Mom’s Rosh Hashanna Honey Cake


When the Jewish New Year would roll around, my mother would always pull out this wonderful honey cake! Traditionally, apples and honey are served for Rosh Hashanna, and this was a dessert keeping with that theme.

Now, the cake was usually a highlight of Rosh Hashanna dinner. She’d make it and we’d all get together at my grandmother’s house (and later on, at my aunt’s house) for dinner. At the end, we’d all be looking forward to her amazing dessert.


There once was a now legendary mistake that she made preparing this cake. In her haste to prepare it in time for dinner, she quickly grabbed a container of what looked to be sugar … but was in fact salt. She cooked the entire cake, but was concerned when it did not rise. It seemed to be a very dense, flat cake. She decided to taste it, to see if it was okay.  It REALLY was not!

I don’t remember if we did end up getting a cake that year … anyway, let me show you her recipe. My mom passed away in 2009 and I have kept up this annual tradition, even after moving to Montreal. There is no better way to feel that connection again with a lost loved one that to have that wonderful food they always prepared. Now, let me share it with you.


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup liquid honey
  • 1 cup of strong black tea (cooled)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 flat tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Add the flour to a large mixing bowl

Add the sugar (once again, make sure it’s not salt!)


Eggs! (Mugging for the camera not necessary, but I don’t own you … do as you wish)


Baking powder and baking soda …


some nutmeg …


once you add the vanilla, you should have something like this.


Pour in the oil.


oh, and of course, don’t forget the honey!


a cup of strong black tea … make sure it’s cooled down or you’ll cook the eggs!


Now mix! Apparently, rubbing the top of the mixer also helps!

Mix until smooth.


Pour into a well greased 9×11 cake pan. You can also make 2 small loaves instead if you want to serve it that way!


Ready to bake.

Bake in 350F oven for approximately 45 minutes – until a toothpick pressed into the middle of the cake comes out clean.


Let the cake cool … I know, I know, it smells so good!


Serve with some apple slices.


Optionally you can add apple bits into the cake recipe! Or if you want, raisins or walnuts also work … if you are so inclined.


So there you have it, my Mom’s Rosh Hashanna Honey Cake!


Shana Tova and Bon Apetit!

Midsummer – Part 1


Around our home, or any place you find some Swedes, the time of year known as Midsummer is a big deal. Every year we have our big Midsummer party that starts at 1pm and goes until basically people stop coming over.

Midsummer is the longest day of the year, the summer solstice. In Sweden, especially the further north you get, this means a day that never really gets dark … so why not just party?

This year, having moved to Montreal our annual festival was in doubt. Still, we arranged to come back to Toronto and have our party. What a great way to see everyone again!


Traditionally, it’s a time to dance around the maypole … we skipped that part

For us, it’s mostly about friends and food!  Oh, and aquavit


This was our bottle of choice this year!

What’s on our Midsummer table?


Gravlax (Gravad Lax)

Seems this cured salmon is for every occassion. You guys already have this recipe from this blog …

abba sil

Sil (Pickled Herring)

Coming in many different styles, we always have at least three different type of sil on our table (I like the mustard sauce the most!). Served on hard bread, it’s a must



Gubbröra means “old man’s mix” and is a type of Swedish egg salad made with dill, onions and Swedish anchovies … it’s delicious, but I’ll show you how to make it another day, we have a lot to cover!



I think you have a pretty good understanding of these … remember we did this recipe a few months ago?

strawberry cake

Strawberry Cake

A double layer vanilla sponge cake, iced with whipping cream and covered in strawberries … a highlight for sure!

So, you’re now wondering if I’m going to show you how to make anything?

Of course!

Coming next the recipe for Räksmörgås (Swedish shrimp salad sandwiches) and Beet & Apple Salad !

Glad Midsommar!

Cabane à sucre (A Sweet Death by Maple Syrup)

maple season cans

Springtime in Quebec means it’s now maple syrup season!

maple heist

Maple syrup here is a serious deal. A few years ago, there was a heist at the Quebec Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve … I know, you don’t believe me. It happened in 2012 and you can read about by following the link!

Springtime means Maple Syrup Festivals!



This is about 2 minutes from our front door … close down the streets, have a festival

If you really want the full maple syrup experience (and really, who doesn’t?), you want to get outside of the city and go to one of the many cabane à sucre located through out Quebec.

Growing up in Ontario, we had “sugar shacks”, which is the translation in words only. You’d go, you’d see how they make maple syrup now and how it was done in the ‘olden days’, then you’d buy some maple candy, possibly get pancakes, go for a hay ride on a horse drawn cart and go home.

Quebec it’s a full experience, with a huge traditional meal (followed by dancing in the discotheque … yea, it’s about as amazing as you’d imagine!)


Of course, you’ll be greeted by the image of thousands of buckets tapping thousands of trees … the old wagon wheel thrown in there for atmosphere?


But it’s inside the cabane that you’ll find all the treats!

First of all, most cabanes are designed so it will feel like a home meal. Big long tables, communal seating.


Now, let’s look at the food you can expect … other than maple syrup



There’s usually ham (glazed in maple syrup), eggs (with maple syrup), baked beans with pork (and maple syrup), sausages (cooked in maple syrup), a myriad of maple based desserts, pea soup (the one non-maple infiltrated food) and the traditional treat oreilles de crisse!


Now, if you understand French, you may be a bit concerned about eating Christ’s ears … don’t worry, these are just pork jowls that are deep fried until super crispy, and then you drizzle maple syrup on them. Yes … a wonderful crunchy, salty, sweet treat that only Quebec would figure out!

The final treat of the night is tire sur neige or tire sur neige d’erable or tire de neige … any way you call this, it’s just this … you take hot maple syrup and pour it on snow …

Then, you let it cool for about 30 seconds, place a stick on the cooling maple syrup, and start to roll it up.


Pure maple taffy on a stick …


you want this …


So good, you may want to steal millions of dollars worth of maple syrup from the strategic reserve … see, now it all makes more sense!

Springtime in Quebec! Bon Apetit!





Reykjavík – A Visit to Iceland in February

Reykjavik winter

In February of 2014 we capped off our Scandinavian winter adventure with 4 days in Iceland


Having landed at the airport in Keflavik we immediately got on our shuttle bus taking us to Reykjavik, where we’d be put on another bus to our hotel. Grabbing handfuls of brochures at the airport, we eagerly tried to figure out all the cool things we’d do over the next four days.


I think during that drive the first thing I noticed about Iceland was that there were NO TREES. There also were very few signs of anyone until we got close to the city. This would be a scary place to have your car break down


Here’s what you see as you approach Reykjavik …

We arrived at our hotel, located at the corner of two very unpronounceable streets


The temperature here was around -5C, which coming off our time in the north of Sweden, seemed almost tropical!

Okay, you probably see that picture and wonder what I am so majestically looking out upon … (yea, that’s my best majestic look)



At the bottom of our street was a shallow, frozen lake. This would be great for taking a short cut to the other side!

Looked solid enough. Having spent a few weeks nurturing my inner adventurer, I decided best way to find out was to just walk across it


Brave adventurer has no fear!


This totally looks safe!


Yea, it’s all good. This little island of land is right in the centre of the lake.

In the area behind us, close to shore, there is an area of the lake that has hot water piped in, keeping part of the lake unfrozen for the ducks and swans!

We had come up with a general plan of going horseback riding on the lava fields the next day and visiting the Blue Lagoon hot springs and spa the day after that. Today we would walk around the city a bit, and then find a good place for our Valentine’s Day dinner!


The main shopping street was just a block over, so we headed to that and just walked uphill. Heck, seemed like as good a plan as any!

You want a stuffed animal that looks like a puffin and says Iceland, or perhaps a plastic horned Viking helmet? (must note here, actual Vikings never wore horned helmets!) This was definitely the street to go for that!

Wait, what’s this?


Iceland has a very unique sense of humour and kitsch. Behold, Lebowski Bar. It’s pretty much what you think … a restaurant and bar based on The Big Lebowski. With burgers named after The Dude, Walter, Donny and even The Nihilists (it’s chicken fingers, because they believe in nothing), this is probably the only Cohen brothers inspired restaurant I’ll ever come across … though if I ever see Chez Barton Fink, I may have to check it out!

(Okay, I did go in and have a “Walter” burger … I’m not made of stone!)


This is way better than “NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO SERVICE”

For Valentine’s Day, we opted for something a little more down to earth. We ended up at a wonderful little place called Cafe Loki


night view


Located across the street from the spectacular Hallgrímskirkjathis cafe offered us a chance at some authentic Icelandic food … which as it turns out, is a mixed blessing

Claire, never one to shy away from a challenge, had heard many times of the Icelandic delicacy Hákarl

For those who don’t know what this is, here’s the basic rundown.

You take a Greenland shark, which is toxic, and let it ferment for 6-12 weeks. You then let it dry, cut away the brown crust, cut it into cubes and eat it. This gives it a very strong scent of ammonia (oh, and taste of it too!). While no longer toxic, it’s a stretch to say it has made this edible!

Time to order, I wisely go for a lovely lamb stew. Claire, goes for a special traditional plate called a  Þorramatur


A collection of traditional dishes, prepared to celebrate during the month of (English spelling here) Thorri, let’s get a run down of the things she’ll be eating …

There’s some Icelandic rye bread, liver sausage, blood sausage, smoked lamb, dry fish. These are all pretty tasty. Then there were a few things we didn’t recognize … and that little square on a toothpick, yea, that’s the hakarl

Note the toothpick with the Icelandic flag … that is attached to a food I will get to in a moment!

At this point I think that maybe if I can just quietly eat my stew …


Unfortunately, marriage is about sharing …

So, Claire tries the hakarl, making sure to save a bit for me, as there is no way she’s going to do this alone. Watching her face, I knew it was bad. Now, as it happens, we’ve got a video of ME trying it!

Imagine fish that has been sitting in blue cheese for a few months and then a cat came over and peed on it … yea, that’s about it

Okay, nothing could be worse than that. Everything’s okay now ….

That innocent looking cube of “food” with the Icelandic flag is known as Súrsaðir hrútspungar. Having just eaten the hakarl, I was feeling pretty confident I had just tasted the worst thing I ever would in my entire life. I was right for 30 seconds.

Súrsaðir hrútspungar is the testicles of a ram, pressed into a cube, boiled and then fermented in lactic acid (the sour part of sour milk!). My best description of taste of that is traumatizing.

Time for dessert. Again, something a bit strange … rye bread ice cream


Now, Icelandic rye bread is not like what you are used to here. Cooked very slowly, traditionally in volcanic steam vents, the starches turn to sugar. Icelandic rye is dense and sweet … and unique. When mixed in with a base vanilla ice cream, the results are fantastic.

Valentine’s Day meal is saved! This almost erased the memory of the Súrsaðir hrútspungar


I think Reykjavik is more beautiful at night


Time for bed. After all, tomorrow we take Icelandic horses out on the lava fields!


Icelandic horses are smaller, more hairy, and hella fast! They have 2 more gaits than horses elsewhere in the world. The unique “tolt” is pretty fast yet totally smooth … for anyone who knows about riding a horse, this means you can sit flat in the saddle while moving faster than a trot!


on horse

Oh, riding in the winter is cold …


This was what most of terrain looked like. You really didn’t want to fall off!

Our excursion included lunch. As we got to the dining room, as Claire headed off to wash up, she jokingly said “Well, hope it’s not another Thorri platter!”




Okay, it wasn’t just the platter … and we DID have brennivin to wash away the taste of the ram testicles this time. Yes, we did eat it … we’re Canadian, and we’d rather eat fermented testicles and cat-pee flavoured shark than be rude.

We got back with time to again explore the city

Some advice to anyone visiting, eating at restaurants is very expensive. Groceries on the other hand (other than any vegetables) are quite affordable. Try to stay somewhere with a kitchenette so you can prepare your own breakfasts … this will save you a lot of money!

Last full day, and we’re off to the famous geothermal spa, The Blue Lagoon


Located in the middle of a volcanic wasteland, time to go swimming outside in -5C weather!

Gonna get into that water quickly when you can see ice on all the rocks!

The water was milky and pale blue … and so wonderfully warm!

Okay, after being sufficiently melted, time to head back and have one last meal before heading back to Canada. This time, really gonna try to avoid ram testicles!

After much exploring, we found a wonderful little bar where our choices for food were lamb stew in a bread bowl … or not eating anything


I think we made the right choice!

So, there’s a very brief recap of our introduction to Reykjavik and Iceland. Oh, we’re definitely going to go back!









Bienvenue à Montréal / Welcome to Montreal


It has now been six months since we packed up our lives in Toronto and moved to Montreal.

Now, for all of you who aren’t so familiar with the distances, it’s about 540km,


The trip takes about 6 hours by car, if you make a couple of pit stops and the traffic is light. Might not sound too bad, but if you do this trip with a dog and cat, well … it feels like quite a bit longer!

When people think of Montreal, they think winter. Winter is absolutely a huge part of the identity of the city. We moved in mid-July, on the hottest day of the year, with temperature getting up to near 40C. My first impressions of Montreal were not of a cold, snowy place!


Just watching the movers carry furniture up those stairs in that heat … they were gonna get a good tip!

Here’s a quick little tip for surviving the heat in Montreal if you don’t have air conditioning … on every corner there is a dépanneur (corner store). Just about every one of them has a walk in beer fridge. When you get too hot, go shopping for beer. Walk around until you are cooled off. You don’t need to buy beer every time … you may want to, but if you’re going there once an hour to cool off, probably isn’t the best idea!

Just for fun, let’s look at this same street, same view on Dec 29th …


People in Montreal can talk about the weather forever, so let’s just come to the mutual understanding that the weather here can be extreme and move on to my favourite topic here, the FOOD!

Okay, it’s breakfast time, which here in Montreal can mean only on thing …


Montreal bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon. (If you live in the west part of the island, you oddly pronounce the ‘l’ in salmon … just a thing I noticed.)

Want a big debate here? Ask someone where to get the best bagels! Myself, I go weekly to pick up piping hot bagels from Fairmount Bagel. How much do I like them compared to anyone else?


I trek out in -25C weather to get my bagels!

The other bakery you’ll hear mentioned all the time is St. Viateur Bagel, just down the street from Fairmount. Both bagels are pretty fantastic, but I have my favourite. Also, if you go to Fairmount, you can drop in to the famous Wilensky’s next door for a special. 


It’s a  grilled beef baloney sandwich. It can be ordered with cheese or without … that’s really the only choice you get. Get a side of pickles and a cherry coke (or my favourite, a vanilla egg creme). This is a Montreal classic!

Wait a minute … what about poutine?  I hope that by now, you all know me better than to think I was going to miss poutine!

Here in Montreal, I’d classify poutine into two categories:


Classic Poutine – This is your basic fries, cheese curds and gravy. It’s best if bought at a greasy spoon (or as one native of Montreal put it, a dirty place), or off a food truck! This wonderful mess you see above is from my favourite classic poutine joint Poutine Lafleur right near us in Verdun. It’s done right, where the container is half filled with fries, then covered in gravy, then more fries, then more gravy … then cheese curds completely smother the top … and then MORE GRAVY!

Have it with a beer … it’s not like this is gonna be healthy anyway!


Fancy Poutine – This is the poutine you get where you have many, many choices of toppings. Above some classics from our favourite fancy poutine place, La Banquise! Chicken and peas, or sour cream, guacamole and tomatoes, or bacon and hot dogs … yea, the combinations are fantastic. Claire still talks about the time she got their special Christmas dinner poutine, with tourtière filling, chicken and cranberry sauce on top!

Poutine is also the go to food if you’re heading home from the bar and possibly had a few too many … point of note, if you can’t finish your poutine, you can take it home and heat it up tomorrow


Montreal post party night hangover magic … add a fried egg to your poutine you couldn’t eat last night! Hey, I’m not a proud man …

For some more quintessential Montreal, we have to go to a Habs game!


For any of you who aren’t familiar the Habs is the nickname of Montreal’s legendary NHL team, the Montreal Canadiens

A little background here. The Canadiens have the most wins, most Stanley Cup championships and are the oldest team in the NHL (dating back to 1909, well before the NHL existed). The love for them here in Montreal is unchallenged.

Okay, now you’re starting to fit in (other than your terrible French … or maybe that is actually making you fit in even more!)

Montreal is very much about enjoying the winter.

At Parc Jean Drapeau , you can attend the  Fête des neigesa winter carnival that happens for four weekends starting in mid-January


A ferris wheel? A zip line? Tube slide? Wait, is that maple taffy?!


This wonderful magic is maple taffy, created by pouring hot maple syrup into the snow and letting it cool for about 30 seconds, then you take a stick and roll up the maple taffy!

You know I’m gonna do this …


Pretty sure I could feel exactly where my pancreas was located in my body after eating one maple taffy stick … but worth it!

Now, I’ve just touched the surface of life here in Montreal

The photos above are just a preview of things to come, stories to tell

Hope you’ll join us on our journey!



British Christmas (Part 2): Mashed Potatoes & Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts


Okay, when I left you, you had a recipe for roast beef, gravy and Yorkshire pudding … not a bad meal at all. Of course, this is Christmas, so we want to go a bit further.

Let’s add some mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts.  Growing up, I hated sprouts … trust me, this recipe will make even the most fussy eater take a second look.

First, some good, old, classic mash!

Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes_001

What’s needed:

  • Potatoes! (we like Yukon Gold for this)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • garlic (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)

Wash and chop your potatoes. I like to keep the skins on. Make sure to cut the pieces small. The smaller they are, the quicker they’ll cook!


Add them to a pot and let them boil until soft (you can test this with a fork).

Once soft, drain the water.

add the cream to a small saucepan.

add the butter, warm until the butter is melted and mixed well

Return the potatoes to the pot and mash them. If you don’t have a masher, a fork can work too!


once they’re mashed, pour in the heated cream and butter mixture.

Add about HALF and start to mix, this way you can get the consistency you desire by slowly adding the mixture.

Add some garlic if you wish at this point.


Stir until nice and creamy.

Taste it now. Add salt, mix and taste again. Do this until you have it the way you want!

Now, let’s move on to the final part of our meal.

Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts


For this, you’ll need:

  • 20-30 brussels sprouts
  • 100g lardons (or bacon)
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts

Slice your sprouts in half

Blanche them in boiling water for about 2 minutes (makes them more tender).

Remove them from the water and cool them in cold water immediately to stop any further cooking.

Add some oil to a skillet or frying pan (are those the same thing?) and fry the lardons.

Add the sprouts to the pan, saute for a minute or two.


Saute until the sprouts are starting to brown a little.

Add the walnuts now.


Saute until heated through, then put a lid on the pan. It can sit and stay warm while you set the table!

Okay, so with all these recipes, you are probably wondering how you can do it all and have it ready at the same time …

Here you go, the promised timeline:


  1. Prepare the Yorkshire pudding batter, it has to sit for an hourboil
  2. Get the potatoes cookingsprouts_012
  3. Cut and blanche the sproutsroast_030
  4. Prepare the roast, get it in the ovensprouts_043
  5. Finish off the sprouts and cover themmashed potatoes_050
  6. Finish off the mashed potatoesroast_076
  7. Take roast from the oven and let it restyorkshirepudding_056
  8. Put Yorkshire pudding in ovenroast_069
  9. Make the gravyyorkshirepudding_062
  10. Take out Yorkshire puddingroast_095
  11. Slice the roast beef


Plate your food! (No Pippi, this is not for you … though you did wear a proper Christmas sweater)


Don’t forget a dollop of horseradish for the roast beef!


Liberally apply gravy to the potatoes and the Yorkshire pudding!


There you go, a lovely Christmas dinner!


Merry Christmas and Bon Apetit!






British Christmas (Part 1): Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding



From Claire’s family we have Christmas traditions. While her mother brings us all the Swedish traditions, her grandfathers were both British and so we have two Christmas dinners! On the 24th of December we do Julafton and Christmas Day is our British Christmas.


Today, I’m going to go through our full British Christmas dinner. It’s so big, we have to break it into TWO parts!

Part 1 is Roast Beef with Gravy and Yorkshire pudding.

Part 2 is Pan-fried Brussels Sprouts and Mashed Potatoes.

At the end of Part 2 I’ll give you a timed breakdown for how to cook this meal and have it all ready and hot at the same time!

Let’s get at this!

Part 1: Roast Beef w/ Gravy & Yorkshire Pudding


Roast Beefroast_001

Here’s what you’ll need for the Roast Beef:

  • 1 beef roast (size depends on # of people – this 1.5 lb roast is good for 4 servings plus a little left over)
  • olive oil
  • seasoned salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)

Place your beef in a roasting pan and brush with the olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste).

Insert a meat thermometer and place roast in 375F oven. You’ll want to cook until the internal temperature is about 150F for a nice medium rare. This takes approximately 25-30 min per pound.

When roast is done let it rest, covered,  for 15-20 min. Remove any string used to hold it together.

On a cutting board, slice the roast into thin slices.

Let’s see how to make the gravy!



You’ll need:

  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of butter


Melt the butter in a small pot on the stove top.


Slowly start to add the flour, just a small amount at a time.


Keep whisking as you add the flour.

Once mixed, start to add the beef stock the same way.


Don’t forget those pan drippings!

Get that in your gravy for incredible flavour.


Add some pepper or herbs to taste. Heat and stir until it’s the consistency you want. Gravy!

Now, the lovely Yorkshire Pudding.

Yorkshire Pudding


For this, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream or milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp of butter (melted and cooled)

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.

Create a well on the top of the flour and add the eggs.


Mix the flour from the edges in with the egg while adding the cream slowly.


Once the flour is fully incorporated, pour in the remainder of the cream.

Add the melted butter and stir.


Let your mixture sit for an hour!

Now, hour has passed thanks to the internet …


Add oil to a cake pan. You can also do individual puddings in a muffin tin, play around!

Pour into the pan


Place in 450F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown with a solid centre.


Let the pudding cool. The centre will deflate, that’s okay!


and there you have it, Yorkshire Pudding!

That’s our first part done. Friday we’ll cover the recipes for the rest of the meal and I’ll go over the plan that will let you cook this all at once!

Bon Apetit!




Chanukah – Chicken Soup w/ Matzo Balls & Latkes!


Our home is a mix of Swedish and Jewish, so December means both Christmas and Chanukah (we win!)


Growing up, we never made a big deal of Chanukah. I might get a couple of presents (little ones, the kind of stuff you’d find in a Christmas stocking), some terrible chocolate coins (Chanukah Gelt) and we’d light some candles, but the main thing I remember was this was the latke holiday! (note, the candles above are not placed properly but arranged for the photo … don’t kill me!)

For any readers who don’t know what a latke is, it’s a potato pancake. Made of potatoes and onions and pan fried, these are delicious!

No Jewish meal would be complete without Chicken Soup and this is my family recipe …

To make it extra special, I’ll be showing you how to make your own matzo balls too!

So, you’re getting a gift of THREE recipes for Chanukah!

Recipe 1 – Chicken Soup


This simple yet fantastic recipe was passed down from my Mother, and slightly altered by me. Like any good recipe, it should be a living thing, ready for a tweak here and there!

Okay, let’s get this soup going …


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 chicken legs w/ back attached
  • one medium yellow onion
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 900g (1 carton) of chicken stock

Hey, that’s a pretty simple list!

Simple is often the best, especially when talking comfort foods like chicken soup!


Chop the celery into pieces that can fit easily on a spoon.

Peel and chop the carrots (same idea, spoon size pieces).


