Chanukah is Here! Potato Latkes Recipe (aka Potato Pancakes)

Potato Latkes
Potato Latkes

Chanukah Treat! 

Shout out to my niece Eli, who brought potato latkes to Thanksgiving! Why? Because, this year, the two holidays coincided. I have a love/hate relationship with these delicious Chanukah treats. I love to eat them, but don’t love making them. Trust me when I say oil splatters everywhere and energy must be reserved for a rigorous clean-up. I once heard a colleague say she fries hers outside on her deck in an electric frying pan. I own one, but am always cooking for a crowd. I’d need several electric frying pans…

Hmmm, food for thought!

IMG_2753

potatoes grated in food processor
Grate potatoes in food processor.
onions grated in food processor
Grate onions in food processor.
Latkes frying.
Fry latkes in oil until medium brown on each side.
Latkes frying.
Add more oil to frying pan when oil level drops.
Drain latkes on brown paper bags to retain their crispiness.
Drain latkes on brown paper bags to retain their crispiness.

POTATO LATKES

Ingredients

4 large potatoes, peeled and grated (I used a food processor to grate potatoes and onions.)

1 cup onions, grated

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Corn, canola or vegetable oil

brown paper grocery bags, cut open and flattened on a counter

Directions

1.  Insert grating disc in food processor and grate potatoes.  Place potatoes in a colander sitting in a bowl or sink.  Drain excess liquid.

2.  Grate onions in food processor.

3.  In a large bowl, combine drained potatoes with eggs, salt, pepper, baking powder, flour and onions.  Mix well.

4.  Pour a layer of oil in frying pan and heat on a medium heat.

5.  Drop potato mixture by spoonfuls into hot oil.  (Be careful, because they splatter.)

6.  When one side of a latke is medium brown, turn and brown other side.

7.  Drain on paper bags.

Yield:  approximately 25 latkes, depending on the size of the spoon and amount of mixture you drop into the oil.

*If not serving right away, you may freeze latkes once they’ve cooled. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place latkes in a single layer on foil-lined cookie sheets.  Bake approximately 15 minutes or until crisp.

Serve with applesauce or sour cream.

Thanksgiving Menu–Apple, Pumpkin & Pecan Pies

Apple Pie with Basket Weave Crust.

One of the reasons I love Thanksgiving holiday food so much is that I love pie, especially if it’s pumpkin, apple or pecan! Want the recipes to some of my favorite desserts? Click on the links to find out my tried and true recipes for Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie. I’ve posted recipes for Pecan Pie in the past, but pecans burn easily making getting the recipe right a bit finicky. I’m ready to try a new one. The link below connects to a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Happy baking, hon!

Pass the Applesauce Potato Latkes (aka Potato Pancakes)

Potato Latkes
Potato Latkes

I’m reposting this recipe! Yum! 

Hon, these potato latkes tasted as good as they smelled!  I tripled the recipe below, then portioned and froze them, ready to defrost and reheat at a moment’s notice. Prepping and frying latkes is a lot of work, which is why I make them only twice a year. Yes, they’re cooked in oil. But, they’re worth it on occasion, especially if served with applesauce or sour cream.

IMG_2753

potatoes grated in food processor
Grate potatoes in food processor.

onions grated in food processor
Grate onions in food processor.

Latkes frying.
Fry latkes in oil until medium brown on each side.

Latkes frying.
Add more oil to frying pan when oil level drops.

Drain latkes on brown paper bags to retain their crispiness.
Drain latkes on brown paper bags to retain their crispiness.

POTATO LATKES

Ingredients

4 large potatoes, peeled and grated (I used a food processor to grate potatoes and onions.)

1 cup onions, grated

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Corn, canola or vegetable oil

brown paper grocery bags, cut open and flattened on a counter

Directions

1.  Insert grating disc in food processor and grate potatoes.  Place potatoes in a colander sitting in a bowl or sink.  Drain excess liquid.

2.  Grate onions in food processor.

3.  In a large bowl, combine drained potatoes with eggs, salt, pepper, baking powder, flour and onions.  Mix well.

4.  Pour a layer of oil in frying pan and heat on a medium heat.

5.  Drop potato mixture by spoonfuls into hot oil.  (Be careful, because they splatter.)

6.  When one side of a latke is medium brown, turn and brown other side.

7.  Drain on paper bags.

Yield:  approximately 25 latkes, depending on the size of the spoon and amount of mixture you drop into the oil.

*If not serving right away, you may freeze latkes once they’ve cooled. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place latkes in a single layer on foil-lined cookie sheets.  Bake approximately 15 minutes or until crisp.

