ROSEMARY RAISIN PECAN CRISPS (BISCOTTI)


    At a recent party I attended at my friend Marcy’s house another guest brought a most unusual appetizer.  They were very thin savory biscotti.  Mary served them with an herbed marscapone spread but I liked them best unadorned.  These are really extraordinary and unusual little crisps. 

You can serve them alone as an appetizer, with a goat cheese or cream cheese spread or in a bread basket to accompany a soup or salad.  I tracked down the maker of the "crisps" who turned out to be Mary and she not only agreed to part with the recipe, she also allowed me to publish it.



[recipe difficulty=”easy]

Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps


2 c flour 2 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

2 c. buttermilk

¼ c. brown sugar

¼ c. honey

1 c. raisins or cranberries or currants (I use currants)

½ c. chopped pecans

½ c. toasted pumpkin seeds

¼ c. sesame seeds

¼ c. flax seeds

1 t. chopped rosemary


  1. Stir together flour, soda and salt. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, honey and stir. Add raisins, pecans, pumpkin sesame flaxseed and rosemary. Stir until well blended.
  2. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake 45 min.
  3. Cool on rack and let sit a day or two.
  4. Slice thinly (1/4 inch tops). Spread on cookie sheets and bake @300 for 15 min. Turn and bake another 15 min until crisp. Watch carefully and do not overcook.  It should just start getting brown.  It will continue to crisp up after you take it out.  But it can burn very quickly.



Pumpkin, flax, sesame, poppy, molasses

Cranberries, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, flax, honey, brown sugar, sesame seeds

Figs, pumpkin seeds, flax, kalamata olives, sesame seeds, brown sugar, honey







Craving comfort food? I love this standby recipe for multi-grain bread that I’ve been making for a couple of years. It’s very easy if you use a bread maker. I always remove my bread dough before the second rising and bake it in the oven. This bread tastes better a day or even two days later. It’s such flavorful bread that it doesn’t need any butter. The secret is adding scallions that have been fried briefly in olive oil.   And the other secret is using Bob’s Red Mill 8 Grain Cereal. 
4 scallions chopped up or about ¼ cup
2 Tbs olive oil
1 package instant rise yeast
1/2 cup 8 grain cereal (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 1/2 cup bread flour
1  cup graham or light whole wheat flour or bread flour
2 Tbs. toasted wheat germ
1 Tbs. ground flaxseed
Salt to taste
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. molasses
1 cup warm water
1.       Briefly fry the scallions in olive oil to soften but don’t brown them. Let cool.
2.      To the bread maker add the rest of the ingredients starting with the yeast and ending with the water. Add scallions before the water.
3.      Switch on the bread maker and let it go through the first kneading and rising cycle. If you’re an experienced bread maker you’ll know what the consistency of the dough should be. It may need to be adjusted with a little more water or flour. It should come together in a ball that is went enough that when you squeeze it with your fingers, it is just a little sticky.
4.      After it has risen to about double (one hour), punch down, remove from the bread maker and put into a loaf pan that has been liberally spread with olive oil. Grease the top of the bread with olive oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Put in warm, draft free spot to rise.
5.      After 45 minutes start your oven heating at 400 ? 
6.      After the bread has risen for an hour check to make sure it is nicely risen above the rim of the loaf pan. (See picture below).
7.      Carefully place in hot oven and reduce to 375 ?. Bake for about 30 minutes or until beginning to brown and fully baked.
 Risen bread right before baking




