Wednesday, June 14, 2017



Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
3 eggs
1C less 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1/2C buttermilk
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1-1/4C fresh blueberries

Butter to cook pancakes in and serve with pancakes
maple syrup

Beat eggs until light and fluffy.  Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugars together.  Fold flour mixture into eggs.  Stir in buttermilk and melted butter just until combined; do not overbeat.  Let stand 10 minutes.

Heat griddle.  Brush with melted butter.  Use about ¼ cup batter for each pancake; cook until bubbles form on the surface.  Sprinkle with blueberries.  Cook until edges become dry.  Turn; cook 2 minutes longer, or until nicely browned on underside.  Serve with butter and maple syrup.
MAKES:  8 (4-inch) pancakes

Monday, June 5, 2017



New York – May, 2017
There is more to New York than New York City and I decided to experience the “more” on this trip.  I spent one day in New York City staying in a nice airbnb on 117th street and enjoyed my favorite walk around the Jacqueline Onassis reservoir. A delicious lunch at the Little Owl in the village consisted of soft shell crab on watercress salad and warm chocolate cake.  The afternoon was spent at the Met which had a wonderful exhibit of the photography of Irving Penn, i.e. portraits of people all over the world as well as Seurat’s Circus Sideshow with more than 100 paintings, etc. documenting the traveling circuses of the day.

Dinner at Kingsley, a new restaurant on B Street with great food.  I had octopus with fava beans, chickpeas and mole and finished with a deconstructed cheesecake.

In the morning after breakfast and a walk around the reservoir I took the M60 bus to LGA where I picked up my rental car.  The rental car lot is near the 83rd street bus stop and easy to find.  I drove to Tarrytown where I had lunch at the Twisted Oak on Main Street, i.e. massaged kale salad with crisp blue potato slices and spicy BBQ onions and lemon pudding cake with marshmallow brulee for dessert and stayed at an airbnb nearby. Dinner later that evening at Blue Hills at Stone Barnes is a destination in itself.  My menu centered around asparagus, konan kohlrabi, rhubarb among other things and everything was unique and delicious.





I drove into Tarrytown in the morning for a walk and breakfast before heading up the Hudson Valley to Hudson.  I stopped near Poughkeepsie to do the Walk Across the Hudson which was a beautiful walk as the day was fine.  Drove up to Hyde Park for lunch at Cranberries, which I remember liking very much from my previous trip and then back to Beacon to visit the modern art museum Dia:Beacon.  On display was art by Dan Flavin, noted for his use of fluorescent tubes and light as an art form.  It is an enormous warehouse with “big” art and fascinating.

Afterwards, I drove up to Hudson and stayed in a very elegant airbnb, driving into town later to walk around town and have dinner at Swoon Kitchenbar on Warren Street, the main street in town.  I enjoyed a relaxing dinner of crispy fried baby artichokes, beet salad with arugula, ricotta and candied nuts and crème brulee for dessert.

Stopped by the Hudson farmer’s market in the morning and had breakfast at a cute little café called Cascades before heading down the other side of the Hudson to New Paltz.  I walked to the historic Huguenot district to see the stone houses, church, etc. but since it was raining I passed on the tour but will return some day as the town is really cute.  Had a delicious lunch at The Bakery on N. Front Street before heading to Mount Tremper to see the world’s largest kaleidoscope.  Well worth a detour.

 Stayed the night at the Phoenicia Belle in Phoenicia, a delightful little b&b on the main street.  Wandered around town along the creek and up to the train station and later in the evening had a delightful dinner at Tavern 214 nearby.  Started with tuna poke served with crisp taro chips and finished with a flourless chocolate cake.  Atmosphere was divine.


Took a nice walk along the creek in the morning and had a relaxing and perfectly prepared breakfast at the Belle.  Drove to the tiny little town of Bloomville where Table on Ten was well reviewed.  Stopped first at the quaint little church and then had a farm gathered greens salad with radishes and lots of fresh ground pepper and a slice of apple caramel pie.  They are known for their pizza but only serve it in the evening.

