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 was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.