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McKinney & Doyle presents, for your perusal, our newsletter archive. This iteration of our newsletter began in the Fall of 2011 with Becky McKinney, Shannon's daughter, at the helm. All of the newsletters are and will be archived on this page. You can follow the story and history of McKinney & Doyle from the beginning. Becky has been there from the beginning and will give interesting stories, tips and insights.

Shannon and Becky
Shannon and Becky – Dad and Daughter

"When people learn that my family owns a restaurant and bakery, the first thing they say is "You are SO lucky!" Those who are close to me know that I agree with them. Not only am I lucky enough to be the daughter of chef and restaurant owner, but I am lucky enough to have worked at McKinney and Doyle since I was 12 years old. Now that I have graduated College, Shannon McKinney, aka Dad to my brother and I, continues to give me the opportunity to practice my public relations skills by means of a monthly newsletter. Even better, he's giving me the freedom to choose all of the content, including a personalized opinion column that I'm calling "Food for Thought." I'm thrilled to have this opportunity and look forward to your feedback!"

— Becky McKinney

The current newsletter will be on the top of the page. You can follow the thread by using the links above and at the end of each month's piece. Enjoy!

Shannon with others

 

Food For Thought Turkey
Did you know that the Sunday before Thanksgiving is called "Friendsgiving?" I heard the term for the first time this year but have been following the tradition of having a Thanksgiving dinner with your close friends since high school.

Last year, before we all went home for the holiday, my friends from the University of Delaware and I all got together and prepared a huge Thanksgiving dinner. We had all the fixings and then some. It was a night to remember and I know I always will.

Because of the fond memories of "Friendsgiving" in the past, my new and old friends in Delaware decided to celebrate together at my apartment this year. I could write a book on the amount of food we all had, but instead I'll stick to what I was in charge of.

First of all, while most people think of the turkey as the highlight of this annual feast, I am always more concerned with the mashed potatoes. That being said, I took control of those. My mom has shared with me her secrets of perfecting this side dish so I felt prepared. The secret is a little warm milk and a LOT of butter. For the six of us I used an entire bag of potatoes. There were no left overs. I'd say they came out alright.

Now for the less important dishes ;) I will admit that I cheated on the stuffing. But I accidently forgot that I was supposed to make it and so twenty minutes before dinner I was relieved to find Stouffer's Stuffing on sale at the grocery store down the street. Is it as mouth watering as homemade stuffing? No. But you'll never hear me complain about it!

I felt guilty about forgetting the stuffing so I decided to whip up one last side dish to help put us all in our food comas. A box of Velveeta mac and cheese was kicked up a notch with smoked bacon and caramelized onions. Now there is a super easy dish that I'll be making again.

Finally, I had promised to make a dessert that Lara and Matt had both been asking me for months to make; a banana caramel cream pie. The crust is made from 'Nilla Wafers, brown sugar, caramel, and butter and then filled with fresh bananas, homemade vanilla pudding, and more caramel. After torturing my family with pictures of the finished product I was told that I had to make one for Thanksgiving at home as well.

These dishes, plus Lara's perfectly roasted turkey and apple cinnamon sangria, Alana's green bean casserole, and Alli's cinnamon cheesecake cupcakes topped with pumpkin pie (it's as sinfully delicious as it sounds), made our Friendsgiving a huge success. Matt and Jason, due to lack of contribution, were in charge of clean up.

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as much as I did. Feel free to contact me for any of the recipes (including those that my friends made) once you finish your leftovers!

Email me if you're interested in these recipes! Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

Haopy Holidays Logo

December 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy belated Thanksgiving everybody! I hope you all enjoyed your time with family, friends, and excess amounts of delicious food! I was lucky enough to have two Thanksgiving meals this year. One of course with my family in New York, but I also celebrated with my friends in Delaware before heading out. Read the Food for Thought section to learn about our celebration.

This time of year brings wonderful things back to M&D in both the bakery and the cafe. More brunch hours, holiday orders, truffles, themed cookies, holiday parties ... the list goes on and on. My favorite part, because I love, love, LOVE, to give gifts, is our dinner for two gift certificates. They are available all year round but tend to pick up speed around this time. Read on for more details.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and keep in touch! Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Best wishes, Becky McKinney

Bakery & Restaurant News

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it's time to start thinking about the December holiday orders. It may seem early to you, but think of all the stress you can eliminate by getting your order in early! The menu can be picked up in the bakery, found online, or faxed to you if that's what works best.

This year, be on the lookout for your old favorites, like the holiday yule log aka the Busche de Noel, Stollen, and our famous fruit cake, but keep your eyes peeled for some new additions as well. And somebody please go get some milk chocolate caramel truffles and enjoy them for me. I live for those.

Need a gift for the person who has everything? Why not a dinner for two gift certificate to M&D? These can be purchased in the bakery and include two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts, a bottle of wine, tax, and gratuity. The gift certificate comes beautifully wrapped and we can even add a festive ribbon to finish the job.
McKinney & Doyle Christmas Balls
After you fill out your bakery order, stop by the restaurant for one of Andrew's famous cocktails. While you're sipping, consider hosting your holiday party with us. The back section of the bar room has plenty of space for you and your family or coworkers.

Of special note

The Café will be open for brunch from 9 am to 3 pm Wednesday, December 26 through Sunday, December 30. That means you can order Louis' Pancakes every day instead of just the weekend! If you don't know what Louis' Pancakes are, you are due for a brunch trip.

Lastly, though the restaurant is typically closed on Mondays, including this Christmas Eve, we will be opening for dinner on New Year's Eve.

Early Invites

Since the expansion, we have been hosting special themed events in the back dining room. I invite you to sign up for our early invitation list to guarantee learning about these events before our public announcements go out. These events have limited space so the earlier you can reserve your seat, the better!

All you need to do to sign up is contact me at Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com and I'll add you to the list or simply make your selection in the form below.

Food For Thought

As I mentioned last month, Matt and I recently moved into a new apartment. We have it set up and decorated and feel completely at home. But there was just one thing missing. Now that we have a deck, we realized we definitely needed a grill.

And so we went and got one. As a side note, never will I ever opt out of delivery and set up again. What a pain. Mainly for Matt, but, I sympathize.

Anyway, I love to cook. Matt loves to grill. So it was a wonderful treat when he came up with the idea to do a themed, all grilled, three course dinner. Every course had to have a grilled aspect to it. Since he's the grill master, he was in charge. He even found a cocktail that met the criteria!

We started with grilled tomato bruschetta. Matt charred halved cherry tomatoes on the grill before mixing them with fresh garlic, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil. Then, he scooped spoonfuls of the mixture onto grilled slices of rustic country bread. So. Good.

I could have filled up on our appetizer, but I'm glad I didn't, because Matt proceeded to serve up perfectly grilled filet mignon with roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus. Such a treat.

SmoresSpeaking of treats. Dessert might have been my favorite. I have a major sweet tooth. S'mores made on the grill. Does that even need a description? I should go make one right now.

On top of a truly delicious meal, Matt found a recipe for, get this, grilled lemonade. Matt sliced lemons in half and dipped them in sugar before grilling them for just over five minutes. As they were cooling, he heated sugar, honey, and rosemary into a syrup. Then, I watched as he squeezed the grilled lemons into a pitcher, added the infused syrup and water, and then added just a touch of my favorite spirit, Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey. Our tall glasses were garnished with a lemon slice and a sprig of rosemary and we literally had a grilled cocktail to round out our grilled dinner.

November 2012

New in November

Some of you may call this premature, but to me, it is now the holiday season. I have been planning holiday meals and gifts for this year since the end of last year and I can finally start putting things into action. Many of you will understand my excitement at the phrase "soft sweet butter rolls." That's right, they're back on our Thanksgiving holiday order form and I suggest you order a lot. I know I always do! I'll include a link to the order form in the bakery section of the newsletter.

Hopefully everyone was able to stay safe and dry during Hurricane Sandy earlier this week! What did you do to prepare? Read Food for Thought to find out what my main priorities were. If you're thinking wine and great food you're on the right track.

I'd also like to take you behind the scenes this month. We recently adopted some new spirits into our bar family and I think you'll be intrigued by how they are made.

Enjoy this month and keep in touch! Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Becky McKinney

Bakery & Restaurant News

The bakery girls are ready for your Thanksgiving holiday orders! I already told you to pre order tons of soft sweet butter rolls, my personal favorite part about the upcoming holiday, but there are plenty of other goodies to choose from too, including some new items! Bourban Pecan Candied Sweet Potatoes anyone? Stop by the bakery to fill out an order form or print it from our website and fax it over or drop it off! Click here to download a printable pdf of the Thanksgiving order form.

Jack-O-LanternAlso, I'd like to just send a quick congratulations to Rich Mold, the winner of this year's pumpkin carving contest!

 

If you haven't had a chance to read the article on the bar's newest addition, check it out below. It will make the title of Andrew's newest cocktail much more clear.

Stop by the bar and try A Beekeeper's Bitter Truth

  • Barr Hill Gin
  • Pur Likor Blood Orange Liquer
  • Citron Sauvage Grapefruit Apertif
  • Elderflower
  • Fresh Lime

ShakerConsider it a new age twist on a classic negroni. The Blood Orange Liquer stands in for Campari and the Citron Sauvage replaces Vermouth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes: The Story Behind Our New Spirits

Caledonia Spirits and Winery

Relationships are important to everyone in the McKinney and Doyle family. We care about our relationships with all of you and we care about our relationships with all of our vendors. This is one of the reasons why it was such a pleasure getting to know Todd Hardie, one of the owners of Caledonia Spirits and Winery in Hardwick, Vermont. This relationship is particularly special because of how it formed. A very dear friend of mine, and a favorite customer of the entire M&D staff, Maria Reade, introduced my father to the winery's name.

It is because of this introduction that a fantastic and unique hand crafted gin has been added to M&D's bar lineup. The next time you stop in, look for the bottles that are labeled by hand, it will be Barr Hill Gin, from Todd's distillary and winery up in Vermont. What makes them so buzz worthy? The question holds Graham Dodds and Todd Hardiea hint ...

Todd has 47 years as a beekeeper under his belt. At one point in his career as a NYS commerical beekeeper he was working with 1,900 hives! His winery in Vermont now has six hives of its own but he can still rely on his 30 year relationship with the NYS farmers for the honey he needs for his unique spirts.

That's right. Todd sells both gin and vodka that have been graced with raw, never heated, honey. The vodka is made from honey wine and has a much softer taste and feel than what you may be used to. The gin, which you can now find behind our bar, is made from corn and finished with 5 percent honey and juniper berries. It is also softer than your average gin but the honey and flower flavor are definitely present without being sweet. It even appeals to the non-gin drinker (like me!).

When I asked Todd how many restaurants he sells to his answer was simple. He didn't know. "That doesn't really matter to us. We like getting to know people and building relationships and then sharing our work with our new friends." I like that. That numbers don't matter, the people do.

Honey Dipper

It's clear that relationships are important to Todd. he drives from the distillery/winery in Vermont all the way to Brooklyn at least three times a month to make deliveries. He loves the Hudson Valley area and says "bees have no boundaries." So why should his delicious spirits?

There is so much more to learn about Todd, his family, and their business. Visit www.caledoniaspirits.com for more history and details. You'll love what you see.

 

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Food For Thought
I am the type of person who looks for any excuse to cook. My friends want to get together for dinner? I am the first to volunteer to host. Your birthday rolls around? I'll make your favorite meal. So when my best friend Kayla told me she was having a goodbye party before her six month trip to Thailand (she is going abroad to teach English because she is amazing), I just had to contribute.

Kayla's mom had dinner under control already, but that didn't mean I couldn't make a ton of snacks! This is where www.Pinterest.com comes in.

Click here to go to the Pinterest WebsiteFor those of you who don't know, Pinterest is the best site ever. You set up an account based on your interests and then are exposed to limitless links and images of related things. Obviously, my main interests include food, wine, and cocktails so I literally see hundreds of new food and drink recipes every day. I turned to Pinterest to find some fun, new ideas for Kayla's party.

I made a handful of different appetizers, but I'd like to focus on just one, and the dessert, because I highly recommend both.

Let's start with the crispy cheddar chicken. It's literally just bite sized pieces of chicken breast coated in cheddar cheese and Ritz Cracker crumbs. Then you top it with a sauce made from cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and butter. Clearly not a healthy option, but it was a party! Calorie counting isn't really allowed.

I got some interesting looks from my mom as she prepared her amazing meat sauce alongside my childish ingredient filled chicken, but even she had to admit it was addicting as she snuck a piece off the tray before I left.

Smores on FireDessert was a twist on an old favorite. I made s'mores cookie bars. My mom helped me out with these since I had about four things cooking at one time. But once they got in the oven, the whole house just smelled like the comfort of a melty, chocolately, sticky s'more.

Needless to say I was so upset when they disappeared before I got a chance to grab one at the party! But I guess that's a good sign. I promised Matt I'd make them again once we got back to Delaware.

Email me if you're interested in these recipes! Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

October 2012

Octoberber News

Ready or not, fall is here.

September gave us a little more summer weather but it's official now. The leaves have changed and started falling, and the M&D dinner and cocktail menus have changed. This month I'll give some insight into these changes to those of you who have yet to experience them for yourselves. My latest cooking endeavor involves a lot of good finds from www.Pinterest.com aka my favorite pasttime, and I'll fill you in on how I spent half of last Saturday sharing kitchen space with my mom playing around with new recipes.

Thank you to those of you who have shared your favorite fall treats with me and feel free to continue to send me new recipe ideas!

Read on to learn what changes, other than the color of the leaves, this new season will bring in the restaurant and bakery.

Enjoy this month and keep in touch! Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Becky McKinney

It's Back!

Jack-O-LanternThe Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest, that is! It's time to get creative because the winner this year will receive a gift certificate for four for brunch in the cafe. Start thinking of your ideas now and drop your pumpkins off on October 28 between 2 and 6 PM. The winner will be notified the next day by noon.


Before you get started though, here are the rules:

  1. Size: while giant pumpkins are great, please keep this one to the size of a basketball or smaller. The girls in the bakery have to carry these things!
  2. Entries: Though we LOVE to see as much creativity as possible, to keep things fair, you can only sumbit one entry. However, multiple people in your household can submit.

Next, I think we all know how fast time flies this time of year. The Thanksgiving order forms will be available by the end of the month. Keep your eyes peeled for that long list of goodies. It's never too early to start planning Turkey Day.
Fall Produce

Menu Changes: Dinner & Cocktail

New season, new menu. Both in the dining room and at the bar. Lucky for me I had a weekend at home to do some "research" on what these new items were. It's probably the only type of research I'll ever really enjoy conducting.

I'll start with the cafe menu, but keep in mind that there are more new things to try than those that I discuss here. The next time you go in for dinner, send me an email with a new item you've tried and let me know how it is! I'm only one girl, I couldn't try everything!

Appetizer:

Braised pork belly with apple molassis and pickled beet sauerkraut.

This had my dad written all over it. He loves pork belly (who doesn't?), and he loves beets. I, on the otherhand, hate beets. But I went for this appetizer anyway and I'm glad I did. I came dangerously close to licking my plate clean.

Entree:

Classic Cassoulet
A stew of French white beans with duck confit and garlic sausage.

It wasn't a cold snowy night when I tried this, but this is the type of thing people crave on nights like that. It warms you from head to toe. There isn't a single ingredient in here that I couldn't devour on a daily basis. My adoration for this meal is a big deal too because I tend to order the same thing every time I eat at the restaurant. To have something rival the lobster risotto was unheard of before this cassoulet came along.

Drink:

View the new Cocktail MenuOn the night that Andrew's fall cocktails made their debut, my mom went to dinner with my aunt to find a new favorite drink. She succeeded. After hearing her rave reviews, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.


Fig & Ginger

A new house infused tequila with figs, fresh ginger, a touch of clove and cinnamon mixed with Cuarenta y Tres liquor, a touch of citrus, and topped with ginger beer.

If the description doesn't help you understand how fantastic this cocktail is, I suggest you head over to the M&D bar right now and taste it so you can fully understand. Andrew, once again, has come up with a wonderful drink menu. His ideas never cease to amaze me and I don't think they will disappoint you either.

Stop by the restaurant to try out the rest of the new dinner items and cocktails.

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought
With fall comes football. I know the season isn't in full swing yet, but that doesn't mean the traditional football snacks can't be. Matt and I got in the spirit of football early with some of my favorite Football Sunday favorites.

Before I went to college, I remember my dad calling Football Sundays, "Big Sandwich Sundays." He'd make a three foot over-stuffed sub every week and it Shanon & sandwichwould normally last our entire family several days. On top of that, my mom would always make nachos and wings so everyone had something to munch on throughout the day, whether we were watching football (my dad and grandfather), or not (my mom and I).

In spirit of Big Sandwich Sunday, I recently made nachos, wings, and sandwiches for Matt and myself. I will admit however, that I made two single serving sandwiches instead of one enormous one.

Let's start with the nachos. A pretty straight forward snack, I'll admit. I won't bore you with the standard ingredients that I topped the chips with but I will share with your some McKinney family secrets. First of all, we use Doritos, not plain tortilla chips. I got a little resistance from Matt on this at first, but he had to admit it was a good call. Secondly, we make every nacho individually. Instead of piling the ingredients on top of a heap of chips, we make sure every chip sees every topping. This way, there's no fighting for the one with more cheese or extra salsa. All chips are made equal in our house.

I'm a hot wings girl. Extra hot, to be exact. I love spicy food and I really love hot wings. But, my family's recipe for Glazed BBQ wings is tough to beat, so I didn't bother trying. The glaze is made with ketchup, white wine, soy sauce, sugar, salt, ginger, and garlic. It has the perfect amount of sweet and tangy. In fact, instead of trying to convince you of how great it is, I've included the recipe in this newsletter.

To take Big Sandwich Sunday up one step of the gourmet ladder, I made a chicken and brie on French bread sandwich. Grilled chicken, sauteed onion, brie, sliced apple, and mustard all grilled to perfection on crispy, crunchy French bread.

What are your favorite Football Sunday snacks?

See you next month.

September 2012

September News

Ready for Fall?

I am. I absolutely love when the leaves start to change and the air gets a bit cooler. The beginning of fall is my favorite, when you can sleep with the windows open instead of the AC. I can't wait. Plus, fall means pumpkin. I've already started drinking pumpkin coffee every morning and I'm convinced it's what gets me through the day. In honor of one of my favorite times of year, only to be rivaled by Christmas time, I'll share some of my cherished autumn recipes. What are some of yours?

A congratulations is in order to Chrissy and her staff, and Juan and the rest of the bakers. McKinney and Doyle was voted Best Old Fashioned Bakery in the Hudson Valley by the readers of Hudson Valley Magazine this year. Congratulations to the entire bakery staff!

Read on to learn what changes, other than the color of the leaves, this new season will bring in the restaurant and bakery.

Enjoy this month and keep in touch! Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Becky McKinney

Things to Look For in the Bakery

Remember how I said that one of the reasons I love fall is because of pumpkin flavored everything? Start your morning with a pumpkin spiced latte. After you have a fantastic day, say hello to the pumpkin shake. It will make its M&D Pumpkinway back to the bakery menu this month and you don't want to miss out. Ask the bakery girls for some extra whipped cream on top and I swear, you'll end your day just as wonderfully as you started it.

Not a fan of pumpkin? Once it starts to cool down, grab a flavored hot chocolate. My favorite is the salted caramel. But you can choose any flavor you like from the selection of syrups in the bakery. McKinney and Doyle's hot chocolate is made from scratch and then steamed to order. It's rich, decadent, and oh so satisfying. You'll be begging for cold weather just so you can order one.

What About the Restaurant?

The fall dinner and cocktail menus are still in the works. But, you can always count on the Pumpkin Martini this time Cocktail Shakerof year. It's always delicious and always a crowd pleaser and will be available later this month. I can taste it already.

Now, I don't know any details yet, but if I know Andrew, he has some amazing ideas brewing for the fall cocktail and wine list. Definitely keep an eye out for house infused liquors and tons of fresh fruit and herbs.

LeavesWhat's your favorite thing about autumn at McKinney and Doyle? Mine is definitely the change in the dinner menu. It's always nice to sit down with a generous pour of red wine and one of the new pasta dishes that creates a warm and fuzzy feeling with its aroma alone. I can't wait to see what's in store this season.

Glazed BBQ Wings

3 1/2 lbs - approx. 20 wings

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cooking white wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 clove garlic - crushed and finely chopped

  1. Mix all ingredients
  2. Season wings with salt, pepper, and garlic
  3. Cook wings in oven at 350 for 1/2 hour
  4. Glaze wings with above mixture and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until wings are nice and brown
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Food For Thought
Last month, my parents came down to visit Matt and I. It was great to see them and show them how far the apartment has come since they first saw it ... empty. We had originally discussed going out to dinner but then decided it would be more fun to stay in, enjoy a bottle of wine and let me cook. I'm sure it was definitely a nice break for them, though it put a ton of pressure on me, but that was ok. Plus, my dad and Matt took on the challenge of installing a ceiling fan in our 87 degree apartment so really, it was the least I could do.

With my mom by my side acting as my helper, as I had done for her so many times growing up, I was happy to be in the kitchen. In honor of last month's newsletter, we opened a bottle of rose and started prepping for dinner.

We were going to start with a mixed green salad with fresh strawberries, pistachios, and goat cheese mixed with the same pear balsamic vinegar I raved about last month. Next we planned angel hair pasta with a fresh garlic olive oil, sauteed with asparagus, roasted peppers, prosciutto, more garlic, cherry tomatoes, and some more goat cheese.

I prepared the salad while my mom chopped the vegetables for me. The process went much slower than it should have since we stopped every fifteen seconds to tell a funny story or snack on the figs wrapped in prosciutto that we prepared as a pre-dinner treat. By the way, those were incredible. If you can get your hands on fresh figs, all you have to do is slice them in half, wrap them in prosciutto, and sear them for just a few seconds on each side in olive oil. It's the best sweet and salty snack you'll ever try.
But I digress, the salad was ready, the wine was gone, and the vegetables were chopped so it was probably about time I started on the pasta. My mom and I both love a lot of garlic, so we were not stingy in that department. After the pasta was cooked and strained, and after the vegetables were just very quickly sauteed so as to maintain their crunch, we tossed everything together and added an extra chopped garlic clove, for good luck. The goat cheese came last and melted decadently into everything else.

Dinner was ready just in time. The fan was installed and running, though just blowing pre existing hot air around, and my dad and Matt were waiting at the dining room table. Everybody had at least two servings so my guess is, everything was delicious. Either that or we were all absolutely starving, but I'd like to go with the former of the two.

I was sad to see my parents go that night. It was fun playing host and preparing a meal in my own place for them. But I'm sure they'll be back soon. In fact, I think they have a visit planned this month as well. Next time, I'll be sure that my mom and I save some wine for everyone else.

See you next month.

August 2012

August News

I cannot believe that it is already August. I guess I'm used to spending my summers either behind the M&D bar or at the beach, not working in an office. Though I guess it was nice to be in air conditioning during all of the massive heat waves we've had. Anyway, I am SO excited to tell you about the most incredible dining experience I have ever had, a less incredible but still fun cooking endeavor in the apartment, and some end of summer bakery and restaurant updates.

I have been doing even more cooking than usual lately and could use some more recipes. What are some of your favorite summer dinners?

Enjoy this month and keep in touch! Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Becky McKinney

Cafe Shortcuts and Bakery Desserts

Sometimes cooking is the last thing you feel like doing, especially when it's 90 degrees outside. Those are the perfect nights to dine out, in which case our bar tables are calling your name for a fun, low key evening.

There are also the evenings when you don't want to cook but all you want to do is relax in your own home. These are the perfect nights to order take out. Less time, less money, and no excess heat from your stove. If you call the café before you leave work and order, you can swing by and pick it up on your way home. If you aren't in any particular rush, why
not order at the bar and enjoy a cold beer, cocktail, or glass of wine while you wait? I'm on a Malbec kick right now so I'd suggest a glass of that. The café did just win theWine Spectator Award of Excellence for the 16th year in a row. Often times people find themselves adding an
appetizer or a bar taco to their drink order. If we're serving pork belly tacos, do yourself a favor and order two. One will just leave you wanting.

