Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

Simple and Delicious Latkes and Applesauce


It’s Hanukkah! And that means it’s latke time. Those tasty, greasy potato pancakes come in a variety of styles. My personal preference is to keep them thin and somewhat crispy. That’s why I like recipes that leave the potatoes simply grated and don’t have much or any flour. The recipe I’ve been using for a few years, always turns out well. I believe it’s from my parents’ food processor cookbook.


  • 6 large potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • vegetable oil


Peel and grate the potatoes (I recommend doing it in a food processor), then wash them under cold water and squeeze out the excess moisture. Grate the onion and mix all the potatoes, onion, eggs, salt and pepper together in a bowl.

Get the oil nice and hot, and start frying away until each side is nice and browned.

Drain on paper towels and serve hot with applesauce or sour cream.


Now, for that applesauce. If you’ve never made it, it’s remarkably easy and will taste much better than any you buy at the store. And, there’s only really one ingredient — apples. I sometimes use apple juice, too, since it’ll make it a little sweeter.

All you need to do is peel and cut up the apples — I used 2 large ones and a cup of strawberries for the applesauce you see in the photo above — then put them in a pot with apple juice or water (or some combination of the two). Cook the apples over medium heat stirring frequently until they begin to fall apart. After about an hour, you’ll have applesauce. If you don’t like it a little chunky, you can puree it with a food mill or food processor. You can also add some sugar if it’s not sweet enough, but this shouldn’t be necessary if you’ve used apple juice in place of some of the water.

I really liked the strawberry applesauce I made — it was quite sweet and chunky, and it had a beautiful reddish color. I’ve also made it with plums before, which also add a pink color.

Happy Hanukkah!

Simple and Festive-Looking Holiday Appetizer: Pea Pesto Crostini

pea pesto crostini

A few weeks ago, I was watching Giada at Home on the Food Network and Giada made a super simple and pretty looking recipe — Pea Pesto Crostini. I decided to make it when we had a friend over for drinks and it was a hit, and then I made it again this past weekend for a holiday potluck.

With only 4 ingredients in the pesto — defrosted peas, garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil — plus some bread and tomatoes, it’s quick to make, and it packs a surprising amount of flavor in every bite. It also has a great festive red and green palate and looks really pretty sitting out on a plate or board.

Check out the original recipe. I’ve already used it twice and will likely use it again.

Happy Passover

Seder Plate

Wednesday and Thursday, I went to two very different, but fun Passover Seders. The first one was at my aunt and uncle’s house. There were about 50 people there, and they always use a custom-made haggadah written by a friend, which has lots of funny asides. There were lots of young kids there, who did most of the reading, though I did take my turn, too.

Mom and Dad showing off their Carpas (greens/parsley)

Mom and Dad showing off their Carpas (greens/parsley)

Suzie and Danny were in town, and Michelle got back the next day, in time for the Thursday-night seder at my parents’ house. It was a much smaller affair, of just 8 people, but that’s still more than enough to have a successful seder. We had some new family friends over with their two young children, who were absolutely adorable, and they sang songs for us and had a blast running back and forth from the door, opening it for Elijah and checking out his cup to see the wine level was any lower.

My mom made her fantastic matzo ball soup, haroset and matzo farfel along with asparagus, latkes and other passover dishes. She also baked two cakes, and our friends brought over matzo candy — a delicious combo of matzo, chocolate, caramel and almonds. Yum!

Playing with Silly Putty (btw, this picture was taken by a 4-year-old!)

Playing with Silly Putty (btw, this picture was taken by a 4-year-old!)

We also played with Silly Putty, which was one of the Afikomen prizes for the kids. It was much more fun than just giving out cash and worked well since we were a small group. We took a bunch of funny photos, and I managed to get orange Silly Putty all over my iPhone case. That stuff sure sticks! I think I’ve finally scraped it all off.

Thanks, Mom, and everyone else who had a part in cooking all that food, setting all those tables and bringing everyone together.

Check out some more of my Passover photos on Facebook.