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Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

I’ve been loving playing around with Instagram stories these days. It lets me post a step by step cooking tutorial and it’s just. so. fun! Last night I made Asian soup bowls with a richly flavored broth and a variety of vegetables for a make-you-own bowl dinner. I posted a play by play on my stories and the feedback was amazing!

I made these stuffed acorn squashes last Friday, using some of my leftover bacon-wrapped turkey from Thanksgiving. I posted a story as I made them and I got lots of requests for a formal written recipe. I managed a quick photoshoot, even though it was a hectic Friday and do I even need an explanation? I mean just look at these?!

I really love the idea of making this after Thanksgiving with some leftover turkey, but if you don’t have any, just leave it out and keep it vegan. With or without the turkey, this is a beautiful side dish that’s perfect for the fall, winter, holidays or just a weeknight cozy dinner. I put a poached egg over some leftover rice and lemme tell you….sooooo good!


Related Recipes:

apple and sausage stuffed butternut squash
za’atar roasted kabocha squash with silan
turkey roulade with five minute stuffing
unstuffed mushrooms

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Curried Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup
with Cilantro Matzo Balls

Monday, October 10th, 2016

It’s that time of year again. The season is (finally) changing, the leaves are starting to color, and Pumpkin Spice Latte is back on the Starbuck’s menu. It’s when all the blogs start to dish out their sweet pumpkin creations and I betchya thought I was one of them.

Pumpkin is alright. I even made my usual mini pumpkin pies for Rosh Hashanah last week. What I didn’t make was tzimmes. Lets just say that that cloyingly sweet dish of honey-sweetened carrots and sweet potatoes (sometimes with added prunes) is not one of my favorites. My mom always makes a big pot (tradition!) with the addition of marrow bones and flanken, but somehow it always manages to make it’s rounds around the table, barely making a dent in the heaping pile of sweetness. That’s just it – the stuff is just. too. sweet. And the more I discuss holiday menu’s with people, the more I hear that tzimmes is on the out (I guess my tzimmes roast is going to get buried real deep in the archives!)

Most people keep tzimmes on their menus because it’s traditional to eat carrots over the holidays. Besides for the obvious symbolism for a sweet New Year, the Yiddish word for carrots is meren, to multiply, which is a blessing we hope for in the coming year. Not being a big fan of tzimmes, I try to incorporate my carrots elsewhere, such as in a raw slaw, or roasting them with some maple and harissa.

It occurred to me that with Yom Kippur upon us, and Sukkot not too far away, a savory play on tzimmes ingredients might we a welcome change. I decided to do that in the form of a soup, and to incorporate some of my favorite Thai flavors – curry (for some heat), honey (for some sweet) and coconut milk (for some creaminess). To make it festive and holiday worthy, I added cilantro matzo balls to round out the flavors and keep things exciting!

Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of cilantro but I am coming around. I used to find it completely intolerable but I am slowly sneaking in small amounts and it’s growing on me. Honey + curry though are one of my favorite combinations and I use it in curries, chicken recipes, fish dishes, roasted chickpeas and even popcorn. There’s something about the sweet and spicy that I absolutely love.

I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve seen on Facebook recently lamenting the lack of savory recipes in kosher cookbooks. Every roast is smothered in a sweet concoction, chicken is doused in apricot jam and don’t even get me started on the ridiculous amount of sugar in salad dressings. I mean, I get it. I grew up that way too. But the only way out of the sugar coma is to slowly reduce the amount of sweetness you add to recipes and to introduce more savory (and if you’re open to it, spicy) food. It’s all about conditioning your palette. If you go back to the old recipes on my blog, you can see for yourself how I’ve slowly transitioned to more savory foods. Now, when I taste a salad that’s been doused in sweet dressing, I can’t even swallow it.

There’s a place in food for all that sugar – it’s called dessert, and that’s why we all love it so much! And finishing a meal off with something sweet is precisely why you should start it with something savory. So, now that Rosh Hashanah is behind us, and we don’t *have* to douse everything in apples and honey, lets welcome the New Year with a newer savory approach to food. This curried carrot and sweet potato soup is a great place to start because it’s both sweet and savory with a nice amount of heat from the ginger and curry.

Wishing you a sweet New Year as sweet as honey and as spicy as curry. Shanah Tova Umetuka!



This post was sponsored by Lipton Kosher. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

peanut chicken curry
curry chicken salad
coconut crusted fish with curry aioli
curried rice salad
butternut squash soup with shallots and apples

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Grilled Chicken Salad with
Jalapeno Honey Mustard Dressing

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

It was one of those nights, after many days of eating the wrong foods (read: fried, takeout, you-name-it), when I decided I needed to eat a salad for dinner. Luckily, we always have a stash of oven grilled chicken in the fridge (see my super easy recipe below!), so I just threw together whatever I had in the fridge and pantry and this salad was born. I’ve been making this dressing forever, so that wasn’t exactly an afterthought, but it turned out to be the perfect compliment to the composed salad dish.

If you’re an avid follower of mine, you already know that I post almost everything I eat on Instagram (whenever people stop me in the street to ask me what I’m up to foodwise, I just tell them to follow me there, ‘cuz I post just about everything that goes into my mouth!!), so when I whip together a healthy salad for dinner, I try to plate it up nice and pretty, you know, #eatingfortheinsta. So I fanned out my avocado all  fancy and stuff, and the recipe requests poured in. Next thing I know, my inbox is filled with pics of this salad – all composed and perfect, and this recipe-afterthought became an instant sensation.

The dressing is a hit in it’s own right, and lots of readers have told me it’s become a family favorite. So…I finally decided it was time to blog about it! As a recent text message from a reader reminded me, not everyone uses Facebook or Instagram, so I gotta think about the readers that just come here for the good stuff. Rikal, this is for you ;) !

If you’re not a fan of composed salads (salads that have been neatly arranged on a platter, like this), then just go ahead and and mix everything up in a big ‘ole bowl. I promise it’s just as delicious!

Happy Grilling you guys! Check out the links below for lots of other grilled chicken salad recipes that are perfect for summer or when you get that healthy-eating-binge!

#eatingfortheinsta!

Related Recipes:

grilled chicken shawarma salad
grilled marinated chicken
Asian chicken salad
sesame linguini with marinated chicken breasts

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Sushi Burrito

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

If you ever thought sushi would just be a passing trend, you’re as shocked as the rest of us. And it’s not just the kosher world either (although we might be the only ones with sushi counters in pizza stores!).

The world is awash with sushi rice bowl recipes, make-your-own-sushi parties and now, THE SUSHI BURRITO, or as some like to call it, the SUSHIRRITO.

A sushi burrito is basically an excuse to eat an entire overstuffed sushi roll in one sitting and call it lunch :) And I got no problem with that! Especially since Michel de France introduced these flavored sushi wrappers which I just love. I’m not a big fan of the fishy taste and chewy texture of nori (otherwise known as seaweed), so these gluten free wraps are a welcome surprise! I love that they come in chili, poppy seed and sesame seed flavors, and now my kids (who aren’t fans of nori either) are happy to eat homemade sushi wraps as well. Can you say “Winner, winner sushi dinner?”!

Turns out, these inexpensive gluten-free wraps make a great alternative to traditional wheat wraps for sandwiches too. Quick and easy turkey wraps are my go-to Friday afternoon lunch for the kids, and I’ll definitely be trying all the Norigami flavors with that!

Now if you’re intimidated by the whole thinly sliced julienned vegetable thing, do yourself and a favor and pick up my must-have kitchen tool of all time, the JULIENNE PEELER. It looks like a traditional peeler, except instead of peeling off a single strip, small blades along the edge of the peeler slice the peel into thin julienne strips. It’s basically the best invention ever made.

With that said, the only thing left to intimidate you about these wraps is maybe the raw tuna. I wasn’t always a fan of raw fish myself, but I recently bit the bullet (or I should say, the protein) and went for it. I find that raw fish doesn’t really have much of a flavor at all, which is why I like to lightly marinate the fish in Myron’s ponzu sauce, which is also gluten free. Ponzu sauce is basically a light and refreshing lime, ginger and sesame sauce that’s great for marinating or dipping, and it infuses the fish with great flavor. Of course topping everything off with some spicy mayo doesn’t hurt either right? I mean, sriracha makes everything better.

Now sushi everything has been around on my site for a long time. In fact, I made sushi salad famous before it was ever a thing! I went through a bit of a crazy sushi phase where I made candy sushi, sushi snowmen, sushi hamantaschen and even a 3-tier sushi cake. I’m a sushi nerd, what can I say?

But getting back to traditional sushi eating…. the salad is definitely getting boring, and sushi rolls just seem like too much of a job. Which is why I’m totally loving the new sushi burrito craze and I hope you will too. With Shabbat going into Shavuot this year, six back to back meals call for light and refreshing lunch ideas – which is why these are absolutely perfect. You can even set up a bar and have people make their own. How fun?

Don’t forget to load on all the toppings because an extra dose of sweet sauce and spicy mayo are every sushi lovers dream. Are you drooling yet?

Signing off with a little shoutout to my kids, who served as my hand models in these pics when no one else was around! They were also more than happy to eat the leftovers (no raw fish for this pregnant mama!) so no waste is a win-win for this blogger mom!