[recipe difficulty=”easy”]
This is my mother's recipe from memories of her childhood.  I don't think anyone else uses sweetened condensed milk but wait until you taste this!   We eat this for dessert and also for breakfast and snacks. It lasts a few days in the fridge and gets better as the flavors of the fruit mix together.  Though nuts and raisins are classic muesli ingredients, our kids prefered it without nuts and raisins.  Experiment and enjoy!
     This recipe is approximate quantities. You need to play around with the proportion of liquid to oatmeal since it depends on how juicy the fruit is. This quantity serves 8-10.
Mix together:
3 cups instant (1 minute) oatmeal
1 1/2   cup boiling water
1/3  can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk). You can use the “no fat” variety.
Add and stir frequently:
 2-4 large oranges, peeled, seeded and cut up.
2-3 apples cut into small pieces
2-3 bananas, sliced
Strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, pears (the more fruit the better: (all optional)
Nuts, raisins or other dried fruit (optional)
Juice from 1 lemon
Stir well and add more liquid (cider, OJ or water ) if necessary. Then let sit several hours or overnight, refrigerated. Add more liquid if it’s too gloppy. It really needs an overnight standing time in the fridge in order for the consistency to be correct.




Leftover turkey has many tasty reincarnations. Turkey barley congee is one of my favorites that I make every year after Thanksgiving. It starts off by using the turkey carcass to make a rich broth. Congee is a nourishing and healthy one dish meal which I’ve adapted from the recipe of one of my favorite cookbooks: A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible, health-giving recipes from Asian kitchen, by Nina Simonds. She references the healthful or medicinal qualities of each recipe so you feel good about what you serve your family and guests.
Adapted from the cookbook, “A Spoonful of Ginger” by Nina Simonds.
For the broth:
1 Turkey carcass from the Thanksgiving dinner
12 cups water
1 peeled onion
1 celery stalk
1 slice ginger
For the marinade:
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 ½ Tbs rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
For the soup:
1 pound or more leftover turkey meat, cut into bite size pieces or use uncooked turkey meat. if you don’t have leftovers.
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 cup whole grain or pearl barley, rinsed and drained.  (whole grain barley is healthier)
3 carrots,  peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
3 stalks celery , cut into ¼ inch dice
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tsp.-1 Tbs.   grated fresh ginger (depending on how much you like ginger)
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced (fresh) or/and dried shitake:  5-6 reconstituted in water
1-2 cans chicken or turkey broth as needed (optional:  see note).
  1. Combine the broth ingredients and bring to boil in large pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for an hour.  Strain and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the marinade, add turkey and coat with marinade. Refrigerate.
  3. Fry onions in oil or butter until soft and lightly brown and set aside.
  4. Fry mushrooms in butter or olive oil until lightly browned and set aside.
  5. Add barley to the strained broth and cook for 45 minutes. If necessary, add more water or broth.
  6. Add carrots and celery (and turkey meat if it is uncooked) and cook another 15 minutes, checking to make sure there is enough liquid.
  7. Add browned onions, cooked turkey, rice wine, browned mushrooms and grated ginger and cook another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  8. Taste for seasoning and add more broth if necessary and a little sesame oil to taste.
Note: This is meant to be a thick, porridge like soup. I prefer it a little soupier and so I have some broth set aside to add if necessary.







I found this great cranberry-quince chutney recipe which would be perfect to spice up your Thanksgiving feast. It was published in Food and Wine Magazine's November issue and I’ve already made it twice. These are the two minor changes I made: Because I couldn’t find fresh or frozen whole cranberries, I used the dried sweetened variety and only added ½ cup. The other addition I would recommend is to add cayenne (or red) pepper to give it a nice little kick. If you can’t find quinces, substitute more apples. Click on the link and adapt it as you see like:

QUINCE-CRANBERRY CHUTNEY, adapted from Food and Wine magazine

Ø      Apples for quinces if you can’t find quinces
Ø      Sweetened dried cranberries instead of fresh cranberries
Ø      Add cayenne pepper according to taste




The following cheese producers will have open houses at their farms:
  • Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery
  • Northland Sheep Dairy
  • Side Hill Acres
  • Sunset View Creamery
  • Finger Lakes Farmstead Cheese
  • Cowlick Farms
  • Lively Run Goat Farm
  • Muranda Cheese Company
A Benefit to support Share Our Strength: Operation Frontline
Tuesday October 13th at the Carriage Toni House
1330 Danby Road
Ithaca, NewYork 14850   
Tuesday October 27th at La Tourelle Resort and Spa
Thursday November 12th at Celebrations
$75 per person or $185 per person if you sign up for all three
Sunday October 25th 2:30-5:30 At the Women’s Community Building
Admission: $5 per person
  • Meet farmers
  • Learn about the farms
  • Taste Samples
  • Purchase Meat
  • Recipes and Demonstrations
Contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County at 607-272-2292






