Category: Miscellaneous

Mazal Tov!

I bet you’ve all been wondering what I’ve been cooking up lately (since I’m usually so consistent with my posts). Well, it turns out, this recipe has been a long time in coming. Nine months in fact. And it’s the most delicious thing I have ever made! It’s a BIB baby boy, mazal tov!

I’m going to try not to get all sappy on you guys. And besides, this whole no-sleeping thing has kind of rendered me speechless (read: writers block). But I’ll say this: I am gushing. My heart is overflowing with the greatest joy and gratitude for this miraculous blessing. I am truly thankful to Hashem for the special gift of motherhood.

Hold tight. BIB is not going anywhere. Being the loyal blogger that I am – I’ve been cooking up pumpkinlicious fall favorites, Thanksgivukkah mashup dishes, and fried Chanukah goodies for a while now. And they’re all coming your way soon! Stay tuned for pumpkin pot pie, pumpkin cheese latkes, zucchini parmesan chips, root veggie latkes and a special Chanukah craft! There’s also lots of great giveaways coming up, including “The Holiday Kosher Baker”, “Starters & Sides Made Easy”, and much more!

Post your mazal tov wishes!

Governor’s Island

It’s been a while since my last post about a fun family getaway. In fact, I haven’t shared anything with you since last year’s post on Kelder’s Farm (which I still highly recommend!)

On a recent Sunday in Brooklyn, my family and I decided to head over to Governor’s Island for a day of family fun. We had been there previously, so we knew just what to expect – interesting exhibits, fun activities and great time for the whole family. I grabbed my SLR so I could snap and share photos of my experience with you.

Governor’s Island,  a 172 acre island in the heart of New York Harbor, was once home to the US army and coast guard. Many of it’s historic houses and buildings have remained intact since the 19th century. Just 400 yards from the Brooklyn waterfront, the island is accessible via ferry from Pier 6 (at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Columbia Street.)

After a fun ride on the ferry, you’ll arrive at the the Island where you can pick up a map and a schedule of the day’s activities from the information center.

A quick look at the map will show you that most of Governor’s Island is actually under construction, with amazing things in the works. You can read more about that here.

Still, there is still so much to do! At the Island’s center is Nolan park, a hub of fun activity for kids of all ages.

My kids couldn’t wait to climb the adorable hand-painted tree house, with little hiding spaces, and a slide. Doesn’t every little kid dream about having their own little tree house?

Your kids can also enjoy a game of mini golf, with an amazing artist-designed golf course. Each golf hole is another unique experience with imaginative and innovative design.

Here’s just one example of the colorful and fun designs incorporated into each and every hole.

Your kids will probably be hungry by now, so it’s a great idea to pack a picnic basket full of goodies, which is just what we did! On our menu: fresh pita or whole grain rolls with tuna or hummus, sliced peppers and grape tomatoes. For dessert: fresh fruit, homemade smores cookies and mini bags of popcorn. Don’t forget to stay hyrdrated! We brought along lots of water bottles and juice boxes.

After lunch, it’s time to explore some of the unique structures in Nolan park like this interesting “tunnel” or cloud.

If you look closely, you’ll see that it’s actually made up of recycled milk jugs and water bottles!

There are lots of other fun and interesting projects to see, designed by FIGMENT.

Like these stationary bouncing ball. They were one of my kids favorite areas, I couldn’t get them away!

And of course there’s the natural beauty, like this blackberry tree that stood humbly among the brightly colored fixtures all around.

After an exciting time at Nolan park, it’s time to experience some more of the Island on a family bike!

You can also stop by one of the many exhibits held in yellow colonial houses. The exhibits are constantly changing. You can view Governor’s Island’s calendar here for the current ones.

If you’re ready for a snack, there’s always a line-up of food trucks on the Island with an array of interesting food and drink.

Thanks for joining me on my tour of Governor’s Island. It’s a great place to get Busy In Brooklyn!

Governor’s Island is open from 10 AM – 7 PM every Saturday, Sunday and Holiday Monday (Memorial Day and Labor Day) through September 29.

Fore more info, visit

Other BIB getaway reviews:

Hershey, PA
Miami Beach, FL
Kelder’s Farm, Upstate, NY

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Remembering Zaidy

While my blog is mostly about food, it’s also so much more than that. My recipes and crafts are an expression of who I am. I could not imagine letting this week go by without sharing with you someone who has had a huge impact on my life and is so near and dear to my heart.

This past Saturday night, on the eighth night of Chanuka, the world lost a special soul. My Zaidy, Rabbi Peretz Hecht, passed away. Zaidy was a 3rd generation American, a real Yankee. Growing up in Williamsburg, he had a serious Brooklyn accent, and commonly used genuine New York slang. He was affectionately called “Daddy” by his children. My grandfather was an extremely hardworking man, but he always found the time to learn Torah. From when I was very young, I remember his dining room table covered in holy books. When Zaidy would learn, he never did so superficially. Each and every sentence was analyzed and questioned. I would watch him sitting with my cousins passionately arguing over every single word in the Gemara. “You gotta fight with the Tosfos!”, he’d say excitedly.

In the late 1960’s, Zaidy opened a printing business, working tirelessly to support his family. When the digital era evolved, his dated printing services were no longer needed, and he went out of business. He returned to his passion for Torah, tutoring Yeshiva boys one on one. Over the years, I’ve met countless bochurim who were lucky enough to learn with my Zaidy. His love, care and understanding touched each and every person he encountered.

My Zaidy was so full of life. He loved to live, and enjoy the good things. Bubby would always try and coax him to eat something healthy, but even in his old age, he would always have his eye on the candy (halva was his favorite!). He had a real passion for music. I’ll never forget when I returned from seminary, my family was in the middle of moving, so I spent the summer months in my grandparents’ home. Each Shabbos, Zaidy and I would sing his favorite tunes. He would sing with all his heart and soul, the melodies rising straight to the heavens. I will forever cherish those moments we shared together.

I never met anyone who could give a bracha like my grandfather. Whenever I went to visit, Zaidy would give me a lengthy blessing. He always got terribly emotional, his voice rising at the end, pleading “Tate zeeseh in himmel, we need Moshiach, let him come already!”

While Zaidy was serious about his learning, he also had the most amazing sense of humor. Whenever he’d get up to speak at family gatherings, he would have everyone laughing until they cried. And then, he would cry. And cry. He just had a way with people, especially young children. They were drawn to his gentle spirit and his smile that could light up a room.

Zaidy was a no-nonsense kind of person. He knew what he meant and he meant what he said. His sincerity was felt by all who knew him. But with all his qualities, humility was Zaidy’s biggest virtue. As a young girl, I remember thinking that my Zaidy was one of the Lamed Vav Tzadikim Nistarim. I was so in awe of his bittul and love for Torah. Over the past few years, Zaidy suffered through a terrible illness that ultimately claimed his life. It is a comfort to know that he is no longer suffering. I have no doubt that his neshama is making it’s journey to the highest realms of Gan Eden.

There is no one like you Zaidy, you will truly be missed! Your legacy lives on in your children and grandchildren. I hope we continue to make you proud!

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