This post was sponsored by Crafted Kosher. Visit craftedkosher.com for a large selection of gourmet kosher products. Follow Crafted Kosher on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Related Recipes:

sushi salad
sushi salad II
kani salad
kani Caesar salad with nori croutons
tuna sashimi

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Spinach Matzo Ball Minestrone Soup

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

I’ve been making the most incredible spinach matza balls since forever. It’s always been my little secret for taking traditional chicken soup from classic to over-the-top and with the holiday of Shavuot approaching, I wanted to put a festive spin on another classic recipe – minestrone.

I’m a huge fan of classic minestrone soup because I feel like it has something for everyone. And when you’ve got picky kids, you need a soup like that! It’s got potatoes for my daughter who won’t eat colored vegetables, pasta for my son who’s a pasta-holic, beans for my husband who loves protein-filled legumes, and plenty of basil and oregano for a pizza-style flavor that everyone loves!

I’m always switching up my minestrone soup to make it more fun – like that time I lightened things up by omitting the potatoes and added zoodles instead of pasta. I’ve also added shredded mozzarella and alphabet pasta along with the zoodles because I’m the best. mommy. ever. But this time, this time I’m going festive and sophisticated for the upcoming holiday with an Italian twist on the classic – chicken noodle matzo ball soup.

Nothing screams holiday more than matzo balls, and I have to admit, that while I’m normally a do-it-yourselfer, made-from-scratch kind of girl, I have a weakness for matzo ball mix. I don’t need any seltzer tricks and I don’t have to worry about sinkers vs. floaters because Lipton’s kosher matzo ball mix comes out fluffy every time! Now of course I have to give it the do-it-yourselfer-touch, so I add in the spinach because it’s so beautiful, so festive, and so irresistibly delicious!

Julienning the veggies adds another layer of finesse, and using a julienne peeler, one of my all-time-favorite kitchen utensils, makes it a cinch! With these simple changes, hearty minestrone is elevated to a sophisticated holiday-worthy creation that’s great for kids and adults alike. Just ask my daughter – she had three bowls for dinner (and she hates spinach!)!

It’s hard to believe that Shavuot is just 24 days away, and with Pesach Sheini this weekend, there’s no better way to celebrate than with a fun twist on a matza ball recipe.

But Passover IS in fact behind us, and with the holiday of cheesecakes and roses coming up soon, lets brush up on some favorites. Shall we?

Shavuot recipes abound here on BIB, so you can get your menu started by browsing through my Shavuot category or skim through the recipes in my index. It’s so hard to pick favorites (can you have a favorite child?!) but I can never get enough of harissa, feta & zaa’tar, I’m obsessed with this salad dressing (I make it all summer long!), these make the best gluten-free no-guilt appetizers, and this is the most elegant seasonal dessert you’ve ever seen. Oh, and lets not forget this insane recipe that went all-out viral when I made them back in 2013.

I think we’re off to a good start my friends. And I’ve got even more amazing things coming. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, happy matzo ballin’!

This post was sponsored by Lipton Kosher. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

roasted tomato soup with muenster breadsticks
spinach white bean minestrone with zoodles
classic minestrone soup
cabbage soup with matzo meatballs

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Please NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through the links above goes to help support the BIB blog!

Sweet Chili Salmon with Wasabi Crust

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

It’s just one of those days. I got the kids out of the house on time for a change, and I was hoping to sit down early this morning to get a head start on work. But it was not to be. After making my rounds to the girls’ school, boys’ school and daycare for the little one, I was finally on my way back home when my daughter called me to say she had left her lunch. Oh, Mommyhood.

As a blogger, recipe developer, food photographer and full time mom, it’s hard to set a schedule for myself because kids are just so unpredictable. On the one hand, I’m SO thankful to have a job where I can make my own hours and work around my Mommy duties, but on the other hand, there’s so much to do and so little time. My husband is always telling me to hire help but I’m literally the worst delegator on earth. You know how they say if you want something done, do it yourself?  Well that’s kind of my M.O. I’m a perfectionist, and rather than dealing with someone doing something that is not up to par with my standards, I’d rather just do it myself. Can any of you relate?

I’m the same way in the kitchen. If I’m having lots of guests or prepping for big holiday meals or a cooking demonstration, the reasonable thing to do would be to have someone help me. But stubborn me just does it all myself because God forbid someone will slice something the wrong way. (Insert hands-over-eyes emoji) I know I’ve gotta learn to let go and be more flexible, I’m just not sure how. Ideas, anyone?

In the meantime, I’m going to go wake myself up with a big handful of spicy wasabi peas. It’s one of those snacks that I used to eat with abandon, and then suddenly one day, I found that I couldn’t look at them anymore. It’s been a while, but they’re back on my addictive snack list – I even put them on my salmon for an amazing spicy crunch!

This salmon recipe is super quick and easy – perfect for a weeknight dinner with some rice, and pretty enough for company with a side of sushi salad. Chop sticks optional.

