Thanksgivukkah! Spiced Sweet Potato "Gelt" with Orange Honey Cinnammon Sour Cream ~ ElephantEats.com

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a Thanksgivukkah recipe for you guys today.

What is Thanksgivukkah you ask? It’s when Thanksgiving and Chanukkah coincide! Chanukkah goes by the Hebrew (lunar) calendar and so it’s not always in December like Christmas. It has been in November before, but it’s extremely rare that in falls on Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgivukkah! Spiced Sweet Potato "Gelt" with Orange Honey Sour Cream ~ ElephantEats.com

Nate is a lovely hand model

According to Wikipedia, the last time it happened since Thanksgiving was declared a U.S. federal holiday by President Abraham Lincoln was 125 years ago, in 1888. The next time Thursday, November 28 will fall during Chanukkah will be in the year 79811, assuming the Jewish calendar is not revised. Crazy huh?

Being that Jews love to eat, and food bloggers love to cook, you can guarantee that this Chanukkah will have some awesome Thanksgiving/Jewish inspired treats.

The traditional Chanukkah foods are latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (donuts). If you notice, both of these foods are deep fried in oil, which is no coincidence. Oil is very important to the holiday of Chanukkah. You can read more about it here if you’re interested.

Thanksgivukkah! Spiced Sweet Potato "Gelt" with Orange Honey Sour Cream ~ ElephantEats.com

I’ve already seen plenty of riffs on latkes for Thanksgivukkah, involving sweet potatoes rather than regular spuds. Honeslty I don’t think that’s so original, as Jews have been doing that already for years. Then I saw people made turkey donuts, which is just plain gross. I also saw a pumpkin rugelach or pumpkin kugel (pudding). 

But I wanted to be original. So I tried to think of other Chanukkah “things.” The other traditional food to eat on Chanukkah, if you can call it a food, is chocolate “gelt” or chocolate coins.Usually these coins are used to gamble while playing dreidel, a game involving a little spinning top.

Thanksgivukkah! Spiced Sweet Potato "Gelt" with Orange Honey Sour Cream ~ ElephantEats.com

Gelt is really just money, or coins, so I figured a recipe could look like gelt without actually involving the candy that we love to eat on this holiday. That’s when it occurred to me- sweet potato gelt! I thought about using carrots since they’re smaller and would look more like coins, but they’re not as Thanksgiving-y as sweet potatoes. 

I added the dipping to sauce to make it more kid-friendly (kids love dipping!) and also to inject some more fall flavor (citrus and cinnamon) into the dish. Obviously this dish goes way beyond Thanksgivukkah and would be a welcome addition to any dinner, or even as a fun pass-around appetizer. 

I hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful Thanksgivukkah! You know you want to celebrate it ;)

Thanksgivukkah! Spiced Sweet Potato "Gelt" with Orange Honey Sour Cream ~ ElephantEats.com

Spiced Sweet Potato "Gelt" with Orange Honey Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
Serves 4
A perfect appetizer or kid's food for Thanksgivukkah or just any day of the year!
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Potatoes
  1. 4-5 sweet potatoes/yams (try to find ones with a small diameter to make smaller "coins")
  2. Cooking spray or olive oil
  3. salt/pepper/cinnamon for sprinkling
Dipping Sauce
  1. 8 oz. sour cream (I used low fat)
  2. 1 Tbsp orange zest
  3. 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  4. 1 Tbsp honey
  5. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes crosswise into 1/2" thick rounds. Either toss with oil or place on the prepared baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt/pepper/cinnamon.
  3. Put potatoes in oven and cook, flipping them halfway, 20-25 minutes or until cooked and soft enough to be pierced with a fork, but firm enough to be picked up without falling apart.
  4. While potatoes are cooking, whisk dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  5. Let potatoes cool to room temperature so you can pick them up without burning your fingers and serve with sauce on the side for dipping!
http://elephanteats.com/

Cinnamon Roasted Pears over Arugula with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Glaze ~ www.ElephantEats.com

The other day I was reading one of the blogs I follow, Bake Your Day, and she had posted a recipe and reviewed a new butter-flavored olive oil product. I commented on the post saying how good it sounded, and the makers of the oil, Star Fine Foods, was kind enough to reach out to me and send me some samples!!!

Cinnamon Roasted Pears over Arugula with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Glaze ~ www.ElephantEats.com

They not only sent me that flavored olive oil (which I can’t wait to try), but also 2 different flavors of one of their other new products: flavored balsamic glaze!!

I decided to use the glaze on an autumn update of my favorite summer salad. All summer long I ate watermelon cubes over arugula, with feta or blue cheese, basil, and a balsamic glaze. At the time I used Trader Joe’s brand balsamic glaze because it was the only brand I had ever seen. Well, when I saw that Star Fine foods sent me an Apple Balsamic Glaze I was SOOO excited! I knew it would be a perfect way to transition my summer salad to fall.

