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Mini Pumpkin Pies for a Crowd

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

I’m really not much of a freezer person, but there is one recipe that I make every year for the holidays and it’s this one. These mini pumpkin pies are so festive and seasonal, and they’re great to have in the freezer as a pretty and delicious side dish. I always have them on hand for last minute company and they are so kid-friendly too.

What I love about this pie is that it’s very adaptable. If you are nut free, use oats in the streusel in place of nuts. You can make large or mini pies and swap in different types of milk or oils. You can make your own pie dough or pumpkin puree, if you’re so inclined, or go for the easy store-bought variety. In short, stock your freezer and you can thank me later!

Related Recipes:

cookie butter pumpkin pie
pumpkin banana souffle
pumpkin cake

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Potato Latke Funnel Cakes

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Yay!!!!! Chanukah, the festival of donuts, potato latkes and all things fried is upon us, and I couldn’t be happier!! I was lucky enough to be born on the festival of fattening foods…uh…I mean….lights, so all the more reason to allow myself to really s.p.l.u.r.g.e.

I even got married on my birthday so between my anniversary, my birthday, and the holiday, it’s an eight day food fest with no restrictions. I’m not a big fryer during the year so when Chanukah comes around, I break out the gallon-sized canola oil and get to it.

I love all the donut making and latke topping, but I especially love to make other fun fried food that I don’t get around to enjoying otherwise. Like fried oreos, fried ice cream and funnel cakes! I also go savory with fried lasagna stripszucchini chips and even beer battered salami! When I said I go all out, I meant it! (just ask my scale after the eight days are up!)

I’ve had some really fun latke ideas over the past few years, including my poutine latkes that landed me on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and my viral falafel latkes which turned into the ultimate sabich. I had to up the ante this year, and and what better way than fusing two of my favorite Chanukah indulgences – latkes and funnel cakes!

If you’ve never had a funnel cake, I’m sorry. It’s basically a thick pancake dough that’s piped into hot oil for a crispy sweet fried dough that gets covered in powdered sugar. It’s. so. good. I decided to go savory with the same concept by incorporating mashed potatoes and ranch seasoning into the dough. It was a really good idea. Just try it and you’ll see!

The potato dough takes a little getting used to, so I suggest practicing with a few mini cakes at first. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be banging out potato latke funnel cakes like no-ones business! Just try not to eat the whole batch before your company arrives. They’re especially good straight out of the fryer!

This recipe was actually my first time working with ranch seasoning and I am hooked! Where has this addictive stuff been my entire life? Potatoes and ranch make such a perfect pairing, I can’t believe I’ve been eating chips without it until now.

If you can’t get your hands on one of these packets, just season up your potatoes to taste with the spices of your choice. My Greek yogurt ranch dip can give you some ideas!

I’m working on some other fun Chanukah recipes including a donut that you can drink (you’ll see!) and a super addictive twist on pb&j. Chanukah here we come!

What are your favorite deep fried foods to make for the holiday? I’d love to hear! Share them with me in the comments below.

In the meantime, get your stretchy skirts ready and stack up on that canola oil. You’re gonna need it!

Oh, and do yourself a favor and set your scale back 5 lbs, will you?


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

Related Recipes:

sabich latkes
falafel latkes
poutine latkes
confetti latkes
butternut squash latkes

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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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Cookie Butter Pumpkin Pie

Thursday, November 17th, 2016


I’m proud to be an American. Really I am. (Politics aside!) But truth be told, I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s because, being Jewish, we’ve got our fill of holidays, and every Shabbat is practically a Thanksgiving meal in itself. The most we ever did growing up was make some deli turkey sandwiches and maybe pumpkin pie, but no feast and no big bird.

If I’m feeling festive, I’ll usually cook up some Thanksgiving-inspired recipes for the Shabbat before or after Thanksgiving. I make turkey London broil (half of a skinless boneless turkey breast), pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and stuffing and call it a day. I love all the flavors of the holiday and each year, I try to put my own spin on a classic Thanksgiving recipe.

