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Nutella Banana Ice Cream

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Now that I’ve made my homemade nutella, I’ve got to find uses for it, right? As if eating it off a spoon isn’t good enough for me…

The truth is, I am in love with banana ice cream, and I really wanted to share it with you in time for Passover! I made it for the holidays last year, and I’ve been making variations ever since.

There’s not too much to banana ice cream, and that’s precisely why I love it so much. You can say goodbye to the dozen-egg-homemade-passover-ice-cream and say hello to this no-machine, easy, healthy and no-guilt variety that’s tastes just like soft serve.

All you have to do is just slice up some ripe bananas and freeze them until a solid, just a couple of hours. Then, you pulse the bananas in the food processor until they’re very finely chopped. Keep going until the bananas are creamy and add in your flavors of choice! I love adding nut butters – like my homemade nutella – for Passover. During the year, my favorite combo is banana, peanut butter, cinnamon and maple syrup. It’s so so good.

I mean would you just look at that creamy consistency? Don’t you just want to grab a spoon and dive right in?

The best part about banana soft serve is the possibilities. Blend with strawberries, top with coconut whipped cream, stir in some chopped macaroons, or add in your favorite candied nuts!


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Baked Portobello Shakshuka

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Salad or sandwich, you ask? (ok you didn’t ask, but I did!) I’m a sandwich gal all the way. Offer me up a plate of beautiful greens and veggies, versus a sandwich on crusty bread – I’ll choose the sandwich every time. There’s just nothing like stuffing food between two slices of carby goodness! This, my friends, is what makes the 8 days of Passover so hard for me.

The hardest part about not eating bread or gebroks ( (dishes that allow for matza to absorb liquid) over Pesach, is not having a vessel to eat my food with. I don’t smear dips over matza or eat matza pizza or matza sandwiches. Which means, I’ve got to look for things to stuff my food into. Kosher for Passover pizza omelettes, portobello pizza,  chessy stuffed peppers, roasted eggplant parmesan – these are some of the recipes that get me through the holiday.

When you really think about it – it’s just 8 days, just shy of a week of going gluten free, whats the big deal, right? Somehow though, Pesach seems like an eternity. When I was growing up, we’d wait on line for hours after Pesach to get a pie of pizza. What is it about the holiday that makes us feel so deprived?

Maybe it’s that us non-grebrosters are not thinking outside the box enough. Meat & potatoes, chicken & potatoes, and eggs & potatoes really does get kind of boring. With stringent Passover customs, the lack of variety induces many-a-craving. I think that’s where the endless hours at the pizza store comes into play. Not only did we not enjoy matza pizza over Pesach, our family custom was to avoid dairy altogether – so no cream cheese on matza or even yogurt for breakfast. Breafast was always the hardest part of the Chag. We ate a lot of omelettes!

With dairy off the table, I try to come up with unique dishes, especially for breakfast/lunch when I prefer to avoid meat and potatoes!

One of my favorite breafast/brunch dishes of all time is shakshuka! Shakshuka is a classic dish of eggs poached in a peppery tomato sauce. I like to take the shortcut and use matbucha (or even marinara) as the base – but I’ve taken it up a notch here by baking the shakshuka in some portobello “cups”. This makes for the perfect base to catch all those yummy egg drippings. Sabra’s Kosher for Passover matbucha (no kitniyot) makes preparing this dish a cinch – perfect for Chol Hamoed brunch!

This show stopping dish is sure to please many-a-Passover-palate! Really, who needs some fresh hot pita when you have a roasted portobello mushroom to sop up all that rich egg yolk? Ok, ok I admit I’d go for the pita, I’m a sandwich gal after all. But for 8 days of the year, I think  the portobello makes for a perfect stand in. And they’re cute too!


For the recipe, head on over to Joy of Kosher. And don’t forget to enter into Sabra’s sharesabra giveaway! All you have to do to win a $200 gift card is show and tell Sabra what you’re eating and who you’re eating it with. Take pictures of your food or family and friends at meal time and post on Facebook, Twitter or Instragram with the hashtag #ShareSabra for a chance to win.

This post was sponsored by Sabra.

Other Sabra recipes: Israeli style tuna salad

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Israeli Style Tuna Salad

Monday, March 31st, 2014

When I was growing up, my brother would often buy Israeli-Style tuna from the prepared salad section in the supermarket. He’d come home with his little black bag of tuna and fresh bread, and I’d look at him oddly while he ate the weird concoction of tomato-smothered tuna for lunch. Tuna was suppposed to be mixed with mayo and squeezed between a slice of fresh tomato and lettuce on some freshly baked bread. It wasn’t a salad, unless you added some fresh cucumbers and dill, and it surely wasn’t a dip, right? Wrong.

