Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Salad Ideas

Did overindulge a bit in the last week? I know I did. All of the candy, cookies, and other baked goods have me craving some good healthy food. At times like this salad seems like a good idea; but tomatoes that aren't mushy are hard to come by during New England winters. Luckily our recipes page has a large selection of salad recipes. Here are two that I'm thinking of trying this week. Which one looks & sounds better you?

Beet Salad with Balsamic Fig Salad Dressing

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh beets
  • 3 tablespoons Stonewall Kitchen Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large red onion, cut into thin rings
  • Stonewall Kitchen Balsamic Fig Salad Dressing
  • 3 ounces stilton cheese, crumbled
  • 1 head Boston Bib Lettuce, washed and dried
  • toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash beets thoroughly, then coat in 3 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and wrap each in aluminum foil.
  3. Put aluminum wrapped beets on a baking sheet. Roast until they are fork-tender (approximately 45-60 minutes).
  4. Unwrap beets. When cool enough to handle, remove their skin. Cut into quarters.
  5. Place lettuce on serving dishes. Top with roasted beets, crumbled blue cheese, and toasted walnuts. Drizzle Stonewall Kitchen Balsamic Fig Dress over each salad.

Apple Cranberry Salad with Balsamic Fig Dressing

ingredients

  • 8 cups gently torn red leaf lettuce
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
  • 1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • ½ cup Stonewall Kitchen Balsamic Fig Dressing
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled (optional)

directions

  1. Combine all ingredients, toss and serve immediately.
  2. Hint: Sprinkle a small amount of orange juice over apple slices to prevent browning.
  3. Optional: Marinate 1 ½ pound skinless boneless chicken breasts in ½ cup Stonewall Kitchen Balsamic Fig Salad Dressing 2-4 hours. Grill chicken breasts, cool and slice. Serve chicken over salad greens.




Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Giving

 It's easy to get lost in everything that is happening this time of year. We're all rushing around to finish the shopping, cooking, decorating & wrapping. Children are eagerly wondering if Santa will bring them everything that is on their list. In the midst of all of the festivities it is easy to get carried away and forget that there any many people who are struggling financially. Yes, we unfortunately can sometimes overlook this, but it is important to remember that many families have to scale down or forgo certain holiday extravagances.

Here at Stonewall Kitchen we make an effort to keep struggling families in our thoughts. This year we adopted a few local families in need and fulfilled their Christmas wish lists. From toys for the children to gifts for parents and even grocery store gift cards, we all pitched in to help make this Christmas a little more merry.

Wondering what can you do to help? We've got some ideas:

1) Provide an act of kindness for some who you know is in need. Shovel snow for an ill or traveling neighbor, bake cookies for a busy family, or offer to drive an elderly family member to do their shopping or to holiday worship services.

2) Donate to a local food pantry or volunteer your time. Want to donate in York, ME? Send your tax-deductible contribution to assist the York, ME food pantry; YDR Christmas Emergency Fund,  c/o Wachovia Bank, 12 E. Market St., York, 17401. 

3) Send an extra donation to your favorite charity. Or, choose one of our charitable giving gifts to send a present that includes a donation! Down East Breakfast Gift box donates to AIDS charities; Camp Sunshine Gift donates to Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with life threatening illness; Award Winning Products Gift donates to the SPCA; & Blueberry Breakfast Gift donates to Share our Strength.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Shepherd’s Pie

 
Christmas Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

Beef Filling:
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
• 16 ounces canned tomato sauce
• 1 1/2 cups cooked mixed vegetables (peas, diced carrots and corn)
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mashed Potatoes:
• 5 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
• 1/2 cups milk
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cornbread Crust:
• 1 (12-ounces) boxed cornbread mix

Directions
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in vegetable oil. When the onion is soft, add the ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon and brown. Stir in tomato sauce and mixed vegetables. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the potatoes about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well and return to the pot. Whip the potatoes with an electric mixer until moderately smooth. Add milk, butter and sour cream and mix well. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Adjust consistency with more milk, if desired.
Follow directions on box to make cornbread batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease 6 (8-ounce) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.
Spoon the mashed potatoes into the bottoms of each prepared ramekin, spreading them evenly with a rubber spatula. Then add the meat filling, spreading that evenly over the mashed potatoes. Pour the cornbread batter evenly over the meat layer in each ramekin.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the cornbread is cooked through and golden on top.

Our modification: The recipe calls for putting cornbread batter on top and baking. Instead we made the cornbread, crumbled it, sauteed with butter and used that as a topping. In that case everything is already cooked and you just need to bake until warmed through. Approximately 30 minutes should be enough for a casserole with this pre-cooked topping. 20 minutes if you're still using ramekins.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cooking School Antics

We have a fabulous Cooking School here at Stonewall Kitchen. If you've ever been to a class than you know Richard, the Cooking School's Assistant Manager. Richard is usually up to something during class. He can be seen goggling questions from the back of the room as well as running up to the front of the class to show off a tool that the chef is using. He then finds a humorous way to remind guests that this particular gadget is sold in the cooking school's store. Yes, Richard can make even cooking gadgets funny. When he's not there the cooking school guests always want to know, "WHERE IS RICHARD?"

So, I knew that I could count on him to help me out with a little fun. It all started because I was going to photograph some soup that was being served in class that day. When there is a dish that we want to show off - we photograph it. Lately we've even discovered a talented photographer, Jess, among the school staff - so look out for even more food photos on our Cooking School Facebook page coming soon! But that's a story for another day. Anyway, last week this bowl of soup was brought into the studio for me to photograph.


I made a soup portrait and posted it, along with the recipe, to our Cooking School's Facebook page. Shortly after posting  I saw Lynnie's comment.



We had a guest from the class commenting, live, on Facebook! How wonderful and hilarious. I decided that for this she definitely deserved some more soup. At first Richard wasn't sure about giving her a second helping, but we decided to surprise her. So, in the middle of class we had an extra serving of soup brought out to Lynnie.



She even let me photograph her with it! We know that she enjoyed the soup, of course, because she wrote back to tell us.




It just goes to show that our school is much more fun that any other. Where else would you be rewarded for Facebooking in the middle of class? Thanks to Lynnie & Richard for providing a little mid-day comedy!