Cooking with Ease: Love is…

Cooking with Ease: Love is…

Rockwall, TX (February 7, 2024) – I am going to tell my age here, but growing up I always rushed to pull the comic section from the newspaper. My mom went for the TV Guide, my dad went for sports, and I grabbed the comics. My favorites were Garfield, Cathy, Peanuts, Blondie, Family Circle, and Love Is. I read them all. I cut them out and stapled them to my walls (sorry, Mom) so I could re-read them over and over again.

While baking this article’s recipe, I thought about love. And my mind went back to all of those ‘Love Is’ comic strips.

“love is…taking one day at a time.”

“love is…a flame that never goes out.”

“love is…turning their head.”

“love is…enjoying the simple things in life – together.”

They were always fun to read, but as a child, I did not know love like I do now. So, what would I say love is, now?

There are many things, but the one sentiment that stood out to me was that love is…the burning desire to talk to that special someone. I think about the times when my son, Micah, was in basic training for the Air Force, and I desperately wanted to talk to him. All these years after losing my father and wishing for just one more conversation. I think about how every day I talk to my husband, Evan. About important things, silly things, and no things at all. I just want to talk to him! How even as an adult, I call my mom and sister daily. I don’t want to miss one single day of having a conversation with them. How I sit in coffee shops across from friends and just enjoy their conversation. When I haven’t seen my favorite two-year-old in a few days, I have to Facetime him…to talk! And he is barely forming sentences.

It’s easy to get caught up in text messages, emails, and direct messages. Nothing will replace a conversation with someone you love. Nothing. Micah is now stationed in North Carolina finishing his fighter pilot training. I love him so much. My firstborn. I wish I could talk to him daily, but he has a busy life. I text and call him as much as I think he can tolerate, and on those days when he calls me first, my heart skips a beat when I see his number come across. I always end the conversation with, “I love you” and “Thank you so much for calling me.” The simple act of taking the time to talk to someone. Whew, that is love.

How would you finish the sentence, love is?

Here is a delightful recipe that actually calls for a little downtime between prep and bake. The perfect time to ponder such things.

Strawberry Jam Cookies, inspired by Dessert For Two

Prep time 20 min   Cook time 16 min    Additional time 1 hr

Servings: 13 cookies


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 13 teaspoons strawberry jelly


Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. I spray a little baking spray on the pan first so the parchment will stick.

First, beat softened butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high. The butter should be smooth and stuck to the inside of the mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, scrap the butter from the sides and into the middle of the bowl. Add in sugar and beat on high until incorporated. Beat in egg, vanilla extract and almond extract. Scrape the batter from the sides again and into the middle of the bowl.

Finally, add in the flour and salt and mix until just incorporated. It should be a crumbly dough. Now, scoop out 2 Tbsp of batter, roll into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet. When all the cookies are rolled and on baking sheet make your heart imprints. Dip your pinky or pointer finger, whichever you find to work best, into flour and then gently create a heart shape in the dough ball. Using a small spoon, carefully add 1 Tbsp of strawberry jelly into each heart. Do not press the balls out of shape during either steps. Place the cookies in the refrigerator to chill for one hour before baking. Do not skip this step.

Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes. Check on the cookies, and remove them from the oven when the edges of the bottom of the cookies is just starting to turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking pan completely. Once cool, remove the cookies from the pan and enjoy!