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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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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.

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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!

Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014


I can’t believe this day is finally here! Somebody pinch me! I’ve been working on my Paleo meal plan every free minute for the past 2 months. My family has been having elaborate 3 course Whole30 dinners for the past few weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally introduce my 30 day meal plan!

Almond curry stuffed sweet potatoes, dinner, Day 18

If you haven’t been following my Whole30 diet journey on Facebook and Instagram, read this blog post for a quick summary of how I’ve been changing my life with the Paleo diet. I could have never imagined how energetic, healthy and happy I would feel eating a sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, legume-free and grain-free diet.

Cabbage and sausage egg roll, breakfast, Day 19

One thing my Whole30 was not – boring! I truly believe that the best way to diet is to eat well. Eating flavorful, satisfying meals curbs cravings and doesn’t make you feel deprived! I believe in this so strongly that I decided to chronicle all of my Paleo recipes in a meal plan and make it available for anyone interested in taking control of their eating habits and living a healthier life.

Cauliflower fried rice, lunch, Day 23

My 30 Day Meal Plan includes 50 pages of more than 100 recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Recipes like my Smoky Braised Chicken & Collards, Pad Thai, Sweet Potato Chili, Cucumber Sushi Rolls, and Nut-Crusted Shnitzel will make you feel like you’re eating anything but “diet” food! I’ve also included basic building block recipes like 5-minute ketchup, homemade mayonnaise, zoodles (zucchini noodles) and cauliflower rice that you’ll be using again and again.

Chicken nuggets with 5-minute ketchup, dinner, Day 29

The menu also includes a section of holiday and weekend recipes, for those wishing to entertain guests. Bonus appetizer, soup and dessert recipes like tropical guacamole, asparagus with mustard vinaigrette, spaghetti squash soup and strawberries with coconut whipped cream will help you round out your meal.

Broccoli quiche, breakfast, Day 7

As if that’s not enough, I’ve also included a handy calendar that you can print out and post on your fridge. It lists the breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day. A Table of Contents will help you find your daily menu easily.

Moroccan fish, lunch, Day 13

Also included in the Paleo ebook are pantry and fridge staples, helpful tools, resources and tips to help guide you through the 30-Day meal plan.

Asian turkey burger with sauteed cabbage, avocado and Thai almond butter sauce, dinner, Day30

One of the things I tried to incorporate into the meal plan was utilizing leftovers. Nobody wants to sit in the kitchen all day, so meal planning is essential! On several days, I have you set aside some leftovers which are repurposed in another way the next day. Less waste and less work, who doesn’t love that?!

Fajitas with homemade spice mix over cauliflower rice with fried egg, dinner, Day 4

One of the other great features of the Paleo cookbook is that I created the meal plan so that each day’s menu is featured on it’s own page. This way, you can print out the page on it’s own, hang it on your fridge and not have to run to your computer to follow the recipes.

Chicken tortilla-less soup, dinner, Day 23

Now that I’ve whet your appetite with these amazing dishes, I know what you’re thinking….”How do I get my hands on this ebook?!” Well, that’s the easy part!

Inside-out coconut chicken burger , dinner, Day 26

To purchase the ebook, simply click on the “pay now” button below to pay for it via paypal. When I receive your payment, I will email you the ebook. You can print it out, staple it, glue it together – whatever you wish. You just can’t share it :) I spent hours upon hours of hard work preparing this book for sale. I ask that you do not reproduce it in any form (email, photocopy, or sharing the recipes on your own blog). If you love the ebook as much as I do, plug away! Show your love via social media with hashtag #paleoebook, and don’t forget to tag @busyinbrooklyn!

Apple crisp “cereal”, breakfast, Day 12

Order your Paleo 30-Day Meal Plan today! You’ll receive: -50 pages of over 100 recipes -Pantry and Fridge/Freezer Staples -Building Block Recipes -Holiday or Weekend Meal Ideas -30-Day Meal Plan -30 Day Calendar -Dieting Tips

Butternut squash pie, lunch, Day 6

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

For more of what’s in the ebook, and for a chance to win  a copy, visit this post! For FAQ’s, check this out!

I would love to hear about the recipes you are making and enjoying! Please post a comment and share! And of course, if you have any questions at all about the ebook, please don’t hesitate to contact me at busyinbrooklyn@gmail.com!

Dairy Made Easy Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Leah Schapira & Victoria Dwek turn out new cookbooks faster than I develop recipes. Their latest addition to the Made Easy series is a fantastic collection of dairy recipes, just in time for Shavuot!

Like Starters & Sides Made Easy, Passover Made Easy, and Kids Cooking Made Easy, the Dairy edition is layed out in the same attractive, easy-to-read style. Even their cookbook-making skills seem made easy. They’ve mastered a template that provides a small soft-cover book that’s beautifully styled, easy to flip through, and filled with tips and tidbits, all without seeming overwhelming. The beautiful pictures draw you in and the down-to-earth recipes make you want to open your pantry right then-and-there to whip up one of their quick and easy dishes.

Besides for 60 easy-to-make recipes, you’ll also find a comprehensive cheese guide, a Make It Light section, a Make it Pareve Guide, and bonus serving ideas. Leah and Victoria fill each page with great tips, like how to measure frozen fruit, how to soften butter quickly or how to bake pizza without a pizza stone. They also share their thought processes and family anecdotes in a fun and friendly way.

What do I not want to make from this cookbook? It’s filled with mouthwatering recipes for breakfast, great starters & sides, soups, salads & sandwiches, and of course pizza, pasta and dessert (hello 180 calorie cheesecake!).

Some of the recipes I look forward to trying are the granola thins, arancini, sweet chili home fries, stuffed sole, French mushroom soup, hasselback baguette, honey pomodoro pizza, cajun creamy penne, cheese buns, peanut butter creme brulee and strawberry cheesecake ice cream.

In honor of the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, I’m giving away a free copy of the Dairy Made Easy cookbook! To enter, simply leave a comment below with your favorite Shavuot dish. You can also follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below for an extra entry. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

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Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Monday, May 26th, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Joy of Kosher Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Monday, March 24th, 2014

When Jamie Geller coined herself “the bride who knew nothing” I believed her. In her Quick & Kosher cookbooks series, Jamie shared recipes that were exactly as titled – simple, easy and quick dishes that the most novice of cooks could whip out of their kitchen. Some recipes were as simple as pairing store-bought barbeque sauce with shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken – now who can’t do that?

Being a fan of Jamie’s spunky personality and can-do attitude, I owned both of her cookbooks and was familiar with all the recipes from the bride who knew nothing. Which is precisely why the Joy of Kosher cookbook swept me right off my feet. That clueless young bride that could not make a pot of chicken soup evolved into a sophisticated cook with innovative recipes that are as pleasing to the eye as they are on the palate.

I know that because I was lucky enough to attend Jamie’s cookbook launch party where I sampled many of the dishes in the book including ktzizot (Israeli mini burgers), Meditteranean lamb skewers, cilantro corn cakes, mini slow cooker turkey spinach meatloaf, BBQ short rib sliders, fudge brownies, caramel apples with crushed candy and kiddie candy bark.  I was literally blown away by the amazing flavor in each and every dish. The cocktail meatballs with sweet and sour sauce were some of the most tender meatballs I’d ever had, and the carrot honey cake was an eye-opening experience for a honey-cake-purist like myself.

Recipes from the bride who knew nothing? Not anymore.

Browsing through Jamie’s book, you’ll find that she shares a lot more than just stellar recipes. She shares of piece of herself. With each chapter, Ms. Geller opens another door to her life and home, drawing you in like you’re part of the family. An adorable one, I might add. As a food photographer, I don’t know which I like more – the expertly styled food photos that jump off the page, or the out-of-this-world moments captured of her precious clan of five.

Aside from beautiful photos and mouthwatering recipes, Joy of Kosher packs it all in by offering a dressed up an dressed down version of each recipe. That means you can whip it up real fast for family, or polish it up for Shabbat or holiday meals. A handy holiday menu guide and Passover conversion table complete the book, making it perfect for year-round use.

In honor of the upcoming holiday of Passover, I’m giving away a free copy of the Joy of Kosher cookbook! To enter, simply leave a comment below with your favorite Passover dish. You can also follow Busy In Brooklyn via any of the channels below for an extra entry. Just be sure to leave a note in the comment letting me know where you follow.

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SAMPLE PASSOVER RECIPES FROM THE JOY OF KOSHER COOKBOOK:

Jamie Geller and I at the Joy of Kosher Cookbook Launch Party

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Starters & Sides Made Easy Review & Giveaway

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek know a thing or two about food. Leah is the author of Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking and co-founder of CookKosher.com, and Victoria is the managing editor of Whisk Magazine. The pair are always surrounded by good food, so they decided to join forces and write a cookbook together. Passover Made Easy was their first collection of favorite triple-tested recipes, and now, the two have done it again. They have moved on to create a series of “Made Easy” cookbooks including Starters & Sides as well as Kids Cooking (review coming soon).

There’s something nice about a cookbook series. It’s familiar and you know what you’re gonna get. In the case of the “Made Easy” series, that’s great graphics, building block recipes, plating ideas and great kitchen tips. I especially love the friendly “conversations” that Leah & Victoria have throughout the book. They are set out in speech bubbles, making you feel as if you’re standing in the kitchen with two friends.

Starters & Sides Made Easy starts out with an elaborate spice guide to help guide you through the different herbs, spices and blends. It continues with building block recipes and chapters on vegetables, grains, meat & chicken, fish, dairy and sweet. The book finishes with ideas on how to convert some of the dishes from starters to mains. Each recipe is accompanied by a beautifully composed photo of the dish.

Some of the recipes I look forward to trying, include broccoli stuffed artichokes, sticky red potatoes, Yemenite yellow orzo rice, crispy beef, falafel cigars,  silan chicken salad, tangy tilapia nuggets, parmesan sticks, and whiskey sweet potatoes.

My only issue with this book is the size. I know it sounds weird but it sticks out of my cookbook shelf because it’s wider than most cookbooks.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Busy In Brooklyn is giving a copy of Starters & Sides Made Easy! To enter the giveaway, you must:

1. Share you favorite Chanukah dish in the comments below.
2. Follow Busy In Brooklyn on Facebook, Twitter. Pinterest, and/or Instagram (one entry per media channel you follow – please specify which ones you follow in the comments).

Winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, December 4th, 8:00 PM.

BONUS RECIPES FROM STARTERS & SIDES MADE EASY:

RELATED POSTS: Passover Made Easy Cookbook Review

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The Holiday Kosher Baker Review & Giveaway

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m not the biggest baker (understatement) so I was a little intimidated going in to this book of heavenly pastries. The Holiday Kosher Baker is written by Paula Shoyer, a graduate of the esteemed Ritz Escoffier pastry program in Paris. Shoyer is a regular contributor to countless kosher websites, and has appeared on The Food Network’s Sweet Genius. She is the author of “The Kosher Baker: 160 Dairy Free Desserts from Traditional to Trendy.”

The Holiday Kosher Baker begins with a kosher baking encyclopedia – literally everything you need to know about baking equipment, tips, techniques and tools. It continues with recipes categorized by the Jewish holiday, including, Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Chanukah, Purim, Passover and Shavuot. Most of the recipes are accompanied by a beautiful picture, as well as detailed instructions even a novice can understand. And of course, you’ll be sure to find invaluable baking tips along the way.

There’s something for everyone in The Holiday Kosher Baker. Easy one bowl recipes for non-bakers like me, and fancier multiple-step recipes for those who like to patchke in the baking department. There’s also low sugar, vegan, gluten-free and nut-free recipes for those on a special diet. The book is truly a holiday baking manifesto, complete with over 45 Passover recipes as well as traditional and contemporary holiday desserts.

Some of the mouthwatering recipes I look forward to trying include babka bites, honey cake biscotti, pecan sticky buns with butterscotch whisky glaze, sticky toffee pudding, everything rugelach, gingerbread cookies (recipe below), red velvet hamantaschen, root beer chocolate truffles and chocolate mille-crepes cake. I also have my heart set on some of Paula’s fantastic Passover recipes including carrot cake, rosemary nut brittle, florentine bars and moscato granita.

Paula’s exceptional baking skills are clearly evident in this book, as are the years of hard work she put into it. While the graphics and photos are nice, I’m a little puzzled by the layout. Instead of having one recipe per page, one recipe leads into another, making the text appear overwhelming.

Busy In Brooklyn is giving away a copy of  The Holiday Kosher Baker! To enter the giveaway, follow one, or all, of my media channels below. You will receive one entry per media channel that you follow. Leave a comment below letting me know where you have followed me.

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Winner will be chosen at random at 12:00 PM EST on November 18th, 2013.

