Sfinge (Italian Doughnuts Filled with Ricotta)

October 22, 2021 |Categories: Food Columns | Tags: Desserts, Dairy, Doughnuts

Sfinge are Italian fried pastries similar to doughnuts.  They are rich and indulgent and take some time to make, but I think they are well worth the time, effort and calories.  Check out my December 2016 food column to learn more about sfinge.


Those of you who have been following my columns these past 6 years, may have noticed by the disproportionate number of dessert articles in the magazine, that I have an insatiable sweet tooth.  It should come as no surprise then that I’ll be capping off My Year Of Italy with—well—something sweet.  Sfinge, also known as Zeppole, are Italian fried pastries similar to doughnuts […]

Potato Gnocchi with Sausage Ragu

October 21, 2021 |Categories: Food Columns | Tags: Pasta, Rice, Grains

This recipe for potato gnocchi with a scrumptious sausage (kosher sausages are available) and tomato sauce takes some effort–but is definitely worth your time.  See my November 2016 food column for the Essex Fells Magazine (below) to learn how to make these tasty dumplings.


This 5-star recipe for Potato Gnocchi with Sausage Ragu is from Davide Odore, Master Chef at the Castello di Guarene, a magnificent restored 18th century palazzo/hotel overlooking the Langhe hills in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy.

Potato gnocchi are tiny potato dumplings.  They are light, pillowy and delicate in flavor—a perfect […]

Vegetarian Lasagna

October 20, 2021 |Categories: Food Columns | Tags: Pasta, Rice, Grains, Vegetarian, Dairy

This veggie lasagna is much lower in calories and more healthy than the traditional version that uses a tomato and meat sauce.  This is my favorite way to make lasagna–I think it’s more tasty than the traditional version.

Please see my recipe below as first published in the October 2016 issue of the Essex Fells Magazine.


The year of 2016 has been zipping by.  I just realized there are only three more months left for My Year Of Italy, and I have yet to write a column on lasagna.

We can trace the origins of lasagna back to the Middle Ages to Naples, Italy.  Traditional Neapolitan lasagna is made with layers of […]


October 19, 2021 |Categories: Food Columns | Tags: Vegetarian, Dairy

Your kids will love to help you make this pizza. You start with store bought pizza dough, which the kids will enjoy rolling and shaping. Then they ladle on some tomato sauce and make some fun designs with veggies and cheese on top of the pizza. See my Essex Fells Magazine September 2016 food column (below) to learn more about this recipe.


Since 2016 is My Year of Italy, and September is back to school month, and kids LOVE pizza, we’re going to have some fun with pizza–rolling, spreading, sprinkling, decorating and getting some veggies into the mix.

I’ve provided a kid-friendly basic pizza recipe with a […]


October 18, 2021 |Categories: Food Columns | Tags: Desserts, Dairy

I just love this enlightened version of cannoli which are usually deep fat fried. I use pizzelle to make my cannoli–no baking or frying required. My column on this tasty and refreshing treat appeared in the August 2016 issue of the Essex Fells Magazine.


Cannoli are Italian pastries originating from the island of Sicily. A staple of Sicilian cuisine, they are also popular in Italian-American cuisine.

Cannoli get their name from the Italian word “cannolo” which means “little tube”.  They consist of tube shaped shells of pastry dough which are […]


October 17, 2021 |Categories: Food Columns | Tags: Desserts, Dairy

Biancomangiare is a cool, smooth and creamy Sicilian dessert.  Check out my June food column (below) which appeared in the Essex Fells Magazine to find out more about this scrumptious dessert.


Biancomangiare is a traditional Sicilian white pudding. Dating back to the Middle Ages, biancomangiare, literally means “white food” or “white dish”, and derives its name from […]


October 15, 2021 |Categories: Food Columns | Tags: Desserts, Cookies and Biscotti, Dairy

Here’s a great recipe for cantucci (aka biscotti) that is easier and less time consuming to make than traditional biscotti, because these are baked only once, while biscotti are by definition twice baked.  This is a fun recipe to do with kids, as the ingredients can be mixed together by hand. See my article, below, for the May 2016 edition of the Essex Fells Magazine for a description of how this recipe came into my baking repertoire.

Cantucci are Tuscan dipping cookies.  They’re also known as biscotti in other regions of Italy as well as here in the U.S.  I learned how to make these almond studded beauties from […]

Ruvidelli With Pesto Trapanese Style

October 14, 2021 |Categories: Food Columns | Tags: Vegetarian, Pasta, Rice & Grains

Ruvidelli with Pesto Trapanese style has become my family’s favorite pasta dish. I wrote a column about it for the April 2016 issue of the Essex Fells Magazine. Enjoy!

True story: I learned how to make this scrumptious pasta dish from a Duchess! Early one morning, last October, a group of about ten of us met Duchess […]

Eggplant Parmesan

October 13, 2021 |Categories: Food Columns | Tags: Vegetables, Vegetarian, Pasta, Rice & Grains

I learned how to make this scrumptious authentic Eggplant Parmesan from a Tuscan chef in the fall of 2015.  Below is my March 2016 food column on the dish that appeared in the Essex Fells Magazine.


