Salami Potato Latkes

Written by chanie on December 7th, 2017

If there’s anything my blog is known for, it’s probably my drunken hasselback salami. Clearly people like the stuff. They like to hang it, they like to dry it, and man do they like to eat it!


If I’m ever in need of a fun recipe idea, I can just stick salami in there somewhere and chances are, it will go viral. My salami babka from last year was such a hit that Abeles & Heymann decided to print it on their actual packaging and, come on, how many of you have NOT tried the hasselback version, even the stores are selling it now! What is it with Jews and salami?


Well, I don’t know, but I’ll tell you this – I’m knee deep in cookbook editing and when I realized that Chanukah was just a few days away, I knew I had to come up with a latke recipe, and pronto. I’ve always got A&H salami in the fridge, and when I opened the door for some inspiration, it hit me. Why not add it to my potato latkes for some seriously salty delicious flavor? I decided to try grating it in my food processor so I could incorporate the salami in fully, and it processed really well! The result is a super fun take on a traditional latke that you will truly enjoy.

Unlike other traditional Jewish foods, I find that people are really purists about their latkes. They don’t want to sub sweet potatoes for potatoes, they’re not interested in the healthier baked versions, no. They want crispy, fried potato latkes that leave your fingers all greasy and your house and clothes smelling like Chanukah.

So here’s the thing: these latkes are a fun twist on the traditional, but they still respect the humble potato latke and they taste pretty classic too, except for some hints of salami.

And if you’re wondering why there’s a carrot in my frying pan, it’s the most brilliant frying hack ever! Somehow the carrot soaks up all the gunk in the oil and it keeps your oil clean throughout frying. You must give it a try!

Happy Chanukah and of course, happy frying!

This post is sponsored by Abeles & Heymann.
Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Other Latke Recipes:

sabich latkes
falafel latkes
poutine latkes
confetti latkes with harissa sour cream
butternut squash latkes
cheese latkes with raspberry sauce

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Greek Salad with Feta Croutons

Written by chanie on November 29th, 2017

Well hello there everyone! It seems like forever since I’ve actually blogged a new recipe here on BIB! I’ve been in full on cookbook mode these passed few weeks and I couldn’t be more excited about how things are moving along!

I was so nervous about how I’d be able to juggle the cookbook, social media posting, messages and blogging but somehow it’s been working. Blogging has definitely taken a back seat, and for the first time in six years of blogging, I’ve starting skipping a week or two here and there. There was a time I thought everything would come crashing down if I didn’t post every. single. week. but lo and behold, the blog is still here and everyone is alive and well.

The truth is, it was hard getting back into it but I couldn’t let Chanukah go by without a few special recipes. I mean, it really is my favorite holiday and as many of you now, it’s both my birthday and Anniversary as well! Chanukah is my favorite time to fry up something crazy, make something Greek and go all out in the dairy department, and I’ve combined all three in this awesome salad!

Most of you have eaten Greek salad about a million times in your life, but you’ve probably never tried tried frying the feta into croutons. Yes! I said FRYING THE FETA INTO CROUTONS! How awesome, right?? At first I wasn’t even sure if it would work but a Chanukah miracle happened (early) and the feta fried up beautifully! It was also my first time using Trader Joes cholov yisroel feta which apparently has been a hidden treasure for the past several years, and OMG is it decadent. It’s crazy salty (which I kinda love), but oh so smooth and it also slices so, so nicely without crumbling. The breadcrumbs really help cut through all that saltiness, and with a forkful of veggies, it’s the perfect little bite.

It’s funny because I was never really much of a feta person, probably because I never had really good feta, so Greek salad wasn’t really on my list of faves. It might also have to do with the fact that I’m not a fan of goat or sheep milk products, and most feta is made with sheep milk. I’m so crazy sensitive to the taste, that I can tell if my butcher used the meat grinder to grind lamb before he ground the beef, because I can taste even the slightest hint of it. And it’s so, so sheepy. I mean, I’m no picky eater but I just. can’t. swallow it.

What’s crazy is, I decided to give the Trader Joe’s sheep’s milk feta a try because so many people told me it was the best feta they ever ate (it’s imported from Israel after all), and even though it had the absolute, most slightest hint of sheep, I was able to tolerate – and even enjoy – it.

So, if you can find Trader Joes best kept secret, go grab a package for this awesome recipe, or use your favorite brand. This post is not sponsored by TJ’s, although how amazing would that be, right?

Related Recipes:

spinach pappardelle with feta and fried poached egg
harissa whipped feta with za’atar eggplant chips
summer tomato feta salad
roasted eggplant parmesan with feta

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Food Files Cookbook + Giveaway!

