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!


Tips for Preparing Lamb

Prefer lamb for your Easter dinner but nervous about preparing it? We can help! We sat down with our in-house recipe developer to get her best tips for preparing lamb.

  • Find a good butcher. Lamb can be expensive and it’s best to buy good quality meat for best flavor and results.
  • Let your butcher do the work. Have them remove the bone for a boneless leg of lamb or butterfly the meat if necessary. They can also help with trimming any excess fat.
  • No matter what cut of lamb you are preparing, remove the meat from the refrigerator about an hour ahead of time so it comes to room temperature before cooking. This will assure your meat cooks more evenly.
  • Grilling a leg of lamb? Not only should it have the bone removed, but be butterflied so the thickness is uniform. The meat will cook more evenly that way. A simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, a few minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper will help keep the meat moist.
  • Roasting your lamb? If the bone is left in the cut of meat, it will have more flavor, but it is harder to carve. For a 5-7 pound bone-in leg of lamb, combine several minced garlic cloves with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, 2 tablespoons good olive oil, salt and pepper. Rub this all over the lamb. Roast in a 350°F oven in a roasting pan placed on the middle rack in the oven for about 1-1½ hours or until an instant read thermometer inserted a few inches into the meat reads the desired temperature (see below). Do not allow the thermometer to touch the bone and let rest 20 minutes before carving.
  • Prefer a rack of lamb? While a more expensive option, it is much easier and quicker to cook lamb this way. The rack of lamb is the lamb loin with the rips attached. Have your butcher remove excess fat for you. Simple is best with your preparation! Brush the rack with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat several tablespoons of olive oil in an oven proof sauté pan and brown the rack on all sides. Sprinkle chopped rosemary over rack and finish off in a 400°F oven to desired temperature (see below). Some like to add seasoned bread crumbs before finishing off the lamb. It’s a good idea to cover the exposed rib bones with foil to prevent burning just before putting in the oven.

Cook it just the way you like it!

  • Rare: Internal temperature of 115-120°F (125°F after resting, about 15 minutes per pound).
  • Medium-rare: Internal temperature of 120-125°F (130-135°F after resting, about 20 minutes per pound).
  • Medium: Internal temperature of 130-135ºF (135-140°F after resting, about 25 minutes per pound).
  • Well done: Internal temperature of 150-155°F (155-160°F after resting, about 30 minutes per pound).

For the perfect condiment to enjoy alongside your lamb, try our Mint Jelly. It’s a great addition no matter what cut of lamb you choose to prepare.


All-In-One Sheet Pan Dinner

We understand how hectic weeknights can be. Errands, picking up the kids, a quick run to the grocery store because you’re out of milk… all that time spent out and about after work means dinner needs to be fast. And easy! We have just the solution.

One of our favorite weeknight dinners to make involves one pan to wash and little to no hands-on cooking time. That way you can kick back, relax with a glass of wine and flip through a magazine while your oven does all the work. You can serve a protein, starch and vegetable meal that is not only flavorful, but an easy to clean up, too! You really can have the best of both worlds.

Lemon Dijon Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Ingredients:

  • 3½ lb chicken, quartered
  • ½ cup Stonewall Kitchen Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb small fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3/4 lb asparagus, trimmed

Directions:

  1. Pour Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette over chicken coating all sides. Refrigerate for at least two hours. (You could also refrigerate overnight if you want to prep ahead!)
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Throw away excess dressing. Place chicken on a greased sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss potatoes with enough olive oil to lightly coat. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary. Arrange potatoes on baking sheet between pieces of chicken. Bake 40-50 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and has an internal temperature of 165°F and the potatoes are tender and slightly crisp (these may be turned over half way through the cook time).
  5. In the meantime, toss asparagus with enough oil to lightly coat and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet with chicken and potatoes for the last 10 minutes of the baking time.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.


The Basics for Cooking & Serving Ham

Easter Sunday comes with all sorts of traditions, from egg hunts to Easter baskets and a nice, big family meal. Ham is a popular main course here in the United States and because it is a meal many families only find themselves cooking once or twice a year, people find themselves intimidated by cooking and serving a ham that is just right. Here are our tips purchasing, cooking and serving a top-notch ham this Easter!

To make things even tastier, we’ve brought back our Classic Ham Glaze this season. It’s a delicious combination of flavors from pineapple, honey, spices and a hint of clove. Our moms really got this one right! It’s so good and reminds us of fond family dinner memories. We even enjoy it equally on pork or chicken!

But, back to the ham!

How much do I buy?

You should count on buying about ¾ lb per person if the ham is bone-in. If you choose a boneless ham, choose one that would allow for 1/3 lb per person. Of course, we love the leftovers, so be sure to account for that too if you do as well!

How long do I cook it?

Fully cooked hams can technically be served cold, but a glazed ham is delicious. Preheat your oven to 300°F. Place the ham in a large roasting pan and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Cook approximately 15 minutes per pound. Remove from oven 30 minutes before the end of the cook time and brush Classic Ham Glaze on the surface of the ham. Return to the oven, uncovered, and continue to brush with additional glaze one or two more times for the remainder of the cook time. The internal temperature of the ham should be 160°F. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Any ideas for what to do with leftovers?

