Highland Foods Blog

Snow days in Maine

February 25, 2018

We’ve had a lot of them this year. Several good sized storms have kept the kids home. Snow days! Remembering them as a child. Waking up to watch the local news to see if your school’s name flashes across the screen. And then you see it. Yes, an unexpected day off. Hooray! The thrills that await you after breakfast. Dawn your winter clothes, grab a sled and away you go. Heaven.

It’s days like these when the earth stands still, temporarily hushing the clutter of noise we hear in the news surrounding us every day. Noise that disturbs us, worries us, frightens us, shocks us. Instead, we get to take a breath from it all, doing and noticing what really matters. Card games by the fire, candles on the mantel, smells of woodsmoke, the closeness of family. Taking time to notice how snowflakes swirl in the wind, settling on tree bows, tucking Mother Earth under a cold white blanket.

What if every day was like a snow day? Imagine how the world could be.

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Winter Weather Warmer with Double Hot Hot Cocoa

January 15, 2018

Not sure about you but we have been loving this winter weather. We’ve had two big snowstorms and freezing temperatures. The sea fog off the harbor on a frosty winter morning is beautiful. The snow shoes and cross country skis have been getting a workout. It is all good.

Double Hot Hot Cocoa is perfect for this type of weather. You simply add two or more hearty shakes of our Maple Pepper® w/Habanero to your steaming hot cup of cocoa. It’s tasty. It’s double hot.

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Happy Holidays 2017

December 23, 2017

What’s so special about this time of year, special to so many regardless of religious beliefs, race, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation? For the folks at Highland Foods, at the heart of the holidays is love for one another. Love includes respecting one another, listening to one another, recognizing our differences and seeking to understand those differences. Some differences are extreme, some not so much. Personal integrity - the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, the state of being whole and undivided - matters. Love is absent without it.

At the heart of all of us, regardless of the time of year, is the health of this planet. As individuals, we are part of a collective whole. Without full participation of the collective whole, the delicate balance of life is at stake. We’ve witnessed instability past and present. Our future lies before us. Do we let it melt away? Do we pass the buck on to the next generation?

As we celebrate this holiday season, cherish the love we have for one another. Honor our planet in all of its glory. As a collective whole, we can make this world a better place. We are all in this together.

Highland Foods wishes you the best this holiday season.

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Sailing into Spring

April 29, 2017

It is spring in Maine. Seasonal residents are trickling back in, moorings are out, sailboats are being readied for another season. Our farmers’ markets soon will be bustling with fresh greens, radishes and peas. The osprey are on their way back for another summer by the sea. We’ve been busy getting our rowboat, a Whitehall, ready for its first row of the season in Rockport Harbor. Once in the water, we’ll move on to Oak, our Alberg 30. We’ll be sure to send along photos of some of our summer excursions once she’s back in the water.

Our Maple Pepper® w/Rosemary is steadily gaining popularity. Our customers’ favorite is mixing it with olive oil for dipping. We are experimenting with some new recipes, including a Maple Pepper® w/Rosemary cracker, and Maple Pepper® w/Rosemary scones. Stay tuned on those. If you’ve created some of your own recipes using any or our four flavors, we’d love to hear from you.

Diversity is the spice of life, whether it be people, places or things. At Highland Foods, we celebrate diversity in our products, which we make for you to enjoy.

Let us know if your summer travels bring you to Maine. It is a pleasure to meet our customers. Take care and be well.

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Old Man Winter in Maine

February 13, 2017

It is nice to have an old friend back in town. Old Man Winter is treating us to a good old fashioned New England blizzard. The wind is howling, the snow is flying, and the inches are piling up. Hurricane force winds are churning up the high seas. Imagine being out there riding the storm. Wow.

In weather like this, it’s a good time for some Maple Pepper® comfort food - Maple Pepper® popcorn and Maple Pepper® w/Habanero hot chocolate. Both recipe ideas straight from our customers. Another is a bowl of New England clam chowder or fish chowder seasoned with your choice of Maple Pepper®, warming you up after a good hour of shoveling. Kind of like that soup ad some of you may remember of the little boy coming in from the cold, sitting down to a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup fogging up his glasses.

The best to you all. Wishing you a peaceful 2017 filled with hope, compassion, love and respect for your fellow mankind.

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Thank you Purple Tomato!

January 25, 2017

The Purple Tomato, a specialty food store in Lincoln, NH, just wrote to tell us they carry our products. That’s great! Have a favorite store near you that carries Maple Pepper® Brand Seasoning? Great! Have a favorite store near you that ought to carry our products? Let us know and we’ll give them a call. Thank you!

We enjoy creating recipes using our seasoning. Sometimes it is a brand new recipe from scratch, other times we’ll top off a favorite recipe with Maple Pepper®. Being that time of year, we’ve had customers tell us they use the habanero flavor in their hot chocolate. Others love to sprinkle their flavor of choice on popcorn while bundled up on the couch watching a movie on a cold winter’s eve. Do you have a recipe you’d like to share? Better yet, one with a picture? We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email. Thank you!

Here on the coast of Maine our fingers are crossed for a real New England winter. So far, it’s been lacking but we are hopeful the weather will turn for the better, bringing us plenty of snow.

All the best to you.

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It's Been a While!

October 16, 2016

Hello and happy fall to you all. Summer was lovely here in Maine though a tad dry. Fall is quite colorful in spite of the drought. There are still a few hearty sailors out on the high seas. More room in the coves and harbors with summer cottages closed up for the winter.

We just spent a bit of time checking out answers to our website survey. Note that we are in the process of making a new website which will make your shopping experience that much easier. We know it has had its glitches.

We want to share some of our customer comments. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you. If you have any Maple Pepper® photos of you using the products, feel free to send along for us to post. Thanks!

And now, a word from our customers:

  • When friends ask what makes our food so delicious, we tell them Maple Pepper… Then we have to hide the jar or it ends up going home with them! It’s a great stocking stuffer - if we are willing to part with a jar or two.
  • We first discovered Maple Pepper while on vacation in Vermont many years ago & fell in love with it - we’ve been buying it ever since - love at first sprinkle!
  • How DON’T I use it? ;-) My favorite way to use it is to put it on top of the sour cream in my baked potatoes. I ...

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Feeling Like a Maple Pepper® Addict - Fan Letter

May 16, 2016

We’d like to share an email Lisa sent us yesterday. Have something to say about Maple Pepper®? Send it along in an email or letter and we’ll post your comments as well.

“Dear Alison, I bought some of your Maple Pepper w/Rosemary when I worked a show for Zen Bear Honey Tea.

O M Goodness. I put it on EVERYTHING!!! I have told everyone who will listen how much I love it. I am almost out and was freaking out today and then looked you up on the web and found that you are carried at 2 places in Freeport. Thank goodness!!! Whew.

Anyway, this is just a note of appreciation. I’m a Maple Pepper super fan!!”

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Move over Brown Sugar....

May 5, 2016

Jill Fitch, one of our regular customers, posted the following on FACEBOOK recently:

I’ve been using your product (Maple Pepper®) for several years now and tell everyone I can about it. Especially good on steamed carrots, baked acorn squash, and sweet potato. Stopped using brown sugar so saving calories.

Thank you Jill. Don’t forget to check in on our FB page for photos, recipe ideas and more. We love to hear from our customers as well.

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New Look; New Flavor - Maple Pepper® w/Rosemary

April 19, 2016

We have a lot to be excited about this spring. We attended the Northern New England Products Trade Show in March as we told you in our previous blog post. It was a proud moment for Highland Foods. We introduced our new labels and a new product! Our new labels are looking sharp with an overdue makeover. A familiar look with a new flare. And then there is our newest product, Maple Pepper® w/Rosemary. The product is so new, we have yet to add it to our web store. And our wholesale customers are just now getting their orders and stocking their store shelves. Our newest flavor was at the suggestion of Olive and Co. out of Oklahoma City. The store sells a gourmet line of olive oils and was looking for a new flavor to season oils for dipping crusty loaves of French bread and the like. We crafted a recipe for them, and now it is available for you. Great things can happen thanks to our customers. Have a flavor idea? Send it along. We just might give it a try.

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Northern New England Products Trade Show

April 19, 2016

We were at the Northern New England Products Trade Show in March. This is always a fun event, meeting existing customers and opening accounts with new ones. The show was a great success!

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Happy Eggs!

April 19, 2016

Our friend Jane Holmes of Windham Maine sent us a grateful email. In Jane’s own words, “At last, my eggs will be so happy!” Why? Jane just replenished her supply of Maple Pepper® w/Garlic. We are happy to know that not only our customers appreciate our products, but their eggs do as well.

Why not start your morning off with an egg, or two, seasoned with your favorite flavor of Maple Pepper®, whether it be our Original, w/Garlic, w/Habanero, or our newest flavor, w/Rosemary? From fresh off the farm eggs, to warm from the oven roast chicken, our seasonings are sure to please your palate.

Happy spring.

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Wet and Wild!

March 11, 2016

This is the winter that never was. Yes, we love snow. And no, we hardly had a flake of it this year. Instead, early budding of leaves and popping up of crocus and daffodils. Makes us wonder what is in store for this spring? Beach days? Early onset of black flies? We’ll have to wait and see. A few things we are sure of, however. It’s time to get the sailboat and dinghy out of winter storage to prime them for this upcoming sailing season. Also, time to begin sifting through the veggie seeds for the radishes and spinach to plant. The ground never really froze this year so the garden soil is ready to be tilled.

Most importantly, we are excited to introduce a new product - Maple Pepper® w/Rosemary. With the new product, it was a good time to update our labels as well. Maple Pepper® has a new look which we’ll unveil to the public next weekend at the New England Products Trade Show in Portland Maine. We are also in the midst of redoing our website so stay tuned for that. Oh, and we had to resize our gift box for four products so the box has a new look too.

In closing, we have yet another customer recipe to share with you. This one just in from Andy of Waldoboro Maine: “I just made a Philly cheese steak using Maple Pepper® for the first time. It was really excellent as a seasoning. Normally, I ...

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"My Favorite New Recipe for Maple Pepper®"

January 19, 2016

We received this email just today and had to share it with you. Perfect for the cold winter weather that is upon us. Start the day off right with HOT oatmeal, and HOT coffee.

“Hi Alison,

I originally purchased your Maple Pepper with Habanero at Polly’s Pancake Parlor and my husband and I have been enjoying it for quite a few years now. Although I love it sprinkled on my steel cut oats each morning we recently discovered that a few sprinkles in our coffee grounds along with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon before brewing gets our morning started off with a delicious kick!

Thanks for a great product!” Sincerely, Terrie D.

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Welcome in the New Year!

January 15, 2016

A belated happy holidays to you all. We hope you had a restful holiday, spending time with family and friends and sharing the gifts of the season, including bountiful meals of holiday food and cheer.

The holidays here on the coast of Maine are always a treat. Life slows down after a busy summer season. The thermometer dips, the sea breezes nip, and boats are hauled from the harbors. Christmas lights and green boughs grace the streets and houses. It is lovely. We are patiently waiting for snow this year.

Thank you to you, our customers. We had a successful 2015 and are looking forward to 2016. Some changes have been brewing on the Highland Foods’ front. We are excited to be introducing a new product, new labels, and new gift boxes. Stay tuned!

We want to close out this message with a couple of quotes from some of our customers. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.

