8 Foods To Treat Yourself To Each Night Of Hanukkah

8 Foods To Treat Yourself To Each Night Of Hanukkah

Here are some ideas to spruce up your eight nights of Hanukkah this year. Chag Sameach!

Hanukkah is here—not only does that mean eight presents, eight nights of lighting the menorah, and eight nights of family fun, but eight nights to eat some great food. Here are some ideas to spruce up your eight nights of Hanukkah this year, even adding a little bit of a NOLA twist to some of your traditional Hanukkah favorites. ‘Tis the season, and Chag Sameach, ladies and gents.

1st Night: Sweet Potato Latkes

These are not your typical latkes. Sweet potato latkes will be the perfect twist to your typical latkes this Hanukkah season. By simply substituting sweet potatoes for potatoes in your classic recipe or by following a recipe online, this dish will instantly be a crowd favorite and is the ultimate way to kick off the next eight days.

2. Gelt Fondu

Gelt, or chocolate coins, were originally what was given to kids each night of Hanukkah rather than presents. Luckily for us, now we get both and can melt the gelt to drench all of our favorite treats. Just like Fondu, just way more festive.

3rd Night: Jelly Filled Beignets

It's the third night of Hanukkah, and you are bound to be missing NOLA a lot by now. By merging New Orleans classic beignets with the Hanukkah tradition of jelly stuffed donuts, you get the best of both worlds.

4th Night: Edible Dreidels

This game just got a ten times more fun. These super cute dreidels are hands down the easiest, cutest treats you can make this holiday season. This is perfect if you don't have a ton of time or aren't the best baker. All you need for this recipe is marshmallows, Hershey's kisses, and pretzel sticks. Add some sprinkles, icing, or chocolate and your masterpiece is complete.

5th Night: Kugel

This traditional Jewish dish never gets old. Even though this dish might have its designated spot on the table each holiday, noodle kugel is the perfect accompaniment amongst latkes, jelly donuts, and brisket. Sweet or savory, kugel is never a bad idea.

6th Night: Challah Bread Pudding

This is the perfect desert for another night you're missing New Orleans or want to show your family that the food from your city really is the best. While it may not taste too different from normal bread pudding, challah bread pudding has Jewish roots that perfectly fit your Hanukkah menu. Let's all face the fact that it doesn't get much better than Challah.

7th Night: Fried Friday

The story of Hanukkah revolves around the small amount of oil that ended up lasting eight entire days. Because of that, we celebrate this holiday the only way we know how -- by using our oil to fry just about everything. Since the seventh night of Hanukkah this year is a Friday, make it Fried Friday with all your greasy favorites.

8th Night: Make Your Own Gelt

This interactive recipe is a crafty way to spice up the last night of Hanukkah and is a present in and of itself. Melt chocolate into molds or simply on a baking sheet and add your favorite toppings, such as sprinkles, dried fruit, nuts, or pretzels. This is bound to taste better than the store-bought classic and also can serve as a great, unique gift.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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8 Struggles Of Being 21 And Looking 12

The struggle is real, my friends.

“You'll appreciate it when you're older." Do you know how many times my mom has told me this? Too many to count. Every time I complain about looking young that is the response I get. I know she's right, I will love looking young when I'm in my 40s. However, looking young is a real struggle in your 20s. Here's what we have to deal with:

1. Everyone thinks your younger sister or brother is the older one.

True story: someone actually thought my younger sister was my mom once. I've really gotten used to this but it still sucks.

2. You ALWAYS get carded.

Every. Single. Time. Since I know I look young, I never even bothered with a fake ID my first couple of years of college because I knew it would never work. If I'm being completely honest, I was nervous when I turned 21 that the bartender would think my real driver's license was a fake.

3. People look at your driver's license for an awkward amount of time.

So no one has actually thought my real driver's license is fake but that doesn't stop them from doing a double take and giving me *that look.* The look that says, “Wow, you don't look that old." And sometimes people will just flat out say that. The best part is this doesn't just happen when you're purchasing alcohol. This has happened to me at the movie theater.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things People Who Look 12 Hate Hearing

4. People will give you *that look* when they see you drinking alcohol.

You just want to turn around and scream “I'M 21, IT'S LEGAL. STOP JUDGING ME."

5. People are shocked to find out you're in college.

If I had a dollar for every time someone had a shocked expression on their face after I told them I'm a junior in college I could pay off all of my student loan debt. It's funny because when random people ask me how school is going, I pretty much assume they think I'm in high school and the shocked look on their face when I start to talk about my college classes confirms I'm right.

6. For some reason wearing your hair in a ponytail makes you look younger.

I don't understand this one but it's true. Especially if I don't have any makeup on I could honestly pass for a child.

