Shavuous

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Salmon En Croute with Creamed Leeks

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Salmon en croute is one of my favorite dishes to serve for the holidays. It plates up beautifully, it’s so festive and it’s a winning dish all around! I mean who doesn’t love anything wrapped in buttery, flaky dough, amiright?

I usually go with a simple mustard and brown sugar mixture over the salmon, but I decided to take things up a notch using some of the traditional symbolic foods of the holiday, like honey and leeks. I love that you can incorporate more of those foods into the plated dish as well, and I went with pomegranate seeds and chioggia beets, ‘cuz could you just look at them?

Just call this Simanim Salmon En Croute ‘cuz it’s not only tasty, but so fitting in every way. And if you need a recap on the symoblic foods of the holiday, read this. I’ve also got a handy simanim recipe roundup from a couple of years back and then of course there are my other great simanim dishes like this couscous, this angel hair pasta, this beautiful appetizer and this holiday salad.

Growing up, Rosh Hashanah was a serious holiday and we always kept things intimate with just the family and a simple, traditional holiday meal. It’s that one time of the year to really focus on self introspection and prayer and I like to follow suite without complicating my menu. I don’t go all out with a bunch of different salads and desserts – I just keep my meal well-rounded with an appetizer (round challah with honey, fish and salad), entree (meat or chicken, tzimmes and roasted vegetables, beautifully plated) and a slice of honey cake with caramelized apples to finish the meal. Then I wrap things up and open my tehillim, because there is oh so much to pray for.

I find that there’s no need to overdo your menu when you learn to serve composed dishes that complement each other. Sometimes, when you make too much food, the beauty and flavor gets lost because there is just too much to go around. When I was in culinary school, my teacher gave the example of a woman wearing a simple pearl necklace versus someone who in dripping in lots of (too much) jewelry. Which one makes a better statement? Sometimes clean and simple is the better way to go.

Related Recipes:

smashed potatoes with leeks
simanim fritto misto
honey fig roasted salmon
honey mustard salmon

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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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Lasagna Roll-Up Blintzes

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

I don’t know about you, but the only thing that keeps me from making blintzes on Shavuot is the crepe-making. The rest of the process is fairly easy, and I don’t even mind the light frying. But those crepes, man they are hard to nail down.

My mom so hates the crepe-making process that she’s been ordering her crepes ready-made from a caterer for years. Instead, she puts her attention on delicious homemade fillings – creamy potato with deeply caramelized onions and sweet cheese with an apricot sauce for dipping. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!


I’m all for finding the easier way around dishes and this lasagna roll-up blintz hack is no exception! I love me some savory lasagna roll-ups, filled with spinach-flecked creamy ricotta and oozing with cheesy mozzarella, so why not go sweet, amIright? Dredging the sweet-filled pasta sheets in Corn Flake crumbs and frying them really takes it over the top, and I’m one happy crepe-free Momma.

What I really love about these decadent Shavuot treats is that they truly resemble blintzes, and if you want to stay away from the fryer, just go ahead and serve them up without the breading. You can add some chopped nuts for texture, and of course the requisite sour cream and strawberry sauce. Cuz blintzes without sour cream are a sad, sad thing.

Those of you that have been following my diet journey over on Instagram know that I’ve been staying away from delicious carby treats like these for the past couple of weeks, so I had to send them straight out of the house as soon as I was done making them. I don’t have the willpower to say no to a piping hot plate of sweet, crunchy, cheesy pasta rolls, do you? If your answer is yes, please tell me your secret ‘cuz I’m gonna need it come the cheesecake holiday.

We’re pretty low key when it comes to dairy in my house – I only serve it once a week, and it’s usually pizza, mac ‘n cheese or baked ziti. But Shavuot? Shavuot is the time for cheesy French onion soup, 4-cheese lasagna, a cheese board of your dreams, and of course plenty of cheesecake and blintzes. And lets not forget the dairy ice cream either. G-d help me survive this decadent holiday!

I’m thinking I’ll have to have some healthy options at the table too. Like these cheesy stuffed mini peppers, this three-cheese rollatini rose pie, the most amazing kid-friendly broccoli poppers, plus these cutesy roasted eggplant parmesan starters.

Now if we’re talking the decadent part of the meal, obv we have these insane roll-ups, which will be an amazing side to my caramelized peach and gouda quesadillas and 3-cheese broccoli pull-apart buns for the kids.  I’m thinking goat cheese ice cream for dessert, and definitely my Torah cannoli, ‘cuz that’s what the holiday is all about – stuffing our face with cheese and the giving of the Torah.

I’m pretty stoked to be hosting my mom for the first time this year – she’s usually the one who hosts, so I better get my menu planned. Stay tuned, I’ll share it with you soon. In the meantime, have a look at the Index for some inspiration!

Lets get rollin’!

Related Recipes:

spinach lasagna roll-ups
how to build a crepe bar
parmesan lasagna chips with pizza hummus
quick and easy lasagna

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Portobello Tuna Melts

Monday, May 8th, 2017


Bedtime. Every mom knows hows loaded that word can be. Especially when I’ve got five kids under ten to tuck in at night. Why won’t kids just go to bed? Aren’t they tired?

It was 10:00 last night and the house was quiet. I sat on the couch and took a deep breath. Finally, some peace. I could put my feet up and relax. So I did what any mommy blogger would do…I went live on Instagram. 2 minutes in, and only 30 minutes after finally falling asleep, my baby wakes up. Because I’m a mom. And that’s just how life works. So I struggle though this “show” of sorts, taking 1 minute commercial breaks to calm my kid and get her latched without showing 6000 people more than they came for. That’s mommy blogger life right there.

Did I mention my husband was away since Friday and I’ve been holding down the fort through the longest Shabbos on planet earth all on my own? Yes. Life with kids and a CEO husband is hard. So when said husband encouraged me to go on a health and wellness retreat last week, I frantically packed my bags before he could change his mind and ran out the door (OK that’s not true, I argued with him about the what, when, where for each kid and the logistics of leaving a 9 month old who’s nursing around the clock and a 9 year old who’s out of school for weeks because her teachers are on a strike that seems like it will never end. And then I sorted and arranged three days worth of clothes for each kid, prepared a menu for the week, filled the house with all the essentials, restocked prescriptions for everyone who needed and bought enough bottles and pacifiers and sippy cups to last us for months. Then I broke down and cried about leaving my kids. And then I picked myself up and walked out the door).

I went live last night to discuss this wellness retreat because I got so many messages while I was away asking me about it. But Instagram Live is just that – live – and there is so much going on, so many comments and questions happening while my baby is kvetching and I just don’t know if I got the whole picture across. So I decided to write about it. That’s the good thing about having a blog.

The health and wellness retreat was put together by Beth Warren, a local Brooklyn nutritionist and author of “Living a Real Life with Real Food” with a focus on eating healthy, exercise and practicing self-care. Just what I needed. There were about 15 of us in total and we carpooled to our destination in Lenox, MA, also known as The Berkshires. We arrived at Brook Farm Inn, a Victorian home in a historic town with lush trees and quaint shops. We carried our luggage to our rooms (no elevator in this vintage Inn!) and gathered for lunch of a make-your-own-salad bar. Then we went off for a tour of Ventfort Hall – a historic mansion that was built by Sarah Morgan, daughter of J.P. Morgan, the famous banker. Next up was a circuit training workout at Lenox Fit, a snack of crudites with homemade hummus, and finally, a much-needed 15-minute massage back at the inn. Still in our exercise gear, we stretched and centered ourselves with a yoga class and then showered for dinner in pajamas (my fave!). Dinner was a light and healthy baked salmon with black rice, green beans and vegetable soup. We finished off the day with a talk on self-care and a quick demo on stuffed dates for an after-dinner snack. Lights out!

The next day, we woke up early, donned our exercise gear and headed to Kripalu, a yoga school and center for health, just a few minutes away from the Inn. The place was huge, with 4 floors and lush grounds in a beautiful mountain setting. Kripalu is a serious yoga retreat with ongoing classes, hiking trails, a spa and more. With our daily passes, we were free to explore the programs of our choice (I chose a deep-tissue massage ‘cuz G-d knows I’m no yogi!) and then meet up mid-day for lunch and a hike. Salads of black bean burgers were prepped for us , so we lunched on the patio with breathtaking views and then geared up for a hike around the property. After we headed back, we had a bit more time at Kripalu, but I went to explore Tanglewood, a popular Berkshires attraction, with some of the ladies. Tanglewood is a summer hot-spot with music festivals and shopping, so we walked around the mostly-empty town, exploring some of the fun shops around. After making a few purchases (we’re ladies after all!), we headed back to the Inn for a post-hike yoga class and dinner of chicken breast, roasted vegetables and sweet potato fries. Beth gave us an inspiring nutrition talk during dinner and we finished off the long day with a healthy baking class and an essential oil workshop. Lights out!

Wednesday morning we wrapped up with another yoga class and a breakfast parfait bar filled with oatmeal, chia seed pudding, yogurt, fruit and toppings. We packed up some leftovers for lunch and we were off. Two jam-packed days behind us, and lots of fuel to get back to the daily grind of mommyhood.

I, for one, needed that fuel. I spent the early morning hours whispering into the phone as my son back home was having an asthma attack. I was helpless and worried and felt so. far. away. I had my mom go to the house to take care of the kids while my husband rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. It was every mother’s worst nightmare, being away during such an emergency, but my husband reassured me over and over that everything was ok, and skyped me from the hospital so I could see for myself. My three-year-old spent the next two days in the pediatric ICU and I was so thankful that I had taken that break so I could be there for him, my family, and myself, fully and healthy.

Going away was hard (I had to pump every four hours on the road!) but it’s something I didn’t even know I needed. Taking a break from the daily grind allows you to regroup, center yourself and feed your soul. It reminded me that being a mom doesn’t just mean taking care of others, it means taking care of myself – and that neglecting that need doesn’t make me a martyr, it makes me resentful and unhappy. I needed that wake-up call because every day is a nonstop marathon of giving and feeding and caring for others and it’s hard. G-d is it hard. And every night as I go to bed, I pray that tomorrow will be easier – but it’s not. Because being a mom is a full time job that will never end. Going away inspired me to learn to take time for myself – to nourish my body with healthy food and exercise and nourish my soul with a good book and a relaxing massage. I’m making an effort to do something for me, and it’s ok.

The retreat really gave me the kickstart I needed to start eating healthy again. It’s been a while. I’ve put on a whopping 20 lbs. since I had my baby, 9 months ago (I always put on weight when I nurse!) and it’s finally time to lose it the healthy way – with diet and exercise. I whipped up these delicious low-carb portobello tuna melts last week, and I’m super excited to share the recipe with you! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be about deprivation, especially when you get creative and think outside the box.

This one is for all the Mom’s out there. I salute you.


This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

spicy tuna melt twice baked potatoes
baked portobello shakshuka
portobello pizza

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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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How to Build a Fish Board

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Food boards are all the rage right now and I’ve been drooling all over them! You can find cheese boards that spread out for miles, charcuterie boards at restaurants and smoked fish boards at cafes.

I recently set up a charcuterie board for my husband’s birthday, and cheese boards are a regular appetizer at my Chanukah and Shavuot meals, so this year, I decided to do something a little different.

Thanks to the Jewish food trend, old world favorites are making a comeback, along with herring, smoked fish and of course, bagels.  I was inspired by some of the foodie posts I’ve seen, noshing at the newly opened Russ & Daughters at The Jewish Museum, as well as Lox at The Museum of Jewish Heritage. Who knew smoked fish would ever be in fashion?!

I’ve also been reading The Gefilte Manifesto by Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alern of The Gefilteria, who’s well-researched book highlights the history and process of so many old world Jewish foods. Their book is a mix of both classic recipes and modern interpretations, many of which I had never even heard of (Kvass, anyone?). The book is a real eye opener into Jewish food history and I highly recommend it!

Speaking of the trend towards Jewish food, I have to mention that, while it’s amazing to see all these books and restaurants popularizing Jewish foods, it’s painful to see that the “kosher” concept is all but ignored. Over the past several months, I was invited to two separate events which featured the history of Kosher food – one of which was a book talk and tasting discussing the journey of kosher food through the modern food system, and yet, ironically, the food served was not actually kosher. Another such event payed homage to Jewish culture and cuisine and yet was not either kosher. I get it, believe me, not everyone who is Jewish keeps kosher. But if an organization or a museum is putting together an event that is specifically about the history of KOSHER food, how can they serve food that is NONkosher??

This is something that bothers me to my core. And not because if I go to these events, I won’t have what to eat. It’s because the very act of serving nonkosher food dismisses one of the basic principles of Jewish food. As Michael Solomov, the Israeli chef, writes in his cookbook, Zahav, “Plenty of Israelis eat treyf these days….But at Zahav, and in this book, we choose to honor the spirit of a few fundamental rules of kosher cooking…..The reason is simple: Kosher rules help define the boundaries of Israeli cuisine.

Now I’m not judging anyone who doesn’t keep kosher. To each his own. But as we celebrate Chanukah, I’m reminded of the Hellenists, who stripped themselves of their Jewishness to become like their cultured Greek neighbors and friends. Jewish food is more than just a cultural thing. Kosher is part of it’s history and tradition. Dismissing the kosher aspect is both disrespectful and historically inaccurate. The very reason that many traditional Jewish foods exist today, is due to the need that our ancestors had to follow the kosher guidelines. I would love to see that acknowledged in the world of Jewish cuisine.

So, now that I finally got that off my chest, lets get back to the food, shall we? Nothing makes me think of old world Jewish food more than smoked fish. (Herring too, but I won’t go near that stuff!). In honor of Chanukah, I decided to share my take on an endless fish spread with some gourmet toppings. I hope it inspires you to put out a board of your own.

Happy Chanukah!


Products featured in this board:

Portlock smoked pink salmon (the large fish on the board in the center)
Ruby Bay smoked salmon in sriracha, lemon pepper and pastrami
Ruby Bay hot smoked keta salmon
Blue Hill Bay herb smoked salmon
Ruby Bay teriyaki salmon jerky
Milas oloves in chili oregano, basil garlic, chili garlic and lemon rosemary
Lucini Itali lemon flavored olive oil
Brooklyn Brine Pickles in spicy maple bourbon
Kozlowski Farms jalapeno jam
Eden stone ground brown mustard
Altius black sea salt
Baked in Brooklyn honey mustard breadsticks
Absolutely gluten free crackers


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:

fish tacos + 8 International menus
how to build a fried fish sandwich
gefilte fish, 3 ways
homemade fish sticks

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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!

Torah Cannoli

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Holy Cannoli! Someones gonna have to bring me a slice of humble pie because I’m on a bit of a high from how cute these Torah Cannoli are! (by the way that’s not a typo – the plural form of cannoli is cannoli…a little Wikipedia for you!)

I always say, food is my passion but my kids are my priority. I love being a mom and I don’t ever want being a foodie, blogger, chef, or whatever it is I am, get in the way of that. SO while I try to come up with fun and sophisticated holiday dishes, I also do my best to tap into my inner child and do something fun for the kiddos too.

In the past, I’ve made Torah franks in blanks like these (photo by Tzivi Brick Jakubovic), but this year, I wanted to do something fun with my daughter’s class in honor of her 8th birthday, which is just a few short weeks before Shavuot. One night when I couldn’t sleep (I have terrible insomnia these days), these cannoli torah’s hit me and I was only too excited to make them! I used a cream cheese mousse filling instead of the more sophisticated classic ricotta filling to make it more kid friendly, and the kids went gaga!

