April Cheese & Wine of the Month

With the weather quickly warming up, we think it’s time for your food to as well. This month, we’ve selected a cheese and wine with warm coloring, flavors and excellent quality. Take a look and inspire your taste buds this April.

This month’s cheese pick is from Moondarra Cheese. Moondarra is an Australian based company known for quality, fresh ingredients and innovative flavored cheeses. Their honey and pistachio cheese is no exception. This quality cheese is rolled in honey and covered in pistachio. With a smooth, creamy texture, it’s the perfect spreadable cheese for a party or gathering.

Moondarra Honey & Pistachio Cheese


Looking for a spin on traditional wine? Try our wine of the month, Sweet Pea Apple Wine. This wine is a refreshing detour from traditional grape wines. With the fresh taste of Washington apples, natural peach and hints of blackberries and strawberries, Sweet Pea features a crisp and clean finish, similar to a Riesling. It’s the perfect kick-off to spring and the upcoming summer. Grab this light and fruity wine, some friends, and enjoy a relaxing evening on the patio.

Sweet Pea Apple Wine:

Sweet Pea_apple wine_Web

Thanks for following and be sure to pick up our cheese and wine of the month the next time you shop at HCM!


Events on the Hill: April – June Calendar of Events Available!

Our calendar of events for the months of April – June is now available! Take a look and find an exciting event at Hill Country Market or at the other businesses that share our location, such as: WildRoots Salon & Studio, Turning Leaf Acupuncture, and our sister company, Breezy Hill Nursery. We’d love to have you join us!

Click the image to see the calendar in full size.

2015 Calendar_April-JuneEvents

2015 Calendar_April-JuneFront

If an event asks you to pre-register, please do so as some events have limited space or require extra preparation to ensure that there are supplies/food/etc. available for you when you attend. Thank you.

(The calendar of events is also available in-store at the register).

See you at HCM!


Fresh Start: Food for the Mind

Hill Country Market's Homemade SconesThe New Year is always a great time to think about where you may want to make some changes in your life. Today, we teamed up with our neighbors at WildRoots Salon & Studio and Turning Leaf Acupuncture and want to talk a bit about some food for the mind.

All of us at Hill Country Market believe in the importance of eating well and being conscious about where our food comes from and we know many of you do as well. In this series we’ve already talked about how eating fresh and local can make a significant change for how your body feels day-to-day. [Click here for that post].

But we also realize that feeding your mind is just as important. In our society, we’re obsessed with constantly being on the move. We’re always trying to move faster and we’re often told that being busy is a sign of importance and doing hard work.

But the hard work can actually come from feeding our minds in healthy ways to make ourselves the most efficient and uplifting versions of ourselves. So here are some of our tips for taking a breather, and slowing down to improve yourself and make a healthier you.

1. Reading. Whether you read a great piece of fiction to escape to another world or a thought-provoking piece of non-fiction, reading can be a way to relax, refocus, and learn something new. Reading can help force your mind to pull out of all the overwhelming information you may be dealing with. That way, you can return to your work with a refreshed mindset.

2. Doing a breathing exercise or taking a yoga or workout class. We all know that some form of exercise is imperative throughout the week. The difficulty comes in finding the time. When you’re feeling too busy and overwhelmed, there isn’t going to be a moment of, “Ah, now I have time to exercise”, somewhere down the road. You will have to make that time happen. Making the time to exercise and focus on you is important and in the long-term, will make you healthier and more energized. You can then accomplish more of those busy and overwhelming tasks of your day. You may need to remove something of less importance from your schedule or set more boundaries with work or home. By doing so, you can make sure to have a small window each day to focus on you and your mental and physical health.

Bonus Tip: Watch more than two hours of tv a day? The average American watches about four+ hours per day. Try eliminating an hour or two from your tv time to do a breathing exercise in silence somewhere in your home or to exercise. Or have a day or two a week where you don’t turn the tv on at all and focus on you instead.

3. Celebrating fun “holidays”. This is a small and relatively easy one to do. There are many calendars that can be found online that feature not only major holidays, but some of those fun and often wacky national days such as, “National Donut Day” and many, many more. Keep a calendar of those days near your desk and find ways to celebrate them with your coworkers, friends and family, or just for you. They are a good reminder to have some fun in life. Remember, you only get to live each day once. Finding something small like this can keep your fun-side and positivity a priority each day.

