Chanukah is Almost Here
Friday night marks the beginning of Chanukah. Did you know, according to the Jewish calendar, days begin at sundown? That is why, our Sabbath begins Friday night and ends Saturday evening, one hour after sundown.

Friday night, we first light the menorahs and then the Sabbath candles.

I am not going to spend a lot of time giving all the information about Chanukah. I will give you places to go if you are interested in specific data. If you would like to learn the proper way to light the menorah, this is an animated “lesson”.
For our Chanukah Give Away and a wonderful recipe for Chanukah – Crabby Cheese Won Tons, go here.


If you would like a Chanukah coloring book, some recipes, more information of the holiday, this is a phenomenal source. Your children will enjoy some of the activities.

I want to share with you a few of my latke recipes. Latkes are pancakes but not exactly what you may think. We cook them in oil to remember the menorah that stayed lit for eight days, yet was not enough, for one day. One of the miracles of Chanukah – read about it.

Some of the recipes, I posted on my blog turned out to be delicious and I want to share them with you.

First, the most famous kind of latke, potato latke.

Crispy Potato Pancakes (Latkes): Tyler Florence

4 medium potatoes, peeled
2 medium onions
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying

Using food processor, coarsely grate the potatoes and onions. (This can be done by hand.)
Put the grated potatoes and onions together in cheesecloth or a tea towel and twist it to squeeze out the excess liquid. (I put it in a colander and push down on the potatoes. The water comes out quickly.)
Put the dry potatoes and onions in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Fold in the egg whites to bind the mixture together.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and coat with 1/4-inch of oil.
For each pancake, take about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture and drop into the hot oil; gently flatten with a spatula so they fry up thin and crispy.
Fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden. (My only objection to this recipe is the amount of oil that is needed. Of course, for Chanukah, the whole point is to use the oil.)
Remove to paper towels to drain; season with salt while the potato pancakes are still hot.
Continue frying, adding more oil as needed, until all of the mixture is used up.

Serve immediately with apple sauce, if desired. (This does not remain crispy if you make it ahead of time. For the best results, cook and eat right away.)
Yield: about 20 (4-inch) pancakes

Cheese Latkes are out of this world good. Try them for breakfast.
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup cottage cheese, drained
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil for frying

Place all the ingredients except oil together in a large bowl. Mix until smooth.
Heat 1/2 cup oil in a skillet.

Using a large spoon, drop the batter into hot oil.
Fry 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Continue until batter is used up, adding oil when necessary.
Puzzle Pancakes Above
The latkes may be served topped with sour cream, applesauce or maple syrup. (I went for the maple syrup. Hubby ate them plain.)I found this recipe on, it comes from one of my favorite cookbooks and chances are that I have made these, several times, over the years. The book is a big purple hard covered book which is well worn and it is called, Spice and Spirit, The Complete Kosher Cookbook.

For spinach latkes, go here.
For carrot latkes, go here.

For jelly doughnut recipe and other foods and information, check here.

A Chanukah Menu

So in that spirit here is a Chanukah menu suggestions. It is a meat meal so you are spared the gory allusions and the oil is used for frying the latkes but you must have a million recipes for those…Enjoy! (For more Chanukah recipes, please visit

Shoulder Roast
1 5 pound shoulder roast
2 tablespoons oil (I guess this counts for Chanukah also)
4 onions, sliced
4 carrots, cut into large chunks
4 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sear shoulder roast in oil until all parts are brown and place in large roasting pan. Briefly sauté the onions, carrots, celery and garlic, and then pour over the roast. Add the wine and chicken stock and cover with heavy duty foil. Bake for 3 to 4 hours. Let stand about ½ hour before slicing.

Homemade Applesauce
This is delicious and healthy – no sugar added. My kids love to have this all year round when they come home from school.

10 apples (Granny Smith and any others you have lying around), cut into chunks
2 pears, cut into chunks
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup water

Place all ingredients in a large stockpot over a low to medium flame. Simmer for about 2 hours until apples are soft, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from flame and mash with a potato masher. Store in refrigerator.

Broccoli-Mushroom Noodle Kugel
1 (32 ounce) bag frozen broccoli, defrosted
1 (32 ounce) box Portobello mushroom soup
1 (14 ounce) can, mushroom pieces, drained
2 (10 ounce) bags egg noodles, cooked and drained
½ cup Panko or other bread crumbs
2 tablespoons margarine, broken up into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 5 ingredients and mix well. Pour into 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot with margarine. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Pretty Pomegranate and Mandarin Orange Salad
1 head romaine, cut or ripped into small pieces
red onion, diced (optional – I’m not a big raw onion fan but I know others are)
½ cup silvered almonds or cashew pieces, toasted
1 avocado, diced
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
Seeds of one pomegranate

1 cup oil
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together dressing and toss with all salad ingredients.

Sugar Cookies
These are the traditional cut-out cookies. You can use special Chanukah-theme cookie cutters (menorahs, dreidels), aleph-beis cookie cutters or the shapes of your choice.

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Sprinkles/Colored Sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream together the margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs, orange juice and vanilla. Reduce speed and mix in flour and baking powder. Form a ball and wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Roll out dough to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut out cookie shapes and place on greased cookie sheets. Decorate with sprinkles (this is where the kids come in). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned, watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn.

With permission from

Sweet and Savory Says it All
Chaya’s Comfy Cook Blog