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Mother's Day Breakfast Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, May 13, 2017

(Hallmark ECards-Giphy.com)



Mother’s Day is tomorrow and what better way to pamper the most important woman in your life than breakfast in bed! We have put together a short list of some of our favorite delectable recipes for you to treat her with!



Banana Bread Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 c. all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1/2 c. finely chopped toasted pecans, plus more for serving

3 tbsp. packed brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/4 c. Buttermilk

1 c. mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium), plus slices for serving

2 large eggs

1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for griddle

pure maple syrup, for serving



Directions:

  1. Stir together flour, pecans, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, banana, eggs, and butter in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to buttermilk mixture and stir until just combined.
  2. Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat; butter. Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake on griddle. Cook until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook until plump and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Place pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet, and keep warm in a 175°F oven up to 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
  3. Serve with maple syrup, toasted pecans, and sliced bananas.


Spinach Ricotta Brunch Bake

Ingredients:

2 sheets puff pastry thawed

6 eggs beaten

1 cup ricotta cheese

A dash hot sauce

1 cup spinach chopped

6 slices bacon cooked, chopped

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded

1 medium red bell pepper chopped



Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray.
  2. Unfold pastry sheets and roll out one sheet to 11-inch square; set aside. Roll out remaining sheet to 12-inch square; use to line the bottom and side of the prepared spring form pan.
  3. Reserve 1 tbsp. eggs. Mix remaining eggs with ricotta, hot sauce and spinach. Layer half each of the bacon, cheddar, ricotta mixture and peppers in crust. Repeat layers.
  4. Cover with remaining pastry sheet; fold under edges of pastry, then tuck inside pan. Brush pastry with reserved egg. Cut slits in top crust.
  5. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 min. Run small knife around edge of pan to loosen crust before removing rim.


Easy Eggs in Clouds

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1/4 cup grated pecorino-romano

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/4 cup crumbled bacon

Pepper



Directions:

  1. Separate eggs, putting whites in 1 large bowl and yolks in 4 separate small bowls.
  2. Whip whites until stiff peaks form.
  3. Fold in cheese, chives and bacon.
  4. Spoon into 4 mounds on parchment-lined baking sheet; make a deep well in center of each.
  5. Bake at 450 degrees for 3 minutes, then and 1 yolk to each well; season with pepper. Bake until yolks are just set, 2 to 3 minutes.


Strawberry Sweet Rolls

Ingredients for Rolls:

1 tube crescent rolls

1 c. strawberry preserves

1 c. chopped strawberries

1 tbsp. melted butter

sugar (for sprinkling)

Ingredients for Glaze:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 tbsp. butter, softened

1 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp. lemon juice



Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and grease an 8"-x-8" baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, unroll dough and separate the sheet into 4 rectangles. Pinch the perforations to seal. Spread strawberry preserves onto each rectangle, then top with chopped strawberries. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle and pinch edges to seal. Cut each roll into 4 to 5 slices. Place side by side, cut side up in baking pan.
  3. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
  4. For the glaze: In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
  1. Drizzle baked rolls with cream cheese glaze. Serve warm.


Blueberry Breakfast Braid

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. cream cheese, divided

1/4 c. sugar, divided (plus more for sprinkling)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, divided

2 c. (1 pt.) fresh or frozen blueberries

2 tbsp. cornstarch

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 8-oz. tube crescent dough

All-purpose flour, for work surface

Egg wash (1 beaten egg plus 1 tsp. milk)

1/4 c. sliced almonds

1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 tbsp. heavy cream



Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine 4 tablespoons cream cheese, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine blueberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  3. Unroll the refrigerated crescent roll dough. If there are perforated edges, pinch the lines together to get rid of the cutouts. Lightly flour the dough, then roll it out slightly with a rolling pin to create a large rectangle.
  4. Spread the cream cheese mixture in the center of the dough, leaving about a 3” border on each side. Spread the blueberries over the cream cheese mixture. With a sharp paring knife (or kitchen shears), cut diagonal 1" strips along both sides of the dough border. Starting at the top of the dough, fold the strips over the blueberries, alternating sides to fold the left and right strips over one another. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash, then sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Bake for 15 minutes, then let cool slightly.
  5. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons cream cheese, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar is evenly incorporated into the cream cheese. Whisk in the cream, adding more to loosen the glaze if necessary.
  6. Drizzle glaze over the pastry. Cut crosswise to serve.


Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

Ingredients for Donuts:

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 and 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

2 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 cup milk

Ingredients for Glaze:

1 and 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice, more if needed

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest



Directions for Donuts:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a doughnut pan; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest; mix together with your fingers until zest is evenly distributed in the sugar. Add in the melted butter and beat until combined. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon extract; beat well. Stir in milk.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients and gently fold the mixture together using a rubber spatula, stirring only until mixture is evenly combined.
  5. Spoon or pipe the thick batter into the molds of your prepared pan, filling each mold up 2/3 of the way. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until firm and lightly golden on the tops.
  6. Remove pan from oven and allow doughnuts to cool for at least 10 minutes in the tray before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Once cool, dip each doughnut in glaze.

Directions for Glaze:

  1. In a wide, shallow dish combine the sifted confectioners' sugar and milk; whisk to combine - the mixture will be a little clumpy at this point. Stir in the salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest; whisk smooth.

 


Spring Mocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, April 29, 2017

(Photo: ohsodelicioso.com)


The season has come for picnic, barbecues and spring get-togethers! Every good soiree has a few different alcoholic drink options, but why not keep the non-drinkers in mind when planning what to serve? We have put together some of our favorite mocktail recipes for you!



Berry Spritzer


Ingredients:

A handful of organic berries

Fresh, organic mint leaves (no more than two sprigs)

Juice of 1 organic lime

2 tablespoons of agave, honey, or other sweetener (optional)

Club soda

Ice


Directions:

1. Muddle or purée the berries with the juice of one lime, the mint, and the optional sweetener.

2. Fill your glass with ice. Spoon your berry mixture over it. Then top it with club soda. Depending on how fruity you enjoy your drinks, you can reserve this for one mocktail or divide it between two.

3. Mix the spritzer using a cocktail shaker.

4. Serve with berry, lime, or mint garnishes.



Virgin Pina Colada


Ingredients:

2 frozen organic ripe bananas

1 cup fresh pineapple chunks (frozen will work if you cannot find fresh)

1 cup no sugar added organic pineapple juice

1/2 can organic coconut milk (full fat or light) – frozen into cubes

Coconut flakes for garnish

Fresh pineapple wedges for garnish


Directions:

Add all of the ingredients except the coconut flakes and pineapple wedges to your blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into 4 glasses, serve each topped with coconut flakes and garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge.



Watermelon Strawberry Cooler


Ingredients:

4 cups cubed watermelon

1 cup hulled strawberries

1/2 peeled lime (or juice from 1/2 lime)

2 teaspoons chia seeds

6 mint leaves, plus more for garnish

Ice (optional)


Directions:

  1. 1. Blend the watermelon, strawberries, and lime until smooth. Strain through a sieve, pushing the juice through with a spatula. Discard the solids.
  2. 2. Mix the chia seeds into the juice and refrigerate for about 15 minutes to let the chia seeds swell.
  3. 3. Muddle 3 mint leaves in the bottom of each glass. Fill glasses with ice (optional). Stir the juice to break up the chia seeds, pour into glasses, and serve.


Lavender Lemonade


Ingredients:

6 cups water, divided

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

3 Tbsp dried lavender

2 cups lemon juice

Lemon slices and lavender petals for garnish

Blue or purple food coloring (optional)


Directions:

  1. 1. Over medium heat, combine two cups of water and sugar, bringing to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Turn off of the heat and stir in agave nectar and lavender.
  2. 2. Allow mixture to steep for 2 hours (less if you want less of a lavender taste). Strain the liquid, pressing the lavender down to make sure you get all of those juices into your mixture!
  3. 3. In a large pitcher, combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, lavender mixture and water.
  4. 4. Feel free to add a couple drops of blue or purple food coloring if you want more color than the lavender provides. Serve over ice.


