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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
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest

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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Unstuffed Mushrooms

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Thanksgiving is coming up and all I can think about is stuffing. Particularly cornbread stuffing. It’s my absolute favorite! Make that chorizo cornbread stuffing and Ill take two portions please :)

Believe it or not, I did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving. My mom used to make us turkey sandwiches, just for kicks. And sometimes she’d make some Thanksgiving dishes for Shabbat the week of Thanksgiving. I always wanted to experience the whole turkey-gravy-stuffing-pumpkin pie-cranberry sauce-green bean casserole smorgasbord, but I’m kind of too lazy to make it all! Lucky for me, my friend Melinda from kitchen-tested is doing the whole shebang, and I kind of invited myself over! Melinda is an amazing cook and I cannot wait to see what she has up her chef”s sleeve. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, because I will definitely be posting pics from that sure-to-be-epic meal!

Speaking of lazy, this unstuffed mushroom recipe can also be called lazy stuffed mushrooms, because that is, in fact, what it is. I was digging through my fridge for a side dish the other week, and I found all the ingredients I would need to make stuffed mushrooms. Except I was too lazy to make stuffed mushrooms, so I made unstuffed ones! I added some roasted chestnuts and Chardonnay for a truly festive dish, perfect for your Thanksgiving meal!

This post is sponsored by kosherwine.com. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

teriyaki mushrooms
spinach stuffed mushrooms
spaghetti squash with spinach, mushrooms and white wine
Tuscan white beans with spinach and white wine

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Za’atar Roasted Kabocha Squash with Silan

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

{Funny Story} So, when I was growing up, my mom always used to make roasted kabocha squash for Shabbat, except she always called it kaboochie squash. She would send me to the store with a list, and whenever I would ask the guy in the produce department for kaboochie squash, he had no idea what I was talking about! And neither did anyone else in the store. Go figure.

Well this right here ^^^ is what “kaboochie” squash looks like. And once I made my mom show it to me the knobby weird shaped pumpkin, I never had to ask it for again. {Phew.}

Fast forward a number of years (I don’t want to date myself or anything), I was newly married and cooking for Shabbat. I wanted to make the delicious squash my mom had always made growing up, so I googled it, and found that it was actually called kabocha squash. Sorry mom.

It turns out that kabocha squash is actually a Japanese pumpkin, and the stuff is goooood. It’s literally my most favorite squash of all the knobby little things out there. Lucky for me, it’s also the hardest to cut.

Its’ so hard to cut, in fact, that Levana Kirschenbaum, Wholefoods chef par excellence, actually has a picture of herself cutting one open with a hammer in her cookbook! I don’t use a hammer in my kitchen, but here is what I do: First I remove the stem at the top and then I cut it in half vertically. I scoop out the seeds and place it flesh-side-down on my cutting board. Then, following the curve of the squash, I cut it into wedges. Voila!

Now my mom used to cook the kabocha up with a drizzle of oil and lots of brown sugar, and it was deeelish. But I wanted to bring out the savoriness of this squash, so I roasted it up with my favorite spice – za’atar. I coated it all with some sweet sticky silan, for a hint of sweetness, and finished it with an extra sprinkling of sesame seeds. You can garnish it as I did with pomegranate seeds and parsley, or just serve it up as-is for a sweet and savory bite!

Once you familiarize yourself with this awesome squash, feel free to use it in roasted pumpkin soup, my kale and kabocha salad with pears and pecans, or in recipes that call for boring old butternut squash. The flavor and texture of kabocha is by far superior, you’ll never turn back!

Related Recipes:

wilted kale & kabocha squash salad
savory butternut squash fries
za’atar roasted chickpeas
silan roasted figs

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Sous-Vide Stuffed Eggplant
with Pistachio Dukkah & Tamarind Tahini

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

So I’m sitting on board a Jetblue flight en route to Florida, noshing on my Terra Blues, drinking a diet coke, and working on my blog post via (free!) Fly-Fi. We were lucky enough to score an empty seat, so my very active 23-month old (who’s on the last free flight of his life) is all buckled in and on his way to a white-noise nap. You gotta love Jetblue!

I really wanted to get in this last post before Sukkot because I started a trend a couple of years back where I post a STUFFED recipe in honor of Sukkot and the harvest festival. Traditionally, holipches/holishkes (stuffed cabbage) is served up on Sukkot because we want to celebrate the abundance of the harvest season. Fall is when farmers harvest their wheat in Israel, and stuffing vegetables with filling symbolizes their desire for a year of overflowing harvest. Any stuffed recipe is well suited to honor this custom, including my “ratatouille” mechshie, savory eggplant mechshie, globe zucchini mechshie and of course, stuffed cabbage!

This year, I really wanted to take it up a notch, and since stuffing eggplant is one of my favorite things, I decided to give stuffed sous vide eggplant a try. I recently met a talented chef who was touting the benefits of sous-vide vegetables, and when he told me that sous-vide eggplant is literally soft as butter, I just had to give it a try! I had just got my new Sous Vide Supreme and what better way to use it than to test this technique!

Truth be told, my first try at sous-vide eggplant was an #epicfail. The eggplant was tough and not altogether cooked and after some research, I learned that since veggies tend to float in the water bath, you need to weigh them down to ensure proper cooking. My second try was successful and the results were soft-as-butter-delicious!

Now if you’re going to sous-vide eggplant, you have to have a sophisticated stuffing to match the modernist cooking technique. Roasted eggplants stuffed with Israeli salad is a regular in my house, as well as my
roasted eggplant parmesan, but as delicious as those recipes are, they are still homey comfort foods that wouldn’t do justice to my sous vide eggplant. I really wanted the eggplant to be the star, so I wanted to accessorize it, but not fully outfit it, to borrow some fashion terms :)

If we’re talking food fashion, there’s nothing more fashionable than nut and seed blends right now, so pistachio dukkah was just the thing! I recently did a #myspicerack spice roundup on my Instagram feed, and when I posted about the pistachio dukkah that my sister sends me all the way from Aussie, I got lots of recipe requests! I decided to make my own version from scratch with fresh cumin and coriander seeds from Holon, my favorite Middle Eastern market in Brooklyn. The results were incomparable to the blend my sister had been sending me. It was just so amazingly fresh, crunchy and and nutty, I don’t know why it took me so long to make my own! And you don’t even need a fancy spice grinder, a simple food processor works just fine!

Now that my pistachio dukkah was done, I needed a creamy sauce to bring it all together, but just plain old tahini wouldn’t do the trick. After visiting the amazing tahini store in Shuk Machneh Yehudah in Jersualem, I knew that you could mix so many things into tahini – both savory and sweet, so I decided to go with tamarind. Tamarind paste is both sweet and sour, so it’s a great balance to the salty dukkah spice and sweet pomegranate seeds. Top it off with some chopped parsley and you’ve got it all – color, texture, and balance, just the way food should be. Happy Stuffing!


This post was sponsored by Sous Vide Supreme. All opinions are my own. 

Other Eggplant Recipes:

Roasted eggplants stuffed with Israeli salad
roasted eggplant parmesan
roasted eggplant parmesan with feta
za’atar eggplant chips with harissa whipped feta
miso-glazed eggplant

Other Stuffed Recipes:

“ratatouille” mechshie
savory eggplant mechshie
globe zucchini mechshie
stuffed cabbage!

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Beer & Franks Baked Beans

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

With Father’s Day soon approaching, I was wracking my brain trying to think of the most serious guy food I could come up with. It’s BBQ season after all, and there’s nothing that guys like more than to sit back with an ice cold beer and some hot dogs, am I right? A side of baked beans or chili doesn’t hurt either, so I decided to mix it all together for some serious guy grub – beer and franks baked beans, can I get an Amen?!

To really up the ante on this beer-franks-beans mashup, I used beer infused hot dogs from my favorite brand, Abeles & Heymann. They also make whiskey infused dogs, so if you want to try for a bourbon version, go right ahead!

The thing about these baked beans, is that they’re not really baked, in fact, they come together quickly on the stovetop. And they really do taste like beer. So if you don’t like thick creamy stout as much as I do, go ahead and use stock instead. The brown sugar and molasses add such great flavor, you won’t even miss the beer! (Although if you’re serving this up for dad, he might!)

Now honestly this was first try at making baked beans from scratch (well semi-scratch if you count the fact that I used canned beans instead of dried). I usually just buy a can of baked beans and heat it up on the stovetop, straight from the can. That’s the way my mom always did it, campfire-style, and that’s the way I do it too!

