Glowing, radiant health is the new black. Our Green Table is serving it up, for the whole body! Healthy recipes and tips, the latest on eco-friendly food and "skin food"products and a head's up on ingredient safety are all woven into family-centered stories and discoveries. Bring informed, aware and empowered looks good on everyone!

Abrazos! xox Penny

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shaking up deliciousness at Greeny's

It would be impossible to be on Shelter Island and not visit Greeny's. I ran into this delightful natural foods store and cafe one day to say "Hi" and grab a kombucha. Lucky for me, Jen, the new owner was there and I got a chance to catch up on all the delicious things now available at Greeny's and Jen also helped me out with my camera and computer. Woohoo!!
You see from these pix that goodness and delicious food run from the front door to the back at Greeny's.

Jen has great soups and sandwiches for lunch and also, fabulous shakes available all day long. Visit her Greeny's page on Facebook for more info and to check out her menus.

No matter what the day is, I always plan on whipping up a shake to have for a meal or a snack. I have found these protein-packed smoothies really smooth out my rough edges during the day and really stabilize my blood sugars and energy. More luck for me, Jen shared her favorite base smoothie recipe! With the secret touch of mango puree, her recipe really opens up a world of wonderful peanut butter, organic pb and j, really green (with spinach or kale), all kinds of fruits, organic almond or cashew butter, organic dark chocolate...yum. I am going to crack out the blender and shake up some deliciousness! Thanks, Jen!

Greeny's Smoothie

1 cup organic yogurt
1/2 cup mango puree
1/2 cup frozen fruit of choice

Place these ingredients in blender, add whatever else you'd like and blend well. Enjoy!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

An Extraordinary Cabin and Cake

I love meeting all kinds of people, especially those who are making and doing things from scratch to create treasures of their own or seeking to preserve treasures from the past. These are just the sort of people I would love to gather around our green table and talk "table talk" with for hours. 

One new friend is doing something extraordinary...she is saving an Adirondack style cabin built by "Mr. 20 Mule Team Borax" himself. It is on a little island of its own in a Shelter Island harbour. Pat and her wonderful team of supporters saved this unique piece of local history from the wrecking ball and through grants and community support, they have begun restoring it to its rustic splendor. This August there will be a "kettle" clambake for a fun evening soiree and in the near future, there may even be a chance to sleep overnight. How fun would that be?! What an experience. Can you imagine sitting out on that porch and watching the sun set over Coecles Harbour? Heaven!

Here are some pictures I took of a quilt with a period shot of the cabin and some very relaxed-looking guests and a collage of pictures taken during the restoration.  I have barely scratched the surface of the story of Taylor's Island and so here is a link to the website, 

At a meeting that Pat had for her committee, she served this delicious cake...every bit as extraordinary as her work on Taylor's Island.  I love the idea of quinoa in a cake. Well, and rum, too! Thanks for sharing all you do, Pat!  xoxoxPenny

Keke de Quina (Quinoa Cake)
adapted from Felipe Rojas Lombardi and The Art of South American Cooking

1 1/2 cups raw quinoa (Inca red or regular)
6 T unsalted organic butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
1/4 cup dark rum (optional but fun!)
4 large farm-fresh eggs
1/2 cup organic milk
1/2 cup organic heavy cream
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds

Confectioners' sugar sifted on top and creme fraiche or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350. If quinoa is not pre-rinsed, place quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse under cold water. Drain. Do not omit this rinsing step. It "sweetens" the grain by removing the bitter outer coating.

In a saucepan, combine quinoa with 8 cups cold water. bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 minutes or until quinoa is barely tender. Do not overcook. Remove from the heat, pour quinoa through a fine strainer and let drain. Do not rinse.

Butter a 9 inch round cake pan with about 1 T butter and set aside. In a large mixing bowl with a wire whisk, cream together the remaining butter (5 T), the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, lemon rind, rum and eggs until the sugar has dissolved. Add the milk and heavy cream and mix thoroughly. In another mixing bowl, combine quinoa and walnuts. Thoroughly fold into the creamed butter mixture and pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, place on a rack and allow to cool thoroughly (important). Unmold the cake by placing a plate over the cake pan and turning the two upside down. Then, turn the plate right side up onto a cake plate or serving platter. Place the confectioners' sugar in a fine sieve and lightly dust over the surface of the cake. Serve with creme fraiche or whipped cream. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I just had to take another quick spin around Greenport yesterday and slipped into Butta' Cakes again. Drawn like a bear to honey, I am! In yesterday's post, I glossed over another delight at Marc's shop and wanted to mention that Butta' Cakes wonderful fondue comes in both chocolate and cheese. How could they be anything less than fabulous...even his fondue pots are orange! 

