Old House Living: Redecorating the Library

In my latest bit of old-house news, we're redecorating the library. This upstairs room -- it was previously a bedroom -- had become a catch-all for newspapers, magazines, CDs, antiquated VHS tapes, and too many books for our existing bookcases. Read more »

My Case Against Open Floor Plans

Any house-hunters out there? Mind telling me what kind of home you're looking for? If your goal is a new(ish) house with an open floor plan, you're not alone. According to HGTV's "Property Virgins," everyone wants what you want! Still, I hope you won't overlook the benefits of owning an old, "traditional" house. There's something to be said about walls, rooms, and doors. Read more »

Christmas: How to Decorate A Mantel

WHAT'S MY FAVORITE DECEMBER CHORE? Decorating the fireplaces in this 19th century house. For a Victorian look, I deck the mantels with evergreen boughs and lots of fresh, colorful fruit. The procedure, which could also work for a dining table or a bookcase, goes something like this: Read more »

Lemon and Rose Madeleines

Apparently I'm on a French dessert kick. Last week, I deep-fried a batch of lovely Merveilles. And yesterday, I made a dozen Madeleines. Who wants to taste these adorable shell-shaped cakes? Read more »

Ten Make-and-Bake Holiday Gifts!

What do I want for Christmas? Well, I want world peace, of course. I also want civil rights for all. And then...I'd like something delicious to eat! Here are ten baked goods that make fine holiday gifts for grown-ups: Read more »


My grandmother, Nova Metzger Jacobs, routinely made these cookies at Christmas-time, and I, as a child, routinely ate too many of them. They are called Merveilles (French for "miracle"), and they are insanely-delicious. Watch me make these crisply-puffed, orange-zest-scented, confectioners'-sugar-dusted delights: Read more »

Roast Turkey with Braeburn Apple Gravy (GF)

Today, because it's nearly Thanksgiving, I think we should roast a turkey and make some gravy. My low-carb, gluten-free gravy is thickened with apples and onions, and brightly scented with herbs. It's screamingly delicious, too. You'll want to sip it out of a mug! Read more »