A Few Words About Us

Francine, Deb, Melanie, Ellen and Sherrie started the first official Cookie Party in 1996 and have been celebrating each holiday season since, with Cookies and Cocktails™ at their annual cookie exchange.

Sherrie Wilkolaski

Ms. Wilkolaski is the team leader on the Cookies and Cocktails™ cookbook project.  Her work in the self published book industry has provided the opportunity to make this cookbook dream a reality.   She never has really been found of cooking, but her passion for baking blossomed soon after finding Dan, the love of her life.  He loves her low-fat pumpkin bread and you’ll find his favorite Dried Cranberry-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies recipe in her chapter of Cookies and Cocktails™.   Sherrie is originally from Buffalo, NY but has lived in Raleigh, NC for almost 20 years.  She loves to sing Karaoke and owns her own publishing company.  Her dog Zoe is also a huge fan of her baking.

Francine Boecher

A banking business guru, Francine Boecher is a whiz in the kitchen.  Pulling a meal together at the drop of the hat, her husband Darren and one-year old son Ethan, can’t get enough of her cooking.  Her 85 lb. black lab, Jade is also proof that she can cook.  Mrs. Boecher was an original “cookie party” founder, but has missed more parties than most.  Also, from Buffalo and younger sister to Sherrie, she lived briefly in Raleigh then moved to Chicago, to NY to Boston and now lives in Queensbury, NY.  She’s always only a phone call away at the annual Cookies and Cocktails™ Party and never truly misses out on the event.

Deb Harrison

Mrs. Harrison loves to pull recipes from Southern Living magazine and she can always find a quick and simple recipe that tastes amazing.  Husband Chris and five year old son Alec always have a delicious chocolaty dessert waiting for them to taste.  Originally from Ithaca, NY, Deb headed to Raleigh right after graduating from Buffalo State College.  In her free time you can find Deb playing Bunco or attending her son’s soccer games.  Deb and her husband love to travel and always find time to get away from it all.  She works as a project team lead at a local pharmaceutical company and always the life of the party.

Melanie Wahlbrink

Healthy cooking is just part of Melanie’s everyday life.  A long-time subscriber of Cooking Light magazine, Mrs. Wahlbrink can always be found trying a new recipe and ending up with a healthy meal on her plate.  Her husband Steve is the main cook of the household, but Mel knows how to end the meal with a delicious and health conscious desert.  From her pumpkin cookies to low-fat chocolate chip cookies, she always has a healthy recipe up her sleeve.  You can find her keeping healthy by running after her six year old daughter Katie or running first thing every morning at the gym.  Melanie works as a paralegal at a local law firm and is an original Raleigh native.

Ellen Whittington

Simple cooking is what Ellen is all about.   She’s got her hands full with husband Scott and daughter Bree so her recipes are always full-proof with no muss, no fuss.   Ellen has taken time off from her marketing career to focus on raising her daughter, an incredible full time venture.  Living in Salisbury, NC has kept her away from a few of the annual Cookies and Cocktails™ parties, but when she does make it back to Raleigh, it’s always worth the trip.