Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Honey Roasted Nuts

The honey roasted nut recipe started with a desire to create a recipe for roasted nuts  that would taste like the ones that are in the granola.  These ended up nothing like them, but everybody loves them!  You can use 4 cups of any kind of nuts you prefer.  The most important thing to remember is to make sure the syrup has melted down in between the nuts after the first seven minutes, and the syrup in between the nuts after the second seven minutes is a little darker than at first;  sort of a medium brown/ dark tan color.  If it's the same color it was after the first seven minutes bake one more minute and recheck. Remember to stir in the chilipowder after  it finishes baking!

These are always popular when I’ve taken them places, & joyously received when given as a gift.

vegan, gluten free, healthy snacks

Honey roasted nuts

3 T light olive oil
6 T honey
1 T liquid lecithin
½ tsp whole salt
¼ tsp baking soda

1 cup almonds
1 ½ cups pecans
1 ½ cups walnuts

¾ tsp chili powder

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Whisk together oil through soda until turns a lighter creamy color.  Mix in the nuts & spread out onto a large cookie sheet with sides.  Bake 300 degrees for 7 minutes.  Stir up, spread out, & bake another 7 minutes, until the mixture between the nuts is just a little brown.   Set on a cooling rack, sprinkle the chili powder over the top & mix together thoroughly.  Every 5 minutes stir up the nuts until they cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

Please note:  If the mixture has not browned a bit at the end of the cooking time it will not set, if left in even a minute too long may burn.  In a warm humid area these need to be put in the frig as soon as cooled.  In a cool dry area they can be left in a jar on the counter for a week or so.  Be sure to add the chili powder AFTER baking.  For those with a spicy palette, use 1 tsp chili powder.  They may sound a little fussy to make, but once you find the right combination of times for your oven, they are one of the quickest & easiest things to make.

Easy Crunchy Crackers

Don’t be fooled by the short ingredient list.  These crackers are the best, with several variations to please everyone.

vegan, healthy snack

Easy Crunchy Crackers

½ cup oat flour
1 cup barley flour (more for rolling out)
¾ cup spelt flour
1 ¼ tsp whole salt

¾ cup warm water
Toasted sesame seeds, cumin seeds, etc.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set a smooth pizza stone in it to warm up
Blend together the flours and salt.  Stir in water with a fork until it forms a ball.  (Add more barley flour if too sticky)    Gently and slowly knead for 5 minutes.  Cover with a damp towel and let it sit for 10-60 minutes.  It will be a heavy dense dough.   Cut into 4 pieces and place back under the damp towel.  One piece at a time flatten out with floured fingers enough to add ½ tsp seeds.  Fold over and proceed to gently knead the seeds into dough.  Flatten out with floured fingers to about 1/3” thick.  Making sure there is ample flour underneath, roll out to 1/32”-1/16” thickness. (The thinner the crispier)  Lightly sprinkle with salt & roll into dough.  Remove the pizza stone from the oven and carefully slide the dough onto it.  Cut into 1”-2” squares.  (A pizza cutter works nicely.) Bake 7-10 minutes, until crackers are hard to the touch and slightly browned.  Cool completely on cooling rack before storing in an airtight container... if there’s any left.

Options:  Replace all the flour with 2 ½ cups fresh ground rye flour and add 2 tsp caraway or sesame seeds with the dry ingredients.   Replace all the flours with; ¾ cup oat flour, 1 cup barley flour, ½ cup buckwheat flour.  Seeds can be added as stated above, or rolled into the top with the sprinkle of salt.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Herb Bread

 This is a nice change for sandwiches, & very tasty toasted!

vegan, healthy, bread

Herb Bread

4 cups lukewarm water
2 T yeast
¼ cup honey
¼ cup granular lecithin
6T xv olive oil
4 tsp whole salt
11-12 cups spelt flour (approx 3#)

4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp rosemary
1 T fresh parsley, chopped fine
¾ tsp oregano
1½ tsp thyme
1½ tsp basil
1 large clove garlic, minced

Oven temp: 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast & honey.  Then stir in the lecithin, oil, salt, & enough flour to make a thick mud.  Stir 100 times slowly. (In the same direction.)  Let it sit for 20 minutes.  Mix in all the herbs, then enough flour to form a ball.  Pour onto a floured surface & knead 8-10 minutes until bounces back when dough is depressed with fingers.   Cover with a warm damp towel for 30-40 minutes until almost doubled in size.  Divide into 4 loaves, gently knead each 10-12 times, & place on oiled baking stone, seams pinched, smooth side down.  Cover with a warm, damp towel for 5-10 minutes until loaves have risen about 25%.  Bake:  375 for 30-35 minutes until bottom of loaf is lower pitched than the outside edge.  Cool completely on cooling rack.
Option:  Leave dried & fresh garlic & parsley the same, but replace dried herbs with ½ cup packed fresh herbs.  (Basic rule of thumb; 1tsp dry=1T fresh.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cranberry Bars

