Iraq and is over a group of Junior Soldiers, meaning - we have some youngins' needing cookies! Who wants to help?

Because we are adding this troop in just a little late, we are exteding shipping for him from the 23rd (today) all the way through the 4th of September. I have also decided that although it's a lot of work - I will go ahead and Host him myself - so maybe this will be Team DoughMessTic Squared?

If you are just now finding out about Baking GALS and want to join us - PLEASE give us a shout - and we will get you asigned to one of our teams - we'd LOVE to have you!

A HUGE Thank You to everyone one of you who are baking as well as spreading the word...articles being written about us, radio programs, gossip, culinary schools, square dancers, church groups, BUNCO groups!! You all know who you are! Thank YOU!!!
Here are some links to some of our very supportive promoters:
Just Baking - a very nice write up by Sandy
Great Cooks Radio - Jill did a fun interview about Baking GALS - check it out!

Coming Soon - our write up in the Roanoke Times and the article about Steph of Steph Chows!!
Hey Oprah?! We're waiting on you!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Team Maybe For Real

Hi Team Maybe for Real- I'm Anna of Maybe Just a Little Bite and we're the new team on the block! Our Soldiers are a group of guys who are
permanently stationed in Mosul. Yep, I said permanently stationed! There are about 8 troops and they have been there for a long haul and they have another long haul ahead of them. What better way is there to show our appreciation than to lavish them with some good old fashioned, cookie love, or brownie love, or whatever your specialty might be.

I'm so excited to do this! Let's do what we do best! Are you as ready as I am? Let's get cooking! Let's get these guys some sweet stuff, both literally and figuratively!

We're getting a bit of a late start so if you would like to join us, please send me an e-mail at biscottidiverona (at) hotmail (dot) com by Friday, August 29th. Please include your name if it isn't evident from your e-mail address and if you have a blog, include both the blog name and the URL. (We're extending our shipping dates from the 23rd-30th to the 23rd -4th to accommodate being late bloomers. Anyone who is ready can certainly go ahead and start shipping on the 23rd but newcomers can have until the 4th to ship.)

Our gang, so far!
Rigby of Butterbur's Bistro
Melissa of It's Melissas Kitchen
Sarah Hurley
Barbara Cohen
Erin Garrard
Tami Von Rotz
Dina Fitzpatrick
Jennifer McElhaney
Janet of All I Want Is Chocolate
Suzanne Vierno
Ashley Bates
Lisa of Lunch Bucket Bento
Maria Romano
Amanda from The Waterside Novice Baker
Cindy Olinger
Jill O'Callaghan
Lauren of I'll Eat You
Emily @ I Found A Fish
Elizabeth from Providence

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A New Team and some updates!!

Yep - A NEW TEAM!! A little late in the game, I know, I know. But we have had so many people sign up, we needed to add another group! Anna of Maybe Just A Little Bite has just started blogging (welcome her, foodies!) and has taken over the hosting position of TEAM MAYBE For REAL! She will be posting info about her soldiers a bit later, but I wanted everyone to be on the lookout! An YAY to all of you for participating and getting in on this project!!
Can you believe that between the last Round and this Round we have enlisted over 250 bakers!! And nearly ALL are bloggers!! (and those who aren't wish they were, right?!) It's the Power of the Foodies taking over the internet! Be PROUD to be in on the ground floor of such a great project...I know I am. And I am proud of all of you. It is because of all of you that this took off like it did.

Okay, the updates. Thanks to a baker putting her non-baking buddy on task, we have a great Press Release that is flooding the circuits...and while Oprah still hasn't called (hahaha), my regional newspaper did! They are doing a piece on Baking GALS in the Communities section this Sunday. The Paper is the Roanoke Times, and the New River Current is where the piece will appear...please don't make fun of the pictures of your hostess in her kitchen. Yes, I know how I look. Don't rub it in. So check that out this Sunday if you are bored.