They all took turns prepping the recipe – whipping up the cream cheese and heavy cream, folding the mixture together, and giving out the ingredients for everyone to make their own. They “glued” the cannoli wafers with marshmallow fluff and we made a few Ziploc piping bags of filling so they could all pipe their own. Needless to say, the most fun was dipping the Torah’s in the assorted toppings.

Some of the kids wrapped up their Torah Cannoli to take home, but most of them couldn’t wait it out and gobbled it down on the spot. One kid said it was the best thing she ever tasted! I knew I had a winner, I just didn’t know if it was blog-worthy so I figured I’d skip on posting. Until, I was making my rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits at a cooking demo recently, and I decided to show the audience the Torah cannoli idea with some of the leftover cheesecake mousse. After an audible “wow” from the audience (the best sound EVER when you’re giving a demo), I decided it was too good not to share with you all too.

I love to check things off my bucket list and making things like homemade goat cheese ice cream or a sophisticated dish like brie marsala pizza gives me a huge sense of satisfaction, but seriously, nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me more proud or excited, than coming up with something fun and original that my kids absolutely love!

So kiddies, this ones for you! And that classic citrus-zest-spiked filling is my little touch for the adults too :)

If you want to skip on the filling, fill it with your favorite mousse or plain-old whipped cream. The important thing is to have some fun, for the kids, and for you too! Happy Shavuot y’all!

Related Posts:

Shavuot paper napkin roses
passion fruit cream horns
rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
halva and ricotta stuffed figs

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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!

Shavuot Menu Roundup

Monday, June 6th, 2016

With Shabbat going into Shavuot this year, I’ve updated this oldie-but-goodie Shavuot Menu roundup to include lots of other categories like stove-top only dishes, freezer-friendly dishes and lots more! I hope you find it useful and delicious :) You can also check out my dairy category or Shavuot category from the index for easy access!

Chag Sameach!

Classic Dairy Menu

tomato feta salad
cheese balls with assorted breads
pesto parmesan salmon
strawberry rhubarb soup or roasted tomato soup
spinach lasagna roll-ups or easy lasagna
cheese latkes or blintzes
classic cheesecake or easy no-bake cheesecake

Gourmet Dairy Menu

kani caeser salad with sriracha dressing
malawach cheese pastries or harissa whipped feta with eggplant chips
brie marsala pizza
spinach pappardelle with feta
goat cheese ice cream with moscato strawberry sauce

Light Dairy Menu

blueberry sweet potato granola salad or waldorf salad with yogurt dressing
roasted eggplant parmesan
pasta-free spinach manicotti, spaghetti squash baked ziti3-Cheese rollatini rose pie, or cheesy zoodle marinara
gluten-free parmesan zucchini sticks
moscato, honey, vanilla bean poached apricots

Pareve Menu

spinach matza ball minestrone soup
peach haricot vert salad
sushi burritos or sushi salad
fish tacos
chili pie in jars (use vegan cheese or leave it out)
peanut butter fudge ice cream pie

Stove-top Only Menu

Moroccan fish balls
corn, heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad with basil lime vinaigrette
zucchini parmesan chips
salmon pasta salad
spaghetti squash shakshuka
linguini lasagna or ravioli in pink sauce
torah cannoli or cornflake crunch ice cream

Freezer-Friendly Menu

broccoli parmesan poppers with Greek yogurt ranch dip
3-cheese brocolli pull-apart buns
pesto pinwheels
cheesy stuffed mini peppers
rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits

Gourmet Meat Menu

sweet chili salmon with wasabi crust
rainbow slaw with poppyseed dressing
blueberry port duck with duck fat potatoes
or beer braised brisket over mashed potatoes
blanched asparagus with lemon vinaigrette
chocolate mousse or chocolate ganache tart

