Author Archives


PEACEFUL PROTEST in PLAINVIEW, NY, by Toni Hoyos, The New York Extra,

This Sunday May 31, 2020 around 1pm, approximately 1000 people gathered at the Staples shopping center on the corner of South Oyster Bay Road in Plainview, NY to protest the recent death of George Floyd that occurred while under restraint by PO Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis.

The masked protesters displayed various signs of protest and chanted throughout the march “I can’t breathe”, “No justice, no peace”, “Justice for George”, “Black lives matter” and “Say their names”. This was done in a calm and orderly manner following the sidewalks along South Oyster Bay Road. Police presence detoured traffic around the area and kept the right lane in front of the demonstrators clear. Passing cars beeped their horns in support, a few even had a bullhorn. There also was an anonymous young man offering free drinks and snacks. This protest included people of various ethnic backgrounds, black, white, the young and the old alike peacefully united for the same cause.


JONES BEACH BIKEWAY at Cedar Creek Park by Toni Hoyos, The New York Extra,

The Jones Beach bikeway less commonly know as the Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway is a well paved path that can be accessed from Cedar Creek Park off of Merrick Road in Seaford. It parallels the Wantagh Parkway and to the east are waterways, marshes and beautiful scenery. A little past Zach’s Bay it runs into the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway. It is the premiere South Shore multi use trail on Long Island. Favored by walkers, joggers, rollerbladers and bicyclists alike. An ideal outdoor place felt to be “safe” for those activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Battisti family, from left to right ,daughter, Valentina, mom, Antonella, dad, Dr.Renato Battisti and son, Pietro from Westbury N.Y. enjoy the afternoon on the Jones Beach bike path getting some “immune” enhancing exercise. Neil Miller/The New York Extra/ copyright 2020
Chris Di Santo, left, with his friend , by the famous bronze statue of a cyclist, wearing a mask says, Its his first time here but he ” feels safe as long as he wears a mask” Neil Miller/The New York Extra/ copyright 2020
Richard Argentina with daughter Taylor, and friends Daniela Battisiti and Olivia Brill ran 10 miles of the path today. Neil Miller/The New York extra/ copyright 2020

Now as the weather warms people want to be outside enjoying, looking for ways to participate in fun/healthy activities while practicing social distancing. The sun was shining, it was a little breezy, a lovely, comfortable day for a bike ride, skate or a run and the people were out there taking advantage of the opportunity! Many were masked, family groups usually not, certainly sufficient space to feel “safe”.

The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway past Tobay Beach is currently under construction to expand to Captree State Park. There will be new bike parking areas at Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach Marina and Captree. Also many new plantings along the way, and several shaded rest stops. It is expected to be completed by summer 2021.

So grab your rollerblades, sneakers or bike, throw on a mask and have some responsible distancing exercise and fun! Stay well and be safe.



I love to pull a meal together without turning on the stove or oven, especially now heading into the summer season. Something quick, healthy and satisfying.

For the star protein of this meal I used a can of Genova Yellowfin tuna in olive oil. Gathered up some produce from the fridge, spring mix, green onions, grape tomatoes, roasted red pepper, avocado and clementines. Simply drain and plate the tuna, surround with spring mix, top with tomatoes, green onion, roasted pepper, sliced avocado and the clementines. I dressed the plate with cucumber dill yogurt dressing which I had previously made, it’s very refreshing! That’s it done and ready to eat!

Now there’s so many variations of this meal that you can do. Try switching out the tuna for any leftover cooked organic chicken or beef, just slice it up and plate it. For the salad part I used what was in the house. Look in your fridge and cupboard, utilize what’s available. Any combination of salad greens will work, aruggala, romaine, etc, try red onions, sliced cucumbers, beets, shredded carrots, artichokes, bell peppers, whatever you have on hand to create your own masterpiece. Add a healthy fat like walnuts, almonds, olives, sesame or pumpkin seeds. Instead of clementines try using mango, cranberries, grapes or apples.

I topped this salad with a homemade dressing that also can be used as a dip for veggies or falafel. I used 1 cup organic White Mountain Bulgarian yogurt, 3 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s real mayonnaise, 1 larger grated mini cucumber, juice from 1/2 a small lemon and lots of dill, either dried or fresh. I dry my own. You can adjust this recipe to your own taste by using more or less lemon, amount of cuke and dill. I happen to like a good amount of cucumber, makes it very fresh tasting, and lots of dill!

Until next time, ENJOY and be well!!


What a lovely day for a visit to this 80 acre refuge on the north shore of Long Island in the Village of Lloyd Harbor. There are 3 well maintained walking trails. The 1 mile Warblers Loop Trail, the Rocky Beach Trail runs along the north shoreline and Gardners Path the shortest, has signs depicting wildlife species and habitats.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra/ copyright 2020

There’s an observation deck, a stairway leading to the 1/2 mile rocky beach popular for shore fishing, a brackish pond and several vernal ponds. There are also wetlands, cedar trees and a mature Oak-Hickory forest.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra/ copyright 2020

Target Rock is home to many various songbirds, herons, osprey, turtles, red fox, deer, wild turkey and several species of fish including striped bass, fluke and porgy.

The view from the deck is magnificent, peaceful and serene. Walk down the stairway to the rocky shore, breathe in the aromatic scent of Long Island Sound, hear the songbirds call, close your eyes and let your mind take you to your own special place.


The first weekend of May has arrived blessing us with lovely weather and bringing with it hope for better times. Hope for a more “normal” existence, hope that the coronavirus will abate and let us live again. The beautiful weather brought the people outside, to the beaches, the parks, around the neighborhoods or anywhere besides their home where they could be out yet still feel safe.

Noontime Saturday May 8, 2020 Jones Beach field 6 closed at about 50% capacity. Town of Babylon Cedar Beach had about 20 cars in the parking lot. A family was set up in the sand with chairs, blankets, food and fun games for the kids, others were close to shore safely apart. Tobay Beach open to Town of Oyster Bay residents only had around 50 cars in their parking lot along with a food truck selling goodies! The bike path that runs besides Wantagh and Ocean parkways had people walking, biking and skating, enough space for everyone, some masked, some not but all looking happy to be out and about.

Sunday at Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, all parking fields were utilized. People were out doing the same, families were biking, picnicking, playing various games and some sporting activities. There was even a larger family group, all were masked and spread apart having fun celebrating someone’s birthday. Many older couples, masked, enjoyed a peaceful walk through the park.

Wow Lowe’s home improvement store in Hicksville was super busy! Customers were purchasing their spring and summer needs, including lawn and yard care, gardening, flowers, plants, vegetables, Barbeques, pavers etc. preparing for summer. The cool thing was Lowe’s abided by the rules, masked employees maintained social distancing on lines both in and out of the store. At one point the line in the parking lot had about 50 customers on it, all wore their masks and were keeping apart from one another. Timing of when to enter was controlled by employees who kept track of the occupancy.

If you took a walk around your neighborhood you could smell the wood burning in fire pits, the aroma of yummy burgers and steaks cooking on the barbeque, you could actually hear sounds of fun, of laughter, of life. There wasn’t that eerie quietness of the past several weeks. The world is eager to awake and smell the roses, but do so in a safe manner. Regardless of the conflicting information concerning COVID-19, the reality is the coronavirus is highly contagious. It can be deadly to those with underlying health issues and to those age 70 and above, of course there are always exceptions to the rules. The scary part, of those who tested positive about half were asymptomatic. This is a new learning experience for all of us and yes, we want to move forward, but we must not let foolishness and selfishness override our own health or the safety of those near and dear to us. The world is hopeful, ready to awaken, to seize the day, but we must do so in a manner which is suitable for the well being and protection of us all.



I don’t know about you but this shelter in place has certainly pushed me off track, I really need this reminder. It is so easy to slack off right now, not much activity going on, no one really wants to spend a lot of time shopping in the supermarket it’s more like grab and go, and have I mentioned the intense craving for comfort food? And what’s with all the snacking? Well there isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but there are many beautiful, colorful, fruits and vegetables! Let us give thanks!

Photo by Foodlady7

I know how difficult it is to get frozen and canned veggies, especially canned without added salt. Stores are restocking shelves best they can, it’s like hit or miss. There is plenty of fresh produce out there so let’s take advantage of that, buy what we find and come up with creative vegetarian or veggie dinners. Find the way that works best for you to incorporate the vegetables into your meals. Make a stir fry using whatever veggies you have. How about a dump salad, use whatever produce you have on hand. Cut lettuce, chop up cucumber, pepper, radish, onion, zucchini, shaved carrot, clementine, apple, etc. Add cranberries, raisins, any type of nuts or seeds and if you eat dairy add some shredded cheese. Basically you can use just about any produce you have to make a salad. Hey, how about a veggie omelette? Once again using up what produce you have in the house, then add in some cooked sweet potato. Also you can try making a vegetable quesadilla, ole!

The idea is to try and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables at every meal, Hey, there’s more than one type of rainbow! Good luck and be safe!

HOPEFUL THOUGHTS FOR LONG ISLAND’S FOOD AND MUSIC SCENE by Toni Hoyos with additional reporting by Neil Miller

Toni Hoyos interviews Mark Miller at The Salt Shack/Neil Miller/The New York extra/The copyright 2020

Spring is here and with that comes the anticipation of enjoying some of Long Islands favorite outdoor venues such as Salt Shack, The Boatyard, Dublin Deck and The Surf Shack. All hot summer spots where hard working Long Islanders come to play. Whether that be to relax, have a drink, eat, enjoy the view, beautiful sunsets and of course listen to the many talented LI bands out there.

Scott Campbell ,partner of the Dublin Deck Neil Miller/The New York Extra/ copyright 2020

Owner Mark Miller, along with his partner in Patchogues Dublin Deck Scott Campbell both expressed positive attitudes about the upcoming summer season. As responsible business owners they are prepared to adhere to the governors mandates. The main objective being to open as soon as permissible while maintaining a safe environment for staff and customers. What does that entail? Though we would all like a rapid conclusion to the COVID-19 shutdown, at the moment no one really knows. Scott Campbell said they are ready to “follow the rules” as put forth by the governor. Staff would be “gloved and masked”, also they were discussing possibly taking the temperature of staff members before work as a precautionary measure. He said “we’ll get through this” and is keeping a “positive attitude”.

Mark Miller at the Salt Shack Cedar Beach NY / Neil Miller/The New York Extra/The copyright 2020

Mark Miller expressed he’s “ready to go” and just waiting “for the powers that be” to give the okay. He’s “optimistically” looking forward to a Phase 1 opening. They will probably open at 50% occupancy, there will be no wait service, you’ll be able to get drinks at the bar while maintaining social distance. Safety for guests as well as staff. Mark and Scott both say they are “taking things 2 weeks at a time” allowing and adjusting for new mandates.

A learning experience for us all, no one will come out of this unchanged. No, we cannot go back to “normal”, we can go forward to something better, we can be smarter, stronger, and we can live post COVID-19. LI social life and music scene will return, not as we knew it but with a twist and as resilient people we will embrace the necessary changes, we will adapt.

Good Luck and cheers to Mark and Scott, may all your businesses prosper (safely)!! Be positive, be smart, be well!

From all of us at The New York Extra, to those who lost their life to COVID-19, their family members and all those struggling, we pray for you.



Neil Miller/The New York Extra/

Whoever thought of spiralizing zucchini to be used as an alternative for pasta “noodles” my hat goes off to you! It’s a fabulous healthy idea. Though us Italians have been cooking zucchini with tomato sauce for a very long time, just not spiralized!

Using the helpful Veggetti Pro device

This is what you will need for this very simple recipe. Three medium sized zucchini, 1 cup chopped Vidalia onion (sweetens the sauce), and 16 ounces tomato sauce (I use no salt added always). Oh yes and some extra virgin olive oil, about 1/4 cup or a little more as needed.

First preheat pan (I used a large aluminum frying pan), add olive oil to pan then chopped Vidalia onion. Sautee for 5 minutes, sprinkle with salt. Add spiralized zucchini and tomato sauce to pan, stir and cook on medium low flame covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust timing less for a firmer zoodle or more for softer zoodle. Salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with fresh parsley. If you like top with a good quality grating cheese. That’s it, easy peasy! ENJOY!

TIP OF THE DAY: I used kitchen shears to cut into the raw zoodles before cooking. Otherwise I found it to be difficult because of the length to toss in pan, they tended to be bulky and clump together.

PRODUCT OF THE DAY: Maison Potier Butternut squash Pesto with carrots, pecans and Parmigiano Reggiano. Very versatile pesto, good for veggies, zoodles, pasta etc. I’m going to be experimenting with different uses, let you know if I come up with something different and yummy!


I had the pleasure of being part of a Turkish family for 8 years, I learned how to make many delicious native dishes from the matriarch herself, Of course not as perfect and some recipes were better left to the experts! The food was amazing, fresh and healthy. I came across this recipe (courtesy of PhoebeLapine inspired by The Greek Vegetarian) bringing back memories of her making it. Oh how I miss those meals!

Let’s get started. You will need 2 medium eggplant sliced lengthwise to 1/4 inch thickness (you can peel or not), 1 small diced onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic minced, one 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, sea salt, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional), and a dash of cinnamon. This recipe calls for a cast iron skillet, which you can use on top of the stove for the first part then finish off with baking in the oven. I pan fried the eggplant in my Red copper fry pan then transferred everything into a casserole to bake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. LIGHTLY salt the sliced eggplant, allow to stand for 20 minutes. Pat dry and set aside. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large oven proof skillet (preferably cast iron), pan fry eggplant 2 minutes per side until lightly browned. Continue frying eggplant, lightly adding a little olive oil between batches to prevent burning, do not heavy hand it, the pan just needs to be greased. Remove eggplant to plate.

Add onion to skillet saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, chili flakes and cinnamon. Cook one minute more then carefully pour in diced tomatoes then simmer until slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in half the parsley. If using ovenproof skillet remove 3/4 of sauce leaving a thin layer in bottom of pan. Otherwise remove 1/4 of sauce to the bottom of a 8×8 or comparable casserole dish. Arrange layer of eggplant on top, slather with a layer of sauce and repeat with eggplant then sauce – like you would a lasagna. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes, until eggplant is very soft and sauce is reduced. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish with remaining parsley, serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!

RECIPE NOTES: I did not use cast iron and it came delicious! Actually next time I would double the recipe, it disappeared so quickly! If using as a side dish you can get 5-6 servings, as a main dish 3-4 servings. Also I omitted the 1/2 teaspoon of added salt and it was fine. If you see the sauce in the pan and think it’s not enough it will be, the finished product shouldn’t be swimming in sauce. Don’t forget to garnish with the parsley. This recipe brought back wonderful memories, can’t wait to make again! BE SAFE, BE WELL!



Neil Miller/The New York Extra/

Nowadays I have much more time to spend cooking. I’m trying to limit exposure and only going to the supermarkets when necessary, getting what I can find then using it all up! I was in a snacky mood wanting something different. I had one green plantain thinking i would make tostones but decided to try making oven baked plantain fries (which I have not done before). There was also a nice large crown of broccoli that needed to be used. Alright how about some broccoli patties? Sounds good to me!

The broccoli patty recipe was made up according to what was in my fridge. I decided to use 2 organic carrots, had no onions but found a medium sized shallot, grated pecorino romano cheese, a couple baby peppers and eggs.

I rinsed the broccoli, cut into chunks using the stem part also (no waste), wash carrots, peel if you want (vitamins in skin), destem baby peppers and peel shallot. Add to the food processor, pulse to a finer consistency rather than chunky but not mush. You will need to do a couple batches. Once processed empty into a large bowl, add 1/2 cup grated cheese (helps to bind), a few turns of the black pepper mill and I needed to use 4 eggs. Mix together well. I did not add salt because of the cheese, instead sprinkle on salt if desired after cooked. Put the bowl in the refrigerator while you preheat pan. I used a copper infused fry pan. Add oil to cover bottom of pan, I was out of avocado oil so I used coconut oil. Place a large tablespoonful of mixture into pan flattening down lightly, as many as your pan accommodates, don’t crowd pan. Fry until brown then flip over gently with a spatula. When ready place on a wire rack. Return bowl to refrigerator in between frying batches.

Time for the plantain fries. To peel first cut off the ends then make a slit running down the length of the pantain careful not to hit the flesh. I actually make 3 slits down the raised seams on the plantain. Peel by hand or I prefer to use a butter knife along the slits and pry off. Once peeled cut into 3 equal chunks then slice each chunk into fries. Place in bowl, add about 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, season to taste. I tried salt, pepper. onion and garlic powder. I wanted to keep it simple for my first time, see how they come out then adjust accordingly for future recipe. Mix together then place on a baking sheet, put in a preheated 425 degree oven. Turn after 12 minutes, cook about 8 more minutes.

You can serve these with just about any dipping sauce of your choice. Using what I had on hand, I mixed some Mr. Peppers hot sauce into Primal Kitchen avocado oil real mayo. I like a little kick! It was great with both of them but particularly the plantain fries!

All in all I was happy with the outcome. Next time I will do the broccoli patties using an onion instead of a shallot. Felt like I missed that oniony flavor. Or try using both. I’m definitely doing the plantain fries again (as in buying several on my next shopping spree!). One plantain did not go very far, my boyfriend enjoyed them too. I liked the spices that I used for the plantain recipe but going to also add some paprika next time, how can that be bad! Thanks for looking in, let’s make the best of what we have and all be safe and healthy!