Highland Foods Blog
April 6, 2013
Spring is always a welcome season here in New England. There remain a few scattered patches of snow in the fields but things are slowly warming up. The red winged black birds and buzzards are back while we await the osprey and peepers. The garden is ready for an early planting of hardy greens. It is time to think about getting the boats ready for summer, and the lawn furniture on the back terrace. We made a dent in the woodpile this winter but with the warmer temperatures, there is still plenty stacked for next year.
We had some true blue snow storms this past winter. We especially loved the big blizzard in February. Great weather for hot chocolate and Maple Pepper® popcorn! We attended the New England Products Trade Show in March. We saw old friends and made some new ones. Trade show attendees sampled Maple Pepper® on fresh fruit; mixed in a cream cheese, sour cream and yogurt dip for cucumbers; and in olive oil for dipping French bread.
We have some changes in store for this year. Stay tuned for our new website. Be sure to check our FACEBOOK page for new recipes. Happy spring!
December 30, 2012
Tis the season for good cheer, food, merriment and times with friends and family. We had a sugar dusting of snow here on Christmas Day but since then, two snow storms. It has been perfect for cross country and downhill skiing. Shoveling the drive and walkways is a welcome chore as we work off those extra holiday calories. We know many of you are enjoying your holidays with jars of Maple Pepper® under your tree, in your stocking, and on the dinner table.
As we close out the year and ring in the new, we would like to thank all of you, our loyal customers. It is always a pleasure to do business with you. We know our Maple Pepper® has traveled far and wide this year, from close to home to California, to Germany, Scotland, Austria and Canada.
We look forward to introducing you to a new look and product line in the coming months. Be sure to check back now and then for updates, as well as our FACEBOOK page for new recipes and photos.
Alison, Stewart, Mark, Sue and Maddy
November 27, 2012
> Your Seasonings are such a hit, especially at all the special events that we have been doing for the holidays.Do you have any other products* that you sell? If so could you send me the information on them. We have a Health Food Store interested in your products as well as a “Pig Farmer” who has a large customer base following a “Paleo Diet”..
Katrina Morgan, Three Leaves and a Tree, Valley Center, CA
*The New Year is nearly upon us and with that, Highland Foods looks forward to introducing at least three new products to our Maple Pepper® Brand Seasoning line. Stay tuned!
November 10, 2012
No one could say it better than our customers. Just today we received a product inquiry from Anik:
> Thank you! I bought some of your product for every family member’s stocking last year in North Conway…now this year they’re all asking for more, and I needed to find somewhere closer.
Thanks for such a great product! :)
It is hard to believe we are approaching that time of year again. The holidays can be an overwhelmingly joyous time, overwhelmingly because of all the to dos we have this time of year.
- winterize the house
- put the summer gardens to bed
- top off the woodpile
- pull out the winter woolies
- plan meals and think about purchasing those gifts!
Food and gifts! So much and so many. What better way to take the edge off some of that holiday stress you may already be feeling than to stock up early on Maple Pepper®. It tastes great on many of your holiday foods - the traditional and then the traditional with a Maple Pepper® twist, like that marvelously delicious and award winning Maple Pepper® Eggnog recipe a customer shared with us last year.
So plan ahead like Anik and get your Maple Pepper® today. Make your holiday shopping “Pure and Simple” with Maple Pepper®. The products ship easily, are non-perishable and just the right size for the stocking. Remember we have our handy gift boxes too, sized for three jars of your favorite flavors. ...
October 21, 2012
Most of this summer’s leaves have changed to reds, yellows, and oranges, once gracing the trees and now the ground. Only the oak leaves hang on in their earthy browns. The air is crisp as the days grow shorter and the temperatures fall. We’ve had some good rowing and sailing days of late but even those are winding down.
