Holiday Time

Since we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah at the Noble Pig household the holidays are already in full food swing.

Last night was the first night of the eight days of Hanukkah and the feasting began.

Someone bring the elastic pants over now!  Eight days of this with Christmas sandwiched in the middle is definitely going to wreak havoc on the waistline.  Oh well.

Here’s how we celebrated last night, with food of course…

We started with our favorite salad, Mixed Green Salad with Pears, Goat Cheese and a Fig VinaigretteThe dried figs and a good quality balsamic vinegar knock this salad out of the park.

I served the salad with Potato-Sour Cream BiscuitsThese are so easy to make, no yeast is involved and they are yummy.

For the main course, Beer Braised Beef Brisket.  I braised the brisket for three hours in stout beer and beef stock on top of a bed of mirepoix (diced onions, carrots and celery).  When it finished cooking, I strained the broth and added red wine vinegar and tomato paste to punch up the sauce.  Beurre manie (French “kneaded butter”) was added at the end to thicken the sauce.  The result…perfection.  Melt in your mouth meat with tremendous flavor.

On the side, Noodle KugelOy.  This is my all-time favorite.  I’m telling you, with the crispy-sugary top and the creamy inside, you have to make this.  Put this on your holiday table, no matter what you celebrate, and it will be requested every year.  I promise.

Yes, we did have some veggies, Lemon-Roasted Green Beans with Marcona Almonds.  This is a bit of twist on “green beans amandine”, remember that?  Except this uses Marcona almonds from Spain, which are my favorite.  They are more tender than California almonds and are sold roasted and salted.  I love them and I love this side dish.

This over-indulgent meal was enjoyed with an exquisite Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from the Montona series of reserve wines, produced by the Andretti Winery.  Yes, Mario Andretti, the race car driver, has a winery, and it’s beautiful, a Tuscan Villa in the middle of the California wine country.  I bought this bottle there several years ago and have been saving it for a special meal.  Tonight was the night.

Let me just say, it was incredible.  It had all the characteristics of Napa Valley Cabernet I love; tobacco, spices, cedar and vanillin.  Why did I not buy a case of this?

We also had The Wild Boar’s Favorite Cake for dessert.  I will post more about that later.

And for those of you enjoying the Christmas season, here are some tree trimming shots…

I have lots of these gumdrop snowflakes in varying colors, I love how realistic they appear, like real candy.

This is a handmade violin or is it a cello?  Either way it’s beautiful?

And here’s my crown, I hang it on the tree when I’m not wearing it.

For tomorrow’s Hanukkah meal…

Pumpkin-Sage Polenta
Tangerine Glazed Carrots
Latke’s (potato pancakes)
Roasted Asparagus with a Honey-Citrus Dressing
Orange Cardamom Cake and Sufganiyot (Donuts normally filled with jam, mine will be with chocolate)


Post a Comment


  1. Amber 1

    How fun for you. I would celebrate almost every holiday if I just knew how, had the time, money and energy. I love holidays. It seems we are all so busy in the U.S. trying to get rich (and now, not lose what little we have left), that we don’t seem to slow down and celebrate life. When I was in Mexico a few weeks ago, it was the beginning of the Processions of the Virgin. What devotion to their faith. Everyone in the streets, enjoying each other, and with so little money. They are often blessed because they see what we in our hurry miss. I have never been around Hanukkah celebrations, I wish you blessings, joy, love and peace.

  2. Cathy- Happy Hanukkah and Merry Chirstmas. Boy you sure do have a busy house these next several nights! Enjoy!
    The Kugel looks fantastic- I haven’t had any since I was living in NJ.

  3. Laura 3

    Now, that’s what I call dinner.

  4. Alisa 4

    Happy Chanukah! That meal looks delicious. I’ll see you in the elastic pants aisle at JC Penneys.

  5. i’m sorry…exactly HOW many hours do you have in your day?!!? i have no idea how you manage to accomplish so much cooking! your pictures always look delish and my mouth starts watering for things i don’t even like. happy holidays to you and your family. :)

  6. Julia 6

    I was debating making brisket for my latke party tomorrow, but now I’m convinced! Yours looks great! With noodle kugel and latkes, how could I could wrong!

  7. We celebrate both holidays in my house, too. The limit is one latke dinner per eight days, and since our daughter became a vegetarian, we pass on the brisket (well, I make the brisket, but keep it in the freezer until the kids are gone, and my husband and I can enjoy it ourselves!).