Light Meat Menu 

spinach strawberry salad with poppyseed dressing
roasted butternut squash soup
bundt pan rotisserie chicken or veal marsala bolognese
rice vermicelli
garlic green beans
blueberry apple crisp with vanilla ice cream


photo credit: bsinthekitchen blog

Dairy recipes from around the web

brocolli and cheese stuffed sole (can sub tilapia or flounder)
caeser salad parmesan cups
watermelon feta salad stacks (omit bacon!)
butternut squash kale lasagna
sweet potato goat cheese quiche
spinach and cheese phyllo pie
sour cream potato gratin
asparagus cheese tart (use any swiss cheese like gruyere)
cream of asparagus soup
cheesy kale potato kugel
sweet luckskin kugel
classic sambousek
fresh fruit sauces for blintzes
zucchini ravioli
cheesy pull-apart bread
Neapolitan zebra cheesecake


photo credit: savorysweetlife blog

Meat recipes from around the web

peach whiskey bbq chicken
braised chicken with golden beets and kale
maple mustard roasted chicken
chicken marsala (use coconut milk in place of heavy cream)
brisket in coffee brandy sauce
osso buco
beef bourguignon
eggplant and beef rollatini
shnitzel and sumac slaw

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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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Three-Cheese Rollatini Rose Pie

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Ever since I was little, my mom’s been making the same Shavuot menu each year. It includes her amazing lasagna, homemade potato and cheese blintzes, French onion soup and an array of store-bought cheesecakes. For the second day meal, she switches up the lasagna for eggplant rollatini, or what she likes to call, rollantini.

I probably pack on about 10 lbs. in those two days, but it’s always worth every bite. Until the weather gets hotter, my skirts are a tad too tight around the middle, and I’m cursing out that creamy slice of cheesecake.

Which is why, when I started cooking up my own Shavuot meals, I decided to come up with healthier variations of some of my favorites. That’s when my spaghetti squash baked ziti, cheesy stuffed mini peppers and pasta-free spinach manicotti were born.

Some time later, I added my cheesy zoodle marinara, broccoli parmesan poppers, portobello pizza and roasted eggplant parmesan. I barely even miss the pasta anymore (ok, maybe just this).

I skip the heavy French onion soup, and go for a lighter chilled strawberry rhubarb soup and simple sides like summer tomato feta salad, pesto baked salmon, and eggplant chips with whipped feta. I might have a small bite of cheesecake, but my skirts still fit after the meal and everyone’s happy!

Which is why THIS happened! I may be expecting baby #5 this summer, but I’ve been packing on the pounds like I’m about to go into hibernation! I’ve got to ease up on my carb intake, so, I did what I always do when I’m looking for pasta alternatives, I go for zucchini. If I’m not eating cheesy zoodle marinara (an absolute staple in my kitchen), I go for a riff on my spinach lasagna roll-ups, made with zucchini strips. This time, I decided to turn those rolls upside down, and add in yellow squash and eggplant, for a pretty rose garden look. Shavuot, after all, is known as “the feast of the roses”, so how very apropos.

Vegetable ribbon pies and rose spiral apple desserts are all the rage right now, so I was more than happy to follow the trend with a savory holiday-worthy version.

Of course there are lots of variations that you can do with this dish – from adding spinach to the filling, using carrots for rolling, or baking it all into a pie crust. But I just love that this is gluten free and no-carb, so why mess with perfection, am I right?

With all my lighter spins on heavy pasta dishes, I’ve come to realize that a lot of what we eat is all in our heads. When I started subbing zoodles in for my spaghetti, a funny thing happened. I didn’t miss anything! I was full, satiated and most importantly, I felt like I had actually eaten pasta! It made me realize that we really have the ability to trick our brains into thinking we are eating something else – if only we can create the same taste, similar texture and mouthfeel, you barely notice the difference. The scale however, definitely does.

So, I’m hoping I’ve inspired you to lighten up your holiday meals, even if only with one dish. If I were you, I’d make it this one!

Do you have any other tricks to lightening up your favorite pasta dishes? I’d love to hear! Share them with me in the comments below!



This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

spinach lasagna roll-ups
cheesy zoodle (zucchini noodle) marinara
roasted eggplant parmesan
cheesy stuffed mini peppers

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