Remember back in the August News section of this newsletter where I asked you all to send me your favorite summer dinner recipes? Well, allow me to share some of my favorite summer dessert ideas. Let me paint a little picture for you first.
It's a gorgeous summer evening and you've decided to take a walk through the quiet streets of Pawling to wind down from a busy day at work. The walk is enjoyable but something is missing. Want to know what it is? It's a chocolate malt from the soda fountain at McKinney and Doyle. Or a float. Or a sundae. Or a shake. Ice cream is what I'm getting at here. Nothing beats ice cream on a warm summer night. Now you can continue on your stroll, maybe a little bit slower with a big, childish grin on your face. Or, if you're like me and decide on the largest sundae available, you can park yourself at the marble counter top and dig in.

PeachThough I don't necessarily agree with this next statement, some would say that ice cream isn't always appropriate. Maybe you're having a BBQ with friends and family and you need enough dessert for everybody. Ice cream may not be the most practical choice. That's where my second favorite comes in: the summer fruit tarts. Right now, the bakers of M&D are using NJ peaches and plums baked with a little almond paste in a shortbread crust. The shortbread crust could be a dessert in itself, I swear, but the fruit is the perfect seasonal topping.

Voila! Dessert's done.

Per Se: A Night to Remember

Have you ever had an experience so magical that you had to continuously pinch yourself to prove you weren't in a per sedream? I have. In fact, I had one less than a month ago. My parents, Andrew, and I went to Per Se in Manhattan for dinner. It was the ultimate graduation dinner. Actually, ultimate isn't good enough. It was exquisite. Indescribable. I have yet to enjoy a meal anywhere near as much. Seriously. It was that good.

I've wanted to go to Per Se since the day I realized that good food included so much more than french fries and cheddar cheese. I wanted to try black and white truffles, Per Se's famous "Oysters and Pearls" and any other seemingly crazy concoctions the kitchen staff could plate up.

As soon as we were escorted to our table ... which had a fantastic view of the city ... the four of us were presented with champagne and a nine course tasting menu with my name printed on it. Those nine courses turned into 15.

Course after course my eyes widened at first bite. How could flavors be so powerful? How could food be so artistic? And how could service be so elegant yet lack pretension at the same time? I must have said, "this is my favorite" after every dish. I devoured things that I claimed to despise one hour previous to sitting down.

Foie gras served with eight different kinds of salt, truffle custard served in a hollowed out egg shell, oysters, lamb, beef, lobster, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. We were served plate after plate before realizing that we were well over our nine courses. The staff had gone above and beyond any form of expectations I had and believe me, I had high expectatations. We all ate every last bit of food and licked every last drop of sauce off of every last plate placed and unveiled in front of us. And then came the dessert.

I think we were served seven. Seven decadent, rich, unbelievable desserts, all served in a unique fashion. Truffles served in a hand carved wooden cigar box, macaroons served on a three tier silver platter, chocolate mousse topped with whiskey ice cream and a chocolate graduation cap in honor of our celebration. And then a goodie bag for each of us to take home filled with homemade candy.

And then came another surprise. As if the four hour meal wasn't amazing enough, we were offered a tour of the kitchen. It was immaculate. And we weren't ignored in the busy kitchen. We met each and every staff member and got to see how a restaurant that has their china made specifically for each dish runs. It was by far, the most amazing dining experience I have ever had. I cannot thank my parents and the wonderful staff at Per Se enough for such a magical evening.

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought


I know that Matt and I weren't the first people to live off of take out pizza and Chinese food for the first week or so in a new place. We hadn't started working yet, we had boxes and bags of stuff everywhere, and we had two crazy dogs we were trying to manage. Food shopping went right to the bottom of our list of things to do. But, lucky for us, things soon settled down and our refrigerator was empty no more.

For our first cooking experience together in our new apartment, we decided to go with a summer BBQ theme. Grilled steak kabobs and pasta salad. I was a little iffy on the pasta salad part. To be honest with you, I've never really liked it. Cold pasta? None for me, thanks. But I figured even if I didn't like it, the kabobs were loaded with things I love.

When my mom was first teaching me how to cook, she told me that the easiest way to season meat, especially when you don't have a ton of fresh, high quality seasoning ingredients on hand, is to just use salt, pepper, and garlicSalt,Pepper and garlic powder. It has yet to fail me. With our refrigerator lacking any sort of marinade for steak, I wanted to bring in a lot of other flavors with different vegetables. Green, red, and orange bell peppers, sliced onions, and cherry tomatoes sounded good to me.

OK, so we live in an apartment, we don't have a grill. I improvised with a frying pan and the lid to a pasta pot. While the kabobs were sizzling on the ... stove ... I turned my attention to Matt to see what this pasta salad was going to look like.

Matt had diced up cucumbers, onions and red bell peppers and tossed them with vegetable pasta, feta cheese, salt, pepper, and thyme. I was already second guessing my distaste for pasta salad when Matt asked me where the pear balsamic vinegar was. I had totally forgotten that I bought this amazing balsamic vinegar from the Italian Festival held in Wilmington a few weeks ago! That, and a little bit of EVOO mixed in with everything else ... well, let's just say I ate it for every meal until the huge bowl was gone.

I was pleasantly surprised with my kabobs too. I love to eat steak, but I rarely cook it. So when I somehow managed to achieve medium rare, the way we both like our steaks, I was thrilled. Plus, it tasted great thanks to my mom's easy seasoning trick. The vegetables were crisp and flavorful too. All in all, I'd say meal number one was a success. Pretty fitting for a hot summer night too don't you think?

It felt a little strange to not have Britt asking me how I completed a super simple task, like coating a pan in oil, or Sam drooling over the idea of pasta salad (one of her favorites), or Ken pacing the kitchen floor waiting for dinner to be ready; but I saw them all a couple of weeks ago and told them all about it.

Oh and one more thing. There is one other pasta salad that I really like. Sometimes, in the M&D bakery, they have this spicy shrimp and scallop bow tie pasta salad. I could eat that any day. You should ask the bakery girls to find out when THAT will be around next.

July 2012

Sparks fly in July

American Flag on bricks

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far! June flew by didn't it? Matt and I are pretty much settled in our new place so this month's Food for Thought will be about our first real meal in the apartment. By "real meal" I mean something we prepared from scratch as opposed to the week straight of take out. I'll also share another history lesson with you, plus the inside scoop on the new pub menu items. Also, Andrew taught me a lot on why roses are the perfect wine for summer. I was wrong in thinking a rose automatically meant White Zinfandel. Keep reading to find out!

Some of you may have noticed a gift card from our good friends at Good Tidings, accompanying your brunch, lunch, or dinner checks over the past few weeks. All redeemed gift cards were placed in a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to M&D. Congratulations to the winner, Patty Kenny, from Portland, Maine. Patty visits us at M&D when she travels to see her son at Trinity Pawling School.

Enjoy this month and keep in touch! Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Becky McKinney

Pub Menu Changes

I love when it's time for a menu change up, but usually the major changes take place in the regular dinner menu. But this time, it's the Tuesday night pub menu that's getting revamped. Actually, the updates already took place mid June but I'd still like to fill you in on the details.

I've recently developed an obsession with anything containing pork belly. Well, lucky for me, and anybody who feels the same way, the Pub Menu Kobe Burger is now topped with melted stilton and braised pork belly. Now that's a burger.

Not in the mood for a burger but want the decadence of pork belly? How about the warm pork belly wedge salad? A grilled romaine heart topped with braised pork belly, stilton blue cheese and a sherry vinaigrette.

Lastly, I've been hearing absolute rave reviews about the new Ahi Tuna Burger. Sesame crusted and pan seared rare Ahi Tuna topped with Asian cole slaw, fried wontons and a ginger wasabi sauce. Nothing wrong with that picture either.

More Food for Thought

Another M&D Family Member

If you've had dinner at McKinney and Doyle, Cruz Cabanas probably prepared it for you. Cruz has been the head dinner chef since McKinney and Doyle's inception in 1991. I can't say I remember when he started, because I was only 2. Needless to say, Cruz and his family, are like family to me.

Before joining the M&D team, Cruz was the Sous Chef at Rosa Mexicana in NY for five years. That's what? 25 years as a chef? I'd say he knows his way around the kitchen.

I'm not sure how many of you read those books written by famous chefs, but they usually tell these horror stories of how the chefs they worked under were just these miserable, horrible, nasty people. Cruz is not like that. I mean, he's serious about his job, he has to be. With 200+ dinner orders each with special requests, he can't be a clown behindDavid and Cruz that oven range. But he's also very funny and very sweet. He's also pretty competitive. We've had some jalapeno pepper eating contests before the dinner rush and well ... I don't want to embarrass him but ... he didn't win.

As you all know, I grew up in McKinney and Doyle. Well, so did Cruz's son, David. David and I used to eat too many cookies while our father's worked hard in the kitchen. At 15, David started to take an interest in the industry and started working at M&D with his dad. Now, at 21, David is attending the New York City College of Technology and majoring in Restaurant and Hospitality Management.

The staff here at McKinney and Doyle has always been so much more than a staff. We all consider ourselves part of one big family and we hope you feel a part of our family too!

Roses in the Summertime

Rose BottleI made the mistake of assuming that if one is drinking a rose, their glass was filled with White Zinfandel. But thanks to my incredibly knowledgeable friend Andrew, I learned how wrong I was.

A rose is a type of wine that is produced with what is known as the skin contact method. Black-skinned grapes are crushed, but the skins remain in contact with the juice for no more than three days. The must, or the juice that contains the skins, seeds, and stems, is pressed. This is the stage that makes a rose different than a red. Here, the skins are discarded rather than left in contact through fermentation. This is why the wine stays a light pink color rather than turning deep red.

The structure of a rose is more similar to a white wine than a red though.

Since roses are light and refreshing, they make for a fantastic summer food wine. They can hold up to that fantastic BBQ food we all know and love for this time of year.

Intrigued? Our current rose is a Malbec Rose from Michel Torino of Argentina. We only have a few bottles left though so hurry in!

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought

Well. My roommates and I graduated college. What a weird feeling. I'd like to start by saying congratulations to all of them: Matt, Ken, Sam and Britt. And also to all of my other UD grads and to my other amazing friends who have graduated from college as well. I can't believe so many of my Pawling friends have worked at McKinney and Doyle since we were in middle school! Time really does fly by.

Anyway, needless to say this month has been beyond hectic. Finals, packing, celebrating, commencement ceremonies and a whole lot of denial have kept all of us from doing any real cooking. But what has the point of my Food for Thought column really been about anyway? All I've really done is talk about past memories with my family while making new ones with my four roommates in the mean time. And so, with my final Food for Thought column regarding my amazing, gorgeous, brilliant, talented and much loved roommates, I'll focus more on what our family dinners meant as opposed to the lack of a final real meal. (We've been ordering take out and making frozen pizzas for about three weeks now).

When I first came to college I was terrified. Excited, yes, but terrified. Would I be any good at meeting new people? How could I leave my best friends? What if I hate it? I had no idea that so many of the people who walked into my life that first year would make such a huge impression on it. I mean I met Matt in my freshman dorm. He was that guy that lived down the hall. Now he's that guy that lives in a new apartment with me.

hands togetherWe were all close before moving into our house together this year, but living with people is definitely a true test of friendship. I can honestly say that I feel even closer with all of them after this year and am so lucky to have been part of such an amazing house. Our family dinners accomplished exactly what they were supposed to. We created memories of our own that we can now take with us no matter where our post college lives take us.

We laughed a lot, ate a lot, learned a lot, and made huge messes. But we did it all together. As I shared my family stories behind each meal, everyone else told stories from their childhood as well. Most of the nights that we had family dinner, the five of us spent at least two hours talking at the table or messing around in the kitchen. This is what I will miss the most. I am lucky enough to be taking one of my best friends with me as I leave my beloved college bubble, but there are no words to describe how much I love and will miss my remaining three roommates.

It helps me though, when I remember that we will always have West Delaware. We will always have our big, ugly, messy house. There may be other (less cool) people living there now but we will take with us all of our memories. I came into college unsure of whom I would meet and how I would feel about them, but as I leave, I know I have made some of the best friends of my life and I cannot wait to see where life takes all of us. Matt, Ken, Sam, and Britt, I love you all with all my heart.

"And we danced, and we cried, and we laughed, and had a really, really, really good time"

Now, before I break down into a fit of tears ... I am happy to announce that Matt and I have found an apartment, Recipe Box

which can only mean one thing. Food for Thought will continue as the two of us test out our new kitchen and the compilation of recipes we have each collected. I have made quite a dent in my family cookbook and while I still plan on working from that, I am very interested in trying out some of your recipes. Send me your favorites and I'll try and recreate them!

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June 2012

M&D in June

I haven't been to Pawling in a while, but here in Delaware, it is HOT. Hopefully you are all staying nice and cool cool drinkwith those frozen bakery drinks I told you about. I'm still waiting for someone to send me a frozen lemonade ... did the Post Office mess up or something? Anyway, this month, read my final thoughts on my roommate family dinners. Also, I have some more updates regarding Andrew's famous drink list and Chrissy's bakery specialties.

Father's Day is June 17 this year, so don't forget to swing by and pick up some treats for Dad! Brunch and dinner are available during regular hours, but if you want to beat the rush, come see us earlier in the week!

Enjoy this month and keep in touch! Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Becky McKinney

Bakery news

Belair FinRemember last month when I got into a little bit of detail about the Classic Car Show in June 10? Well now I am fully equipped to give you all the juicy details. To get into the spirit of the event, all soda fountain specialties will be $1 off the regular price from 8 am - 5 pm. That includes old-fashioned sodas, milkshakes, and ice cream sodas ... yum!

In addition to the discount, there will be a "Best Dressed of the 1950s" contest. Whoever shows up with the most authentic 1950s outfit, don't neglect hair and makeup, will be presented with a $25 gift card that can be used in either the bakery or the restaurant. Those interested in participating should visit the bakery between noon and 1:30 to have their photo and contact information taken. The winner will be notified by 2 pm that day!

Also, keeping stride with the earlier theme of graduation, congratulations to our Michelle Rogat on her graduation from Dutchess Community College with her Associates Degree! Michelle will continue on at Rensselaer PolytechnicGraduation Caps Institute up in Troy.

Amanda Sollazzo and Sarah McCandless will both be graduating this month from Pawling High School and they are both in the top 10 students! Amanda plans on attending the Catholic University of America and Sarah will be at Syracuse University come fall.

Congratulations to all of our bakery graduates and good luck! You will be greatly missed by fellow employees and customers alike!

Summer Drinks

This isn't the first time I've raved about Andrew's drink list in the restaurant and it certainly won't be the last. But yet again, the beginning of a new season brings new additions to both the cocktail and the wine list.

 

As usual, I'll leave you with some element of mystery and only go into a couple of each. Let's start with wine this time. I've been on a huge wine kick lately and I always trust Andrew's recommendations. This is what he's most recently suggested:

  1. Rhone Red Blend, Wind Gap "Lucques," 2009: 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache Light, it is aromatic and alive with Splashiung Winesome deep cherry fruit character.
  2. Rhone White Blend, Wind Gap "Lucques," 2009: 60 percent Viognier, 20 percent Marsanne and 20 percent Roussane blend, aged in stainless steel and concrete. It is 100% malolactic, which creates a very creamy mouth feel, with lush and exotic fruit flavors.

Both of these wines are from the north coast of California and are extremely low in production. Andrew tells me that they are both exquisite and I don't doubt him. I'm normally a fan of red but that white blend sounds spectacular.

ShakerAs for the cocktail list, I'd like to start out by reminding everybody that our Signature White Sangria is back! (Finally!) If you have never had the pleasure of tasting this concoction, head to the bar right now and do so. It's made from the juice of fresh cantaloupe, honeydew melon, pineapple and passion fruit plus our white wine blend and St. Germain. It's simply amazing.

Next, I was just recently informed about the Thai Mojito, made with fresh mint, house made lemongrass rum, black rum and both pineapple and coconut soda. I haven't been able to taste the drink as a whole yet but I have tried our lemongrass rum and it is definitely something worth trying.

Last, but certainly not least, the Hecho de Maiz sounds incredible. It's a twist on the classic margarita made with silver tequila, lime, agave, mescal, fresh pineapple and sweet corn nectar. Sweet corn nectar ... doesn't that sound divine?

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought

I recently drove up to Pawling to visit my parents. Before I left, I asked my roommates if there was anything they wanted me to bring back from the restaurant. Their request for M&D's famous guacamole gave me the idea for Family Dinner: tacos! This family dinner quickly turned into an idea for a "Fiesta Night," complete with frozen margaritas and homemade salsa.

I was all excited to get back to my roommates and have Fiesta Night when my mom called me about half way through my drive. "You forgot that quart of guacamole in the refrigerator!" Guess I'd have to make that from scratch too.

My mom makes the BEST steak tacos of all time. At least I think so. But when I was younger, I'd always pick out the peppers and onions and toss them aside. I had no interest in those. My tacos had steak, tons of cheese, and way too much salsa. I'd also eat about seven or eight before I even started to feel full. It's still pretty much the same now, except that I'll allow a few peppers and onions and I'm aware that I should control myself.

Since we turned Family Dinner into a larger event than normal, Sam, Britt, Matt, Ken, and I all split the cost of the supplies. That being said, we're all still on our college student budgets so steak was replaced with chicken and we made a fresh tomato salsa instead of the salsa verde that my mom usually makes because we already had many of the necessary ingredients.

We all love guacamole so I doubled the recipe that is in my cookbook. Even six avocados later, the guacamole andAvacado , Lime and Pepper two bags of chips were almost completely gone before I had even started preparing anything else. In an attempt to save some guacamole for the tacos, I made the salsa next.

I followed a recipe that I had found online and it was good, but Matt made it great when he added an extra jalapeno and some corn. Brittany would probably disagree since she claimed we were trying to "kill her," even though Matt warned her that it was going to be too spicy for her to handle. She never listens to any of us anyway.

I sautéed chicken with red, yellow, and green bell peppers, some onions and unbeknownst to Brittany, a lot of hot sauce. All that was left to do was heat up the tortillas and pour the margaritas.

MargaritaThree pitchers of Ken's frozen margaritas later and we had demolished nearly all of the food on the table. All we could do was sit back and procrastinate the clean up. That's always the worst part.

I couldn't help but smile though because this was my favorite Family Dinner yet. Yes, I loved the meal, but we all planned it and prepared it together. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there aren't many things that are better than living with your best friends.

 

May 2012

M&D in May 2012

A lot of things are happening this month. I've been focusing so much on what's happening here in Delaware, meaning my upcoming graduation, it's a nice break to think about everything going on at M&D! For one thing, the summer menu will be available by the end of this month and some of my all time favorites will be back! Speaking of favorites, summer specialty drinks are back in the bakery. Any way someone can send me a frozen lemonade? Keep reading to learn about how Family Dinner turned into an all out fiesta, what the bakery will be doing to celebrate Pawling's annual Classic Car Show, and the history behind the M&D logo.

Mother's Day is May 13 this year, how will you celebrate your mom? I know the cafe gets pretty hectic on Mother's Day but who says you have to wait until the 13 to show her how much you love her? Treat Mom to a lovely lunch during the week or a night out with us on Friday or Saturday!

Enjoy this month and keep in touch! rebeccam@udel.edu or Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Becky McKinney

Bakery news

Before I get into the details about the annual Classic Car Show, let's dive into the summer specialty drinks in the bakery. I wasn't kidding about the frozen lemonade, feel free to have that air lifted over here next week. It's going to be in the 80s and I know that one of those icy treats will hit the spot. Blueberry banana smoothies and Tropical Blasts (pineapple and coconut) are back too and make a great addition to the soda fountain menu of shakes, malts and sodas.

Now, on Sunday, June 10, the village will be hosting the annual Classic Car Show which is run by the Dutchess Cruisers Car Club. As a fun way to take part, the bakery will offer a discount at the soda fountain for anybody who comes in dressed in 1950s attire.
Old Photos
I know it's a little early but how fun does that sound? Classic cars and car shows have always been my dad's thing so I've been to plenty. I remember wearing 50s style dresses and going to the Marcus Dairy car show in Danbury with him on the weekends and always ending the night with a old fashioned sundae. I highly recommend the experience and hope you all take advantage of the opportunity in Pawling!

I'm mentioning the following point last because my roommate Sam and I have been mourning the end of our college careers for the past week BUT it is time to start ordering those celebratory cakes. It's never too early to cross that off the list.

The legend behind the logo

M&D Logos

If you are local to the Pawling area, you may know Forbes Linkhorn. Forbes is an older, VERY FRIENDLY man with whispy white hair, who can be seen in the bakery chatting with customers and tidying up the storefront. He was recently honored by Pawling Public Radio for his volunteerism. He has a great love of the arts and is a very talented artist himself. In fact, he formerly worked as an illustrator for McGraw Hill and Ziff-Davis in New York City.

The article on his award states "He is an inspiration to all who meet him, and loved by all who know him." This could not be more accurate. He is loved by all who know him, especially me, his granddaughter.

But what does this have to do with the McKinney and Doyle logo? Well, Grandpa Forbes designed it.

Original BakeryWhen my dad and Brian first opened the bakery, they were looking for a logo that would be representative of the name but also something that people would recognize and remember. Given Grandpa's artistic background, they turned to him for help.

Grandpa designed the original logo which is now found on the cake boxes and stickers that seal those boxes. It was also painted on the bakery entrance and can be found on the shirts worn by all of the beautiful bakery girls.

Over the years the logo has been able to be slightly altered to represent different aspects of McKinney and Doyle as well. Twenty-six years later, there are copies of the logo with the baker carrying a wine glass, a martini glass, or a milkshake, depending on its purpose.

Logo Variations

The fact that Grandpa Forbes designed the logo just goes to show how every member of the family has played a role in developing M&D.

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought

For those of you who have followed my Food for thought column from month one (October, 2011), you know that the main purpose was not only to tell the stories behind the family recipes that I prepare for my roommates each month. I was also given this creative opportunity as a means to practice and express my passion for writing. Specifically, food writing.

The more time I spend seeking a post graduation career (eek!), the more I realize how important experience in the desired field is. So more experience I sought.

With all of the job hunting (it seems endless) and apartment searching (found one!) I have to admit, I failed to prepare a meal for my equally busy roommates this month. So I'll take a brief moment to say I'm sorry to Matt, Britt, Sam, and Ken. BUT per my father's request, I would like to take this space to keep you all updated on some other food writing endeavors I have taken on. Hey, if you find yourself in Newark, Delaware at any point, what I'm about to tell you will be really helpful!

It all started with a cover letter really. I was working on an application to write for a popular magazine in the Delaware area and wanted some help making sure my cover letter was just right.

I turned to a past professor and very talented writer for advice, Jon Buzby. A few emails back and forth and we were both satisfied with my letter so you can imagine my surprise when Professor Buzby followed up with me asking if I was interested in writing a food column for the Newark Post, a local newspaper.

I don't think I've ever had to think about a response less. Before I knew it, Professor Buzby became colleague and editor Jon Buzby and I can't thank him enough for the opportunity.

My column is called The Post's Palate. The best way to describe it is the written version of that show, "Diners, Drive-Reporting TypingIns, and Dives." If you don't know what show I'm referring to, check it out on the Food Network the next chance you get.

What I do is meet with the owners and/or managers of local restaurants (never met one of those before ... just kidding) and talk to them about what their restaurant is most known for. What makes them unique? Most of the time, I'm lucky enough to sample whatever they describe. Then, notes and usually photos in hand, I settle myself down at my desk, or on my couch, and write.

Honestly, when I write, the rest of the world goes blank. That's how much I love it. And of course, I've had a love for good food for as long as I can remember, so the effect of writing about good food is almost intoxicating.

The words flow from my heart instead of my brain and I have to re-read each article several times to remind myself which descriptions I chose to use. It's lucky that I have an editor to check again because when you're that attached to what you've written, its hard to catch the mistakes yourself.

Anyway, the column is published online bi-weekly and is often placed in the printed version of the paper as well. If you're interested check out my past articles:

My next article will be posted on April 7 at newarkpostonline.com and I would love to get your feedback!

In addition to the articles themselves, I interact with readers via email as well as a Twitter account. You can follow me @thepostspalate.

April 2012

Spring Has Sprung!