Serve with applesauce or sour cream.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie.
Pecan Pie.

I love pecan pie. So, why have I only made it a few times in my life? Because I have a house of picky eaters! But in honor of Thanksgiving, and because I won’t be the only one eating the pie, I tried a new recipe. (previous post with different recipe.)

Luckily, I have a good sense of smell and picked up the “take-me-out-of-the-oven-NOW-scent” because the recipe called for another 10 minutes of baking time. The dark brown crust meant my pie could have come out of the oven even earlier. That won’t stop me–I bet it’s going to delicious.  Happy baking, hon.

Gather ingredients.
Gather ingredients.

Ready to go in the oven.
Ready to go in the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons  margarine

3 eggs

1 cup dark corn syrup

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups (10 -12 ounces) chopped pecans

9-inch pie shell

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Melt margarine in a small pan on stove.
  3. In mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add corn syrup, sugar and vanilla, and stir until well blended. Add melted margarine and pecans and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.
  5. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Pie Crust:  I make my own.  To find out how, click either gluten-free pie crust or regular pie crust.

 

London Broil

London broil, roasted potatoes and gingery sauteed carrots.
London broil, roasted potatoes and gingery sauteed carrots.

London Broil

My son was coming home for the weekend. What to make for dinner? Something hearty, of course! First I picked up London broil from the butcher, then I searched for a recipe. I found this Paula Deen recipe on the Food Network website.  Controversy over Paula Deen aside, this was an easy-to-follow, not-too-time-consuming, delicious recipe.

Happy cooking, hon!

Approx. 3 pound London broil.
Approx. 3 pound London broil.

Prep the meat with salt and pepper.
Prep the meat with salt and pepper.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Reducing glaze.
Reducing glaze.

Slather meat with reduced glaze.
Slather meat with reduced glaze.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Use a meat thermometer while broiling to determine desired doneness.
Use a meat thermometer while broiling to determine desired doneness.

Let London broil rest for about 10 minutes before carving.
Let London broil rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

Dinner's served!
Dinner’s served!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Ingredients:

1 (3-pound) London broil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled

1 bay leaf

Directions:

Preheat broiler and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Season meat with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over a low heat, combine  vinegar, brown sugar, garlic and bay leaf.  Simmer until liquid has reduced by half and is syrupy in consistency, about 5 minutes. Discard garlic and bay leaf.

Put meat on baking sheet and slather with glaze.

Broil meat 4 inches from the heat until it reaches desired level of doneness*, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. When using the broiler, crack oven door open so meat doesn’t burn.

Remove from broiler to cutting board and let about 10 minutes** before cutting.  Thinly slice against the grain.

*Desired level of doneness means how well done do you like your beef?  Using a meat thermometer, take the London broil out of the oven when it reaches the desired temperature.  The meat will still cook for a few minutes when it’s out of the oven.

Chart of Meat Temperatures and Doneness

**Let the London broil rest before cutting it.  If you carve it right away, the juices will run out and the meat will be dry.  Let it rest, and the juices get reabsorbed.

Recipes for roasted potatoes and gingery sauteed carrots coming soon…

Comfort Food Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup
Chicken Soup

Chicken soup isn’t just comfort food.

“The Science of Chicken Soup,” an article written by Tara Parker-Pope, reporting on several studies, explains why chicken soup has healing properties. This batch was especially delicious which, I think, was due to the addition of a sweet potato. I usually double the recipe and freeze* half so I can serve up a little comfort/ homemade medicine at a moment’s notice.  Whether you’re cold, sick, or just sick of the cold, try a bowl-full. C’mon, it’s good for you!

Happy cooking, hon.

Cheese cloth and kitchen twine.
Cheese cloth and kitchen twine.

Chicken bouillons.
Chicken bouillons.

Veggies for soup.
Veggies for soup.

Chickens tied up in cheese cloth.
Chickens tied up in cheese cloth.

Soup pot.
Soup pot.

Soup anyone?
Soup anyone?

Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

1 large chicken, approx. 4 to 5 pounds or 2 smaller chickens, approx. 2 pounds each. I served these chickens for dinner and saved the carcasses for soup. I created a cheese cloth bag by wrapping each chicken in cheese cloth and tying the top closed with kitchen twine, leaving enough cloth on top so it would drape a little over the edge of the pot.

