Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cambridge Cooks: Pumpkin Cheesecake Cambridge Cooks: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Photos: Debra Pearlman

With Holiday Season coming up and being a Weight Watcher, I'm always looking for dessert recipes. This one comes from Hungry Girl. I made it the other day as a test run. I'd double the pumpkin and use a bit less sweetener, but that's my personal taste. Otherwise, this is a great alternative to Thanksgiving's Pumpkin Pie. Another suggestion is to use Fat Free Cool Whip instead of the sour cream topping.

Vanilla Crème Pumpkin Cheesecake


For Crust:

2 cups Fiber One bran cereal (original), ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency in a blender or food processor
1/4 cup light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Smart Balance Light or Brummel & Brown), melted & mixed with 2 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 tsp. cinnamon

For Filling
32 oz. fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/4 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

For Topping
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all crust ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Spray a springform pie pan (about 9" wide) lightly with nonstick spray -- make sure to get the sides as well as the bottom. Then evenly distribute crumb mixture, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crust along the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Using an electric mixer set to medium speed, mix until completely blended and lump-free. Pour mixture into the pan.

Bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, until set. Allow pie to chill in the fridge for at least 3 - 4 hours (overnight is best).

Once pie has chilled, carefully release and remove springform top. In a small bowl, mix all topping ingredients together until thoroughly blended. Spread topping evenly over the pie. Return pie to the fridge until ready to serve. Cut pie into 12 slices.


Serving Size: 1 slice
Calories: 160
Fat: 3.25g
Sodium: 579mg
Carbs: 20g
Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 7g
Protein: 15g
POINTS® value 3*

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Windows on the World Windows on the World

Photo: Debra Pearlman

When I awoke this morning and saw the light streaming through the mist on my neighbors farm, I ran an for my camera. I thought, how iconic an image of a crisp fall morning is this.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cambridge Cooks: Squashin' Good Time Cambridge Cooks: Squashin' Good Time

Photos: Debra Pearlman
My niece-in-law Sarah, her sister Stacy, brother-in-law and chef Brian, her mom, and I keep in touch through a food blog. As I've been a bit overwhelmed with work lately, I have stolen the following post from Sarah, but you can visit the original and see all the great recipes and tips by going to Attach of the Killer Zucchini blog.

So here's to family, food, photos, and being able to steal their good ideas....Thanks Sarah.

Recently I wanted to make a quick bite, something that would use up some yellow squash I had and wouldn't take forever to make.

I found a zucchini recipe in Alice Waters' "The Art of Simple Food", which happened to already be open and on my kitchen counter when the hunger struck. It called for five ingredients - zucchini, garlic, oil, salt and marjoram (which we grow in our garden and I never remember to use). The most difficult thing to do in the whole recipe was grate the squash. I substituted the yellow squash for the green zukes and 15 minutes later I was enjoying the dish. You sprinkle the squash with salt in a colander and let it sit for 10 minutes, so most of that was waiting time.

Grated Yellow Squash with Marjoram (adapted from Alice Water's "The Art of Simple Food", her recipe is Grated Zucchini with Marjoram)


2 yellow summer squash
1 clove garlic
1-2 tbsp. olive oil


1. Grate the squash into a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then press to remove excess water.

2. Use a mortar and pestle or food processor to turn the garlic into a paste. In a bowl, mix squash, garlic paste and as much oil as you feel the dish needs.

3. Heat a saute pan on medium, then transfer the mixture into it. Saute until cooked, about 5 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat and mix in a tablespoon or so of marjoram leaves. Add salt, if needed.



It worked out pretty well. In retrospect I would probably have used less garlic (I used two cloves and I think the recipe only called for one) and sauteed it with the squash instead of turning the cloves into a paste and mixing it in raw.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

112th Assembly District Debate 112th Assembly District Debate

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 7:00 pm in the Historic Salem Courthouse, Ken Tingley will moderate a debate between candidates Tony Jordan and Ian McGaughey

Ken Tingley has been selected to serve as moderator for the upcoming political debate in Salem. Ken is the Editor at the Post-Star. The debate is being organized by an ad hoc group, which has been investigating local economic development initiatives in the southern portion of Washington County. The theme of the debate will be Sustaining Economic Development In Rural New York, Specifically Southern Washington County.

Assembly candidates Tony Jordan and Ian McGaughey will take part in the debate scheduled for October 21, 2008 at 7 PM to be held at the Historic Salem Courthouse in Salem, NY.

“It is important for the voters of the 112th Assembly District to hear our views on the issues that matter to them,” McGaughey said. “I am excited to have this opportunity to hear their concerns and answer questions so they can make the best decision for them on Election Day.”

Jordan also sees this as an opportunity, "I'm looking forward to this debate to talk about economic development in Southern Washington County. As a partner in a local law office and homeowner in Washington County, I have spent nearly my entire career working to help our local economy grow and prosper and I look forward to sharing my ideas and plans for helping Washington County businesses grow and provide local jobs in these uncertain financial times."

Government classes from Cambridge, Greenwich and Salem schools have been asked to develop questions for the candidates. Questions will also be accepted in writing from those in attendance at the beginning of the debate.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

ABC3D: Learning Your Letters ABC3D: Learning Your Letters

Here's a way to get a head start on reading. Written by graphic artist and book designer Marion Bataille, ABC3D will be published by Roaring Brook Press in October. You can preorder this book at www.abc3dbook.com or call Battenkill Books at 518-677-2208 in Cambridge, NY and ask them to get it for you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cambridge Life: Pets on Parade Cambridge Life: Pets on Parade

Photos by John Carlson and June Mohan

My older sister Robin leads a hectic professional life. She is committed to whatever endeavor she chooses to undertake. As a way to escape from her busy work schedule, she has joined the world of dog agility. The stars of this world are generally Border Collies, known for their smarts, high energy, herding and jumping capabilities. Most area residents are familiar with this bread because of local author Jon Katz and his amazing dogs.

But two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining my sister at a dog trial with her two English Cocker Spaniels, Cassie and Cole. We arrived at the site and set-up our tent. There were novice to expert and master handlers and dogs. These are some shots of Cassie doing her thing.

Photos courtesy of Robin Church

At a slight 18 pounds, she's small and fast. She loves to run and jump, especially when special treats are on the line. I mean, I have cats bigger than Cassie...but she's just so much fun to watch.

Cole is the resident couch potato. He'd rather snuggle-up next to you and give you love energy. But when asked, he performs like a champ. It's just amazing to see.

Photos courtesy of Robin Church

Beside my sister's Cockers, I saw Welsh Corgies; Greyhounds; Golden Retrievers; Bearded and un-bearded Collies; Australian Sheepdogs and English ones too; poodles, all three sizes; and many, many more. I mean seeing them set jumps for chihuahuas is like putting down a piece of rope and saying, "jump!" Very funny and very cute.

There is an agility training center right down the road in Greenwich, NY. If you're ever looking for a fun thing to do, go to an agility trial. It's really for the dogs!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fall Into Cambridge, NY Fall Into Cambridge, NY

Saturday, October 11: The downtown merchants will have a sidewalk sale - it is never too early to shop for Christmas! Look for street musicians and entertainers. Area residences are encouraged to clean out before the snow flies with a town wide tag & yard sale during the weekend.

They're not just for mashing, ya know!
Image provided by The Rice Mansion Inn

Sunday, October 12: The Cambridge Freight Yard will be smashed, mashed, fried and baked in celebration of the International Year of the Potato! Youth and adults are invited to come join the fun and participate in a Potato Olympics, a myriad of Potato Art and Science activities, as well as Potato storytelling and poetry.

Why focus on the Potato? The United Nations declared 2008 International Year of the Potato to raise awareness of the key role played by the "humble tuber" in agriculture, the economy and world food security. (See www.potato2008.org). Believe it or not, the potato is the world's fourth biggest food crop behind maize, wheat and rice. Grown as long as 8000 years ago, potatoes are rich in carbohydrates, making them a good source of energy. In fact, the potato produces more nutritious food more quickly, on less land, and in harsher climates than any other major crop - up to 85 percent of the plant is edible human food, compared to around 50% in cereals. Potatoes offer valuable proteins, are rich in vitamin C and contain valuable potassium.

Celebratory activities will take place throughout October. Here's a brief schedule of events:

"Culinary Potato Celebration" at 12 noon at the Farmers' Market in Rail Road Park. Events that day will include a "Potato Swap" and "Potato Soup Contest". Bring your home-grown potatoes, information about the variety, types of soil you grew them in, when harvested, how stored and what kinds of cooking they are best suited to.

Potato Soup and Chowder Contest
. Cook up a batch of your tastiest potato soup to be judged. Entrees accepted at the Farmers' Market beginning at 10:00 am. Panel judging at 10:30 am and public tasting and judging at 11:00am. Prizes for judges winner and public winner.

For a full schedule of Fall events in the region go to www.visitbattenkillvalley.com.

So you see, it's not just your every day spud!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Roger's Photographic Meditations 2 Roger's Photographic Meditations 2

I find that shadows are often very intriguing, and sometimes mysterious. This is an enhanced photograph of the shadows left by some leaves on a sidewalk. The leaves were no longer there, but somehow the imprint of of their presence remained. Perhaps the leaves were damp when they were on the sidewalk. Perhaps these really were not shadows, but some other mysterious kind of imprint.
Roger Wyatt
Photo credit: Roger Wyatt

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

24 hour Worldwide Air Travel Simulation 24 hour Worldwide Air Travel Simulation

Terrible Beauty.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Photographer's Log: Cherry Tomatoes Photographer's Log: Cherry Tomatoes

Photo by Debra Pearlman

Earlier this year I showed off my volunteer cherry tomato. The abundance of this plant was amazing. It grew over my porch roof and over took my entire planter. But I had enough of harvesting and trying to keep up with the plant, the fruit it was producing and the need to put my garden to rest and decided to harvest all that was left. As I sorted out the red and green tomatoes into bowls, my friend John Carlson grabbed my camera and produced this amazing image.

Photo by John Carlson
So props to John's amazing eye and ability to make the mundane seem unique.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Crumping Honeybees Crumping Honeybees

The honeybees need our support.

You can learn more about honeybees by visiting helpthehoneybees.com

Photographer's Log Photographer's Log

Photo by Diane Shapiro, Image Insight Consulting
(copyright 2007 All Rights Reserved)

This is a photograph taken at Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, NY. If you've never been to Teatown, you are missing out on one of Westchester County's best kept secrets. Its mission is to conserve open spaces and foster environmental awareness and education.

The image was taken by my dear friend Diane Shapiro. Diane's work has been published in high profile, commercial venues – including nine calendars, dozens of greeting cards and photo products (magnets, journal cover, matted prints), as well as children’s card and board games. Her editorial and photo credits include noted newspapers (the New York Times, USA Today, etc.), magazines (Wildlife Conservation, Weekly Reader, etc.), a wide range of books for adults and children, as well as annual reports, brochures, and zoo exhibits.

Diane is also a renowned teacher and photographic consultant. Check out her website at
image insight consulting or you can contact her via phone (914.787.8590) or e-mail (diane@image-insight-consulting.com).

Thanks Diane for the lovely reminder of the beauty of the season.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Cambridge Celebrates Quebec Cambridge Celebrates Quebec

Envoye à Maison!
A Franco-American Homecoming
Music, Dance, Crafts, Food
Celebrating Quebec's 400th Anniversary

The rural Washington County Village of Cambridge, NY will host a cultural exchange celebrating Quebec's 400th Anniversary by linking upstate New York, New England, & Quebec artists & communities for a long weekend of music, dance, crafts & food.

Presented by the Folk Life Center at Crandall Library and hosted by Hubbard Hall.

We invite you to join us in Cambridge this Fall. Enjoy the beauty of the changing colors, the crisp fresh air, the savory tastes of fresh picked apples and fall raspberries, pick a pumpkin from a patch, find your way through a corn maze, enjoy the bounty of our fields at the Cambridge Hotel or JT Bakers restaurants - and sleep well at one of our Inns, Hotels, or B & B's.

Schedule of Events for October 2-5, 2008

Thursday - Sunday

Outdoor Clay Bread Oven Construction in the Cambridge Freight Yard. Free hands on workshop with Jean Laberge. Four full days of oven building!

Friday, Oct 3 at the Bread Oven 4-6:00 pm
Tunes & Dancing - symbolic mixing of clay & straw at the Bread Oven. Hubbard Hall dancers with Bliss & Robbie McIntosh

Saturday, Oct 4 at the Cambridge Library 2-5:00 pm
Quebec Crafts: snowshoes by Rejean Boisvert, dousing by Richard Roy, baskets by Adrien Landry, rag rugs by Francoise Ouimet

Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Beacon Feed Building 6:30 pm
Potluck Dinner (bring a dish to share) The Beacon Feed Building is located behind Hubbard Hall

Saturday Oct. 4 8:00 pm at Hubbard Hall
A celebration of music with Club Carrefour, Memere Charron, Bernie Ouimet. The concert is free but a donation to scholarship fund is much appreciated.

Sunday, Oct 5 at Cambridge Farmers’ Market 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Live Stage: Club Carrefour, Memere Charron, George Wilson
Quebec crafts: snowshoes, baskets, dousing
Foods: Spoonful Catering's meat pies, King's donuts

Sundayt, Oct. 5 in the Beacon Feed Building 3-6:00 pm
3:00 pm Step Dance workshop
4:00 pm Community Dance with Club Carrefour
6:00 pm Farewell Dinner ($8/$4 under 12)

This event is brought to you by the Crandell Library and the Towns and Villages of the Battenkill Valley