Whimsical Delicata Squash

I thought of this as I was driving home from an intense day at work, and looked forward to throwing together the layers of this recipe. I added ingredients by sight, taste, and feel—which is the most satisfying way to cook—and provided a nice antidote to the measured pace of my work day.


  • 2 delicata squash
  • 1/4 of a large onion, chopped
  • 1 c. vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1-1/2 c. red lentils
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 c. chopped fresh greens: Swiss chard or spinach
  • 1 c. grated mozarella
  • 1/2 c. pine nuts, toasted
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Remove the seeds from the squash, coat very lightly with oil (or spray oil) and place cut side down on parchment. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven.

While the squash is baking, in a medium saucepan, saute the onion in a little olive oil, then stir in the lentils to coat with oil. Gradually stir in chicken stock until the broth is about 1/2 inch above the lentils. Stir in the ginger, coriander, and turmeric, and lemon zest. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes, adding more stock as needed. Salt and pepper to taste.

Saute the greens and garlic in a little olive oil, just until barely wilted, then remove from heat.

Construct the squash: Place the squash into a fresh baking pan. Fill with lentil mixture until level with the cut edge. Sprinkle on mozarella cheese and place under the broiler just until melted. Remove from oven and, using tongs, place on some greens. Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.

Orange-Chocolate Almond Bites (gluten free)

sm Orange-Chocolate Almond Bites IMG_0563

These cookies are soft and delicate. The nuttiness of the almond flour blends elegantly with the chocolate and touches of orange and cinnamon—a lovely treat for those who don’t eat gluten (also great for Passover).

makes 20


  • 2 c. almond flour
  • 2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. orange zest
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1/4 c. sour milk or buttermilk
  • 1/4 c. chocolate chips (mini chips are preferred)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  1. Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and orange zest.
  2. Cut in butter
  3. Stir in chocolate chips
  4. Stir in the milk, until just combined
  5. Drop by teaspoon-fulls onto prepared baking sheet. They can be placed fairly close together since they don’t spread much.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes.


For other tasty bakes:

You Can’t Have Dry Coffee: Papa’s Excuse to Have a Nosh And Nana’s Perfect Pastries

Dry Coffee promo

Cheddar and Rosemary Soda Bread

cheese and rosemary soda bread photo2

This is delicious with soup for supper, or to accompany your eggs for breakfast. Serve it hot out of the oven.

Serves 4


  • 2 c. flour. We use all “white whole wheat,” or half white flour, half whole wheat flour. [for gluten-free, substitute in your favorite all-purpose, gluten-free flour]
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbs. fresh rosemary: chop 1 Tbs.; reserve 1 tbs. for topping
  • 3/4 c. sour milk or buttermilk  (To make sour milk: put a scant tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup, then add milk to get to the 3/4 cup mark.) [for gluten-free, decrease milk to 2/3 c.]


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  1. Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. Cut in butter.
  3. Mix in the cheese and 1 Tbs. chopped rosemary.
  4. Stir in milk.
  5. Mix until just incorporated–don’t over mix.
  6. Shape dough into a ball, using a little flour to prevent sticking.
  7. Place onto a prepared baking sheet (greased, or lined with parchment), then flatten until about 2″ thick.
  8. Dust top lightly with flour, then slit a deep cross into the dough, cutting almost (but not quite) through the depth. Decorate top with remaining rosemary.
  9. Bake for 20–25 mins.

cheese and rosemary soda bread photo1


Make it Gluten Free! Substitute in your favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, and decrease the amount of milk to 2/3 cup. Here’s the result (below).

sm gluten free soda bread IMG_0554


For other tasty bakes: You Can’t Have Dry Coffee: Papa’s Excuse to Have a Nosh And Nana’s Perfect Pastries

Dry Coffee promo




hummus IMG_0088 sm

The variety of hummus in the stores these days has exploded—along with the price of this simple spread. Dry legumes are extremely affordable, and when you see how easy this is to make, and how delicious when eaten fresh, you might reconsider paying for store-bought.

To cook the beans, combine the following, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 3 hours, or until the beans are quite soft. Save the liquid.

  • 1 pound dried garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)
  • 8 c. water
  • 1 tbs. salt

Combine the following in a food processor. Process until smooth.

  • cooked garbanzo beans
  • 3/4 c. of the reserved cooking liquid—or just enough to achieve desired consistency*
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2  tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil

When very smooth, pulse in

  • 3 Tbs. chopped parsley

*Room-temperature tahini will be thin, but will thicken when refrigerated. Keep this in mind when adding liquid


A new twist to an old slaw

This wasn’t fancy, but in addition to adding a little sparkle to last night’s dinner, we all had a delicious serving of raw broccoli. Raw broccoli—not my favorite way to enjoy a vegetable, but this is lovely! It’s light, fresh, and lemony, with the seeds adding a wonderful nutty depth.

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Lemony Broccoli Slaw with Sunflower Seeds

  • 1 12-oz bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • juice of one juicy lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • dash of garlic powder
  • a grind of fresh pepper
  • 1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and lemon juice, stir in the sugar until dissolved. In a larger bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Serve with an extra sprinkle of sunflower seeds.


Gluten-free, Dairy-free Challah

For the people I love who do not eat gluten, I think you’ll really enjoy this bread. This is the most unusual dough I’ve ever worked with. It is stretchy and very thin, and is very entertaining to watch rise and then gently flow over the lip of the bread pan. It got tremendous reviews at dinner last night.