On a similar note, Steph of Team Steph Chows is going to be in HER paper this coming Tuesday! Check out her site for the links! Way to go Steph!!

Now, if ANYONE, host, baker or lurker would like a copy of the Press Release or would like it to be modified to suit YOU, please let me know. Getting our word spread on the net is great, but getting it out in the other world is a little tougher! We'd love to help you!!
Oh, before I forget - Please, by ALL MEANS, steal the Baking GALS picture of Rosie. Repost it wherever you want! You are welcome to her!

Any suggestions and/or comments on how to do things better, how to improve our visibility, how to make this more fun - please let me brain is pretty fried!

Again, stay tuned and look for Team Maybe For Real in the next little bit...and give her some support!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Round Two Starts Here!!!

Thanks everyone for your HUGE interest and support. If not for you, this organization wouldn't be what it is today! As some of you may already know, we made the local CBS news here last night ( in case you are interested in seeing the video yourself - I look, um, well, let's just not go there.)

But we do hope to see even more interest based on that, as well as the other things we currently have up our sleeves to let the world outside of the internet in on our group. But you are here NOW, and you want to know how it's going to work this time, right? Well, wait no more.

Six Hosts are heading up Round TWO of Operation Baking GALS! What does that mean to a baker?? Well, that means you choose!
The hosts will be posting Bios of their soldiers here on the site as well as their own sites and they are recruiting YOU to do some heartfelt baking!

Here is the INFO you came for!!

August Shipping Dates: August 23-30

When do you ship? Anytime that week. We want to bombard these troops with baked goods!!
Where do you ship? Your Host will send you an email letting you know the address.
What can you bake? That's up to you! See Cat's Post on how to ship for better packing instructions.
Who's YOUR Host? That's up to you! PLEASE send a host an email with the Subject Line - "I want on your team" and she will get back to you. So that others may see that you have enlisted to that team, your Host will be posting your name on the BIO of the soldier...that way we can keep track of who's shipping where! We want all of the soldiers to get lots of packages! If you haven't already emailed to join the Official Roster, please do so in addition to emailing your host...we want to know just how many bakers we really have!!
What if you can't choose a soldier? NO PROBLEM!! Just send an email to with the Subject Line - ANY SOLDIER and we will assign you to a host to round out the group. Again, we want to be as equal as we can be!
How will you get thanked? That's an important question..and it's one that makes Operation Baking GALS so unique! Not only does everyone know WHO they are baking for...Everyone gets THANKED! Your Host will be posting a thanks to each of her bakers on her own site after the ship dates have passed, sometime around September 1st.

Questions? That's what we are here for!! Just ask 'em!!

Team Meet Me in the Kitchen...

Russ, his little girl Adrienne, and his wife, Tiffany

Hello! I am Mary Anne or Meet me in the Kitchen, and I am one of the 6 hosts for this month. My Team and I are going to be sending homemade goodies to my brother-in law, Russ. He is up there in the picture, on the left.
Russ is a fun-loving father and a good old country boy, who grew up in a small town in Georgia. I was lucky enough to be roommates with his future wife, before I married his brother, so it was great to see them get married and have an adorable daughter, who Russ spoils with all his love and attention. They got engaged when I was in the hospital with my first child and I remember how they glowed with happiness. Russ is a great uncle to my 3 kids. He is one who can make anyone laugh and feel at home. His daughter misses him dearly, as does his wife.

She said "Looking back, it was obvious that Russ would choose to be a soldier." He was always playing army games and wanted to attend military schools. He is a very high speed, dare devil type of guy. All those things plus a love of this country helped him in his decision to join the army. He is a dedicated, conscientious soldier. Aside from being a soldier in the army, he is also a devoted husband and father. Russ has one daughter, a four year old, that is his world. Other than that, he is a normal guy, who likes hunting, fishing, basketball, and Georgia Football (GO DAWGS!)

