Latkes! Latkes! Latkes!

OK–I promised you latkes and here they are!

First–I’ll let you in on a secret. There is NO NEED to grate potatoes by hand, scraping your knuckles and taking hours. All supermarkets sell pre-grated potatoes if you know where to look. One brand, called “Simply Potatoes,”  is often shelved near the butcher section. Just ask!

Here’s the other secret–you don’t even have to measure out matzah meal or worry about seasonings. Just go to the kosher-foods aisle and buy a box of LATKE MIX–Geffen is good.

Mix it up according to the package directions, add the pre-grated potatoes and maybe some chopped onion, and fry them up in hot oil until crisp.

Some people may consider this cheating, but believe me, they’re delicious! You’ll never go back to your old hand grater again!

 

The Holidays Are Coming!!

 

 

This time of year every magazine is filled with recipes for Christmas cookies and other treats.

I’m going to write about a treat you see more often in Israel than here: sufganiyot–delicious fried donuts that are traditionally eaten on Hanukkah.

Here’s a super-easy version:

1 can biscuit dough (like Pillsbury)

Whatever jam or jelly you like–grape is good!

Flour

Oil

Powdered sugar

Take dough out of xan can and roll it with a floured rolling pin until it is about 1/4 -inch thick.

Using a small glass, cut the dough into circles.

Drop about a teaspoon of jam onto one circle. Put another circle on top and pinch the edges together so they stick.

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a skillet  and gently place the jelly-filled circles into the oil. Fry until golden, about 3-5 minutes, turning as needed.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or clean brown bags.  Let cool a bit and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 

Of course, everyone loves latkes (potato pancakes) on Hanukkah too! Don’t worry! Soon I’m going to tell you the secret to making the most delicious and EASIEST latkes you’ll ever have!

 

 

Chocolate World Expo

Were there ever three words that went better together than Chocolate World Expo?! That’s where I spent my weekend, and it was heavenly!

Here are some of the highlights:

WEIRD AND WONDERFUL: It’s a tie between the chocolate-covered bacon from Bacon Bites (www.baconbites.com) and the chocolate-covered picles from Picklelicious (www.picklelicious.com).

The Bacon Bites booth was decorated with adorable stuffed pigs (their mascot) and the pickle people had a live mascot in a pickle suit roaming the hall giving out samples. Lots of fun!

BEST PRODUCT NAME: Again it’s a toss-up. We bought some wonderful spicy pineapple salsa at Tortured Orchard (www.torturedorchard.com) and I also loved “Fretzels.” No–they’re not worried pretzels–they’re hand-dipped pretzels made by chef Jill FRECHTMAN. (Get it? Visit her at www.fretzels.com)

NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION: The expo organizers didn’t forget our four-legged friends. The Spoil Me Rotten Dog Biscuit Company had plenty to choose from. (And they have a Facebook page, so you can give them a thumb or paw up!)

HEALTHIEST: Surprise–Chocolate can be healthy! Founded by Vanessa Barg, a nutitionist who wanted to make sure her clients didn’t have to give up their favorite foods, the company Gnosis (www.GnosisChocolate.com) employs such exotic ingredients as herbs from Himalaya, goji berries, and algae! Vanessa isn’t known as Chocolate Girl for nothing!

FRIENDLIEST EMPLOYEES: The folks from Pika’s Farm Table came to the expo with chocolate-covered waffles, quiches, potpies, ansd the friendliest employees imaginable. Everything tastes better when it’s served with a smile! (A big shout-out to everyone at the Gnosis booth too–their big, healthy smiles were great to see!)

PRETTIEST: Rogue Confections are edible works of art! See for yourself at www.RogueConfections.com

HOMIEST: If you can’t get to Auntie Els in Sloatsburg, NY, you can visit their Facebook page for some of the yummiest candies and baked goods around.

BEST FOR BREAKFAST: Some people might go for the crunchy granola in a bunch of great flavors from Platte Grove Naturals. A more whimsical choice might be the maple-flavored cotton candy from Breezie Maples Farm. (OK–I know you’d never eat cotton candy for breakfast, but it’s tempting. They make lots of other maple products too!)

OTHER DELICIOUS STUFF: Too much too mention, but check out 5th Ave. Chocolatiere, the Pastryarch (he’s very cute!), Pittsburgh Goodies, and the Chocolate Swirl, among others.

Vendors–if I didn’t mention you, that doesn’t mean I didn’t love you. Feel free to leave a comment below and let my readers know your location or Web site!