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Breakfast Cones

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

I think it’s about time I share my secret to making it through the summer without giving in to my ice cream craving each time the ice cream truck comes around (that’s about 6 times a day here in the bungalow colony!). It’s also how I get my kids to stop asking for money every time they hear “Come and make a bracha, the kosher ice cream truck is here!”. (Who am I kidding? they still ask for money every time they hear it!).

My secret to ice cream without the guilt? BREAKFAST CONES. Yup. Ice cream cones for breakfast. And why do I not feel guilty about this stroke of genius might you ask? Because when I considered the fact that my kids would eat leben (pure sugar), frosted flakes (also pure sugar), pancakes (pure sugar when you count the amount of maple syrup they pour over it) or a chocolate protein bar (pure sugar + bits of protein) for breakfast, I figured a sugar cone filled with fruit and yogurt was just as bad, if not better, than all those options.


Putting all the breakfast things into a sugar cone is also a great way to bribe the kids to get ready for camp every morning. Hurry up and get dressed and I’ll feed you ice cream for breakfast! Does this make me the best mom ever? Or the smartest? I think both!

It all started with my fruity yogurt parfaits that I couldn’t get enough of this summer. The amazing seasonal berries and delicious fruit were so refreshing, especially when topped off with some plain yogurt, a bit of raw farm fresh honey and granola. It was the perfect breakfast, lunch, or light dinner, and I loaded up on it.

When I wanted something a bit more ice-creamy, I’d just stick a yogurt in the freezer for an hour or two, until it got kinda frozen, and load it up with fresh fruit. Once, when I ran out of granola, I crushed up some leftover sugar cones (cuz they are my absolute fave!) and put them on top. And voila! The fruit yogurt cone was born.

When you consider the fact that a single sugar cone has just 50 calories and 3g of sugar, it’s a lot healthier choice than a cup of orange juice (110 calories, 22g sugar per cup) or store bought granola (260 calories, 11g sugar per half cup). And lets not even get started on some of the cereals we are feeding our kids! So, when you do the math…. a sugar cone filled with yogurt, some fresh fruit and a spoonful of cereal is definitely a reasonable breakfast that is great for kids. And you can make it as healthful as you like – go with plain yogurt and nuts and seeds for a healthier version, or fruity yogurt with cereal for a more indulgent one.

Related Recipes:

ice cream sundae cookies
corn flake crunch ice cream
ice cream clowns

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Marzipan Biscotti

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017


I don’t know what took me so long to blog about my love of Molly Yeh’s cookbook, Molly on the Range. Well, actually I do. It’s been a crazy hectic year since baby #5 was born and I’ve been trying to keep my head above water and maintain my sanity while I manage food (blogging) and family. It’s been months since I fangirled Molly at her book release party and I’ve read her book cover to cover and tried quite a number of her cookbook recipes since!
**GIVEAWAY DETAILS BELOW**

Molly’s blog, mynameisyeh, has been a huge inspiration to me as a blogger. First off, her beautiful photography always pushed me to take my own photography to the next level, and the way that she elevates Middle Eastern food is everything to me. We share a love of tahini and marzipan and I secretly dream about the day that I will open a bread and breakfast on my own little farm in Upstate New York (I may have even called a couple of places that had a for sale sign up this summer!).

Every time I think about the urge to redesign my blog (“because that’s what bloggers do”), I’m reminded that Molly became one of the most popular bloggers on the web without ever redesigning hers. You don’t need a fancy lifestyle blog with a gazillion sections to be successful. You just need delicious food, beautiful photography, and a really awesome personality (which is why I actually READ Molly’s entire cookbook cover to cover, instead of just looking at the pictures like I normally do).

I love how Molly on the Range is part autobiography, part cookbook. It’s an awesome and hysterical journey of a true foodie finding love in both the kitchen and her personal life. In true Molly style, she sent out review copies along with her own sprinkle mix, adorable tatoos and a handwritten note. And she put some of that panache in the book too – with a coloring page, shnitzel costume instructions and fun illustrations throughout the book.

The recipes range from Midwestern favorites like hot dishes to popular Middle Eastern foods like bourekas, hummus and malabi. Molly shares recipes from both her Asian and Jewish heritage, including matzo brei, latkes and fusion dishes like shnitzel bao buns and scallion pancake challah. Of course I’ve marked all the Israeli dishes in the book, especially the tahini and marzipan ones, including this delicious biscotti/mandel bread.

The idea of folding in chunks of store bought marzipan is a brilliant one, and not the least bit overwhelming. The almond flavor is surprisingly subtle, and when I served these up for my daughters birthday recently, everyone loved them, marzipan lovers and haters alike.