If you are interested in joining me in sending some goodies to Russ and his troop, send me an email- mattymare33 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please include your
Blog Name:
I will in turn send you an email with all the details. Thanks so much!
Official Team Members
Adrienne Van Houten-Adrienne's House
Audrey Murray- Bella & Piekna
Sabrina Robideau-Superfluous
Laura Dawn Beckstrand
Brenda Watwood- webbie's world
Sheri White- cookingmom- My Life in Food and Pictures
Leigh Licata- No Sleep 'till Hanoi
Megan Malone
Fran Smith
Viveka Jagadeesan

Team DoughMessTic

Here I am again, looking for bakers to join me as I host for a Second Time! After all of the wonderful response from Round One, I couldn't bear to sit out Round Two...even though I swore I would turn it over to other Hosts!

So, who do I want you to bake for this time?

There is a group of 6 Army Soldiers stationed permanantly in Fallujah, and let me tell you, these poor guys aren't feeling the love. I have been told these hereos could really use a morale boost - and an unexpected shipment of goodies could really be the ticket. Will it bring them home? No it won't. But it will remind them of it...and that's a really positive thing in such a negative place.
Capt. Ballard (our Round One soldier) told me in an email that "I just hope these ladies know that they are doing a good thing. Even if it is 'just' baking cookies..."

These guys are protecting our rights, our liberty, our freedom. The least we can do in return is share a few homemade cookies with them, don't you think?

If you are up for helping me support this group of soldiers stationed in Fallujah, please send an email to and I will get you the info you need. As I get more info from them, I will post it here, but for now, that's what I have.

Thanks for your time!! Let's BAKE!!

Kita Roberts
Lisa Bostic
Mustang Sally
Donna Stafford
Sylvia Canterbury
Lisa Canterbury
Julia Schaeffer
Dona England
Kristen Huffman
Jennifer Lauer
Jennifer Amore
Lillian of Confectiona's Realm
Tara of Tara's Tempting Treats
Laura of Laura's Home Cookin'
Kate of Books & Bakes
Michelle of Culinography
Winnie Carr
Brooke of Dessert First
Holly of PheMOMenon
Jules Someone of Someone's In the Kitchen
Jane of Private Stock Menswear
Katia of Tiny Truffles
Emily Meeker, of Seattle, Washington
Kristen the Lil Aggie Cook
Patricia Dreiling of Austin, Texas

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Team Barefoot...

This is my nephew, Joe. He's over in Afghanistan, with the Air Guard.

I show you this photo, rather than something more military, because HE caught that huge salmon in his left hand this past April, and I think he'd rather have everyone looking at THAT triumph, rather than the traditional shot of him in his Air Guard uniform.

Joe was one of the first members of my husband's family that I met, nearly eleven years ago. My memory of this? Joe was tormenting a neighbor's dog with a remote-controlled car. He's grown up a bit since then, and recently he and his girlfriend bought their first house. It's a duplex, and they worked long and hard to fix up the top apartment to rent out. Their first tenant moved in not too long before Joe was shipped out this time. He's already been in and out of Iraq, and this current assignment should be a lot shorter than those previous couple of years.

He was over in Iraq when both my kids were born, in 2002 and 2004. My son has always adored him, but my daughter, Julia, the younger child, was rather leery of Joe when he would visit, in uniform, after she was born. She has warmed up to him a lot since then, in part because he's really, really great with his young cousins.

Not that he'd want anyone to be aware of this kinder, gentler side. So forget I said anything.

If you'd like to bake for Joe and his buddies, please send me an email at and please include your name, email address, name of your website, and URL, along with any questions you might have, and I'll get back to you ASAP!

Thanks so much for participating!!


~~ And here are the members (so far) of Team Barefoot! ~~

Heather of Sherry Trifle
Gina of gamecockdoc
Dianne of Dianne's Dishes
Lisa from White Plains, NY
Lauren from Alexandria, VA
Ingrid of 3B's...Baseball, Baking and Books
Margaret of Tea and Scones
Erin of Reading in Rheems
Gabi of The Feast Within
Donna of Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases
Francine from Harvey, IL
Debbie of The Friday Friends
Krista from Los Angeles, CA
Tammi of Tammi's World
Heather of Hanson Girl
Mike from Roseau, MN
Kelly of Baking With The Boys
Megan of Megans Cookin
Marisa from Brooklyn, NY
and LeighAnne, Victoria and Margaret!

