Misty Bleu Farm Blog

About Misty Bleu Farm

Misty Bleu Farm is located in beautiful Washington County, New York at the head of the Black Creek ValleyMisty Bleu Farm produces hops for the R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery.

Located on 50 acres in the heart of the Hebron Hills, Misty Bleu Farm is the home of R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery.  The Brewery and Taproom are open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 9:00 pm.  Come experience true field to glass farm-brewed beer at our farm, nestled among green hills and stunning natural beauty.  Our farm boasts over 600 feet of frontage on the West Branch of the Black Creek, with waterfalls and rushing cascades.  Tours of the brewery and grounds are available.  The Farm and Brewery are also available to be rented out for special events.  Please visit the brewery website, www.rstaylorbrewing.com for more details and directions.

Follow our journey as we create the Most Beautiful Farm Brewery in America!


Latest Project Updates

Mini Easter Desserts

Misty Bleu Farm - Monday, May 05, 2014

I couldn't resist posting a picture of our Easter desserts - butter tart shells filled with raspberry and lemon curd, then topped with meringue.  They were pretty and delicious.  I thought they made a lovely display:

 

Gracious Goodness Holiday Nut Mix

Misty Bleu Farm - Friday, December 20, 2013

 

Christmas is coming and well, there may not be time for all of that holiday baking you planned.  So now you're stuck for food gifts.  Or maybe not.  Every year around the holidays I whip up a batch of Holiday Nut Mix.  Perfect as a cocktail nibble at parties and perfect for giving away as a food gift, it requires, get this, ABSOLUTELY NO COOKING OR BAKING.

Yes, you read that right. It's not cheap, but it goes a long way and people absolutely love it.  It's got that whole salty, sweet thing going on.  And the packaged nuts keep fresh for at least two weeks.   Just buy the highest quality nuts you can afford, pack them into food-safe bags or tins, tie with a pretty ribbon or bow and away you go!  I like to add little kitchen labels with my name printed on them from Felix Doolittle, but a pretty gift tag would also do the trick. 

My first batch this Christmas has already been distributed as gifts, so we'll need to make another batch to have on hand for cocktails and entertaining.  When holiday guests arrive unexpectedly, I just grab a pretty bowl, fill it with this mix, whip up a few cocktails, and voila! we have a party.

So, here's the Gracious Goodness secret nut mix recipe:

one 10oz. package of Craisins, two 6 oz. packages Wonderful roasted and salted shelled pistachio nuts (or other brand of shelled pistachios), one 10 oz. jar roasted and lightly salted almonds, one 10 oz. jar smokehouse almonds, two 10 oz. jars praline pecans or glazed pecans or walnuts (I used Praline Pecans from Price Chopper locally but "Killer Pecans" would do the trick, too), one 8.25 oz. jar of lightly salted whole cashews, and one 8.25 oz. jar honey roasted whole cashews.

Put all the nuts and the Craisins into a large mixing bowl.  Toss carefully to mix well.  Store the nuts at room temperature in a Ziploc storage bag or in individual food-safe bags for gift giving.  The mix will stay fresh and crunchy for about two weeks.  Enjoy!

This is an original Gracious Goodness recipe.

Fourth of July Menu 2013

Misty Bleu Farm - Friday, June 28, 2013

 

2013 FOURTH OF JULY MENU

Hattie's Chicken Shack Fried Chicken

Hummus Potato Salad

Baked Beans

Slab Apple Pie

Rich's Homemade India Pale Ale

Early Summer Dispatch from the Farm

Misty Bleu Farm - Thursday, June 20, 2013

 

We are in frantic mode this time of year at the farm.  Mowing of the fields has begun in earnest, and there's so much to do in the short few months when the weather is fine. 

We're planning on having our annual 4th of July party at the Farm, complete with fireworks if we get some more rain.  If it stays dry, the fireworks might be a no-go.  It's going to be a down-home, old-fashioned, all-American summer picnic.  I'll be posting the menu soon, but we're thinking fried chicken, potato salad, lemonade and slab apple pie - yum!  If we haven't invited you, come anyway.   We might have some mowing for you to do. 

The hop yard project is also taking a lot of attention.  We'll keep you posted, but you may find the posts are a bit fewer and far between now.  We want to have some time to enjoy ourselves this summer, too.  Dispatches from the lake, anyone?

The House Wine

Misty Bleu Farm - Thursday, May 09, 2013

In December of 2011, Rich and I had some business to discuss with our business partner out in California, so we decided to dovetail that with a trip to view some of the wineries in Santa Barbara County.  Our friend and business partner, Marc, is a wine-country insider, so you can be sure we got the deluxe tour.

One of our favorite wineries on the visit was the Foxen Vineyard.  They now have two separate tasting rooms.  We preferred "the shack" of course - made famous in the movie, "Sideways".  And who wouldn't?  All I can say is good thing we had a designated driver that day. 

 

Anywhoo... their Pinot Noir is excellent.  We like to serve it whenever possible.  No shame in that.

 

Gracious Goodness: The Art of the Canape

Misty Bleu Farm - Saturday, April 27, 2013

The word "canape" conjures up a fussy, stuffy dinner party staple.  But I think poor canapes have gotten a bad rap.  The whole idea is to offer up a little something to nibble with cocktails until dinner arrives. 

First of all, let's address this:  how did appetizers go so wrong?  Either they end up being  these ridiculously, impossibly complex"artisinal" concoctions that no one (in their right mind) planning a dinner party has time to make or on the other end of the spectrum, they're pre-made, overblown fat-bombs that fill you up guests before dinner.  Rarely are they actually appetizing.

That's why I like the term canape or bar snack.  Unlike "appetizers" or heaven forbid "apps", a canape is usually quite small and generally a simple topping on a carriage of bread or toast.  I like to expand on the idea to include other simple nibbles or bar snacks like nuts, homemade crackers or cheese biscuits.  I think the French and American southerners are brilliant at these types of appetizers.  The French have their gougeres and the southerners have cheese wafers and cheese straws.  That's how you do cheese as an appetizer, not a cheese platter with four pounds of waxy cubed cheese and crackers.

When entertaining, I suggest sticking to one or two (at the most) canapes or bar snacks before dinner.  Trust me, no apologies will be needed when you don't lay out the ubiquitous vegetable platter with ranch dressing dip.  No one will miss the dried out, pre-cut supermarket celery sticks.  You've got something better up your sleeve. 

 

What To Serve At a Dinner Party - Misty Bleu Farm Style

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, April 10, 2013

 

When I first started catering, I thought people wanted crazy-fancy food to eat at dinner and cocktail parties to impress their guests, so that is what I made.  And while that is true sometimes, I would say the vast majority of the time when people are entertaining or when they've been invited as a dinner guest, they want something familiar.  Delicious, to be sure, but familiar and comforting all the same.  I know it sounds a little crazy, but this really is true.  Artificial social situations like dinner and cocktail parties are really uncomfortable for a lot of people.  Offering guests unfamiliar foods just ups the anxiety. 

Having a hunch, I decided to test this theory out a couple of years ago when we had an opportunity to host a dinner for an important friend of the family.  He was visiting from Italy, having lived there for many years.  I would not consider insulting him by preparing anything remotely Italian.  He was in the United States only very infrequently, so I imagined what he would really miss would be good, American food!  So, that's exactly what I served.

The dinner happened to be in the fall, so I started out with a salad of endive, arugula, local McIntosh apple, crumbled local goat cheese, toasted pecans and my maple vinaigrette.  For dinner, we had creamy chicken stew with home made herb buscuits baked on top.  And for dessert, cranberry and apple upside down cake.  We threw in some good California Sauvignon Blanc and had a great time.

My gut instinct (pun intended) was correct.  Not only did our guest of honor have two helpings of chicken stew and biscuits, but he still raves about the meal years later!  I am convinced any attempt I would have made to make something fancy or trendy would have fallen flat that night.  Serving anything Italian tht night would have been a feeble effort.  Instead, twelve people left my house having had the best chicken and biscuits they'd ever eaten.  

There's no shame in serving simple, delicious American food even at the fanciest dinner parties and get-togethers.  I think that's the secret to all the best caterers.  There's only a few rules I insist on - keep it fresh, keep it seasonal and make it from scratch.  Otherwise, you can't go wrong.

The picture of the sign above is from the Lompoc Cafe in Lompoc, CA.  I try to keep its' simple message in my mind whenever I cook at home for my family or when I cook for my catering clients and their guests - hey, come on over, let's eat something really, really good, and have some fun.  Who could say no to that?

 

Easter 2013 Menu

Misty Bleu Farm - Saturday, March 30, 2013

         

EASTER 2013 MENU

Mango Chutney Glazed Ham

Funeral Potatoes

Steamed Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

Linda's Famous Jello Mold

Heather Christo's Blue Cheese Buscuits

Dessert

Suvir Saran's Dried Strawberry and Cranberry Galette with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

 

 

Gracious Goodness Recipe: Creme Fraiche and Smoked Trout Canapes

Misty Bleu Farm - Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Instead of a green salad as a starter, here's a delicious, easy and elegant appetizer for this time of year.  In the Northeast in the late winter, good looking and fresh produce to make a salad can be difficult to find.  If you're having a late winter dinner party, this can be a problem.  Who wants to serve wilted greens on a so-so salad to important guests?  So, skip the salad entirely and serve either a soup (like my simple potato leek soup from my February 8th posting) or an elegant canape such as these: 

 

Ingredients:  4 tbsps. creme fraiche, 4 tbsps. mascarpone cheese, 1 tbsp. dijon mustard, 1 tbsp. or more to taste of prepared horseradish, 4 large slices of dark brown pumpernickel bread (I used Pepperridge Farms), 4 oz. of smoked trout (I used Ducktrap which is widely available), and chives or scallions for garnish.

Method:  Whisk the creme fraiche, mascarpone cheese, dijon mustard and prepared horseradish together in a small bowl until smooth.  Mix in a few grinds of fresh black pepper and 1/4 tsp. of salt.  Taste test to see if it needs more horseradish or salt.  When it is to your liking, wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Lightly toast the pumpernickel bread slices and let them cool completely on a wire rack.  Using a small sharp metal biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, stamp out squares, rectangles or circles from the toast pieces on a cutting board.  Depending upon the size of your cutters, you should get at least 4 - 5 cut pieces out of each toast slice.  The toast slices can sit uncovered for up to 1 hour.

Right before serving, snip 1 tablespoon of chives or minced scallions, set aside. Using a fork, flake off several pieces of the smoked trout. Take each toast piece, dab a bit of the creme fraiche mixture on it, top with a piece of the smoked trout and garnish with the chives or minced scallions.  Arrange on a plate and serve immediately.  Makes about 16 canapes, serves 4 as a light appetizer with cocktails or wine.  This recipe may be doubled or tripled with ease. 

I made these for Valentine's Day and they were a hit.

Note:  all recipes on this blog are my own original recipes unless otherwise noted.  Please feel free to copy, share and experiment with them.