1 large onion, peeled

2 cup stalks celery

5 carrots, quartered

1 sweet potato, peeled

2 garlic cloves

2 to 3 quarts of cold water, depending on the size of your soup pot

chicken bouillon cubes that are the correct ratio for the amount of water you are using

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Directions:

1. Prepare chicken carcasses by creating cheese cloth bags and tying shut.  Place in soup pot.

2. Add crushed bouillon cubes to water and stir.  Pour bouillon water to pot and stir.

3. Create another cheese cloth bag for all the vegetables except the carrots.  Place in soup pot.

4. Add carrots and spices to pot.

5. Cover pot and bring mixture to a boil.

6.  Lower heat to simmer and cook for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

7. Removed chicken and vegetable bags, letting the liquid drain from bags before discarding.

8. Serve soup with carrots.

Yield:  6 to 8 servings.

*Freezing:  Portion off the amount you want to freeze in a freezer-safe container, making sure not to fill to the top.  (Liquid expands when it freezes).  It’ll stay good in the freezer for months.

Pass the Applesauce Potato Latkes (aka Potato Pancakes)

Potato Latkes
Potato Latkes

Hon, these potato latkes tasted as good as they smelled!  I tripled the recipe below, then portioned and froze them, ready to defrost and reheat at a moment’s notice. Prepping and frying latkes is a lot of work, which is why I make them only twice a year. Yes, they’re cooked in oil. But, they’re worth it on occasion, especially if served with applesauce or sour cream.

IMG_2753

potatoes grated in food processor
Grate potatoes in food processor.

onions grated in food processor
Grate onions in food processor.

Latkes frying.
Fry latkes in oil until medium brown on each side.

Latkes frying.
Add more oil to frying pan when oil level drops.

Drain latkes on brown paper bags to retain their crispiness.
Drain latkes on brown paper bags to retain their crispiness.

POTATO LATKES

Ingredients

4 large potatoes, peeled and grated (I used a food processor to grate potatoes and onions.)

1 cup onions, grated

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Corn, canola or vegetable oil

brown paper grocery bags, cut open and flattened on a counter

Directions

1.  Insert grating disc in food processor and grate potatoes.  Place potatoes in a colander sitting in a bowl or sink.  Drain excess liquid.

2.  Grate onions in food processor.

3.  In a large bowl, combine drained potatoes with eggs, salt, pepper, baking powder, flour and onions.  Mix well.

4.  Pour a layer of oil in frying pan and heat on a medium heat.

5.  Drop potato mixture by spoonfuls into hot oil.  (Be careful, because they splatter.)

6.  When one side of a latke is medium brown, turn and brown other side.

7.  Drain on paper bags.

Yield:  approximately 25 latkes, depending on the size of the spoon and amount of mixture you drop into the oil.

*If not serving right away, you may freeze latkes once they’ve cooled. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place latkes in a single layer on foil-lined cookie sheets.  Bake approximately 15 minutes or until crisp.

Serve with applesauce or sour cream.

Pass a Piece of Pie

Pumpkin Pies
Pumpkin Pies

Apple pies
Apple Pies

Guess what I’m thinking of when I run these days?  Pie, of course!

After a pie baking day when I did not eat a piece of pie, I’ve been dreaming about dessert on Thanksgiving.  If you think I will be stuffed from dinner, you’re right.  But…

there’s always room for dessert!

Recipe for Pumpkin Pie

Recipe for Apple Pie

I made all the dough the same way, but some rolled out beautifully and some did not. After trying fruitlessly to roll out the top of one pie, I had an idea care of Ceramics class.

Apple pie, rolling pin and heart shaped cookie cutter.
Apple pie, rolling pin and heart shaped cookie cutter.

I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out smaller sections of dough, which I then overlapped to form the top crust.  Do you like the result?

Apple pie covered in hearts.
Apple pie covered in hearts.

I also decided to make mini Apple Pies in a muffin tin. After lining the muffin tin with baking cups, I formed small pie crusts, added the apple filling and pinched the crusts closed.

Form mini pie crusts in baking cups.
Form mini pie crusts in baking cups.

Close-up of mini pie crusts.
Close-up of mini pie crusts.

Apple filling
Apple filling

Spoon apple filling into mini pie crust.
Spoon apple filling into mini pie crust.

Sprinkle a sugar/ cinnamon mixture on top and bake.
Sprinkle a sugar/ cinnamon mixture on top and bake.

The mini apple pies gave off a lot of liquid, which seeped out of the sides of the baking cups causing them to stick to the muffin tin. So, next time, I would drain the apple mixture more as well as double or triple the baking cups in each section.

Happy baking, hon!