U-PICKS (and also grapes and raspberries)
     Ithaca is apple heaven.   We do have the greatest apples here. My favorite apple source is BLACK DIAMOND FARM. They sell their apples at the Ithaca Farmers market.  And have a great web site showcasing each variety.  Every year I look forward to September and October when this farm sells their rare and heirloom varieties. The tiny treasures called Chestnut Crab are a perfect blend of crisp, flavorful and sweet. They also have other favorites with names you’ve never heard of like Engremont Russet. They have samples at the Farmers Market and if you haven’t yet visited their booth I would recommend you go and check them out. Nowhere else on earth can some of these varieties be found (at least nowhere that I know of) and these are apples that have a short shelf life so they can’t easily be transported and sold elsewhere. You need to get these babies locally!!!
 APPLES is one of the truly great wonders of Ithaca. We have Indian Creek and Little Tree Orchards where small trees are perfect for harvesting. It’s a great family activity. You can also harvest the “drops” and use them to make cider. The cider in Ithaca is also terrific. Cornell Orchards has the best in my opinion.  
New York State is the second largest producer of Apples in the United States: Washington State being number one. Cornell University has been a leading research institution in the development of new apple varieties. The Cortland apple was named at Cornell in 1915, The Macoun was named in 1923. The Empire apple, a cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh was developed in 1966. Libertywas developed in 1978 and Jonagold, a hybrid between Jonathans and Golden Delicious was named at Cornell in 1968.

U-PICKS Available NOW
345 Shaffer Rd.
Newfield, NY 14867
Apples, pears, raspberries
1408 Trumansburg Rd. (Rt. 96)
Ithaca, NY 14850
Apples, tomatoes
Silver Queen Farm
5386 Stillwell Rd.
Trumansburg, NY14886
1104 Auburn Rd.
Groton, NY 13073
20 varieties of apples
1347 Goose St.
Locke, NY
Apples (many varieties)
Davis Farms
5260 Peach Orchard Point
Hector, NY 14841
Apples, grapes
(U-pick is on State Rt. 414 near the intersection of Peach Orchard Pt.)
Glendale Farm
4590 State Route 414
Burdett, NY 14818
Organic Concord and Catawba grapes
Hoffmire Farms
6515 State Route 227
Trumansburg, NY 14886
Reisinger’s Apple Country
2750 Apple La.
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Apples, raspberries
Twin Oaks Farms
5557 State Route 414
Hector, NY 14841
Apples, Concord grapes (last weekend 10/3-4),
Wagner Farms
1678 County Road 137
Valois, NY 14841
Concord and Niagra grapes,
2673 Sand Hill Rd.
Penn Yan, NY 14527
5876 State Route 14
Dundee, NY 14837
Apples, grapes (table and juice)

The following recipe was passed out a few years ago by Jackie Sherwin of Black Diamond Farm.  I adapted the original recipe which was from the cookbook: An Apple Harvest-Recipes and Orchard Lore, by Frank Browning and Sharon Silva
4-5 tart apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup dried apricots chopped
1 cup golden raisins
6-7 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
2 tsp. grated and peeled fresh ginger
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cider or red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
In a non-reactive pot (not aluminum or iron) combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer, stirring often.  Add more vinegar if necessary to prevent burning.  Cook for about 30 minutes until the apples are softened and the mixture is thickened.  Taste and add more salt, sugar or vinegar if necessary. 
Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  Spoon into sterile jars and cover tightly.  Refrigerate for several days and up to two weeks to allow flavors to mellow.  This chutney can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 months.
 We have several trees of tasty apples that don’t look that great since they haven’t been sprayed.  They are perfect for making applesauce and this is one of the easiest ways to turn lots of apples into a delicious dessert. 
Core your apples (I use about 4 pounds in a 12 cup slow cooker) and cut them into large chunks.  Quartering them works for smallish apples.  Add add 1/2 cup water or apple cider and some honey and cinnamon.  Thats all.  Just turn it on to high and wait about 3 hours.  Check and see if the apples are soft and cooked down.  If not, keep cooking them and check again.  Taste for flavor and add more sugar or cinnamon as needed.  Then let cool and put the apples through a food mill. 



