Category Archives: Holiday Recipes

Grandma Millie’s Cauliflower

I originally posted this recipe 2 years ago. My Father recently passed away so when I came across this photo of my parents on the recipe it was bittersweet . We will miss my Dad during this Holiday season.

Firstly, you should know that this dish is sort of famous around the Kolen/Topper household. My mother doesn’t cook a lot anymore, but for the holidays, she will still rally to make some of her signature dishes. I never even had this recipe in my possession before. Almost everyone loves this dish—even the cauliflower haters (although we can’t get Joel to even try it…his loss.) It is very tasty and a perfect side dish for meat. It is also perfect for the holidays. We always have it on our Thanksgiving table and usually for the Jewish holidays too. It will work anythime you need another vegetable side.  I always thought my mother used fresh cauliflower but as it turns out she’s been using frozen because it’s easier to handle, takes no time and works just as well. If you want to use fresh, just follow the recipe as it is but first cook the cauliflower in boiling water, as usual. Thanks, G’ma Mil. This recipe is a keeper.


1 jumbo onion (or 2 large onions)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup vegetable oil–I know this is a lot of oil so you can try and start out with a little less. I am not arguing with my Mother about the amount of oil!!!! in her recipe

4 boxes frozen cauliflower

Kosher salt (start with 1 tsp.)

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

A few shakes of paprika (for color)

Panko seasoned crumbs (3/4 to 1 cup) you’ll probably use the full cup for 4 boxes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice onions and add to a large frying pan with the 1 cup of oil (heated). Add paprika, salt, pepper and garlic. Sauté onions until translucent and then let stand off the heat for about 15 minutes. Take frozen cauliflower out of boxes, put in microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes, you want to get it defrosted and soft but not overly soft, should be firm, just to defrost and get all the water out of it. Drain and put cauliflower on paper towels. Trick is to get all water out, you want to start with cauliflower as dry as possible. That’s why frozen is easier to work with, you will be cooking it in the oven.  Next, add Panko crumbs (when adding the crumbs start with 3/4 cup and if it looks like you need more add a bit,  we used almost a full cup for the 4 boxes), mix well and then add the cauliflower. Bake for approx. 45 minutes, until heated through. (I place in one layer in a glass Pyrex until it gets very hot and a little crispy.) Taste for salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish.

*I usually taste for salt and pepper during the baking phase, remove from oven and take a taste, then season accordingly. Also, I know this is a lot of oil, so start out with 3/4 cup and add as you need it, for it to get crispy you will need a good amount of oil, the panko will absorb a good amount of it.

*You can prep this dish in advance and refrigerate in a container for up to 2 days prior to serving. Just take it out of the fridge, bring to room temp. and cook in oven until heated through (same as above.)

I hope you love this as much as we do.

Honey Roasted Chicken – Holiday Chicken

DSCN4234DSCN4234this recipe was actually given to me by my daughter, jennifer. she has made it numerous times. always to raves from the family. i am going to make it this year for rosh hashana and it is so perfect for Passover.  it is a delicious chicken dish made with honey so it so appropriate for the jewish new year! sweet and savory as our new year should be! enjoy it.  if anyone out there has some holiday ideas i’d love to hear about them. pay attention to cooking directions as you will not be preheating oven!!!!!!


1 stick butter or margarine

1/2 cup minced yellow onion

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup Dijon Mustard

1/2 cup mild honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

a rounded teaspoon curry powder

2 tablespoons peach or mango chutney ( available in most supermarkets)

small handful of dried currants or chopped dark raisins

2 roasting chickens  cut up in 8’s


you will need 2 shallow baking sheets with 1 inch rims ( you may be able to get it on 1 large sheet)Spray baking sheets well with cooking spray.

to make sauce:

Melt butter/margarine in a heavy 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. while it is bubbling, saute onion and garlic until softened, about 3 – 5 minutes. add remaining ingredients except for chicken and stir until well combined. heat until warm throughout and set aside to cool slightly.

to prepeare chicken:

I would spray each baking sheet with pam cooking spray first

Rinse and pat chicken dry . (each piece) dip each piece in honey mixture, coating chicken completely. lay chicken pieces ( skin side up) on baking sheets. spoon any remaining sauce over chicken.

To Bake Chicken:

place chicken in a cold oven, turn heat to 400 degrees and bake for one hour. if you are using 2 baking sheets , roast in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and switch shelf positions 1/2 way through the cooking time.

to serve:

Transfer chicken to a warmed serving platter and serve . this chicken is good hot, at room temp. and cold out of fridge the next day.

