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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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Skirt Steak Tacos

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Cookbook. Cookbook. Cookbook. That’s all I can think about these days. In the morning, afternoon and evening, even in my sleep. I was literally typing up recipes in my dream the other night…yes! It’s really happening!

Here are the stats as of 11/9/17, 10:41 AM:}

132/145 recipes tested
13/145 recipes to retest
11/145 recipes photographed
59/145 recipes written
0/145 headnotes written
0/3 intro chapters written

Would you look at those numbers? When I think about all the work I have ahead of me, I get so overwhelmed and stressed. But then I look back at the 132 crazy, amazing, unique, delicious and doable recipes that I’ve created for this book and I have to be proud. Yes, there is so, so much to do. But it will happen. And it will be glorious when it does.

Meanwhile, we’ve mostly been eating the recipes I’ve been testing (my 11 year old wanted to know why the dinners have become so weird in the house, with several courses, sometimes mismatched foods that don’t go together!), so I’ve been pretty quiet on social media these days. I did take the time to celebrate persimmon season with these awesome skirt steak tacos, and I’m so happy to share the recipe with you here!

Related Recipes:

refried bean tacos
Old Bay fish tacos
coconut crusted fish tacos with plantain tortillas
fish tacos with broccoli slaw

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Tempeh Rice Bowl

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

It feels like FOREVER since I’ve blogged last and I have so much to tell you!!  If you’ve been following me on social media, you probably watched or heard about the LIVE I did with my husband a few days ago. I’m not sure why I didn’t do it sooner, but my inspiring husband has steadily lost 90 over the past few years and has been keeping it off and inspiring so many with his weight loss journey.

Most of us had a hard time NOT piling on the pounds over the holidays. With three consecutive days of feasting – twice, there was meal after meal of multiple courses, and even eating healthy, one would probably consume a lot more calories than on an average day. I wasn’t surprised, when after the Chag, I suddenly sold a bunch of copies of my Whole30 ebook. We all wanted to shed that holiday weight, so I decided to go live on Instagram with my husband, so he could share all the wisdom and experience he has amassed over the past few years.

In general, my husband is very much an “all or nothing” person. If he decides to take something on, he goes all the way. He reads every diet book, researches everything about the human body and learns what vitamins, minerals, grains etc. he can take to optimize his health and weight loss. Needless to say, with 15,000 viewers, the live went viral. I received literally thousands of messages and everywhere I went, everyone was talking about it! We decided that sharing his wisdom in written form would be the best idea, so he is currently working on an ebook that we will be selling in a couple of weeks. I’m so excited!

One of things that my family has committed to over the past few months is Meatless Mondays. I really think it’s important, after all the heavy Shabbat food, to lighten things up and give our bodies a break from all the animal protein after the weekend. As an adventurous cook who never experimented with vegan food before, I’ve really been loving the challenge of Meatless Mondays. My kids have also been so open to trying new things and these refried bean tacos have become one of their absolute favorite dinners!

The truth is, we’re a bean-loving family so vegetarian chili and bean tacos are easy for me, but one thing I’ve really never liked is tofu. No matter how it’s prepared, no matter the promises of a crispy result, I just can’t get past the mushy marshmallow-like texture of tofu. Tempeh, on the other hand, is made from pressed soybeans and it has a really firm texture. I tried it for the first time during the summer, and I found that if prepared properly, I really enjoyed it. My husband, too, has taken to it, and this is one of our favorite preparations. If I’m honest, my kids haven’t yet jumped on the tempeh train, but we’re working on it!

Regardless if you’re ready for tempeh or tofu, or whether or not you tuned in to watch the story of my husband’s weight loss journey, I hope this post inspires you to eat healthy post Chag!

Other vegetarian dinners:

vegetarian chili
refried bean tacos
stuffed sweet potatoes
falafel burgers
cajun quinoa burgers

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Cranberry Apple Braised Chicken

Thursday, September 7th, 2017


And just like that, summer is over. I’m starting to smell that fresh, crisp fall air and the nights have that slight chill that wraps me like a warm sweater. If I’m honest, I don’t hate the winter at all, but I’ll sure miss the carefree spirit of summer and the smell of freshly cut grass.

I’m excited for the fall flavors that are making their way into the supermarkets. Pumpkins, persimmon and pomegranates are just a few of my favorite things and I can’t wait to see the seasonal produce on the shelves!

