Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tonight's Dinner

I go to the farmer’s market on Saturday to pick up all things local, but today I came home with something exotic. Dave Falkowski of Open Minded Organics is selling not only his own fresh mushrooms but a dazzling variety of dried mushrooms from boutique producers in Oregon. Ask him if you can smell some of them. He won’t think it’s strange. Also ask for recipe ideas. I'm sure he has a million. Jack used an ounce of dried porcini to make this delicious risotto for dinner.

Porcini Risotto

Serves 4

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion
Ground black pepper
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

1. Warm 6 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Place the porcini in a medium bowl and cover them with 2 cups of the warm water. Soak until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Carefully lift the mushrooms from the liquid and wash them under cold running water if they feel gritty. Chop them coarsely and seet them aside.
2. Strain the porcini soaking liquid through a fine strainer and return it to the saucepan with the remaining 4 cups of water. Keep the liquid warm over low heat.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the rice and cook, still stirring, for another minute.
4. Add ½ cup of the warm liquid and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue adding warm liquid in 1-cup increments, always stirring, until the rice is al dente. If you run out of liquid, heat up some water and continue to add it to the pot until the rice is done.
5. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the cheese. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chives. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thank You Everyone

It's been almost a month since I started posting here, and I'd just like to take a moment to thank all of my readers for your enthusiasm and encouragement. I've gotten a ton of e-mails and phone calls. I have been stopped at the Farmer's market, at dancing school, and at the IGA by people with ideas and opinions about my posts. Gwen from the Wharf Shop even chased me down the street to let me know that I forgot to include baking soda in the chocolate sprinkle cookie recipe (I've added it. Thanks!).

Many of you have told me that you have wanted to post comments, but were unable to do so because you don't have a Google account. Will I sound like the Google zombie I've become if I encourage you to get one, so your comments can be made public (it takes just seconds and costs nothing)? In any case, keep e-mailing--it took me about 2 hours to figure out how to add the e-mail feature to the front page, so I'm glad people are using it. I've loved every one of your shopping tips and recipes ideas.

Thanks, also, to Annette Hinkle at the Sag Harbor Express for such a nice article. The paper is a local treasure, I never miss an issue, and I was honored to be included this week. The paper's website will soon include a link to Sag Harbor Days, and we've talked about my blog recipes beginning to appear regularly in print. A dream come true!

And thanks to Schiavoni's IGA. When I was shopping there yesterday (lentils, cereal, a loaf of Bread Alone's 7-grain bread) as I do almost every day, I noticed this sign near the checkout for the first time and thought it would be perfect for today's post.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Dinner with George Washington

We were invited to the Elementary School today to view “A Revolutionary Retrospective.” This clever fourth grade play was staged as a dinner party. The guests were the most important figures of the American Revolution, including Molly Pitcher, Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Benedict Arnold. The dinner party conversation revealed their parts in the Revolution. I learned that George Washington lost more battles than he won and that King George spent the last 12 years of his life in a purple bathrobe. What a clever way to dramatize American history! But we did get hungry as the play progressed.

Luckily, there was a party afterwards, with an impressive spread. I contributed a platter of some of my favorite chocolate chip cookies.

Hazelnut Espresso Chip Cookies
Makes about 48 cookies

I drive all the way to King Kullen in Bridgehampton to buy Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips, but it’s worth the trip for the flavor and richness that they add. Melting the butter (rather than softening it) gives them the chewy texture that I like.

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups skinned and chopped hazelnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Cream the cooled melted butter and sugars together together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, if you are using them. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes (or for up to 6 hours) to let the dough firm up.
4. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie (Balls of dough may be placed next to each other on parchment-lined baking sheets, frozen, transferred to zipper-lock plastic freezer bags, and stored in the freezer for up to 1 month. Frozen cookies may be placed in the oven directly from the freezer and baked as directed.)
5. Bake the cookies until golden around the edges but still soft on top, 9 to 11 mintues (a minute or two longer for frozen dough). Let the cookies stand on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then remove them with a metal spatula to a wire rack to cool completely. Hazelnut Espresso Chip Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

Bulletin: First Pint of Local Strawberries Purchased in Sag Harbor Today

Well, I was wrong yesterday about being a week or two away from strawberry season. Bette and Dale's is growing some early varieties, and picking started today. I went to their stand (Bette & Dale's, 1726 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike) for some salad this morning, and walked away with their very first pint. Quantities are limited now (there will be more in the next week or two), so stop by early. Same goes for the Farmers' Market on Saturday (9 to 12 on Bay Streeet), where the berries are sure to sell out soon after the market opens.

