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I’m donating half of my profits to Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger




  • ½ pound dried cranberry, pinto or butter beans, or 1 15-oz can
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 pounds brisket
  • 2 large onions, sliced thick
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large sweet potato, chunked
  • 4 large carrots, chunked
  • 1 28-oz can whole plum
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 Tbs. thyme
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • coarsely ground pepper
  • tomatoes


  1. Soak the beans overnight, then cook in salted water, along with the whole garlic cloves and bay leaves, until just barely tender.
  2. When the beans are ready, season the brisket with salt and pepper and place into a large roasting pan. Cover with the onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes (with juice) and cranberries. Spoon on the cooked beans along with 1 cup of the bean broth. Sprinkle with the thyme and a few more grinds of pepper.
  3. Cover tightly and bake at 325˚ for 4-5 hours.
Carrot Apple muffins

Grab one of these on your way out the door!

When enjoying a breakfast muffin, our family likes to feel like we are eating more than white fluff with a streusel topping. These muffins have carrots, apples, nuts and raisins. Made with whole wheat pastry flour, they are still light, but with a complex flavor. Pair one of these beauties with a glass of milk or a piece of cheese and you’ve got a neat little breakfast for your sprint out the door.

Whole Wheat Carrot-Apple Muffins (makes 16)

In a large bowl, mix together:

  • 2 c. whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 c. white; 1 c. whole wheat)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda

Fold in:

  • 3 large carrots (grated) — about 1-1/2 c.
  • 2 large apples (peeled and grated ) — about 1-1/2 c.
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 c. raisins, dates or a mixture
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds

Stir in:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Spoon into greased or papered muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes

Graduation Hummus


After five years of high school (he wasn’t slow–it was a 5-year high school), Max is now a free man. With the weight of school off of his shoulders he wandered into the kitchen and asked if he could help with dinner tonight. I was making Cholae, an Indian garbanzo bean dish, with Indian Fried Rice. Max made the rice while I made the cholae.

I had cooked up enough extra garbanzo beans so that we could make hummus. The last time Max and I made hummus together it was fantastic—made from freshly cooked garbanzo beans the hummus tastes light and fresh, far superior to store-bought. It’s always my preference to cook from scratch, for the health benefits, the artistic enjoyment of creating a beautiful meal, as well as the cost. Tonight we wrote down what we did.

Hummus can be made from canned beans, however, although it takes longer to make from dried beans (they take about 3 hours to cook) we think it’s worth it. Shop at an ethnic market, where the prices are far lower than in the chain grocers.

Graduation Hummus

To cook the beans, combine the following, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 3 hours, or until the beans are quite soft. Save the liquid.

  • 2 c. dried garbanzo beans (also called chick peas or chana)
  • 8 c. water
  • 1 tbs. salt

Combine the following in a food processor. Process until smooth.

  • 4 c. cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1 c. liquid
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil (optional)

You may also add some chopped parsley and/or a little paprika.


Jam with Mom

Strawberries are ripe now—those exquisite locally grown berries with the delicate skin. I picked up a flat at the Vienna, VA farmers market, which gave us enough to eat, and plenty for jam. The greatest thing about this, the first of the season’s jam, was that Max asked me if he could help. We think that he is prematurely homesick. And being the good scientist, always looking for a better way, he suggested using a pastry cutter to chop the berries.



Number 2 pencil, nerdy t-shirt and a plate of French Toast—Max is ready for his test.


I haven’t made this recipe in years, and then two things happened that brought it to mind.

1. Molly came home from her math tutor’s house with three large loaves of day-old bread. There was no explaination as to why she was given the bread, nor where it came from. We hypothesize that the tutor thinks we are a pauper family with 8 kids—a least that was Molly’s first thought and she right away informed the tutor that there are only three kids in the family. 2. Tomorrow is the beginning of AP test week—no wait it’s only the first of two AP test weeks—at our over-achieving, why bother with college when you can take 2 dozen AP classes in high school high school. (I know that my editor friends will be all over that sentence, but that’s what you get from a designer.) Anyway, nothing like a good breakfast before an AP Computer Science test, right? A great use for old bread, and what a wonderful treat for a weekday breafast.

Overnight French Toast

  • 1 loaf french or Italian bread, sliced thick

The night before: Mix the following together in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. grated orange or lemon rind
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar (I used white)
  • 1 or 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

Arrange the bread slices in the pan, on top of the egg/milk mixture. Wait a minute and then turn them over. Cover and place in refrigerator over night.

In the morning: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes on a side.

Here is the bread, ready to be tucked in for the night:


Red, White and Brownies

Max invented these brownies tonight, and then named them. They’re made using my regular brownie recipe with the addition of dried raspberries in the batter, and topped with coconut and mini chocolate chips. And that’s all I have to say about that.