Thanks to all of you for enlisting!! :)

Team Hungry Fox...

Hello to all you Baking Gals!

I am delighted to join our baking gals troops and am honored to be a first-time host for our effort to show home-made support to our troops.

My soldier is my daughter's husband, Daryl. He was shipped out a month before their second child (first boy) was born, so this has been doubly hard for the whole family. Daryl and Lyndsey also have a 2 1/2 year old daughter, and she is the apple of his eye. I know he misses her running to him every day when he gets home from work!

Daryl is a Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force and is a team leader at their post in Iraq. He has 22 airmen working with him from his base at Shaw AFB in South Carolina. He and some of the others are concentrating on physical fitness, so things like high protein gorp and bars would be really great, but the good old comfort sweets will be welcome too!

Let me know if you can help us send Daryl and his troops our good will in the form of goodies fresh from our ovens! You can reach me for this project by emailing THEHUNGRYFOX at yahoo dot com.

Bon Appétit!
Chef Debbie
Here's our team so far!
Heather Peskin of Brooklyn, NY
Carmella Lanni-Giardina of the Bronx, NY & The Food Duo
Amy Gurnsey from Detroit, MI & Wake Me When It's Over
Tanya Schroeder of Hoffman Estates, IL & Take the Cannoli
Beth Morey of Missoula, MT & Muffin Love Chick
Kim Onstott of Estrella Mountain Ranch, AZ & Your Place Gourmet
Kelsey Morris of NY, NY & Kelsey Kakes
Linda Harper of Los Angeles, CA & Tender Crumb
Brent Evans of Charlotte, NC & Personal Chefs Network
Gwen Byrd of Lancaster, SC
Dolores Ferrero of San Ramon, CA & Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity
Marianne Qoyawayma of Scottsdale, AZ
Penny Harper of Tualatin, OR
Katy Swanson of Overland Park, KS
Lorna Cohen of Northbrook, IL
Marilyn Nowalk of Washington, DC

Team Kara's Kitchen...

Hi Baking GALS! First and foremost, a huge huge thank you to anyone who's participating in this effort and even to those who've just stopped by to read about and/or promote Operation Baking GALS. I think it goes without saying that we are all very excited about this amazing project!

So, without further ado... it turns out I wasn't kidding when I said I was super excited about having joined Operation Baking GALS... as I'm now so honored to be one of our "hosts" for Round Two!

Colin getting ready to take-off

A brief introduction to our soldier... ah-hem, aviator... Colin is a long-time friend of my family's and is currently stationed overseas in Afghanistan. He's a graduate of the Naval Academy who went on to fly the F/A-18E but before that, from Atlanta, Georgia, which is where our parents met almost 10 years ago and as such, our families have been friends ever since. While he is overseas right now as part of a joint service program, this is not the first time that he's been deployed - he joined his squadron aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on Thanksgiving Day 2004, was in Hong Kong when the Tsunami hit,and subsequently spent a month off Banda Achea performing relief efforts; Colin also deployed again in 2006 to South Pacific/Asia. Aside from my brother and my dad (Naval Reservist and former Navy, respectively), I am absolutely most proud of Colin, for his commitment to serving his country and willingly going above and beyond to step up to the call of duty every single time.

Us at Army-Navy 2007; Colin flew the "slot position" as part of the fly-over during the pre-game festivities

In my opinion, sending a 'bit of home' is without a doubt one of the easiest ways to make a HUGE impact on our troops and to remind them that we're thinking about and praying for them, and most of all, wishing their safe return home! So let me know (email kara [dot] w [dot] stevenson [at] gmail [dot] com) if you're interested in making this aviator's day with some delicious treats and baked goods!