Coming soon: My own recipe for Strawberry Shortcake

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Breaking News: New Bakery Opens in North Haven

My young neighbor across the bridge just recently opened for business. Here she is shown making her specialty, strawberry shortcake. I thought that local strawberries wouldn't be available for another week or two. Note to self: Track down her source.

Radishes, Part 2

After I made my radish leaf pesto a couple of days ago, I still had a dozen beautiful radishes to work with. So I made grilled chicken and radish tacos. They were so easy to put together, really good, and fun to eat. This recipe is definitely going into my regular rotation as long as local radishes are available.

Grilled Chicken and Radish Tacos
Serves 4

I bought my corn tortillas at Citarella's (they have a homemade flavor that the supermarket variety lack). To warm them, I put them on the grill, but you could wrap a stack in aluminum foil and heat them in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes instead.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 ½ pounds)
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon (or more or less to taste) canned chipotle chile, chopped
12 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
6 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
8 small corn tortillas
Sour cream

1. Preheat a gas grill to high. Brush the chicken with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with salt.
2. Whisk together the lime juice, sugar, and ginger in a large mixing bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and chile. Add the radishes and scallions and salt to taste.
3. Turn the heat down to medium-high and grill the chicken, grill cover closed, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Let the chicken rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes, slice thin, and toss with the dressed radishes. Serve with the tortillas and sour cream on the side.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dispatch from the Memorial Day Parade

The crowds turned out for today's parade, to honor our veterans and enjoy the sounds of the community band. Apologies for the mediocre photos. Celebrities like Matt Lauer kept jumping in front of my camera, preventing me from getting a clear view of the municipal building and the fire station.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Radishes, Part 1

I ran into a friend last week in the woods near Mount Misery and as we walked together chatting about food shopping and recipes, she shared a clever idea for using radish leaves to make pesto. As soon as the Sag Harbor Farmer’s Market opened yesterday morning, I ran over and bought a big bunch of radishes, tried it, and now I’m sharing it with you.

Radish Leaf Pesto
Makes about ½ cup pesto

To balance the (pleasant) bitterness of the radish leaves, I added some lemon zest to an otherwise traditional mix. You could use the pesto to sauce pasta, but since it was Memorial Day weekend I felt an obligation to grill something. I bought a flank steak and served the pesto on the side as a condiment for the meat. Really good. Thanks, Susie!

2 ½ cups radish leaves (from one large bunch of radishes), washed and stems trimmed
2 tablespoons pine nuts or almonds
1 garlic clove, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt or more to taste

1. Place the radish leaves, nuts, and garlic in the work bowl of a food processor. Process until the ingredients form a rough paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.
2. With the machine running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a thin stream.
3. Scrape the pesto into a small bowl. Stir in the cheese and salt. Radish Leaf Pesto will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Visit to the Express, with Muffins

Yesterday, Annette Hinkle from the Sag Harbor Express invited me over to the paper's office on Main Street to talk about my blog. I couldn't go empty-handed, so I brought her these muffins.

Lemon Ginger Corn Muffins
Makes 12

I've never forgotten the Bridge Creek Ginger Muffins in Marion Cunningham's The Breakfast Book, so I went back to her recipe to see what made them so memorable. I think her secret is heating the ginger with some sugar to release its flavor before mixing it into her muffin batter. So I did the same, and added it to my corn muffin batter, with a healthy amount of grated lemon zest for good measure. The IGA always has buttermilk, but you can substitute plain yogurt or 3/4 cup sour cream thinned with 1/4 cup milk if that's more convenient.

