Springwater Music Fair 2016

This two weekends ago Luke and I went on a date. The first date in months that did not include errands or trips to Lowes. It was just because we wanted to, which was nice.

There are things we will miss about upstate New York, the fall leaves, the dairy farms along the hill sides, the maple syrup, the homes decorated for each season, and summer and fall festivals.

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One festival we will miss dearly is the Springwater Music Fair . Last year we found posters for this fair when we toured a local maple syrup producer in March.

For more read:

https://agreenesadventures.org/2015/04/22/flashback-march-maple-season/

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We thought we would check out this very local festival less than a half hour from our house. We found ourselves at Punky Hollow, a tree farm and property outside of Springwater. For $10 each we enjoyed the beautifully landscaped property in the fall air, looked at local craft vendors, listened to music, and enjoyed local food and treats.

For more on last year’s festival read:

https://agreenesadventures.org/2015/09/28/springwater-fiddlers-fair/

It was so much fun we decided to come again this year.  This year the name has changed to Music Fair. The genre of musicians has broadened and so have the festivals hours, open both Saturday and Sunday.

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When we arrived on Saturday afternoon we saw new signs  designating the festivals event spaces. After getting our wristbands we walked around to see what this year’s festival included.

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The music tent was moved to the center of the field, with more seating available. We personally enjoy fiddling music: Irish, folk, American Blue grass, Cajun etc. So although we appreciate the festival has more variety we were disappointed to miss some fiddle-featured bands earlier in the day.

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Instead we waited through some minor bands not in our genre preference. But we did discover one local featured band we  bought a CD from: The Brother’s Blue. They had great American folk mandolin, banjo, and fiddle music.

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In the past, the festival had white fiddles pointing to spots along property trails where fiddlers could play and join other amateurs. We did not see any white fiddles this year, which again was disappointing.

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On the positive side, there were more local crafts and food vendors. We picked up honey from a Wayland producer. Also this year two local food trucks added to the food choices. During a lull in our preferred music we got lunch at Milliners Southern Smoke. and for the price we got a great deal on delicious BBQ.

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Near the end of the day, like last year, we enjoyed Spotted Duck Creamery Custard a local organic duck egg custard producer. This year I got Salted Carmel and Luke got Strawberry Rhubarb. I will be honest, I looked forward to this dessert all summer. We are happy to see they returned to the festival and that their business is expanding.

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Overall we enjoyed the Music Festival just a much as the year before. It is sad this will be our last time attending, but we are glad we were able to enjoy it for two fall seasons.

How do you celebrate the fall season?

Moving . . . into another Transition

If it seems that I have been absent from this blog for awhile you are right. So. . . it’s been over a month since any blog posts. Sorry, about that.

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But now it is fall, a season of changing leaves and big changes for the Greenes. Ready to hear why my blog has been stalled: we are moving!

Luke and I have been living on the East Coast for almost four years.  We started this blogging adventure soon after moving to stay in touch with friends and family.

After four years of marriage living more than a thousand miles away it is time to move “home”, which for us is the Northwest. We are ready to be near family in an environment that is familiar to us.

This has been a plan long in the making.  Although we have enjoyed visits from family this summer, most of our time has been spent checking off our lengthy to-do list for this transition.

In many ways that hard work is behind us. Part of July and most of August for Luke was spent applying to and interviewing with employers all the while trying to keep up with his current job while others went on vacations. At the same time, we had a lengthy list of house projects to complete before putting it on the market. So every weekend was packed with trips to Lowes and house work.

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But our house is now on the market, it makes this long process real when you have a for sale sign in front.

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And just last week Luke accepted a job offer in Centralia Washington. So now we know where we are moving to. We are blessed that this will be only a few hours of travel from family and not a whole day in a plane (with jet lag).

Meanwhile I just started my last semester of teaching here. My employers gave me the opportunity to work alongside a co-teacher, providing me with a chance to work while also giving me the freedom to leave before the semester ends. I am also now looking into jobs in the Centralia area for the Spring.

So there it is: we are moving and into another transition. And now that you all know, you will be updated as we move forward.

Fall Festival and Wine

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Two weeks ago we decided to use our Groupon to check out a local winery: Inspire Moore Winery in Naples. We drove by the bright purple winery building back in August when we joined the Springwater hiking group for a hike in Naples. We thought it may be worth returning to. So we found a groupon for wine tasting and cheese board and came back to check out our local grapes.

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As we drove through Naples we saw covered stands set up from the past week’s grape festival (we sadly had missed) with people trying to sell of their grape pies and grapes (a local treat we are hoping to try soon).

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Even though it was raining the tasting room and restaurant at Inspire Moore were both crowded. Fortunately we did not have to wait long. The sommelier who served us and explained the wines was very helpful. We found we enjoy their drier red wines.

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After some tasting we went upstairs to enjoy the cheese board filled with cheeses from Fancy Yancey  a cheese company we have encountered when we went to the Cuba cheese factory. (for more on this see Wine and cheese tasting Ellicottville)

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Our favorite was the cheddar with candied maple bacon in it, perfect with red wine. We left with a few bottles and souvenir wine glasses then prepared to be out in the rain.

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I love the fall, but one thing that is hard is to say goodbye to is the wonderful summer season of festivals. One festival left is the fall foliage festival in Cohocton. We stumbled upon this event last year. New to the area we were driving around to get acquainted and saw a sign for the festival.

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For where we live it always has a great turn out of food vendors, craftsmen, local maple syrup and honey, and produce. This year sadly it was very rainy so my pictures do not aptly reflect how busy this festival usually is.

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We were hungry so we decided to stop and get a roast beef sundae, sold by the historical society. With a mountain of mash potatoes and beef gravy with a cherry tomatoes on top it was a great warm snack to share in the cold.

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After we walked around in the mud and rain, bought a few winter scarves, and went off to find our fall treat: cider doughnuts, cider, and apples. Just like last year we found a stand selling pies, apples, cider and baked goods. We got a half bushel of fall crisp apples for 8 bucks!

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Now we are overflowing with apples. Fortunately we can dry some, use some for apple pie and we have discovered Kira enjoys them too. They have become a great healthy training snack.

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What are some of your favorite fall activities or treats?

Springwater Fiddler’s Fair

Well it’s been busy past month adjusting to a new job, driving to Rochester everyday, and adding a puppy to our lives. We were ready for a weekend outing.

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A few weekends ago went to the Springwater 7th annual Fiddler’s Fair. We heard about this fair from two sources: first from the maple farm we toured for maple week this past spring (see maple season) and from the Springwater trails group we hiked with this summer.

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The fair takes places at a tree farm on the boarder between Cohocton and Wayland (so not far from our house) and hosts fiddlers from all over upstate New York for one day of performances, workshops, and jam sessions.

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We arrived in the mid afternoon and explored the grounds. A barn was set up at the front of the property with crafts artists inside. We payed a five dollar donation and were given wrist bands and brochures before exploring. Around the corner form the barn was the main stage where fiddling performances occurred every half hour from 10-6pm all day.

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Deciding to walk around the craft stalls outside, we walked around the found the inner loop trail to explore the jam sessions in the woods. At each location where a jam session could occur along  the festival had set up haybails and a white fiddle sign.

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We came late enough in the day that there were not any jam sessions in the forest, but we enjoyed the walk. The spring water hiking club blazes the trails for all of the events on the farm, and for most of the day supported guided hikes along the trails.

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We came back to the main field and listened in on a few of the larger workshops and jam tents further out in the field. Some of the workshops included Penny whistle, woodworking, Cajun fiddling, and basic fiddling skills.

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We also noticed they had nature crafts for children and a sing along stage where children could dress up, pick up instruments, and dance along to a guitarist singing children’s songs.

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After walking around we decided to get dessert first settling on organic custard made locally from duck eggs. I got black raspberry and Luke had the mint chip, it was very good creamy and sweet.

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We sat with our frozen treats and listened at the main stage to several performers including a group of children performers from a string school in Buffalo who were very good.

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We then decided to get dinner and had many options to choose from everything from taco salad, to BBQ, to hamburgers and hot dogs, to vegetarian stew and lamb burritos. Sadly the lamb burritos were sold out by the time we decided to eat ,so Luke and I shared some BBQ and mac and cheese. All of the food stands were local bakeries, restaurants, and catering companies.