Thanksgiving Dinner–Southern Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie
Pecan Pie

I love pecan pie!  While showing off photos of my lovely-looking pie, I was informed that I pronounce pecan incorrectly.  I say pee-CAN, but was told it should be pronounced pi-CAHN.  Either way I say it, my mouth waters just thinking about one of my favorite desserts!

In addition to apple and pumpkin pies, I’m adding this pie to my Thanksgiving dinner menu.  I found it in a Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking cookbook.

Happy baking, hon!

P.S.  How do you pronounce pecan?

pie crust and filling ingredients
pie crust and filling ingredients

ready to go in the oven
ready to go in the oven

Pecan Pie:  Enjoy!
Pecan Pie: Enjoy!

PECAN PIE

Basic Pie Crust

1 1/3 (325 ml) cups flour

1/2 (2 ml) teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable shortening

1/4 cup (50 ml) ice water

Food Processor Directions:  Insert steel blade in food processor.  Mix flour and salt, then place the mixture in the food processor.  Add shortening and process until mixture resembles cornmeal (about 5 seconds).  Slowly pour ice water through feed tube and process until dough forms a ball (about 5 to 10 seconds).  Chill dough for easier handling.

Shortcut:  If you don’t have time to make your own crust, use store-bought, unbaked pie crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Filling

3 large eggs

1/2 cup (4 oz/ 125 g) sugar

1 cup (10 oz/ 315 g) dark corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup (2 oz/ 60g) unsalted butter, melted (I used margarine)

1 1/2 cups (6oz/ 185g) large pecan pieces, cut into halves and quarters

Whipped Cream, optional

Directions

1.  Roll out the crust and form a pie shell in a baking dish.

2.  To make the filling, in a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla.  Whisk until blended.

3.  Whisk in melted butter (or margarine) .

4.  Using a spoon, stir in pecans.

5.  Pour filling into pie crust.

6.  Bake pie until filling is set.  The cookbook’s recipe recommends 45-50 minutes baking time, but my pie took 65 minutes to bake, so I suggest watching the pie to see how much time it needs in your oven.  The center of the pie should jiggle slightly if the pan is given a gentle shake.

7.  Transfer to wire rack and let cool.  Serve warm or a room temperature with whipped cream, if desired.

*The pie can be covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

*I made my pie a few weeks in advance and froze it, covering it in plastic wrap and tin foil.  I’ll thaw it the day before Thanksgiving and warm it in the oven on 250 degrees F before serving.

Homemade Granola

IMG_0300

Seed and nuts mixture and gluten free oats mixture (featured in my wheel thrown ceramic bowls)
1 cup combination of seeds, nuts and dried fruit, 4 cups oats (featured in my wheel thrown ceramic bowls)

gathering ingredients, I used gluten free oats
gather ingredients, I used gluten free oats

pour seed mixture into bowl with oats
pour seed mixture  into bowl with oats

thoroughly combine butter mixture with seeds/ oats mixture
thoroughly combine butter mixture with seeds/ oats mixture

spread granola on baking sheet, now its ready to bake
spread granola on baking sheet, it’s ready to bake

Homemade Granola on top of vanilla yogurt.  Yum!
Homemade Granola on top of vanilla yogurt. Yum!

Homemade Granola

One of my daughters came up with this recipe and I had to make another batch when she returned to school. I know this doesn’t look or taste like chocolate cake (my fave), but it satisfied my sweet tooth.  Hon, this recipe is easy, healthy and delicious!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (margarine or coconut oil)

1/2 cup honey

1/8 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 cups oats (I used gluten free oats)

1 cup (or a little more) of a combination of seeds, nuts and dried fruit (In the photo above, I used flax seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped almonds, chopped walnuts, raisins and Craisins. Other times, I’ve added chopped pecans, dried apricots and dried pineapples).

A large baking sheet with raised sides.  I lined mine with aluminum foil.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

1.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add honey, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon.

2.  Mix oats with seeds/nuts/dried fruit combination.

3.  Pour melted butter mixture over oats and seeds mixture, mixing thoroughly. Coat entire oats/ seeds mixture with butter mixture.

4.  Pour granola mixture onto baking sheet.

5.  Bake for 15 minutes, take out, stir and spread again, return to oven.  Bake for another 15 minutes.  (Some batches may take another 10-15 minutes.  The granola may seem gooey and not dry yet, but it will dry when you take it out of the oven and let it cool.

6.  Sprinkle more cinnamon on baked granola if desired.

7.  Cool before removing from baking sheet.

Enjoy!