Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope that this past weekend brought you love, happiness, and holiday cheer.

Carols on a real piano... (with only a few mistakes...)

...maybe it even brought you your very own can of alcohol-infused whipped cream...

The cookies and sangria may have gotten a little out of control....

And by now, you're probably all tuckered out.

It's okay, Christmas has a way of doing that.

 Enjoy your last week of 2010!!  I know I will :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Green Scene.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last-Minute Gifts

'Tis the season.  But, you're probably tired of the mall (or just avoiding it, like me).  Even so, it's possible you still need a few more gifts.  And maybe you want to be more creative than usual.

Giving gifts with a local touch is a unique way to recognize the holiday spirit, whether you're giving to an out-of-towner or a fellow townie.  It means you thought about it a little bit, and veered off the beaten path (i.e. Crossgates Mall Road).

Need some help?

If you have access to a local co-op, making a gift basket of specialty items is a fun present for anyone.  Throw in some New York wine and cheese, and it's extra special!  (Honest Weight in Albany has fantastic cheeses, and the Little Falls Community Co-Op sells beautiful Amish baskets, meaning a one-stop shop!)

Finger Lakes Wine (Seneca Lake, NY)

 Amazing Real Live Food Company cheese 
(available at Honest Weight)

 The people around you, like friends and co-workers, often practice hobbies that may serve your purpose.  Look for baked goods, crafts, maple syrup, or natural toiletry products  (Homemade soaps are especially nice for the lady on your list.)

Hay Maple Syrup, Cobleskill, NY

Hand-made natural soaps (lotions, lip balms) by P. Maniscalco, 
Cobleskill, NY
(highly recommended by me)

Or at the very least, shop at a small business.  There are plenty of local chocolatiers, florists, jewelry makers, tea and coffee companies, etc. that could use your business as much as you could use their one-of-a-kind goods.
Loose tea at Nova Mae Cafe in Bennington, VT

Or, make something yourself!  Bake up a batch of cookies, a pie, or some bread.  A little love makes everything taste extra good.

I say you can still make the pumpkin bread.  OR... homemade gingerbread anyone??

I'm sure you'll come up with something perfect :) Good luck and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner

My face is still numb from my filling at 11AM this morning.   :(

After choking and cheek-biting my way through lunch, I decided to have pancakes for dinner.

Of course, I used Bisquick.  Who doesn't?  This post isn't so much about the pancakes, but what I used on top.

Really, I've just been waiting for an excuse to make pancakes, ever since I splurged on this:

Yes.  REAL maple syrup.  And not only is it real (which tastes completely different from fake), but it was made right in Cobleskill by someone I work with.  Double awesome.

So I stirred up my Bisquick, adding some cinnamon because it's yummy.  (For the record, I used Byrne Dairy milk and Cottonhill farm eggs, as well as some flax from the co op, so there's some local in there.)

Then I fried about the best darn batch of pancakes I think I ever made.  I'm getting a hang of this cooking thing.

I highly recommend real maple syrup, and while you're at it, you might as well get it from the Hay family.  Their bottle says "The World's Best," and I think they might be right...

** Look for them to be selling syrup again around March. I also hear there's tours...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Specials 2: Sangria

It's Monday... time to start planning for the weekend!

Who doesn't need something to look forward to on a snowy, blustery Monday, filled with hyper freshmen, and bookended by dentists and cats wearing cone collars?

Long story.

Well, the holidays are fast approaching, and I, for one, am more than ready for par-tay (or two).

Minus the sambuca, we are not a family of drinkers.  But it's still nice to have a festive drink on the table.  Accordingly, my mom has concocted a fun autumnal sangria for the holiday season.

First cut up your fruit.  Bite size pieces work best: if they're too big, they overpower your glass.  We used one apple, one orange, and a handful of cranberries.  Put it all into a pretty pitcher.

Pour in a bottle of wine.  We've experimented with a few different ones, but a sweet red wine tastes best (like a New York red).  The sugars mix well with the fruit.  Then top this off with some cranberry juice.  (You can control the strength of your sangria depending on how much juice you cut it with.)

Let it sit for a few hours... the oranges really spice the wine, and the apples suck it all up.  The cranberries just make it look wintery.  You could even mix it the night before, except don't put the apples in until a little before serving.  (The oranges make it better with time, but the apples start to get a little funky.)

Enjoy it in pretty glasses with friends and food.

A party in a pitcher

Have fun and be safe :)

“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” 
Charlie Brown
A Charlie Brown Christmas