”Your Fire on the Mountain shaker made food on two deployments better and actually edible. I still keep a jar with me at work. WELL DONE!!” Dave Rosenlund from Vermont

”I wanted to say I’m such a HUGE fan of your Maple Pepper® with habanero ever since I was fortunate enough to get to try some. May I please get…….your truly spectacular pepper? I’ll be the best walking advertisement ever in Indy, and I will definitely pay it forward! Thank you in advance, an enthusiast!” Erich ...

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Wedding Bells!

October 16, 2015

It seems this November is wedding bell season. Two happy couples will be treating their family and friends to Maple Pepper® wedding favors. What a lovely thing, sharing their love of Maple Pepper® on their wedding day. Whether it is an upcoming wedding or other big event, make it a memorable one for both you and your guests with the gift of Maple Pepper®.

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Time Flies

October 11, 2015

Time flies so fast. It seems just the other day we were sailing Penobscot Bay. Today, it’s a cool, fall New England day with woodsmoke swirling from the chimneys and fiery red maples setting the skies ablaze. Won’t be long before the frost is on the pumpkin - literally - and the rake becomes our weekend exercise tool of choice. We posted a new photo on our photo roll so check it out. Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner.

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Recipes, FACEBOOK, and Bulk

August 28, 2015

Be sure to visit our FACEBOOK page for photos of some incredibly tasty and simple recipes. If you find yourself running out of Maple Pepper® all too frequently, remember you may order the product in bulk, packaged in bags or handy pour and shake bottles.

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Smooth Sailing and Hot Grilling

August 28, 2015

Summer in Maine has been a delight. We’ve cruised through under full sail, with plenty of fun times and great food along the way. We’ve been to Pinette, PEI and Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. We went aboard the Mary Day out of Camden, Maine and sailed around the islands of Penobscot Bay.

Summer is a time for rest and relaxation, visiting with family and friends, and grilling: burgers, fresh garden vegetables, steaks, shish kabob, shrimp and corn on the cob. One of our favorite summer grills is fresh mackerel, from sea to hook to grill in the matter of just an hour or two. Can’t get much fresher than that. After filleting, we season the fish with a bit of lemon and lots of Maple Pepper®. A few minutes on each side and you have an incredibly tasty meal. We love to accompany the fish with a few ears of corn on the cob, rolled in butter and coated with Maple Pepper®. Fresh fish and corn, a real summertime treat!

We hope you’ve all had a great summer. It’s only August 28th so there are plenty of summer days ahead. Be well, enjoy family and friends, and keep that jar of Maple Pepper® handy. Maple Pepper®, pure and simple, the way summer, life and food should be!

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Spring Time is Grill Time!

May 3, 2015

Welcome to spring here on the Maine coast! The last of the snow finally melted a couple of weeks ago. It was a long cold snowy winter. With that kind of weather, spring is more welcome than ever. The red winged blackbirds and woodcocks have been back for a while now, the osprey more recently and best of all, the peepers. The sugaring season was an OK one we hear; the deep snow made the gathering a bit more of a chore than usual.

We’ve pulled out our grill and broken it in to this year’s spring. Our first on the menu - Maple Pepper® and Coffee Steak Marinade. What a surprise treat. Here is our recipe. Give it a try and let us know what you think. You can see a photo of a steak grilled with the marinade on our FACEBOOK page. Happy Spring!

Makes enough marinade for 2-3 large steaks.

Ingredients: 1/4 Cup olive oil, 1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar, 1/8 Cup fresh coffee grounds (We like to use dark roast, but your favorite joe will do!), 3 Tablespoons of Maple Pepper® (any flavor!)


Combine all ingredients into a measuring cup and mix until completely blended. Place steaks in a bowl or container and pour 3/4 of marinade (you’ll use the rest later!) onto steaks and let sit for 30 - 60 minutes. Fire up the grill or set your oven to broil and cook the steaks for 4-5 minutes, then pour on the ...

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