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Rosh Hashanah Simanim Roundup

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

If you’ve never been to Florida, you probably haven’t heard of Winn Dixie. Although if you have, you probably love the store as much as I do. Since my in-laws live down in the sunny State, I’m lucky enough to visit on occasion and try out the amazing array of kosher restaurants and supermarkets there. What I love so much about Winn Dixie is that it is both a general supermarket AND a kosher one. Which means, if you need a kosher ingredient 30 minutes before Shabbat, they’ll still be open, and they’ll definitely have what you’re looking for. Not only does Winn Dixie have over 1000 branded kosher products, they also boast a kosher deli and bakery.

Because I’m such a big fan of the store, I was so excited to promote their #FreshNewYear campaign with a Rosh Hashanah Simanim Roundup. What are simanim? They’re symbolic foods that are eaten on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize our hopes for a sweet New Year. The symbolic foods include leeks, pomegranate, gourds (includes squashes like acorn, butternut, delicata, kabocha, spaghetti and pumpkin), dates, black eyed peas (some use green beans), apples & honey, beets, carrots and fish head (some use ram’s head). These specific foods are eaten because their hebrew names are related to other Hebrew words that convey our wishes for the coming year. Jews of Sephardic decent actually host a seder where these foods are eaten and a blessing is made over each symbolic food. For a detailed list of the blessings and simanim, click here.

So without further ado, lets get started!

LEEKS:

fried leek rings with homemade ketchup
Greek-style leeks with prunes and cinnamon
steamed cod with leeks
leek fritters
olive oil braised leeks with thyme
cream of leek soup
cauliflower leek puree
veal scaloppine with leeks

POMEGRANATE:

how to deseed a pomegranate
carrots with pomegranate molasses glaze
salmon with pomegranate molasses glaze
pomegranate coleslaw
pomegranate brisket tacos
roasted lamb with pomegranate and wine
pomegranate glazed london broil 
pomegranate sorbet
mini promegranate pavlovas
mini pomegranate bundt cakes

GOURDS:

Syrian candied gourd
honey roasted squash
soy braised kabocha squash
quinoa stuffed acorn squash
roasted acorn squash and pomegranate farro salad
sausage and apple stuffed butternut squash
butternut squash chili fries
roasted butternut squash and apple soup
spaghetti squash with spinach, leeks and mushrooms
sweet spaghetti squash
pumpkin whoopie pies
pumpkin crisp
pumpkin pot pie
delicata squash muffins
delicata squash salad with spicy maple dressing

DATES:

how to make your own silan (date honey)
date honey cake
Rosh Hashanah roast
silan roasted chicken with squash and dates
couscous with dried dates
bacon wrapped dates (use kosher bacon)
medjool date pecan pie
gingerbread date truffles
chewy date granola bars
sticky date pudding

BLACK EYED PEAS OR GREEN BEANS:

black eyed pea hummus
black eyed pea salsa
black eyed peas salad
black eyed pea cakes
black eyed pea fritters
Egyptian black eyed peas
Brazilian rice with black eyed peas
black eyed peas with meatballs
black eyed peas and green beans
crunchy garlic shriveled green beans
honey ginger green beans
sauteed green beans with mushrooms and cipollini onions
grilled green beans with harissa
pickled green beans

APPLE & HONEY:

holiday salad with apple and honey vinaigrette (watch me make a variation here!)
apple and honey BBQ sauce
apple honey drumsticks
apple and honey challah
honey roasted za’atar chicken with fruit
chicken and apples in honey mustard sauce
apple and honey baklava
apple rose pie bites
honey cake with caramelized apples
apple and honey bread pudding
apple and honey tart
apple and honey muffins
apple and honey trifle

BEETS:

roasted beet and orange salad
beet pomegranate salad
roasted beet salsa
angel hair pasta salad with golden beets
beet soup with beet green pesto
rainbow Anna potatoes with beets
beet pickled deviled eggs
beet latkes
beet rugelach
moist chocolate beet cake
red velvet cupcakes

