Monday, July 28, 2008

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

It's blueberry season in Rhode Island!

Here is a wonderful recipe that is made even better with the key ingredient of

Wild Maine Blueberry Jam by Stonewall Kitchen.
This jam tastes just like fresh baked blueberry pie.

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
Serves: 8

1 loaf of French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (8 ounces)
1-8 oz. package of cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Jam
6 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup milk

Blueberry Syrup:
1/2 cup Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Jam
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. butter
A dash of cinnamon
Grease a deep-dish pie pan.
Place half of the French bread cubes in the bottom of the prepared pie dish.
Equally distribute the cream cheese cubes, fresh blueberries, and Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Jam over the top of the bread cubes.
Top with remaining bread cubes.
In a medium size bowl combine the eggs, maple syrup and milk. Whisk until uniform. Pour over bread mixture.
Place in refrigerator several hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake approximately 30 minutes more, or until the casserole is set and the top is golden.
While the casserole bakes, combine the syrup ingredients in a small sauce-pan and heat over low heat on the stove top.
Serve the casserole hot with the syrup drizzled over each portion.
This recipe is best when made a day ahead and refrigerated until baking.
If doubling the recipe bake in a 9 x 13-inch pan.

Black Licorice Lovers Listen UP!

Pontefract Cakes
are back in stock at Brown & Hopkins!
For true licorice aficionados there is just no substitute for authentic Pontefract cakes. Soft and chewy, their rich black licorice flavor is blended with a hint of molasses for a distinct taste that's never too sweet and always satisfying. And unlike cheap imitations, these are stamped with a picture of the Pontefract Castle (a must in order to use the Pontefract name) so you know you are getting the real thing.
I must admit, I never liked black always had to be red licorice.
But these cakes have changed my way of thinking!
This licorice is so good, that some of our customers were starting to have withdrawals! I could feel some tantrums coming on soon, so I am happy to report that we have it back just in time....I hate foot stomping as it makes the floors in this old building shake and then the bottles on the shelves start dancing.

Pontefract Cakes are 8 cents each or $7.50 per pound

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pan Seared Scallops with Wasabi Ginger Sauce

I have been enjoying so much great seafood lately, and seeking new ways to prepare it. Last night I tried this delicious recipe......and it was a hit!

Pan Seared Scallops with Wasabi Ginger Sauce
Serves: 1

3- 5 large sea scallops, per person
Stonewall Kitchen Wasabi Ginger Sauce
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions Toss scallops with olive oil and place flat side down
in a heavy skillet or cast iron pan preheated to medium high. Once bottom side has browned turn over
and continue to cook until browned on other side and desired doneness is achieved.
Remove from pan and place scallops in a puddle of Stonewall Kitchen Wasabi Ginger Sauce and garnish plate with sprig of fresh chive or julienne of scallion. I have to admit, I had no sprig of chive, or julienne of I improvised with steamed broccoli and brown rice.
It certainly filled us up more than a sprig of chive would have!

And I have to mention that Bruce is so patient......Now picture a hungry guy who had just finished cutting the lawn and walks into the dining room all ready to sit down for dinner...and I say, "Wait, I have to get a photo of the plate for the blog! No, that one was not good, I have to take another one." He just smiles and waits......just a little bit of drool was starting to show.

By the way, Dave's Marketplace in Smithfield has these enormous sea scallops on sale now, and they were so succulent. This is the perfect quick dinner for these hot humid days we have been having! Hurry in for a bottle of Stonewall Kitchens Wasabi Ginger'll bring out the gourmet cook in you!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Brand New...And We Have Them!

Primitive Reed Diffusers are now available at Brown & Hopkins! If you haven't tried a reed diffuser yet, you do not know what you are missing!
It is a fabulous way to scent rooms in your home!
Just fill the wax container with the scented oil, insert the reeds. Wait 24 to 36 hours for the reeds to absorb the oil and then flip them over.
Place the container on a tin saucer, not directly on furniture.
And now you are ready to experience the wonder of a diffuser.
Choose from Applejack & Spice, Clove, Cinnamon Fig or Vanilla Creme Brulee.

Also available (by special order at this time)
are adorable snowman diffusers scented with Vanilla Creme Brulee.

A large size and mini size is available.
These will make wonderful Christmas gifts!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Little Rhody!!

We receive so many requests....
"What do you have that is made in RI?"

So, we have been working hard at increasing our RI gourmet selection!
How about some RI Red Hot Sauce,
Salt Water Taffy,
RI Honey made by own own resident bees,
RI made Biscotti (aka one of Oprah's favorites!)
or some RI Maple Syrup?

Be sure to check out our new
Rhode Island Cookbook!

Make up some tasty Stuffed Quahogs or some Chili Sauce this weekend!
This is a great gift for a native Rhode Islander now living elsewhere....poor things.
Plus, we've ordered lots of items that you would consider as souvenirs like key rings, spoons, and magnets and local post cards!
Looking for more than a trinket?
And now we also have soy candles
featuring the Brown & Hopkins logo!

As I was doing some research ( aka surfing the Internet),
I stumbled upon a "wicked" good website!
If you are a native Rhode Islander, you will enjoy the many trips down memory lane featured on it. Mine is posted on page 12 of The music takes you back to the drive-in, the car hops, the sock hops......enjoy!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Old Guys in Pick-up Trucks

The other day as I was driving to work, I was behind a pick-up truck filled with old stuff. I was thinking to myself...."I wonder where he got all that great stuff...", and "I wonder how I can get a better look at it?". As I passed the vehicle I turned my head to get a better glimpse of the driver, a cute old guy with blue eyes, he motioned to me asking me if I wanted to look at the stuff in the back of his truck. I thought he looked harmless enough, so at the red light we decided to meet up in a nearby parking lot to assess the situation. (And this is where I say to myself....."I am my mother after all! LOL" Celia loved trash to treasure finds!) He had just finished cleaning out a barn in Massachusetts, and came away with a very shabby chic 20's Hoosier, a matching wall cupboard, a big black blanket box (would make an awesome coffee/game table!), an oak ice chest (needs refinishing, these make great liquor or Tupperware cabinets!) and a few other little things. But the most exciting find, was a "grabbit" (that's what I call it anyway)....a contraption to help shopkeepers reach canned goods off of high general store shelves! How ironic! It was as if this whole episode was a meant to be moment!
Here's a little history on one of my favorite finds.......

The Housewife’s Helper…Hoosier Cabinets
There’s a lot of debate about the origin of the word, but when it comes to antiques, a “Hoosier” is widely recognized as one of the most sought-after collectibles. The name came to refer to a free-standing, multi-use kitchen cabinet for the simple reason that the most popular version was produced by the Hoosier Manufacturing Company in New Castle, Indiana. Most of the company’s competitors were also based in the Hoosier State—Sellers of Elwood, Boone of Lebanon, and Coppes Nappanee offered comparable products in the first few decades of the twentieth century. The classic Hoosier cabinet stood six feet tall, was made of oak, pine, or later enamel, and featured closeted upper and lower storage spaces, bisected by an often collapsible wooden, zinc or porcelain counter. Many models included a built-in flour sifter, pull-out bins, ant-traps and racks for pots and pans. Other Hoosiers revealed a remarkable array of amenities—from a fold-out ironing board to a desk with pigeonholes and a pencil drawer.
The emergence and popularity of the Hoosier cabinet correspond with changes in society taking place a century ago, especially with regard to the woman’s role and domestic life. In the post-Civil War era, women trying to function in smaller urban quarters without servants turned to a steady stream of technological advances for the home. The compact efficiency of the Hoosier cabinet appealed to the turn-of-the-century homemaker, and the Hoosier Manufacturing Company turned out at least 600 a day. A study commissioned in 1920 by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that use of such a workstation could save the American housewife over 1500 of the 2000-plus steps she took in her kitchen every day. “After these amazing discoveries,” an ad in the Ladies Home Journal read, “no woman will end another day footsore and weary. None will endure the distressing fatigue of kitchen work any longer.”
Don't ya just love the verbage in old advertising? In the blanket box there was a newspaper from the 50's with great ads for old automobiles.....I would have loved to have grown up in the 50' looked like so much fun!

Looking for some fun this weekend?
Gather some friends and take a drive to Brown & Hopkins. Shop in our air conditioned store, sample some cheddar cheese and lots of new dips we just got in!!! It's going to be too hot to do anything else!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Primitive Serving Trays and More New Stuff

We found this new company during our
January Atlanta shopping trip.
We got so excited when we saw these primitive style serving trays!
Just in time for summer entertaining!
And so pretty (in a prim way), that you can display them even when you aren't entertaining!
How great is that?!
Just a few more glimpses of what is new!

Our fruit is so realistic. Pick it up, feel the weight of it? Just $4.95 each or 3 for $11.95

These angels are a must have! And the small one is only $9.95!
See you soon!

And the Award Goes To......

Brown & Hopkins!!!!!

My friend Pam at Antique Or Not and Debra at both honored me with this award! Thank You both!!!!!!!
Once an award is received, the rules are as follows:
Put the logo on your blog.
Add a link to the person who awarded you.
Nominate at least seven other blogs.
Add links to those blogs on your blog.
Leave a message for your nominee on their blogs.
Here are my nominees. There are sooooooooooo many talented and interesting people out there, I could have listed a hundred......but the rules is the rules. : )

This gal is so down to her photos!

Interesting stories behind old pics

I found Chris when I was recuperating from my horseback riding accident last year. He is from Australia and offers some great views of the outback......and is recovering from a run in with a semi and his motorbike.

I know, I have a varied list of blogs I like.......but I guess that is why there are 52 flavors of ice cream. I also like but I didn't give her an award, because I didn't think she would have time to pass on the award. She might be too big for her chaps to do so, err, I mean too busy, but I still like it, so check it out when you have a moment.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mom's Apple Pie

My mom was known for cooking and baking lots of wonderful dishes, but best for her awesome apple pies. Here is a copy of the original recipe cards in her own handwriting. Her fruit pies were often requested for birthdays, in lieu of gifts! That is how good they were! I still have issues with rolling out dough.......

At Brown & Hopkins we are working on putting together a 200th Commemorative Cookbook in honor of Brown & Hopkins 200th Birthday, which we hope to have ready for Christmas 2008.

But we need your help!

We need your best, most often requested recipes! You may pick up an entry form at the store! Please feel free to enter up to 5 recipes! And make copies of the blank form for friends! We need lots of recipes! Be sure to note any special history or story that the recipe has and we will try to print that as well!

You may also email your recipes to

Be sure to include your name and phone number in the event we need to ask a question. Please proofread your recipe for any errors.

Deadline for recipes is September 28, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fast & Easy Works For Me!

Check this out......

Caramelized Onion Balsamic Spread
by Robert Rothschild.....

Mix 3 TBsp with one cup of sour cream and 1 tsp of chopped parsley.....
Serve with potato chips as a dip.

We hear it is also perfect to top a block of cream cheese with it and serve as an appetizer with pita bread wedges. Also great with grilled chicken or fish, or as the base for a goat cheese pizza.
Be sure to check out our new dip line the next time you drop by! We have some great dip crocks that, when you place ice in the bottom section, keeps dip cool for hours!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's Ancient, but It's Not Too Horrible!

I am speaking about the
82nd Ancient & Horribles Parade,
held each year in Chepachet
on the Fourth of July at 4pm!!!!
Nothing is sacred as Glocester locals spoof local and national politics during the famous Ancients and Horribles Parade on the Fourth of July. The parade first wound its way down Main Street in Chepachet in 1926 and, with the help of many dedicated volunteers, has continued to delight Glocester residents (and many others) each and every year since.
I can only imagine what folks will get creative with this year!

It is a fun time for all!
We'll see you at the candy counter from
2pm to 4pm on Friday, the 4th!
After that, we'll be watching the parade too!
Have a happy and safe weekend!