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Roasted Eggplant Shakshuka

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’ve got a thing for stuffing roasted eggplant halves. I’ve made it a bunch of different ways – in fact – I had so many variations that I wanted to put into my cookbook, Millennial Kosher, that I almost wanted to do a stuffed eggplant chapter! Alas, we had to nix this shakshuka recipe because I already had 2 other stuffed recipes in the book (fully loaded stuffed eggplants and lamb moussaka eggplant boats).

It was a hard decision because this recipe is just THAT good. But the great part about being a food blogger is that I knew I could eventually just post it on the blog, and this seems like the perfect week! With the Nine Days upon us (a period of mourning in which observant Jews abstain from eating meat), we’re all looking for light and healthy vegetarian fare, and this fits the bill.

If you’re a fan of shakshuka, I’ve got lots of other variations available on the blog too, like this Mexican Quinoa Shakshuka, the beet, kale and goat cheese version that WhatJewWannaEat guest posted for me when I was on maternity leave,  this fun zoodle version, one with garbanzo beans and labneh, another one with spaghetti squash and spinach, and even a stuffed portobello one. Can you tell I have a thing for runny eggs in spicy tomato sauce??

All the above versions are kinda great – but I’m partial to the ramen shakshuka in my cookbook, and this incredible variation. The silky fire roasted eggplant with the runny egg and the spicy tomato sauce marry so well together, it’s a wonder no one came up with this before!

If you’re a fan of stuffed roasted eggplants, you can also try these other ideas: roasted eggplant parmesan, roasted eggplant parmesan with fetastuffed roasted eggplant, and sous vide stuffed eggplant with dukkah and pomegranate.  I wasn’t kidding. I heart stuffed eggplant. Almost as much as shakshuka. Ok as much as shakshuka.

Related Recipes:

Mexican quinoa shakshuka,
beet, kale and goat cheese shakshuka
zoodle shakshuka,
garbanzo bean shakshuka with labneh
spaghetti squash shakshuka
stuffed portobello shakshuka

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Chunky Monkey Marzipan Nice Cream

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Baby I’m back and it feels SO GOOD!! I finally found my blogging groove again and I’ve been cooking and shooting so much – not because I felt pressured, just for the sheer joy of it. It reminds me why I started the blog in the first place, and made me realize just how much I’ve missed it.

This recipe came to me one night this week, and I literally couldn’t sleep thinking about it! How it would taste, what dish I could use for it and how I would shoot it. It was inspired by one of my first smoothie experiences – back in the days when smoothies weren’t that popular. It was the banana, date, milk and honey smoothie from Bissaleh, the Israeli restaurant that gave me my first taste of Israeli cuisine when I was just a teenager. I’d order the drink – ice cold – whenever I would go, and it was just. so. freakin. good. Come to think of it, it’s the place that got me hooked on dates too. And sachlav. And malawach. And everything in between.

Call it the Middle Eastern take on chunky monkey – a classic banana ice cream filled with chocolate fudge and walnuts. Truth be told I’ve never actually HAD chunky monkey ice cream, and banana flavor wouldn’t normally be my thing. But nice cream is another story. If you’ve never made it, it’s basically the best ice cream hack of all time – blending frozen banana chunks until it’s the consistency of smooth-as-butter soft serve. And it’s pretty darn good too. Add some dates, almonds, marzipan and silan and you’ve got yourself a marriage of flavors that is pretty addictive. The fact that it’s good for you? that’s just a cherry on the top.

Now I know marzipan is one of those love it or hate it ingredients. Personally, I used to hate it growing up, but when I married a rainbow-cookie-lover, it slowly grew on me. My kids are huge fans of rainbow cookies too, so I had to come around.

Normally when I think of marzipan desserts, I imagine using almond extract for that intense flavor, but when Molly Yeh put chunks of store-bought marzipan into her biscotti in her cookbook, Molly on the Range, I started looking at marzipan in a new way. She also got me hooked on using the stuff instead of fondant for easy cake decorating (like in this cake!). Basically the stuff is magic.

