Monthly Archives: August 2014

Fresh From the Catskills!

Over the past year our family has fallen in love with upstate New York.

When you have young children it is a wonderful escape, that doesn’t break the bank, and is simple to get to!

On many of our trips to the Catskills we have stopped at beautiful roadside farm stands. Each time bringing home fresh vegetables, syrups, jams, pickles and cheeses.

Below are photos from our “field trip” to the Brovetto family Dairy in Harpersfield NY. (Schoharie County). We couldn’t get enough of their cheese….so we went to visit the cheese house to see how its made and for some additional tasting! What fun! It didn’t take much convincing for the butcher to agree to carry Harpersfield Farmstead Cheese at R&S Meat Market. It’s simply delicious!

What’s even more wonderful than the taste of the cheese itself, is the story of how it began.

Corinne and Ron Brovetto were originally from Long Island, NY where they were raising their four children. While searching for a better way to spend more time as a family they were drawn to the Catskill mountains. With the help of family and friends they slowly built their barns and cheese house which includes a cheese cave built into the side of a mountain. Over the years their business has grown to include a herd of 68 dairy cows (30 of those are milkers).

Every Wednesday is cheese making day. Ron wakes up at 3am to start the process of cutting the curd. The cheese making process is a family affair and will last until 11pm. It takes 4000 lbs. of milk to make 400 lbs. of cheese. Wow!

Click on each photo below to see the cheese making process:

This Burger Gets Five Stars!

There are few things more all American than a delicious burger grilled on your backyard barbecue . In my quest to become a better cook, I have realized that the outcome certainly does start with the quality of the ingredients you start with.

This half pound burger is made from freshly ground, all natural, grass fed painted hills beef. The taste and light airy texture of these burgers make them crave-worthy.

Serve these mouth watering burgers on a fresh brioche bun with melted american and spicy pickles……gourmet all the way!

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IMG_2440 Painted Hills grass fed half pound burgers, rubbed with olive oil and sea salt. Heat your grill to 400 degrees. Turn all burners to medium heat just before you place your burgers on the grates. cook 5 minutes per side until the meat thermometer reads 160 degrees fahrenheit. (10-12minutes)

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Potato’s in chip form….a breakfast food?

The latest dilemma in our household would be keeping food in the fridge. It seems that the boys have reached the age where anything and everything is a snack, and they are snacking all day long!

Last week my oldest was chowing down on a bag of Kettle chips at 9am. Yep! Potato’s in chip form…a breakfast food in his book.  I sent him back to the kitchen…anything…even tuna on a roll….had to be better than chips. (And yes, he ate a tuna salad sandwich instead.)

When I ask the  butcher to bring home dinner, I now need a dozen sausage links instead of six. Eight pork chops instead of 4…and if steak’s on the menu…wait for it……one  per kid! No joke-

Now, the change of eating habits amongst the troops, has certainly made it a lot more fun to cook…at least we are out of the chicken tender and fries stage. But at the same time, it’s quite exasperating!

My thoughts are, let’s get these boys into the kitchen! This pasta salad happens to be a favorite and is simple enough for them to make themselves. AJ, be prepared to learn how to make your favorite pasta salad:)

 

AJ’s Favorite Pasta Salad:

 

 

 

A simple way to fancy this up would be to use whole pitted Kalamata olives instead of the canned version, and fresh mozzarella balls (halved) in place of the low moisture mozzarella. Delicious!

(By the way Liz, this recipe is also for you. I know you think that “it’s easier” if we make this yummy pasta salad…but I think you would actually have fun doing it!)

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