Food & Drink

La Buena Vida Restaurant, 714 Montauk Highway, Moriches will host the 6th annual Pig Roast fundraiser to benefit Hope House Ministries in Port Jefferson on Wednesday, July 26 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. $30 donation per person includes dinner and soft drinks with a special musical performance by Damaged Goods. Reservations suggested by calling 631-909-1985.

Lemon Crème Brûlée

By Heidi Sutton

What’s more delicious than crème brûlée? Two crème brûlées! With a rich and creamy custard filling topped with a hard sugary crust, these individual-sized decadent desserts, also known as burnt cream or Trinity crème, can provide a perfect ending to nearly any get-together. In honor of National Crème Brûlée Day on July 27, try these recipes courtesy of

Vanilla Crème Brûlée 

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


4 cups heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/2 cup granulated sugar

6 egg yolks

vanilla sugar


Heat oven to 300° F. In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream and vanilla extract to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Do not boil. Remove pan from heat and let rest 10 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks. Slowly whisk warm cream into egg mixture until smooth. Set 8 ramekins into baking dish with sides. Pour mixture into ramekins so that they are approximately 3/4 full. Pour boiling water into baking dish about half way up sides of ramekins. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until custard is firm. Chill 1 hour. Before serving, evenly sprinkle vanilla sugar on top. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize vanilla sugar. Don’t have a kitchen torch? Place it on the top rack of your oven under the broiler set to low, watching carefully. Top with fresh fruit, and a sprig of mint if desired.

Lemon Crème Brûlée

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


2 cups heavy cream

6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

4 large egg yolks

Zest of 2 lemons

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Fresh berries, for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. heat large kettle of water to boiling. Place four 6-ounce ramekins in roasting pan. In small saucepan, heat cream and 3 tablespoons sugar over medium heat 6 to 7 minutes until cream just starts to bubble around edges of pan (do not bring to a full boil).

Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk egg yolks, lemon zest, vanilla, salt and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar until well combined. While whisking, use ladle to slowly add 3 ladlefuls of hot cream mixture to egg mixture. Gradually whisk remaining cream mixture into egg mixture. Strain mixture through fine mesh strainer into large liquid measuring cup.

Divide mixture between ramekins; place roasting pan in oven. Carefully pour enough boiling water from kettle around ramekins until it comes halfway up sides of ramekins, being careful to not get water in ramekins. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until custards are just set. Use tongs to carefully transfer ramekins to cooling rack; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving.

To serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over each custard. Using blowtorch, caramelize top of each custard until sugar bubbles and turns brown (this can also be done under a broiler). Top with berries and a sprig of lemon thyme before serving.

Pecan-Topped Raspberry Cake

By Heidi Sutton

Looking for a scrumptious raspberry dessert? From a Pecan-Topped Raspberry Cake, to a Raspberry Whole-Fruit Sorbet and my daughter’s absolute favorite, Swedish Raspberry Almond Bars, these fruity desserts are guaranteed to fit the bill. And with these recipes, you’ll enjoy the flavor of summer all year-round!

Pecan-Topped Raspberry Cake

YIELD: Makes 8 servings


3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon, divided

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 bag (12 ounces) frozen raspberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

whipped cream


Heat oven to 350 F. In bowl, cream 3/4 cup sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating until well incorporated. Add flour, baking powder and vanilla; beat well. Pour batter evenly into 9- or 10-inch prepared pan. Place frozen raspberries on top of batter. Sprinkle with pecans, remaining sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Bake about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve with whipped cream.

Raspberry Whole-Fruit Sorbet

YIELD: Makes 8 servings


4 tablespoons powdered sugar

18 ounces frozen raspberries

1 egg white, pasteurized


In a blender, blend sugar and frozen raspberries until smooth. Add egg white and blend 30 seconds. Serve immediately or place in container, cover and store in freezer.

Swedish Raspberry Almond Bars 

YIELD: Makes 8 servings


3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 1/2 cup flour 

3/4 cup red raspberry jam

3 egg whites

6 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup coconut

1 cup sliced almonds, divided


Cream butter and confectioners sugar with hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour, mix well. Press unto bottom of 13” by 9” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool. Spread jam over crust. Beat egg whites, gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold in coconut and 1/2 cup of almonds. Spread over jam. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Riesling grapes. Pixabay photo

By Bob Lipinski

Bob Lipinski

When asked about Riesling, the average wine drinker often says, “I don’t drink Riesling because it’s too sweet. I like dry wines.” While it’s true that some Riesling wines are sweet, many more are dry or off-dry.

The confusion lies in the smell of fruit versus that of sugar in wine. Humans cannot smell sugar but can smell the fruit from the grape. So, what is often “perceived” as sugar or “sweetness” in a glass of Riesling or other wines is exceptionally pronounced fruity or floral aromas; that of tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, and pineapple, which we would assume to be very sweet.

Unfortunately, consumers have a hard time predicting how sweet a Riesling will be just by looking at the label, unless there is some type of indication as to the sugar level on the front or rear label. Terms such as late-harvest, spätlese, auslese, beerenauslese, and eiswein indicate a semisweet to sweet wine.

In 2007, a global organization called the “International Riesling Foundation (IRF)” was founded. Its members included wineries from Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, and U.S.A. Its goal was to inform consumers how dry or sweet the Riesling wines were by using a sliding scale, depicted on the rear label. Unfortunately, it was not embraced by many wineries and as of this writing, it appears the organization is defunct.

Riesling is a thick-skinned, high acid white grape variety; the predominant grape in Germany. Riesling also flourishes in France (Alsace), Australia, Austria, and the United States, as well as other parts of the world. Riesling was probably derived from a wild grapevine, Vitis vinifera silvestris, in the 1400s. It first appeared in a written document dated March 13, 1435, by Count John IV of Rüsselsheim, which reported it growing near Hochheim in the Rheingau.

The countries from the highest to the lowest acreage of Riesling grapes are Germany, the United States (Washington State, New York State, California), Australia, France, and Austria.

Riesling produces dry, semidry, sweet, and even sparkling wines and has a naturally high level of acidity, which often needs some residual sugar for balance.

Some characteristic aromas and flavors of Riesling are green apple, citrus (lemon, lime, tangerine), ginger, grapefruit, honeysuckle, lychee, mango, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, and tropical fruits.

Riesling is a great accompaniment to many foods, especially spicy hot, fried, cream and butter sauces, charcuterie, smoked meats and cheeses, sweet and sour sauces, and dishes containing ginger, soy sauce, and fish sauce.

Bob Lipinski is the author of 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on He consults and conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at OR [email protected]

Photo courtesy of PSEG Long Island

PSEG Long Island will host a food drive at Stop & Shop supermarket, 291 West Main St., Smithtown on Friday, July 14 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is one of six Power to Feed Long Island summer food collection events to benefit Long Islanders facing hunger. The food and supplies will be collected by Island Harvest Food Bank and distributed to Long Islanders through local agencies and their food programs.

Hundreds of thousands of Long Island families struggle with hunger throughout the year. During the summer months, there is a significant reduction in food donations to local food banks, pantries and programs. Compounding the issue, children are not in school where they can receive free and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch. In addition, the pandemic and the increased inflation rate have further strained local food pantries and emergency feeding programs served by Island Harvest. Long Islanders are being encouraged to remember their neighbors who are struggling to feed themselves and their families every day.

PSEG Long Island is providing the venue for Long Islanders to donate to their neighbors in need. The initiative aims to collect the equivalent of 50,000 meals from the first day of summer 2023 to the last. In the past two years, thanks to the generosity of Long Islanders, the equivalent of more than 60,000 meals was collected.

Food collection bins and a drive-thru option will be set up in the parking lot of the supermarket where the public can donate nonperishable items and household essentials for community members facing food insecurity.

Island Harvest requests the following:

  • Nonperishable food (no glass jars please): Healthy varieties of canned foods, such as low-sodium beans, vegetables, soups, pasta sauces and tomato varieties, tuna and chicken, along with rice, pasta, popcorn kernels, nut butters, olive and canola oil, spices and pet food
  • Household essentials: Toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent and dish soap
  • Personal care items: Toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, shampoo, conditioner, feminine care products and shaving products, antibacterial wipes and washcloths
  • Baby care items: Diapers, wipes, formula, creams, ointments and baby wash

The schedule of remaining collection events is:

  • July 28, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Stop & Shop – 95 Old Country Road, Carle Place
  • Aug. 11, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at ShopRite – 3901 Hempstead Tpke., Bethpage
  • Sept. 1, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Stop & Shop – 3126 Jericho Turnpike, East Northport
  • Sept. 15, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Stop & Shop – 575 West Montauk Highway, West Babylon

For more information, visit


Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad

By Heidi Sutton

From an enjoyable crunch to comforting creaminess and a satisfying chew, pecans deliver a perfect bite and texture. This Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad and Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Pecan Salsa are loaded with fresh flavors for an easy, nutritious warm-weather meal.

Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad

Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


Spiced Pecans:

1 large egg white

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups pecan halves


1/4 cup, plus 2 teaspoons, extra-virgin olive oil or pecan oil, divided

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper, to taste

2 large peaches, halved and pits removed

6 cups mixed baby greens (such as arugula, spring mix and spinach)

4 ounces soft goat cheese


To make spiced pecans: Preheat oven to 275 F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In medium bowl, whisk egg white, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt until well combined. Fold in pecans and mix until evenly coated in mixture. Spread in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally until pecans are fragrant and golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

To make salad: Heat grill to medium-high heat. In small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside. Brush cut sides of peach halves with remaining olive oil and grill until grill lines appear and peaches become tender, 3-5 minutes. Remove peaches and cut into slices. Divide greens among four plates. Top with grilled peach slices and goat cheese. Divide 1 cup spiced pecans evenly among salads and reserve remaining cup for snacking. Drizzle each salad with vinaigrette. 

Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Pecan Salsa

Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Pecan Salad


YIELD: Makes 4 servings


4 boneless pork loin chops (each 1-inch thick)

3/4 teaspoon, plus 1/8 teaspoon, kosher salt, divided

 freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

2 medium peaches, diced

2/3 cup raw pecan pieces

2 tablespoons red onion, diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper

2 teaspoons lime juice


Season pork chops with 3/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper, to taste. Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill pork chops until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook 5-6 minutes until food thermometer inserted in center registers 135 F. Transfer to plate and rest at least 5 minutes until internal temperature rises to 145-160 F. Gently stir peaches, pecans, onion, basil, jalapeno, lime juice and remaining salt. Add salsa on top of each pork chop with remaining salsa on side.

Volunteers with food donated from a previous food drive. Photo from Emma Clark Library

Emma Clark Library, 120 Main St., Setauket will hold  a Summer Food Drive, collecting nonperishable food items to be donated to various local food pantries and nonprofit organizations throughout the community, from July 3 (closed July 4) to Aug. 20.

Some suggestions for food items include cereal, peanut butter, jelly, canned fruits and vegetables, rice, beans, tuna fish, juice, gum, snacks (pretzels, granola bars, trail mix, cookies), pasta, and pasta sauce. Library teen volunteers will be distributing the items. Donation boxes will be located in the Library lobby to the left of the Circulation Desk, and all are welcome to donate during Library hours.

If you have any questions about the Food Drive or would like to become a teen volunteer, you may contact [email protected].

It is said that all good things come in threes and the The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO)’s  event on June 13 was no exception as it hosted ribbon cuttings for Stony Brook Village Center establishments Robinson’s Tea Room, Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions, and Schnitzels.

The celebratory events were attended by Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich; Town of Brookhaven Deputy Supervisor and Councilman Dan Panico; NYS Assemblyman Ed Flood; Kim Bryant, Legislative Aid for Suffolk County Leg. Kara Hahn; WMHO President Gloria Rocchio; WMHO Chairman Dr. Richard Rugen; WMHO trustees; and members of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce.

Robinson’s Tea Room is under new ownership by Donna and Michael Aliperti. The eatery continues to serve English high teas, light bites and more. Robinson’s Tea Room is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 631-751-1232. They are located in Inner Court at 97E Main Street in Stony Brook Village.

Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions owned by Jeff Norwood suffered a fire in February. After four months, the shop and showroom are reopen. One of the only shops in the state of New York that specializes in astronomy, photography and more, Camera Concepts and Telescope Solutions also offer a variety of cameras, telescopes, binoculars and children’s educational toys and activities. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The shop is located in Market Square at 85 Main Street in Stony Brook Village. For more information, call 631-475-1118.

Schnitzels is the newest eatery in Stony Brook Village, occupying the former Grist Mill Eatery. A collaborative concept between Crazy Beans & Brew Cheese, the restaurant will offer an all-day menu that will feature German bratwurst and pretzels, different variations of schnitzel with other fun dishes. They will be serving eggs for breakfast, lunch sandwiches, dinner appetizers with share plates, and entrees, all available for take-out. They will have a beer and wine list that will include German style beers and local craft beer on tap. 

Schnitzels will be open seven days a week. Their soft opening will begin Tuesday, June 27 and their hours until grand opening will be Monday through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The eatery is located in Market Square at 77 Main Street in Stony Brook Village. For more information, call 631-675-1478.

Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars

By Heidi Sutton

Backyard barbecues beckon and poolside entertaining reigns supreme every summer. After guests have had their fill of fire-licked grilled burgers, hot dogs and chicken, a refreshing dessert that won’t have summertime hosts sweating preparation can make for the perfect culinary capper. 

A no-bake dessert ideal for warm weather entertaining, banana pudding often wins rave reviews. Anyone who loves the sweet taste of bananas, the creaminess of rich pudding and the crunch of vanilla wafers will enjoy digging into these two delicious treats. 

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

While many vanilla pudding recipes are topped with whipped cream, this version, courtesy of Trisha Yearwood and the Food Network, changes things up with a meringue topping for added flair. 

