Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring has sprung.......I think.

Hi all.  It has been a long time since I've posted anything.  And that is because we had a great 2013 at the Inn at Stony Creek and we were incredibly busy.  Bill and I have finished our living quarters and are hard at work to complete the new guest rooms. 
We are very excited to start the spring and summer season up here in Warwick.  We are busy getting ready for the wedding season.  We seem to have really become a popular wedding site.  Our last year's schedule saw us do 4 weddings and this year we already have had 2 super small weddings in January and we have 4 scheduled for this summer.  And because I am an officiant we offer one stop shopping for all your wedding needs.
The winter was very harsh and cold this past season.  We are looking forward to warming up and enjoying the sunshine.  But one really good thing happened this winter and that was the birth of my new grandson, Dominic, born on February 15 to my beautiful daughter Rachel and her husband Mario.  This makes grandchild number 5.  How fun is that? And of course Bill is Uncle Bill and is just as excited as I am.
Warwick is waking up after its long winter's nap.  Stores are getting ready for the tourist season and the wineries are getting ready for a crowd of wine tasters.  It won't be long before the farmer's markets are open and you can get everything that the Warwick Valley has to offer.
I got to try lots of new recipes while we were shut in the Inn this winter.  I will be sharing some of those recipes as the months go on.  Hope you'll check back to see all the goodies that I have experimented with.  So let me start with my first one.  This was given to me by my daughter Jennifer.  It is a great cookie for the Easter or Passover season.  Hope you like it.

Anginette Recipe

Sift together:
3 cups flour
3 tsp Baking Powder

 Mix in a separate bowl:
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon or anise extract (you can make 1/2 batch of each)

Add to flour mixture.

Stir well with wooden spoon.  Mixture will be sticky

Drop by tsp or tblsp.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes ir until lightly browned on bottom

Let cool completely 


Confectioners sugar
Enough milk to make a nice glaze but not runny.
anise or lemon extract (according to what flavor you used in cookie dough.

mix well

dip cookie into frosting ( I like to use food coloring to make different pastel colors.  Makes them look like
Easter eggs)  You can also sprinkle with multi colored sprinkles.
Let them dry completely.   
Last instruction is to EAT them.  Great with a cup of tea or coffee
Hope you enjoy them.
In my next post I will let you in on what's going on in the Warwick Valley and all the events that are scheduled month by month.
Have a wonderful Easter and Passover and may God's blessings be with you all. 
Joe and Bill


Monday, April 8, 2013

The grass is getting greener and so is the Inn at Stony Creek

Happy Spring everyone.  Hope your Easter and Passover holidays were wonderful.  We had a beautiful holiday with our family and put on quite a few pounds with all the Easter goodies.  And I of course baked for our guests at the Inn.  As a matter of fact I have one of the recipes that I used, to share with you at the end of this post. 

We just added 15 new baby chicks to our brood and get this....we are getting 27 more full grown hens this week.  They will all be free range and organic and provide us with nutrient rich eggs for our guests for breakfast.  That will bring us up to 80 chickens, ducks and geese.  And our geese have been laying and nesting so we might even have some new goslings this summer.

I have been dying to get out into the garden and start prepping it for the summer.  Since we will be needing more room for the poultry, our garden will be a bit smaller this year.  We are concentrating on zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and herbs.  All things that we can use for our guest's breakfasts.  We are getting all our plants from Mid Summer's Farm here in Warwick.  They specialize in organic gardening and will provide us with all the healthy plants we need.  Its a great place to visit if you come up to Warwick.

The surrounding areas are gearing up to make this a great summer to visit Warwick.  On April 14 we will be having our 9th Annual Taste of the Town from 1-6PM.  Please call Carol Sapanaro at 914-490-0219 for information.

Also in April come visit the Village of Warwick Springfest: A Home and Garden Expo 10am to 5pm.
Home and garden vendors will be set up throughout the Village of Warwick.  Celebrate Spring with our local orchards, garden centers, pool suppliers, landscape designers and various other home improvement experts.  Call 845-987-7600 for more info.

And on Sundays don't forget the Farmer's Market that features fresh produce, bakery items and more on Railroad Ave. also from 10am to 5pm.

On April 28 join us for Vernon Earthfest from 11am to 4pm.  This is the region's largest Earth-oriented celebration of sustainability, earth-awareness and knowledge from experience professionals.  This event is FREE for the whole family and probably the best value available anywhere.  It takes place at Heaven Hill Farm, 451 Route 94, Vernon, NJ.  Event is held rain or shine.

Now let me explain what the title of this blog means.  Bill and I have been working on reducing our carbon footprint to try to do what we can to save this beautiful planet of ours.  So we have decided to make some changes to the way we do business at the Inn at Stony Creek.

Below is a checklist of some of the new policies we will be implementing.

1. Towels will only be replaced when guests staying multiple nights request it to cut down on
    laundry water runoff.

2. Guests staying multiple nights will have their bed made up everday but sheets will be changed only
    after the third night's stay. 

3. All cans, bottles (glass and plastic), and newpapers will continue to be recycled.

4. Lights will not be turned on in the rooms until the guests arrive cutting down on electric usage.

5. All our eggs are from organic free range chickens with no antibiotics added to their feed.

6. As much as possible we will use chemical free cleaners when doing house chores.

Any other things that you as our treasured guests and friends can recommend, we will most appreciate it.

Now for my recipe of this month.  I have decided a really good spring cookie would be very appropriate.  So I have decided to give you a Lemon Ricotta Cookie with lemon glaze recipe that I got out of Giada di Laurentis' cookbook  Hope you like them.



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested


  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Hope you all enjoyed the post and hope that you really enjoy the cookies.  Until next time, Bill and I want to wish you a wonderful Springtime and hope to see you up at the Inn sometime soon.



















    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Happy Valentine's Day

    Hi everyone.  Sorry its been so long since I posted but attribute it to busy holidays, Hurricane Sandy and working on the Inn.  Can you believe that its February and Valentine's Day already?  It seems like we just put up the Christmas tree and decorated for the holidays.  Well that must mean that Spring is right around the corner.  By my calculations, Spring should officially arrive in 37 days.  And don't forget to turn your clocks ahead in about 4 weeks on March 10th.  Yeah, longer days.

    Anyway, we are working feverishly to finish the new guest room in the addition.  We are hoping to get it done by the time the season is in full swing.  We haven't named it yet but if you have any suggestions, please let us know. 

    We ordered another 15 baby chickens.  That will bring us up to 45 chickens and 10 ducks and geese.  The eggs will be more plentiful than ever this year so I'd better get out the old recipe book to see what I can come up with. 

    Winter time can be just as exciting up here in Warwick as it is in the Summer and Fall.  Skiing is in full swing at Mountain Creek as well as snowboarding and tubing.  And Mountain Creek has just advised us that there will be Zip Lining for your enjoyment.  Bill and I are mulling over whether we want to try it.  Knowing Bill, he will talk me into it.

    Of course the wineries are open with wine tastings as well as delicious lunches and live entertainment.  Warwick Valley Winery has also started offering different types of whiskies for purchase.

    Well since Valentine's Day is this Thursday, I decided to give you a recipe that is sooooooo easy and delicious.  It is from the Betty Crocker website.  Make it for a special dessert for your Valentine or make it appropriately for Presidents Day.

    Almond Struesel Cherry Cheesecake Bars

    Cookie Base and Topping

    1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
    1 cup cold butter or margarine
    4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 8 oz pkg)
    1/2 cup sliced almonds
    2 1/2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese (20 oz. softened)                                   
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 Tblsp Gold Medal all purpose flour
    1 tsp almond extract
    2 eggs
    1 can (21 oz)  cherry pie filling
    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. Place cookie mix in large bowl. Cut in butter and 4 oz cream cheese, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom of pan. Bake 12 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat 20 oz cream cheese, the sugar, flour, almond extract and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
    3. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over partially baked cookie base. Spoon pie filling evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with reserved topping and almonds.
    4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
    Makes 24 bars
    Guaranteed to warm the hearts of any of your loved ones.
    Well folks it was great writing to you again and I promise it won't be long until my next post. 
    So from Bill and I, stay warm and have a wonderful Valentine's Day and hope to see you soon.

    Sunday, October 7, 2012

    Autumn in Warwick

    Temperatures are cooling rapidly.  The leaves are changing colors and starting to fall.  People are apple picking and decorating their homes with pumpkins.  Why, that must mean Autumn is in full swing.   Fall has always been my favorite season.  I love the smell of fresh baked pumpkin pie and cool evenings by the fire.  Apple cider and apple crisp now become a staple at the inn.  The smell of hot cider and cinnamon simmering in a pot on the stove in the Inn's kitchen gives me such a wonderful warm feeling.  And the best holidays are in the fall.  There's Halloween where you can become any kind of ghost or goblin no matter what your age.  And you can eat all the candy you want.  And then there's Thanksgiving.  This is the holiday that lets you get together with family and friends to give thanks and share the bounty of the year's harvest.

    The Warwick Valley is abound with activities during this season.  The farmer's markets are full of all the good things that the Valley has to offer.  And on Sunday, October 14th, the Village of Warwick hosts it's Applefest festival featuring food vendors and crafts that focus upon the region's celebrated and healthy fruit, the apple. Music, entertainment, and fun for the whole family! Come early and see what Warwick is all about.

    At the Inn we have been busy busy busy.  We are meeting all kinds of new people from all over the world.  Whether they come to visit family and friends, or come to vacation or even just to shop at the Woodbury Commons, it is our complete pleasure to have them in our home.  Our addition is almost complete.  All thats left is the painting and staining of the trim. I will post some pics of the completed project in the next post.

    We are planning to add to our chicken and duck population.  In the spring, we will order at least another 12 hens and at least 2 more mallard ducks.  Bill is the primary caregiver for all our fowl and it is hilarious to watch how they obey his commands and follow him around.  But the guests love the fresh eggs in the morning so we do what we can to accommodate them.

    Now a quick recipe for the fall season.  This is not exactly a breakfast food but it is great for lunch or dinner. 

    Butternut Squash Soup

    1 butternut squash   peeled
    2 tablespoons of butter (unsalted)
    salt and pepper
    1 med. onion chopped
    6 cups of chicken stock
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 tsp. ginger (grated fresh or minced in a jar)

    Cut squash in 1" cubes.  In a large pot, melt butter. Add the onion and cook until translucent about 8 minutes.  Add ginger and brown sugar.  Stir until well blended.  Add squash and chicken stock.   Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender.  Remove squash with a slotted spoon and put into a blender and puree.  Return puree back to pot.  Stir and season with salt and pepper and nutmeg. 
    Serve with a dollop of sour cream and drizzled with sherry.

    This soup will fast become a family favorite.

    Well folks.  Bill and I want to wish you a Happy Halloween and a wonderful Fall.  Hope to see you all in the coming months.  Next post I will tell you about some exciting new things we are doing here at the Inn.  Take care and God Bless you all.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    Those Hazy Lazy Crazy Days of Summer

    Hi everyone.  Hard to believe that tomorrow is August 1st already.  Summer has just flown by and we have been very busy.  Bill and I took a well deserved trip to Hawaii to celebrate Bill's 60th Birthday. We had a great time.  We left the Inn in the very capable hands of our friends Inga and Eloise and we thank them for taking such good care of our guests while we were gone.

    When we returned we became wedding central.  We have had 3 weddings and a rehearsal dinner in 5 weeks.  We still have 2 more weddings, a reunion and retreat to go.  Whew, I'm tired already.  I have been so blessed to be able to perform 4 of the weddings and I'm performing another ceremony this coming week at Cromwell Manor in Cornwall, NY.  The pictures at the beginning of this post are of the dessert table at one wedding and the rehearsal dinner. 

    Well, other than weddings and stuff at the Inn,  there is lots going on in the town of Warwick and the surrounding areas.

    Aug 2 | Third Annual Black Dirt Feast | 6-9PMA special 5-course, sit-down gourmet meal prepared by eight of the region's top chefs, as a fund-raiser for the PIne Island Chamber. Call 845-258-4176.

    Aug 13 | Annual Decorated Boat Parade in Greenwod Lake | 6:30PMThis Village of Greenwood Lake unique event each season makes yoou wonder about how these strange vessels can actually float!

