Tag Archives: Hanukkah

Hanukkah Quotes

Here are some quotes to get – and keep – you in the holiday mood as people around the world celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah.

May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind.  ~Author Unknown

The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle.  ~Robert Altinger

Kindle the taper like the steadfast star
Ablaze on evening’s forehead o’er the earth,
And add each night a lustre till afar
An eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth.
~Emma Lazarus, “The Feast of Lights”

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame
Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart
~Hannah Senesh

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Holiday Cookie Countdown: Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits It is so rare that the military inspires excellent food – but that’s exactly what happened with Australia and New Zealand’s Anzac biscuits. These rolled oat cookies were developed during World War I when mothers, wives, sisters, and friends wanted to send a delicious treat to their men in the military.

Even its name – Anzac – comes from the Australia New Zealand Army Corps.

Because of this close association, the Australian government closely monitors the use of name and the cookies are often manufactured and sold as a fundraiser for veterans.

Fortunately, the cookies are delicious and travel well so bake up a batch for your far-flung friends and relatives!

Get the recipe from Cooking Clarified here. We’ll be posting more holiday cookies from around the world as we count down to Hannukah and Christmas.

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Advent Begins

The season of Advent begins today as Christian families prepare for Christmas by reflecting on the circumstances around the birth of Jesus Christ through prayer, repentance, and fasting.

Advent originally began in the 4th century to anticipate the Epiphany, the Christian holiday when the wise men came to see the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. This tradition was changed by Saint Gregory the Great in the 6th century to reflect anticipation over Christmas.

Many families mark the season of Advent by lighting candles on their own Advent wreath. Each week, beginning on November 27 this year, people light one of four candles on the Advent wreath and say special prayers at dinner after they have blessed their food.

This Christian tradition is very similar to the Jewish Hanukkah menorah and the African kinara that is lit during Kwanzaa.

The Advent wreath has four candles and a new candle is lit during each of the four weeks of Advent. The first candle to be lit is purple. This color is meant to symbolize prayer, repentance, and royalty since Christians are anticipating the coming of a king.

The second week, a different purple candle is lit along with the first purple candle.

During the third week, a pink candle, symbolizes joy or rejoicing, is lit along with the first two purple candles. This is Gaudette Sunday, the midpoint of Advent, and a time when Christians turn their thoughts to celebration and rejoicing over the coming of Christmas.

During the final week, a purple candle is again lit, along with the other three candles.

On Christmas Day, a fifth, white candle in the center of the wreath, can be lit. This white candle represents Jesus and the idea that through Jesus sins are forgiven.

In many Protestant churches, four red candles are used instead of the three purple and one pink candle.

The wreath itself is round, symbolizing the fact that God has no beginning or end. The wreath is made from evergreen trees, which stay green year-round and mean continuous life. The holly in the wreath symbolizes the suffering of Jesus on the cross when he was given a crown of thorns.

For more information about the history of the Advent wreath in the Catholic church, read this.

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Cookies 8: Mandelbrot

mandelbrotAs Hanukkah draws to a close, try this delicious and easily adapted cookie.

Unlike many cookies, mandelbrot, “almond bread” in Yiddish, are twice-baked. The result is something very much like Italian biscotti.

In addition, you can easily adapt the mandelbrot recipe to incorporate your favorite treats: chocolate chips, almonds, walnuts, and more.

Here’s a mandelbrot recipe from Edna Weisberger by way of AllRecipes.com.

Mandelbrot

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup white sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons orange zest (optional)

3/4 cup chocolate syrup

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into an electric mixer’s mixing bowl and mix well; blend eggs and 1/2 cup oil into mixture. Pour orange juice and orange zest into mixture; mix well. When the mixture becomes very thick take the mixing bowl out of the mixer and continue stirring with a wooden spoon (at this point the mixture is so thick that it could damage an electric mixer).

Separate dough into thirds. Roll (or spread with your hands) each chunk of dough into a rectangular shape. Sprinkle the chocolate syrup onto the center of each rectangle. Fold the sides of each rectangle into the center to form a loaf shape. Work with the loaf until there is no longer a crease that could break open while baking. Each roll will be approximately 12 inches long. Brush the outside of each roll lightly with oil. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of the rolls.

Bake on a nonstick cookie pan for 20 minutes. This is a firm, cake-like cookie. If you would rather a crispier cookie toast the cookie another 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. When cooled cut the loaves to form semi-circle shaped cookies.


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Hanukkah Books

One great way to celebrate this eight-day holiday with your family is by sharing a book a day (or night). Here are eight suggestions for Hanukkah books you can give as gifts or incorporate into your usual story time.

Light the Candles: A Hanukkah Lift-the-Flap Book by Joan Holub; illustrated by Lynne Avril Cravath

The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser; illustrated by Nancy Cote
All About Hanukkah by Madeline Wikler, illustrated by Judyth Groner
Moishe’s Miracle: A Hanukkah Story by Laura Krauss Melmed; illustrated by David Slonim
Eight Winter Nights: A Family Hanukkah Book by Laura Krauss Melmed; illustrated by Elisabeth Schlossberg
Biscuit’s Hanukkah by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Pat Schories, and Mary O’Keefe Young
Hanukkah Moon by Deborah Da Costa; illustrated by Gosia Mosz
The Miracle Jar: A Hanukkah Story by Audrey Penn; illustrated by Lea Lyon

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Cookies 1: Rugelach

rugelachRugelach are rolled cookies that are in some ways similar in shape to a croissant.

They are believed to have originated in Eastern Europe and were popularized by Ashkenazic (Polish) Jews. Rugelach means “little twists” Yiddish.

Although this cookie is not fried, it has become a traditional Hanukkah dessert.

There are many mouth-watering rugelach recipes but I thought this one from Allrecipes.com sounded fast and easy for rugelach neophytes.

However, I also checked out a really gorgeous looking rugelach recipe on the blog Sugared Ellipses. Check it out and I bet you will agree!

Happy Hanukah and let me know how you enjoy the cookie!

Rugelach

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 pound butter

2 cups cottage cheese

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup raisins

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix butter or margarine, cottage cheese and flour together.
  3. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into triangular wedges. Sprinkle raisins into the broad end of the wedge along with cinnamon and sugar. Roll from the broad edge toward the pointed edge to form crescents. Sprinkle the crescents with cinnamon and sugar. Arrange the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Edna Weisberger via Allrecipes.com 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Allrecipes.com

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25 Days of Cookies

Kid eating cookiesBecause the holidays make us all a little crazy – but in a good way;

Because nothing says “special occasion” like baked goods;

Because the cookie is now and always shall be a universal harbinger of happiness for young and old;

And because there are just so many fantastic cookie recipes out there;

I am committed to sharing one cookie recipe on KidCulture every day from now until December 25.

Don’t get too excited – I’m not promising to bake them all myself – but I bet that through my research I come up with at least a few new bites to add to my holiday cookie jar this year.

So preheat your ovens, pull on your Santa oven mitts, and flour up your rolling pins: it’s going to get a little sweet around here for a while.

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