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Fantasy Food Draft: The Holiday Edition

holiday dinner options

We are entering the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve Eve is one day away! The excitement is building for football playoffs, fantasy football championships, gift-giving, but most of all, lots and lots of eating. Your fantasy draft decisions are on full display in this the final week, so there is truly no better time to draft, only this time, for our top holiday foods!

To start, we will begin with main dishes, these can be anything from Christmas and Hanukkah classics to new age, more modern options. We all have our personal favorites, so feel free to re-draft your own fantasy holiday meal (and let us know!).

Main dishes (Mains if you watch Below Deck):

The options include Christmukkah favorites such as classic honey glazed ham, a roasted turkey, lasagna, a beef tenderloin, prime rib, roasted chicken, roast beef, shrimp scampi, and brisket (or pot roast as my family knows it). Maybe your family diverges from these choices but in my experience celebrating both Hanukkah (my family) and Christmas (my husband’s holiday) I’ve come to learn these are the usual suspects.

My ranking:

  1. Slow-Roasted Brisket– nothing beats the low and slow all-day smell of a brisket in the oven.
  2. Roasted Turkey– Thanksgiving shouldn’t be the only day we get a whole turkey
  3. Roasted Chicken– What can I say, nothing beats a well-roasted bird
  4. Beef Tenderloin– some of the modern takes featuring dried fruits and nuts rolled into a tenderloin could come for the holiday main course crown.
  5. Honey glazed ham– it’s far from my favorite but it makes a great sandwich the next day. Leftovers FTW.

*This is not a vegetarian menu because I wouldn’t know how to properly rank those options so forgive me for my lack of knowledge.

Side Dishes:

The options include a variety of vegetables and starches and in all fairness, this is very personal to you and your family, but we will do our best! No Christmukkah is complete with our potato latkes, roasted carrots, any other preparation of potato, stuffing, corn (creamed or just simple plain), sweet potatoes, green beans, roasted brussels sprouts, challah bread, carrots (maple glazed or roasted), kugel (whatever kind you prefer), mac and cheese, fruit fluff, asparagus, and buttermilk biscuits all qualify for me.

My rankings:

  1. Potato Latkes with apple sauce and/or sour cream– Jewish or not, these are a TREAT.
  2. Sweet potatoes- roasted, mashed, candied, however you do it, no holiday is complete to me without these guys.
  3. Glazed carrots– sweet, crunchy, perfect.
  4. Stuffing– I can’t help it, I want the full Thanksgiving experience.
  5. Mac and cheese– why not?

Finally, we will conclude with The Desserts:

The options include Christmas cookies, apple pie, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, jelly donuts (Sufganiyot or any variation of these), chocolate cake (I know some people break out the chocolate lava cakes), fruitcake, fruit cobbler, pecan pie, chocolate or fruit rugelach, Jewish apple cake, cannolis, chocolate gelt (or just any chocolate), and of course some brownies.  

I caution that this the simplified version of the options that exist these days. Cakes and baked goods are constantly evolving, we have salted caramel this, gingerbread that, so you can obviously expand on the base of a cake, cookie, or pie.

My rankings:

  1. Jewish Apple Cake/ Apple Pie/ Cobbler– this may seem like a cop-out but to me, a holiday meal isn’t complete without a warm apple treat with vanilla ice cream and whip cream. Sorry!
  2. Chocolate Rugelach (or a nut or fruit flavor)– if you haven’t had these bite-sized treats they brighten up any holiday dessert table. You can also sub in a Chocolate Cake here if Rugelach isn’t your thing. I want a chocolatey dessert and that’s all.
  3. Cheesecake– I’ll be honest, I vacillate with cheesecake, but after a salty holiday meal, a little whip cream and fruit drizzle, this can be the perfect bite. Also, my mother-in-law makes this amazing and unique whipped cheesecake with chocolate chips and that has forever changed my view on cheesecake.
  4. Cookies– soft, hard, sugar, chocolate chip, sprinkles, and more.
  5. Chocolate (gelt)– I grew up with my Dad stockpiling our favorite chocolates from our favorite places all year long, building a treat tower, and getting to raid it after a Hanukkah meal!

We’ve chosen our top 5 mains, sides, and desserts, but regardless, your ranking is all that matters as you head to family parties and holiday gatherings. Bring your favorites, let us know where your favorites rank, if they made our lists, and if we are WAY off, which, to be honest, we probably are…Happy Holidays!

via GIPHY

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