What We Ate: The 1st night of Chanukah & Thanksgiving, 2013

How was everybody’s holiday? It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving 2013 is already over, and that we are already onto the second day of Chanukah! Where does time go???

I decided that since both of these meals took place within about 24 hours time, I will combine them into one post. Here we go:

1st night of Chanukah:


When planning what to have for dinner I knew that I wanted something easy (because, hello, it was going to be the night before Thanksgiving!), but I also wanted to do something fun. I vetoed latkes for the first night (I’m going to save the mess from frying for a night that’s not the night before Thanksgiving!). I decided to do finger foods that could be made earlier in the afternoon, and we’d eat it picnic-style on the living room floor in front of the menorah.

Spiced Sweet Potato Gelt with Orange Honey Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

The first thing I made, which is what gave me the idea of doing that type of dinner, are these Spiced Sweet Potato “Gelt” with Orange Honey Sour Cream Dipping Sauce. I loved how easy these were to make, and I way more of them than I should have!

Baked Zucchini Coins with Tomato Sauce

In keeping with the “gelt” theme, I also made these Baked Zucchini Coins with Tomato Sauce. These were a little more time-consuming to make, because of the triple dipping you need to do, but they were very worth it because they were delicious.

Onion, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Mini Frittatas

The last thing I made were these Onion, Mushroom, and Goat Cheese Mini Frittatas. They are made in muffin tins, making them a perfect size for picking up and eating, no forks necessary. The tomato sauce from the zucchini coins was also incredible with these.

I set it all out in a side table in the living room, and after we lit the menorah we filled up our plates, sat down, and watched the candles flickering.


Thanksgiving 2013

It was just the five of us again for Thanksgiving this year, so my goal was to have a variety of foods, but keep the prep simple and not have too many leftovers . I made several new recipes this year, many of which are from fellow bloggers. I think the meal I ended up with was perfect!

Pumpkin Glazed Turkey Legs

I knew I didn’t want to roast a whole turkey. Last year I made a roast turkey breast, but this year I decided to go with turkey legs. When I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Glazed Turkey Legs, full of wonderful fall flavors, I knew that it would be perfect. The glaze was wonderful! The only problem I had was that mine took a lot longer to cook, but that could be due to the size of the legs that I used. (You can see how many times I cut into them to check donenessβ€”must get a meat thermometer!)

Bourbon-Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

Due to my insane love of vanilla, I added this Bourbon-Vanilla Cranberry Sauce to my menu the same day it was posted! So simple to make, and so delicious!

Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole

I wanted to make some sort of sweet potato dish, but I did not want anything that involved marshmallows! I went with this Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole, which I thought was wonderful.

Grandma's Saltine Stuffing/Dressing

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving to me if I didn’t make my grandma’s saltine stuffing (dressing). I know it probably sounds weird to most of you, but I love the stuff! This year, I couldn’t resist baking it in a cast iron skillet!

Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas, Mustard & Parsley

The final recipe for our main course was Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas, Mustard & Parsley from It’s All Good. This has become my favorite way of serving cauliflower. Try it, it’s outstanding! (Recipe below)

Amaretto Apple Crisp

For dessert I made this wonderful Amaretto Apple Crisp that I served warm with vanilla soy ice cream from Trader Joe’s. Why store-bought ice cream , when I so obviously love to make my own? Well, we keep kosher, which means no dairy at a meat meal. T.J.’s does non-dairy ice cream very well, so I don’t mind relying on the when I need to.

Thanksgiving 2013

And that’s that! Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend (and Chanukah, if you celebrate it)!

Thanksgiving 2013

I’m very obviously way more into the sides than the turkey! πŸ˜‰

Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas, Mustard, & Parsley

1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed & drained, and dried with a kitchen towel

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

Extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse Sea Salt

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 tablespoon seeded mustard (I use country-style Dijon)

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

1. Place a rack in the middle of your oven, and preheat oven to 400Β°F.

2. Combine the chickpeas and the cauliflower florets on a large sheet pan, and toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt. roast for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is dark brown and the cauliflower is soft.

3. In a small measuring cup or bowl whisk together 1/4 cup of olive oil, the 2 mustards, the vinegar, a big pinch of salt, and a few big grinds of pepper. Pour over the still-warm chickpeas and cauliflower, add the parsley, and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

From It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

6 thoughts on “What We Ate: The 1st night of Chanukah & Thanksgiving, 2013

  1. What amazing menus! I’d been eyeing those sweet potato coins on Amy’s blog, too! I love the idea of incorporating pumpkin into Thanksgiving in a savory way – I might have to give those turkey legs a try next year (and yes, YOU MUST GET A THERMOMETER!) πŸ˜‰
    THAT CRANBERRY SAUCE – I DIE. I’m making it next year. Or maybe just randomly this year, even though it’s not Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ll actually make a whole second Thanksgiving with those turkey legs and cranberry sauce…. YUM!

  2. so i’m obviously INCREDIBLY behind, but does it count that i wanted to comment on this ever since i saw those gorgeous photos you took on Facebook?!? because, how awesome an evening, and what beautiful documentation of it. πŸ™‚ and all the food! nice work, Faygie, and seriously, i don’t know how you did it; i thought i was drowning a little bit when it came to crunch time for our thanksgiving meal, so bravo to you. the kids look like they had a great time, too. love the floor picnic. we always do that here, basically for no reason.
    super excited to make this cauliflower dish; you know i’ve made it sans chickpeas before, but i haven’t gotten around to making it with, and i need to, because yours looks wonderful with it. i need to dig that book back out again: too much stuff got in the way and i had to shelve that particular project until later. thanks for the reminder. πŸ™‚

    • The great thing about the menu I chose is that nothing I made was very time-consuming, so I felt very relaxed the day of Thanksgiving. Of course, if I was having guests I would’ve made more stuff, so then I probably would’ve been a lot more stressed! Also, a lot of it was able to be made, or at least prepped, ahead of time.

      The picnic on the floor was fun! But as Miriam pointed out, it’s a lot more comfortable to picnic in the backyard on the grass than on the hardwood floors in the living room πŸ™‚

  3. Happy Chanukkah!!! (belated i suppose) Sorry I’m only getting to this post now…I’m SO far behind reading and responding to posts, I feel like i’ll never catch up. Aaaanyway, I’m so glad you made my sweet potato gelt!!! Don’t feel too bad about eating a lot- they’re fairly healthy πŸ™‚ Love that you had a dipping/finger food theme!
    Now on to your amazing Thanksgiving spread. Those turkey legs look so good! Such a smart idea when you’re not having a ton of people over…or even when you are, because honestly there’s always SO much leftover turkey. I think that now that you tempted us, you’re going to have to post your stuffing recipe πŸ™‚ Holy cow, everything looks so good. We got gypped at Thanksgiving this year because we had it at the Cornell Club in NY (don’t ask) and it wasn’t very good. I missed our family’s traditional recipes 😦

    • It’s still Chanukah until sundown today, so not too belated! πŸ˜‰

      I loved your gelt recipe! And, yes, it’s a good thing they are pretty healthy, because I ate a LOT of them! The finger foods theme was great, especially because it’s so easy to eat it while sitting on the floor (and my kids probably loved the excuse to not have to use a fork! πŸ˜‰ ).

      I’ll try to post the stuffing soon. I don’t really have an exact recipe, just a method, but it’s really easy.

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