Escape: One Day We Had to Run


5 years & up

Refugee Experiences


Lived Experiences

Social-Emotional Learning

Ming & Wah Chen, Carmen Vela


I had the opportunity to do the cover reveal for this book, and I’m so excited that it’s out in the world now! For #SweetsAndSocialJustice I found a recipe that put a new spin on one of my favorite cookies: oatmeal chocolate chip. This recipe, found during my free trial of NYT Cooking is salty dark chocolate ganache stuffed oatmeal cookies, and they’re very delicious. I suggest making two batches if you’re going to have to share…

Escape is a powerful book, and takes a global perspective on the various situations that catalyze the need for immigration. Escape isn’t so much as a narrative story, but instead has a collection of summarized stories about different refugee experiences from various folks throughout both the world and history. Eurocentric imperialism and colonialism is very often (if not always) at the root of the events that cause the need to flee. In Escape, stories are categorized under traits that also describe the individual’s story such as Soar, Stowaway, and Defy. This book doesn’t shy away from the events that are the predecessor to needing to leave home, and also empowers those that made the courageous choice to flee, survive, and thrive.

This book was published by Lantana, and sent by Publisher Spotlight. All opinions and decisions to review are my own.

The recipe below was found on this website, but unfortunately after the free trial there’s a paywall! The ingredients are taken directly from the website, but I note where I’ve deviated from them slightly. The directions are written as my own changes to the ones stated from the online recipe. When I make these again, I may lessen up the granulated sugar a bit!

Recipe: Chocolate-Stuffed Oatmeal Cookies


  • 1 stick butter
  • ¾ c dark brown sugar
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1.5 c oats
  • 1 c all-purpose flour (I use a gluten free replacement)
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ½ t salt


  • 3 T heavy cream ( I used half and half)
  • ¾ cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  • Big pinch kosher salt
  1. I first made the filling. Heat the cream in a pan, or a glass microwave dish (this is what I did). Add the rest of the ingredients into the hot cream and let sit for a minute or so (the chocolate will soften and melt). Whisk until smooth, and pour into a container that the hardened ganache will be easy to get out of. Put in fridge and chill until firm.
  2. Cream the butter and both sugars, add the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. I used my stand mixer for this recipe!
  3. Add the dries, and mix until combined. I scooped the dough with a cookie scoop and flattened them slightly, placing on a cookie sheet or Tupperware container, or just back into the mixing bowl (which is what I did). My scoop is .25c, so I scooped, split the scoop in half, and flattened each half. I got 12 scoops, or 24 flattened pieces of dough. But you can use whatever size you want! Chill for about an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Count how many discs of flattened dough you have, and break or cut the filling into that amount, halved. Example: 24 discs, 12 chocolate pieces. It’s totally fine if the chocolate breaks a bit; just make sure you have equal piles. Take one disc of cookie dough and set a piece of chocolate filling into the center. Put another flattened piece of cookie dough on top of the chocolate filling. Use your hands to seal the dough around the filling, forming a large cookie. Repeat until all is used up.
  5. Bake until set and relatively flat, it was 18-20 minutes in my oven. Let cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Ming & Wah Chen

Ming and Wah Chen are identical twins who love history, plucky heroes, and anything by Agatha Christie. Graduates of Harvard and Columbia Universities respectively, they have previously published two children’s books and live in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Carmen Vela

CARMEN is a designer and artist, and she has been a continuous traveller for over a decade.

After graduating in Communication Sciences in southern Spain, she gained a Master of Arts at Central Saint Martins University in London with a focus on editorial design and a passion for image-making and collaboration. She has been working and living out of various cities since then, including London, Hong Kong, Berlin, and New York.

In her commercial practice, she has worked as a solo maker and she has managed teams in large productions. She was a Creative Director in a global company for three years overseeing work across the South East Asia region.

CARMEN now spends part of the year based out of Sevilla, Andalucia.

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