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–Autumn, Tomato, Bean and Vegetable Soups

My Thanksgiving menu always includes soup. Velvety Vegetable Soup has been my go-to meal starter for years, but last year I changed it up by serving Roasted Autumn Vegetable Soup. It was delicious! Friday, when the house is full and lunch includes more visitors, I’ve paired Roasted Tomato Soup and Tuscan Rosemary White Bean Soup with paninis and cheese and cracker platters.

Wishing you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving! Hope it’s filled with family, friends and some time to relax.

Roasted Cauliflower with Date-Parsley Gremolata

Shout out to my daughter Morgan and her new cookbook Eating Out Loud, Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day by Eden Grinshpan. I love it when Morgan cooks dinner!

Of the cauliflower– ‘Its deep, roast-y deliciousness is the perfect counterpoint to the sweet, herbaceous date-parsley gremolata. You are going to be blown away by how much brightness you get from the preserved lemon and how the dates balance the tartness with their dense texture.”Of the cauliflower– “Its deep, roast-y deliciousness is the perfect counterpoint to the sweet, herbaceous date-parsley gremolata. You are going to be blown away by how much brightness you get from the preserved lemon* and how the dates balance the tartness with their dense texture.’

Eating Out Loud by Eden Grinshpan

Roasted Cauliflower with Date-Parsley Gremolata

Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Gremolata

  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted Medjool dates (about 5)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • approx. 1/2 lemon juice, squeezed from fresh lemon (*The recipe calls for preserved lemon, but Morgan used freshly squeezed lemon juice.)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Roast the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and salt. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet (or two-you want to make sure the florets have room to breathe so that they get cartelized and crispy instead of steamed) and roast until the cauliflower is golden brown, 20 – 25 minutes.
  3. Make the gremolata: In a large bowl, mix together the dates, sparsely, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. If making this ahead, leave out the vinegar until just before you serve.
  4. Scatter the gremolata over the roasted cauliflower and serve.
  • Yield: Serves 4.

American Flag-Inspired Cupcakes and Cookies, Re-Post

Hostess gifts idea: Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. Wrap them in cellophane for a pretty presentation.
DIY Hostess gift idea: Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. Wrap them in cellophane for a pretty presentation.

Hon, you know what I like about a holiday besides spending time with family and friends?

 The built-in theme!

One of my daughters and I had fun taking the American flag colors to the extreme.  We baked red, white and blue sugar cookies and cupcakes.  Click here for sugar cookie and Royal Icing recipes.  My daughter decorated with flags while I tried my hand at tie dye effects. I used a toothpick to “drag” two or three icing colors from the center out, then swirled with the toothpick to create a tie dye look.

Patriotic Cookies
Patriotic Cookies.

Tie Dye effect.
Tie Dye effect.

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.
Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.

Coloring on cookies.
Coloring on cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

Baking Day continued with red, white and blue cupcakes. 

We were inspired by Ziploc Bag’s Patriotic Piped Tri-Colored Cupcakes, but they turned out to be more challenging than they looked.  So, we abandoned our pastry bags and spooned the colored batter into baking cups.  The result?  Still patriotic, fun and delicious.

*Tip:  Wear plastic gloves because colored batter is messy and stains.

1. Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.
1. Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.

2. Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl vanilla.
2. Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl plain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

3. Transfer three bowls of batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored strips.
3. Spoon batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored stripes.

 

 

4. Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags at all.
4. Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags.

 

 

_________________________________________________________

5. Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.
5. Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.

 

Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.
Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.
6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.

American Flag Fun!
American Flag Fun!

Brunch Ready Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

What to bring to a Mother’s Day brunch? Quiche came to mind, but I haven’t made one in awhile, so I’m hoping it’s as easy as it was the first time I tried this recipe!

Happy cooking, hon!

BASIC PIE CRUST (single crust)

1 1/3 cups flour

½ tsp. salt

½ cup vegetable shortening

¼ cup ice water

Insert steel blade in food processor.  Sift together flour and salt and place in processor container.  Add shortening and process until mixture resembles cornmeal (about 5 seconds).  Slowly pour water through feed tube and process until dough forms a ball (about 5 to 10 seconds).  Chill dough for easier handling.  Roll into a circle 1/8 inch thick and place in pie dish.  (Hint:  drape dough over rolling pin, center over dish and lower carefully.)  Flute edges.

