December 2020

How do you Get Your Sparkle on This Holiday Season?

How do you Get Your Sparkle on This Holiday Season?

Yay, it’s the holidays.  Are you feeling it?  Summoning the sparkling sugarplummy holiday spirit may be a challenge.

There’s reason for cheer, hope. We elected a new president. A Covid vaccine (or two!) might be on the horizon. And we still have each other. It’s the best thing we’ve got going as we come to the end of a year full of hardship and heartache. We may be social distancing, but we can still show up for our family, friends, neighbors, community, tribe.  Maybe that means bringing food and cheer to family. Maybe it’s supporting local farmers or #BlackLivesMatter.  So many nonprofits, shelters, initiatives, institutions and agencies are putting it out there for us. Let’s give where we can, let’s be there for each other.

I can’t wait till we can gather to hug, talk, laugh, cook and eat. Till then, I’m glad to share my Plant-Based Holiday Guide, recipes to brighten your holiday table and give you some plant-based hacks to help you in the kitchen anytime.  Download your free copy here.

Get my book Feeding the Hungry Ghost at a special 50% discount. It’s the comfort and nourishment you need at a holiday price, thanks to my publisher New World Library.  Enter the code “FRIENDS" at checkout by 12/21 on  to save on books by Eckhart Tolle, Shakti Gawain, Dan Millman, Joseph Campbell, and hundreds more, including me.

A year back, I was invited to contribute to an anthology called, What I Do to Get Through,  giving depression sufferers action and hope to get them through hard times. Then hard times went global with Covid. The books’ release was postponed, along with so much else in 2020, but will be out in February.  We all need a little help to get through.  Preorder your copy now.

Wishing you a warm and shining holiday, a little grace, and a bounty of people you love who have your back.  

This Month

December 2 8pm ET

Come join my free virtual cooking class and chat “Dill, Dates, & other Delights —Jewish Food History,” through Northbrook Public Library. Register here.

December 6 11am-5pm

Do your holiday shopping in a tropical oasis at Botanical Bazaar, Miami Beach Botanical Garden .

December 11

Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights. May we end this dark year on a bright note.

December 24 Christmas Eve

I'm pleased to add this traditional Twelfth Night Wassail Bowl (click for the recipe) from Zella Palmer's book Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard 1869-2019 compilation of stories and recipes from Dillard University, New Orleans' Historical Black University.

The secret ingredient in this punch isn't alcohol. It "comes at the moment when the hostess stirs into the mixture deep thoughts and wishes for the happiness and well-being of the community of friends with whom we are all united, in every crack and cranny of our world.”

Thanks to Dillard University, Boston University's Pepin Lecture Series through its gastronomy program, the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground 
and UL Press.

December 25 Christmas

December 26 Kwanzaa

As our country confronts 400 years of systemic racism, here’s an opportunity to show umoja, or spirit of community. to honor Africa’s rich influence in America, an influence so vast, it touches all of us. I’m privileged and proud to share this recipe for sukuma wiki from In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan (Ten Speed Press, 2020). Turns out I’ve been making sukuma wiki for years, I just didn’t have a name for it  Understanding and appreciating its origins makes it even more delicious. Besides, you know I’m always desperate to get greens into you.

December 29 

Our wedding anniversary. I can’t imagine being in lockdown with anyone else. 

December 31 New Year’s Eve 

At midnight we kick 2020 to the curb. Get ahead of the game by making a pot of hopping john., that simple but satisfying combination of black eyed peas and rice.  

January 1 

Day one of a shining new year.  Eating hopping john on New Year’s Day traditionally gives you a little extra good luck, and a lot of comfort, too. May 2021 bring you a lot of both.