Now I am officially allowed to say Happy Spring to you all! We've certainly had fantastic weather down here in Delaware and according to my parents, Pawling has been experiencing the same beautiful weather as well. This month, read on to take a trip into the past, a past when soda fountain meant so much more than the self serve beverage station you find in every McDonalds. We'll also dive into a few of Andrew's latest concoctions. In the Food for Thought section, you'll find my apology to my roommates for failing to prepare a meal for them this month but if you get a chance to read on, you'll soon understand why.

I know Easter is right around the corner, but you have until April 4 to get your special orders in! Check out our holiday menu if you haven't already done so!

Enjoy this month and keep in touch! rebeccam@udel.edu or Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Becky McKinney

Flavory, fruity, snappy, sparkling and delicious

With the return of the warm weather (yay!) I thought it would be fitting to focus on my favorite part of the bakery, the soda fountain. It is so much more than a place to get traditional style ice cream sundaes and soda floats, it's a piece of history and a wonderful story.

The traditional soda fountain really made its impact at the turn of the 20th century. In fact, by Soda Jerk and Customerthe early 1920s, nearly all of the drugstores in America had a soda fountain. Remember how we've been focusing on the Prohibition Era at the M&D bar? Well, soda fountains were likely a solution to the social void left by the closing of bars. In fact, in the June, 1920 edition of Drug Topics, it was stated that "the soda fountain is the most valuable, most useful, most profitable, and altogether most beneficial business building feature assimilated by the drugstore in a generation."

The article went on to state that "The bar is dead, the fountain lives, and soda is king!"

I guess we should really thank Jacob Baur for manufacturing carbon dioxide in tanks. That's the basis of a soda fountain after all. Purchase a "Liquid Carbonic soda fountain" and a recipe manual from Baur and BOOM! You've got yourself a business.

But beyond a successful business venture, these soda fountains were viewed as an over-the-counter cure for physical ailments for quite some time as well. Many of the drinks that were served actually contained drugs like cocaine and excess caffeine to treat headaches. However, they were eventually deemed habit forming and in 1914, the use of cocaine and opiates in any over-the-counter products became illegal in the Harrison Act.

Remember Jacob Baur? The carbon dioxide in tanks guy? He wanted to combat the negative reputation that began to form around soda fountains. So he created an advertisement describing his beverages as non "medical, won't cure anything ... it isn't intoxicating or habit forming - it's just flavor, fruity, snappy, sparkling, and delicious."Soda Fountain

(Grab a soda from our soda fountain. That description still works today!)

Unfortunately for all of us, the drugstore soda fountain craze pretty much collapsed in the 70s. Did you know that there used to be a soda fountain in the pharmacy that occupied the space of our new bar? In honor of that history, former pharmacist Vince Moreno provided us with many of his old pharmaceutical bottles that now decorate the bar, and we even have his drugstore sign front and center. But perhaps the most honorable and fun tribute to the old pharmacy is the soda fountain itself in the bakery.

Take advantage of this tasty bit of history. I invite and encourage you to not only order one of the many "fruity, snappy, sparkling, and delicious" sodas from our bakery girls, but also watch them make it. Or ask for a chocolate malt shake ... my personal favorite. It doesn't matter what you order, take a trip to the past with us, I promise you'll have a good time.

Friendly Soda JerkPerhaps the best thing about the soda fountain is the sense of community that can form around it. Need a place to meet a friend to catch up? Feel like taking your family out for dessert after a nice meal? Want to impress a first date with something unexpected and fun? The soda fountain is the perfect answer. It's a place to sit, talk, hang out and be a kid again. And it's the perfect place for current kids to gather in town too.

My favorite part of growing up in Pawling was the sense of community and comfort; the smiles you get from everyone while walking down the street and the recognition of nearly all of the faces coming in and out of the bakery. The soda fountain can only make that sense of community even stronger while making those smiles wider.


What's new in the restaurant? – A lot

I spent a lot of time talking to my dear friend Andrew about what he had planned for the spring in the cafe and I would love to go on and on and fill you all in on all of the fantastic plans he has. Unfortunately, I need a lot more than Friends at the barone newsletter to do so. The best advice I can give you is to head into McKinney and Doyle as soon as you can and as often as you can because with all of the new bar items, you'll need more than a couple visits!

I'll give you a quick overview before discussing a few select items.

With the new season upon us, so are some new wines. We are now offering two house chardonnays instead of one, a new pinot noir, malbec, and cabernet. Andrew has yet to disappoint me with his wine selections so I'm sure they are all wonderful as usual. He's the one who got me to like wine in the first place!

Of course there are additions to our unbeatable cocktail menu. Four, to be exact. I'll leave you with some element of mystery by describing only two.

If I were to drive home right now and settle at a high top for dinner, I'd order the Thai Special. My dad told me that when Andrew made this drink for him to taste, it blew his mind.

Thai Special: lemon grass infused dry white rum, domaine de canton ginger liquor, cilantro and coconut soda - glass rimmed with valentine spices and sol con limon

Next, I think I'd have to go for the Passion Fruit Caipirinha. Passion fruit infused cachaca, fresh passion fruit pulp, cane sugar, and lime.

Lastly, we have something for the beer lovers. Each week, the bar will feature one Captain Lawrence Limited Edition beer "on draft." We'll be pouring orders out of growlers. Ask any of the bartenders for details on the week's featured beer.

Oh, before I forget, Andrew's sangria is back and better than ever. This time he's made a Superfruit Malbec Sangria with acai, pomegranate, ginger, and blueberries. You can order it by the liter for $25 or by the glass for $9. (I've asked for the recipe but have yet to get a response so if any of you can get him to give it up please pass it on to me!)

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought

Ahhh back at school. Don't get me wrong being in Pawling was wonderful. I had a blast working in the café again and spending time with my family and friends, plus I loved catching up with so many regulars and getting to know new comers as well. But there is something to be said about living on your own with four of your best friends. I absolutely love it here. So you can imagine how excited I was to get back to cooking for my roommates. I settled on brunch this time for a few reasons, the main one being it's the cheapest ... just being honest. Hey, I'm graduating soon, I need to save up!

Every summer, my family rents a lake house on Lake George for a week or two, and every summer
our best friends, the Tiso's, aka the rest of my family, spend a majority of the trip with us. A few years ago Mrs. Tiso introduced us to the incredibly delicious breakfast casserole that I made for my roommates. It's made with white bread, crumbled sausage, sharp cheddar cheese, eggs, milk, dried mustard, salt, and hot sauce. I personally love it with ketchup and/or more hot sauce on top but it's just as good on its own.

I remember the first time I tried the casserole. Mrs. T. had prepared it the night before, as the recipe calls for, and it looked strange. I mean how could it not? Cubes of bread and raw egg and sausage in a dish? I was skeptical. I guess I was a bit set in my ways of having a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese on the dock every morning. But the next day, sitting at the dining room table with everyone, passing around coffee and juice and making plans to go tubing, the casserole became something more than breakfast. It became a tradition. Plus, once baked, it looked much more appetizing and tasted awesome. I now look forward to it every year, as Lake George is the only time we get to have it.

Mine wasn't as good as Mrs. T.'s, but it got the job done. My roommates got out of their beds to eat it on a Sunday Eggmorning, so that says something. I did have to make a special order of cinnamon and nutmeg French toast to get Britt out of bed though. She doesn't like eggs. Isn't that weird?

If you are interested in the recipe for Mrs. T.'s breakfast casserole feel free to email me at rebeccam@udel.edu or Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com . I'm sure she wouldn't mind me sharing!

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March 2012

March at M&D

I absolutely adore the springtime. I know it hasn't quite arrived yet, but it'll be here before you know it and I am beyond excited. Warm weather, beautiful days, and sunshine. Plus ... I won't need to make up an excuse as to why I'm ordering the coffee shake from the bakery anymore. Nobody questions that decision when it's nice out. Anyway, this month, read on to take a history lesson about our very own bakery manager, Chrissy, get details about Restaurant Week, find out what my roommates thought about my most recent cooking endeavor, and learn the story behind our most popular St. Patrick's Day treat!

Enjoy this month and keep in touch! rebeccam@udel.edu or Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Becky McKinney

Restaurant Week is here!

The very BEST part of March this year are the gourmet, pre-fixed lunch and dinner menus available at over 100 of Hudson Valley's best restaurants between March 18th and 31st. That's right, Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, OK two weeks, is upon us and the menu is set at M&D.

The following menu will be available at dinner time for $29.95 between the 18 and 31, excluding Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in addition to our wonderful regular menu items. Good luck choosing!

Appetizers:

Harvest Squash Soup
toasted seeds

Shrimp Kabob
with andouille sausage topped with cajun cream

Wonderful House Salad
mixed field greens tossed with our house apple dijon vinaigrette
and topped with imported stilton, diced pears and spiced pecans

Entrees:

Hudson Valley Pork Schnitzel
breaded pork cutlets with local apples, brown sugar,
and cider vinegar, served with roasted potatoes

Atlantic Salmon Seville
baked with coach farm goat cheese
and tangy orange marmelade accompanied by roasted potatoes

Herb Grilled Chicken Breast
roasted poblano cream sauce and grilled polenta

Grilled Tuscan Shrimp
basil marinated and grilled served over tuscan beans with spinach

Vegetarian Mock Lasagna
no noodles, just ribbon thin layers of zuchinni, yellow squash,
breaded eggplant, wild mushrooms and homemade ricotta

Desserts:

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake "Pop"
Warm Cherry Crisp
Sour Cream Apple Pie

St. Patrick's Day means ...Shammrock Dreams

Irish Soda Bread! With the holiday coming up in just a couple of weeks, get ready to see our famous Irish Soda Bread flying off the bakery shelves. St. Patrick's Day just wouldn't be the same without it. Want to know what makes our bread even better? The story behind it.

When Brian and my dad decided to start making Irish Soda Bread, they went right to the source, Brian's mother, Mary Doyle. There was only one catch, she didn't have the recipe written down. So, they found themselves in Mary's kitchen, carefully watching her every scoop, pour and stir until they figured out how to scale up the recipe to make the bread in bulk.

Mary finished off each loaf by dusting the top with flour and then carefully cutting a cross into the top before baking. Little did my dad and Brian know that this detail would soon become the most important one.

Irish Soda BreadsIt was 4 a.m. on the first morning that my dad and Brian were making Irish Soda Bread for the bakery. Fifteen loaves to be exact. They were both equally shocked to hear McKinney and Doyle's phone ring at such an early hour. It was Mary calling to tell them that they forgot to cut the crosses into the breads.

She was absolutely correct. How she knew that we will never know but rest assured, every loaf was yanked out of the oven and corrected. My father has never forgotten again. See for yourself when you pick up your Irish Soda Bread!

 

Behind the scenes in the bakery

ChrissyLast month, you all got to learn a little bit more about what Andrew does for the McKinney and Doyle family and the restaurant itself. This month, allow me to take you into the life of bakery manager, Christina Schurr, affectionately known to everyone as Chrissy.

We all know she's talented. She can whip up some of the best cupcakes you've ever tasted and she is the only person who makes coconut macaroons that I like. But what about the rest of the story? I asked Chrissy to fill me in.

She told me that it all started when she was about 11 years old and someone gave her the "Fannie Farmer Junior Cookbook." She would take the simplified recipes for brownies, cookies, and breads and make them for her brothers Fanny Farmer Cookbookand parents all the time. The job stuck and she has ever since been the baker of the family for holidays, parties, or any gathering for that matter. Though she does admit that "the bar is set a lot higher" now.

Chrissy decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America once she realized that baking was not only something that she loved to do, but something she could do for a living. She worked part-time at McKinney and Doyle during her schooling and upon graduation came back as the full time manager in November of 2006. Now, she doesn't just bake, though she's amazing at that, but she also handles customer relations, internal staff relations, dessert menu development for the bakery and the restaurant, scheduling, and many more behind the scenes duties.

Chrissy admits that one of the hardest things for her is "trying to move the bakery forward, with new ideas and products to appeal to younger generations, while still keeping a balance of traditional items and our signature products." That sounds like a huge challenge to me as well, but Chrissy does a wonderful job, don't you think?

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought

 

 

 

 

Those of you who have dined at McKinney and Doyle for lunch or brunch have experienced the joy of Tony's cooking. But you haven't had the pleasure of tasting his wife, Ignacia's, home cooked meals. Tony and Ignacia have been part of my family since before I was born. Tony, as mentioned in one of our earlier history lessons, was the first addition to the McKinney and Doyle team back in 1986.

Ignacia is like a second mother to both my brother and myself. She has been making me the most authentic, delicious, and spicy Mexican food for as long as I can remember. In fact, I totally credit my tolerance for spice to her, and now, I often challenge the chefs in the kitchen to a jalapeno pepper eating contest and win. Anyway, this month I decided to venture out of my cookbook and into Ignacia's, so I invited myself over to her house for a Hot Pepperscooking lesson.

Growing up, Ignacia would make me picaditas. Picaditas are made of masa, or corn flour, salt, and water. I can't tell you how much of each because Ignacia bases everything on taste and texture. "If the dough is sticking to your hands as you mix it, you need to add water," she explained, "it should feel soft, almost velvety." Making the dough was easy with her guidance but I struggled a bit with rolling out the picaditas.

Ignacia formed the first few with actual elegance. She gently tossed the dough back and forth in her hands into a smooth cylinder before pressing them into flat ovals. I'm literally swallowing my pride as I admit that the first few I made were rejected. One was too big. The next too thin. The third was uneven. Eventually though I got the hang of it and my picaditas started to look just as good as Ignacia's.

After heating the dough on both sides for just a few minutes, it was time to learn how to pull the sides. I think it's safe to say that I burnt off just about all of my fingerprints. Ignacia made it look so easy! All you have to do is pull the dough up to form a small wall around the entire picadita, but I promise it's not that simple.

Different people top picaditas with different things, but I've always liked them best with salsa verde and cheese. Measuring SpoonsSimple yet incredibly delicious. I've made salsa verde before as I have a recipe for it in my cookbook, but it was a different experience this time. I knew that we would be using cilantro, tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic, water, and salt but when I asked how much of each to prepare, Ignacia said "I don't know, it depends on how it starts to taste." She uses a different amount every time. So, I just started blending and tasting. Blend, taste, adjust. Blend, taste, adjust. Blend, taste, adjust. Perfect.

I've always loved eating picaditas, but I never knew how much I would love making them. It was an amazing experience to cook with Ignacia and realize that not everything needs to be by the book and laid out all the time. Authentic cooking comes from the heart and is measured by only the senses.

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February 2012

It's February, show your love!


Well, I guess it's about time the winter finally arrived. While I won't complain that the snow has decided to join us, I will admit that I ran away from it. I'm officially back at school and ready to begin my final semester. It's bitter sweet as I am thrilled to embark on the next chapter of my life but sad to leave this incredible college bubble that I've lived in for the past four years. This month, in honor of Valentine's Day, we'll discuss all different kinds of love. Obviously there's the love that everyone celebrates on Feb. 14, but instead of getting all lovey dovey and corny on you, I'll focus more on the love of food, wine and all things culinary. Plus I'll let you in on a little M&D secret ... we staff members love to hang out with each other both inside and outside the workplace, and that's a huge part of what makes McKinney and Doyle what it is. Enjoy this month and keep in touch! rebeccam@udel.edu or Rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

– Becky McKinney

Football first, but don't forget your Valentine later ...

I know this is short notice but I just wanted to shoot out some quick Super Bowl party ideas. Good football should Valentine Footballcome with good food, don't you think? The bakery will have plenty of our Super Bowl Breads baked with prosciutto, asiago and basil or ground sausage, tomato and asiago. We'll also be offering pulled pork sliders, chili, the world's best guacamole and homemade chips and antipasto platters. I'm sure I'll be making some of this stuff at the Delaware house as Matt and Ken just informed me that we'll be having people over for the game. Ah the "perks" of living with guys. Catch my sarcasm? Just kidding. Anyway, onto things that are more my style ... Valentine's Day.

I love February in the bakery because we have an endless supply of sugar cookies. My favorites are the small heart cookies with the red sprinkles and/or the pink frosting. Sometimes I sneak in the back and grab a few off the trays when they are still hot. A lot of men dread Valentine's Day but McKinney and Doyle makes it real simple for you. We sell these adorable personalized giant heart cookies with all different sayings written on them. "Hot Stuff" is a big seller but so is, "Mi Amor" and "I Love You" (of course). If you call early enough we may even be able to take specific message orders.

Restaurant News
MCKinney & Doyle Candies

Naturally, restaurants book up rather quickly on Valentine's Day. But you don't need it to be Feb. 14 to celebrate your love! Celebrate all week long with us in the café! Make your Valentine's reservation today!

We are still finalizing the details of the Speakeasy Dinner so I will send out a formal invitation once everything is set. Speakeasy BarIf you are interested in receiving an early announcement prior to the public announcement please email Andrew at Andrew@mckinneyanddoyle.com and he will add you to our Special Event Contact List. Those who choose to be added will receive details on all specialty dinners with limited seating before the public announcement is released, which may help ensure a seat.

Does anybody enjoy restaurant week as much as I do? McKinney and Doyle will be participating in Hudson Valley Restaurant Week from March 18 - 31. Join us for a pre fixed, three-course lunch on Tuesday through Friday or come in at dinnertime for a three-course menu Sunday through Thursday. Don't worry; all of your favorites on our regular menus will still be available. Tell your friends to join our mailing list so they can receive the specialty menus once we figure them out!

M&D Love

Valentine CandiesI know you all know who Andrew Sarubbi is. He started working as a host when he was a teenager and even though he was still quite young when the restaurant manager position opened up, my father recognized his drive, ambition and perfect personality for the job. Like anybody taking over a position, there were things to learn along the way. Andrew has not only learned them, but also excelled in each and every one.

He can recommend a fantastic bottle of wine to compliment any meal, shake up a dangerously delicious and totallyAndrew unique cocktail, develop new menu ideas for any crowd, and move an entire night's reservation list around to try and accommodate just a few more tables ... all at one time. I overheard a customer talking to my father the other night about the cocktail menu. The customer asked who came up with the drinks and how. I couldn't help but smile when my dad said "Andrew comes up with all of them ... it's like he thinks of them in his sleep or something, it's really amazing." It seriously is amazing too. The flavor combinations are fantastic and unexpected and people are constantly pleasantly surprised.

You get my point. He's incredible. He makes his job look easy but believe me, it isn't. It's fast paced, stressful and exhausting and it takes a very special kind of person to handle it with the grace and leadership that Andrew does.

It's Andrew's leadership and eye for character that has helped him pick his incredible staff as well. Many of my closest friends, including Andrew, are those that I work with at McKinney and Doyle. I even find myself spending my days off there, and I'm not the only one! There aren't many places, at least that I've heard of, where staff members come in on their days off to spend more time with fellow employees in their own place of work. There are many Monday nights (the only night we are ALL off of work) when M&D employees crash somebody else's restaurant for a fun night out. Andrew has truly helped to create a family here and we are all very blessed to have each other and the restaurant is very blessed to have Andrew. How's that for a love story?

 

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought

Since I am home on winter break, I didn't have the opportunity to cook a meal for my roommates in December. Luckily, my family is equally as willing to have food prepared for them.

I don't know about you, but the McKinney's take holiday traditions pretty seriously. With my brother and I both getting older, it's been harder to hold on to all of the small and fun Christmas morning traditions that we used to abide by. But there is one that will never fade with age: Christmas cookies.

My family favors three kinds: Thumbprints, Russian Teacakes, and Hootie Creeks. The Hootie Creeks are recent additions but my dad likes them the most. We got the recipe from his sister, my Aunt Robin. They're made with white chocolate, dried cranberries, oats and chopped pecans. I really like them too, but the Thumbprints and Russian Teacakes will always have a special place with me.

When I was younger I would jump at the chance to help my mom bake the holiday cookies. She would make the ThumbprintThumbprint cookie dough and I would push my thumb into the half-baked cookies before filling them with my favorite jam.

As for the Russian Teacakes ... we call them reindeer turds. I'm not really sure why, but I do know that it has yet to fail at making me smile. Before I was old enough to handle the responsibility of the McKinney family Christmas cookies, I was lucky enough to roll these cookies in tons of powdered sugar. I make just as big of a mess at 22 as I did at eight. Some things never change right?

There are few things greater in life than the feeling of family traditions. They reconnect us when we've spent time apart. They dissolve those silly arguments we sometimes let get in the way. But mostly, they remind us of the importance of our family and the undying love we all have for each other and the time we spend together.

I know that holiday cookies do not fit the description of the dinners I have been preparing for my roommates, but my parents are both very talented in the kitchen so for my first month home I wanted to start small! Maybe this month I'll take a chance and prepare a full meal for them.

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January 2012

Welcome to 2012!

Happy New Year! I hope everybody had a happy holiday and is ready and excited for the New Year. I know I am! It Champainahas been so great to see so many familiar faces at the restaurant as we have been delightfully busy this holiday season and I hope everyone has been having as much fun as I have! We have a bunch of exciting and new things coming up this year so I can't wait to get your feedback once things get rolling. You can, as usual, contact me at rebeccam@udel.edu but I can also be reached at Rebecca@McKinneyanddoyle.com . Also, our wonderful web designer, Bill Owens, of Buckner Graphics, has created an archive of all of the newsletters on the McKinney and Doyle website and he did a beautiful job so feel free to check it out!
– Becky McKinney

Football

New Year's resolutions vs. NFL playoffs

I know that most people don't think of going to a bakery for a healthy meal, especially after that New Year's The Bear throwing a footballresolution to eat healthy, but I think I can offer a delicious option. We are always offering a variety of soups and salads in the deli case. Why not pick up a quart of soup and a fresh baguette for dinner? Add two green salads and you've got the perfect meal for a cold winter day.

That being said, the NFL playoffs are beginning, and diets don't count on football Sunday. Don't forget to pick up a loaf of our prosciutto and asiago cheese bread. It's perfect for game day snacking and goes great next to our homemade chips and unbeatable guacamole. Pre order some of our awesome chili to go with all of that and make the world's best nachos. Even people who don't know a thing about football, like myself, will be gathered around the TV just to join in on the spread.

Shhh! Speak easy !

Drinking at the SpeakeasyI'm not sure on the date yet, but within the next couple of months, we will be hosting a prohibition cocktail dinner in the back room of the new section of the restaurant. In the 1920s, for every saloon that was closed down due to Prohibition, about a half dozen underground speakeasies sprung up. It has been said that the term speakeasy came from bartenders telling their patrons to "shut up, speak easy" when ordering their illegal drinks. Others say that the term came from establishment owners who would demand all customers to "speak easy" if the place got too loud.

Andrew and my dad are still working on the menu as well as the cocktails but I do know that they will both be fantastic. The menu will compliment the concoctions that Andrew develops to honor the classics that were ordered during this time, but it will also be reminiscent of the food that was served in these old school speakeasies of the past.

Seating will be limited so keep your eyes open for updates on when we're hosting this underground cocktail party.

Cookies

Cookies, cake, and buttercream filling

I'm still on break from school so there won't be a history lesson this month. But I have been getting a lot of questions about what it was like growing up in a bakery. "How do you not eat cookies for every meal?" "Did you always have the craziest birthday cakes?" "You must be literally made of buttercream!"

Honestly, I love the cakes and other treats in the bakery but I've had a Carvel ice cream cake every year for my birthday for as long as I can remember. I think it's because I've always been able to indulge in the bakery's gifts so on my birthday I'd ask for something different. Ryan, my big brother, is the really funny one though.

We chatted about our childhood bakery memories on Christmas Day and he had some pretty good stories. He told me about a class trip to McKinney and Doyle he took in elementary school where t hey were treated with cookies at the end of the day. His teacher had all of the students in class write thank you notes to my father and Brian Doyle. Ryan's note read:Vinny's Deli

"Thanks for the cookies. Next time, I hope to go to Vinny's Deli."

I'm sure my dad loved that one!

 

I remember when I first started working at the bakery. I was 12 and I'm not sure you could really classify what I did as "work." My father did not want me anywhere near the hot coffee or any form of a knife. So that cut out the jobs of serving coffee, tea, lattes and cappuccinos. It also eliminated serving bagels or rolls to customers. I was insanely shy which limited the amount of actual words I spoke s o I pretty much just put cookies and Danish in bags and handed them to other employees who then sold them to the customers.

