Saturday, August 22, 2009


Game ON! Vote for my Finger Lakes Fantastic Onion Burger (and four sides) by clicking here, or send an email to with "FLX Ultimate Burger Vote: Laura Kenyon" in the subject line.

Thank you for your support and enjoy the recipes!

Finger Lakes Fantastic Onion Burger

Olive oil
2- 3 garlic cloves, minced (Mullala Garlic)
1 medium onion, diced ( Jones Brook Produce)
Round wholegrain loaf (Kitchen Blessings)
1 lb ground beef from Bedient farms
Salt and pepper
sliced tomatoes (Seneca Vegetables)
Baby arugula or salad greens (Ambrosia Acres Family Farm)
Franjo farms Onion Garlic Asiago spread
nasturtium flowers for plate garnish, optional (Ambrosia Acres Family Farm)

In a small sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent; set aside and allow to cool to room temp.

Slice bread into four wedges, then slice horizontally to form buns; set aside.

Mix garlic and onion with ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Form four triangular patties (they should be similar in shape to the buns) about ¼-inch thick. Grill over medium-high heat, flipping once, to desired doneness.

While burgers are cooking, lightly brush the insides of the bun with olive oil, and place face-down on grill to toast.

When burgers are ready, place arugula or salad greens and tomato on bottom half of bun. Top with burger, then top with other half of the bun spread generously with Onion Garlic Asiago spread. Garnish plate with nasturtium, if desired.

Quick Pickles
1 pint of pickling cucumbers (Gale-Wyn Farm)
1 bottle of Roasted Garlic/Red Wine Balsamic Vinaigrette (Chef Lerman)
Sprigs of fresh dill (Firefly Farm)

Wash cucumbers and cut on a diagonal into ¼-inch slices; set aside. Heat vinaigrette in a small saucepan over medium heat until it simmers. Add cucumbers, let simmer for a minute and remove from heat. Allow cucumbers to cool until slightly warm; add sprigs of dill and stir to mix. Cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

Height of Summer Tomato and Basil salad
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved (Gale-Wyn Farms)
Fresh basil cut in a chiffonade (Seneca Vegetables)
Maple Lemon-Lime Basil Vinaigrette (Canadice Kitchens/Sugarbush Hollow)
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss tomatoes, basil, vinaigrette (start with a couple of tablespoons and add more if desired), salt and pepper.

Lime-kissed Fire Roasted Corn
Unshucked ears of corn (Jones Brook Produce)
Lime wedges
Salt and pepper

Heat grill to medium high. Peel back the corn husks, being careful not to remove them completely, and remove the corn silk. Pull the husks back up over the corn so the ear is covered by the husk. If necessary, tie a spare piece of husk around the end of the corn to keep the husk closed.

Place the corn in their husks on the hot grill; cover. Turn the corn occasionally, until the husks are charred on all sides, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove corn from grill and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove the husks from the corn, and rub the ears with lime wedges. Season with salt and pepper.

Market Fresh Peach Blueberry Lemonade
8 ripe peaches, washed and pitted
2 pints of blueberries, picked over and rinsed
1 whole lemon, rinsed
Honey, to taste

Combine peaches, blueberries, and lemon in a juicer and process. Taste, and adjust sweetness by adding honey if needed. Garnish with a lemon wedge and extra berries.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cooking as a Spectator Sport: An Interview with Michael Pollan

Here's an interesting interview with Michal Pollan on cooking as a spectator sport. I don't agree with everything he says (particularly about the obesity epidemic; this has shaped my thinking on that topic) but the idea that cooking was a giant evolutionary step is particularly provacative.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Ultimate Finger Lakes Burger Challenge at the Canandaigua Farmers' Market

Slice Dice & Spice NY is an effort by Visit Finger Lakes to promote local food. They're hosting three farmers' market challenges in which a total of nine foodies shop their local market to find ingredients to build the Ultimate Finger Lakes Burger. Once all the events are completed, recipes & photos will be posted to the Slice, Dice & Spice NY site and open to online voting. Click here for info.

I was lucky enough to be included in the event and had such a good time!

Gale, Chris and I were worked with Chef David Buchanan from Bristol Harbor at the Canandaigua Farmers' Market Challenge. Chef David is so talented, thoughtful and all-around awesome that Shane & I are already planning a trip to Bristol Harbor for dinner.

If interested, you can view video of the event (my butt makes an appearance around minute 3:15 -- whee!) and more pictures (in which I look nefarious, because THE CAMERA DOESN'T LIE).

BIG thank yous to Chef David, Gale, Chris and, especially, the hard-working folks at Slice, Dice & Spice NY!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Indian-Spiced Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

What can I say about this sandwich, except NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM ?