Last year, I had my very first Thanksgiving dinner experience, when my friend Melinda of kitchen-tested) invited my family over for the most lavish spread I’ve ever seen. And I’m Jewish. So when I say lavish. I mean LAVISH. Mel made the most adorable place settings with homemade tea biscuit cookie butter in personalized jars and a crazy good pie bar for dessert (I brought my Mexican hot chocolate pecan pie). This year, she invited us again (I’ve got my stretchy pants ready!) and when I was thinking about what to bring, I decided it had to involve the latest kosher obsession – speculoos, or Lotus caramelize biscuits and cookie butter spread.

You see, Mel had her first taste of the stuff at my house, and I think her eyes rolled back in her head when she licked the gingersnap-flavored butter off the spoon. Of course cookie butter had been around for years, but it’s been hard to get with kosher certification, so I had to resort to begging my friends and family to smuggle some in from Israel. (Just joking of course, it’s perfectly legal. Although maybe it shouldn’t be!).

But the kosher speculoos Gods heard our pleas, and pallets of the stuff have finally arrived at our shores and onto kosher supermarket shelves. No need to stock up on ten jars at a time anymore, they’ve become a staple! Three stores in my hood alone now carry the cookies and butter, as well as numerous stores around Brooklyn. I hope kosher supermarkets everywhere get in on the cookie butter dream too.

So! To celebrate the newly available jars of bliss, I’ve developed this super fun recipe for cookie butter pumpkin pie. Except it’s really a butternut squash pie, but pumpkin just sounds better. And isn’t butternut a pumpkin anyway?

Plus, haven’t you read the news that canned pumpkin isn’t actually pumpkin??!! I know, shocking right? So if they can call canned squash pumpkin, I sure as hell can too. At least I’m being honest, right?

So pumpkin, squash, whatever you decide to use, marries so beautifully with the cookie butter because it’s got that amazingly warm flavor that’s reminiscent of gingersnaps (my all time favorite) and cinnamon. Surprisingly, I’m not that into pumpkin spice flavors, so this is a great alternative. I love to eat it cold, with a dollop of coconut cream, for a decadent dessert. If only I had a fireplace to pair with it!

Don’t be intimidated by the fancy swirls, they’re super simple to make. Just spoon dollops of the cookie butter into your mouth…um…I mean…onto the pie, and then use a knife to swirl the dollops around. Don’t mix too much and don’t stick that knife too deep or you’ll mess with the crust. Ask me how I know.

So whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not – give this decadent and original pumpkin pie a try. If you’re a fan of cookie butter, you’ll be sure to love it! (and If you’re not, who are you and what in the world is wrong with you?!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Related Recipes:

Lotus cookie puppy chow
Lotus cookie pancakes
Lotus cookie cinnamon buns with cookie cream cheese frosting
pumpkin crisp
pumpkin banana souffle

Other Thanksgiving Recipes:

chestnut hummus with Thanksgiving pita chips
unstuffed mushrooms with chestnuts
cranberry sriracha green beans
creamy pareve mashed potatoes
mulled wine cranberry sauce
the best pareve cornbread
turkey roulade with 5-minute stuffing
Mexican hot chocolate pecan pie

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Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Leeks

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Food blogging has taken me to some truly amazing places (front cover of The Wall Street journal, anyone?), but none as priceless as some of the friendships I’ve made through the process. Melinda of Kitchen-Tested has become my “lets-pig-out-at-this-restaurant” buddy, my recipe idea sounding board, my support coach (“You can do this Chanie!”) but most of all, my friend (awwwww….can I grab you a tissue Mel?). So, aside from being an amazing chef (her desserts are so impressive, she should open a bakery), Melinda is totally fearless in the kitchen. She comes up with the craziest stuff you’ve ever seen [like bagel, lox and cream cheese hamantaschen! pecan pie bacon (kosher bacon) and falafel mozzarella sticks!] but she also knows how to keep it simple with down-home-delicious-recipes [like puff pastry potato roses, classic red velvet cake and Texas-style dry rub brisket). I’m honored to have Melinda guest post for me today, and I hope you enjoy her Rosh-Hashanah inspired recipe! Welcome Mel!

