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July 9, 2024

— For more on the Jamieson Ritter Memorial ROTC Scholarship, click here.

July 8, 2024

— For more on the Syracuse Mets' First Responders Day Fundraiser, click here.

June 14, 2024 

Asian Slaw Burgers

1 lb. ground chicken

1 egg

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons PICS Sesame Ginger marinade

2 Tbls. Sliced scallions

2 tsp. minced red onion

Mix all ingredients together gently with a fork until thoroughly combined. Form four patties and place them in a container on parchment or wax paper in the fridge for 30 minutes. When ready to cook, place the burgers on a hot grill or skillet for approximately 5-6 minutes on each side - until and you achieve golden brown grill marks. Top with Asian or classic slaw and serve on your favorite roll. Serves 4.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs

1 lb. 16-20 count Raw Shrimp

½ cup PICS Lemon Garlic marinade

An assortment of 1” x 1” pieces of sweet red, orange, and yellow peppers, purple onion, teardrop tomatoes, and mushrooms quarters

10” skewers

Soak your skewers in a tall glass of water until you are ready to use them, so they don’t burn when placed on the grill.

Peel the shrimp and place them in a sealable bag with the marinade. Move the contents around to ensure that all sides are coated. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Mix the vegetables with a drizzle of oil and roast them on a baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Alternately skewer roasted vegetables and marinated shrimp, placing the tomato at the base and the mushroom quarter at the top. Be sure to place the skewer through both ends of the shrimp so they can lay flat on the grill.

Place skewers on a medium hot grill for 3-5 minutes on each side until the shrimp turn pink or sport the grill marks you’re looking for.

Dad’s Grilled Potato Halves

Bake a russet potato. Cut it in half length wise. Brush the inside side with butter and sprinkle with you favorite seasoned salt and grill face-side down until you achieve the grill marks or golden brown color that strikes your fancy.

May 23, 2024

— New Yorkers can register to become organ donors at


May 20, 2024

— For more on boating safety, visit


May 15, 2024

Buttermilk biscuits


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp frozen butter
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • Optional: shredded cheddar


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix all dry ingredients; grate frozen butter into dry ingredients
  • Pour in buttermilk; use pastry cutter to quickly combine. If it seems dry, add a little more buttermilk
  • Place dough on a lightly floured surface; roll out to 3/4 inch. Cut dough into desired shapes; place on baking sheet
  • Optional: For better biscuits, let mix rest in fridge for an hour or two
  • Brush with butter and sprinkle with cheese, or brush plain biscuits with milk
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes until lightly browned; serve warm

May 7, 2024

May 3, 2024

Classic margarita


  • 1 oz fresh lime & 1/2 oz agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 oz favorite tequila
  • 1/2 oz orange liqueur
  • Pour over ice and shake
  • Serve with salted rim

Spicy avocado margarita

  • 1 1/2 oz Jalepeno infused tequila
  • 1 oz fresh lime & 1/2 oz agave nectar
  • 1 oz avocado puree (1 avocado, 4-6 oz of fresh lime juice & 2oz of agave)
  • 1/2 oz orange liqueur
  • Pour over ice and shake
  • Serve with salted rim

April 30, 2024

Strawberry & mascarpone stuffed French toast


  • One loaf of brioche bread
  • Mascarpone
  • Strawberry jam
  • Three eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • A pinch each of cinnamon, salt and nutmeg


  • Slice brioche into double-thick slices.
  • Insert knife into the top of the brioche and make a slit to form a pocket.
  • Using a pastry bag, squeeze jam and mascarpone into the pocket; pinch to close.
  • Whisk eggs, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to make a custard; dip French toast in the custard on both sides.
  • Cook on medium/low heat, browning one side, then the other.
  • Garnish with pecans, bacon, strawberries, caramel and confectioner's sugar.