The distinct flavor of the cranberries mixed with the oats make a wonderful treat!

vegan, healthy, dessert

Cranberry Bars

Cranberry filling *
¾ cup water
1 cup pure maple syrup
5 cups fresh cranberries
*make a day in advance
Mix water, syrup and cranberries in a medium saucepan on approximately medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Gently simmer for10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally or every couple of minutes. Mixture will thicken and begin to set.
Allow to cool at room temperature, cover & place in the frig.

1½ c. spelt flour
1/4 c. maple sugar
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. whole salt
1 ½ c. quick oats
¼ tsp arrowroot powder

¼ cup warm honey
2/3 cup light olive oil

½ c. chopped pecans

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and oats in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together honey and olive oil.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and combine with a pastry cutter. This will yield a crumbly consistency.
Reserve 1 cup of the above mixture, stir in chopped pecans and set aside.
Press the remainder of the mixture into an oiled 13”x9” baking dish.
Bake: 350 for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour 1 ¾- 2 cups chilled cranberry filling evenly over dough.

Sprinkle the reserved crumble/ pecan mixture over the top of the cranberry filling.
Lightly press crumble into the filling with a fork. Take care not to burn your fingers on the hot dish!
Bake dish an additional 20-25 minutes until it has set and the edges are lightly browned.
Remove dish from oven and allow it to completely cool.
As with all baked goods; once cool, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap or foil.
Eat within 24 hours or refrigerate or freeze.

Options: Replace maple sugar with raw sugar.  Replace honey with maple sugar or raw sugar, but the base layer won’t hold together quite as well.  If a glass baking dish is used, raise the oven rack one up from center.  The cranberry sauce will keep for 2-3 weeks in the back of a 35 degree frig, & also freezes well.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Coriander Lentil Soup

Even those who aren’t big soup fans love this one! 

vegan, gluten free, healthy soup

Coriander Lentil Soup

2 ½ T xv olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped (1-1 ¼ cups)
2 large cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 T)
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 large carrot, diced (1 cup)
3 stalks celery, diced (1 ½ cup)

4 cups fresh or canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped
8 cups water
4 cubes veggie bouillon
3 cups red lentils
1 tsp basil
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne powder
2 T fresh parsley, chopped fine

Sauté first 7 ingredients on low, adding in order listed. Stir constantly until half cooked.  Stir in remaining ingredients, excluding parsley.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 1-1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally until lentils are soft & veggies tender.  Stir in parsley & adjust seasonings.  For a large crowd, double the recipe.
Options:  Replace red lentils with brown or green lentils.   Just as good, but quite a difference in taste!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Little About Me

The important and fun things in my life (in no order).

Being outdoors is my favorite place to be.  Fresh air, taking the time to observe all that is around.  I'm just starting to learn about all the wild foods around us that are not just edible but very tasty.  For example, the pigweed that grew up in our poorly weeded garden this year was delicious!  More on forage foods another time.
Getting regular exercise (including stretching).  30-60 minutes a day is ideal.  The mental and physical benefits far outweigh the time put in; with more energy, tasks getting done more efficiently, and when doing tasks outside I am working my muscles not straining them, reducing the chance of getting hurt.  When this falls out of the schedule occasionally, there's no sense moaning about it- plug it back in and move on! 
I like rocks.  The ones with the soil on them, of course!  Since as far back as I can remember I have been picking up and dragging home everything from tiny tiny fossils smaller than 1/4", to huge rocks over 100 pounds. Ok, the 100 pounders with my daughter's help, or my son just picking it up on his own.  Bless their hearts, they don't mind going rock hunting with me occasionally!

Organically growing as much of our food as possible is important to me.  So far we have a veggie garden, berry bushes, fruit trees, an asparagus patch, and there are a couple walnut tree saplings planted in pots in the herb garden awaiting their new home in the lawn next spring.  Bartering or gleaning in other peoples yards for nuts, fruit, or berries we don't grow is another way to acquire organic food.  With permission of course! 
Sharing the food we grow and make with others.  There is something about sharing with others that just warms the heart and brightens up any day.  Sharing baked goods probably happens the most, which I'm sure contributed to my children calling our kitchen the 'stone hill bakery.'  Sharing other people's over abundance is fun too;  my dear friend Terri lets me pick bushels of apples each year which then are given away to alot of different families and local homeless shelters.

