Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Chanukah!

by Deena Remiel

Chanukah is one of my most favorite holidays of the year. It’s a joyous occasion filled with song, games, presents, and scrumptious food. Today, I’d like to share my standard Chanukah party yummies. The whole idea is to eat foods made with oil. Why? Because the story that while the Maccabees were rededicating the Second Temple after it had been nearly destroyed, oil that was supposed to last only a day to give light, lasted for eight. That’s why it’s also called the Festival of Lights.
Enjoy these recipes for a Great Chanukah meal:


4 large potatoes
1 yellow onion
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
ground black pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
Directions: Finely grate potatoes with onion into a large bowl. Drain off any excess liquid.
  Mix in egg, salt, and black pepper. Add enough flour to make mixture thick, about 2 to 4 tablespoons all together.
  Turn oven to low, about 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
  Heat 1/4 inch oil in the bottom of a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Drop two or three 1/4 cup mounds into hot oil, and flatten to make 1/2 inch thick pancakes. Fry, turning once, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towel lined plates to drain, and keep warm in low oven until serving time. Repeat until all potato mixture is used. Sprinkle with salt after removing from oil.
  Serve with a dollop of sour cream or apple sauce.


1-15 oz. can chickpeas, drained
        1 medium onion, finely chopped
         1 tablespoon minced garlic
         2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
         1 teaspoon coriander
         3/4 teaspoon cumin
         1/2 teaspoon salt
         2 tablespoons flour
         oil for frying (canola or vegetable)
Directions: Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour and combine well.
Mash chickpeas, making sure to mix ingredients together. You can also combine ingredients in a food processor. You want the result to be a thick paste. 
Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Slightly flatten.

Fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden brown (2-5 minutes).
Serve falafel by itself, or with hot pita bread with veggies, hummus, or tahini sauce.

2 tablespoons clear vinegar
3/8 cup milk
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup clear sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 quart oil for deep frying
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting
Directions:  Stir the vinegar into the milk, and let stand for a few minutes until thick.  In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture alternating with the vinegar and milk. Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/3 inch thickness. Cut into doughnuts using a donut cutter. Let stand for about 10 minutes. 

Heat the oil in a large deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Fry doughnuts in the hot oil until golden, turning over once. Drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners' sugar while they are still warm, and serve immediately.

When I put these delectable treats out on the table, along with veggies, dips, salads, and chocolates, I can’t hold people back! And yes, we feel stuffed to the gills when we’re done, but we have no control when it comes to these wonderful main dishes above. I hope you’ll give them a try. At the very least, the Potato Pancakes.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season filled with laughter and joy!

**In the spirit of the holidays, I’m offering a present of my own to one lucky commenter! I’m offering to buy you two 1-NS stories from Decadent Publishing! 
Count ‘em… 1…2... All you have to do is tell me YOUR favorite holiday dish in the comment area and leave your email addy, too!**

Deena Remiel

P.S. If you’re looking for a holiday gift, why not give the gift of reading? Decadent Publishing has an entire catalog of delectable treats for you including my offerings: TRINITY and GHOST OF A CHANCE!


  1. Happy Chanukah! My favorite would be the falafel, I'e already tried those and love the spicy mixture! I didn't know that about the oil - fascinating!!

  2. Happy Chanukah & thank you for the great post. My favorite holiday dish would be my mom's homemade sage cornbread stuffing. It is so good! Thank you so much for the recipes. I especially like the sounds of the potato pancakes. I will have to try making those!
    I hope you have a wonderful & safe New Year's
    June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Happy Chanukah, Deena.

    My favorite hoiday dishes (yea, I said dishes) are all appetizers. I love hot creabmeat dip, corned beef dip, and shrimp stuffed with water chestnuts wrapped in bacon.

    Thanks for the falafel recipe. I've eaten it but never made it. I'll try it this weekend.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  5. Happy Chanukah!
    Those recipes look really good.
    I love all our holiday to pick a favorite I'd go with my Dad's turkey.I love the way he season's it.

  6. Tamales are always a staple in my household during Christmas time! We get several dozens of all different kinds!

  7. Tracey D, can you share your corned beef dip with me? My family LOVES corned beef. :)

    Falafel is the easiest thing to make!If you don't like to cook or you don't have time, by a box of reday made falafel mix from TELMA, found in the kosher foods section of a supermarket. :)

  8. I love to learn about other celebrations! What a beautiful Chanukah tradition. I love the oil!!

    My favorite tradition (well from my childhood) was my mom making Turkey and homemade noodles. I will never forget the smells and tastes of it all. If I make it now (which I usually don't as we go to my mother in laws house for Thanksgiving) it takes me right back to my childhood. Which is why I all my mom at least once a week to tell her I love her!!

