party ideas

...now browsing by tag

 
 

Cake & Craft Bas Mitzvah

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

I always say it’s so ironic that I named my blog Busy in Brooklyn because when I actually started blogging, I wasn’t nearly as busy as I am these days. I am truly living up to my name! Thankfully things have quieted down a bit since the whirlwind post-book-release. Just a few days after wrapping the book release party, I began planning my daughter’s Bas Mitzvah amid the hustle bustle of book signings and demos. As we celebrate my daughter’s actual birthday this week, I thought it would the perfect time to recap her special day.First things first, you can’t plan a party without a theme. We went back and forth a lot about ideas – we thought about having a party on a horse ranch (too much liability), ditching it altogether and heading to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal, Orlando (she’s a fan of the series) or planning a family trip to Israel (we decided to save that one for the Bar Mitzvah in a few years!). My daughter decided that she really wanted the opportunity to celebrate with her friends, so it was back to the drawing board! Because Chuma had Bas Mitzvah’s almost every night towards the end of the year, we didn’t want to do yet another catered party, so we came up with the concept of Cake & Craft – a simple and unique party with an eleborate dessert bar, special treats and fun crafts. She couldn’t be more excited!

I met with Jenny Platzman of Artscroll Print @artscrollprint to design the invitation, and they just took the idea and ran with it! Their team of designers came up with this unique graphic which we printed on one side of the square invitation, with event details, along with paint splatter on the other side. There were painted coloring book drawings on the envelope lining as well – the whole thing was just so unique, creative, and just US. Jenny was so incredible to work with. She took initiative and sent gentle reminders to me throughout the process which really got me moving amid my crazy schedule. I keep reminding her that I would have never been able to pull it all off without her help, she just went way beyond the call of duty and was helpful in so many ways.

So we had a theme and an invite, but I was too busy to arrange the party details, so I hired Shani and Dusha Davidowitz, two sister in laws from Partee Perfection @partee_perfection to help me put the event together.  I took some pre-bat mitzvah photos to use in the decor (like the Harry Potter one above), painted up a fun guest sign-in board, and took care of the family wardrobe, but I left most of design details up to them because even though I love this sort of stuff,  I was way too busy for the nitty gritty.

Needless to say, they pulled through with flying COLORS – pun intended.  They took the concept of the black and white sketches with the colorful paint and translated it to the tablescape – with striped tablecloths from @DSquared5t and flowers by @boutiqueliliane. Custom ladders, paintbuckets, brushes and photos rounded out the design.

Of course the finishing touches are everything, with custom napkin holders, napkins, and water bottles by @Napkings, papergoods by @yomtovsettings, lucite chairs by @ace_party_rental and event lighting by @davidjacobproductions.

Since the Bas Mitzvah was dessert–themed, we had to up the ante on after dinner treats, so Partee Perfection brought in the head honcho of party stations, @partystem to set up noshing stations around the room! We had fresh popped popcorn, a donut wall, chocolate fountain, smore’s bar and ice cream bar – basically every 12 year old’s dream party! I’m amazed at all the options available these days!


Of course the dessert table was overflowing with adorable custom made cookies and cakes with a crafting theme, and the most delectable dairy bites from @bergers_to_impress. I’m still dreaming about her sour cream cinnamon twists, they were THAT good. And never forget to put out customized bags for the kiddies to take home a goodie bag, also by @Napkings.

Now enough about CAKE – time for CRAFT! We set up a scrapbooking station for the girls to design pages for a keepsake scrapbook. And I brought in the most talented crafter I know – @abbeywolin – to do a paint splatter craft with the girls. They each designed their own baseball cap for the summer and they also went home with Abbey’s inspiring adult coloring book, Faith in Form. For each coloring book that was given out, we donated a matching one to our local Friendship Circle.

Now if you’re planning a Bas Mitvah, here’s what I learned: You can obsess over the theme, the details, the color of your outifts – but only a few things really matter in the end.

