Archive for Jewish Recipes

Latkes–The Light of the Hanukkah Kitchen, Recipes Included

Hanukkah is once again upon us and I am dusting off the giant frying pan I use just once a year. shari and jane2 I know many people prefer to buy already cooked latkes to avoid the mess and lingering smell, but once or twice a year, I find it very gratifying to make them and it makes Hanukkah a bit more special. (For those of you who prefer to buy, Challah Connection latkes are as close to homemade as you can get and we deliver them all over the country.)

If you are like me–a homemade latke person–then listen up as I have some terrific recipes to share with you. I picked the brains of some fellow kosher food bloggers and got some impressive spins (not related to the dreidel spinning) on the classic latke. Of course the classic latke is still terrific and you can click here for our recipe.

Amy Kritzer writes the blog “What Jew Wanna Eat” which features Jewish food recipes, each with a dash of her own creative flair. In that vein, Amy has created Latke Nachos with Homemade Queso for those of us who want some Mexican flavor with our latkes. Latkes Nachos from "What Jew Wanna Eat" I love the idea of cheese and black beans and will definitely be trying these.

Latkes Nachos with Homemade Queso

Prep time
20 mins
Cook time
20 mins
Total time
40 mins

“Nacho” average latkes! These are Latkes Nachos!
Author: Amy Kritzer
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Hanukkah
Serves: 2

For queso:
1 tablespoon butter or oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup plain yogurt (such as Noosa), at room temperature
¼ cup cream cheese (full-fat), at room temperature
¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded, at room temperature (this helps melting)
¾ cup cheddar cheese, finely shredded, at room temperature
1 diced chipotle in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
Salt to taste
For latkes:
1½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and shredded (about 4 cups) into a bowl of water.
2 tablespoons onion, small diced
3 eggs, whisked
2 cloves garlic, minced


Fellow Kosher Foodie Liz Rueven also fills her blog Kosher Like Me, with mouthwatering kosher recipes. Her premise is an interesting one and not-so-uncommon: Keeping kosher at home is easy but when venturing out in the world, finding high quality and interesting kosher food becomes a challenge. So Liz, like many, eats vegetarian when she is out and her blog features restaurants she likes along with recipes from the many chefs she meets.

Marcia Selden's Spinach & Zucchini Latkes--Kosher Like MeLiz features a few latke recipes but my favorite are the Spinach and Zucchini, by Marcia Selden Catering.

These veggie packed latkes are more green than potato and are deliciously savory. Enjoy them with sour cream topping, below, if you want to go dairy.

These latkes are NON-DAIRY (pareve)


2 C. blanched and chopped fresh baby spinach
2 C. zucchini
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes peeled
1 large onion
2 large eggs
½ C. matzo meal
2 Tbs. thinly sliced garlic
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ Tbs. Kosher salt
Canola oil


Grate the potatoes, zucchini and onion in food processor.
Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place the grated mixture in a bowl and add the spinach, egg, matzo meal, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well.
In large, non-stick skillet, heat enough oil to cover bottom of the pan on medium high heat.
Spoon the batter (about 2 Tbs. per latke) 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 until all pancakes are fried.
Drain on paper towels and keep warm on a wire rack in the oven on low heat. Serve with herbed sour cream.

Herbed Sour Cream


1 C. sour cream
2 Tbs. each-chopped flat-leaf parsley, chives, fresh dill
1 Tbs. lemon juice, plus 1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
Kosher salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Now that you are inspired to cook the best latkes ever, you will want to present them to family and guests on a platter worthy of your effort. We love our Lights of Hanukkah platter , which of course, you can buy at Challah Connection.

Happy Hanukkah!

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Shabbas Project and Challah Baking Pictures

This past weekend was the worldwide event, Shabbos Project. People all over the world celebrated Shabbat as one gigantic Jewish community. One of my favorite Shabbos Project activities was the Challah Bake I attended, along with my husband Josh and sister, Steph, at the Chabad of Stamford, CT. Both Josh and Steph were first time challah bakers.

I love group activities and baking challah as a group is such a warm and delightful pleasure. Our large group (50-75? people) was led by the Leah Shemtov who was so enthusastic, helpful and patient. I was so pleased how our challah turned out and even more happy that my husband really enjoyed the event and proud of his challah! My sister Steph, was equally encouraged and says that she looks forward to more challah baking. Great to have more family challah bakers! If they can bake challah, so can you. Here is a my favorite recipe. Enjoy the photos!

challah connection challah baking

Leah and the tables all set for the challah bakers


Jane Moritz of Challah Connection and Leah Shemtov of Chabad baking challah for Shabbos Project, 2014

Jane Moritz of Challah Connection and Leah Shemtov of Chabad baking challah for Shabbos Project, 2014


Josh Moritz braiding his challah dough. Why don't more men bake challah?

