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Tuna Nicoise with Anchovy Panko Crumbs

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been! I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without blogging in the 7 years that I’ve been doing it but I’ve truly been living up to my name, Busier than Ever in Brooklyn! After having a cookbook “baby”, I’d like to say I was on maternity leave, but the truth is, I’ve been traveling between books signings and demos throughout the Tristate area, plus a small stop in Florida before the Chag. Of course we also celebrated the grand book release party at Bison & Bourbon here in Brooklyn just last week, and it’s truly been a dream come true! I’ve leave the party deets for a separate post, but I really wanted to get back into things here on the blog, where it all got started.

I love it here on Busy In Brooklyn, a constant reminder of my humble beginnings. I need only to scroll back to 2011 to remember how it all began – I was barely even an amateur cook, my photos were beyond embarrassing, and with each passing year that young wife who knew so little about food and photography, blossomed into a confident cook, recipe developer, food photographer, and now, cookbook author. It’s so surreal to me, and as I stood up at the book release party, I said the first thing that came to mind, and what I truly felt – I’m really just a mother, who decided to become a blogger, who decided to write a cookbook. The whole Instagram-fueled pseudo-celebrity status is still so foreign to me – I really just want to live my life and share my passion for modernizing and reinventing kosher food without all the fanfare. Social media has truly changed everything, hasn’t it? It truly is a blessing to be able to reach so many people and watch as traditional Jewish and kosher food evolves over time.

One of the best messages I got from a follower last week was about how she sent her husband to the supermarket in Monsey to buy anchovies for the Kale Caesar Salad in the book. Her husband asked the manager where he could find anchovies and he said, “Come join the other 15 husbands who came in asking for the same thing! Why are people suddenly so interested in anchovies?”. So her husband showed the manager a photo of my book! Now of course there’s nothing Millennial about anchovies in Caesar salad, although it’s not something you normally find on a traditional kosher holiday table. When I was growing up, we made Caesar salad with mayo, garlic powder, distilled white vinegar and sugar. Most kosher cookbooks include a variation of that, with a few forward-thinking recipe writers including Worcestershire sauce or even anchovies. With Millennial Kosher, I really wanted people to embrace these foreign ingredients instead of turning the page or looking for a substitute. Somewhere deep inside I was worried that people weren’t ready, but that message made me realize that Millennial Kosher is exactly what kosher cooks wanted and needed in today’s day and age.

Speaking of anchovies, this modern and sophisticated take on a salad nicoise didn’t quite make it to the book, but after the anchovy episode, I figured it was a good time to post it on the blog! The tuna in this recipe is lightly seared, topped with a sundried tomato and olive tapenade and finished with umami-rich anchovy panko crumbs that would go amazingly well over pasta! Here’s to hoping that some of you are ready to explore anchovies, and salad nicoise, in a new light!

How has Millennial Kosher helped you look at kosher food in a new way? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Related Recipes:

tuna with pineapple guacamole and herbed lime crema
pan seared tuna steak (2011 amateur days! lol)
salad nicoise (another 2011 beauty!)

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Millennial Kosher: The Cookbook!!!

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Ahhhh!!!! I cannot believe this day is really here, somebody pinch me!! My very own cookbook, Millennial Kosher, is scheduled for release on April 26th, and is available for presale! (see below for how to order!)

[Quick links: Amazon or Artscroll for a signed copy, using code BIB for free shipping.]

For years I’ve been posting reviews of other cookbooks on my blog, and I never imagined the day would actually come when I’d be able to post my own. Being a cookbook author has been a dream of mine for a long time, but as a mom of five, I just didn’t know how to make it work. I was waiting for the right time – when I had no babies at home, when my schedule would clear up, when I…when I…when I…. Last year, I finally decided that there’s no such thing as a good time to write a cookbook, and if I wanted to truly actualize my dream, I had to just bite the bullet and go for it! Here I am, just about 15 months later and I’m just two weeks away from holding that dream in my hands.

Busy In Brooklyn house salad

How it all started

A few years after starting my blog, I began to entertain the idea of writing a cookbook. I loved collecting and reading them, but the idea of writing one myself seemed too daunting and out of reach. I added “write a cookbook” to my bucket list of things I’d hope to achieve some day, and started a spreadsheet of ideas that I thought might work. As months turned into years, that list continued to grow. Last year, I decided it was finally time and I scheduled a meeting with my publisher, Artscroll Publications, in November 2016. They had a few books lined up, so I was given a tentative publication date of May 2018.