Colin, his sister Kelli, and their cousins

Need ideas for what to bake? Just make some of your favorites... or try these:
Celebration Cookies
Big, Soft Ginger Cookies
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies
Kitchen Sink Cookies
Double Chocolate Chip Brownies
Brown & White Walnut Bars

Official Team Members
Allie, San Francisco, CA
Andrea, Falls Church, VA
Cappie, Forney, TX
Chris, Sandy Springs, GA (my oft-referred to mom!)
Christie, Orlando, FL
Christy, Copenhagen, Denmark
Dolores, East Bay Area, CA
Elizabeth, Providence, RI
Falon, Prosper, TX
Heather, New York
Hollie, Forney, TX
Jen, Pittsburgh, PA
Karen and Kayla, Broadview Heights, OH
Kristy, Herndon, VA
Lesley, Alpharetta, GA
Lila, San Angelo, TX
Linda, Sherman Oaks, CA
Liz, Bremerton, WA
Marisa, Brooklyn, NY
Megan, Alexandria, VA
Missy, Radford, VA
Monica, Atlanta, GA
Sandra, Atlanta, GA
Tamera, Atlanta, GA
Tara, Connecticut
Tia, Atlanta, GA

Team StephChows...

Hey everyone! I'm steph from steph chows! It was so wonderful being part of round one and I can't wait for round two. I've known a lot of men and women who have gone over to fight for our country, and sadly not all of them have come home. This is the number one reason I'm so happy to participate in this. If we can bring a smile to someone's face and let them feel our love and warmth... then I think our job is well done.

This month we will be baking and sending cookies to my friend Amie's wonderful husband Lt. Eric Olson!
Eric looking all snazzy on his wedding day

Eric grew up in Syracuse NY and moved to Rochester NY to attend RIT where he received a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and where he met his wife Amie! Eric and Amie now live in Florida where he is stationed. Currently he is working as a Reactor Controls Division Officer on the USS Abraham Lincoln. He is lucky to have family to send letters and packages but has a lot of men and women on his ship who are not as lucky and he would love to be able to share all that we send with his shipmates, especially the ones who never receive any packages. So if you would like to sign up to send Eric (and all his crewmates) some goodies email me at stephaniesnow (at) gmail (dot) com. Lets send some love!

You can check out what I made for round one here.


Sorry for not updating this post! I was updating the one on my site and wasn't even thinking I should be updating this one too!! So with no further ado!

A special thanks to:
Clara otherwise known as CB of I heart food for thought and
April of Abby Sweets
who are the first two to join my team!!

I've got a third! woohoo!
Fran Z from Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie.

New additions! (all of which are fantastic!)
Karin Joensen
Marie from
Kassie Green
Melissa White from
Jennifer Moore, Austin, TX
Anna Scheminger
Michele Collins, Harvard MA
Liz C, Bremerton WA, Just Me Eating (
Tracey from
Joanna Furtado
Dolores from
Niki Landreville, Rochester NY
Paige Welch, Rock Hill, NY
Erica DiRenzo, Rochester NY
Rachel Bond, Rochester, NY
Gretchen Roman, Rochester, NY

PS My local paper the D&C is going to be doing an article on us next week in the food section!!! I'll let you know when it's up! :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Thank You from Our Soldier...

