Tag: israel

Roundup: The Seven Species

This Thursday, Jews around the world will celebrate Tu B’shvat, the New Year for the trees. Traditionally, we celebrate by eating The Sheva Minim, or, Seven Species. They include the following fruits and grains that are native to the land of Israel: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

In honor of Tu B’shvat, I’ve put together a roundup of recipes for each of the Seven Species from all around the web. Enjoy!

Read more about Tu B’shvat


wheat thins
whole wheat pretzel bread bowls
apricot wheat germ muffins
cream of wheat (farina) pancakes
farro salad with carrots, mushrooms and spinach
Tunisian roasted eggplant & wheat berries salad
kibbeh (ground meat & bulgur)
bulgur wheat patties with spicy tahini sauce
chocolate granola with walnuts & wheat germ
puffed wheat chocolate marshmallow bars


barley ravioli
crockpot mushroom barley stoup
beer braised brisket with onion gravy
honey chili beer chicken
barley risotto
barley croquettes
lentil barley burgers
Moroccan chickpea barley salad
Tu B’shvat salad
barley scones with roasted plums


mulled wine
balsamic roasted brussel sprouts & grapes
curried chicken salad with grapes
seared duck breast with grape sauce
yebra (Syrian stuffed grape leaves)
grape jelly cocktail meatballs
moscato poached apricots
red wine poached pears
black grape & plum compote
caramel apple pie grape poppers
concord grape cornmeal cake
sangria ice pops


honey roasted figs (fresh)
apple, fig & beet salad (fresh)
fig chutney (fresh)
grilled cheese with figs & honey (fresh)
fig and goat cheese pizza with balsamic glaze (fresh)
dried fruit brie bites (dried)
Tu B’shvat truffles (dried)
mustard roasted dried fruits (dried)
Tu B’shvat biscotti (dried)
fig, olive oil & sea salt challah (dried)
figgy BBQ sauce (dried)


pomegranate coleslaw
pomegranate rosemary cheddar cheese ball
roasted sweet potatoes with spiced pomegranate molasses
burnt eggplant with garlic, lemon & pomegranate
pomegranate glazed salmon
sticky chicken wings with pomegranate glaze
crockpot sweet & sour pomegranate short ribs
frozen greek yogurt pomegranate bites
no machine pomegranate ice cream
pomegranate chocolate mousse


infused olive oils
warm marinated olives
sundried tomato olive tapenade
eggplant caponata
multi grain olive braid bread
chicken tagine with olives & prunes
flounder putanesca
cheese-stuffed fried olives
Colavita olive oil chocolate crinkle cookies
olive oil cake


banana, dates, milk & honey smoothie
French roast with dried fruit sauce
silan (date honey) roasted figs
lamb and date tagine
chewy date granola bars
whole wheat date & almond muffins
date honey nut bread
sticky date pudding
almond stuffed dates
vegan berry pies with date crust

NOTE: All photos (besides the ones with the BIB watermark) are from 123RF Photo.

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Cook In Israel Review & Giveaway

Orly Ziv, a nutritionist and cooking instructor from Tel Aviv Israel, is a cook after my own heart. In her debut cookbook, Cook In Israel, Orly showcases recipes that draw on her Greek Jewish Heritage, with flavors of the Middle East and Mediterranean. Her entire first chapter is dedicated solely to eggplant and tomatoes, ingredients which are central to my kitchen. Page after page, Orly’s simple, healthy and flavorful recipes are ones you would find on my dining table any day of the week.

Cook In Israel bears the subtitle “Home Cooking Inspiration” and that is precisely what Orly’s book is all about. In a warm family-oriented way that is customary for Israelis, Ms. Ziv welcomes you into her kitchen with open arms. Her book is clear, simple and straight-forward, with many step by step photos to help guide you along the cooking process. Orly shares family favorites, holiday dishes and an expansive array of vegetarian recipes that are mainstays in Middle Eastern culture.

What is most impressive to me is that Orly self-published this beautiful collection of recipes with masterful results. The typography, layout and picture-perfect photography can only be matched by her clear and concise style of recipe writing – a welcome change from most cookbooks (which include too much commentary).

