Worth the Time: Rolled Grape Leaves

A few weeks ago I spent a lovely morning with my friend Nermine, a cultural cooking advocate (I love that moniker so much!). She's spent years perfecting her Stuffed Grape Leaves recipe and generously shared it with me, though the secret spice mix is still a secret!

More than the recipe I learned about the culture of women coming together to socialise, gossip, trade news, and build community while creating a delicious treat for their families. From ancient to modern times, women coming together in the kitchen is a source of support and empowerment, a way to hand down family lore, hatch plans, and so much more. 

Does your family or culture have a similar communal dish? Do you have a memory cooking with the women in your family or community? Please share it with us, we'd love to feature your story and recipe in a future Feeder issue.

Read the full story at Chez Nermine.  
Get the Recipe


by Books Contributor Alison

August—the end of summer! And what a summer of seeing friends, traveling, visiting Target...I wish! I actually didn’t leave our apartment. Thank goodness for my Spanx shorts and some good books to keep me entertained. I read 15 books this month. My top five are...

Here for It: Or How to Save Your Soul in America, by R. Eric Thomas. I laughed uncontrollably through his autobiographical essays and I hope he isn’t scared when I move to Philly to be the best friend he didn’t know he needed.

Pretty Things, by Janelle Brown. This story of a con and her mark has some surprising twists and turns. People said it is too long, but I loved the slow build up. Takes place in Tahoe which I loved.

Oona Out of Order, by Margarita Montimore. Like the Time Travelers Wife, but with a young party girl. So inventive!

The Body in Question, by Jill Ciment. Two sequestered jurors have an affair and put a string of events into motion.

The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Believe the Oprah hype. It is that good.

Honorable mention: I read Jessica Simpson’s Open Book and here are my takeaways—she’s not that dumb and John Mayer is the dirtball we knew him to be.

For more great book suggestions, visit The Feeder website. Happy Reading!


Boost Immunity, Lower Stress & Improve Your Mood with Simple Meal Planning

Many of my clients are finding it tough to stay on track with all the new challenges in their lives—home schooling kids, working from home, missing daily exercise routines, and higher stress levels.

While spending more time at home with access to the kitchen almost 24/7, planning what's in your cupboards is more important than ever. Grabbing a few chips or pretzels is ok, but for many it is difficult to stop once the bag is open. And when you are already feeling a bit down, a quick fix of cookies seems like the answer, but it will ultimately make you feel worse. Processed foods containing lots of simple carbs can cause significant blood sugar level swings that can drive anxiety and further lower your mood.

So, how do I make better food choices in a simple way?
Make a daily meal plan!

Don't leave anything to chance by stocking the kitchen with the right foods prepped and ready to eat.

Clear your Cupboards. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it. Enough said.

Plan for a Treat Night. Pick a day to enjoy your favorite foods once per week, but not all of your favorites at one time!

Cope without Food. Look for ways to manage your emotions that don’t involve food. Instead of snacking when you’re feeling down or bored, consciously substitute a healthier behavior like taking a walk, playing with a pet, phoning a friend, reading a novel, or anything else you find pleasurable.

Restrictions and changes in routine are challenging for everyone and can cause us to abandon the healthy routines we had in place. With a little planning you can make good food choices that can help keep your immune system strong and help you feel better. 

For a simple meal plan, click here!
To learn more about immunity-boosting, anxiety-reducing foods, click here!

Ah-hoo...Werewolves A Cocktailin'


This drink may not put hair on your chest, but it will make you howl with pleasure. The wonderful balance of bitter Bruto Americano with sweet vermouth and the herbal gin is a winner...and, yes next issue we will get off our gin kick and offer up another spirit.

American Werewolf


1.5 oz St. George Terroir Gin
1 oz Bruto Americano (or Campari or Aperol)
.75 oz sweet vermouth

Mix It Up!

Stir all ingredients with ice to chill. Then strain into a rocks glass and serve over ice. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and howl after you sip! For more great cocktails visit Cocktailing@Home at

Music Makes Everything Better!