YIELD: Makes 8 servings


4 large eggs

3⁄4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1⁄2 teaspoon plus a pinch salt

2 cups whole milk

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

30 to 40 vanilla wafers

3 to 4 medium ripe bananas


Separate the yolks from the whites of three of the eggs; set aside the whites. Add the remaining whole egg to the yolks. In a saucepan, whisk together 1⁄2 cup sugar, the flour and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the whole egg and three yolks, and then stir in the milk. Cook uncovered, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Spread a thin layer of the pudding in a 11⁄2 quart casserole dish. Arrange a layer of vanilla wafers on top of the pudding. Thinly slice the bananas crosswise, about 1⁄8 inch thick, and arrange a layer of banana slices over the wafers. Spread one-third of the remaining pudding over the bananas and continue layering wafers, bananas and pudding, ending with pudding.

To make the meringue, beat the reserved egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are stiff. Gradually beat in the remaining 1⁄4 cup sugar and continue beating until the whites will not slide out of the mixing bowl when it is tilted. Spread the meringue over the pudding with a spatula, making a few decorative peaks on top, and bake until the meringue is lightly browned, 5 minutes.

Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars

Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars

This dessert bar recipe, courtesy of Lena Abraham, senior food editor and stylist at Delish, marries tangy cream cheese with sweet and velvety banana pudding atop a cookie crust. They’re easy to prepare ahead of time and easily sliced when the dessert bell beckons. 

YIELD: Makes 9 servings


For crust:

1 1⁄2 cup crushed vanilla wafer cookies

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch sea salt

For filling

1 1⁄2  (8 ounces) blocks cream cheese, softened

1⁄2 cup sugar

1 1⁄2 cup whipped topping

1 3.4-ounce package instant banana pudding mix

1 3⁄4 cup whole milk

For topping

Whipped topping

1⁄2 banana, sliced

9 vanilla wafer cookies


Line an 8-inch by 8-inch pan with parchment paper. Make crust: In a medium bowl, combine crushed wafer cookies with butter, sugar and salt. Press in an even layer into the prepared pan. Place in freezer while making filling.

Make cheesecake filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer), beat cream cheese until fluffy and no clumps remain. Add sugar and beat until combined. Fold in whipped topping and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk. Let pudding stand for 3 minutes in the refrigerator, until thickened. Fold into cheesecake mixture until well combined. Pour filling into prepared crust and smooth into an even layer. Freeze until bars are firm, at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

When firm, remove from freezer and slice into nine bars. Top each bar with a dollop of whipped topping, a slice of banana and a vanilla cookie before serving.

Note: If banana isn’t your favorite flavor, replace banana pudding with lemon pudding and use a thin lemon slice in the whipped topping dollop as a garnish when serving.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

By Heidi Sutton

Strawberry season marks the beginning of so many wonderful things on Long Island — longer days, warmer weather, the promise of summer … and Father’s Day. Bright red throughout and still warm from the sun, freshly picked strawberries are flavorful and sweet. If some strawberries make it home after picking them out east, try making one of these delicious pies for that special man in your life.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Recipe adapted from Pillsbury

YIELD: Makes one pie


1 pie crust

6 cups whole fresh strawberries

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup water

sliced strawberries

1 cup sweetened whipped cream


Heat oven to 350 F. Press pie crust into 9-inch glass pie pan. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until lightly browned. Completely cool pie crust, approximately 30 minutes. In blender, crush strawberries to make 1 cup.

In saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add crushed strawberries and water. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature. Arrange sliced strawberries in cooled crust. Pour cooked strawberry mixture evenly over strawberries. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie  

YIELD: Makes one pie


1 pie crust, parbaked and cooled 

1/4 cup heavy cream 

8 ounces whipped cream cheese 

1/4 cup powdered sugar 

1/3 cup water 

3 tablespoons cornstarch 

1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered if large

2 tablespoons sugar 


Filling: In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the heavy cream for about 5 minutes until fluffy and soft peaks form. Add the cream cheese and powdered sugar and continue to beat until smooth and combined. 

Strawberries: Whisk together the water and cornstarch. Heat a skillet to medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the berries, sugar, and cornstarch mixture. Stir until the mixture bubbles and thickens, then turn the heat off. Let the berries cool slightly. 

Scoop the cream cheese filling into the prepared pie crust. Use a spoon or spatula to scrape some of the filling up the sides of the crust, essentially lining the crust with the cream cheese mixture. Fill the crust/cream cheese mixture with the still-warm strawberries, mounding them up in the center of the pie. 

Chill the strawberry cream cheese pie for at least 2 hours, preferably 4 hours or more. To serve, slice the pie straight from the fridge and enjoy cold or at room temperature.