CARROTS:

carrot salad with honey lemon dressing
Moroccan carrot salad
creamy carrot and leek soup
roasted carrots with tahini harissa sauce
whiskey glazed carrots
tzimmes roast
carrot risotto
rice with carrots and raisins
carrot muffins
carrot cake sandwich cookies
carrot cake pudding
carrot truffles

FISH OR RAM’S HEAD:

fish head curry
fish head soup
Vietnamese fish head soup
gefilte stuffed salmon head (scroll to the bottom)
baked lambs head with potatoes

For more Rosh Hashanah recipes, check out the Winn Dixie holiday ebook below! It’s packed with lots of Jamie Geller’s amazing holiday recipes that you’ll want to make again and again!

NOTE: All photos (besides the ones with the BIB watermark) are from 123RF Photo.

This post is sponsored by Winn Dixie

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Angel Hair Pasta Salad

Thursday, September 18th, 2014


I’ve really got to start cooking from cookbooks again. It’s literally been years since I’ve made something from a cookbook. And it’s not because I don’t have any – trust me. I’ve got more cookbooks than I have room for in my small Brooklyn home. They’re all just sitting there on the shelf, like figurines on display, looking pretty!

I usually only take my cookbooks out on Shabbos, when I browse through them like an old photo album. I drool over the good recipes, sigh over the bad ones, and then return them to the bookshelf. Once in a while I promise myself to try a recipe, but I usually forget or don’t get around to it.

Recently, my Shabbos guest was looking though my cookbook collection and she asked me what my favorite recipes were from some of my cookbooks. It made me realize that cookbooks are not just for browsing – some of them have really good recipes that I should actually be cooking. She told me some of her favorites dishes from the cookbooks we had in common (like Smitten Kitchen, Jerusalem, Plenty, The Kosher Palette, Kosher by Design and others) and I promised myself I would give them a try.

It really hit home this week because for the first time in a while, I was stumped. I had planned on an apple and honey dessert for the blog, but sadly, it flopped (yes, that happens to me!) and I couldn’t think of anything else that I wanted to post. Until, I was speaking to my friend and she mentioned a recipe for angel hair pasta that she was making for dinner. She said it had mushrooms and leeks – and when I heard leeks, I was all over it. My mind started racing, thinking about all the ways I could turn it into a Simanim salad – filled with lots symbolic foods that we eat on Rosh Hashanah.

I went straight for some of my favorite Rosh Hashanah foods – beets and pomegranates – keeping things mess-free with golden beets. The pomegranates add great crunch, and the honey rounds it all out with a hint of sweetness.

So thanks to Dina (and whoever came up with the original recipe), for getting my creative juices flowing again.I can’t wait to dust off my cookbooks and open my eyes (and palate) to a new range of recipes! Shall we call it a New Year’s Resolution?

What are some of your favorite cookbook recipes? Share them in the comments below!

Related Recipes:

Israeli couscous salad with roasted beets, carrots and parsnips
holiday salad with apple and honey vinagrette

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Dairy Made Easy Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Leah Schapira & Victoria Dwek turn out new cookbooks faster than I develop recipes. Their latest addition to the Made Easy series is a fantastic collection of dairy recipes, just in time for Shavuot!

Like Starters & Sides Made Easy, Passover Made Easy, and Kids Cooking Made Easy, the Dairy edition is layed out in the same attractive, easy-to-read style. Even their cookbook-making skills seem made easy. They’ve mastered a template that provides a small soft-cover book that’s beautifully styled, easy to flip through, and filled with tips and tidbits, all without seeming overwhelming. The beautiful pictures draw you in and the down-to-earth recipes make you want to open your pantry right then-and-there to whip up one of their quick and easy dishes.

Besides for 60 easy-to-make recipes, you’ll also find a comprehensive cheese guide, a Make It Light section, a Make it Pareve Guide, and bonus serving ideas. Leah and Victoria fill each page with great tips, like how to measure frozen fruit, how to soften butter quickly or how to bake pizza without a pizza stone. They also share their thought processes and family anecdotes in a fun and friendly way.