Josh Moritz braiding his challah dough. Why don’t more men bake challah?


Jane’s sister, Steph Mark, showing off her skills

Jane’s sister, Steph Mark, showing off her skills


Jane Moritz, Josh Moritz, Challah

Jane and Josh’s challahs–they were delicious!

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Did You Know: Thanksgiving is a Jewish Holiday?

challah collection, challah connection

There is one common theme that runs through every Jewish holiday and that is family (mishpacha) gathering together to share home cooked holiday foods. By that definition, Thanksgiving is hands down a Jewish holiday. We exchange brisket, roasted chicken and potato kugel for turkey, stuffing (best made with challah—see recipe) and mashed potatoes (or
sweet potato latkes!). Thanksgiving also has a key aspect in common with Passover—the need to recline after the “festive meal.” One might actually say that the Thanksgiving meal and a Passover Seder or Rosh Hashana meal have a lot in common: holiday food, Jewish ritual, family and lots of kosher desserts.

However, unique to Thanksgiving is that the holiday weekend lasts 4-5 days. What to serve your weekend guests? For the weekend mornings, there is nothing better than challah Thanksgiving Orange and Black Cookies, Challah ConnectionFrench toast or bagels and lox for your houseguests. Or, if you are going to friends or family for Thanksgiving, don’t forget to bring a hostess gift such as our pomegranate trivet from Israel or a kosher gift basket filled with challah, babka, rugelach and Thanksgiving orange and white cookies!

Thanksgiving is November 27 and if you are sending our kosher gifts and challah to friends and family far away, don’t forget to place your order soon!

Written by Jane Moritz (, Chief Maven Officer, Challah Connection

Challah Connection is the premiere online kosher gift company specializing in Jewish traditional gifts for Jewish Holiday, Shiva, Jewish Birthday and all Jewish gift giving occasions . “Creating Kvells Since 2002”

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The Traditional Jewish Holiday Meal

With Rosh Hashana coming soon, there’s lots of talk of the traditional Jewish holiday meal but what is it and how did it become the meal most served at Jewish holidays?

The typical components of the traditional Jewish meal include gefilte fish, chicken soup with matzo balls (also called Kneidlach), brisket, roasted chicken, a potato dish such as kugel or latkes and tzimmes. Like many “Jewish” foods, the Jewish meal components are Ashkenazi as they originated in Eastern Europe. Before World War II, countries such as Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria and Poland had sizable Jewish communities where Jewish life including food traditions thrived. So many of our favorite foods have their roots in these countries including babka, rugelach, kichel (bowties) and of course the meal including brisket.

Why brisket? Brisket has some key features that have propelled it to become the “Jewish meat staple.” First, it’s relatively cheap vs other cuts such as steak. Second, brisket is typically sold in comparatively large amounts (usually at least a 3 lb cut), which is generally too much meat for a typical dinner or Shabbat but plenty for a holiday. So when serving many people for Rosh Hashana or Passover seder, brisket is a relatively inexpensive meat option. Third, it’s hard to ruin or overcook brisket. Letting it simmer for hours only makes it better.

Note that none of the Jewish meal components have any dairy ingredients. This is another reason that these foods have become traditional Jewish holiday foods. One of the primary kosher rules is that meat and milk should never be mixed. Butter or milk is not necessary in the preparation of any of these dishes. Instead of butter or fat, often schmaltz (chicken fat) is used or oil (canola, vegetable or olive). It is this reason that Jewish dairy foods such as blintzes, and lox and bagels with cream cheese tend to “go” together as a lighter meal, often for brunch.

Finally, tradition and heritage play a huge role in the evolution of these foods as the traditional Jewish meal components. Most American Jews have roots in Europe and there is no better way to connect to previous generations then through food. You have heard about “Bubbe’s” recipe for this or that. While there may be an actual bubbe (grandmother) in the family, “bubbe” is often intended as the universal Jewish grandma that knows how to cook to perfection and is an all around Balaboosteh or a maven at everything in the house-from cooking to cleaning to entertaining.

Let’s honor tradition and good taste as we enjoy a traditional Jewish meal. Click here for some useful Jewish recipes. Or, if you prefer not to cook, you can order a terrific glatt kosher meal at Challah Connection.

Written by Jane Moritz, Chief Maven Officer Challah Connection

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Passover Recipes To Make Your Meal

I am so proud of my fellow kosher foodies! They have recently written a terrific new Passover cookbook–4 Bloggers Dish: Passover, Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors.

