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Keeping It Kosher: Top 5 Hanukkah Gifts

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I am not Jewish, but I sure like the food. (Kasha varnishkas haunts my comfort food dreams alongside macaroni and cheese.) And even though I probably won't be giving or receiving any Hanukkah gifts myself this year, I couldn't resist putting a gift guide together based on the pretty cool stuff that's crossed my desk so far this year.

5. Bad Jew Kosher BBQ Sauce

Who knew that standard barbecue sauce isn't kosher? The bottle suggests slathering the tangy sauce on your mother's brisket, or spraying "it over the crowd at your Bar Mitzvah."

I'd suggest giving it to your favorite Jewish Texas barbecue fan and basting a chicken in it (since pork is out, obviously); the citrus punch of the sauce along with whole grain mustard, tamarind and cumin makes for a barbecue sauce that would really complement some breasts and thighs. And the bottle is right: "Even you Goyem BBQ fans will find it work converting to." I'm a fan.

4. Joy of Kosher

Jamie Geller's Joy of Kosher magazine is like Better Homes & Gardens for the temple set. Get a year-long gift subscription to the magazine for your loved one for $18.

3. Good Kosher Wine

Kosher wine doesn't mean Manischewitz. There are a lot of great kosher wines out there today, and both Epicurious and blogger The Kosher Wine Guy have their own top picks. Here are two of mine:

2. Latke T-Shirt

You can't have this. I want it for myself.

Oh, okay, fine. This awesome T-shirt from Rotem Gear is great for your slightly hip cousins -- the ones that aren't opposed to wearing a shirt with a LOLcat on it that says, "I'm in ur kitchen eating ur latkes." And who wouldn't want to wear that shirt?

1. Kosher Revolution

Aside from being a generally lovely cookbook with stunning photography, Kosher Revolution is a must for serious kosher cooks who aren't opposed to experimenting with new ingredients, cuisines and flavor combinations. I love Geila Hocherman and Arthur Boehm's suggestions for exploring naturally low-dairy or vegetarian cuisines such as Indian or Chinese food (the latter of which we already know is popular with Jews on Christmas). There's also a helpful reference guide for subbing out ingredients, especially useful in areas like pareve baking.

Check out our other 2011 holiday gift guides:

5 Ridiculously Cute Kitchen Gifts, by Phaedra Cook 5 Gifts for the At-Home Baker, by Brooke Viggiano 5 Gifts for the Wine Lover, by Jeremy Parzen

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