Operation Baking GALS

Ladies: Please allow me to extend a warm and heartfelt 'thank you' on behalf of the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate and the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). We are sincerely touched by your generosity and kindness. I truly cannot express our gratitude and appreciation for you lifting our spirits and boosting our morale. In a combat environment, it is easy to forget about all of the good things back home that we are fighting for over here. However, because of your homemade treats, we are reminded of the good things in life.
Without a doubt, we Americans live in the greatest nation on earth. We are blessed with all the good things life has to offer. And thankfully, Operation Baking GALS has reminded us why we are ladies, with your treats made with love, have truly reminded us of the good things back home. You have reminded us of the love and support of the American People.
You have shared with us wonderful treats made in your very homes -- sometimes made with the help of your children. In short, you have opened your hearts and shared your love. And for that, we Soldiers are truly grateful.
Please do not think that your baked goods are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Having personally experienced war in two theaters of operation (Iraq and Afghanistan), I know firsthand that your kindness and generosity will stay with those Soldiers who have enjoyed your goodies for a very long time. Some of these Soldiers do not have families...the Army is the only family they know. Some of these Soldiers do not receive packages from home. The only things from home they've received are the baked goods you sent them. And I assure you this means the world to them. So, from the very bottom of my heart, I want to say 'THANK YOU' for your

I promise you that you are doing a wonderful thing.

With all my thanks and appreciation, I am
Captain Jason S. Ballard
U.S. Army

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Gearing Up For ROUND TWO!!

Even in the midst of Round One Packages arriving in Iraq, we are trying to get everything together for ROUND TWO! Thanks to everyone who has sent goodies, and to everyone emailing for info and resposting our mission on their own sites!
As many of you know, Dorie Greenspan wrote a great post about us on her site, and Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen wrote a great piece on the Blogher Network as well! Both of those posts have generated a lot of interest...and next up is the nightly news! That's right, the local CBS station here in my neck of the woods is coming to do a feel-good story about Operation Baking GALS!!

Before more info can be posted about Round Two - we need a couple more Hosts...
What is a host, you ask?
Well, a Host is someone who baked in Round One who has a soldier serving in a warzone. The Host will have a few duties, namely supplying approximately 25 Bakers with the address of their soldier, answering their emails, and THANKING the Bakers on their own site when everything is packaged up and sent. The Host will need to provide a short Bio of their soldier, and a picture, if possible, so that we can introduce them on this site.
Anyone interested? Please email me with the subject line - "Want To Host" at Right now, we have room for at least 3 more Hosts...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The First Package Has Arrived!

Wow, that was FAST!

Looks like Dianne of Dianne's Dishes was the speediest cookie out of the gate!

Jason sent these pictures of he and a couple of pals digging into Dianne's Peanut Butter cookies...I don't think they lasted long! Luckily, many, many more packages are on the way!!

Stay tuned for more updates, including a Thank You from Jason himself, and info on Round TWO will be posted sometime later next week.

Thank you everyone for your's a great thing you have done!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Help from a MilWife

Hey there!  Let me start by introducing myself.  My name is Cat, of The Cat's Pajamas.  I am by no means an expert, but I've mailed hundreds (yes, really) of packages to The Husband and our squadron while on deployments.  I'm going to help out a little by giving a few tips for what to send and instructions for those pesky customs forms that seem to be such a bother...

Lets start with your package itself.  
My greatest success is found when using one of those cheap Ziplock Snap and Seal containers that measure about 12" x 6" x 4".  Line the bottom of the container with 2-3 sheets of folded paper towels or napkins.  Inside the fold that is going to be closest to the cookies, tuck a few pieces of apple peel.  This is an old throwback to the days when Granddad was fighting in WWII and my grandmama would send goodies to him.  I've tried the bread before and have received reports from "over there" that the bread has molded.  Of course, that doesn't stop the men from eating what's under the molded bread... but let's try and prevent that from happening.  Mmm, kay?  We wouldn't want all your selfless, hard work to go to waste!  Layer the cookies in a single layer, take another paper towel, fold it in half and tuck another little apple peel into the fold, repeat until you get to the top.  At the top fold another 2-3 paper towels, again with a small piece of apple peel in the fold closest to the cookies.  Tape the container shut, these boxes get thrown... so if you go through the paper towel trick and then tape the container shut, you're cookies are pretty much guaranteed to arrive safely.

