Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chanukah Party Ideas continued...

Blogging while nursing isn't as hard as I'd have thought.  And since I have started reminiscing parties of Chanukahs past, I decided to post pictures of a few more parties I've done.
2 years ago I invited over a few couples over for a small Chanukah get together.  I decorated the table in a more sophisticated black and white color scheme.
For center pieces, I baked dreidel cookies which I poked a whole in before baking so that I could string them on to the branches I brought it from outside.
For the appetizer, I served salad in tortilla bowls.  I served fish for this party.  I made sushi, and tariyaki salmon.  I served it with the traditional latkes.
For dessert, there was of course, homemade chocolate donuts with strawberries.

Tortilla Salad Bowls
  • 8" flour tortillas
  • Pam cooking spray
Preheat oven to 450.  Pam a cupcake pan.  Place a tortilla in every other cup, allowing space so that the tortillas don't over lap.  Pleat the edges of the tortilla so that the center lays on the bottom on the cupcake cup and the outer edge comes out forming a bowl.  Place the baking pan with the tortilla into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the tortilla is darkened but not burned.  Let cool for a few minutes to allow to harden before removing from pan.
Can be made a day in advance.  When ready to serve, lay on plate and fill with salad, allowing some to spill out. Drizzle with salad dressing.

Have a happy Chanukah!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chanukah Party Made Easy

It's been a few months since I posted anything here.  Pregnancy took over my summer and beyond, but B"H, 2 weeks ago I gave birth to boy #4.  He is such a perfect addition to our family.  Once I get past the initial new mommy faze, I hope to get back to blogging in full swing.
Being that Chanukah started tonight, I felt a need (during my few sitting moments) to post some quick Chanukah party ideas.
I love to play host, and what better time then Chanukah, when we have 8 nights to party.  I usually make a few parties for family and for friends.  (Obviously, this year will be different, still haven't gotten into the full swing of supper making, never mind planning and hosting a party, but we will try to make sure the Yom Tov will be exciting for my kids anyways)
Picking a color scheme, helps pull the look of the party together and gives it a more finished polished look.  For this party, I chose to stay with the classic blue.  I decorated the table in the Chankah gift theme. 
For the center piece, I covered a box (shhh, it was actually 2 lasagna boxes) with chanuka wrapping paper to create the base for the Menorah.  I filled glass cups with sugar and used tall blue candles to complete the Menorah.

I decorated the table with mini "gift boxes" (soap boxes covered with wrapping paper and tied with curling ribbon)  and Chankah confetti.

I served the party buffet style.  Although the tradition is to serve milk on Chanuka, I chose to serve meat at this party.  I set up stenos with kid (and adult friendly) foods.  My menu included sweet and sour meatballs, rice, french fries, latkes and hotbogs (invited  families with kids so had to keep the menu simple)  along with a vegetable platter.  On the dessert side, I served chocolate donuts drizzled with blue glaze, mini cupcakes with blue and brown frosting, (notice the cupcake stand:  made up of presents as well), dreidel cookies and an apple trifle with strawberry sauce.


Blue and brown icing top the mini cupcakes displayed on a gift box cupcake stand.


I tried keeping the drinks in the color scheme as well....  I made blue lemonade by adding some wilton food coloring to regular lemonade. 


Chocolate Donuts (credits for this recipe goes to the Spice and Spirit cookbook, although I do modify the recipe a bit)
  • 4 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • pinch salt
  • 3 Tbs. margarine
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 1/4 cups flour
  • Oil for deep frying
Ganache topping:
  • 1 cup dessert topping
  • 9 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Blue Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tb. oil
  • 4-5 Tb. water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • a few drops blue food coloring
Dissolve yeast in water and sugar, in a large bowl.  Allow to sit for a few minutes until yeast starts to bubble.  Add remaining ingredients and knead until smooth (apx 10 minutes in machine, longer if kneading by hand)
Cover dough and allow to rise till doubles, apx 1 hour.
Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4" thick. Using either a doughnut cutter or 2 different size cookie cutters (one large and one small) cut out doughnuts.  Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Heat 3"-4" of oil in a pot until hot but not smokey. Fry only a few doughnuts at a time, they cannot be crowded or they will not rise properly.  Fry with the cover on.  When golden, turn over and fry other side.  Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.
For icing: Heat whipping cream till just begins to bubble, remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips and allow to sit for 1 minute.  Stir in chocolate chips till melted and smooth.  Add vanilla and mix.  Allow to cool.
Dip doughnuts in chocolate.  Allow to set (won't harden, remains a delicious creamy chocolate on top)

Mix the glaze ingredients together adding the water only a bit at a time till it reaches a thick but pourable consistency.  Drizzle glaze over iced donuts.

Wishing you and your family a happy Chanukah!