Tradition, Tradition!

By Megan McDonald December 7, 2011

A toast to celebrating with fewer calories and more cheer to share.

In taking a scene from Fiddler on the Roof, I often feel I can not break from the traditional foods of the holiday season. My husband, however, believes changing tradition shows the sign of a secure person. So, acting a bit secure this year, I am putting Christmas dinner in a tailspin.

I often prepare a large bone-in prime rib, lobster tails or crab cakes, Caesar salad tableside and several complicated sides. Enough! Since Hanukkah starts on Dec. 20, I will be cooking for days leading up to my husband’s holiday, so everything is getting a makeover!

Hanukkah dinner the first night will, of course, include latkes, but I’ve opted for grilled Cornish game hens with apricot chipotle glaze instead of the brisket and turkey that I usually serve. Dessert will be a dish of homemade ice cream with chocolate coins for garnish.

Potato and sunchoke hash with poblano aioli.

Christmas dinner will be the sliced sirloin steak with poblano-sunchoke hash that I made on ABC 7 last week—10 minutes of prep and what a meal! (recipe on It is simple, much less filling than an oversized piece of prime rib, and I am bringing back the root beer float as dessert.

Simple fruit tarts are perfect this time of year.

Simple, simple, simple. Of course, this is early December, and if I check in with our readers in 10 days, I may be up to my third entrée and eighth side dish—let’s work together, Sarasota, and lighten up. And the extra savings from not buying lobster and prime rib? Going to the All Faiths Food Bank—they need our help.

This time of year we need to focus on good deeds. Taste is doing just that with a Toys for Tots Celebration at Café Baci on December 14. Bring a toy(s) and enjoy a three-course dinner for only $50.00 inclusive. (Reserve at 366-7950.)

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Breaking news! It does look like P.F. Chang's has decided to go out to Benderson’s new shopping plaza that is back under construction—my source tells me both DSW shoes and great dumplings are on the way. Sorry, downtown--but you still have Pho Cali.

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