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Bourbon Peach Meatballs

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Is it just me or is time just getting away from us this year? Everything seems to be moving so fast – the somber days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are already behind us, and it’s party time!

Succos is one of my favorite holidays. I love the smell of autumn in the air, the sound of ruffling leaves as we sit outside to eat and the cool breeze that blows through our little hut as we gather to celebrate. What I don’t love, is the exorbitant amount of food that seems neverending as we roll from one meal to the next for eight days straight! No matter how much one loves cooking, we all get sick of prepping, and even eating, that much!

So…. here are some tips to help us all manage and get through the cookfest:

1. This seems pretty obvious but DON’T. COOK. SO. MUCH.! Let go of the stereotypical meal of fish with dips and salads + meat and/or chicken with several sides + dessert. Instead, lighten things up with a composed meal that consists of a small plated appetizer – fish, if you’re traditional, or something vegan, if you’re not. Then move onto the main course – a large salad, festive roast or chicken with one starchy side, one vegetable and something kid friendly. For dessert – spruce up some Duncan Hines brownies with some tahini, oreos, frozen cookie dough or whatever you wish and serve with ice cream.
2. Plan themed menus! This keeps things exciting instead of boring and repetitive. I love to do a Mexican, Israeli, or Asian meal over Succos. Check out this post for some ideas!
3. Reinvent leftovers! Instead of throwing out that leftover chicken soup, why not make chicken pot pie? Or repurpose your leftover roast into a Shepherd’s pie. If you think outside the box and try to repurpose your leftovers, you can make a whole new meal without having to cook much at all.
4. Cook once, use twice! When prepping for the first days of the Chag, prepare a double portion of things like pulled beef, grilled chicken or hummus and use them a bunch of different ways.


Here are some suggestions:

Pulled beef: scroll to the bottom of this post for my super easy pulled beef recipe. It freezes great so make a double portion and freeze for later – pull and freeze in the sauce.
Serving suggestions: pulled beef sliders, nachos, tacos, bourekas, Shepherd’s pie, serve over hummus or mashed potatoes.

Grilled chicken: prepare a large portion and wrap smaller portions and freeze.
Serving suggestions: chicken salad, chicken wraps, fried rice, lo mein, ramen bowls, summer rolls, eggrolls.
Recipes:
grilled chicken wedge salad with carrot ginger dressing
grilled chicken fattoush with za’atar ranch
grilled chicken salad with jalapeno honey mustard
grilled chicken shawarma salad
sheet pan chicken fajitas 5 ways
farro grain bowl
sesame linguini with grilled chicken
Asian chicken salad
curried chicken lettuce wraps

Hummus: make a large portion of hummus and repurpose with different toppings.
Serving suggestions: hummus bassar (you can also use baharat, taco seasoning, shawarma spice…), humshuka – hummus with shakshuka on top, hummus with shawarma chicken, hummus with falafel, hummus with chickpeas, hummus with beets, hummus with roasted eggplant and pomegranate seeds, hummus with olives…

Grains or Pasta: make a large batch of pasta or grains of choice like quinoa.
Serving suggestions: pasta salad, pasta bolognese, lo mein, baked ziti or quinoa salad, quinoa patties, quinoa chili, quinoa stuffing.


I hope these ideas helped you manage the cooking frenzy ahead! Wishing you a Chag Sameach!

Related Recipes:

bourbon apricot BBQ chicken
drunken hasselback salami
bourbon honey cake balls
turkey meatballs with red wine cranberry marinara
2 ingredient lazy meatballs

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Mom’s Potato Knishes

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

As a recipe developer, it’s not often that I make other peoples recipes, and when I do, it’s often ones that have been in my family for years. I usually find myself cooking my mom’s dishes around the High Holidays – there’s just something about the Days of Awe that makes me want to connect to my roots, and how more so than with food.

Mom’s potato knishes are a staple at every holiday meal, and it has always been my favorite, because, well… potatoes. It’s probably the only time you’ll see me using margarine – EVER – because coconut oil just doesn’t fly here and to keep the knishes pareve, I’ve got no other choice. Plus, puff pastry is basically 80% margarine anyway, so what’s a little more, amiright?

