Hi, I’m Chanie and I’m a SAHM with four beautiful kids and a hardworking husband. I grew up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where I was raised on traditional Jewish foods like gefilte fish, stuffed cabbage and matza ball soup. When I got married and started entertaining, I began to put my own spin on old-time favorites to give them a modern, gourmet vibe. Today, I live just a few blocks away from my childhood home where I continue to revisit family favorites and reinvent traditional holiday dishes. In my free time (when I’m not blogging!), I crochet, play around with Photoshop, and surf Etsy for some good vintage finds!
After years of working in the web design field, I quit my job to be a full-time stay at home mom. I have lots of creative energy, so the transition wasn’t easy. When friends and family suggested that I write a cookbook, I decided to do just that – in the form of a blog. I have a degree in web design and I’ve done some freelance writing as well as photo editing, so having my own place to share all the things I’m passionate about just made sense. The name Busy in Brooklyn (BIB for short) was my husband’s brilliant idea, and his expertise in internet marketing really helped me create an online presence for Busy in Brooklyn.
I observe a kosher diet so all the recipes on BIB follow kosher dietary laws and standards. I do not eat pork, shellfish, or bugs of any kind. I check all my fruits & veggies to ensure that they are insect-free (brocolli is a killer!). I also don’t mix milk (dairy) and meat, so you won’t find any (real) cheeseburgers here! I do, however, use beef and lamb bacon, mix coconut milk into my chicken curry, and make a mean portobello cheeseburger.
ABOUT JEWISH HOLIDAYS
As an observant Jew, I am lucky enough to celebrate holidays throughout the year. You’ll find lots of holiday-related recipes and crafts on the blog. Here is a brief roundup of Jewish holidays:
Rosh Hashana: The Jewish New Year (September)
Celebrated with symbolic foods such as apple dipped in honey, the head of a fish, pomegranate seeds, carrots, beets, dates and several others.
Yom Kippur: Day of Attonement (October)
Yom Kippur is a fast day, but 2 festive meals are eaten before the fast. Dumplings are a customary addition the meal.
Sukkot: The Festival of Huts (October)
During the holiday of Succot all meals are eaten outside in a Succah (a temporary hut). Many festive meals are prepared during the holiday.
Chanukah: The Festival of Lights (December)
During Chanukah, we light the menorah and eat foods that have been fried, like latkes and donuts, to commemorate the miracle of the oil. It is also customary to eat dairy foods.
Tu B’Shvat: New Year for the Trees (February)
Celebrated by eating the Seven Species that are native to the land of Israel, including, wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.
Purim: The Holiday of Joy (March)
On Purim, we celebrate the victory of the Jews over the wicked Haman in the days of Queen Esther of Persia. We dress-up in fun costumes, eat hamantaschen, and make l’chaim on cocktails and drinks.
Passover: The Holiday of Freedom (April)
On Passover, we celebrate the freedom of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. We don’t eat any chametz (leavened grain). Matza is a staple during the 8-day festival.
Lag Ba’omer: The Birth of Jewish Mysticism (April)
Celebrated with bonfires and BBQ’s, bows & arrows and Jewish Unity parades.
Shavuot: The Festival of Roses (June)
Shavuot commemorates the giving the Torah on Mount Sinai. Dairy foods are traditionally eaten and we decorate our homes and synagogues with flowers.
ABOUT MY RECIPES
Recipes that do not state a source (most of the recipes on BIB) are my own creation unless otherwise noted. If a recipe says it is “adapted” from another source, it usually means that at least one ingredient has been added or removed, or that I have changed the amounts in the recipe.
I encourage you to comment on my blog posts and let me know if you tried a recipe and how it turned out. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email and I’d be happy to respond in a timely manner.
ABOUT MY CRAFTS
I love all sorts of crafting including knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, DIY projects and others. I learned to knit from a very talented woman who was able to knit wedding dresses from scratch. In exchange for the lessons, I taught her how to read Hebrew. I never went on to knit anything more than scarves and headbands because I found it to be too complicated, as well as hard on my hands. I really wanted to learn to crochet so I taught myself by watching videos on YouTube. I find crocheting to be relaxing, fun and most importantly, extremely easy. All of the crochet projects I post are very simple and only a basic knowledge of crocheting is needed.
ABOUT THE MATERIALS
In the early days of BIB, I photographed my recipes and crafts using the Canon T2i and an 18-200mm lens with flash. Now, I shoot with my 50mm/f1.4 lens in natural light. My photography is a work in progress and I am slowly learning how to improve my photography skills!
BIB uses the This Just In! theme for WordPress, by John Crenshaw. This theme was designed for photography but I like it because I can easily post small pictures of my step-by-step process.
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