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00000174-9e19-ddc3-a1fc-bedbd6890000Welcome to WFAEats - a fun adventure where we explore all things tasty and interesting in the Charlotte food scene. We want to share stories, recipes and culinary escapades and hear about yours!

Happy "Thanksgivukkah!"


It’s a holiday mash-up for the ages: This year, the first day of Chanukah, the Jewish “Festival of Lights,” falls on Thanksgiving, the American holiday of turkey, potatoes and pie.

Hence “Thanksgivukkah.”

Boston resident Dana Gitell gets the credit for coining the phrase, which has launched a wave of websites plus a whole lot of cultural – and culinary – creativity.

You can buy Thanksgivukkah t-shirts, greeting cards, art prints, placemats, books, and candy. There’s even a Chanukah menorah in the shape of a turkey called a “menurkey.” And a Facebook page, of course, where you can enter to win prizes.

As a once-in-an-eon holiday – the next Thanksgivukkah won’t occur for another 70,000 years or so, experts say – this momentous occasion is a good excuse to cook up some special recipes. Don’t worry about finding inspiration; a Google search will bring you 29 million sources to choose from.

For all the fun and frivolity, there’s a serious side to the holiday, too. Hunger remains a worldwide problem, and Thanksgivukkah purchases through ModernTribe.com will support the work of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

To get your cooking juices flowing, below you’ll find my very own recipes for Sweet Potato Latkes and Gingery Cranberry Tangerine Relish, created just for Thanksgivukkah 2013. They’re parve (neither dairy nor meat), so you can serve them with either.

Oh, and one more thing: In case you were wondering how to express your holiday wishes to Jewish friends on November 28? The Thanksgivukkah folks have that covered, too.

Say “Gobble tov.”


Amy’s Sweet Potato Latkes with Gingery Cranberry Tangerine Relish

Credit Amy Rogers

  For the latkes:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup minced onion or chopped scallions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • oil for frying

Peel and grate potatoes, place in a colander to drain and set aside for 20 minutes. Then press out moisture with several papers towels.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat together the eggs, flour, onion, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and stir to mix well.

In a heavy pan, place 1/4” oil and heat over a medium- to medium-high flame but don’t allow it to smoke. Using a spoon, drop mixture into the oil and immediately press it with the back of the spoon or a spatula to flatten it. The ideal diameter is about 3”.

When the edges begin to brown, about 3 – 4 minutes, turn the latkes and cook the other side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add more oil as needed to cook the latkes.

Serve immediately or keep hot in a preheated 200-degree oven until ready to serve with gingery cranberry tangerine relish.

Makes about one dozen

Credit Amy Rogers

  For the relish:

  • One bag of fresh cranberries (may substitute frozen)
  • 2 – 3 tangerines
  • 2 tablespoons candied ginger, minced; or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar, or more to taste

Wash and drain cranberries. Thoroughly wash the tangerines, cut into quarters, remove seeds, but do NOT peel.

In a food processor, work in batches to combine the cranberries and tangerines. Remove to a large bowl and stir in the ginger and sugars.

Makes about 3 cups


Peter’s Gluten-Free Pecan-Cranberry Thanksgivukkah Rugelach

(makes 24)

This is my own variation of Ina Garten’s recipe for rugelach cookies, but reformulated to be gluten-free, and filled specifically for either Thanksgiving or Hanukkah

Peter Reinhart


  The Dough:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar or Splenda
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ground pecans or pecan meal (can also use ground walnuts or almond meal)

The Filling:

  • 5 tablespoons sugar or Splenda (you can also use half brown sugar and half granulated sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 6 tablespoons orange marmalade (you can also use apricot or raspberry preserves)

  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil for rolling out the pieces.
  • 1/2 cup additional pecan or almond flour


  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar


For the dough, beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Add the sugar (or Splenda), the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the pecan meal and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in half, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour. While the dough is cooling, line a baking pan with baking parchment or a silicon baking pad (aka Silpat)

To make the filling, stir together the granulated sugar (or Splenda), the cinnamon, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans.

Rub 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil on the board or work surface to make an oil slick, and sprinkle some extra pecan or almond meal on the slick. Place one of the dough balls on the oil slick, brush or rub a small amount of vegetable oil over the top (or mist with spray oil) and gently pat the dough into a square, about 7 to 8 inches on each side. If the dough sticks to your hand, mist your hand or the top of the dough with oil or sprinkle more pecan meal on top. Spread the surface of the dough with 2 tablespoons of the orange marmalade (or other preserve) and sprinkle with 1/2 of the filling. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the square into 12 equal rectangles (3 X 4). Use a metal spatula or flipper, or pastry blade and slide it under the corner rectangle and lift it away from the other.  Gently fold it over and use your fingers to squeeze and form it into barrel shaped bar. Seal it closed with your fingers if it opens up, and transfer it to the prepared baking pan. Repeat with each piece, filling the pan half full (4 across by 3 down).  Repeat with the second dough to fill the pan with all 24 cookies. Chill for 30 minutes.

--Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

--Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Stir together 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the cookies. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the pan and bake an additional 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. Remove the rugelach to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.