Monthly Archive: June 2015

So You Bought Them, Now What?.. Festival Finds


One of the many things I like about the summer months is the festivals and farmers’ markets that sprout up everywhere.  Hand crafted products from locally sourced ingredients sometimes from the vendors own backyards, farms and vineyards.  Their stories are always unique and are just as interesting as their products.   I can’t resist bringing home a jar, bottle or bag of something new and finding a way to work it into some recipes or just enjoy!  Here are a few of my finds this weekend at the Adirondack Wine and Food Festival in Lake George, NY. (more…)

Sister-In-Law Dilemma Smoothie – Peach and Butternut Squash


Almost everyday, I post a smoothie on social media. My sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with an immense amount of food allergies and sensitivities. With a heavy sigh (at least that’s what I imagined) she relayed that  I “was killing her” with my smoothie postings because she couldn’t have them.  So, I asked her for a list of foods that she can eat… Oh my God!….this list is limited to say the least.  Challenge accepted! Here is a smoothie she can have all to herself!

Father’s Day Memory Marmalade – Lemon, Strawberry, Rhubarb


It sure is a busy time of year!!! Non-stop social events….. still, I had to take the time to use the last of the spring rhubarb in this recipe to assure that I have some canned sunshine throughout the next long winter (if it makes it that long). Why not a marmalade??? It’s a sweet, zesty jam that can be made with various citrus fruits utilizing their peels to enhance the flavor.  I wondered if the lemon and rhubarb would be too sour together and decided to add a cup of sweet puréed strawberries to the mix.  Not only did it give the jam a nice bright color, it balanced out the acidity of the lemons.Marmalade 2

While I was standing at the stove stirring the pot of fruits I thought about my Dad teaching me little tidbits of cooking when I was very young.  He was making l’orange sauce for the duck being served that evening in the restaurant.  Before adding anything savory to his bright orange brew, he told me that if I added sugar and cooked it down for a while, it would become marmalade!  Funny, the things you remember….. So, in honor of Father’s Day this Sunday, here is my recipe: (more…)

Never Too Late to Learn… the Demo Center at Healthy Living Market

You know that I can’t get enough writing, reading, recipe developing, researching, cooking and eating food….. so, when I heard about the classes offered at Healthy Living Market and Café, of course, this pescetarian signed up for Kitchen Confidence: Mussels & Clams.  I was directed to the demo center in the center of the fresh produce section of the store and greeted by Christina Davis, the coordinator of the demos in the Saratoga store. We were a small and eclectic group of students, all of whom seemed to be veterans of the demonstration classes, making it comfortable and relaxed for this newbie.   Our instructor, for this class, was Karen Dunham, a CIA graduated who has been with the market since it’s opening about three years ago. She is the Seafood Replenishment Buyer & Supervisor.  She took on three recipes in our hour long class and still had time to answer all our questions (with a smile) about the proper way to clean mussels, clam sizes and their sweetness.  She also demonstrated how to shuck clams for serving on the half shell. (The seafood department will shuck clams for you to take home if you give them a little advanced notice.)

Karen Dunham, Seafood Replenishment Buyer and Supervisor

Karen Dunham, Seafood Replenishment Buyer and Supervisor

My favorite recipe/preparation was the Clams in Foil for the Grill or Oven.  I am always trying to find the best way to have my husband cook on the grill!  Here is Karen’s recipe:

1# of clams – cleaned

1/4 lemon sliced

1 tablespoon shallots – finely diced

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon garlic

1 sprig of thyme

A large piece of foil about 14×14

Preheat your grill or oven to 450 degrees.  Place your clams in the center of the foil and pull the foil up and around the clams to make a pocket leaving a small opening in the top for adding your remaining ingredients.  Add the wine, butter, garlic, lemon slices, thyme and shallot. Seal top and place on grill for 10 to 15 minutes until clams open. If using the oven, place your foil pouch on a cookie sheet first.  Serve with crusty bread to soak up the yummy broth.   If a clam does not open do not eat it…. it wasn’t meant to be.

clams me
We were served all of the dishes that Karen demonstrated with slices of beautiful artisan bread and bottles of sparkling Saratoga water. The cost of this class? Free! Education and lunch! The Saratoga location has classes offered at least four times a month. To visit their website for up and coming demo classes click here and I will see you there….I heard a rumor about cheese pairing…

It’s Not Hand Melon Yet Soup

I was conjuring up visions of ripe, sweet Saratoga Hand Melons with scoops of vanilla ice cream and squirts of lime juice when I came up with this cold soup recipe.   Although, Saratoga Hand Melons are not available until later in the summer, (and I couldn’t wait!) I subbed a large, ripe cantaloupe for this recipe.

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Introducing the Sueben…Susan’s Smoked Salmon Reuben!

Pastrami style smoked salmon….it’s a no brainer! I had to make a Rueben or… a Sueben!  (My friend Andy came up with that name so I think it’s gonna stick.)  A little off the diet track but sometimes you just have to eat! Here’s what I did. Two good size sandwiches:

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My Head is Spinning – Spiral Sliced Golden Beets

FullSizeRender (25) - Copy I thought I’d jump on the veggie “pasta” bandwagon to see if I would miss whole wheat pasta in some of my recipes.  My mandolin has a blade attachment that makes strips but not the spirals that give the veggies that spaghetti look… so, I took myself off to Compliments To The Chef in Saratoga Springs to look at spiral slicers.  After having a very nice conversation with John, the owner, about growing up in the restaurant business (it’s kind of a brother/sisterhood), John recommended the Paderno, Spiral Vegetable Slicer.   I am now the proud owner.  (Good job on THAT sale John!).  After getting it home, I spiraled radishes, made noodles out of carrots and ribbons out of apples.  It was easy to clean and use and I felt ready to get serious and cook something…. golden beets.

3 large golden beets and leaves

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pat of good butter

1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

A couple shakes of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar

Goat cheese to crumble over the top

Salt and pepper

Boil a pot of salted water.  Peel and spiral cut the raw beets.  Cut the large vein out of the beet greens and tear the remaining greens into bite size pieces. Blanche the greens in the boiling water until tender and remove from the pot with a slotted spoon. Add the spiral cut beets and blanche until tender. Remove from the water and set aside to drain.  In a large sauté pan, add olive oil and butter and sauté the beets and greens.  Add the cinnamon, pecans, and vinegar.  Salt and pepper to taste and toss together.  Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese.

FullSizeRender - Copy (22)This is so good, bright and tasty, it will make your head spin! Pasta? What pasta?