I am touched by the flood of stories, recipes, and photos many of you shared with me following my seven WORDS OF HOPE e-mails about HOPE, LOVE, JOY, PEACE, COURAGE,  COMPASSION, EMPATHY and HAPPINESS! 
I hope we all continue to find ways to turn the daily routine of dinners into special, meaningful occasions with connecting conversations while Sheltering-in-Place (and beyond!) whether solo, with family, or with your family of friends.
Here are some favorite recipes from our family that I'd like to share with you. I HOPE they warm your heart and tickle the chef in you.

CLASSIC Sugar Cookies
adapted from epicurious

INGREDIENTS   makes 3-4 dozen cookies depending on the size

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a medium bowl, whisk flour and salt together. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until just combined. Reduce the speed to low and gradually blend in the flour mixture; mix until just combined.

Form dough into two equal-sized balls and flatten into discs. Wrap both in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Layout 2 layers parchment paper about 18 inches long. Working with one disc at a time, roll out dough between the layers of parchment to ¼ inch thickness. Cut as many cookies as possible with cookie cutters. Arrange cookies 1-1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet and chill 15 minutes. Gather dough scarps into a disc and chill until firm.

Bake cookies until golden brown at the edges (rotating baking sheets) for 16-18 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


New York Times Cooking by Melissa Clark


  • 3 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Food coloring, as desired


Combine sugar, eggs whites, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk until stiff and glossy.

To tint the frosting, divide into small bowls. Cover bowls you are not using with plastic wrap; the frosting dries out very quickly. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the desired food coloring.

Transfer frosting to piping bags fitted with small round tips, or cut a small hole in the tip of the tubes. Pipe frosting onto the cooled cookies and let set for 2 hours so the frosting can harden.

Frosting can be stored in an air-tight container for several days in the refrigerator.



2021 is a year to:





It’s SO GOOD, IT’S GONE Chickpea Salad
A recipe created by Chef Edith

Combine ingredients:
Chickpeas – 2 cans (drain and wash) * or 2-3 cups freshly made**Spices *   **
Small red onion - minced
Tomatoes – 2-3 medium sized chopped
Cucumber – 5” to 7” long, quartered the long way and sliced thin
Parsley + Dill – one handful finely chopped

Dress with:
Balsamic vinegar

* Directions for using canned chickpeas
Drain and wash chickpeas
Mix a little cumin and olive oil – combine with chickpeas

** Directions for using dry chickpeas:
Wash and rinse 2ish cups of chickpeas and soak in water for 4-10 hours.
Drain and place chickpeas a deep pot with a glug of olive oil.
Cover chickpeas with 2” of water, add spices***, put lid on pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for 1.5-2 hours, testing and stirring often after simmering starts.

***Combine spices and add to chickpeas: 3 garlics cloves lightly crushed, salt, pepper, cumin seed, oregano, chili flakes, rosemary, any smoky spice you have, low-sodium vegetable-based bouillon


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