Author Archives: entertainingbythebay

Cider Maple Cranberry Sauce with Bitters


  • 12 ounces fresh whole cranberries
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cider
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon bitters, such as Bittermen’s
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pinch of fine sea salt


Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer approximately 10 minutes until the cranberries start to burst. Cool completely and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken. Serve chilled.

Sprinkle Biscotti

This is a perfect addition to any holiday cookie platter. I’ve been making this Molly Yeh sprinkle recipe all year. It’s so easy to assemble and every person who tries this tasty biscotti with lots of eye appeal absolutely loves this cookie. It’s the perfect sweet and salty crunch on top that wins every time.
A few quick tips, I love the sprinkles but feel free to use mini chocolates and or nuts in your biscotti. Use only large eggs, the dough is unforgiving with too much liquid, I discovered this the hard way. I change up my sprinkle colors depending on the holiday and or season. It just makes it more fun and festive.
From by the bay, wishing you sprinkled food memories!

Sprinkle Biscotti

As featured by Molly Yeh and based on my marzipan mandel (patinkin) bread, which was inspired by the shiksa’s

makes 18 large pieces


3 1/2 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1 c vegetable oil

1 c sugar

3 large eggs

1 tb clear imitation vanilla (i use mccormick)

1/2 c rainbow sprinkles, store-bought or homemade

a few pinches of sea salt and sanding sugar (or regular sugar) for sprinkling


preheat oven to 350.

in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

in a large bowl, whisk together oil and sugar. whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.

whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and then fold in the sprinkles.

line a baking sheet with parchment, divide dough into two equal parts, and then form long rectangles, about 4 inches wide. leave a few good inches in between the rectangles because they will spread in the oven. sprinkle the tops with a few pinches of sea salt and sanding sugar (or regular sugar) and then bake for 25 minutes.

remove from the oven and reduce heat to 250. use a serrated knife to cut the rectangles into 1-inch pieces and place them on their sides. bake at 250 for 20 more minutes, or until desired crispiness. 

Collard Greens with Mulled Cider Spiced Butter and Ricotta Cheese

With fall comes vibrant leafy green vegetables, one of my favorites being collard greens. Most recipes call for a long cooking time but this recipe is a quick cook recipe. The greens are softened but still have some texture. They are also still a glorious bright green. The surprise ingredient is mulling spice. I buy mulling spices very year to mull cider or wine. One day I added the mulling spice blend to flavor some butter and the end result is a delicious, aromatic, and toasty brown butter that works great to sauté collard greens. The spicy flavor is balanced by the ricotta cheese which warms into the collard greens. Fabulous to eat and your house will smell like fall!

From by the bay, wishing you warm mulled spice food memories!


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Easy Strawberry Cake

This a delicious fruity summer dessert. It starts with an easy yellow cake batter that uses lots of fresh berries. The berries bake into the cake and create little pools of jammy fruit. Enjoy summer in a cake!

From my the bay, wishing you jammy summer fruit cake memories.


Easy Strawberry Cake


¼ pound unsalted butter softened

½ cup fine sugar

1 teaspoon coarse sugar for topping the cake

1 egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place strawberries in bowl, cover with lemon juice, mix and set aside. Using electric mixer combine  ¼ lb butter and sugar until fluffy, then add egg along with vanilla and combine. Next add  the flour and  baking powder and combine. This makes a soft dough.  Take an 8” non stick cake pan line with parchment and butter and flour the pan. Press the dough into the pan covering the bottom of the cake pan. Use a spatula to spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Place strawberries over the dough. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top of the batter and berries. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until  cake tester is clean. Cool and remove from pan. Serve warm or room temperature as is or with fresh whipped cream.

Variations: replace strawberries with blueberries, raspberries or blackberries

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

It’s a glorious day when I step into a farm stand and find a brilliantly red fresh bunch of rhubarb stalks ! I grab those beauties and head home into the kitchen to decide how to best enjoy find. Melissa Clark’s Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake is a most try recipe for anyone loving rhubarb. A perfect combination of sweet and sour topping a moist dense cake. It’s sublime!

From by the bay, wishing you brilliant rhubarb food memories!


Rhubarb Upside-Down CakeFrom Melissa Clark’s A Good Appetite 


  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, more to grease pans
  • 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, rinsed and sliced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • zest of one lemon grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and sides of the pan. Wrap two layers of foil under the pan, and place it on a buttered baking sheet.

2. In a medium bowl, mix rhubarb, cornstarch and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

3. Mix the brown sugar and 1/2 stick butter in a pan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.

4. Whip 2 sticks butter in a mixer with a paddle attachment for 2 minutes. With your fingers, blend the remaining 1 cup sugar with lemon zest until the mixture is uniform in color. Cream together with the butter at medium-high speed until it is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl halfway through. Add the vanilla and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the sour cream, then the lemon juice. (It’s O.K. if the mixture looks curdled.) With the mixer set to low speed, add the flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, until well combined. Scrape down the mixer bowl in between the additions.

5. Pour the brown-sugar mixture into the cake pan, then spoon in the rhubarb and its juices. Spoon in the batter so it covers all of the rhubarb. Smooth out the top.

6. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the top of the cake is firm to touch and a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out without any large, moist crumbs.

7. Place the pan on a wire rack, and cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the cake, place a plate on top of the pan and turn it upside-down. Release the cake from the pan while still warm or else it will stick.

Cornbread, Sausage and Walnut Dressing

i love experimenting with ingredients to create a flavorful update to an already delicious recipe . This is a winning combination. I kept it simple using store bought cornbread along with sausage meat because dressing really does taste good with sausage meat. It’s a big Thanksgiving tradition in my family. I added to this many of my favorite flavors of the season, dried cranberries, walnuts, fresh rosemary and of course sage. The result is a great side to any holiday feast!

From by the bay , wishing you flavorful dressing food memories!


Cornbread, Sausage and Walnut Dressing

Serves 6


  • 8 cups stale cornbread, cut into 1/2” cubes and toasted
  • 1 1/2  pound  spicy sausage meat, remove casings
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 to 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


To make dressing place a large skillet on medium heat and cook sausage, crumbling the meat with a fork until fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and place into a large mixing bowl. Add butter to the same skillet, melt butter and then add the celery and onion. Saute ingredients together until softened about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add the walnuts and herbs cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the bowl with the cooked sausage meat. Add the bread cubes, cranberries and 2 cups chicken stock to the bowl. Mix the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. If the dressing is dry add more stock. The dressing can be made up to this point one day in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake. Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Place dressing into a lightly buttered baking dish. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.


Allspice Dry Brine for Turkey

Looking for the perfect turkey recipe? Here is one you will love, after years of using wet brines for my turkey preparation, I have shifted to dry brine with outstanding results. Why a dry brine? Well the taste is great which is the most important reason but  besides that the brining time is faster, storing the turkey is easier and it requires a lot less effort. Let’s be honest, if you are preparing a Thanksgiving meal, you need to find ways to make it all easier.  Give yourself a break or just try a different approach this holiday and enjoy !

From by the bay, wishing you tasty dry brine turkey food memories!


All Spice Dry Brine Turkey


  • 1 12- to 16-pound turkey, preferably a heritage or pasture raised bird  
  • 1 recipe of all spice dry brine ( recipe follows below)
  • 8 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 small oranges, halved
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock


One day before serving, rinse turkey and pat dry. Rub dry brine all over with turkey including under skin where possible and rubbing some into cavities. Use about 1 tablespoon per 4 pounds of bird. Wrap bird in a large plastic bag and place in refrigerator. A couple of hours before cooking, remove turkey from bag and pat dry. (There is no need to rinse it first.) Place in roasting pan and allow to come to room temperature. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Truss legs with kitchen twine. Put oranges and bay leaves in neck opening and tuck neck skin under bird. Rub butter under breast skin and onto thigh meat. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove turkey from oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees and cover breast of bird and wing tips with foil. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock to bottom of roasting pan and roast bird for another two hours, depending on size; figure 12 minutes a pound for an unstuffed bird. Remove foil in last half-hour so breast browns. When turkey has roasted for 2 hours, begin to test for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer (digital is best) into two places in thigh, making sure not to touch bone. It should be at about 160 degrees. When roasting is done, tip turkey so interior juices run back into pan. Remove turkey to a separate baking sheet or serving platter, cover with foil and then a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. Pour fat and drippings from pan into a measuring cup. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup chicken of turkey stock and pour that into same measuring cup. Fat and drippings can then be used to make gravy.


Allspice Dry Brine for Turkey

Ingredients for Dry Brine

  • 1/2 cup fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Directions for Dry Brine

In a medium bowl combine well all ingredients.  Store in an air tight container until ready to use.


Easy Fig Jam


Inspired by my travels in Napa Valley and falling in love with the sights, taste and aromas of the wine country is my super easy fig jam. The  jam is the perfect when served with bread, cheese and wine. This recipe helps  to transport me back everytime to this beautiful destination!

From by the bay wishing you fond wine country food memories!


Fig Jam


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 8 ounces fresh black mission figs, stemmed and split in half


In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add all remaining ingredients except figs ( sugar, water, vinegar, salt, rosemary, lemon juice and zest). Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer until it is the consistency of a syrup and add figs. Continue to simmer until figs are soft. Cool and place in a covered glass container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. This will keep about 5 days in the refrigerator.