If you love leftovers as much as we do, be sure to wrap them up and store in your refrigerator until you’re ready to use it in your recipe.

Slice thinly and layer with pineapple rounds, Monterey Jack cheese and Spicy Honey Mustard for a Hawaiian Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Dice and whisk with herbs, vegetables and eggs for easy Baked Herb Eggs.

Replace the bacon with diced ham in this savory Breakfast Strata for an all-in-one breakfast casserole.


Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Looking for an alternative way to dye Easter eggs without using artificial colorings? Look no further than some common ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and produce drawer for beautifully colored eggs! There are two methods that are typically used when dyeing eggs – cold dipping and hot boiling. Cold dipping produces subtler, more translucent shades which is ideal if you’re using multiple colors on the same egg. Hot boiling produces a much more intense shade, but these eggs should be used for decoration only and not for eating. Our preference is to cold dip eggs so that we can transform them into delicious deviled eggs and enjoy hard-boiled egg snacks throughout the week.

To start, wash your white, uncooked eggs in mild, soapy water to remove any dirt or oil that might adversely affect the dye. But before we get to talking about natural sources of dye, let’s talk about perfectly boiling an egg.

Nearly every basic cookbook offers conflicting techniques on how it should be done – start the egg in cold water, or gently lower it into boiling water; add vinegar to the water to lower its pH, or add baking soda to the water to raise it; cover the pot, don’t cover the pot; use old eggs, or use new eggs, and on and on – but very few offer evidence as to why any one of these techniques should work any better than your average old wives’ tale. Apparently, boiling eggs is not an eggs-act science.

Our preferred method is just five easy steps…

  1. Make sure that the eggs are room temperature. Speed this process up by placing the eggs in hot tap water.
  2. Place eggs in a saucepan that can hold them in a single layer. Add enough water to cover by 1-inch.
  3. Bring water to a boil, remove pan from heat and cover. Let sit 10 minutes. Drain.
  4. Place eggs in a bowl of ice water and cool completely.
  5. Crack the shells by rolling the egg on the counter and peel under cold water.

There you have it!  An egg that has a yolk that is set, but not tinged with green (indicating your eggs are over cooked).  These will make the perfect deviled eggs, egg salad or eggs for decorating! This step can also be done the day before you’re ready to dye your eggs. Just keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to use them.

Now, let’s talk dye. Like we said, you’d be surprised at how many common produce and pantry ingredients that can be used to transform white eggs into beautiful Easter eggs. Peeling an onion for dinner? Save the skin! Have some lemon or orange peels? You can use those, too! Select your dying agent and place in a small pot, using the amounts listed below. Add one quart of water and two tablespoons of white vinegar to your pot. If that amount of water doesn’t cover your ingredients, double your water and vinegar. Bring your pot to a boil and lower heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, strain the dye into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

  • Two tablespoons ground (or 1-2 knobs of fresh!) turmeric – This creates a pale yellow color that can intensify the longer you let your egg sit. Try letting your eggs soak for 30 minutes and then check the color to see if you prefer a darker shade.
  • Three whole yellow onion skins – We were skeptical of these paper thin skins, but pleasantly surprised at how vivid the color of our eggs were after soaking in the onion solution for 30 minutes.
  • Three large, chopped beets – Similar to how easily beets dye your hands when you prepare them, they’ll also dye your eggs a pretty, light pink color.
  • Half head of red cabbage – While you might assume the purple colored vegetable might leave you with lavender colored eggs, eggs soaked in a red cabbage solution will come out light blue. Try letting them soak overnight in the fridge for a deeper blue color.

You can also dip your eggs into multiple colors to create even more shades. For lavender, soak eggs in room temperature beet solution for 30 minutes and then follow with room temperature cabbage solution for five seconds. Looking for a green color? Soak eggs in room temperature turmeric solution for 30 minutes and follow with room temperature cabbage solution for five seconds. The important thing to remember is that all of the above solutions are fairly forgiving. You can achieve lighter and darker colors just by adjusting the amount of time your eggs sit. Also remember to watch how long your eggs sit at room temperature. They should be out for no longer than two hours before they need to return to the fridge in order to stay safe to eat.

Ready to enjoy your eggs? Try these delicious Deviled Eggs! Just peel, cut eggs in half lengthwise, remove egg yolks and mash with your favorite aioli, salt and pepper. Try a classic aioli like Roasted Garlic or heat things up with Habanero Mango. We love them all in this recipe. Spoon or pipe the egg yolk filling into each white and garnish with crumbled bacon, cilantro leaf, parsley leaf, paprika or dill.

Deviled eggs not your favorite? When we have leftover hard-boiled eggs, we love the excuse to enjoy a classic Cobb Salad.

What is your favorite way to use up your Easter eggs? Let us know in the comments below!