The pix of his fondue pots didn't turn out, but one of the heavenly Dreamsicle cupcake I devoured did. Yum!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Butta' is so Sweet

I may need to rename this blog "Sweet People I Meet" because I am on a roll here in New York. Today I got on the ferry for a short ride to Greenport, to refresh and refocus myself, and also see what was up since my last visit. Plus, with a name like Greenport, it is natural to visit! Waiting for me was an amazing hour of fun discoveries and it all started with a little butta' and sugar. As if those ingredients weren't enough, this sweet shop had me at "orange".

Butta' Cakes is a delightful sweet shop run by an equally delightful guy, Marc, whose favorite color must be orange because the store is visually, an orange delight. Before even tasting his goodies, I was "in". We orangies have to stick together. After reading through some of the earlier posts on cupcakes in NYC, you know by now, I do adore cupcakes. His are melt-in-your mouth, don't-miss-a-lick of frosting good and again, visually, a feast. I had a tough time choosing which flavor I wanted but went with the Chocolate Peanut Butter. The cake was velvet-y and moist and the frosting, rich and a perfect sweetness. Total delight with every bite.

You would think with the orange and more than several choices of cupcakes, I would be emotionally full. No...not until I saw he had a tray of dog cupcakes, topped with milkbone dog cookies!! Oh my, that sent me into complete happiness mode. Annie, Lilly and Stubug would love 'em. Here are some pix and his website, and wherever you are, a drive to Butta' Cakes is a must! Plan to start with breakfast there, have a mid-morning cupcake, one of his fabulous sandwiches or fondue for lunch, mid-afternoon cupcake and so on. What a sweet day you'll have! 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Friday Night Lights and Pesto

No, this is not going to be about the TV show which, interestingly enough, was one of my parents' favorites and today is actually a Thursday, but I am going for it. My family's home here is on a side road that winds along a bluff and is the only house on the road lived in all year long. Most of the work I have had to do for Mom has occurred during the off season and so most of the homes are dark and empty until the summer season hits.

As time goes on, I am making some nice friends here and I am always excited to see them when I come out. My Shelter Island BF's live across the street and ride the train and ferry in every Friday night. I look across the street through the darkness every Friday until yippee...Friday Night Lights are on and they have arrived. They are foodies, collectors, sailors, movie buffs, name it. They can tell you every native plant on this island and are helping protect and resow them. Both are wonderful cooks and we swap recipes and food foraging stories. Such fun. Plus, they let me use their internet connection which I used to have to go local fishermen's bar to get. Sure saves a lot of explaining my whereabouts to Mom and dodges the "Penny, if you aren't home in a hour, I am calling the police." Once a mom...

Their house is fabulous and I wanted you to see the wall in their kitchen. Totally amazing and not just for show...

This is a hard working kitchen. They cook all the meals for the coming week plus the weekend fun food and then take their feasts back on the train. Brilliant organization. I can only drool over the wonderful dishes they make with all these treasures. Last conversation we had was purely pesto and how many wonderful kinds there are and how many mouth-watering ways to eat this rich and flavorful spread. Here is a recipe I am sharing with them this weekend.

Spring Asparagus and Spinach Pesto and Pasta

Fresh asparagus, 1 bunch, cleaned and sliced into 1 inch pieces
Fresh spinach (I used Japanese spinach), 3 handfuls

Fresh garlic, 2 large cloves, peeled
1 cup freshly grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese

1 cup pine nuts, toasted (you can substitute 1 cup almonds, toasted)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

¼-1/2 teaspoon sea salt

12 ounces pasta of choice (I use fettuccine or angel hair)

Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil and drop in asparagus pieces. Blanch for 2-3 minutes and then plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Drain well, blotting with paper towels if necessary. Place in food processor or blender. Add spinach, garlic, Parmesan and ¾ cup pine nuts or almonds. Puree and then add in ¼ cup olive oil. Add lemon juice and salt and taste to adjust seasonings. This takes a mere 5-6 minutes to make, perfect for a busy night!

Prepare pasta according to package directions, cooking until al dente. Drain. Toss with a generous amount of the asparagus-spinach puree.

To serve: Place portion on plate and then top with extra toasted pine nuts (you will have ¼ cup leftover for this), extra freshly grated Parmesan and an optional splash of olive oil. Serves 3-4.
This is also great as a dip, spread on crackers, topping for eggs, or anywhere you would love a splash of pesto!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Head to toe

While searching for head to toe tips on "peaceful" living, I couldn't help but notice my feet. I do love pretty, polished toes and have a favorite polish that I crack out about this time of the year, actually, two...a fabulous red called Fifth Avenue and totally transformational dark color called Wicked.  Hmmm, sensing an alter ego there. Anyway, love 'em. At least I did until I really looked at what was in them. Scary.

I have found an amazing new polish, Zoya and look at this picture...a wickedly identical, but healthy alternative to my beloved Wicked!! Go check out their website, They have fabulous colors and a polish exchange!!! Bundle up all your toxic favorites and swap them out for some healthy ones. Your toes will thank you!

While in NYC, I found lots of other healthy choices, too, for more polishes, lipsticks, mascaras, etc. and will post them when I go back and get pix. I am loving this camera!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Market Day begins with an icy, cold beer???

