The Starving Artist Cookbook, Plus Oatmeal Cookies Recipe & How to Make an Origami Gift Box


A note from Maggie

Sara Zin is an incredible artist. Her delicate and delicious-looking illustrations of food are works of art … which also make me hungry. Thankfully, Sara’s new cookbook, The Starving Artist Cookbook: Illustrated Recipes for First-Time Cooks, features a recipe alongside each piece of artwork so you can eat what’s on the page.

I am thrilled to have Sara join us to talk about one of her favorite food gifts from her book, as well as provide a really cool way to wrap it. You can read more about Sara on her blog, as well as see a myriad of her work–some of which she sells on Etsy (YAY!).

We are even giving away a copy of her new cookbook. See all the details below. Now I’m off to bake cookies and try my hand at origami. You’re the best, Sara.

These oatmeal cookies are more than just a snack to me. They are a reminder of my sweet and serendipitous cooking journey, from deciding to learn how to cook, to the release of my book “The Starving Artist Cookbook: Illustrated Recipes for First-Time Cooks.” It’s a lot for a simple cookie recipe to convey, but as I bite into these cookies, it always brings me back to a sunny afternoon in November, when my dear neighbors, Jan and Harry, invited my husband and I to join their Thanksgiving gathering.

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It was held in a grove of oaks on the Danielson campgrounds in Sycamore Canyon. Tucked away, about five miles into the park is a large stone fireplace and the remnants of an old ranch which has been converted into a picnic area. It was a truly special event, with kids running around, tables of delicious potluck, and the rustic smell of a cozy fire. We ate, joked around, sang, ate some more, and I could not stop eating these cookies. Jan and her children Carrie and Jason had made them and when I asked for the recipe, they graciously shared it and allowed me to include it in my cookbook.

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It seems like so long ago now, but I’m beyond grateful to them for sharing not only this recipe but also that wonderful experience. It has remained a delightful reminder of such lovely people and memories. I make these cookies quite frequently and since it’s become my go-to gift, I started making this origami box from 2 sheets of square parchment paper. It’s an easy and pretty alternative to the typical plastic containers. Here are the box directions and Jan’s oatmeal cookie recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

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GIVEAWAY is now closed and a winner has been chosen! Thank you to everyone who entered. 

Win Your Very Own Copy of The Starving Artist Cookbook: Illustrated Recipes for First-Time Cooks

TO ENTER: Simply tell us what your most memorable cookie is and why in the comments section below.

Every share on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram earns another entry too — just share this post with #foodgiftlove and leave a comment here with the link(s) to your social media profile.

We’ll randomly pick a winner on Thursday, June 30, 2016. If your name is picked, we’ll notify you between July 1-2 and ship to you directly shortly thereafter. Please reply within 48 hours, or we’ll need to choose another winner. (Don’t forget the fine print: We can only ship to the continental U.S. addresses.)



  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup mini baking chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Heat the butter until slightly melted.
  4. Add the butter, egg, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Spoon or roll the batter into quarter-sized balls, and place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake each batch for 10 to 12 minutes, and let cool completely.


  • 2 sheets parchment paper


  1. Follow instructions in the above photo to make an origami box.
Photos taken by and recipe courtesy of Sara Zin

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique​–​a food​-​retail concept space ​with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.

Follow Eat Boutique’s founder Maggie here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Follow Eat Boutique here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.


  • Tina A Nichols

    I got my first cookbook from Scholastics when I was in the 1st grade and the cookie recipe was for Snickerdoodles. To this day, I still use that cookbook and I make those cookies just like I did when I was 6.

  • Alex H

    It’s so hard to choose a favorite (who doesn’t love a good cookie?), but one of my favorite memories is making Peanut Butter Criss-Cross cookies with my Mom and siblings when we were young. There was nothing more fun than sneaking little pieces of salty, peanutty dough and impressing those signature hatch marks into the cookie with a dinner fork.

  • Susan Huff

    My Cosmic Cookie – I blended all my favorite grains and seeds and lots of peanut butter with fresh eggs and make them HUGE – I get rave reviews and most of all they are so loved by the people I love – It made my cafe’ a place to go for COSIMCS!!

  • Peggy Witter

    My grandma’s recipe for molasses cookies…. she always had them for me when we came to visit which was rare as we were a military family. My mom also made them every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. When my boys were young I started making them with my boys. Now that the eldest are grown and both on they own these are the cookies I mail them when they are deployed or just a little homesick as they ship so well.

  • Peggy Witter

    Ugh between a barometric induced migraine and lack of sleep I am struggling with how to link to my social media profiles….. posted to all three. FB, IG, and Twitter.

  • Lauren McGinnis

    Every year as a kid I looked forward to going to our family reunion in Clear Lake, Iowa, and eating my Great Aunt Jo’s snickerdoodles.

  • Patti Dougherty

    Oldie, but goodie…Toll House chocolate chip cookies. I’ve been baking them for 40 years and they have been my father’s, my husband’s and son’s favorite. Every time I try a different recipe, they have complained.

  • evita101

    My grandmother in Poland used to make me my favorite Polish cookies called “kocie oczka” which translates to cat’s eyes. They are jam (usually strawberry) sandwich cookies which have a small opening on the top layer, thus the name! They are sooooo good, I hope you look them up! 🙂 I don’t live in Europe anymore so I don’t spend as much time as I used to in Poland, but I can now make these cookies and it takes me back to her farm in southwest Poland where I have many a fond memory…

  • Barby Ganulin

    my grandma’s rugelah…deliciousness

  • Barby Ganulin

    my grandma’s rugelah…deliciousness!

  • Sarah Strobel Hill

    Several years ago, magnolia bakery had lemon cookie ice cream sandwhiches that were absolutely incredible. I dream about them sometimes.

  • Dianne V

    My gram’s “S” cookies always made Christmas special.

  • 0796616

    This is my most memorable cookie: I was 5 years old and had just finished my first piano recital. I saw a plate of chocolate chip cookies at the snack table, and was like YES, SCORE! I walked over and grabbed one, and bit into it- and realized it was oatmeal raisin. It was then I realized the world can be a dark place.

  • Sharyl Wolter

    My most memorable cookie is the Snowball because Mom and us girls always made them together around the holidays. Powdered sugar everywhere, lol!

  • MaryO

    I made oatmeal cookies for my mom all the time. I can’t bite into one without thinking of her!

  • Pamela

    Toll House chocolate-chip cookies – the simplicity of the recipe and the oh-so gooey chocolate chips cookies eaten w/a glass of ice cold milk. Pamela

  • Adriane McCain

    My all time favorite is wedding cookies or Russian tea cookies. The ground almond shortcake cookies with powdered sugar. I was introduced to them when I married into my in-laws and we have them only at Christmas each year. It’s one of my favorite parts of Christmas!

  • Taylor Schwartz

    My most memorable cookie – sand tarts with my grandmother every Holiday season. We’d cut out every thing from holly leaves to Santa with a belly and a sack full of toys. And of course, decorating was my favorite part.

  • DJohnson

    Snickerdoodle Cookies because my Granny and I used to make them every time I went to her house. It was our own little tradition.

  • Flynn

    The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe because every time someone tastes it, it’s a revelation.

  • DJohnson