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Our Table Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

I’ve been following Renee Muller for years, and when word got out that she was coming out with a cookbook, I knew it would be something special. You see, Renee doesn’t see food like the rest of us. To her, a table is a canvas, and each dish is another way to paint a beautiful picture. Renee is a food stylist par excellence and her magazines spreads are jaw dropping. I knew the photography would be out of this world, but I was in for even more. In Our Table, Renee invites us to experience the joy of eating memorable meals together, something she cherishes from her upbringing in Lugano, Switzerland. Her recipes are homey, family friendly and diverse. She’s got a little something for everyone – part healthy, part indulgent, some easy and some more complicated. The Chapters span the basics from appetizers and soups/salads to fish/dairy, meat/chicken, snack/sides, breads/cakes/cookies and desserts.

Beautiful photography and a range of mouthwatering recipes wasn’t enough for Renee. So she created a guide with never-before-seen video tutorials of some of her most popular recipes. From “how to stuff cabbage” to “how to cut caramels”, “how to make gnocchi” to “how to braid challah”, these videos are not just visually stunning, they are informative too. (You can watch them here!) You’ll also find a Pesach guide in the book to help you easily adjust many of the recipes and make them holiday approved.

I’ve already tried Renee’s seared tuna cubes over the holidays to rave reviews, but I’m looking forward to trying the broccoli winter salad below, the gnocchi di casa, sugo della nonna (her grandmother’s Italian marinara sauce), Belgian birthday waffles, lattice minute roast, meat manicotti, honey walnut brittle, irresistible toffee, buttery chocolate scones, deconstructed lemon meringue pie (what an awesome idea!) and more!

Of course I can’t do a cookbook review without giving one lucky winner a chance to own this beauty, so…

To enter to a win a copy of Our Table by Renee Muller,

  1. Comment on this post and share your most memorable meal or dish.
  2. For an extra entry, follow Busy In Brooklyn via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

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 Monday, November 14th, 2016.

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Egg-Free Banana Muffins

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

This one goes out to all the mom’s out there battling food allergies. I am with you. Boy am I with you. You see, my son suffers from an extensive list of food allergies, some severe (epipen-severe) and some, mild. The thing about food allergies is that just when you think your kid might be outgrowing an allergy, you find out you are wrong. So, so wrong.

Under the guidance of my son’s doctor, we’ve been slowly trying to reintroduce beef into his diet (yes, my kid is allergic to BEEF!) and all was going well until it wasn’t. A mere bite of cross-contaminated chicken (that was grilled together with meat) resulted in an allergy so severe, I had to call the paramedics. THIS is the kind of stuff mom’s of allergic kids have to deal with, and that’s why I’ve made us all cupcakes. Egg-free ones. (And if you’re kid is allergic to dairy, go ahead and skip the frosting, or use vegan cream cheese. Unless your kid is allergic to soy. And gluten. Then just sit down with a giant chocolate bar and have a good cry).

Lucky for us, we’re good on the dairy front and my son LOVES cream cheese, so I love to spoil him with these. The banana muffins are so incredibly moist, you’d never imagine their missing a key component of fluffy baking. No aquafaba required.

I hope you’re all having a fun and relaxing summer. Stay safe out there!


Related Recipes:

healthy thumbprint hamantaschen (egg-free)

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Roundup: The Seven Species

Monday, January 13th, 2014

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

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

Read more about Tu B’shvat

WHEAT:

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

BARLEY:

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

GRAPES:

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

FIGS:

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

POMEGRANATE:

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

OLIVES:

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

DATES:

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

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

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Vegetarian Chili & Cornbread

Monday, July 8th, 2013

For one week of the summer, I welcome the opportunity to put on my dairy apron, which usually collects dust until Shavuous comes around. Lighter meals of grilled fish and salads are also appreciated on these hot summer days. But for some serious meat eaters, the nine days* can be a challenging time. I know, because my husband is one of them. If he comes home from a long day of work to a pot of mac and cheese, he takes a bite and then asks for the next course. To him, a meal without meat is not a meal at all. The good news is, meat-eaters can still enjoy some hearty dishes, albeit without the 6-hour wait tag.

Vegetarian chili is a great option for the nine days because it is so versatile. You can serve it up in a burrito, over baked potatoes, or as a base for shepherds pie. You can also go the classic route and eat it alongside cornbread, or go Mexican with a tray of enchilada’s. Usually, chili needs to cook for several hours, but because I don’t like to sit over a hot stove in the summer, I’ve come up with a great recipe that doesn’t require endless hours on the stove.

For more great Nine Days ideas, including other meat-lovers recipes, visit the new Nine Days category.

You can also check out my new Nine Day Album on Facebook for great dairy and pareve recipes that are not on the blog.

*The Nine Days is a mourning period over the destruction of the Holy Temple. During this time, observant Jews abstain from eating meat and drinking wine as well as other joyous activities.

To me, chili without cornbread is like a hot dog without mustard. It’s just a must-have! It took a long time for me to come up with the perfect cornbread recipe that is moist, not too sweet, and, well…corny (you know I mean that in the taste of corn sense). The combination of coconut milk and creamed corn keep the cornbread moist and pareve. That means you get to whip them up with some REAL meat chili when the Nine Days are up!

I mentioned lots of fun ways to use chili earlier in the post, but I especially love this one-dish-meal option. You can choose to layer the chili into a square baking dish, or serve them up in individual mason jars for a fun twist. Since the cornbread is cooked on top of the chili (and will rise during baking), I only use half of my cornbread recipe for it. You can use the remaining batter for cupcakes or double up the chili recipe, and make 2 pies.

1 year ago: Corn Flake crunch ice cream
2 years ago: sushi salad II

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Carrot Muffins

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

You all know that I’m not that much of a baker, so if I decided to make carrot muffins, there must have been a reason for it. Well, here it goes…

Sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Take this past Shabbos, for example. I had a full house for the weekend, and my menu was planned down to the tee. I usually leave the salad prep to right before the meal, preparing only what needs to be checked or processed in the blender beforehand. I had planned on making a slaw, so I shredded my carrots in my food processor and put it aside in a ziploc. Fastforward a couple of hours and I’m about to prepare the salad. I grab a jar of mayo from my pantry and open it up to find that someone has taken out a spoonful and returned it to the pantry instead of the fridge. I’m afraid to admit that that someone was probably me getting a headstart on my cooking at 12 PM the previous night! So now that there was no mayo, there was no slaw (or caeser salad…or deviled eggs…). Then I realized that we were also out of horseradish for the gefilte fish. While I would normally whip up a russian style dressing, that was not in the cards either. So I served the gefilte fish with wasabi sauce, stashed the shredded carrots back into the fridge, and redid my menu just as my guests were walking through the door.

My mayo-less meal turned out just fine, and that lonely bag of carrots had a calling after all – moist and delicious carrot muffins. You can also bake this into a cake and top with some cream cheese frosting (which I would have done, had I not shredded my carrots in my fleishig food processor). Either way you choose to serve it, you’ll find this recipe delicious. My kids were so excited to come home to freshly baked muffins. I think I have to start doing this baking thing more often!

 

1 year ago: sundried tomato olive tapenade

 

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