Speaking of my daughter’s birthday, I attempted my very first marzipan covered cake for her cake smash recently and it was a huge success! I’ve been drooling over Molly’s marzipan coated cakes for the longest time and I was so excited to work with it.  I can’t wait to share the results in an upcoming post.

I’m also super excited to be giving away a copy of Molly on the Range to one lucky reader! To enter to win the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment below letting me know which BIB recipe you’ve been enjoying this summer.
2. For an extra entry, tag a friend on the giveaway post on Facebook or Instagram.

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 Sunday, August 13th, 2017.

Other Marzipan Recipes:

marzipan date truffles
marzipan apple crisp
3-layer rainbow cookie cake
date and almond hamantaschen

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Unicorn Cheesecake Mousse

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP. That’s my motto this holiday season! When the internet went gaga over Starbuck’s unicorn frappuccino recently, I knew I had to get in on the unicorn fun – and here. it. is. Feast your eyes on this strawberry cheesecake mousse with a swirl of sour icing – so much yassssss!

To be honest, I haven’t actually tried the unicorn frap, but I watched as my fellow foodies and blogger friends scrambled to get to their nearest Starbucks for a taste. Most of them found the drink underwhelming – but the general consensus was that the elements of sweet and sour were a cool combo for a shake. And I couldn’t agree more!

Figuring out what to use for the sour element in these was the biggest challenge. At first, I wanted to keep things natural, so I tried fresh blueberries and sour cream – too watery and not sour enough. Plus the blueberries were purple and not blue. Then I headed to Target for some freeze dried blueberries, but that worked out purple too. I finally decided to nix the healthy aspect, since this is an indulgent cheesecake mousse after all (and a little blue food coloring won’t kill anyone either) and went the route of white chocolate (a la the original Starbucks version, which was a white chocolate mocha sauce). But that was a mess. G-d was that a mess.

So, many tries later, I finally hit the nail on the head using my friend Shushy’s suggestion  (check her out @cookinginheelss!) of a thick icing made with powdered sugar. It was the perfect consistency for my sour swirl – made using citric acid, aka sour salt, that gives the icing that special pucker.

I’m super proud of these cuties and I think you will be too if you choose to serve them for dessert this Shavuos holiday! Just hush hush on the secret sour sauce and let your guests be surprised when they take their first bite. Serve with a side of fresh berries for a light and healthy(er than cheesecake) dessert!

Related Recipes:

rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
easy no-bake cheesecake
Torah cannoli

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Fruit Salad with Basil Honey Lime Dressing

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

To me, Passover, or Pesach, is all about tradition. I’ve never actually hosted the holiday in my own home, but I imagine that when I do, I’ll be making the same foods that my mother always made.

I have fond memories of my mom’s Passover ratatouille, mock chopped liver, beet salad and cucumber salad all neatly arranged in mason jars on the door of the fridge. She always had big jars of simple syrup on the counter, which she used to sweeten everything from chicken to fish, meat and nuts. Towards the second days, when everyone had enough of the heavy meals, she always diced up a huge fruit salad in our giant glass Pyrex. And she doused it in simple syrup too.

The simple syrup didn’t bother me, especially as a kid, because the fruit tasted like candy. But the bananas – they just threw the whole thing off. There were never really rules to what went into the fruit salad – it was whatever was leftover around the house – but it almost always had melon, kiwi, sliced bananas, walnuts, and oranges.

There was always someone in the house who was walking around scratching their throat from one of the fruits – probably the kiwi, and I think it was usually my sister. But we still ate it – bananas, oranges and all – and we sipped up all those sweet drippings from the bottom of the bowl like they were liquid gold. Ah, Passover memories.

While everyone is busy preparing trays of Passover brownies, whipping up macaroons and fancy pavlovas – I’m here to say that it’s really just about the tradition. Fruit salad may be simple, but it’s what my Momma always made, and it’s what I plan to make when I host Passover in my home in the coming years.

For this recipe, I’ve done away with all the fruits that I picked out of my Mom’s fruit salad – the awful mushy bananas, pithy oranges, and throat-scratching kiwi’s. Instead, I used melons, mangos, plums and nectarines, and fancied it up with a basil honey lime dressing (a lot healthier and more flavorful than the simple syrup of my youth!). Feel free to adjust this salad to your liking – adding more lime juice for extra tartness, or more honey for extra sweetness. And you can also switch up the herbs with some fresh mint instead of basil, if you so desire. Don’t forget to top it off with some coconut whipped cream and chopped nuts to really take it over the top!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very fruitful and happy Passover!

Other Passover Desserts:

marzipan apple crisp
nutella banana ice cream
chocolate ganache tart with macaroon crust
raspberry sorbet

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Grain Free Granola

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

It’s been an emotional week for me. I opened up about a personal loss over on Instagram and the response was overwhelming. I truly felt a communal virtual hug that gave me so much comfort, and for that I thank you.

At a yartzeit gathering this week, one of the speakers mentioned an interesting thought. Why is it, he wondered, that so many communities do not read about the history of the holocaust on the saddest day of the year, the Fast of Tisha B’av? He reasoned that the atrocities of the holocaust were so unbearable, that the only way for the Jews to survive was to not look back – only forward. There was simply no other way. It was key to our survival.

If you think about it, he said, that’s why most holocaust survivors don’t and can’t talk about the past. That’s the only way they were able to put one foot in front of the other and continue living.

I’ve had this on my mind and it just so happened that this morning, a friend of mine posted a video of her grandfather giving testimony on a trip to the Death Camps. He goes into detail about the selection and how his life was spared, and the gruesome stories that he told left me choking on my tears. I can’t bear to listen to it, how could anyone actually have LIVED through it?

Not to make light of the very worst horror that the world has ever experienced, but many people go through their own personal holocaust. I know for myself that my family’s personal loss was the kind of stuff you only see on TV, not in real life. You never think it will happen to you. And I keep thinking back to the speech of this week – you can’t look back, you can only move forward.

It’s funny because my husband (who is a business coach) has been talking to me a lot about The Three Laws of Performance, a book that has literally changed his life. The popular self-improvement book gives you strategies to be able to create a new future that’s different from the past. In order to do that, we have to change our language, because the words and the meaning we attach to those words all have to do with our past – and it holds us back. Letting go of the past gives us the opportunity to create the future we really want.

We all use words that create our reality – we say things like “You always do such as such,” or “Because such and such happened to me, therefore I can’t …”. If we stop attaching meaning to everything we say (that is based on our past) then that allows us the possibility of a new future.

If you’re like me, you’re  probably rolling your eyes at what I’m writing, but the truth is, it makes a lot of sense. For most of us, it’s our pasts and the stories we tell ourselves based on our pasts that really hold us back from living our future.

Let me just say though that I am the last person to preach these ideas – psychology was never quiet my thing. And honestly when my husband got into self improvement and all that stuff – I just looked the other way. “You do you and I’ll do me” was my philosophy but it wasn’t a very healthy (or mature) one. I mean we can all learn methods we can use to improve ourselves – our outlooks, our responses, our behaviors. As a mom, how can I expect to tell my children to control their anger or “use their indoor voice” if I’m not doing that myself.

This week, and in fact the last couple of months (since I’ve been open to learning the Three Laws of Performance) have been really eye opening for me. I’m working on putting the past in the past and focusing on creating the future that I once thought I could only dream of. And with Passover just a short few weeks away, I always learned that the holiday wasn’t just about eating matza, but about passing over our own exiles and experiencing a personal redemption. I hope you (and I) will be lucky enough to do so this year!

I, for one, am passing over the heavy Passover food of yesteryear and moving onto some healthier and lighter options, like this fantastic grain-free granola. The recipe bakes up in clusters, just the way I like it, and you’d never believe it’s made from just nuts and coconut. Give it a try!

Related Recipes

marzipan crumble (gluten free)
chewy date granola bars
banana nut Greek yogurt bowl
yogurt parfaits with homemade granola

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Peanut Butter Buckeye Hamantaschen

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know that I’m not big on baking. I love to cook, but baking is just too scientific for me. You can’t just be creative and throw in a little of this and a little of that (trust me, I’ve tried!). Every year, I come up with such fun hamantaschen ideas, but I dread testing them. I push it off until I can’t anymore, and then I test batch after batch after batch until it’s just right.

With hamantaschen dough and the filling, there’s just too much margin for error. You’ve got to get the cookie to be soft, but crispy too. You can’t fill them too much, and you have to make sure they don’t open when you bake them. Just thinking about it makes me want to insert the eyeroll emoji.

After testing six batches of mamoul hamantaschen dough this year, I decided I wanted to come up with a no-bake hamantasch that people are going to want to eat. It had to be some sort of candy, but also a riff on a particular style – so I went with BUCKEYES, ‘cuz who doesn’t love peanut butter?!

Buckeyes are basically a peanut butter cup – except the peanut butter filling is rolled into a ball and only partially covered in chocolate. Basically it’s got peanut butter and chocolate and it’s addicting. Case in point: when my daughter came home to a platter of these on the table, she gave me a hug and told me I had invented the best recipe on the planet. “How did you turn the peanut butter into a dough?”, she wanted to know. Turns out, it’s pretty simple. And I can do simple.