In a large bowl in your mixer, combine and let sit until bubbly:

  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. yeast
  • 1 c. warm water

Then add:

  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk (save egg white for brushing top of loaf)
  • 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil

Stir in:

  • 1-1/3 c. rice flour
  • 1-1/4 c. tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. salt

Beat on high for 2 minutes. Cover and let rise for 1 hour, then beat again for another 2 minutes. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with some olive oil, and flour it using rice flour. Transfer the dough into the pan, and let rise for 45 minutes.

Very gently brush the top of the dough with a mixture of:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbs. honey

Sprinkle with:

  • poppy seeds or sesame seeds

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 mins. After about 15 minutes, when the top gets brown, loosely place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top to prevent burning.



If, like me, you’re tired of paying $4.50 for a box of cereal, spend the five minutes it takes to make your own. Instead of shopping for prepared dry cereal, pick up some old fashioned oats, wheat germ, unsweetened coconut, some nuts and dried fruit.

This really does only take five minutes to mix up, then sit down with your morning newspaper and a good cup of coffee, while it bakes for 30 minutes.


  • 2 c. old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/3 c. wheat germ*
  • 1/3 c. wheat bran*
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 c. each of any or all of the following: almonds, pecans, dried fruit (currants, raisins, cherries), sunflower seeds

Put aside the dried fruit, mix the rest together, spread onto a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring every 8 minutes or so. Allow to cool completely, stir in the dried fruit, and store in an air-tight container.

For an elegant breakfast, try a breakfast parfait.

*To make this a gluten-free granola, substitute oat bran for the wheat bran and wheat germ.

Monster cookies

Most people won't have a bowl big enough to handle this recipe, so go ahead and divide it by 2, 3 or 4.

A recipe that starts with “12 eggs beaten” and also includes three entire jars of peanut butter, catches my attention. My friend Debi gave me this one, telling me that she made these when her kids were little and that they loved them. I’ve made them before by cutting the recipe into 1/3 or 1/4, but yesterday I decided to get out my BIG bowl and do the full batch. Wow. These are heavy cookies, with no flour (gluten free), and if you can look the other way on the chocolate, the oats and peanut butter make them a fairly healthy cookie.

Monster Cookies (I lost count, but think I came up with about 10 dozen)

  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • 2 pounds brown sugar
  • 2 c. white sugar
  • 1/4 c. vanilla
  • 8 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 pounds peanut butter
  • 18 c. quick oats
  • 1 pound chocolate chips
  • 1 pound M&Ms (optional)
  • 1 pound butter, softened

Add ingredients, in the order given, mixing with each addition. Drop by large spoon, or scoop, onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Lovely, "healthy" cookies for my little monsters.

(No flour!) Peanut Butter Balls

When you have a taste for a chocolatey cookie and you want it fast—this is the recipe to try.

These have to be the easiest cookies to make, and with only 5 ingredients you can enjoy them warm from the oven in about 20 minutes. This also makes a terrific starter recipe for young cooks.

Peanut Butter Balls

Mix together the following ingredients, then form into 1″ balls, place on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

  • 1 c. peanut butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. mini (or regular sized) chocolate  chips

An Old Fashioned Kind of Wife and Mother?

Cherry-almond granola bars.

Am I crazy because I make my kid’s and husband’s lunches?

I used to make my own lunch for work and it just seemed logical to make one for my husband as well. Now I’m making a lunch for my son (his school does not have a cafeteria) to take to school, and it’s not much more effort to make for two. So throughout the school year, I go ahead and make Doug’s lunch. He would gladly make his own lunch (and I must say that he has no expectations that I do this for him), but it gives me great pleasure to know that my people have what they need to get through the day. I also should mention that my son is 15 and is capable of making his own lunch, but what he chooses to take is often inadequate. And so I fix the lunch bags. The lunches are simple, and we try to hit all the food groups: 1 sandwich of either a nut butter with homemade jam, or maybe a meat and cheese always on whole wheat bread; 1 raw vegetable; 1 fruit; 1 dessert or snack bar; 1 yogurt for Doug.

Doug enjoys a sweet with his morning coffee and is fond of cereal/snack/granola bars. Unfortunately we are sometimes reduced to buying the over-the-counter, highly processed varieties. These doughy, fruit filled or chocolate-infused briquettes are sad little candy bars in disguise. I do not eagerly purchase these. And our son, Max, is growing so fast that his caloric needs are huge, so I try and include a lot of protein-rich, calorie-packed items in his lunch sack.

So tonight I am lovingly making homemade granola bars, filled with peanut butter, oats, coconut, almonds and dried cherries. I know I’m going to receive more comments regarding the corn syrup, and just as I promised with the cookies the other night, I will try this with honey the next time. I also stir in a few chocolate chips as a teaser for a certain small person in our house.

These are not low-cal granola bars. They are high in fat and packed with sugar, to be sure. They are also loaded with real fruit and nuts, wheat germ and oats. One bar a day is plenty.

Tomorrow morning I will happily make the nut butter and homemade jam sandwich, and plop it in a well-used lunch bag along with a bag of raw carrots, a fruit, a yogurt and a lovingly prepared homemade granola bar. I’ll even send one off to school with our youngest, Joe, and take one for myself to have with my morning coffee.

Cherry-Almond Granola Bars

1. Mix together:

  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. corn syrup
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2/3 c. almond butter or peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. almond extract

2. Stir in:

  • 3 c. quick oats (or 2 c. quick and 1 c. old fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 c. packed coconut
  • 1/2 c. wheat germ or wheat bran (omit if you want it gluten-free)
  • 2/3 c. slivered almonds
  • 1 c. dried cherries
  • 1/4-1/3 c. chocolate chips

3. Press into a greased 9 x 12 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Score lightly while still warm; cut through when cool.