Upstate Pairing: November-December 2016

by Megan Frank on November 14, 2016

Brussel Sprout Carbonara with Fettuccini

Yield: 4 servings


8 ounces of dry fettuccini 2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb brussel sprouts, cleaned and chopped (but not too small)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 ounces smoked bacon, chopped into small pieces 2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. When it reaches a medium high heat, add the shallots and garlic and sauté for a minute.

2. Add the sprouts, cook until they are browned and become a little softer (not too soft though, you don’t want them to be mushy, but to retain a little bite). Start cooking the pasta when the sprouts are nearly finished. Follow the instructions on the packet for timings.

3. When the sprouts are cooked, move them to the outside area of the pan and add the bacon to the center, allowing it to cook for a couple of minutes, turning a couple of times.

4. When the bacon is cooked, mix it through the sprouts and add black pepper and a little salt. Careful with salt as the bacon and the parmesan will also add a salty flavor.

5. When the pasta is ready, bring your two pans close together on the stove. Then, with tongs, grab the pasta and drag is swiftly into the pan with the sprouts. By doing this you take in some of the pasta water. This water helps bind and create your sauce. You don’t need much, in this case probably about 2 tablespoons worth. This dragging technique should ensure that you have enough.

6. Turn the heat off under your sprouts and pasta. Add the egg (not directly on to the base of the pan but onto the pasta mixture) add the parmesan. Stir through quite quickly, this will create a creamy style sauce.

7. Check for seasoning, and serve immediately with some extra parmesan, if desired.


Fox Run Chardonnay Reserve 2013, Kaiser Vineyard.


Fox Run Vineyards overlooks one of the deepest parts of Seneca Lake, with fifty acres of vineyards producing a remarkable range of fine wines. The Fox Run Café features ingredients from their neighborhood farmers and producers. Also, an on-site garden is filled with vegetables that are featured on the menu.

The property that Fox Run currently encompasses was a dairy farm for more than a century. The first grapes were planted in 1984 and the Civil War-era dairy barn was converted to a modern wine-making facility in 1990. In 1996, farther up the slope a new facility was completed with state-of-the-art capabilities and view of Seneca Lake that is unrivaled. The original barn itself is used now for special events, winemaker dinners and our Food & Wine Experience. The tasting room was designed and built around the barn providing two tasting bars, café and market, and gift shop.

Spend time by having lunch in the café and taking a vineyard tour. Fox Run can ship to 30 states. You might even come across a bottle of Fox Run wine when you travel internationally, as it is available in almost ten different countries around the world.


Upstate Pairing: September-October 2016

by Megan Frank on September 16, 2016

Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards is a 5th Generation family owned 340 acre working fruit and vegetable farm that sells most of their products directly to the public. Becker Farms goal is to provide families with the opportunity to visit the countryside and embrace what Mother Nature provides us among family and friends. It’s the simple things in life that make all the difference.

For the past 100 years Becker Farms has harvested its own fruits and vegetables to provide fresh produce and a wide variety of value added products such as hand made pies, jams, cookies, cider, fudge and wines. In the last two years Becker Farms has adopted a field to table approach with all of its catered events serving items grown and picked for the occasion right from the farm or brought in from other local growers within a 100 mile radius of Becker Farms. Becker Farms believes that a farm fresh meal is a very basic yet integral part of maintaining a strong bond with families and friends. This philosophy strengthens communities and enriches lives.



Summer Squash “Pasta” with Green Goddess Dressing

Yield: 4 servings

2 lbs. mixed summer squash
1 tsp. sea salt
½ cup plain whole milk greek yogurt
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh chopped basil, plus more for garnish
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped tarragon
1 small garlic clove
1 anchovy (minced) OR 1 Tbsp. drained capers
¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
¼ cup toasted pinenuts
fresh ground pepper

  1. Cut the squash into thin strips using a julienne peeler or spiralizer. Sprinkle the squash with salt, toss gently, and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes. Carefully squeeze the squash over the colander to release excess liquid and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, basil, parsley, chives, tarragon, garlic and anchovy or capers and blend until smooth.
  3. Toss the drained squash with the parmesan, pinenuts and desired amount of dressing.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with more parmesan, pinenuts and basil and serve immediately.

Pair with Vizcarra Vineyards Erie Canal Catawba.


