1/23 … January 2023.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I think about personal improvements on MY new year … my birthday.

But now’s the time to shake off the hazy, lazy, lackadaisical days of Covid and its aftermath that felt like, um … what fresh h€ll is around the corner. Epidemiologists tell us new variants are here to stay and experts encourage annual vaccinations. Summary: along with those seasonal tissues and cough lozenges, bring a mask (just in case). Vabbè.

“Here we are all crazy. I’m crazy, you’re crazy,” said the Cat. “How do you know?,” asked Alice. “Otherwise you wouldn’t be here,” replied the Cat.

So, as my writing moves forward, I’m incorporating the suggestions from a friend I saw at our high school reunion … you know who you are, thank you! … in the hope it makes my epistles more engaging.

Foods Friday will get an upgrade. For zero frequent flyer miles, I will include a recipe. Something I consider easy … easy-ish … with ingredients that you’d have in your pantry or be able to find at your favorite market. To inspire you for the weekend. They won’t have complicated techniques or need speciality equipment to prepare, so you’ll be able to make them whether you have a retro-style galley kitchen or an open floor plan with a granite-topped island. (If the recipes are beyond easy-ish, I ask my loyal readers … both of you … to please let me know.)

Some of you know I have a blog. For others … I have a blog. It’s called “A Forkful of Italy” and for those interested (thank you!), it can be found directly on the magazine site Medium, or via links I include on FB and on Instagram.

Forkful has tales of travel or travails of bureaucracy or the cavorting of cats. Each will be a bit shorter … since your time is valuable and, let’s face it, sometimes Wordle takes more than 3 minutes … but still be filled with photos and have a recipe. Again, I hope you will want to try them or be encouraged to experiment.

Let me know what you think. Or simply, enjoy.

P.S. Happy New Year to you and your family!


1 cup nutella … or your favorite hazelnut-chocolate spread (I like organic Rigoni di Asiago)
4 oz. butter, at room temperature
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder

- Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with silpat(s) or parchment paper.
- Cream nutella and butter, then add egg, and finally stir in flour and baking powder until it is a well-blended dough. (You can refrigerate it at this point to shape and bake later.)
- Shape/roll dough walnut-size pieces into balls. Place on silpat-lined or parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- With a fork, press a criss-cross pattern on top to flatten each cookie.
- Bake for 8–10 minutes until lightly set … do not overbake. (They do not get brown.)
Makes approximately 48 cookies.