    Thanks for the chance to win!


    boo 2 bosh at gmail dot com

  9. My favorites are those snack foods....I love snackin. When I make clam dip, I truly have to fight my kids for it or make a 2nd dish, and I've done this many times before. My other new favorite is well, I don't know what they're called but here's how to make em: Cut in half and clean out jalepenos, fill them with cream cheese, place a lil smokie on top, and then wrap with bacon and stab a toothpick thru em. Bake for about 40 mins at 400 and dive in. Usually not too hot, but I love spicy foods. Hope someone trys and likes it....
    And those recipes up there, I'll be trying those too, yum-o.......thanks for the chance at winning something steamy! lol
    Sebrina_Cassity at yahoo dot com

  10. Oh, my mom makes a similar recipe for doughnuts :) All this looks so yummy!

  11. Yum - potato pancakes are one of my favorites. Thanks for the recipe, Deena.

  12. Happy Chanukah! Yummy recipes, too. I'm going to have to try them. :)

    All the best!

  13. Happy Chanukah! Potato pancakes are my favorite. Thanks for all the recipes.


  14. Great post! Love, love, love Latkes!!!!!! Yum...... Happy Hanukkah (belated).

  15. Thanks for the warm wishes everyone! And Sabrina, thanks for that YUMMY recipe! :) So glad my diet doesn't start for a couple of weeks. LOL

  16. My favorite holiday dish is the seafood gumbo that my mother makes only at Christmas. Why I don't really know. Now that she is not able to cook that job falls to me. I do okay, but it still not Mom's...LOL
    Thank you Deena for sharing your recipes. I look forward to trying them.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  17. OMG, you're making me super hungry! All these recipes look yummy and sound like something I can actually make. For me, I LOVE the chicken and dumplings with an apple cider vinegar/whipping cream gravy. The dumplings are fluffy and comforting with a gravy with a bit of zing. My mouth's watering just thinking about it.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  18. Michelle, I would LOVE that gumbo recipe. :) Honestly, I don't know too may recipes that I make better than my mom. I think she's holding out on me with an ingredient or two! LOL

    Joder, I'm a huge fan of chicken and dumplings. SO much so, that I always get the chicken ghocchi soup at Olive garden to get close to the ideal. :P

  19. My favorite savory holiday dish would be the broccoli/rice casserole that is only made during the holidays. My favorite dessert would be my grandmother's Bourbon Balls. Thanks for the recipes!

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  20. Deena,
    OMG you are killing me with the potatoes and the donuts! I'm drooling over here!!!!!!

  21. Great recipes Deena, thanks for sharing. My family will love them.

  22. Bourbon balls... Stacie, how many can one person eat before getting shnockered?

    *Throws April a rag to sop up the drool.* ;)

  23. Thank you Deena for all the great recipes....*S8 You can bet I will try them all. I haven't made potato patties since I was a young teenager living at home with my Mom...eons ago...*S*
    My all time favorite holiday meal is a salad that I only make for holidays as only my daughter and I like it. Since she no longer lives at home there is just no reason to make it just for I want someone to share it with....
    Its a Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad with bacon and green onions. I lightly steam the veggies and chill, and then mix it with chopped green onions and bacon chunks, then add a homemade dressing and toss it altogether, and then chill over night. It marinades and taste ever so good.....I love it!
    Thank you for the giveaway.
    Wishing you a very happy New Year!


  24. Mmmmm! Darcy! That salad sounds delish!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

  25. JUNE!!! I go nuts over cornbread, so I can only imagine how the stuffing is. :)

  26. Kristina, what kind of tamales do you make?

  27. Happy Chanukah! Potato pancakes are delicious! And the donuts sound so yummy. I've always love the Festival of Lights, especially the idea of G_d stretching what is available to fit the need. My sister-in-law makes a Danish pastry, with Almond paste and cream filling, that is simply amazing.

  28. Oh, that does sound delectable, Judy!

  29. I always thought the key to latkes was to grate the potatoes and stick them in the fridge over night, so they get grey. I'm not sure why, but that's what my family always did, so I do it.

    I went to a Hanukkah celebration that had the purely Canadian addition - beaver tails and bear claws - deep fried, of course! :)

    Happy New Year, all!

  30. My favorite holiday food... does booze count? No? Uh... I'm not sure we honestly have anything we only make at the holidays, but I love sugar cookies :P

  31. I'm definitely gonna make those potato pancakes. Yum.

  32. Anne, I grew up with gray potato latkes, and grating them. These days, I buy simply potatoes already shredded and go from there. Now, my whole family on my father's side live in Toronto. I never had a beaver tail or bear claw! WOW!

  33. Seleste, I love butter cookies around this time of year. Do you make those, too?

  34. Sandy, those latkes have been abig hit over here! :)

  35. Hi Deena!

    My favorite holiday dish is all of the yummy cookies and treats. But if I have to pick just one it would be my snicker bar cookies.


  36. Elena! First, smoochies!!! Second, I gotta have that recipe! LOL

  37. My favorite holiday dish, is something that gets served for every holiday or special occasion where an out of town family member comes for an overnight visit. We make veggie sausage gravy, which is served over fried potatoes & biscuits. In fact, my nieces & nephews all demand that meal at least once when they come to visit.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  38. Kathryn, I think I would request that, too! sounds deliciious! :) Happy New Year!

  39. Thanks to the FRUIT MACHINE, a fun online randomizer, we have a winner!!!

    KRISTINA LEIGH, you've won your choice of TWO 1-Night Stand Stories!!!! Email me your choices and I'll take it from there!