Category: Dairy

Rosewater Crème Brûlée

Bonjour everyone!! I just got back from an unforgettable trip to Paris by way of Antwerp, where they flew me down for an incredible evening for 800 local women! It was my first Yiddish-speaking demo (although I spoke in English) and I was so worried about the culture-clash. What if they didn’t get my humor? What if my food was too modern for their traditional tastes? Alas, the event was a huge success and I am SO relieved!

In preparation for Shavuot, we made sushi nachos from my cookbook, with a tuna tartare variation, my couscous arancini and my frangipane fruit galette with seasonal plums (almond flavored pastries are always a hit in Belgium!). The local butcher (where they sell pink hotdogs colored with beet juice!) prepped all the tasting samples and the room was beautifully set up by the local volunteers, to benefit the Bikur Cholim organization.

The night before the big event, I held a private cooking class for some event sponsors where we made pho and ramen bowls from scratch. It was a super fun evening with the greatest group of ladies and I had a total blast!

But the food! Lets talk about the FOOD! Flemish asparagus is big in Belgium, and since white asparagus are in season, it was on all the menus. Asparagus are covered in a sauce made of hard boiled eggs, which is not very appealing but it tasted alright.


Real Belgian waffles were at every turn, although not a kosher spot to be found. Lots of traditional Jewish bakeries laced every street, but Kleinblatt was the stand out! Their brioche avec creme and cheese danishes melted on my tongue, and the dairy custard cream made me realize why American bakeries will never measure up. I stuffed my suitcase with pearl sugar and chocolate Dutch sprinkles so we can make the real Belgian waffles I kept smelling along the trip!

Onto Paris, I stuffed myself with foie gras (goose liver) and buttery croissants. Lots of Tunisian tuna dishes, and the best latte I’ve ever had. There was gooey camembert salad and fresh homemade pasta, the most amazing Parisian chocolate and crepes with chestnut cream. TAKE ME BACK!!!

No honestly, don’t take me back because I’m still getting over getting stuck there for Shabbos after my Friday morning flight was canceled and there were no other flights to get me home in time. But alas, I am home safe and sound and sharing the recipe for this amazing rosewater crème brûlée with you all because if my travels taught me anything, it’s that dairy desserts are the very best!!

Related Recipes:

rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
sachlav rosewater pudding

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Orange Cardamom Noodle Kugel

Well hello there blogosphere, it’s been so long, hasn’t it?! Life has been hectic as ever, but I’ve always got my blog on the back of mind, wanting to cook, and photograph, and post and just share with y’all. Pesach (in Beijing, China!) has come and gone. I’ve since been to Ohio, and off to Antwerp tomorrow, and guess how I’m celebrating? By making kugel!

If you know me, I consider myself the Anti-Kugel. Yes, that’s right. I’m Jewish and I don’t like kugel! Why, you ask? Well I believe that instead of boiling up veggies, mashing them, and then mixing them with oil and eggs and who-knows-what-else, why don’t you skip the whole complicated process and JUST. ROAST. VEGGIES. Same goes with potatoes. And noodles? Well you can cook em and eat em JUST. LIKE THAT. But alas, kugel has stood the test of time, and you’ll find the gazillion calorie concoction in most Jewish Ashkenazi houses on Erev Shabbat (my mom included)!

So what, pray tell, is kugel doing HERE? Well in one word: Shtisel. The viral Israeli TV series that was made popular by Netflix has captured my heart, and that of many, Jews and non-Jews alike. It has me craving Israeli salad with tahini, tea, and all sorts of traditional heimish foods that I haven’t looked at in years. In short: If Shtisel has ME making kugel, and you’re not watching it, then you’ve got to GET. ON. IT. Chasdei Hashem I’m here to spread the Shtisel love!

So I’ve been sprinkled with “heimish” dust but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to made traditional kugel, because, well, I’m still ME. And because Shavuos is coming up, what do you think I did? I made dairy lokshin kugel – one that’s lightened up with the refreshing taste of orange, cardamom and vanilla bean + some ricotta for creaminess and yogurt for some tang. All in all, a perfect compliment to your Shavuot menu. B’hechlet!

Related Recipes:

orange cardamom malabi
shavuot menu roundup
rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
Bubby’s challah kugel

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Everything Bagel Keto Crackers

I’ve been dieting ever since I can remember, and if you’ve been with BIB since the early days, you probably remember when I posted about the South Beach Diet which I went on religiously after every baby. But then I started a career in food and diets that eliminated entire food groups became difficult to stick to. I also had a 90 day stint with Whole30, which I still firmly believe in as a nutritional reset, but not really as a way of life. It’s far too restrictive and there was so much prep involved which became near impossible with my busy lifestyle.

So, when I finally decided I was done with my yo-yo habits recently, I wanted to commit to a plan, if only for a few months – but a strict regimen that would help me lose the cookbook + baby + stress weight of the past few years – and with lots of people I know losing weight on keto, I decided to jump in blindly.