On to Ithaca in the driving rain.  Parked and wandered around the commons, along Court Street to see the great buildings, etc. and finally to a glorious airbnb set right on the lake complete with cat.  The owner was away so I had the place to myself, i.e. just me and the very friendly cat.  After a hot shower and a rest I drove by Ithaca Falls, through the Cornell campus to Agava for dinner and had octopus with pickled beets, roasted carrots with salsa verde, puffed crisp bread with kale chimichurri and lemon tart – each dish had it’s own special flair and everything was yummy.

Took a walk to the Ithaca Falls and then had breakfast at the Ithaca Bakery.  Drove to the Taughanock Falls, part of the finger lakes region, and walked down to see it.  It has an incredible drop of 215 feet and is one of the highest east of the Rockies. 

On to Seneca Falls, also on the finger lakes, where I had lunch and then visited the Historical Society Museum located in a structure dating back to 1823.  It was Mrs. Partridge who began an extensive remodeling and updating that changed the two story dwelling into the 23 room Queen Anne style home that stands today.  It is interesting to see how the different families lived during that time and there is a very nice collection of period clothes, hats, shoes, etc. as well. 

Drove on to Geneva where I stayed the night in an airbnb walking distance into town.  Wandered the town, walked around the lake and later had dinner at Parker’s grill, i.e. grilled tuna on baby greens.  It was a Monday night and most of the other restaurants were closed.  In the morning I took another walk around the beautiful lake, had a nice pastry and coffee at Opus Café before heading to Niagara Falls, stopping first in Lockport.  I took the 90 minute Lockport cave and underground boat ride where we also walked through a water tunnel that was blasted out of solid rock and explored the Erie Canal locks 67 – 71 constructed in 1838.  Great Fun!!!  Had a delicious sandwich and cookie downtown before driving on to Niagara Falls.

Checked in at the Giacomo, a charming, elegant hotel on First Street and spent two lovely nights there.  The hotel is only about 5 minutes from the falls.  I spent the next few hours visiting the falls from close up, far away, over the bridge, etc.  Niagara Falls is the collective name for 3 waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the U.S.  Horseshoe Falls, the largest, lies on the border of the U.S. and Canada, the American Falls lies entirely on the American side and the smallest Bridal Veil Falls in separated from the other falls by Luna Island. 

In the evening I dined at the Culinary Institute nearby run entirely by students, i.e. the preparation of the food, the making of the wine, the waiting on tables, etc.  I had a delicious ricotta, caramelized onion pizza with arugula, baby greens salad with beets and a warm chocolate flourless cake.  The atmosphere is calm and peaceful and the wine was delicious.



In the morning after breakfast I took the Maids of the Mist tour which takes you to the base of the falls on both the U. S. and Canadian sides and provides you with complimentary ponchos as it is also a very wet experience!  Afterwards I walked across the Rainbow Bridge to the Horseshoe Falls and all along the banks until I was almost touching the falls.  Luckily it was a beautiful day so I could look across from the Canadian side and see the complete beauty of the American Falls.  Back to the Culinary Institute for lunch as the dinner was so good and afterwards I walked to goat island to visit the Bridal Veil Falls.

In the evening I had dinner at Wine on Third, a cute little restaurant in “town”.  Delicious tuna with soba noodles, baklava and a nice glass of wine.  Walked down to the falls to see them all lit up…So beautiful…

Took a nice walk to the falls and across the rainbow bridge in the morning, had coffee and banana bread at Starbucks and then headed to the Letchworth Park which comprises 14,350 acres along the Genesee River.  You can drive along the Park road and stop at different outlooks and trails down to waterfalls, gorges, etc.  A lovely little park.  The road ended at Glen Iris Inn where I had a delicious brownie topped with ice cream and caramel sauce and some tea to tide me over until dinner. 

I drove on to Corning where I stayed at a lovely airbnb about 10 minutes drive from town.  After relaxing, showering and unpacking, I drove back into town and walked around for about an hour until it started to rain.  Corning is a sweet little town filled with interesting shops and restaurants and, of course, the museum. 

Dinner at Cellar was a roasted asparagus, smoked potato salad, chicken skewer with mole, Brussels sprouts with toasted walnuts and a chai crème brulee. 

