French Fries and Other Good Stuff

According to Gourmet (a magazine that is sadly ceasing publication) the key to making the perfect French fries is to double fry them. They suggest that you flash fry them first to eliminate moisture, then fry them again for crispness. While the recipe for the fries was pretty good I decided that a few other recipes that incorporate other vegetables and can be “oven” fried might just be the perfect food gift for my readers. Some of the recipes call for regular corn oil, others olive or peanut. They all have their own distinctive flavor and you can really use them interchangeably. Don’t season fried anything before serving as the salt tends

Happy Chanukah (and Merry Christmas) to all and good eating



About 8 cups vegetable oil
2 pounds medium baking (russet) potatoes, peeled

a deep-fat thermometer; an adjustable-blade slicer fitted with French fry or large (1/4-inch) julienne blade
Heat 1 1/2 inches oil to 325 in a 5-quart heavy pot over medium heat. While oil is heating, cut potatoes with slicer into 1/4-inch sticks. Fry potatoes in 5 batches for 1 1/2 minutes per batch (potatoes will not be golden) and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 325°F between batches.) Heat oil to 350. Refry potatoes in 5 batches until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch, and transfer to clean paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 350 between batches.) Season fries with salt.


From Gourmet May 2009




4 large potatoes

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons cayenne

2 teaspoons onion powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Cheddar cheese (optional)

Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Cut potatoes into wedges and place them on a greased cookie sheet with sides. In a bowl combine the oil, paprika, garlic salt, chili powder, onion powder and cumin. Brush the wedges with the oil and spice mixture. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes depending on how crispy you want the fries. You can sprinkle the cheese over the top of the fries in the last 4 to 5 minutes of cooking. Salt to taste. Serves 4.


3 large sweet potatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

1 to 2 tablespoons bread crumbs

3 tablespoon oil


Preheat oven to 450. Cut sweet potatoes, with skins on, into long thin sticks.

In a bowl, combine the oil salt, pepper, rosemary, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Add the sweet potato sticks and toss to coat. Place cooling rack on top of cookie sheet, spread potatoes in a single layer on top of cooling rack.

Cook at 450 degrees for 40 minutes or until desired crispiness.




3 large zucchini, washed, trimmed, cut lengthwise into strips

olive oil

1 tablespoon of salt


For batter:

1 1/2 cup soda water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup flour


Put the zucchini pieces in a bowl, salt them lightly and then let them sit for 20 minutes. Pour off the liquid, pat dry and set them aside.


In a bowl combine the soda, flour and salt. Whisk together.


Heat the oil. Dip the zucchini strips in the batter and then fry them in the oil for 4 to 5 minutes. The batter will puff up while it’s frying. The strips will be done when they are lightly golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately. This doesn’t reheat well. Serves 4 to 5 as a snack.


2 to 3 cups oil for frying
1 lb. whole white button mushrooms, cleaned and dried
2 eggs, beaten
8 oz. seltzer
1 cup cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or in a deep sauce pan. In a bowl combine the eggs and water and whisk to combine. Whisk in the corn starch and salt and pepper a little bit at a time to prevent lumps. Dip the mushrooms in the batter and fry 1/3 of them at a time making sure that they don’t clump together. Fry them for 2 to 3 minutes or until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season with a little salt. Serve with immediately. Serves 4 to 6. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

3/4 teaspoon garlic salt

12 ounce beer, flat and at room temperature

1/4 cup oil, plus oil for frying

2 egg whites

4 LARGE flat sweet onions, cut in to 1/2 inch rings, separated


In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, breadcrumbs and salt.  In another bowl combine the beer and the oil. Pour the beer mixture into the flour mixture, stirring with a whisk until just combined, do not over mix and let set for at least an hour. Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a deep fryer or large pot . While the oil is heating, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them into the batter being careful to not over mix. Dip the rings into the batter, then drop into the hot oil, making sure to not crowd them. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve. Don’t salt before serving. Serves 6 to 8.


Modified from The New Southern Cook



Latke VS Doughnut

Quick Hanukkah quiz: Which came first, the latke (potato pancake) or the sufganyot (doughnut)?

Well, if you guessed the latke, you’d be wrong. Even though Jews have been celebrating Chanukah for more than 2,000 years, the potato latkes didn’t get “invented” until around the 15th century because potatoes did not become a staple in Europe and Russia until the New World was discovered and the potato was introduced to the menu our great great great great great bubbies and zadies.

The sufganyot or doughnuts, however, can be traced back to a fried honey ball called “loukomathes” that our ancestors made in ancient inGreece.