4 Bloggers Dish: Passover, Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors contains over 50 new recipes from four award winning food writers who have gotten to know each other  through their blogs: Whitney Fisch of Jewhungry, Liz Rueven of Kosher Like Me, Sarah Lasry of The Patchke Princess, and Amy Kritzer of What Jew Wanna Eat.
In addition to mouth-watering modern recipes such as Balsamic Braised Short Ribs, Matzah Brie Caprese, Spaghetti Squash with Quinoa Meatballs, Sautéed Kale, Tomato, and Mushroom Quiche with a Hash Brown Crust, and Cinnamon Donut Balls, this e-cookbook also includes step-by-step instructions and beautiful visuals as well as helpful tips such as Freezer Instructions, Prep Ahead Rules, and a To-Go Guide.

4 Bloggers Dish, Passover: Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors, is now available online via Amazon and compatible for Kindle, the iPad and the Nook.

Click here to purchase:



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Win a Passover Gift with our Kosher for Passover Dessert Contest!

kosher for Passover cake

With so many unique and meaningful traditional foods that must be prepared for the seder (like charoset and gefilte fish), kosher for Passover desserts are one part of the seder menu where we can get a little more creative. We want to know what you’ve tried in your own kitchen that’s been a hit Passover dessert!

Enter our Passover Dessert Contest!

Challah Connection is giving three wonderful kosher for Passover gifts to the lucky winners submitting our favorite, most creative Passover dessert recipes.

Have you made your own gourmet version of chocolate covered matzo perhaps? Maybe you’ve kicked that recipe for Passover sponge cake up a notch or two, or created your own version of the traditional Passover raspberry roll cake? Please share your success!

Win a Passover Gift as a Prize, or Send It to your Seder Hostess!

RULES: By Monday, March 18th, post your kosher for Passover dessert recipe in the comments section of our blog or email it to along with any other interesting facts related to your recipe. If emailing, include subject line: “Passover Dessert 2013.” Recipes will be judged based on creativity, originality and ease of use. Winners will be announced on March 20th. If you are a winner, we will email to notify you and at that time get your name and shipping address so we can send your prize.

First Prize:

Our delicious Savory Nosh Basket for Passover, a value of $119.99.




passover macaroons gift basket

Second Prize:

A sweet Passover Candy and Macaroon Platter, a value of $39.99.





Passover cookies gift basket

Third Prize

Schick’s Assorted Kosher for Passover Cookies, a value of $14.99.


Prizes will be shipped to you or a recipient that you choose (US shipping only).

We can’t wait to choose and share some wonderful, creative kosher for Passover dessert recipes with you.


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Have a Purim Celebration with Homemade Hamentashen!

Purim Hamantashen Recipe to Make and Share

Purim is on Sunday, February 24th. This is the time to plan your Purim celebration! Everyone loves Hamentashen cookies, and with the recent snowy weather this is the perfect time to spend time in the kitchen whipping some up! Here’s an easy recipe for Hamantashen that you can fill with whatever kind of sweet fruity fillings you like. You can box up some of these and send them as a homemade Purim gift basket. Or, leave the baking to us and send a sweet Shalach Manot gift basket through Challah Connection!

DOUGH: Makes enough for about 24 cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature (or use additional butter)
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice or milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash (optional) and coarse sugar (optional)

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Combine the butter and shortening in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat until light and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Beat in the orange juice, and then beat in the vanilla. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture in two additions.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently a few times just until the dough comes together. If the dough is very sticky, knead in another tablespoon or so of flour. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm enough to roll. (The dough can be refrigerated overnight. If necessary, let stand at room temperature briefly to soften slightly before rolling out.)

4. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. On a lightly floured surface, working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out as many rounds from the dough as possible; gather up the scraps and reserve. Spoon a generous 1 teaspoon filling into the center of each round. Fold three sides of the dough over to form a triangular pastry, leaving a little of the filling exposed in the center, and pinch the seams to seal. Transfer to the baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between the pastries. If desired, brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Combine all the dough scraps and roll out to make more pastries.

6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pastries are lightly golden around the edges. Transfer the pastries to a rack to cool completely. When cool, drizzle with chocolate, if desired.

Click here for Filling Recipes!

Invited to a Purim Party? Or Sending One?

Send some Purim joy with our celebratory Shalach Manot Purim gift basketshamentashen, award winning rugelach and our finest babkaOrder by February 15, 2013 for on-time Purim delivery and take 10% off your order of $60 or more.*Order online or call 866-242-5524 to place your order. If you have ordered from us in the past, we have your recipient addresses.

