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Thanksgivukkah: Where Pumpkin Pie Meets Cranberry Challah

A wonderful kind of convergence happens this week as Thanksgiving Day meets the first day of the Festival of Lights. I can only imagine the kind of feasts now in preparation!

It's an exciting time of year for foodies -- maybe the most thrilling -- as we decide what will make it to our tables this year. Will it be traditional dishes, or will we give something new a try? Who's in charge of carving the turkey, and will anyone notice if we go up for seconds, or even thirds? (I'll never judge you if you do.)

This year I made my childhood family favorite, a coconut pecan pumpkin pie detailed here for the lovely crew at We The Eaters' . I'm not usually much of a baker, but I also made these delicious and oh-so-soft and chewy Pumpkin Molasses Cookies that my friend J recently shared. SO good and fairly easy.

My friend J also introduced me to the wonders of a cocktail that you must try this season. It's simple: Spiced apple cider over ice. Add Captain Morgan rum. Stir. Drink. Repeat. If you burn the turkey or the gravy keeps lumping, don't worry. Just have this little drink handy. I plan to swap the rum for bourbon this week for a test run -- will report back on how it goes.

For cocktail party season, I also highly recommend making these Grits Crostini, taken from the December 2012 issue of Southern Living. My grit cakes were softer than I wanted them but due to rushing around on Party Day, I just went with it, topping half of the cakes with an apple, onion and thyme mixture with some crumbled Gorgonzola, and the others with roasted red pepper and cheddar.

Another new-to-me item: Cranberry Challah, picked up yesterday at the Earth Fare in south Asheville. (I can't go in there very often as it's like Whole Foods -- I spend my Whole Paycheck in there.) It's flaky and soft and just amazing. All it needs is a smear of butter when it's warm.

I hope this holiday treats you well. Let us know what makes it to your table!

I leave you with my favorite Thanksgiving movie scene. Mazel tov!


  1. Frozen turkey, dressing from a plastic bag, canned cranberry sauce, and alcohol. Lots of alcohol. Family to pick fights with. The holiday depression season begins.

    1. I love canned cranberry sauce, especially the contours of the can's ridges on the sauce.

      I hope there's a bright spot in there somewhere for you, Anonymous.

  2. Better alcohol than the rest of the year. It is, after all, a special season.


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