Non-Alcoholic Sangria


Ingredients:

2 cups boiling water

2 black tea bags (or 2 teaspoons loose-leaf tea in an infuser; decaf tea is fine)

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup sugar

3 cups pomegranate juice

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 medium orange, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium lemon, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium lime, sliced into thin rounds

1 medium apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

3 cups Sparkling Saratoga Water

 

 

Directions:

  1. 1. Pour the boiling water over tea bags and cinnamon sticks and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and stir in sugar to dissolve.
  2. 2. In a large jar or pitcher, combine tea, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate juice, orange juice, orange, lemon, lime, and apple. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight.
  3. 3. Just before serving, stir in sparkling water. Serve in glasses over ice.

 


Welcome to Saratoga Spring Water!

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, March 25, 2017



We thought we would take some time to welcome our new supporters to the blog and introduce them to our wonderful products! For more than 140 years, we have been bottling America’s premium spring water in Saratoga Springs, New York. We know that it is not only the refreshing taste, but also our commitment to honoring our rich heritage and providing the most pristine bottled water available, that surrounds our company with a constant and growing band of loyal supporters.

We take pride in our state-of-the-art, sustainable processes, and ensure that each bottle is carefully crafted to deliver the exceptional freshness and taste for which Saratoga Spring Water is renowned. We are proud to be environmentally focused by remaining mindful of our impact on the planet, staying vigilant over our use of natural resources, and promoting sustainability, recycling, and waste reduction.

Our line of natural, sparkling, and flavored spring water products has become popular in some of the world’s finest restaurants, hotels, resorts, grocers and cafeterias, and we are excited to share our brand with new customers who appreciate remarkable, American-made products. Our philosophy is to do things right, have fun and take pride in our work, and honor our heritage by always striving for excellence! You can find our products in stores throughout the United States, as well as Internationally. 

Read about our line of products below to see which one you’re most eager to try!

• Natural Spring Water: Saratoga Spring Water’s historic pride and joy—packaged in our iconic cobalt blue glass bottles. The clean, cool taste and low mineral content of our non-sparkling, sodium-free spring water is easily the beverage of choice for any occasion. 


• Sparkling Spring Water:
 Defining the balance of effervescence and light taste, our Sparkling Spring Water is best for cleansing the palate and complementing the flavors of fine food and wine. 


• Flavored Sparkling Water: Infused with the essence of natural fruit flavors and boasting the perfect amount of bubbly, you really can’t get more refreshing than our flavored Sparkling Spring Water. Lemon Lime, Orange Tangerine and Wild Berry are excellent cocktail mixers for any season, as well as healthy, calorie-free alternatives to sugar-filled soda or juice.


Healthy Recipes To Get Summer-time Ready!

Kelly McCombs - Friday, February 24, 2017

(Photo: fannetasticfood.com)

We have had some absolutely gorgeous weather here in NY the last few days, which has made us realize that Spring is right around the corner! It’s time to come out of that winter hibernation! We have put together a yummy list of some of our favorite healthy recipes to help kick start some healthy eating habits, to get you Summer-time ready!




Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry

Ingredients:

3 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2-3 T olive oil

1 can of tomato paste

2 cans of chickpeas

1 can of coconut milk

2 cups vegetable broth

5-6 oz spinach, washed and torn from stems

2 cups chopped onion

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 T chopped fresh ginger

1 handful cilantro

1 t cumin seeds

1 t coriander seeds

2 T olive or other oil

1 t ground turmeric

1 t garam masala

1 pinch ground cinnamon


Directions:

  1. Toss sweet potatoes in 2-3T oil and roast at 350F until soft. Blend until very smooth with the broth and coconut milk in a high speed blender or food processor.
  2. Heat 2T oil in a large pan and add the cumin and coriander seeds, toasting until just fragrant.
  3. Add the onion, turmeric, and garam masala and sauté for a few minutes until translucent, then add the ginger and garlic, cooking for another 3-4 mins.
  4. Add the chickpeas and sauté for 2-3 mins, then pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan. Add the tomato paste, spinach and cilantro.
  5. Cook until heated through. 


Salmon with Lemon Mustard Dill Sauce

Ingredients for Salmon:

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

4 salmon fillets, patted dry with paper towels

Ingredients for Dill Sauce:

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

¼ cup plain whole milk yogurt

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Directions:

  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a baking dish and mix well. Add the salmon, turning to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 6 hours.
  2. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Place salmon (skin side down) in a foil-lined baking dish with sides. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Top cooked salmon with sauce and salt and pepper to taste; serve with brown rice and the vegetable of your choice.



Wild Rice Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 cup wild rice (any rice works, timing will vary accordingly)

14 oz. block extra firm tofu

2 tsp. coconut oil

2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari

fresh ground pepper

1 heaping cup thinly sliced carrots

3/4 cup cooked, shelled, organic edamame

3 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

handful of Chopped Cilantro or Pea Sprouts


Dressing:

2 Tbsp. white miso

2 Tbsp. agave nectar or brown rice syrup

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 shallot, minced

Juice of half an Orange


Directions:

  1. Rinse the wild rice. Bring two cups water to a boil. Add the rice, turn the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 35-40 minutes), adding a bit more water if necessary to finish cooking.
  2. Wrap the tofu between a few layers of paper towel or a dish cloth and set it aside to drain for 10-15 minutes. Cut it into a 1/2'' dice. Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat and add the tofu and sauté for about five minutes. Sprinkle the soy sauce and a few grinds of fresh pepper over the top and sauté another few minutes until the edges are browned. Turn off heat and set aside.
  3. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the rice, tofu, sliced carrots, edamame. Toss everything with the dressing. Add the sesame seeds and cilantro and give it another toss. Serve room temperature or chilled.



Italian Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients:

2 small chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup bell peppers, sliced or chopped

1 small zucchini, sliced

½ cup tomatoes sliced into large chunks

½ cup onion, sliced or chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder or fresh minced garlic

1 teaspoon paprika (optional)

salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  3. Cut and lay out 2 12x12 inch squares of aluminum foil on a sheet pan. Place half the mixture on each foil and gently fold the foil around ingredients to form a tight seal.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with a side of rice or noodles.



Shakshuka

Ingredients:

1 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 eggs

½ medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped

4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)

Salt and pepper (to taste)


Directions:

  1. Dice the onions and garlic and sauté them on a deep, large pan.
  2. Dice the tomatoes and peppers (make sure to fully core the middle and the seeds). Sauté the bell peppers for 5-7 minutes until soft and add the tomatoes.
  3. Add tomato paste and stir until thickened. Add salt and pepper. Add in paprika and/or cayenne for as much spice as you like.
  4. Once thick, crack in the eggs one by one, making sure to space them out evenly. Cover the pan and allow the mixture to simmer and condense for 8-12 minutes, depending on how cooked you prefer your eggs.
  5. Once the eggs are cooked, the shakshuka is ready to be served with traditional challah bread and shared.

Our Favorite Romantic Getaways

Kelly McCombs - Friday, January 20, 2017

                                                            (Photo from www.thesagamore.com)


With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, now is the time to plan that romantic getaway! Whether you want to stay close to home or travel a few hours out of town, we have put together a list of some of our favorites!



First up is The Inn at Five Points in Saratoga Springs, NY. Owned by James and Eilis Petrosino, the Inn is a beautifully restored Victorian Bed and Breakfast nestled right in the heart of Saratoga. Centrally located and within walking distance to all that Saratoga has to offer, this would be a very special place to visit with your loved one for a romantic overnight, yet one that is still close to home. The Petrosino's serve a delicious breakfast every morning, in true Bed and Breakfast fashion, with everything being locally grown and sourced. If you would like a true taste of all that Saratoga has to offer, this is the place to do it!



For something a bit farther out of town, head south to The Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Architecturally impressive, this castle-like resort is situated right on the banks of Lake Mohonk. Surrounded by beautiful views of the mountains and forest, The Mohonk Mountain house offers a few different packages for your romantic getaway. Whether you want a relaxing spa package for two or a luxurious “Special Occasion” package, they have something to fit everyone’s needs. There are a plethora of activities here even in the winter, from ice skating to snow tubing, so you will never be bored!



Heading back up north, The Sagamore in Bolton Landing on Lake George is one of those hotels that many people know and rave about. Another stunning resort, The Sagamore has been inviting guests to stay with them since 1883. They are offering a lovely Valentine’s Weekend Getaway package which includes breakfast and dinner for two, along with complimentary champagne and chocolates. They also have a beautiful spa which should be high on the list of priorities if you choose to stay with them. There isn’t anything more romantic than relaxing time spent together!



One of my favorite places to go on Valentine’s Day is a little farther than the others, but very much worth it. Niagara Falls during the winter months is one of the most beautiful places. Even if you have been there before in the warmer months, seeing it in winter adds a whole new dimension. The mist from the falls coats everything in a layer of ice, making for some really beautiful ice sculptures. Make sure you dress warmly! Even though this may not be one of the coziest romantic getaways, you will surely make some wonderful memories with your loved one!



We hope you are able to take a little time away from your everyday life to be able to enjoy one of this beautiful places with your loved one. Even if it isn't for Valentine's Day, they all are wonderful places to visit any day of the year!


Do you Drink Enough Water?

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, December 17, 2016



With the cold weather in full swing, many people choose to drink warm beverages and forget all about drinking water. Just because it isn’t hot outside and we aren’t as active or sweating as much doesn’t mean our bodies don’t need water. They are made up of 60 percent water, therefore, it is vital to both our physical and mental health to stay hydrated.


One important way that I have found to make sure that I drink enough water, is to drink a big glass before I do anything else in the morning. That glass of water helps kick start my day and sets the tone for me. I also bring a 25 ounce water bottle with me to work every day. I’m not lucky enough to have a water cooler in my office, so I always make sure I am stocked up on large bottles of water to fill my handy bottle that I keep on my desk. If my water bottle is on my desk and in my line of sight, I will remember to drink regularly.






Here are some benefits to making sure you stay hydrated:


  1. -Staying hydrated improves your mood and fights off fatigue. This is the main reason why I make sure to drink at least 16 ounces of water first thing in the morning. It wakes me up and gets me going. A lack of water in the body’s system can cause a drop in blood volume, which then causes the heart to work harder to pump oxygenated blood around the body, hence the increased fatigue.

  2. -Drinking enough water every day will help improve the clarity of your skin. If you are prone to breakouts, or have dry, dull skin, you could be dehydrated. The skin is one of the first places to show signs that you need to drink more water!

  3. -Drinking a glass of water before every meal might also help in weight loss. It will trick your body into thinking it is full, which will then curb your appetite. Drinking water instead of all of the sugary drinks on the market will also help with weight loss.

  4. -If you are prone to headaches or migraines, increasing your intake of water might help keep them away.

  5. -Drinking plenty of water will help your kidneys stay in tip top shape. Drinking too little may lead to painful kidney stones. The kidneys play a vital role in our body’s function so staying hydrated is essential for their (and your!) health.

  6. -Water plays a very important role in your digestive health, as well. Without adequate water, your system could become backed up and constipated. The water helps dissolve fats and soluble fiber, which then continues on through the system.

As you can see, water is crucial for everyday life. There are so many health benefits associated with drinking enough of it, so make a point to think about your water consumption on a daily basis! 

 


Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, November 19, 2016
                                                                                   Photo by Justin Bernhaut

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite side dishes and desserts for you. The turkey should always be the star of the show, of course, but having some delicious sides to pair with it make the meal perfect!


First up is a delicious Corn Pudding that is so rich, it is the perfect comfort food. This recipe is also super easy because you will be using packaged cornbread mix. The perfect mix of corn on the cob and corn bread, this is one recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1 package (8-1/2 ounces) corn bread/muffin mix

1/2 cup 2% milk

1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained

1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325°. 
  2. 2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  3. 3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  4. 4. Beat in sour cream. Gradually add muffin mix alternately with milk. 
  5. 5. Fold in corn.
  6. 6. Pour into a greased 3-qt. baking dish. 
  7. 7. Bake, uncovered, 45-50 minutes or until set and lightly browned.


