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Spanakopita Bourekas

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

It’s mashup time! I think my favorite part of being a food blogger is being able to play around with recipes and coming up with my own twists on things. I love mashing things up. What’s a mashup? Well, it’s when I take a traditional food and I fuse it with another cuisine or concept to create a hybrid sort of recipe. It would probably be easier if I showed you.

Take these pecan pie lace cookies that I made for Thanksgivukkah back in 2013 (gosh, was that really three whole years ago?!). Since Thanksgiving and Chanukah came out on the same night (which only happens in a gazillion years btw), I decided to fuse a Thanksgiving concept: pecan pie, with a traditional Jewish pastry: lace cookies, or, florentines. Florentines are traditionally made with almonds, but I used pecans, and to up the Chanukah ante, I drizzled the cookies with Chanukah symbols and filled them with raspberry jam. That, my friends, is a mashup.

Of course I’ve got plenty of other Chanukah mashups on the blog, like these poutine latkes, a twist on the classic Canadian dish of gravy and cheese smothered french fries (yes, I went there). Then there was my falafel latkes, or falatkes, a fusion of the Israeli staple and the classic potato latke, which I took to another level with the sabich. And finally, the droolworthy donut milkshake and potato latke funnel cakes that have been blowing up feeds everywhere. Told you I loved mashups :)

So Chanukah is upon us, and I really wanted to mashup a Greek staple with a typical Jewish food. Traditional spanakopita is a spinach feta pie made with a filo (or phyllo) crust. Filo is notoriously difficult to work with, since it is paper thin and tears easily, so I decided to turn the pie into the perfect hand-held appetizer: bourekas. With lots of Chanukah parties on our calendar, this makes a great finger food for the table!

Bourekas are a family favorite and not just because they are uber delicious, with all the flaky layers of buttery dough. It’s because they are so. freakin. easy. Truth be told, I was originally going to make spanakopita rugelach, but I’ve been feeling out of sorts this week and the idea of working on a savory cheese dough was just off the table. So I thought about what I could use to make these super easy and semi-homemade, and I went to that beloved ingredient that makes party planning so much easier – the puff pastry. Oh how I love thee.

I always keep puff pastry in the freezer because it makes the most impressive danish pastry in no time, it’s a must-have for my kids favorite deli roll, it makes an easy topping for pot pie, and the quickest impressive fruit tart. I also love it for cream horns, pinwheels, bite-size bundles, and even hamantaschen!

I’m all about finger food at my Chanukah party, so I hope this post gave you some “food for thought” for your Chanukah menu planning! For more great Chanukah recipes, check out the index!

Happy Chanukah! Happy Chrismukkah! Happy Donut Day! And yes, Happy Birthday and Anniversary to me!! (I was born and got married on the 5th night!)

Related Recipes:

spinach papardelle with feta and fried poached egg
harissa whipped feta with zaatar eggplant chips
summer tomato feta salad
roasted eggplant parmesan with feta
spinach and spaghetti squash shakshuka

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Zucchini Parmesan Chips

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

A couple of months ago, a bunch of kosher bloggers and I went out to celebrate the anniversary of The Kosher Connection (a group that we formed that presents monthly challenges to kosher food bloggers). We all met at Siena’s, a dairy Brooklyn restaurant on Kings Highway to have some fun and enjoy good food. And that we did. One of the first things they served us were crispy tempura-fried zucchini chips with marinara sauce for dipping. Those chips were completely addictive and being pregnant at the time, I repeatedly craved them throughout my pregnancy!

Fast forward a couple of months later and I’m craving those chips again. With Chanukah in mind, I decided to try a breaded version, with some parmesan mixed in. Eating fried foods on Chanukah is a well known custom (to commemorate the miracle of the oil), but eating dairy is as well. We do so to remember the bravery of Yehudit, a young widower who lived in Bethulia in the land of Judea. To save Jerusalem from a paralyzing siege and approaching enemy troops, Yehudit seduced a Greek general into a drunken slumber by feeding him salty cheese and quenching his thirst with strong wine. As the general slept, she beheaded him with a sword. After finding that their general had been killed, the Greek army fled in disarray.

So not only do we gorge ourselves on fried doughnuts and chocolate gelt – we also add dairy to the mix to really tip the scales! Thanks to the zucchini in this recipe, you get to deguiltify the whole deep-fried thing altogether! Which reminds me…

I made these zucchini chips on a Wednesday morning. I remember because right after they came out of the fryer, I went out to pick up the New York Times. You see, I’m not much of a newspaper-reading gal, but on Wednesdays, the paper includes a fantastic Dining supplement and I just have to have it. To my amusement, the front page of the Dining Section was dedicated to the art of deep frying. It read, “Deep Fried and Good for You.” Talk about deguiltifying.

In the article, Mark Bittman reasons that deep frying is not all that bad for you, since fat is actually good for you. He concedes that not all fats are created equal and continues on to reject the notion that olive oil is inappropriate for frying. Since most deep-frying is done at around 350 degrees, and olive oil smokes at 375, it’s a fine option, he says.

I turned the page to continue the article and found that Mark had included a recipe for fried zucchini sticks, similar to the chips I had just made. “Mark says they’re good for you,” I told myself as I continued to eat the whole pan (did I mention I was pregnant?!).

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Chestnut Hummus with Herbed Pita Chips

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Unless you are living in a cave somewhere far away (in which case you probably don’t have wifi), you’ve probably read about all the Thanksgivukkah hype. That’s right – it’s got it’s own name. By unusual coincidence, the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving this year. Apparently, this has not happened since 1888 an won’t happen again for another 70,000 years. Yes – seventy thousand years. Is that a cause for celebration? Well, why the heck not?

This whole Thanksgivukkah thing has taken the internet, and the world really, by storm. They’re making t-shirts, developing websites, and most of all – cooking up recipes that merge the “gobble, gobble” with the “latke’le latke’le”.

I couldn’t imagine being left out of the Thankgivukkah foodie frenzy. I mean, who would turn down the opportunity to converge some of the classic Thanksgiving flavors with Jewish/Chanukah themes?


I’ve got some fun recipes up my blogger sleeve, but in the meantime – we’ll start with this amazing sweet and creamy chestnut hummus. I decided to combine hummus and pita – traditional Israeli foods, with chestnuts and stuffing spices – traditional Thanksgiving flavors – to create this delicious appetizer. The chestnuts add a wonderful hint of sweetness to the hummus, while the savory stuffing spices create an addictive crunchy chip you’ll want to make again and again!


If you’ve ever roasted a turkey or made stuffing for Thanksgiving, you’re probably familiar with all of the delicious herbs and spices that are so often used. Sage, rosemary, and thyme are perfect compliments to roasted turkey, and apparently, to pita chips as well!

Related recipes:

roasted garlic hummus with “everything” pita chips
thanksgiving turkey roulade with 5-minute stuffing

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