Last October, during our travels in Tuscany, Italy, my husband and I boarded a train in Florence and headed 29 miles southeast to the charming medieval town, Figline Valdarno, to take a private cooking class with […]

For the next 10 days I’ll be sharing some great Italian recipes collected during my travels in Italy in the fall of 2015.  Based on my travels, I wrote 10 food columns on Italian cuisine for the Essex Fells Magazine in 2016.  I hope you enjoy these stellar recipes!
My first article appeared in the February 2016 Essex Fells Magazine.  It was the month of Valentine’s Day, so my recipe was geared towards the holiday. 

Hazelnut Semifreddo with Gianduja Ganache

October 12, 2021 |Categories: Desserts, Food Columns | Tags: Desserts, Ice Cream & Frozen Treats, Valentine’s Day

In the fall of 2015, my husband and I took a three-week trip of a lifetime to beautiful Italy.  We started our adventure in Rome, then flew south to Sicily and north to the Piedmont region; we then journeyed east to Venice, west to the Tuscany region and concluded our extraordinary voyage […]

Jeweled Fruit Compote

This colorful and festive fruit compote was one of my first food columns in the Essex Fells Magazine. Add a couple of tablespoons of honey to the poaching liquid to make this a Rosh Hashanah dessert.

Jeweled Fruit Compote

September 3, 2021|Categories: Desserts, Food Columns, Rosh Hashanah | Tags: Cinnamon, Fruit, Honey

Here’s a recipe that will chase away the fruit salad doldrums. The kitchen smells heavenly as the pears simmer in their poaching liquid, redolent of vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and Amaretto. I like to serve the compote accompanied by […]

Honey Cookies

Honey Cookies

September 1, 2021|Categories: Cookies and Biscotti, Desserts, Rosh Hashanah | Tags: Honey

As always, I baked up a storm for the holidays—lots of round challahs; 3 cakes—Honey, Marble and Apple; two types of brownies—Honey and Dark Cocoa; two types of cookies—sugar and honey; 2 quick breads—banana and applesauce.  I can go on and on—but you get the drift—I like to bake—I probably bake too much—but, it’s a passion—I find it […]

Sugar Cookies

Kids just love these fun Rosh Hashanah sugar cookies. Use my recipe below to make these treats which first appeared in the October 2017 issue of the Essex Fells Magazine.

Rosh Hashanah Cookies

September 1, 2021|Categories: Cookies and Biscotti, Desserts, Food ColumnsRosh Hashanah | Tags: Baking, Cookies, Sugar, Sugar Cookies

Cookie baking season is upon us!  If you’re a cookie baking aficionado, you will want to add these to your repertoire. This recipe produces a sugar cookie for all seasons. You can use just about any cookie cutter on the dough—autumn leaves and turkeys for fall, snowflakes and menorahs for winter, butterflies and flowers for spring, ice cream cones and a smiley face sun for summer, just to name a few.

I’ve developed this easy recipe with great flavor and texture, that is sure to get an enthusiastic two thumbs up from all your cookie fans.  The dough is pre-rolled and […]

Apple Tarte and Caramel Apples

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for an apple tarte for Rosh Hashanah.  I first wrote about this delightful apple tarte for the October 2012 issue of the Essex Fells Magazine.

Apple Tarte and Caramel Apples

August 31, 2021|Categories: Desserts, Food Columns, Pies, Tarts and Tortes, Rosh Hashanah | Tags: Apples, Autumn

In celebration of autumn’s apple bounty, here are two quick and easy recipes.  The apple tart takes about 15 minutes to prep and then another 20 minutes to bake in the oven.  It is delicious as is, but it becomes sublime when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  The caramel apples are fun to make with children.  Get creative with the toppings!  In addition to the toppings recommended in the recipe, consider dipping the apples in […]

Honey Chiffon Cake

Not a fan of the dense and cloyingly sweet honey cakes? You will love this lighter, tastier version for Rosh Hashanah,  For the recipe, see my October 2013 food column in the Essex Fells Magazine for Honey Chiffon Cake, below.

Honey Chiffon Cake

August 29, 2021|Categories: Cakes, Desserts, Food ColumnsRosh Hashanah | Tags: Autumn, Cinnamon, Honey

As the days get shorter and the air is crisper and cooler, I am back in my kitchen baking after a summer hiatus.  One of my favorite cakes to bake during this season is Autumn Spiced Honey Chiffon cake. While this cake is baking, an ambrosial aroma of warm honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves wafts through the house. This scrumptious cake tastes as good as it looks and smells as good as it tastes. To my mind, it  is the quintessential […]



August 30, 2021|Categories: Side Dishes, Vegetables

This is my version of Tsimmes–a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dish of stewed vegetables and dried fruits.  It has sweet overtones to evoke a Sweet New Year.  “Tsimmes” is Yiddish for “fuss”.  This Tsimmes comes together quickly and […]

Braised Short Ribs in Barbecue Sauce

I wrote an article about these succulent ribs for the March 2014 Essex Fells Magazine.  They make a great main course for Rosh Hashanah.

