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Dec 2 2013

Q&A with Catherine McCord of

By at 12:42 pm

Photo Credit: Mike Ervin


Catherine McCord always appreciated good food and the impact food has on health and well-being, but when her first son was born she struggled to find feeding tips and fresh, healthy recipes for kids. This was when Catherine decided to put her training at The Institute for Culinary Education in Manhattan to use as a food blogger. She posts weekly meals and cooking videos (with her kids!) on her website Catherine’s newest book, Weelicious Lunches, focuses on innovative solutions for quick, delicious, easy-to-make, lunch box meals that kids won’t be tempted to swap. I sat down to talk to her about toddler lunch monotony, her favorite Hanukkah foods, and more.

Feeding kids can be a stressful part of parenting. Clearly you work hard to make healthy meals that are appealing to your kids. What is your philosophy when it comes to them eating the food you serve? One bite to be polite?

I’m all about what works for you. Some families hope their kids will eat one bite and they’re satisfied; I find that when I include my kids in cooking it inspires them to want to try new foods. If they really don’t want to try something, I offer to let them sprinkle the food with Parmesan cheese, dip it in maple syrup, or top it with toasted sesame seeds, for example. Those little tips help all the time! Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 10 2012

Inspiration for the Sixth Night: A Mexican Hanukkah

By at 4:08 pm

Let’s be honest; by the sixth night of Hanukkah, the magic can wear thin.

Yet Deborah De Costa’s beautiful children’s book Hannukkah Moon reminds us that the sixth night of Hanukkah is a particularly special night of the holiday. The title refers to the appearance of the new moon on the sixth night, signalling the arrival of the Jewish month of Tevet. Jewish tradition celebrates each new month with additional prayers and historically giving women a half day off to connect with the cycles of the moon. In that sense, the sixth night should be doubly important. De Costa’s take goes beyond ancient traditions and adds a wonderful and inspiring dimension to the sixth night. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 6 2012

Eight Days of Hanukkah Recipes: Oven-Fried Potato Latkes

By at 4:26 pm

oven-fried potato latkesHanukkah begins this Saturday night, so there’s no time like today to hone in on your latke recipe. Today we’ve got a recipe for oven-fried potato latkes. If you’ve never tried this frying strategy before, this is going to rock your world. No more being a slave to the frying pan while the house swarms with hungry adults and their gelt-fueled, manic children! Also, way less mess. Win!

Oven-Fried Potato Latkes

By Zoe Singer

Adapted from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite, by Melissa Clark. As Melissa points out, this recipe is easily multiplied (or halved, actually). If you make more than one batch, add a bit more oil to cover the bottom of the pans after the first batch, and reduce the baking time to allow for the pre-heated pans. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 4 2012

Eight Days of Hanukkah Recipes: Homemade Applesauce

By at 4:37 pm

We’ve given you parsnip-sweet potato latkes and other fun twists on the Hanukkah classic, and today we’re giving you a recipe for that classic latke topping: applesauce! This recipe comes from Avigail Hurvitz-Prinz.

Once you have your applesauce you may want to can it, so we have instructions for that process, too. But you don’t need to bother with that if you’ll be consuming your applesauce with your latkes.

Applesauce Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 3 2012

Eight Days of Hanukkah Recipes: Parsnip-Sweet Potato Latkes

By at 11:58 am

Today in our line up of Hanukkah recipes, we’re excited to share this delicious recipe for sweet potato-parsnip latkes. It totally counts as eating vegetables, even if they’re fried.

Parsnip-Sweet Potato Latkes

by Adeena Sussman

Of the many ways to commemorate the miracle of Hanukkah–in which a small vial of oil lasted 8 days in the Holy Temple–my favorite is to prepare treats fried in oil. Latkes (Yiddish for pancakes) come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, a big difference from my childhood, when potatoes seemed to be the only ingredient of choice. Potatoes still reign supreme, but there are eight days of Hanukkah–ample time to try this recipe, which embraces the spirit of the holiday and adds a modern twist. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 29 2012

Eight Days of Hanukkah Recipes: Not Your Mama’s Latkes

By at 1:38 pm

To continue with our eight days of Hanukkah recipes, today we’re bringing you some variations on the traditional latke. Be sure to click here for more variations including curried sweet potato latkes, colorful latkes, and veggie latkes, too.

If you’re not supposed to have so much oil (despite the miracle!), you can spray a cookie sheet with vegetable oil spray or Pam and put any of these in a hot (450 degree) oven for about 5-8 minutes on each side.

Sweet Potato Latkes (Pareve) Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 5 2012

Cookie Winner! (Eats Latkes While Deployed in Iraq)

By at 2:42 pm


In a way, latkes and cookies look a lot a like...

