12/12/2011 10:13 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

First Helpings: 5 Latkes For Every Holiday

With the holidays quickly approaching I decided it was time to test out some latke recipes for my First Helpings arsenal and to share with you. I came up with five amazing latkes that are perfect for Chanukah or any winter holiday. They can be served as a side dish, the main event or even as a fancy hors d'oeuvre.

Latkes are traditionally made with potato and onions, and they are delicious! However, it seems that people these days have what I like to call "potato anxiety;" a fear that potatoes are fattening and starchy and carbohydratey and terrible for you. I personally love potatoes. I love them mashed, roasted, fried, baked and of course latked. And really -- what can be so bad about something that grows in the ground? That being said, I've come up with latkes for the potato-weary and for potato lovers like me! Five latkes for every holiday and every palate.

Each of these recipes serves about 4-6 but can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled for crowds. If you're wondering what the one secret is to making crispy latkes it's this: drain out every last bit of liquid from the vegetables before mixing them with flour and egg, and then drain again right before putting them in the oil. The dryer the mix, the crispier the latke. You can keep them warm in a 200° oven.

Happy cooking!

For more of my recipes visit