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR QUICHE

10 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp. flour

1 (10 oz.) pkg frozen broccoli or leftover, steamed broccoli

3 eggs, beaten

¼ to ½ cup half & half or a little milk

Dash of pepper and dash or two of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, toss cheese and flour together.  Cook broccoli if it’s frozen; drain well.  Add broccoli to cheese.  Add eggs to broccoli cheese mixture.  Add half & half (or milk).  Add pepper and nutmeg; stir.  Mix well.  Pour into piecrust.  Sprinkle nutmeg on top.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown.  (Hint:  cover lightly with tin foil for about the last 15 minutes if the quiche hasn’t set in the middle and the crust edges are browning.)  Serves 6 to 8.

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.

Tuscan Rosemary White Bean Soup

Tuscan Rosemary White Bean Soup

Thanksgiving is around the corner and I’m in the midst of shopping, cooking, baking and cleaning (aka moving piles from one part of the house to another!). At our holiday dinner, I always serve Velvety Vegetable Soup instead of salad, but this year I’m changing it up. (There might be a mutiny!) Since I like the consistency of Velvety Vegetable’s  blended veggies, I wondered if I could create the same texture with different ingredients. After combining and refining two recipes:  one from Ina Garten for Food Network and one from Serious Eats, I came up with my own version of Tuscan Rosemary White Bean Soup. This yummy soup feels like Fall.

Happy cooking, hon!

Ingredients:

–2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

–3 small to medium onions, finely diced (about 3 cups)

–3 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 3 cups)

–2 ribs celery, finely diced (about 1 cup)

–3 garlic cloves, minced

–2 (15-ounce) cans white beans (cannellini or great northern), with their liquid

–1 quart chicken stock (I use a low sodium “chicken stock” that’s actually parve.)

–1 teaspoon ground thyme

–1 teaspoon dried mustard

–1/4 teaspoon paprika

–1/4 teaspoon tumeric

–2 bay leaves

–2 teaspoons kosher salt

–1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

–either 1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches), 4 6-inch sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped and stems reserved, or 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary

–Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add chicken broth, beans with their liquid, thyme, mustard, paprika, tumeric, bay leaves, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Take soup off of heat and let cool a bit. Discard bay leaves and rosemary stems.
  4. In batches, transfer soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth (start on low speed and increase to high to prevent blender blow-out). Return to the stockpot and stir to combine. Season to taste.
  5. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with reserved chopped rosemary leaves, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve with crusty toasted bread.

Yield: Makes about 2 quarts, servings 6-8.

Tip: I’ll make this ahead of time, freeze it and, after defrosting, re-blend with a hand blender.

American Flag-Inspired Cupcakes and Cookies

Hostess gifts idea: Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. Wrap them in cellophane for a pretty presentation.
DIY Hostess gift idea: Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. These funky melamine dishes are from SEED387. Wrap cookies in cellophane for a pretty presentation.

Need a patriotic-themed kid activity? Or are you in the mood to bake? Either way, enjoy this re-post.

Hon, you know what I like about a holiday besides spending time with family and friends?

 The built-in theme!

One of my daughters and I had fun taking the American flag colors to the extreme.  We baked red, white and blue sugar cookies and cupcakes.  Click here for sugar cookie and Royal Icing recipes.  My daughter decorated with flags while I tried my hand at tie dye effects. I used a toothpick to “drag” two or three icing colors from the center out, then swirled with the toothpick to create a tie dye look.

Patriotic Cookies
Patriotic Cookies.

Tie Dye effect.
Tie Dye effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.
Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.

Coloring on cookies.
Coloring on cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

Baking Day continued with red, white and blue cupcakes. 

We were inspired by Ziploc Bag’s Patriotic Piped Tri-Colored Cupcakes, but they turned out to be more challenging than they looked.  So, we abandoned our pastry bags and spooned the colored batter into baking cups.  The result?  Still patriotic, fun and delicious.