I love my family.  My husband and I  are blessed with two beautiful children, inside and out, who make it all worthwhile!
First and foremost, I love God.  All three co-equal parts of God.  I am thankful a part of Him stepped out of eternity and into our 3 dimensional world for 33 years to walk with us, teach us, and provide us with a path back to Him if we choose to.  I am thankful Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to help us, and be with us with every breath we take, when we choose to accept God's gift of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus.  God has also provided us with Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.  (B.I.B.L.E.) Reading some of the word of God each day has enriched my life.  One of my favorites is Esther: among other good things she prayed to know when to open her mouth and when to close it.  Always a good thing to know.  Another is Matthew: which reminds us how God comes along side people with some pretty heavy baggage and turns their life around for the better.  He still loves doing that today too, when asked!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Coconut Bars

 These are simply great!  Light, sweet, & very quick to make.

vegan, gluten free, healthy snack

Coconut Bars

¾ tsp xv coconut oil
¾ tsp liquid lecithin
1 ½ T tahini
2 T honey
2 T maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla

Dry mix options:
Option 1:
2 ½ cups dry, unsweetened coconut flakes
2/3 cup almonds, chopped fine
2 ½ T sesame seeds, brown unhulled
Option 2:
2 cups dry, unsweetened coconut flakes
¾ cup almonds, chopped fine
Option 3:
2 cups dry, unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup almonds, chopped fine
2 T sesame seeds, brown unhulled


Mix together the dry ingredients option of your choice & set aside.  Heat a thick bottom, nonstick 12” fry pan on low.  Drop the syrup ingredients into the pan in the order listed.   Raise the temp to med/high stirring constantly.  Once it begins to softly bubble, stir another minute. (If it starts to darken, the temp is too high.)  Sprinkle the dry ingredients evenly over syrup.  Stir and fold together for 3-5 minutes until well incorporated, no longer clumpy, & just slightly browned in some spots. Immediately pour into an 8”x8” baking dish lined with parchment paper.  With a second piece of paper press down very firmly, then cool until slightly warm.  With a pastry cutter cut straight down, into 2” squares.  Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.  (For a crispier bar reduce the tahini to 1 tsp & allow to brown just a tiny bit more.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Carob Mint Cake

When my kids were pretty young I introduced this to their friends as just ‘mint cake’ and they loved it!  There’s just something about mixing mint and roasted carob together that gives it a more pronounced chocolate flavor.

vegan, gluten free, healthy dessert

Carob Mint Cake

Dry ingredients:
1 ¼ c. spelt flour
1 c.  kamut flour
½ c.  sifted ROASTED carob powder
¾ tsp. whole salt
1 ½ tsp. baking soda

Wet ingredients:
½ c. light olive oil
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 ¼ c. water
1 c. local raw honey
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2/3 cup red beet pulp
2/3 c. grated dark red beet, rough top skin removed; or 2/3 cup beet pulp from juicing beets.


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix wet ingredients well.  Mix dry ingredients well in separate bowl.  Gently and gradually stir in dry ingredients, just until all are moistened.  It will be this weird brownish pinkish color, but it bakes into a rich dark brown color.  Consistency will be a little thinner than other cake batters.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Lightly fold top to bottom a couple times and pour into a greased 13” x 9” glass or ceramic baking dish.  Bake : 350 for approx. 25-30 min. until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on rack for at least 30 min. to set.  Cover tightly when completely cooled.

Options:  Omit beet pulp and increase water to 1 ½ c.  Still good, but not the same melt in your mouth moist.  Replace carob powder with ½ c. sifted cocoa powder, and omit peppermint extract if you wish.   Finely grated beets can replace beet pulp.  For beet pulp available when you need it; peel off any rougher skin on beets before juicing, save the beet pulp left over when beets are juiced , measure out in 2/3 cup increments, place in freezer bags and freeze until needed.  (Best if used in 3-6 months.)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Caramel Corn

The traditional caramel corn is usually loaded with white sugar, corn syrup and sometimes molasses.  This caramel corn is plenty sweet, but light at the same time.  For years I made up baskets of baked goods for my husband to give out at Christmas time to groups he did construction work for.  Although there were bags of each item to be shared with everyone, quite often the bag of caramel corn seem to disappear quickly, never to be seen again.  This has been a huge hit for a couple decades, by the young, & young at heart!  