  1. The bas mitzvah girl’s dress is everything. You can make the prettiest party in the world, but her dress is what will really make her feel like a princess. I had a custom one made by @tunzatulle and it was everything she ever dreamed of and more.
  2. Make a killer dessert table. That’s all the kids really care about.
  3. Make a video montage. The kids can’t get enough.
  4. If nothing else, get a party motivator. I hired Sara Younger from @playlandparties and she literally MADE the night. From the fun dances, to the adorable games, her little group of motivators and exciting prizes she threw around the room – it kept the kids going for hours and they had a complete and total BLAST.

I don’t know how Sara has the stamina to go for hours, it’s like Zumba on steroids! She brought such amazing energy to the party and girls did not stop thanking her and saying how it was the most fun they ever had! I have to agree and I’m 12 a few times over already ;)

Lets talk about the important stuff – speeches! My daughter was nervous for months about her big day because it meant standing up in front of a crowd and giving a speech. We told her to imagine cabbage heads, people in pajamas, anything! My husband shared with her about how he overcame his fear of public speaking (it’s hard to imagine he ever had one, he’s become so confident!), but when the big day came she literally blew it out of the park.

Here’s a small excerpt: “This week’s Parsha, Parshas Chukas, mentions that Miriam passed away. The well water that the yidden were drinking for 40 years dried up at the same time. We learn from this that the water that the yidden had in the midbar was in Miriam’s merit. Miriam showed a lot of gratitude to Hashem when her brother Moshe was saved in the Nile. She also sang shira when the yidden were saved after the splitting of the sea. Since she was so grateful for a miracle that happened with water, Hashem rewarded her with water.

Miriam represents all Jewish women. She also represents how Jewish women must be leaders. Water represents Torah. Women are responsible to teach young children Torah. It was in the merit of the Jewish children that we received the Torah on Har Sinai. When a girl turns Bas Mitzvah she is transforming from a girl to a women. I am now responsible for the Mitzvos of Hashem. I now can choose to make my own decisions and to commit to giving my parents and Hashem nachas by being the best leader that I can be.”


Communities tend to have different customs when it comes to Bas Mitzvahs. For mine, my mom made a nice dinner party in my house and invited my classmates. I remember her serving some kind of fruit smoothie in a plastic champagne glass and I thought it was the fanciest! Things have changed a lot since then and parties range from simple family get togethers to red-carpet affairs (literally), but I like to keep things somewhere in the middle. What matters most at the end of it all is that the Bas Mitzvah girl feels celebrated among her closest family and friends and judging by her smiles that night (and many nights after), I’d call our CAKE & CRAFT venture a huge success, thanks to all the parties involved. May we merit to share many more happy occassions together in the future!

Photos by @benamsphoto
Hair by @hairbychavee
Makeup by @glamourdame
Outfits: @kiddichicusa @tunzatulle

Post a Mazal Tov

Funfetti Rice Krispie Bites

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

You could call it killing three birds with one stone, but I’d rather call it multi-purposing. This blog post means so much to be because it’s covers three of my favorite things:

1. My 7th Blogoversary!!!
2. Shabbos
3. Purim

Since I’m in all out cookbook mode these days, I didn’t have much time to plan separate blog posts, and so I rolled them all into one special post.

First up, is definitely my Blogoversary. OK, I’m a little late to be honest, since I started my blog on January 19th, 2011, but is it ever really too late for sprinkles? (I’ve been celebrating the BIB blogoversary with a funfetti theme for the past few years!). I can’t believe that I have been blogging for seven. whole. years. of. my. life.!! So much has happened in that span of time, it would be impossible to name, but it has all culminated into my upcoming cookbook – truly a dream come true. We are just about three months away from the cookbook release, and I can’t help but notice that this is all happening in my seventh year, as the Sages say, “Kol Sheviyin Chavivin”, all sevenths are cherished.

Speaking of 7ths, this post also comes to you in honor of the most special day of the week, the time when I get to unplug from all of life’s distractions, connect with my family and refresh my soul…..Shabbos – the seventh day of the week.

When Sina Mizrachi of Gather A Table approached me about her virtual Shabbos potluck, I knew I wanted in. You see, Sina sees things through a different lens than most of us. Her blog posts are a glimpse into her soul – one that is pure, innocent and full of light. Her photos reflect that and they draw you in so that you want a seat at her table. Sina’s work has inspired me for years, and her recent Shabbos series speaks for itself. I know how much work goes into every recipe and table setting and I am truly humbled by the beauty and depth in each picture, each paragraph and each dish.

For me, one of the most exciting parts about Shabbos is the special treat I prepare for my kids each week. Shabbos might mean a lot to me on a spiritual level (and lets face it – a very physical one as well: getting to catch up on some much needed sleep!), but when it comes to kids, it can be frustrating for them. They don’t understand why they can’t play on the X Box, or watch their favorite show. They have to wear dress clothes instead of comfortable ones and the list goes on. That’s not to say that kids don’t appreciate having Shabbos guests, getting more attention from their parents (lets be honest, being forced to put our phones away means that we are definitely a lot more present than during the week!) and enjoying special treats – but sometimes they need a reminder, on their level, of what makes Shabbos special.

I remember someone once telling me that they have a special selection of “Shabbos games” that their kids are only allowed to play on Shabbos. A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of “Shabbos Cereal”, where the kids get to enjoy sugary cereal (like Fruity Pebbles) only on Shabbos, while the rest of the week they have moderately sweetened cereal (like Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies). I loved that and incorporated into our routine years ago. These ideas of special Shabbos games and Shabbos cereal send a message to kids that Shabbos is different from the rest of the week. To further enhance that feeling, I always prepare (or purchase, when I don’t have time!) a special Shabbos treat for the kids to be enjoyed after the meal – either as a dessert, or as part of a “Shabbos party”. Sometimes, they help me make it, and other times I save it as a surprise. It really builds the momentum and I love to see the excitement on their face and joy in their eyes as they get to enjoy their  weekly treat. These funfetti Rice Kripie bites are JUST the thing and I’m so happy to bring them with me to the virtual Shabbos potluck!

Here are the other dishes that bloggers brought along to the virtual Shabbos potluck:

Bread:
Between Carpools – which egg wash produces the shiniest challah.
Cookinginheelss –  how to hack a challah.

Appetizer:
Spiceandzestroasted eggplant salad.
The Katamon Kitchensalatim.
The Sugar BoxRed Snapper with charred potatoes, tomatoes and lemon.

Main:
Gather A Table – Iraqi slow cooked chicken and rice.
Peas Love n CarrotsMorrocan braised lamb.
Kitchen Testedroasted vegetable platter.

Dessert:
Jamie Gellercinnamon buns
Your Favorite Blogger ;) : funfetti Rice Krispie Bites

Last, but certainly not least – Purim. I can’t believe it’s upon us in just over two weeks, and I love sharing fun recipes that you can give out as food gifts, or serve at your Purim meal. These funfetti Rice Krispies bites are so fun and festive, and they’ll be making their way into my daughter’s shalach manos. Can you guess what she’s dressing up as? Busy In Brooklyn! (with my signature bangs and glasses + my chef jacket or apron!).

Related Posts: (great for Shabbos and Purim too!)

6th Blogoversary} Funfetti Raspberry Palmiers
5th Blogoversary} Funfetti Pecan Turtles
4th Blogoversary} Funfetti Cake
3rd Blogoversary} La Brochette Blogoversary Dinner
2nd Blogoversary} BBQ Brisket
1st Blogoversary} Mulled Wine

Post a Comment

Breakfast Cones

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

I think it’s about time I share my secret to making it through the summer without giving in to my ice cream craving each time the ice cream truck comes around (that’s about 6 times a day here in the bungalow colony!). It’s also how I get my kids to stop asking for money every time they hear “Come and make a bracha, the kosher ice cream truck is here!”. (Who am I kidding? they still ask for money every time they hear it!).

My secret to ice cream without the guilt? BREAKFAST CONES. Yup. Ice cream cones for breakfast. And why do I not feel guilty about this stroke of genius might you ask? Because when I considered the fact that my kids would eat leben (pure sugar), frosted flakes (also pure sugar), pancakes (pure sugar when you count the amount of maple syrup they pour over it) or a chocolate protein bar (pure sugar + bits of protein) for breakfast, I figured a sugar cone filled with fruit and yogurt was just as bad, if not better, than all those options.


Putting all the breakfast things into a sugar cone is also a great way to bribe the kids to get ready for camp every morning. Hurry up and get dressed and I’ll feed you ice cream for breakfast! Does this make me the best mom ever? Or the smartest? I think both!

It all started with my fruity yogurt parfaits that I couldn’t get enough of this summer. The amazing seasonal berries and delicious fruit were so refreshing, especially when topped off with some plain yogurt, a bit of raw farm fresh honey and granola. It was the perfect breakfast, lunch, or light dinner, and I loaded up on it.

When I wanted something a bit more ice-creamy, I’d just stick a yogurt in the freezer for an hour or two, until it got kinda frozen, and load it up with fresh fruit. Once, when I ran out of granola, I crushed up some leftover sugar cones (cuz they are my absolute fave!) and put them on top. And voila! The fruit yogurt cone was born.

When you consider the fact that a single sugar cone has just 50 calories and 3g of sugar, it’s a lot healthier choice than a cup of orange juice (110 calories, 22g sugar per cup) or store bought granola (260 calories, 11g sugar per half cup). And lets not even get started on some of the cereals we are feeding our kids! So, when you do the math…. a sugar cone filled with yogurt, some fresh fruit and a spoonful of cereal is definitely a reasonable breakfast that is great for kids. And you can make it as healthful as you like – go with plain yogurt and nuts and seeds for a healthier version, or fruity yogurt with cereal for a more indulgent one.

Related Recipes:

ice cream sundae cookies
corn flake crunch ice cream
ice cream clowns

Post a Comment

How to Build a Fish Board

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Food boards are all the rage right now and I’ve been drooling all over them! You can find cheese boards that spread out for miles, charcuterie boards at restaurants and smoked fish boards at cafes.

I recently set up a charcuterie board for my husband’s birthday, and cheese boards are a regular appetizer at my Chanukah and Shavuot meals, so this year, I decided to do something a little different.

Thanks to the Jewish food trend, old world favorites are making a comeback, along with herring, smoked fish and of course, bagels.  I was inspired by some of the foodie posts I’ve seen, noshing at the newly opened Russ & Daughters at The Jewish Museum, as well as Lox at The Museum of Jewish Heritage. Who knew smoked fish would ever be in fashion?!

I’ve also been reading The Gefilte Manifesto by Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alern of The Gefilteria, who’s well-researched book highlights the history and process of so many old world Jewish foods. Their book is a mix of both classic recipes and modern interpretations, many of which I had never even heard of (Kvass, anyone?). The book is a real eye opener into Jewish food history and I highly recommend it!

Speaking of the trend towards Jewish food, I have to mention that, while it’s amazing to see all these books and restaurants popularizing Jewish foods, it’s painful to see that the “kosher” concept is all but ignored. Over the past several months, I was invited to two separate events which featured the history of Kosher food – one of which was a book talk and tasting discussing the journey of kosher food through the modern food system, and yet, ironically, the food served was not actually kosher. Another such event payed homage to Jewish culture and cuisine and yet was not either kosher. I get it, believe me, not everyone who is Jewish keeps kosher. But if an organization or a museum is putting together an event that is specifically about the history of KOSHER food, how can they serve food that is NONkosher??

This is something that bothers me to my core. And not because if I go to these events, I won’t have what to eat. It’s because the very act of serving nonkosher food dismisses one of the basic principles of Jewish food. As Michael Solomov, the Israeli chef, writes in his cookbook, Zahav, “Plenty of Israelis eat treyf these days….But at Zahav, and in this book, we choose to honor the spirit of a few fundamental rules of kosher cooking…..The reason is simple: Kosher rules help define the boundaries of Israeli cuisine.

Now I’m not judging anyone who doesn’t keep kosher. To each his own. But as we celebrate Chanukah, I’m reminded of the Hellenists, who stripped themselves of their Jewishness to become like their cultured Greek neighbors and friends. Jewish food is more than just a cultural thing. Kosher is part of it’s history and tradition. Dismissing the kosher aspect is both disrespectful and historically inaccurate. The very reason that many traditional Jewish foods exist today, is due to the need that our ancestors had to follow the kosher guidelines. I would love to see that acknowledged in the world of Jewish cuisine.

So, now that I finally got that off my chest, lets get back to the food, shall we? Nothing makes me think of old world Jewish food more than smoked fish. (Herring too, but I won’t go near that stuff!). In honor of Chanukah, I decided to share my take on an endless fish spread with some gourmet toppings. I hope it inspires you to put out a board of your own.

Happy Chanukah!

Products featured in this board:

Portlock smoked pink salmon (the large fish on the board in the center)
Ruby Bay smoked salmon in sriracha, lemon pepper and pastrami
Ruby Bay hot smoked keta salmon
Blue Hill Bay herb smoked salmon
Ruby Bay teriyaki salmon jerky
Milas oloves in chili oregano, basil garlic, chili garlic and lemon rosemary
Lucini Itali lemon flavored olive oil
Brooklyn Brine Pickles in spicy maple bourbon
Kozlowski Farms jalapeno jam
Eden stone ground brown mustard
Altius black sea salt
Baked in Brooklyn honey mustard breadsticks
Absolutely gluten free crackers


This post was sponsored by Crafted Kosher. Visit craftedkosher.com for a large selection of gourmet kosher products. Follow Crafted Kosher on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Related Recipes:

fish tacos + 8 International menus
how to build a fried fish sandwich
gefilte fish, 3 ways
homemade fish sticks

Post a Comment

Please NOTE: This post contains affiliate links which means that a small percentage of every purchase made through the links above goes to help support the BIB blog!

Blogoversary Funfetti Pecan Turtles

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Happy 5th Blogoversary!!!! Will somebody pinch me?! I honestly cannot believe that I have been blogging since my first post back on January 19th, 2011. That is FIVE WHOLE YEARS of posting consistently 1-2 times a week. 260 weeks, 1,825 days of committing myself to this foodie journey. A journey that has taken me to places I never dreamed.

I never imagined this blogging thing would become a life’s passion and so much more than just a hobby. I’m so proud of the progress I have made as a chef (I had some embarrassing moments like these and these) and the strides I have taken as a food photographer (with hands-over-eyes emoji moments like this and this). I’ve thought about updating old recipes with better photos, or removing some posts that didn’t go over well, but the truth is, my blog is not just about the recipes and the photos, it’s about my journey.

I love when I meet up and coming foodies who are thinking about starting a blog. I always tell them to go back to the old days of BIB, and they’re always wowed by my progress. I think it’s such an important lesson for all of us, in whatever stage we find ourselves – as mothers, daughters, teachers, musicians, you name it – we can all get better at what we do, we just have to practice!

This is so true of photography, my photos are constantly evolving as I’m learning to find my photography voice. But as a foodie too – I’ve learned never to say no to anything, and my willingness to try new things has really opened up my palate. I’ve learned to love foods and spices I used to hate (like fresh ginger and brie) and not to be afraid of making my own bread or learning new cooking techniques. I have become quite fearless in the kitchen and for that I am thankful.

I’m so grateful to you, my loyal readers, who encourage me to challenge myself and wow you with fun and original twists on traditional foods, healthy spins on comfort food, and delicious baked creations which I used to detest. It’s all you. {Insert emoji kisses here}

To show my appreciation, I decided to ride the funfetti wave, because you all seemed to love last year’s funfetti cake which was so popular, it went viral! I love the idea of using the same theme for my Blogoversary each year (I wish I had thought of it sooner), so I’m going to stick with the funfetti thing for many more Blogoversaries to come!

These cute little funfetti pecan clusters are made with 5 pecans, to celebrate my 5th year of blogging! They’ve got the most incredible artisan caramel and I hope you give them a try!

In the meantime, as we head into my SIXTH YEAR (ahhhhh!), I’d love to hear from you. What would you like to see on the blog this year? What are some of your favorites from years past? Have there been any BIB kitchen fails? Please share in the comments below!

Happy Blogoversary! Cheers to many more, and hopefully a cookbook too, very soon!

Related Posts:

1st Blogoversary Mulled Wine
2nd Blogoversary BBQ Brisket
3rd Blogoversary Celebration at La Brochette
4th Blogoversary Funfetti Cake

Post a Comment

DIY Glitter Mustache Glasses

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

I’m just gaga for mustache crafts, I admit it! They’re just so. darn. cute. You might have seen my mustache straws or my crocheted coffee cup mustache cozy, other mustache crafts I adore.

Purim is the perfect time to celebrate with mustache mania. The holiday is all about dress up and diguises, so why not dress up your tablescape with these adorable mustache glasses? I love to use different shape glasses for visual impact, but feel free to do these on shot glasses or even disposable martini ones!

There are so many options and variations when it comes to a craft like this, so go with your style and dress these glasses up however you like! Colorful sharpies work (as a temporary option, they’ll wash off with soap and water), colorful glitter adds a fun touch or use the template to create photo props or mustache straws.

I have to give a shout out to the talented Abbey Wolin of Not2Shabbey. She gave me the brilliant idea of taping the template to the inside of the glass – how smart is that? No need to cut out the mustache or create a stencil, simply trace through the glass!

For more fun glitter projects, check out the gorgeous glitter wine bottle centerpieces we decorated at the JCreate Magazine Blogger Purim Party!

Other Mustache Crafts:

mustache straws
crocheted coffee cup mustache cozy

Cocktail Recipes:

The Hamantini
whiskey cider
3 layer chocolate cake martini
Sangria

Post a Comment

Butterfly Candy Craft

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

It’s funny how parents have to go from simple pink party bags to more elaborate birthday themes as their kids grow. I, for one, have a little pre-tween approaching a 2-digit birthday in just a couple of years, and the easy cupcake and party bag birthday just doesn’t cut it anymore. This year, I managed to convince her to turn her party bag into a fun craft, and when she saw the adorable outcome, I didn’t have to say it twice. We used two types of candy (candy corn & individually-wrapped chews), which I actually weighed for 24 of her classmates. I prepared the supplies in little DIY baggies, and did a quick demonstration for the big-eyed 7 year olds. Paired with some ices, it was the perfect goodie bag that doubled as a fun craft. I’m sure your kids will enjoy it too!

The best part about this adorable butterfly craft is that it’s easily customizable. If you’re not a fan of cavity-laden candies, feel free to fill them with fresh fruit, crackers, cereal, or nuts. You can also decorate the butterflies to your liking, choosing from different types of card stock and decorations. Whatever you decide, your students, campers, or kids will be thrilled to create this fun and creative edible craft.

What you’ll need:

snack size Ziploc bags (6 1/2″ x 3 1/4″)
candy, cereal, crackers, fruit or nuts
pipe cleaners
clothes pins
card stock
sequins, gems or other decorative accents
glue

How to:

1. Fill the Ziploc bag halfway with candy.
2. Seal the bag, pressing out all the extra air as you go.
3. Push the candy to one side of the bag, and place a pipe cleaner in the center.
4. Loop the pipe cleaner around the bag and twist tightly to secure.
5. Open the empty side of the bag and fill with a second type of candy. Close securely.
6. Twist ends of the pipe cleaner around your finger to create swirls.
7. Place a clothes pin over the center of the bag, covering the twisted pipe cleaner.
8. Place glue along the length of the clothes pin and cover with card stock.
9. Decorate the card stock as desired.

NOTE: If you are only using one type of candy, you can fill the bag up all the way and just twist the pipe cleaner around the middle.

Related Posts:
rainbow cupcakes
candy sushi
ice cream clowns

Post a Comment