    Aug 14 | 11th Annual Florida Family FunFest | 1-8PMFlorida, NY. Vendors, musicians, food, amusements.Florida Fun Fest held on Main Street beginning at 1 PM. Food. Music. Rides. Vendors. Contact Florida Chamber at or call 651-6000 for more information

    Aug 19-21 | Pine Island Summer Fest | Fri (4-11PM); Sat (8AM-11PM) and Sun (12-6PMEnjoy the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Onion Eating Contest, carnival, food, car show & entertainment at this Pine Island location, presented by PLAV Post 16 on Pulaski Highway. Friday evening: Rivers Edge Band (Country & Western), and Annual Onion Eating Contest; Saturday: Kool Classic Car Show and Swap meeting during the day, with music by Twist & Shout at night, along with fireworks after dark; Sunday, polka Family Band. Lots of surprises.

    Aug 21 | Art on the Green | 9AM-3PMArt, crafts, entertainment, and community on Railroad Ave. Green.

    You can see that there is lots to do in the area.  So come on up and we will take good care of you. 

    Ok/  Now for my recipe of the month.  This is not exactly an Inn staple but it is a favorite summer dish of mine and is great served at parties or BBQs.

    Grilled Chicken w/mango salsa

    Boneless Chicken Breasts trimmed and skin removed
    Sau-Sea Susan or Duck sauce
    2 ripe mangoes peeled and diced
    1 small red onion diced
    1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped (seeds removed)
    bunch of fresh cilantro chopped (1/4 cup)
    1 tsp. olive oil
    1 tblsp orange juice

    Grill chicken until juices run clear.
    Brush with Sau-Sea or Duck sauce and leave on grill for a few more minutes. (2 or 3 min)
    When done, slice chicken on the slant.
    Set aside.

    Combine chopped mangoes, diced red onion, finely chopped jalapeno, coarsely chopped cilantro, . olive oil, orange juice and a dash of salt in a bowl and mix until coated.  (This should be made ahead of time and refrigerated until chicken is done.)

    Place the mango salsa in the center of a round platter or dish and place the chicken around it.  Makes a beautiful and delicious dish.

    Well folks, enough for this post.  Hope you are having a great summer and Bill and I hope to see you all soon.  Take care and God Bless you all.

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    Spring Has Sprung

    Hello everyone. Joe here with the latest edition on whats going on in Warwick. Things are really hopping here at the Inn. We are getting ready to put all the trim and doors on in the addition and I will post some pics of the finished product in upcoming posts. We have painted and put the rockers out on the front porch, so you know that summer and warmer weather are almost here.
    Bill and I hope your Easter and Passover holidays were wonderful for you and yours. We had a great Easter at my daughter's house with all the grandkids present. And today we celebrated Bill's Greek Orthodox Easter with a traditional Greek dinner with all the trimmings. And to add to the festivities, all the daffodils were in full bloom outside and the ducks and geese were waddling all over the property and swimming in the pond. Very Easterish.
    The town of Warwick and the surrounding towns and villages are gearing up for the warm weather season. The farmer's market begins in Warwick on May 13th. You can buy fresh produce, baked goods,wines and all sorts of farm fresh items at the outdoor market every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm in the South Street parking lot, rain or shine. And on the opening day there will be a special Mothers Day Market, so bring that special mom to enjoy her day.
    The Warwick Drive-In is now open and many of our guests come from far and wide to enjoy and old fashioned night at the movies. Check their website for movies and showtimes
    And don't forget the many wineries in the area. Whether it be for a wine tasting or a leisurely lunch, our local wineries are among the best.
    Now for my recipe of this month. I just made this today and it is a definite keeper. Very simple and very elegant and very delicious. Hope you enjoy it. It is a perfect dessert for a Mother's Day celebration.
    Lemon Cheesecake


    1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

    2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
    3/4 cup sugar
    3 containers (3.5 oz each) lemon pudding (from 4-pack
    1/2 cup sour cream
    3 eggs
    2 cups frozen (thawed) whipped topping or real whipped
    cream for topping

    1. Heat oven to 300°F. Spray bottom and side of 10-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour. Wrap foil around outside of pan to catch drips. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cake mix; set
    aside. In large bowl, beat remaining cake mix, oil, 1 egg and lemon peel with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly. Press in bottom and 1 inch up side of pan.
    2. In same large bowl, beat reserved cake mix, the cream cheese, sugar, pudding and sour cream on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, until mixed. Pour over crust.
    3. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes or until edges are set but center of cheesecake jiggles slightly when moved. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes longer.
    4. Remove cheesecake from oven; place on cooling rack. Without releasing side of pan, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Cover
    loosely; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Remove side of pan before serving. Pipe or spoon whipped topping around outside edge of cheesecake. Store covered in refrigerator.
    Makes 16 servings

    This is such an easy cake and so good for spring or summer desserts. Enjoy.
    Well, got to get out to the rose garden and weed. Hope you enjoy your spring and hope to see you all soon.
    God Bless you all.

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Happy Valentine's Day.....I'm Back

    Hi everyone. Joe here. After a tough recuperation period I am back in the saddle and good as new. The knee replacement surgery went better than expected and I am now almost totally back to normal and running around like crazy. Bill and I have been feverishly working on the addition and have gotten the new floors in and are just getting ready to put the finishing touches on with the trim. Finally!

    Things are going great at the Inn. We have been doing lots over the winter with upkeep and all. Can't wait to put in the garden this year. This summer the garden will be filled with organic veggies and herbs to use in our breakfast dishes. We are also up to our eyeballs in fresh eggs. The chickens are laying like crazy and so are the ducks. We only serve the chicken eggs but we will definitely offer duck and goose eggs to our guests if they so request. Bill loves making himself a soft boiled goose egg in the morning. One egg is enough to fill you up. So rich.

    Well, Valentine's Day is upon us again. (Didn't we just celebrate Christmas last week?) Hope that you and the ones you love will have a beautiful day celebrating. I have a great recipe for you all that will be great dessert for your loved ones and kids alike. But that comes later on.

    Lots going on in the area these next few weeks. Besides the wineries and the restaurants, there is lots to do in Warwick and the surrounding towns.

    On the weekend of Feb 17-19 Greenwood Lake is celebrating their 14th Annual Winter Carnival.

    There will be wine tasting and a torch lighting ceremony. They will have a chili cook off and a spaghetti eating contest. Other events include an outdoor BBQ, tug of war, bowling and a frozen T-shirt contest. Parking and admission is free and a shuttle will be provided. Call the Chamber of Commerce for further details.

    Also in February, from the Most Talked-About Restaurants & Wineries to the Speciality Shops and Inns, Experience it all in the Warwick Valley. Take advantage of the Second Annual Winter Dining Event! During the weeks of February 22 to March 8, special discounts will be available--enjoy a three-course pre-fixe lunch for $15, a three-course pre-fixe dinner for $25, or a specially discounted menu in select eateries. Also inlcuded are select Inns, Merchants, and Wineries!

    Ok, now for that recipe I promised you. My daughter made this for me and I really could have eaten the whole thing.

    Chocolate Chip Walnut Poundcake

    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
    3 cups sugar
    6 large eggs
    1 cup sour cream
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    a 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
    2 cups chopped walnuts

    Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour a 3-quart bundt pan, knocking out excess flour.
    In a bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
    In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in sour cream and vanilla until combined well. With mixer on low speed gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined.
    Pour about half of batter into prepared pan and sprinkle about half of chocolate chips and walnuts over batter. Pour remaining batter over walnut mixture, spreading evenly, and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and walnuts. Bake cake in middle of oven 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and cool in pan on a rack 1 hour. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely.

    Now for the really decadent part. And I added this part on. I am soooo bad sometimes. Drizzle a chocolate ganache over the whole cake after you have placed it on a cake plate. The recipe follows.

    Chocolate Ganache

    8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped or mini chips, 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
    In a saucepan, heat cream slowly for about 4 minutes until boiling (do not stir).
    Meanwhile, have chocolate and butter ready in a metal or Pyrex bowl. When cream begins to bubble and climb the sides of the saucepan, pour it over the chocolate in the bowl. Again, do not stir. Let the chocolate soften.
    After 2 or 3 minutes, whisk or beat the softened chocolate until completely melted and smooth.
    If chocolate has not melted, place over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave for a few seconds (glass bowl only) and whisk til smooth.
    You can use this to frost cakes and cupcakes or for dipping strawberries, or as a topping for ice cream or other desserts.

    With the ganache this makes this the perfect Valentine's Day dessert. As a matter of fact, I am making it again for the guests next week. Let me know how yours turns out.

    Well folks. I am so glad to be back in action and Bill and I are looking so forward to you coming to visit. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day and hope to see you soon.