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Sufganiyot

Sufganiyot Platter 2 | Amy Roth Photo

Hanukkah gets short shrift around here, even though we always got Ru and Otis in on the act in years past (much to their chagrin). Gil really only observes the high holidays, and our nieces live in the midwest, so Christmas is more of a thing with the NJ Roths. But since it’s the holiday of fried food — something I can definitely get behind with my own roots — we’d be remiss not to devote one day during Sweets Week to something appropriate for the season.

While latkes are understandably popular snacks associated with Hanukkah, sufganiyot captured my heart some time ago, as any jelly donut will. Darcie found a terrific recipe at Bon Appetit/Epicurious that turned out delicious, not-too-sweet sweets, just perfect to share with you today.

Sufganiyot | Amy Roth Photo

December 20, 2016|Advent Calendar 2016, Desserts, Hanukkah, Snacks|0 Comments

Day 12, Churros & Chocolate

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 12

When Gil and I visited Madrid for a week in October (it was for work! really!), I fell head over heels in love with the city. It wasn’t just the beautiful scenery (though it was a feast for the eyes), or that there seemed to be one restaurant per resident (though dining establishments were numerous and mostly quite good) or the flirtatious old men (though they were wonderfully, shamelessly mischievous). No, my friends, it was the churros.

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 12

We needed a pick-me-up the day of our arrival, and I insisted upon visiting Chocolateria San Ginés, where I discovered the wonders of the churro. You may wonder why a gluten-free blogger went straight for fried dough. A fair question! When I travel, I throw aside gluten-free considerations and indulge, knowing I’ll pay the price. And while my joints got progressively worse, it was tolerable — nothing like the hobbling I’d experience here if I’d eaten even a fraction of that wheat. So yay, lucky me.

Now, these weren’t the thick, doughy churros sold at subway stops around NYC, but long, thin, crispy batons served with a cup of chocolate that fell somewhere between hot chocolate and pudding in consistency. I returned daily and probably could’ve ordered “the usual” by the end of the week. After a couple of days, I realized I much prefer to dunk them in café con leche than in chocolate, but that’s probably because I grew up eating beignets, for which café au lait is the preferred dunking medium.

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 12

Another fun part of the trip was catching up with our friend Jessica, who flew in from Naples to visit with us for a few days. She played tourist with me while Gil was at his conference and graciously worked my daily visit to CSG into her schedule. One day, while the three of us were getting our nosh on, we noticed a few churros at an empty table next to us and thought it was funny that anyone would leave without finishing. Just then an older woman swooped in from down the street to pick up the leftovers and bounced back to her group of friends, proudly waving the churros before her like a prize. I ask you, when was the last time you ate something so delicious that people will steal it from a stranger’s plate? Never, I’ll bet.

I can’t say I was itching to recreate them when I got home because 1) I was a little over the experience and 2) I have a definite fear of frying. But with the reality of those churros fading from memory and Hanukkah in full swing (festival of fried dough!), I thought this might be the perfect time to try them out for myself.

And, well, they were not the biggest success I’ve ever had in the kitchen, which was entirely my fault. The dough is quite thick, and combined with my small pastry tips and low-rent pastry bag (a Ziploc, of freezer thickness, even), I had a blowout immediately:

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 12

One good thing about this experiment is that mistakes are totally edible, even if they don’t appear cookbook-worthy. So I regrouped and rebagged with my largest pastry tip (still far too small) gaffer taped for reinforcement and set about frying in earnest. By the time I was done, the bag was so patched up with black tape that it couldn’t have looked more Frankenstein’s monster-like if it had bolts and big shoes attached. Still, I think the churros turned out pretty swell, all things considered. And look, I randomly pulled a few interesting shapes from the oil:

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 12

The churros canes are very seasonal! The knot isn’t something I could reproduce if I spent a month trying! Overall, the churros were much crisper with less give than the authentic ones, but really good, especially after they’d been coated with cinnamon-sugar.

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 12

Fried dough + sugar + chocolate = amazing, no matter the trials and tribulations.

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 12

recipe after the jump

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December 12, 2012|Advent Calendar 2012, Chocolate, dessert, Gluten-free, Hanukkah|3 Comments

Day 8, Macaroons

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 8

For our Save the Date wedding cards, Gil and I originally wanted something along the lines of, “A Cajun Mennonite and a Jew walk into a bar…” Upon further reflection, we decided fielding questions or hearing the end of the joke from a couple hundred people while we were planning a wedding in another city wasn’t the brightest idea, so the card defaulted to more traditional wording. But you can see that, right from the very beginning, we knew how to blend.

While we both came into this thing with an appreciation for Mel Brooks and Faulkner House Books, Gil has taken on LSU football and the whole “Christmas with a large family + boudin” thing with gusto, and I’ve learned to appropriate a few of his holidays while putting a southern spin on them. Example the first: Pecan-Brown Sugar Macaroons.

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 8

. . . with bourbon vanilla extract and drizzled chocolate! Happy Hanukkah, y’all! (I know I should be frying something instead, but these are easier and leave my house smelling a whole lot better.)

2012 Advent Calendar, Day 8

I started with my go-to recipe from the past few years, but wasn’t sure what the added moisture from the brown sugar would do, so I used a little less. The pecans were a one-for-one swap for the almonds, and the bourbon-vanilla because you can’t have pecans and brown sugar without a little bourbon, amirite? (I’ll get to the finer points of making your own vanilla extract in an upcoming post, so […]

Another Hanukkah, Another Macaroon

Hanukkah treat

I’m heading to Louisiana tomorrow for an extra-long (and warm-weathered) Christmas visit with my family! (Cue happy dance.) Gil has to work this week, so he’ll join us after spending a few days alone with the dogfaces. Since I won’t be around for the start of Hanukkah, I thought I’d make Gil a batch of chocolate-drizzled macaroons to remember me by.

Hanukkah
I was still working on my drizzling technique with these first few, but they’re charming in a jolie laide sort of way, right?

Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate it! Next up: something savory to balance all of the sugar I’ve been posting…

recipe after the jump

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December 19, 2011|Baking, Coconut, Daily, dessert, Gluten-free, Hanukkah, Holiday, Macaroons, Pictures|7 Comments

Holiday Treats, Part the First

Hi, everyone. For the second year in a row, I’m afraid my schedule won’t allow for an annual Advent Calendar. (For honestly annual Advent Calendars past, see the 2007 & 2008 installments.) Part of the craziness is just my day job, which always astounds me with its busy-ness — you’d think I’d get used to holiday madness after working for a clothing retailer for 10 years, wouldn’t you? — but also

< < < < BIG ANNOUNCEMENT > > > >

I have a photo assignment! I’ll be shooting photos for a cookbook (not my own) starting next weekend!!!! It’s really just a dream come true, as clichéd and silly as that sounds, especially because I’ve toyed with giving up on this blog so many times. But without it I certainly never would have learned enough about photography to even consider doing this for a living. (Just putting it out there, universe…)

Anyway, instead of the Advent Calendar, I’m hoping to squeeze in a few posts on easy-to-make treats that might be nice for the holiday season. These little chocolate & pomegranate nibbles were inspired by something I saw in a comments section somewhere, but I just can’t remember the site. (If they look familiar, please leave a comment and I’ll give credit where it’s due.) Just melt chocolate in a double boiler, add pomegranate arils to achieve a chunky consistency, spoon onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and top with more arils, then chill until ready to serve. The juicy, tart arils really are a delicious foil to the smooth, bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate of your choice). I used […]

Season’s greetings from the Roths

091212_otis1

Hi all, and happy Hanukkah! We had slightly non-traditional latkes (fried in duck fat) for breakfast this morning as a late start to the festivities, but there’s been a distinct lack of cooking going on around here otherwise. I’ll try to do better by you, but can’t promise anything until next weekend.

Instead, you get cute holiday pictures of the dogs after the jump!

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December 12, 2009|Dogs, greyhounds, Hanukkah, Holiday, Pictures, Ringwood, Rufus|14 Comments

’08 Advent Calendar, Day 22

Hey, we’re a mixed-faith household; it’s only fair… Happy Hanukkah, everyone!

For the full set of pictures, click here. Check out Rufus enjoying his first dreidel here.

And for the 2007 Advent Calendar, click here.

recipe after the jump

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December 22, 2008|Advent Calendar 2008, greyhounds, Hanukkah, Holiday, Pets, Pictures, Rufus|4 Comments

Diffuser? I hardly know her!

Despite the prevalence of Advent posts here, Hanukkah Harry’s a generous soul and has been known to visit me on occasion. In addition to a great cookbook from the Official MI Mother-in-Law (more on which later), he brought me something completely unexpected last week — a Gary Fong Flash Diffuser from Claudia at the always-terrific cook eat FRET! I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but I did some design work on her banner a few weeks ago and got to know her a little in the process. Long story short, she’s just as awesome as you’d believe reading her posts. I mean, c’mon — supporting my photography habit and we haven’t even met yet? That’s generosity of spirit right there.

And so, onto some test photos! I know almost nothing about using my new speedlight flash, but I think these shots illustrate just how nicely the diffuser will play with the flash once I get up to speed with the technical stuff. Photo below is of our library downstairs, sans flash:

library1.jpg

And here, with full direct flash:

library3.jpg

And here, with diffuser:

library2.jpg

Much nicer, yes? And I haven’t retouched any of them in any way. I think this’ll help my evening pictures quite a bit, since the light situation in our house isn’t, um, good. It’s cozy, but not the best for documenting our dinners.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Claudia! And Hanukkah Harry, for the delivery!

December 15, 2007|Gifts, Hanukkah, Pictures|3 Comments

If I latke you, and you latke me …

latke2.jpg

As we are a dual-faith household, I thought it’d be nice to give Gil, if not equal play, at least a nod in the midst of my Advent posts. So after my stunning and unexpected victory over my nemesis the oven fry recently, I grew bold and decided to tackle the latke this weekend, even keeping it as traditional as possible! That’s right — no bacon grease, no smoked paprika or roasted garlic to liven things up. Nope, just potatoes, onions, egg, a little whole wheat flour (no matzo meal at our local grocery, sorry), salt and pepper, and olive oil for frying.

Bow down to the latke queen! These were completely delicious — crispy on the outside, still soft on the inside, oniony, and not oily at all. It probably helps that I didn’t fry them in nearly as much oil as most recipes call for, but most of them seemed a lot like suggestions, anyway, so I tweaked. We ate them with the usual suspects — sour cream and applesauce — and then took a nap. I hear that part’s traditional, too.

I think I still prefer the fries, but these will definitely get play at least yearly at Hanukkah.

December 10, 2007|Hanukkah, Holiday, Pictures, Potatoes|6 Comments