I came into town for a nice walk in the morning, breakfasted at a little café and spent about 3 hours in the fantastic Corning Museum of Glass, the home to the world’s most comprehensive and celebrated collection of glass.  There are also ongoing glass blowing, glass cutting, etc. demos all day long and across the lot is an extensive collection of Steuben glass designed by Frederick Carder.

On my way to Roxbury I stopped again at Table on Ten for lunch in Bloomville and it was as delicious as before, arriving at the Roxbury, a boutique motel resort with VERY original rooms.  The city is charming set nicely in the Catskill Mountains and the Roxbury is truly one of a kind.  I was able to see the most expensive “suite” called Archaeologist’s Digs which was so unbelievable that I cannot even do it justice.  If you have the $$ stay there!!!  After a walk around town I drove to Pine Hill for dinner at Zephyr, a cute little restaurant about 20 minutes away.  I had a wild greens salad with dried cranberries, pears, candied pecans topped with nicely cooked salmon and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert.

Stopped for a cinnamon roll next door and then visited the red barn market close by.  Local crafts for sale along with music and small town feel.  Also stopped at the farmer’s market in Margaretville before parking near the Kaaterskill Waterfall to see it from the viewing platform and then driving down below it to hop over the guardrail and see it from below.  There is a rather slippery trail you can take up to it but it sounded a bit too dangerous for me…


Drove on to the cute little town of Woodstock where I had a delicious eggplant, roasted pepper and hummus sandwich at Bread Alone along with a triple chocolate cookie.  Wandered around a bit and then drove to Bear Café to hear some music and then on to Opus 40, a large sculpture park in Saugerties created by sculptor and quarryman Harry Fite.  It comprises a sprawling series of dry stone ramps, etc. covering 6.5 acres of a bluestone quarry.  He was supposed to complete it in 40 years but died after 37 years into it so it was left unfinished but still very impressive.

Stayed in an airbnb walking distance from town but dined a bit further out at Red Onion, a very nice atmospheric restaurant where I had some roasted mussels and warm bread followed by a very rich chocolate pot of cream topped with mascarpone whipped cream.

Nice walk around town in the morning, breakfast at Bread Alone and then returned the car about 12:30 p.m. to the rental car place near LGA.  Took the M60 bus back into Manhattan, dropped my suitcase off at the airbnb on 77th and then had a typical NY lunch of egg salad on toasted bagel with a triple chocolate cookie from Bread Alone. 

Spent the rest of the day at the Brooklyn Museum where there was an excellent exhibit on Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern.  It focused on her wardrobe, the way she posed for pictures, candid photographs taken of her and key paintings.  I wandered around Brooklyn for a bit and then had dinner at Coarse, a unique restaurant on W. 13th Street serving little plates.   I started with the wild striped bass “poke” with quinoa, miso and radishes, followed by short rib on parsnip puree with romesco sauce and finished with a tiny vanilla pot of cream.

Took a walk around the reservoir in the morning and then spent the morning at the Cooper-Hewitt museum visiting “the jazz age: American style in the 1920s” exhibit.  The Jazz Age is a multi-media experience of more than 400 examples of interior design, decorative art, jewelry, fashion, and architecture, as well as related music and film.  A very engaging show.  Had lunch at the Spotted Pig on 11th Street, i.e. grilled cheese sandwich with onion marmalade and lemon tart and then, even though it was pouring rain, I walked along the river to the World Trade Center. 

The 9/11 memorial plaza is an 8-acre park composed of a grove of nearly 400 white oak trees and the largest manmade waterfalls in the U.S.  Set within the footprints of the original twin towers, each pool is approximately one acre in size.  The names of every person who perished in the terror attacks are honored in bronze around the twin memorial pools.

There is also a memorial museum with information on the original twin towers, the 911 attack, etc.  All very moving.  As it was raining and there was no visibility, I decided to go to the top another time.  Delicious dinner at Buddakhan, i.e. tuna tartar spring rolls, short ribs on scallion pancakes and warm chocolate tart.

Took a nice long walk along Fifth Avenue, etc. after breakfast and then had a last lunch at El Porron, a little tapas restaurant, i.e. salmon on the plancha, wild mushrooms with garlic and a lava cake.  Bus to LGA and flight home.  Glad I didn’t have a chance to see everything, saving something for the next time.

