Posts Tagged ‘Chanuka’


This past weekend, we hosted a Chanuka Brunch for some family and friends. I don’t know about you, but I love hosting a brunch.

Chanukah Brunch!!

As always, I found myself on Pinterest looking for unique recipes and of course this website came to my rescue.  PS. Feel free to click on this link so you can see my Pinterest Page…..

The recipe I found, appealed to me for several reasons:

-I had a bunch of skewers already in the drawer (big surprise)

-I simply needed to buy a baguette, 2 bananas and some strawberries (easy enough)

-I adored the presentation.

Here’s the full recipe  (Originally posted on

French Toast on a Stick


  • 1 cup milk (any kind of milk will work but I used whole milk to make it extra delicious)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I omitted this)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups of a baguette cut up into cubes (tip: use scissors)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 16 strawberries, stems removed
  • 2 bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch coins
  • 8 wooden skewers


1. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, (honey) and cinnamon.

2. Dip the bread cubes in the milk mixture to coat each side.

3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the bread for 1 1/2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

French Toast Bites

4. Skewer the french toast cubes, sliced strawberries and sliced bananas and serve with maple syrup for dipping.


French Toast Bites on a Skewer

What a hit!

Easy to eat, delicious, and simple to make. Scored.

However I will admit that it was a bit tricky to serve them as I didn’t want them to get cold. I solved this issue by serving them as an appetizer as soon as my guests arrived. #problemsolved.

Promise to blog about a few other dishes that I made. Promise.


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I usually blog about recipes or restaurant suggestions, but this blog post will be dedicated to gift suggestions. Seeing as Chanuka and Christmas are both right around the corner, I think it’s a good time to share five great gift ideas for a foodie.


1. This practical (and pretty) muffin pan from Indigo. Just take your muffins directly out of the oven and place directly on the table. LOVE IT.


2. A Gift Card to HelloFresh. This is the perfect gift for a) anyone who is busy b)anyone who hates grocery shopping or c) anyone who has entertained a lot over the holidays and is simply tired of thinking about what to make for dinner!!


3. An electric spiralizer from Hamilton Beach. How cool? A growing trend these days is to make zucchini noodles (or sweet potato noodles) and this genius gadget will have you making healthy recipes with no effort at all. Not to mention it will grate and make ribbons too.




4. A  subscription from Try the World. Once you subscribe, you will receive a curated selection of gourmet foods—including ingredients to cook with, drinks, and snacks—from a new country every month, plus a Culture Guide to help you create an authentic culinary experience at home. This is the perfect gift for a foodie!


5. In the event you know a food blogger, this portable studio from Staples would be the ideal gift. You have no idea how tough it is to take photos past sundown. Oh the problems I have when the sun starts to go down in the winter at 4 pm. #bloggerslife



Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season. Hope you find the perfect gifts and enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

Disclosure: Some products or services in this blog post were provided to me, however all opinions are my own

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It’s Chanuka, which means it’s time to eat a few (just a few) potato latkes. I’ve been using the same recipe for Potato Latkes for years but this year I came across a new recipe (via Facebook) from Tori Avey  that I thought I would try.

The secret to my success was actually READING the entire blog post! Generally I just skim a recipe and this time I actually read it twice.

These tips really made a difference:

•I used Peanut Oil. Believe it or not , it was the first time I’ve bought Peanut oil!!

• I made sure the oil was actually the right temperature (I placed a popcorn kernel in the oil and it popped – so I knew the oil was ready).

• I grated the potatoes by hand. (not sure this made a difference but….LOL). Usually I take out my beloved Cuisinart for this job but since I moved I can’t find the blade. Don’t ask. ARGHH

• I used a cheesecloth (purchased from the dollar store) to really wring out the excess water.

Recipe for Classic Potato Latkes (from Tori Avey)


  • 2 1/2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 large white or brown onion, shredded  (I left this out – not sure why)
  • 3/4 cup matzo meal or bread crumbs (I used bread crumbs)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp potato starch ( I used baking powder)
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Peanut or grapeseed oil for frying (about 1 1/2 cups) (I used peanut oil)


1. Grate the potatoes and immerse into cold water to prevent discolouring.  Drain and put the grated potatoes on a cheesecloth and then wring it out like there’s no tomorrow.

latke - cheesecloth

2. Grate the onions (again, I skipped this part – not sure why)

3. Add the squeezed out grated potatoes, onions and the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and mix the ingredients till everything is well blended.

4. Heat the oil in a large pot. I was really generous this time  with the oil and it made a difference. After a few minutes, I then placed a popcorn kernel in the oil. It popped which meant it was the right temperature. You could also use a piece of bread and when it turns golden brown ..then you know the oil is ready.

5. Form latkes into patties and then gently drop into the hot oil with a slotted spoon. After 2-3 minutes – flip over. Take them out of the oil and place them on a paper towel to absorb the oil.

