Curried Tomato Chickpea Stew

I wanted to cook a marinara sauce of some sort and a recipe I’d been making since 1979 from Craig Claiborne’s New New York Times Cookbook stuck in my mind.  It is an eggplant and tomatoes sauce that uses a cup or more of parsley giving it the most wonderful fresh taste.  But I wanted to include protein in the dish not eggplant  and decided chickpeas were a good option. Read more

Book Club’s Thanksgiving Dinner


The Menu

Orange Farro Beets Salad
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grape with Pomegranate Glaze
Indian Spiced Roasted Cauliflower
Cranberry Apple Pie and Ice Cream (not included in the cost per person)
White Wine
$10 per person based on 6 people


November’s Book Selection

The Hare with Amber Eyes, a Hidden Inheritance by Edmund De Waal

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Unlike the rest of the United States, Thanksgiving came a week early for the book club. My biggest challenge was preparation. I had to go into the office for about 5 hours before having everyone come to my home at 7. Fortunately, the festive meal while labor intensive had components that could be done the day before, leaving only some slicing, dicing, and roasting the day of the meeting. In a relaxed three hours before everyone arrived, I chopped the cauliflower, toasted the walnuts, peeled the navel oranges, roasted the vegetables, made the glaze, tossed the farro and beet salad and set the table. Read more

The Hare with the Amber Eyes, A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund De Waal

The Hare with Amber eyes

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Toward the end of, The Hare with Amber Eyes, the author, Edmund De Waal writes “I’m writing a book about — I stumble to a halt. I no longer know if this book is about my family, or memory, or myself or is still a book about small Japanese things.”

A collection of Japanese Netsuke acquired by the author’s ancestor, Charles Joachim Ephrussi is the physical link between generations of a prominent Jewish family whose roots began in Russia. After acquiring their wealth in Russia the family branches out with members going to Vienna and Paris and establishing themselves in the banking business. Charles being the youngest does not go into the family banking business and instead is a patron of the writers and artists of the late 1800s. Read more

Indian Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetable. So yummy, easy to fix and good for you. I am addicted to the cauliflower pizza at the Sullivan Street Bakery right down the street from my home. A regular route for walking the dog is past the bakery so I can have a slice for breakfast. Halley patiently sits tied to their bench outside while I have my coffee and a slice. And then we’re off to the dog runner, a morning ritual when I don’t have to go into the office.

Ever since I’ve enjoyed this wonderful authentic Italian pizza, I’ve tried to think of other ways to roast cauliflower that would spice it up. Read more

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with a Pomegranate Glaze

About two weeks ago, I was at Ilili, a Lebanese-Mediterranean restaurant just north of the Flatiron district in Manhattan and I had the most wonderful roasted brussels sprouts imaginable. They were inspirational. I knew after I tasted them that I had to try to recreate them for the book club. There was a complexity to them. They were sweet with a hint of tartness and had so many different textures each bite was a delight. Read more

Fall Feast for October Book Club Dinner


The Menu

Delicata Squash stuffed with Coconut Curry Swiss Chard and Chickpeas
Lime Forbidden Rice
Apple and Carrot Casserole
Dandelion, Arugula and Radish Salad
Pumpkin Spice Cake (not included in the cost per person)
White Wine
$10 per person based on 6 people


October’s Book Selection

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

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Most of the ingredients for the meal I had on hand, so when my plans to purchase the produce at the Fall Festival in western mass were foiled it was easy to do my shopping back in New York City on monday before preparing Tuesday’s meal.

Since switching to coconut or grape seed oil when cooking at high temperature instead of olive oil, I’ve wanted to also focus on using coconut milk and planned to incorporate it into my meal for the book club. While in Massachusetts I experimented with making the coconut curry stuffed delicata squash and liking the results decided to prepare it for the discriminating foodies at book club. Read more

Lime Forbidden Rice

I have experimented with different types of rice and only recently discovered the purple/black Forbidden Rice which is supposed to be healthier given its color. All for that as well as enjoying the texture and nutty flavor. My aim now is trying to find ways to add different ingredients to add depth. Read more

Dandelion, Arugula, Radish and Pomegranate Salad

Fall and Spring are especially good times of the year to find bitter greens and I thought they would complement the richness of  the winter squashes for the book club dinner. The sharp bite of radishes worked well with the greens and adding pomegranates seeds gave a sweet-tart pop as their juices were released when bitten into.  I need to experiment with the dressing as I used my go to dressing and probably could add another dimension to the salad with a new dressing. I will be working on that and get back to you. Read more

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone Cover
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Cutting for Stone is the multi-layered story of twin brothers, Marion and Shiva, born to Sister Mary Joseph Praise who dies during delivery while stationed in Ethiopia in the late 50’s. The twins conjoined and separated at birth were adopted by two doctors, Dr. Kalpana Hemlatha, a forceful woman known as Hema, and Dr. Abhi Ghosh, both working at Missing Hospital, the hospital where their parents lived and worked. Read more