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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Miss America contestant creates cookbook

Miss Point Mallard Katie Malone is using her platform in the Miss America Organization to make an impact for struggling families this holiday season. Malone has created a cookbook to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama, featuring recipes from local and national celebrities.

The Ronald McDonald House provides a place for families to stay while their critically ill children receive medical care. There is currently a house in both Birmingham and Mobile and a family room in DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa.

Malone, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism, has been involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama since her senior year in high school. She has held and participated in various events with the organization, including fundraisers and silent auctions, but Malone said she wanted to do something different.

“I wanted something that was out of the box,” Malone said. “So I thought about my interests, and it always came back to cooking. When I was a little girl, my grandmother was a caterer, so when we were in her house, there was always something in the oven, something on the stove, something we were helping her out with. I decided what a perfect way to raise funds through a cookbook.”

The cookbook includes over 465 recipes. Some of the famous names who contributed recipes include Nick Saban, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, Bill “Bubba” Bussey from the Rick and Bubba radio show, founder of the Ronald McDonald House of Alabama Marianne Sharbel and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan.

Malone also included several of her grandmother’s recipes but also contributed one of her own, “Super Clean Protein Salad.”

Malone would not say what recipe Saban contributed for the book.

“I’m not going to tell people; they need to buy it!” Malone said. “I have to say that when I received his recipe I was expecting something a little different than what he gave me, but, hey, that’s okay. It works, and it’s one of my favorites.”

Malone said it was one of her experiences at the Ronald McDonald House that inspired her to start working on the cookbook.

“A lot of times what I do to kind of explain it to people that don’t already know is I tell a story about a little boy that I met there, and his name was Kylen Tolbert, a 2-year-old from Mobile,” Malone said. “He had a very rare form of brain cancer. (Only) 17 percent of the kids that are diagnosed with it walk away from it. The only hospital he could get treatment from was Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham. Honestly that’s unfeasible for his mom to drive five hours a day for him to receive treatment, so the house provides a place for these families to stay while their child is receiving treatment for a terminal illness or waiting on a transplant.”

Kylen passed away on Feb. 9, 2013.

“The Ronald McDonald house is what made that relationship, and that’s something that has changed my life forever,” Malone said. “Even though Kylen’s story had a short end to it, a lot of these kids walk away with smiles on their faces, and they get to go home, and it is the sweetest thing to watch. They become family to the staff at the RMD House, and so it is hard to say goodbye. So it is hard to say goodbye, but you’re so happy to see them go home with beaming faces full of joy.”

Kathy Robson, development manager for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama, has been working with Malone for three years and has helped her implement the idea for the cookbook.

“Katie is very passionate about the house,” Robson said. “She cares deeply, and she’s such a hard worker. She’s the one that headed it all up. It was her idea, her passion and her drive that’s taken it to this point, and I’m just very proud of her. I think she’s an amazing young woman.”

The cookbook sells for $15 on her website,, at Butterflies in Fultondale and at Goody2Shoes in Decatur. Malone said she expects to raise over $7,000 with her first round of orders. All proceeds from the book sales go directly to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama.


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