Archive for August, 2009

breakfast this morning

was apricot upside-down cake.  I love cake for breakfast.

apricot cake

On another note, we tried making coffee with the automatic coffeemaker that now lives in our house.   Ugh.  Everyone should have a french press.

tivoli bread & baking

crunchy & creamy in the same bite

crunchy & creamy in the same bite

I never thought I might write an ode to a sandwich.  However.

Tivoli Bread & Baking in Tivoli (where else?) is a great little bakery offering bread, blueberry muffins, brownies, lemon squares, scones, very yummy macaroons, etc.  It’s tiny, the people that work there are friendly and the people that buy there are friendly too.  But I drive there to get the sandwich.  A good chunk of baguette is spread with butter and filled with slices of brie and ham/prosciutto, wrapped in paper.  That’s it.  Take it out to the front porch and eat – I dare you to try and make it home with it.

  • Tivoli Bread & Baking
  • 75 Broadway, Tivoli
  • Open weekends – not sure about weekdays. Call to make sure:  (845) 757-2253

tomatopalooza is canceled this year

Back when I thought I would have tomatoes this year...

Back when I thought I would have tomatoes this year...

I gave up and admitted finally that my tomatoes had blight.  This morning it went from 8 foot giants (I only feed them coffee grounds and grass clippings!)

blurry but you get the idea - tall plants

blurry but you get the idea - tall plants

to an empty garden bed.

 empty garden

The jalapenos on the other hand are growing like gangbusters – haven’t figured out what to do with them yet…

jalepenos

the cheese stands alone

old chatham camembert

Well, there are many others with it - but it is one of my favorites. 

Old Chatham Sheepherding Company was a winner in the 2009 American Cheese Society Conference.  This year their Hudson Valley Camembert won 1st in Category, Soft ripened, Sheep/mixed and Nancy’s Camembert won 2nd; Ricotta won a place as well.   The Hudson Valley Camembert is a creamy square of goodness that is worth searching out. 

old chatham sheepherding

I haven’t found a store in Hudson that is selling it (unless Olde Hudson has picked it up?) although it is available at Hawthorne Valley Farm Store, The Berry Farm and I believe Greig Farms.  But the best way to buy this cheese is to drive to Old Chatham and visit the farm yourself.  It’s beautiful up there.

sheep

Visit the sheep.  They don’t care.

old chatham store

Bring small bills and buy the several cheeses and yogurt at the store.  It’s an honor system where you stick the exact change into a slot in the wall and take the cheese/yogurt from the frig, although one that is now monitored by video surveillance.  Some people have obviously not been honorable.

There were other NY cheeses that won as well: Coach Farm (Aged Wheel, Triple Cream Wheel, Reduced Fat Stick both herb and dill, and Reduced Fat Natural Cheese Spread, and Cooperstown Cheese Company (Toma Celena).

I am eating my way through a square of Camembert and it is sheer cheese bliss.  Try it!

1st annual columbia county farm festival

Mark your calendars.

The Columbia County Farm Festival will be held on Saturday September 19th, 10am – 6pm at Golden Harvest Farms in Valatie, featuring many local area farms.  Entry fee is $5 per car.

Food/music/tractor rides = country farm heaven!  That, and you can buy Core Vodka straight from the the distillery behind the Golden Harvest Farm Stand.

And the weekend before, don’t forget the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest- at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck NY:  Saturday September 12, 11am – 6pm & Sunday September 13, 11am – 5pm.

See you there!

breakfast in Hudson

coffee cup picture

While it’s hard to get me off my back porch this time of year, sometimes I am too lazy to make coffee and I go out for breakfast.  That, or I crave bacon.  So, where to go?

The favorite option is one that friends turned us on to a couple of years ago: Tanzy’s, located at 223 Warren Street.  This little tea shop opened up for breakfast as a practical move, and it’s my favorite meal there.  I usually order eggs, bacon and toast but they always have a couple of specials to consider.  Great prices and family friendly.  They keep refilling your coffee cup so watch out.  They open at 8am. Closed Wednesdays.

Verdigris – a small tea emporium at 13 South 3rd Street.  Open at 10am so good for a later breakfast offering baked goods and tea of course.  Closed Tuesdays.

Cascades – I haven’t been here yet (note previously mentioned laziness in the morning) but it’s on the list to try.  Breakfast and lunch placed located at 407 Warren Street, open at 8am.  Closed Sundays.

