Saturday, October 27, 2012

Easy Cake Glaze

Or, How To Turn Any Balsamic Into Frosting.

Balsamic Glaze

1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp water (optional)

This is one of the most basic frosting recipes there is. Usually, you use milk as your liquid, but balsamic adds one heck of a flavor punch!

Whisk the Balsamic and confectioners sugar together. If it is too thick, add a little water.

I used this over my Apple Cake Bars. I chose to use the Cinnamon Pear Balsamic. So fantastic!

If you wanted to use this as a topping for pie, stir it into some whipped cream.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Apple Cake Bars

I promised one of our associates I'd post this tonight. I am also posting a recipe for an easy frosting for these tomorrow. 

These bars disappeared very quickly!

Apple Cake Bars

1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup Vanilla Olive Oil
3 Eggs
1 3/4 cups All purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup walnut meal*
1 apple, finely diced

Preheat your oven to 350degrees.

In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil and eggs until blended.

Sift together the dry ingredients and stir gently into the sugar mixture. Fold in your apples and stir until just combined.

Lightly grease a 13x9 pan and pour in your cake. Bake for 35-45 mins, or until the center is set and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

*Walnut meal is walnuts ground into almost a flour. You do not have to have it, but I highly recommend it. My favorite place for all things nuts is If you do not use it, add in 1/2 cup more flour, I'd use a whole wheat or spelt for flavor and texture. And then you can add in chopped walnuts, about 1/2 cup at the same time as the apples.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chocpotle Chicken

I have been waiting to make this recipe for a long time. Someone came up with a Chocolate Balsamic and Chipotle Olive Oil combination a long time ago and I immediately thought: mole sauce.

Of course, when you look up a few recipes and realize how many ingredients and how long it takes to make a really authentic mole sauce.....


So how did I get that list of ingredients down to something manageable for the home cook? Easy. I cheated. I found a jar of Dona Maria mole sauce in my market's international food aisle and it turned out to be the best base I could have gotten. I still ended up adding quite a bit of stuff and blending it all together, but it was certainly less intensive than an authentic recipe! I decided to make a red mole, mostly because I love tomatoes.

Chocpotle Chicken

1/2 jar Dona Maria mole sauce
1 onion, diced
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 can coconut cream
3 tbsp Chipotle Olive Oil
3 tbsp Chocolate Balsamic
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

1 large package boneless chicken, diced or shredded
3-4 tbsp Chipotle Olive Oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Make the sauce first!

In a medium saucepan, heat the Olive Oil to medium heat. Add the onion and cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the chilies and coconut cream(shake before using). Simmer 5 minutes. Add the mole sauce and the Chocolate Balsamic. Simmer until the mole sauce is liquid and mixed through. Remove from heat and cool.

Add the tomatoes and the cooled sauce to the blender and process until smooth. There will be a lot of sauce. If there is too much for your dish, it will keep up to a week in the fridge, or it can be frozen for later use. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, oven safe pan. Add the spices and garlic. Let simmer 3-5 minutes or until very fragrant, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken and cook until done. If using diced, cook 7-9 minutes. If shredding after, cook 7minutes per side. Cool slightly until manageable and shred using two forks. Return to pan.

Heat oven to 350degrees.

Top chicken with the sauce and stir until well mixed. Place in the oven and bake 15 minutes. The sauce should be bubbling.

Serve with rice and warm tortillas and butter.

Makes great leftover tacos!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bacon Apples

I was having brunch a few years ago with my friend and her, then, 3 year old son. The waiter had mentioned that they were serving applewood smoked bacon and his eyes got very wide and he declared that he would have the apple bacon because apples were good for you.

It was very hard to convince him after that that bacon was not, in fact, made of apples.

He's 7years old now and I wanted to see if I could make his dreams of bacon apples come true.

Bacon Apples

2 apples, sliced thinly
1/2 cup golden raisins
4 tbsp Bacon Olive Oil
2 tbsp cinnamon sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350degrees.

In a large bowl, toss the apples, raisins and nuts(if you are using them) with the cinnamon sugar and the Olive Oil.

Pour into an oven safe casserole and spread out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

I served this with real bacon and some eggs, but I think next time I'll turn this into a real breakfast casserole. I'll add eggs and hash browns and cheese too.

I'll put an update here when I do that. Never fear.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oatmeal with Chocolate Balsamic and Apples

This is an easy and tasty one.

Cook your oatmeal, I use regular, one of our sales associates uses instant.

Toss some Balsamic on top. I used Chocolate, she uses Cinnamon Pear. 

Garnish with whatever you like(like apples), and eat!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Vanilla Mandarin Chicken

I caramelize my onions in large batches. I got the recipe from here. I modified it for olive oil instead of vegetable oil. I usually use a basic olive oil, like the Spanish Blend, but for this batch I used the Vanilla Olive Oil because I really wanted that punch of vanilla. I think it turned out the best and will use the Vanilla from now on. But if you don't caramelize before hand, the recipe takes a little longer, but not much.