It’s a bit early for cranberry season, but you can easily use frozen cranberries in this recipe. The tartness of the berries are a great contrast to the sweetness of the apples and honey, and they make for the most luscious sauce that you’ll want to smother all over rice or noodles. Considering the popularity of my tart pomegranate roast, I think this chicken will be a winner as well!

Serve with a side of sweet tzimmes and braised leeks and you’ve got a simanim-filled entree worthy of your holiday table.

Related Recipes:

turkey meatballs with red wine cranberry marinara
cranberry sriracha green beans
honey roasted za’atar chicken with dried fruit
duchesse sweet potato apples

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Kosher Shrimp & Grits

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Before you go ahead and close your browser, no you did not make your way onto a treif blog, everything on here is still kosher! I can’t get over how real those shrimp look, can you?

So to be honest, I’m not really one for kosherizing treif dishes. Like I don’t do cheeseburgers with fake cheese or buttermilk fried chicken with soy milk. It’s just not my thing. But when I saw a package of grits at Shoprite last week, I just had to buy it. I’m a big fan of farina (the wheat version of grits, which are made from corn) and I love all things corn, so I was intrigued. I also mistakenly bought a package of mock shrimp instead of mock crab (we are obsessed with this kani salad in this house) so that’s how this kosher version of shrimp and grits came to be.

Now shrimp and grits is real Southern comfort food, and definitely more of a winter dish than a summer one – so I incorporated some fresh corn and a basil pistou to cut through the heaviness and lighten things up. A squeeze of lime in the creamy cheddar grits also goes a long way.

So, for an anti-tofu, real-food person, I have to be honest and say that the shrimp tasted amazing, but was definitely on the rubbery side. When I made this in my Instagram story, many readers suggested butterflying the shrimp by cutting it in half lengthwise, so I’ve made that suggestion below. But honestly, when I make this again, I’m just going to use kani (mock crab) since we are huge fans of that in this house (and ironically one of my readers messaged me that her dad, who is not religious, ate kani at her house and said it tasted just like shrimp!).

I’m stoked that I managed to plate this up all pretty for a blog post for you guys, its been great having a break, but I’ve missed posting!

 

Other Fish Dishes:

kani salad
spicy tuna melt twice baked potatoes
tuna pasta salad
fish tacos

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Asian Lettuce Wraps

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Summer has officially begun! Last week, we made the 3  hour trek to the Catskills in Upstate New York where we spend our summer. I’m more of a city gal myself, but the city heat is unbearable, so I welcome the cool mountain air, rolling hills, grass and trees (something we majorly lack in Brooklyn)! The ten weeks we spend here fill my kids with vitality like a tank fills with gas. The long summer days spent carefree in the the outdoors are life’s best medicine, and I’m so thankful I get to give it to them.

As for me, some of my best memories are the ones I spent in the bungalow colony as a child. I love waking up to the smell of the mountains, and when I sit outside sipping my coffee and listening to the birds sing their song, it’s like pure heaven. But I can do without the endless laundry (they change like four times a day!), constant meals (all the swimming and biking makes them ravenous), and not seeing my husband the whole week (someone’s got to pay for all the food and laundry detergent we go through lol!).

I’m not really sure how much I’ll be able to keep up my blogging from here. I didn’t bring any props with me and I’m keeping things simple in the kitchen. But I did bring my camera and I loved the challenge of putting together a summer recipe without all of my fancy ingredients and food styling stuff. It’s also a learning experience working with different natural light, so I was happy to prepare these simple summer wraps and blog about them. Otherwise, I’ll be keeping things light around here, and probably blogging a lot less than usual. But I hope you’ll all be taking a break too!

Wishing you a light, healthy and refreshing summer!

Related Recipes:

quinoa pad thai
curried chicken lettuce wraps

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Mongolian Beef

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

It’s been hard getting back into the blogging groove lately. I surprised myself when I kept things going so consistently ever since baby #5 came last July, but those days of sleeping babies are long gone, and my little rascal is crawling around putting every last tiny speck and crumb into her mouth.


I also lost my cleaning help (of 6 years!)  recently, which any mom knows is the single most important thing to help us keep our sanity. I mean, who do you think did the dishes after every cookfest I had in the kitchen? I mean, I love to cook, but I don’t love to clean up after myself. ;) Yes, my friends. That is my dirty little secret.

People always ask me, “How do you do what you do?” and the truth is, I’d never be able to do it without help! I always say – somethings got to give. Having five kids is a full time job in and of itself, so how I manage recipe testing, blogging, cooking classes and photography work boils down to this – I can’t do it all. I’m not very active in the gazillion whatsapp groups I belong to. I went off Facebook. I cut down on volunteer work (and send a donation instead!) and I have, ahem – had, cleaning help.

