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bundt pan

bust out those bundt pans and get baking!

angel food cakes cooling in their bundt pans

angel food cakes cooling in their bundt pans

our next door neighbor was famous for her angel food cakes…

she seemed to always be baking.  on just about any given spring or summer day, the neighborhood was filled with children of various ages playing sports in the street while the parents were gathered in one person’s driveway.  i recall one particular day, while we were all fulfilling our mentioned roles,  we were invited inside this neighbor’s kitchen as she pulled out one of those angel food cakes.   the smell was reminiscent of cotton candy, only better.  and she did something i had never seen my mother do before with her bundt pan.  she turned the pan upside down onto the sheet pan, keeping the pan on the rack of the oven which was pulled slightly out hovering over the open door.  she told us to be very quiet and walk slowly as we all left the house.  that memory is so vivid even decades later.  many years later, i came to learn that the name of the cakes she always made were called angel food.  and that they cool while upside down as to retain their volume created by generous amounts of egg white in the recipe.  the bundt pan is a much underutilized piece of kitchen equipment.  aside from angel food cakes and the traditional butter based cakes our mother made, the bundt pan can also be used as a gelatin mold or a vessel to bake monkey bread in.  This Thanksgiving, use it for your extra  stuffing that doesn’t fit inside your turkey.   Beautiful slices can be cut and used to top your turkey sandwich on the day after. 

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donuts

happy national donut day !

Apple Cider Donut

Apple Cider Donut

donuts are a fairly pedestrian fare commonly found at independent bakeries and chain coffee shops around the island.  even a subpar donut can satiate the craving for one.  but an amazing donut, well that, is much harder to find.  and when one finds one, it’s the beginning of understanding the word “pining”.  a good donut can consume the mind for days, years even.  golden harvest farms in valetie, ny has one of thee best, if not best, apple cider donuts.  back during the days of being a food photographer, i was fortunate enough to visit the orchard to photo document a celebration catered by a dear friend.  the grout family were kind gracious people taking us through the various inner workings of their farm.  rows upon rows of apple trees studded the landscape.  an onsite distillery producing vodkas, whiskey and brandy brought a uniqueness to this family operated orchard.  the passion was abundant not only among the family, but the extended family of dedicated workers employed for decades by that land.  upon reaching the farm stand, the wafting aroma of sweet cinnamon sugar, apple cider and a good fry wafted in the air.  it was essential to taste whatever was responsible for that glorious fragrance.  low and behold, the old stainless machinery dispensing round batter of donut into the hot oil, almost instantly browning the edges, manually being flipped to achieve the same results on the other side.  once removed the donuts were allowed to rest for a second or so to drain off some of the oil, then they met their fate in a pan of cinnamon sugar.  you have not truly lived until you’ve consumed an apple cider donut moments out of the fryer.  slightly scorching your tongue, filling your mouth with pillowy goodness, words just can not describe the euphoria.

where are some of your favorite donut shops?

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pumpkin

did someone say pumpkin ? !

pumpkin

pumpkin

oh the things that can be done with pumpkin…

on the sweet side of life, pumpkin pie is an oldie but goodie.  our pumpkin custard pie is lightly spiced and just sweet enough to be a dessert, a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream elevates it to a whole other level of yumminess.

on the savory side of life, roasted pumpkin is a great alternative to butternut squash for a deliciously creamy fall inspired soup.  roast some pumpkin, puree it with some stock and add a few spices such as salt, pepper, ginger and cinnamon and it is wonderful.

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homemade cookies

homemade cookies are far superior to any machine made confection out there…

www.butterscotchs.com

cranberry orange shorties

it is amazing how food is consumed differently when you’ve actually spent the time preparing it yourself, or get to know the person who crafts it for you via a local bakery or restaurant.  for one, the ingredients are easily recognizable as opposed to needing to refer to our good friend, google, to define it for us.  secondly, the lack of an expiration date on the box should tell you something, that it is fresh and you don’t need a sell by date because you wont forget to eat such wonderful food.  food that will actually provide some sort of nourishment and satisfy you because it isn’t loaded with preservatives, stabilizers and shelf life extenders.  it is our mission, to handcraft all of our products from scratch emulating the way our ancestors crafted them decades ago.  we take great pride in being able to say that all of our products are handmade and look forward to continuing the traditions we learned as children.

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coffee

today is a day to be celebrated, let us rejoice !

coffee

coffee

why you ask, because it’s national coffee day 

coffee is a gift from the universe.  a late night worker’s best friend and companion.  and nothing better compliments a great pastry, cookie, or sweet brioche than an equally amazing crafted coffee.  participating in our local farmers markets across long island has been a wonderful foray into exceptional coffee roasters in our area.  we would like to share with you a few that stand out to us :

georgio’s coffee roasters : they by far have the best cold brew on the Island.  georgio and his wife lydia travel the globe to source their beans, and their efforts pay off in the bold complex flavors of their coffee.

tend coffee roasters : susan and daniel kennedy roast some of the most amazing certified organic coffee we have tasted.  what’s cool about their selections are the different acidity levels that they offer.

gentle brew roasters : we spend a lot of time working in long beach, ny and the cold brew coffee from here is exceptional, it has a bold fruitiness that is so creamy and delicious it is even great sans a creamer.  when you can drink a coffee black, that’s when you know you have a great roast.  bryan and crew really know what they are doing.

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