Being of Ashkenazi decent I always made latkes at least 3 or 4 nights of Hanukkah.  For the best results I always use russets or Yukon Gold potatoes. They are high in starch, and the starch is necessary to help the latke mixture stick together and form pancakes that don’t fall apart. Most people choose to peel the potatoes but . leaving the skin on will add color and texture to your pancakes. Be sure to scrub the potatoes thoroughly with a vegetable brush if you leave the skin on. If you do peel them keep them under water between peeling and shredding to prevent them from oxidizing. (Oxidation is what’s happening when potatoes start turning those lovely shades of pink brown and gray.) Latkes are traditionally made with a potatoes and onions, but there’s no halicha that says you have to make them the same every time. You can use shredded sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, garlic, parsnips or zucchini in most latke recipe. Just be sure that the majority of the mixture still consists of potatoes; these other vegetables do not contain enough starch to make the mixture stick together.
Having the onions and any other veggies trimmed and peeled and measured before you start shredding if really helpful. If you have a food processor with a shredder attachment, this will make putting everything together go faster, but a good old-fashioned hand-held grater will work just as well. If you want lacy latkes with rough, crispy edges, shred those potatoes coarsely. If you prefer denser latkes with smooth edges, use the fine side of the grater.

One of the most important parts of the latke-making process is squeezing out the potatoes. Wet, juicy potatoes make for soggy, greasy latkes that fall apart in the pan because wet items will not brown well in oil. The potatoes need to be dry and the oil needs to be good and hot, so that the exterior of the latke will quickly crisp up prevent to much grease from being absorbed. To squeeze out the potato mixture, place it in a towel and squeeze. Empty the contents of the towel into a mixing bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients

Pour the oil into a skillet until it’s 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. When the oil is about 350 it’s ready.  If you don’t have a deep-fat thermometer, you can test the temperature of the oil by dropping a small amount of latke mixture into the pan. If it turns golden brown within one minute, the oil is ready. Form the latkes by carefully placing spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil, then flattening the mounds with a spatula. Fry until they are browned on the bottom, then flip them with a spatula and brown the other side. Drain the latkes on paper towels and serve them immediately, if possible. If you aren’t able to serve them right away, keep them in the oven at 200 on a pan or platter. To keep them nice and crispy, don’t stack them up, and don’t cover them.


Latke Cooking Tips

Any latke can be made low-fat just by changing how you cook it. For a lower fat version, just fry for a minute or two on each side to get the outside crispy then bake latkes for about 10 minutes at 400-450. then turn the latke over and bake it for another 5 minutes on the other side.



1 lb russet potatoes, peeled
1 apple, peeled and cored
1 large egg
1/4 cup flour
ground pepper
canola oil
powdered sugar


Grate the potatoes and apples together in food processor. Put the shredded mixture into a colander and squeeze out liquid. Place the mixture in a bowl and add the egg and flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. In large non-stick skillet, heat enough oil to cover bottom of the pan. Spoon out the batter into pan (approx 2 to 3 tablespoons per latke), being careful not to crowd the latkes. Cook until crisp and brown on one side, then turn and fry on other side. Keep finished pancakes warm in oven all pancakes are fried. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired just before serving. Makes 10 pancakes.




2 lb fresh spinach, stemmed rinsed and chopped
1 lb zucchini peeled
1 lb russet potatoes peeled
1 onion
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried ground coriander


Grate the potatoes, zucchini and onion in food processor. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place the grated potato in a bowl and add the spinach, egg, flour, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. In large non-stick skillet, heat enough oil to cover bottom of the pan. Spoon out the batter (approx 2 to 3 tablespoons per latke) at a time into pan, being careful not to crowd the latkes. Cook until crisp and brown on one side, then turn and fry on other side. Keep finished pancakes warm in oven all pancakes are fried. Drain on paper towels. Makes around 24 pancakes.


Carrots, parsnips, green onions and dill make all  the difference in these colorful pancakes. Mix some chopped dill and green onions into sour cream to pass alongside.


8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces carrots (about 2 large), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces parsnips (about 2 large), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs, beaten to blend

10 tablespoons (about) oil


Preheat oven to 325. Place baking sheet in oven. Using food processor fitted with medium grating disk, shred potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Place towel on work surface. Spread vegetables over. Roll up towel; squeeze tightly to absorb moisture from vegetables. Blend flour, dill, onions, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add vegetables; toss to coat. Mix in eggs.  Heat 6 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop 2 heaping tablespoons batter per pancake into hot oil. Using spoon, spread to 4-inch rounds. Cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to sheet in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to skillet by tablespoonfuls as necessary. Serve hot. Makes about 12


Your search for hard-to-find good recipe for  mashed potato latkes  is now over. These are good old homemade ones that are slightly sweet, and very very moist.


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 potatoes – peeled, boiled and mashed
1 onion, chopped

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup oil
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir in mashed potatoes and onion until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milk, and stir lightly into potato mixture. Stir in corn syrup and nutmeg, mixing well. Heat a large griddle to medium-high heat. Brush the griddle with oil and spoon potato mixture onto griddle in 12 equal portions. Fry  until brown on both sides brushing the griddle with more oil as necessary. Serve hot. Serves 6.This recipe can be doubled or tripled


Make Mine Minestrone

While chicken soup may be the quintessential soup to serve when someone is sick and tomato soup is the perfect comfort food to serve with a grilled cheese sandwich (extra cheese please) Minestrone is the one I like to serve best on a cool crisp fall evening when there is just a hint of frost in the air and I’m ready to light the first bonfire of the season. Minestrone is an Italian soup in origin, made with fresh seasonally fall vegetables, often made more robust with the addition of pasta or rice.