What do I not want to make from this cookbook? It’s filled with mouthwatering recipes for breakfast, great starters & sides, soups, salads & sandwiches, and of course pizza, pasta and dessert (hello 180 calorie cheesecake!).

Some of the recipes I look forward to trying are the granola thins, arancini, sweet chili home fries, stuffed sole, French mushroom soup, hasselback baguette, honey pomodoro pizza, cajun creamy penne, cheese buns, peanut butter creme brulee and strawberry cheesecake ice cream.

In honor of the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, I’m giving away a free copy of the Dairy Made Easy cookbook! To enter, simply leave a comment below with your favorite Shavuot dish. You can also follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below for an extra entry. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

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Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Monday, May 26th, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zucchini Fries (Gluten Free)

Monday, May 12th, 2014

We’re closing in on our series of pesto recipes with these crunchy gluten free zucchini fries! I love using zucchini because they are so low in calories and totally guilt free. To keep them diet friendly and gluten free, I used a chopped nut coating instead of breadcrumbs, and garbanzo bean flour instead of all purpose flour. But what really makes these zucchini fries different is the pesto. I could have went with eggwash to “glue” the crunchy nut coating onto the zucchini sticks, but with extra pesto in the fridge, I decided to give it a try. The results were so flavorful, I can’t imagine making it any other way!

There’s just something about fries that makes eating any vegetable fun, am I right? Good old russet potato fries used to be the only fries  on the brain but sweet potato fries have made it up there too. Personally, I’m a big fan of butternut squash fries,  and just recently, parsnips fries have topped my list of favorites as well. I must blog about those soon.

If you’re dieting and craving some crunch, these oven-fried zucchini fries are sure to hit the spot. Feel free to adapt the recipe to your specific diet! To make them dairy-free, just omit the parmesan and use more nuts instead. I like to use the same nuts as the ones in the pesto (I used Marcona almonds here), but you can experiement with pecans and walnuts too.

Related Recipes:

zucchini parmesan chips
pesto pinwheels

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Joy of Kosher Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Monday, March 24th, 2014

When Jamie Geller coined herself “the bride who knew nothing” I believed her. In her Quick & Kosher cookbooks series, Jamie shared recipes that were exactly as titled – simple, easy and quick dishes that the most novice of cooks could whip out of their kitchen. Some recipes were as simple as pairing store-bought barbeque sauce with shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken – now who can’t do that?

Being a fan of Jamie’s spunky personality and can-do attitude, I owned both of her cookbooks and was familiar with all the recipes from the bride who knew nothing. Which is precisely why the Joy of Kosher cookbook swept me right off my feet. That clueless young bride that could not make a pot of chicken soup evolved into a sophisticated cook with innovative recipes that are as pleasing to the eye as they are on the palate.

I know that because I was lucky enough to attend Jamie’s cookbook launch party where I sampled many of the dishes in the book including ktzizot (Israeli mini burgers), Meditteranean lamb skewers, cilantro corn cakes, mini slow cooker turkey spinach meatloaf, BBQ short rib sliders, fudge brownies, caramel apples with crushed candy and kiddie candy bark.  I was literally blown away by the amazing flavor in each and every dish. The cocktail meatballs with sweet and sour sauce were some of the most tender meatballs I’d ever had, and the carrot honey cake was an eye-opening experience for a honey-cake-purist like myself.

Recipes from the bride who knew nothing? Not anymore.

Browsing through Jamie’s book, you’ll find that she shares a lot more than just stellar recipes. She shares of piece of herself. With each chapter, Ms. Geller opens another door to her life and home, drawing you in like you’re part of the family. An adorable one, I might add. As a food photographer, I don’t know which I like more – the expertly styled food photos that jump off the page, or the out-of-this-world moments captured of her precious clan of five.

