2022 is the Year of the Tiger:




I am touched by the flood of stories, recipes, and photos many of you shared with me following my 7 WORDS OF HOPE e-mails about 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 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 - including my Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie I've tweaked over time. I HOPE they warm your heart and tickle the chef in you.

Mary’s - Show Some VALENTINE Love - Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

BUTTER MIXTURE                                  Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups whole wheat flour
6 cups whole oatmeal
1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon soda
2 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Dash of cayenne pepper 

2 cup walnuts (large pieces)
1 package bittersweet chocolate chips
1 package milk chocolate chips (large chips)

Cream butter and sugars.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Cream well until mixture is light and fluffy.
Mix flour mixture in a large bowl.
Add flour mixture one cup at a time to the butter mixture.
Stir in nut and chocolate mixture one cup at a time by hand.

Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Scoop dough in a small ice cream scoop (dip in water so dough doesn’t stick) and place 2” apart on baking sheet. Gently flatten with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 8-10 minutes for a soft cookie, 10-12 minutes for a crispier cookie.

Divide the dough for the freezer – scoop dough into 1” balls and place in a freezer bag. Pull-out, thaw and bake in a moment’s notice for a special treat.


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.



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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