The most common ingredients of Minestrone soup include beans (dry and/or canned), onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes. There is no one “politically correct” recipe for minestrone  since it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season or in your fridge it can whipped together (and thrown in a crockpot ) relativity quickly before you head out for the day and ready when you get home or cooked the night before and reheated . It can also be vegetarian or contain meat. In fact the word “minestrone” has become a synonym for “throw what every you like in there”. Just so you know, great minestrone should distinguish itself by the large quantity of fresh vegetables it contains and its thick consistency (great for mopping up with that extra bread that always seems to be on the table when you serve a thick soup).



1/2 cup dried cannellini beans
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
3 ounces sliced pastrami, chopped
1 cup minced yellow onions
1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup minced carrots
1 generous tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes, drained
2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
4 ounces green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, diced
4 ounces white mushrooms, diced
2 cups shredded Savoy cabbage
4 ounces asparagus, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen petite green peas
8 to 10 basil leaves, shredded
2 quarts warm water or canned low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sort beans, pick out the bad ones and soak overnight in water to cover.

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add pastrami, onions, celery, carrots, and parsley; cook, stirring until vegetables are lightly golden and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir, about 5 minutes. Drain and add the rehydrated cannellini beans, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, asparagus, peas, and basil to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and stir for 2 to 3 minutes to coat vegetables well with savory base. Add warm water and Parmesan rind; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, stirring from time to time, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the minestrone has a dense, thick consistency. (If the soup should thicken too much, add a bit more water.) Remove cheese rind, and adjust seasoning. Turn off heat and let soup stand for about 30 minutes. Serves 8 to 10


Note: Rice or small pasta such as ditalini can be added to the soup during the last minutes of cooking. Add rice 10 minutes before you turn off the heat, pasta 3 to 5 minutes before. The rice or pasta will keep cooking as the soup rests.


Adapted from Biba’s Taste of Italy. 2001. Biba Caggiano, William Morrow Publishing


1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
7 cups beef or chicken or vegetable broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole tomatoes, mashed with a spoon
1 (15.5 ounce) can kidney beans
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried basil leaves
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup uncooked rotelli pasta (4 ounces)

Squeeze as much moisture as possible from spinach. Mix together with beef, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, and pepper. Shape into 1-inch balls. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until very hot. Add a few meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels. Repeat till all are browned.


Remove excess oil and add onion to Dutch oven; cook until opaque. Stir in broth, tomatoes, beans, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add carrots and celery; cover and simmer for 10 minutes more. Stir in pasta; cover and simmer until done, about 10 minutes. Add meatballs and heat through, about 5 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls. Serves 10 to 12



2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 large sweet potato, diced
2 medium white potatoes, diced
3 stalks celery
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
15 oz. canned whole tomatoes
6 cups water, boiling
Salt and pepper
Fresh or dried oregano, to taste

1/4 lb rottini pasta, cooked and drained

Parmesan cheese, optional


Saute the onion in the olive oil, until golden. Add the sweet potato, white potatoes, celery, peas, carrots, and corn and sauté until softened. Add tomatoes, breaking up with hands or spoon. Add boiling water, salt and pepper and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.  In the last minutes of cooking add the cooked pasta to the soup.  Ladle into bowls, garnish with cheese and oregano if desired. Serves 6.




1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (more if you prefer)

2 stalks celery

1 red pepper, seeded and diced into chunks
4 oz prewashed and cut kale (6 cups)
1 (1-lb) bag frozen mixed Italian vegetables such as zucchini, green beans, cauliflower, and broccoli
1 (14 1/2-oz) can “petite” diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup elbow macaroni
5 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (42 fl oz)
2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (19-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
grated parmesan, optional


Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add kale and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Add frozen vegetables, peppers, celery, tomatoes with juice, pasta, broth, water, salt, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer half of beans to a wide shallow bowl and coarsely mash with a fork or a potato masher, then stir mashed and whole beans into soup and simmer, stirring occasionally, until soup is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


Modified from a recipe from


MEATBALL MINESTRONE (meat or pareve)


1 cup frozen chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (15- to 19-ounce) can cannellini beans, undrained

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 (1.4-ounce) package dry vegetable soup mix

1 (16-ounce) package frozen cooked meatballs or vegetarian meatballs

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Italian-style diced tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 cup elbow pasta, uncooked

1 (10-ounce) package fresh washed baby spinach


In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the onion and the garlic in the olive oil until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in vegetable soup mix until dissolved. Add meatballs, tomatoes and crushed red pepper and return to a boil. Add elbow macaroni and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until pasta are tender.

Add the spinach and stir until it is wilted, about 1 minute. Serves 6.