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We enjoyed seeing that this fair was put on by volunteers and locals and the cost to get into the festival goes to run the festival next year and to support the community. It was also great to hear a variety of fiddling styles including Americana, Irish, and even Macedonian.

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It was the perfect event to welcome the fall season.

Fall Recipe Round-up and Competition

Today we are in Syracuse for the first time on a business trip. Luke will be attending a state wide nursing teaching day and since I am still waiting to hear back on the job interview last week (see a teacher without a classroom), I figured I’d come along and explore the area. I am looking forward to sharing what I find later.

For today I thought it was time to do a food review. In the past almost eight months of blogging I have posted low calorie, low carb (or no-carb), barley-free, and some gluten-free or even vegetarian recipes. As I looked at my weekly calendar (see What the fridge tells us) I realized that my recipes definitely change by the season. So now that I am more willing to not only stand the heat of the oven but enjoy it’s warmth here are a few of my favorite fall recipes. By the way if you have been an avid reader of mine stick around, you may see I’ve added a few alternatives for each meal, and there’s  surprise competition info at the end! Curious?

Here they are (in no particular order because I have a hard time choosing “favorites”):

1. Crockpot Vegetarian Lentil Soup (stew):

Lentil soup is one of those recipes I’ve made several times that reminds me of my semester abroad; the smell of tomatoes, lentils, and cumin always bring me back to living in a flat in Cairo.  It’s easy to throw in the crock-pot; a warm hearty vegetarian and gluten-free meal, and believe it or not it actually tastes better as leftovers! You can partner it with a good salad, some pita and hummus, or if you want meat some kebabs.

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2. Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers make for a great gluten-free dinner with endless possibilities. Although my version is not vegetarian, I give suggestions for what can easily replace the ground beef in the recipe. You can take this recipe and run in several directions. Want it mexican?: Stuff it with black beans and top it off with tortilla chips, mexican cheese, and salsa. Or if you want a more Italian variety?: Throw zucchini and Italian seasoning into the mixture and top it off with tomato sauce and mozzarella . If you want a different carb?: How about quinoa, or polenta? As I said the variations are limitless.

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3. crockpot french onion soup

I just love the savory combo. of onions and beef broth. Partner it with good cheese and a hearty layer of dark bread and you’ve got a great fall meal in a bowl! This French Onion Soup recipe is gluten-free and low calorie. Because it’s a crock-pot meal all it takes is about a half hour’s worth of work then the crock-pot does the rest. If you want lower calorie you can go without bread, find a low-calorie bread,-or use croutons. Also mix-up what cheese you use-we use swiss or provolone but don’t let that stop you from trying out a different cheesy topper.

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4. Gluten-free low cal chicken marsala

I took this traditional Italian dish and gave a slightly healthier and gluten-free spin on it.  This time I took out the pasta used zucchini as the base ingredient. Another option I have not shared before is to make spaghetti squash, same low calorie count but a similar pasta texture. Instead of breading the chicken I used a parmesan and herb base. Now a typical serving is under 600 Calories!

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5.  Cinnamon Oatmeal Apple Muffins

For the last one I thought I’d throw in a baked good. When I think of fall one memory comes to mind: taking a Saturday with my parents to drive to Oak Glen and pick out apples and eat apple pie. So I love it when the smell of cinnamon and apples fills the house.  These little muffins are hearty and filling but only 100 calories each! They are free of any white sugar and easy to make. I am also in the works right now of dong a pumpkin muffin with the same base recipe. If you want to try it substitute 1 egg white and 1/2 C milk for 1 C of pureed pumpkin. Or if you want to cut out the milk and egg? Use applesauce. Again 1 egg white and 1/2C milk= 1 C applesauce. So if you want to cut all milk and egg out you’ll want to use more applesauce.

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Well if you haven’t felt encouraged to try one of these recipes before I hope you now do!

Now it’s your turn!

Fall Recipe competition:

Share your favorite homemade fall recipe with me and you may just see me post a blog featuring your home-cooking/baking!

I will choose one recipe and share the results and therefore the winner with all of you!

My email is posted on the side-panel of this page. Recipes must be submitted before October 12th!

Happy Cooking/Baking!

Harvest Music Festival

We had a blustery start to Autumn this weekend, gray clouds, wind blowing leave off the trees, and rain showers. Still we decided to take a walk and risk getting wet to check out the Harvest Music Festival downtown Corning.

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Each year to kicks off the fall season the Riverfront Centennial Park hosts a Jazz/Music and Harvest festival. Friday night festivities include beer and wine tasting and headlining Jazz concerts.  Saturday includes a farmer’s market with food and craft vendors, a carnival,  street entertainment,  and of course more music artists.

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We decided to enjoy a few early trees turned to bright fall foliage on our walk and settle our curiosity of how the festival was going in the rainy weather. With a recyclable grocery bag in hand, with hopes of buying some local produce we walked downtown.

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colorful trees on our walk

IMG_1588 Walking down Market street we saw some of the local business had scarecrows on display. Many local business as part of the festival decorate a scarecrow and enter it into a competition. There were not many out in the open-some were in storefront windows where they’d be sheltered from the rain. As we came to Centerway Square we noticed the park looked empty.

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Because of the weather they had moved all activities into the first floor of the parking garage. This also meant there was no carnival and limited food trucks or vendors in the rain.

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At the end of the blocked off section of parking lot a stage had been set up where a country band sat playing typical favorites.  A very small car show was on display, among the scarce booths of crafts and limited number of produce vendors. On the right a small children’s activity section had been made with face painting and games.

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It was obvious the weather had gotten the best of this festival. Slightly disappointed, we were happy to pick up some local honey from a vendor who was also selling dried flowers and organic onions. We left the festival only fifteen minutes after arriving with honey in hand braving the rain on our walk back wishing we could have at least enjoyed the cider and doughnuts we thought would be waiting for us at the festival.

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Well, you can’t control the weather and there’s is nothing like proving that fall has hit like a blustery day. Don’t worry, we still had an enjoyable fall weekend filled with co-worker b-day parties and dinners out with friends. Plus who doesn’t enjoy a good rainy storm from the comfort of your home with a cup of coffee?

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Happy Fall everyone! Did you have a fall weekend? What activities are you looking forward to this season?

Cinnamon Oatmeal Apple Muffins

I have to be honest: I love apples that is partly why when Luke and I got married (almost a year ago now!) in Southern California’s Apple Country: Oak Glenn I used their local apples to decorate the reception space. (See Sentimental wedding details).

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Last week I posted a blog sharing the first few glimpses of fall  we have here in upstate New York and how we are enjoying the beginning of a new season. One picture I shared was of a bowl full of homemade apple muffins:

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Before this first batch of muffins was gone I was asked to make a second by my husband to take to a work breakfast (yes they were that popular). These little muffins are hearty and filling but only 100 calories each! They are free of any white sugar and easy to make. Plus while baking the house smell amazing.

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After being asked for an encore so soon I thought this recipe would be worth sharing with all of you.

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Ingredients

1-1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour (you can use all purpose instead it just changes the texture)

1 ½ C chopped apple

1 C 1/% milk

1/2 C brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup fat-free milk

2 egg whites

1 C applesauce

Note: (You can use one extra egg white and 1/2 C milk to replace the 1 C applesauce)

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Instructions:

-Soak the oats in milk for an hour. (I know this adds time to baking but you can do it in advanced and it helps to create a great texture for the muffins.)

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-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

-Cut up apples if need to. ( I took this opportunity to try out our new apple corer and peeler).

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-Spray muffin pan with cooking spray or use a little butter. I use I can’t believe it’s not butter light with a paper towel to line the tins.

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-After the hour of soaking, combine the oat mixture with the applesauce and egg whites, and mix until combined.

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-In a separate bowl, whisk all dry ingredients (except 1 tsp cinnamon) together.

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-Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined.

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-Add chopped apples. (Do not over mix the batter).

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-Spoon muffin mixture into muffin pan(s).

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-Combine the 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 or 2 tsp brown sugar then top each muffin with some of the mixture.

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-Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. (At 400 degrees it only took 20 minutes with my oven for them to be perfectly baked).

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Number of Servings: 16-18

Calories: 102 each

Then Enjoy!

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What is your favorite flavor of fall?