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I always joke that IKEA is my second home but for some, it’s their only home! I’m talking about the Sicilian strays. Sicily has an enormous problem with strays. Their struggle is so bad that as I was shopping in the lamp section a few weeks ago (for a ridiculously cute and well priced floor lamp that I will show you later) I was brushed by a Shepard mix! At the check out line were two more large mutts just napping away as people walked by.

I’ve always been obsessed with dogs. I can pretty much call out any breed I see thanks to a book titled “Dogs” that I carried around like a pocket bible for two years in middle school. Because of this, the moment I landed and witnessed the large population of Sicilian strays I knew I wanted to get involved.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts we adopted our cutie patootie who we named Vincenzo from a local shelter in Catania. Still, rescuing one pup just wasn’t enough and I couldn’t stop there. I got in touch with a local Sicilian lady (originally from Poland) named Ania. Ania is such an angel if I’ve ever seen one. The daily sacrifices she makes for these animals is unreal. Ania works the usual 9-5 schedule, picks her daughter up from school, and gets right into rescue mode. Some nights she’s out till 11pm taking strays to the vet after an 8 hour shift! When I first met Ania, every blood exam, shot, and bowl of food came out of her own pocket. Some days, she’d even go into overdraft just to get a stray ready for adoption.

I teamed up with Ania to raise awareness and money to help continue, and expand, what she had already started. Since our Go-Fund-Me and Facebook page “Save a Sigonella Stray” were started we’ve received so much support from members of the community and raised over two thousand dollars. I recently organized a yard/bake-sale where all my friends came together to donate items they no longer use in an effort to raise money for our cause. In total, we raised 119 dollars and 294 euro. This all leads me to my purpose of this post!

My favorite cookies ever are good ol’ fashioned chocolate chip. But for this bake sale I wanted to a recipe that was a little more exciting for the sake of making some money! I decided on this red velvet cookie recipe with white chocolate chips and drizzle. I will say, they are more cakier┬áthat your typical chocolate chip but still, delicious red velvet cake cookies they are! (especially for being out of a box)

Ingredients: makes 18 medium/large cookies

  • 1 box of red velvet cake mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup of ┬ácanola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine cake mix, flour, eggs, oil, white chocolate chips, and vanilla extract in large bowl.
  3. Mix until smooth.
  4. Using a cookie scoop or by-hand scoop out a ping-pong ball sized scoop.
  5. Place scoops on a non-stick baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes.
  7. Once cookies are done, let them stand for 5 minutes.
  8. Microwave about 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chip in 30 second intervals, stirring between intervals.
  9. With a knife of other utensil (I used the handle of my spoon) drizzle the melted white chocolate over




  • Avatar
    Lynn Woods July 1, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    These look so incredibly good! Red velvet AND white chocolate? I’m in heaven! Pinning for later.

    • Avatar
      HIShadiaHarper July 1, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      Thank you! They were delicious, definitely try it and let me know what you think!

  • Avatar
    Pam Avoledo July 2, 2017 at 12:42 am

    OMG! Why haven’t I had these? They look wonderful!

  • Avatar
    Tiffany Fontaine July 3, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    These look amazing – I can not wait to try these out next week. x


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