5. Serve….with applesauce, sour cream or both!!

latkes -final

Happy Chanuka…to all who celebrate! ps these latkes are traditionally served at Chanuka but I have no idea why I don’t make them all year round. They are DELICIOUS.

latkes -table

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Here’s a quick round of up things that I’ve been thinking about this week:

1. I can’t stop thinking of the winter wonderland that I experienced last weekend at my boyfriends’ cottage. It was truly a beautiful time of year to be up north.

sat - winter wonderland

2. I had a wonderful meal this week at Linda Modern Thai with great service and flavourful authentic Thai food. I really need to eat Thai food more often, that’s for sure.

saturday - lindas

3. I also went to the AGO (327 Dundas St. W)  to visit the David Bowie exhibit. I not only need to visit the musem more often but the gift shop captured my attention too. See the item on the bottom left – well guess who bought it? ME. It was my Chanuka gift to myself. If you are looking for unique gifts – this gift shop is the place to be.

saturday - ago

4. My week also included celebrating Chanuka..which is one of my favorite Jewish Holidays. For the first time in a long time – I’m using a white table cloth. Let’s see how long it stays white.

saturday - table

7. I actually bought something online on Black Friday. This is a first for me!!

8. I am still loving my Blendtec and made apple sauce in a nano second.

saturday - applesauce

I also had the chance to attend a media dinner at The Guild restaurant (1442 Dundas St. W) to try some contemporary  Canadian food. They have recently introduced some a few new menu items which I inhaled….for example…Aged Balsamic Marinated Tomato Salad, Curvy Rigatoni, Seard Omega Pork Belly and more!!

saturday - the guild

I had a pretty productive week. Next week is going to rock too!

Have a wonderful weekend.

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Chanuka has arrived very early this year (Nov 27-Dec 4) but I’m not complaining. It just means that I’m able to eat my favourite foods a little earlier. p.s. I’m referring to potato latkes and sufganyiot.

This year I decided to do a sufganiyot crawl. But before I began, here’s the definition of soufganiot (according to Wikipedia)

sufganiyah (Hebrew: סופגנייה‎ or סופגניה; plural, sufganiyot: סופגניות) is a round jelly doughnut eaten in Israel on theJewish festival of Hanukkah. The doughnut is deep-fried, filled with jelly or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar.[1] At Hanukkah, Jews observe the custom of eating fried foods in commemoration of the miracle associated with the Temple oil.

Here’s a photo of a pretty nice lookin’ sufganiyah.

suf - whole

My crawl led me to five places in my neighborhood: Dr. Laffa, What a Bagel, Richmond Bakery, Tastes Like More, and Kosher City Plus.

suf - 5Three of us, sat down and sampled each and every one of the above sufganiyot. It was a tough job but someone had to do it!!

We discussed:

  • The Jelly: was it sweet? too sweet? was there enough jelly?
  • The dough: was it tangy? fresh? yeasty?
  • The appearance: too much icing sugar? not enough icing sugar

suf - inside



All of them were devoured within 5 minutes which meant that we loved each and every one of them!

I had so much fun doing the “research” for this blog post that next year I’m going to do a potato latke crawl.

Happy Chanuka – to all my Jewish readers.

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The first nite of Chanuka was Saturday Dec 8. and just like every year…..I would be making Potato Latkes. However  this year I decided to make potato latkes using a different recipe (it was time to change things up a bit).

I also decided to throw a Chanuka party for a few friends for the first time in many many years.

This is what was on the table:

Chanuka Party!!

  • cinnamon walnuts (from Ottawa that my mom brought in for me)
  • lemon almonds (see above)
  • smoked almonds (see above)
  • phyllo cups stuffed with goat cheese and roasted garlic and olive
  • roasted chestnuts
  • chips
  • blackberries/raspberries
  • mandarin oranges (the pretty ones with the leaves)
  • and booze of course: Luksusowa vodka! Perfect with potato latkes seeing as it’s a potato based vodka!!
  • homemade apple sauce and sour cream
  • Chex (from Buffalo – of course)

As for the latkes, here’s my not so perfect recipe: I say this as I went to a friends chanuka party and tasted her latkes and there was a world of difference. Hers were so much lighter! I asked her what recipe she used as she said “potatoes, eggs, a bit of flour and a LOT of oil”.


10 cups of grated potatoes (oh how I love my Cuisinart)

4 eggs

1/2 cup matza meal

salt and pepper


1. Grate the potatoes (I didn’t bother peeling them)

10 cups took 2 minutes to grate!! Love it.


an important step

3. Wrap the grated potatoes in a dish towel and squeeze, squeeze and squeeze some more!!

4. Add eggs, and matza meal. Stir.

5. Heat oil in a frying pan. Form latkes in your hand and then place carefully into the frying pan. Fry till golden on both sides


10 cups made 33 nice sized latkes

Plus I made my own applesauce. This is a no brainer – 3 fuji apples (not peeled, chopped), cinnamon, a bit of water. Place all ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and bingo you have applesauce. I threw it into the Cuisinart to get it to the right consistency.



Happy Chanuka!!



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It’s that time of year again, when my family inhales consumes latkes. Trust me, I’m not complaining. I love latkes. Everyone does! Here’s the recipe that I have been using for close to 20 years. It’s adapted from Still Life with Menu Cookbook by Molly Katzen.

The reason I prefer this recipe is due to her secret trick: you parboil the pototoes.

Let’s start from the beginning K?

(my mom would be proud that I really tried hard to get peel off ALL of the skin!

9 yellow potaotes – peeled

the cusinart does a great job of grating - no fuss, no muss

Grate them in a cusinart. (or by hand)

Then, take the grated potatoes and put them in boiling water and par boil for 10 minutes.

RINSE under cold water – (this takes a bit of time cause you want the potatoes to be cool for the next step) and squeeze out the excess water.

Place the grated par boiled potatoes in a bowl, along with 4 eggs and 3/4 flour, and salt.

Last step..simple eh?

Place dollops of  the mixture on a heated griddle with vegetable oil. I love using my griddle for latkes for two reasons 1. you  dont have to use a lot of oil 2. you  get to make a lot of latkes at a time.

so simple...I swear.


ready to be inhaled...with sour cream or applesauce.

I love Chanuka don’t you?

For those of you looking for last minute gifts, please check out this guest blog entry I wrote for Everything Mom.

Happy Chanuka and Happy Cooking.

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