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Showing posts from November, 2012

Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery, Valatie, NY

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We had my husband's friend from grad school in from Ohio for Thanksgiving last week, and we really showed him a tour of the area. We took him to Bennington, Cooperstown, and down to the Poughkeepsie train station - all in a three day period. On our way down the the train station, we passed the Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery, and I was so excited to see where that was I actually did a U turn.




The Harvest Farm Distillery seems most famous in this area for making applejack. The applejack is very tasty, and for a dollar per taste you can try that or any of their other products: grappa, rare pear brandy, peach applejack (which we liked a lot more than we thought we would), or Core vodka. If you return your empty bottle from any of their products to them you receive a free shot glass. If you return two empty bottles, you receive a very cool looking brandy glass. If you return three empty bottles you get a surprise (I think you get nothing). Here's a look at inside their tasting roo…

Thanksgiving at Our House

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Our Thanksgiving festivities really started on Tuesday night when I drove up to Oscar's Adirondack Smokehouse in Warrensburg to pick up our boneless half ham. It easily fed five adults and two kids with plenty leftover. It was an easy drive from Saratoga where I am now working, and the shop was very cool to visit. They have all kinds of cured meats, cheeses, and sauces. I also picked up some summer sausage that we added to our charcuterie plate (filled with other goodies from The Cheese Traveler). My new coworkers seemed to find my ham errand very funny and referred to me as a courier (as one is to valuable paintings that travel from an art museum). They also asked me if I put a seat belt around the ham, which wouldn't have been that crazy considering how great their products are. It was a really delicious ham, and totally worth the trip up there (you can also purchase Oscar's products at Roma Foods and Cardona's). Rounding out our Thanksgiving table (what no turkey?)…

Revolution Hall Wedding Reception, Troy

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A couple years ago Revolution Hall stopped being a venue for concerts and became a private events space. Now you can have your wedding there!

We went to a wedding reception there last night. There was a totally awesome photo booth the groom and his friend built. Here was the result.


We had such a great time! They are such an amazing couple! Also, I still love weddings. I'm the type of girl who wishes there was a Valentine's Day every month. At this moment, I am checking out a "Bridezillas" marathon. I have to admit to still checking out Ruffled and Style Me Pretty when I'm totally bored or stressed. I will also admit to having the impulse to buy a Martha Stewart Weddings magazine once in a while, but resisting the urge. Perhaps I'm meant to be a crafty, low-key, totally personalized wedding planner. I do seem to have kicked the David Tutera habit completely, so that is something. I don't think weddings should be about materialism, weight loss, or conformi…

Saratoga Spice and Salsa Company

I have been a huge fan of Saratoga Spice and Salsa Company for years (or as we call it, the hot sauce store in Saratoga). Recently I mentioned it to Deanna of Silly Goose Farm, and it was a shame that she didn't know what I was talking about. It is an awesome little store in the middle of town with more kinds of hot sauce than you might even know existed. They have a tasting booth set up, and in the past when we weren't able to decide which one to get, we were able to try all of the hot sauces and get a sense of it before making a commitment (as a sly marketing move they also sell bottles of water now).

Here are some things we've tried and really enjoyed from there:

Marie Sharp's Hot Habanero sauce because it has carrots in it, which sweetly complement the heat just a bit. Their own salsas are very good including the Tequila Lime, and regular medium level heat salsa. I am pretty sure we once tried a red wine salsa they made, but I don't see it listed on their websit…

Fancy Brunch Party

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I've long wanted to have a fancy brunch party. We've got a lot of cookbooks, and I read about things that sounds fabulous and laborious like stratas, frittatas, and quiches. Are you really going to wake up on the weekend and start rolling out a pie crust? No, no you are not. I have made in the past mushroom ricotta crepes, cinnamon buns with buttermilk icing, and the first thing I ever cooked on my own from scratch was a goat cheese and leek quiche. Well, we all know the best thing to motivate you to cook fancy things is to invite other people over, and what is more fun than a fancy brunch? Here's someone who likes the idea as much as I do. Martha Stewart also has some ideas, and I love them all.

My friend Katie and her boyfriend came over, and I set up a spread of things that could easily be made ahead of time. I don't think having people over for brunch would work as well if you were off flipping pancakes and folding omelets while your friend is talking about their …

Sad Desk Lunches

I'm here to say that real life is not as beautiful as Tastespotting. How does that make us all feel? Inferior? Pathetic? Like we don't plan out our meals well enough or make them look beautiful enough? I didn't really want to write a "How Emily Really Eats" post for the From Scratch Club series. Why not, you ask? Because it might be like "I had a hard boiled egg, a Special K Protein shake, and then my husband prepared a beautiful roast chicken dinner, and we had a fabulous Pinot Gris from the Finger Lakes". There are things to be embarrassed about, like eating lunch at your desk. There is even a chick lit novel called "Sad Desk Salad".

This is why I love so much the tumblr Sad Desk Lunch. The reason it is so much fun is because it is honest. I love it. It makes me feel great in a way that Pinterest can make me feel bad (if you haven't read it, check out this great New York Times article on the topic).

This Weekend was great because...

This Weekend was great because:

It started out with a gathering at Brown's, where we had some tasty beer, some ridiculous nachos, saw some old friends, and met some interesting new people (including a romance novel writer and her daughter who has an interest in liberal arts colleges).The movie "The Master" at the Spectrum 8 (very interesting) and delicious fish and some great tempura at Sake Cafe in Slingerlands. Scott was so impressed this time that he thought it beat out his favorite sushi place in Queens.Fabulous autumn arugula salad at New World Bistro, a place for us that always seems to be filled with goodwill. When the food runner we don't normally see says "Hey guys, I remember when you got engaged!" (2 years ago), that is community love right there. Of course the food there is great, but its the people who really put it over the top.From Scratch Club food swap! Which is of course great because I scored some of my friend Sandy's cupcakes and deli…

Mark Bittman's Quick Braised Carrots

Check out my post on From Scratch Club!

Club Helsinki, Hudson

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The week before last week, we went to the Magnetic Fields show at Club Helsinki in Hudson. I hadn't really been to Hudson before outside of an Amtrak car, and I'd always heard great things about it. You can just get tickets to see the music, but it is way classier to get a table and eat dinner while you watch the show. Also, the menu is great. It is Southern inspired and makes use of local, seasonal ingredients.


I got their first and ordered a glass of Pinor Noir which was very tasty, and some of the fried okra with a Cajun remoulade to start. I happen to love okra done right, and this dish had a nice corn meal crust which wasn't greasy at all. I took in the surroundings, like what I imagine the Copacabana to have been like in some far off past decade.


Scott showed up and we got some of the delicious beers from nearby Chatham Brewing. For dinner, I got the Helsinki burger, which was really juicy and "topped with applewood smoked bacon,  roasted portobello, carmelize…