Not technically a soup but hey, it’s close and it’s really delicious so who cares what you call it.
1 package (16 ounces) uncooked rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning Mix, divided
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 large carrot, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package and drain. Return pasta to stockpot; add 1
tablespoon of the oil and 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mix, stirring to
coat. Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat until hot. Add garlic stir-fry 1 minute.  Add zucchini and carrot; stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add mushrooms, spaghetti sauce, garbanzo beans and remaining seasoning mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and heated through. Transfer pasta to a large bowl. Carefully pour sauce over pasta. Grate Parmesan cheese over pasta. Serve immediately. 8 servings



2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 large potato, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 medium zucchinis, grated
One 8 3/4-ounce can red kidney beans, drained
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
olive oil for drizzling
Combine the chicken stock, water, potato and garlic in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the potato becomes tender, about 15 minutes. Using a spoon or large fork, mash the potato slightly. Add the zucchini and kidney beans; cook until the beans are heated, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Divide among four soup bowls and drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil over each serving. Serves 4

2 (14.5 oz) cans vegetable broth
1 (18 oz) can crushed tomatoes — undrained
3 medium carrots — chopped
3 small zucchini — cut into 1/2″ slices
1 medium yellow bell pepper — cut into 1/2″ pieces
8 medium green onions — sliced
2 cloves garlic — finely chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Mix all ingredients except rice and basil in a 3 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in rice. Cover and cook on low heat setting for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Serves 6.

Skinny Recipes for Spring or HELP I Need to Loose 30 lbs.

                                   SPRING HAS SPRUNG

             HEMS ARE ON THE RISE,



and hips and stomach and all the other parts of me that seem to have spread out so much over these last couple of months.

            It never fails, just say the words “cold weather” or big bulky wool sweaters to me and I start eating like a nuclear winter is just around the corner. My body seems to equate the changing into my winter wardrobe with putting on a few extra layers of blubber, (not unlike my cousin, the polar bear) to ward off all that cold cold icky snowy weather.

             I realize now that the warm weather is really here to stay that it may be too late for me to change my food “intake”. You know what I mean. If the food is “in” my house I “take” it and stuff it in my mouth. I’ve got to find a way to take off 30 pounds in the next 4 weeks before it’s officially time to pull out the tank tops and sunscreen . At this point, the odds of me buying a new swimsuit in this century are very slim (another word I’m not so fond of).

             Forget about all those New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, we’re out of time. Let’s concentrate on what we can accomplish in the next few months by taking the fat (and calories) out of our diet. (That’s diet as a Noun not as a Verb).

            To get us started here are a few fun and fast recipes that have been reduced to as few calories as I can manage without the taste being compromised. So try these “thin delights”, the only thing you have to lose is weight.


6 medium potatoes, baked

1 tablespoon melted margarine

1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt or low fat/no fat sour cream

1/4 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat to 375. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the center and leave about 1/8 inch shell. Mix the butter, yogurt and basil, oregano thyme together and brush it generously on the potato skins. Sprinkle the skins with the sesame seeds. Place the skins on a baking sheet and bake for 25 min. or until they are crunchy and brown. Cut in half lengthwise and serve hot. Serves 6.

Submitted by Lois Rose Glenview IL


1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon orange zest

3 green onions, sliced thin

3 cups cooked white meat of chicken, diced

2 medium oranges, peeled and thinly sliced

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

salad greens

salt/pepper are optional

chow mein or rice noodles

Place the chicken in a self closing plastic bag. Add the chicken broth, vinegar, orange peel and onions. Close and shake to mix. Mix in the water chestnuts and orange slices. Close and shake to coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Place the salad greens on a serving plate and spoon the chicken salad on top, making sure not to pour too much of the marinade over it. Sprinkle the chow mein or rice noodles on top. Serves 4.


4 pita breads

4 cup sliced mushrooms, fresh

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced and separate into rings

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1/4 cup chopped red pepper

4 teaspoon dried basil

2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425. Split each pita bread so that you have a total of 8 rounds. Place rounds, cut side up, on ungreased cookie sheet. Arrange mushrooms, peppers and onions on top. Sprinkle with basil and cheeses. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut each round into 6 pieces. Serves 4


2 cup low fat, small curd cottage cheese

4 tablespoon skim milk

2 tablespoon lemon juice

4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoon curry powder

Place cottage cheese, milk and lemon juice into a blender or food processor. Process for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides process again until the mixture is smooth. Add the mustard, onion powder and curry powder. Cover and pulse for 30 seconds or until everything is combined. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour but no longer than 3 days. Serve with raw vegetables or pita triangles. Makes 2 cups


1 1/2 cups brown rice

3 cups chicken broth

1 lb. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained

2 red or green bell peppers, chopped

1 large onion, diced

3/4 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cup low fat milk

3 tablespoons flour

2 cup shredded low fat pepper Jack cheese, divided

1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels

4 ounces low fat cream cheese (or Neufchatel)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

Preheat oven to 375. In a saucepan bring the broth to a simmer. Add in the rice, spinach, bell peppers, onion, and salt. Cover and cook at a simmer 20 to 30 minutes.  Uncover a continue cooking until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 more minutes. In another saucepan whisk together the milk and flour. Cook over medium heat until bubbling and thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add 1 1/2 cups Jack cheese and corn and cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted. Set the mixture aside.. When the rice is done, stir in the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Jack cheese on top and dollop cream cheese by the teaspoonful over the casserole. Top with jalapeños. Return the casserole to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8

Beans Beans and more Beans…in Soup

The cold rains and winds of the fall are knocking on my window pane and for me there is no better way to ward them off than a nice big hearty bowl of soup. It just so happens that I to like to use beans in my soup to add body and flavor and thickness. Yes, I know all those little 5 year olds inside you are chanting the ditty, beans beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you………..well, you know the rest. Truly though, beans really are good for you and they add a flavor and texture to the soup that makes it spectacular.