7. Meeting an actual 12-year-old who looks older than you.

We all know one. That random 12-year-old who looks extremely mature for her age and you get angry because life isn't fair.

8. Being handed a kids' menu.

This is my personal favorite. It happens more often than it should. The best part of this is it's your turn to give someone a look. The look that says, "You've got to be kidding me".

Looking young is a real struggle and I don't think everyone realizes it. However, with all the struggles that come with looking young, we still take advantage of it. Have you ever gone to a museum or event where if you're under a certain age you get in for a discounted price? Yeah? Well, that's when I bet you wish you were us. And kids' meals are way cheaper than regular meals so there have definitely been a couple times when I've kept that kids' menu.

So, all in all, it's not the worst thing in the world but it's definitely a struggle.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Collins

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Living With Celiac Disease

Kids would put food in my face and tease me about it, they'd tell me that my symptoms weren't real and that I was just faking it for attention; I even had adults tell me this too.


At the age of eight, I experienced horrible stomach pain, weakness, and illness. I was doubled over, and I didn't know why I'd felt so horrible. It wasn't the kind of pain you feel when you have the flu, or when you have cramps. It was a different kind of pain, but I knew it wasn't good. My parents didn't know what was wrong with me either. The only thing my dad had suspected was that perhaps I was intolerant to gluten.

For those who don't know, gluten is found in many food items that primarily contain grains or are often high in carbs. This isn't to say that all foods with carbs or grains have gluten, but they oftentimes do. Gluten is a protein within wheat that is the primary ingredient in cake, pizza, and bread. It is even sometimes in food that you would never suspect, like Twizzlers. It's also synonymous with ingredients like monosodium glutamate, malt, barley…etc.

I tell you that to tell you this:
At eight years old, I was told I had celiac disease. Which just means that my body is unable to digest and break down gluten, preventing me from absorbing vital nutrients.

My dad found out later in his life that he was gluten intolerant after many years of breakouts and complications. He had ascertained the idea that maybe I had also carried this gene and that was why I was in so much pain. Each time we digest gluten, our body attacks our small intestine, killing off what is called villi. My body was in so much pain because I was eating gluten.

After taking gluten products completely out of my diet, I felt 100% better. I was no longer in intense pain, I no longer had rashes, and all other symptoms went away. From then on, I had to watch what I ate, as if I was on a life-long diet.

As you can imagine, this was a ton of responsibility for me as an eight-year-old because I now had to constantly check every label there ever was, make sure that the food I was eating at school didn't have any sort of gluten in it, and I was also now a novelty at school. Kids would put food in my face and tease me about it, they'd tell me that my symptoms weren't real and that I was just faking it for attention. I even had adults tell me this too. They thought I was being hypersensitive.

I had to remember everywhere I went that I had to avoid eating gluten. Do you know how hard that is? It's in so many things. When I was young, not many people knew what celiac disease was. There weren't any gluten-free alternatives out there, so I was eating lots of rice, beans, and salad. I had a very limited food palette. I could no longer have the amazing foods I enjoyed like pizza, garlic rolls, cake, or even ravioli. Although it seems odd, ravioli and spaghetti-o's were my favorite then and I was no longer able to have them. It crushed me.

Having celiac disease was hard as a child because when I went to birthday parties, I couldn't eat most of the food they provided. I couldn't enjoy birthday cake or the pizza that most people ordered. I always had to bring my own food and explain why every time. It seems silly, but I often felt left out. Not being 'normal' because of my allergy made me feel like an outcast. You'd think you wouldn't feel like that, but it generated a lot of those negative feelings because I was a burden to feed due to my allergy.

Fast forward 13 years later, I still have to be careful of what I eat. Celiac disease is something I'll never get rid of. It's a part of my DNA, and there's a good chance my kids will also carry the gene and deal with the same issues.

I don't usually tell people I have celiac disease because I can sometimes get away with having trace amounts of gluten and still be mostly okay. But when I accidentally eat gluten, I pay the consequences. There are times when I accidentally eat it and feel like I can't get out of bed because of the stomach pain. I joke that the pain is so horrible that I feel like I'm dying, but it really does feel severe in the moment.

Being gluten intolerant, I spend quite a bit more money on groceries because I have to find gluten-free food and it's way more expensive. Because gluten-free became a fad diet, more places began offering alternatives and it was easier for me to find foods I liked. When I find gluten-free goodies that aren't normally gluten-free in restaurants, you bet my eyes light up! It's exciting but also a relief.

Being gluten-free has oftentimes felt like a curse, but it's also a blessing sometimes.

The upside to this is that researchers are looking into developing a pill that will help those with celiac disease digest gluten easier and/or subside symptoms completely. So hopefully soon, I'll be able to eat the foods I once loved without feeling ill.

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