Cabbage Dinners, Pizza Bagels, More Creative Birthday Ideas

Good morning. Just came back from a walk along the Hudson — a balmy 35 degrees on April 22. Come on, New York weather gods! Please help us out here. Yesterday was a slow one — I did less work than I wanted to; wound up on the couch watching Aziz Ansari’s 2019 comedy special with Phoebe and the dogs instead of going for my daily walk; made a baked pasta for dinner (like this one, but with mushrooms), Abby made another batch of playdate cookies (above) and I spent 15 minutes of my life taking pictures of them in portrait setting. After dinner I dropped in on a surprise party for my friend Ben in Seattle before starting season 3 (!) of The Wire. Here is your daily dispatch on this ridiculously cold April Wednesday…

Pantry: Sausage & Cabbage

I wrote all about everybody’s favorite quarantine vegetable in my Cup of Jo food column today — cabbage. Head over there for three recipes, including this really easy, really delicious sausage and cabbage skillet dinner.

Project: Pizza Bagels

This is just a reminder that the pizza bagel — signature dish of Italian-Jews like myself everywhere — exists and is a perfectly legitimate lunch (or dinner!) that your kids might even be able to prepare themselves. Do you even need me to tell you how to make? I toast the bagel lightly before spreading jarred sauce and draping mozzarella and Parm on it. Then I finish in the broiler until it gets golden and bubbly.

Purpose: Restaurant Night

To celebrate their son Quinn’s 12th birthday, my friend Leigh and her husband Eliot (above) turned their kitchen into a restaurant for him, complete with multi-course menu. (His chef’s coat was an old gag gift.) Can you even believe how great that is? Good call on the warm brownie sundae, Quinn!

Stay safe, stay home.

The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at

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Loved the Fancy Birthday dinner! So sweet.
What did you think of the Aziz special? I’ve always been a fan and love Master of None.
And I am savoring these posts. Thank you again for the projects, the new ways of looking at my pantry and trying to figure out some purpose. It’s hard, but these daily posts help.


Perfect timing- I have half a head of purple cabbage leftover from making pork dumplings. I’m going to try your soy-lime slaw as a side dish for burritos. Kinda random combo but I’m sure it’ll be good and gotta use everything up now a days!


i am going to make that cabbage dish very soon. I already used my head of cabbage to make smitten kitchen’s roast chicken over cabbage for Sunday dinner. soooo good!! yay, cabbage!!

i also made a batch of chocolate chip cookies on Sunday, which i regret b/c i’ve been eating 2/day. ah, well…pandemic pounds. whatchagonna do?


Love this! I’ve been making lots of “egg roll in a bowl” lately, and needed some new ideas for cabbage. Thanks Jenny!


We eat pizza in some form about 4 days a week! Usually with home made dough, but occasionally on naan bread. Similar to the pizza bagel, but my kids call it “pita” pizza.