Chanukah is coming to an end tonight. I am always sad to see it end. I love holidays. But, Christmas is making it’s entrance tonight. A thought just came into my mind…Jewish holidays always begin the night before it says on the common calendar because our holidays always begin at sundown. Is this why Christians celebrate Christmas Eve? Does anyone know? I’d be interested to learn why. Anyhow, this is not the topic I chose for today. I am choosing the topic of violence and war. I just learned about the execution-style killing of two New York police officers and the Berkeley, Missouri fatal shooting of a black teen. To the family of these people, I offer my sincerest sympathy.

I also read that there is a project of delivering cookies to police precincts in support of our peace keepers. Isn’t that the role of police, after all? To protect the people and keep the peace. Unfortunately, many people don’t see police that way at all. Police, historically, have endured bad reputations, and in many cases they are well deserved. But, on the whole, police are like everyone else. There are good cops and bad cops. They have a hard job to do and their lives are in danger everyday. I wouldn’t want their job, that’s for sure. I have known many police officers as I took a police science course and a course in penology in college and met many there. In my role, many, many years ago as a probation-parole officer, I worked with many police officers. I am glad to say I never met one I didn’t respect. Yes, there is a difference. I was a colleague and I am a white female. But even so, I saw how they related to my caseload. They gave their honest opinions on people. In most cases they were the same opinions that I had and I am a liberal do-gooder type of person, or try to be. I am a bit more conservative these days as I am older and have seen more in my life than I had seen in those days, and, truthfully, those days did color my opinions. I used to be against the death penalty in all cases. Now I am not so sure. I would be for the death penalty if there was no such thing as human error. My fear is that an innocent person would get the death penalty and perish unjustly. That is the only thing that holds me from not going totally pro in the death penalty debate. Anyhow, I would like to come out in support of this cookie project. I think it should be done not just at Christmas-time, but all year round. I think it’s appreciated most when it is not expected. I also think the same thing should be done for our fire-fighters, ambulance crews and postal workers. I know that after 9/11 I took donuts to our town’s ambulance crew and boy were they pleased. I figured that the fire-fighters would be the obvious for everyone to donate goodies to, so I wanted to let the EMTs know that they too were appreciated. It felt great to give to these people. So, maybe once a month or once every few months, do something for people in these essential professions. But, cookies were not my topic, back to the main thread of my thoughts…

There is war around the world in so many places, the Ukraine, Israel, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria, to name just a few. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could begin the Christmas season and New Year 2015 with world peace? I wonder if we start a cookie project as a friendship project world-wide if that would help. I doubt it. First of all, the cookies would probably be crumbled by the time they reach an ordinary person in say South Sudan. Would the recipient see the crumbled cookies as an insult and make things worse or would they see it as what it was meant to be, a token of friendship, but one that went wrong? Better would be to anonymously pay someone’s bill, but how would you get a name of a common person in Syria and know where to send your donation? What would your idea of taking a step towards peace be? Perhaps we need to begin in our own neighborhood. Perhaps there is a new immigrant down the street that you can give a gift of welcome to. Perhaps there is a person who is a different religion or race than you are that you have not offered friendship to. Perhaps you can rectify that situation and now offer that friendship to him/her/them. Send them a holiday card if you know what holiday they celebrate. I know it’s late, but my motto is “better late than never.” If we all decided to take just one step to rid ourselves of our own prejudices (yes, even I have one or two), that would make a difference in our world. It would be like giving the world a Chanukah or Christmas present. I think that would be awesome. I have to think about what I can do and when I have done it, I will let you know. I hope you will do the same. I would be interested in learning if this post has had any affect on you.

