I post recipes here the way that I make them, so of course you should feel free to adapt these to what your family likes!
To make this blog user-friendly, I put tags for each major ingredient of each recipe, as well as for type of dish, and ethnicity, so you can go to the list on the side here (scroll down) and search for specific things.
If you like a recipe, please comment! If you have a yummy adaptation, please leave that in the comments as well!


 I encountered this idea at a local cafe. It's very simple, and really good! They served the rolls plain, or you could get it sliced in half and get it as a sandwich filled with ham, melted cheese, peppers, onions, and other veggies. 
It's a nice food for taking on picnics and sack lunches, because the whole sandwich is rolled into the bun before it's baked--nothing slides apart en route!

Use your favorite roll recipe (not a sweet roll, just a regular dinner roll)
Roll out the dough as though you were going to make cinnamon rolls, but instead of putting in butter and cinnamon and sugar, put in cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, spinach, bits of ham or bacon, or whatever other savory thing strikes your fancy.
I did ham, spinach, and mozzarella in these ones.
Try turkey with cranberry, beef with swiss, or all kinds of veggie combinations!

Fruit Braid

This recipe is made with dried fruit filling. I got the original recipe from an old issue of "Taste of Home" and it said to use dried apricots. But I didn't have any apricots, and I did have a bulk-sized bag of cranberries, so I made it with cranberry filling instead. It was amazing! I took it to a church ladies function and got lots of compliments on it.
this was the photo from the magazine
this was mine...not quite a pretty, but still awesome!

Preparation time--the actual work is about 20 minutes, but the rise times will add another hour plus, and the cook time is 20-25 minutes.
Yield: 3 braids

1 c water
1/2 c butter
3/4 c sugar
5 1/2 or 6 c flour (I used about 1 1/2 c wheat, and needed the lesser amount of flour)
3 packages dry yeast (1 package = 2 1/4 tsp, so that's 6 3/4 tsp needed)
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten

In a mixing bowl, blend the sugar, yeast, salt, and 3 c flour. Set aside. Put the butter and water in a saucepan and heat just until the butter melts (120-130*). (Be sure it doesn't get too hot or you'll kill the yeast!) Add butter mixture to flour mixture and beat just until moistened. Add eggs, beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 30-40 min (Mine took much longer than that, partly because I have a cold Alaskan kitchen, and partly because I think I killed part of the yeast by having my water/butter a little too hot.)
While it rises, make the filling. 

2 1/4 c chopped dried fruit (craisins don’t need to be chopped since they’re already small)
1/2 c water
(for the cranberries I also added about 1/2tsp of almond extract and 1/2tsp of orange extract)
1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
Put the dried fruit and water in a saucepan (and the extracts if you're doing those). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until water is absorbed and fruit is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a food processor; add brown sugar. Cover and process till smooth. (My food processor is a little one and would't fit everything, so I just put in the fruit, processed that, then dumped it back into the pan and mixed in the sugar with a fork.) Set aside.

When the dough has doubled, punch it down and divide into thirds.  On greased baking sheets, roll out each portion into a 12in x 8in rectangle (I rolled a little, but mostly just mooshed it out with my fingers, it was easier because the sides of the pan kept getting in the way of my rolling pin handles!) Spread filling down the center of each rectangle. On each long side, cut 1 inch wide strips about 2 inches into the center. (I actually did the cutting first and put on the filling afterwards, it seemed less messy.) Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across the filling. Pinch ends to seal. (Rather than pinching the ends, I just folded the two end strips straight up inside the loaves on both ends, and then did the alternating down the sides.) Cover and let rise for 30 min.
Bake at 375* for 20-25minutes or until golden brown. Remove pans to wire racks to cool. Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over braids.

1 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp vanilla (a little orange or almond would be good here too, though I didn't do it)

Filled doughnuts

I think doughnuts are meant to have the hole in the middle--it helps them cook evenly without having a soggy center. However, if you watch them carefully, you can cook holeless doughnuts, and then you can be really fancy and put jelly or pudding in the middle!
Jelly-filled doughnuts are a traditional Hanukkah treat. This is certainly not an authentic suvgani'ot recipe, but it's still a jelly-filled doughnut, and they're pretty good. ☺

 Make up some spudnuts, but just cut round doughnuts--do not cut out the middles!

If you have an icing bag with a long tip, that would make things simple (just use it to pump jelly or pudding right to the center of the doughnut, with hardly a hole to the outside!)... BUT if you are like most of us and just have standard kitchen equipment, then take a knife and cut a small slit into the side of the doughnut and to the center.

Using an icing bag or ziplock with a small bit of corner cut off, gently put the tip/corner into the hole in the doughnut, and squeeze in about 1 Tbs of jelly or pudding.

Voila! Jelly filled doughnuts!

"Spudnuts" Doughnuts

The potato in these doughnuts makes them more filling, and adds something to the texture that I can't quite describe, but I love it (something like potato bread...)
Plus, when there's potato in your doughnuts, it's a valid excuse to eat one or two more, right?!

they are pretty good just plain, but we usually frost them

Makes about 100 doughnuts (yes, you can easily do a half recipe, but once you get going on the process it's just as easy to make a lot...so plan a party and share!)