What I love about this recipe is that the filling makes enough to fill 3 whole rolls and they freeze great! And since they’re frozen unbaked, they taste like you just made them when you bake them up before serving. = a perfect recipe for long holidays like Succos coming up! If you have a custom to eat stuffed foods for the Harvest Holiday, I’ve got you covered there too!

Related Recipes:

cabbage bourekas
deli roll
spanakopita bourekas
salmon en croute with creamed leeks

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Hummus Simanim

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

As the New Year approaches, I always like to evaluate where I stand and think about what changes I want to make for myself in the coming year, both personally and professionally. For years, my goal was to take the necessary steps towards writing my own cookbook, and now that I have met that goal (far beyond my expectations, with our first printing of 15,000 books completely sold out in just 3 months!), I keep asking myself, “What’s next?”.


I’m not the type of person that settles on status quo – I’m always dreaming up the next big thing and finding ways to challenge myself. It’s like they say – “If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind” – and I definitely believe in that.


Truth be told, once the book went to print, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I couldn’t imagine coming up with new recipes and ideas ever again! But as my workload lightened up this summer, I got back in the kitchen because I wanted to, not because I had to, and I found my groove again! I went back to my roots, the foods and the flavors that I love the most (yes, that means Israeli food!) and this amazing new recipe came to me! It’s simanim on steroids and it is everything you’ve ever dreamed of for your Rosh Hashanah table and more!

Simanim, or symbolic foods, are traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize our hopes for a sweet New Year. Some simanim include leeks, pomegranate, gourds (any type of squash), dates, black eyed peas or green beans, beets, carrots and fish head (some use ram’s head). These specific foods are eaten because their hebrew translation relates to specific blessings that convey our wishes for the coming year.


When I put the platter together, I couldn’t stop taking photos because, I mean, HOW GORGEOUS IS IT, amiright??? I all but maxed out my SD card and went. to. town. (No- I like seriously went to town, for some fresh pita!). I invited my neighbors over and we stood over my kitchen counter in the mountains, scooping hummus and salad onto blistered bread, the tastes of Israel growing stronger with each bite. It was a simple dish, but it captured everything I love about what I do – channeling my creativity, sharing with friends, cooking with color and putting a twist on tradition.

This dish reminded me how important it is to cook from a place of love – it is, after all, the secret ingredient that makes everything taste better – and that it’s food, family and tradition that brings us all together.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and sweet New Year with much success in all areas of your lives. May we continue to reach milestones and share good news with each other this year!
Ksiva Vachasima Tova L’shana Tova Umisukah!



Related Recipes:

simanim fritto misto
simanim pasta salad
simanim holiday salad
hummus bassar
chestnut hummus

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Lemon Grilled Leeks with Crispy Panko

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: leeks are an underrated vegetable. Thankfully, they are one of the symbolic foods that is customary to eat on Rosh Hashanah, so once a year people actually take the time to pay attention to them!

Leeks are buttery soft when braised, crispitty crunchy when fried and smoky when grilled. In a word: they are versatile. And I’m so happy to share this method + recipe with you!


First, let us consider that since Rosh Hashanah is so early this year, we can still make use of our grills, and if you don’t have one, there’s still time to savor some al fresco dining. PC Richard & Son has everything you need for outdoor grilling – like these Traeger grills that I’m personally hoping to upgrade to, and some more affordable Weber models. I’ve been grilling so much this summer and I can honestly tell you that there’s nothing quite like it. You keep the mess outdoors, the food is full of flavor and meals come together in minutes. It’s a win-win.

I’ll tell you what else is a win-win: the combo of lemony leeks with a hint of sweet honey and garlicky crispy crumbs makes this humble vegetable the star of the holiday table. It also makes the perfect side to some braised brisket, a leg of lamb or grilled rib eye steak. So lets get grillin!