*Tip:  Wear plastic gloves because colored batter is messy and stains.

1. Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.
1. Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.

2. Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl vanilla.
2. Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl plain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

3. Transfer three bowls of batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored strips.
3. Spoon batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored stripes.

 

 

4. Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags at all.
4. Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags.

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

5. Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.
5. Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.

 

Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.
Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.
6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.

American Flag Fun!
American Flag Fun!

American Flag-Inspired Cupcakes and Cookies

Hostess gifts idea:  Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. Wrap them in cellophane for a pretty presentation.
DIY Hostess gift idea: Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. I bought these funky melamine dishes from SEED387. Wrap them in cellophane for a pretty presentation.

Hon, you know what I like about a holiday besides spending time with family and friends?

 The built-in theme!

One of my daughters and I had fun taking the American flag colors to the extreme.  We baked red, white and blue sugar cookies and cupcakes.  Click here for sugar cookie and Royal Icing recipes.  My daughter decorated with flags while I tried my hand at tie dye effects. I used a toothpick to “drag” two or three icing colors from the center out, then swirled with the toothpick to create a tie dye look.

Patriotic Cookies
Patriotic Cookies.

Tie Dye effect.
Tie Dye effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.
Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.

Coloring on cookies.
Coloring on cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

Baking Day continued with red, white and blue cupcakes. 

We were inspired by Ziploc Bag’s Patriotic Piped Tri-Colored Cupcakes, but they turned out to be more challenging than they looked.  So, we abandoned our pastry bags and spooned the colored batter into baking cups.  The result?  Still patriotic, fun and delicious.

*Tip:  Wear plastic gloves because colored batter is messy and stains.

1.  Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.
1. Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.

2.  Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl vanilla.
2. Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl plain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

3.  Transfer three bowls of batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored strips.
3. Spoon batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored stripes.

 

 

4.  Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags at all.
4. Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags.

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

5.  Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.
5. Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.

 

Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.
Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.
6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.

American Flag Fun!
American Flag Fun!

Still Chilly Chili

Chili in the crock pot.
Chili in the crock pot.

It might be Spring, but you’d never know it.

Yesterday in Alaska–umm, I mean New Jersey, schools were dismissed early, car windows needed scraping and driveways needed shoveling.  Backing out of my San Francisco-like driveway required expert driving (thanks, Hubby) so that the car wasn’t totaled a few feet from the front door!

Our Arctic Zone weather requires comfort food, and I consider Chili a warmer upper.  Chili also reminds me of skiing, and since I’m the Queen-of-Connecting-the-Dots (see post Toasty Tushy Melts the I.C.E. for more dot connecting), I’ll tell you why.

When you’ve been skiing and you’re wondering if frostbite has set in, Chili is practically required medicine.  I’ve been to ski lodges where plugged in electric cords lead from walls to crock pots clustered on tables.  At lunchtime, simmering chili is ready to serve.  (Skiers are such trusting people!)

We recently went skiing and I decided it would be great if dinner was waiting for us when we came home.  Enjoy this recipe.  Hon, I hope, it warms you from the inside out.

A ski day is a good day!
A ski day is a good day!

I made extra a froze some for another time.
I made extra and froze some for another time.

Chili

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

1 green pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 (16-ounce) cans tomatoes (I used chopped tomatoes)

1 cup water

2 Tablespoons chili powder (depending on how spicy you like your chili, I used 1 Tbl)

1 teaspoon salt and dash of pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

Optional:  2 (16-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained; other spices, such as paprika, dried mustard or whatever you want to sprinkle in

Directions:

1.  In a hot frying pan, brown ground beef.

2.  Place browned ground beef and remaining ingredients in crock pot, stirring to blend.

3.  Cover and cook on low setting 4 to 6 hours.

Don’t have a crock pot?  Don’t worry.

1.  In a frying pan, saute ground beef and onions until soft.

2.  Drain off fat.

3.  Transfer mixture to a large pot.

4.  Add remaining ingredients.

5.  Bring to a boil, them simmer, covered, 45 minutes.

Yield:  4-6 servings