Aside from beautiful photos and mouthwatering recipes, Joy of Kosher packs it all in by offering a dressed up an dressed down version of each recipe. That means you can whip it up real fast for family, or polish it up for Shabbat or holiday meals. A handy holiday menu guide and Passover conversion table complete the book, making it perfect for year-round use.

In honor of the upcoming holiday of Passover, I’m giving away a free copy of the Joy of Kosher cookbook! To enter, simply leave a comment below with your favorite Passover dish. You can also follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below for an extra entry. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

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SAMPLE PASSOVER RECIPES FROM THE JOY OF KOSHER COOKBOOK:

Jamie Geller and I at the Joy of Kosher Cookbook Launch Party

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Chickpea Cakes with Za’atar Cauliflower Relish

Monday, February 24th, 2014

If you follow my blog, you probably already know about my passion for Israeli fare. From cumin to za’atar and roasted eggplant to chickpeas – you’ll find loads of Middle Eastern-inspired recipes here on BIB. I’ve been growing my collection of Middle Eastern cookbooks as well, with Balaboosta just recently added to books like Plenty, Jerusalem, Cook in Israel, The Book of New Israeli Food, and more.

In this delicious appetizer, I’ve created a chickpea cake, in a preparation similar to polenta, using garbanzo flour. Such cakes are popularly served in Northern Italy (where it’s called panisse) as well as the South of France (where it’s called panelle). They are often cut into sticks and fried to resemble french fries.

For the topping, I went with a delicious combination of za’atar roasted cauliflower with caramelized onions, prunes and toasted pine nuts. The result is a delicious combination of Middle Eastern flavors – the perfect recipe to guest post on Yosef Silver’s blog, This American Bite. You may remember it from The Great Blog Swap Link-Up where I created a recipe for grilled corn with za’atar garlic butter, inspired by his recipe for garlic, za’atar & olive oil stovetop popcorn.

For the recipe, head on over to This American Bite.

1 year ago: teriyaki salmon
2 years ago: stuffed roasted butternut squash
3 years ago: quick & easy chocolate rugelach

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Caraway Roasted Turnips

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014


If you’re like most people, you’ve probably underestimated the turnip. Maybe you’ve added it to your chicken soup for some extra flavor, or if you’re brave, you’ve mashed them up with some butter. Me? I was not much of a turnip person until we made a roasted vegetable dish in culinary school that involved caraway seeds.

I don’t know what it was about those fragrant little seeds that made the veggies so good. If you ask me, they kinda look like mouse droppings. And really, all I could think of when I smell them is the “black bread” (which I grew up to appreciate as pumpernickel) my mom used to buy when I was a kid.

So yes, if you’re the type of person that doesn’t like to take a leap in the kitchen, this dish is going to involve some bravery. But when you take a bite of the caramelized turnips, you’ll never turn back. When I’m craving roasted potatoes, I make a huge tray of this stuff (with or without the caraway seeds) and it really hits the spot.

1 year ago: melt-in-your-mouth veal meatballs
2 years ago: cheesy stuffed mini peppers
3 years ago: cowboy cookies

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Roundup: The Seven Species

Monday, January 13th, 2014

This Thursday, Jews around the world will celebrate Tu B’shvat, the New Year for the trees. Traditionally, we celebrate by eating The Sheva Minim, or, Seven Species. They include the following fruits and grains that are native to the land of Israel: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

In honor of Tu B’shvat, I’ve put together a roundup of recipes for each of the Seven Species from all around the web. Enjoy!