Here is one of those sites —-> http://www.holidayscalendar.com/holidays/weird/

4. Have a European style meal. Setting aside more time to eat and do so in an enjoyable way can be a big deal for your mental and physical health. Spend time sitting with friends and family and chatting. Or take time for yourself at a meal and give yourself more time to enjoy your meal. Try eating in smaller portions and spread them out over a longer meal time. When we eat quickly, we often eat more since our body and mind don’t have enough time to register how much we’re eating. Eating slower gives your body and mind time to digest the food and register that you are full. You’ll often find yourself eating less, but actually feeling full. Another variant of that is to eat in the reverse order of our common culture. Often, we eat a small or no breakfast, a decent lunch, and a large dinner. But your metabolism slows as the day wears on. Try reversing that schedule. Make time to eat a larger breakfast, (which will kick-start your metabolism), eat a decent sized lunch, and then a smaller dinner when you get home.

5. Spending time in nature. Spending time outdoors can help you refocus on bigger things and relieve you of a bit of stress. It also gives you a visual break if most of your day-to-day schedule involves being in an office or working from home. Combine the great outdoors with some of the above mental and physical health tips and you’ll be in a great place.

We hope these tips help as you pursue your New Year’s Resolutions. If you’d like to read our other “Fresh Start” posts they are listed below:

Fresh Start: New Year’s Resolutions

Fresh Start: Nutritious Black Bean Soup Recipe

Fresh Start: “Making a Change”, Interview with Turning Leaf Acupuncture

Fresh Start: Care for Your Body

Fresh Start: Salsa-Braised Kale Recipe


Thanks for following!


Fresh Start: “Making a Change”, Interview with Turning Leaf Acupuncture

Steine am WasserAre you ready to make a change?

To continue our series, “Fresh Start”,  featuring helpful New Year’s resolution tips , we sat down with Turning Leaf Acupuncture’s, Samantha Parfrey, to discuss health of the mind and body. Turning Leaf Acupuncture, run by acupuncturist Samantha Parfrey, is located within WildRoots Salon & Studio right next to Hill Country Market. Samantha had many brilliant tips not only for the body, but for the mind vs. body interaction.

Here are some highlights from the interview that we found very beneficial to helping you develop a strong start to your New Year resolutions.

Hill Country Market: What do you feel are sort of the “stepping-stones” to building better habits or taking initiative on New Year resolutions? If it helps, what are some things you recommend to clients?

 Samantha: I first ask clients if they are ready to make a change. Often, just acknowledging that change needs to happen is the first step. Then, we do a full health intake of mind and body to better understand where changes need to happen. We evaluate your strengths and weaknesses to form a powerful plan.

And of course, the next step is to make a plan of action. The worst thing you can do when you’re ready to make a change is to make a list of all the things [to change] and try to do them all at once. Instead, create a manageable plan. Making smaller, manageable changes daily instead of overwhelming yourself can mean all the difference in succeeding at your goals. Asking an expert or a close friend to guide you and hold you accountable to that plan can be a huge help. Make sure it’s someone who will hold you accountable, but not make you feel guilty or shamed. We tend to do enough of that to ourselves already. It’s important to seek guidance from someone who will encourage you along the way.

Hill Country Market: What is the importance between connecting mind and body when trying to make a change?

Samantha: Here at Turning Leaf and in the Salon & Studio, we often run by the motto, “Where your mind goes, your body follows”, and it’s entirely true. Whenever you are looking to make a change for your body, having a great mind-body connection makes all the difference. Often, you need to first be consciously aware and thinking of those bad habits you need to change. Think strongly on how to change them and begin to change your mindset for the better; thinking in a more positive and practical light on how to make those changes. Then, your body will be able to follow.

Also, keep in mind, it takes twenty-one days to break a habit or form a new one. If you can get through twenty-one days in strong form and with a great foundation, it can be the perfect stepping stone for achieving your plan for the long-term.

Hill Country Market: What are some recommendations you have specifically for food and the body?