Beans are one of the good guy foods; they don’t add cholesterol to your diet and have almost no fat. They’re a terrific source for vitamin B source, fiber (you can never get enough of that good stuff) and potassium. They’ve been shown to aid digestion and actually help lower cholesterol.

There are tons of different kinds of dried and canned beans that you can use in a soup. Right off the top of my pretty little head I can suggest kidney, lima, white, great northern, black and navy beans. Most have subtle flavors and take on the taste of the spices and other ingredients you add to your recipe.

The following recipes can be enhanced by the adding of chicken or beef or any other kind of meat you might like to add. They’re all very forgiving so if you want to add a few more carrots or tomatoes or even rutabaga be my guest. As with all soups, the measurements are never quite exact and can be personalized to reflect your own special tastes.


1 large can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
1 sweet potato or acorn squash peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cumin
2 chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups shredded carrots
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups fresh spinach, shredded
1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon pepper

Pour the broth into a large stock pot and heat to a boil. Add the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, onion, carrots and cinnamon. Reduce the soup to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes or so. Add the garbanzo beans, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt. Mix to combine, cover and simmer for and additional 20 to 30 minutes. Add the spinach 5 minutes before you’re ready to serve and cook the 5 minutes and then serve. Serves 8.


4 cans white beans, drained

1/2 cup white wine
5 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon thyme

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 1/2 cups boiling water

Place 3 cans of the drained white beans and the wine in the bowl of a food processor, process to smooth and set it aside. In a soup pot saute the onions carrots and celery together in the olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the garlic, thyme and tomatoes and cook for 8 minutes, stirring constantly .

Add the boiling water, the remaining beans and the processed beans. Stir the mixture until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Serves 6

Submitted by Dov Lubiner NY, NY


2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion chopped into small pieces

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 stalks celery chopped fine

2 carrots chopped fine

1/2 cup jicama, julienned

1 fresh jalapeno seeded and minced

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

2 (19-ounces) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

3 to 4 cups vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste
In a soup pot saute the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and jalapeno in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for an additional 7 or 8 minutes. Add the beans, broth, and bay leaf and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until soup is slightly thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove about 2 cups of the soup and puree it (our use an immersion blender for just a minute or so, making sure not to puree everything) and add it back to the soup pot. Add the jicama and cook for 5 minutes, remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper and serves. Serves 6,


2 1/4 cup dry black beans (approx 1 pound)
10 oz frozen whole kernel corn or 1 can sweet corn, drained
1 red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
4 cups boiling water
1 14 oz can chili and tomatoes

salsa (optional)

Rinse beans and place them in a large stock pot. Cover them with water (about 2 inches over the top of the beans. Add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. Cook for about 12 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let set for about 45 minutes to an hour (you can also let them sit overnight covered in cold water). Drain and the rinse beans. In crock pot combine the beans, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, coriander, and hot pepper sauce. Pour boiling water over the top to cover the beans and vegetables. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Mash some of the beans slightly to thicken and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and corn and let cook for an additional 1/2 hour and then serve. Serve with salsa. Serves 8

Modified from a Sunset Foods cookbook


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes
2 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1 onion chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

In a stock pot heat the oil and add the chicken onion, garlic, cumin, salt, cinnamon allspice and pepper. Cook on low heat until the onion and garlic are light golden brown and the chicken is cooked throughout. In a food processor puree the beans and tomatoes with 2 cups of broth. Add pureed ingredients, pumpkin and rest of broth to the vegetables and chicken in the stock pot. Simmer uncovered for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the broth is slightly thickened. 5 minutes before serving stir in the vinegar, cook 5 minutes and then serve. 6 servings


1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
2 16 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 1/2 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 14 1/2 oz. cans broth
1 1/2 cups cooked rice

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the rice in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Add the cooked rice just before serving. 8 servings.


The perfect soup to use up your left over chicken

3 to 4 cups cooked chicken cut into pieces or shredded

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa

2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes

1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained

1 (8 ounce) container sour cream (optional)

5 cups chicken broth

In a large soup pot over saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until just wilted. Add the salsa, diced tomatoes, tomatoes, tomato soup, chili powder, corn, kidney beans, sour cream, shredded chicken and 5 cups broth. Simmer 30 minutes. Serves 8

Submitted by C. Bracken from NY NY, edited from


3 to 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning
3 tablespoons oil

1 chopped onion

1 cup shredded bok choy

1/2 cup shredded carrots
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup salsa

sour cream (optional)

cilantro (optional)

Sprinkle the chicken with the taco seasoning and set it aside. In a soup pot heat the oil and saute the onion and carrot. After about 3 minutes add the chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the seasoning from the chicken is combined with the onion and bok choy. Add the broth to the onion chicken mixture, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.   Place the bean in a bowl and mash them slightly. Add the beans and salsa to soup and mix to combine. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce it to a simmer and cook for 10 or 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream and cilantro, if desired. Serves 8.

