Monday, July 25, 2011

Prepping for a dinner party? Learn from some of the best in the business

Have you ever found yourself flipping aimlessly through your collection of cookbooks trying to prep for a dinner party and not knowing where to begin?  Especially those cookbooks without pictures, how are you suppose to know if what your making turned out OK? If you've found yourself in this situation (maybe more than once) then it's time to get a lesson from the professionals.

Cooking School 2

This past weekend, the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School welcomed chef and cookbook author Sara Foster to our cooking school.  Sara came to us from Raleigh, NC with two mouth-watering menus to teach eager guests how to recreate her recipes in their own home.
sara foster
Sara's menus included her southern favorites such as Shrimp Jambalaya, Salt & Pepper Cornbread, Granny Foster's Sunday Fried Chicken and more. 
This summer, our cooking school has a great class schedule lined up.  Our talented cooking school staff, along with local chefs, cookbook authors and nutritionists, have created classes for everyone...even one that your furry friends will enjoy!

If you missed Sara Foster's classes this weekend and want to learn how to recreate those recipes in your cookbooks at home, be sure to sign up for one of the upcoming classes taught by popular cookbook authors.

Spend an evening with our own Jim and Jonathan, founders and owners of Stonewall Kitchen as they prepare some of their favorite summertime recipes. 

j&j

Saturday, August 27th: Maine Classics
Local cookbook authors and restaurant owners, Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier show you how to prepare 3 recipes from their newest cookbook, Maine Classics.

markgaierclarkfrasier_large

Friday, September 16th: Veggie Garden Harvest Celebration
Susie Middleton, author of "Fast, Fresh and Green" and "Fresh and Green for Dinner" (being released in spring 2012) brings us her knowledge of using fresh, local foods to create memorable meals.

Friday, September 23rd: Fall Celebrations
Kathy Gunst, co-author of our 6 Stonewall Kitchen cookbooks Kathy will highlight the best of late summer-early fall with her new recipes.


For a complete list of Cooking Classes through the end of September, please visit our Cooking School Website.  To register for one of our classes, call 888-899-8363.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A summertime twist to a traditional treat; Watermelon Cupcake Recipe

Today, our cooking school was preparing quite the perfect summer lunch!  The menu included a Summer Vegetable Crepe with Cheese and Chives, Grilled Herbed Turkey Tenderloin with grilled polenta, a Roasted Corn with Basil Shallot Vinaigrette and for dessert a Watermelon Cupcake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting.  A little healthier take on the traditional cupcake, this treat is as tasty as it is adorable.

Watermelon Cupcakes
Watermelon Cupcake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
  • 1 small Seedless Watermelon (enough for 8, 3" cut outs)
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • Mint Sprigs (optional)
Directions
  1. Cut slices of watermelon about 3" thick.  Using the cookie cutter of your choice, cut out 8 pieces to use as the base of your cupcakes
  2. Combine pineapple, butter and sugar in a saucepan.  Cook until mixture is thickened and transparent, stirring constantly.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine lemon juice and cream cheese until smooth, blend in powdered sugar.
  4. Add the cooled pineapple mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat well.
  5. Top each watermelon slice with a dollop of frosting and top with mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dog Days of Summer Sale

Not to worry, we did not forget about the rest of you!  For those of you not in or around York, Maine this weekend (even those who are) we have something special for everyone! 

It's our Dog Days of Summer - 20 % off Sale ONLY on our website: www.stonewallkitchen.com. Enter source code DOGDAYS at checkout!
Stay cool and enjoy your weekend!

Sidewalk sale this weekend & the Garden Party.

One blog post, three exciting things to share! First, our Sidewalk sale is this weekend! Come into our York Company Store to Save.






And last but not at all least, I wanted to share a few photographs from out garden party last night. We have a great turnout of guests from our local community and visitors 'from away' as we say here in Maine. Many thanks to everyone who came out to see the artwork and celebrate our 20th anniversary with us!





Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's a Garden Party!


Here at Stonewall Kitchen horticultural has always been an integral design element for Jonathan and Jim. When laying out plans for our headquarters in York, Maine the gardens were integrated front and center on the property. And now we all get to enjoy the benefits of such beautiful gardens each year!

A section of the front gardens


   
Art in the Garden

Flower Garden

Each year a new summer garden is planned out with gardening mastermind, Jacquelyn Nooney of Jacquelyn Nooney Landscape, Inc. This year is an especially special horticultural presentation, in celebration of our
20th Anniversary, the Stonewall Kitchen garden theme: From the Garden to the Kitchen represents a collaboration between Jonathan and Jim, Jacquelyn Nooney and art curator, Mary Harding of the George Marshall Store Gallery in York.  

Colors and texture variety. Do you see the beets?


Mary worked with various, New England based artists who presented work ranging from photography pieces, to large abstract murals, detailed oils and sculptures, all representing the theme: From the Garden to the Kitchen. Each piece was photographed and transformed to an outdoor tolerant canvas, and then hung on custom designed wrought-iron picture hangers which were placed throughout Stonewall Kitchen's headquarters' gardens. The gardens were then planted to reflect and compliment the various pieces of artwork.
The George Marshall Store Gallery exhibit of From the Garden to the Kitchen original artwork will be on view July 16-August 21 at:
George Marshall Store Gallery
140 Lindsay Road, York, ME
phone: 207.351.1083
www.georgemarshallstoregallery.com
hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am–5pm & Sunday 1–5pm

Jackie took time yesterday to walk around the gardens with me.  I learned a  lot about choosing plants and utilizing the different colors and textures available not only from your standard annuals, but how to mix in vegetables as well for effect. Jackie planted beets and leeks in the gardens for color and height and added parsley  for texture. I’ll pass along information on the various varieties of plants and some of her ideas for beautiful plantings you can replicate at home in the  next garden post.
A Dahlia for the Bees

But for now, everyone is invited to our Garden Party tomorrow evening, July 14,  from 4 pm - 7 pm at our headquarters in York, Maine.  So if you happen to be in the area come by!  We’ll have live music, refreshments, and we will be giving away sample sized jams and coupons too!  Come enjoy this amazing exhibit of art and garden!
You can view the exhibit brochure here: Stonewallkitchen.com


Add Leeks to the Mix

Salvia - perfect for flower arrangements


Friday, July 8, 2011

Grilling with Spice Rubs - Giveaway

Spice Rubs


When I start preparing to grill dinner it seems I always go right for the grill sauces and marinades.  It is so easy to marinate a piece of meat and the flavor you get from it is pretty unbeatable...so I thought.

The other night, I got the chance to try out one of our new spice rubs.  Carolina style barbecue holds a special place in my heart.  It reminds me of summer vacations to visit my grandparents in North Carolina, sitting on the picnic tables with a Carolina-style pulled pork sandwich and a bag of hush puppies.  When I first saw we were introducing a Carolina's Rub I knew I needed to try it as soon as possible; pork, chicken?  The options seem endless!

Had I not had the guidance from my chef husband, I might have just dunked the chicken breasts into the rub and threw them on the grill.  I was quickly informed that we needed to marinate the chicken breast just like I would with a grill sauce to get a more intense flavor.   After a few minutes on a charcoal grill I got the flavor I was looking for.  I may have been converted to using spice rubs all the time now and I can't wait to try the other 7 flavors!

Since it's summer time and everyone has the grills lit up, we want to share a few of our new spice rubs with one of our blog readers!

What you will win:


Carolina's Rub

Stonewall Kitchen's new Carolina's Rub and one new rub of your choice!

To Enter:

Mandatory Entry:  Are you a patient charcoal griller or do you prefer the ease of a propane grill?

Extra Entries:
(one extra entry for each, please leave a separate comment to let us know)
Spice Rub Giveaway from
@Stonewalkitchen http://bit.ly.WT6wt,Please RT

Remember, each extra entry must be left in a separate comment.  A winning comment will be chosen at random.  If an email, twitter handle or other way to be contacted isn't included the winner will be announced and asked to comment back leaving contact information.  (The winner's comment with contact info will not be published).  Winner has 48 hours to reply and claim their prize before a new winner is selected.

Giveaway ends on Monday, July 11, 2011 at 11am EST.  Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize of an alternate winner will be selected.  US residents only, please no employee entries. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bananas, love 'em or hate 'em? Try our banana cream pie recipe.

coffee_caramel_banana_cream_pie

Bananas, class clown of the fruit world...do you love them or hate them? Is it just me or is it always the banana flavored candy* that gets left behind in the dish? I guess this is lucky for me, because I happen to love bananas. (Yes, please give me those little yellow candies passed over by others, I'll gladly partake!)  Bananas always seem to be involved in jokes -- picture someone dramatically slipping on a banana peel, but the funniest of all banana items has got to be the banana cream pie. This pie seems to never be eaten and instead is only ever smashed in the face of an unsuspecting victim. Poor little pie. Well, as comical as it's reputation is, it'd like to propose it as a great choice for summer dessert. Our recipe, with a coffee caramel twist, promises not to disappoint. Don't worry, as usual I taste-tested it for you just in case. Enjoy!




Banana Cream Pie

ingredients

* 3 Tbsp. corn starch
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 4 egg yolks
* 2 cups milk
* 1/2 vanilla bean
* 2 cups banana puree

directions

1. Sift together cornstarch and half the sugar, add egg yolks and mix well.
2. Bring milk, vanilla and the rest of the sugar to a boil.
3. Temper cream into yolks. (click the link for instructions)
4. Return to stove and whisk until very thick.
5. Add banana puree to desired flavor and cool over night.
6. Pour into graham cracker crust, store bought or home made.
7. Top with fresh whipped cream flavored with a drop or two of almond flavoring or almond liquor.
8. Drizzle Stonewall Kitchen Coffee Caramel Sauce over top.

*As our Facebook fan Jilly Beanz  pointed out, and I agree, real banana beats banana flavoring any day!