About the Artists


I was lucky enough to work with the artists Bette Blank and Sophie Friedman-Pappas on this book. Bette did the painting for the beautiful cover and Sophie Friedman-Pappas drew the gorgeous interior illustrations.

Bette lives in New Jersey and is represented by the Adam Baumgold Gallery in NY. The title of the original painting is Sex, Food and Rock ‘n Roll. Bette writes about the painting: “The phrenology head tells what’s on this girl’s mind.” Bette has a PhD in engineering from UC Berkeley.

Sophie is a student at Maryland Institute College of Art, where she studies painting. She recently moved into three dimensional work but still turns to to painters such as Elizabeth Murray, Joan Brown, and Phillip Guston for inspiration. Her mother, Barbara Friedman, is an artist and an old friend. We met in a writing workshop, which we were taking with the late, great Richard Brickner, at the New School 25 years ago.

Bob Lascaro designed the book and the cover.

It’s Mother’s Day, Baby. Butter Yourself Some Coffee

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I have a new story up on HuffPo. This story of buttered coffee generated a lot of buzz on HuffPo and eventually made its way into various other publications.  The New York Times covered it on 12/12/14. I’m very glad I wrote about it when I did! 

You are not going to be cooking for yourself on Mother’s Day. You are not going to be making restaurant reservations either. You’re going to let the people who made you a mother take care of that.

You are, however, going to make yourself one hell of a cup of coffee, because any day that calls for celebration also calls for a little liquid pick-me-up. Continue reading

Chicken With Lemons And Other Great, Salty Stuff

I have a new story up on HuffPo on the thrill of cooking for yourself when your significant other goes away.

You know when your significant other goes away for a few days and you think, “Party time!” And that crazy party means a) You get the bed to yourself; b) If you snore, or s/he snores, there’s no one to grumble and pull the blankets away; c) the alarm clock only goes off when you want it to; d) no one says “Did you remember to…?” In our house, when I go away, my husband and teenage sons order in pizza, forget to walk the dog and leave socks on the floor. When my husband goes away, I cook with anchovies. Continue reading

The Best Chocolate Dessert Recipe For Passover (And Easter Too)

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One of my many failings is that I love sugar. I can’t give it up. Two of my friends have given up sugar and they look fantastic. They’ve each lost, like, ten or twenty pounds. They’re both in their fifties and neither of them is an exercise fanatic but every…


The Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cookie Recipe That Got Me Through A Stressful Day

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You would think that going away for a long weekend with your girlfriends would insure you returned home relaxed and happy to see your teenagers. And I was initially thrilled to see my kids. I missed them a lot. I had spent the weekend sleeping, eating, occasionally exercising, watching the first season of “Girls,” and reading Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty, a memoir about her friendship with Lucy Grealy, the writer and heroin addict. I had gone away with a group of women, two of whom are like sisters to me. While I slept late and missed their bracing early morning walks in the snow, they did not pass judgment. The spa we went to is in the Berkshires, a few blocks from the all-girls sleep-away camp I spent five summers at and two hours from Wellesley, the women’s college I attended.


Wild Mushrooms in Winter

My 13-year old and I were both home sick. He wasn’t so sick he couldn’t watch TV, and I wasn’t so sick, I couldn’t check my email, but we were both stuffed-up and lethargic, or as my SAT-studying-17-year old might say, overcome with lassitude. The 13-year old was scheduled for three wrestling matches, three days in a row. The antibiotics the pediatrician had prescribed were upsetting his stomach, so I had to pick up a new prescription at the pharmacy. While my son settled in on the couch, I drank two cups of coffee, chewed a piece of peppermint gym and prepared to enter the Polar Vortex.


Greatest Roast Chicken Recipe For The Snow

I feel ridiculous writing another story about cooking chicken but this one is so astonishing, so easy and delicious, that with the snow day coming after an already long weekend, I have to share.

My friend Terri, who gives me all my best ideas, both in real life and in the kitchen, has been telling me for years about this blog called Stacey Snacks. Stacey lives in the next town over, and though I’m sure we’ve probably been in the same room at the same time at one point, we’ve never met.


Chocolate suburbia

My birthday was coming up. You know how that goes. If your children are teenagers and you’ve been with your significant other a long time, you’re probably not going to be the center of attention you might have been thirty years ago. Your family’s attitude towards your birthday probably is—what’s…

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What False Eyelashes Did For Me

One sunny August afternoon, my younger son and I walked to the post office and mailed out 200 bar mitzvah invitations. We had spent that morning sitting in the dining room, licking envelopes and placing royal blue and red stamps that resembled the Giants logo onto the upper right corners…

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