What’s Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? This recipe puts a spin on the traditional canned version by adding orange marmalade and cilantro. This is very easy to make ahead and will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. If you do plan on making this ahead of time, don’t add the cilantro. You can add it in just before you serve.


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup orange juice

16 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 to 3/4 cup orange marmalade

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (optional)


Directions:

  1. 1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. 2. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the sugar, orange juice, and cranberries.
  4. 4. Cook until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
  5. 5. Stir in the marmalade to taste (depending on desired sweetness).
  6. 6. Turn off heat. Stir in the pepper and cilantro just before serving.
  7. 7. Serve warm or at room temperature.


One of my favorite potato sides to make for Thanksgiving is this Skillet Scalloped Potatoes with Chive Butter. Super cheesy and easy to make, someone in my family has made this for the last few Thanksgiving meals, and it is always the first thing we run out of.


Ingredients:

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

2 tsp. fresh thyme

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. chicken stock

1/4 c. chopped chives, plus more for garnish

1 c. shredded fontina cheese

3 to 4 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thinly on mandolin


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. 2. In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and add garlic, onion, and thyme. Cook until mixture is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. 3. Add 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, heavy cream, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and mix in chives and half of fontina.
  4. 4. Add potatoes to skillet and arrange in any pattern, keeping slices vertical to ensure even cooking. 
  5. 5. Bake 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining fontina all over and bake until cheese is melty and crust is golden brown, 10 minutes more.
  6. 6. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.


One of the most recognizable side dishes that can be found on most tables is a Green Bean Casserole. Usually made with canned ingredients, this recipe is made with only fresh ingredients. Talk about a delicious comfort food!


Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing

5 cups sliced green beans

4 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil

1 1/2 cups diced onions

2 cups sliced baby Bella mushrooms

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/2 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows

1/2 teaspoon salt

HOUSE SEASONING:

1 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup garlic powder

1/4 cup black pepper


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. 2. Boil the green beans in the chicken broth for 20 minutes, and then drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth.
  3. 3. Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. 4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the mushrooms and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
  5. 5. Pour the reserved 1 1/2 cups chicken broth back into the pot the green beans boiled in and bring to a boil. Add the green beans to the skillet with the mushrooms and onions.
  6. 6. While that is coming to a boil, combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl to make a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into the boiling broth, whisking constantly as it thickens, about 2 minutes.
  7. 7.  Pour the thickened mixture over the green beans and add the sour cream, House Seasoning and salt. Stir well.
  8. 8. Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with the panko and cheese mixture. Bake until the casserole is hot, about 10 minutes, and then broil until the breadcrumb topping is slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. 9. Mix together the salt, garlic powder and pepper.

Switching to the dessert side of things, everyone is used to the traditional Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie at their Thanksgiving table. Why not showcase some of the different fruits available during the Fall? This Brown Butter Pear and Cranberry Cobbler is one of my personal favorites to bring to my family’s table on holidays!

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. plus 3 tbsp. butter, cut up

2 lb. ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries

3/4 c. plus 1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. cornstarch

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. 2. In 12" skillet, melt 6 tablespoons butter on medium. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant, swirling frequently.
  3. 3. Stir in pears, cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon. Cook 5 minutes or until pears begin to soften, stirring frequently. Cool.
  4. 4. Meanwhile, in food processor bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Pulse in remaining 3 tablespoons butter until fine crumbs form; transfer to medium bowl. 
  5. 5. Stir in heavy cream until dough just comes together, kneading once or twice.
    1. 6. In large bowl, toss pear mixture with cornstarch; transfer to 9" pie plate or 2-quart baking dish. With hands, scoop dough onto pie in small mounds. Bake, on foil-lined baking sheet, 40 to 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and pears are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.



