Happy Hanukkah!!!

Hanukkah might be over, but I will be enjoying my gifts for years to come.  I would have posted earlier as the holiday was December 1-9, but I was trying so hard to get caught up on all the other pictures I had to share with everyone.  Now that the holiday is over and things are less crazy, I can fill you in on my holiday.

Actually, I almost didn’t have a holiday.  Somehow I forgot that I could not get candles here for the menorah.  At the very last possible moment, I had my dad send some.  We only get mail once a week, so if it did not get here the weekend before Hanukkah started, they would not be here until the very end of the holiday.  Thankfully, they arrived on time. 
I was able to light the menorah on the first night.
Usually there would be a nice traditional meal to go with the holiday, but I was planning that for Thursday, so we went out to dinner at an Italian Restaurant.
I love their Greek salad.
Ryan had the chicken vodka penne.
I had the spicy squid, which made my sister super jealous.  Sorry Rach!
Before I get to my pictures of my own holiday meal, I have to show you all of the wonderful gifts that my husband bought for me.

This was the year of kitchen supplies. 

Night 1: Now I have an awesome Japanese cookbook.  It is really amazing to see the beautiful color pictures inside of some of the recipes.
Night 2: This is a taco shell maker.  You take a tortilla and then place it in the holder.  Now you stick in in oil to fry it, yes I said fry, because how else are you going to make a taco shell.  Ok, I guess they can be baked, so maybe I will work on that idea.  I have never made taco shells before, but it is a funny gadget.  We figure we will find other uses for it too.
Lots of measuring cups.  I may have broken the 1 TBSP spoon we had and was using just the cup and not the handle to measure things.  It was sad.  Then I went to FNCE and grabbed as many 1 TBSP measurers as I could.  Even though I picked them up, Ryan had already ordered this for me, so he still gave it to me, and really, you can never have too many measuring cups.  These go up to 2 cups.
Night 3: I got a mandoline.  I am super excited to get to slicing around here.
Night 4: This is a heated towel rack.  No, I am not trying to be a spoiled brat.  We have no heat in this house, and it gets cold and shower time gets to be dreaded.  Actually, any time not in sweats and multiple layers is a dreaded time.  The towel rack also acts as a dryer for the towel, which is really needed around here because of the humidity.  Things do not dry.  I usually use wet towels to dry off, which makes me even colder.  This has really helped so far because I am enjoying using a dry towel to shower with.  Even towels that come out of the dryer, if they sit around a few days before you use them, they will be damp.  Don’t ask…remember we live on an island, and a very small island at that.
I really, really wanted a Dutch oven, so I am so happy that I got this.  I remember when I went to unwrap and I was thinking this is the heaviest thing I have ever lifted and could not even imagine what was inside.
Night 5: Ryan also gave me some more flexible cutting boards.  This was another one he found funny because he had already bought them before FNCE and I came home from FNCE with quite a few flexible cutting boards.  Oh well, you can never have too many cutting boards too.
Yummy!  Look at this cookbook.  I have already flipped through it and I am excited to start making some of these dishes.
This one was actually a gift to myself.  I spotted it on a lightening deal from Amazon and I had to buy it.  I had flipped through this too and you can’t find a more complete guide book to vegetarian food than this.
Night 6:  This is really my big, big gift.  The way we do presents here is random.  I just pick which wrapped gift I want to open, unless there is really one Ryan wants me to open first.  This year was just pick which ever looks good for the night.  I would say this was the biggie for this year.  I only have a mini food prep, and I should add that was one I bought Ryan when we first started dating, so it is really his, as in I never really owned one.  I felt I desperately needed a food processor.  Now I have the smallest and largest versions on the market.  I can’t wait to use this.  Ryan also bought me another blade for this that he gave to me with this gift.
Night 7: Heck yes, a tortilla press.  If you remember the time we made tortillas from scratch, this was what was missing.  Rolling them just did not work as well.  Maybe with practice, I would get better, but I am all for the gadgets and gizmos that will make things move faster.  Now I can make tortillas from scratch and then make them into taco shells.  We have not forgotten about From Scratch Weekends, they were just put on hold for a little because things got hectic, and I am OK with that.  More from scratch meals will resume soon, I promise.
This is a spiral slicer, which will be fun for making all kinds of curly things and rings and slices of things.  I need to get to the store and get some veggies so I can try out all my new toys.
Night 8:  This is the final night of Hanukkah.  I got these nice cutting boards.  They are different because they are not flexible and they double as serving trays.
Some spatulas in a pretty shade of blue.
Last, but not least, this very awesome cookbook.  Again, I have flipped through this and I am very exciting to make many of these recipes.
That does it for all my gifts.  the only thing missing for Hanukkah is some traditional Jewish food.  I made matzo ball soup because that is my favorite.  I always make it from the box mix because that is the kind I always ate as a kid.
This year, however, I discovered that I can add to my soup and really improve on the box mix.  I added some carrots.
Then I added some noodles.  I did this for Rosh Hashanah and it was a hit, so I decided from now on I am making my soup this way.
It was delicious.
Hanukkah is not Hanukkah without latkes, or potato pancakes.  This is the essential food.  Hanukkah is the festival of lights, and this celebrates the oil that was found after the temple was destroyed, and this small amount of oil burned for 8 days.  Therefore, oil is essential to this holiday.  Latkes are potato pancakes fried in oil.  Again, I use the box mix. 
It is like a power and you add some oil and water and then it thickens up.  Next year I think I will be shredding my own potatoes and making my own.  In fact, Cooking Light magazine had a few recipes for homemade latkes that I think I want to try.
Here they are.  Some got a little more golden than others.  This was only from my first batch.  After that I had to put the camera down and get to frying.
YUM!  I ate mine with apple sauce and they were so good.
QUESTIONS:  What did you get for Hanukkah (if you celebrate it)?  What have you asked for or hope to get for Christmas (if you celebrate it)?  Anyone else celebrating any different holidays this season?  What is your favorite holiday tradition?


Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

Glad you got the candles for the menorah in time! I love all your gifts! You'll have so much fun in the kitchen! :-) And I don't blame you at all for getting a heated towel rack! People don't realize how "different" housing can be in Europe... But then again, you do live on a gorgeous island, so I guess it all evens itself out... :-)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ameena said...

Happy Hanukkah!

What a fabulous bunch of gifts - I am especially intrigued by the Nobu cookbook. Is it the same Nobu as the restaurant? They do have some fabulous sushi!!

Your husband is amazing - if Ali had to come up with 8 different gifts I think he'd have a coronary.

Emily said...

Happy Hanukkah! Looks like your husband got you some pretty awesome gifts. :) I am super jealous of that Mark Bittman cookbook! You will LOVE your spiralizer and food processor, too.

I'm hoping for a new camera this year...I'm pretty sure mine is at least 7 years old, which makes it a dinosaur. :)

Gina; The Candid RD said...

WOW!! It was definitely a foodie holiday for you! It's almost like Ryan watched an episode of "what to buy your favorite foodie for the holidays"...maybe on the Today Show? hehe

I love the idea of a taco shell maker, and tortilla press. Now you can literally make EVERYTHING from scratch! And of course the food processor is a must. I'm hoping to get one of those too.

sophia said...

I want an iPad and an iPhone, but that is def not gonna happen, haha. Goodness. Your husband treats you well...like a domestic goddess! I can't wait to see what you whip up with your new toys!

Unknown said...

Happy Hanukkah! That spicy squid looked so good - I am jealous too :)
Let's see, we don't really do holiday gifts since we get so many things 4 other people, but we did take advantage of a black friday online sale and get a new TV! Mom got me some bracelets and Ravens tumbler glasses :)
The holiday tradition that I like most is making Christmas Collages with Matt's family...that way everyone knows what you want and you don't end up with random things like a sweater with a reindeer on it :)

Jessie said...

Happy Hanukkah! I'm so glad you got your candles in time for the start of the holiday! I can imagine it must be really hard to get some things on the island. Looks like you had a good haul this year for presents :) I'm intrigued by the idea of a taco shell maker. I guess it makes sense that they're fried, although that never occurred to me before. Can they be baked??

I think with NO heat, the heated towel rack is a NECESSITY, not a luxury - glad to hear you're enjoying it! Also, I have that exact same spiralizer. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of it as I have :)

Have a great day, Melinda!

Melissa said...

Glad you had a great Hanukkah! I was hoping to take part in a celebration with one of my friends who is Jewish but he was traveling during the entire holiday. He might share some customs during Passover.

What useful and perfect gifts for you! As soon as I have a bigger kitchen, I'd like a food processor.

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