Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Holiday treats for you!

Call me the grinch (my husband does) but I firmly believe that Thanksgiving should have its day before we start listening to holiday music and wrapping gifts. Every year the commercials seem to start earlier, yet every year I wait to embrace the spirit of "the season" until I've had my fill of turkey and cranberry sauce. So now that I've eaten all of my leftover pie I'm ready for snow & holiday lights - are you?

At Stonewall Kitchen we have several new things planned just for the holidays. You may have already started to see them. If you're like me you are receiving more and more tweets & emails filled with special deals so I thought you might like to know exactly what we're up to!

Tip of the day-
• Where to find it: http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/tips2009/SWK_02planningcalendar.aspx
• What it is: These will be tips to help you through the holidays. We started yesterday off with how to make an advent calendar using our mini jars! Today's tip is a Holiday Planning Calendar. We wanted to help take a little bit of that stress away by sharing with you a basic plan for the holidays that has always worked for us. Keep checking back each day for all 20 tips!


Deal of the day -
• Where to find it: http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/prdsell.aspx?L0=Seasonal&L1=Holiday&L2=12DealsOfChristmas&sc=G25216U9
• What it is: Everyday we'll have a special sale price on a holiday gift. Today's deal is Grab & Go Collection for $99.95 - Save over $50 dollars plus free shipping. Take 6 people off your list with 1 purchase!


And if you missed our black friday 20% off you'll have one more chance with this friends and family coupon!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Stonewall Kitchen!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ho Ho Ho at Stonewall Kitchen

















In what we hope will be an annual event, last Wednesday about 20 of Stonewall Kitchen staff members put on sweatshirts, hats and gloves and spent the morning outside decorating the York Store and our company headquarters for the holidays. In an effort to be budget conscious last year the managers decided we could take on the task of decorating and found out that, along with getting the buidling decked out, we all had a great time. We put on the holiday tunes, served hot cocoa, coffee and treats and, if we must say so ourselves, the building looks just great!

With Jonathan's orders ringing in our ears, "More lights, more lights, more lights, get em in tight!" we finished in just about 3 hours. Everyone involved had a great time in the fresh air, talking and goofing around while working hard. It was a nice break from the madness of the 4th quarter and a little fun is just what we all need prior to Black Friday and the busyness of the next four weeks. We looking forward to next year already. Hope you enjoy these photos!

Cynthia

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday ... Let the Countdown Begin

Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, has come to be known for the kick off to the holiday shopping season. It is that time of year when things start to get hectic and crazy and everyones to-do lists are a mile long. It is not an official holiday, but many people have the day off and use it to start their holiday shopping. Many stores open at midnight and people start lining up in the middle of the night. I personally have never experienced that phenomenon, it actually kind of scares me. I am happy to be at home in my cozy bed.

Stonewall Kitchen is happy to take part in the Black Friday tradition; only we wanted our event to last for three days. We are offering 20% off online purchases November 27th, 2009 through November 29th, 2009, 11:59PM ET. It is only good for purchases made at stonewallkitchen.com and the offer is not valid in our Company Store locations. Please Enter Source Code Q01436R9 at checkout.



We are also kicking off the holiday shopping season with our Deals of the Day. Every day we will be offering a different deal; when the day ends, the deal ends. But remember, you must check back every day or you could miss out on some great deals. It is a great way to get some extra savings on gifts for everyone on your list. And let's be honest, who doesn't like a savings!

We would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season and let us help you make this season more enjoyable.

Monday, November 23, 2009

'Twas the night before Thanksgiving...

'Twas the night before Thanksgiving, when all through the house
Not a pot was stirring, not even by your spouse.
The stockings were clean in the dryer with care,
however, your in-laws soon would be there.
The plans for the meal had not entered your head,
yet now all you wanted was to sleep in your bed.

Are you afraid that tomorrow this will be you? Stop by your favorite Stonewall Kitchen retailer and pick-up ingredients for these quick thanksgiving dishes!


Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Jelly

Ingredients
1 5.3 ounce container of goat cheese
1 jar Stonewall Kitchen Red Pepper Jelly
Stonewall Kitchen Down East Crackers (optional)
Garnish with cilantro leaf

Directions
Spread goat cheese on Stonewall Kitchen Down East Crackers.
Top with a spoonful of Red Pepper Jelly. Garnish with a cilantro leaf.





Tomato Bruschetta


Ingredients
1 French baguette, sliced ¼ inch thick
Olive oil
1 clove garlic
Stonewall Kitchen Tomato Herb Bruschetta Spread
2 Tbsp. basil leaves, chiffanade
Parmesan cheese, shredded

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and bake 5-10 minutes, until slightly toasted. Rub garlic over warm toast.
Spread Stonewall Kitchen Tomato Herb Bruschetta Spread over each toast. Top with basil leaves and Parmesan cheese. Serve at room temperature or heat under broiler until cheese melts.




Apple Jalapeno Jelly Meatballs
Serves: 8

Ingredients
1 pound 1-inch Swedish meatballs (store bought or your favorite recipe cooked)
1 jar Stonewall Kitchen Apple Jalapeno Jelly

Directions
Thaw, if frozen, the meatballs. Place in a sauce pan. Add Stonewall Kitchen Apple Jalapeno Pepper Jelly. Heat. Serve immediately.


Also don't forget about the recipes in our "What Can I Bring" booklet.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Turkey with no legs...


Last Thanksgiving I was with my husband and his family when my sister-in-law, Jillian, called. She was away with friends for the holiday and wanted to be sure she knew how to correctly cook the turkey. I could only hear my mother-in-law's side of the conversation; but she was telling Jillian to be sure she first took the neck and giblets out of the turkey. There was a pause, and obviously something was wrong. Mom repeats, just make sure you get the little bags out, yes, right between the turkey's legs. Another pause... (then I could hear though the phone) "BUT MY TURKEY DOESN'T HAVE ANY LEGS!" I nearly fell over laughing as we all realized she had bought a turkey breast - not a whole turkey!


Does this sound like something that could happen to you? Then this is your blog post! After this hilarious story (hopefully Jillian doesn't murder me for sharing it) I thought I'd pass along some turkey tips for our culinary challenged friends.


First, select a turkey sized appropriately for your guests. You'll want 1 - 1.5 pounds of turkey per guest. If you're having a small crowd or it is your first try at this, you might want to consider a turkey breast. If you decide to purchase your turkey frozen be sure to have time to let it defrost in the refrigerator. If you haven't gotten your turkey yet... log off the internet and go to the grocery store now so you still have time!


Time needed to thaw a Turkey:

8-12 lbs ... 2-3 days

13-16 lbs ... 2-4 days

17-20 lbs ... 4-5 days

21-25 lbs ... 5-6 days


After your turkey is thawed, cut away any plastic and reach inside to remove the neck and giblets. Only put stuffing inside the bird if you have a quality meat thermometer! You can't rely on the little pop-up buttons as they may pop before the innermost stuffing has reached a safe temperature.

Place the bird in a shallow roasting pan breast side up.
I like to preheat the oven to 450 degrees and bake the turkey at that temp for just 20 minutes, to seal in the juices. Then reduce to 325. (see cooking times below) You can also use the slow and steady method and just start baking it at 325 degrees. Make sure you cook the turkey until a thermometer reads 160 degrees in the center of the thickest part of the meat. Also, check the temperature in the center of the stuffing if you choose to cook it in the bird. Your turkey is cooked when the temperature reads at least 160 in all areas and the juices run clear (with no red).

APPROXIMATE COOKING TIMES

UNSTUFFED

  • 4 to 6 lb breast.....1 1/2 to 2 1/4 hrs
  • 6 to 8 lb breast...2 1/4 to 3 1/4 hrs
  • 8 to 12 lbs................2 3/4 to 3 hrs
  • 12 to 14 lbs..............3 to 3 3/4 hrs
  • 14 to 18 lbs........3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hrs
  • 18 to 20 lbs........4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hrs
  • 20 to 24 lbs..............4 1/2 to 5 hrs

STUFFED

  • 8 to 12 lbs...............3 to 3 1/2 hrs
  • 12 to 14 lbs..............3 1/2 to 4 hrs
  • 14 to 18 lbs..............4 to 4 1/4 hrs
  • 18 to 20 lbs........4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hrs
  • 20 to 24 lbs........4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hrs

For Further Information you can contact FSIS Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHotline.

Friday our own Kim Gallagher taught a class in our cooking school, Anytime Turkey Dinner. Her classes are always well attended and earn great comments from our guests. I thought this would be a perfect recipe to share for anyone looking for an alternative to the traditional thanksgiving turkey.



Turkey Roulade with Apple-Cider Gravy

Serves 6

Ingredients:

One whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (5 pounds)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

3 tablespoons pecans

½ cup unsweetened cranberries

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cups), plus 1-cup onion thinly sliced into half moons

¼ cup celery, diced

½ cup apple, peeled cored and diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

¼ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled

3 cups Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing mix

1tablespoons plus 1teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 2teaspoons dried, crumbled

2 ½ to 2-¾ cups low-sodium chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

1 egg, slightly beaten

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Kitchen twine

1-cup apple cider

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1-teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1-tablespoon cold water


Directions:

1. Place turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the stuffing. Preheat oven to 325

Degrees F.

2. Toast the pecans in a small skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

3. Place the cranberries in a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat, drain and set aside.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion, celery and apple. Sauté 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bacon, cook 2 minutes. Add the stuffing mix, 1 tablespoon of sage, 1 ½ cups chicken stock, salt and pepper to taste, and egg. Mix and remove from heat.

5. Spread the stuffing over one side of the turkey, leaving about 1 inch uncovered on all sides. Starting at one end, roll the turkey like a jellyroll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.

6. Place a rack in a roasting pan. Place the stuffed turkey breast seam side down

in a roasting pan. Add the half moon onions and a little stock. Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

7. Roast the turkey for 1 ½ to 2 hours, until a thermometer reads 150 degrees in the center. Remove the turkey from the oven and place on a cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest while you make the gravy.

8. Add the cider, ½ cup of stock, the vinegar and the remaining sage to the roasting pan, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by 1/3, about 10 minutes. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 minutes more. The gravy should not be thick.


Sounds and looks delicious, right? I thought so too - Enjoy!

It’s almost here . . .

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. It is always interesting to hear how each family celebrates the holiday. Some people start the day with a long walk, hike or a road race called the “Turkey Trot”.

As for me – I'm always headed to Vermont for my mother’s delicious Thanksgiving spread. It is a very traditional Vermont meal – Dad raised the turkey, root veggies from the garden and I will bring something for dessert (may be that Pumpkin Custard Pie that Stacey blogged about).

If you need some help deciding on some side dishes – we have done the work for you. Click here to view “what can I bring” catalog.

Head to Facebook and let us know how you celebrate Thanksgiving and the traditions that you and your family share.

If you are in the Freeport Maine area – be on the lookout for our own Lisa Patterson. She will be at LL Bean on Saturday from 11-3 serving FREE Pumpkin Waffles with Holiday Syrup as well as some jams with crackers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What you wanted to hear about...

Last week I was wondering what to blog about, and so I asked Facebook. I got a lot of great ideas so I'm going to give a little snippet about each today!


Christopher asked for mustard, and he must be psychic because we were preparing to send out an email about Spicy Honey Mustard complete with recipes! You can see it by clicking on the image:

As always I taste everything I photograph and I can assure you that the mac & cheese, turnovers, and frittata are all delicious!

Dov, we don't make Gin but we do make drink mixers! How about making the Gin variation of a Bloody Mary with our mixer? Or, if you're looking for something a bit more adventurous, how about making a clover club cocktail with our Raspberry Syrup? This libation hails from the 1800's Bellevue-Stratford hotel in Philadelphia. I don't know about you, but I just love sweets!

Clover Club Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice (or lime juice)
  • 1/4 oz raspberry syrup (or grenadine)
  • white of 1 egg, or 1 tablespoon pasteurized egg white

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake hard for about a minute to form a good froth. Strain into a cocktail glass.


Liz, lately we've been all thanksgiving talk around Stonewall Kitchen. If you take a look at yesterday's post, Stacy shared some great thanksgiving recipes. Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving tips in the next week! In the meantime, how about using our Chicken & Pork spice rub for your turkey?


Abby, crepes are just fabulous aren't they? In fact, I love them so much I'm going to hold off and dedicate a whole post to them. For now I will say that they are great sweet or savory and super easy to make with our crepe mix. For the canister photograph we used our bittersweet chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries. This is super simple but does make for a tasty crepe!

Thanks again to everyone for contributing ideas. Please keep sending what you want us to blog about, we love to hear from you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Only 7 Days Left ... Let the Planning Begin

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It is a time to spend with family and friends and let's not forget enjoy a huge feast. It is one of those holidays that is filled with traditions. Some of my family traditions include mashed potatoes, squash, peas, stuffing, onions, cranberry sauce and of course the biggest, freshest turkey we can find. There are always plenty of desserts, usually more pies than people at the table. We always have Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie and Mincemeat Pie. My grandmother always makes homemade rolls that are out of this world. Someday I am going to attempt to make them myself. I have always been intimidated by anything that calls for yeast and requires a rising step. I think it stems back to the time when I was in grade school and tried to make a loaf of bread for a school project. Lets just say it made a really nice brick! Since that time, unless I can put it in my bread machine and turn the power on it has not been attempted. So this year when we all make the trek up to Northern Vermont to my parents house, maybe I will bring along some new recipes and start up a new tradition.

If you are looking for any great recipes for your Thanksgiving table please check out our website. Below are some of my favorites.


Pumpkin Soup
Serves: 4

Ingredients
2 Tbsp. Stonewall Kitchen Extra Virgin Olive Oil or unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4” dice
2 cups chicken broth
1 jar Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter
1 1/2 cups half and half or light cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions
Heat olive oil or butter in a saucepan. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add potatoes and chicken broth to saucepan; cover and bring to a boil. When potatoes are fork tender, puree potato-onion mixture with cooking liquid in food processor or blender. Return mixture to saucepan. Stir in contents of 1 jar Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter, and half and half. Reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Recipe Tips: Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.


Sweet Potato Casserole with Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam
A zesty fall favorite, yet sure to become a special dish any time of year.
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
3 cups sweet potatoes, baked and mashed
½ cup Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup toasted buttered bread crumbs
Optional: 1 cup caramelized onions



Directions
In a large mixing bowl, beat together all ingredients except for caramelized onions and bread crumbs. Lightly grease a 9x9 baking dish, and pour mixture into dish. Optional: Cover potatoes with caramelized onions. Sprinkle top with toasted bread crumbs. Bake uncovered in a preheated, 350 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Recipe Tips: This dish can be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate; then cook as directed.


New England Cranberry Relish Stuffing
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 lb. vegetarian sausage, crumbled (or regular sausage, if you prefer)
1 small yellow onion, medium dice
1 large celery stalk, medium dice
1 jar Stonewall Kitchen New England Cranberry Relish
2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
2 cups vegetable stock
3/4 lb. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 loaf day old bread
To taste salt and pepper

Directions
Heat large sauce pan on stove. Add oil. Heat one minute more.
Render sausage until lightly browned.
Add onions, celery, Stonewall Kitchen New England Cranberry Relish, and Old Bay to the pan. Sweat for about seven minutes, until the onions become translucent.
Add stock and butter, and bring to a simmer.
Place cubed bread in a large stainless steel bowl and pour above mixture over it. Mix well.
If stuffing is too dry, add more stock. If stuffing is too wet, place it in a casserole dish, cover it with foil, and cook it in the oven at 375 degrees F for approximately 20-25 minutes.
Serve warm.



Pumpkin Custard Pie
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
1 ready-to-bake pie crust, precooked according to directions
2 cups heavy cream
2 egg yolks and 4 whole eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat cream in a small, heavy saucepan. Warm thoroughly but do not simmer. Remove from heat and stir gradually into beaten eggs. Add Maple Pumpkin Butter and mix well. Pour custard into pre-baked pie shell. Bake approximately 40-50 minutes or until custard is set. An inserted knife or toothpick will come out clean. Cool before serving.

Recipe Tips To make tarts, press dough into tart pans and pre-bake for 8 minutes. Cool. Spoon custard into tart shells. Bake for 20 minutes.

Please share some of your favorite Thanksgivings recipes. Who knows ... maybe they will get incorporated into someone elses' traditions.

Chocolate Milk ... Not Just for Kids

This is the chocolate milk we remember as kids. Rich, creamy and super chocolatey!

Because we use only the best ingredients for all of our products we partnered with another great Maine company, Oakhurst Dairy. They are equally as committed to using the freshest, highest-quality ingredients. Our new Chocolate Milk begins with super premium, Grade A, whole milk. All natural, no artificial growth hormones. Added to that is rich, dark chocolate making this a drink people of ages will request. Look for it at your local market.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Send us your photo

A couple of weeks ago we had a recipe competition (our version of Top Chef) for the employees. We have among us some talented cooks and bakers. Each contestant has time to “set up” before the judges’ taste and evaluate each recipe.

Below I have included some of the winning recipes. (I think the zesty eggs and pumpkin biscuits would be great for Thanksgiving). Unfortunately, Katie (our photographer) was not able to take photos of each recipe before the judges started tasting.

Please help us out . . . . If you make these delicious recipes, take out your camera or cell phone and send us an image of your completed recipe. Become a fan and follow us on Facebook!

Zesty Deviled Eggs - by Jeanne Pryll in our York Store Warehouse

  1. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, saving the yolks in a separate bowl. Lay the egg halves on a plate.
  2. Using a fork, mash the egg yolks until there are few lumps remaining.
  3. Stir in the mayonnaise and Stonewall Kitchen Wasabi Horseradish Sauce, mixing thoroughly. You may vary the amount of mayo needed slightly for either a creamier or more firm filling.
  4. Spoon the yolk mixture into the egg halves and sprinkle lightly with smoked paprika.

Pumpkin Biscuits with Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter- by Nicole Pillotte - Research and Development

  • 1 ½ cups of flour
  • 3 ½ tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 tbsp butter @ room temperature
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk

  1. In a small bowl mix first 5 ingredients
  2. In another bowl, blend Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter, pumpkin puree and butter with a pastry cutter until well mixed. Butter should be small lumps-about the size of a pea.
  3. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Add milk to form a sticky dough.
  5. Turn out dough onto a well floured surface. Knead several times to work in more flour until dough appears smooth.
  6. Pat or roll out to appx. 1/2 “ thickness. Cut into rounds with biscuit cutters or glass.
  7. Place biscuits on greased cookie sheet. Brush tops with melted butter if desired.
  8. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What does it mean to be all natural?



You may have noticed that many food producers have recently adopted the phrase "all natural" and perhaps even altered their products to do so; but what what does it mean?

According to the USDA, food can only be labeled natural if it contains no artificial ingredients or added colors and is minimally processed. Most of our products are all natural ... have always been, and are now being called out on our labels so you know. We use pure cane sugar, fruits and vegetables. We are committed to sourcing only the finest ingredients. I did just tell you that we use 250,000 Wild Maine Blueberries each year!


Do you want to know what is in our products? Just click on "more info" to see all of our ingredients & nutrition information.


It looks like this:

Friday, November 6, 2009

All this talk about blueberries!

On Facebook we recently asked "How many pounds of blueberries do you think we use per year?"

We got a lot of good guesses, and also a sarcastic guess of 6 from my friend Chris Conti, but Patricia Wood was right on when she guessed 250,000! We are glad to see so many people joined in the fun and tried to guess the answer to our little piece of Stonewall Kitchen Trivia. After all of that talk about blueberries, Jonathan thought you might like to see a video of himself & Jim from the blueberry harvest:



I hope you enjoyed that clip! Speaking of, what else would you enjoy seeing more of on our blog? We're always looking for new & fun ideas - thanks!

-Katie

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Give a Gift that Gives Twice

We believe that we have a social responsibility to give back to our community. We try to do any part, small or large to help out those in need. One event that we do every summer is a Pancake Breakfast at our Flagship location in York, Maine for the York Food Pantry. It is a lot of fun and we get to help a good cause. All the employees donate their time and come flip pancakes for the hundreds of people that attend.

We also donate a portion of the sales from some of our best-selling gifts to various charities. Some of the charities that we have chosen include agencies doing research and supporting survivors of breast cancer and their families, organizations dedicated to fighting childhood hunger in America and organizations that help individuals and families affected by AIDS as well as organizations that educate on the prevention of AIDS. If you are interested in giving a gift that gives twice this holiday season check out some of our gifts that give.


Downeast Breakfast



Award Winning Products Gift Tote



Our Blueberry Breakfast Gift