Upstate Pairing: July-August 2016

by Megan Frank on July 12, 2016

Nestled in the heart of New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes Region, Ithaca Beer Company demonstrates its pride by brewing world-class craft beer inspired by its home. In addition to year-round favorites, you can also choose from seasonal selections on rotation.

Our recipe this month is paired with Hopkist, one of their summer offerings. It’s a delightful easy drinking and refreshing citrus IPA. With a mild alcohol-by-volume (ABV) of 4.75%, this IPA is wonderfully “sessionable” for the hot summer months. The combination of Honey Malt and Citra hops in both brewing and dry hopping, along with a healthy zip of citrus zest makes Hopkist the perfect summer brew.

Brewery tours are offered on weekends and by reservation, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the facilities.


Arugula Pesto Pizza with Herbed Ricotta

Yield: 1 large pizza

1 ball pizza dough
1 batch arugula pesto (see below)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese, strained if watery
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon honey
pinch of salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
olive oil, for brushing
1 1/2 cups freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup raw walnut halves, chopped
zest of 1 medium lemon
2 cups lightly packed arugula

  1. Preheat the oven to 500ºF. Place a pizza stone in the oven and allow the stone to heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes (if you can do 30, even better).
  2. Place the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface and allow to relax for about 10 minutes (but no longer than 30). Roll out and shape the dough and then transfer to a piece of parchment paper cut to about the size of your pizza stone that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pesto recipe below. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, add the ricotta, basil, parsley, honey, salt and red pepper. Mix until combined. Set aside.
  5. Brush the pizza dough all over lightly with the olive oil. Scoop the pesto onto the dough and smear evenly all over, leaving a border around the edge. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the pesto, then drop the herbed ricotta in small scoops all over the top. Sprinkle with the walnuts.
  6. Transfer to the oven (put the parchment paper with the pizza directly on the pizza stone). Bake for about 10 to 14 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven, then sprinkle with the lemon zest and top with the fresh arugula. Slice and serve.

For the Pesto:
2 cups lightly packed arugula
1/2 cup lightly packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1/3 cup olive oil

  1. Add the arugula, spinach, sunflower seeds, parmesan, garlic and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
  2. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Process until smooth. If you want to thin out the pesto, add in additional olive oil a little at a time.


We recommend pairing this recipe with Ithaca Beer Company’s Hopkist.

As with all pizzas, feel free to adjust the amounts of the toppings to your own taste.

If you do not have a pizza stone (though highly recommend for homemade pizza), you can place the parchment with the pizza on a large baking sheet instead and then bake as directed.



Upstate Pairing: Heron Hill

by cathym on May 20, 2016

heronhill-logoblackHeron Hill Winery is nestled into a hillside overlooking scenic Keuka Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region. For more than 35 years, Heron Hill has won many awards for its distinctive, elegant wines and continues to be at the forefront of cool climate winemaking. Establishing its heritage among some of the first vinifera wineries in the Finger Lakes, John and Josephine Ingle founded Heron Hill in 1977. Through perseverance and long-term dedication to excellence in winemaking, Heron Hill Winery has become a world-class destination.

Heron Hill remains family-owned. For the Ingles, practicing sustainability is a way of life and means giving respect. Respect for the land in how they farm their estate vineyards, and respect for the consumer by offering wines with an authentic sense of place. Also, by providing visitors with a friendly and informative experience.

Today, Heron Hill offers over 20 wine varieties: crisp and light Rieslings, aromatic dry Chardonnays, the winery’s legendary Eclipse series, complex Pinot Noirs and Cabernet Francs, and specially crafted dessert wines.

Visit the vineyard on Keuka Lake, or one of their two tasting rooms located in Bristol and Seneca Lake. You can also read more about the operation at

For this issue, we asked our friends at Heron Hill for a recipe for a tasty early summer treat, and they delivered.

Poached Shrimp Crostini with Garlic Chive Pesto

Courtesy Heron Hill Winery

Serves 4

3 Yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced in half

1 Tbsp. mild yellow Curry powder

1 cup olive oil

6 oz. Chives (a hefty handful), some reserved for garnish

2 oz. fresh mint (a few sprigs), leaves separated

2 cups washed spinach leaves, watercress, or other hearty baby greens

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

16 slices of French bread

1 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tail removed

1 cup Heron Hill Eclipse White wine

1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning


1. Preheat oven to 375. Arrange pepper halves on a baking sheet cut side down and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven and flip after 15 minutes, cook for an additional 10 minutes. After allowing to cool, peel skins from peppers. In a food processor, puree peppers with curry powder and ¼ cup olive oil. Chill.