Saturday is market day and the fresh options are gorgeous. Before heading out to take pix, I wanted to grab a little liquid refreshment. Looks like beer, right? Bubbly, amber-colored, beautiful frothy head. Well, I think it is an even better brew. This magical liquid is kombucha (go to Wikipedia for more info), and where else but New York would you find it on tap? I love to drink this fermented, sparkling, herbal tea-like elixir when I travel. Very refreshing and a big boost to the immune system. So expensive to buy already bottled, I will share how to make it in a later post. The find of the day (except for the beautiful market below) was a bottomless cup of kombucha on tap for $3. Bottom's up!

Market Day Breakfast Sandwich and a Brew

Cook two farm-fresh eggs any way you'd like them. Top with fresh cheese, salsa, avocado slices and mound onto two pieces of whole grain bread, lightly toasted. Cut in half and eat, along with a nice salad of just-picked greens. Wash down with sparkling swallows of kombucha. Coffee helps finish the morning renaissance.

Check out these beauties...radishes, mushrooms, apples, rhubarb, apples, taters, and of course, more cupcakes!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

With Sandwich in Hand, a Big Shout Out!

This is a big shout-out for the two dozen fabulous New Yorkers who helped me today! I was headed to the financial district via Queens (therein is one of the problems and it only came to light when the woman beside me on the subway asked, "So, you have family in Queens?") and while wandering the canyons of Wall Street, I asked a man where Harry's was. He said, "Lady, I will take you to the next corner and then, there will be at least a dozen more people like me who will get you right to the door of Harry's." Right he was. I met some kind and wonderfully helpful people today, as I always do in New York. Having no innate sense of direction what-so-ever, I would be lost without them. Treasures, each and every one of them, or actually, just regular, awesome New Yorkers.

Before I show you my travels today, I want to get that sandwich from yesterday into a recipe:

S'More Veggie Panini

Take a good, fresh ciabatta and slice in half to make a "bun". Slather each side with fresh, tangy goat cheese and then top with several fresh arugula leaves. Set aside.

Create zucchini and yellow squash "ribbons" by slicing the squashes into very thin, long pieces so they look like noodles. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and saute squashes with minced garlic, fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and/or basil and red peppers. Saute until soft. Pile on to one ciabatta half, top with remaining ciabatta and place in a panini press until warm. I don't have a press and so I used a spatula to flatten out the sandwich and flipped it to cook on both sides. Slice in half and serve. This sandwich begs for s'more veggies, like mushrooms, carrot ribbons, any your palate desires. 

Serve with a fresh green leafy salad. Such salads here even come with breakfast and taste and smell absolutely like they were just plucked from the garden.

While eating your sandwich, take a look at some more sights. For me, New York is a floor to ceiling candy store, and I found one...along with a fabulous barber shop, subway art, the financial district and other treasures.

Now here is the best idea yet for a vending machine! Note the ATM right over the fruits and veggies!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yes, I confess. I am a Street Walker.

Well, a street walker of sorts, at least here in New York. Strolling down every street I can find, I am in my essence. There are not enough hours in the day or enough streets. Whenever I ventured into New York from Dad's spot in paradise, he would always ask me, a little gruffly, too, "Why the **** are you going into New York?" "Because I love walking the streets, Dad!" As you can imagine, that answer was a little unsettling for him.

Anyway, I love New the food, the smells, the nooks and crannies on and off the beaten path, the people, the bodegas, the music, the parks, the Bowery Ballroom, the Willamsburg Bridge, the green markets, the subway, the museums, the vintage shops, the architecture, the dogs, the glitz, the grunge...everything. Oh, I Ieft out the cupcakes.

Each time I go to New York, I walk to "discover" another neighborhood. Have I ever gotten lost? Sure, for hours. And gotten on the subway going the wrong direction many times. But I always find a friendly face to set me straight. "Oh, Lady, you're going the wrong way! You gotta go 20 minutes that way" and I quickly learned 20 minutes for a New Yorker equals about 40 minutes for me. Those New Yorkers can move it!

I have found lots of treasures on my walking adventures. There is a hardware store near where my kids live and I swear, it looks just like the one in Saturday Night Fever. Each time I walk past there, I expect to see John Travolta strutting his stuff. Note to self: might not be the strut I expect. We are about the same age now.

This short trip I am heading back to mainly the LWS and 'em. Here are a few treasures found on quick trip today from Brooklyn to the lower villages...

If I had the means, I would buy this old beauty. I bet I have walked by it a hundred times...

and turn it into this

or this

Look at this one...can you imagine how many feet have stepped on that stoop? Some fabulous people and their stories have passed through those doors, I bet.

Here is a picture of a luscious lunch (I will be sharing the recipe for it!) and some other favorite sights.

As you can see, there is something for everyone's taste!
I am going to hit some more streets tomorrow and I just heard about a pie shop called Pies and Thighs...with that name, it is a must see!