Baby Becky - Thank YouIt's amazing to talk to my parents and hear stories about how they used to put my high chair in the East Main Street location while they helped customers. Apparently I'd giggle and smile at customers as they enjoyed their morning coffee before work. Ryan used to use mixing bowls and pots and pans as toys to occupy him while my parents ran the bakery.

Now I a nxiously await my holiday breaks so I can come home and work andBecky and Ryan Ryan, even though he lives in upstate N.Y. works in a restaurant too. Guess the apple(s) don't fall too far from the tree.

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought

I'll be honest. I was beyond nervous to make this next meal. This month, in honor of the holidays, and my Puerto Rican side, I made what my mom says is a holiday tradition in any Hispanic household. Penil, which is pork shoulder, arroz con gandules, the best rice in the world (not a direct translation, but it should be), and platanos, sweet plantains. The meal itself is challenging but add the fact that my mother was featured in Hudson Valley Magazine in 1996 for this exact meal adds a lot of pressure too!

It's hard not to enjoy a good pork shoulder. It is harder however, to make a good pork shoulder. To keep up with the Hungry Doghonesty in this story, I should admit that I'm not a huge fan of pork. What I do love is the crunchy skin. My family used to make fun of me when I would dip pork, and any other meat for that matter, in ketchup. Now they yell at me for picking off the skin and feeding the meat to my dogs (I've been told it's my fault that they are overweight). But, I don't discriminate against any type of food so I attempted the pork. It's seasoned overnight with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic both inside and out. It's then placed in a roasting pan and cooked for 20 minutes per pound, in this case a little under three hours with occasional basting. Sounds easy I know but for some reason, my pork did not come out as juicy and tender as my mother's usually does. Still tasty but just not the same. I blame the oven?

Arroz con gandules is actually translated to rice with pigeon peas (doesn't best rice in the world sound better?). Shopping for the ingredients would have been difficult had my mom not answered the phone while I was in the supermarket, but once she told me how to find sofrito and gandules, the rest of the shopping was simple.

I mentioned last month that I refused to attempt to make rice in any pot other than THE rice pot my mother has always used, and I didn't. I snagged it from my house when I made a quick trip home for my mom's birthday. I was hoping it would bring me some luck. How could it not, right? I mean if three generations made history with the rice they made in that pot, how could I go wrong? After I convinced my neighbor, who isn't a huge fan of having five college seniors living next door, to lend me his food processor, I was ready to begin. When my family eats this at home there is usually a battle for the crispy layer on the bottom of the pot and there is ALWAYS late night snacking on the leftovers. I can't even tell you how many times I've caught my dad with his head in the refrigerator and never said anything only because I had every intention of doing the same thing. My roommates, having never tried this before, didn't know that the crispy rice is a delicacy to the McKinney's so there was no war this time. Once everybody knew what it was I was serving, the questions stopped. In fact ... all talking did until plates were empty.

I don't have the recipe for the platanos in the cookbook my mother gave me. So I cheated. I bought them frozen and then just fried them. You can't really mess something like that up so those came out great, except to Sam. I told you about her weird complex with warm fruit last month. She didn't try them but Brittany really liked them. Britt's one of my favorite roommates to cook for because she'll at least try anything. She would make my father so proud. He's the one who got me to always want to try the most obscure thing on any menu. It's usually totally worth it. Anyway, here's a weird fact. I used to dip the platanos in ketchup too. I don't recommend it. Eat them the way they are served.

December 2011

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving! It was great to see some of you while I was home for Christmas balls in a boxbreak. I'll be home early this month for eight weeks so I hope to see a lot of you at the restaurant! Is anybody as shocked as me that it's already December? Time has literally been flying by.

But since it IS already December, we all know what that means. Holiday orders. Read more to get details about some new specialty items we have in the bakery as well as important dates coming up.

I want to thank you again for your continuing support and feedback and of course invite you all to continue to write me at rebeccam@udel.edu

Happy early holidays! – Becky McKinney


Corner Bakery Sign

Bakery Tid-Bits

This is the craziest time of year for the bakery. Thanksgiving Eve was a smooth success thanks to Chrissy and her wonderful staff. I know how crazy that day can be and I was not jealous of the girls who spent the day putting together hundreds of orders while also maintaining the regular bakery duties. I did however miss the dozen or so soft sweet butter rolls that used to fuel me through that triple shift. Anyway, I've just received word that the order forms for December holidays are ready.

The 2011 Christmas menu in the bakery offers most of our traditional holiday items; eggnog chiffon pie, buche de noel, the hand-cut Christmas cookies, etc. But we also have some unique items we'd like you to add to your table. We've added a braided rum raison bread to our collection of delectable breads and we are also offering a delicious french almond torte. The cafe is contributing the warm Tuscan bean dip from the dinner menu to the Christmas bakery menu and let me tell you, I just tried this over break and it was great. There are tons of tasty treats to choose from so feel free to stop by the bakery and place an order or check out the menu on our website , when it is available in a few days.

Whatever you do, don't miss the order cut off date! Orders will be taken until Wednesday, December 21, at 9 p.m.

Tony in the kitchen
Tony's ready for the holiday rush ... are you?!

Berries to Jam Bottle

 

Oh! This is the best part! The bakery will be selling homemade jams and jellies made in house this year. I walked in on Chrissy researching different flavor recipes and all of her ideas sounded amazing. I'm not sure of the flavors of jam that will be available but I am sure that apple butter will be and I've heard nothing but great things about it.

 

Special Treats from the Restaurant

Crepes

This is the one time of year where you can get brunch at McKinney and Doyle six days a week. Are you drooling yet? Because I am. Starting the Tuesday after Christmas Day, the restaurant will be serving brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday up until New Years.

Nobody wants to make breakfast or lunch every day for their family members that are visiting for the holidays, so let McKinney and Doyle do it for you. Just keep in mind the one Sunday we will be closed will be New Years Day as well as Monday, Jan. 2, but Monday's are typical. The restaurant will go back to its regular hours starting on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Feel free to call if you have a party of five or more to make a brunch reservation!

Bakery Food Photos
A Second History Lesson

OK, so we left off with the fact that my father and Brian Doyle had endless amounts of respect for all of those who helped make the restaurant possible and an undying love for the town of Pawling. Now, take yourself back to early 1992, when the new McKinney and Doyle officially opened for business.

Shortly after opening, McKinney and Doyle was reviewed by the New York Times, specifically M.H. Reed. Then the (what seemed) impossible happened. She rated M&D as excellent, something pretty much unheard of for a small town café. I mean, some restaurant owners dream of that their entire lives! (Can you tell I'm proud?) Anyway, that review was a big boost for all involved and for a long time after, customers came in clutching that review to see if the food, service, and atmosphere was all that M.H. Reed said it would be.

A flood of new and returning customers is how some of the signature dishes we still serve today came to be. Most of you have tried our Jerry Aron's Favorite soup. The cream based soup with shrimp, scallops, and leeks? Amazing. Anyway, Jerry Aaron was a customer from Manhattan since the opening of the original bakery. This is one of the soups that my dad and Brian started offering on East Main Street. Jerry Aaron used to send a limo up from the city to pick up a couple of quarts of this soup. So it was only fitting that when it was placed on the menu in the new restaurant, it be named after him.

The restaurant started with just a simple beer and wine license but over time, customers began requesting cocktails with their meals and a bar for relaxing while waiting for a table. That's when the decision was made to put a bar in Blue CocktailMcKinney and Doyle. Space was already limited so there wasn't really anywhere to put one ... except in the bakery.

A mahogany bar was designed, built, and placed in the bakery section of McKinney and Doyle. It doubled as an espresso bar for the bakery during the day and a service bar for cocktails and the like at night. It worked well but it still didn't address the issue of having a place for customers to wait for their tables because it was so small and such a large portion of it was occupied by the espresso machine. It was also odd for customers to come into a bakery and see shelves upon shelves of liquor. Scotch with your muffin anybody?

Pharmacy Sign

For many years, my dad wanted to expand into the pharmacy space next door. Jumping to today, we know that his dream of expanding came true.
Since the idea had been around for several years, my dad had a general idea of what he wanted. With Andrew's help, the design was finalized.

Everything for the new space was completed by local contractors including the hand-crafted bar with the rain forest marble top. Stunning. The next step was to have a practice run in the form of a soft opening.

 

The new space opened in early April for all of the contractors, staff members, and their families for a night of celebration, thanks, and working out the kinks of the new computer system. We Painting Antique Coke Signalso wanted to test new seating procedures and bar routine. I'll never forget the look on my father's face when I surprised him by showing up.

I had just driven back up to Delaware from Georgia with my roommates, so the last thing my dad expected was to see me at the new entrance before the dinner service. But there was just no way I was willing to miss that night. I drove three hours to Pawling and knocked on the locked, paper covered door. My dad opened the door with the intention of saying "I'm so sorry but we are not officially open yet," but instead his jaw dropped. He wasn't happy that I had to drive back down to school after dinner was over, but it was so worth the trip. What an incredible night. The space looked flawless and everybody was beyond excited. It looked like everything was going to run just perfectly. For the next couple of weeks before I made my first trip home to work, I called my parents and/or Andrew every single day after every single shift. I wanted the details on how things were going.

 

I had expected to hear that we were busy, but "busy" doesn't even come close to the explanation. McKinney and Doyle was completely slammed for several weeks after opening. The new space was literally standing room only and shifts that used to be a bit slow were breaking records. The kitchen staff was moving quicker than they ever had Busy Barbefore and we had to nearly double the staff those first few weeks until everybody got used to the new pace. It was an amazing success.

The response continues to be great. There is something special about the new bar in McKinney and Doyle. The complex cocktails are not only delicious, but they're beautiful and made with high end spirits, homemade mixers and purees, fresh herbs and hand crafted infusions. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and chances are the bartenders will learn not only your name, but your favorite drink, meal, and dessert.

 

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought

Deep breath. Family dinner number one was set for Wednesday night October 26. Before I get into details I think it's appropriate that I introduce to you my roommates. Well Sam, Britt and myself are the girls of the household, aka the calorie counters. And then there's Matt and Ken...the human vacuums when it comes to food. That being said I set two rules for our monthly family dinners:

 

  1. Do NOT ask me how fattening the meal is. My father was never one for using low calorie butter substitutes or anything of the like. Great food is great because of the real ingredients used in it.
  2. Make sure everybody at the table gets some of everything.

OK the rules and the table were set. Now for the meal. I started with an appetizer that is pretty new to my family and myself: a honey roasted tomato bruschetta served with ricotta cheese over sliced and grilled baguette. The first time I ever made it was with the help of my mom. I went to her desperately seeking help with impressing my boyfriend's parents. (Did I mention Matt is my boyfriend?) Normally, my go to is a recipe from my father's restaurant but I wanted this to come from me. Anyway, my mom mentioned a recipe that she had been waiting to try out and suggested testing it together. It sounded familiar yet different and that seemed perfect. We made it at home first...you know...to make sure it was good...and maybe a little bit because we wanted a snack too. We loved it and so I brought it to Matt's house. I've made it a few times again for the same crowd so I'm hoping that means it's good. My roommates all seemed to like it too since the plate was empty before I brought out the next course.

Now for the main event. I remember growing up and running down the stairs when the smell of my mom's rice and beans and breaded chicken cutlets would make its way up to my room. That has been and I think always will be, one of my all time favorite meals. I used to run downstairs and try and sneak pieces of chicken while my mom was checking her famous rice. I can still hear her saying "BECKY! Stop picking you're going to ruin your appetite!" That may be because I still pick on the meals she's preparing when her back is turned. Old habits die hard I guess.

Now, I replaced rice and beans with mashed potatoes this time but for good reason. My mom taught me, as her mom and grandmother taught her, that the rice is done when there is a single crispy layer on the bottom of the pot. There was no way that I could get rice to my great grandmother's standards with the new, non-stick pots we have in our house here. My mom has used the same pot to cook rice since I was born. Her mom used it and her mom's mom used it. That is just something you don't mess with. Mashed potatoes and I go way back too though. My mom's not a fan but if you take a look at the picture I've included, it's easy to see that my dad and I are.