Today is a great day because I get to write a recipe for Busy in Brooklyn! Hi, I’m Melinda Strauss and my blog is Kitchen-Tested.com. Ever heard of me??? Basically, you all want to be me today! Chanie is one of the coolest people I know and her masterful recipes blow me away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Chanie loves tahini, cookie butter, marzipan and long walks on the beach. But really, Chanie loves her family and that’s why I’m here on her blog. She recently gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl and all I can say is “Mazal Tov…now move to Long Island!!!” Oh, did I say that out loud? Seriously, my dream is for Chanie to become Busy in The Five Towns so she can live closer to me and I can babysit while she takes naps and maybe goes out for those long walks on the beach.

So about this recipe…sure, you can eat mashed potatoes or you can eat roasted potatoes but why not get a bit of both in every bite? I love this recipe because it’s a one-pan-wonder packed with crazy amounts of flavor. The potatoes are steamed in the oven then smashed, drizzled with tons of olive oil and garlic and roasted with leeks. I love how the leeks get super crunchy in the oven and act as added texture for the potatoes, which are soft in the center and crispy around the edges. The fun thing about this recipe is that you can add any of your favorite spices to the potatoes and you can even throw some fresh whole garlic in the pan. Go nuts and make these roasted smashed potatoes your own!

Related Recipes:

honey mustard roasted potatoes
cream of leek soup with crispy leeks

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Spicy Roasted Carrot Fries

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

It’s been such a pleasure having some of my favorite peeps guest post on my blog the past few weeks! I think the part I appreciate the most is how they all put so much thought into making something that was so ME. Amy made shakshuka which is one of my favorite foods. Sina made Paleo cookies ‘cuz I’m a Paleo enthusiast who could eat cookies at every meal. Melissa made a deconstructed bakba (that went crazy viral!) ‘cuz I’m all about putting my fun twist on traditional foods. And Miriam whipped out her spiralizer because as many of you know, it’s my favorite kitchen gadget!

I’m sure most of you already know Miriam, the famous blogger from one of the most popular blogs out there – Overtime Cook. If you live in a far off country without internet, and you haven’t yet made it to her blog [in which case, why would you be reading this? But lets not get technical here ;)], you’ve probably seen her amazing cookbook, Something Sweet. Whenever I’m looking for a dessert on the weekend, or a treat for my guests, that’s the cookbook I go to – hands down. And whatever I make is always a winner! Besides being an awesome baker, Miriam likes to create simple healthy dishes and I’m so grateful that she’s sharing one of them with you today!

Welcome Miriam!

Hey Busy in Brooklyn readers! I’m so excited to be guest posting here while Chanie enjoys some special time with her gorgeous new baby! My name is Miriam Pascal, and you might know me from my blog, Overtime Cook, or from my cookbook, Something Sweet. And although my cookbook is all about desserts, I love to make simple and easy real food recipes as well, which brings me to these curly carrot fries.

When I was wracking my brains, trying to think of a good recipe to share here on Chanie’s blog, I immediately thought of a recipe using a spiralizer. I think we all know how much Chanie likes to use one – right?! Well one of the great benefits of a spiralizer, aside from the ability to make zoodles and other spaghetti shaped veggies, is the ability to make super-fun curly shapes out of potatoes or veggies.

Did you grow up on those frozen curly fries? I know I did. These Curly Carrot Fries are a perfect way to enjoy that nostalgic memory without all the extra calories. They’re baked, not fried, plus they’re made out of carrot instead of potatoes. Oh, and did I mention the blend of savory and sweet flavors thanks to the spice mix?

