Friday, August 31, 2012

Store Snack

My mom got a call last month from a customer who told her that the Vanilla is fantastic on watermelon. So we made it here today. What a great snack!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

White Honey Ginger Chicken

 A friend is growing yellow and green bell peppers and his wife is sick of eating them. So I got a nice big bag. I paired them with chicken and onions and called it dinner!

White Honey Ginger Chicken

1 pkg chicken breasts, diced
2 large yellow bell peppers, rough chopped
1 large green bell pepper, rough chopped
1 vidalia onion, chopped
4 tbsp - 1/4 cup White Honey Ginger Balsamic
4-5 Sun-Dried Tomatoes, sliced
Pepper, to taste
Thai Ginger Sea Salt
2 tbsp olive oil (I used Persian Lime)

Add the olive oil to a pan and heat to medium. Add your onion and saute 3-5 minutes or until it is nice and translucent. Add your chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Cook for four or five minutes a side. There should be some color, but not too much.

Add your peppers and the White Honey Ginger Balsamic. Start with a few tablespoons and work your way up to more. This depends on how much sauce you want at the end. Cover and cook for an additional five minutes.

Serve with Thai Ginger Sea Salt.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grated Tomatoes

My cousin was recently living and teaching in Spain. She had a great time. Something she brought back with her was this easy snack.

Grated Tomatoes

1 large ripe tomato
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil 

What you need is a box grater. I agree, it's a little odd at first. But using the large holes, grate your tomato over a large bowl. It's a bit messy.

You will have a nice pile of tomato at this point. I think this would be a great addition to soups or any other dishes at this point. But add a little good olive oil, I used the Spanish Blend. A little salt and pepper and a good loaf of bread, and you are done!

I added some nice cheese and a glass or two of red wine and called this dinner tonight!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chocolate Pasta with Spicy Strawberry Sauce

I decided to brave the pasta waters and finally cook our Chocolate Pasta. It isn't sweet on it's own. It is more of an unsweetened cocoa taste. I can see more sauce variations to come.

We usually give this sauce recipe out when someone buys this pasta. I have to say, it's terrific!

Chocolate Pasta with Spicy Strawberry Sauce
Serves 4

1 bag Chocolate Pasta, cooked and drained
1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
1 cup sugar
1 cup white wine
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
2 tbsp butter
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp of sugar for the whipping cream

Pour the whipping cream into a food processor with the 2 tbsp of sugar and whip until thick. It doesn't take long. Scrape into a bowl and let cool in the refrigerator.

Melt the butter on medium heat in a saute pan and add the strawberries. It cooks quickly so you can add the sugar, crushed red pepper and the white wine right away.

Simmer 5-10 minutes to let mixture thicken. The strawberries should be soft, but not falling apart.

When you are ready to serve, pour the hot, spicy strawberry sauce over the pasta and dollop with the fresh whipped cream. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Black Currant Steak and Basil Mashed Potatoes

The weather is changing. Nights are getting chillier. There is a certain bite to the air that says 'Fall is coming!'

To heck with Fall! I decided to grill today. As it got darker, my refusal to wear long pants or shoes seemed sillier, but I still think that dinner turned out pretty well. Even if I did mess up the grill marks.

Black Currant Steak
serves 2

1/4 cup Black Currant Balsamic, plus more for serving
2 thick steaks, whatever cut you prefer
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Salt and pepper

Mix melted butter and Black Currant Balsamic together in a large dish. Place your steaks in and make sure to thoroughly coat each side. Set aside to marinade for 20 minutes to 4 hours. 

Heat your grill to high. (Oil your grates!) Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. Place steaks on the grill and let cook for about 5 minutes a side. They should be golden brown and a little charred. 

Remove from grill and cover with foil until ready to serve.

Basil Mashed Potatoes
serves 2

1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Basil Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
Dried basil flakes

Cover potatoes with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. 

Gradually blend in the butter and olive oil, using a hand mixer or potato masher. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with basil flakes.

Now pardon me, but I need to go get a sweater.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Coconut Pineapple Shrimp with Mango Sticky Rice

This shrimp dish was inspired by a trip to the ethnic grocery store. I went on a shopping trip with my friend Vanda. She wanted to stop at a local Indian cash and carry for snacks. I LOVE that place! They have so many spices I just about died and went to cooking heaven.