I quickly got to work consolidating the excel sheet and mapping out a concept for my book. Over the next few months, I changed my concept several times and structured and restructured that sheet more times than I can count! I started to write up all the recipes that had already been tested, and created a new list of recipes that had to be developed based on my ideas. I spent most of my summer developing those recipes in the kitchen of my summer home in Upstate New York, testing and retesting until they were perfect.

spanakopita-quinoa-patties

In October, I was finally ready to share the news of my cookbook on social media – and it all started to feel so real! I began to work with my editor on perfecting each written recipe, and when I traveled to Australia for my nephews Bar Mitzvah in December, I wrote all my intros and other introductory chapters on the plane.

As soon as I got back, I got to work turning my dining room into a photography studio. Over the years, I had amassed an impressive collection of props, and I set out to organize them by color so that I could style my photos more easily. I hired an assistant to help me cook the recipes for the shoots, and in a few short weeks, we cooked our way through Millennial Kosher, 5-8 recipes per day. I styled and photographed each dish amid pick-ups, snowstorms and diaper changes, and each night as I lay in bed looking through the photos of the day, I couldn’t believe what I had accomplished. My kids were super happy to have endless options for dinner each night, my cleaning help got a hefty goody bag by the end of the week, and we ate our Shabbos meals in the middle of my tiny kitchen until we wrapped up shooting ahead of schedule, on February 1st.

The last few months have been a blur of testing, editing, decision making, stressing, and very. little. sleep. Slowly the book started to come together as a tangible thing, and not just an excel sheet. My dreams are coming true and I am so grateful for it!

gefilte fish “pizza”

The Concept

Over the years, I’ve come to find my niche in the world of kosher food blogging – putting my own spin on traditional Jewish foods. There’s a plethora of great kosher cookbooks out there – but I always felt that they seemed to include a lot of the same recipes over and over again, with small tweaks and changes. I felt like the kosher food world needed something fresh and new – food influenced by international cultural cuisine, recipes using bold ingredients and spices, and dishes without the dreaded margarine and onion soup mix of our youth. I wanted to make cooking fun again, brighten dishes up with color and do away with the heavy, overly sweet Ashkenazi food I grew up with. I came up with the name Millennial Kosher – a title that embodies my passion for new food for the new generation.

broccoli burger with cashew “cheddar” sauce

What’s in the book?

When I thought about the dishes I wanted to include in the book, I realized that I had to appeal to a wide spectrum – people who love my healthy recipes, people all over the world who make my not-so-healthy hasselback salami, those who want holiday recipes, people who want quick and easy dinners, and those who want recipes that are more involved. Of course I also needed to appeal to those who wanted to introduce fresh and new ingredients into their dishes, and those who wanted to use basic pantry staples. I think I found a good balance, and there is truly something for everyone in this book!

marbled halva mousse

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll find in Millennial Kosher:

How to Cook Millennial Kosher
explaining my outlook and philosophies on cooking kosher in today’s day and age.
The Millennial Kosher Kitchen: Tools & Equipment and Ingredients
how to stock your kitchen and pantry with Millennial equipment and ingredients.
Staples
some of the basics I always have on hand like pickled onions, bone broth and preserved lemons.
Breakfast & Brunch
fun recipes for everyday or Sunday splurges like marble cake pancakes, sweet and savory toast and overnight oats affogato.
Appetizers
bite-sized dishes that are great for parties or Shabbos and Yom Tov, like kofta stuffed dates, lachmagine flabreads and hasselback potato salad bites.
Salads & Spreads
some of my favorite salads for everyday and holidays like spiralized beet noodle salad, kale caesar salad and deli pasta salad.
Soups
seasonal soups for cold winter days and lighter summer recipes like curried coconut corn soup, ramen bowls and kale, ale and kielbasa soup.
Fish
fun twists on classic gefilte fish plus everyday recipes like everything bagel tuna patties and kani fried rice. 
Poultry
roasted, braised and stuffed – all types of chicken like olive chicken for a simple dinner, pineapple rotisserie chicken that will knock your socks off, and Ma’s amazing stuffed cornish hens that you can dress up or down.
Guide to Kosher Meat Cookery
demystifying the various cuts and cooking methods for kosher meat, to help you understand what to buy and how to cook it.
Meat
basics like pulled beef and hasselback salami (3 ways! + a fun way to serve it) and holiday worthy dishes like fall harvest roast and sticky silan short ribs.
Meatless Meals
Meatless Mondays are a huge passion of mine, so I dedicated a chapter to meat and dairy-free meals that are great for vegetarians and vegans alike. Recipes include basics like vegetarian chili, fully loaded stuffed eggplants, plus ethnic foods like quinoa pad thai and tempeh fajita lettuce cups.
Dairy
a delicious assortment of everyday and fancied up options like baklava blintz bundles, nish nosh mac ‘n cheese and roasted vegetable and goat cheese calzone buns.
Sides
colorful and flavorful side dishes like sugar free butternut squash pie, roasted tricolor beets with grapefruit gremolata, confetti cabbage and roasted sweet potatoes with gooey pecans.
Cakes, Pies & Tarts
showstopping desserts that will wow your family and guests like orange creamsicle cheesecake, red wine chocolate cake with poached pears and chocolate hazelnut ganache tart with a macaroon crust.
Sweets & Treats
a combination of healthy and indulgent snacks for the family or special holiday treats like pecan pie bites, cowboy biscotti, babka straws, date peanut chews and persimmon fritters.
Savory Snacks
I much prefer salty and savory snacks over sweet ones so I incorporated a whole chapter to crunchy, salty and spicy snacks that are great to have on hand, like honey za’atar granola clusters, roasted chickpeas three ways and smoky sumac almonds.

ramen bowls

How to Order

The cookbook is available on Amazon currently for $27.92. Free Shipping for Prime members only. Book ships a few days after the release date.
You can also order on Artscroll for $31.49 plus free shipping using coupon code BIB. All orders through Artscroll will receive a signed copy. Book will ship out immediately on the release date of April 26th.

overnight oats affogato

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there mostly new recipes in the book or are they from your blog?
Most of the recipes in the book are brand new, with a few blog favorites as well as recipes that have been featured at my cooking demos and classes over the years.

Do the recipes use hard to find ingredients?
Some of the recipes in the book (a small percentage) use ethnic ingredients like sriracha, tamarind paste, harissa or pomegranate molasses. The chapter on kitchen ingredients makes note of where you can find these products. Some of the recipes offer substitutions, where possible.

What can I expect to find with each recipe?
Many of the recipes include variations and notes on how to simplify the recipe or prepare it a different way. Recipes also include a note if they are freezer friendly (with instructions when necessary). Many recipes also include helpful tips.

Are you available for book signings and cooking demos?
Yes! I love to bring my passion for reinventing kosher foods to audiences worldwide. Email busyinbrooklyn@gmail.com for more information.

Will the book be available in stores?
Of course! The book will be sold in Judaica stores all over the world including Canada, Australia, South Africa, Israel and Europe. If you do not see the book in your local store, ask your book seller to bring it in.

What is the cover photo of and why did you pick that one? 
The cover photo includes shawarma fish laffos (laffa+taco) with pickled turnips, cabbage slaw, parsley and a Greek yogurt tahini crema. It was one of the first photos I took of the book and I knew it would be my cover shot from the second I took it! I felt this dish really embodied what Millennial Kosher is all about – fresh, colorful food that is reinvented and influenced by cultural cuisine.

beer marinated london broil with arugula chimichurri

Got more questions about the book? Leave a comment below or email me at busyinbrooklyn@gmail.com.

All photos from Millennial Kosher ©Chanie Apfelbaum and Artscroll Mesorah Publications.

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Our Table Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

I’ve been following Renee Muller for years, and when word got out that she was coming out with a cookbook, I knew it would be something special. You see, Renee doesn’t see food like the rest of us. To her, a table is a canvas, and each dish is another way to paint a beautiful picture. Renee is a food stylist par excellence and her magazines spreads are jaw dropping. I knew the photography would be out of this world, but I was in for even more. In Our Table, Renee invites us to experience the joy of eating memorable meals together, something she cherishes from her upbringing in Lugano, Switzerland. Her recipes are homey, family friendly and diverse. She’s got a little something for everyone – part healthy, part indulgent, some easy and some more complicated. The Chapters span the basics from appetizers and soups/salads to fish/dairy, meat/chicken, snack/sides, breads/cakes/cookies and desserts.

Beautiful photography and a range of mouthwatering recipes wasn’t enough for Renee. So she created a guide with never-before-seen video tutorials of some of her most popular recipes. From “how to stuff cabbage” to “how to cut caramels”, “how to make gnocchi” to “how to braid challah”, these videos are not just visually stunning, they are informative too. (You can watch them here!) You’ll also find a Pesach guide in the book to help you easily adjust many of the recipes and make them holiday approved.

I’ve already tried Renee’s seared tuna cubes over the holidays to rave reviews, but I’m looking forward to trying the broccoli winter salad below, the gnocchi di casa, sugo della nonna (her grandmother’s Italian marinara sauce), Belgian birthday waffles, lattice minute roast, meat manicotti, honey walnut brittle, irresistible toffee, buttery chocolate scones, deconstructed lemon meringue pie (what an awesome idea!) and more!

Of course I can’t do a cookbook review without giving one lucky winner a chance to own this beauty, so…

To enter to a win a copy of Our Table by Renee Muller,

  1. Comment on this post and share your most memorable meal or dish.
  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, November 14th, 2016.

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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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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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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.

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest 

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.

Facebook
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Pinterest 

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.