Monday, April 14, 2014

The Rumors are True: Fresh Beef and Fish at Beacon Pantry

While out at Quinn's with our friends who turned us onto the Cold Spring Coffee Pantry (a cafe in the mountains of Cold Spring), they also clued us into the fresh beef and fish deliveries at Beacon Pantry on Thursdays! And by "fresh," I mean air sealed packaging maybe a day or two before it's delivered to the store.

One of Beaconite's biggest wishes have been to have a source close by for meat and fish. There is a source in Cold Spring out the back of the Riverview Restaurant on 9D. We usually get our hamburger meat and filet mignon steaks at Hannafords on Rt. 9, and they really are pretty good, yet require planning ahead for shopping, and then a real commitment to eating the steak or fish for dinner, lest you wait too long and the fresh beef goes to waste. This wouldn't seem possible, but stuff happens and you end up cooking something else for dinner sometimes.

I'm trying to meal plan on a Monday mornings and buy groceries throughout the week. So having ground beef and steak at Beacon Pantry is such a help.

So mark your weekly calendars:

THURSDAYS: delivery of meat and fish (like ground beef, different types of steaks, salmon, shrimp, grouper, and can change per week).

MONDAYS: fish and meat are moved to the freezer.

Beacon Pantry is a Facebook page you're going to want to keep refreshing! They post what's going on almost daily.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Keen Natural Dehydrated Whole Food for Dogs at Beacon Barkery

The latest food marvel at Beacon Barkery is this Keen, which I spotted with my little eye while picking up my dog her usual Lamb wet dog food from Merrick. Dehydrated food in a box? Just add water and you have a wholesome meal in 5 minutes? Curious.

Everything I've bought at Beacon Barkery has been spot on, so this may be worth a try. Even though my dog is happy with her current food setup (Call of the Wild dry + Merrick Lamb formula wet + joint supplement + pain meds for arthritis). It was Libby, Beacon Barkery's owner, who I give huge credit to for helping my dog into a new phase of comfort. For years, Gerdy has dealt with "seasonal allergies" but they didn't go away these last few years. Gerdy ate a lot of chicken, and after getting her tested for mange and whatever else, Libby suggested eliminating chicken. Which for Gerdy kind of stunk because she likes to lick my plate of eggs in the morning.

But we took the plunge and went cold turkey with the chicken. Within weeks, a noticeable difference. But, Gerdy was still licking her paws. So I took her to Roosevelt Vet On the Hudson, and right away, based on an earlier incident with Gerdy becoming immobile after a road trip, they suspected arthritis, and that Gerdy was licking joints that hurt :(.....

So with the new food regiment and the meds, I think Gerdy is a happier camper. I could always ask the animal communicator whose flyers I see at Beacon Barkery every time I go.

So many choices at our local pet boutique! Seriously - if you have a need or problem, Libby always seems to have the answer...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vote for A Little Beacon Blog for Best Local Blog!

Okay everyone, this blog is officially running for the "Best Local Blog" for Hudson Valley Magazine. Trouble is - the category doesn't exist yet!! LOL. Even thought there are plenty of local blogging voices. I walk around our town and I love seeing everyone's "Best Of" award magazine cover year after year in storefront windows, and it is such an honor. But blogging is a business too!

So if you like this blog, please vote for it at Hudson Valley Magazine! Here's how it works since there is no official category for it yet: You'll click here, fill in your name, and then scroll down to the bottom of the voting page, and then you'll see a section called "Choose Your Own Category." Type into that box:

Best Local Blog, A Little Beacon Blog


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It's Time: Planting the Garden with Help from Ruth Stout

Planing vegetables and using Ruth Stout No Work Garden book
It's here! My hyacinths started coming up before the 3 feet snow plop in March (after the one in February), that snowed us all in, all winter. Layers of snow ice sat on top of the eager bulbs for weeks, but it didn't matter. The snow has finally melted and the tulips are pushing through.

In the stores, like at Lowe's and Home Depot and our neighborhood greenhouse Sunny Garden Greenhouse on Rt 9D, the vegi seeds are stocked! This is the year where I pay attention to my mulch, and finish the book one of my neighbors lent to me, Ruth Stout's The No Work Garden. Before reading the book, I'd noticed that the soil under the rotted leaves in the very back of my yard was luxurious. It was so rich. So last Fall, I spread all of our leaves on our garden plot before the snow came.

Ruth Stout No Work Garden Book
Last year's garden became too much to weed. But Ruth Stout's method really did put an end to my weeding last year when I finally got a bushel of hay and lay it down. Not only that, but when my friend nestled his compost and hay around my forever-wilting basil, I never watered it again. And it grew 3x in size.

So, I'm excited. Are you? What are you doing different this year?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Behind the Scenes with All You Knead Bakery, Artisan Bakers

All You Knead Bread
I'm somewhat of a small business junkie. I love stepping into the stores on Main Street and hearing the latest news of how business is going, and what latest tools they are using (like Square or Swipely?). When I lived in Manhattan, I'd do this with the taxi drivers, and boy did I get an earful when taxis were forced to accept credit cards. Hence my fascination with the Uber/Gett high class taxi drama that I wrote an article for: "An 'Open Interview' for Josh Mohrer, GM of Uber Regarding Gett Competition Tactics".

Such was the case when I was buying my weekly bread from Simone at All You Knead Bakery, the artisan bakers who left their digs in the old high school to claim a storefront location on Main Street several years ago. Simone was telling me about how she survived when her business partner and head baker suddenly put in his two weeks notice to quickly retire. Simone didn't know how to bake.

I interviewed Simone for Tin Shingle, my small business community based website and resource for small businesses that I run with my partner, Sabina Ptacin-Hitchen. I got the behind the scenes story of how All You Knead survived, and is thriving on Main Street, local farmers markets and nearby market grocery stores like Adams Fairacre Farms: "Rolling in Dough: When All You Knead Bakery Needed to Learn How to Bake" Talk about a Little Engine that Could! As is the nature of running and building a small business.

Click here for the full interview >

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Beacon Pantry: Cutest Little Grocery Store

Food is getting so GOOD on Main Street Beacon! Pretty soon we will have no excuses for not knowing what to make for dinner.

Beacon's newest foodie destination is the Beacon Pantry, located almost in the middle part of Main Street, but more on the West End, in between the chocolatier Alsp Sweet Shop, and the newly opened vintage shop American Gypsy. Beacon Pantry sells artisanal and farmstead cheeses, charcuterie and fine foods, with an emphasis on domestic, small-scale products. Tasting of the cheese is encouraged in the shop. Do start including Beacon Pantry on your Second Saturday walks for specialty tastings! Beacon Pantry also plans on offering cheese classes.

Beacon Pantry's cute, cream shelves adorn dark wood floors and are stocked with the finest pastas and sauces. Their freezer is a full meal, dessert included, with vegi burgers from Little Green Food's Handcrafted Burger line. You'll also find in the freezer what seems to be some of the best ice creme on the planet, Brooklyn-based Phin & Phebes. The first flavor these ice creme creators made was based on Ritz crackers, chocolate, peanut butter and a few other crave-worthy ingredients. A must-have in your freezer? Yes. 

Can we discuss this little but mighty sign? Carrot cake, lemon cake, and chocolate truffle tart. Something tells me that this small sign will change at whim. The dessert rack is on top of the fine cheeses and meats. Italian sausages, blue cheese, and many other choices tempt you as you go to pay for your goodies.

Immediately you get a supportive vibe while in Beacon Pantry, and the proof is on the shelves. More Good syrups are available here in at least four flavors including the ginger ale and root beer, which is extra awesome because More Good is opening up their new store down a few blocks, much closer to the middle of town.

So don't miss it! Beacon Pantry is right here, across from Isamu Sushi and Homespun. My own head is happily spinning with the culinary choices we all have.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bakeries in Beacon, NY: So Many Yummy Bakery Choices!

Main Street in our small town of Beacon, NY is quickly becoming one of the best destinations for bakery-hopping. The actual street of Main Street is quite long, and in fact, used to connect two towns. Our small town is big enough to house a bakery for everyone's craving. There used to be one bakery in town. Now, they need to be organized by category! Take your pick!

Specialty: Gluten Free Bakery Treats
Treats You Wouldn't Expect: Woopie Pie
Treats You'll Love: Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies, Specialty Cakes, Brownies, Apple Pie, Soups, Tas Cafe Coffee

Specialty: Bread
Treats You Wouldn't Expect: Samosas, Chicken Pot Pies
Treats You'll Love: Chocolate Croissants, Blueberry and Different Flavored Muffins, White and Oat Bread, More Bread

Specialty: Cupcakes
Treats You'll Love: Butter Frosting, Coffee Garnishes, Pink Sprinkles, Cupcake Art

Specialty: Lunches and Deep Dish French Toast
Treats You Wouldn't Expect: Chocolate Mouse
Treats You'll Love: Any Flavor Quiche, Middle Eastern Plate (hummus, baba ghanoush, feta), Carrot Cake, Tiramisu, Teas, Coffee, Orangina, Cheeses, Little Toasts, Eating Outside on the Back Patio

Specialty: Bread + Eat-In Cafe
Treats You Wouldn't Expect: a honey bread something that I need to double check the name of.
Treats You'll Love: Grilled Cheese + Soup, Beer Bread

Specialty: European Grocery Items, Cheeses
Treats You Wouldn't Expect: The whole store is filled with different treats. Every day could be different!
Treats You'll Love: More Good Sryup, Phin + Phebe Ice Creme, Dry Pasta, Frozen Vegi Burgers, Tarts

Specialty: Bagels
Treats You Wouldn't Expect: he's always inventing a special sandwich...
Treats You'll Love: Lattes, Order the "Double Egg + Cheese Bagel Sandwhich"