Are They Latkes Or Potato Pancakes?

The Jewish celebration of Chanukah begins this year at sundown on December 1st. Called the festival of lights it commemorates the freedom of the Jewish people thousands of years ago. The holiday lasts for eight days, beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev

The story is simple. A Greek ruler named Antiochus had conquered the Jewish people. He prohibited the practice of their religion and desecrated their most holy place, the Temple. This sparked a revolt led by a man named Judah Maccabee. After three years of fighting for their freedoms they won, and on the 25th day of Kislev, they reclaimed the Temple, cleansed and prepared for the rededication. Although there was only enough special oil needed to light the menorah (candelabra) in the Temple for one day, miraculously, the oil lasted for eight entire days until a new supply could be obtained. Chanukah is an eight day festival to celebrate this miracle.
            Many people believe that because Chanukah is celebrated around the same time of year as Christmas there is a connection or similarity between the two.  Not so. Chanukah a minor Jewish holiday. The only specifically religious part of the celebration is the lighting of the menorah every night, the blessings said at that time and this is typically done in the home.

            When my children were very small and our budget was even smaller we tried to find creative ways to celebrate Chanukah that didn’t require spending copious amounts of money but maximize the amount of fun the family could have. We came up with crazy latke night (a latkes is a potato pancakes, cooked in oil and eaten to honor the miracle of the lasting oil). It’s been a hit with family and friends ever since.

            Simply put, 2 of the families invited came up with the most unusual and creative latke recipe that they could find.  They would bring the ingredients for the latkes and the other 3 or 4 families would bring the rest of the stuff for our dinner. Every family would bring a small gift costing no more than 3 dollars for each child attending (but not their own) and we’d have a cook off. Granted, some recipes are better than others and others are soooooooooooooooo bad that the entire batch is ceremoniously disposed of after the first few bites. Regardless of what we end up choosing as the blue ribbon winner of the evening everyone has a good time and the cost for the evening was never more than any of us could afford.

            The party has evolved as the families grew and got older. The presents became gift certificates or a check (preferred by high school and college students world wide) and the recipes got a tad less crazy and more heart healthy and had a few less calories. None the less, most of following recipe were served at one time or another at one of our parties and a few just sounded too good not to pass along.

Rules for the perfect latke (potato pancake)

1. Have all of the ingredients ready to go before the potato shredding begins (peel the potatoes, mince the onions, and get the egg mixture ready). To prevent the potatoes from browning, they may be peeled in advance and kept covered with water, but once they are shredded, you must work fast.
2. I always beat the eggs and flour together. This is how it was done in most restaurants, despite what many of the recipe say.
3. When frying, use a generous amount of oil. I like to use peanut oil

4. While a hand grater works just fine, you can save time, and your knuckles, by using a food processor.
5. SQUEEZE! Squeeze as much liquid out of the shredded potatoes as possible, pressing them against the side of the bowl to release their starchy water.
6. Serve immediately. While you can make them ahead of time and reheat, they are at their best right out of the pan.

7. You can top your latkes with sour cream, yogurt, apple sauce or even brown sugar if they’re sweet rather than savory. They sky and your imagination is the only limitation.


2 eggs, beaten

4 medium russet potatoes (about 8 ounces each), peeled and shredded

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup grated onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil

In a large bowl combine the eggs, flour, onion, salt, and pepper, stirring to blend. Using your hands, squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the potatoes. Add the shredded potatoes to the egg mixture, mixing well. In a large, heavy skillet, heat some of the oil over medium-high heat. Spoon the batter by quarter-cupfuls onto the hot skillet, flattening them with the back of the spoon. Fry until the bottom of the pancakes are nicely browned – between 3 and 5 minutes; flip the pancakes and cook for about 3 minutes longer. Repeat for the remaining pancakes, adding oil to the skillet as needed. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. About 12 four-inch pancakes. Serves 6

From my files, unknown author


Spiced with cinnamon, curry powder and cumin this potato pancake is also great for Thanksgiving.

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons white sugar

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup oil for frying

1/2 cup milk or water

Shred the sweet potatoes, and place in a colander to drain for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, white sugar, brown sugar, curry powder and cumin. Make a well in the center, and pour in eggs and milk. Stir until all of the dry ingredients have been absorbed. Stir in sweet potatoes.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drop the potato mixture by spoonfuls into the oil, and flatten with the back of the spoon. Fry until golden on both sides, flipping only once. If they are browning too fast, reduce the heat to medium. Remove from the oil, and keep warm while the other pancakes are frying. Makes about 15 or 16.