Braised Short Ribs of Beef in Barbecue Sauce

August 30, 2021|Categories: Food Columns, Meat and Poultry, Rosh Hashanah | Tags: Comfort Food, Short Ribs

Here’s a real meat and potatoes treat for the holidays. Braised short ribs in barbecue sauce are tender and succulent and full of flavor.  For the ultimate comfort food, I like to serve the ribs on […]

Sweet and Sour Chicken

It’s been over 10 years since my recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken appeared in the Essex Fells Magazine. Sweet, tender and delicious, it is a perfect main course option for Rosh Hashanah.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

August 29, 2021|Categories: Food Columns, Meat and Poultry, Rosh Hashanah | Tags: Chicken, Dinner

Here’s my version of the ever popular Sweet and Sour Chicken. This dish evokes fond memories of the days when my children were still living at home. It was my family’s most requested meal. A hit with children, this recipe doubles as a delicious entree to serve your dinner guests. I like to serve Sweet and Sour Chicken accompanied with […]

Pineapple and Honey Glazed Corned Beef

I first wrote about this scrumptious glazed corned beef for the March 2013 issue of the Essex Fells Magazine. I have since made it for Rosh Hashanah and many other family holidays and get togethers.

Pineapple and Honey Glazed Corned Beef

August 29, 2021|Categories: Food Columns, Meat and Poultry, Rosh Hashanah | Tags: Honey, Pineapple

This delicious dish is my husband’s culinary claim to fame.  The first time he cooked this corned beef for one of our family holidays, it was such a hit with our immediate family, that there was nothing left to serve our guests.  We have since doubled the recipe to ensure that we have enough to go around.  I like to serve Steve’s corned beef with […]

Nanny Fela’s Chicken Soup With Matzoh Balls

This year Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Monday, September 6. Make sure to check in over the next couple of weeks for some of my favorite Rosh Hashanah recipes and some festive ideas for presentation.

Nanny Fela’s Chicken Soup With Matzoh Balls

August 27, 2021|Categories: Rosh Hashanah, Soups | Tags: Chicken, Family Favorite, Matzoh Balls

This is my Mom’s epic chicken soup.  Served with her fluffy, ethereal matzoh balls—this is my family’s most requested soup.  Nanny Fela’s chicken soup is a mainstay of my Rosh Hashanah […]

Veggie Chopped Liver

Veggie Chopped Liver

August 25, 2021|Categories: Appetizers, Rosh Hashanah, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tags: Liver

My family just loves this veggie chopped liver, which I like to serve in apple flower cups for Rosh Hashanah.  I’ve made some changes to the recipe, which is from […]

Signature Challah in the Round

My Rosh Hashanah dinner always begins with a freshly baked round challah which this year will be served along with the Star of David Challah of my previous post.

Signature Challah in the Round

August 25, 2021|Categories: Challah, Bread, Rosh Hashanah

My signature challah recipe is braided and then formed into a circle.  Honey is poured into a hollowed out apple or a small round dish which is placed into the center of the challah for a lovely […]

Star of David Bundt Challah

August 23, 2021|Categories: Challah Recipes, Rosh Hashanah |Tags: Challah

Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner, and I’ll be sharing some of my favorite holiday recipes over the next couple of weeks.  I always make a variety of round homemade challahs for the holiday.  This year, I’ll be adding this gorgeous Star of David challah to my repertoire. My husband and I were cleaning out a pantry, and a Nordic Ware Star of David Bundt pan (which I had ordered online some years ago and forgot about) was discovered in back of food props and stacks of dishes.  My husband suggested I use the pan to make a Star of David challah.  I was skeptical about baking my challah dough in a bundt pan, but I gave it a try and was delighted with the result.  I sliced the challah horizontally to keep the beautiful star shape, and used some of the leftover star slices to make French toast that got raves from my family. If you’re looking for a showstopper challah for the holiday, find my recipe […]

Chocolate Glazed 1-2-3-4 Cupcakes

May 20th, 2021|Categories: Desserts, Dairy|Tags:

I made these scrumptious cupcakes for my grandchildren for a family celebration weekend.  They were a big hit!  I used my 1-2-3-4 yellow cake recipe to make the cupcakes: 1 cup butter; 2 cups sugar; 3 cups flour: 4 eggs—so easy to remember—you  barely need a recipe.  I left some of the cupcakes unglazed, so the grandkids could glaze and garnish their own.  They were delighted.  For a fun activity with your grandkids […]

Nanny’s Butter Streusel Cake

Nanny’s Butter Streusel Cake

September 23rd, 2019|Categories: Cakes, Desserts|Tags: ,

Since this was the cake that inspired my passion for baking and launched a thousand recipes, it is only fitting that I launch my website with Nanny Fela’s Butter Streusel Cake. My mom baked it often when I was growing up, and I could never resist plucking off the streusel, leaving behind a funny looking pockmarked cake. I could kick myself for not having had the presence of mind to get the recipe from […]