Nola’s/Nolita’s – I want this place to be so much more – but in the meantime they have the only outdoor garden actually on Warren  which is great for people watching. Located at 454 Warren Street (at 5th), open at 8am.

Earth Foods – Family-run restaurant at 523 Warren Street, dishes are often made with organic produce. I’ve been here for lunch more than breakfast, but it’s worth grabbing one of the few tables on the sidewalk while the street is still waking up. Open at 9am. Closed Tuesdays.

Le Gamin Country – Dare I say this is our fabulous option for breakfast?  Fabulous in that NYC not really sort of way.  At any rate, where else can you get a bowl of cafe au lait and a tartine, my favorite breakfast of all time?  You must sit at one of the sidewalk tables here.  Do not go for the service.  Located at 609 Warren Street, open at 9am.  Closed Wednesdays.

Diamond Street Diner - (Update – they’re closed) The shiny diner across from the town square, located at 717 Warren Street.  I avoided this place for ages, not sure why, but it’s the perfect place to go when you wake up feeling lousy and just need an egg and cheese on a roll and endlessly refilled coffee with those little cups of half & half.  Try to get a seat at the window.  Open at 6am.

Bagel Tyme – Bagel (duh) and sandwich shop at 41 North 7th Street (between State and Columbia).  Monday – Friday open at 6am.  Closed Saturdays and Sundays.

That leaves our (new) coffee shops in town, which now number 3!  Good for coffee and a pastry.

Strongtree Organic Coffee Roasters - When you care about your coffee – beans roasted in-house.  Located at 60 South Front Street across from the Amtrak station. Monday – Thursday open at 6am, Friday open at 7am, Saturday open at 8am and Sunday open at 9am.

Swallow - Direct trade coffee, located at 433 Warren Street.  Monday – Saturday open at 8am.  Sunday open at 10am.

Parlour Coffee and Tea House - Located in the old Muddy Cup space at 742 Warren Street.   Monday – Saturday open at 7am, Sunday open at 8am.

foraging for food – purslane

purslane

There is a great article in Mother Earth News this week about foraging for food.

I’d read about purslane  – a weed that has regained status as a foraged food – and had even bought it at a farmers market to try in a simple salad.  I found this tiny specimen as I was weeding my garden; not enough for a meal yet. 

So far I’ve found dandelion (who hasn’t?) and purslane. It’s funny what people can/will eat. 

But in the world of foraged food, I think I would prefer to find morels.  Or truffles.

buying your food at the farmer’s market

plums

“There’s nothing like buying farm-fresh food, supporting your neighbors and being social all in one fell swoop,” Ms. Krepp said.

an article worth revisiting this time of year…

Welcome to the Country…

I’m sad to report though that Restaurant in Germantown is closed.

And the honor system at the Old Chatham Sheepherding “store” is now monitored by video surveillance.  And a mud wasp on the ceiling.

too hot for baking

strawberries

Believe it or not, you can still find local strawberries this time of year.  I bought these at The Berry Farm on Rt. 203 between Kinderhook and Chatham.  I believe the Farm at Miller’s Crossing also has some at the Hudson Farmers Market.

Sorry the photo is a little blurry – I think my hands were shaking in anticipation.

Inspired by this month’s story in Gourmet Magazine, I am trying new ice cream recipes – when it’s hot you still need dessert.  This recipe for Strawberry Ice Cream has joined my collection of insanely easy ice cream (really it’s more a gelato – no eggs) recipes.  There’s no cooking of the custard (yea! no heat!) – just mash together the ingredients, chill, and then churn.  Here’s a picture of the last bite:

strawberry icecream

Another amazing ice cream that I made recently, recipe also from Gourmet, was Sour Cream Ice Cream.  Again, you did not have to cook a custard (again, no eggs), and it went together in just a couple of hours (including chilling time).  I took this to friends where we had it with sliced donut peaches and a drizzle of red wine syrup.  Quick and elegant and really yum.  We have no pictures of that dish – it went down too easy!  This is a good year-round ice cream.

Sour-Cream Ice Cream – from Gourmet Magazine, July 2009

  • 1 (16-ounces) container chilled sour cream
  • 1 cup chilled half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Puree all ingredients with 1/8 teaspoon salt in a blender until mixture is smooth and sugar has dissolved.  Chill until very cold.  Freeze mixture in ice cream maker.  Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up, about 6 hours.  Or, eat immediately.

The day I become lactose-intolerant or vegan will be a sad day indeed.

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