  8. Cassie 8

    When I was a kid, my best pal in the neighborhood celebrated both too. I was soooooo jealous! She had yummy food every night and GIFTS every night. As a kid I thought I was robbed LOL!

  9. Wow…all that food sounds amazing! You are going to be busy this week, but how much fun are you going to have?!

  10. MArcy 10

    Yummy Cathy, toss some of those sour-cream/potato biscuits and the latkes down Texas way;))))
    Happy Hanukah and Merry Christmas!

  11. I love that your family observes multiple holidays! How wonderful for your kids to have that full outlook! And the food. I’m amazed by the food! Thanks for sharing!

  12. What? No Challah??? Still, it looks wonderful.

    We celebrate both holidays also.

    I hear you on the exhausted.

  13. Marlene 13

    What time will you be expecting me this evening?

    Cathy…you are such an inspiration to me…really. I love reading about your culinary adventures and your decorating is AMAZING! I love those candy snowflakes and that CROWN…well, you and I are regal kindred spirits.


    Your Noble Subject
    The Princess, Marlene

  14. It all sounds delicious Cathy. Feasting for 12 days…I have my elastic waisted pants ready!!

  15. Great photos! I wish I could come to your house for dinner. Seriously! Its 20 degrees here, 18 inches of snow and ice and my furnace isn’t working. Poor me.

  16. Katrina 16

    Yum to it all. It almost seems not fair that you get to celebrate both holidays and have all that EXTRA food! jk ENJOY! Happy Holidays! My pants are getting tight just with all the goodies I’ve been making! Sigh.

  17. ELRA 17

    I lit the first candle last night, and we also had friends and family came over for dinner. Seems like your family and mine have a lot of similarity.
    I like the crown,you’ll look so great with it, your majesty! LOL

    Chanuka Sameach!

  18. Mary 18


    My invitation must have been lost in the mail! What a beautiful meal and what a lovely post.

  19. Pam 19

    What a lovely meal. The Noodle Kugel is calling my name. I also love that you guys celebrate both holidays.

  20. Cheryl 20

    I’ve got a bad case of holiday envy! ;)

  21. Greg 21

    A meal to make Judah Macabbee proud.

  22. Kayola 22

    OH MY STARS!!!! Elastic pants is right…get out the old mom jeans for sure!!! My goodness that all looked so de-lish! My family wouldn’t know how to act if I made meals that looked and probably tastes as good as it looks…lately popcorn is a hot cooked meal!!!!!

  23. Jamee 23

    One question, can you please just come over to my house and cook???? Or maybe even just send me your leftovers?? I really wish I was a better cook, but if I was I’d weigh a bajillion pounds

  24. that looks AMAZING!

  25. I wish I was having dinner at your house this week! It all sounds (and looks) delicious!! Your ornaments are so pretty too!

  26. imom 26

    Oh my! That food is making my mouth water and it’s not even 9:00am! I can’t wait to see what’s coming over the next few days.

  27. tag 27

    Yum! Wish I had more details on your brisket; was planning to make your recent brisket recipe this week. We had your Autumn salad for our first night of Hanukkah last night and it was perfect. Enjoy the festivities!

  28. Marjie 28

    A lady who sews referred to her Thanksgiving pants with the expandable waistline as “Turkey Pants”, because you don’t have to undo them after gorging on turkey. So, don’t unflatteringly refer to them as elastic waist pants; they’re “Turkey Pants”!

    Bet the Hooligans love having both sets of holidays – are the other kids jealous?

  29. Rindy R 29

    I am so happy you found me! I have been loving your blog for a long time now. I found you through Big Red Kitchen as well! Happy Holidays!

  30. You definitely have all the bases covered! Happy Hanukkah!

  31. Absolutely fabulous! My tummy growls at the mere reading of this feast! I am scribbling down recipes so fast that I am in danger of spraining my thumb again. : D My family is in for some MORE Noble Pig Treats — LUCKY THEM!!

  32. grace 32

    terrific spread! your kids are lucky–eight crazy nights and one sensational day! :)

  33. Cath,
    You didn’t make latkes?????
    I guess the noodle kugel is a good substitute.
    Love your salad.
    Happy Hanukkah!
    Love, Stacey Snacks

  34. OMG everything looks FABULOUS.

    … which is why YOU were nominated for an award. When you have a min, check out the award you won on our site.