On to cookies:
Make a cookie that makes you think of home.  They don't need to be fancy: just simple, sweet and home baked.  The JarHead Brother prefers chocolate chip, along with most of the guys in his MEU.  I mail all sorts of cookies to The Husband, as I don't want him to get bored.  I tend to sway away from hard, crunchy cookies because the cookies loose a little oomph when mailed already.  So- very simply, make a cookie that when you smell it... you think "home."  Oh! and use real butter if you can afford it.

If you're interested in filling a box of just plain old goodies here are a few suggestions:
Granola, home made or purchased
Trail mix
Packaged tuna
Candy, things like Sweet Tarts, Mentos, Skittles, etc. (chocolate and gummies will melt)
BEEF Jerky (absolutely NO pork products)
Canned foods (no PORK and beans though)
Crystal Light or Kool-Aide single serving packets

If you have questions about something you'd like to send and you're not sure about it... email me at cats (dot) pajamas08 (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll help you out.

Finally, that pesky customs form the Post Office likes to confuse us with...

Here's the form...

In Section 1, Sender's Information: fill out your own information.  You need to put your real name and address in that box because the Post Office will require you to sign the form.
In Section 2, Recipient Information: fill in the destination.  
First line is the name of of the person or unit/squadron you're shipping to.
Second line is the funny little unit label and box number.
Third line is where the APO, FPO, etc. goes along with the zip code.

MSgt Gomer Pyle   -- person, unit or squadron
CMR 123, Box 456  -- unit code, squadron code and box number
APO, AE 12345       -- this is the city/state/zip for the military installation it goes to
"AA" stands for Armed Forces America (meaning they're stateside)
"AE" stands for Armed Forces Europe (meaning they're stationed in Europe)
"AP" stands for Armed Forces Pacific (meaning they're stationed in the Pacific)

In Section 3, Contents: list the contents of your package (the whole box if you put more than cookies in there)  It doesn't have to be detailed, you can fill the box with cookies, candy, postcards, etc and simply state on the form: Homemade Cookies, Candy, Postcard.  You don't have to individually list these items... just a general "tada!" of what's to be expected.  If you don't fill this out (I'd be surprised if the mail clerk would let you go) they'll have to open and inspect the box.  You don't want this to happen because it can delay the delivery of your box upwards of months.  

Check Airmail/Priority 

Check Gift

In Section 4, Quantity/Weight: You don't have to list 31 cookies, 22 mints, 1 chapstick.  I usually just leave this blank and they don't mind.  The mail clerk will fill in the weight on the bottom of the form, so don't bother yourself with the weight either.

In Section 5, Value:  If you purchased items to go into your box, just write down what you spent.  

In Section 6, Total Value:  Just add up section 5.  I usually declare about $15.  Anything over $500 they'll ask you to purchase insurance.

In Section 7, Senders Request: Check the box that you want.  I usually check "Treat as Abandoned" because there's usually just goodies in there and I don't necessarily need them back.  If you want your box returned to you if your buddy/unit for some reason cannot accept it, simply check "return to sender," you'll be charged for return postage though.

Sign and Date the bottom.

It's simple.  I promise.  I usually grab a pile of customs forms at the post office and fill them out at home because I'm a Type A who has to have all my things together.  If you want to fill it out at the post office, or online... feel free. 

Occasionally, I've been asked to fill out a little green form (it's about 3"x 3") but not always.  This is the same information as what goes on the other form... just not as much info is required.  The green form is not used in lieu of that train wreck above, but in addition to.

Some important things to note:
The men over there really want a connection to home, meaning the States.  Grab a couple postcards from your local city/state.  Drop a line or two on the back of the postcard, maybe write your web address so the soldier/airmen/marine/seaman can check up on you and drop you a thank you.  They like to say thanks.  You can always write a few lines about yourself, why you felt compelled to send them cookies or just say thanks for their service.  

**Please, please, please do not send pork products (pork won't make it there, as this is an insult to the country these men are probably in).

I hope this helps!  If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask me.  I'd be more than happy to help.  Thanks for doing this for our men and women.  You just don't know how this touches their hearts.  

~The Cat's Pajamas