Samantha: I definitely recommend eating for the season. Eating foods that work well with the current environment and season you are in can really benefit you. For example, in the winter, eating more fresh root crops, (especially if you can find locally grown), is great. Another tip for the winter would be to eat more warm foods and soups that will help nourish you and give you energy.

Along with that, getting in the habit of buying fresh as often as you can will make a world of difference. Having more fresh foods with fewer preservatives can help keep you feeling great both physically and mentally. This can often be a challenge and not necessarily because there aren’t places to get fresh food, but because it cam be difficult to get in the mindset of eating fresh. We’re often bombarded with advertisements asking us to do otherwise. One tip is to look at healthy or fresh eating cookbooks or boards on Pinterest for recipes utilizing fresh eating. Doing so can help get you in the mindset of eating fresh. If you see healthy foods and recipes that truly look and sound delicious, it can help trigger ideas and put you in the mood to try more fresh ingredient based recipes and foods.

Another tip that ties in with the plan of action we were talking about earlier is analyzing how you reward yourself after accomplishing part of your plan. Rewarding yourself after doing something good for your body is great, but if you commonly reward yourself with sweets or alcohol, I’d say to try something different. Either try a new food or recipe that tastes just as rewarding, but is a much healthier option or find alternative ways to make your favorite treat a bit healthier. Some other forms of rewards could be: going to a class such as a yoga class, enjoying an evening with friends laughing and relaxing or going to a unique event together, letting yourself have a pampering at a salon, and of course, acupuncture can be a great reward. Acupuncture not only helps you relax, but it’s also a great way to connect the mind and the body more deeply.

We hope this interview provided you with some more tips and insights for the New Year. If you have some of your own tips, ideas, or healthy eating recipes you’d like to share, simply make a comment on this post and we may share your response here on our blog and throughout Facebook, Twitter, and more!

If you are looking for guided help to accomplish your goals for the New Year, Turning Leaf Acupuncture and WildRoots Salon & Studio have many programs and expertise focused around life style change and weight management. You can call the salon and studio at 262.586.0199 for more information or click the links below to view their websites. And of course, you can always contact Turning Leaf Acupuncture or WildRoots Salon & Studio for general information regarding getting a healthy start and making changes for the New Year.

Turning Leaf Acupuncture —-> http://turningleafacu.com/

WildRoots Salon & Studio —-> http://www.wildrootssalem.com/#!/pageHome

If you’d like to read our other “Fresh Start” posts they are listed below:

Fresh Start: New Year’s Resolutions

Fresh Start: Nutritious Black Bean Soup Recipe

Fresh Start: Food for the Mind

Fresh Start: Care for Your Body

Fresh Start: Salsa-Braised Kale Recipe

Thanks for following!


Fresh Start: New Year’s Resolutions

With the start of the New Year, we know many of you have terrific resolutions to invest in healthier habits. Especially when it comes to our bodies. Investing in better eating habits, eating more organic and preservative free, or eating and buying local (which supports the local economy, farms and businesses), can be a great start. Wherever you’d like to make changes, we’d like to help you as we begin the new year.

Throughout the month of January, we’ll share tips, ideas, and recipes here on our blog to help you get the start you need. If you have some tips of your own, (and not only food, but body/exercise, mental, or more), feel free to share them by commenting on the, “Fresh Start”, posts, and we may feature your tips, recipes, and ideas here on our blog for other readers to benefit from.

Let’s begin the new year with great resolutions and a great community to help us accomplish them!

To begin, here’s a delicious and nutritious recipe from the HCM kitchen. This soup is a popular favorite at the market and is filled with plenty of veggies and nutrients. It’s a feel good soup!


Enjoy and don’t forget to follow the Hill Country Market blog for more posts like this and leave your comments of other tips, recipes, and ideas. We’d love to hear from you!

If you’d like to read our other “Fresh Start” posts they are listed below:

Fresh Start: Food for the Mind

Fresh Start: Nutritious Black Bean Soup Recipe

Fresh Start: “Making a Change”, Interview with Turning Leaf Acupuncture

Fresh Start: Care for Your Body

Fresh Start: Salsa-Braised Kale Recipe

Thanks for following!