I got some resistance on the dessert course. Matt and Ken aren't really big on sweets and Sam has this weird complex about eating fruit in any way other than how it grows. But I asked everyone to give this banana pudding caramel pie a chance. This is also a Mama McKinney find. After my freshman year of college I invited my new friends to our house for a reunion. My mom made this pie, with a 'Nilla Wafer and caramel crust, for my friends. My friend Lara fell in love with it and it has since become her only birthday wish. I guess I've formed some of my own traditions here in Delaware.

Overall I think our first family dinner went pretty well. If you're interested in any of these recipes, feel free to e-mail me. What fun are traditions if you can't share them?

November 2011

First of all, thank you so much to everybody who offered such wonderful feedback. I appreciate hearing from you and getting new ideas and encourage you to continue to let me know what you think or what you'd like to see! (rebeccam@udel.edu) Due to some specific requests last month, this newsletter, as will the next few, contains a section telling the story of how McKinney and Doyle came to be. I think you'll be surprised by a lot of it!

I'd also like to congratulate the winner of the pumpkin carving contest, Sharon Jack-O-LanternLinske, for her three pumpkins representing the three storefronts of M&D! She was awarded a gift certificate for brunch for four. The six other participants received a gift certificate for an eight inch cake from the bakery. Carving pumpkins never goes out of style and always comes with rewards (even if that reward is just the delicious taste of the seeds you can roast afterwards).

This month, find out about how McKinney and Doyle can help you with your holiday shopping. And familiarize yourself with our new dinner and pub menu items! They're available at the cafe now but if you haven't had a chance to go in and taste something new yet, maybe this will persuade you.

I can't wait to come home for Thanksgiving break and get back behind the bar! See you all over the holiday!

— Becky McKinney

New Menu Items

One of my favorite things is going to the cafe after menu changes have occurred. That's another reason why I'm so excited for Thanksgiving break ... I'll get to tasteShrimp some of these new items. How good does Low Country Shrimp Stew sound? A spicy shrimp broth with tomatoes,Tomatoes andouille sausage, potatoes, sweet corn and beautiful fresh shrimp. I can literally feel myself warming up just thinking about it (we haven't turned our heat on yet).

Lately I've been addicted to fries made out of anything but potatoes. Lucky for meNo Potatoe French Fries the new grilled veal chop comes with a roasted garlic cream sauce and portobello mushroom fries. There are plenty more new dinner menu items offered Wednesday through Sunday nights but one of my favorite nights is Tuesday Pub Night.

For those of you who have tried Andrew's Nachos, you know they're delicious. But now we can top them with grilled chicken, jumbo lump crab meat, or my personal favorite, duck confit. And what could go better with chips than homemade chili with a side of grilled jalapeño corn bread of course.

The pub menu is also the new home for a pumpkin tortelloni with sundried tomato Wine Gasscream, fresh sage, and roasted walnuts. That literally sounds like the perfect fall meal to me. Especially paired with a big glass of red wine (they DO say that one glass of red a day is good for us).

I always, always, always have a hard time saying "no" to dessert but I have a feeling that I will consistently cave for the pumpkin maple creme brulee that's been added to the dessert menu. The flourless chocolate cake sounds like something I could actually become addicted to as well.

Somebody do me a favor and go try everything and let me know what to order my first night back in Pawling!

It's NOT too Soon ... the Holidays are Upon Us

Holiday Time Photos

Now I may tend to get overly excited for this time of year well before it actually arrives, but I think it is a reasonable time for me to share my excitement. What could be better than Thanksgiving dinner with the family? Want the experience without the work? Order from us! Thanksgiving holiday menus are out at McKinney and Doyle. Order your soft sweet butter rolls and baked Brie before I come home and steal them all for myself. The menu was also available online this year.

Want to get some holiday shopping done early? Pick up a dinner for two gift certificate. For $155.00 you get two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts (including coffee or tea) and a bottle of wine! Did I mention tax and gratuity are included? If you can't make it in to pick it up, just give us an address, either yours or the recipients and we'll send it out for you. Our phone number is 845.855.3875.

A Bit of History

There are countless amounts of stories that my father has told me about the steps Coke Coolerhe's taken and obstacles that seemed to come out of nowhere but let's just start at the beginning.

My dad did not always know he wanted to open a restaurant and bakery. In fact, he originally went to Syracuse University for journalism. It did not take long for him to realize that it wasn't what he wanted to do with his life; it wasn't the direction he wanted to go. So he moved back home and went back to work at the same deli he had been working in since he was just 11 years old. He said he had always loved cooking. In fact, he used to cut school as a young boy to watch "Galloping Gourmet" and then practice the recipes he learned on his mom and sister. How adorable is that?

Anyway, his boss at the deli noticed his love for the industry and saidCulinary Institute of America "Shannon...why don't you go to school for THIS?" I can only imagine the look on my dad's face when he responded that he didn't even know that was an option. School for cooking? Done. He went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in 1984.

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After graduation, my dad was primarily interested in the pastry and dessert world Brian Doyle Portraitso he got a job at Country Epicure, a big bakery in Katonah, NY. It was here that he met Brian Doyle, my godfather. Brian had graduated from the CIA before my dad and he had already gained a lot of experience working in restaurants in NYC. The two became close friends and began throwing around the idea of opening their own bakery.

In 1986, they found themselves in Pawling, transforming an abandoned building Corner Bakery - The Beginningon East Main Street into the original McKinney and Doyle Bakery. Pawling was, and still is, a small and friendly community. A perfect place to open a small time bakeshop. Plus, they had absolutely no funds to work with and needed something they could afford. I.e. an abandoned building on East Main Street.

My dad and Brian bought some old used equipment and got to work. The two of Brian Doyle and Shannon McKinney aththe beginningthem, with the help of my mom, grandma and some other family members, did all of the labor. The bakery opened months later and was a hit. But do you know how much time it takes for just two people to run a bakery that serves fresh bread and pastries every day? They found themselves working 18-20 hours days. Needless to say they needed some help. Enter Tony Vertiz. Tony knew Brian from working together in Westchester and wanted a change of pace from the restaurant world there. So he accepted Brian's offer of a dishwashing position. (Jump ahead 25 years. Tony's been head chef for as long as I can remember).

The bakery was getting a lot of attention from Pawling community members and soon enough people were asking for food in addition to the cakes, pies, and pastries. Start small right? Brian and my dad began making quarts of soup available to go every day. But soup to go soon became "can you heat this up for me?" The one table that was in the East Main Street shop became the object of lunch break battles. In 1989, the two bakers began to think that maybe an entire restaurant would be a good idea.

Perfect timing too because during this time the village was working on what was known as the "master plan" to try and revitalize Pawling. Many of you know Vince Mareno. McKinney & Doyle'sAt the time he was the village pharmacist. He's also the owner of the building McKinney and Doyle resides in now. He asked what it would take for Brian and my dad to move the bakery into the village. The worked out a deal and McKinney and Doyle became the two store front restaurant and bakery that you know and love...until last April when it became the three store front restaurant and bakery that you know and love...but that story comes much later.

The restaurant was opened in 1991 but not without some unpredictable challenges. My dad went to a local bank for a loan for all of this remodeling, plus all of the equipment he would need to buy for a new restaurant. The bank agreed to pay off the bills as they came in and at the end of the project, McKinney and Doyle would pay the total. Contractors, plumbers, electricians and the like were about halfway done with the job when the bank receded its offer. The only option was to stop construction right?

Welcome to PawlingWrong. ALL of the people who had begun working on the new location offered to finish the job. My dad and Brian could pay them back over time after the restaurant opened up for business. It was that generosity and that faith that made my dad realize that Pawling was the place to be and that he would never ever consider leaving.

 

 

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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Food For Thought

I have literally been surrounded by delicious food for my entire life. Both of my parents are very talented in the kitchen. As a young girl my babysitter (and second mother figure) was always preparing amazing meals. Growing up in the kitchens of McKinney and Doyle only added to my food addiction. So here's the question: does the skill run through my veins as well? I've always enjoyed cooking and baking but never really tested my skills on a real audience. Family doesn't count in this case...they know how sensitive I am. I've recently decided to find out.

Two years ago for my birthday, my mother put together a family cook book for me. It includes all of my favorite recipes for every meal. Some of them have been passed down from generations on the Puerto Rican side of my family, some come from my dad's side, some are Mrs. McKinney originals and others have been borrowed from McKinney and Doyle. I decided to treat, or torture, my roommates with each and every recipe. So once a month I will create a full meal, appetizer, entree and dessert and the five of us will sit down and have what we're calling "family dinner." It's kind of like that movie Julie and Julia, but less French food and more babysitting to pay for ingredients. Wish me luck!

This newsletter is a big opportunity for me to gain some writing and marketing experience so feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns at rebeccam@udel.edu. I really do hope to get some feedback!

Octobmber 2011


Happy Fall Everybody!

When people learn that my family owns a restaurant and bakery, the first thing they say is "You are SO lucky!" Fall at Schultz Hill RoadThose who are close to me know that I agree with them. Not only am I lucky enough to be the daughter of chef and restaurant owner, but I am lucky enough to have worked at McKinney and Doyle since I was 12 years old. And now, as the end of my college career looms ahead, Shannon McKinney, aka Dad to my brother and I, has given me the opportunity to practice my public relations skills by means of a monthly newsletter. Even better, he's giving me the freedom to choose all of the content, including a personalized opinion column that I'm calling "Food for Thought." I'm thrilled to have this opportunity and look forward to your feedback!

— Becky McKinney

What's New at the Bar?

Girl's at th eBar

With every new season comes new additions to the bar. While we have a number of new wines by the glass as well as seasonal cocktails and beers to offer, it would take me several pages to give them all the attention they deserve. So I'll start with just my favorites and encourage you to determine your own!

Wine:

Grapes Pouring WineI'm a red wine fan but tend to favor things a little on the sweeter side. This past summer my first choice from our wine list was the Tempranillo (which is still on the menu for those who haven't tried it) but out of our new selections, I like the Carignan. Its essence is bright and juicy with an emphasis on red berry and plum flavors. And hey, if you can't decide, ask the bartender for a taste.

Cocktails

As far as the cocktail menu, I have yet to find a place with more unique combinations. But Andrew has really Olive Splash Martinioutdone himself this time. In the name of "research" I asked for the recipes of the new drinks and made them for myself and my four roommates. We all agreed that our favorite, though all delicious and unique, was the "Chimayo Twist." It's made with white rum, fresh lemon, a black currant puree and apple cider. I've heard that it's been a big hit at the restaurant as well. Here's a secret too, our delicious pumpkin martini isn't listed on our cocktail menu but it is available and if you're like me, you'd agree that a sweet drink after dinner is the "healthy choice" if you're avoiding pastries.

Beer

BeersDon't worry beer drinkers we have new items for you too! Of our three featured fall beers, I recommend the Pumpkin Ale. Though the Oktoberfest and Golden Delicious Captain Lawrence are refreshing and tasty as well. Taste away!

Bakery Treats

It's official. The leaves are changing and the temperature is dropping. Fall has Anthony having Coffeearrived. But don't worry, we have a few great ways to stay warm! Stop by the bakery and try a pumpkin spice latte made with our homemade pumpkin syrup. Or how about a "Caramel Apple?" We steam local made apple cider with homemade caramel for a favorite fall treat in beverage form! And who can forget about our homemade hot chocolate?

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Not cold? Ask for a pumpkin milkshake from the soda fountain. Homemade pumpkin syrup and Hershey's vanilla ice cream. (I've considered driving home from Delaware to try this so let me know what you think!)

Ready, Set, Carve! McKinney and Doyle Pumpkin

M&D is all about "serious food in a not so serious atmosphere," which is why we never forget the fun aspect of the business. The bakery will be hosting another pumpkin carving contest. Last year was a blast so whether you participated or not, break out your carving tools and join the fun! Here are the rules:

 

  • Pumpkins should be about the size of a basketball (or smaller)
  • One entry per person...but multiple entries per family are fine...and encouraged
  • Drop off your creations on October 28 between 2 and 6 p.m.

The winner will be notified on October 29 by noon and will take away a gift certificate for brunch for four in the cafe! Good luck everybody!

 

Let me know at rebecca@mckinneyanddoyle.com

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To contact McKinney & Doyle, click here | 10 Charles Colman Boulevard | Pawling, New York 12564 | Bakery: 845-855-3707 | Cafe: 845-855-3875