As someone who relishes Middle Eastern cuisine, this book lacks traditional Israeli fare like “al ha-esh” bbq , shishkebab and other chicken & meat recipes. It is somewhat confusing that Orly only makes slight mention of the fact that her book is almost entirely vegetarian, with only two meat recipes, which in my opinion, are better left out altogether.  As someone who is not ready to give up her carnivorous ways,  this cookbook still offers countless recipes that are filling and flavorful, such as breads, fish, grains and legumes.

Vegetarian or not, Cook In Israel is a keeper after all.


Busy In Brooklyn is thrilled to be able to give away a copy of Cook in Israel to one of my readers!

To enter the giveaway, vote for my grilled portobello burger with sundried tomato aioli in Swap it or Top it Mushroom Contest from The Mushroom Channel. You can vote once per day until August 31, 2013. Each vote will include one entry into the giveaway. Just leave a comment below letting me know when you have voted.

Winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, September 1st, 2013.


Busy In Brooklyn Middle-Eastern Inspired Recipes:

roasted eggplant parmesan with feta
roasted eggplants with Israeli salad
summer tomato feta salad
malawach cheese pastries with dipping sauce
banana dates milk & honey smoothie
grilled chickpea burgers

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Lag Ba’omer – Best BBQ Potato Salad

I love Lag Ba’omer. Why do I love Lag Ba’omer? Well besides for the fact that it’s a good excuse for a BBQ, I love it because it makes me think of Meiron, which in turn makes me think of Israel, and Israel makes me feel like home. I spent seminary in the Holy Land over 10 years ago, and I just fell in love with its spiritual and physical beauty. Just looking at pictures of Jerusalem tugs at my heartstrings and I yearn to go back. When I got married, I told my husband, all I want is for you to take me to Israel! Well seven years and two children later, I got my wish. Last year we won roundtrip tickets (!) and we couldn’t imagine a better time to go then for Lag Ba’omer. We decided to spend Shabbos at Kibbutz Lavi in Tiveria, so that we could drive straight to Meiron after Shabbos. It turned out to be a beautiful hotel in an equally beautiful kibbutz, with nice accomodations and delicious food.

How can one describe the scene of Meiron on Lag Ba’omer? Thousands of people from every walk of life, pilgrimaging up the mountain towards the Rashbi’s holy kever…each person beseeching the tzaddik for their personal salvation, collectively asking for our redemption…a thousand glowing candles burning bright…prayers…tears…brotherhood…holiness…(I apologize for lack of pictures, but had I brought my good camera to Meiron, it would no longer be my “good camera”, but rather my “broken to pieces by throngs of people camera”).

As beautiful as it all sounds, practically speaking, it was anything but easy. We had two young children, a double stroller, thousands upon thousands of people, darkness (we went at night)…Going from parking lot to bus to the base of a verrrry steep hill which we needed to climb with our stroller. But we made it to the other side, and it was worth every push and shove!

After a late night in Meiron, we could not resist making the ascent to Tzfas to visit the kever of the Arizal. Tzfas is one of the four holy cities of Israel (Jerusalem, Chevron and Tiveria make up the other three), and it is truly magical. The scenery from the mountaintop, the ancient shuls and the holy sages that are buried there are just some of what makes the mystical city special.

Traditionally, we make bonfires on Lag Ba’omer to commemorate the light that the Rashbi brought to the world through his Torah learning. On our drive back down to Yerushalayim, we could not resist stopping for some “Al Ha’esh”. Decks, a beautiful restaurant located in Tiveria was the perfect spot to get our BBQ fix. It is situated on an extended Deck (hence the name) overlooking the kineret, making you feel as if you are on a boat. There are glass windows from ceiling to floor with blue crystal waters as far as the eye can see. Decks serves traditional Israeli fare, as well as an extensive “Al Ha’esh” menu which is served on a personal BBQ at your table. The food was incredible, the scenery breathtaking, and the day totally and completely unforgettable.

So, without further ado, in honor of the holiday of Barbeques, I give you my favorite BBQ potato salad recipe:

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