HCM’s Vineyard Salad

Looking for something tasty for lunch? Hill Country Market not only makes delicious deli sandwiches, panini’s and soups, but salads too! Try our Vineyard salad. Warm chicken, crisp romaine, sweet grapes, savory bacon, topped off with blue cheese. Yum!

Vineyard Salad



Mon-Sat 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sun 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Local Product Feature: Sasha’s Dressings

At Hill Country Market, we’re proud to carry a variety of Wisconsin local products. We know many of you love to support local and that’s why we’ll be continuing to post local products here on our blog so you can learn more about these delicious options to add to your table.

Our most recent local product feature is Sasha’s Salad & Sandwich Dressings. These tasty additions to your everyday meal pack bold flavor into every bottle. Not only are they delicious, but they are also made with all natural ingredients, are low in sodium and are gluten-free.

Local dressings edit

Sasha’s Dressing Options:

Sweet & Lean

Sweet Aloha

Sweet Ole’

Sweet & Sultry

Sweet & Savory

Sweet & Dill-icious

Cooking ideas from Sasha’s:

Sweet & Lean – Great on salads and as a marinade for chicken.

Sweet Aloha – Try it on a fruit salad, a glaze for ham or in your favorite stir fry.

Sweet Ole’ – Delicious on salads and chicken wings.

Sweet & Sultry – Great for pasta, wraps, egg rolls, and salads.

Sweet & Savory – Perfect for subs, wraps, paninis and salads. Also enjoy as a dipping sauce.

Sweet & Dill-icious – Enjoy with salad, add it to your Bloody Mary or as a marinade for seafood such as shrimp or scallops.

For more cooking ideas and full recipes, pick up Sasha’s recipe page the next time you visit Hill Country Market.

Support local!


M-S 8-7 Sunday 8:30-5 262.537.4867

End of Summer Picnic Ideas

We’ve entered the last stretch of summer and now is the best time to get out and enjoy the warm weather before it’s gone. Why not enjoy a picnic with friends and family?

Hill Country Market has just what you need to make your picnic or celebration taste great and thrill your guests with delicious foods.

Need some ideas? Here are two lists of tasty foods to pair for a picnic or summer outing.

Picnic Season berry themed Picnic Season corn themed

Our kitchen creates the perfect summer deli salads and treats to grab and go.

Have a great Labor Day weekend and enjoy the summer weather!

Picnic Season For web

Tea 101

Pouring Healthy TeaWe’d like to take a moment to focus on tea, the benefits of tea, and how to prepare tea. While we more commonly focus on coffee here in the U.S., tea is the second most popular drink in the world, (second only to water), and has long been known as one of the healthiest beverage options.

Preparing tea can be done in 3 simple steps:

1.Choose your tea

2. Heat Water

3. Steep your tea (using either bagged tea or a tea infuser)

While preparing tea is simple, there is also a wealth of fascinating information about tea and how to make a great cup of tea. Below, we’ve answered several common questions about tea:

“I’ve Tried Tea and it was Like Drinking Slightly Flavored Water.” Is this True of Tea? This statement is probably the most common we hear about tea by a non tea-drinker. But many who are not familiar with tea forget that there are thousands of varieties of tea, ranging from calm and mild tasting to bold and intense. Another factor for lack of flavor could be incorrect steeping time, or the use of a cheaper tea. Even replacing bagged tea with loose leaf tea can make all the difference. Of course, some people simply don’t enjoy tea just as some people don’t enjoy coffee.

What Tea Varieties are There? Tea originates from the plant Camella sinensis. From this single plant there are thousands of varieties of tea. The tea varies based on what region and soil it was grown in, the time of year it was picked, and how it was processed. The primary tea groupings include: green tea, white tea, oolong tea, black tea and herbal tea. Within each of these tea groupings are thousands of variations. Be aware that herbal teas, which include roobois teas, and mate teas are not made with the Camella sinensis plant. Herbal teas are blends of herbs, fruit, and flowers.  Roobois teas are made from a South African red bush and mate teas are made from the twigs and leaves of the yerba mate plant.

