I’m excited to share with you a recent project, after taking a bit of time off this year. Back in February, we visited Twin Maple Farm, and a few weeks ago returned for a 3-day weekend getaway to capture the true beauty of spring in the Hudson River Valley. Not only did we get a behind the scenes lesson in cheesemaking, but were able to spend our afternoons wandering the gorgeous hills and trails around the farm during a much needed city detox. If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend checking it out. You can read more about it here.

The Creamery at Twin Maple Farm

The Creamery at Twin Maple Farm

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Cheeses of New York

March 3, 2013

During our weekend upstate, we certainly got our fill of cheese. Some favorites included Sprout Creek Farm’s Point of Origin– a raw cow’s milk cheese that is aged with Red Hook’s Sixpoint Ale, another local favorite. This unique beer/cheese combo is soft, pungent and buttery with lovely hints of malt and coffee. Next stop was a bit further north at Pampered Cow’s creamery at Twin Maple Farm. Situated in a picturesque country landscape a short drive from Hudson, we were lucky enough to get a private tour and learn a bit about the cheese-making process. Best known for their Hudson Red– a funky, washed-rind, raw cow’s milk cheese, we also got a sneak peek of their truffle cheese, which was amazing, and their garlic cheese curds were another favorite of mine. I can’t wait for a return visit and photoshoot this spring when everything is in bloom.

Hudson Red & Point of Origin Cheese

Hudson Red & Point of Origin Cheese

Point of Origin

Sprout Creek Farm’s Point of Origin

Sprout Creek Farm

Sprout Creek Farm

Pampered Cow's Truffle Cheese

Pampered Cow’s Truffle Cheese

Hudson Red

Hudson Red

Hudson Red

Inside the creamery

Not too long ago my parents and I spent an afternoon in Skaneateles, a favorite small town of mine, situated in the Finger Lakes region. There are plenty of great spots for dining on the lake, or stopping through the nearby vineyards, but a few miles into farmland and you land yourself at the quiet Elderberry Pond for a relaxing afternoon lunch in the country. A certified organic farm, the fresh seasonable fruits, vegetables and pasture raised meats are right aside the restaurant with a delicious menu showcasing their homegrown fare.

Happy Friday! x

Grilled organic chicken sandwich served on a fresh bun with swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms and rosemary mayonnaise

Freshly cut certified organic spinach, free range eggs and fresh garden herbs prepared in a savory quiche style and served in a freshly baked tart shell

Vegetable Soup

Crab cakes served on a bed of greens prepared with tropical blue crab and served with chipotle mayonnaise

Salad

Skaneateles Lake

Troyer’s Country Store

December 2, 2011

A few miles outside the village of Cazenovia takes you to the simplistic and amazingly delicious life of the Amish, where people come from all over to stock up on everything this country store, Troyer’s, has to offer– breads, meats, pastas, candy and anything else you’d expect in your local grocery store, but at prices that can’t be beat, and far more fresh. It was the perfect place to get what I needed for my picnic lunch. My mom and I left with our mission accomplished, more bags than we could carry and continued the drive through Syracuse’s countryside.

Herbs and seasonings

Troyer's Country Store

Fresh bread straight out of the oven

Homemade gummies

Store Interior

Fresh pasta

Ninety Acres at Natirar

April 12, 2011

I spent Sunday afternoon taking in the fresh air of a countryside farm and indulging in some fine dining all at the same time. Having the honor of getting the full tour of Natirar, a 500-acre property in Somerset County, New Jersey, I certainly kept myself busy in an attempt to explore and taste as much as I could. An ongoing project that will include not only dining, but spas, pools and accommodations, the first phase is currently complete and ready for diners. At the restaurant known asĀ Ninety Acres, Food & Wine’s Best new chef of 2011 for the New York area, David Felton, prepared what seemed like endless amazing dishes until we couldn’t eat anymore. Aside from the food, I couldn’t leave out photographs of the old manor house, with it’s classic antique decor, it’s the perfect venue for an elegant wedding or event.

The farm at Natirar

Natirar Beet Salad with baby lettuces, goat cheese, hazelnut granola & cocoa balsamic and tomatoes growing in the greenhouse

Paprika Rubbed Grilled Octopus with meyer Lemon, baby romaine, parmesan & garlic confit

The Dining Room

Organic Risotto with saffron, sundried tomato, crispy porchetta & fried herbs

Wine & Dine

Imperial Wagyu Steak Tartare with chimichurri, picked red onions, two-hour yolk & frico

Interior of the Manor House

Wood Fired Pizza special of the day-Parmesan flat bread, prosciutto & arugula

Griggstown Quail with chili-apricot compote & brown butter brioche

Farmer's Plates on the menu