Live Well
December 2017

Holiday Gift Guide for the Foodies in Your Life

As much as I would like to recommend making home-made gifts for family and friends, I am aware that this is not always a realistic proposition. So, here’s a list of gifts that the foodies in your life might appreciate.

  1. Of course, I always love getting cookbooks or food-related books. Here are a few that I am looking forward to getting my hands on:
    • Why You Eat What You Eat The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food
      by Rachel Herz, PhD
    • Sweet Desserts from London’s Ottenlenghi
      by Yotam Ottenlenghi and Helen Goh
    • How to Cook Everything Vegetarian Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition
      by Mark Bittman
    • The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook
      by Salma Hage
    • Feast Your Eyes because food is beautiful
      by Brittany Wright
  2. Chocolate, pasta or bread subscriptions from small-batch producers…because who can’t use one of these? Check out,,, or for some great options.
  3. I try to buy most of my produce locally. However, there is one thing that I will splurge on in summer, the peaches and plums from Frog Hollow Farm in California. In addition to fruit clubs, they also have great jams and preserves and pastries. Check out their gifts here: Of course, if you prefer to stay local, consider a gift certificate to your local farm delivery service (CT Farm Fresh Express or Mike’s Organic in Connecticut), or a subscription to a CSA.
  4. I’ve heard people raving about the Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1. It’s a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté pot, warming pot and yogurt maker all in one. What’s better than that?
  5. A gift certificate to a cooking school nearby or, better yet, take a class in your own home with Alice Waters’ Master Class!


Cook Well

Swiss Anise Cookies

(Anis Broetli)

When I was younger, I remember my mother spending days making traditional Swiss Christmas cookies. Every night it was a different type of cookie. This is a tradition that I have happily adopted. I thought I would share one of my mother’s recipes with you. Makes about 60 2” cookies

5 eggs
500grams (1.1lbs.) powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. anise seeds
500grams (1.1lbs.) all-purpose flour
  1. 1. Mix the eggs and sugar until light and creamy.*
  2. 2. Add anise seeds and flour. Mix well. Knead the dough then let it rest for 10 minutes.
  3. 3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll a piece on a floured surface to slightly less than 1/2”.
  4. 4. Sprinkle with flour then cut dough into desired shapes and lay them on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough*.
  5. 5. Leave the cookies in a draught-free area for 12-24 hours. The cookies should feel dry on top and humid on the bottom.
  6. 6. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  7. 7. Bake the cookies near the bottom of the oven for 12-15 minutes.

*Note: if the dough seems dry, wet your hands or put a damp towel on top of the dough. If the dough is too sticky, knead in some more flour.



Here are a few of my favorite articles for this month:

This is an interesting article about the ways in which it is be possible to change farming methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. READ ARTICLE

Great news about Americans drinking less soda! READ ARTICLE

In our quest to make food cheap and fast, we are undermining the very things that make it cheap and fast. READ ARTICLE

It’s time to stop using antibiotics on healthy animals! READ ARTICLE