One day, I was digging through the fridge looking for something to eat when I spotted some leftover  Israeli style tuna. I had no patience to prepare something from scratch so I decided to give it a try. One spoon and the rest is history – I was an Israeli tuna salad convert! I had always wanted to try making my own, but I wasn’t quite sure what they put into it. When Sabra sent me over a bunch of samples of their Kosher for Passover line, including caponata, matbucha and turkish salad, I decided to test it out with their already delicious dips. I knew I hit the nail on the head when one taste transported me back into my mom’s kitchen, sneaking some of my brother’s tuna dip.

This recipe makes the perfect Passover lunch when served alongside some crispy matza. Head on over to Joy of Kosher for the recipe!

But wait, there’s more! Not only did Sabra develop an amazing selection of Kosher for Passover dips that taste just as good (or better!) than the chometz variety – they’re also sharing the love with an amazing contest! All you have to do to win a $200 gift card is show and tell Sabra what you’re eating and who you’re eating it with. Take pictures of your food or family and friends at meal time and post on Facebook, Twitter or Instragram with the hashtag #ShareSabra for a chance to win.

This post was sponsored by Sabra.

Related Recipes:

tuna salad with a twist
baked portobello shakshuka with Sabra matbucha
Kosher for Passover egg salad dip (mock chopped liver)

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Rainbow Pommes Anna

Thursday, March 28th, 2013


The more I’ve been reading through Passover recipe books and surfing through recipes online, I realize just how strict my family’s customs are. On Pesach, we are truly down to the bare basics, using only vegetables that can be peeled and seasoning them simply with oil and salt. We don’t use herbs, spices or any processed ingredients like Kosher for Passover ketchup, brown sugar or sauces. My mom even makes simple syrup to use in place of sugar to sweeten dishes. Matza meal, of course, is out of the question, as we do no eat Gebroks (matza that has absorbed liquid).

Due to our stringent dietary restrictions on Pesach, we tend to make simpler, wholesome dishes that don’t require a lot of ingredients. Basics like mock chopped liver, chremslach, beet salad and orange chicken are staples in our home. When I thought about classic dishes I could reinvent for Passover, I took inspiration from Pommes Anna (also called Anna potatoes), a French dish of sliced, layered potatoes that are minimally seasoned with salt and pepper and brushed liberally with butter. Using traditional Passover ingredients of beets, sweet potatoes and russet potatoes creates a stunning rainbow effect and lends a touch of sweetness to the potato cake.

1 year ago: sweet pepper burgers
2 years ago: quick & easy shakshuka

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Nut Omelette

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

This is going to sound pretty ridiculous considering all the things I learned to make in culinary school, but the humble omelette is what really got me. It wasn’t so much the technique as much as flipping the thing. A well-made omelette is fluffy and moist, so when you’re ready to flip, it’s a jiggly mess. I can’t tell you how many omelettes I went through (actually I can, it was 5) until I was able to flip one properly on omelette day.

You can’t begin to imagine what the kitchen looked like after Hurricane Omelette came through. Even Chef Wiseman’s shoes were covered in scrambled eggs. The stovetop was a complete disaster, with bits and pieces of sticky eggs stuck to every crevice. And guess which lucky individual was assigned to clean it all? That would be ME. Miss-goofed-up-with-5-omelettes-till-she-got-it-right.
Nisht gut.

I was determined to get that flipping action down, so for the next couple of days, my husband woke up to a fluffy 3-egg omelette for breakfast, and my kids got their choice of quesadillas for dinner. I was flippin’ paper clips, candy, and yes, I was flipping myself…out.

By the time our practical test came at the end of the semester, my omelette was spot on. I flipped it on the first try. Couldn’t be better. I wish you could have seen the smile on my face when I put that fluffy omelette on the plate. Priceless.

But I’ll share a little secret with you all. I’m not above another omelette flipping disaster. When I went to flip the dessert omelette in the photo, the yolk splattered all over me. I was covered in Passover nut omelette batter.
Nisht gut.

So now that I’ve shared my omelette hall of shame, I’d be happy to share some secrets to making the perfect fluffy American omelette (French omelettes are creamier and are not browned or flipped).

#1 Add a splash of milk to your eggs and season with salt and pepper.
#2 Whisk the mixture well to incorporate some air into the batter.
#3 Make sure your nonstick pan is greased and hot so you get a nice brown finish on the egg.
#4 As soon as your batter hits the pan, stir with a spatula from the inside out and quickly scrape down the sides. Repeat several times until the omelette is beginning to set.
#5 Sneak some butter or oil under the edge of the omelette and shake the pan to see if the omelette can slide. If not, add a bit more fat and test again. Once you are sure the omelette can slide on the pan, you’re ready to flip.
#6. Slide the omelette towards the sloped end of the pan and FLIP. Try not to get egg batter all over your face.
#7 This is where you would add your fillings of choice.
#8 Fold the omelette by one third, starting from the right side.
#9 Turn the pan towards you [like how someone might stab themselves (thanks to The Wise Man for that awful metaphor!)] and flip the pan over onto a plate, so that it sits seam-side-down.
#10 Garnish with fresh herbs or your garnish of choice.

The process sounds long, but it shouldn’t take more than 1 1/2-2 minutes total, from start to finish.

Now that I’ve given you some tips on making the perfect omelette, lets talk a little bit about nut omelettes. Huh? Yes, I said nut omelettes. Why would anyone want to eat a sweet omelette? Well, they might be on a strict no-carb diet. Or, it might be Passover, and they might not be fond of eating chocolate cake made out of potato starch for breakfast.

When I was growing up, my mom would scramble up this sweet nut omelette batter for us whenever we felt sick of the heavy Pesach food (which was pretty often). Last year, I even managed to convince my toddler that they were pancakes (she hates eggs!) and she gobbled them down.

So before you make a face at having a sweet omelette for breakfast, just imagine that you’re almost having a crepe – only fluffier. And you get to skip all the crepe-making. Which is a lot harder than it looks BTW. I should know, I went through a LOT of them on breakfast day.
Nisht gut.

For more Passover dessert ideas, check out the Kosher Connection Link-Up below!

1 year ago: tater tot chicken nuggets
2 years ago: orange chicken

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Passover Made Easy Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

There is so much I love about this cookbook that I don’t quite know where to start! So I’ll start at the beginning.

When you first set your eyes on Passover Made Easy, you’ll be struck by it’s beautiful design and styling. Rachel Adler did an impressive job laying out this cookbook with brilliant coloring, masterful layout, and gorgeous typography. I am literally blown away.

Aside from the graphics, the photographs and styling are also impeccable. As a blogger who photographs and styles her dishes, I can tell you firsthand that many, if not most, of the dishes in this cookbook are extremely difficult to photograph. And so many Pesach recipes lack eye-appeal. But not only have the dishes been masterfully plated, the authors also include many step-by-step plating guides to help you serve the dishes as beautifully as they are pictured.

Passover Made Easy is the brainchild of an unlikely pairing – Leah Schapira, the author of Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking and co-founder of CookKosher.com, as well as Victoria Dwek, the managing editor of Whisk Magazine. Leah is Ashkenazi, with Hungarian roots, while Victoria is Sephardi, with Syrian roots. How an Ashkenazi and a Sephardi came together to write a successful Passover cookbook is nothing short of a Pesach miracle. Leah and Victoria each offer their own unique perspective, striking the perfect balance of grebroks and non-gebroks recipes. The authors guide you along page after page in a playful and friendly manner. You almost feel as if you’re hanging out with them in the kitchen. Victoria shares her recipes for Syrian Charoset, tortillas, Matzaroni and Cheese, as well as many non-grebroks dishes. Leah offers up unique and tasty dishes like Meatballs in Blueberry Sauce, Roasted Tomato & Eggplant Soup, Apple-Jam Chicken Drumettes, and so much more.

Some of the other features that I enjoyed from this cookbook are the wine pairings and building block recipes like mayo, crepes, and Passover crumbs. There is also a nifty replacement index that helps guide those who avoid using processed ingredients and peels on Pesach. While the guide is helpful, I wish there were a few more recipes suited for the more stringent among us (me included!)

While I am unable to make most of these recipes on Passover, I look forward to trying many recipes throughout the year including the Mock Techineh (for my brother who is allergic to sesame seeds!), Butternut Squash Salad with Sugar ‘n Spice Nuts, Braised Short Ribs, Jalapeno-Lime & Ginger Salmon, Stuffed Onions, Vegetable Lo Mein (for my dieting days!), Espresso Macaroons with Chocolate-Hazelnut Cream, and Truffled Grapes.

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

1. Share you favorite Passover memory in the comments below.
2. Like Busy In Brooklyn on Facebook.

Winner will be chosen at random on Monday, March 18th, 9:00 AM.

BONUS RECIPES FROM PASSOVER MADE EASY:

 

 

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The No-Potato Passover Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Friday, March 8th, 2013


The concept of a Passover without potatoes has been a long time in coming. I’m so glad that Aviva Kanoff has embraced it in her cookbook, The No-Potato Passover. Aviva takes us on a journey of food, travel and color, allowing us to think outside the spud with her internationally-inspired menus. Her recipes span the globe, from Jamaica to Morocco, Croatia to Hungary, and so many places in between. As an avid traveler, Ms. Kanoff takes us along on her travels through colorful pictures and unique recipes that are great for Pesach and all year long. With recipes like pesto chicken “pasta” and eggplant “lasagna” and desserts like chocolate chip biscotti and hazelnut cream cookies, you’ll almost forget you’re on the Passover diet!

Instead of the traditional carb-laden Pesach fare we are used to having, The No-Potato Passover cookbook focuses on healthy options, making use of quinoa, spaghetti squash, parsnips and other creative ingredients to give you original dishes that you will relish and enjoy. While Aviva’s recipes leave me truly inspired, I am personally unable to make most of them on Pesach due to my family’s dietary customs. Still, I look forward to making some of dishes throughout the year, including her heirloom tomato salad with honey basil vinaigrette, roasted garlic soup with flanken, stuffed zucchini blossoms, southwestern sweet ‘n spicy meatballs, strawberry glazed chicken, salmon croquettes with wild mushroom sauce, and coconut cream pie in a macaroon crust.

While The No-Potato Passover Cookbook is filled with colorful & vibrant imagery, I don’t feel that the design is up to par with today’s sophisticated & modern cookbooks. That aside, I think the recipes are truly unique and delicious. Many make use of hard-to-find Passover ingredients (like imitation soy sauce or mustard), however, they are easily adaptable during the year using readily-available ingredients.

The No-Potato Passover cookbook is the winner of The Gourmand Award for the Best Jewish Cuisine in 2012. It has been newly revised and edited just in time for Passover 2013.

As my Passover gift to you, Busy In Brooklyn is giving away a free copy of The No-Potato Passover Cookbook! To enter the giveaway, you must:

1. Share you favorite Passover recipe in the comments below.
2. Follow Busy In Brooklyn on Facebook.

Winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, March 13th at 10:00 PM.

FREE SAMPLE RECIPES FROM THE NO-POTATO PASSOVER COOKBOOK:

Related Recipes:

spinach matzo ball minestrone soup

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Spaghetti Squash Baked Ziti

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

This may come as a surprise to you, but Pesach doesn’t have to be all about chicken and potatoes. Or meat and potatoes. Or steak and potatoes. If you try and think outside the Passover matza box, you’ll find that there are lots of other healthy options available to cut through the 8 day food-fest. Spaghetti squash is a great example. You can use it in place of pasta in lots of different preparations.

My simple baked ziti recipe is a staple in our house. My kids absolutely love it, so I usually make it every Thursday night for dinner. I often prepare this healthier version for my husband and I, substituting spaghetti squash for the pasta. It might not taste like the real thing, but it’s still an easy, quick and low-carb meal that makes you feel like you’re not entirely missing out. This dish would work wonderfully for Pesach chol hamoed dinner. Add in roasted veggies like zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms for added flavor and nutrients.

Other spaghetti squash recipes:

spaghetti squash bolognese
spaghetti squash with leeks, spinach and mushrooms

1 year ago: pizza omelette
2 years ago: lemon & garlic whole roasted chickens

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Roasted Beet & Orange Salad

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

This salad is delicious and refreshing, and a nice change from the typical shredded beets or vinaigrette made on Pesach. It is usually made using mixed greens (bitter ones work best) but if you don’t use them on Pesach, it can be made without as well.

Beets have a delicious robust flavor when roasted. Many people boil their beets in water, but that releases the flavor into the water. When you roast the beets, the flavor just intensifies (this is true for boiling vs roasting all vegetables).

For a nice presentation, you can use both red and golden beets (just roast and cut them separately because the red ones will bleed), and serve them sliced on a bed of greens. Top it off with regular and/or blood oranges.

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Mock Chopped Liver

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Dont forget to like our facebook page to be entered to win a subscription to Bitayavon Magazine! For details, click here. Giveaway ends Sunday!

With only one week to go until Pesach, it’s about that time to stop pushing off the inevitable…cooking (or at least planning the menu)! Thankfully, I have not yet made Pesach, and I don’t plan on it, as long as my mother, or in-laws will have me! A lot of people I talk to seem to feel the same, but there are definitely those who are of the opinion that Pesach food is delicious and exciting. Pesach is a yom tov that is so grounded in tradition. The whole idea of the hagaddah is “Vehegadita LeVincha,” passing on the torch to our children. To me, food is so much a part of that. Think about your childhood and so many of your memories will revolve around the smells and tastes of your mothers cooking. If you think back to a certain chag, it’s the traditional family recipes that transport you back to that special time. So for me, Pesach food isn’t about how gourmet it is, or looking for that new recipe. It’s simply about making the foods that my mother made, and those that my children, after me, will continue to make. And for generations, those same delicious smells will continue to waft through our homes, carrying on our traditions for eternity.

One of the recipes that my mother has always made is vegetarian chopped liver. To me, it’s like Pesach on a spoon! Eating it just transports me. She would whip up a few containers on erev yom tov, and we’d eat it alongside the fish at each meal. We could never shmear it on the matza, so we’d eat a spoonful of the liver and promptly follow it with a bite of matza.

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