We love running contests here at Kveller. It’s so much fun to give away things like cookies. So congratulations to Naomi Mercer on getting a yummy package of Almondina cookies in the mail!

We asked contest entrants to tell us about a family recipe that they loved. Naomi, being a recent convert to Judaism, didn’t have a long-time family recipe to share, but she told a story about latkes and being deployed in Iraq that you won’t want to miss. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 19 2011

DIY Style for Hanukkah

By at 10:05 am

I think age 4 was the last time I enjoyed the whole DIY thing.

I’m not crafty. I’m so not crafty that when I bought some cute Hanukkah stamps for my daughter and we used them together to make a card for her great-grandma, I was pretty darned proud of myself. Luckily for me (and any of you like me out there) there are solutions for this. The internet is filled with amazing recipes, crafts, and decor to make your Hanukkah the best ever. Here are some of my favorites…


Over at Matzo Ball Soup, Tali Buchler made these gorgeous Star of David decorations. Might be better to do with slightly older children, but it’s a great way to reuse aluminum containers. (And if you’ve missed Tali’s amazing projects on Kveller, check them out here.)

I was very impressed with this Hanukkah tablescape at Frog Prince Paperie–and for you non-DIY-ers out there, you can just order the printables on their site, follow some instructions, and you too have a gorgeous Hanukkah display!


If you haven’t already checked out the make-your-own menorah here on Kveller, here’s your chance. It’s a far cry from the one you might have made in Hebrew school with some plywood and a few bolts.

I absolutely adore the recycling that Creative Jewish Mom did to make her Hanukkah menorah out of toilet paper tubes. Amazing! But don’t light this one on fire, folks–it’s just to look at.

Joanna at Bible Belt Balabusta is truly gifted at creating edible, holiday-themed snacks, and she’s done it again with these edible dreidels. Just a few candy-based household ingredients and you too can have a lot of fun–and a sugar rush–with your kids. (She also has an impressive PVC menorah that you simply have to check out.)


Speaking of food, did you see our newest additions to the Hanukkah menu? This year, skip the plain old jelly doughnuts–make Hanukkah beignets! These gorgeous, fluffy puffs will make you think you’re in New Orleans, sipping coffee at Cafe du Mond.

And as it turns out–Hanukkah isn’t just about fried food (who knew?!) Cheese is actually a traditional ingredient on Hanukkah, so try out these cheese latkes, eggplant, mushroom, and tomato gratin, and baked goat cheese dessert. You’ll be asking for seconds before you know it.

My final find is a decoration, art project, and recipe all in one–this cupcake menorah over at the Shiksa in the Kitchen. It’s gorgeous and looks absolutely delicious.

But I know this list isn’t exhaustive… what else did I miss out there?

Dec 13 2011

Hanukkah: Good for the Jews, Good for the Gentiles

By at 11:40 am

Growing up, entertaining was always such a fun part of the winter holidays. My mother invited family and friends over on Christmas Eve to eat shrimp cocktail, lasagna, and cookies while playing board games. (In case you haven’t read my previous posts, I converted to Judaism a while back.) As my brothers and I grew older it was almost more fun than Christmas morning. Being Jewish hasn’t lessened my desire to host friends in our home and having a family of my own has fueled a strong desire to establish new holiday traditions.

But learning about Judaism (and how, what and why we celebrate things) can be a process. For example, I’m four years in and I’d rather pluck out my armpit hair one by one than deal with the stress of hosting my own Passover seder.  The High Holidays don’t exactly elicit  “let’s get drunk and eat fun-shaped cookies while playing Jenga” kind of feelings. And while a Purim costume party does sound like fun, I think Hanukkah is the easiest time to celebrate with non-Jewish friends and family.

(Disclaimer:  I’m assuming since you’re reading this blog that you probably pee when you laugh and have sticky fingerprints on your refrigerator door, so the following advice is aimed at a kid-friendly party. Feel free to jazz it up if you have the luxury of a babysitter and an alcohol tolerance.)

1. What’s blue and white with light all over? Set the mood for a fun night (afternoon) of Hanukkah celebration. Play The Maccabeats “Candlelight” on repeat or check out Kveller’s top 10 list for some inspiration. Find a blue plastic tablecloth (reuse it next year) and some white napkins. Blue cake plates optional (if you’re super fancy you might be able to find Hanukkah plates but really, blue will do.) If your kiddos are old enough to craft you could make these adorable tissue paper lanterns. Lastly, pull out your menorah and a few dreidels. (Note: vacuuming the carpet and wiping the fingerprints off the fridge are optional but you might want to move the clean laundry waiting to be folded from the couch into your bedroom and close the door.) Read the rest of this entry →


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