*if you cannot find peach or mango chutney ( I found it at Whole Foods) Stonewall Kitchen Brand , you can use Peach Jam, Apricot Jam, etc. Probably Saucy Susan would work. Use your imagination and don’t kill yourself trying to find the chutney. I think the chutney would give it a bit more kick, and cut the sweet, but either one will be fine.

Happy Holiday and Have a Very Sweet New Year

Happy New Year Brisket

Brisket can definitely be an intimidating thing to make. I once made it as a young cook and it was perfectly inedible, I will never forget dumping the whole thing in the garbage and promising myself I would live to learn how to cook a good brisket.  Back then, I couldn’t believe how long it took to cook .  Now I sometimes make it in the slow cooker. This time I used my trusty Le Creuset, which worked out beautifully. I just finished cooking it and I will freeze it till we are going to be eating it.   A lot of people have some pretty awesome brisket recipes and I welcome you to send me yours. This really couldn’t be any easier and it’s super tasty. This original recipe came from my friend, Michele (with a few comments from Karyn too.) I did change a few things to the original recipe, but not a lot and I thank Michele for the recipe.


4 lb. brisket (I didn’t need larger but you can adjust this recipe for whatever size brisket you use)

Lawry’s seasoned salt (I’ve never used this before today but I found out it doesn’t contain MSG, as I had previously thought)

2 large Spanish onions (Karyn uses Vidalia, which is also good), sliced thickly

2 cans of tomato sauce , I used the 16 oz. size. You can also use the 1 can of 28 oz. size. It depends on you and how much sauce you like.

2 tbsp. brown sugar (this is my addition. It doesn’t really change the flavor so much as cut the salt a bit)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I sprinkled Lawry’s seasoned salt on both sides of the brisket (generously) then seared it in the Le Creuset pot with a little vegetable oil–probably about a tablespoon. (After the meat was seared, it shrunk to fit perfectly in my pot but I don’t think that a larger brisket would have fit.) Next, I added the tomato sauce and onions, covered the pot and put it in the oven. I cooked it for a total of 3 hours. I checked on it after each hour, which probably wasn’t even necessary. I then let it cool, off of the heat, for about an hour. Next, I sliced it with an electric knife, which came out beautifully. The meat was soft, but not falling apart at all. I then added the brown sugar to the gravy, put the brisket in a container with the gravy and froze it. I’ll take it out of freezer and start to defrost the night before in the refrigerator. Next morning I take it out and bring to room temperature. I heat it up at 350 degrees with the top on the pot till it starts to bubble. If you think you need a little more liquid you can just add a little water to gravy.  Karyn pulses her gravy with an immersion blender. I didn’t do this but I think it makes for a good suggestion.  Thanks again Michele and Karyn!

Noodle Pudding with Apricot Nectar

I’ve tried so many noodle puddings, but keep coming back to the same old , same old. they’ve been passed down in so many different incarnations. i don’t even know what the original one is anymore. this is my most favorite. also a perfect break fast food. can and should be made ahead of time, they hold together better.  we used to add apricot jam, but it really was overkill. we omitted it, and it is perfect just the way it is. thanks to karyn r. for this noodle pudding and for being such a great cooking buddy for as far back as i can remember.

1 lb. noodles ( i use extra wide egg noodles, you’ll need a bag and 1/4 app. just eyeball it)

1 cup sugar

6 eggs ( I use extra large and at room temp. just make sure they are not right out of fridge) they work much better when they are not right out of fridge in baking.

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 stick unsalted sweet butter(melted)

6 oz. cream cheese (softened at room temp)

1 1/2 cups milk ( I use skim plus) would not use regular skim milk

2 cups apricot nectar (available in most supermarkets)


1 1/2 cups cornflake crumbs

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick butter (melted)


 cook noodles. mix 6 beaten eggs with the tablespoon of vanilla in one bowl. in another bowl melt 1 stick sweet butter(unsalted)softened cream cheese, and milk. add the apricot nectar . mix all ingredients together and put in large pyrex type baking dish. mix topping ingredients together, put on top of noodle pudding. cook at 350 degrees for one hour.   i usually cook this ahead of time, cook for 1/2 hour and then freeze it till i am ready to use, take out of fridge bring to room temperature and bake it for another hour till brown on top and cooked through. noodle puddings are best if you let it sit a while (at least 15 minutes before serving) they hold together better that way. can be served at room temperature.

