Polka Dot Cheesecake

July 30th, 2022|Categories: CheesecakesDairyDessertsDessertsShavuot

The recipe for this showstopper cheesecake comes from Maida Heatter, aka “Queen of Cake”. She passed away in 2019 at the age of 102.  A prodigiously gifted pastry chef and cookbook author, Maida Heatter wrote more than ten cookbooks, many of which are treasured baking resources that I refer to time and again.  Her recipes are beautifully written, precise and […]

Vegetarian Lasagna

July 29th, 2022|Categories: Food ColumnsPasta, Rice, GrainsVegetarian

My recipe for lasagna is vegetarian. I use spinach and mushrooms and part skim ricotta and mozzarella to make a lighter, healthier dish. With a rather lengthy list of ingredients and several components to the instructions, this is not a quick and easy recipe. Yet, no intricate techniques are required, and there is […]


July 24th, 2022|Categories: AppetizersBreakfast/BrunchSide DishesVegetarian

I first sampled shakshouka during my travels in Israel.   Widely popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean regions, it hails from Tunisia in North Africa.  The word “shakshouka” is Arabic for ”all mixed up.”

Shakshouka in its most basic form is a toothsome dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.  You may be familiar with […]

Challah Dogs

July 20th, 2022|Categories: AppetizersMeat and Poultry

Happy National Hot Dog Day!  These challah dogs are always a huge hit.  I get hot dog specials from my butcher, whip up a batch of my challah dough, roll handfuls of the dough into strands, wrap the strands around the hot dogs in a spiral, then bake till golden brown.  The combination of thick, juicy hot dogs and […]

Patriotic Cake

July 3rd, 2022|Categories: CakesDessertsFood ColumnsFourth of July|Tags: 

This flag cake was on the cover of the July 2011 issue of the Essex Fells Magazine.  Perfect celebration cake for Fourth of July! […]

Patriotic Cheesecake

July 3rd, 2022|Categories: CheesecakesDairyDessertsFourth of July

Velvety smooth, rich and creamy, this cheesecake is divine. Its decadent taste and texture belie the fact that it is relatively easy to make. Cream cheese, sugar, eggs and cream are beaten together and then poured into a cake pan lined with a traditional graham cracker crumb crust.  The cake is then baked in a water bath to ensure a custardy texture and smooth […]

Red White and Blue Balloon Cups

July 3rd, 2022 |Categories: DessertsFood ColumnsFourth of July|Tags: 

Here are two creative, fun and tasty ideas for a July 4th dessert grand finale.  Family and friends will want to participate in creating the red, white and blue balloon cups.  They will enjoy rocking the blown up balloons in the candy melts and then, after placing the balloons for a brief stint in the freezer, they will perform the pièce de résistance by popping the balloons with a pin or other pointy object. The end result will be a beautifully formed tulip-shaped shell. I’ve also […]

Red White and Blue Appetizer

July 1st, 2022|Categories: AppetizersBreakfast/BrunchFourth of JulyVegetablesVegetarian

It’s July!  While we’re thinking in red, white and blue, we want to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen and to keep it cool. Here are a trio of appetizers in red, white and blue that are healthy, no bake and quick and easy to make. The fresh tomato and basil topping […]

Ice Cream Cake

June 27th, 2022|Categories: CakesDairyDessertsDessertsIce Cream and Frozen Treats

My all time favorite cake to make during sultry summer months is Ice Cream Cake. Its main ingredient—ice cream—is America’s most loved dessert.  An ice cream cake is no bake, easy to make, and you can prepare it weeks ahead of time and keep it in your freezer until ready to serve.  With the wide variety of ice cream flavors […]

Baked Onion Rings

June 22nd, 2022|Categories: AppetizersBreakfast/BrunchCooking LightSide DishesVegetarian

Here’s a healthy version of the traditional deep fat fried onion rings.  These are dipped in egg whites instead of a rich batter, then they are baked instead of fried. They bake up crisp and golden and are almost as addictive as the original high calorie […]

Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Stacks

June 17th, 2022|Categories: VegetablesVegetarian

I love ratatouille, a classic vegetable stew hailing from the Provencal region of southern France near the Mediterranean Sea. To make these colorful and healthy veggie stacks, I used many of the seasonal vegetables and flavorings you would find in a ratatouille—eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and onions, infused with olive oil […]

Pizzelle Cannoli

June 3rd, 2022|Categories: Cookies and BiscottiDairyDessertsShavuot

Here’s another great dairy dessert option. There is no cooking or baking necessary for this simplified and enlightened version of the traditional cannoli recipe.  You can make the pizzelle cannoli shells days ahead of time. Since the filling takes just minutes to whip together, make sure to fill the pizzelle cannoli right before serving so they retain their crispness. The contrast between the crisp pizzelle cannoli and the […]

Cheese Blintzes

June 3rd, 2022|Categories: DairyDessertsShavuot

I made these cheese blintzes for Passover.  The recipe calls for potato starch instead of flour. They were so delicious, I’ll be making them for Shavuot and  […]

Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi

June 2nd, 2022|Categories: DairyShavuotVegetarian

Here’s another tasty dairy option for Shavuot. Ricotta gnocchi are the faster, easier, and, some would say, tastier counterpart to potato gnocchi. If you’ve avoided making pasta or gnocchi recipes because of elaborate instructions and techniques, you’re in for a treat with this recipe, which will give you the satisfaction of making a home made pasta-like dish from scratch in under half an hour. I like to serve the spinach ricotta gnocchi with […]

Cheesecake With Marbleized Chocolate Glaze

June 1st, 2022|Categories: CakesCheesecakesDairyDessertsShavuot

If you want a showstopper dairy dessert for Shavuot, this beauty fits the bill.  The marbleized glaze does require a bit of technique.  You can simplify the recipe by finishing the cake with a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar or a simple chocolate […]

Eggplant Parmesan

May 31st, 2022|Categories: DairyShavuotVegetarian

The Jewish holiday Shavuot begins at sunset this Saturday, June 4, and ends at sunset Monday, June 6. Shavuot is also known as the Jewish Festival of Weeks and it commemorates the anniversary of the giving of the Torah. There are many traditions associated with this lovely holiday such as […]

Salade Nicoise

Salade Nicoise

May 9, 2022|Categories: Cooking LightFishFood ColumnsSaladsVegetables|Tags: 

A Salade Nicoise is a classic French composed salad.  The salad has its origins in Nice, a city in the Provencal Region of southeastern France. Many of its ingredients such as tuna, tomatoes, green beans, olives, anchovies and capers are indigenous to the region. Because Salade Nicoise is composed and not chopped or tossed, its ingredients are arranged aesthetically and make for a lovely […]

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 […]