All things entertaining in Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley
BloggersChris Serico Kirthana Ramisetti Georgette Yacoub Kristin Taveira Anne Machalinski Estelle Lander
Westchester author to lead Stone Barns’ first Cookbook Club event
Jenny Rosenstrach, a Westchester County mom of two, published a cookbook/memoir in June. “Dinner: A Love Story,” originally a blog about the dinner she prepared nightly for her family, chronicles the meals that she made during the past 14 years. She’ll lead the first meeting in a new monthly series -- Cookbook Club -- at the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Newsday Westchester spoke with Rosenstrach last summer about her most memorable recipes and where she likes to shop and eat in the area. A few of her answers are below (and the extended interview is here).
The book is a chronicle of a history of your family dinners over the past 14 years. Of all those recorded meals, which one stands out as most memorable?
It was my husband’s great-grandmother Turano’s meatballs. That was the first real family dinner we had, where it actually felt like the romantic notions of a family dinner I had in my mind. My daughters were 3 and 5 at the time, and I was still at the period where I wanted them to be underfoot at all times. Some instinct told me that I could go downstairs and make dinner. At the time, it was so momentous to have that freedom to make dinner -- to have the 30 minutes to make the meatballs, and even have a glass of wine. When I went to the bottom of the stairs to call [my family] down for dinner, I very much felt like I was my own mother. I knew that was a big deal when it was happening.
To make preparing meals easier, what five ingredients should every person have in his kitchen?
An onion, pasta (preferably whole wheat), eggs, frozen spinach and canned artichokes. Between those five things you can make so many things, like pasta with caramelized onions, spinach and parmesan, a spaghetti omelet or just a regular omelet with spinach and onions. [Note: Rosenstrach has some of these recipes on the “Quick Dinners” section of her blog.]
What has been your go-to recipe over the years with your family?
Mom’s breaded chicken cutlets. You can always convince kids they’re chicken fingers. It’s a very classic Italian-style chicken dish. I like to do “crowd pleasers” -- basic things, nothing that will inspire riots at the dinner table.
When you’re not making dinner at home, what local restaurants do you like to visit?
I love Los Gemelos in Port Chester. It’s real authentic Mexican food. They have the best tacos! The food there really convinced my kids to love Mexican food.
Tarry Market is a great little Italian market attached to Tarry Lodge [in Port Chester]. Whenever I’m entertaining, I definitely shop there. It’s an amazing resource to have here.
We go to Stone Barns [in Pocantico Hills] for special occasions. The cafe is a favorite lunch spot, and it's the nicest way to spend an afternoon.
If you want more information, visit Rosenstrach’s blog at www.dinneralovestory.com. The Stone Barns event -- $9 for member and $10 for nonmembers -- includes a conversation about family meals, led by Rosenstrach, plus a glass of wine and a sample recipe. Signed copies of the cookbook also will be available for purchase.
The Stone Barns Center is at 630 Bedford Rd. in Pocantico Hills. For more information, call 914-366-6200 or visit www.stonebarnscenter.org. Registration for the event is available online.
With Kirthana Ramisetti