For more great tunes, click here.

Ladies Who Brunch:

5 Leading Ladies I'd Like to Have Brunch With

I firmly believe that brunch is a sacred meal to be celebrated with pomp and circumstance. Breakfast and lunch foods, sweet and salty, a cheeky mimosa, all on one table, what's not to love! The only thing that makes brunch better is the company you keep and, since I’m a film writer, I figured the silver screen was my oyster and I could fantasize about the perfect brunch guests to my heart's content! I’ve limited myself to five films with incredible leading female characters who I think would make the perfect brunch invitees.

Diana Prince, Wonder Woman, 2017
(Directed by Patty Jenkins) 

One of my favorite memories was seeing Wonder Woman in a theatre, sandwiched between my grandmother and my cousins who are eight and ten. Despite the age gap on both sides of the spectrum, grandma stayed awake the entire time (a miracle) and the cousins sat wide eyed at all the action, the movie was clearly a multigenerational success! Lead actress Gal Gadot gives this famous superhero a heart of gold. She’s kind and virtuous, while also being a total badass. The exact type of woman I’d like to be friends with. Wonder Woman is the type of BFF who’d share her avocado toast with you, and keep creepy guys from hitting on you. A win/win!

Elle Woods, Legally Blonde, 2001
(Directed by Robert Luketic) 

Who wouldn’t want to be friends with Elle Woods? The bend and snap aficionado supports her fellow women no matter what their background is, and she’d give the best fashion advice. Even if you’re not a fan of the color pink, you must admit her journey from potential housewife of Beverly Hills to Harvard grad is inspiring. I can imagine us clinking mimosas to celebrate her win on a big court case and I know she’d be just as excited to celebrate any of my accomplishments in equal measure. Every girl needs a friend like Elle Woods in their life!

Thelma Dickinson and Louise Sawyer, Thelma and Louise, 1991
(Directed by Ridley Scott) 

So, I’m technically cheating with this choice since it’s two women, but who am I to separate these iconic best friends? These gals are ride or die, literally. And, despite being very different women they’ve always got each other's backs. Louise works in the restaurant industry, so she’d know great places and I’ll bet she’d tip well since she’s a waitress herself. Thelma would definitely flirt with the cute waiter and get us some sort of treat—on the house! With friends like this, brunch is sure to be a screaming good time. 

Summer Finn, 500 Days of Summer, 2009
(Directed by Marc Webb) 

Summer Finn was the blueprint for the “manic pixie dream girl” trope. Zooey Deschanel plays Joseph Gordon Levitt’s perfect girlfriend, but his idealization of their relationship is ultimately what tears them apart. The film is all told from his perspective, but I’m really curious to pick Summer’s brain and hear her side of the story. She’s sarcastic and witty with great taste in music, but what she needs is a gal pal to analyze clingy men with. We’d lament our unsuccessful relationships at the hippest, most underground brunch spot in town!

Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind, 1939
(Directed by Victor Flemming)

She may show up to brunch in a dress made from the drapes in her parlor, but she’d make them work! This southern fireball is certainly a polarizing character. She’s not always likeable, but she would be a grand time. Scarlett is a major drama queen who’s always got the hottest gossip in town. The two of us could sip mint juleps and silently judge everyone else in the place before we’re picked up by our beaus for a lovely afternoon picnic.

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by Eliza Fry

Up-Cycle Jars into Glasses! 

Jar glasses have been trendy for a while, not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they are also good for the environment.

There's no need to purchase mason jars when any glass jar will work. Save jars from mustard, jelly, pickles, anything. Look for some with interesting shapes and a nice wide mouth so you can easily pour your drink in. Just be sure to wash the jars well before reusing them. And, when they look this adorable with raffia and paper straws, every sip is a party!

About me: I'm a writer, obsessive reader, mother, wife and one half of the marketing team known as Chop Chop.  I love to travel and explore new places, but hate to plan trips. I strive to be a good friend and a great home cook. My friends tease me about my germaphobia and being's all good. 
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