Marzipan, like rosewater, is an acquired taste, so if you’re not a fan, no worries, you can just sub chocolate chunks in this recipe. You can also do a lot of other substitutions like candied almonds instead of roasted ones, other nuts of you choice, or figs instead of dates. Basically you can customize this however you like and it’ll still be delicious.

And you know what? If you don’t like bananas, just go ahead and fold the ingredients into some softened vanilla ice cream. How good would that be? Or just stuff some marzipan into a pitted date. Or into your mouth. You can’t really go wrong with that.

Are you a fan of marzipan? What are some of your favorite nice cream flavors? Share them with me in the comments below!

Related Recipes:

marzipan biscotti
marzipan date truffles
nutella banana ice cream
banana nut milk & honey smoothie
date and almond hamantaschen

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Grilled Chicken Fattoush with Za’atar Ranch

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Reunited (with my camera) and it feels SO good! I haven’t picked up my equipment to photograph food since I shot my cookbook months ago and I thought I might be a little rusty but by George I think I’ve still got it!

Shooting food today reminded me just how much I love what I do and I’ve missed it! Recipe development, food photography and food styling give me SO much joy, and I am legit the luckiest girl in the world to get to do it for a living. As a food blogger, it’s easy to get caught up in the world of social media – keeping up with the ever changing algorithms, apps and platforms – you almost forget why you got into it in the first place and coming back after a long break is just so good for the blogger soul.

It’s funny because when my book went to print in March, I took a sigh of relief that my schedule would finally ease up and I’d be able to take a breather, but the exact opposite happened. I had a book launch to plan, interviews, book signings and demos that followed in quick succession. It’s all been a roller coaster ride and I’ve been wanting so badly to come up for some air – until I finally did this week, and you know what I realized? I don’t even know how to relax. So I went back to what I know and that’s food. And my camera. And even though you could look at it as work – it was exactly what I needed. I had no deadline. It wasn’t for a book, or a magazine, or even the blog. It was for me.

The food: cuz lets face it, it’s always about the food! Lemon Sumac Grilled Pargiot to be precise. I’m a total pargiot convert. I can’t go back to dry grilled chicken breasts, they’re just so, blah! But pargiot? – so. darn. tasty. And they never dry out! This lemon sumac version is so light and fresh for summer, with a hint of sweetness from the silan. The perfect marriage.

The chicken is a great topping for the summery fattoush – a fresh salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and fried bread (in this case pita chips). I paired it with a lip-smacking za’atar ranch because that’s just how I roll. This is your new summer salad, and you can thank me later.

Related Recipes:

farro grain bowl
grilled chicken shawarma salad
grilled marinated chicken

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Tuna Nicoise with Anchovy Panko Crumbs

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been! I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without blogging in the 7 years that I’ve been doing it but I’ve truly been living up to my name, Busier than Ever in Brooklyn! After having a cookbook “baby”, I’d like to say I was on maternity leave, but the truth is, I’ve been traveling between books signings and demos throughout the Tristate area, plus a small stop in Florida before the Chag. Of course we also celebrated the grand book release party at Bison & Bourbon here in Brooklyn just last week, and it’s truly been a dream come true! I’ve leave the party deets for a separate post, but I really wanted to get back into things here on the blog, where it all got started.

I love it here on Busy In Brooklyn, a constant reminder of my humble beginnings. I need only to scroll back to 2011 to remember how it all began – I was barely even an amateur cook, my photos were beyond embarrassing, and with each passing year that young wife who knew so little about food and photography, blossomed into a confident cook, recipe developer, food photographer, and now, cookbook author. It’s so surreal to me, and as I stood up at the book release party, I said the first thing that came to mind, and what I truly felt – I’m really just a mother, who decided to become a blogger, who decided to write a cookbook. The whole Instagram-fueled pseudo-celebrity status is still so foreign to me – I really just want to live my life and share my passion for modernizing and reinventing kosher food without all the fanfare. Social media has truly changed everything, hasn’t it? It truly is a blessing to be able to reach so many people and watch as traditional Jewish and kosher food evolves over time.