Sunday, May 28, 2017



Stuffed Brined Pork Chops
6 boneless pork chops, 1-1/2-inches thick
3/4C packed light brown sugar
1/4C salt
6C water

Stuffing
1 slice bread, torn into quarters
1/4C pine nuts, toasted
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
6 oz. spinach leaves, cooked and squeezed dry
1/2C shredded fontina cheese
1/4C ricotta cheese
1/2C Parmesan cheese
1 medium lemon, cut into 6 wedges
salt and freshly ground pepper
½ stick unsalted butter

For the brine:  Using a sharp knife, cut a one-inch opening into the side of each chop and then swing the knife tip through the chop to create a pocket, being careful not to widen the opening.  Turn knife and swing blade in opposite direction.  Dissolve sugar and salt in water in a large bowl or container; submerge chops, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate one hour.

For the stuffing:  Pulse the bread and pine nuts in a food processor until coarsely ground.  Heat oil in a sauté pan; add the garlic and sauté about one minute, add the cooked spinach and sauté to remove any excess liquid.  Mix cheeses together and add the spinach mixture.  Squeeze juice from lemon wedges into a small bowl and reserve the wedges.  Stir one tablespoon of juice into the stuffing along with salt and pepper taste.

Place a baking sheet in the lower middle position in the oven and
preheat to 425F.  Remove chops from the brine and rinse under cool running water; pat dry with paper towels.  Place one-sixth of stuffing in pocket of each chop.  Trim reserved lemon wedges to 2-inch lengths and insert one into each pocket to contain stuffing.  Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a sauté pan until hot and brown the chops.  Turn over and brown on the other side.  Transfer chops to the preheated baking sheet and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 135F.  Transfer to a platter.  Pour any remaining juices into the pan you sautéed the pork in (or ½ cup chicken stock) and heat.  Add butter and swirl in.  Drizzle “sauce” over chops and serve.
MAKES:  6 servings


Thursday, April 20, 2017



Soft polenta with mushrooms and gremolata
polenta
8C water
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
2C stone-ground yellow cornmeal
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2C cream
1/2C grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground pepper to taste

gremolata
1/2C Italian parsley leaves
1 tsp. garlic
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest

mushrooms
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lb. mixed mushrooms, thickly sliced
4 oz. young greens, i.e. spinach, pea shoots, coarsely chopped
  (4C packed)

For the polenta:  Bring water to a boil and whisk in the polenta in a slow, steady stream.  Add the salt and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until the polenta is thickened and tender, about 15 minutes.  Whisk in the butter and cream and season with pepper.  Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the polenta to prevent a film from forming; cover and keep warm.

For the mushrooms:  Melt butter and olive oil in a pan, add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden and tender.  Stir in the chopped greens and cook until wilted.  

For the gremolata:  mince the parsley and garlic with the lemon zest.  Set aside.

Pour the polenta onto a large platter; if the polenta is very thick, reheat with ½ cup of water before servings.   Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and spoon the mushroom mixture on top.  Sprinkle the gremolata over the mushrooms and serve warm.
MAKES:  6 servings

Friday, March 31, 2017

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Leek Leek and Potato Tart
pastry
1-1/2C flour
pinch salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 large yolk
filling
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 or 3 slices bacon, cut into pieces
3 – 4 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
¾ lb. red potatoes, roasted, cut into ½-inch slices
1C cream
1/2C manchego or goat cheese

For the pastry:  Put flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse 2 – 3 times.  Add the yolk and pulse to combine.  Add water as needed to form a dough that holds together.  Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.

For the filling:  Heat the butter in a pan, add the bacon and cook until brown.  Set aside.  Add the leeks, salt and pepper and cook until wilted and tender.  Add ¼ cup of the cream and cook until mostly absorbed.  Add the potatoes and ¼ cup more of the cream and cook until cream has absorbed.  Continue adding cream until the mixture is thick.  Remove from the heat, stir in bacon and let cool.  Stir in the cheese.  Preheat oven to 375F.  Roll out the pastry to a 17-inch circle.  Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Spread with the leek mixture, leaving a border of about 2-1/2 inches all around.  Fold the border back over the filling.  Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbling and welling browned.  Slice and serve.
MAKES:  8 - 10 appetizer servings