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 »

Pear Fritters

I LOVE THESE PEAR FRITTERS. I love them so much that I hope you'll take them off my hands. Otherwise, I'll be forced to eat them -- rather joyously -- all by myself. Read more »

Entrance Hall Arrangement, December 2013

FOR ME, December is all about drinking decorating. The Christmas tree is set up (pictures soon!), the parlor mantel is dressed for success, the dining room features a pair of homemade boxwood trees, and now, thanks to floral-designer Erin Brady, a big bouquet lights up the entrance hall table. Here's an intimate look at this pine-scented poetry: Read more »