One of the best messages I got from a follower last week was about how she sent her husband to the supermarket in Monsey to buy anchovies for the Kale Caesar Salad in the book. Her husband asked the manager where he could find anchovies and he said, “Come join the other 15 husbands who came in asking for the same thing! Why are people suddenly so interested in anchovies?”. So her husband showed the manager a photo of my book! Now of course there’s nothing Millennial about anchovies in Caesar salad, although it’s not something you normally find on a traditional kosher holiday table. When I was growing up, we made Caesar salad with mayo, garlic powder, distilled white vinegar and sugar. Most kosher cookbooks include a variation of that, with a few forward-thinking recipe writers including Worcestershire sauce or even anchovies. With Millennial Kosher, I really wanted people to embrace these foreign ingredients instead of turning the page or looking for a substitute. Somewhere deep inside I was worried that people weren’t ready, but that message made me realize that Millennial Kosher is exactly what kosher cooks wanted and needed in today’s day and age.

Speaking of anchovies, this modern and sophisticated take on a salad nicoise didn’t quite make it to the book, but after the anchovy episode, I figured it was a good time to post it on the blog! The tuna in this recipe is lightly seared, topped with a sundried tomato and olive tapenade and finished with umami-rich anchovy panko crumbs that would go amazingly well over pasta! Here’s to hoping that some of you are ready to explore anchovies, and salad nicoise, in a new light!

How has Millennial Kosher helped you look at kosher food in a new way? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Related Recipes:

tuna with pineapple guacamole and herbed lime crema
pan seared tuna steak (2011 amateur days! lol)
salad nicoise (another 2011 beauty!)

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Smoky Kale & Farro Salad with Balsamic Fig Dressing

Thursday, March 8th, 2018


I’ve been trying to eat healthy lately – less snacking, more wholesome meals with lots of greens. It hasn’t been easy!

Maybe it’s because I get bored of salads. How many times can you eat lettuce with cucumbers and tomatoes, you know? I mean of course there are a million directions you can go in with salad, but who has the time? Most days I’m lucky if I get to scarf down anything while I’m running from here to there – so I come home famished and eat whatever I can find. I haven’t been making the best choices.

With my manuscript deadline just a few weeks away, I’ve been so stressed, barely sleeping and not taking care of myself. It all came to a head when I came down with the worst case of the flu the other week, that literally had me wanting to check into a hospital. I never knew the flu could be so bad, but I also knew that my body wasn’t doing the best job at getting better because I hadn’t been taking care of myself. It was a real wake up call for me to start taking my vitamins, getting more sleep, and eating better. I lost 10 lbs. over those two grueling weeks, but I gained a fresh start. It was like a clean slate for me, a chance to start over and live with intention.

I may not have done a Whole30, but I definitely felt a mind shift and I’ve been going with the flow. Working more salad into my meals, moving more and drinking more water. I feel so much better and as crazy as it is – I’m so thankful that I had such a bad case of the flu, because it put me in a better place.

Now lets talk about this salad. Salads like these make me want to eat all the greens! I love the balance of smoky, salty, chewy, tart, and sweet! And the balsamic fig dressing is such a winner, you’ll want to start stocking your fridge with it all the time.


A salad that actually makes you want to eat salad – so much yes!!!

Related Recipes:

kale, pear and kabocha squash salad with maple dijon dressing
kale persimmon salad
farro grain bowl

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Falafeltaschen Board

Sunday, February 25th, 2018


I can’t honestly believe that Purim is just a couple of days away! Which means Pesach is just a month away. And then Shavuos is just a couple of weeks after that. And do you know what happens then? By that time I should be holding my own. actual. cookbook. in. my. hands. Ahhhhh!!!!!


