Category Archives: Hanukkah

Decorating for the Perfect Hanukkah Dinner Party

Guest Blogger: Kaitlin Krull from www.Modernize.com
Opening up your home during the holiday season is an important part of Jewish tradition. Celebrating Hanukkah with a family meal and gift giving is about more than just good food. At Modernize, we understand that ambience and decor are just as important as the food you serve during a dinner party. If you want to host a Hanukkah party with a creative twist, here are some simple tricks to make your celebration extraordinary.
Color scheme
If you want to stick with Hanukkah tradition, a color scheme of blue, silver, and gold or yellow is the way to go. You can easily tweak the traditional hues and choose a combination of dark and light blues and various metallics to take your party decorations from run of the mill to stellar.
For a more laid back decoration option, choose cutlery and table settings that match the color scheme without going too far with the theme. This understated dining room setting is perfect for a quiet Hanukkah meal.
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via Modernize
For those who like to push the boat out, go all out with your color scheme, choose a bolder, clearly Hanukkah themed table setting, like this vision in metallic, blue, and white (complete with Star of David shaped placecards).
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via HGTV
Decorative accessories
Once you’ve decided on your dinner party color scheme, it’s time to accessorize your dining room. Décor is often about the little details, so choose unique, creative table settings, centerpieces, and accessories that will wow your guests this Hanukkah.
     Menorah        
     Get creative with your menorah by making your own out of votive holders, wooden blocks, or            even salvaged wood. This simple branch menorah from the ever-crafty Martha Stewart is designed      to be a stunning centerpiece or sideboard focal point and takes virtually no time to complete with        maximum effect.
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     Candles
Candles are excellent dinner party accessories, functioning as brilliant table centerpieces or alternative lighting if you’re going for a softer glow. Luminaries and candle gardens are perfect for Hanukkah, as it is the Festival of Lights, so find as many candles as you can (or make your own from beeswax!) and bring them together to make your party brighter than any other.
     Fairy lights or garlands
If you want to decorate for your Hanukkah party with a Festival of Lights theme but worry about open flames and other hazards surrounding candles, strings of fairy lights make a stunning alternative. If you want the effect with no lighting altogether, make your own plastic mirror effect garland from metallic gelt pieces.
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          Gift table
A true Hanukkah celebration consists of not only celebratory meals and prayers over candlelight, but also presents. If your guests are bringing gifts to share over the eight nights of Hanukkah, use this opportunity to designate and decorate a sideboard or special gift table in your dining room. If you’re running out of room on your dining table for the menorah or want to showcase a floral or other centerpiece, place it proudly among your gifts and other handmade decorations.
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     Decorative bulbs
Although it’s Hanukkah in the Jewish calendar, if you’ve walked the aisles of your local stores during the holiday season you won’t be able to miss the Christmas decorations for sale virtually everywhere. Take advantage of traditional Christmas décor by purchasing blue and metallic baubles and bulbs and making your own hanging decorations. It will save you countless hours trying to track down Hanukkah-specific decorations and increase your DIY prowess instantly.

Not Your Average Potato Latke

If you are looking for an amazing twist on a classic potato pancake, this is the recipe you will want to make! These can also be served as an appetizer before a Shabbos Hanukkah meal or as an accompaniment to any meal throughout the year! I used red potatoes because their starch content is much higher and water content much lower, resulting in a crispy and not too liquidy batter…perfect for frying!  The recipe was featured in this months Joy of Kosher magazine. You can subscribe to the magazine at  www.joyofkosher.com/subscribe (Hint: Makes a great present for Hanukkah)!
 

 
Asian Mok Crab Red Potato Latkes
Makes About 2 Dozen Latkes
1 Pound of Imitation Crab, shredded with fingers
1 lb. Red Potatoes, Shredded
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. Old Bay Spice
2 Eggs
3 Tbs. Sesame Oil
1 Tbs. Soy Sauce
2 tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Bunch Scallions, chopped
2 Tbs. Cilantro, minced
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Canola Oil
Mix together all the ingredients just until incorporated.  Turn the stove on to medium-high.  Place a pan on the stove and fill with about a 1/2 Inch of oil.  When hot (but not smoking) drop a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture into the oil and flatten with a spatula.  Fry on one side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, repeat on the other side.  Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Serve warm with Garlic-Ginger Tehina .
Garlic-Ginger Tehina
1/2 Cup Tahini paste
1/2 Cup Water
2 tsp. Ginger, minced
2 tsp. Garlic, minced
1 Tbs. Cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp. Maple Syrup
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Salt and Pepper
Mix all together until incororapted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with latkes.