1 c warm water
2 Tbs dry yeast
1 c shortening (or butter)
6 eggs, beaten (I actually forgot these once, and they still came out fine)
2 tsp salt
3 c milk
1 c sugar
2 c mashed potatoes
2 tsp lemon juice (optional)
2 tsp grated lemon rind (optional)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
12-13c flour
(I never do any of the optional ingredients)

Dissolve yeast into water, and set aside for a few minutes to proof (get frothy). Combine milk, shortening, salt, sugar, potato and seasonings. Heat to lukewarm. Add beaten eggs and yeast mixture. Add 6 c of flour and beat until well blended. Add remaining flour to make a soft dough (firm enough to roll).
Knead until smooth. Cover and let rise until double.
Punch down, divide in half. Roll 1/2 inch thick (yes, that's pretty thick, don't get them too thin!) and cut out with a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. (I used a 3" round and then a water bottle lid to cut out the centers, or you can do other shapes as shown.)
if you have nesting cookie cutters in shapes, such as stars or hearts, you can make shaped doughnuts too!
Rise again for 30-40 min.
Deep fry at 375 in an electric fry pan, or on med-high in a heavy pan (cast iron is good) on a stovetop. Turn them overhalfway through cooking, so that they get golden on each side. (Throw in the doughnut holes too, those are one of our favorite parts! The holes cook much faster than the doughnuts though, so I do them in separate batches.)
Set on racks with paper towels underneath the rack to drain (see top photo).
If desired, sprinkle on powdered sugar while they are still hot and wet. Otherwise, allow them to cool a little and then frost.

You can use this recipe to make jelly-filled doughnuts too!


Latkes are a Hanukkah food (although we make them for most Jewish holidays, simply because I don't know many Jewish recipes). Traditionally they are served with applesauce or sour cream, but my family seems to prefer them with salt, ketchup, or barbecue sauce...oh well, so much for tradition eh?

5 large potatoes (washed and trimmed, but they don't need to be peeled unless you want to)
1 bunch of green onions, chopped (I skip these half the time, just because I forget)
1/4 c flour
3 eggs, beaten

Over the sink, grate the potatoes into a colander. Press out as much of the potato water as possible. Place the grated potatoes in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir into a thick 'batter' (it's not really much of a batter, but it will all get sticky and clump together).
Over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet (cast iron is best), heat about 1/4c oil until hot. Drop in scoops of batter and flatten with a pancake flipper. Fry on each side until golden.
Drain latkes on a plate lined with paper towel. Serve warm.

Stovies (Scotland)

We found this recipe when looking for something scottish to celebrate Saint Andrew's Day. Stovies are a great way to use up some leftover beef and gravy. Of course you can work from scratch also, but I have a feeling this is really meant as a sort of "inspired leftovers" meal. I got this recipe from epicurean, who recommends serving them with oat cakes. I've just copied the recipe from there, and added my own notes.
These were a big hit, and will definitely be regularly seen on our menu in the future.

50g (2 oz.) oil, drippings or butter (I used bacon grease)
3 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 kg (2 pounds) floury potatoes, main crop or new
125ml (4 oz.) meat stock or gravy (I used a handful of my beef-stock 'ice' cubes)
125-250g (4-8 ounces) cooked meat (I threw in ground beef because I didn't have leftovers handy. I just browned it, drained it, and set it aside, then added it back in later as per the recipe.)
2 -3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, chives, or spring onions
Seasoning salt, freshly ground black pepper, allspice, or grated nutmeg

You will need a large heavy-base pan with a tight-fitting lid. Heat the fat in it and add the onions. Cook until lightly brown. Peel potatoes if they are "main crop", but leave the skins on new potatoes. Slice about 5mm (1/4-inch) thick. Or slice roughly in different thickness so that the thin go into a mush, while the others stay whole. Add them to the pan with the onions and stir well. coating all sides with the fat.
Put the lid on the pan and leave on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times. (I used a cast iron pan that didn't have a lid, so I used a piece of foil which worked great. You do need some kind of lid though.)Then add the gravy or water. Cover and cook over a very low heat, stirring once or twice until the potatoes are cooked. Add the meat, mix through, and turn up the heat to brown a little.

Taste for seasoning. Mix in some freshly chopped parsley, chives, or green onion and serve with oatcakes and a glass of milk.

Scottish Oatcakes

These are somewhere between a biscuit and a cookie...they're a bit sweet, but definitely have a bready aspect to them. I got the recipe from epicurean.com, where they were recommended to serve with Stovies. I've copied the recipe here just as it is on the site, but added some notes of my own.

1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups shortening (I use room-temperature butter or lard. If you do use butter it comes out a little salty, so either use unsalted butter or skip the salt!)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups bran flakes (I didn't have any, so I left them out...I honestly didn't notice them on the recipe until I had already started mixing ingredients... I'm sure you could do some extra oats, but it also worked fine to just skip this ingredient.)

Add soda to boiling water and let stand until cool. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, bran flakes, rolled oats and sugar. Cut in shortening; add water and soda. Roll out thin on a floured board. Bake in hot oven until golden brown.
(I just lightly greased a cookie sheet and smooshed the dough around on it until it was pretty thin. It spread a bit as it cooked and ended up filling the pan, but it had not reached all the corners before I put it in. I baked at 400* for about 10ish min...I didn't set a timer, I just left the oven light on and kept an eye on them as I cooked other things...)
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