Cookbook, cookbook, cookbook. It is the air that I breathe these days! It is my breakfast, lunch and supper. The thing I think of when I get up in the morning and when I go to bed at night (and all the hours in between). It’s what has me crying from stress and happiness at the same time. It. is. real. and it. is. happening.

I have a newfound appreciation for cookbook authors the world over. I think they all deserve a gold medal for the tedious process of developing, testing, retesting and retesting recipe after recipe until they all start to look the same. I think they deserve the biggest honor for the amount of hours poured over every word and the amount of thought that goes into every page.

I have the greatest respect for food stylists and photographers and photo editors who make the perfect crease in a napkin, get the lighting and shadows just so, and finish the photos with the perfect finesse.


And as I wind down to the finish line and wrap up my recipes, my photos, my very heart and soul that I put into this book….I’m forced to stop. Take a deep breath. Because life around me is still living, and the kids need costumes, and shalach manos and….PURIM. I celebrate you with honor and this fabulous FALAFELTASCHEN BOARD that doesn’t need much introduction. I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Happy Purim!

Related Recipes:

corndog hamantaschen
sushi hamantaschen
baklava hamantaschen
date and almond hamantaschen
healthy thumbprint hamantaschen

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Funfetti Rice Krispie Bites

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

You could call it killing three birds with one stone, but I’d rather call it multi-purposing. This blog post means so much to be because it’s covers three of my favorite things:

1. My 7th Blogoversary!!!
2. Shabbos
3. Purim

Since I’m in all out cookbook mode these days, I didn’t have much time to plan separate blog posts, and so I rolled them all into one special post.

First up, is definitely my Blogoversary. OK, I’m a little late to be honest, since I started my blog on January 19th, 2011, but is it ever really too late for sprinkles? (I’ve been celebrating the BIB blogoversary with a funfetti theme for the past few years!). I can’t believe that I have been blogging for seven. whole. years. of. my. life.!! So much has happened in that span of time, it would be impossible to name, but it has all culminated into my upcoming cookbook – truly a dream come true. We are just about three months away from the cookbook release, and I can’t help but notice that this is all happening in my seventh year, as the Sages say, “Kol Sheviyin Chavivin”, all sevenths are cherished.

Speaking of 7ths, this post also comes to you in honor of the most special day of the week, the time when I get to unplug from all of life’s distractions, connect with my family and refresh my soul…..Shabbos – the seventh day of the week.

When Sina Mizrachi of Gather A Table approached me about her virtual Shabbos potluck, I knew I wanted in. You see, Sina sees things through a different lens than most of us. Her blog posts are a glimpse into her soul – one that is pure, innocent and full of light. Her photos reflect that and they draw you in so that you want a seat at her table. Sina’s work has inspired me for years, and her recent Shabbos series speaks for itself. I know how much work goes into every recipe and table setting and I am truly humbled by the beauty and depth in each picture, each paragraph and each dish.

For me, one of the most exciting parts about Shabbos is the special treat I prepare for my kids each week. Shabbos might mean a lot to me on a spiritual level (and lets face it – a very physical one as well: getting to catch up on some much needed sleep!), but when it comes to kids, it can be frustrating for them. They don’t understand why they can’t play on the X Box, or watch their favorite show. They have to wear dress clothes instead of comfortable ones and the list goes on. That’s not to say that kids don’t appreciate having Shabbos guests, getting more attention from their parents (lets be honest, being forced to put our phones away means that we are definitely a lot more present than during the week!) and enjoying special treats – but sometimes they need a reminder, on their level, of what makes Shabbos special.