From my file, author unknown


1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/4 cups sweet potatoes – peeled/cooked/mashed (yes you can use canned)

1/4 cup butter- melted and 1 additional tablespoon butter for frying

2 large eggs – beaten

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Allow potatoes to cool to room temperature before making batter. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, combine milk, potatoes, eggs and butter. Combine the two mixtures until dry ingredients are just moistened. Allow batter to set, while you heat a griddle or skillet to medium-high heat and lightly grease with butter.
Drop batter by heaping Tablespoons onto griddle or skillet and fry, turning once, until browned on both sides. Great with maple syrup and butter. Or try it with “sweetened sour cream” – mix 1/2 cup of sour cream with a tablespoon of brown sugar. Makes about 20 pancakes.

Submitted by Carrie Wasermen Chicago IL from


1 medium baking potato, unpeeled and shredded

1/2 small zucchini, shredded

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 egg white

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon oil
Combine potato, zucchini, onion, egg white and flour in medium bowl until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Drop potato mixture into skillet by 1/3 cupfuls. Flatten pancakes with spatula; cook about 5 minutes per side or until browned.

Tip: Save time by shredding both the potato and zucchini in a food processor fitted with a shredding disc. There’s no need to wash the bowl in between because all the ingredients are mixed together before cooking. Makes 6 pancakes. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Modified from a recipe from Easy Home Cooking Magazine


2 cups mashed potatoes

1 large egg, beaten lightly

6 tablespoons flour

1 and 1/2 tablespoons grated onion

Salt and pepper to taste

vegetable oil for frying

In a medium bowl, combine the mashed potatoes and egg and mix them together. Add the flour and onion and mix all together well. Add salt and pepper to batter to taste.

In a large skillet or on a griddle, heat oil, 2 to 3 tablespoons over medium-high heat. Drop batter onto the heated surface in healing tablespoons. Flatten each latke slightly with the spoon. Cooking time is about a minute per side. They should be golden brown on each side. The original recipe called for serving these latkes with a fried egg and grated cheese on top. Absolutely weird for Hanukkah abut strangely delicious! Makes 5 to 6 latkes. This recipe can be doubled or tripled


You can form the sweet-potato pancakes up to six hours ahead, leaving only a quick frying before serving.

2 pounds tan-skinned sweet potatoes (about 3 medium)

3/4 cup chopped green onions
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 ounce black caviar
Fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces

Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead; keep refrigerated.)

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel potatoes and coarsely grate into large bowl. Stir in green onions. Whisk eggs, flour, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Gently mix into potato mixture. Form mixture into 48 walnut-size balls; transfer to prepared baking sheet. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place 8 potato balls in skillet, pressing each gently with spatula to flatten to 1 1/2-inch diameter. Cook until pancakes are rich golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining potato balls, adding more oil to skillet if necessary. Transfer pancakes to platter. Top each with 1 teaspoon sour cream and scant 1/4 teaspoon caviar. Garnish with chives. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 48 mini latkes.

Bon Appétit  November 2001

Mash and Smashed Potatoes are both Great for Thanksgiving

While the prevailing thought that Thanksgiving dinner should be all about the turkey, in my house, it’s about the mashed potatoes. We have the same argument, year after year after year. Smashed verses mashed verses roasted versus candied. Everyone has their favorite AND THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT.    


            Lobbying starts early. My youngest son is forthright and always polite and truthful: “Mom, if you need me to run to the grocery to get the marshmallows for the sweet potato casserole I’ll be happy to be of service to you, oh queen of the kitchen and she who must be obeyed (sometimes I like him best). Oh, and if you need anything else I’ll pick that up too.” The oldest is a tad more crafty, actually offering to do more than just show up and eat. “Hey mom, how about I take care of setting the table, vacumning AND peeling the potatoes” thinking I’ll be so stunned by is offer to actually “work” that I’ll make the potatoes the way he wants. My husband, on the other hand, is a bit more subtle, “what ever YOU want to make is fine by me, BUT, if you’re asking, I prefer that casserole with the fried onions BUT only if its not too much trouble and I’ll eat what ever you make, as long as it’s the casserole.” I usually end up making a sweet and regular potato side dish just to keep the peace and make sure there are leftovers for weekend overeating.

            I have discovered that the real trick to creamy, buttery, luscious potatoes is to use the Yukon Gold potatoes instead of Russets or Idaho that most people seem to use. That’s really all there is to it (along with adding, butter, and cream/milk/broth, salt and pepper etc). Potatoes should be cut into approximately the same size so that it cook evenly and placed in a pan with cold salted water. Cook until soft. After draining, return potatoes to pot and shake them over a medium heat to remove any remaining moisture before mashing.
         It’s important to mash your potatoes to the desired consistency BEFORE adding any liquids. Once you add liquid, it sets the texture of your mashed potatoes. Never, repeat never, over-beat or use a food processor. You will end up with glue. Use an up and down motion rather than a stirring motion to keep from turning the potatoes into a gummy paste (paste/glue, you get the picture).

 A final mashed potato note: If you want to add a little zing to your mashed potatoes know that most root vegetables are great candidates for combining with your mashing potatoes. Try adding cooked and mashed yams, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, celery root, carrots, onions, garlic or whatever sounds good to you. You can combine them totally or swirl them together in the serving bowl for a colorful and delicious dish.

One pound or 3 medium-sized potatoes will make 2 cups mashed potatoes.