Written by chanie on November 16th, 2017

I was recently lucky enough to receive a copy of the beautiful new cookbook, Food Files, benefiting Yeshiva of Flatbush. The book is a compilation of beautiful, healthy, seasonal and original recipes from home cooks in Flatbush, Brooklyn. As a food blogger, I’m honored to receive review copies of cookbooks all the time. Sometimes the books are nothing to write home about, and they end up in the growing “give away” pile in the basement. Other times, the books are so beautiful that they’re worthy of your coffee table, and this, my friends, is one of them.

I was pleasantly surprised at the simple yet sophisticated style of this book, the stunning photos and the original recipes. All too often cookbooks are filled with recipes and adaptations of recipes that we’ve all seen before, but Food Files is filled with truly original dishes that capture the inventive cook.

Some of the recipes that caught my eye include homemade burrata, cauflower tabbouleh with raw falafel balls (yes!!), porcini mushroom latkes with truffle infused chive cream, farro leek soup, date hazelnut and feta salad, lemon poppy seed pancakes, green chili mac ‘n cheese, spiked sweet potatoes (recipe below), Chilean sea bass kanafe, mushroom stuffed ribeyes, no bake chocolate hazelnut cheesecake, peanut butter honeycomb pie, and tartufo martinis.

With Thanksgiving just a week away, please enjoy sample recipes for Asian Glazed Turkey Breast and Spiked Sweet Potatoes from the book, below!

Food Files makes a great Chanukah gift and is available for purchase here, but I’m so excited to be giving away a copy of their cookbook as well!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

To enter the giveaway to win a copy of Food Files:

1. Leave a comment below letting me know your favorite cookbook.
2. For an extra entry, follow Busy In Brooklyn via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents (for international entries, prize can only be shipped in the U.S.). Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017.

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Skirt Steak Tacos

Written by chanie on November 9th, 2017

Cookbook. Cookbook. Cookbook. That’s all I can think about these days. In the morning, afternoon and evening, even in my sleep. I was literally typing up recipes in my dream the other night…yes! It’s really happening!

Here are the stats as of 11/9/17, 10:41 AM:}

132/145 recipes tested
13/145 recipes to retest
11/145 recipes photographed
59/145 recipes written
0/145 headnotes written
0/3 intro chapters written

Would you look at those numbers? When I think about all the work I have ahead of me, I get so overwhelmed and stressed. But then I look back at the 132 crazy, amazing, unique, delicious and doable recipes that I’ve created for this book and I have to be proud. Yes, there is so, so much to do. But it will happen. And it will be glorious when it does.

Meanwhile, we’ve mostly been eating the recipes I’ve been testing (my 11 year old wanted to know why the dinners have become so weird in the house, with several courses, sometimes mismatched foods that don’t go together!), so I’ve been pretty quiet on social media these days. I did take the time to celebrate persimmon season with these awesome skirt steak tacos, and I’m so happy to share the recipe with you here!

Related Recipes:

refried bean tacos
Old Bay fish tacos
coconut crusted fish tacos with plantain tortillas
fish tacos with broccoli slaw

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Zucchini Basil Soup

Written by chanie on October 29th, 2017


I’ve dreamt about this day for a very very long time. In just a few short months, I’m officially going to add cookbook author to my resume! I can’t believe this is really happening, somebody pinch me! The truth is, this news isn’t exactly new. It’s been almost a year in the planning. But I’m finally able to spill the beans and share it with you all! My cookbook is being published by Artscroll Publications and is set for release in May 2018. It’s going to KNOCK YOUR FREAKIN SOCKS OFF!

It’s no surprise that I’m avid cookbook collector, and something I see a lot in kosher cookbooks is the same traditional recipes made over and over again, with slight tweaks and changes. I can’t give away my cookbook theme quite yet, but let me just say, there’s going to be something for everyone. The cookbook will have fresh, new recipes that you haven’t seen before, and there’s going to be a mix of healthy recipes, indulgent recipes, everyday recipes, holiday recipes, quick and easy recipes, and slightly more gourmet recipes. The book will have some of your favorite recipes from the blog (about 20%), but mostly brand new recipes that you’ve never seen before (80%!). I’ve been testing and retesting recipes for months, and as I near the end of the testing stage, I’m going to move on to recipe writing and photography. I’m both nervous and excited for this huge undertaking, but mostly I’m anxious to share it all with you!

I’m going to do my best to keep things exciting here on the BIB blog, but if I don’t post as much as usual, just know that it’ll all be worth it in the end. I’ll keep you posted with more details as they become available!

Related Recipes:

spinach white bean minestrone with zoodles
roasted tomato soup
roasted butternut squash soup

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Tempeh Rice Bowl

Written by chanie on October 19th, 2017

It feels like FOREVER since I’ve blogged last and I have so much to tell you!!  If you’ve been following me on social media, you probably watched or heard about the LIVE I did with my husband a few days ago. I’m not sure why I didn’t do it sooner, but my inspiring husband has steadily lost 90 over the past few years and has been keeping it off and inspiring so many with his weight loss journey.

Most of us had a hard time NOT piling on the pounds over the holidays. With three consecutive days of feasting – twice, there was meal after meal of multiple courses, and even eating healthy, one would probably consume a lot more calories than on an average day. I wasn’t surprised, when after the Chag, I suddenly sold a bunch of copies of my Whole30 ebook. We all wanted to shed that holiday weight, so I decided to go live on Instagram with my husband, so he could share all the wisdom and experience he has amassed over the past few years.

In general, my husband is very much an “all or nothing” person. If he decides to take something on, he goes all the way. He reads every diet book, researches everything about the human body and learns what vitamins, minerals, grains etc. he can take to optimize his health and weight loss. Needless to say, with 15,000 viewers, the live went viral. I received literally thousands of messages and everywhere I went, everyone was talking about it! We decided that sharing his wisdom in written form would be the best idea, so he is currently working on an ebook that we will be selling in a couple of weeks. I’m so excited!

One of things that my family has committed to over the past few months is Meatless Mondays. I really think it’s important, after all the heavy Shabbat food, to lighten things up and give our bodies a break from all the animal protein after the weekend. As an adventurous cook who never experimented with vegan food before, I’ve really been loving the challenge of Meatless Mondays. My kids have also been so open to trying new things and these refried bean tacos have become one of their absolute favorite dinners!

The truth is, we’re a bean-loving family so vegetarian chili and bean tacos are easy for me, but one thing I’ve really never liked is tofu. No matter how it’s prepared, no matter the promises of a crispy result, I just can’t get past the mushy marshmallow-like texture of tofu. Tempeh, on the other hand, is made from pressed soybeans and it has a really firm texture. I tried it for the first time during the summer, and I found that if prepared properly, I really enjoyed it. My husband, too, has taken to it, and this is one of our favorite preparations. If I’m honest, my kids haven’t yet jumped on the tempeh train, but we’re working on it!

Regardless if you’re ready for tempeh or tofu, or whether or not you tuned in to watch the story of my husband’s weight loss journey, I hope this post inspires you to eat healthy post Chag!

Other vegetarian dinners:

vegetarian chili
refried bean tacos
stuffed sweet potatoes
falafel burgers
cajun quinoa burgers

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Orange Cardamom Malabi with Drunken Figs

Written by chanie on September 28th, 2017


If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know just how much I love to cook with the seasons. When fruits and vegetables are at their peak, they tend to taste much better and cost much less. It also helps with menu planning because you can scale down the ingredients that you want to incorporate into your menu.

Late summer/Early fall would have to be my favorite of all the seasons, mostly because of the figs. You still get to enjoy the late summer harvest of corn and tomatoes, but you also get to go apple picking with your family, and enjoy the early signs of pomegranates and pumpkins. I love incorporating all the warm autumn flavors of nutmeg and cloves into my food – it’s like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket, especially under the Sukkah, where you get to enjoy that evening chill without having to bundle up.

Sukkot is a great time to experiment with warm spices and seasonal produce and one of the ways I do that is to poach fruits in spiced wine. Poached pears are a classic, but I’ve also done cherries, cranberriesapricots, and of course, just plain old mulled wine, which is one of my favorite drinks of all time. Adding warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, along with orange zest and peppercorns, gives the wine a deep, rich flavor, not to mention that the smell is intoxicating.

Speaking of wines, I’ve never been much of a wine drinker, but recently, we’ve started getting more into it. It’s really fun to try new wines and note the characteristics of the different grapes and how they are aged. We’re even looking into getting a wine cooler, which are surprisingly more affordable than you might think. P.C. Richard & Son has a great selection here, and it looks like they are running a birthday sale so it’s a great time to take advantage.

I was reading up on why wine fridges are important over on The Kitchn, and it looks like storing my wine collection in my hot kitchen cabinet is a bad idea. So I’m thinking this seriously affordable free standing cooler might be a nice Sukkot gift for the hubby this year! And I wouldn’t complain at all if he decided to buy me something in turn from this collection of outdoor furniture to spruce up my Sukkah, especially this low-cost fire pit (can you imagine drinking mulled wine around that?!).

Now if you’re not familiar with this dessert, malabi is a Middle Eastern rosewater pudding that’s traditionally served with pomegranate syrup. The pudding is always finished with some chopped pistachios, and shredded coconut and it’s a decadent, yet light, dessert that’s the perfect finish to a holiday meal.