I thought keto would be easier to manage – that is, no major food planning – and I have to admit that that part is totally manageable. Since I cook pretty healthy for the most part, I find that adapting my regular dinners is pretty easy. I have no problem with grabbing a quick lunch, and I mostly skip breakfast, which isn’t a bad thing on keto since 16 hours of intermittent fasting is encouraged. The problem then, is the counting.


I legit hate diets where I have to weigh my food or count my calories. Maybe it’s the flashbacks of being on Weight Watchers in high school, when my scale became my best friend, but it’s legit the worst part about this diet. In this case, you’re not quite counting calories or weighing your food – you’re counting MACROS = grams of protein, carbs and fat throughout the day.


For optimum results on keto, it’s important to stay within your macros if you want to stay in ketosis. Keeping carbs under roughly 20 grams is HARD because every. single. thing. has carbs. And I’m not talking about pizza or pastries here. I’m talking about not overdoing the veggies. I’m also finding it hard to reach my fat macros, and for the first few weeks, I religiously entered my entire food diary into the Carb Manager app to keep track- and I saw a big difference. The weight came off easily. But now as I’ve settled into the diet, I’m getting sick of counting and while I haven’t gained any weight, the scale (and my inches) are extremely slow moving.

I’m still not ready to quit though, I just want to find the right balance for myself because I know this plan can really work if you do it right. In the meantime, these super easy keto crackers (which I adapted from this Pesach recipe by the genius challah/babka queen @naomi_tgis, Naomi Elberg), have been getting me through Shabbos meals because we all need some crunch to eat with our salads/dips when everyone else is eating fluffy Challah.

I’ve been trying them all different ways, and the everything bagel version wins hands down, but give the variations a try as well when you get bored of them!

Related Recipes:

how to build a fish board
artisan toast, 6 ways
tuna with anchovy panko crumbs

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Funfetti Cream Tart Number Cake

I’ve always held on to this self-limiting belief that I’m “not a baker”. I backed it up by telling myself that baking is a science and I’m more of a creative.
I hate following the rules and I always think outside the box.

For 8 long years – yes 8! – I’ve been blogging here on BUSY IN BROOKLYN and sharing my love of food, family and tradition (+ some crafts!). I’ve always pushed myself to try new techniques, explore unique ingredients and cook up cultural dishes that I’d never tried before. But one thing always got the better of me – DOUGH. Because “I’m not a baker.”

I always fell back on frozen pizza dough, puff pastry, and store-bought Artisan bread because I was afraid of anything that involved yeast. There was a short stint with sourdough, but I gave that up when more of my loaves flopped than succeeded.

In the school of Hassidic thought, the number 8 resembles that which is above nature, and to celebrate Busy In Brooklyn’s 8th Blogoversary, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and bake up something that’s been both intriguing me and intimating me at the same time – the beautiful layered cream tart!

To stick with my blog anniversary theme of FUNFETTI, I designed this tiered sprinkle cookie cake in the number 8, and decorated it with colors inspired by my cookbook, Millennial Kosher! After 8 years of honing my skills in the kitchen, I am officially done with labels. I can be anything I want to be!

With close to a decade in the food industry, I have learned a lot of things.

How to develop and write a recipe.
How to compose, style and photograph food.
How to teach people about food in a fun way.
How to cook with color!
How to compose a dish.
How to plan a menu.
How to multiply a recipe for a large crowd.
How to network with people.
How to write a cookbook!!
and the list goes on…..

I’ve learned a lot of things, and I’ve acquired a lot of skills, but above all, I’ve come to realize that nothing stands in the way of good, old fashioned HARD WORK. Looking back at 8 years here on BUSY IN BROOKLYN, I can’t believe that what I thought would be just a passing hobby, has turned into the most fulfilling career. That the young mom who was cooking traditional Ashkenazi food became a recipe developer with a broad palate. And that the clueless lady with a camera, became a food photographer with a pretty impressive portfolio and a cookbook to show for it. HOW DID THIS ALL HAPPEN??!!

OK I’m a officially drenching my keyboard at this point, feeling so overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude. I don’t know where I would be if all of YOU AMAZING PEOPLE weren’t actually reading this and cooking up my recipes, and buying my book, and supporting me, and showing me so much love and appreciation and respect. How can I ever thank you?!

I always say that cooking is about so much more than satiating ourselves and others – it’s about expressing yourself and showing love to the people who mean the most to you. I don’t know how to thank you – so I will continue to do what I do best – cook – AND BAKE – for you all, because I am so grateful for this platform and it means so much to me.

Thank you for joining me for these 8 wonderful years of cooking, crafting and coping here in Brooklyn. Looking forward to many more to come!

Related Posts:

7th Blogoversary} Funfetti Rice Krispie Bites
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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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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