Sometimes I think life is a bunch of holidays with not much in between, except for the entire month of January.
I suppose that's a good thing, because holidays are happy and celebratory. Also, there's the food. Except for Yom Kippur, every holiday has food. And even when it comes to Yom Kippur, there's the break-the-fast when it's all over and the break-the-fast is all about food.
As far as holidays go, at this point of the year, we've just finished Thanksgiving. Next up? Hanukkah!
So for me, in honor of Judith, in addition to the usual potato latkes and doughnuts, I have served cheese latkes and potato latkes with a yogurt based sauce laced with lemongrass. Potato Galette with Caramelized Onions and Cheese has been on my Hanukkah menu and also Almond Crusted Winter Squash and Noodle Kugel.
Desserts? I could go with Meyer Lemon Yogurt Pie (you can use regular lemons) or maybe Baked Goat Cheese with Honey Sauce and Cranberries. Maybe even cheesecake. Or some fabulous cheesecake cookies!
And also these stuffed dates! Easy to make, not too sweet (no added sugar), these little morsels are perfect for the holiday. If you don't want to use almonds for garnish, crushed, toasted coconut will do nicely.
ORANGE-VANILLA SCENTED CHEESE STUFFED DATES
- 12 medjool dates
- 1/2 cup cream cheese (4 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons crushed toasted almonds (or pistachios or crushed, toasted coconut)
Cut the dates through the center, but not all the way through to the bottom. Remove the pit and spread the date slightly to form a hollow for filling. Mix the cram cheese, yogurt, orange peel and vanilla extract in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth and soft. Fill the dates with the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the nuts.