Jan Buerge of Kansas City and her sister Judy Hartzler carry on the family tradition of making peppernuts for the holidays. Peppernuts are tiny spice cookies popular throughout Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Russia.
Sarah Shaw, a 15-year-old high school freshman from Overland Park, enjoys celebrating Hanukkah by hosting an open-house “LatkeFest.” “Holidays are a time to come together, and we have fun with it,” her mother, Amy Shaw, says. “So many Jewish traditions are tied to the foods that are served, and Sarah likes to make sure there’s a variety of dishes at our gatherings, so no one goes home hungry.”
Anna Dudenhoeffer Simpson relishes her time in the kitchen. This summer, Simpson started a blog, EatandDrinkwithAnna.com, to share her culinary escapades with friends and family. Simpson comes from a “long line of food lovers” and enjoys cooking comfort foods with seasonal ingredients.
Art Schaaf practices deliberate acts of pieness. Cooking comes easy as pie for Schaaf, as head chef of the home he shares with his wife, Pam, . Schaaf has a passion for pie, and likes to make his crust-filled creations both sweet and savory for friends and his blended family of four children and four grandchildren. He shares a recipe handed down from his mother, Joan.
It’s easy for Debi Bender to scare up good food for her family to enjoy. Her trick is to have a repository of recipes that are have been kid-approved. And, her treat is mixing it up with her grandchildren in the kitchen.
Charles Bruffy, chorus director for the Kansas City Symphony Chorus and artistic director of the Kansas City and Phoenix chorales, travels frequently. He has re-created his favorite rigatoni recipe from New York City’s Carmine’s.
Tens of thousands of local kids go without enough food on weekends. The Star is partnering with Harvesters to raise money for the area’s hungriest children. All money goes to Harvesters’ BackSnack program, which provides low-income children weekend meals. Just $25 provides a child BackSnacks for a month; $250 provides BackSnacks for a year. Everyone who donates before Christmas Eve will be entered in a drawing for a football autographed by Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles.
English teacher Kyle Hopkins shares his knockoff recipe for the Peanut’s Chicken Wings. A Renaissance man, Hopkins roasted turkey for Thanksgiving using a bird cage and gleaned barbecue tips while living in Korea.
Yoshiko Yamanaka of Kansas City shares her recipe for chirashi or “scattered” sushi. Yamanaka is a member of the Greater Kansas City Japan Festival committee and is a traditional Japanese dancer who will perform at the festival held at Johnson County Community College on Saturday. Yamanaka views the festival as a way to share and celebrate cultural differences.
“Food is meant to nurture us — both body and soul — and a sense of joy should extend not only to those with whom we share a meal, but even to the washing of dirty dishes,” says Buddhist temple director Janet Nima Taylor.
Donald Booz of Overland Park enjoys cooking cuisines from around the world, but his favorite is French. Booz relishes making meals to be shared with his family and looks forward to making new foodie friends.