*serves about 12 – 15 people doubled

Zesan Pesach–Happy Passover

photo 1 Just want to take a minute out of everyone’s very busy day to wish you all a very Happy Passover or as we say a Zesan Pesach. I hope you enjoyed some new recipes as well as the tried and true crowd favorites. Enjoy your Seder surrounded by those you love and make some lasting memories.

Judy’s Apple Matzoh Kugel for Passover


photo (37)DSCN2642DSCN2539If you ask me, kugels are the best part of Passover. Put together in a casserole dish these sweet and savory dishes are my absolute favorite dish on the Seder table.  It was always about the kugel with me from the time I was a kid. This is an awesome recipe from a family friend which came to me via Karyn, so thanks Judy and thanks again Karyn. I used to make this recipe all the time and over the years I replaced it with something else and completely forgot about till another friend asked me for the recipe. Karyn came to the rescue. This is a delicious sweet addition to the table and if I remember correctly everyone loved it. It is easy and not too many ingredients and hardly any steps at all. Enjoy! Happy Passover.

Plan ahead:

Kugels can be made a day or two ahead. On the day of the serving, allow the dish to come to room temperature. Then heat it, covered in a preheated 350 degree oven until warm, 30 – 40 minutes. My experience has always been that the kugels hold together better when they are pre-made.


12 sheets matzoh

9 eggs beaten, use eggs at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 large apples, peeled and sliced (any kind will do)

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 Tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 cups white raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Break matzoh into colander and run warm water over it, just to soften, then drain and put in a large bowl. Add beaten eggs, add salt , sugar , apples, oil, cinnamon and raisins and pour into a pre-greased ( or cooking sprayed) baking dish . Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. Enjoy!

*first time baking it keep it uncovered, when you re-heat you will cover it so it doesn’t dry out.


Cathy’s Passover Popovers

Sometimes I think I posted a recipe and for some inexplicable reason when I go back to find it I can’t. That’s what happened with Cathy’s Passover Popovers. I made them last year ( see pics)  and thought I posted this wonderful easy recipe but couldn’t find it. Obviously I am re-writing and posting it since it is a wonderful addition to your Passover Table. Super easy and Super light and delicious. Give this one a try. Once again I want to thank Cathy for her support and her contributions . These are also delicious during Passover with some preserves in the morning. Enjoy and Happy Passover Cooking from my kitchen to yours. I used a muffin tin and it worked out perfectly.Bake these light airy treats for your Seder to rave reviews. One per person is perfect , this recipe yielded 9 popovers. photo20130321-113701.jpg photo


1 cup cake meal

4 eggs — always work with room temperature eggs unless otherwise stated for best results

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup peanut oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the cake meal, salt and sugar in a bowl.

Bring oil and water to a boil, add cake meal mixture and remove from stove.

Beat in one egg at a time and mix a lot. It will be thick.

Allow to stand for 15 minutes.

Drop into a well-greased muffin or popover tin using a tablespoon to 3/4 full. I spray with cooking spray . I used a Canola Oil baking spray, or lightly grease pan with canola oil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes till medium golden brown. I placed pan in the center of the oven .

Warm before serving if desired.








Passover ’14 – Recipes

DSCN2653 DSCN2781 DSCN2767 DSCN2642 DSCN2687Passover is celebrated in commemoration of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. For eight days, we do not partake of any leavening agent in our food. We read the Haggadah (a narration of the Exodus,) which is the central part of the first and second nights of Passover. Despite the dispersal of Jews throughout the world, we are united in the celebration of the eight-day festival, upholding family bonds and family traditions over the traditional Seder meal. The central object of every Seder table is the Seder Plate, arranged with the symbolic foods. There are no rules for menus for the meal, although many families (and definitely my own) maintain specific traditions. Some families, like mine, have nostalgic customs for certain foods and everyone insists on having those foods on the table. In our case, this is more out of love (and ritual) for these special items than any real religious significance.

Ever since I started this blog I have tried to publish my most favorite recipes for the holidays that have been a tradition in my family. Along the way, I have picked up some amazing recipes that have now been incorporated into Cooking with Candi. I am compiling a list of all the recipes that I have posted over the past 3 years. If you enter the title or enter Passover into the search bar on my site you should be able to find any recipe. All of them are wonderful and have evolved throughout the years and I hope you can make some of them part of your own family tradition and pass them down to your children and family. I am also always on a search for new recipes and would be so happy if you would share some of your favorites with me. (I can’t promise I will print them all but if there is time for me to cook, sample, and then post, I will. You can contact me through my email at I already have a few new recipes this year, so be on the lookout.