Ok, I can say a bit more: it's perfect for summer because you don't have to turn on the oven. It's got a curry/mango kick. It takes advantage of all that fresh arugula that's available right now.

And it's freakin' delicious. So, to reiterate: NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM.

Indian-Spiced Pulled Chicken Sandwiches (adapted)

3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3/4 cup mango chutney
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsps. curry powder
4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 scallions, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup baby arugula leaves
4 very soft rolls, split

In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, chutney, lime juice and curry until blended . Add the shredded chicken and scallions and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Place arugula on the rolls, top with the pulled chicken salad and enjoy.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

Happy Birthday, Sadie!

Today is Sadie's 11th Birthday. And we celebrated, at her request, with a homemade ice cream cake.

Make an ice cream cake from scratch is dead simple. (Time-consuming but simple.) Basically, I followed the instructions outlined in this guide and made a few tweaks. I'd recommend watching the video before making this cake simply to get a visual of what to do, but it really is easy. And delicious.

I did not use my own ice cream for this cake, but that is my next ice cream cake goal. If you use store-bought, make sure to choose a high-quality brand so that the cake's taste is fantastic as its aesthetics.

Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream Cake
1 package of Oreo cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 qt. chocolate ice cream
1 qt. vanilla ice cream
non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
sprinkles (optional)
cake decorating gel (optional)

Place chocolate ice cream in the refrigerator and allow to soften.

Set aside 6 Oreo cookies. Crush the remaining cookies and, in a medium bowl, mix cookie crumbs thoroughly with the melted butter.

Press half to two-thirds of the cookie crumbs into the bottom of a springform pan. (The amount you use with determine the thickness of the cake's crust.) Set the remaining crumbs aside. Place springform pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the crust to harden.

Place softened chocolate ice cream into a medium bowl and stir; it should be smooth and spreadable. Remove springform pan from the freezer and spread the chocolate ice cream evenly over the chocolate cookie crust. Sprinkle the surface of the ice cream with the remaining cookie crumbs (use as much or as little as you choose) and gently press the crumbs into the ice cream. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and chill in the freezer until hard, at least four hours.

Once the cake layer is almost ready, place the vanilla ice cream in the refrigerator and allow to soften. Once the vanilla ice cream is ready, remove springform pan from the freezer and spread the vanilla ice cream evenly over the chocolate ice cream and cookie crumb layer. Recover the pan with aluminum foil and chill in the freezer until hard, at least four hours.

Remove the pan from the freezer and run a hot knife between the edge of the ice cream cake and the walls of the pan (this will help prevent the cake from cracking). Open the latch on the springform pan and remove the sides.

Place the cake on a cake decorating turntable or plastic cutting board and frost with the whipped topping. Split apart the reserved Oreo cookies and place the halves around the sides of the cake. If desired, decorated with sprinkles and decorating gel.

Return cake to freezer and chill for 3 to 4 hours until hardened. Before serving, allow to soften in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Slice cake with a knife warmed in hot water; dry knife before slicing .

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Ultimate Finger Lakes Burger Challenge: IT'S ON!

Guess what?

I've been tapped to compete in Slice, Dice + Spice NY's Ultimate Finger Lakes Burger Challenge.

(YAY! And ... gulp.)

What's it all about? Here's info from the Slice, Dice + Spice site:

Are you ready to watch us build the Ultimate Finger Lakes Burger?

A total of nine Foodies have been selected to participate in each of the 3 Slice, Dice and Spice Farm Market Challenges at the Ontario County Farmers Markets in August. Each Foodie will be given $50 to use to purchase ingredients that they feel will create the Ultimate Finger Lakes Burger and side dish.

These Market Basket selections will be given to an Ontario County Chef (a select chef will be chosen for each of the 3 local Farmers Markets) and each of these Chefs will create three burgers and side using the very fresh from the farm, Finger Lakes ingredients. Then, the total of nine recipes will be posted on the Slice Dice and Spice NY website where YOU - Joey Q. Public - will be invited to try this recipe at home and vote ~ online for your favorite.

The shopping and cooking demonstration will be video taped and broadcast on the Slice Dice and Spice NY website and portions will be promoted on You Tube as well. This is a challenge that is live, lively and dependent upon you - the Ultimate Finger Lakes Foodie.

Did you see that? There will be online voting (hint, hint).

If you're in the area, please feel free to come down to the Canandaigua Farmers' Market this Saturday and watch the fun. Shopping starts at 8:30am, cooking begins at 9am. (I know it's early, but you can get a morning jolt with coffee from The Dalai Java and pastry from Kitchen Blessings or Peight Bakedgoods!)

If you can't make it, rest assured: I will remind you - repeatedly - to vote for me.