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  •     Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC host, is quite a mixologist. She occasionally pops up on “The Late Show With Jimmy Fallon” to demonstrate various cocktails. On a recent episode she demonstrated a classic martini. While shaking and stirring and measuring she informed Mr. Fallon that vermouth is a wine, therefore expires after two weeks. She encouraged the audience to toss out that old bottle of your granny’s that’s been collecting dust in the liquor cabinet and buy a fresh one. I obeyed. I sampled a fresh bottle. What a difference!

  • Bay Burger
    1742 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Sag Harbor
    899-3915
    Wednesday through Monday,
    11 a.m.-9 p.m.

  •        Conca D’Oro is the kind of pizza joint-restaurant that every town should be so lucky to have. It is fast, reasonable, and good. In a way, it is two establishments. Come into the front for a quick slice, takeout, or to enjoy your pie in a booth. Go to the back for sit-down service, a variety of specials, and pasta dishes big enough for Fred Flintstone to bring home in a doggy bag for Dino.

  •     Of all the joys and wonders and gifts of the Yuletide season, the Christmas stocking has to be one of the best. In our family, the Christmas stocking may have been the most exciting, most anticipated ritual of the whole, entire shebang. Probably because the stockings would be laid outside our bedroom doors, free to be ripped to shreds with glee immediately upon awakening Christmas morning.

  • Chocolate Espresso Chews
        This recipe, from the Firehook Bakery in Alexandria, Va., is the best cookie recipe, and I know I have published it before, but it is worth repeating. They are too delicate for long distance travel.

        Makes about 50 small cookies.

    1/2 stick (4 Tbsp.) butter
    1 lb. good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped up
    13/4 cups sugar
    4 eggs
    1 Tbsp. vanilla
    1/2 cup flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. salt

  •     What is your favorite kind of cookie? Chocolate chip? Me, too! Oatmeal raisin, gingersnap, peanut butter, shortbread? All of those, too. Are you a crisp and delicate cookie aficionado, or a jumbo half-baked shopping mall cookie fan? Super sweet, short and crumbly, filled with jam or just plain Jane, there is a cookie for everyone.

  • Sazerac
    Makes one.

        Pack an Old Fashioned glass with ice.

         In a second Old Fashioned glass place a sugar cube and add 3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube.

        Add 11/2 oz. of rye whiskey to the glass containing the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar.
        Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with 1/4 oz. Herbsaint, then discard the remaining Herbsaint.

  •     If ever a tribe of cannibals wanted to fatten up some homo sapiens like the poor geese of Perigord, New Orleans would be the place to do it.

  • Raspberry and Coconut Sherbet
        When is the last time you had sherbet? You can make this with other fruit but my favorite is raspberry. This is my own version.

        Makes one pint.
    2 cups frozen raspberries
    1/2 cup coconut milk
    3 Tbsp. maple syrup
    Pinch salt


        Puree everything in food processor and serve immediately, or place back in freezer briefly. Defrost a few minutes before serving to achieve right texture.

  •     Without a doubt, trying to make a truly delicious vegan dessert is a challenge. Trying to make a flaky, delicious vegan pie crust even more so.

        Some recipes for vegan desserts are better left ignored, or improved upon, or at least challenged. Ignored because some things just don’t taste very good with alterations. Improved upon because some recipes show promise but are sloppy. And some should be challenged because there really is no substitute for whipped cream or meringue or many other things, taste and texture-wise.

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  • The following is excerpted from Laura Donnelly's restaurant review in this week's Star. More ideas for meals on the go can be found in the Star's Restaurant Guide: easthamptonstar.com/restaurants.

    It's Columbus Day weekend AND the Hamptons International Film Festival is on the East End so I know all of you ladies and gentlemen and black-clad cinephiles want to know where to eat. With movies being shown in 6 locations from Southampton to Montauk your dining options are plentiful.