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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Chanukah: A New Spin on Traditional Recipes

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By: Gitta Bixenspanner

What is Chanukah without latkes and doughnuts! Traditionally we eat dairy dishes to celebrate the victory of our heroine Yehudis over the evil general Helifornis, while at the same time we fry our delicacies in oil to celebrate the victory of the Maccabees.

Here are some favorite traditional and dairy recipes to enhance any meal.



Latkes are a real staple part of Chanukah fare. If you plan to serve latkes, make lots of them, as they are sure to disappear quickly. Even though they are featured elsewhere, they are still the favorite


  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper (optional)


Grate potatoes in food processor on your favorite blade, I favor the shredder as pieces are a bit bigger and latkes come out crispier. Squeeze out the liquid through a colander. Add the rest of ingredients. Mix well.

In a deep pot or deep frying pan, heat oil very thoroughly. Drop batter by spoonful and fry until golden on both sides. Pat with paper towel to absorb the oil.

Serve warm with applesauce or sour cream, if desired. Just plain is great too.

Preparation time: 12 minutes

Cooking time: 18 to 24 minutes

Serves 8



Creamy Cauliflower Latkes

I love cauliflower any which way it is served. In honor of Chanukah here is a latke made out the delectable cauliflowers


  • 1 2lb bag frozen cauliflower
  • 2 fresh pressed garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6Tbs reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1Tbs flour
  • 1 Tbs olive oil


Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower, and simmer for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and return the cauliflower to the pot. Using a potato masher, mash the cooked cauliflower. Add the garlic, salt, cream cheese, eggs, flour and olive oil and mix until well combined.

Heat 3 Tbs oil in a frying pan. Drop cauliflower mixture by tablespoon into the hot oil. Cook until nicely browned on both sides.

Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream.

These freeze well and are delicious when warmed up in the oven at 300 F for about 15 minutes.

Note: this recipe is delicious when served as mashed cauliflower, instead of mashed potatoes, just omit the flour.

Prep: 7min

Cook: 25min

Serves 6



Cheesy Vegetable Quesadillas

Tortillas are very popular these days. Tortillas come in various textures; white flour, whole wheat, tomato or spinach. Subsequently their colors will vary. They go a long way for any occasion and easy to serve. The variety of ways to serve it is endless. Here is a simple recipe that is almost a meal, children are sure to love this finger food. Add pizzazz to this dish by contrasting colors of tortillas and serving them in a variety of colors.


  • 4 tortillas your favorite variety
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 large leek cut in strips
  • 1 large zucchini cubed
  • 1 red pepper cut in thin strips
  • 2 Tbs Marinara sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 oz (200gr) shredded mozzarella/or pizza cheese


In a large frying pan sauté chopped onions and garlic until translucent 8-10 minutes. Add washed and sliced leeks, cubed zucchini and red pepper. Allow to cook for another 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender.

To assemble spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Spread two tortillas on the baking sheet sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Pour vegetable mixture onto the cheese, spread a thin layer of Marinara sauce. Sprinkle with more cheese on top and cover with remaining tortillas. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven cut into desired slices and serve.

Preparation time 15 minutes

Serves 8-12

For an even easier version omit the vegetables and just spread tortillas with cheese and marinara sauce cover with another tortilla and bake until cheese is melted, for equally delicious results.



Appetizing Cheese Sticks with Marinara Dipping Sauce

I tasted these cheese sticks in a dairy restaurant, while visiting family out of town. They were so tasty that I was hooked; I was not surprised that the children asked for doubles.


  • 12 Mozzarella cheese sticks
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • ½ cup flavored Panko/crushed cornflakes crumbs
  • 3 Tbs canola oil


Heat oil in a large frying pan.

In a bowl beat egg slightly. Dip all cheese sticks into the egg. Then coat each stick into the Panko/cornflake crumbs. Drop into hot oil and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from the pot and drain on a paper towel. Serve with a marinara sauce or just plain old ketchup.

Note: these cheese sticks can also be baked in the oven for 5-6 minutes, the results are not that different and many calories can be shaved off the original recipe.

Preparation 5 minutes

Serves 6



What do kids like even more than eating cookies? Making cookies! Mix the dough, get out the rolling pin and Hanukkah-shaped cookie cutters (menorah, oil lamp, stars, and more), and give your children a memorable and yummy Hanukkah experience. Great activity to help them anticipate the candle lighting ceremony.


  • 1 cup (200 grams) butter or pareve margarine, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder


Mix ingredients margarine and sugar until smooth. Add in eggs, juice and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix flour with baking powder. Add flour mixture to dough and mix until just blended. Cover the dough with a cloth and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 F or 180 C

Grease cookie sheets. Flour surface and rolling pin. Roll out dough until 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Add flour if the dough is sticky. Cut dough with Hanukkah cookie cutters.

Place Hanukkah-shaped cookies on the greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 425 F or 180 C for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Decorate with sprinkles or drizzle melted chocolate.

Preparation 10 minutes

Makes 18 cookies


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