vegan, gluten free, healthy dessert


Caramel Corn

8 quarts air popped popcorn

½ #, (2 sticks) non-hydrogenated soy margarine
2 cups raw sugar
¼ cup honey

1 tsp whole salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Place popcorn in a very large roasting pan.  Measure out the salt & baking soda in a small dish & have the vanilla & measuring spoon ready.  Add the margarine, sugar & honey to a large high sided pan, & bring to a simmer on medium heat stirring very frequently. Increase to med/high stirring constantly until bubbly.  Continue stirring for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat & IMMEDIATELY pour in the vanilla, salt & soda, stir briskly for 20-30 seconds until smoother & creamier looking, then IMMEDIATELY pour onto the popcorn & mix until coated.  It will take 2-3 minutes to mix in evenly, stirring from the outside, down & up the center.  Bake at 200 degrees for 40 minutes, removing from the oven & stirring up every 10 minutes.  Spread out onto overlapping wax paper (covering an area 3 ½ ‘x 2’) until completely cooled.  Store in an air tight container for up to a week. 

WARNING:  Hot caramel really burns.  I recommend wearing oven mitts while stirring the syrup into the popcorn.  The syrup will bubble up when the baking soda is added then quickly hardens, which is why the last couple steps need to be accomplished quickly.   It takes a bit to get the hang of it, but well worth it.  Not to be made in humid weather though; the second it cools it begins to take on moisture.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Breakfast Shakes

The quickest, most refreshing breakfast, or lunch.  Good in the cooler weather, simply divine in the summer!

vegan, gluten free, healthy breakfast, protein shake

Breakfast shakes

Protein shake: 
1 batch fresh almond milk (2-3cups)    
1 T chia seeds
2 T almond butter
1 banana, peeled & frozen.

Fruit shake:
1 batch fresh almond milk
1 T chia seeds
1 ½ cups frozen fruit

Blend in a Vitamix blender until smooth.  Enjoy.
Options for either shake:  Replace almond milk with plain soymilk, adding 4-5 pitted dates.  For extra sweetness, add 1 T honey.
Nice fruit combos:  strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, & blackberries (aka-thimbleberries) 2, 3, or all 4 together.
                                       Peaches& blueberries 
                                       Mango & young kale leaves (worth making just for the color!)
Other good additions: Add ½ avocado, 2T hemp seeds, 2 or 3 ice cubes, and/or a small handful of any fresh greens from the garden for the really adventurous.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Black Bean Salad

Great any time of year, but especially nice over a bowl of your favorite raw greens for a quick meal on a hot day.

vegan, gluten free, healthy salad

Black Bean Salad

¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup xv olive oil
Juice of ¼ lime ( 1-2 tsp)
1 large clove garlic, minced (1 T)

1 each red, orange, & yellow sweet pepper, diced
½ large sweet white or red onion, chopped fine.  (¾ -1 cup)
2 cups fresh raw corn cut off the cob.  (3-4 large ears)
4-5 cups black beans, drained
2-3 T Italian parsley, chopped fine
Mix first 4 ingredients for dressing & set aside.  Prepare the rest and pour dressing over all but the parsley.  Blend well, then mix in the parsley.  Leave on counter for 30 minutes & stir up occasionally.  Store in frig for 5-6 days.  If you like a more savory salad or add in the larger amounts of the ingredients, double the dressing.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Thanks for Visiting!

Hi!  Thanks for visiting!  In sharing with you on this blog, my hope and prayer is you will find helpful information and be encouraged in your own path of learning as I pass on what I have learned over the years creating recipes, gardening, and other things related to the outside.  (The local fauna and flora as it is called.  Fauna being the local animal life, flora the plant life.) 
A little history on why I have been experimenting with recipes the last 30 plus years.  The first ten years of life included some rather annoying digestion problems; the next ten years added chronic, severe constipation with serious allergies beginning at 18.  At around 21, two friends of mine over the course of a couple weeks  both suggested I should try a varied vegan diet, as it was working really well for them.  To say the least!  These guys were both very healthy looking and so muscular they would've been body builders.  Lets get something straight right now.  I don't believe in 'going on a diet'.  The connotation behind that is, it is something temporary and then you go back to eating the junk you used to eat.  Not a good plan.  Your diet is what you eat, which may be nutritious, body strengthening food, or it may be food that weakens the body.  Now changing ones diet to include healthier, nutrient dense food is a good thing.  Back to the story.  I didn't go straight to all vegan, but after three months of cutting out meat and reducing the amount of dairy products  and refined sugar, the intestinal problems improved considerably but no changes in the allergies.  When I told my mom (the dietitian) of my diet changes, she suggested I do some research to find a variety of foods  containing the nutrients one needs, and she gave me the book 'The New Laurel's Kitchen' which was a great resource for new recipes to try, charts on cooking beans and grains, and charts showing the amounts of vitamins and minerals in a lot of foods. Since then, it has been a gradual switch to all  vegan, including raw vegetable juices. This is an on going process.  I feel the best when I stick to all vegan, am juicing at least a couple times a week and practice proper food combining-(the intestinal and allergy problems virtually disappear).  In all honesty that doesn't happen 100% of the time. Some times I'll be out somewhere and I'll say to myself:  You can eat this and it may or may not still taste good  for the 5 minutes you eat it, but then you are going to feel crummy for the next 12-24 hours after.  Is it worth it?  Some days it is, some days it isn't.  The days it is have been less and less through the years.  That brings us back to the reason for creating recipes that are satisfying and tasty.  With delicious choices with food value, the why waste my time and resources on stuff loaded with refined sugar, refined salt, and refined flours?   Simply put:  Eat well, feel well! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Peach Custard Pie

As soon as the first peaches ripen this pie gets baked.  Two pies if possible!  When there were four people here, everyone would have a piece after dinner and then the kids usually have it for part of their breakfast the next morning out of the fridge.  It is very refreshing on a hot summer day; sweet, light, and juicy.  I made a couple this year with the gluten free crust instead.  I think I like it even better actually than with the spelt flour crust, although both are good.   

vegan, healthy pie, healthy dessert

Peach Custard Pie

A nice light pie for a warm summer evening.  A breakfast favorite too.

1 ¼  cup spelt flour
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder                               
2 T maple sugar
3 ½ -4 T light olive oil                               

10-12 peaches, peeled, pitted, & sliced into ½” wedges

¼ cup honey
1 ¼ tsp cinnamon

1 ½ cups vanilla or plain soy yogurt
3/4 tsp arrowroot powder
1 T apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder & sugar.  Cut in 3 ½ T oil with a pastry cutter; flour should be fully incorporated & mixture crumbly.  If too dry, mix in ½ T more.  Press into a 9” deep pie shell.  Prepare peaches & pour into pie shell.  Mix cinnamon with honey & drizzle evenly over peaches. Bake:  400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Thoroughly whisk together the yogurt, arrowroot powder then vinegar.  Remove pie from oven & pour enough over the peaches to reach 1/4”below rim.  Set aluminum foil on oven rack (in case bubbles over), set pie on top & bake another 30-35 minutes until custard is set & tips are slightly browned.   Cool completely on cooling rack, cover & refrigerate overnight.

Options:  Replace yogurt with 1 cup soymilk & reduce arrowroot powder to ½ tsp.  Replace crumb crust with the gluten free pie crust.  For a peachier flavor reduce cinnamon to 1 tsp.  Fresh lemon juice may replace vinegar.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Peanut Butter Carob Fudge

This does a great job of satisfying that sweet tooth that hits in the middle of the afternoon.  Having some in the freezer comes in handy also for a quick nutritious snack to go.

healthy, gluten free, healthy dessert


P. B. Carob Fudge

2-(2 ½) cups smooth peanut butter
½ cup honey   

1cup coarsely chopped walnuts                                                                                                                                                   
¾ cup finely ground oats
1 cup roasted carob powder
1/3 cup finely ground sesame seeds
¼ cup hemp seeds

Grease a 9”x9” baking dish with xv coconut oil, cut a piece of wax paper a little bigger than your dish, & set these aside.  Mix together 2 cups of the peanut butter & the honey in a large bowl.  Separately mix remaining ingredients together & pour over PB & honey.  With your hands squish the ingredients together until well incorporated, adding more PB if needed to form a dense but moist dough.  This will take a few minutes.  Scrape it into the baking dish, cover with wax paper & press hard on top to consolidate fudge & even out the top.  Cover & chill in frig over night.  Cut into squares & enjoy.  Keep refrigerated for up to a week, or freeze in individual squares.

Options:  Omit hemp seeds & replace with an equal amount of ground oats.  Pecans in place of walnuts are good, & if you choose to omit the nuts all together, start with 1 ½ cups PB.  Any nut butter you choose can be substituted for the peanut butter.  And of course unsweetened cocoa powder can be substituted for the carob; initially reduce the cocoa powder to ¾ cup, adding in more to your taste.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 10 November 2013 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact jeanne ( This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Those advertisements will be identified as paid advertisements. The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified. To get your own policy, go to

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