It creeps up slowly and you never seem to see it coming, but somehow February 14th is right around the corner again. Wasn’t it just last week we were popping bottles for New Year’s Eve? C’est la vie I guess!
I think it’s safe to say that Valentine’s Day is a divisive holiday — you either love it or you hate it. Hallmark cards, boxes of mediocre drugstore chocolates, relationship pressure, loneliness… there’s a lot to dislike!
But what if it could be different? What if instead of the commercialism, the pressure, and the heartache, we focused on taking extra-special care of ourselves? If you find yourself staying home this Valentine’s Day, regardless of whether you’re single or taken, we at Beyond the Shag propose that you pamper yourself. Buy yourself some luxurious loungewear; cook yourself a delicious meal; seek out a beautiful bottle of wine; light a new candle; make yourself a craft cocktail at home. There are so many things you can do to show yourself some extra love, and let’s be honest — after the past couple of years, we all deserve it.
Below you will find Beyond the Shag’s complete guide to the perfect Hudson Valley Self-Care V-Day. Pamper yourself, and shop local while you’re at it!
Covid has changed us in so many ways, and the choice to stay home on Valentine’s Day might be one of them. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason to spice up the night! Making an appointment for a blowout to put a little extra pep in your step is a great way to create a look that will last all week and will likely help with any winter blues. If you can’t make it to your local salon for that treatment, you still have options at home that will help you along!
For an at-home blowout, Taylor, staff member at Le Shag, recommends that you try out the Blowout Spray from Davines; it tames any pesky frizz, making it perfect for prepping the hair for a blowout at home.
Also, consider trying the Honey and Oat shampoo and conditioner from Label.M; not only does it smell amazing but this collection is super moisturizing and lightweight so when blow-drying yourself it’s easy to manage. For a finishing touch, use medium hairspray for overall hold onto a blowout so it will last through Valentine’s Day and the rest of the week!
Other self-care product recs from Le Shag include CBD bath bombs and under-eye patches.
“Before doing my hair at home it’s a necessity to perform some self-care or TLC. The CBD bath bomb is the perfect luxurious product to help me relax and the under-eye patches help me feel hydrated and extra glowy and bright!” – Taylor Grego of Le Shag Beauty Kingston.
Acquire the cozy (& local) essentials
Going out is fun and all, but at the end of the day, is there anything better than slipping into a super soft set of sweats and curling up on the couch? I think not. If you’re in the market for a new set of special loungewear, pay a visit to River Mint Finery, a wonderful boutique in uptown Kingston. Owned and founded by Kathryn (Kat) Hammill, River Mint is the perfect place to find super cozy and fashionable pieces. Kat suggests the Washed Frankie Polo, the Washed Quinn Pant, the Kimberly Cabin Socks, the Lux Faux Fur Slide Slippers, and the Expedition Bath Set (all-natural bath fizzies that provide 6 sessions of aromatherapeutic baths with our essential oil blends) for the perfect Valentine’s Day staying in. See pictures of these items below!
All can be ordered online at https://www.rivermintfinery.com or picked up at the shop, located at 270 Fair St, Kingston NY.
We asked Kat what her Valentine’s Day was looking like this year. She answered: “as for what I’m doing for Valentine’s Day. Exactly what these pics express! I’ll be home lounging with my boys Indulging in all the finer things like wine + chocolate.” – xx Kat
Below are pictures of Kat’s picks for the perfect lounge at home.
Next up: candles. One great candle can truly level up the at-home ambiance from a 3 to a 10. There’s nothing like dimming the lights and letting the flutter of warm candlelight and soft scent waft through a room. It’s just the best! The Hudson Valley has a whole slew of amazing candlemakers, but if you’re looking for a spot to browse and pick out your new favorite, try Clove & Creek, a lifestyle concept store with storefronts in both Kingston and Hudson.
Try out the “Celestial Catskills” and “Woodstock Winterlude” candles. Sold at Clove & Creek, these candles are made by Cave Glow Studio, a family candle-making operation run by a small team in High Falls, NY. The “Celestial Catskills” has notes of Pine, Cypress, Bayberry, Rosemary, Cedar, Eucalyptus, while the “Woodstock Winterlude” has notes of Spruce, Evergreen, Hemp, Moss and Patchouli. Order online, or pick up at the storefronts!
Spruce up that home bar
Many of us haven’t been so daring to venture to a restaurant since this whole thing started. So how do we make staying home fun? We dress up our homes, of course. One of our favorite shopping spots in the Hudson Valley is located in Woodstock right on Tinker Street. Shop Little House offers gifts and supplies for modern pioneers with a mix of modern and vintage housewares, books, art, and entertainment. Jojo Ans is the owner and curator of this gorgeous space and is also a long-time Hudson Valley resident.
There really is nothing like pouring bubbles into a glass that feels so special in your hand. Do you ever notice when you’re holding a glass that feels different from others? Sometimes a really special glass feels more delicate, sometimes slightly heavier? There is a magic to making beautiful glassware. Read more about the art of glass-making here.
What we do know is some of the best gifts we have ever received are cocktail/wine glasses from vintage shops, it changes the entire vibe of a night at home. We can’t think of a better way to spend a special night than with a lovely bar set up to enjoy a bottle of wine, a great album and a cozy blanket. Check out Little House online or at 47 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY to find some special homewares to pump up any evening at home.
Jojo’s tip for this Valentine’s Day and all that it brings:
“Keep it close to home. Supporting my small, local vendors has been the most reliable and feel-good thing I can do. And I feel the love in return.” -Jojo Ans
Make a delicious breakfast
Chef Ty Baughman of The Roost in Stone Ridge gives his input:
Sometimes people ask, “What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” Well, I love breakfast, so for myself and my family breakfast is that special meal on Valentine’s Day. This Valentine’s Day I’ll be doing pancakes—but not just any pancakes, I’m thinking pancakes with white chocolate and fresh raspberries. Yeah, that sounds good. You can do pancakes any way you want; make them from scratch out of a cookbook, or a family recipe, or a store-bought mix where you just add water, whatever works for you. (I’ve included a simple recipe that I like, below). Just make them with love. I am fortunate this year because I get to spend Valentine’s Day with my family. For the Roost, Valentine’s Day weekend is busy so we’ll be offering breakfast and dinner specials all weekend long. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy someone else’s cooking. Whether it’s eating at the restaurant or ordering food to-go, we’ll be preparing scratch homemade food. Happy Valentines Day, hope to see you soon. – Chef Ty Baughman, The Roost, 3542 Main Street, Stone Ridge, NY
Pancakes with Love
Makes 4-6 small cakes
1 1/2 cups a/p flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium bowl add all the dry ingredients and stir. Add all the wet ingredients and mix into the dry ingredients but don’t over mix. Lightly butter a pan over medium-high heat. When pan is heated pour on 3/4 cup of batter. Let cook on one side until small bubbles appear, then flip onto the other side. Cook until that side browns nicely. Serve hot.
Make a delicious homemade entrée
Eating out at restaurants is great, there’s no doubt about that. But there is something to be said for preparing, cooking, and eating a meal made with love in the comfort of your own home. Mark Goldfarb, long-time Woodstock resident, co-owner of Armadillo, and owner of In Mark’s Kitchen pestos, loves nothing more than cooking for his loved ones. To share the love, he has created two different dinner recipes featuring his pesto for Beyond the Shag that are simple, delicious, and Valentine’s Day worthy.
In Mark’s Kitchen sells three different pesto varieties, and each one is available with a vegan alternative. The three varieties include Basil Pesto, Dandelion Greens Superfood Pesto, and Arugula Pesto. Mark’s Kitchen Pesto is made with the finest ingredients available, using Parmigiano Reggiano DOP (the best Parmesan cheese in the world) or for the vegan line his very own vegan parmesan (raw cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic), the freshest basil, organic dandelion greens from Lady Moon organics, baby arugula, first pressed virgin olive oil from a small family farm in Lucca, Italy, domestic grown garlic, fresh squeezed domestic lemon juice, fresh pine nuts, and sea salt. The pestos can be purchased online here or at a growing number of local purveyors including Sunflower Natural Foods in Woodstock NY, Cheese Louise, Bistro To-Go, Adams Fairacre Farms in Kingston & Poughkeepsie NY, Olsen & Company in Saugerties NY, Emmanuel’s Marketplace in Stone Ridge NY, Freedom Hill Farms in Otisville NY, Four Seasons Natural Foods Market in Saratoga Springs NY, Honest Weight Food Co-Op in Albany NY, Homegoods of Margaretville in Margaretville NY, Migliorelli Farm Stands in Red Hook and Mt. Tremper NY, The Smithy Market in New Preston CT, and Heart Beet Kitchen in Westmont NJ.
Pasta with Pesto, Roasted Tomatoes, and Mozzarella
- Two packages of cherry or grape tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil
- Diamond kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup of In Mark’s Kitchen Pesto + 3 tablespoons- either basil, dandelion green, or arugula, whatever you prefer!
- 1 pound pasta — preferably a pasta with a lot of surface area, like a fusilli, or the new cascatelli pasta by Sfoglini (as pictured)
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
- Fresh grated parmigiano reggiano
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Add tomatoes and drizzle over the olive oil, rubbing in to make sure there is equal distribution. Add a couple of pinches of salt and fresh black pepper, to taste.
Once the oven is preheated, add the prepared baking sheet with the tomatoes and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to brown. Set aside once done.
While the tomatoes are in the oven, cook the pasta according to directions. Make sure to reserve a cup of pasta water before draining.
Return the pasta to the pot off heat and add 3/4 cup of In Marks’s Kitchen pesto with 2-3 tablespoons (or more) of reserved pasta water and gently mix. Add most of the oven-roasted tomatoes and gently mix. Add 6 oz mozzarella pearls and mix again.
Top with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano and the rest of the oven-roasted tomatoes and serve!
Whole Pesto Roasted Chicken with Carrots, Shallots, and Potatoes
- One whole chicken, about 4-5 lbs
- 1/4 cup of diamond kosher salt & 1 gallon of water (for the brine)
- ¾ cup of In Mark’s Kitchen Pesto + 3 tablespoons- either basil, dandelion green, or arugula, whatever you prefer!
- ½ lemon
- 1 bulb of garlic, with the top sliced off
- 3 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
- 8 shallots
- 1 pound baby potatoes
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
Dissolve ¼ cup of diamond kosher salt in water and brine the chicken in the water for 1 hour. The water should cover the whole chicken.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
After 1 hour, remove the chicken from the brine and dry it off with paper towels. Spread ¾ cup of In Mark’s Kitchen Pesto under the skin and on the top of the chicken. In order to get pesto under the skin of the thighs, make several small cuts on the inside of the thighs and insert pesto.
Lightly salt and pepper the outside of the chicken. Cut a lemon in half and insert 1/2 lemon and the whole garlic bulb (with top sliced off) into the cavity.
Truss the chicken with kitchen twine.
Put the chicken into the Dutch oven. Arrange the sliced carrots, the whole shallots, and a pound of baby potatoes around the chicken.
Put the Dutch oven into the preheated oven and cook until the internal temperature is 165°F, about 1 hour. Once it has reached 165°F, remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes.
Combine 3 tablespoons of In Mark’s Kitchen pesto with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix. Then mix in a few tablespoons or more of the drippings from the chicken to make a roux. Drizzle the roux over the chicken and vegetables, carve, and serve.
Drink some ~adult~ beverages, of course
What’s a great dinner without equally great wine? Luckily for residents of the Hudson Valley, we have one of the finest local wine stores right in Kingston, NY: Kingston Wine Co. The shop focuses on classic, traditionally made wines with little added and little taken away. The shop places an emphasis on biodynamic, organic, and natural wines, and most of the wines on Kingston Wine Co.’s shelves are made using time-honored, historically rich techniques, achieving an authentic expression of place, history and culture.
We asked the experts at Kingston Wine Co. themselves what bottles they would pair with the recipes created by Mark above. Here is what they had to say:
If you’re preparing the pasta with pesto, oven-roasted tomatoes, and mozzarella, check out the Monte Bernardi – ‘Sangio’ Chianti 2019. According to Kingston Wine Co., “Sangio is an expression of the soils and microclimate of select vineyards in the high hills above Panzano in Chianti, the coveted Saia vineyards. This wine is pleasurable to drink upon release but can also be aged for greater complexity.”
For the roast chicken, pair with the Brand – ‘KWC Custom Label’ Dry Riesling 2020. A Riesling from the Pfalz region of Germany, this wine is an organically farmed private label dry white. Per Kingston Wine Co., “the aromatics are hallmark Riesling with a lip-smacking freshness on the palate.”
If you’re looking for a little something celebratory, go for sparkling! The lovely folks at Kingston Wine recommend the Bisson – “Bianco delle Venezie” Vino Frizzante Trevigiana 2020 for some good fun. A “charming Italian dry frizzante wine,” the Bianco delle Venezie has “notes of honey, white flowers and green apples without any sweetness.”
Shop online here or visit the shop at 65 Broadway, Kingston, NY to check out these bottles!
Add a touch of sweetness
It wouldn’t really be Valentine’s Day without chocolate, would it? Luckily, there is no shortage of great sweets in the Hudson Valley. Check out Sweet Maresa’s, a vegan bakeshop in Kingston or Fruition Chocolate Works, a highly acclaimed small-batch craft chocolate operation out of Shokan, NY. Visit Sweet Maresa’s at 291Wall Street, Kingston NY to browse the treats, and visit Fruition Chocolate at 3091 NY-28, Shokan, NY, or order online and opt for delivery or local pickup. You can’t go wrong!
From the team at Beyond the Shag to you —here’s to a luxurious and relaxing Valentine’s Day in 2022. Cheers!