Easy (and Healthy) Rice Pudding

When I made this last night, I told my kids: “this tastes like home!” I grew up eating rice pudding that my mom made. This version is a super simple and lighter version, where what you taste is the creamy and nutty rice along with the sweetness of the milk and a little vanilla. There are only a few ingredients here, so make it with your pantry staples. It is pure comfort food. I love to eat this warm, right after it is cooked, but it tastes great the next day as well.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

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I don’t think I need to sing the praises of throwing food in a slow cooker and coming home from work to delicious smelling house and dinner ready. The saffron in this dish really turns this slow cooker chicken and rice into something special. Make sure to use brown rice, so that it doesn’t get overcooked and bone-in chicken thighs, which won’t get dry even after being cooked for many hours.

Chicken Paprikash with Knokerly

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Does it get more Hungarian than Chicken Paprikash? This dish takes all of the most popular Hungarian vegetables, green peppers, onions, tomatoes and of course lots of paprika, and slow cooks them with chicken until they are very tender and melt in your mouth. You can serve this with rice, which you can cook with the chicken and vegetable, but if you want to be authentic, try making the Knokerly, which are delicious Hungarian dumpling noodles. They soak up the gravy and were always my favorite part of dish when I was young. If you want to taste Hungary on a plate, this is the dish for you!

Michelle’s Hanukah Cookies

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For the past many years, my kids make these cookies with their nanny, Michelle. They are both delicious and a great Hanukah activity for kids. Have the kids decorate the cookies and enjoy the delicious cookies and the mess! (Adapted from Good Housekeeping)
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It doesn’t feel like Hanukah until I’ve had homemade latkes and the smell fills the house. When I was first married, my husband made his mom’s latkes for me and they were truly the best! Now he is stuck making these every year. When you bite into a latke, you want crunch on the outside and a smooth potato flavor on the inside, with just enough salt. These traditional latkes will not disappoint. It is worth going the extra step of wringing out latke batter in cheesecloth to ensure that they are the crispiest latkes they can be! Serve them with homemade applesauce for an extra special Hanukah treat.

Pickled Salmon Bites

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Whenever I make this recipe, people think I have slaved in the kitchen to produce these delicious pickled salmon bites. The truth is they are delicious but, the only thing that is hard about this recipe is waiting the few days until you can dig in! Serve this as a first course with crackers or as finger food at your next party. (Adapted from Joyce Goldstein as seen in New York Times)

Mini Latke Trio

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These little latkes are a great Hanukah finger food for your next party. Each latke comes with its own sauce that you can put on top. Try the traditional latkes with homemade applesauce, the zucchini latkes with lemon zest cream or the sweet potatoe latkes with sriracha aioli. If you make them all, have a taste test to see which ones your guests like best!

Baked Apples

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My mother used to make baked apples for us when we were kids, when she wanted to have something for us to nosh on after school and later on, when we would come home to visit. Now, I make them for my family as a treat. These are a guilt free dessert – the only ingredients are apples, cinnamon and water! No sugar needed when you use good fresh fall apples. The best part of all is how delicious your house will smell while you are making these…

Beet Salad with Greens and Feta

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Beets and feta have become a classic pair. What I love about this beet salad is that it uses both the beets and the greens. I love being able to use a nice bunch of beets with the tops and using them both on the same dish. While you can also make this salad without the greens, try it just once with the greens – I think you’ll like it! (Adapted from Bon Apetit)

Spiced Indian Lentils

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I love Indian food, when it is not too greasy and has authentic flavors -and these lentils meet those criteria. This great mix of traditional Indian warm spices stirred into the creamy lentils makes for a comforting meal with a twist. (Adapted from a recipe from Aarti Sequeira)