Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Seasonal Kitchen, Pittsford, NY

We tried a new adventure last week:

The Seasonal Kitchen Cooking School is located in a private home in Pittsford, NY, east of Rochester.

We chose to attend "Autumn in New York" from the fall schedule:

 Ginger is a fabulous cook, knowledgeable and entertaining!.  We were part of a group of 13 who attended the cooking lesson in her kitchen:

Ginger and her husband began these sessions in the 1980's and some of the guests this evening have been attending these classes for over 30 years!  We were saddened to hear that her husband recently passed away, but her daughter, Holly, was there to assist.   Holly is a certified sommelier, offers wine pairing meals/classes and also writes a column for the local newspaper.

It's always fun to watch someone else prepare a meal and Ginger was engaging, enjoyable and amusing.

The cocktail she prepared was so different and refreshing that I will also make it for our Thanksgiving gathering in a few weeks!

The cider fondue was creamy and tasty and served with apple slices, bread and kielbasa "fingers". We enjoyed this appetizer and the cocktail in her living room as she set the dining room buffet table with our dinner.

The dinner was served buffet style: Roasted bacon-wrapped pork loin, mashed squash and potato combo and spiked orange-cranberry sauce!

We all served ourselves and returned to her cozy country kitchen to enjoy the delicious meal!

This was such a delightful evening and a unique adventure for us. We received recipes of each of the foods prepared and look forward to trying these recipes on our own!

Have you ever attended anything like this?

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Monday, October 20, 2014

A Kitchen Weekend…and a recipe for Pickled Beets

It was a cold weekend in central NY, so I spent a lot of time in the kitchen.

It was a perfect weekend for Beef Stew….

….I picked the last of my herbs and dried them….

...I made some herbal vinegars...

…I roasted some fresh asparagus for dinner last night...

…and I tried a new recipe for Pickled Beets!

 Pickled Beets with Orange and Rosemary:
Peel and wash 2 lbs beets.  
Boil them in about 1/2" water until tender and pack them into 2 pint jars with a small sprig of rosemary and  a strip of orange zest.

In a saucepan, mix and bring to a boil: 2/3 c fresh orange juice, 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 c white wine vinegar, 1t kosher salt:

Pour hot liquid over the beets and seal with canning lids.  Best eaten after 3 days!

I have a stack of "new" recipes to try and a "Pinterest file" full of other recipes to try….and I don't think there is enough time to prepare half of them!!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apple Picking at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard

One of my favorite things about fall in central NY is apple picking.

Our favorite orchard is Beak & Skiff in Lafayette.

They have a cafe, a gift shop, a wine/vodka/gin tasting room, a bakery ...

...and beautiful views.

The chicken salad is the best, with apples, grapes, walnut and cranberries!

They have a variety of wines to taste - my favorite was the light and crisp hard cider.

A tractor ride takes you into the orchards to pick your own apples.

We picked cortlands and empires.

It's always fun to crawl up inside the trees to pick the best!

Even Mom got into it...

and my husband, John:

It was a perfectly warm, breezy day...

…and we picked lots of apples:

The gift shop was loaded with apple cider... cider donuts….

...caramel apples...

…and cinnamon apples...

"An apple a day…."

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Cork Wall

REPOST of a popular idea from 2012:

We love wine. We are certainly not wine connoisseurs, nor do we buy expensive wines, but we enjoy a glass now and then!
This is the area in my kitchen that I set up as a "bar" when we entertain. I HATE the plugs!
So last year I came up with this solution:
But I was "itching" to do something with all our corks:
I went to Home Depot and found a cute employee (this is where flirting helps) and had him cut some wood.   I began gluing on the corks....

And I made this temporary wall that can be removed very easily by the wing nut that holds it up.
Just perfect! I used over 800 corks and still have many left.
Now I want to make a wreath with the rest of the corks and I think I will pour myself a glass of wine!

Here are updated photos of the same wall 4 years later:

I finally made the cork wreath:

and also a thin cork bulletin board:

My daughter also has fun creating with corks and recently made this wall hanging, an idea she saw on Pinterest:

So, save your corks!!

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