I picked up the most fragrant mangoes I've ever smelled, and bags and bags of spices and nuts. For nuts, I'll never go anywhere else. Poor Vanda thought I was crazy. I felt like it was the first time I'd ever walked into a Wegman's. I walked out with heavy bags and a light wallet.

So I picked up this bag of coconut powder. It's really just unsweetened coconut flakes all ground up. I like the texture of this and will use it in some baking soon, but it works really nicely included in breading mixtures.

So I grabbed some frozen, precooked shrimp and thawed some. Then I dipped them one by one into our White Pineapple Balsamic, then into the coconut powder (this would work with flakes too). The mixture is a bit prone to falling off. You really need an egg in there to keep it stable. Next time!

Then I popped them in the oven for a bit. It only took 6 or 7 minutes at 350degrees.

Then I made some white rice. I mixed up 1 can of coconut milk and a tablespoon of Persian Lime Olive Oil with 3tbsp raw sugar. I used that to replace the water in my instant rice recipe. It thickened up just beautifully.

I cut up one mango and stirred the chunks into the rice. I served extra on the side too.  I had some leftover coconut milk/sugar/olive oil so I drizzled it over the shrimp to serve.

I had so much fun!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mushroom Spinach Pinwheels

Mushroom Spinach Pinwheels

1 pint sliced mushrooms
1 bag baby spinach
2-4 tbsp Portobello and Garlic Olive Oil - plus more for brushing
1/2 pkg puff pastry dough
Porcini Sea Salt

Saute the mushrooms in 2 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently 5-10 minutes until they are reduced in size by around half. Now stir in the spinach and additional olive oil if needed. Cook until wilted. Set pan aside to cool.

Pull out your thawed puff pastry dough. Roll out one of the sheets on a lightly floured surface and brush with olive oil. Spoon filling across the whole sheet in an even and thin layer, leaving about 1/4 inch on all sides. Starting with the longest side, start rolling until it forms a tube. Carefully pinch the bottom seam and the ends closed.

Heat oven to 400degrees.

Now, because it's summer, cutting perfect rounds can be a challenge. If you look at the picture and see my squishy looking slices, you can see that I should have put my roll into the fridge to cool before trying to slice. Or turned on my air conditioner. It doesn't change the taste, just the presentation. So if it is too soft, give it 10 or 20 minutes to cool down before slicing it up.

So, slice into rounds, about 1/4 inch thick. Place on baking sheet that has been lightly brushed with olive oil, or a baking stone. Brush the tops of each round with the additional olive oil. Bake 10-14 minutes. The pastry should be lightly browned.

Cool slightly and serve fresh, or cool and reheat to take to parties. I suggest paring them with creamy goat cheese, almonds and grapes and sprinkled with a little Porcini Sea Salt!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dad's Elena's Pasta

My dad makes this dish for my mom at least once a week. She loves the Habanero Oil, but he tones it down with a bit of the Meyer Lemon. Makes it almost mild enough for me to eat! Thanks for the picture Dad!

Elena's Egg angel hair Pasta
1 28 oz can Diced tomatoes with basil and oregano.

I sautéed the shrimp in Olive-n-Grape Meyer Lemon Olive oil and Habanero Olive oil.

The Chicken was sautéed in our Greek Olive oil with garlic and Basil.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

Roasting is one of the more unexpected things to do with fruit. Right up there with grilling. But both use heat to release and intensify fruit's natural sweetness. And they are both pretty easy and something really neat to do when you have guests over. It's not another pie...Although, you could maybe use these as a pie filling.

Roasted Strawberries
Mostly from

2 pints strawberries, hulled
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp Espresso Balsamic

Your strawberries don't have to be at their freshest for this recipe, just not moldy. Hull and rinse them. I halved them, because some of them were rather large. Sprinkle with the sugar and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Preheat your oven to 375degrees and transfer the strawberries and sugar mix to a large oven proof dish. Toss them with the Balasmic and pepper. Roast 8-10 minutes. They should be hot and bubbling but not too mushy.

