Hungry for the holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, everyone’s kitchens are sure to be filled with the aromas of delicious home-cooked food. Not quite sure where to start? Here are some traditional recipes for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa that are sure to please.

Christmas: sugar cookies           

As a Christmas favorite, this delectable dessert is hard to pass up — even Santa can’t resist!

Simply buy a package of plain sugar cooki glass e dough, or, if preferred, make the dough from scratch. Create cookie designs such as candy canes, Christmas trees, ornaments and so forth using cookie cutters.

Jazz them up by adding red and green frosting, sprinkles, peppermint pieces, coconut, various candies and more. Try pressing an Andes chocolate mint candy into the cookie’s warm center for a unique sugar cookie twist. Enjoy with a of milk.

Hanukkah: potato pancakes (latkes)

A traditional Hanukkah dish, latkes are warm, crispy and can be eaten at anytime throughout the day, not just breakfast. Want to know the potato pancake secret? The starchier the potato, the crunchier the latke. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.


·       1 pound peeled, grated potatoes

·       1/2 cup finely chopped onion

·       1 large egg, lightly beaten

·       1/2 teaspoon salt

·       1/2 -3/4 cup olive oil


Preheat oven to 250° F. Soak the grated potatoes in cold water and drain — wring out as much liquid as possible. Add the onion, egg and salt to the potato mixture. Mix well. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil on a nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter per latke onto the skillet and spread with a fork creating 3-inch rounds. Reduce heat and cook until the bottom is a golden brown — approximately 5 minutes. Repeat on the other side. Transfer latkes into a baking pan and keep warm in the oven.

Kwanzaa: Jamaican jerk chicken

Meat lover or not, this recipe is a fantastic main course that can be accompanied by other traditional Kwanzaa dishes such as peanut soup, shrimp creole and mini sweet potato pies.


·       1 whole chicken, halved

·       1 lime, halved

·       Pinch of salt

·       4-5 tablespoons jerk rum rub marinade — recipe below·       8-12 pimento leaves for flavor

Jamaican jerk rum rub ingredients:

·       1 chopped red onion

·       1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

·       1 teaspoon ground allspice

·       1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

·       4 teaspoons white pepper

·       1/4 cup chopped green onion tops

·       2 teaspoons salt

·       1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

·       5 small jalapenos

·       2 tablespoons olive oil

·       Splash of a flavorful rum


Place all jerk rum rub ingredients into a food processor and mix on high until well blended. Next, rub the chicken with lime and salt. Cover with marinade and refrigerate overnight for the best taste.

Preheat grill to medium high. Spread the pimento leaves on the grill and reduce heat to medium low. Grill the chicken for about 45 minutes or until slightly brown and cooked through. Allow the chicken to cool before cutting into quarters. Serve and enjoy!