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Help -- I need some suggestions for an upcoming home Chanukah celebration

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We're hosting a Chanukah party chez nous in a couple of weeks. I have my potato latke recipe and applesauce recipes downpat but it's the menu that's giving me a problem. (We're Kosher) I can easily do a meat meal - the usual suspects like brisket, salad and so forth... but I can't think of a good Chanukah-ish dairy meal (not breakfast or brunch tho - the party starts at 4 p.m.) Desserts would be lots easier if the meal is dairy AND more importantly I can serve sour cream with the latkes!

It's a fairly large group of people - 20-30 are estimated right now - so the meal has to be fairly simple and as much do-ahead as possible since I know that I'll be making the latkes fresh.

I'd appreciate any thoughts and suggestions!

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  1. Blintzes? I know some people make them into a casserole when serving groups, instead of making millions of individual ones. You could make them more savory if you wanted to make it more evening-ish.

    1. Our family has had a Chanukah party with dairy menu for many years. Of course latkes WITH sour cream and applesauce but also bagels, lox, whitefish salad, sweet and savory kugel, eggplant parm, pasta dishes such as stuffed shells or baked ziti, falafel, hummous, pita--you get the idea. And dessert is much easier not to mention milk chocolate 'gelt' for the kids!

      1. how about poached salmon? Saw Dave Lieberman making it this am with cucumber dill sauce... her served it with Kasha and bowties-like a fancy kasha varnishkas...

        Seems less brunchy than a lox or whitefish salad does.

        Maybe skip the kasha part and serve the fish with latkes, but dress up the sour cream with dill and lemon?

        1. We always make the latkes the main event, since thats what folks want anyway. Add the applesauce, sour cream, a very colorful cole slaw w/carrots, parsley, and different colored peppers (add roasted nuts to the slaw at the last minute for some crunch and protein) and a fruit plate with cookies. Simple, filling, kosher/dairy and easy to do ahead!

          1. Super simple homemade Rugelach cookies?
            48 cookies

            INGREDIENTS:
            2 cups all-purpose flour
            1/4 teaspoon salt
            1 cup unsalted butter
            1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
            1/3 cup sour cream
            1/2 cup white sugar
            1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
            1 cup finely chopped walnuts
            1/2 cup raisins

            DIRECTIONS:
            1. Cut cold butter or margarine and cream cheese into bits. In food processor pulse flour, salt, butter or margarine, cream cheese and sour cream until crumbly.
            2. Shape crumbly mixture into four equal disks...wrap each disk and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days.
            3. Roll each disk into a 9 inch round keeping other disks chilled until ready to roll them.
            4. Combine sugar, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and finely chopped raisins (may substitute miniature chocolate chips for raisins).
            5. Roll each disk into a 9 inch round keeping other disks chilled until ready to roll them. Sprinkle round with sugar/nut mixture. Press lightly into dough. With chefs knife or pizza cutter, cut each round into 12 wedges. Roll wedges from wide to narrow, you will end up with point on outside of cookie. Place on ungreased baking sheets and chill rugelach 20 minutes before baking.
            6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
            7. After rugelach are chilled, bake them in the center rack of your oven 22 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks.

            Store in airtight containers...they freeze very well.

            1. We're part of an annual Hanukkah pot luck tradition. It's always dairy to make everyone's life simpler. In the past we've brought ice cream cakes and rugelach. This year we're bringing Bananas Foster cheesecake and eggplant parm.

              1. There's a great spinach/cheese kugel recipe in Joan Nathan's "Jewish Cooking in America" that I've made to raves. It's pretty hearty, can be made ahead and reheats well.