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Kosher Hostess Gift for Thanksgiving

Need a Kosher Hostess Gift for Thanksgiving? Cookbooks are Great!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Check out my terrific stuffing recipe that includes–challah! Get a free plain challah with any order over $50.*

Anyone who’s having you over for Thanksgiving probably enjoys cooking – or at least let’s hope so! If you’re looking for a kosher gift to give your Thanksgiving hostess, here are a few ideas.

Send this Barefoot Contessa Cooking Set before the holiday, and your hostess will no doubt be inspired. It includes some really great Thanksgiving recipes: Accidental Turkey, balsamic roasted brussels sprouts, mushroom and leek bread pudding, and sweet potato puree!
Also great: it has a 10 step guide to preparing for Thanksgiving called “Foolproof Thanksgiving.” Now what hostess doesn’t need that?! SEND IT! $99.99
Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Thanksgiving Hostess GiftI also like the idea of Deb Perelman’s new Smitten Kitchen cookbook as a kosher gift for the Thanksgiving chef. Deb Perelman is one of my favorite cookbook writers, and she is also Jewish. While this cookbook isn’t “Jewish,” it does include some fabulous Jewish recipes mixed in with over 100 recipes in total. BUY! $74.99

jewish muslum Cookbook Thanksgiving Hostess GiftSince you’re gathering at Thanksgiving to celebrate thanks and togetherness, this big and glossy cookbook makes a perfect hostess gift for the holiday.

It’s a collaboration of 2 old friends, a Jew and a Muslim, who grew up together in Jerusalem. I think it’s a special gift to give for Thanksgiving, when we’re celebrating the American melting pot!BUY! $74.99

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New for 2012: Barefoot Contessa Hanukkah Gift Basket!

Hanukkah gifts cookbook

A Great Kosher Gift Basket  for the Chef on your List

We’re so excited to feature this new Chanukah gift basket built around Ina Garten’s new cookbook “Foolproof.”  Kosher holiday gifts don’t always have to include just food – they can also be about food! We think this Hanukkah gift basket is just the right recipe for a perfect Jewish holiday gift. And I just love Ina Garten’s style of cooking. Did you know that “The Barefoot Contessa” is Jewish by both birth and heritage? She was born “Ina Rosenberg,” in Brooklyn, NY.

I paired the Barefoot Contessa’s newest book with some of her most favorite ingredients: kosher salt and terrific olive oil. Then I topped off this great kosher gift basket with one of Ina’s favorite Jewish desserts, rugelach. (I have to admit, it’s one of my favorite desserts, too!)

You can send one of these great cooking combos as a kosher holiday gift to an aspiring chef on your gift list – a new bride, a student graduating college – and they’ll love it. Or send it to someone who just likes to cook, and I’m sure they’ll find Ina Garten’s recipes are inspiring and delicious. This is a Chanukah gift basket to keep ‘em thinking about your thoughtfulness all year long, every time someone asks “What’s for dinner?”!

Hanukkah Starts December 8th!

Have you signed up for the Challah Connection newsletter? You automatically get holiday discounts and shipping priority. This means if you are on our list we will ensure your Jewish holiday gifts arrive by the 1st night of Hanukkah (December 8th), if that’s what you request. Don’t forget to sign up!

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The Perfect Rosh Hashana Apple Cake

Entertaining for Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana is one of my favorite holidays. It gives us a perfect excuse to invite friends, neighbors, and fellow congregants over for a celebratory meal. But sometimes the deadline of attending services can make entertaining with a full meal feel rushed. Wish you could still celebrate with friends, but make it easier and more manageable? Here’s an idea: open your home for a quick, sweet nosh of dessert and coffee. That way you can invite as many visitors as you feel like celebrating the Jewish New Year with.

Rosh Hashana Apple Cake

Have an apple cake delivered, plate it up, and you've got an instant Rosh Hashana celebration!

If you’re thinking of having a gathering to celebrate Rosh Hashana, a delicious apple cake is the perfect thing to serve. If you’re looking for the easiest way to entertain, you can order a Rosh Hashana Apple Cake and all you have to do is find the right serving plate! Our kosher apple cake is so delicious, it was featured in the New York Times. Delicious and moist, with no trans fat!

A Simple, Delicious Apple Cake Recipe

Want to make your own? Here’s my favorite recipe for the perfect Rosh Hashana Apple Cake. You can print this apple cake recipe and keep it on hand, because it’s also a great ending for your Yom Kippur meal!

The Jewish New Year is also a great time to send a kosher gift basket to someone special. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness! Some people you might not have thought of who’d love this gift: your temple youth group coordinator, Sisterhood president, or even the temple caretaker. Start the year off right by doing a mitzvah and recognizing their hard work and volunteer time. Send a kosher gift basket that includes our delicious apple cake, and they’ll remember your thoughtfulness all year long!


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