On to a different topic, one more in line with the Christmas season. I just read that archaeologists think they have discovered the location where Jesus taught. The discovery was made in the ancient town of Magdala — thought to be the hometown of Mary Magdalene — on the western shore of the sea of Galilee. Jesus is believed to have spent most of his life in the area. The site is an ancient synagogue. Isn’t that exciting! I just find archaeology fascinating. The priest who was interviewed for the article said that he can see the people sitting around studying the Torah. I can feel that somehow and I’m not even nearby. But I’d like to see it. I would have found it fascinating to attend one of Jesus’ study sessions. I do believe Jesus was a good Jew and was just ahead of his time. No, I do not believe he is the Messiah or god-like. But that’s because to believe so would go against my religious beliefs. I do believe he was a scapegoat used by the Romans to be an example. How horrible those leaders were. Death by crucifixion. What kind of monster thought of such a thing? I think that the Jesus we know via Christianity is a good role model for anyone. A man of compassion, a man of wisdom, a man of learning and a man of the people. There have been other great rabbis who also fit this description and many have been made scapegoats. So what is it that made Jesus different? That is the mystery I would like to see solved. I’d also like to know if he and Mary Magdalene were indeed married. I would like to believe so. After all, in the Jewish religion, rabbis are allowed to marry and are encouraged to do so, so why would Jesus not be married? And I’d hate to think of this nice, good man, all alone without a soul mate. I would also like to know what he would think of Christmas as we know it today. I think he would be proud to be celebrated, but at the same time, I’d think he’d be too humble of a man to be comfortable with it. I am sure he would like to see the celebration toned down a bit, but I’d have to disagree with him there. I love the hoopla that is Christmas. I love the decorations and the music, although both begin much too early in the retail world, at least here in the U.S. I love giving wrapped gifts. I love the cookies. I love the idea of what Christmas is supposed to bring, love, joy, hope and peace. I only wish it did. It seems this only happens on a family level, not a world-wide level as it is supposed to. But, like Chanukah, it at least brings families together and it breaks up the winter a bit. It also gives us a brief respite from reality and for many, it brings time off from work and gives one a mini-vacation which is always nice. And it gives me a chance to wish all of you a Merry, Healthy, Happy, Prosperous Christmas and New Year! To help along in your celebration and to help kick off the cookie project I am going to give you not one, but three cookie recipes. Hope you enjoy them. They are among my favorites!




marshmallow brownies



Home Cookin Chapter: MARILYN’S RECIPES

Gladys Gooding’s  Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars


Gladys Gooding, a friend from the Monroe County Branch of the New York State

Home Bureau, made this for our annual pot-luck picnic in August of 1994.

These bars were the hit of the picnic! I just fell in love with them. I have

not made this recipe yet. Gladys belonged to the Bayview Chapter and I

belonged to the Nosheri Too chapter, which I began. ~ Marilyn Sultar



3/4 cup Margarine OR Butter

1 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar

3 large Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Salt

3 tablespoons Baking Cocoa

1/2 cup Nuts; chopped

4 cups White Miniature Marshmallows


1 1/3 cup Chocolate Chips

3 tablespoons Margarine OR Butter

1 cup Peanut Butter

2 cups Crisp Rice Cereal; (i.e. Rice Krispies)



PREHEAT oven to 350° Fahrenheit.

GREASE 13“x9”x2″ pan.

Cream 3/4 cup butter and granulated sugar. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat

until fluffy.

Combine all-purpose flour, baking powder salt and baking cocoa. Add to

creamed mixture. Stir in chopped nuts.

Spread batter into GREASED 13“x9x2” pan. Bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 15-18

minutes. Take pan out of oven and sprinkle marshmallows evenly over cake.

Return the cake to the oven for 2-3 minutes.

Using a knife dipped in water, spread the melted marshmallows evenly over the

cake. COOL.


Combine chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter in a small saucepan. Cook

over LOW heat, stirring CONSTANTLY, until melted and well blended. Remove

from heat; stir in cereal. Spread over bars. Chill.

MARILYN’S NOTE: For the topping, I would combine chocolate chips, butter and

peanut butter in a MICROWAVE SAFE POT OR BIG BOWL. I would heat in microwave

for 1 minute on HIGH, stir and if not all melted and smooth, I would put into

microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until everything is melted

and smooth, and mixed together thoroughly.

Source: Gladys Gooding via Marilyn Sultar

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (





snow-capped chocolate mint cookies


Home Cookin Chapter: MARILYN’S RECIPES

Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies


Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies

These cookies are awesome and are one of Paul’s and my favorite cookies. We

can go through the entire batch of cookies in one sitting, if we let

ourselves!! I made these for the first time to take to Chuck and Sue

Ireland’s house for Christmas 1991. ~Marilyn Sultar


1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 (10-ounce) package (1 1/2 cups) Nestle Toll House Mint Flavored Semi-Sweet

Chocolate Morsels; divided

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) Butter; softened

1 cup Sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

2 Eggs

Confectionery Sugar


Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Melt 1 cup of Nestle Toll House Mint Flavored Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels.

Cool for a minute.

(MARILYN’S NOTE: I melt mine in the microwave–HIGH for 1 minute. Unless you

know how long it takes you to melt chocolate in your microwave, start with 30

seconds and go up 10 seconds until melted.)

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add melted mint chocolate and vanilla;

beat in eggs. Add the flour mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup Nestle Toll

House Mint Flavored Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels.

Refrigerate dough for 1/2 hour–45 minutes covered with plastic wrap. (The

original recipe says to freeze for 20 minutes but I like the refrigerator

method better. But if you choose the freezer method, you have to wrap the

dough in plastic wrap–I didn’t want to be bothered.)

PREHEAT oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Shape dough into 1″ balls. Place on

UNGREASED cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies from oven.

After you remove the cookies from the cookie sheet, while they are still

warm, roll them (top and bottom) in confectionery sugar. (MARILYN’S NOTE:

Recipe says to do the rolling in sugar before you bake them, but I roll after

they are cooled as if you roll them in the sugar before they cool, they don’t

come out as pretty–the sugar melts. If you do it after they are cooled, you

see the white of the sugar.)

Source: back of package of Nestle Toll House Mint Flavored Semi-Sweet

Chocolate Morsels via Marilyn Sultar

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (







Home Cookin Chapter: MARILYN’S RECIPES



These are a cakey cookie, which is one reason that they are my very favorite

cut-out cookie. The other is their incredible flavor! I have been making

these cookies since I was about 12 years old and this is my favorite cut-out

cookie recipe. I call these my Italian Christmas Cookies as the recipe came

from an Italian family friend who we used to visit every Christmas. In fact,

the husband was my father’s partner in a grocery store business called

Rabin’s on Park Avenue in Rochester, New York. Their names were Fran and Tony

Scarmanach. Their children were Tony Jr., Chrissie and Elaine. This is also a

favorite as all my high school friends and I would congregate one day a year

after ice skating at Cobbs Hill to bake and decorate these cookies. So they

became a real tradition for me. Of course our main goal was to eat them!!!



1 1/2 cups Shortening

2 cups Granulated Sugar

6 Eggs

1/2 cup Milk; at room temperature

2 teaspoons Lemon Extract

2 teaspoons Orange Extract

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

7 cups All-Purpose Flour; sifted

7 ROUNDED teaspoons Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Salt


Confectionery Sugar

Water OR Milk


Cream shortening and sugar well. Add eggs, one at a time. Then add milk,

lemon, orange and vanilla extracts, flour, baking powder and salt. (Add

flour, baking powder and salt to liquid mixture.)

Refrigerate for an hour. Roll a portion of dough at a time, keeping the other

portion of dough in the refrigerator.

Cut with your favorite cookie cutters.

Bake cookies at 350° Fahrenheit. Take the tray of cookies out IMMEDIATELY.

Let cool on wire cooling rack. (Put wax paper underneath rack!) Let cool.

After cookies are cooled, front with confectionery sugar mixed with water to

desired consistency. Decorate as desired.

Source: Fran Scarmanach via Marilyn Sultar

MSS Note: This recipe makes a lot of cookies!!! In my “old” age, I have

begun to make half the recipe.

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (



Merry Christmas graphic:

Santa’s Cookies graphic:






It’s 2:00 p.m. I have only been awake and up for an hour. I didn’t fall asleep until 8 a.m. I could not turn my head off last night. Don’t you hate nights like that? I shouldn’t complain though as I actually got to work on my book, not that you could tell. All I completed was a few paragraphs of page 1. But, at least it is an accomplishment, albeit a small one. In it I introduced three characters and set the starting locale. After that was completed, I decided to check the descriptions for the chapter that I had previously laid out in my scene outline and in the story summary in my Anthemion Writer’s Cafe program. This helped me to see that I had missed things I wanted to accomplish in the story’s opening and it helped me see what I still need to add. This method seems time-consuming, and it is, but I think it is working for me. In my earlier attempts at writing, I just wrote. That didn’t work for me. Does anyone have any suggestions for a middle ground approach? How do you write your books? With questions like that on my mind, I decided to look for a writer’s community. I would love to join one and form a group of five people who would work with me on my books and I would help them work on their books. Anyone interested? If you are, please contact me. My email address is Please use the subject title “WRITERS GROUP” (yes, all in caps to catch my attention as I get a ton of junk email everyday. Allow me a few days to reply as I don’t always check my email. If I do get a group together, I will set up a special email just for us.

Anyhow, after searching the internet for quite a while, looking for a writer’s community, I came across two websites. I applied to both of them, but I found that one didn’t let me join. It wasn’t because they were rejecting me, but when I hit the “join” button, nothing happened. So I thought that perhaps at some time in the past I may have joined. So, I tried to log in with my email address and one of my passwords. No luck. Talk about frustration. To add to my frustration, the one I did join wants money to upgrade. The freebie version is not really what I am looking for, so I have my doubts about the upgraded version. So, I’d like to know what writing communities you have found useful for new authors. I am looking for a friendly community that will give me constructive criticism on my work, give me encouragement and ideas on where to go for help. I’d also like to know what books to read and how to find people to help me in my research, which I have not begun to even think about, but know it will come soon enough. Actually, this is also what I hope to have in my “Writer’s Group.” Anyone have a better name for the group? I’m brain-dead this afternoon.

To ease my frustration I decided to read. I’m reading a book that I have wanted to read for probably the past 30 years. It is the book based on one of my all-time favorite movies, “Auntie Mame.” The book is Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade by Patrick Dennis. The book is as funny as the Rosalind Russell version of the movie, which is my favorite version. There are two other movie versions of movie. I highly recommend the book and the movie. What is your favorite book? Your favorite movie? The reason I love “Auntie Mame” is because I want to be just like her. I think she is a great role model! She is kind-hearted but not overly so. She protects herself and those she loves. She is anti-prejudice in all of its forms and she is a progressive liberal. She is also a lover of arts and culture. Mame has traveled the world and embraced its cultures. She adores learning about everything. This is the person I would like to become. Is it too late for me, at age 67, to become her? The story is about an orphan who goes to live with his eccentric Aunt and takes place in the 1920s. It is pure camp but at it’s finest.

After reading a chapter, I got an idea for yet another book. By this time I was very tired and decided to go to sleep. I turned off the computer, shut out my light and laid my head on the pillow, only to have my mind run a mile-a-minute. I finally gave up trying to sleep, took the laptop back out and began to put the ideas for this third book down. You would think that I could sleep after that! No way. So I allowed myself to read a book that I just received, Wilton’s Special Anniversary Issue of their 2014 Wilton Yearbook . I haven’t purchased one of these in the past three years as I have been unable to decorate cakes let alone bake them, but I couldn’t resist this issue. The cakes are gorgeous, as usual. Wilton hasn’t let me down yet. However, they have a new format for their recipes and I hate it!!!! If anyone has any influence with the Wilton company, please tell them to go back to the old format!!!

I finally fell asleep somewhere about 8 a.m and I am still tired as I didn’t get a good night’s rest. It is amazing that I can even think clearly enough to write today’s post. But here I am, writing it. Now I have to decide what recipe to include. I think it has to be something sweet. I think we need another cookie recipe today. Let me think for a minute. I’ve got it! The perfect recipe for this post:


My nephew all grown up and married.

My nephew all grown up and married.

Home Cookin Chapter: MARILYN’S RECIPES

Cinnamon Nut Rugelach


“I made this for the first time for my nephew, Dov’s, Bar Mitzvah.

They were easy to make and turned out delicious. I then began

making them for Rosh Hashannah and my step-son, Scott, loves them.

One of the reasons I like this recipe is because it is paerve.” ~




1 cup All-Purpose Flour PLUS

1 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup FROZEN Margarine; cut into 6-8 pieces

1/4 cup Ginger-Ale, 7-Up, Fresca OR Soda Water (Marilyn’s Note: I

use Ginger-Ale.)

1/2 tablespoon Vinegar


2/3 cup Walnuts

1/3 cup Sugar

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Egg White; lightly beaten




With the steel knife in your food processor, process flour and

margarine with on/off turns (about 2-3 seconds at a time) for 4 or

5 times, until the mixture begins to look like coarse oatmeal.

Combine ginger ale with vinegar and add through the feed tube

while machine is running. Process JUST UNTIL the dough begins to

gather in a mass around the blades, about 8-10 seconds. DO NOT


Remove dough from machine, divide into two balls. Wrap each ball


OVERNIGHT. The colder the dough, the easier it is to roll. The

dough may be frozen at this point if you are not ready to finish

making the rugelach. (MARILYN’S NOTE: You can freeze the baked

rugelach also. This recipe freezes well!)

NOTE: This recipe can be doubled in one batch successfully.

Flour dough lightly. Roll one portion of dough on a floured pastry

cloth or floured board.

Roll it into a circle about 1/16″ thick.

(MARILYN’S NOTE: Make sure to keep second ball of dough in

refrigerator until ready to work with it.)


With the steel knife in your food processor, process walnuts,

sugar and cinnamon until nuts are fairly fine, about 12-15



Sprinkle dough with about 1/4 cup of cinnamon/nut mixture. Cut

with a SHARP knife into 12 triangles (each circle). Roll triangle

up from the outside edge towards the center. Repeat with remaining

dough and filling.

Dip the Rugelach first in egg white , then in cinnamon/nut

mixture. Place on a GREASED, FOIL-LINED cookie sheet. bake at 375°

Fahrenheit for 18-29 minutes, until lightly browned.

NOTE: Ingredients for filling may also be doubled successfully in

one batch. Extra filling may be stored in a plastic bag in the


SOURCE: Noreen Gilletz, “The Food Processor Bible.”

