What To Do With Holiday Leftovers … Start a New Tradition

Who knows how traditions start. Certainly some cooking traditions develop over generations, or, like in the case of my cornbread & sausage stuffing, they take off quickly. In that case, I found the recipe and started a tradition that spread through my family and friends. 

However they begin, cooking traditions are fun, and I find it heartwarming to look forward to certain dishes each year.

Celebrating Hanukkah: Our Tradition of Family & Friends

As I shared before in my blog about Passover, I have always enjoyed the rituals, camaraderie and sense of belonging to a community that comes with Jewish Holiday celebrations. Early on in our marriage, my husband and I were lucky enough to find a group of couple friends who, like us, had one member who was Jewish; and we started celebrating Passover and Hanukkah with this group. My life-long best friend Carrie is among this group, but others are friends we’ve made along the way.  

As children were born and families grew, so did our annual celebrations. Over the years, even some of our non-Jewish friends have joined in on what has become our most fun and anticipated party of the year. For a while the the parties were HUGE, but as some families moved away, our group shrunk … and now we are typically about 15.

The Art of the Christmas Tree

Every year, as the the holidays roll around, I contemplate what kind of Christmas tree I want to get. And inevitably, they always turn into little art projects. 

vintage doll christmas tree ornamentWhen I was first starting out, my grandma gave me some little vintage dolls and I covered the Christmas tree with them. One year, I made my own ornaments by spraying lacquer on mini bagels and hot glueing a raffia bow and hook on it … they were very cute and lasted forever!

Now I like ornaments that reflect light and sparkle bright. I also like to add a ribbon to make it look like the old fashion ribbon candy I remember as a kid. 

Thanksgiving Baking: An Extra Sweet Post

I know, I know … it’s not Thursday yet. And I have a great story to share with you on Thursday, but before then I wanted to share a couple of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. I thought I’d share them early, just in case you want to add them to your baking list for later this week.

I recently shared in Soap Opera Digest that my favorite is Sweet Potato Casserole, which I’ve shared with you before … and I’m also sharing a newer favorite, Pumpkin Ginger Cake. Delicious!


Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Pumpkin Ginger Cake
Pumpkin Ginger Cake

Going the Extra Mile for Love

When I thought about this week’s blog coming up to Valentine’s Day, I wanted to write something about “relationships.” What a vast and complicated topic!  Then I stumbled onto this little article by Nick Seneca Jankel (pg. 7) and I thought it said so much and so clearly! I especially connected to his third option for moving forward in a relationship.

On Nov. 3 of this past year, my husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary (and 35 years together), and I must tell you I don’t think we have ever been happier! Don’t get me wrong – we, like most couples, have had our ups and downs … difficult times that sometimes lasted for YEARS (or so it seemed at the time).

Kindness, Respect & Friendships … the Gifts that Keep on Giving

Recently, I received a comment and question from one of our readers about parenting tips. I’ve thought a lot about that since then, and I will try to write more about my parenting journey in blogs to come. But having just returned from my annual Christmas sojourn with my best friend, Carrie, and her family, I am reminded of so many things. After spending a week with them, and seeing all of our grown kids together, what strikes me most are the traditions, love and camaraderie I see between them.

Carrie and I grew up with each other, and the comfort of her friendship has carried me for more than 40 years. When she was marrying my dear friend Marty, the former music director at Days of Our Lives, I convinced him they should move to my town. Thank goodness they took my advice!