Hello NO-BAKE hamantaschen and goodbye to the tricky scientic process of baked hamantaschen. Who’s with me on that?!

Of course you want to make sure you use good quality chocolate in this recipe, so I rely on my fave – California Gourmet. Their new mini’s melt SO quickly, plus the 51.3% cocoa content make them rich and easy to work with.

Enjoy this last taste of Purim here on BIB. I’m sure you’ll be making these in traditional buckeye shapes after the holiday too. Chag Sameach!


This post is sponsored by California Gourmet Chocolate Chips. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Related Recipes:

no-bake date and almond hamantaschen
peanut butter bars
peanut butter mousse
peanut butter fudge ice cream pie

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Ma’amoul Hamantaschen

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

If I had one word to describe these hamantaschen, it would be #proud. Yes they’re melt-in-your-mouth delicious, super buttery and also crispy, but the word I would use to describe them has nothing to do with how they taste. It has to do with how they make me feel.

I’ve always felt that food does so much more than nourish us. It connects us to our past, our present and our future. Traditional food, especially, has the power to bridge generations. Preparing the same dishes that my mother made, and my grandmother before her, allows me to pass on the flavors and smells of my childhood to my children in a way that nothing else can.

That’s why these hamantaschen mean so much to me. Not only do they reflect the traditions of my Ashkenazic heritage, they also represent the flavors and culture of my husband’s Sephardic hertitage.

While my husband is Ashkenazi like me, his mother was born and raised in Argentina, but her roots trace back to Syria. She grew up eating ma’amoul, rosewater-scented cookies filled with either date or walnut filling. When I got married, ma’amoul always made an appearance at parties and simchot and their interesting shape always intrigued me.

Traditional ma’amoul is molded into different shapes using a special cookie press. The cookie is shaped differently, depending on the filling. My mother in law always used tweezers to decorate her ma’amoul, which I found really interesting. When I came up with the idea to fuse the classic hamantasch with Syrian flavors, I went to my husband’s aunt, Esther, for a cookie baking class.

Esther is a cook after my own heart. She likes to do things simply, without fancy tools or supplies (which explains the tweezer method!). She mixed up the ma’amoul in no time, while I attempted to measure her pinches of spice and sprinkles of flour. She expertly shaped the dough faster than I could follow and before long, they were out of the oven and covered in a snowfall of powdered sugar.

Of course I went back home and it wasn’t all that simple. For starters, traditional ma’amoul dough does not have egg, so it wouldn’t hold as a hamantasch. I was determined to make it work, and 6 batches later, I struck gold (or should I say rosewater?!). These ma’amoul hamantaschen are the perfect blend of buttery and crispy, thanks to the butter and semolina, respectfully. I’m super proud of this Sephardic-Ashkenazi fusion and I hope I’ve started a new trend in my family tree.

Now that we’ve got the Purim party started, stay tuned for lots of other exciting holiday recipes, coming soon!

Related Recipes:

baklava hamantaschen
date and almond hamantaschen
healthy thumbprint hamantaschen

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Marzipan Date Truffles

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

I must. must. must. discuss these beautiful photos!!! After much deliberation, I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to a new full frame sensor camera, the Canon 6D. Do I even need to tell you how amazing the full frame sensor is, or should I just let the photos do the talking (all unedited, straight out of the camera!)?

I know most of you are not here for the photography. OK maybe you enjoy the mouthwatering food, but you can do without the technical jargon. Let me just say that the camera sensor is what lets in the light and a bigger sensor = more light and more light = beautiful photos. That being said, my “studio” is in a pretty dark room with limited light so a larger sensor is really important for me. The full frame sensor also allows me to fit more into the frame of a photo so you get a wider view.


Sensor aside, the 6d also has wifi capability so I can set my camera on a tripod and connect to it via Canon’s app to take hands free photos! Taking photos on a tripod removes any possibility of camera shake so you get crystal clear, sharp photos. I’m so in love!

Speaking of which, I am also very much in love with this healthy, raw, vegan, 4-ingredient (if you don’t count the salt!) snack that’s become a staple in my house. Marzipan is one of my favorite flavors (hello 3-layer rainbow cookies!) and the pure almond extract really brings out that flavor in these guilt-free chews. With Tu B’shvat around the corner, they are just the thing!!

Related Recipes:

Tu B’shvat truffles
date and almond hamantaschen
cowboy cookie dough bites
gingerbread truffles

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Funfetti Raspberry Palmiers

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Aaaahhhh!!!! You guys!!! I can’t believe that it’s 2017 and I have been blogging since January 19th, 2011 when I posted this chicken breast with port wine cherry sauce. It’s crazy how much has changed since that very first blog post!

First up, I gotta give myself a big pat on the back. I have NEVER started a hobby that I actually stuck to until THIS. ALL. HAPPENED. And for 6 whole years I posted once to twice a week without EVER. TAKING. A. BREAK. I even birthed two beautiful children along the way (thanks to my amazing blogger friends who filled in with some guest posts during that time!). What is it about blogging that just stuck?

I’ll tell you. Honestly, when this blog started, I had just had my third kid, and I had always worked for a few hours a day because I like to keep busy. It was time to move on so my husband suggested that I start a blog (he came up with the name!) and the rest is history! I wasn’t a big cook back in the day and honestly my photography was TERRIBLE. But the spark was lit. I got so much amazing feedback, and I just wanted to keep sharing. I went to culinary school along the way, took a photography class, and just kept honing my skills. Like a flower in bloom, my passion for cooking blossomed into something beautiful. I feel truly blessed to absolutely LOVE what I do.

Of course like every human being, I get sick of cooking sometimes. And once in a while, I’m just so not in the mood of photo editing or writing, but I always come back. Because the passion is a fire that burns that you just can’t extinguish! And for that I have YOU to thank – my readers! You are the fuel to my blogging fire. Your comments, emails, messages and photos are what keep me going. They make me want to continue to share and push myself to create amazing things.

Of course when my first blogoversary came, I never imagined I’d celebrate many more, but each year I posted a little something to mark the date of my first post. I didn’t have a specific theme, but when my funfetti cake went viral on my 4th blogoversary, I decided I would stick to the funfetti theme from then on. My friend Melinda always goes red velvet for her Blogoversary and I loved the idea.

Last year, I continued the funfetti theme with some homemade pecan turtles because they’re pretty much my favorite candy, and because I really wanted to challenge myself to make homemade caramel for the first time! It took a couple of tries but my no-corn-syrup caramel recipe has been a huge hit ever since!

This year, I needed something easy because I’ve got a 5 month old who loves my attention, so I came up with these stunners! With Valentines Day ahead, as well as Purim not too far off (ducking now!), I thought these would be the perfect little bite to show my LOVE and APPRECIATION to you all for making BIB what it is today.

Palmiers, also known as elephant ears, are a French pastry that’s traditionally made with puff pastry and sugar. The puff pastry is covered in sugar, folded in layers and sliced thin. The sugars caramelize during baking and you’re left with a buttery cookie that’s crispy from the sugar and oh so pretty!

I decided to ditch the sugar in favor of sprinkles and fill the dough with raspberry jam to resemble hearts. The jam ends up caramelizing under the cookie, and the sprinkles add a nice crunch, so these make a great variation on the original. Plus they are super beautiful and versatile!

Thank you so much for following and making BIB the success that it is today. To many more Blogoversary’s to come!

 

Related Posts:

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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Donut Milkshakes

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

OMG OMG OMG OMG!! Should I even talk right now or do these insane milk shakes just do it for you?! Chanukah is coming and on Chanukah we DONT. COUNT. CALORIES. Ok????? And because we don’t count calories, I had to put a holiday spin on one of the huge food trends right now – over the top milkshakes! I don’t know if you’ve seen these gazillion-calorie monstrosities but they are insane. Milkshakes topped with pieces of cake and candy, with more candy glued to the glass and just tons of junk everywhere.

It says a lot about the state of our health when restaurants are actually serving that stuff, and when people are actually ordering it, but for these 8 DAYS, we are going to have some crazy fun, donut milkshakes included. Believe me, I would never make this stuff on a regular day. Not even my birthday. But my birthday is on Chanukah so YAAAAYYYY!! I’ve put together two variations, based on the two most popular Chanukah donuts – custard donuts with chocolate glaze and jelly filled donuts with powdered sugar. Of course nowadays you can find a bunch of other flavors, but these are the classics we grew up on. Milkshakes are about nostalgia too, especially for me, as we had a real milkshake machine growing up. Not a blender. A milkshake machine. It came with a stainless steel cup that you hooked onto this machine. A stick with a blade would break up the mixture and you had a real frothy milkshake! My brother would take it out on Saturday nights and make himself a huge shake with his pizza. Memories! And who can forget being young and biting into a huge jelly or custard donut and licking out the filling with your tongue? These shakes mix the best of both worlds and I hope they bring up some fun childhood memories for you too!

 

 

Related Recipes:

jelly ring donuts
deconstructed jelly donut pancakes

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