Related Recipes:

spicy roasted edamame
teriyaki salmon
kani salad

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Salami Quiche

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks here at BIB, with lots of Purim demos, cooking classes and recipe writing! I always say that calling myself BUSY IN BROOKLYN was like a self-fulfilling-prophecy, because when I started this blog I wasn’t half as busy as I am nowadays. But busy is good and I am so thankful for it! Except when all that busying around turns into a sinus infection, and my recipe testing is put on hold because I can’t taste anything! I had amazing plans for a new hamantasch this week, but my taste buds won’t cooperate. And even though I can barely lift my head off my pillow, I’ve got my third demo this week in a couple of hours! So, I THANK GOD for this amazing recipe that I developed for a local magazine’s Purim issue last year, so at least I have something to share!

You all know that I’ve taken on a BIB tradition to share a salami recipe every year. I once heard that people have a tradition to eat salami on Purim because it is hung, like Haman (!!!). Who knows if it’s true, but it’s definitely fun. And it was especially thrilling when my DRUNKEN HASSELBACK SALAMI went crazy viral two years ago (I can’t believe it’s so old!). I always meet readers at demos, or even on the street who tell me that it’s become a weekly tradition for them. I just love that!

For this year, here’s something a bit more homey and family-friendly for your Purim meal. I’m sure this will become a staple in your family for the holidays too. Happy Purim!

Related Recipes:

drunken hasselback salami
beer battered salami chips with beer mustard
salami chips with dijon dipping sauce

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Soy & Ginger Glazed Sugar Snap Peas

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Have you ever had a mind block that you just can’t explain? Sugar snap peas is it for me. I just never know the difference between them and their close cousins, snow peas. Which is which? Thank you Google!

It’s also hard for me to choose which ones I like better, because they’re both so good! But remember – flat = snow peas, full = snap peas. Wait, am I right? Google….

Now the only thing better than crisp-tender snap peas is GINGER GLAZED snap peas. The funny thing is, I was never a fan of ginger. Not until I went to culinary school and we added finely julienned ginger to a bunch of Asian dishes. That was just next level spicy goodness and I’ve never turned back!

So if you really want to up the ante on your next Asian dish, try julienning your ginger instead of grating (my 2nd favorite method using a microplane zester) or mincing it. Like I did here. You can thank me later.

Wait, remind me again, is it sugar snap peas, or snow peas. I give up!

Related Recipes:

sticky ginger chicken wings
spicy roasted edamame
cranberry sriracha green beans
snap pea, corn and red currant salad

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Bundt Pan Rotisserie Chicken

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

I have a confession to make. I used to be afraid of chicken. And I don’t mean of eating it.

Yes, you read that right. When I was a teenager, I wasn’t too fond of helping in the kitchen, and when I had to make chicken, lets just say it was an ordeal. I always wore gloves, but sometimes the chicken got the better of me and I would throw it into the sink, terrified that it would come to life and leap at me.

I mean, do you blame me? Look at that chicken sitting there all pretty. It looks so…well…human.

It took a few years, but I got over my fear. And just time in time for this GENIUS homemade crispy rotisserie chicken hack.

I can’t take credit for this stroke of brilliance. All credit goes to Justin Chapple, the senior editor of Food & Wine Magazine, who’s Mad Genius Tips constantly blow me away!

When I saw a short clip of this easy bunt pan rotisserie chicken on Instagram, I was all over it. I made it for Shabbat that week, and I’ve been making it ever since. It’s my husband’s favorite way to eat chicken, and we always fight over the crispier-than-ever chicken wings!

My favorite thing about this recipe is that it’s super healthy and indulgent nonetheless. You feel like you’re eating fried chicken (it’s that crispy!), but without those extra calories. It also makes a great one-dish meal when you add potatoes or other veggies.

Related Recipes:

lemon & garlic whole roasted chicken

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Bourbon Apricot BBQ Chicken

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Sukkot is one of my favorite holidays. I have such amazing memories of my family Sukkah, always filled to the brim with guests, amazing homemade food and bottles and bottles of mashkeh (Yiddish for alcoholic beverages) to go around. The men would drink L’chaim and sing Hassidic melodies, banging on the table in their drunken stupor. It was beautiful.

Simchat Torah, the holiday where we conclude and begin a new annual Torah reading cycle, is just a few days away. It’s a time of great rejoicing, when we take to the synagogue, kick up our feet and dance with the Torah. Of course the drinks are free-flowing, and so is the food. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Chag than with this bourbon-spiked BBQ chicken. The chicken is braised in a luscious sauce that is so good, you’ll want to eat it straight with a spoon (or drink it out of a L’chaim glass)! Make it for Simchat Torah dinner, and it will become a staple on your holiday table.

L’chaim!

Related Recipes:

drunken hasselback salami
beer battered salami chips with beer mustard
turkey meatballs with red wine cranberry marinara
honey roasted za’atar chicken in wine
whiskey cider

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