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I'm writing to you from the Hudson Valley in New York State, where I spend as many weekends as I can in an early Dutch stone house built in 1750 that I love. This is the place to write, and cook, do DIY projects and just chill...

This weekend my to-do list included learning to bake the amazing sourdough country bread that I tasted last month at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. I am right in the middle of making the "sponge" or culture. Next blog I will share my results and the recipe that I'm using. I'll also include the recipe for homemade flatbread or naan that is so easy you'll make it often.

But for now I want to share four favourite places to eat and shop in the town of Rhinebeck, New York. Every weekend I spend here, my first stop in Rhinebeck is to eat at Market St. I love their kale salad and in fact H&H got the recipe from their chef and published it in our February 2014 issue. It's amazing. I make it every few days and everyone I serve it to asks for the recipe.

Market St.'s Kale Salad With Pecorino, Currants & Pine Nuts

Ingredients: 

1 bunch Lacinato kale (about 14 oz)
2 oz aged Tuscan Pecorino, shaved (or more!)
3 tbsp mild extra-virgin olive oil
1 1⁄2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1⁄3 cup pine nuts
1⁄4 cup dried currants, raisins or dried cherries

Instructions: 

Step 1: Wash and spin-dry kale. Remove and discard ribs. Roll each leaf and chiffonade as thinly as possible. Place in a large mixing bowl with half of the cheese. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 2: Toss and let stand for a few minutes.
Step 3: Add the remaining cheese, pinenuts and currents and toss.

My second stop is Hammertown Home. They do a good job of bringing in lines of furniture and bedding and accessories that are easy to mix and have a laid-back, classic charm.

This trip I saw a few new things that caught my eye.

Blue and white accent dishes were stacked high.

I spotted this leather-framed mirror and skinny steel bookcase (I measured them and went home to confirm the fit). I ended up buying both. They worked perfectly!

I loved this kit of slate placecards with chalk and dowels. The price was great at under $30.00 so I bought it.

I also bought these bottlestoppers with decorative wood finials — perfect for olive oils.

My third stop was Blue Cashew Kitchen Pharmacy, a cooking store that always has the latest cookbooks and a great selection of linens, cookware and tableware.

They carry a line of beautiful handmade candles from Ester & Erik that are displayed in the metal racks they are made in. When you buy them, the wicks are clipped to release the candles. Very cool!

The best thing is the personal service you will enjoy from the owners that includes sharing their own favourite recipes from their website. I've made the seafood paella, it's superb!

Last stop this trip was Paper Trail, the card and gift shop with wonderful accessories including coverlets from John Robshaw, scarves and candles in the newest colours, decorative throw pillows, loads of stationary and clever gifty things.

That's all for this trip. Keep the Hudson Valley in mind the next time you're planning a weekend getaway!

Photo sources:
All photos (except 2): Lynda Reeves
2. Keith Ferris

Author: 

Lynda Reeves

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