Slice the onion. Cut the rings in half.

Put all the veggies aside and get out a large soup pot.


At low to medium heat, melt some butter in the bottom of the pot.


Add the veggies!

Add salt, pepper and garlic to taste and mix it together.

Put the lid on and let the veggies cook while you do the next step.


Time to prepare the chicken!


Like a scene from a horror movie, you want to remove the skin from the chicken. Get your thumb under the skin at the top of the leg and pull down with the other hand. It should come off quite easily.


Trim off any excess fat. In most recipes, you keep the fat as it adds flavour. In a soup, it just makes things greasy. Your flavour mostly comes from the bones!


You’ll want to do this for all the chicken.


Good job!

Add the chicken to the pot. Place the pieces on top of the veggies.


Pour in the chicken stock. This is a base stock to get the soup going.


Now you’re going to want to fill the pot with water. I find for my pot it takes about 6 cups of water to fill. Get it to within about an inch or two of the rim.

Bring this to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Put the lid on and move on the the next step …

Recipe 2 – Matzo Balls


For this you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of matzo meal (similar to bread crumbs, can be found in the grocery where the kosher/Jewish foods are kept)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

(these are light, fluffy matzo balls. For firm ones, replace the baking powder with 4 tbsp of water)


matzoh-eggAdd the eggs and the oil.

Lightly mix with a fork.


Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.



Pour the eggs and oil into the mixing bowl and stir.


Don’t over mix. You want this a bit lumpy.

Now you are going to some plastic wrap over this and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour, to get solid.

Okay, internet magic, an hour has passed!


Get about a teaspoon of mixture and roll it into a ball. It should be pretty easy to do!


This may look small, but once you cook it, it’s gonna expand greatly! You don’t want to make them any bigger than this, trust me!


You can drop these right into the boiling soup.

Now, I suggest that before you add the matzo balls, take a spoon and taste  your soup. This is the time to add any further salt or pepper … make it taste good!


See how those matzo balls are already expanding?

Once you have put in all the matzo balls, put on the lid, let it cook for another 40 minutes.

We’ll come back to check on the matzo balls in a bit … now let’s make those  latkes!

Recipe 3 – Potato Latkes!


The single most important part of any Chanukah meal is potato latkes. The oil is supposed to represent the oil in lamps that miraculously stayed lit for 8 days … but honestly, all I ever cared about is they just taste amazing!

Here’s my very simple recipe.

You’ll need:


  • 1-2 white potatoes (depending on size)
  • one large yellow onion
  • one large egg
  • appox. 1 cup of bread crumbs (or matzo meal)

This recipe will make about 6 latkes, which I’d say is good for 2 people.

Slice and grate your potato.


Grate the onion.

Add together in a bowl with some pepper, salt and garlic (to taste)


Mix well.


Add the breadcrumbs …


Mix well again!


Add that egg … and you probably can guess what I’m gonna say next



The reason I gave an approximate measure for the bread crumbs, is this is where you can play around a bit. Add more breadcrumbs if you think the mixture is too watery. (If it’s too thick, and not like a batter, you can add a tiny bit of water)



Your final mix should be like a very thick batter. The potato will still be very much visible, don’t worry. You want this!


Pour oil in a large pan or skillet.


Let the oil get hot over a medium to high heat. The slight ripples you see in the oil mean it’s hot enough.

Place a heaping tablespoon worth of the mixture into the hot pan and flatten into a pancake shape


Let them cook in the oil until the edges start to get a dark brown.


Flip them over to let the other side cook!


Place the cooked latkes on a plate. I usually place them on paper towel, just to make it a little less oily.

But wait … how are those matzo balls doing?


Holy cow! I told you they would expand!


Put the soup in bowls with about 3 to 4 matzo balls in each. Put latkes the plate. Now, the great debate in our house begins …

Some people (Claire) like to put apple sauce on potato latkes. These people are wrong. It’s topped with sour cream.


There you have it, a lovely traditional Chanukah dinner from my family to yours.

Light some candles, spin a dreidel!


Bon apetit!