Latkes, Texas Chili, More Cookies, WCK

Good morning! I hope you all had a nice weekend. I finally ordered holiday cards and for some reason it motivated me to complete the “2019 Year in Review” family album that I started A YEAR AGO on Shutterfly. We had planned to do latkes on the first night of Hanukkah last week, but we couldn’t get our act together until Sunday. Usually I just sort of offer them one by one to salivaters as snacks, but this time I served them all at once, alongside some roasted vegetables (with more of that artichoke sauce!) and the requisite sour cream and apple sauce, and called it dinner. As for the rest of the weekend, it was unseasonably warm in New York, so we took advantage by being outside for most of it, and inviting friends and family to hang around the backyard fire pit. I know I keep saying this, but every time we are able to do this, it feels like the last time for a while, so we really don’t take it for granted. I hope I can hold on to that appreciation after we are back to normal at least for a little while…

Project: Texas Chili

On Friday night, we were going to just have friends for drinks (that’s a Boulevardier) then at the last minute Andy decided to cook up a pot of Texas Chili, which, if I am to believe my own blog, we haven’t made since 2014. I’m not sure why that’s the case, because it was literally the sickest chili we’ve had all year, like on a different plane. I mean, I love my heirloom beans and all, but sometimes they just can’t really compete with sirloin, cooked in, uh, bacon fat. Yeah. We were definitely the opposite of Weekday Vegetarians that night. But I’m still thinking about it 72 hours later, the way the brothy liquid cooked down and got all saucy with the stewed meat. Wow. I think I was too distracted by its deliciousness to remember a photo, but you gotta trust me on this one.

Pantry: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last week, for my Cup of Jo column, I wrote about a little tournament we had in the house to determine what the best dark chocolate bar is. (I know, I know.) This had benefits for all the obvious reasons, including leftovers. I had to actually post on instagram this ridiculous question: What should I do with all this chocolate? There were some inspired ideas: Toffee, fondue, “ultimate” hot chocolate, “those fake chocolate croissants with puff pastry” (never heard of it, but how freaken good does that sound?), and so far we’ve just made cookies. Phoebe chopped up a few bars and made the Playdate Cookies from Dinner: A Love Story, stirring even the smallest chocolate shavings into the batter. It was a success to say the least. I do still need more ideas — it’s a lot of chocolate. Cry me a river, Jenny!

Purpose: World Central Kitchen

In other news, that $$$ for my World Central Kitchen fundraiser keeps climbing! I can’t believe how wonderful you have all been! For those of you still interested in donating, you have a few more days — until this Friday, December 18. You’re eligible for all kinds of prizes if you donate even just five dollars. (More details at the very bottom of my 2020 holiday gift guide.) The organization is wonderful — that’s me up there delivering pizza to poll workers and voters with long waits on Election Day, all coordinated through WCK…the tiniest fraction of the good they do on a daily basis — this year they have concentrated on COVID-related food insecurities, stepping in to provide relief where food banks and schools usually do. I’m hoping we can send the $10K $12K at the end of this week — we are SO close. Thank you, thank you thank you, to everyone who has donated already. And if this is not your year to donate, thank you anyway for being here.

Stay safe. Wear a mask.

The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, connected, and useful. It began in March 2020. 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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Just donated…. thank you for this terrific blog, for pork ragu, for using your platform for good, for graphic novel recommendations that my daughter has devoured, and for being an excellent freshman RA, back in the day 😉

Keep going Jenny!


Ahhh! That was ME about the fake croissants! I can’t believe I was quoted on the blog! This made my day. Well, my sister who’s an ER doctor got her vaccine today, which technically wins the day, but wow- so excited! Here’s what I was referring to:
I haven’t made them yet but it’s on the list. And to keep the good times rolling I donated too. Also made your chicken pot pie last night – we love it!! Thank you! What a day!