Making from-scratch beans wasn’t hard at all, it came together in no time! I love how the franks turn it into an all out meal, and I served it over mashed potatoes for some serious comfort food. My kids gobbled up their beer-infused-dinner, none-the-wiser, but I wondered if they were a wee bit tipsy, or if it was all the candy they had consumed from their last-day-of-school-parties (what’s up with that, by the way?!). If you’re worried about all that alcohol (as not all of it will burn off during cooking), you can make these adult-only. Don’t you just love the idea of spiked beans?

Now that I’ve made beer infused baked beans, I’ve got all sorts of spiked foods up my blogger sleeve! Considering how viral my drunken hasselback salami went, I’m pretty sure you’re all liking it too!

Happy Father’s Day ya’ll! Have fun, stay safe, and don’t get too drunk on these boozy beans!


This post is sponsored by Abeles & Heymann. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Other Hot Dog Recipes:

hot dog eggrolls
bunless fajita dogs
spiralized spud dogs
kid-friendly dirty rice
fire roasted tomato rice stoup with franks

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Pumpkin Banana Souffle

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my Paleo journey and I think it’s about time! I first wrote about my diet struggles back in June, and I’ve since completed two (and a half) Whole30’s. The 30-day cleanse is based on the Paleo diet, with some more stringencies to help the body reset it’s natural rhythm. I love what the Whole30 did for me! It completely eliminated my sugar cravings, and got me back on track to a healthier lifestyle. Hundreds of you have jumped on the Whole30 bandwagon and purchased my Paleo 30-day meal plan filled with over 100 Whole30-compliant recipes!

Now while I fully support the Whole30 concept, I think it works best as a 30-day cleanse, which is exactly what it is. It’s too hard to live a Whole30 lifestyle all the time, especially being a foodie and recipe developer. Which is why I’ve transitioned to a mostly Paleo diet – rich in healthy proteins and fats, and limited to natural sweeteners and no-grain alternatives like almond flour.

I find that the Paleo lifestyle is pretty easy to stick to. I eat lots of eggs, chicken, meat, veggies and healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Of course my spiralizer keeps things exciting with lots of zoodles (zuccchini noodles), veggie fries and cauliflower rice! I try to always think outside the box, preparing burgers with portobello mushrooms “buns”, making eggrolls with an omelette, or sushi with cucumber ribbons. These original recipes can all be found in my ebook, which you can read about in more detail here.

Although I’ve adopted a mostly Paleo lifestyle, I’m still a huge foodie who enjoys eating out, and developing fun and unique recipes for my blog. In those cases, I believe strongly in the principal “everything in moderation,” so I try and give myself a break to enjoy every now and then. I still have lots of weight to lose, and I think it’s time to head to the gym to get that ball rolling (literally!)

My blog is a reflection of my lifestyle, so I thought it was time to bring back some tried and true Paleo/Whole30 compliant recipes for all of my loyal Paleo followers to enjoy. This incredible pumpkin banana souffle is so ridiculously easy to make, you won’t believe how good it tastes! The banana adds all the sweetness you need, so you can eat this without any guilt. I love that I can eat it warm or cold, for breakfast, dinner, or even dessert! It’s nice enough to serve for company, and it’s so versatile too! Top it with some bacon or sausage crumbles, eat it with some roast turkey, or spoon on some coconut whipped cream for a truly decadent treat!

Other recipes that use pumpkin puree:

pumpkin ricotta pancakes
pumpkin pie smoothie
baked pumpkin oatmeal
pumpkin crisp
pumpkin whoopie pies

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Cranberry Sriracha Green Beans

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I don’t know if it’s all the beautiful leaves on the ground, or the fact that I can cover up in a  cute jacket, without having to bundle up in a stuffy down winter coat. It probably has a lot to do with all the amazing pumpkin recipes, the sweet apple cider, and of course,…Thanksgiving! I’m on to Thanksgiving food weeks before the holiday (and not just because I’m a food blogger)! Case in point: my dinner last night was turkey burgers with cranberry pear relish, fried sage and Paleo pumpkin biscuits. I just can’t get enough of classic Thanksgiving dishes and flavors – I can eat them all year round.

Now speaking of classic Thanksgiving dishes, y’all know how traditional green beans are – especially green bean casserole. I’m not one for casseroles, but sriracha? yes please! Whether you are going Asian or not with any of your dishes – this sweet and spicy recipe makes the perfect Thanksgiving side dish! The sweet cranberries add the perfect festive touch, making this a great addition to your holiday meal. Gobble Gobble!

Related Recipes:

crunchy shriveled green beans
spicy roasted edamame
teriyaki mushrooms

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