Again, thanks to all my followers for all the support and for your recipes and suggestions. Relax, enjoy and remember, holidays are all about starting your own traditions and making unforgettable memories for you and yours. Happy Cooking!

Passover Recipes:

Homemade Chicken Soup with no so Homemade Matzoh Balls

Grandma Regina’s Farfel

Honey Roasted Chicken

Chicken Marbella

Old School Meatballs

Karyn’s Cranberry- Apple Crisp for Passover

Sweet Matzoh Pudding

Judy’s apple matzoh Kugel for Passover

Cathy’s Popovers


Spinach Souffle for Passover

Peach Farfel

Happy New Year Brisket

Julie’s Brownies for Passover


Meringue Cookies

Ellen’s Passover Apple Cake

Matzoh Brei

Thanksgiving ’13 –here we come

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Fully Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Fully Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

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It’s the elephant in the room and I’ve put off discussing it but the time has definitely come to start talking turkey. Thanksgiving is upon us, yes we have plenty of time to get it together but menus need to be planned so we don’t get caught unprepared. My menu is almost always the same because everyone has their favorite dish that they look forward to eating every year.  Last year I skipped mashed potatoes in favor of something else and the first thing one of my nephews said was “where are the mashed potatoes?” that was his favorite thing. So I try to please all but need to add a few new items every year. Haven’t really decided on all the items but will give you a list of some of my oldies but goodies so go and look them up on my blog. Just put in the title of recipe and it will and it should pop up. If you haven’t subscribed as of yet , what are you waiting for? Please do, it’s free and it’s fun. If anyone out there has any awesome Thanksgiving recipes that they’d like to share with me just email me at Looking forward to hearing from you all. Have fun and I will be posting like crazy for the next few weeks. Happy Turkey Day and Happy Cooking.

Remember Gratitude not Attitude

Here are some recipes you may want to start looking at:

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts, Roasted Almonds Simply and Spicy , Baked Salami

Salad Dressing- Mustard Vinaigrette is always simple and delicious or Maple Syrup Vinaigrette will work perfectly on a green salad.

Butternut Squash Soup (no cream), Pumpkin Lentil Soup, with Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle Cream (all soups can be made vegetarian)

Pumpkin Walnut Bread,  Hurricane Sandy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Cremini Mushroom Pumpkin Lasagna (vegetarian) , Ultimate Comfort Food Macaroni and Cheese (vegetarian)

Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives (vegetarian)

Thanksgiving Corn Bread Pudding (vegetarian)

Stuffing that will be on our Table

Candied Yam Souffle (Easy Peasy), Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes, Aunt Pammy’s Chipotle Sweet Potatoes (nothing short of amazing) (vegetarian)

Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Karyn’s Famous Thanksgiving Cranberry Crisp (also nothing short of amazing), Joy’s Cranberry Sauce (vegetarian)

Fresh Green Beans with Lemon and Almonds , Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Michele’s White Chocolate Jumbo Macadamia Cookies, Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

This is just a start for you so you can start your shopping and firm up your menu. I will be posting for the next few weeks and if there is anything you can’t find please feel free to contact me. Happy Cooking.

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Blintz Souffle–Break Fast Food

I originally posted this on October 5, 2011. Now that’s a more civilized time to be celebrating the Jewish New Year, but what can I say? It’s here and here we go again. This is probably one of the oldest recipes on my blog. I remember my Mother making it and always loving it. Along with the baked French toast this is a wonderful breakfast and brunch staple. This dish can be assembled ahead of time, kept in the refrigerator and baked right before eating. This is a keeper and a tradition in our house. Always delicious and the ultimate in comfort food. You can buy almost any of the frozen blintzes, homemade ones are great but it doesn’t really make that big of a difference with this recipe. This is super easy with excellent results.


6 blintzes ( you can use cheese or fruit filled, whichever you like) . Depending on how many people I’m feeding, I usually make 1 fruit and 1 cheese tray.

2 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine

3/4 cup sour cream (lite is fine)

1 tsp. vanilla

Dash of cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter or margarine in saucepan. Spray baking dish with Pam Spray. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl together. Place frozen blintzes in baking dish. I usually use 9×13 size baking dish but anything close to that will work. You can double the recipe, in which case you’ll obviously need a larger baking dish. You need room for the blintzes to expand a little and for the egg mixture (custard)  to rise around it. Don’t spread it too thin.

Pour the melted butter on top of the frozen blintzes, followed by the sour cream mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30-40 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes out of the oven before cutting into it.

Happy Healthy Sweet New Year!