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Farro Salad with dried cranberries

Farro is an ancient Italian grain, typically grown in Umbria. Despite its nutritionally beneficial nature, farro is a good base for many dishes (both sweet and savory). I like to make a big bowl of it on a Sunday, and then use it as a base to take it in many different directions throughout the week.


  • 3 cups farro
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled (or not), cut in half; and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 2 celery ribs, with leaves if possible, cut in half; and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • ½ large onion, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • ½ lb. kale, center stem removed, chopped (4 packed cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts

To make farro: In a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottom pot, bring well-salted water, to a rolling boil. Add farro, stir and allow to cook until desired consistency is reached. I prefer al dente (to the tooth). Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté diced onion, carrots, and celery (lightly seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper) until onions are translucent and celery/carrots are tender, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

Add kale, season it with salt/pepper, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until just wilted, stirring throughout the cooking.

Reduce heat to medium, and stir in garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook 1 minute, being careful to not brown the garlic.

Add farro, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, or until warmed through.

Remove from heat, and stir in dried cranberries and pine nuts.  Test for flavor and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Italian Vinaigrette.. shhh it’s a secret!


Below is a “secret recipe” from a beloved restaurant source – – I cannot name the source, as I was sworn to secrecy; but I will share it here.

Sometimes I blend it together (whisk) as is with the ingredients; but it is good put into a blender and used a “sauce” over grilled meats and/or vegetables. One friend enjoys it as a dipping sauce for good crusty bread. The photo shows the vinaigrette blended into a sauce.



  • 1 cup red wine vinegar, best quality
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 quart extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced, or pasted
  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 2 ounces capers, drained and rinsed


In a good-sized bowl, combine vinegar, salt, pepper, and dry mustard; whisking until salt and mustard are completely combined.

Slowly pour olive oil into vinegar, whisking until a nice emulsion forms.

Gently stir in the remaining ingredients.

Store in a well sealed glass container. Bring to room temperature before using and give it a slight re-stir to recombine ingredients.

Note:  This also can be blended into a wholly combined sauce.


New Content on its way!

Stay tuned…..

Basil Pasta

Fall is in the air (well kinda) and this is a good way to use up what is left of the vine tomatoes. Adding fresh herbs such as basil, fresh oregano, garlic and crushed red pepper keeps the dish bright and with a little “zing.”  Finished off by folding in small pieces of fresh mozzarella and fresh parsley makes this worth it.

basil pasta

Denning’s Point Distillery – – A Beacon gem


Denning’s Point Distillery is contained within an urban production space in Beacon, NY. They offer tours and tastings. You can learn about their distillation process and enjoy their spirits which come from NY state agricultural grains. They offer Viskill Vodka made from NY state wheat, Denning’s Point White Rye and a limited edition rare find 7 year old American whiskey.



10 No. Chestnut Street

Beacon, NY


Fridays: 2 – 8, tasting room only

Saturdays: 2 – 8, tours & tastings (tours on the hour)

Sundays: 2 – 6, tours & tastings (tours on the hour)


Keenan House posts new hours

Keenan House

The Keenan House in Ossining has posted new hours. They are now open seven-day a week and offer delivery.

Hours are:

  • Monday  – Thursday 12pm-10pm
  • Friday – Saturday 12pm-11pm
  • Sunday 12pm-9pm

Happy Hours Tuesday thru Sunday between 3pm-6pm

Happy Hours Mondays all day 12pm-10pm

They deliver every day 12pm-9pm

199 Main Street

Ossining, NY 10562


Drink More Good!


A beverage you should know about, if you do not already! This is locally hand-crafted using only the best spices and aromatics.

Drink More Good was founded in late 2012 by Jason Schuler, with one goal in mind – to make the world a better place. They use locally sourced and organic ingredients to create old-fashioned & hand-crafted soda syrups, tea and tisane concentrates, and cocktail bitters.