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

Related Recipes:

salmon en croute with creamed leeks
roasted smashed potatoes with leeks
cream of leek soup

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Grilled Chicken Wedge Salad
with Carrot Ginger Dressing

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Grilled chicken salad is my dish of choice for summer. There always seems to be some leftover chicken in the fridge and I love the challenge of coming up with new ways to eat it – depending on what I have on hand. I typically go with Middle Eastern-inspired recipes when I use pargiot, or dark meat cutlets, and I go Asian or Indian with chicken breasts.

The iceberg salad with carrot ginger dressing is my favorite starter at Asian restaurants – it’s just so light and fresh and really the perfect way to start a meal of heavy Chinese food. I’m always picking out the big chunks of iceberg that are wedged into each other, so I decided to make a salad that is all about the wedge!

Traditional wedge salad is smothered in bacon and blue cheese dressing – and aside from the fact that it’s not kosher, I’m not even tempted, because, well….blue cheese. I prefer not to eat food that tastes like stinky socks, you know? But this right here? This is I can get behind. With creamy avocado, peppery radishes and crisp cucumber, you don’t even miss croutons and the dish will leave you feeling light and refreshed – just how I love my summer salads.

Related Recipes:

Asian lettuce wraps
grilled chicken fattoush with za’atar ranch
grilled chicken salad with jalapeno honey mustard dressing
grilled chicken shawarma salad

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Kalbi Korean BBQ Ribs

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Before we get started on this summer-must-have recipe, I have a small favor to ask of y’all! Saveur is hosting their yearly blog awards and it would mean so much to me if you would nominate me for “best food culture blog“. It’s super easy to do and takes less than 2 minutes – you can nominate busyinbrooklyn as many times as you’d like until tomorrow evening. Thank you so much for your continued love and support!

I don’t grill – meat – enough. Maybe it’s because my husband is vegetarian. Or because kosher cuts are so darn expensive, and my kids don’t really care either way. I’m the only one who’s really going to appreciate it, so I can’t justify the splurge that often. Of course burgers, hot dogs, pargiot and veggies make a regular appearance on the grill, but steak – not so much.

I’m far from a vegetarian but I’m also not that enthusiastic about animal protein. It feels so heavy and hard to digest, so we’re down to having it just once a week (OK twice if you count those days when I just want to crash and feed my kids hot dogs – the no nitrate, reduced fat, better for you version because even though I’m tired, I’m not about to feed my kids complete and total junk!). Don’t tell my husband but I have to admit that I feel better when I don’t eat that much meat, but it’s summer, and the grill is calling for some sizzling steak!

I used to get this dish at Sushi Mestuyan in Queens – a kosher Japanese steak house that was, when it first opened, a pretty good restaurant. It was around for years, opened up a few other branches, and gradually declined into obscurity. I don’t think it’s around anymore, but I dream about their Metsuyan Kalbi, because it had the most tender pieces of grilled meat in a rich Korean BBQ sauce that I can practically still taste. They served it in a cast iron skillet with a side of coconut rice and it was enough to make a vegetarian want to splurge. I forgot about that dish until I made these ribs, and the sweet and spicy umami-rich marinade just brought me back to their dining room with the giant fish tank along the wall. When food can transport you like that – you know you’ve got yourself a winning recipe! Also when your anti-animal-protein husband breaks his diet for a piece (or two, or three) you can bet you’ve nailed it.

What makes the marinade truly shine is my (not so new) favorite kosher ingredient – gochujang! Tzipporah Rothkopf, a Korean convert to Judaism decided to bring some of her native condiments to the kosher market and I thank G-d every day that she decided to become Jewish! Her kosher-certified brand, KOKO Kosher Korean features authentic Korean condiments like gochujang (fermented red chili paste), gochugaru (chili powder),  kimchi (fermented cabbage), doenjang (fermented soybean paste aka miso), and ganjang (fermented soy sauce). What makes these products so unique is that the fermentation process deepens the flavors, creating umami-rich savory notes that are so complex and delicious. I can’t get enough of her gochujang – it’s sticky, sweet, salty and spicy all at once – I can eat it with a spoon!

Related Recipes:

Asian grilled marinated chicken
mongolian beef
grilled radicchio with black sesame dressing

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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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