I should warn you that you might want to double this recipe….or else the whole tray might get noshed on before you even get to the table!

Pssst… I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but Rosh Hashanah is closer than you want to think, so put these carrots on your menu!

Related Recipes:

gluten free zucchini fries
butternut squash fries
veal marsala with turnip noodles
cheesy zoodle marinara

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Apple Crisp with Gluten-Free Marzipan Crumble

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

This right here has been on my mind since forever. An apple crisp with marzipan just seems like the perfect combo, so I finally decided to make it gluten free!

The smell of marzipan transports me to the kosher-for-Passover bakery aisle, with rainbow cake, leaf cookies and all sorts of gluten-free treats that smell of almond extract. The truth is, I used to hate the stuff, but like many foods, it’s grown on me over the years and now I actually like it! My husband is a huge fan (hence this birthday cake!) and my kids have hopped on the marzipan train too (which is why I came up with these).

I’ve got a huge stash of marzipan inspired recipes on my to-do list, but I have to admit, it’s not one of those ingredients that everyone loves, which is why I don’t like to blog about it too much. It’s really one of those love it or hate it ingredients (like halva!), and I kinda like my recipes to appeal to everyone. But since marzipan, for me, is so reminiscent of Passover, I figured I’d just bite the bullet, or, er, the marzipan.

Making your own marzipan is a breeze, by the way, and since all the ingredients are kosher for Passover, you can whip up a double batch and use it in so many ways! My only caveat here is that I used pure almond extract to test the recipe and I’m not 100% sure that it’s available kosher for Passover. I know the imitation stuff is, so you can use that. Just take caution since it might have a stronger flavor.

The absolute best part about this recipe, is that the crumble can be made on it’s own, and it makes the most fantastic Kosher-for-Passover non-gebroks topping for ice cream, yogurt and fruit. It’s even great on it’s own as a brittle-style snack!

Related Recipes:

3-layer rainbow cookie cake
gluten-free date and almond hamantaschen
Passover sugared almonds

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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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The Silver Platter Review & Giveaway

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

My first impression of The Silver Platter cookbook was how big and beautiful it is, almost a coffee table book. Having formerly trained in graphic design, I always look at the layout first. And the pictures. Both are stellar. Beautiful, bright and colorful photos accompany each meticulously-written recipe. And the food doesn’t just look good, it looks inviting, and not intimidating in the least. I love the partnership of Daniella and Norene in this book. Daniella is a young mom looking to feed her kids easy and healthy dinners, while Norene brings her culinary expertise, offering sage advice for each recipe.

I think my favorite part about The Silver Platter is that all of the recipes can be made with basic pantry ingredients. Daniella managed to bring a variety of dishes that are packed with flavor using basic ingredients and no added junk. Her recipes are healthy, wholesome and family-friendly without being boring. Many are gluten free and allergy-friendly too. A nutritional index for each recipe is even included in the appendix.

The Silver Platter features recipes that are both basic enough for every day and innovative enough for the holidays. From appetizers, soups and salads, to fish, poultry, meat and dairy, as well as grain side dishes, vegetable side dishes, cookies, treats and cakes, they’ve got everything covered! I can’t wait to try the baby eggplant fans (genius!), crunchy corned beef strips, berry plum soup, snap pea salad with basil-mint dressing, broiled lemon fish, three-seeded schnitzel, basil chicken with sundried tomatoes, raspberry london broil, cheesy quinoa bites, panko-topped bok choy and edamame, fudgy pretzel brownies, white chocolate popcorn clusters, blueberry flan and heavenly halva cheesecake!

In honor of Thanksgiving, I’m sharing some festive recipes for apple cranberry couscous and sweet potato squash soup below, AND, I’m also giving away a copy of The Silver Platter! To enter, simply leave a comment below about your favorite Thanksgiving dish. For an extra entry, follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

Facebook
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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 Tuesday, November 24th, 2015.

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