Their mission is simple: global impact through local success. More Good syrups are designed to mix with seltzer water and createa home-made soda that is half the sugar and half the calories of main stream sodas, with no preservatives and no high-fructose cornsyrup. They also cross purpose in culinary applications for use in marinades, glazes, baking, and even as cocktail mixers.


The More Good brick & mortar expansion is a hybrid of production facility and retail operation. On the retail side, they combined a spice station with barman supply shop and currently offer over 100 different herbs, spices, barks, flowers, & salts, 50 different favors and varieties of cocktail bitters, an array of bar accoutrements, and 16 different blends or organic and fair trade tea. There is also a bitters and soda tasting bar and library/communal workstation with free wi-fi, coffee, tea, and craft soda service.


To help make our positive impact on the world, they have pledged 10% of their net profit as well as a minimum of $4,000 per year through two annual fundraisers to their partner non-profit, Generosity Water. In their first seven months of business they raised over $6,500 for Generosity Water and funded their first sustainable water well that now provides clean water to a community of over 1,000 people in Haiti.

4 5

We recommend this delicious beverage and love the fact that they are giving back.

You can purchase Drink More Good online and at various retail locations and farmers markets. 


Last minute thought…..

Holy Smoke BBQ is open tomorrow on July 4th – – given the weather forecast, it maybe a good option and they have an immense selection of brews. Happy 4th!



241 New York 6N

Mahopac, NY 10541
(845) 628-9795

Easy Chinese Spare Ribs

This is essentially a “one pot… or should we say, a one sheet tray” dish. All you need is a few flavor packed ingredients, and a food processor, baking sheet and oven to make these delectable treats.

roasted ribsFINAL

** Note: feel free to double the sauce to keep on hand for dipping of other meats and veggies throughout the week.


  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek, Sriacha, or other spicy chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 rack pork spare ribs, silver skin removed, cut into thirds lengthwise
  • Kosher Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  3. In a food processor, pulse ketchup, hoisin, chili sauce, vinegar, scallions, and ginger until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.
  4. Season ribs with salt and coat both sides with sauce. Roast, bone side down, until ribs are tender but not falling off the bone, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. Cut into single ribs and serve with a side dish of your choice.

spare ribsFINAL

sauced ribsFINAL

Vegetable Biryani — vibrant spices and flavorful

This is a popular dish in India and surrounding countries. There are many variations of Biryani but it is a basically a mixture of rice, herbs, spices, and other flavors as desired. Ideas for altering spices to your liking include cloves, ginger, saffron, and mint.

Vegetable Biryani


  •  2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • ¾ cup basmati rice
  • 1 carrot
  • 8 ounces Idaho potato
  • 2 cups peas (frozen, then thawed, are perfect for this)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated (peeled) ginger  – optional
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine and mix in a small bowl, the cumin, coriander, and turmeric.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium pan over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add 1½  teaspoons spice mix, cinnamon stick, golden raisins, cinnamon stick, cardamom and basmati rice. Stir to coat. Add 1¼ cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Then cover and place in oven on bottom rack until rice is tender and water is evaporated, 15 – 17 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

Meanwhile, wash carrot and potatoes. Peel carrot and cut into ½-inch dice. Cut potatoes into ½-inch dice. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt. Arrange in a single layer and place in oven on rack above rice. Roast until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, thaw peas in a small bowl. Peel onion and cut into small dice. Set aside.

Wipe pan from rice clean with paper towel. Add remaining butter and heat over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add remaining spice mix and diced onion, and ginger if using. Cook, stirring often, until spices are fragrant and onion is soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.

Add roasted potatoes and carrots to pan with onion. Stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add ⅓ cup water and cover pan. Increase heat to high and cook, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.

Discard cinnamon stick and cardamom pods from rice. Add rice, slivered almonds, and peas to pan with vegetables. Stir until rice is heated through and almonds are toasted, about 3-4 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Divide biryani evenly between 2 bowls.

Serve immediately.

Note: This recipe can be doubled for additional servings

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