Baking and bonding
New business encourages families to spend quality time cooking up goodies.
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 9, 2022
FIRST FRIDAY Mardi Gras party at Total Elegance Creations to feature free Hurricanes and Zydeco sounds
FESTIVAL OF PRAISE — a night of music, prayer and celebration with some of the biggest names in gospel — has been set for April 9 at the Bell County Expo Center
WHAT’S HAPPENING? Check out the biggest events calendar in Central Texas
THE LINKS — News from everywhere!
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
A new Bell County business is supplying the ingredients for freshly baked cookies, muffins and cupcakes. As a customer, you supply love and quality time with kids or grandkids.
“I’ve been baking since I was 4,” said Kathy Jolly, owner of Salado-based Kidsbaketoo. “I have shared my love of baking with my children and grandchildren for many years, and they love to come over and spend time creating in the kitchen.”
Jolly, a nurse by trade who loves to cook, will open her new business March 1.
Kidsbaketoo is a subscription service that provides the ingredients and detailed directions for baking an assortment of goods. Customers have the option of monthly, quarterly or special-order subscriptions.
“Each monthly box will contain all of the ingredients for the item being baked except eggs and dairy products,” she said. “Plus the box will include 8 x 6 recipe cards that contain an ingredient list, photos of the finished product and step-by-step illustrated instructions.”
Not only will the monthly package include ingredients and directions, it also will include a kitchen tool such as an icing bag with tips, a miniature scoop for cookies, a muffin pan or spatulas, just to name a few.
“At the end of the year, the subscriber will have recipe cards and 12 kitchen tools to use for the rest of their lives,” she said.
The monthly boxes will cost $39.95.
Quarterly boxes are $34.99 and arrive every three months but don’t include the tools.
Jolly also bakes wedding cakes and other goodies from her home, and the idea of Kidsbaketoo started when a customer stopped by to pick up an order.
“My grandkids were there, and they were having a blast baking with grandma,” she said with a smile. “The customer was impressed. She said, ‘I wish I could do this with my grandkids.’ I started thinking about that, and eventually decided to go into business.”
Beginning March 1, orders can be placed online at www.kidsbaketoo.com. Subscription boxes will be sent via UPS, and the prices listed online include shipping.
“My grandkids love to cook,” Jolly said. “They are comfortable making salsas, chicken Alfredo and, of course, cookies, cakes and pies.”
“They love the quality time spent learning baking skills that will last them a lifetime and the bonding time they will never forget,” she said. “Our baking time is full of fun, laughter and creativity.”
“So many parents today work, but when they see the joy baking together brings, they will find the time to do this. The kids will light up.”
Free Hurricanes at Mardi Gras event
Mardi Gras is coming to Downtown Temple on March 4.
That’s the theme for next month’s First Friday event, and several businesses are planning to celebrate in style.
Details of block parties and Mardi Gras celebrations will be released during the next three weeks, but here’s one you definitely want to know about.
Total Elegance Creations, located on South Main in part of the old In The Mood Ballroom, will turn its events center into a New Orleans-style party complete with beads, Zydeco music and free Hurricanes. Yep, free.
“DJ Dav, a Temple veteran, will be playing the Zydeco tunes for your dancing pleasure,” said Tit’a Charleston, who owns Total Elegance Creations on Main Street along with her husband, Ennis.
“Our entertainment committee is busy working to bring great fun for everyone,” she said. “We will start our small second line in front of our building. We don’t have a brass band, so we will just dance with umbrellas. It will be fun and different.”
The second line will start at 6:30 p.m.
“We will be offering photo shoots with our 360 camera for $10,” she said. “It’s going to be about Mardi Gras masks, memorabilia and beads, beads and more beads.”
More First Friday news to come!
Gospel legends coming to The Expo
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Festival of Praise — a night of music, prayer and celebration with some of the biggest names in gospel — has been set for April 9 at the Bell County Expo Center.
“I think this is going to be a festival that everyone needs at this point,” said Gospel Music Hall of Fame Hezekiah Walker, winner of two Grammys and a Soul Train award.
“It’s been a trying two years with COVID, and Festival of Praise will bring a much-needed release,” he said. “Come to a night of festival and worship and bring the family — it’s going to be a great time.”
In addition to Walker, Festival of Praise will feature two other gospel greats — Fred Hammond and Israel Houghton.
“The festival has been around for years, but this is my first tour,” Walker said today from Pennsylvania. “It’s more than a concert — it’s a festival. Traditional concerts bring one act out at a time. We’re not like that. We’ll all three be on stage, singing each other’s music.”
“We will be doing more than singing with our band and backup singers,” Walker said. “We will deliver a message of praise and introduce the crowd to Jesus Christ. It will be a two-hour experience to remember.”
Festival of Praise, like most musical acts, took two years off the road because of the pandemic. Walker said the tour is coming to Central Texas for the first time, and it will be a “hand-clapping, foot-stomping get-up-out-of-your-seat worship explosion with production and stage sets unmatched in any gospel tour.”
Like Walker, Hammond and Houghton are no strangers to gospel music lovers.
Hammond has been a leading pioneer of gospel music since 1985. As the creator of the ‘Urban Praise & Worship’ program, Hammond has influenced Pop superstars such as Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Jamie Foxx.
Hammond was recently included in Essence Magazine’s list of the “50 Greatest Male Singers of All Time,” and he has collaborated with Snoop Dogg and Kanye West.
Houghton is a six-time Grammy-winning gospel singer-songwriter, band leader, and innovator whose 20-year career with the musical collective NewBreed.
Festival of Praise will begin at 7:30 p.m. and tickets range from $22 to $52. Tickets are available at bellcountyexpo.com.