From our family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving, spending time with loved ones and making memories!


Local Events

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, November 05, 2016



Photo courtesy of Saratoga Farmers Market



Looking for something to do in and around Saratoga this weekend? The weather is supposed to be crisp and beautiful, so why not get out of the house! Keep on reading for some of the events that are on our list!



The Saratoga Farmers Market is moving indoors for the winter starting today, and they are hosting a delicious tasting event to celebrate! Located at the Lincoln Baths at Saratoga Spa State Park, the "Taste of the Market" will give market goers a wonderful opportunity to sample a variety of cheeses, fruits, vegetables, sweets, meats, and many prepared foods that the market vendors offer. There will also be cooking advice and recipes, too! The market runs from 9am-1pm today (Saturday). Don't miss out on your chance to try a ton of wonderful samples!



If you are a winter sports enthusiast, make sure to check out the Northeast Ski and Craft Beer Showcase, being held at the Empire State Plaza today 10am-6pm and tomorrow 10am-5pm. Formerly known as the Albany Ski and Snowboard Expo, this showcase is New York's largest and longest running winter sports show, heading into it's 55th year! You'll be able to check out the best in new ski and snowboard equipment and fashion, along with some pretty fantastic destinations! There will even be prizes to win! Tickets are $10 at the door and make sure to bring extra cash to take part in drinking some delicious craft beers!  



Who doesn't love a good barbecue wing? If you fancy yourself a wing connoisseur, then you don't want to miss the Capital Region Wing Wars 13. Held in Troy at the Franklin Terrace Ballroom today until 5pm, a ticket to Wing Wars will only cost you $25. This will give you the chance to sample two wings from each of the 15+ vendors, which is over 30 wings per person! Make sure you are prepared for some seriously spice wings, as some of the vendors like to kick it up a notch. There will also be beer and wine for sale, a DJ and free pizza! All proceeds go to St. Jude the Apostle School tuition assistance program. 



And finally, if you feel like taking a bit of a drive, head on up to Lake George to drive the Prospect Mountain Memorial Highway. There will be no fee to drive here today and tomorrow, so take advantage and enjoy some spectacular views from high above Lake George in the Adirondacks. 



We hope you enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead and get the chance to attend some of these fun Fall events! 





Local Fall Activities

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, October 01, 2016

With the start of October brings all of the fun outdoor Fall activates that are plentiful in the Capital region! We are lucky enough to usually have beautiful weather and colorful changes in the leaves, which makes this season one of our favorites! We have put together a list of some of the best local Fall activities for this year!


Topping the list is apple picking, of course! There are numerous apple orchards in the Saratoga area, many of them offering pick-your-own, which means you get to pick which apples you want right from the trees! My favorite orchard, and the one I go to every year, is Bowman Orchards. They boast 46 different varieties of apples on almost 100 acres! On top of the apple picking, they have hay rides, apple cider donuts, and plenty of fun activities for everyone in the family. They even have a plethora of different farm animals for you to pet. Bowman Orchards is quintessential “Fall” to me and a must see!


On October 29th this year, is the much loved 15th Annual Saratoga Fall Festival. The event runs from 11am-4pm and is free to attend! There is live music, trick-or-treating, food vendors, a petting zoo, and even a magic show! This is one of my favorites because it’s fun to see everyone out in Downtown Saratoga Springs enjoying the cool weather and Fall activities!


Along with apple picking, one of my other favorite Fall things to do is go pumpkin picking! We always go to Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke. It is very easy to spend the whole day here, exploring the Farm and all it has to offer. They are known for having the Capital Area’s original and largest corn maze. It is huge! There are two phases of the maze; Phase 1 for the younger crowd and Phase 2 for the more adventurous folks. They offer a game at the start of the maze that gives you hints and clues to help you find your way through. Liberty Ridge Farm also has a General Store where you can purchase things like homemade pies, apple cider donuts, and many other souvenirs. They have pig races, a giant pumpkin cannon, and a live band…there is so much to do! In addition to all of this fun family-friendly stuff, every Friday and Saturday night in October, Liberty Ridge turns into Nightmares at Liberty Ridge. If you are feeling brave and like terrifying things, than this is a must-see. Nightmares boasts 7 different haunted attractions that are all sure to have you quaking in your boots. Liberty Ridge Farm is the perfect Fall destination for the young and old alike!


If you are up for a little physical activity and are wanting to see all of the beautifully changing leaves, I recommend hiking up Prospect Mountain in the Adirondacks. The hike is approximately 4 miles in length round trip and is great for experienced hikers and those with no experience. The summit offers spectacular panoramic views of Lake George and the Adirondack region and is the perfect place to hike during the Fall to take part in leaf peeping. Before I head out to Prospect Mountain, I always check the foliage report here. This great website lets you know when to expect to see the best colors in various areas in the state.


Our final favorite Fall activity is visiting our local Farmer’s Market. With the change in the season comes a change in the many different kinds of produce that are available. Now is the perfect time to visit the Saratoga Farmer’s Market before it moves inside for the winter. Not only do they have a huge selection of different fruits, vegetables, and flowers, but they also offer many vendors that sell local meats, cheeses, jams, and even crafts and other various items. The Saratoga Farmer’s Market runs every Wednesday from 3-6pm and every Saturday from 9am-1pm at the High Rock Park Pavilion in downtown Saratoga Springs.


We hope you take some time this Autumn to get out and explore the many fun and exciting things to do in our area. We are lucky enough to have many wonderful events, so take advantage of the cooler weather and get out there!


Warm and Cozy Fall Beverages

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, September 24, 2016

(Photo Courtesy of thecookierookie.com)

Now that it is officially Fall, we have decided to bring to you some of our favorite warm and cozy fall beverage recipes. These are perfect for that crisp Fall day where you want to curl up under a blanket on the couch with a good book. Many of these recipes can even be made in a larger quantity to bring to parties or to bring tailgating at the next football game. We hope you enjoy them with your friends and family during the season!


Spiked Apple Pie Punch – This party beverage is delicious served both hot and cold!


Ingredients:

-1 gallon of apple juice

-1 gallon of apple cider

-3 cups of white sugar

-8 cinnamon sticks

-1 bottle of 190 brook alcohol


Directions:

In a large pot, bring apple cider, apple juice, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Once it starts to boil remove from heat and let it cool completely. Once cool add the alcohol. Transfer to a serving dish with a ladle so guests can help themselves.


Holiday Milk Punch – A great alternative to eggnog with no heavy cream or eggs.


Ingredients:

-1 cup of sugar

-1 cup of dark rum

-1/2 cup of brandy

-2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract

-1/2 gallon of whole milk

-grated nutmeg


Directions:

Combine rum, brandy, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large pitcher. Add the milk and put in the freezer until it is very cold but not frozen solid, about 4-5 hours. Pour into glasses and grate nutmeg over the top.


Homemade Eggnog – Save yourself time by using your blender for this recipe!


Ingredients:

-1 cups of heavy cream

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

-4 large eggs

-3/4 cup of brandy


Directions:

In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream, nutmeg and sugar to a simmer. In a blender, blend the eggs on low speed for 1 minute. While the blender is still on low speed, slowly add in the heavy cream mixture. Don’t add too quickly, as this will scramble the eggs. Add the brandy and then blend to combine.


Hot Toddy – A delicious drink to help you feel better for when you have a cold, or anytime really.


Ingredients:

-8 oz of hot water

-1 herbal tea bag

-10 oz of bourbon

-1 Tablespoon of honey

-1 lemon wedge


Directions:

Pour the hot water over the tea bag in a mug and let it step for about 3 minutes. Remove the tea bag, add the honey and bourbon and a squeeze of lemon, stir and enjoy!


Homemade Hot Chocolate – Everyone’s favorite go to cozy drink!


Ingredients:

-1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1/3 cup of hot water

-1/8 teaspoon of salt

-4 cups of milk

-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Directions:

Combine the cocoa, sugar, salt, and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute. Add in the milk and continue stirring, do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Serve immediately!






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