Celebrating Bastille Day with Media and Cupcakes

This past Saturday, July 14, 2012, the Penn State Brandywine Fair Trade TrailBlazers were excited to join the town of Media in its Bastille Day celebrations. The whole of State Street closed down so that booths could set up and restaurants could set out extra seating. The event kicked off at around 6:30 in the evening with an awards ceremony and a reenactment of the storming of the Bastille. Media presented Penn State Brandywine with a Regional Fair Trade award, and we were honored to accept the award! We also congratulate the other Fair Trade award winners on an awesome job and well done!

We also participated in Ten Thousand Villages in Media’s Fair Trade cooking competition, “Knock Their Block Off,” submitting my famous Fair Trade Vanilla Vegan Chai Cupcakes! Four other contestants entered the competition. Take a look at all of the yummy entries!

Below, you will find some other photos from the event.

Above are Bastille Day actors setting up the main stage at the intersection of State and Olive Streets in Media.

Here we are, Dr. Laura Guertin, Sarah DeMartino, and Louis Donaghue accepting the regional award from Media!

And here are all of us after the award!

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Here was something cool we saw! At the Fair Trade (run by Media’s Fair Trade Town Committee) information desk, there was a clothesline with Fair Trade messages hung on it. People could come up and write or draw what Fair Trade meant to them!

All in all, we had a wonderfully fun time in Media and can’t wait for their next event!

For more images of Media’s Bastille day, check out our Flickr page!

-Contributed by Sarah DeMartino, First Fair Trade Intern

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Fair Trade Ingredients Vegan Chai Cupcakes

A friend of mine made wonderful vegan chai cupcakes for me a few months ago, and I couldn’t get enough of them! So I finally decided to satiate my craving and make my own vegan chai cupcakes, only this time they would have Fair Trade ingredients! The cupcakes almost taste almost like carrot cake, but they have a bit of a spicy kick. These cupcakes do take some time to prepare (an hour and a half or so), but if you have the time, I definitely recommend trying them out!

This is a link to the recipe I used:

http://bakingdom.com/2010/09/sugar-spice-and-everything-nice-from-teacup-to-cupcake-vanilla-chai-tea-cupcakes.html

My journey to make the best Fair Trade ingredient cupcakes took me to the Wegmans in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Most of the Fair Trade items I bought were in the organic and special food aisle. Divine Chocolate, Honest Tea, Wholesome Sweetners, and a handful of other Fair Trade brands can be found in this aisle. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is with the regular ice creams, however (Cherry Garcia being my forever favorite).

Anyway, back to the cupcakes. I substituted in Fair Trade ingredients where I could. For sugar, I used Wholesome Sweetners Organic sugar (and where the recipe calls for confectioners’ sugar, I put the Wholesome Sweetners sugar through a food grinder to make it finer). I also used Zhena’s Gypsytea Fair Trade Vanilla Chai tea blend for the batter. You don’t have to use the vanilla flavor; they also offer hazelnut and a spicier chai if you so desire. I was unable to find Fair Trade vanilla, however. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Wegmans does not stock Fair Trade vanilla, it just means I couldn’t find it.

I used the applesauce instead of eggs, as the recipe suggests for the vegan option, and I couldn’t tell the difference. Applesauce gives the recipe a bit more flavor, in my opinion, as cinnamon and apples go together like a hot day and lemonade. I also used vanilla soy milk (to go with the vanilla chai), and used margarine for the icing instead of butter. For an extra zing, I added a pinch more cinnamon than the recipe suggested. I like my cupcakes with a bit of a kick to them!

I highly recommend this recipe! It was not difficult at all to follow and very simple (and I am not the most experienced baker).

Next up on my Fair Trade cooking recipe list…Fair Trade ingredient Crème Brulee! Let’s see if I can locate some Fair Trade Vanilla first…Wholefoods anyone?

Contributed by Sarah DeMartino, Fair Trade Intern