Belgian Waffles with Whipped Marcarpone Cream and Peaches

It’s County Fair Season and I sure do love it. Our local fair is pretty small in scale but scale is made up for in location, location, location! The fair sits on the edge of the sand and sea. Warm breezes and salty air waft over the fairground. A perfect time to be out enjoying the music, rides and the food. Let’s talk about fair food. I can enjoy the real deal as much as the next person – the funnel cakes, corn dogs, kettle corn, snow cones and all kind so of things fried, but I often wonder wouldn’t it be nice to kick it all up a notch and maybe not be eating just fried everything. I decided to create my own fair food menu, perfect with your next fair or family gathering.

From by the bay wishing you delicious country fair food memories!


Belgian Waffles with Whipped Mascarpone Cream and Peaches

Makes 8


1 ½ cup flour

2 tablespoons fine sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs

½ cup milk

¼ sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup melted unsalted butter

Spray vegetable oil




In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add milk, sour cream, vanilla and melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix well. Let batter rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile spray waffle iron with vegetable oil andpreheat waffle iron. Add ½ cup of batter for each waffle. Cook as directed with iron until waffles are golden brown. Serve waffles with whipped mascarpone cream and freshly sliced peaches. Dust some confectionery sugar on top of the assembled waffles.


Whipped Mascarpone Cream


¼ cup mascarpone

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons confectionery sugar


Place all the ingredients in a bowl and using an electric mixer, whip together until the cream is in soft peaks that hold their shape. Serve immediately with the waffles or keep in the refrigerator covered until ready to use.

Nashville -The Rise of the Biscuit

Nashville – The Rise of the Biscuit

I enjoy traveling for food inspiration. My food travels recently took me to Nashville where there is an incredible food scene happening, in addition to the wonderful live music venues.  Nashville is the perfect place to indulge in my passion for food and music. Farm to Table restaurants abound in and out of the city.  I found inspired southern cooking everywhere. Many of the restaurants pride themselves in maintaining their southern cooking roots but approach food preparation in new exciting ways. As I ate my way around Nashville it became apparent that whether I was eating at the classic road stop – Loveless Cafe or fine dining at the Capital Grille in the famous Hermitage Hotel, there was a reference for the biscuit. If I wanted to recapture my food experiences back home on Long Island, I would need to master the southern biscuit.  I found the perfect book to take home with me – filled with biscuit recipes from the experts – “The Rise of the Southern Biscuit- The Biscuit Dive Guide” by Maryann Byrd.  I tried several recipes and I’m sharing my favorite. I also used some of the biscuit tricks in the book, that really made a difference in the  quality of the biscuit. Here are my favorite tricks:
1. Use a lower gluten flour – about 8% for a light airy biscuit – I bought a flour from the South – White Lily All purpose flour ( thank goodness for the the Amazon grocery) , the difference from the flour alone was remarkable.
2.  Don’t over handle the dough, use your finger tips, first to incorporate the lard into the flour and again when you are making your biscuits push the dough down lightly using your finger tips only ( the same is a good tip for pizza making as well)
3.  Use lard ! I found again my biscuits were better using a lard that is staple in southern pantries – Armour brand.
4. One of my favorite kitchen tricks, if you don’t have buttermilk just add 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar to whole milk an let sit a minute or two before using.
5. Instead of kneading the dough, I combine together and then fold 4 to 5 times to create layers.
Now you are ready to make light airy biscuits!  I’m also sharing an easy berry jam recipe, it uses apple as a natural pectin to make the jam. Biscuits and fresh jam – I can’t think of a better start to any day !!
From by the bay, wishing you Nashville food memories!
Mondell’s Country Biscuits
From “The Rise of the Southern Biscuit- The Biscuit Dive Guide” by Maryann Byrd
Makes 12 biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sift the dry ingredients together. Mix shortening with your finger tips until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour in the room temperature buttermilk until flour leaves
sides of the bowl and forms a ball. If it sticks, add a little more flour until it comes away from the sides of the bowl. Place the dough on to a floured surface and knead five to six times. Make sure the surface is not cold. You can roll out or pat out into 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on greased or non stick cookie sheet.  Brush with melted butter and then place in oven and bake 8 to 12 minutes until biscuits start to brown.
Easy Berry Breakfast Jam
approximately 10 ounces jam
6 ounces berries – such as strawberries, raspberries , blackberries or blueberries
1/2 cup fine white sugar
1/2 apple, peeled, cored and small dice
In a small saucepan bring sugar and berries to a boil stirring occassionally. Add apple and stir. Bring back to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often. Let cool and place in a jam jar or container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. This will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator.