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Food Files Cookbook + Giveaway!

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

I was recently lucky enough to receive a copy of the beautiful new cookbook, Food Files, benefiting Yeshiva of Flatbush. The book is a compilation of beautiful, healthy, seasonal and original recipes from home cooks in Flatbush, Brooklyn. As a food blogger, I’m honored to receive review copies of cookbooks all the time. Sometimes the books are nothing to write home about, and they end up in the growing “give away” pile in the basement. Other times, the books are so beautiful that they’re worthy of your coffee table, and this, my friends, is one of them.

I was pleasantly surprised at the simple yet sophisticated style of this book, the stunning photos and the original recipes. All too often cookbooks are filled with recipes and adaptations of recipes that we’ve all seen before, but Food Files is filled with truly original dishes that capture the inventive cook.

Some of the recipes that caught my eye include homemade burrata, cauflower tabbouleh with raw falafel balls (yes!!), porcini mushroom latkes with truffle infused chive cream, farro leek soup, date hazelnut and feta salad, lemon poppy seed pancakes, green chili mac ‘n cheese, spiked sweet potatoes (recipe below), Chilean sea bass kanafe, mushroom stuffed ribeyes, no bake chocolate hazelnut cheesecake, peanut butter honeycomb pie, and tartufo martinis.

With Thanksgiving just a week away, please enjoy sample recipes for Asian Glazed Turkey Breast and Spiked Sweet Potatoes from the book, below!

Food Files makes a great Chanukah gift and is available for purchase here, but I’m so excited to be giving away a copy of their cookbook as well!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

To enter the giveaway to win a copy of Food Files:

1. Leave a comment below letting me know your favorite cookbook.
2. For an extra entry, follow Busy In Brooklyn via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents (for international entries, prize can only be shipped in the U.S.). Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017.

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Kosher by Design Brings It Home Review & Giveaway

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the Kosher by Design Brings it Home VIRTUAL BOOK RELEASE PARTY! I’ve been a fan of Susie Fishbein since the early years, before there was a Busy In Brooklyn and the only things I knew how to cook came out of a cookbook. When I got married, her books were my go-to for Shabbos and Yom Tov meals and everything in between. In the early days of BIB, I posted some of her recipes like thisthis and this and was honored to attend her book release party for KBD Cooking Coach where I met her in person for the first time.

I have a deep respect for Susie’s work because she was the go-to kosher recipe developer before there were hundreds of cookbooks to compete with, an endless supply of free recipes on the web to copycat and growing network of kosher foodies who share, connect and interact in the industry. Fishbein literally set the groundwork for all the kosher cookbooks to come with her solid cookbook collection filled with original and unique recipes as well as beautiful food photography. I’ve followed Susie’s journey through the years and I’m thrilled to see a culmination of her travels in her last of the KBD series, Bringing it Home.

As a foodie, I have learned that the only way to really expand your culinary horizons is to travel. Traveling opens your eyes to unique ingredients, food combinations and flavors that you never thought of or experienced. Not all of us have the luxury to host culinary tours throughout the world, so luckily Susie has done the work for us. In Kosher by Design Brings It Home, she fills us in on her travels throughout  Israel, France, Italy and Mexico, sharing food traditions and fiercely guarded recipes that are unique to those regions.  It’s an honor to have an inside look into restaurant and chef’s recipes throughout the kosher world and I can’t wait to start cooking more cultural cuisine!

Purchase Kosher by Design Brings it Home on Amazon

A book release party is nothing without a giveaway, and what a giveaway it is! Follow these instructions to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes Review & Giveaway

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

In the spirit of my Blogoversary last week, I figured it was about time for a giveaway. And I’ve been itching to review the latest cookbook in the Secret Restaurant Recipes series, so it worked out just perfectly!

Like all of the cookbooks by seasoned cookbook writers Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek, Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes does not disappoint. It’s got the same beautiful graphics, breathtaking photos and clean-cut layout as it’s original, but the recipes are a bit less glitzy yet not one bit less mouthwatering.

For this round, the writers went to everyday establishments – grills like the famous Fish Grill in LA (where I’ve noshed on their famous fish and chips), local favorites like Bagels ‘n Greens (ever taste their insane donuts?!), Boeuf & Bun (loooove their bondi burger), Izzy’s BBQ Addiction (I’m legit addicted, it’s in my ‘hood after all), Mendelsohn’s (we love their breaded cauliflower) and Pizza Time (best kosher pizza outside of Israel IMHO). They’ve covered Miami hot spots like 26 Sushi & Tapas (lettuce wraps please!), China Bistro (love their spicy chicken and eggplant) and Zak the Baker (I’ll have everything on the menu) and National must-haves like C  & R Kitchen (I’m till dreaming of the prime rib I had there), Milt’s BBQ (I must get there soon!), And Nobo Wine & Grill (I’ve already booked my reservation). Of course we can’t forget all the International spots like Aussies Milk & Honey (I had a great lunch there!), Israel’s Rimon Cafe (great memories!), and eateries in Austria, Brazil, England, Panama and Uruguay.

When they say they’ve hit the little guys, they mean it. They’ve got supermarkets like Pomegranate and Breadberry in Brooklyn, heimishe bakeries like Zishes in Monsey and even stadium joints like Legends in Yankee stadium. My favorite though would have to be The Wandering Que, a BBQ trailer that hauls it’s Texas-style BBQ rig around town. Leah & Victoria have indeed covered their tracks.

Of course I’m partial because my ‘hood made it to the Kosher Food Trends list (we house the famous Basil Pizza & Wine Bar, Boeuf & Bun & Izzy’s BBQ Addiction after all) and having my name on the shout-out list was a nice surprise (I shared some of my favorite hot spots). But the truth is – we have to let the recipes do the talking. The fact that roasted chickpeas are the first recipe of the Starters & Sides should say something. They’re my absolute favorite nosh to date. But the kani poppers, beef fry apricots, buffalo cauliflower, tater poppers and smoked hot wings tickled my fancy as well. Soups & Salads are down to earth, with recipes like black bean soup, Asian nappa salad, harvest twist and peach glazed chicken salad. They’ve even covered basics like store coleslaw (haven’t you always wondered how to get it just right?) and potato salad. Sandwiches are possibly my favorite chapter, and thankfully they’ve included the Morning Scramble from Boeuf & Bun, so when I don’t feel like walking up the block to their hip joint, I can just make it at home! My husband is particularly excited about Essen’s Sino Steak Sandwich, a dish he grew up eating! Pretzel sticks, honey mustard pargiot, chicken Pad Thai and Gotham glazed ribs are favorites from Chicken & Meat while the grilled fish taco, bourbon salmon and sushi pizza stood out from the Fish. They’ve even got Brunch & Lunch covered with recipes like Israeli breakfast, creamy home fries, and veggie chili, but I’ll take the creme brulee freezer. They finish off with a bang with dessert goodies like Zak the Bakers chocolate rugelach, T Fusion’s churros and Lula’s halva parfait. Mmm mmm good.

So, should you buy this book? Well, if you live in a place that doesn’t have too many eateries or you don’t mind cooking up some restaurant fare that’s not too intimidating, then this is the book for you. While the cookbook includes “everyday recipes” don’t expect them all to be quick and easy. If they’re good enough to be on a menu in a cafe somewhere, they’re going to require some work. But it looks to me like it will be well worth the effort.

Purchase Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes on Amazon.

Read a review of Secret Restaurant Recipes.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

So lets get down to business because I know you are waiting! To enter this fabulous giveaway, here’s what to do!

1. Leave a comment on my Blogoversary Post letting me know your favorite BIB recipes of the past 5 years and/or what you’d like to see on the blog this year.
2. Leave a comment here letting me know your favorite kosher restaurant worldwide.

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 Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016.

SAMPLE RECIPES:

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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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Something Sweet Review & Giveaway

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a cookbook. OK maybe I do. It was Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. But other than Ottolenghi books, I don’t usually count the days until a cookbook comes out. It’s different when that cookbook is written by a friend and fellow kosher blogger, and when it’s jam-packed with mouthwatering desserts. Only desserts. 

The talented Miriam Pascal of OvertimeCook has been giving me (and all her readers!) sneak peeks into her cookbook for months now. As a foodie friend and fellow food photographer, I got a behind-the-scenes look at Miriam’s amazing photography, and I couldn’t wait to see it in print. Miriam and I started our blogs around the same time, back in 2011. We both had little experience with photography, but as our blogs grew, our photography improved and so did our traffic. As a food blogger, Miriam takes the cake (literally) for the most amazing desserts that she posts on her blog, as well as in her food column for Ami Magazine. I’m not much of a baker, but when I actually feel like shlepping out my kitchenaid, I turn to Miriam for delicious, no-fail recipes every time. I’m so proud of her achievement, that I even filled in for her, guest posting on her blog while she was busy putting the finishing touches on this book.

Leave it to Miriam, I just knew there would be no stone left unturned in her cookbook. She has literally covered all the bases, from a baking guide, to ingredient substitutions, kitchen equipment, baking tips and a holiday guide. I love the range of desserts she covers, including cookies and bars, cakes and cupcakes, muffins and pastries, pies and tarts, desserts and party treats, candy and chocolate, drinks and frozen treats and finally, frosting and toppings. That last one seriously has me drooling. I am a frosting addict.

Now not only did Miriam cover pretty much every dessert you can think of, she also listened closely to her reader’s requests, and developed recipes like no-margarine chocolate chip cookies, no-margarine sugar cookies, healthy muffins, egg-free chocolate mousse and even a coconut oil pie crust (I truly appreciate this one!). The best part about the recipes in Something Sweet is that they are truly accessible. Nothing is over-the-top fancy and all the recipes use basic ingredients that we can all find in our pantry.

Many of my followers know that I’m not a big baker, so I truly appreciate the clearly written recipes, thoughtful variations and plan ahead options. I don’t think there’s a single recipe in Something Sweet that overwhelms me, and that says a lot! Some of the recipes I’ve got my eye on include the bourbon pecan snowball cookies, gingerbread biscotti, oatmeal cookie wedges, honey sour cream pound cake and cinnamon cheese buns.

It doesn’t get more perfect than gorgeous photos, great recipes and an all-around well-written book. Congrats to Miriam on this tremendous achievement!

I’m excited to be giving away a copy of SOMETHING SWEET just in time for the holidays! To enter:

  1. Comment on this post and share your favorite “something sweet” (it can be food or dessert).
  2. For an extra entry, follow Busy In Brooklyn via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents (for international entries, prize can only be shipped in the U.S.). Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Monday, September 21st, 2015.

Purchase Something Sweet on Amazon

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Secret Restaurant Recipes Review & Giveaway

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about a cookbook. Like ever. It probably has a lot to do with my affinity for eating out. And beautiful food photography. And superb design. And impeccable styling. In a word, this book is: PERFECTION.

And I’d expect nothing less from seasoned cookbook writers Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek. Leah is the author of Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking, while Victoria is the managing editor of Whisk magaizne. Together, they coauthored the Made Easy cookbook series including Starters & Sides Made Easy, Passover Made EasyDairy Made Easy and Kids Cooking Made Easy. When I heard they were working on a new cookbook, I wondered what they would be “making easy”, but I never imagined it would be restaurant recipes!

As a true foodie, I’ve eaten at many a kosher restaurant, and I was surprised to see just how many amazing kosher restaurants are covered in this book (over 70!). From Tierra Sur in Oxnard, California (one of the best restaurant meals I’ve ever had), to Rare in Miami Beach, FL (love their crab cakes) and Pizza Pita in Montreal (I always wondered how they make their poutine!). There’s also Carlos & Gabby’s in New Jersey (who doesn’t love their crispy chicken fingers?!) and New York favorites like Amsterdam Burger Co. (the breakfast burger is incredible!), Reserve Cut (I always orders the short rib tacos!) and my favorite local places like Basil Pizza & Wine Bar (they serve up their famous basil fries just up the street), Mason & Mug (I’ve been reinventing their deviled kale salad forever!), and Pardes (wish they would have included their smoked paprika popcorn recipe). Restaurants in England, Israel, Italy, Mexico and even Panama, are also included.

It’s so exciting to get a sneak peek behind some of the establishments that we regularly frequent. And Secret Restaurant Recipes is about more than just the recipes. It also includes tips and techniques from today’s top kosher chefs. I was surprised to see that some of the recipes are fairly easy, while others are more involved. When I first looked through the cookbook and had a craving for Reserve Cut’s short rib tacos, I just got up and went to the restaurant! On the other hand, Pizza Pita’s poutine was so ridiculously easy, I was able to make it quickly at home.

Thanks to the generosity of Artscroll/Mesorah Publications, I’m sharing 2 recipes from the book here. I recently did a demo at a chinese auction where Victoria Dwek also demonstrated the eggplant chicken from Segal’s Oasis Grill in Phoenix, Arizona. It smelled so incredible, I just knew I had to include it! I’m also sharing a dessert recipe from Bagels & Greens because if their donuts are any indication, these brownies are going to be a real treat!

Purchase Secret Restaurant Recipes on Amazon.

Read a review of Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Of course, I’m also giving away a FREE COPY of Secret Restaurant Recipes! To enter, simply leave a comment below about your favorite kosher restaurant 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, January 6th, 2015.

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Paleo eBook Giveaway!

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Last week, I summed up just what my ebook has to offer in this post but I couldn’t resist hosting a giveaway for y’all too! It also gives me a chance to give you more of a glimpse into some of the recipes I developed during my Whole30. You’ll find them all in my Paleo 30-Day meal plan.

Smoky braised chicken & collards, dinner, Day 8

I hadn’t really planned on another ebook post for a while, but when you’re up at 3 AM, jetlagged on the other side of the world, you’ve got a lot of times of your hands! Regards from down under! (The toilets really do flush the other way around on this side of the world).

Tuna avocado cucumber rolls with spicy mayo, lunch, Day 19

This whole eBook experience has been seriously surreal. I never went on the Whole30 with the intention of writing an ebook. It just sorta happened. One day I was cooking up sugar free, grain free and dairy free recipes, and the next I was collaborating them into a 50 page meal plan with over 100 recipes!

Grilled chicken shawarma plate, dinner, Day 10

And then, before I could even think about what was happening, I went live and the book actually sold. And sold some more. And every day, as the orders roll in, I just pinch myself and wonder, “Did I really just sell a cookbook?”

Paleo Pad Thai with spicy almond butter sauce, dinner, Day 9

The very next day after my ebook went live, I joined Naomi Nachman on her radio show, Table for Two, to make my Paleo Pad Thai live from Gourmet Glatt (a kosher supermarket in Cedarhurst). You can watch my interview and demo here!

Green bean salad (served with tuna nicoise patties), lunch, Day 26

I’m a firm believier that everything happens for a reason and I know my ebook had to evolve in the way that it did because otherwise it would never have happened! I’m way too much of a perfectionist to let anything go without it being William-Morrow-ready. And yet, I knew that the recipes spoke for themselves, so I just went for it (thanks to a lot of encouragement from family and friends)!

Roasted vegetable salad with poached egg, breakfast, Day 2

And thanks to you, my readers, for your constant support and feedback! Your comments, posts and emails encourage me to keep going bigger and better. You’ve helped turn my little corner of the blogosphere into more than just a hobby! Hopefully a real, hardcover (William Morrow published!) cookbook will be next on the list! (That’s a lot of explanation marks for one paragraph! I must be excited :)  or overtired…or both!)

Sweet potato chili, dinner, Day 2

So finally….back to the Giveaway details!

To enter the Paleo  30-Day Meal Plan Giveaway, leave a comment  sharing your favorite Busy In Brooklyn recipe. You can also follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below for an extra entry (one entry per follow). Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest 

Giveaway is open to everyone worldwide (don’t you just love ebooks?!). Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Monday, July 21st, 2014.

Schnitzel salad, dinner, Day 24

To read more about what the ebook has to offer, check out this post, or this Q&A. If you want to go ahead and purchase it, you can do so right here!

Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan $15
Your Email Address:

Have you already ordered the ebook? Which recipes have you tried? Share your comments here!

Chic Made Simple – Review & Giveaway!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

When I first received the Chic Made Simple cookbook, I was wowed. It’s filled with beautiful pictures, impeccable food styling, and lots of delicious recipes that are truly, made simple. Esther Deutsch’s new cookbook promises fresh, fast and fabulous kosher cuisine, and it delivers. With appetizers & sides, soups, salads, poultry, meat, fish, dairy and desserts, the cookbook lacks for nothing. Chef’s are fond of saying “We eat with our eyes first”, and no one knows that better than Esther. Her talent for plating and food styling are on full display page after page. As a wannabe food stylist (at least for my blog) this book has taught me a lot.

While styling is important, the food also has to speak for itself. The recipes in Chic are simple enough for the novice cook, yet sophisticated enough for the more experienced chef. Some of my favorite dishes include quinoa patties, pulled meat wontons, roasted chestnut pumpkin soup, sundried tomato basil capons, creole veal burgers, 60-second cajun salmon, fruit tartare, and many more.

All that being said, I do have a few small qualms about this book. As the food editor of Ami magazine, many, of the recipes appeared in the magazine at some point (46 of the recipes in the book have never been published). While it mostly reads like a cookbook, there is some confusion where the pictures don’t entirely relate to the recipe, and some magazine spreads that were stuck in the book, disrupting the flow. The pictures, having been photographed by a few photographers, don’t offer the same style, and some are so highly manipulated, they don’t look realistic. As a graphic designer, I find this very frustrating, but to the untrained eye, most people will not be disturbed by it.

Bottom line: Chic Made Simple does in fact offer chic recipes that are fairly easy. Some recipes use highly processed ingredients, but most include ingredients that you’d find in your pantry. While many will not be able to plate their dishes as impeccably as pictured, the recipes sure seem to taste as delicious as they look.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling me about a simple recipe that you serve in a chic way! And if you don’t already follow me on facebook, like the BIB page here. Winner will be chosen at random at 11:00 PM Wednesday, December 5th. 

1 year ago: black bean brownies
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