I’m a huge fan of malabi’s cousin, sachlav, which is basically the unset version of malabi – a pudding that you drink hot instead of cold. Malabi is great to make in advance, because it holds well in the refrigerator. The flavor of the orange and cardamom is so refreshing, and it can be served on it’s own, with some pomegranate seeds, pistachios and shredded coconut, or you can go all out and make the drunken figs for a gorgeous dish that’s worthy of your Sukkah.


I love figs in all shapes and sizes – every variety – raw, cooked or jammed. This beautiful crimson version is poached in red wine with warm spices, and the wine is then reduced into a luscious syrup. The drunken figs can be served over pound cake, ice cream or yogurt, along with a drizzle of the red wine syrup. Whether you choose to serve it with the malabi, or over another dessert, your guests will be wowed!

Wishing you and yours a Chag Sameach!

This post is sponsored by P.C. Richard & Son. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

sachlav rosewater pudding
mulled wine
halva and ricotta stuffed figs
cherries in red wine syrup

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Mini Pumpkin Pies for a Crowd

Written by chanie on September 17th, 2017

I’m really not much of a freezer person, but there is one recipe that I make every year for the holidays and it’s this one. These mini pumpkin pies are so festive and seasonal, and they’re great to have in the freezer as a pretty and delicious side dish. I always have them on hand for last minute company and they are so kid-friendly too.

What I love about this pie is that it’s very adaptable. If you are nut free, use oats in the streusel in place of nuts. You can make large or mini pies and swap in different types of milk or oils. You can make your own pie dough or pumpkin puree, if you’re so inclined, or go for the easy store-bought variety. In short, stock your freezer and you can thank me later!

Related Recipes:

cookie butter pumpkin pie
pumpkin banana souffle
pumpkin cake

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Salmon En Croute with Creamed Leeks

Written by chanie on September 13th, 2017

Salmon en croute is one of my favorite dishes to serve for the holidays. It plates up beautifully, it’s so festive and it’s a winning dish all around! I mean who doesn’t love anything wrapped in buttery, flaky dough, amiright?

I usually go with a simple mustard and brown sugar mixture over the salmon, but I decided to take things up a notch using some of the traditional symbolic foods of the holiday, like honey and leeks. I love that you can incorporate more of those foods into the plated dish as well, and I went with pomegranate seeds and chioggia beets, ‘cuz could you just look at them?

Just call this Simanim Salmon En Croute ‘cuz it’s not only tasty, but so fitting in every way. And if you need a recap on the symoblic foods of the holiday, read this. I’ve also got a handy simanim recipe roundup from a couple of years back and then of course there are my other great simanim dishes like this couscous, this angel hair pasta, this beautiful appetizer and this holiday salad.

Growing up, Rosh Hashanah was a serious holiday and we always kept things intimate with just the family and a simple, traditional holiday meal. It’s that one time of the year to really focus on self introspection and prayer and I like to follow suite without complicating my menu. I don’t go all out with a bunch of different salads and desserts – I just keep my meal well-rounded with an appetizer (round challah with honey, fish and salad), entree (meat or chicken, tzimmes and roasted vegetables, beautifully plated) and a slice of honey cake with caramelized apples to finish the meal. Then I wrap things up and open my tehillim, because there is oh so much to pray for.

I find that there’s no need to overdo your menu when you learn to serve composed dishes that complement each other. Sometimes, when you make too much food, the beauty and flavor gets lost because there is just too much to go around. When I was in culinary school, my teacher gave the example of a woman wearing a simple pearl necklace versus someone who in dripping in lots of (too much) jewelry. Which one makes a better statement? Sometimes clean and simple is the better way to go.

Related Recipes:

smashed potatoes with leeks
simanim fritto misto
honey fig roasted salmon
honey mustard salmon

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Cranberry Apple Braised Chicken

Written by chanie on September 7th, 2017


And just like that, summer is over. I’m starting to smell that fresh, crisp fall air and the nights have that slight chill that wraps me like a warm sweater. If I’m honest, I don’t hate the winter at all, but I’ll sure miss the carefree spirit of summer and the smell of freshly cut grass.

I’m excited for the fall flavors that are making their way into the supermarkets. Pumpkins, persimmon and pomegranates are just a few of my favorite things and I can’t wait to see the seasonal produce on the shelves!

It’s a bit early for cranberry season, but you can easily use frozen cranberries in this recipe. The tartness of the berries are a great contrast to the sweetness of the apples and honey, and they make for the most luscious sauce that you’ll want to smother all over rice or noodles. Considering the popularity of my tart pomegranate roast, I think this chicken will be a winner as well!

Serve with a side of sweet tzimmes and braised leeks and you’ve got a simanim-filled entree worthy of your holiday table.

Related Recipes:

turkey meatballs with red wine cranberry marinara
cranberry sriracha green beans
honey roasted za’atar chicken with dried fruit
duchesse sweet potato apples

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