Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!


Friday, December 21, 2012

It's time to Restock your Pantry!


Plan ahead for when your pantry is empty after the holidays!  It's time to restock your pantry with some of your favorite products - so treat yourself with a savings from Stonewall Kitchen!

Promo Code is valid for 15% off regular priced merchandise, sale items are excluded. Offer valid on in-stock merchandise only. Offer cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions. Offer excludes shipping charges, gift/ecards, Specialty Food Club, cooking classes or prior purchases. Excludes Corporate and Wholesale, future ship orders.
Offer valid until December 28th, 2012, 11:59pm ET

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Jams for 12-12-12

 
 
To celebrate 12-12-12, we are giving away 12 Jams of your choice to one lucky winner!  To enter, simply share with us what your favorite holiday treat is either on our Facebook Page, Blog or on Twitter
 
One winner will be selected at random and announced on Thursday, December 13th!
 
 Entries accepted through 11:59PM EST.  A winning comment will be chosen at random and announced on Facebook, Twitter and the blog on Thursday, December 13th.  Winner has 48 hours to contact marketing@stonewallkitchen.com to claim their prize.  Offer valid for US residents only.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Friends & Family Days - Save 20%

A special thank you to all of our friends and family out there.  Enjoy 20% off your purchase through Sunday, December 9th!
 
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle with Cardamom Cream

Once again, December has snuck up on us and the Holiday Season is now in full swing!  This tends to be the time of year when you drive down the road and see one house with pumpkins and gourds out, and the next with their Christmas tree and lights proudly displayed.  The time when you aren't quite ready to put to rest all things pumpkin-flavored, but know it is time to change it up and begin mixing in the Gingerbread and Peppermint flavors.  This trifle recipe, created by our Cooking School chef, Bill Irish, is the perfect in between treat - combining the comforting flavors of pumpkin with the warm spices of homemade gingerbread.  Enjoy!

Individual Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle with Cardamom Cream - Serves 8

Ingredients
For Cardamom Cream:
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
For Pumpkin Gingerbread
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 cup cooked, drained pumpkin (or canned, plain pumpkin puree)
  • 2 tsp fresh finely grated or minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup very hot water
For Whipped Cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp confectioners' sugar (to taste)
  • Vanilla Extract (to taste)
Directions
For Cardamom Cream:
  1. Mix milk, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium pot and cook over med-high heat until mixture comes to a low boil.  Simmer until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the 5 egg yolks in a medium size bowl.  Slowly temper the eggs by whisking hot milk into the yolks.  Pour the mixture back into the pot and whisk over medium heat for one minute.  Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and cardamom.  Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
For Pumpkin Gingerbread:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 9-inch square glass or ceramic cake pan.
  3. Sift dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves) together and set aside.
  4. Place sugar with shortening in a mixing bowl and cream together.  When the mixture is light and blended, add ginger and mix well.  Add eggs, molasses and pumpkin.
  5. Mix dry and wet together.  The batter will be very stiff, add hot water to thin it.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until firm and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool.
For Whipped Cream:
  1. Place cream into cold mixing bowl, starting on low.
  2. When the cream firms up a bit, add vanilla and then confectioners' sugar to taste.  Your cream should be a littler stiffer than normal for this dish.
Assembling your Trifles
Take your cooled gingerbread and cut roughly into 1-inch cubes (for a more rustic look, simply break up gingerbread with your hands).  Place a tablespoon of cardamom cream at the bottom of each of the eight individual trifle dishes.  Top with some of the gingerbread and a layer of whipped cream.  Repeat the process once, ending with the whipped cream on top.


Looking for a great gift for the holidays?  Try gifting our Cooking School Gift Certificates.  We a large variety of classes year-round in our state of the art Cooking School in York, Maine.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Safety Tips for your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Food safety is important any time of year but with the holidays come expansive menus, leftovers and the potential for food poisoning or foodborne illnesses. As part of your meal preparation, we recommend keeping the following food handling tips in mind this holiday season.

-    
        Follow the two-hour rule. Hot, perishable food that sits out longer than two hours is considered unsafe and in the “food danger zone” (between 40 and 140 F) when bacteria can quickly multiply.  Quickly refrigerate perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs. Uncooked foods, such as cold salads or sandwiches, also should be eaten or refrigerated promptly.



When storing leftovers, don’t overfill the refrigerator, cold air needs to circulate around the food. Also, the faster leftovers can cool, the better. The best way to decrease the cooling time for leftover turkey is cut it into smaller pieces to decrease the surface area that needs to be cooled and then store it in shallow pans or containers.

 Leftover turkey can keep for three to four days in the refrigerator and should be kept in airtight, leak proof containers or wraps. After four days risk of food poisoning increases. If you don't think you'll be able to eat leftovers within four days, freeze them immediately. In the freezer, leftovers should be eaten within six months.


     
 
    
      
       When you're ready to eat leftovers, reheat them on the stove, in the oven or in the microwave until the internal temperature reaches 165 F (74 C).







Sending leftovers home with guests is nice and lessens the amount of space taken up in your refrigerator but the two-hour rule should still apply. If your guests have a long drive ahead of them, suggest they use a cooler with some ice. 

Be aware that foodborne illnesses are caused by harmful organisms, such as bacteria in contaminated food. Because bacteria typically don't change the taste, smell or look of food, you can't tell whether the food is dangerous to eat. In short, if you're in doubt about a food's safety, it's best to just throw it out.

A few of our favorite recipes for your leftovers
Turkey Panini
Turkey and Broccoli Turnovers
Hot Open Faced Turkey Sandwich

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tips for Cooking a Perfect Turkey

As the centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving meal, the Turkey is usually the most intimidating thing to prepare, however, it can be the easiest!  Scott from our Cooking School has come up with this handy guide of "Turkey Tips" to ensure you present your guests with a golden, moist turkey.

Brining a Turkey
Why Brine your Turkey?
Soaking a turkey in a brining solution will help ensure a moist, juicy cooked meat.  The salt-water brine solution increases the juiciness of the meat by breaking down the protein structure.  Water and seasonings will be infused and absorbed into the meat during the cooking process.  The moisture and flavor is maintained during the cooking which leaves you with a juicy, moist turkey.

How to Brine a Turkey
Tip:  Only brine a turkey that has not been injected with a salt solution.  This will create an over salted turkey.

  1. Remove giblets and place your turkey into a stockpot or bucket and make enough room on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator to ensure any spills will not contaminate foods below.
  2. Create your brine using the following ratio (creating enough to fully cover your turkey in your stockpot or bucket)
  3. Dissolve salt and sugar in two cups of hot water.  Stir in remaining gallon, plus 3 1/2 quarts of cold water.
  4. Cover your turkey in the solution and refrigerate for at least 10 hours, but no longer than 24 hours.
  5. When ready to cook, poor off your brine, rinse the turkey well with cool tap water and pat dry with paper towels.
Gravy Cooking Tip:  Remember, the turkey has already absorbed a significant amount of salt from the brining process, so be aware that the pan drippings you will use for gravy will have a high salt content.

Creating a Turkey that is Golden Brown
  • Brush the skin with melted butter or oil prior to cooking. This makes for a more golden and crispy skin.
  • Place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan and place into a preheated, 350 degree F oven.
    • An unstuffed, 8-12 pound turkey should cook for about 20 minutes per pound
    • An unstuffed, 13-16 pound turkey should cook for about 15 minutes per pound
  • Bake until the skin is light golden color and then cover the bird loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Basting the turkey is not necessary, but helps promote even browning.
  • The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F at the thigh. To get an accurate reading, insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The thermometer should point towards the body and should not touch the bone.


Be sure to check out our Side Dish Tips as well as our Favorite Recipes for Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Helpful Tips for your Thanksgiving Meal

With Thanksgiving just one week from today, it's time to start prepping for all of your tasty creations.  Although the holiday is focused on spending time with family and friends, the food is also an important highlight of the day.  Everyone has their favorite dish at Thanksgiving, whether it is the mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce or assortment of pies.  Here are a few great tips on popular side dishes from our team here at Stonewall Kitchen that can help you prep for the big day!

Mashed Potatoes
  • Start potatoes with cold water, covering them by at least an inch and adding 1/2 tsp of kosher salt.
  • Drain your potatoes then dump them back into the hot pot to remove any moisture.
  • Infuse your warmed milk/cream and butter with whole garlic before adding it to your potatoes for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Use a ricer, food miller or hand masher to create the fluffiest mashed potatoes - remember, over whipping or mashing your potatoes will cause them to become "gluey", so mash lightly!

Gravy
  • A fat separator allows you to make homemade gravy easily
  • Try a fat separator, such as this, which will help keep any unwanted bits from falling into your gravy to allow for a smoother sauce.
  • For a perfectly smooth gravy, strain your finished homemade gravy through a sieve.  This will get rid of all lumps and a very creamy, smooth gravy.

 

Whipped Cream
If you over-whip your whipped cream it will become too grainy.  Try adding a few Tablespoons of fresh cream and whip again.  This should bring your cream back to fluffy!  If you have already whipped your cream to the point of formed butterfat clumps, you unfortunately have gone to far and must start over.

Add a touch of flavor
Looking to add a touch of flavor to your standard family recipes?  Try these flavor enhancing tips from our Recipe Developer, Kim.


Still need recipe ideas?  Check out our Thanksgiving inspired Pinterest Board for some of our favorites.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stonewall Kitchen's Holiday Giveaway


It's hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner!  We are starting to get ready for the season and we want you to be ready as well.  We will be giving away one $1,000 gift card for Stonewall Kitchen to one lucky winner on Friday, November 23rd so you can cross everyone off your list. Head to our website and enter today!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Night Football Recipes

Football season is in full effect and we hope that whatever team you are rooting for is playing well this year!  We of course are rooting for the snacks that are associated with football.  Just because it is a Monday night, doesn't mean you can't enjoy the same goodies you enjoy during the weekend games.  Here are a few family friendly recipes you can enjoy on a Monday evening while watching the game.

Buffalo Wings - makes 2 dozen
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Season chicken with salt and pepper
  2. Toss wings in 1/2 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce.  Place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes.  Turn wings and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes.  Finish under a medium-high broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss cooked wings with 1/2 cup warmed Buffalo Wing Sauce until generously coated.
  4. Serve on a large platter with celery sticks and dressing.
---------------------------------------------------



Pulled Pork Sandwiches - serves 6-8
Ingredients:
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Rub salt & pepper onto the pork.  Heat vegetable oil in a heavy ovenproof cooking pot that has a lit over medium-high heat.
  3. With the lid off, brown the roast on all sides.  Drain off all but 2 Tablespoons of fat and pour the jar of Simmering Sauce over the pork.
  4. Cover pot and back 2 1/2 to 3 hours until pork can easily be pulled apart with a fork.
  5. Spoon sauce over the roast meat several times during baking.
  6. Remove roast from pot, pull pork apart removing any fat.  Add pulled pork back into the pot with the leftover sauce and stir.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Behind the Scenes: A look at how we create our detailed labels

Back in 1991, when Jim and Jonathan headed to their first Farmers' Market in Portsmouth, NH to sell their first jars of jams and marmalade they spent hours hand writing all of the labels the night before.  Now, more than 20 years later our labels are still created in a similar fashion; at least the first one is before going to print.

The process of creating our labels is not nearly as simple as it appears when you're looking at in on the shelf in your local store. Have you ever really looked closely at the beautiful images found on our labels?  Those are hand sketched by our extremely talented Senior Graphic Designer, Melissa.  Not only does she hand sketch each botanical on our labels, she also helps to paint a lot of the packaging you see in the stores, such as the wraps you see on our candles.

Yes, these are ALL hand painted!

And the product name you see?  Those are all still hand written by owner and founder, Jonathan.  If you look closely at our products you'll notice that they are not all exactly the same.  He obviously no longer writes each and every one, but he does write the first version which is then transferred onto the labels for design and printing.


When a new product is approved for production (you can read about our approval process here) Melissa gets started on any botanical that will be on the label, while Jonathan gets to work writing out a few versions to pick from.

Melissa sketching a botanical that will go on one of our new products launched in January 2013

This botanical will go on a label, often as an accent behind the product name, or on the side panel.
Jonathan submits a few versions of each product and selects which one should go on the packaging

Here is an example of a completed label.  Notice the beautiful image in the background, and the hand written text.

As mentioned previously, a lot of our packaging is also hand painted as well;





Using real fruit as a guide, Melissa was able to create this fantastic packaging that is currently being used for our Toast and Jam Gift.

Final Product

It is always amazing to see the time and effort that goes into each and every product we place on our shelves and we are lucky to have such an amazing team that pulls together each detail necessary for the final product.  Next time you are enjoying our product, be sure to take a close look and enjoy the small details along with the quality taste.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Add a Touch of Halloween Spook to your Traditional Fall D├ęcor

Although Halloween is known to revolve around dressing up in crazy costumes and trick-or-treating, there are several ways that you can get into the spirit of the holiday without breaking out the face paint and pumpkin carving kit!   Here are a few decorations we like to incorporate into our traditional fall decor during Halloween.


We love adding subtle, spooky decorations such as these wire spiders
This pumpkin stand turns a normal pumpkin into a fun decoration and involves no carving.

Add a scary touch to your everyday place settings
Welcome your your guests into your house with a seasonal decorative door mat.
 
For more fun ideas, treats and recipes for Halloween, please visit our website.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Great things are coming this Holiday Season - be sure you are up to date!

Did you receive our most recent catalog in the mail?  With summer now officially behind us, we are excited about the seasons and holidays ahead of us.  If you haven't received our catalog in the mail, be sure to sign up on our website.  Here is a quick preview.  We have a lot of great things coming over the next few months!

 
 
 

 
 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Perfect Pumpkin Party Treat

It seems like everyone is looking forward to all things pumpkin flavored!  Here is one of our favorite items to bring to a party during the fall months that is incredibly easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.

Pumpkin Spice Cheese Ball
Ingredients:
Directions:
  1. Combine the cheese ball spice packet with the softened block of cream cheese until combined.
  2. Form into a ball, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Roll cheese ball in the sugar topping provided in the topping packet.
  4. Using the back of a spoon, indent the top of the ball and place a pretzel stick for the stem.  Using the front of the spoon, carve strips in the sides to create the pumpkin design.
Serve with Simple White Crackers, Sugar Grahams or apple slices for a perfect fall treat.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Host your own Pie Contest

September is here which means the fair grounds are gearing up for their annual festivals!  New England is home to some well known fairs such as The Big E in West Springfield, MA, where they welcome traditional and unique foods representing each state in New England.

One of the most traditional events at any Country Fair is the pie contest.  Pies of all different flavors and styles are submitted from people of all ages and if you are lucky enough to judge, you get a to try a little bit of everything.  As much fun as it is to view all of the pies at the contest, it would be much more fun to actually get to taste them, so why not host a pie contest at your own home?  We love this idea for a unique family and friend gathering.  The Pie Contest in a Box gives you everything you need to host your own County Fair style pie contest....and you get to be the judge!

The Pie Contest in a Box includes a Pie Contest Handbook that gives you the history of the pie contest and suggestions on categories and how to judge.  Most importantly, it also contains the official ribbons for the winners.  This holiday season, challenge your family members to see who holds the best family recipe.  If we were entering, we would opt for a traditional Wild Maine Blueberry Pie, or something a little different like this recipe for Banana Cream Pie!

Banana Cream Pie

Ingredients:
  • 3 TBS Corn Starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 cups banana puree
  • Whipping Cream
  • Graham Cracker Crust - store bought or home-made
  • Stonewall Kitchen Coffee Caramel Sauce
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.
  4. Return to stove and whisk until very thick.
  5. Add banana puree to desired flavor and cool overnight.
  6. Pour into graham cracker crust
  7. Top with fresh whipped cream flavored with a drop or two or Almond flavoring or almond liquor.
  8. Drizzle Stonewall Kitchen Coffee Caramel Sauce over top.
 
What type of pie would you enter into a pie contest?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blog Better Boston comes to York, ME

We are so excited that Blog Better Boston will host their first annual Food Summit at our headquarters here in York, Maine in October.  When approached by BBBos about the potential event, we knew it would be a natural fit.  The event is scheduled for Sunday, October 21st from 9:30am-4:30pm and will include a tour of our facility, seminars from industry professionals, including some of our own staff!

The workshops and sessions during the event will help bloggers brush up on some of their skills including;
  • Food Photography
  • Photo Editing
  • Recipe Development
  • Restaurant Reviews

In addition to the workshops and sessions, attendees will also get a tour of our manufacturing facility and enjoy a fantastic lunch in our Cooking School which will include;
  • Roasted Acorn Squash and Ginger Soup
  • Pan Seared Chicken Wrapped with Sage and Parma Ham
  • Lemon Garlic Buerre Blanc
  • Caramelized Fall Vegetable Medley
  • Fig and Pear Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream
There are limited spaces available, so be sure to check out the Blog Better Boston website and sign up.  We hope to see you in October!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Stock up for Fall during our Labor Day Sale!

Join us this weekend at our Avon, CT, Rochester, NH and North Conway, NH outlet stores for our Labor Day Sale!  Stock up for the Fall with an additional 25% off all sale items Thursday, August 30th through Monday, September 3rd.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The multiple uses of Pancake & Waffle Mix

When purchasing a pancake mix, such as our Farmhouse Pancake and Waffle Mix, most people have two ideas in mind, pancakes or waffles.  Although these mixes are made to make the perfect pancake or waffle, they can also be used for another favorite treat; cookies.  Using a few extra ingredients, our pancake mixes can make a great base for a chewy, flavorful homemade cookie.

Our recipe developer, Kim, has used our pancake mixes to make Blueberry Muffins, Chocolate Cupcakes, Toasted Coconut Cookies and most recently took our new Maple Pancake and Waffle Mix and used it to create these great Maple Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.



Maple Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pancake and Waffle Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 cup raisins
Directions:
  1. With a mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until evenly incorporated.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until uniform.  Using a heaping tablespoon, drop batter 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet (or lined with parchment paper)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool on rack.
And if you are really looking to jazz it up, try using the cooled cookies to make an ice cream sandwich!  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two cookies and freeze for a special treat.