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Monday, June 26, 2017

Chef for a Day at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

Chef for a Day at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

Back in April I joined the Red Shoe Society (RSS), a young-professionals group associated with the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). The RSS serves as a philanthropic arm of the RMHC with a collective goal to help make a difference in the lives of families with sick children.

Each day, RMHC serves two meals to the patient's families who travel from out of town to receive the medical services for their children. The complimentary housing and meals provided to the families are used to help offset their additional expenses. RSS picked Sunday brunch as a day to give back to the amazing nonprofit we love and support. My friend, Gemma, and I stepped up to be the co-executive chefs for the meal!

We met over tea and dinners to execute our planning. Gemma was the brilliant one to think of the theme, Breakfast at Tiffany's! I was immediately on board with the idea since I love Audrey Hepburn and her iconic film. From that moment, Gemma and I had a blast coordinating the details together!

We wanted to craft a menu that would be delicious, affordable to other volunteers (the volunteers bring ingredients to cook for the meal), and easy to cook in a short period of time. Here's what we ended up with:

Yogurt parfaits with fresh berries and granola, drizzled with honey
Chef for a Day at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

Cheese and egg casserole (with bacon and pancakes on the side)
Chef for a Day at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

Fresh fruit salad
Chef for a Day at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

Oven-roasted potatoes (with roasted bell peppers and onions on the side)
Chef for a Day at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

Mockmosas
Chef for a Day at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

Chef for a Day at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

The volunteers who showed up from the RSS did a fantastic job helping out and making the delicious food! One part of the experience I didn't consider was getting familiar with finding the utensils and cooking containers. Thankfully one of the volunteers in our group had participated in previous Chef for a Day events and helped locate everything. The house also does a great job by thoroughly labeling every cabinet.

Chef for a Day at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

Chef for a Day at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona

As the families began to pour in, we heard great comments about them loving the decor and the food setup. We even included fresh flowers, table settings and centerpieces for the brunch. One woman commented she bet girls were in charge of organizing the brunch since it was so pretty ha!  It was 100% worth seeing those faces light up. That's honestly one of my favorite parts of direct volunteering is seeing these reactions on firsthand.

I would highly recommend getting involved with your local RMHC (find your chapter here) either through the RSS or simply volunteering your time. No matter what, always make time to give back to your community.


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