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Volunteers honor Mom by sharing time, sweet recipes with hospice patients

Julie Bailey and Jennifer Kainz are “sweet sisters” who grew up cooking and baking in the kitchen with their mother, Susan. After JourneyCare cared for Susan during her final day in February 2014, the sisters were inspired to volunteer in kitchen at The Pepper Family Hospice CareCenter in Barrington every Monday, baking for patients and their families.“JourneyCare was so wonderful to our family that we wanted to give something back,” Julie explained.

Over the last seven years, they not only donated their time, but they’ve also donated items and ingredients for the Barrington kitchen. Jennifer’s children even began volunteering with the JourneyCare Juniors, for youth volunteers, to help give back, too.

“We continue to bake at JourneyCare because it is so rewarding to get a smile, tear or even a hug from something as simple as a warm cookie or scone,” Julie says. “Sometimes a sweet treat is just what’s needed in a sad situation.”

Susan’s passion for cooking and baking continues to live on through her children. When they are not volunteering, Julie works as a chef at Wild Asparagus Catering and Jennifer and her husband own The Wild Onion restaurant in Barrington. The sisters created a cookbook they call the “kitchen bible” with all of their mother’s favorite recipes titled, “Glad You Liked It,” and it is used by all of their family and friends.

After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Barrington CareCenter kitchen was shut down for months. When it was safe to re-open this year, Julie returned with the help of fellow volunteer Lynn Hills. Each Monday, you can smell treats baking in the kitchen from the sweet sister’s family cookbook.

Below is a Cranberry Orange Cookie recipe from the sisters’ “kitchen bible.” Try it out – they hope you’ll like it!


Cranberry Orange Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 30 min. prep time | Servings: 60 cookies

Ingredients:

Orange Sugar

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

Cookie

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter,  softened
  • 1 Land O Lakes® Egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all orange sugar ingredients in bowl; stir until well mixed. Set aside.
  3. Combine 1 cup sugar, butter and egg in bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda; beat at low speed until well mixed. Add all remaining ingredients.
  4. Continue beating just until mixed.
  5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in orange sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten with bottom of glass to 1 1/2-inch circles.
  6. Bake 7-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Do not over bake. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack.