Category: Chanukah

Pizza En Croute

Happy Chanukah!!!!! The holiday of donuts, latkes, fried food, gelt and cheeeeeeesssseeee is here! Does it get any better?

Of course we don’t count calories on Chanukah, because we celebrate the miracle of the oil where a small jug miraculously lasted for 8 whole days and the story of Yehudit who bravely lured a Greek general with wine & cheese and them chopped off his head in his drunken slumber. I mean how can we not honor our history and tradition by filling up on goodies??! You don’t have to ask me twice!

Of course Chanukah is also special to me because I was born on the fifth night, and 16 years ago, I got married on my birthday. I made that choice because I knew that the day held so much blessing and power, and I held onto the belief that it would carry me through my married life with lots of good vibes and the power to illuminate.


I never imagined that life would take me on this unexpected journey. That I would one day become a food writer, and that I would be blessed to carve out this humble space for myself on the web, and on your bookshelf. I feel especially grateful this Chanukah for all the miraculous blessings of the past year. For more success than I could have ever imagined. My heart is so full and I don’t even know how to thank you. So I’ll just keep cooking and sharing what I love, because that’s the only way I know how.

So I made pizza en croute. Because pizza has my heart. And I’m sure it has yours too. I used Makabi’s mini balls because it’s Chanukah after all, and because they’re the perfect size to take the place of brie – as a riff on the classic “brie en croute”.

I top ’em off with whatever I have en hand, and that’s really the best part about these – they’re so easily adaptable. Top the cheese with marinara, ketchup, pesto or olive tapenade and you’ve got yourself a party appetizer that will fly off the table!

Wishing you a CHEESY holiday!!

This post was sponsored by Makabi Cheese, all opinions are my own!

Related Recipes:

dried fruit brie bites
parmesan lasagna chips with pizza hummus
broccoli Parmesan poppers
zucchini parmesan chips
3-cheese pull apart buns

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Crispy Rice Latkes

Call ’em crispy rice latkes, call ’em snap crackle and pop cakes, call ’em crispy crack or even tahdig – just do yourself a favor and make them, ok??

These leftover sushi rice cakes were a total afterthought the morning after a make-your-own-sushi-roll for dinner night. I usually just stir fry my leftover rice and top it with a runny egg for breakfast the next morning but this time, I decided to crisp it up into what basically turned into a crack cake. It’s tahdig on steroids and solves the soggy latke problem, because even hours later, the latkes remained super crispy.

I think my biggest problem was what to top them with but I solved it pretty fast because runny eggs are my jam, especially when they are jammy soft boiled ones. But honestly, the options are endless. Lox and creme fraiche if you’re feeling fancy. Caviar if you really want to take it over the top. Some tuna tartare if you want to go Asian, or some sesame pulled beef if you’re feeling meaty.

And if you really want to be fancy, mix the scallions INTO the rice before frying. Or add any fillings of your choice. ENDLESS. OPTIONS.

Chanukah has been so good to me. It gave me life (I was born on the 5th night), and it celebrates my Anniversary (I got married on my birthday). I’ve always felt a special connection to the holiday of fried food, donuts and wine + cheese and I secretly wonder if it’s one of the reasons I was born with the foodie gene!

This Chanukah is especially momentous because I get to share the holiday with so many of my fans and followers at my local book signings in Williams Sonoma and Bloomingdales! I could not be more excited to share some of my favorite Chanukah recipes in some of my favorite stores. I am feeling so. very. blessed. Thank you all for making this year so special to me!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Chanukah!

Other Latke Recipes:

salami potato latkes
sabich latkes
falatkes (falafel latkes)
poutine latkes
confetti latkes
butternut squash latkes
cheese latkes

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Funfetti Rice Krispie Bites

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
2nd Blogoversary} BBQ Brisket
1st Blogoversary} Mulled Wine

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Salami Potato Latkes

If there’s anything my blog is known for, it’s probably my drunken hasselback salami. Clearly people like the stuff. They like to hang it, they like to dry it, and man do they like to eat it!


If I’m ever in need of a fun recipe idea, I can just stick salami in there somewhere and chances are, it will go viral. My salami babka from last year was such a hit that Abeles & Heymann decided to print it on their actual packaging and, come on, how many of you have NOT tried the hasselback version, even the stores are selling it now! What is it with Jews and salami?


Well, I don’t know, but I’ll tell you this – I’m knee deep in cookbook editing and when I realized that Chanukah was just a few days away, I knew I had to come up with a latke recipe, and pronto. I’ve always got A&H salami in the fridge, and when I opened the door for some inspiration, it hit me. Why not add it to my potato latkes for some seriously salty delicious flavor? I decided to try grating it in my food processor so I could incorporate the salami in fully, and it processed really well! The result is a super fun take on a traditional latke that you will truly enjoy.

Unlike other traditional Jewish foods, I find that people are really purists about their latkes. They don’t want to sub sweet potatoes for potatoes, they’re not interested in the healthier baked versions, no. They want crispy, fried potato latkes that leave your fingers all greasy and your house and clothes smelling like Chanukah.

So here’s the thing: these latkes are a fun twist on the traditional, but they still respect the humble potato latke and they taste pretty classic too, except for some hints of salami.

And if you’re wondering why there’s a carrot in my frying pan, it’s the most brilliant frying hack ever! Somehow the carrot soaks up all the gunk in the oil and it keeps your oil clean throughout frying. You must give it a try!

Happy Chanukah and of course, happy frying!

This post is sponsored by Abeles & Heymann.
Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Other Latke Recipes:

sabich latkes
falafel latkes
poutine latkes
confetti latkes with harissa sour cream
butternut squash latkes
cheese latkes with raspberry sauce

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Greek Salad with Feta Croutons

Well hello there everyone! It seems like forever since I’ve actually blogged a new recipe here on BIB! I’ve been in full on cookbook mode these passed few weeks and I couldn’t be more excited about how things are moving along! I was so nervous about how I’d be able to juggle the cookbook, social media posting, messages and blogging but somehow it’s been working. Blogging has definitely taken a back seat, and for the first time in six years of blogging, I’ve starting skipping a week or two here and there. There was a time I thought everything would come crashing down if I didn’t post every. single. week. but lo and behold, the blog is still here and everyone is alive and well.

The truth is, it was hard getting back into it but I couldn’t let Chanukah go by without a few special recipes. I mean, it really is my favorite holiday and as many of you now, it’s both my birthday and Anniversary as well! Chanukah is my favorite time to fry up something crazy, make something Greek and go all out in the dairy department, and I’ve combined all three in this awesome salad!

Most of you have eaten Greek salad about a million times in your life, but you’ve probably never tried tried frying the feta into croutons. Yes! I said FRYING THE FETA INTO CROUTONS! How awesome, right?? At first I wasn’t even sure if it would work but a Chanukah miracle happened (early) and the feta fried up beautifully! It was also my first time using Trader Joes cholov yisroel feta which apparently has been a hidden treasure for the past several years, and OMG is it decadent. It’s crazy salty (which I kinda love), but oh so smooth and it also slices so, so nicely without crumbling. The breadcrumbs really help cut through all that saltiness, and with a forkful of veggies, it’s the perfect little bite.

It’s funny because I was never really much of a feta person, probably because I never had really good feta, so Greek salad wasn’t really on my list of faves. It might also have to do with the fact that I’m not a fan of goat or sheep milk products, and most feta is made with sheep milk. I’m so crazy sensitive to the taste, that I can tell if my butcher used the meat grinder to grind lamb before he grinds the beef, because I can taste even the slightest hint of it. And it’s so, so sheepy. I mean, I’m no picky eater but I just. can’t. swallow it.

What’s crazy is, I decided to give the Trader Joe’s sheep’s milk feta a try because so many people told me it was the best feta they ever ate (it’s imported from Israel after all), and even though it had the absolute, most slightest hint of sheep, I was able to tolerate – and even enjoy – it.

So, if you can find Trader Joes best kept secret, go grab a package for this awesome recipe, or use your favorite brand. This post is not sponsored by TJ’s, although how amazing would that be, right?

Related Recipes:

spinach pappardelle with feta and fried poached egg
harissa whipped feta with za’atar eggplant chips
summer tomato feta salad
roasted eggplant parmesan with feta

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