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow corn meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Combine the ginger and 1/4 cup sugar in the work bowl of a food processor or mini chopper and pulse until the ginger is finely ground, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Scrape the mixture into a small pot (I use my butter warmer) and heat over medium-low, stirring, until the ginger is fragrant, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Whisk together the butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the eggs, lemon zest, and the ginger mixture. Whisk in the buttermilk. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.Don't overmix!
5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert them onto a wire rack, turn them right side up on the rack, and let them cool completely (or just let them cool for 10 minutes more and eat them warm).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sometimes This Happens

So I went to Citarella's in Watermill to pick up some fruit, and I look what I came home with! I could no longer resist the screaming orange signs in the windows at Go West (760 Montauk Highway, Watermill, 631-726-9378), where everything is being sold at a steep discount, because this store is closing at the end of the month (the Bohemia branch will remain open).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tonight's Dinner Before the Middle School Concert

We had to eat early tonight, to get to Pierson Middle School for a seven o'clock concert. I made Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce, salad from Bette and Dale's (there were fights over the edible flowers), and this quick-and-easy olive-and-rosemary ciabatta. No time for dessert. The 8th grade band's selection from "The Barber of Seville" wouldn't wait.

The concert was short and sweet.The 8th grade chorus members were absolute songbirds. The 8th grade band showed its versatility by playing a march and Under the Sea before conquering opera. The surprise highlight of the evening was the finale, a performance by a 7th-grade trio of electric guitarists along with an excellent drummer. Although billed in the program as "Rock Ensemble," the group's leader emphatically informed the audience that they were not "Rock Ensemble," but "Writer's Block." Their original songs displayed the breadth of their interests, ranging in subject matter from the Devil to snow days.

Olive and Rosemary Ciabatta
Makes 2 ciabatta breads

Ciabatta is a great bread to make when you don't want to work too hard. You knead the dough in seconds in a food processor. Instead of shaping it, you just invert the whole mass onto a baking sheet and cut it in two. The loaves spread and rise in the oven, free-form. Unbleached all-purpose flour (I buy the King Arthur brand from the IGA) instead of bread flour gives the ciabatta its chewy but soft texture. I used pitted green olives from Citarella (another time saver) and rosemary from my patio. Don't be alarmed at the stickiness of the dough. A high proportion of water (and a lot of olive oil) is what makes it bubbly and moist.

3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan and brushing the loaves
1/3 cup pitted and chopped green olives
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1. Combine the water and yeast in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse once. Add the flour, salt, sugar, and oil and process until the dough forms a smooth ball. Continue to process for 30 seconds. Add the olives and rosemary and pulse 2 or 3 times to distribute. The dough will be very sticky.
2. Oil a 7-x-11-inch baking dish. Scrape the dough into the dish and pat it with floured fingertips to push and stretch it across the bottom of the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
3. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet. Uncover the dough and place the baking sheet, right side down, on top of the dough. Invert the dish onto the baking sheet and shake once or twice to release the dough.
3. Use a sharp chef's knife to cut the dough into two skinny rectangles. Use the edge of the knife to separate the dough pieces from each other by at least 3 inches. Sprinkle the loaves with flour and drape lightly with plastic wrap. Let stand until the dough is puffy and risen by about 50 percent, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
4. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the loaves until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Brush the hot loaves with some olive oil and let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tasty Art at Pierson

After I voted today, I browsed Pierson's annual art exhibit. I was especially impressed by these vibrant still life paintings. Perhaps there is some truth to the recent claims by readers of the Sag Harbor Express that student artwork influences voters. These vivid depictions of juicy fruit compelled me to run home and devour half a mango and a bunch of grapes.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pass-the-Budget Macaroons

Here are the cookies I'm bringing over to my friend Barb's house tonight. She's hosting a group of parents and other concerned citizens who will be working the phones to get the school budget passed and to get pro-budget school board candidates elected. Fingers crossed and enjoy.

Coconut Macaroons
Makes 24 cookies

These not-too-sweet macaroons are made with unsweetened coconut, available at natural foods stores including Provisions (7 Main Street, 631-725-3636). You don't have to shape them into pyramids after dropping the batter onto the baking sheets, but it's easy and makes the cookies so pretty. Leave them plain, or dip some of them in melted chocolate like I did.

3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional, and enough to cover all of the cookies)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the sugar, coconut, egg white, vanilla, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and mix until moistened.
2. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each cookie. Shape each one into a pyramid with your fingers.
3. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Slide the parchment paper onto a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely.
4. Dip the top half of each cookie into the melted chocolate, letting any excess drip back into the bowl, if desired. Place back on one of the pieces of parchment paper. Slide the parchment, with the cookies, back onto one of the cooled baking sheets and place the sheet in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set, about 5 minutes. Store Coconut Macaroons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Day at the Beach

Some very lucky Sag Harbor 10-year-olds attended their first beach party of the season at The Bridgehampton Club, right next to Sagg Main Beach. What a beautiful place! What a beautiful afternoon! Even though it was a little cool and damp, the children literally jumped for joy during potato sack races on the croquet lawn. After busting open a pirate's chest pinata and devouring cupcakes from Tate's (43 North Sea Road, Southampton, 631-283-9830), they raced around the beach under a spectacular sky until it was time to go home. How lucky we all are to live so close to the seashore. Take some time before Memorial Day, with or without cupcakes, to enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sag Harbor Food Pantry Benefit

Although I read the New York Times every morning at home, I get the most important local news off the wall at Java Nation (78 Main Street, 631-725-7500). I saw this flyer while having coffee today. I'd pay double to see inside SIX LOCAL KITCHENS IN ONE AFTERNOON! Who wants to come with me? For more information on the event, go to

Today's Lunch

I saw this sign for free range eggs yesterday at Sag Harbor's very own organic farm stand, Bette & Dale's, (1726 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike) right next door to Bay Burger. I returned this morning because I couldn't stop thinking about truly fresh eggs, soft-scrambled with goat cheese. I also bought a beautiful bunch of fresh chives, blossoms still attached. Couldn't wait for dinner, so I made eggs for lunch. Oh my God, I was starving and they were good! Next time you are headed into town, pull over (you can park at Bay Burger; they don't mind) and see what's fresh. Or look for Bette and Dale's stand at the Sag Harbor Farmer's Market on Saturdays beginning next week.

Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese and Chives

Serves 2

Whisk the eggs so they're extra fluffy when cooked. And take them off the heat just as soon as they are solid. I would have made this for dinner, but I couldn't wait. Sorry, kids.

6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon butter

1. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in a medium-size frying pan over high heat. When it is bubbling, add the eggs and turn the heat down to medium. Sprinkle the cheese and chives over the eggs.
2.Push the eggs around with a spatula, scraping up the cooked parts and allowing the liquid to flow to the bottom of the pan. Cook this way until the eggs are just set, no more than a minute or a minute and a half. Serve immediately.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tilt-Shift Main Street

I transformed my plain old picture of Main Street into a tilt-shift miniature, a real life scene manipulated to look like a model photograph, using the tools at So much fun. It reminds me of a diorama one of my kids made years ago at a Children's Museum workshop.

Tonight's (Cheap) Dinner

The Green Thumb (829 Montauk Highway, Watermill) has been open for a week now. I stopped there this morning to pick up some salad greens (10 cups for $4.50) from the green house and their sign made me wonder how much it would cost me to make a light dinner incorporating those greens. On to the IGA, where I bought two cans of tuna ($2.19 each for solid white; you could save some pennies by choosing light instead), a can of white beans ($1.19), a box of cherry tomatoes ($3.49--but I was only going to use half of the box), and a Blue Duck Bakery baguette ($3.99 and worth every penny). Not counting the oil, vinegar, and herbs (which I already had), the ingredients cost less than $15.00. Not too bad for a complete meal based on locally grown organic greens with locally baked artisan bread on the side.

Mediterranean Tuna and White Bean Salad
Makes 4 light main course portions

Warm up some crusty bread in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, slice, and serve alongside the salad, with extra olive oil for dipping.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano (or substitute basil or parsley if you like)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
One can white beans, drained and rinsed
Two 5-ounce cans tuna, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
10 cups mixed salad greens, washed and dried

1. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, shallot, oregano, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
Add the beans, tuna, and tomatoes and toss to coat.
2. Divide the greens among 4 dinner plates. Top each one with a portion of the tuna and bean salad. Serve immediately.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Here's one of today's cutest messages, constructed by my daughter from Iwako Japanese erasers she purchased at the Wharf Shop (69A Main Street, Sag Harbor, 631-725-0420). New deliveries weekly. Ask Gwen to put you on her list and she will call when they arrive.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tonight's dinner

I bought this massive pane di casa at Citarella's yesterday in East Hampton and we made a dent in it between last night and this morning, but there's still a lot left, enough to make panini for everyone. So I went down the street to Cavaniola's (89-B Division St., Sag Harbor, 631 725-0095) and bought some Italian fontina (I sleep well knowing that real fontina is just steps from my door) and a jar of Peppadew whole sweet peppers. Four portabello mushrooms from the IGA. A sprig of rosemary from a waterlogged pot on the patio. Garlic. Mayonaise. Yum.

Fontina and Mushroom Panini
Serves 4

You can make these with the Tom Cat baguettes from Cavaniola's instead of country bread if you'd like.

4 large portobello mushroom caps
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise (light is okay)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices best-quality country hearth bread or four 6-inch lengths of store-bought baguette, split
6 ounces shredded Italian fontina cheese
1/2 cup drained Peppadew sweet peppers, thinly sliced

1. Heat a panini or sandwich press according to the manufacturer's instructions. Brush the mushrooms on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them on the press, pull the top down, and cook until softened and browned, 4 to 6 minutes (unless you have a giant-size panini press you'll have to do this in two batches). Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Cut each mushroom in half.
2. Combine the mayonnaise, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl. Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture onto four of the bread slices or the bottom halves of the baguette pieces.
Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and the peppers. Top some mushroom pieces and the remaining bread.
3. Put the sandwiches on the press (again, you'll have to do this in two batches), pull the top down, and cook until they are browned and crisp and the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes depending on how hot your machine is. Carefully remove form the press and serve immediately.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Love This Town

Yesterday morning, Jack Bishop (of America's Test Kitchen fame, and my husband) was the guest on I Love This Town, Nina Landi's and Paula Krzyzewski's acclaimed Morning Program talk show. He was nervous going in, since previous guests have included children's book author Emma Walton, Frank Venesina from Conca D'Oro, and Jon Bon Jovi (his song, "I Love This Town," inspired the show), all tough acts to follow. But Jack pulled it off, like the pro he is! After answering some grueling questions about his favorite teacher and his mother's cooking, he led a few elementary school students through taste tests of strawberry yogurt, orange juice, and pancake syrup. The results: Dannon over Fage Greek yogurt, Tropicana Pure Premium over Minute-Maid from concentrate, and Aunt Jemima (for shame, kids of Sag Harbor!) over pure Vermont maple syrup. Nice of Mrs. Landi to plug his show (America's Test Kitchen, on PBS channel 13 in New York, Sundays 5pm; and check your local listings).

Meet the Candidates, Eat the Cookies

The school budget vote is coming up as is the board of education election. My friend Mary Anne asked me to bake some cookies for a meet-the-candidates forum tomorrow at 7p.m. in the High School library. Since I just picked up a giant container of chocolate sprinkles at B.J.'s in Riverhead on Monday, I went with chocolate sprinkle cookies. These are the cookies that inspired the Facebook page, "Fans of Rose's Mom's Cookies." That group is limited to 8th grade girls who sit at the same cafeteria table as my daughter, but you may become an unofficial fan if you act quickly at tomorrow night's forum. Here is the recipe (adapted from Mom's Big Book of Baking), if you can't make it but you'd like to bake some cookies.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine teh flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
3. Place the sprinkles in a small bowl. Scoop up a tablespoon of dough and roll it between your palms to form a ball. Roll the balls in the sprinkles. Place them on parchment-lined baking sheets, laving 3 inches between each cookie. Bake until the cookies are dry on top, about 10 minutes. Let them stand for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before sliding the entire sheet of parchment from the pan to a wire rack. Let the cookies cool completely.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Greetings from Sag Harbor

Here's the gateway to Main Street, Sag Harbor, from my house. The crumbling factory building and the "do not enter" signs are forbidding, but there's plenty to enjoy in this village once you have safely passed. I'll be posting something here most days about what catches my attention. Hope you will return to see what's happening and let me know if I'm missing something new, interesting, funny, beautiful, or good to eat in Sag Harbor.