Cook In Israel Review & Giveaway

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Orly Ziv, a nutritionist and cooking instructor from Tel Aviv Israel, is a cook after my own heart. In her debut cookbook, Cook In Israel, Orly showcases recipes that draw on her Greek Jewish Heritage, with flavors of the Middle East and Mediterranean. Her entire first chapter is dedicated solely to eggplant and tomatoes, ingredients which are central to my kitchen. Page after page, Orly’s simple, healthy and flavorful recipes are ones you would find on my dining table any day of the week.

Cook In Israel bears the subtitle “Home Cooking Inspiration” and that is precisely what Orly’s book is all about. In a warm family-oriented way that is customary for Israelis, Ms. Ziv welcomes you into her kitchen with open arms. Her book is clear, simple and straight-forward, with many step by step photos to help guide you along the cooking process. Orly shares family favorites, holiday dishes and an expansive array of vegetarian recipes that are mainstays in Middle Eastern culture.

What is most impressive to me is that Orly self-published this beautiful collection of recipes with masterful results. The typography, layout and picture-perfect photography can only be matched by her clear and concise style of recipe writing – a welcome change from most cookbooks (which include too much commentary).

As someone who relishes Middle Eastern cuisine, this book lacks traditional Israeli fare like “al ha-esh” bbq , shishkebab and other chicken & meat recipes. It is somewhat confusing that Orly only makes slight mention of the fact that her book is almost entirely vegetarian, with only two meat recipes, which in my opinion, are better left out altogether.  As someone who is not ready to give up her carnivorous ways,  this cookbook still offers countless recipes that are filling and flavorful, such as breads, fish, grains and legumes.

Vegetarian or not, Cook In Israel is a keeper after all.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Busy In Brooklyn is thrilled to be able to give away a copy of Cook in Israel to one of my readers!

To enter the giveaway, vote for my grilled portobello burger with sundried tomato aioli in Swap it or Top it Mushroom Contest from The Mushroom Channel. You can vote once per day until August 31, 2013. Each vote will include one entry into the giveaway. Just leave a comment below letting me know when you have voted.

Winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, September 1st, 2013.

SAMPLE RECIPES:

Busy In Brooklyn Middle-Eastern Inspired Recipes:

roasted eggplant parmesan with feta
roasted eggplants with Israeli salad
summer tomato feta salad
malawach cheese pastries with dipping sauce
banana dates milk & honey smoothie
grilled chickpea burgers

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The Modern Menu Review & Giveaway

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

While this cookbook may have been published back in March, it’s never too late to bring a fabulous collection of kosher, innovative recipes to your attention.

At first look, The Modern Menu is exactly what it appears to be – modern. The food is laid out perfectly sleek and contemporary, without any over the top garnishes or plating. It simply speaks for itself, and I love that.

Unlike traditional cookbooks, Kim Kushner brings her own style and pizzazz, arranging the cookbook by how the dishes make you feel – from vibrant and indulgent to gutsy and clever. “To my mind,” says Kim, “Less is more, simple is always best, and food should look as good as it tastes and taste as good as it looks.” A healthy philosophy and outlook that should be the motto of every cook in the kitchen.

Browsing through the cookbook, I can’t help but be inspired by Kim’s clean and simple dishes that are so fresh and appealing. I find myself wanting to bookmark every single page. While Kim emphasizes healthy from-scratch ingredients, her Middle Eastern inspired recipes are possible for the novice chef with a well-stocked pantry.  Her dishes remain light, but the flavors seem anything but. Kushner does not shy away from herbs and spices, adding surprising notes to every dish.

I look forward to trying many of The Modern Menu Cookbook recipes including the kohlrabi cabbage salad with maple lemon dressing, crunchy curry cauliflower with tahini and pomegranate, crispy miso marinated chicken, jalapeno and tomato chutney, chicken with pumpkin, figs and honey, tequila london broil with mango chutney, black sesame crusted char, sticky beef ribs, fig and pecan biscotti, plum crumb cake with star anise and individual halvah, gelato and sorbet towers.

If I could critique anything about this wonderful cookbook, it would be to say that some of the recipes require ingredients that may be hard to find. In addition, while I love Kim’s concept for arranging the book’s chapters, it’s slightly difficult to follow the sections when they are categorized this way.

Busy In Brooklyn is giving away a free copy of The Modern Menu.

To enter the giveaway:

1. Leave a comment with your favorite light & healthy summer food/recipe.
2. Like Busy In Brooklyn on Facebook.

Winner will be chosen at random on August 2nd, 2013.

Related posts: cookbook reviews