April 24, 2024

Butterfly Garden

Short 6’’ to 15’’

Ajuga, Armeria, Aster, Ceratostigma, Chrysanthemum, Coreopsis, Dianthus, Gaillardia, Geranium, Heuchera, Iberis, Lavandula, Nepeta, Oenothera, Salvia, Scabiosa, Stokesia, Veronica, Viola

Medium 16’’ to 36’’

Achillea, Agastache, Aquilegia, Asclepias, Caryopteris, Centranthus, Chelone, Crocosmia, Dicentra, Digitalis, Hemerocallis, Leucanthemum, Liatris, Lilium, Lobelia, Lupine, Origanum, Rudbeckia, Sedum

Tall 36’’ and above

Aconitum, Aruncus, Baptisia, Buddleia, Echinacea, Eupatorium, Heliopsis, Helianthus, Hibiscus, Lonicera, Monarda, Phloax, Verbena

April 23, 2024

Vegetable gardening ideas

(Courtesy of Balet Flowers and Design)

Start-up garden

Seeds for planting from late April through mid-May: Spinach, carrots, radishes, beets

Other seed ideas as the soil warms up through May: Lettuce, beans, cucumbers, zucchini/summer squash, winter squash/pumpkins

Read the seed packets for planting depth. Generally cover the seeds with an amount of soil the same diameter of the seed; water just after seeding for optimum germination.

For plants, till or cultivate the garden area, and remove debris. If planting in a container, choose a container large enough for the crop, add compost or fertilizer to potting soil, plant and water as needed. Fertilize every 2-4 weeks.

Buy plants that are already started for quicker growing time. Plant in a sunny location for best production; water and fertilize as needed.

Plants worth buying: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, or any plants you want to get a head start on

April 22, 2024

Growing/companion planting tips

(Courtesy of Balet Flowers and Design)

Companion planting favorites

  • Nasturtium
  • Marigold
  • Calendula
  • Basil
  • Borage
  • Mint
  • Summer savory
  • Sage
  • Chives
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender

Best practices for containers: Start with a good potting soil mix; fill the container 3/4 of the way up; dig a hole and place the plant in loose soil, then fill soil around the plants; leave a reservoir of a 1/2-inch for smaller pots and up to an inch for larger pots; fertilize, either mixing organic fertilizer into the soil or using a liquid feed.

April 10, 2024

Eggs in Purgatory

(Courtesy of More Perreca's Italian Kitchen)


  • 1 quart-sized jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (sliced thinly)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried pepper flakes (more or less for your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8-10 fresh eggs
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves if you have them, or substitute fresh or dried parsley


In a hot skillet, add olive oil and garlic slices; do not let the garlic brown.  eat for just a minute or two to meld the flavors. Then add marinara sauce, garlic powder, parmesan, dried pepper flakes and salt & pepper to taste. Let sauce get bubbly hot before cracking the eggs directly into the hot sauce to poach. Lower heat to medium-high and cover for approximately 7 minutes for medium running eggs, less time if you like them really running, more time for a harder egg.

Top with freshly torn basil and serve with a nice hard-crusted bread for dunking.

March 25, 2024

Creating Ukrainian Easter eggs

  • Use raw whole eggs or blown eggs, white or brown (to blow the eggs, order an egg blower or something like it).
  • Use a kistka tool to write or draw on the egg with beeswax. You can heat the wax in the flame of a candle. Wherever you draw, you will be preserving the color of the egg using a resist method.
  • Dip in first color of Ukrainian egg dye. Other types of dye can work, too; they just tend to result in less intense and saturated color.
  • Dry off the egg and add more wax, now protecting the new color on the egg.
  • Dip in second color.
  • Repeat the application of wax and dyes, going from light to dark colors until your design is complete.
  • Melt off the wax from the egg, revealing all of the different colors. You can do this by holding the egg in the side of a tall flame, a little at a time, and wiping off the wax as it melts. To avoid getting soot from the candle flame, do not hold the egg at the top of the flame.
  • You can use an oil based varnish to add gloss and protection to the eggs.

March 12, 2024

Irish Soda Bread


  • 2 cups (240 g) All-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp (12g) Baking powder
  • 1 tsp (3g) Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (3g) Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp (12g) Granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp (24g) Unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (48g) Dark raisins
  • 1/2 tsp (3g) Caraway seeds
  • 3/4 cup (165g milk/18g vinegar) Buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or spray an 8- or 9-inch round cast iron or pie dish, or a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  • Cut in the butter and blend well into the flour. Add the raisins and caraway seeds. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add buttermilk.
  • Mix together until it becomes very shaggy but sticks together.
  • Gently roll out the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough gently for a few moments.
  • Shape into a round loaf and place in the cast iron skillet or on/in the pan. Slash the top into the shape of a cross. Sprinkle top with a bit of sugar.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes. Check to see if the bread is done by placing a skewer into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, your bread is done. Let cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from the loaf pan and let the bread cool completely (at least a half-hour) before slicing.

February 28, 2024

A Taste of South Carolina: Sauteed Zucchini and Squash over Rice


  • 2 whole medium zucchinis, sliced thin
  • 2 whole medium yellow squash, sliced thin
  • 1 whole medium onion, chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp vegan bouillon
  • 3 oz. olive oil
  • 2 oz. water
  • 2 pounds of rice


  1. Rinse your rice a few times to remove extra starch (or use instant/ boil in a bag rice)
  2. Add 1 3/4 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice that you are cooking in a medium-sized pot
  3. Add pinch of salt and 1 oz of oil to your water and cook until tender
  4. Heat remaining 2 oz of olive oil in medium frying pan or wok on medium heat
  5. Add all remaining ingredients to the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes, covered, stirring regularly or until all ingredients are tender
  6. Serve over rice or pasta

February 22, 2024

Mushroom leek dashi chowder by Chef Andy Palmisano of Kindred Wine Bar


4 oz. dried shiitake, 2 pm dried porcini & 4 oz. kombu (Asian market or online) cover with gallon of cold-water, bring to a boil then simmer 

Once cooked down, remove only the kombu (kelp), leave everything else in


Sweat 2 leeks and 1 bunch celery until brown in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, remove once cooked down

To pot sweat 3 diced onions and 10 cloves sliced garlic

Add 1 lb. portobello and 1 lb. white button mushrooms

Cook down (about 2 minutes)

Add sherry wine 1 cup (cook down until sherry evaporates)

Add stock with kombu (kelp) removed/add to mushrooms, garlic & onions/ bring to boil

Make rue (to desired thickness) and add to pot with stock

Add cream about 1 to 2 cups (bring to simmer)

Blend until smooth

Add additional 1 lb. shiitake mushrooms

Add about 6 c diced blanched potatoes

Add back leeks and celery 

Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

Finish with chili oil and scallions

February 8, 2024

Buffalo Chicken Chili

  • 1 1/2-pound chicken breast or thighs
  • 2 cups riced cauliflower
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cans chicken bone broth or stock
  • 1 14-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Buffalo-style hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. coriander
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. pink salt
  • Optional garnishes: jalapeno, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, tortilla chips

Combine all the ingredients in an instant pot; set to seal, manual, normal pressure for 15 minutes. Release the steam; remove the chicken from the pot and shred with two forks. Return to pot and mix together. Ladel into a bowl and garnish.

If using a slow cooker, follow the same method as above, cooking for either 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

January 23, 2024

Key Lime Pie

  • 9” graham cracker pie shell
  • 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c. Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice

Combine milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into pre-baked pie shell and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Allow to cool on counter about 10 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled. For serving top with fresh whipped cream.

Fresh Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whip heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract until medium peaks form, about 3–4 minutes.

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) graham cracker crumbs (about 12 full-sheet graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted

Grind graham crackers into fine crumbs. Stir the graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar in a medium bowl, and then stir in melted butter. Pour the mixture into an un-greased nine-inch pie dish. Pat down until the mixture is no longer crumby/crumbly.

December 18, 2023

Hamlet & Ghost drink recipes

Forest Fruit

  • 3/4 Ounce Lingonberry Syrup
  • 1/2 Ounce Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Ounce Pineapple
  • Mint

Add mint and muddle. Shake and strain ingredients over ice, top with tonic water. Garnish with fresh mint.

Lingonberry Syrup

  • 14-ounce jar of lingonberry jam
  • 8 ounces hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Bring to a simmer and stir until combined.

Gingerbread Old Fashioned

  • 2 ounces Woodford Double Oak
  • 1/4 ounce smokey scotch
  • 1/2 ounce gingerbread syrup
  • 2 dashes of barrel-aged bitters

Stir together ingredients and strain onto fresh ice. Grate nutmeg for garnish.

Gingerbread Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 ounce molasses
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Simmer together; strain into a clean jar.

December 12, 2023

Potato latkes recipe


  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • A pinch of black pepper and shake of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Oil for frying
  • Sour cream and applesauce (traditional toppings)

Heat a medium-sized saucepan of water to a boil.

In the meantime, wash or scrub and then shred the potatoes. (Skin on or off, your preference).

Note: This is easiest with a food processor. And don't rush to clean it, as you can also use it for the onion.

Lower the heat under the water to a simmer and drop in the shredded potatoes. Parboil for 4-5 minutes, then empty into a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain thoroughly.

Note: Par-boiling the shredded potato ensures that the center is never raw when the edges are perfectly brown and crispy. This process also repels excess oil from the latkes, making them lighter and crisper.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk them until blended.

Mince the onion and whisk it into the eggs.

Add the flour, salt and pepper(s) into the mixture and whisk until well blended.

Fold in the shredded potatoes and stir to coat thoroughly.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat. When it is shimmering and hot enough to sizzle a bread crumb on contact, spoon in the batter one serving spoonful at a time, flattening to form thin pancakes consistent one to the next. When the edges turn brown and the pancake is crisp enough on the bottom to hold its form, gently flip it and fry it on the other side until uniformly crisp and brown. It will take more than one shift to get all the pancakes cooked. Drain the finished ones on paper towels. Stir the batter frequently as you go, to ensure the balance of liquid to particulates.

Note: Don't stack your fried latkes! Single layer them to maintain their crispness! If desired, you can keep them warm in a 200-degree Fahrenheit oven or reheat them from a refrigerated state in a 300-degree oven for 5-7 minutes.

Serve warm/hot with sour cream and applesauce.

The batter is best when its flavors have melded in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) before frying and will stay good for up to a week in the fridge in a tightly sealed container. It can also be frozen for up to six months.

December 15, 2022

Oven roasted Brussels sprouts recipe

YIELD: 6 servings



1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces

10 peeled garlic cloves


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Clean and trim Brussels sprouts, cutting large heads through their core.
  3. Place Brussels sprouts and garlic in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, tossing evenly to coat.
  4. Pour the Brussels sprouts onto a large sheet pan (you want them to be in a single layer).
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the Brussels sprouts.
  7. Roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time, until golden and lightly caramelized.

Sherried fruits recipe


1 medium can sliced pineapple

1 medium can peach halves or slices

1 medium can pear halves or slices

1 medium can apricot halves

1 stick unsalted butter

2 Tbsps. Flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup full-bodied sherry (i.e. Harvey’s Bristol Cream)

Drain all the fruit. Cut the pineapple slices in half, also the peach and pear halves if they are extra-large. Arrange fruit alternately or in alternate layers in a large, medium-deep casserole dish. In a heavy saucepan on the stove top, combine the butter, brown sugar, flour, and sherry. Cook, stirring, over low to medium heat for 10-15 minutes until smooth and thickened. Pour over fruits in casserole, cover and let stand in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving, heat for 25-30 minutes in a 350-degree oven until hot and bubbly. Keeps well for several days

October 12, 2022

The city of Albany seeks your input on a survey related to its creation of a Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. City Hall wants the new department to serve as a one-stop shop for things people need.

The survey can be found here through Nov. 30.