This recipe is adapted from a Gourmet recipe (September 1998).  It is beautiful and uses cherry tomatoes,garlic and basil, several crops that are prolific right now.  The changes I made were to cut out the stick of butter from the custard filling, add  more basil and also add some roasted garlic that is all pureed together in a food processor with the egg and goat cheese.  I also subsituted no-fat Greek yogurt for the sour cream.  This is elegant and really delicious.  It can also be eaten at room temperature or heated up.





FOOD AND WINE magazine has a wonderful corn pudding recipe that I tried tonight. It’s a “keeper”. I cut down on the butter; actually I just left it out.  And instead of 6 eggs, I used 4 because I wanted more corn flavor.  The corn is so sweet and tasty now…it’s the perfect time to try this recipe.  The cornmeal settles on the bottom so that it serves as a crust.  I loaded up with sweet Mayan onions. If you want a more elegant presentation try using muffin tins or what I did which was quite simple was to use a small cup as a cookie cutter and carved out single portions.  The picture shows this single portion presentation using chervil as a garnish.




I  love home grown cucumbers.  There is absolutely no relation to the tasteless varieties you find most of the year in the supermarkets.  These are a Chinese variety called Suyo Long. They are crunchy, flavorful and sweet  with tiny seeds. We bought the seeds from Johnny's Seed Catalogue.  

  This is the first year our cucumbers plants  haven't been gobbled up by the rabbits and woodchucks or blighted by one of the many diseases that attack cucumbers.  So now we are in cucumber heaven.  The best thing to do with these is to eat them sliced with a little salt.   Here are some of the simple and great things I do with cucumbers when I want to do something a little more exotic.



Stay simple with cucumbers and don't salt them until the last minute.  This Greek preparation combines small cubes of cucumber and the same size cubes of good quality Feta cheese and chopped dill.  Right before serving add the salt and toss with a really good olive oil.

Tomato and cucumber salad

This preparation is Middle Eastern.  This is the salad eaten in Arab and Israeli families because where you can eat amazing cucumbers and tomatoes most of the year. This salad is great stuffed into a pita with hummus and tahini. I  make this salad with small cubes of tomato and cucumber, salt and finished with olive oil again.  But in the Middle East you'll see this salad with lots of parsley and scallion and lemon juice.  When you have perfect tomatoes and cucumbers for only a couple months around here, I want to enjoy them unadorned.

Cucumbers and Carrots with Miso Dip

 Remember Kayuga Japanese Restaurant on Eddy Street?  We were frequent flyers there and I liked their miso dip so much that I asked for the recipe.  I was rewarded with a little piece of paper on which was written the ingredients but not the quantities.  In the true spirit of intuitive  cooking I'll also pass along the basic ingredients and method and then leave it up to the reader to concoct their own version.  Start with 1/2 cup of Sake and 1/4 cup of mirin.  Boil together until reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Turn off the heat and add miso a little at a time starting with a heaping tablespoon.  The trick to miso is not to boil it.  I use white miso in this recipe, but you can experiment with different types of miso.  You'll want the consistency to be like ketchup.  It will thicken once cooled.  Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a few shakes of roasted sesame seeds.  Then taste.  If you want it sweeter, add a pinch of sugar.  This lasts for several days in the fridge. 

Miso can be found in many grocery stores.  Greenstar has it in bulk in the back of their store so you can buy small quantities  and  experiment with different types of miso.  Wegmans has tubs of miso in the cooler section which also containes seitan and tofu.