I’ve Heated Up My Hot Water, Now How Do I Brew My Tea? After you’ve heated up your water, you can pour it into your cup or pot with your tea. If you’re using a bagged tea, simply add your tea bag to the cup of hot water. If you’re using loose leaf tea, spoon approximately 1 tablespoon, (per 8 oz. of water), of loose tea into your infuser and set your infuser into your cup of hot water. Keep in mind that with softer teas such as green or white you do not want to use too hot of water. With softer teas, too hot of water can often create a bitter taste to the tea. Once you’ve added your hot water, allow the tea to steep. The term ‘steep’ refers to allowing the tea to sit in the cup of hot water for the necessary amount of time. The amount of time for steeping tea commonly depends on the type of tea. Many tea brands will actually provide an estimated steeping time on the packaging or online for the tea. After trying the recommended time, you can also learn your preferred steeping time for different teas by experience. Allow your tea to steep a bit longer or shorter and see what you prefer. Keep in mind that with most teas, the longer you steep the tea the stronger and more bitter it can taste. Likewise, if you steep the tea for too short a time, you often get a weak taste. Commonly, loose leaf teas can steep a bit longer than a tea bag.

What is the Benefit of Loose Leaf Teas? Often, beginners in tea are uncertain of loose leaf teas as opposed to bagged teas. While bagged teas are quick and easy, the taste difference between the two is  noticeable and the reason why so many choose loose leaf over bagged teas. The difference in taste comes from the amount and size of tea leaves used.  When you purchase loose leaf tea, larger portions of tea leaves are used, providing a richer, fuller flavor. In tea bags, the tea leaf is often ground much smaller, which creates a less flavorful taste. Bagged teas can also increase the release of tannins, which gives the tea a harsher taste.  An easy alternative to the tea bag is to purchase an infuser. To make loose leaf tea you will need either an infuser or tea bags that you can hand fill with your loose tea. Tea infusers come in many varieties with some for a single serving of tea and others for pots. With a tea infuser or two around the house, making loose leaf tea is just as efficient as using a bagged tea.

What are the Health Benefits to Drinking Tea? Tea has been known for its many health benefits for thousands of years and each tea can have different benefits. For example, most green teas are known for boosting your metabolism while black teas have been known to lower blood pressure. If you go even deeper into the tea variations, a green tea such as a peppermint green tea has been known to help calm stomach troubles.

Thankfully, the internet is also littered with helpful visuals on benefits of teas, steeping times and more. Here are a few we hunted down that we found to be beneficial.

The first image is a generalized chart about white tea, green, tea, etc. and their health benefits. The second chart focuses more on specific variations of tea.



Tea Health


This third chart we made as a great little companion for steeping tea:

Tea Steeping Time


We hope this tea 101 was helpful for those of you who already enjoy tea as well as those of you who are just becoming interested in the fascinating benefits of tea.

At Hill Country Market we offer a selection of high-quality tea provided by Wisconsin local, Rishi Tea. If you have more questions about tea and where to get started, stop in and visit us and our experienced staff can help answer your questions.

And for the coffee lovers out there, no worries, we will be discussing coffee soon as well.

Thanks for following!


Celebrating the Earth

Planting PeppersAs many of you know, this week had two major Earth celebration days. Earth Day, which was this past Tuesday, and Arbor Day, which takes place on the last Friday in April, (today!).  These two days allow us to focus on the Earth and all that it provides. In our busy lives we often forget to stop and think about how everything we use, draw energy from, and consume comes from the resources on our planet. Also, we forget that without conscious care and moderation, these resources could become a scarcity. So, this week really got us thinking about our environmental stewardship as a company.

Hill Country Market is located next to Breezy Hill Nursery, who partnered with local area schools this week to plant trees and discuss the importance of Arbor Day with the students. We know Breezy Hill is always invested in the care of the environment, but what are some things Hill Country Market does?

At Hill Country Market we feature a variety of organic products. Not only that, but our produce, meat, tea and coffee come from environmentally conscious companies that we are proud to partner with. We are constantly considering what we can do as a store to minimize waste and run cleanly. The product we bring in and make, seeks to call attention to the Earth and what it provides by featuring more natural ingredients.

While we can always improve, we appreciate that Earth Day and Arbor Day serve as reminders to continue being environmentally conscious.

Have a great weekend!

-Hill Country Market