Cinnamon Roasted Pears over Arugula with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Glaze ~ www.ElephantEats.com

I decided to go with pears for the fall fruit portion of the salad….but not just any pears- cinammon roasted ones! In the summer I love the cold, juicy watermelon, but on a cold day these warm pears are just perfect. They slightly wilt the arugula and soften the blue cheese crumbled on top. The Apple-flavored Creamy Balsamic Glaze added the absolute perfect sweet/tart flavor to go with the juicy pears and bitter arugula. 

I see myself eating this all the time this autumn and it might just be my new favorite salad! I hope it will become yours too :)

Cinnamon Roasted Pears over Arugula with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Glaze ~ www.ElephantEats.com

**I was given these products free of charge, but all opinions are my own. I would never post about a product I didn’t love and plan to use again.

Arugula Salad with Roasted Cinnamon Pears, Blue Cheese and Apple Balsamic Glaze
Serves 4
Warm cinammon roasted pears over a bed of arugula with blue cheese and an apple balsamic glaze
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pears (I used Bartlett because I think they're the juiciest), not overly soft, cut into quarters and cored
  2. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  3. 4 cups arugula
  4. 1/4-1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles (depending on how much cheese you like)
  5. 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  6. 1-2 Tbsp Creamy Apple Balsamic Glaze (or any balsamic glaze if you can't find this one)
  7. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Spray a foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Place pears on sheet, cut side up. Spray pears with cooking spray or drizzle with some olive oil
  3. Sprinkle pears with cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  4. While pears cook, divide arugula onto 4 plates.
  5. Bake pears for 30 min. Remove from oven and immediately place 2 quarters each over arugula on each plate. Drizzle with blue cheese, oilve oil, and balsamic glaze. Salt and pepper to taste.
http://elephanteats.com/

**Before getting into today’s post, if you’re a WordPress,com blogger, please read my last post! I made some changes to my blog and if you were “following” me before, you won’t be anymore until you make the changes in that post!**

I don’t know the last time I ate a donut (I’m not counting the two bites I snuck at work on Friday when I was being tortured by the smell of Krispy Kreme’s someone brought in.)

I mean we all know donuts aren’t good for you, although Dunkin Donuts might say differently.

There are tons of those baked donuts going around the food blogs lately. Honestly though, I don’t think you can pretend a baked donut tastes like a fried one…so why bother. That’s where this recipe comes in.

I’m not pretending these are donuts. Nope. These are muffins through and through. But if you love the taste of a cinnamon sugar donut then you *might just like these too.

Blog-checking lines: The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

Quick bread is an American term used to denote a type of bread which is leavened with leavening agents other than yeast. Quick breads includes many cakes, brownies and cookies, as well as banana bread, beer bread, cornbread, biscuits, pancakes, scones, soda bread, and in this instance: muffins.

Pumpkin Donut Muffins

Very slightly adapted from Cait’s Plate

Print this recipe!

makes 12 muffins

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (or omit whole wheat flour and add an additional cup of white flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

Topping:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper cups.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

In a small bowl, whisk together soymilk and pumpkin puree.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed.

With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin cup with batter and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean (about 25- 30 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture.
Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack.

Originally I started this blog because I loved the idea of being able to share my favorite or newly-discovered recipes with others. I love that you can usually know that if a recipe is posted on a blog, it’s a good one and making it won’t be disastrous.

But in posting to my blog for the past 11 months (WOW, has it really almost been a year since I started this thing?!), I realized it has an even better purpose. It has become a place to which I can go to find my favorite recipes and keep things organized.

Before putting in fridge…

For the past couple years, I’ve started new traditions about things that I make on certain occasions. One of those occasions is Christmas Day when I bake cinnamon buns. Last year I scoured the internet searching for a bun that could be made the day before and simply baked in the morning. I combined several recipes, pulling the best parts of each: dough, filling, frosting. They came out perfectly.

So I was upset this year when I realized that I had printed out the recipe last year but hadn’t written it down to save anywhere. I, luckily, had an email trail of when I sent it to Nate and his mom to check it out.

This year, I wanted to share this amazing recipe with you…and now I know that next year when I go to bake these tasty treats again, I will be able to find the recipe in the spot where I now have all of my favorite recipes listed, my blog :)


Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting

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makes 1 dozen rolls

Dough:
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs

Filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter, softened

Frosting:
4 oz.  cream cheese, softened (1/2 of an 8 oz container)
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 Tbsp milk

Preparation:
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted; let cool until lukewarm.

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk mixture. Add the sugar, 3 cups of flour, salt and eggs; stir well to combine. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10x 14 inch rectangle. Lightly brush the far edge with water. In a small bowl combine the filling ingredients and sprinkle/spread evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough into a log (it should have the length of the long side) and seal the seam.

Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces; place the pieces in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan, or 12 inch deep dish pizza pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight. *note that they can be put in the fridge for longer than just overnight. I usually put mine in around 4pm.

The next morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes-1.5 hrs. I think that they’re better if they sit out for longer than 30 min because they still have to rise a bit. Don’t expect them to rise a ton sitting out, as they do most of their puffing up while in the oven.

Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, combine the frosting ingredients; set aside. Spread the frosting over the rolls when they come out of the oven. Enjoy hot out of the oven!