Luckily, this recipe was photographed and tested months ago, and I love saving things like these in the archives for those stressful times when I don’t have time to work on new recipes. I had made it for dinner one night and it came together super fast with little fuss. Who doesn’t love recipes like that?!

With summer coming and school coming to an end, we all need those quick and easy stir fries that we can throw together at the last minute. I hope you all enjoy this one as much as we did!

Related Recipes:

pepper steak with plum sauce
soy and ginger glazed sugar snap peas

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Refried Bean Tacos

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

I hope you all had an amazing Passover, it feels like a lifetime ago! We spent the holiday in New Hampshire at the Arlington Hotel Passover Program. It was a wonderful experience filled with new friends, great food and beautiful scenery. I had never been to New Hampshire before and the small towns filled with old barns, antiques and mountainous terrain were a feast for the eyes. It was truly a magical holiday.


What was not truly magical was the number on the scale I saw when I got back! With three (sometimes four!) heavy meals a day and a 24 hour tea-room, Passover programs are not exactly figure friendly. Add matzo to that and you’ve got a recipe for weight gain [see what I did there? ;)].

Even more than the weight though, I just felt heavy and gross from eating so much animal protein. When you have Chateaubriand for dinner one night, rack of veal for the next, and brisket the next, it definitely catches up with you! So I decided to take a little break from all that and go vegetarian – if only for one week. It’s not really sustainable longer because with five little mouths to feed, I definitely need to be able to serve chicken and meat.

Our week of vegetarian fare has almost come to an end. I cooked up some of these amazing refried bean tacos, Moroccan salmon, Asian lettuce cups made from soy beef crumbles, lentil bolognese, spinach spaghetti lasagna and tonight we’re having falafel. I have to admit that all these legume-based recipes are still quite heavy and I can honestly say ready for a good steak! So it’s back to regular programming next week!

In the meantime, these refried bean tacos were definitely our favorite from our vegetarian week, I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Related Recipes:

fish tacos
taco skillet
chicken fajita tacos
plantain tacos

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Nish Nosh Salmon

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

If you’re familiar with Nish Nosh salad, you’re probably doing the happy dance right now. Nish Noshim are these buttery sour cream and onion crackers that are made in Israel and the dish gets it’s name because it’s smothered in these addictive crackers. The salad is as popular for it’s crackers as it is for it’s dressing, which includes soy sauce, mustard and garlic for a rich savory flavor. The dressing is so delicious in it’s own right that it’s been packaged and sold in stories under the name Nish Nosh dressing.

Of course Nish Nosh salad has made an appearance on my Shabbat table, and it always gets finished to the last drop. The salad itself includes romaine lettuce, red cabbage and grape tomatoes, along with the crackers and salad dressing. Being the blogger that I am, I decided to turn the dish into an entree using salmon! I even roasted the cabbage and tomatoes for a full baking sheet dinner that is light, simple and pretty healthy if you don’t eat the whole bag of crackers while you’re prepping ;)

Roasted cabbage has become a healthy staple for me thanks to my friend Mel who makes it regularly. I love that you can dress it up with different spices (most recently I used Montreal Steak Seasoning) and it’s super quick and easy. The cabbage takes on a great texture, and if you cook it long enough, it starts to brown and caramelize. My only caveat: don’t use the prepackaged shredded cabbage. You’ll definitely want to use a fresh head and slice it yourself (no need to use a machine for this, just your trusty old kitchen knife).

We’re not that big into fish in my house since my kids don’t like it, but I’m definitely trying to work it in to the weekly rotation. Baked salmon is really the easiest way to go, and throwing it on a sheet pan with all the other ingredients make it a super quick dinner. You can serve this with some quinoa if you want to bulk up the dish, or treat yourself to a healthy and delicious lunch. Of course it works great for Shabbat too!

If you want to serve it up buffet style for a party, here’s a great idea: Roast the cabbage and tomatoes on their own sheet tray. Cut the salmon into cubes and coat them fully in the mayo and crumbs. Bake the salmon until opaque (about 10 minutes, depending on the size of your cubes) and roast the cabbage and tomatoes until they start to caramelize. Spread the cabbage out onto a platter and top with the salmon cubes. Then stand back and enjoy the compliments!

Related Recipes:

sweet chili salmon with wasabi crust
pesto baked salmon
teriyaki salmon
snacker-crusted salmon cakes

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