Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, OH MY!
December is about more than just Christmas. Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are also celebrated during the December holiday season.
Kwanzaa festivities are from December 26th to January 1st. Similarly, the Hanukkah celebration is an eight-day called the Festival of Lights.
Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa have significant colors, food, decorations, games, and music. They also share the practice of gift-giving, storytelling, thankfulness, and togetherness.
Food and music are wonderful ways to enjoy while celebrating the Winter holidays. Hanukkah songs include Ma’oz Tzu” (Rock of Ages), Latke’le Latke’le (Yiddish song about cooking Latkes), and Hanukkiah Li Yesh (I Have a Hanukkah Menorah).
Traditional Kwanzaa Songs include Umoja (The First Night of Kwanzaa) and Kuchichagulia (The Second Night of Kwanzaa).
One of the world’s favorite Christmas songs is Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas.
All three holidays have food traditions. Traditionally Hanukkah foods are fried or baked in oil, preferably olive oil. Sweet potato pie, collard greens, and black-eyed are at the center of a traditional meal for Kwanzaa.
On the other hand, Christmas meals usually consist of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, baked macaroni and cheese, cookies, and cranberry sauce.
Your friends at MileStone Academy has gathered three holiday recipes for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
Prep Time: One-Hour
Total Prep and Cook Time: One Hour and 15 minutes
Amount of Ingredients: 4
Servings: 20 Cookies
Nutrition Facts: 110 Calories, 5g Total Fat, 0g Protein, 16g Total Carbohydrate, 8g Sugars
Step 1: Heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour until well blended. (DO NOT EAT RAW COOKIE DOUGH AFTER COMBINING IT WITH FLOUR.) Divide dough in half; wrap each half in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Shape half of the dough into 1-inch balls. With fingers, roll each ball into a 10-inch rope, about 1/4 inch wide. Break off small pieces from each rope for the tree trunk. Carefully place ropes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Step 3: With each rope, starting at the top, twist the rope back and forth into a tree shape, gradually making it more prominent at the bottom (rows of dough should touch). Suppose the rope breaks and press the dough together. Place a small piece at the bottom of each tree for the trunk. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.
Step 4: Decorate trees with candies to look like ornaments or lights. Place candy at the top of each tree for the star; sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 9 to 13 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown. Cool for 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Amount of Ingredients: 8
Nutrition Facts: 403 Calories, 30g fat, 17g carbs, 17g protein
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking dish.
Step 2: Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan; stir in grits. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until liquid has been absorbed about 5 minutes. Mix 2 cups of Cheddar cheese and 1/2 of the butter until melted.
Step 3: Cook sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and add to the grit mixture.
Step 4: Whisk eggs and milk together in a bowl. Pour into the skillet used to cook the sausage. Lightly scramble eggs over medium-low heat, then mix into grits mixture.
Step 5: Pour the grit mixture into the prepared baking dish. Dot with remaining butter, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Cheddar, and season with salt and pepper.
Step 6: Bake in the oven until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Amount of Ingredients: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Amount of Ingredients: 8
Nutrition Facts: 456 calories per serving
Step 1: In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and one tablespoon of brown sugar in warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
Step 2: Whisk the oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining brown sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for mixing and kneading but be careful if using a standing mixer.
Step 3: Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5-10 minutes. Clean out the bowl and grease it, then return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour until almost doubled in size. (At this point, let the dough sit overnight in the fridge or continue to the next rising.) Punch down the dough, cover, and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour. (Again, at this point, you can let the dough sit overnight in the fridge or continue to the next rising.)
Step 4: To make a 3-braid challah, divide the dough, place one-half in the oiled bowl, and cover. Take the remaining half of the dough and form it into three balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Bring the right outside rope over the center rope; that rope now becomes the center. Bring the left outside rope over the new center rope; that rope now becomes the center. Continue braiding until you reach the end. Pinch the ropes together to seal.
Step 5: If baking at once, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat the remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Allow the bread to rise another hour, or place it in the fridge to rise overnight.
Step 6: When ready to bake, brush the loaf with the egg wash. Sprinkle bread with sesame seeds if using.
Step 7: Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden. Cool loaves on a rack.
The most important thing about all holiday festivities, such as meals and music shared, is love and togetherness.