Once upon an overcast mid-Autumn day, in a bright and whimsical cookie bakeshop in the heart of New City, there was a cookie girl and a cookbook girl.  After assiduous plotting and planning between the two, the day finally arrived for Le Grand Cookbook Fete .  Sheets of cookie covered chocolate bark were crafted, and then broken up into numerous artful shards.  A bowl of rich chocolate ganache was stirred up, and then piped into thumbprinted  butter cookies.  A cauldron of warm and fragrant chai tea brewed on the hot plate.  And the clear tones of Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, and Ella Fitzgerald filled the air….

The JCC Metrowest event in West Orange a few weeks ago was the official launch of the cookbook.  But this past Thursday was the scene of the book party Stacey and I had been planning since I started writing the book.  Stacey and I met in a first time Mommy support group when our boys were little more than newborns.    We were both refugees from the City, and were emitting strong Jew-girl vibes in the  church basement where the gatherings were held. We clicked immediately and bonded over shared anxieties and creative endeavors.

Cookie Girl Autumn Bouquet

Fast forward several years and Stacey opens a bakeshop- Cookie Girl, where she creates gorgeous works of edible art everyday. I’d escape to her warm and cozy and aromatic little shop whenever it got to be too much.  I’d walk through the door, take a deep cookie-scented breath.  Then take in the colorful and fanciful cookie bouquets that lined the walls.  I’d appraise the bakeshop classics like chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, behind the display case and all was magically right with the world again.  We started planning the cookies ‘n chocolate book launch party soon after I submitted the second draft for the book in the middle of winter.


I spent the day greeting friends and acquaintances, signing cookbooks, offering platters of chocolate bark and truffle filled cookies, and ladling out cupfuls of steaming chai lattes.  Chatting with Stacey during the occasional lulls rounded out the busy day and added a nostalgic note, bringing me back to the time when we would spend all day together with our new babies- talking, sampling each others sweet treats, and just trying to figure it all out.

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Bissel (bis-sul)Yiddish: A bit, a little.
B'Tayavon (be-teya-von) Hebrew: Bon Appetit! Enjoy (in reference to a meal/dish)
Faux-sher Food (fo-shure) Rachelese: Kosher food in disguise. The minute Judy bit into the krab kake she was a fauxsher food fan.
Taim (tay-yim) Hebrew: yummy, delicious
Zetz (zets) Yiddish: smack