Serve with ice cream, yogurt, cake. Imagine away!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Garlic Shrimp on Squid Ink Pasta

This great recipe and picture was sent to us by Kimberley who is a chef. Thank you Kimberley!

Garlic Shrimp on Black Pasta

*Squid Ink Pasta
*16-20 size peeled Shrimp-tails on
*Diced Green Bell Pepper & Vidalia Onion
*Olive Oil/Canola Oil blend (canola so the olive oil does not burn)
*Butter (I always add some butter for flavor, use to taste)
*White Wine
*Chopped Garlic
*Fresh Parsley chopped & Basil chiffonade
*S+P to taste
*Yellow Heirloom Cherry Tomato

While cooking pasta according to directions-
Sautee diced Vidalia Onion and Green Bell Pepper in Oil and Butter until tender & remove from pan.  
Add more oil and butter, then add shrimp and sautee on high until both sides are just about finished with nice color. Reduce heat, add chopped fresh Garlic just until it sweats and releases it's oils.  Turn flame off, add White Wine, Pasta, Peppers & Onions, S+P & fresh Parsely, mix and turn out on plate or platter. Garnish w/fresh Basil & Yellow Heirloom Cherry Tomato.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sausages with Grapes

This recipe is something I found to cook just for me. I was unsure about the pairing of grapes with sausage, but don't let that scare you off. It's awesome! So nice and savory. This will be making it into rotation on the days my husband works late. And if adding grapes to sausage is great, I wonder what I can do with grapes and chicken?

Sausage with Grapes and Onions
Adapted from Oui, Chef

2 packages Italian sausage, any kind.
1 large vidalia onion, thinly sliced
3-5 tbsp Italian Herb Olive Oil
4 tbsp Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1 large bunch seedless red grapes
Oregano for topping

Heat 1-2 tbsp Italian Herb Olive Oil over medium high heat. Prick the sausages though with a fork. This will keep them from bursting their skins. Add them to the pan and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove sausages and set aside.

Add more oil to the pan and saute the onion until it softens and begins to lightly brown, about 7 minutes. Add Balsamic and chicken broth.

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir the sausages and grapes into the pan. Cover, loosely, and simmer for around 25-30 minutes.

Top with oregano. Serve with bread and salad. (Or mashed potatoes like I did)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Penne With Balsamic Butter Sauce

This recipe earned a thumbs up from my picky husband. And permission to make it again! So that's even better. I can imagine this with roasted butternut squash in the fall.

Penne with Balsamic Butter Sauce
Inspired by Food and Wine

1 lb broccoli, cut into pieces
1 lb penne (I love our Maestri Pastai brand)
1/4 cup Fig Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 lb butter, cut into quarters
2 tbsp Roasted Garlic Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 400degrees. Toss the broccoli with 1 tbsp Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and some salt and pepper. Roast about 10 minutes.

Cook the penne until it is al dente, about 11-13 minutes.

Toss cooked pasta with veggies, salt and pepper and balsamic.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Balsamic Chicken Fake-out

Balsamic Chicken Fake-Out, with Lemon Stuffing and Lemon- Walnut Green Beans

This is the easiest chicken dish ever. So perfect for when you are on the run, or just don't really want to cook. Grab these items from the grocery store:

1 rotisserie chicken, plain or herb is best
1 bag, steam in bag green beans
1 can instant stuffing

Cut your chicken into quarters with your kitchen shears. Place in an oven safe dish. Using a pastry brush, coat with balsamic vinegar. I usually choose Zesty Lemon, but I also love it with Raspberry, Black Walnut, Juniper Berry and Fig. Place in an oven heated to 350degrees and bake 10 minutes.

Steam your green beans. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle on about 2 Tbsp of Meyer Lemon Olive Oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with Sun-Ripened Tomato Sea Salt.

For the stuffing, replace the butter in the instructions with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil but make no other changes to their recipe.

Make sure to hide all the packaging because no one should know how easy this is!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mark takes Manhattan

I got home from work a little while ago and decided to make a recipe sent in to me from Mark, a friend of the store. He was in last week buying the Chocolate Balsamic. Then he told me what he does with it.

So good!

Mark Takes Manhattan
Makes 1

1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup water
Splash Chocolate Balsamic
Splash pomegranate juice
A few ice cubes

Put all ingredients into a shaker and shake. Pour into a glass and garnish with a frozen strawberry

The things I have to do for the store...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chicken and Green Beans with Stuffing

Chicken and Green Beans

2 large chicken breasts, small diced
2 cups chopped green beans
1 large onion, finely sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
4-6 tablespoons White Kiwi Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp Butter Olive Oil

For Stuffing:
Follow all directions for stuffing, substituting 2 tbsp Butter Olive Oil for the butter. Set aside.

Heat 1tbsp Butter Olive Oil in a large skillet to medium-high. Add the onions and saute a few minutes, until they just begin to brown. Add chicken and cook about 8-12 minutes until evenly browned.

Toss green beans into pan and stir in White Kiwi Balsamic and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let cook about 5 minutes.

Stir and serve with stuffing.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tomato Pot Roast with Mushrooms and Onions

Tomato Pot Roast with Mushrooms and Onions

1 large beef roast, your favorite cut (2-3 lbs)
1 pkg large mushrooms, diced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can fire roasted tomatoes (I love Hunts)
3 tbsp Butter Olive Oil, divided
Basiks Prime Rub seasoning (This isn't online yet, we have only had it for a couple of weeks. Sorry!)

Preheat oven to 400degrees.

Using a dutch oven, saute onion with about a tablespoon of Butter Olive Oil over medium-high heat. Give it about 5-7 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Add the mushrooms. Give it another 5 minutes or so and then toss in 1/2 cup  wine to de-glaze the pan. Give it a few stirs.

Generously rub both sides of the roast with 2 tbsp Butter Olive Oil and then the Basiks Seasoning blend. Lay it in the pan and pour the can of tomatoes around it. Add the rest of the wine and cover.

Place in the oven and let cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Cool slightly before serving.

Monday, August 6, 2012

White Pineapple Fruit Salad

This was really easy. Walk around your produce department and grab any fruit that looks good and is on sale.

Once you pay for it an get home, work your knives to peel and slice everything into pieces you can fit in your mouth. Drizzle with White Pineapple Balsamic.

Put it in a bunch of bowls. Or one big bowl, since this is what I have sometimes for dinner, with a little bread and butter chaser. Sprinkle with some sea salt and fresh pepper right before you serve. It may sound odd, but it really brings out the flavors.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza

Another easy dinner for a day that is just too hot to cook. 

Easy Pizza

1 pre-made pizza crust
1/8 cup pepperoni
1/8 cup mushrooms
1/8 cup onions
1/2 cup cheese of your choice
1 cup pizza sauce

The crust goes first of course and the sauce goes on top. The measurements for the ingredients are just really suggestions. Put on as much or as little as you want on this. The important part is that it only takes about 10 minutes in the oven and that's just to crisp everything up and melt your cheese. You can even do this on the grill if you want. I drizzle with the olive oil right before putting it into the oven, then add a little more right before serving it. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Different Kind of Pesto Bread

This recipe was inspired by a customer on their second bottle of Bacon Olive Oil. I had to find out what they used it for! So they told me that they made Bacon Pesto. My brain broke. You can make bacon what? Of course I realize that you can make pesto with any kind of olive oil you have, but it only ever seems to be made with basic oils or maybe the Basil or Garlic.

This does not disappoint.

Bacon Pesto

2-6 Tbsp Bacon Olive Oil
2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Mix everything in your food processor except the olive oil. Add that slowly until you get a consistency you like. It took me about 3 tbsp.

Now, you can serve it like this over pasta and things. Or that inspiring customer told me they stuff thin chicken breasts with it and bake it. (I will so eventually make that!) Or you can do what I did and toast up some bread!

Bacon Pesto Bread

Sliced bread, any loaf bread works great. I used challah.
2 -3 slices crispy bacon, broken up
Bacon Pesto
Cheese shreds, I used cheddar

Spread the pesto on the bread. Add bacon pieces. Add cheese. Toast in the oven or toaster oven until the cheese is bubbling and the edges of the bread are getting brown.

Serve while hot.