I Just Had to Hop on the Bandwagon….

Oh…hello there! In case you eagerly search your inboxes ever Monday/Wednesday/Friday for an SHLB email, you may notice that they stopped coming for exactly 1 week. You have no idea how much that was killing me.

I started this blog back up in April and made a commitment to myself to stick to the manageable posting routine of 3 times a week. 

But over the past couple months, my life has gotten a bit unpredictable, which makes it harder for me to stick to that routine. It’s not about having the time, but rather the fact that for better or for worse, I’m an extremely genuine and honest person. I’ve gone through some tough times lately, and it’s made it difficult for me to write breezily about Peppermint Milkshakes (although it WAS delicious) and what I’m eating every Wednesday. It feels dishonest and inauthentic. 

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(I cannot tell a lie. It’s really frustrating.)

I have a lot to process and some big decisions to make, so my posts may be a little less predictable until I figure it all out. But please, stay tuned for that EPIC post. I will assure you it will be filled with a bunch of epiphanies and clichés that will completely blow your mind.

Until then, no matter what is going on in my life, I’d never forgive myself for passing up the opportunity to acknowledge what the rest of the Internet has already freaked out about: Thanksgivingukkah. I touched on it briefly in my last post, but in case you live under a rock, this year, the first day of Hanukkah falls on the same day as Thanksgiving. And, it won’t happen again for 70,000 years,  so it’s kind of a big deal.

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For me, the holidays have never been about religion. I’m Jewish, but I’ve never thought that should hold me back from throwing back some egg nog, blasting the “Country Christmas” station on Pandora and throwing some stockings on the ol’ fireplace. But I gotta’ be honest when I say it feels damn good to finally have Hanukkah front-and-center this holiday season!

(Last year's Hanukkah decorations...no tree but a bush!)

(Last year’s Hanukkah decorations…no tree but a bush!)

I myself am not the most religious girl the planet, but I’ve always embraced the food in my culture. A piece of Challah bread, a few glasses of Manizchewitz and a heaping piece of noodle kugel will never fail to bring a smile to my face.

I’m in NYC for Thanksgiving this year, so unfortunately won’t be able to partake in creating Thanksgivingukkah masterpieces. Instead, please enjoy these 5 recipes which combine the wonderful flavors of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Remember, it’s not too late to run to the store for these ingredients. Whether you’re Jewish or not, your family will thank you for this later…

Manizchewitz-Brined Turkey: At first glance, this sounds like a gimmick. Let me assure you, it’s not. Manizschewitz is an extremely sweet kosher wine, and this recipe draws upon that sweetness to flavor the turkey and help make it a beautiful color.

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Challah Bread Stuffing: Even if you’re not Jewish, you’ve probably eaten challah before in french toast form. It’s a rich, braided egg bread that’s sturdy enough to hold its form when dredged in liquid. It’s also ridiculously tasty on its own, and us Jewish people actually have a prayer devoted solely to the challah (actually it’s the blessing for bread, but we break off pieces of challah before saying the prayer.)

So, why not take this already-delicious bread and make it the star of the show in your Thanksgiving stuffing? I like how this recipe draws upon the slight sweetness in challah by adding cranberries and raisins. 

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If you like to stick to the savory side of stuffing, I must recommend these Challah Stuffing Muffins. I guarantee you’ll win bonus points for originality with both the challah and the muffin tin.

Stuffing Muffins

Sweet Potato and Ginger Latkes: Latkes are kind of Hanukkah’s all-star food. There’s a story about why we eat them, but all you need to know is that they are essentially fried potatoes, and that’s why I’ve always loved them! This recipe uses sweet potato (a prime part of most Thanksgiving celebrations) to create a unique twist on the traditional latke.

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Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel: Kugel is by far my favorite reason for being Jewish…

I kid, sort of. But seriously, whenever I used to attend an event at Temple or a holiday meal, I would actually dream about this traditional Jewish noodle casserole dish for weeks. Carbs, cheese and butter combine to bring you the ultimate Jewish comfort food. I’ve seen lots of Thanksgivingukkah kugel suggestions, and while some are extremely creative, I believe they stray too far from the original dish. This straight-forward recipe keeps all of the important elements that make up a traditional kugel, while incorporating the cranberry flavor of Thanksgiving.

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Israeli Jelly Donuts: If you’re a longtime SHLB reader, then you know I’m all about making donuts for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin pie is great and all, but really, can you ever go wrong with a donut? In Hebrew, jelly doughnuts are called sufganiyot, and believe it or not, in Israel, they’re the number one treat consumed on Hanukkah.  We eat fried foods to recognize the miracle associated with the Temple oil. Sounds like a great idea to me. Fry up these babies and serve with some melted gelt on the side. 

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I wanted to create a workout with this post, but I’ve run out of time, so here’s an old favorite of mine: Perfect for your pre-Thanksgivingukkah feast!

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Hope to be back soon, but until then HAPPY THANKSGIVINGUKKAH!

4 Thoughts on “I Just Had to Hop on the Bandwagon….

  1. I seriously do not have a single Jewish friend (it is just the area that I live in – a LOT of Catholics), so I love reading about some of the traditions for Hanukkah! And 70,000 years?! WOW! I hope you and your family have a great holiday!!
    Ashlee@hisnHers recently posted…WIAW: Thanksgiving Style!My Profile

  2. Anjelica on 27 November, 2013 at 2:36 pm said:

    Happy Thanksgivingukkah! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

    Your blog posts are so great because of how genuine and honest you are – those can be rare traits to find in the “everything is PERFECT and HAPPYYY in my life, see the photos. Feel the love!!!” world we live in today. Thank you for keeping it real.

    • Thanks so much for the kind, words Anjelica. I try to be as honest as I can, and I’m glad that it means something to some :-) Hope you had a lovely holiday!

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