Hey Everyone! Happy Saturday!

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I’m checking in for a little surprise Saturday post because we have some very important things to chat about today! First, no I am not traveling to India, BUT my cousin Abby is, and I am pretty excited to tell you all why.

Super quick before we get to the details of Abby’s trip, I just want to excitedly tell you all that Half Baked Harvest has been nominated for both a Bloglovin Award and a Saveur Magazine award! A lot of you probably already know this since I’ve had a little note at the bottom of each post for a week now, but I thought that maybe I should kind of formally say something? I dunno, it’s a little hard for me to “promote” myself, or whatever you call it, but I’m pretty excited, and SO grateful that you guys have nominated me for not one, but two awards. Still jumping up and down about it! 🙂

So here are the details on each award…

Bloglovin: I have been nominated for the Best Food Blog. Ahh, so cool! Vote HERE.

Saveur: I have been nominated for the Best Inspired Weeknight Dinners. Umm, YESS. Love a good weeknight meal. Vote HERE.

I am up against some amazing bloggers, so be sure to read all about everyone and vote for your favorites, whether that’s me or not! And again, thank you guys so much for your continued support. You are the BESTEST. ?

Abby in Uganda | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Okok, next up is Abby’s trip! My cousin Abby is one of the kindest people I know, and also one of the bravest. She’s been through a lot in life and has given a lot back. This December (the day after Christmas actually) she will be traveling to India to help women, give young children guidance and complete a variety of other tasks to make their lives more meaningful and prepare them for the future. Because I cannot fully explain what Abby will be doing, I am going to let her tell you all about the trip and why she is asking us for help in funding.

Alright guys, meet my cousin Abby!!

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for taking the time to learn a little about my trip and the reasons I am traveling to India this winter.

I have a love and passion for helping others that just keeps growing! In May 2014 I graduated from Champlain College with a Bachelor’s in Social Work, I am currently pursuing my Masters in Social Work at San Diego State University. My passion for learning about other cultures began when I traveled to Entebee, Uganda where I lived and volunteered at an orphanage for a month. After returning to the states, I decided to minor in Global Studies to enhance my awareness and appreciation of other cultures.

I was recently offered the opportunity to travel to Pune, India this December. As an alumnus of Champlain College, I will be participating in the inaugural Champlain College Alumni International Service Trip to work with Maher Ashram. Maher (meaning mother’s home) is an organization that provides shelter and support to destitute women and children. Their mission is to “identify and understand the root causes of violence and despair experienced by women and children in India”. During my three-week stay, I will be participating in a variety of projects and activities to help support the women and children of Maher. I will work with women with mental disabilities; act as a role model to the children, help with general upkeep around the homes, and complete a variety of other tasks to make their lives more meaningful and better prepare them for the future.

I would like to share an excerpt from the book I am reading, Women Healing Women, “Maher provides a healing refuge for battered, destitute, and downtrodden women—from all walks of life, all religions, all castes. Every year in India, thousands of women are doused in kerosene and set ablaze. Unwed mothers are abandoned on the streets to starve, and often commit suicide. Teenage girls are brutally raped and forever banished from their families. Many wives are routinely battered by their husbands; other women are rejected for belonging to the “wrong” caste. All such women and girls are welcome at Maher, where they find the warmth and security of a loving home and can begin life again with dignity and renewed hope. Equally poignant stories are recounted by Maher children: preadolescent girls sold to brothels, toddlers who witnessed their mothers being burned alive, and beggar children rescued from squalor who have been groomed at Maher to become national dance performers. For every story told at Maher, thousands of similar stories remain untold in India—most with far less happy endings.”

Please help me make a difference by donating. Any donations received, will go towards travel expenses, accommodations, and to the Maher Ashram organization. I appreciate all support and donations given in advance! Not only will this trip contribute to my learning of another culture and my social work educational path, but I will also be able to use my skills and knowledge to enhance the lives of others. I would not be able to do this without the support and love from all of you. 🙂

If you would like to donate, here is the link to my Go Fund Me Page.

Thank you all again and keep an eye out for photos of my trip come this January!

XOXO, Abby

Pretty amazing right? When Abby told me all that she would be doing, I was SO excited to share her story with you guys. Even if you can only donate just the littlest amount, every dollar counts and will be greatly appreciated. Also, anyone who donates after reading this, I will personally match that donation up to $2,000. Just put the initials “HBH” somewhere in the comments area. Any money that is not used towards travels expenses and food will be given to the women and children of Maher.

Here is the link to Abby’s Go Fund Me Page. Thank you to all who are able to donate!

Lastly, here are my 8 favorite Indian inspired recipes!

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer…with Fried Paneer

Creamy Cashew Indian Butter Paneer...with Fried Paneer | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Indian Style Baked Eggs with Green Harissa + Naan

Northern Indian Style Baked Eggs with Green Harissa + Naan-8

Rava Dosa (Indian Crepes) with Summer Squash + Tomato Chickpea Masala

Rava Dosa (Indian Crepes) with Summer Squash + Tomato Chickpea Masala | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Indian Style Beef Satay with Curried Cashew Sauce

Indian Style Beef Satay with Curried Cashew Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Saucy Indian Spiced Chicken with Naan

Saucy Indian Spiced Chicken with Naan | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Crockpot Creamy Cashew Chicken

Crockpot Creamy Cashew Chicken | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Crockpot Honey Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas, Feta and Pomegranate Rice

Crockpot Honey Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas, Feta and Jeweled Pomegranate Rice | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Simple Almond Chicken, Chickpea and Eggplant Curry

Simple Almond Chicken, Chickpea and Eggplant Curry | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Again, thank you all so much for your support. Both Abby and I appreciate it more than you know!

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