2. In a food processor, combine chives, mint, spinach, ¼ cup olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. Puree until smooth adding more oil if needed. Set aside.

3. Brush slices of bread with olive oil and toast in oven for about 3 minutes.

4. Heat large sauté pan on medium heat, add ¼ cup olive oil, wine, and Old Bay. When it has come to a gentle boil, add shrimp. Make sure that you keep them moving to cook the batch evenly and thoroughly, about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside.

5. Brush a toast point with chive pesto, arrange a shrimp on top, and drizzle with pepper sauce. Garnish with a fresh chive.

We recommend pairing this recipe with Heron Hill Eclipse White, but it would also go well with our Semi-Dry Riesling. Chives are the key spring herb to use, and mint adds subtle fresh notes, but you can experiment with your own favorite herbs.


Recipe: For the Birds

by janem on November 24, 2014

suet cake

by Marion Morse

Suet Recipe favored by woodpeckers, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches and Carolina wrens.

2 cups quick oats

2 cups cornmeal

1 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup shortening

1 cup peanut butter

Optional – Add with dry ingredients:  1/4 – 1/3 cup      Unsalted sunflower seeds


1. Line 9×13 pan with plastic wrap.

2. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.

3. Melt shortening in microwave & add peanut butter, stirring until blended. Pour into dry ingredients & mix well.

4. Pat into pan and refrigerate a few hours.

5. Lift out & slice into pieces that fit into a suet feeder.  Wrap & refrigerate unused pieces.



By Janet Allen

John Allen marveling at the luxurious growth of a large patch of knotweed along a road near our home in Syracuse, NY. Each time we pass this knotweed stand, we remark on its continuing growth and, so far, unchallenged spread along more and more of the roadside.

John Allen marveling at the luxurious growth of a large patch of knotweed along a road near our home in Syracuse, NY. Each time we pass this knotweed stand, we remark on its continuing growth and, so far, unchallenged spread along more and more of the roadside.

My husband, John, has an enemy – a persistent, aggressive one, taller than he is – up to 10 feet or more. After battling this foe on our church grounds for an entire summer, he believes he may be conquering it, albeit slowly. That enemy is Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum, or Reynoutria japonica) also known as fleece flower, crimson beauty, Mexican bamboo, or reynoutria. Those who know it most intimately call it “killer bamboo.”

Japanese knotweed was introduced from East Asia to the United Kingdom as an ornamental plant in the early 1800s, and from there to the United States in the late 1800s. Despite its “bamboo” characterization, it’s actually a member of the buckwheat family. This upright, shrub-like perennial has smooth stems, swollen at joints where the leaf meets the stem. Its large leaves are somewhat heart-shaped. Its sprays of tiny greenish-white flowers in summer are followed by small winged fruit containing lots of tiny seeds.

Japanese knotweed has invaded disturbed areas of the eastern U.S., some Midwest and western states, and even Alaska. It tolerates a wide variety of conditions, including full shade, high temperatures, and high salinity. Although it tolerates drought, it’s often found near water sources.

It spreads primarily by rhizomes, but it can also spread by water- or wind-borne seeds. It can even sprout from discarded cuttings. It spreads quickly and crowds out native vegetation, even more aggressively than most invasives. It’s extremely persistent. And it’s tough, having been known to push up through pavement or disrupt house foundations. It greatly alters native ecosystems.

Knowing what a nasty plant this is, imagine our horror when we saw it featured in a garden tour a few years ago! A professional landscaper had actually installed this monster – and some garden center had actually sold it! Any of the native alternatives listed in the sidebar would have been at least as beautiful in that landscape.

The USDA’s National Invasive Species Information Center offers an online video at (Oddly, the video features Gabriel Fauré’s lovely Pavane as background music; Paul Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice would have been more appropriate.)

Eradicating knotweed

There are many ways to attempt to eradicate knotweed. A brief overview of some methods is described below, but if you’re preparing for battle this year, it would be wise to further explore the details as you plan your attack. You probably will need to use more than one of these methods and definitely over a long period of time. As one commentator put it, “Prepare to make its eradication your new hobby.” And remember, cuttings can regenerate, potentially spreading the problem beyond your yard, so regardless of the methods you use, thoroughly dry or burn any stalks or rhizomes prior to disposal.

Smothering is one approach. Cut down all the old canes, and cover the patch with a large, sturdy tarp or overlapping tarps. This method has the virtue of being organic and also offering the possibility of gardening in raised beds right on top of the tarps. You might as well garden on top of them. Research suggests that rather than dying, knotweed has the capability of going dormant for up to 20 years or possibly longer.

Another method is to apply glyphosate as a foliar spray in late summer or early fall – or even repeatedly throughout the growing season to slow it down.

 Want to do good AND eat well? Check out this recipe sent in by the great Kimie Romeo for Apple and Knotweed pie. Not even kidding.

A third method is to dig out the rhizomes, attempting to get every bit, since it can resprout from even the smallest piece left in the ground. Of course, it’s not likely you’ll get every bit since the rhizomes of an established stand can spread 12-15 feet and 6-9 feet deep. Some advise against this method since—besides being a lot of work—it spreads the rhizome fragments and disturbs the soil, making it easier for new knotweed to get established.

A local nature center appears to have had some success with another method. They immediately cut down any emerging sprouts throughout the entire growing season, with the goal of starving it to death.

Inspired, my husband faithfully traveled to church with his scythe each week last summer. He scouted for each new sprout popping up and chopped off its little head. As doubts crept in toward the end of summer, he escalated the battle, carefully applying glyphosate on the cut stems.

He has engaged his enemy on the church ground battlefield again this year, (somewhat) confident of eventual victory. And he has changed his method. Instead of cutting down emerging shoots, he’s pulling them out. He claims the knotweed is much less vigorous this year than last and predicts that after this year, he’ll need only to monitor the area occasionally. In fact, he’s already making plans to use this reclaimed area for native plants.

Who will win – my husband or the killer bamboo? Wifely loyalty demands that I bet on my husband, but more objective onlookers may have doubts. Poor guy. I’d better have a nice cup of tea waiting at home for him.

Native alternatives:

New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)

Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)

Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum)

Sweet Joe-Pye-Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)

Queen-of-the-Prairie (Filipendula rubra)

Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica)

Maleberry (Lyonia ligustrina)

Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica)


Recipe: Apple and Knotweed Pie

by janem on July 1, 2014

Sent in by Kimie Romeo

Kimie sent this in literally minutes after we’d gone to press on the print edition…bummer! But we’re grateful to have it regardless.—Jane

For more on Japanese knotweed, see here.

 SPRING in Northeastern North America
Japanese knotweed’s sour flavor complements all sweet fruits, and it does a great job in this nontraditional apple pie, with an unusual herb-flavored crust, and a filling sweetened with the herb stevia instead of sugar or honey.

2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried spearmint, ground
1 tsp. coriander, ground
1/4 cup almond oil, or as needed
1/2 cup apple juice, or as needed


2-1/4 cups tart apples, sliced
1/4 cup Japanese knotweed shoots, sliced
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tsp. liquid stevia
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. powdered ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp. cloves, ground
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup each black walnuts and English (commercial) walnuts, or 1/2 cup English walnuts
3 tbs. Tapioca

1. Chill all crust ingredients.2. Mix the flour with the seasonings.

3. Cut in the oil. Mix until you have the consistency of wet sand.

4. Slowly mix in the cold apple juice until you have a dough that’s elastic and pliable, but not mushy, and knead.

5. Press this into an oiled 9 inch pie pan. Save the excess dough to use on top of the filling.

6. Mix all filling ingredients together.

7. Prick holes in the crust with a fork, then fill it with the filling.

8. Place the excess dough on top, lattice style.

9. Bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven 10 minutes, checking that the crust doesn’t burn.

10. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F, turn the pie pan to distribute the heat more evenly, and bake another 30 minutes, or until the crust is crisp and the filling is bubbly.


Small Batch Strawberry Jam

by janem on June 5, 2013


Small Batch Strawberry Jam
Makes 4 cups

3 ½ lbs. strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
2 ¾ cups sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 lemon, quartered

1. Mix all ingredients in a heavy medium stainless steel pot. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fruit releases juices, about 30 minutes.
2. Continue to cook, stirring as needed to prevent sticking, until thick and slightly darker, about 1 ½ hours.
3. Remove lemon. Chill jam in airtight containers up to one month in refrigerator or freeze up to 6 months.

Variation: Replace 1 lb. strawberries with 1 lb. chopped rhubarb.

—Countesy Marion Morse, Allyn’s Creek Garden Club