Maine is the way life should be in the fall with pumpkin and oyster festivals, mountain hikes and cider pressing. The wood is stacked and the fields are brown, awaiting the first flakes of winter. Farm stands abound with winter squash - pumpkins, old hubbard, acorn, butternut, buttercup. Winter squash and Maple Pepper® go so well together, whether your recipe calls for soup, baking, broiling or mashing. One of our favorite recipes is acorn squash, baked with a dollop of butter and a hearty shake of Maple Pepper®. And when it comes time to carve your Jack-o’-Lantern, be sure to save the seeds. You can make a tasty treat if you spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet with a touch of olive oil and Maple Pepper®. Bake till crispy. Better than popcorn so some of our customers say.
A bit of Halloween trivia: The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns” (the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack) originated in Ireland, where haunting faces, illuminated by candles, were carved on large turnips and potatoes. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America where the canvas ...
September 15, 2012
The fruits of our garden labors are busting out all over! Corn on the cob, tomatoes, greens, beets, and the list goes on. Any and all of these fresh garden veggies deserve a hardy shake of our Maple Pepper® seasoning.
It is always nice to hear from our loyal customers. Some of you like to order on line. That’s great. Some of you inquire as to whether the products are available in stores in your area. Often times the products are, but not always. We continue to expand our distribution and with your help, can target stores in your area. Please let us know if you have a particular store in mind and we will be sure to contact them. Thanks!
We came across a customer’s blog - Fun and Fearless in Beantown - and found a delectable recipe for Maple Pepper® and Habanero Chicken Breast with Maple Syrup Brussel Sprouts. Here is the link to the blog. http://funandfearlessinbeantown.blogspot.com/2010/03/maple-pepper-and-habanero-chicken.html
As you know, we post Maple Pepper® recipes on our website. Some of them come from our own kitchen, some from you. Be sure to send your favorite recipe along and we’ll post it, crediting you of course! Send along a photo with the recipe and we’ll post that as well.
In the words of Julia Childs, “This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
Don’t forget to check us out ...
July 18, 2012
Summer is in all of its glory here on the Maine coast. Local farmers’ markets are bursting with fresh produce and home baked goods, the beaches are speckled with happy sunbathers, sailboats grace the seas, and lobsters and clams rule the dinner plate. It has been a warm summer with the occasional downpour. While summer is meant to be warm, this year is more so than usual. And that has us concerned. Concerned about climate change and its impact on our environment, including the crops we grow and the seafood we harvest. Concerned about the impacts on maple sugaring here in New England. Climate change is here. While it is unstoppable, we can make a difference in the rate in which it changes. How? By reducing our own carbon footprint, yes our own. We need to focus on our local communities, commit ourselves to self sufficiency and sustainability. The local food movement is one such important and easy way to make a difference: growing our own fruits, vegetables, and meats or buying those grown by our local farmers. Local foods are better tasting and better for you. So do your part: grow your own or buy local. We do, so can you!☺ And of course those local foods will taste even better seasoned with our Maple Pepper® Brand Seasonings.
Click here for a list of farmers’ markets in Maine.
May 28, 2012
What a gorgeous day here in Maine in spite of the black flies who seem to be enjoying this warmer weather as well. The boats are back on their moorings and the sails have been set. Kayaks speckle our rivers, lakes and ocean shore. Folks are out paddling their stand up paddle boards while others take to the beach to ride the surf. The ocean is warm enough for swimming!
The parades of the morning are over and the afternoon brings summer fun and prep time for the first cookout of the season. We plan to cook up some of those watermelon hamburgers we shared with you in a past blog entry. Our favorite side dish will be fresh roasted corn on the cub coated with butter and our Maple Pepper® seasonings.
We wish you all well as we begin this 2012 summer season. Eat drink and be merry and don’t forget to include that old standby, Maple Pepper® wherever good food is found.
April 17, 2012
Our mild winter has blossomed into a summer spring. Here in Maine we are already mowing lawns, swatting black flies, drinking ice tea and lolling in the hammock. The garden is planted. It is now up to the sun and rain to do their jobs.
We are thankful for the recipes our customers have shared with us over the years. We continue to post them as they come in. We made up a fun recipe at a recent tradeshow to sample with watermelon and oranges. The recipe calls for one part cream cheese and four parts yogurt, a lemon squeeze, and Maple Pepper® to taste. The dip goes well with vegetables, crackers and pretzels too. After the show we glazed a salmon fillet with the left over dip before baking, and mixed it in with our mashed potatoes. As usual, our recipes can be spread far and wide thanks to the versatility of our Maple Pepper® seasonings.
We have another fried chicken recipe to share so stay tuned. We give thanks to a gifted chef who dares to go where no chef has gone before! Give him an apron, a jar Maple Pepper® and plenty of room in the kitchen and voilà! A new masterpiece is born.
February 21, 2012
Good morning. It is a beautifully blue winter day with a pair of bluebirds checking out their nesting box, flying in and out of the box. It has been an unusually warm and snowless winter here. Has mother nature tricked these birds into thinking it’s bird nesting time? Let’s hope not. Nevertheless, spring is on its way, this year likely coming sooner than later.
Spring time means garden preparation and planting hearty greens such as kale, spinach, lettuce and peas. The first spring planting is always an exciting time here. Working the soil with your hands, taking in the sweet smells of the land and air, making rows and planting the seeds. And then the anticipation of the first sprouts poking up under their shallow blanket of clean earth. Soon after, they blaze your garden with their delicate greens and reds.
What could be tastier than a fresh spring salad or sugar snap peas? You can eat them right out of the garden or toss them in a salad bowl with a simple salad dressing. A mix of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Maple Pepper® and a dash of basil is the perfect dressing for such an occasion. One of our favorite spring time treats is fresh kale, seasoned with a brush of Maple Pepper® salad dressing, and lightly broiled just until crispy. Eat as is - kale chips - or crumble over your salad or baked potato with a dollop of sour cream or a pat of butter. ...
October 1, 2011
Summer has come and gone according to the calendar, though yesterday could have been a day in mid July with plenty of warm sunshine. Billowing sails continue to grace the sea, and ocean waters warmed from the summer sun are delightful for early fall swims. Fall colors are starting to show here and there along the edges of swamps and marshes, and the osprey and summer tourists are migrating south for the cooler months ahead.
We have been enjoying our garden tomatoes and summer squash with Maple Pepper® and look forward to baked pumpkins seasoned with butter and, you guessed it, Maple Pepper®. We love to garden! This year we had a few surprises in our garden. A couple of volunteer potato plants popped up in the spring and produced potatoes the size of grapefruits! Now that is what we call a potato! Maine potatoes and Maple Pepper® go together naturally.
We can still find plenty of corn on the cob at our local farm stands. One customer wrote to tell us that whenever she has left over ears at the end of a meal, she cuts off the corn and cooks it with onions, a bit of butter, and Maple Pepper® for an easy side dish for the next evening’s dinner.
The Damariscotta Pumpkin Festival and Regatta begins today and runs through the 10th. Our downtown will be decorated with pumpkin giants on the order of 500 or more pounds, crafted into artistic masterpieces by our local ...
August 23, 2011
Thank you again to Martha Williamson for another simply delicious recipe!
“Take one small raw vidalia onion and make a little hollow where the bottom roots were, after taking off the outside tough skin. Fill the hollow with a tsp. of butter and generously sprinkle Maple Pepper®. Set the onion on a square of foil bringing up all the edges and pinching together. Cook on the grill for 15 minutes. Soft sweet and yummy.”
Martha uses our original Maple Pepper® or the Maple Pepper® w/garlic for this recipe.
August 16, 2011
We received this enthusiastic email on August 15, 2011. Tell us how you use Maple Pepper® Brand Seasoning and we’ll post you on our website too!!
My girlfriend and I love your Maple Pepper. Being a born and raised Vermont boy that now lives away from home, it brings back a touch of maple to many dishes. However, it should be brought to your attention that our two main uses (which we feel are most important) are not listed on the jar as serving suggestions. These two uses are home fries and more importantly, popcorn! Ohhhh, the popcorn! I advise that to increase your profits by one-hundred-million percent, you market the popcorn. Mmmmmmm… popcorn. I, in turn, will ask of no profit sharing other than the peace of mind that your maple pepper shall never, ever, cease to exist in the future.
Joe Baer Magnant
P.S. Popcorn… yummmmm.
July 18, 2011
Highland Foods is proud to be featured in two cookbooks, and on line at a website dedicated to everything barbecue! Follow these links for more information.
A USA Weekend Magazine Article: “Why not make your Super Bowl party a Souper Bowls bash? Here’s the lineup. 3 easy meals-in-a-bowl that will get you out of the kitchen and onto the couch long before kickoff.” One of the recipes is a Vermont Maple-Spiked Chili with Cheddar Cheese, calling for Maple Pepper®.
This link includes a recipe for Rodney’s BBQ Beans and Bacon, as featured in Barbecue America - A Pilgrimage in Search of America’s Best Barbecue, by Rick Browne and Jack Bettridge. The book features recipes for RB “Q” Sauce and Rodney’s BBQ Beans ‘n’ Bacon. Both recipes call for Maple Pepper®.
This link includes a product review of Highland Foods Maple Pepper® Brand Seasoning and a recipe for Bossman’s Smoked Apple Beans. Beans have never tasted better.
July 11, 2011
We recently read a New York Times article about the summer backyard grill and that got us thinking of new ways to enjoy Maple Pepper® Brand Seasonings. Yes, you can always grill your favorite steak or burger, but what about garden alternatives such as eggplant, cabbage, potatoes, jicama and mushrooms as suggested in the article? To all of you Maple Pepper® connoisseurs, well, you know what to do. Yes, top these grilled veggies with your favorite Maple Pepper®.
And now, on to the topic of choice today: Watermelon Hamburgers. We have customers who enjoy our seasonings on freshly sliced melons but on grilled melon? What a fabulous idea. Quoting the July 6, 2011 article, “Watermelon is not a vegetable, obviously, but it’s so wonderful when grilled that it must be included here. Grill a watermelon slice, and it dries out and sobers up, losing its sloppy sweetness, and it takes surprisingly well to savory accompaniments. Add a slice of good melting cheese, a hard roll, a few pickles and a lettuce leaf, and look out: watermelon burgers.” Wow! This puts a whole new twist on summer burgers. Hmmmm, am wondering how these watermelon burgers might taste with Maple Pepper® seasoning? You too? Let’s give it a try.
Speaking of watermelon, thoughts of grilled apples and oranges seasoned with Maple Pepper® come to mind. You never know unless you try. When you are cooking with Maple Pepper®, the possibilities are deliciously endless. Grilled marshmallows seasoned with Maple Pepper®? Now that ...
June 15, 2011
What better time to have a jar of Maple Pepper(R) in your kitchen with garden fresh salads popping out of our gardens, and grills simmering on the back terrace? Spring is not spring without Maple Pepper(R). Our Maple Pepper(R) with Habanero adds a hot nip to Bloody Mary’s, fresh fruit, corn on the cob, burgers and barbecue chicken. Maple Pepper(R), pure and simple, the way life and food ought to be. Come see us this summer! We’d love to hear from you - tell us how you use our products! Happy spring, with summer only five days around the corner. Bon appetite!
March 20, 2011
Here are a few sampling ideas we used at the New England Products Trade Show we attended this month. Each one in purely and simply delicious and would make for a simple snack or a hors d’oeuvre for your family and friends.
Maple Pepper® with Habanero or Maple Pepper® Original Seasoned Fruit: Sprinkle an amount to your liking on your favorite fruits to create a new taste sensation. We have used apples, cantaloupe, watermelon and oranges. Try some on these and your other favorite fruits.
Maple Pepper® Cream Cheese Dip: This is a simple dip for fresh vegetables, or a cracker and bread spread. Use the Maple Pepper® flavor of your choice. Mix your desired amount of Maple Pepper® with cream cheese and a splash of fresh lemon juice. We like to add a dollop or two of sour cream or yogurt as well.
Maple Pepper® Olive Oil* Dip: Mix in your favorite flavor of Maple Pepper® with olive oil. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. You may warm the mixture up a bit too if you’d like. We find this brings out more of the flavor. Use as a dip for fresh French or Italian bread.
Maple Pepper® Marinated Cucumbers: Mix red wine or balsamic vinegar with our Maple Pepper® Olive Oil Dip. Toss is some fresh basil. Mix and pour over fresh sliced cucumbers.
- We recommend Lakonia Greek Products Olive Oil for all of our Maple Pepper® recipes calling for olive oil. Lakonia’s ...
March 20, 2011
Let it snow let it snow let it snow…. and boy it sure did this winter. We had storm after storm and enjoyed every single flake of it. The ski slopes and cross-country ski trails were busy and the snowshoes wore wide paths in the snow. As we sit here today looking out our window, rain, and lots of it, is falling. As it falls, we watch the snow melting away into spring. The days are longer, the sun a little stronger, and wisps of spring can be heard in the call of the birds. A few spring flowers are up too.
Sugaring season is upon us. Here are a few sugaring statistics you might be interested in. It takes about 43 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. The exact amount depends on the sugar content of the sap. One gallon of syrup weighs 11 pounds. It takes 1.67 lbs of maple syrup to make one lb of sugar. Now that is sweet.
We just returned from the New England Products Trade Show in Portland Maine. This is always a fun time where we meet some of our existing wholesale customers and connect with new ones! We offered samples of our products on a variety of foods and have shared them with you in our March 20th blog entry. We’d like to thank those of you who have shared some of your favorite Maple Pepper® recipes. Please visit our recipe section. We recently ...
November 27, 2010
It is Saturday morning. Early morning frost dusts the trees and last few flowers from the summer garden. There is a chance of snow today. Thanksgiving was two days ago. Christmas and New Years are only weeks away. It’s here - the holiday season of 2010.
The holiday season in Maine is a time to slow down from work and the other hustles and bustles of daily life to enjoy the company of good friends and family, and the peace and quiet of the sea. Santa Claus comes to town in a lobster boat. Wreaths are adorned with blue mussel shells, and Christmas trees are cut from the lower back forty with a handsaw and pair of warm woolen mittens. The best holiday “shopping” comes from our kitchens and hands. It is the personal touch of a simple gift that really matters: homemade jellies, breads or other holidays treats; handmade balsam pillows stuffed with needles from our own woods, and orange and clove sachets.
As we prepare for this festive season, we’d like to share a few of our favorite holiday recipes using Maple Pepper® Brand Seasonings. As always, you can use which ever flavor of our Maple Pepper® you’d like. Please view our recipe section for our latest postings. And while you are at it, why not consider a gift box of Maple Pepper® on your shopping list for family and friends so that they too can create their own holiday treats? Now that’s a purely simple ...
October 31, 2010
The last of the leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, sailboats have been laid to rest in boatyards and driveways, moorings have been pulled for the season. Fall is here with winter right around the corner.
One of our favorite outdoor activities this time of year is hiking in the Maine woods. We are especially fond of Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park. The hike is steep and short, the trail blanketed with leaves and wild cranberry. At the summit, you are treated to a broad reaching view of Penobscot Bay with its many islands - Isle au Haut, Isleboro, Matinicus, and Lime Island. There are many others of course. You can see Blue Hill and Mt. Desert off in the distance and new wind turbines on Vinal Haven. The gray green sea is dotted with a handful of boats while the magnificent schooners of Camden Harbor float on their moorings, no longer moved by the wind rather the pulsing of the tides.
The last of the garden harvest is gathered and put up for the winter. One of our favorites is pumpkin. It is fun to watch them grow, speculating which will be best for the family Jack-O-Lantern. We judge them by size, color and shape. We carve their faces into spotty toothed mouths with devilish grins and glaring eyes. Boo!
Being the thrifty New Englanders that we are, we use the carving left overs to make hearty pumpkin soups and roasted pumpkin seeds. We used Maple Pepper® ...