  35. maris 35

    This whole meal looks exceptional! My family always celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah also- such a treat!

  36. DD 36

    Yuuuuuuum. It all looks brilliant but that salad is my idea of perfection. Deeeelish!

  37. That’s the best Hanukkah meal I’ve ever seen!!! I’m so jealous that you get to do both. Why’d I go and marry a Jew? :P

    And I made that salad and it’s becoming a staple. That dressing is to die for!

  38. wow that all looks fantastic. Have a Blessed Hanukkah and Joyous Christmas.

    I’m curious, do you make your holiday meals Kosher? I don’t know much about Kosher cooking, so I wouldn’t know where to begin.

  39. Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas Kathy! All your pictures are fabulous, as usual!

  40. Mrs. L 40

    Everything looks so yummy. I have those potato rolls bookmarked for future making.

  41. Yummy meal. I love the marcona almonds with the green beans. I’m loving that briset too. *sigh* I wish I could do brisket. Darn that Sir Pickypants!

    I should be a good wife nad make him some latkes this week though. Poor guy gets so overwhelmed by Christmas in this gentile family.

    You got a little trayf with this meal though. You mixed your meat and your dairy. ;-) (I could never do a perfectly kosher meal. I could avoid mixing meat and dairy in the dinner, but dessert musth have BUTTER.)

  42. Debra 42

    We also celebrate Hannukah and Christmas in our household. I made latkes and our son made matzo ball soup while we listened to a “Christmas Blues” CD, drank some wine and lit the menorah. Your meal looked so delicious. I am definitely going to try the brisket. Happy holidays all!

  43. Everything looks fantastic. Happy Hanukkah and Joyous Christmas to you and yours.


  44. Happy Hanukkah Cathy! Your brisket looks amazing and oh boy do I love Kugel! Yumm!

  45. Katie 45

    This looks great we used to celebrate both but only one Hanukkah meal :(

  46. dawn 46

    I love your crown!!! And I love the fact that you wear elastic pants too during the holidays! LOL

  47. I would never starve at your house. I’ll bring pumpkin bread and hello dollies!

  48. How exciting to celebrate both holidays. The meal looked great but was way too much for us.

  49. WOW – yup – this is a meal! My kinda meal!


  50. pam 50

    Oh my goodness! All that food..for so many days!

  51. Katie 51

    Happy Hannukkah! Looks delicious, hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!

  52. Bunny 52

    Happy Holidays to you and your family Cathy, your meal looks wonderful!

  53. Kate 53

    Love the one about the crown, Cathy!

    Everything here looks absolutely fantastic. Bravo!!

  54. krysta 54

    happy hanukkah to you and your family!

  55. That beer braised brisket looks stunning (as does the rest of your spread)! Happy Holidays!

  56. Bob 56

    Happy Holidays to you and yours! Wish I could have some of that brisket… :)

  57. I’ll see your elastic waistband pants and raise you a moomoo (I know that can’t be how that’s spelled! But it looks apropos so there ya go!)…

    I think I’ve just found our Christmas dinner. This internet blogging thing sure is coming in handy! *lol*

    Good grief, between the Kugel, the sour cream rolls and the beef brisket, I’m going to need a defibrillator under my tree instead of the new camera lens I happen to know (don’t ask how) is sitting beneath those [fake] evergreen branches. *lol*

    We’ve been lighting the Menorah that my Mommily got for my little one, each night since Hanukkah started and I’m looking forward to incorporating some of her Jewish traditions with our Christmas festivities.

    Thanks for sharing the recipes you have…it’s going to make it easier for me.

  58. Paula 58

    Oh lordy, I want to come celebrate at your house! That brisket looks divine! I’ll have to give the kugel a try … you’ve convinced me! First, though, I need to get some of those elastic pants!

  59. megan 59

    OMG yummy. Can I come for dinner? It will only take me 2 hours to get there if I hurry! You can start without me. And… can I try on your crown when I get there???

  60. tipper 60

    Do you make housecalls? YUM!

  61. Jude 61

    That’s it…. I’m making those potato biscuits.

  62. giz 62

    I love the Hanukkah feast – but one thing – where are my latkes??? A very happy Chanamas to you and yours.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting