Battle of Berries: Blackberry vs. Black Raspberry

Have you ever thought that blackberries and black raspberries are the same fruit with two different names? Trust us, you’re not alone! They’re the same color, the same size, they even come from the same family – so, it makes sense that they can get easily confused. Before the summer ends (and after reading this!) you’ll know how to distinguish between these two berries!

 

Black Raspberry                                                  Blackberry

 

Here’s the difference:

  • The first distinguishing difference between the two types of berries is the core. Blackberries have a white-colored core (pick from the stem) whereas the black raspberries, much like red raspberries, have a hollow core (picked alone from the plant).
  • Black raspberries have smaller “cells” and are covered in very small hairs. Blackberries are larger than raspberries and appear to be shiny and smooth.
  • Black raspberries can be harvested earlier than blackberries because raspberries are not as sensitive to the cold temperature.
  • Black raspberries can be less tart compared to blackberries, which are often described as sour.
  • Blackberries grow in more places – they can be found in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and of course, North America.

Both berries are excellent sources of vitamin-C and are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibers.

There you have it. In the end, both are delicious and both are great additions to a variety of dishes. Enjoy this season and eat lots of berries!

 

 

 


“A light Cake to bake in small cups.”

Everyone knows what they are. We’ve all had one once in our life. They come in a variety of colors. Most of us have decorated one or two at some point and they really are perfect for any occasion. You know what we’re talking about, cupcakes of course! But as you sit there, enjoying your cupcake of choice (with or without sprinkles!), have you ever wondered how cupcakes came about? Who was the first person to come up with the brilliant idea of shrinking an entire cake into an individualized cup? Well, read no further! We have your answer.

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Let’s take a trip back to Hartford, Connecticut in the year 1796, when the first ever American cookbook, American Cookery, was published. The full title of this book was, American Cookery, or the art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puff, pies, tarts, custards and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from imperial plum to plain cake: Adapted to this country, and all grades of life. In between “soft cakes in little pans” and “Shrewsbury cake” lays the recipe for the first ever cupcake, or “a light cake to bake in small cups.”

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Image Retrieved from: http://recipes.hypotheses.org/category/modern

Amelia Simmons was all about large quantities of whatever she was making, so her cupcake recipe called for “half a pound sugar, half a pound butter, rubbed into two pounds flour, one glass wine, one do. [glass] Rosewater, two do. [glass] Emptins, a nutmeg, cinnamon and currants.” Pretty cool, huh? Now you can impress your friends and family about your new cupcake history!

To impress even more, the word “cupcake” was first seen in 1828 in Eliza Leslie’s, Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats – a recipe relating a little more to today’s modern cupcake, but probably not as delicious!

On Facebook? In celebration of #NationalCupcakeLoversDay, we are giving away a few boxes of our very own Vanilla Cupcake Mix! Here’s what you have to do to win:

  1. Visit us on Facebook
  2. “Like” our National Cupcake Lovers Day post – it will be posted June 13th, 2017 at 10:00am (ET).
  3. Comment the post with your favorite type of cupcake!

The first three (3) people to complete all three (3) steps will win their very own Stonewall Kitchen Vanilla Cupcake Mix. Good luck!


A Stonewall Kitchen Mission.

The day that Gail Langone came into our York Company Store was the day that Stonewall Kitchen was assigned a mission.

Gail, a longtime guest, drove from Massachusetts on her very own mission: to find a long-lost biscotti recipe. When Gail asked Lauren, our York Company Store Manager, how she could get her hands on the recipe, Lauren didn’t really know where it was, or if we even had it! The request travelled upstairs to our Ecommerce Manager, Ian, who then asked our Creative Manager, Melissa – still no luck! The question was brought to Kim, our Food Development Specialist, our Executives and even the Stonewall Kitchen Founders, Jim and Jonathon. All came up empty-handed. And so, Gail drove off with no recipe.

That got us thinking. Why can’t we make a biscotti recipe using our pancake and waffle mix? For Gail and her family, who “won’t eat any other [pancake] brand”, we just had to do it!

We frequently get asked how we come up with recipe or product ideas. Sometimes we come up with ideas from staff requests and other times, it’s directly from our guests and what they want to see from Stonewall Kitchen.

So for Gail, her family, and all the biscotti lovers out there – we introduce our Chocolate Chip Biscotti using our Chocolate Chip Pancake & Waffle Mix!

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a hand mixer can be used), cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs and mix until uniform. Add the Chocolate Chip Pancake & Waffle mix and mix on low speed only until combined.
  • Divide dough in half and form into two oblong loaves about 3-inches wide and 1/2-thick. Place loaves 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300° F.
  • When the biscotti has cooled enough to handle (about 20 minutes) Place the loaves on a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the loaves on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.

 

 


Get Grillin’ For Memorial Day!

Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to get together with family and friends and do a little grilling! Sometimes grilling can be a bit tricky, so here are some tips to brush up your knowledge and continue grilling like a pro.

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  • Build the Heat! After turning the grill on, close the lid for 15 to 25 minutes and let the heat build. Not only does this ensure that the grill has reached the right temperature but it also kills all the unwanted bacteria that’s been hanging in there.
  • Make a brush if you don’t have one! Long-handled wire grill brushes are a must-have for grilling. Make sure to brush any debris off the grate after preheating and immediately after grilling. Don’t have a grill brush? That’s ok – put an aluminum foil ball in between chef tongs and use the aluminum foil has the brush and the chef tongs as handles!
  • Keep an eye out. If you have more than one food item on the grill, chances are they all have a different “done-time”. Make sure to keep checking and use a thermometer when necessary.
  • Use a pan. For meats that tend to fall apart easily and for small foods, place a grill pan on the grate to ensure everything stays in one piece (or doesn’t fall through the grate!).
  • Don’t get too saucy … or at least know when the right time to sauce is, especially with ribs. Sauce them during the last 30 minutes to reduce the risk of burning any sugars.
  • Keep it fresh. Make sure to use clean plates and cutting boards to prevent any raw meat contamination.
  • Let it rest. The trick to grilling meat, especially steak, is to let it rest at least 5 minutes before slicing, letting all the juices settle in.
  • Have fun and experiment! You can grill lettuce, meat, pizza, burritos – experiment with anything and don’t get too frustrated if the first try isn’t exactly how you imagined.

Test out these grilling tips on our Baby Back Ribs recipe! Our Vidalia Onion Fig Sauce is a perfect marinade to add a hint of sweetness.

Vidalia Onion Fig Glazed Baby Back Ribs

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Place the rack of ribs in a large pot and simmer until meat becomes a bit tender. (About one hour). This prevents the sauce from burning while the ribs are on the grill.
  • For the glaze, mix the Vidalia Onion Fig Sauce with the apple juice.
  • Pre-heat grill and rub ribs with Chicken & Pork spice rub.
  • Place the ribs on the hot grill, brush on the glaze and cook until nicely browned.

 


Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme!

No, we aren’t talking about the Simon & Garfunkel song, we just love everything herb! Spring and Summer seasons mean that our herb garden is starting to grow here at our York Company Store, and there’s nothing like fresh, homegrown ingredients. There are so many ways to use herbs in food and we’d love to share a few ideas with you.

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Whether you have a garden of your own, or purchase locally, using fresh herbs in any meal can really bring that hint of summer to your dish. Herbs are great to use as garnish, adding a pop of color to your creation, and can also be combined with other ingredients to make a whole new dish. We love to experiment and see how we can bring that freshness to our herb-inspired recipes!

Pestos are a perfect way to use herbs. Our Basil Pesto highlights the peppery, mint flavor in basil and compliments grain dishes, like our Risotto with Basil Pesto. Stonewall Kitchen Kale & Arugula Pesto showcases the sharp, mustard taste of Arugula and is a delicious addition to our Roasted Carrot Hummus.

On a side note – arugula is great by itself, especially as a salad. Drizzle some olive oil, splash a bit of lemon, add a pinch of salt and pepper and voila!

Guess what? You can combine herbs too! Put parsley and basil together and you get a Pasta Alfredo! We use our Basil Alfredo Sauce in the main dish and parsley as garnish!

The key to herbs is keeping them fresh and happy. It can be easy to bruise or blemish the leaves, potentially reducing the amount of flavor. Using gadgets such as Freshforce Herb Scissors or the Zip Strip Herb Stripper (say that ten times fast!) can help preserve flavor and make the job easier!

As always, we love to hear from YOU! Share any herb tips by commenting below or sending us an e-mail! We’d love to hear from other herb and garden lovers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


It’s Cinco de Mayo!

Not only is it Friday (a day to always celebrate!) but it’s Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate with our Cilantro Lime Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner , using our tasty Cilantro Lime Dressing. Or, if you are feeling more like a vegetarian dish, see the recipe below for our Vegetable Skillet Enchiladas! Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Vegetable Skillet Enchiladas

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Ingredients:

  • 6 small corn tortillas
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup red bell pepper, cored, stem removed, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 jar Stonewall Kitchen Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 cups (8-ounces) butternut squash noodles (butternut squash that has been spiralized)
  • 2 cups (8-ounces) zucchini noodles (zucchini that has been spiralized)
  • 1 cup Monterey Pepper Jack cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Cut each tortilla into 8 small triangles.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortilla triangles in small batches tossing and turning every so often until crisp and golden brown on both sides.
  3. Remove from pan and place on folded paper towel. Add more oil if needed and continue until all triangles are cooked. Combine the salt and cumin and sprinkle over tortilla crisps.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, red bell pepper and corn. Sauté until tender. Stir in black beans and Enchilada Sauce.
  5. Add butternut squash and stir. Place lid on skillet and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender but still a little crisp.
  6. Add zucchini and cook several more minutes. Be careful to not stir too much or the noodles will break apart. Add cheese and cover with lid until the cheese has melted.
  7. Serve with tortilla crisps and top with sour cream, avocado and cilantro.


Freshen Up Your Spring Cleaning Products

We couldn’t be happier to welcome warmer, spring days back with open arms. To be honest, we’re even ready to get going on our spring cleaning! We credit our willingness to clean to our line of quality Fine Home Keeping Products. It’s always much nicer to clean up your home when your cleaning products smell nice, right?

Launching just over ten years ago, we first introduced our Fine Home Keeping line in September of 2006. Our original goal for our Fine Home Keeping products has remained the same throughout the years; our products must be effective with a simple and basic ingredients list and free of harmful additives. Handmade in New England, our products only use premium aromatherapy essential oils, fragrances created around kitchen and garden themes and natural ingredients. By keeping our Fine Home Keeping items all natural, it helps eliminate any unnecessary additives that may cause skin irritations, such as solvents, parabens or triclosan. They’re even gluten free!

 

On top of being a great pick for your skin, our scents are clean and pleasant without lingering too long. Seasonal scents vary by year, but our core line includes Maine Woods, Herbes de Provence, Coastal Breeze, Lemon Parsley, Grapefruit Thyme, Lavender Mint and White Pine, all offered year round. Each scent comes in at least four different products (hand soap, hand lotion, dish soap and a soy candle) with select scents available in additional variations like window & counter top cleanser, hand soap refills, mini lotions, hand gels and/or travel sets.

To keep your hands in tip-top shape, our lotion ingredients are very simple – just purified water, olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, cetyl alcohol (a fatty alcohol from coconuts, used as an emulsifier and preservative), stearyl alcohol (another fatty alcohol from coconuts, used as a humectant, emulsifier, skin softener and preservative), green tea extract, aloe vera, vitamins A, E & D, essential oils and fragrance. They are formulated to absorb thoroughly while leaving skin smooth, soothed and nourished without leaving a residue on your hands.

We believe that using a good quality hand soap also promotes healthy, moisturized hands in addition to using a good quality lotion. The vitamin rich formula you’ll find in our hand soaps is specially made from plant-based ingredients. They create a lush later that cleanses and rinses off clean, leaving hands lightly fragranced and moisturized from the natural glycerin without stripping the skin of natural oils.

While our window & countertop cleanser is natural, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still highly effective. In fact, both lavender and spearmint essential oils are known to be antibacterial (Lavender Mint) as well as lemon essential oil (Lemon Parsley). It’s a breath of fresh air (literally!) to know that by wiping down your counters, surfaces and windows with our cleaning sprays that you won’t be breathing in any fumes that can affect those with allergies and asthma. Rest assured that they will leave a streak free finish as well.

Check out some behind the scenes photos below of some Lavender Mint Hand Soap being made!

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Happy spring cleaning!