Read more about Tu B’shvat

WHEAT:

wheat thins
whole wheat pretzel bread bowls
apricot wheat germ muffins
cream of wheat (farina) pancakes
farro salad with carrots, mushrooms and spinach
Tunisian roasted eggplant & wheat berries salad
kibbeh (ground meat & bulgur)
bulgur wheat patties with spicy tahini sauce
chocolate granola with walnuts & wheat germ
puffed wheat chocolate marshmallow bars

BARLEY:

barley ravioli
crockpot mushroom barley stoup
beer braised brisket with onion gravy
honey chili beer chicken
barley risotto
barley croquettes
lentil barley burgers
Moroccan chickpea barley salad
Tu B’shvat salad
barley scones with roasted plums

GRAPES:

mulled wine
balsamic roasted brussel sprouts & grapes
curried chicken salad with grapes
seared duck breast with grape sauce
yebra (Syrian stuffed grape leaves)
grape jelly cocktail meatballs
moscato poached apricots
red wine poached pears
black grape & plum compote
caramel apple pie grape poppers
concord grape cornmeal cake
sangria ice pops

FIGS:

honey roasted figs (fresh)
apple, fig & beet salad (fresh)
fig chutney (fresh)
grilled cheese with figs & honey (fresh)
fig and goat cheese pizza with balsamic glaze (fresh)
dried fruit brie bites (dried)
Tu B’shvat truffles (dried)
mustard roasted dried fruits (dried)
Tu B’shvat biscotti (dried)
fig, olive oil & sea salt challah (dried)
figgy BBQ sauce (dried)

POMEGRANATE:

pomegranate coleslaw
pomegranate rosemary cheddar cheese ball
roasted sweet potatoes with spiced pomegranate molasses
burnt eggplant with garlic, lemon & pomegranate
pomegranate glazed salmon
sticky chicken wings with pomegranate glaze
crockpot sweet & sour pomegranate short ribs
frozen greek yogurt pomegranate bites
no machine pomegranate ice cream
pomegranate chocolate mousse

OLIVES:

infused olive oils
warm marinated olives
sundried tomato olive tapenade
eggplant caponata
multi grain olive braid bread
chicken tagine with olives & prunes
flounder putanesca
cheese-stuffed fried olives
Colavita olive oil chocolate crinkle cookies
olive oil cake

DATES:

banana, dates, milk & honey smoothie
French roast with dried fruit sauce
silan (date honey) roasted figs
lamb and date tagine
chewy date granola bars
whole wheat date & almond muffins
date honey nut bread
sticky date pudding
almond stuffed dates
vegan berry pies with date crust

NOTE: All photos (besides the ones with the BIB watermark) are from 123RF Photo.

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Tuscan White Beans with Spinach

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I love to eat out. Which is why I’ll probably never leave Brooklyn. Aside from Israel, New York has got to be the mecca of the kosher culinary world. You’ll find all sorts of restaurants scattered throughout the five boroughs, including Indian, Italian, French and Chinese eateries. Being a foodie-turned-chef, I take inspiration for my recipes from everything around me – especially quality restaurant dishes. When I eat a good dish at a restaurant, I’m bound to whip up my own version in my kitchen (like I did here). This is one such recipe.

 

1 year ago: spicy garlic chicken
2 years ago: cornbread scones

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Teriyaki Mushrooms

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I’m a big mushroom fan. I love all types of the fungus, well, except for the poisonous variety that’s growing in my backyard. The funny thing is, my husband never really got to appreciate them growing up because his mother is severely allergic. I found this out soon after my marriage, when we gathered for sheva brachot dinner. They were serving some kind of mushroom knish, which may or may not have been disguised as meat. My mother in law took one bite and her throat swelled up like a balloon. I don’t remember much after that, but I DO remember that every time I tried to make dinner with any kind of ‘shroom, my new husband gave me this are-you-really-going-to-serve-me-fungus-for-dinner look. But instead of putting one of my favorite veggies on the back burner, I taught him to love them. This is one of the ways.

Making these delicious teriyaki portobello mushrooms, is such a joke, you won’t believe your eyes, or your taste buds, when you eat them. Such a simple preparation and they taste fabulous. I always turn to this “recipe” when I need a quick side dish for Shabbat dinner. The platter always gets polished off to the last drop.

Other Mushroom Recipes:

crockpot mushroom barley stoup
spinach stuffed mushrooms
portobello burgers with sundried tomato aioli
portobello pizza

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