I remember someone once telling me that they have a special selection of “Shabbos games” that their kids are only allowed to play on Shabbos. A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of “Shabbos Cereal”, where the kids get to enjoy sugary cereal (like Fruity Pebbles) only on Shabbos, while the rest of the week they have moderately sweetened cereal (like Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies). I loved that and incorporated into our routine years ago. These ideas of special Shabbos games and Shabbos cereal send a message to kids that Shabbos is different from the rest of the week. To further enhance that feeling, I always prepare (or purchase, when I don’t have time!) a special Shabbos treat for the kids to be enjoyed after the meal – either as a dessert, or as part of a “Shabbos party”. Sometimes, they help me make it, and other times I save it as a surprise. It really builds the momentum and I love to see the excitement on their face and joy in their eyes as they get to enjoy their  weekly treat. These funfetti Rice Kripie bites are JUST the thing and I’m so happy to bring them with me to the virtual Shabbos potluck!

Here are the other dishes that bloggers brought along to the virtual Shabbos potluck:

Bread:
Between Carpools – which egg wash produces the shiniest challah.
Cookinginheelss –  how to hack a challah.

Appetizer:
Spiceandzestroasted eggplant salad.
The Katamon Kitchensalatim.
The Sugar BoxRed Snapper with charred potatoes, tomatoes and lemon.

Main:
Gather A Table – Iraqi slow cooked chicken and rice.
Peas Love n CarrotsMorrocan braised lamb.
Kitchen Testedroasted vegetable platter.

Dessert:
Jamie Gellercinnamon buns
Your Favorite Blogger ;) : funfetti Rice Krispie Bites

Last, but certainly not least – Purim. I can’t believe it’s upon us in just over two weeks, and I love sharing fun recipes that you can give out as food gifts, or serve at your Purim meal. These funfetti Rice Krispies bites are so fun and festive, and they’ll be making their way into my daughter’s shalach manos. Can you guess what she’s dressing up as? Busy In Brooklyn! (with my signature bangs and glasses + my chef jacket or apron!).

Related Posts: (great for Shabbos and Purim too!)

6th Blogoversary} Funfetti Raspberry Palmiers
5th Blogoversary} Funfetti Pecan Turtles
4th Blogoversary} Funfetti Cake
3rd Blogoversary} La Brochette Blogoversary Dinner
2nd Blogoversary} BBQ Brisket
1st Blogoversary} Mulled Wine

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Poke Bowls

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Move over sushi salad, poke bowls are in the house! The Hawaiian raw fish dish has become a popular food trend and poke’ bars are popping over all over the place! I recently had a delicious make-your-own-bowl at Bravo Kosher Pizza in New York City and I’ve been wanting to recreate it ever since.

There’s nothing not to love about this light, fresh, quick and easy bowl of goodness, unless of course you don’t like raw fish! In that case, go ahead and use some mock crab (kani), or add some flaked cooked salmon. The possibilities are endless, so make it your own.

Related Recipes:

sushi burrito
sushi salad
tuna sashimi with herbed crema
kani salad

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Ice Cream Sandwich Birthday Cake

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated my son’s 4th birthday. He suffers from life threatening food allergies, and most of his life he’s been told what he CAN’T have. At every birthday party, family get-together and holiday, you’ll find him sitting at a separate table, with a small plate of allergy-free food that we’ve managed to salvage for him. And he never complains. He’s such a champ, always so understanding and mature about it.

Ice cream is one of his favorite things and each day on his way home from school, he asks me to take him to the ice cream store. I really wanted to get him an ice cream cake for his birthday, but it’s impossible to find an allergy-free one, so I decided to make it. This cake was super easy to put together, but you’d never know from looking at it. Needless to say, he was so ecstatic, and a few minutes into devouring his slice, he unassumingly leaned over and gave me a hug. It was everything.


Related Recipes:

funfetti birthday cake
funfetti rose cake smash
ice cream sundae cookies
3-layer rainbow cookie cake

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Salami Potato Latkes

Thursday, 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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