Birthday of the Trees with Pecan & Fig Biscotti

I wrestled with my warmest waterproof boots, grabbed my camera and began to hunt for signs of spring last week. There were spots of snow everywhere but some sunnier patches in my yard made way for tufts of bright green shoots. Good thing I was looking then, since temps have plummeted into the Arctic zone in the Northeast this week.

Not even writing this post could prompt me to take off my gloves to click the shutter with bare finger tips when it’s ten degrees out there. Like everything in life, it’s all in the timing.

Since I started writing this blog, I have committed to this ritual of searching for unexpected growth pushing through the frozen land. I love hunting for these subtle early harbingers of spring as we prepare to celebrate Tu Bishvat, the Jewish birthday of the trees. Continue reading

Candle 79 Lights the Way


photo: Mimi Giboin

I’ll admit to feeling a quick flutter of excitement when friends suggest eating together and the expectation is that I chose the “perfect” spot.

I rapidly flip through my mental rolodex, wondering if they want the meal to comfort them or blow them away with offbeat creations? Do they want a hip, cacophonous environment or a conversation friendly dining room?

When I ask these questions, I often get the hand-wave and hopeful “YOU chose”. Continue reading

Trust this Cooking Coach

When news of Susie Fishbein’s eighth cookbook in her Kosher By Design series arrived on my laptop, I wondered what could be new from one of my go-to favorite cookbook authors?

Yes, I am a big fan of this Jersey girl, but I needed to be convinced that her latest would provide me with more than just another collections of great recipes. With four of Fishbein’s previous volumes in my collection of the many cookbooks I was sure I couldn’t live without,  I was looking for something truly unique in Kosher By Design Cooking Coach.

Mission Accomplished and here’s why: Continue reading