Use some of your mashed potatoes as a decorative tasty garnish for your vegetable casseroles. Add a lightly beaten egg to the mashed potatoes and, using a pastry bag, pipe a decorative border around the edge. Bake at 375 just until the potato garnish starts to brown.


2 pounds small red potatoes

4 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 to 1/2 cup milk or half-and-half

Salt and pepper, to taste

Scrub potatoes and cut into small chunks. Put potatoes and the sliced garlic in a medium saucepan; cover with water and add salt. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and drain well. Pour into a bowl and mash with the butter and milk or half-and-half. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 to 6.


Deluxe mashed potatoes, with cream cheese, sour cream, butter, Cheddar, and seasonings.

8 to 12 medium baking potatoes, (about 3 to 4 lbs)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

8 ounces sour cream

6 to 8 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 to 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Peel and quarter potatoes. In a large saucepan, cook potatoes in enough water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain off liquid. In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, butter, garlic powder, and pepper. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer till fluffy. Turn mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole or baking dish. Top with the shredded Cheddar cheese. Cover and bake in 350° oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer. Serves 8 to 10.


3 tablespoons olive oil
4 heads garlic (12 to 14 oz. total)
6 pounds Yukon gold or russet potatoes
1 1/2 cups (a 3-oz. and an 8-oz. package) vegetable cheese (I like Boursin)
About 1 cup chicken broth or milk
Salt and pepper

Pour olive oil into a 9- to 10-inch square pan. Cut garlic heads in half crosswise through cloves and lay cut sides down in pan. Bake in a 375° oven until garlic is golden brown on the bottom and oozing sticky juices, about 35 minutes. Slip a thin spatula under garlic to release from pan. Reserve 1 half-head of garlic; pluck or squeeze cloves from remaining garlic. Meanwhile, rinse and peel potatoes. Cut into 2-inch chunks. Boil in salted water until soft. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add loose garlic cloves and cheese. With a potato masher or mixer, mash potatoes, adding enough broth to make them as soft and creamy as you like. (If you plan to serve potatoes as soon as they are mashed, heat broth before adding.) Season to taste with salt and swirl into a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole. Sprinkle with pepper. Serve with a garnish of reserved roasted garlic. Serves 10 to 12.


5 to 6 large sweet potatoes

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup cream or half and half

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 1/4 cup chopped pecans

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place sweet potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven until soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before peeling and placing into a large bowl. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 2 quart casserole dish. Mash the warm potatoes along with butter, cream, vanilla extract, brown sugar, salt, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1 cup chopped pecans, and eggs. Spread mashed sweet potato into the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of pecans. Bake until thoroughly hot, 30 to 35 minutes. Serves 6 to 8


3 to 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup toasted, ground hazelnuts

1/2 cup cream

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup apple cider

salt and pepper to taste

Place the sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.

Mash the potatoes until smooth, then stir in the hazelnuts,cream, sour cream, and apple cider. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 6 to 8


2 2/3 cups chicken broth

2/3 cup milk

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 2/3 cups instant mashed potato flakes

1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

2 tablespoons snipped chives

1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 1 quart baking dish and set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the broth, milk, butter and pepper; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in potato flakes. Let stand for 30 seconds; fluff with a fork. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with the cheeses. Bake, uncovered,  for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with chives. Serve with sour cream if desired. Serves 6. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.


4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts in water, drained

1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste

1/2 cup hot milk

1/4 cup softened butter

salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, puree the artichokes and garlic with the milk until smooth. Place drained potatoes in a mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Stir in softened butter and artichoke puree until the butter has melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4 to 5. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. You can also sprinkle Parmesan cheese lightly on the top and bake it for 5 minutes at 375 for a fun crunchy topping.


A non traditional recipe that’s really really delicious

3 eggs, separated
2 to 3 cups cooked mashed potatoes
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
2 tablepoons finely chopped sweet red pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400.  Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Set the egg whites aside. In a medium to large bowl, beat egg yolks by hand or with an electric mixer until lemon colored.  Add the mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, green onion, red pepper, salt, and pepper and beat until mixed. In a separate mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the potato mixture. Add salt and pepper. Place in a greased 1-1/2 quart baking dish. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.


5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 tablespoon(s) salt

3 large leeks, about 1 1/2 pounds

1/2 cups (1 stick) margarine or butter

1 3/4 cup milk, warmed

1 container (8 ounces) sour cream

1/4 cup chives, chopped

In 6-quart saucepot, place potatoes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and enough cold water to cover potatoes. Set aside. Cut off root and dark-green tops from leeks. Discard tough outer leaves. Cut leeks into 1/4-inch-wide slices. Rinse leeks in large bowl of cold water, swishing to remove sand; transfer to colander, leaving sand in bowl. Repeat several times. Drain. In nonstick 12-inch skillet, melt margarine over medium heat. Add leeks and cook 20 minutes or until golden and very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir often during last 5 minutes to avoid overbrowning. Meanwhile, heat saucepot of potatoes to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Drain. In saucepot, with potato masher, mash potatoes until smooth. Stir in milk, sour cream, chives, leek mixture, and remaining salt. Reheat. Serves 6 to 8.

 Modified from

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