Find BetsaPasta’s Delectable Recipes, Hidden Gem Restaurants and Destinations on Chef Bert’s Blog

Phoodographs is all about my food photos...and Finds is all about cool places to visit off the beaten path and more effective ways to navigate them for optimum enjoyment. The food blog is peppered with many of my favorite recipes...including the Flank Steak Ragu entered into Gordon Ramsay's Master Chef Competition.

Mangia Baby!

Helping You Find Hidden Gem Restaurants

If you love food, Phoodographs and Finds will help you find hidden gem restaurants that we frequent. Through my food blog, I will bring to you many of what I feel are the "hidden gem" restaurants that are less well known and tout the dishes that I feel are praiseworthy enough to write about. From out of the way destinations to local pizzerias right in front of you, I want to introduce you to not only the food we eat but the restaurant experience itself that these eateries have to offer.

I will also regularly share recipes from my own collection so that you can try making delicious meals on your own. If you want or need tech tips on any recipe, all you have to do is go to the comment box or send an email to inquire. Anybody can write their recipe, however, how many opportunities does one have to inquire about the technical aspects surrounding the quality of the ingredients and their applications. So whether you are looking for the best dishes in my chosen restaurants or exquisite homemade recipes, my Phoodographs and Finds blog has just what you need to get you there successfully and leave satisfied.

Food Photography

While I could just tell you about all the delicious food I try, I find it much more helpful...and enjoyable... to show you. Through my food photography, you can not only see my recipes, you will also see the delicious meals and recipes that I’ve experienced and tasted for myself, as well as see the atmosphere of the restaurants and markets I visit. In this manner, I can help you much more effectively visualize the best places to eat and prepare you for the experience that these locations have to offer.

Reach out to me to learn more about my blog and start experiencing all that these restaurants have to offer. I proudly write about restaurants and recipes from across the United States.

Delicious Food From Food Blog

Beef Ragu Or Beef Bolognese? That Is The Question!

January 22, 2022

In my early teens when I first started cooking meat sauce with spaghetti it was relatively simple. Saute' some garlic and onions in any olive oil...add chopped beef and tomatoes and everyone was happy.   As time went by I became more educated about food and…

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Betsa’s Mildly Sweet & Yummy Marinated Cucumber Salad

August 31, 2021

This is a very simple recipe and because its so simple, it's flawless! I suggest you look for firm fresh picked cucumbers in the summertime as they actually do taste better than the everyday cucumbers found in local stores all year long. Either way and at any time…

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The Tarry Tavern In Tarrytown, N.Y. … Simply Phab!

May 7, 2021

Each year we find ourselves enjoying a trip north up into the Hudson Valley in Spring & Autumn with our friends Sharyn & Joel because we absolutely love the Arts & Crafts Fair at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown and their scores of exhibitors. Last year's Spring & Autumn shows…

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Chef Sharyn’s 10th Hamantashen for Purim Anniversary With Mr. Smoooooth!

February 25, 2021

Let me begin by including the very first Hamantaschen Bake-off from March, 2011...yes, 2011!   Purim 2021, February 25th and it was time for our annual Hamantaschen Bake-off @ Sharyn & Joel's home. We had all gotten our vaccines and felt confident enough in these times of Covid to…

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Lovin’ My POWER POKE in Syosset, L.I, New York!

December 7, 2020

What exactly is poke? Food & Wine magazine calls poke a “raw tuna salad,” but looking past the New Yorkification of the local Hawaiian pupu, you’ll realize that it’s so much more than that. “Poke,” pronounced POH-KAY, means “to cut crosswise into pieces” in Hawaiian. In the beginning, it was…

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Finally! Betsa Cole Slaw in The Year of Covid 2020

November 17, 2020

  I've never seen a dish that had sooooo many different possible recipes...NEVER! Perhaps this is why I've never really found success in formulating a cole slaw recipe that worked FOR ME...and why I haven't posted one until today! There is no…

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BetsaPesto 2020!

July 30, 2020

  Lettuce leaf basil is, in my opinion, the best for making pesto. It's a popular Italian large leaf variety of sweet basil and one of the most productive. Also known as Large Leaf Italian, Large Leaf or Crispum Basil, these large large…

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A Covid-19 visit to Portofino With Pizza Master Taner & Chef Carlos

July 11, 2020

Well...we're back visiting in Goldens Bridge, N.Y. and where else does one go for lunch but to our favorite spot for 'abeetz'*** @ Portofino Pizza & Pasta!   Ok folks...Welcome back!  We'd like you to meet again Pizza Master Taner and Chef Carlos. All we can say…

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The Captiva Farmer’s Market 2020 With A Quick Stop in Sanibel

March 6, 2020

Open to both guests of South Seas Island Resort and the public, the Captiva Island Farmers Market opened up their 2019 season on Tuesday, November 5th from 9AM – 1PM and will continue every Tuesday through April 28, 2020,  Items available for purchase include just-picked produce, seafood, cheese, freshly-cut flowers,…

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Emma’s Veggie Happy Thanksgiving Crudite’

November 29, 2019

Short and sweet...Well done Emma! Paying attention to detail had never been an issue for Emma. As demonstrated here with her latest crudites platter that included a variety of different flavors, forms, textures and colors, it not only created  a delicious in season veggie…

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BetsaPasta Updated & Healthier Meatball Recipe for 2019

December 8, 2018

Let me start by saying after some research "sustainable meat" is safer meat. Consumer Reports tested 458 pounds of ground beef from all sorts of stores for bacteria. They defined "sustainable" on a scale starting with meat raised without hormones and leading up to the safest (grass-fed organic beef), which,…

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Parfaitement douce Bonne Maman French Preserves…My Favorite!

October 31, 2018

Short and sweet...perfectly sweet...or no matter how you say it...Bonne Maman preserves are, in my opinion, the best...and for more than TASTE! I saw this below story on line and it makes these preserves taste even better than BEST 🙂 Ready? Incident in a NJ Supermarket

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Memorial Information | Care of: IGHL Foundation

The TWA Flight 800 International Memorial

March 21, 2018

From the Memorial site: On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800, heading for Europe, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean along the south shore of Long Island claiming all 230 lives on board. That night began a journey of grief for the family members and friends of the lost. Along with…

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A Supreme Burrito at Long Island’s Sabrosa Mexican Grill

July 31, 2016

According to Sabrosa team member Cyntha Sass, MPH, RD. (Master of Public Health & Registered Dietitian), she espouses the virtues of Sabrosa's "commitment to quality and health that makes it possible to enjoy fast and affordable food you can feel good about putting in your body". It's something many food…

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Philly Phood Phind & Phlowers

March 15, 2016

Sandy doesn't have to convince me to go to the yearly Philadelphia Flower Show. I really like the displays and it smells nice...especially in Spring. Kinda primes you for the warmth coming. The last time we went together, the theme was Britain. Ahhh, glorious England! The Beatles were even represented.…

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Sexy Pop from Long Island, New York, USA!

May 27, 2015

I'm out in Greenport on the tip of the north fork of Long Island and notice across the street this really cool car with a painted Union the British flag covering the entire vehicle. I see written on the side "Sexy Pop". A new soda? Nope. As I…

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Yama Sushi in Las Vegas Trumps Them All…Anywhere!

April 19, 2015

According to the owner and proprietor Tai, this lit-up back wall behind the sushi bar is changed with the seasons. Here is Spring!I like to rent a car in Las Vegas so you can see the town and most importantly travel to where you want to eat since…

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In NYC, Roast Chicken at the Roast Kitchen

February 9, 2015

Sandy and I enjoyed a wonderful roast chicken dish from a new small NYC chain just 2 years old. We stumbled onto this little restaurant on West 49th Street while in the city to see a show. In the end, it impressed us more than the show (which will…

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Mr. Chow Downtown NYC with Sandy and WD

January 3, 2015

The last time we sat down at a table to dine for 4 hours was at Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy...and that was because it was a 14 course tasting dinner. I'm not sure if it took that long because Chef Massimo Bottura invited us to come to his ristorante…

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Arrosto Cavolfiore Pasta con Capperi al Sale Marino, Limone, Pangrattato e Parmigiano Reggiano…ie…Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Capers in Sea Salt, Lemon, Bread Crumbs & Parmigiano Reggiano

November 29, 2014

I'm not quite sure what took me so long to figure out the magic of roasted cauliflower. Even with all the veggies roasted in the past, they just didn't include cauliflower. Pretty unbelievable, huh? Over the last month or so, I've never seen bigger heads of this simple white veggie…

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Billy's NYC…The King of Carrot Cake…Trust Me!

November 25, 2014

            Sandy and I have this thing about carrot cake. By the time you finish reading this, you will too!This is my second entry for the revered cake. For my first entry on February 27th, 2011, my friend Katy Z. whipped up some home…

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Fried Zucchini with Panko…Yum!

July 18, 2014

This has to be one of the simplest recipes and quite easy to make with just 5 ingredients for the zucchini and two ingredients for the dip.They are:1...Zucchini2...Eggs3...Flour4...Parmigiano Reggiano5...Panko Bread CrumbsNaturally, there is salt,  fresh pepper and EVOO...however these are standards for me in almost any fried dish recipe.There…

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The International Fancy Food Show New York City 2014

July 8, 2014

Lydia, Bert & Connie at Parmigiano Reggiano My perception was accurate. On the first day it took me almost 4 hours to get out of Italy and I questioned how I was going to see all of what Spain, France, Great Britain, Portugal and many other countries...not to…

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Short Cake & Sweet Strawberry Fields in NOFO

June 15, 2014

"Hello again... here's my best to you... are your skies all grey... I hope they're blue"... Herb Oscar Anderson, 1960's DJ Theme Song Couldn't help my selfie. While we're on the subject of selfies, a word my wife Sandy created (really) several years ago when she nick-named the one wine…

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Sara-Beth’s Spaghetti with Butter and Ketchup Recipe

February 2, 2014

I've never published a response to any of my phoodographandfinds entries, however today is the exception. I think most non-believers, after reading Sarah Beth's comment, may be inspired enough to try this age-old recipe. Maybe...just maybe I would get my nephew Jeremy to try my spaghetti with butter and ketchup recipe. Although…

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‘Unstuffed’ Stuffed Cabbage Soup

December 31, 2013

The timing is perfect! This entire first week of the new year 2014 is supposed to be sub freezing in the NYC metro area. This Friday, January 2nd, the weathermen & women predict a low of 4 degrees fahrenheit and below zero a little bit further up north. Besides, or…

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Short & Sweet…The Best Cannoli In The Land

December 7, 2013

We're in New York. Everything is supposed to be better in New York...right? The great equalizer, however, is relativity...and what does one think is the best? What this means is that there is no real best of anything. It's what you like...and in this case what I feel extremely confident…

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BetsaPasta Caesar Salad circa 1956

May 27, 2013

One of my first major food experiences was when I was taught how to make a Caesar Salad by Captain Bosso at the at the Piccadilly Restaurant on the famed Restaurant Row on La Cienaga Boulevard in Los Angeles, California in 1956. I can still picture the giant wood bowls that…

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2013 Int'l. Food Show of N.Y …Best Tomatoes…Bottled Sauces…BetsaPasta Filetto di Pomdoro con Prosciutto…BetsaPasta Peperoni Arrostiti…& Lorenzo's Raw Marinara Sauce

March 30, 2013

Where does one begin when it comes to choosing the best tomatoes? We know, for the most part, fresh tomatoes taste depends on climate, soil, and weather.Whether they are fresh or in cans...It's not like all tomatoes are equal. Even canned tomatoes can differ from batch to batch.Although producers strive…

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Caprese Vinaigrette In It's Simplest Form

January 7, 2013

For Mark in Beechhurst, N.Y...the latest recipient of Manodori Balsamic created by my friend Chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana'll have to wait until summertime for the tomatoes in this picture, however you can still create magic with the vinegar.Find the right tomatoes now along with the always available fresh…

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Happy New Year's Eve Meat Balls!

January 2, 2013

I've always liked all beef meat balls...and any recipe for these have only developed or been modified over the years by my changing taste buds and any chef's desire to improve a recipe. A little more garlic, a little less garlic...fresh or powder, parsley or no parsley, bakery bread…

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Saying YES in Sanibel & Captiva, Florida

December 17, 2012

One of our favorite destinations for a couple/few days in the month of December is Captiva Island off of the west coast of Florida. In order to get to Captiva, one must travel through Sanibel Island, "the shell capital of the world".There is also certain peace and quiet one finds…

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Baked Ravioli Bolognese "Parmigiano" with Borgatti's Ravioli

November 12, 2012

 There are so many companies that make pasta and ravioli... and they all have their fans.That said, I can only tell you which ones are my favorites. Piemonte in New York City's Little Italy makes a wonderful ravioli, although I have to say I've never had their home made egg noodle pasta.…

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Simple & Successful 6 Ingredient Mashed Potatoes

October 24, 2012

I'm not a big fan of mashed potatoes. I'd much rather have spaghetti or rice (in that order).In order for a chef to create new dishes, he or she must to some degree concoct. When I concoct (invent, construct, contrive, devise) a recipe where the results are WHOA!, it's then I must…

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In L.A., California…Du-par's…True Pancake Heaven!

October 17, 2012

Bert with his 5-StackFabulous Betty with Bert's 5-Stack T.H.E. 5 StackDupar's  pancakes in Studio City, Los Angeles, California, USA! They recently opened in Las Vegas, and I can guarantee you it's a sure bet in either location...or any of their locations... that you will be treated to…

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BetsaPasta Crispy Eggplant Parmesan

September 9, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan (Parmigiana di melanzane) is one of my favorite Italian style dishes. It's also a dish that requires a certain technique to prepare with a crispy texture. Very simply put, the preparation does not include layering with sauce or too much mozzarella cheese. Once you have tried…

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Flora's Santorini Tomatoes, Oh My!

August 29, 2012

I love this place!It's stunning how the North Fork of Long Island has gripped Sandy and me. You would think by making such a claim that we were in love with all of the same things...but not really. Sure...we can appreciate the same things. For me, however it is simply…

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It's Time For Pesto…Plain & Simple

August 21, 2012

 Most folks know pesto is made with fresh basil...however go online and you will see many variations of this dish that originated in Genoa, Italy in an area called Liguria.Specifically, pesto is a sauce made with fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, pignoli (pine) nuts, and either Parmigiano…

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R A O’ S !

July 30, 2012

  Anna & Vincent Rao A tidbit from Rao's website plus a tidbit of my insight from the inside... Chef Bert "Rao's is renowned for its jukebox, its quirky decor, its unmatched hospitality and most of all, the spectacular Neapolitan cuisine. It's also notorious for being one of the most…

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THE Quintessential Lobster Roll is in Amagansett, L.I., N.Y.

May 27, 2012

 "The Clam Bar at Napeague, smack dab in the middle of Amagansett and Montauk on Montauk Highway is THE NEW HOME OF THE BEST EVER LOBSTER ROLL" says me.When one plunks down $20.00 plus dollars for chunks of lobster, mayo...and in this case, celery with the right crunch...on bread the size of most…

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Frank Pepe's Apizza with Sarah, Cathy & Nicole

May 19, 2012

Sarah...Cathy & Nicole @ Pepe's in Fairfield, CT.I went to Quinnipiac College back in the late 1960's.I enjoyed burgers at the Fireside and the most memorable Hot Dogs ever at the Glenwood...both in Hamden, a suburb in the area of New Haven, Connecticut where Frank Pepe's (known as Pepe's by locals) was founded in 1925.In…

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THE Vintus Wine Tasting Spring 2012

April 20, 2012

We are invited to wine tastings throughout the year, however, this tasting at the Prince George Ballroom on West 27th Street in NYC had a distinct air of exclusivity by virtue of the vineyards participating. "Winemakers & winery owners from some of the finest estates in the world will be

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Luigi's NYC…Starring the "Chicken Salad"

April 7, 2012

From top: Bolivar, Alfredo, and LuisBottom: THE CHICKEN SALADI was speaking to my surfing buddy Freddy this morning on the LIRR. As usual, the conversation gravitated to food and how one of his friend's has a concept Italian restaurant in Maryland.The concept: Self…

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"Authentic" Marinara?

February 19, 2012

There are soooo many variations of Marinara and Tomato sauces I have to wonder if there ever was an "authentic" marinara sauce recipe to begin with. Marinara derives from the Italian word for sailor, marinaro. The origins of marinara was that it was a sauce made in Naples, Italy…

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Georgian Bread with Jan & Bert

January 15, 2012

My fellow food buddy Jan took me to another obscurely located food find in, where else, Brooklyn.A couple/few years ago he introduced me to the culinary delights of Brighton Beach Blvd. and most recentlyto, for lack of a better understanding as to what the writing on the awning says,…

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2012 New Years Eve Betsa Crabcakes

December 31, 2011

Hi Folks...Sandy and I would like to wish you all a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous 2012...and... enjoy this recipe!With the help of my cousin Mitchell Maxwell...owner and executive chef of the famous Maxwell's 148 ( in Natick, Mass, I have put together this recipe for about 9 or 10 crab cakes.Mitchell was…

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Magical Mystery Tour

December 25, 2011

As I open my eyes yesterday morning at 8AM, Sandy says "We're going on a magical mystery tour...are you into it?"  With all of this "Say Yes" over the last year or so, of course I was.By 8:45 we were in the car and on our way to, as far…

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BetsaPasta Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella & Herbs

November 8, 2011

Serves 10...This recipe will serve 10 as a main course...however my "final prep" instructions are for 5Ingredients:Fresh "Champion" tomatoes from Zilnicki (see prior entry "Signs of Autumn") or Plum 5 lbs... (Of course you can use fresh plum tomatoes if the Champions are not available)Evoo*GarlicKosher Salt2 Tbsp.chopped fresh…

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Helen's Third Guarantee NEW Lasagna Recipe 8-6-2011

August 8, 2011

"The dish I enjoyed the most was the lasagna" exclaimed Helen.In order for one to understand the level of the compliment, one had to be at Helen's birthday party to see all of the dishes served. There are a few ingredients that will make Helen's Third Guarantee NEW Lasagna Recipe…

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Kuh Kuh Kuh Katy's Cuh Cuh Cuh Carrot Cake

May 31, 2011

...but not just any carrot cake.Katherine Z is the modest baker.  After many moons riding the LIRR with her and her hubbie Jonathan...and after hearing about her carrot cake and baklava (two of her many creations) more than once and not yet tasting it, I decided it was time to…

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Plain & Simple…The Best Cheesecake

April 22, 2011

Plain & simple...I wasn't a true cheesecake fan until I had my first bite of the Original Lindy's Cheesecake on Broadway and 52nd St. back in the mid 1950's. The jelly roll...that's another story.When Lindy's went out of business years ago, cheesecake never tasted the same and whatever…

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Call of Madeira & Port

March 29, 2011

Madeira’s longevity earns it a special place in the realm of old wine. What other wine requires over a half century to mature? And what other wine, when a century old, still benefits from several hours of breathing and can stand up to several weeks in a decanter without…

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Signs Of Spring & Potato Leek Gratin

March 20, 2011

 Sandy & I happened to be fortunate enough to be the beneficiaries of a sunny 76 degree day last Friday, especially befitting our foray to the beautiful north fork of Long Island with spring just a few days away. See a stunning array of primroses, dafodils, pansies and tulips. The colors are…

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Hamantashen Time @ Sharyn & Joel’s

March 16, 2011

"As matzos are to Passover, hamantashen is to Purim. Purim, which falls this Sunday March 20, celebrates the biblical story of the Jews' deliverance from a plot to kill them by Haman, minister to the Persian king, is a special time when people drink, dance and play jokes.…

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Orchids, Burrata and…Fresh Mozzarella & Roasted Peppers

March 16, 2011

What? Huh? Orchids and what?Burrata, or "Buttered" in Italian, is a gastronomy that must be experienced...and is literally 3 minutes from The New York Botannical Gardens in the Beautiful Bronx.In short, a day at the BBG's Orchid Show (click "Blog Archive" to see Orchid pics) that runs until April 25th and then finish…

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Giuseppe's Winter Pizza for BetsaPasta

February 9, 2011

For those of you who don't know Giuseppe, let me introduce you.I first met Giuseppe at Ultimo, his Italian restaurant in Syosset (in the same location as Steve's Piccola Bussola). I met him only once and only ate in his restaurant once..and not because it wasn't good (it was very good);…

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A Sweet 2011 Everybodeee !

January 2, 2011

It's not the best news for my fans. My personality, or whatever personality means to the Master Chef Competition, was not able to get me through the second round.The good thing is that the recipe submitted, and available on this blog, was good enough to get through the first and most important…

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Turkey Chaos…A Metaphor For Life

November 26, 2010

Upsidedown TurkeyThe MomentMoist Chaos TurkeyWhile humans have had to deal with chaos since ancient times, only recently has science recognized it as a fundamental force in the universe.Chaos theory, originally used to understand the movements that create thunderstorms, raging rivers, and hurricanes, is now being applied to…

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Bert's Secret Thanksgiving Veggie Recipe

November 21, 2010

To tell you the truth, I buy these all year long, however they go beautifully with Thanksgiving and Holiday dinners with some toasted in sweet butter slivered almonds.Simply steam these veggies for a few minutes (al dente) or a few more minutes if you prefer them soft.Add sweet butter, kosher…

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Fabulous Finds on Route 896

October 27, 2010

Thank you Jim Flood of Chick-Fil-A Restaurant for leading us in the right direction.Route 896 will lead you into the heart of Amish Country. What you will see and experience on that road is tantamount to a super condensed version of Route 66! It had everything we wanted and expected on the way…

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Brandywine Region & Amish Country

October 27, 2010

We have always wanted to visit Amish Country. Hearing that they are the among the best farmers in the world (yes, I said the world), we decided on a trip at the peak of harvest time in September.Our first stop, however, was Winterthur in the Brandywine Region of Pennsylvania. What and where is…

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Prelude to Brandywine & Amish Country

October 15, 2010

For those of you who know me, you know I know my food.For you and those who don't really know me...and are reading my blog because I keep pounding it into your brain that you won't be sorry...get ready for the best fast food chicken sandwich ever!It all started in March, 2010…

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BetsaPasta "Vinaigrette"

October 4, 2010

Hi Folks...a quick little post...more recipes to come...Bert<!--[if !mso]> <![endif]--> Organic Greens with Vinaigrette (Serves 8)Vinaigrette [vihn-uh-GREHT] One of the five "mother sauces," vinaigrette is a basic oil-and-vinegar combination,…

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4th Annual North Fork Foodie Tour continues…

September 29, 2010

Hi Folks...and welcome back!I learned something very interesting that I will incorporate into any future trips to anywhere. It may not be news to some of you, however staying off the beaten path has it's rewards. When most of us travel we usually read about the destination(s) and go where…

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Phoodographs from The North Fork Tour 2010

September 11, 2010

Cheryl's  Best Cherry TomatoesLindy's Hot Dog TruckCatapano's Goat Cheese GoatCatapano ShopPugliese VineyardSherwood House VineyardSherwood House Vineyard SunsetBriermere ProduceBriermere FarmLavender By The BayPeconic Herb Farm White Flower Farmhouse on Peconic LaneCatapano Dairy FarmWater's Crest WineryPeconic…

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North Fork Long Island Tour 2010

September 8, 2010

Hello Everybody Hello...Well...It’s nearing the end of still have time over the next few weeks at harvest time to appreciate a maaaavelous culinary, gardening and found objects day tour off the beaten path in and around wine country on the North Fork of Long Island.Your day trip comes with…

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