Apple Maple Glazed Chicken with Apple Stuffing

2011 February 11
by Karen
Apple Maple Dribble from The New England Trading Company

Apple Maple Dribble from The New England Trading Company

We just started carrying these new all-natural Apple Maple Dribble, Blueberry Pie Dribble, and Raspberry Dribble – delicious! Here’s a great new recipe to try with the Apple Maple Dribble:

Apple Maple Glazed Chicken with Apple Stuffing

Apple Maple Glazed Chicken with Apple Stuffing
4 medium sized chicken breasts (bone in)
1 bottle Apple Maple Dribble
1 package stuffing mix
1 apple diced
1 small onion diced
nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour 1/3 cup of the Apple Maple Dribble into a cup or small bowl.  Season chicken breast with salt and pepper, place in a glass baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Brush on Apple Maple Dribble with a basting brush. Repeat every 15 minutes or so until the chicken is golden brown (cooking time should be about 1 hour). Discard any remaining Apple Maple Dribble that remains in the basting bowl.
In the last fifteen minutes of cooking time for the chicken prepare stuffing as follows:
Spray medium sauce pan with cooking spray and place on medium heat. Sauté apples and onions for 5 minutes.  Do not brown.  Add 1 cup of water and remainder of the bottle of Apple Maple Dribble. Bring to a boil. Add dry stuffing mix and remove from the burner. Let sit with the cover on for 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.

New Short Ribs Recipe For Your Crock Pot!

2011 January 14
by Karen

Imagine the warm, comforting aroma of short ribs that have been slow cooking all day while you’re at work. Mmmmm…. and, even better, you can prep this entire recipe the night before. Just pop it into the crock pot before you leave for work!

Winter Short Ribs in the Crock Pot

5-6 pounds of bone-in-beef short ribs

extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped

2 jars Goodies Barbecue Sauce

1 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon liquid smoke

Season ribs with salt and pepper. Coat a large skillet with olive oil. Brown both sides of the ribs for 2 minutes on medium high heat (don’t over crowd, cook in batches if necessary).  Remove ribs and place in crock pot.  Saute chopped vegetables on medium heat until light golden brown.  Add the wine and bring to a simmer.  Pour vegetable mixture over ribs in crock pot adding Goodies Barbecue Sauce and liquid smoke.  Cook on low for 8 hours. Ribs should be tender but not falling off bones.

Maine Sea Salt Barbecue Rub

2010 November 1
by Karen

Barbecue Rub
Combine the following ingredients and rub onto ribs, roasts, or steaks before barbecuing.
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet paprika
4 Tbsp ground Hickory-Smoked Maine Sea Salt™
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Maine Sea Salt vs. Store Bought Sea Salt

2010 November 1
by Karen

Hi everyone,

We just added a new line to our Gourmet Food category – all-natural sea salt made in Maine. Sea salt has really grown in popularity in recent years, and you can now find sea salt in just about any grocery store. I’ve purchased grocery store sea salt before and, truthfully, have really like it. Of course, I always wondered how natural and pure it really was. Anything made in mass quantities has to be subjected to some sort of process or additive to ensure the millions of bottles stay fresh. Well, we’ve now added this new Maine sea salt line and I’ve really been enlightened. Here are a few reasons I’ll now always use pure Maine sea salt:

  • Some sea salts bought in grocery stores are still processed so it looks nice and white. Bleach, drying agents, etc. are often added to improve the eye appeal of the sea salt.
  • Real, natural unprocessed sea salt is not as pretty. It is irregular, moist, clumps in your hand, and is off-white. But, it is worth they ugly because you end up with a natural product that is free of chemicals and agents.
  • Real sea salt often has a higher concentration of trace minerals from the sea that actually add flavor.

Our new line of sea salt is  made made by evaporating fresh Gulf of Maine sea water in shallow pools within solar greenhouses. Coarse crystals are formed as the ocean water evaporates, leaving behind pure sea salt crystals. The sea salt is never bleached, no drying agents are added, and it is completely chemical free. It comes in 4 flavors – natural, garlic (infused with natural garlic) , apple smoked, and hickory smoked. The smoked salts are made using all-natural wood fires that burn until each crystal is infused with the smoky flavor. They work wonders on meats.

So, once again, I’ve become more educated simply by learning more about the New England products around me. Going forward, our Maine sea salt is the only sea salt I’ll use.

Butcher Block Reviews – 3 Top Picks

2010 September 29
by Karen

As I’ve become more and more skilled in the kitchen I’ve found it necessary to upgrade many of my utensils and equipment. While an IKEA plastic cutting board can undoubtably perform many functions – from cutting board to serving platter – I’ve found the flimsy plastic knife-ridden piece just doesn’t “cut it” when it comes to some of my more daring culinary creations. In fact, it downright takes longer to use a plastic cutting board than a nice, hefty solid butcher block. These butcher blocks stay put when you’re slicing and dicing – they don’t skid around the countertop like their plastic counterparts. And, for some reason it’s just easer to chop and slice veggies, meats, and cheeses on a solid butcher block. I’ve made the switch, and am so happy about it. Yes, butcher blocks cost more than plastic cutting boards but they last longer and they work better. Period.

Since you can now buy butcher blocks online in our store, I figured I would pick the top 3 in terms of price, look, and purpose.  All of them are made in Vermont using Vermont hardwood. They’re beautiful and would complement any kitchen. Here we go:

Large Vermont Maple Butcher Block: this strong and durable block is handmade using Vermont rock maple boards and includes some beautiful sunburst patterns that stand out even more when you apply mineral oil. It’s approximately 22″ wide and 13″ deep, with a good 2.5″ thick. Used in some of the most prestigious kitchens, it’s our top choice. For just under $210, you can happily use this for years.

Solid Maple Cutting Board: This pick is for those not quite ready for the heft of a full butcher block but, like me, have accepted that plastic cutting boards and cheap wooden imitations should just be a fond college memory – not a staple in our grown-up kitchens. This board measures 16″ x 9″ and is 1.5″ thick. It comes mounted on rubber non-marring feet so it will stay put while in use! A steal for only $64 (and sometimes on sale – check it out).

Large Walnut Butcher Block – this rich, dark solid walnut block sure makes one impressive statement. Some would say it is a work of art. It’s the same size as the Maple Butcher Block (22″ x 13″ x 2.5″) and features a warm stripe design. Many people choose this block based upon their kitchen colors and decor – it’s striking against dark cherry cabinets.

If you’re set on a buying a new butcher block, but can’t decide between the Maple and Walnut – check this out: Maple & Walnut Butcher Block. Best of both worlds!

Let me know if you have any questions – thanks!

Vermont Soap Choices for Oily Skin

2010 September 24
by Karen

Hi everyone,
Yesterday we discussed the top Vermont soap choices for dry skin – today we’ll go over how to combat oily skin using organic soaps from Vermont Soap.

According to the Vermont Soap Organics website, you should wash the affected areas twice a day (morning and night) and consider using a Vermont Soap with mint in it. Mint is a powerful herbal astringent and can really help dry up oily patches. If acne is an issue, you can try the Vermont Soap Aloe Tea Tree bars. The Blue Bar may help for cystic acne.

Here are a few Vermont Soap choice for dry skin:
Peppermint Magic
Wood Spice
Citrus Sunrise
Tea Tree Oil
Balsalm Swirl
Blue Bar

These soaps will help you address the problem; to resolve it consider taking a look at your diet. Vermont Soap recommends on their website that you avoid “bad oils” like those found in processed food. Avoid cottonseed oil or partially hydrogenated oils when possible. Eat less meat and more whole grains. Get your rest. Take care of yourself. It’s amazing how many skin & hair problems can be linked back to a poor diet, and lack of sleep. So, give healthy living a try for while and see what happens. Good luck!

Best Vermont Organic Soap Picks for Dry Skin

2010 September 23
by Karen

As the cold weather approaches, many begin to see the telltale signs of dry skin. Itchiness, tightness, and presence of dry, scaly patches are common effects of the lower humidity levels. Here are a few Vermont Soap Organic bar soaps that may help alleviate the dryness and make you more comfortable:

Baby Soap – light lavender scent and very mild for hair and skin

Butter Bar – made with shea nut butter, its an excellent choice for thirsty skin.

Unscented Organic Soap  – includes soothing organic oats  and aloe vera

Lavender Swirl – soothing lavender scent with an attractive mineral swirl

Oatmeal Lavender – a wonderful choice for dry skin. Soothing organic oatmeal with a  light lavender scent.

Remember, all Vermont Soaps are handmade with a base of hypoallergenic vegetable base of coconut, palm, olive, and palm kernel oils. All bars are facial quality. Choose from 16 different Vermont Soap Organics blends for different skin types. This certified organic soap is USDA approved. Also available in organic soap boxes of 12.

Just Added a New Sea Bags Design!

2010 September 21
by Karen

It’s available in both a medium and large size with navy blue stripes.

Navy Stripes Sea Bag - Large
Navy Stripes Sea Bag – Large

Remember, all Sea Bags are made from authentic sails (just imagine where they’ve traveled!) and often feature distinct markings and stitchings. They’re handmade on a working fishermen’s pier in Portland, Maine.

I’ll keep you posted as we add new designs. Let me know what you think!

New Granite Drink Chillers – Not Just For Scotch Lovers!

2010 September 21
by Karen

I just love, love, love getting new products in to test. And, when these Granite Drink Chillers arrived I was no less excited, even though I can’t really call myself a scotch or whiskey enthusiast.  Still, I know there are a lot of connoissuers out there who visit The New England Trading Company and these swanky granite stones would be hugely popular – plus land on a lot of gift lists.

Granite "On The Rocks" Drink Chillers

Granite "On The Rocks" Drink Chillers

Since it was 11:00 in the morning – a bit too early for scotch – I decided to test these on my morning drink of choice – Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi. Now, I know a lot of people are cringing out there, but it’s very important to test these before selling them, right? I’d already popped several granite “ice cubes” in the freezer about 3 hours prior, so I grabbed 2 out and carefully placed them in a glass and added warm soda. It didn’t take too long for my soda to be cooled to a nice, crisp temperature, and I was able to sip it over the course of the next hour without losing one bit of the taste. No water dilution, no strange odors from chlorinated water… just, simply, cold Wild Cherry Pepsi.

So, there you go! These granite “On The Rocks” drink chillers not only work for fine spirits but for fine soda as well. And, they look great on the bar and in a glass. For under $30 they make a really unique gift for “hard to shop for” people, as well as a nice hostess gift. Two thumbs up!

Sea Bags Wine Tote – My Next Hostess Gift

2010 July 9
by Karen
Sea Bags Wine Tote

Sea Bags Wine Tote

The very next hostess gift I give will definitely be a Sea Bags Wine Tote. It’s such a unique way of thanking someone for a lovely dinner, or even a backyard barbecue. Made from recycled sails that have already sailed around the world, each Sea Bag tote has a navy anchor stitched on the front and a very cool “To” and “From” label on the back to record the names of all the gifters and giftees on its way around the globe again. The handles are hand-spliced, a traditional nautical skill. Also available is a Sea Bag Wine Tote that features “Recycle, Re-gift, Rejoice” stitched on the front.

Sea Bags are actually made on a working fisherman’s pier in Portland, Maine. They’re chic, colorful, and environmentally friendly. Pop a nice bottle of wine in a Sea Bag and bring it along with you. I bet no one else will think of it!