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (



Help Wanted Sign clip art from

Photo of my nephew was taken by his darling wife, Amanda.



Well, I took the bull by the horns yesterday after writing my blog post and called our dear friends that moved to Buffalo. We caught up and it was wonderful hearing Leo’s voice. Hopefully, I’ll hear from Laura soon. It was great to hear that their kids are both doing well and are happy and that everyone is healthy!

What shall we discuss today?

I know it’s untimely, or perhaps it’s perfect timing. Let’s talk about Ferguson, Missouri. Paul and I were recently in Missouri for our niece’s wedding. The hotel we stayed at was about 10 minutes away from Ferguson. Talk about day and night! The hotel was pure elegance and not cheap…at least in my eyes and there, down the street, was Ferguson, the picture of poverty. We were there in late September. While there, my hubby got lost coming from Walmart where he had to go one day to pick up a prescription for me for crucial meds that I forgot to pack. He got lost in Ferguson. Today, while chatting with Leo, and telling him about the wedding, I heard Paul say that he thinks the news media is just heating things up and exaggerating. I was flabbergasted to hear him say this. Why? Well, because I lived through the Rochester Race Riots of the 60s and that was no picnic. I imagine things are even worse in Ferguson, especially after the verdict of a few days ago, since they are still rioting. Paul even said that there was no rioting….maybe not on the day he was there, thank G-d!, but I am sure there was and is rioting going on there.

What would it have been like if Jews had rioted in Europe, in Jerusalem throughout the ages? I shudder to think about that. I do understand the motivations of rioting and discontent. I do understand poverty, hunger and poor conditions. I wasn’t always a Jewish princess. No, that didn’t come until I married my hubby and I am not a rich Jewish princess by any stretch of the imagination.

I am a child of the 50s and 60s. I struggled, although my parents helped me greatly. I was lucky they could. But, I did go without food at times and I never lived in nice apartments nor did I ever live in the suburbs. I grew up in a great neighborhood in the City of Rochester. I lived in a nice home, thanks to the sacrifices my parents made on my behalf. Maybe it wasn’t as nice as most of my cousins’ homes but it was a beautiful home to me and full of love. I have it a bit better today, thanks to my hubby. But I remember the years I struggled as a single young woman. I remember doing so many stupid things. But, that is life. What did I know though of prejudice? Plenty!

I first felt prejudice from the mother of a young man I was very much in love with. She equated Jews with Blacks, she hated both. I next came across it in an office where I worked. There was an invisible division, a silent one, but it was there. I was careful not to dramatically cross the line. And luckily, I had a defender or two there also. But it was nothing like my mother’s experience in her first jobs. Again, I was lucky. Also, the color of my skin didn’t mark me outwardly. But then, I knew about the pogroms and the Holocaust. I now know about the trials of people all over the world who are treated shamefully. What I don’t know and wish I did is what to do about all of this? How can I make this a better place to live in? A world of peace? I don’t know, but this is how I am trying, by sharing with you here my thoughts and my recipes. This, to me,  is a step in saying, “This is who I am. I’m glad to meet you. Come, let me get to know you. Maybe we can become friends.” If we can become friends, that is step one in the peace process, I think. To those of you in Ferguson and elsewhere in the world that are being persecuted because of any reason, my prayers are with you and I hope that soon you will be able to exist as easily as I am currently existing. So, in friendship, I offer all of you this recipe for sweetness in hopes you can enjoy it!


mint chocolate-chip cookies

Home Cookin Chapter: COOKIES 2014

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies


25 MIN Prep Time

40 MIN Total Time

36 Servings




1 Pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix

1/2 Cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 To 1/2 teaspoon mint extract

6 To 8 drops green food color

1 Egg

1 Cup creme de menthe baking chips

1 Cup semisweet chocolate chunks




Heat oven to 350°F.


In large bowl, stir cookie mix,

butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir

in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.

Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on

ungreased cookie sheet.


Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from

cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely.


Storetightly covered at room temperature.


Drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate.


For even baking, make sure cookies are of the same shape and size.


Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 Cookie

Calories140 ( Calories from Fat60), % Daily Value Total Fat7g7%

(Saturated Fat4 1/2g,4 1/2% Trans Fat1/2g1/2% ),

Cholesterol15mg15%; Sodium75mg75%; Total Carbohydrate17g17%

(Dietary Fiber0g0% Sugars13g13% ), Protein1g1% ; % Daily Value*:

Vitamin A0%; Vitamin C0%; Calcium0%; Iron0%;


0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat

Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0

High-Fat Meat; 1 1/2 Fat;

Carbohydrate Choices:1

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (