Saturday, February 21, 2009

Winter Wonderland

A bit of a cliche maybe, but there are many wonferful winter activities very close to us in both the Catskill and Shawangunk mountains. Ice Climbing and Hiking with routes from easy to hard, or take the kids to Sawkill Family Ski Centre , just 15 minutes away, for Snow Tubing, Skiing or Snow Boarding (845 336-6977). Belleayre Mountain Ski Center has 47 trails, parks and glades (from beginner to expert), with almost 200 skiable acres and offers great deals, such as $25 lift tickets. Hunter Mountain is not much further away. Or try Cross Country Skiing on the beautiful Mohonk Preserve .

If you fancy something a little warmer try the 12th annual Chilli Bowl Fiesta in nearby Rosendale on Feb 28th. At UPAC in Kingston we have Emmylou Harris tonight, and Garison Keillor and k.d. lang both coming soon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! Recently I made the Linzer Torte from the current Joy of Cooking. Everyone enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd try and adapt it for some Valentine's Day cookies. These are nutty and spicy, with a raspberry jam that gives just the right amount of sweetness. In an airtight container in the fridge they keep well for a week.

1. If you can't get ground almonds, use a clean coffee grinder to grind blanched almonds. You'll need 3/4 cup.

2. Combine with 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (optional), 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

3. Add 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 egg yolks and the grated zest of 1 lemon - the easiest is to blend it all in an electric mixer/food processor if you have one.

You have to wrap the dough and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. Then roll out (with plenty of flour to avoid sticking), between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick, and cut out cookies using a heart shaped cutter. Make a small round or heart shaped hole in half the cookies. Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for about 15 mintues, and sandwich with raspberry jam after dusting the cutout cookies with powdered sugar. (You need to boil the jam first for a couple of minutes, and then let it cool down again). This makes about 20 2 inch cookies. Enjoy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Website

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