Vanilla Mandarin Chicken

1 Onion, sliced thin
1 pkg chicken, chopped
1 small can mandarin orange segments, drained
3 tbsp + 2 tbsp Vanilla Olive Oil
2 tbsp Mandarin Orange Balsamic
Dash of salt

Start with your onions. Heat 2 tbsp Vanilla Olive Oil on medium-low heat. Add the onions and an dash of salt. Cook over medium low heat, stirring every few minutes. To be fully caramelized, it takes about 15 minutes. You can cook them up to half an hour if you want them more caramelized. Set them aside.

Heat 3 tbsp Vanilla Olive Oil in another pan to medium high. Add the chicken and saute about 7-9 minutes. The chicken should be browning and cooked through. Add your onion and orange segments. Stir.

Add the Mandarin Orange Balsamic and toss to coat. Let cook an additional one to two minutes and serve.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Spaghetti Squash and it's Seeds

Spaghetti Squash is a strange food. It sure smells like squash when you bake it, but shred it and put some tomato sauce on top and it's a grain free spaghetti.

It has been on sale recently, so I bought a couple. My favorite thing about them is the seeds. I toss them with a little Sun Dried Tomato, Parmesan and Garlic Olive Oil, some Himalayan Pink Salt and bake them until they are nice and crispy.

How do you like your squash seeds?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rosemary Beef and Eggplant

I wanted something to warm myself up during this recent cold snap. Looks like it will get a little warmer next week, but right now it feels like November!

Rosemary Beef and Eggplant

1 tsp Rosemary or Garlic Olive Oil
2 tbsp Spanish Olive Oil
1 large eggplant, diced
1/2 lb ground beef
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup shredded cheese
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400degrees. 

Peel and dice the eggplant. Rinse and toss with the Rosemary olive oil. If you need more than one tsp, add something basic, maybe the Spanish Blend. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 40 minutes.

While that is cooking, brown the beef in a large nonstick saute pan, the fat in the beef should keep it from sticking. Keep it warm until the eggplant is done.

Transfer the eggplant to the pan and add the tomato. Saute for about 4-5 minutes, until the tomato is nice and soft. Add in the sauce and stir. Sprinkle with cheese and cover until the cheese starts to melt.

Serve with a nice crusty bread.

*The sauce I linked to is a very nice product. The makers were nice enough to send us a sample. If anyone tries this, let us know yea or nay if we should carry it!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pappardelle with Chicken and Tomatoes

Pappardelle with Chicken and Tomatoes
serves 2

Pappardelle, enough for 2
1/2 pkg chicken, thinly sliced
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
2 tbsp + 1/4 cup Koroneiki Olive Oil
Fresh black pepper
Roasted Garlic Sea Salt

Cook the pappardelle to pkg directions. Rinse in cold water and toss with 2 tbsp Koroneiki Olive Oil. Set aside.

Heat the 1/4 cup Koroneiki Olive Oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute 7-10 minutes. Keep the heat on medium and add the tomatoes. Slice some and leave some whole.

Scoop the chicken and tomatoes onto the pappardelle. Drain the Olive Oil from the pan and add that as well. Toss with fresh black pepper and a sprinkle of the Roasted Garlic Sea Salt.

*Pappardelle available in store or by phone only right now.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vanilla Peach Cupcakes

My friend Katie's birthday was earlier this week. We are going out to dinner to celebrate. But because I can't just not cook, I decided to use some of our newest oil and make her some cupcakes.

Since she and her husband recently decided to pursue a vegan lifestyle, I had to make some changes in the recipe. When I asked her if she liked peaches, her response was, Yes!

I think the substitutions work out better than the original recipe.

Vanilla Peach Cupcakes (Vegan)

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Vanilla Olive Oil
1/2 cup Sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup peach jam
3/4 cup Almond milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting- see below
Caramelized Peach Slices- see below

Preheat your oven to 375degrees.

Sift your dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Slowly blend in the Olive Oil. Once that is incorporated, slowly add in the milk and the jam. This is a thick and sticky batter.

Place cupcake liners into your muffin pan, or grease the wells. Fill the cups about halfway full. Bake 15-18 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

* I had enough batter left over to make about 2 regular size extras.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

8oz vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup vegan margarine
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together the margarine, Balsamic and the cream cheese. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Caramelized Peach Slices

1 large peach, cut into 12 wedges
2 tbsp vegan margarine

Melt the margarine on the stove-top over medium heat. Add the Balsamic and stir. Arrange the peach slices around the pan and let cook for about 4-5 minutes a side. Watch you heat carefully, too hot and they will burn. Your just need a little color on each side.

Cool in the refrigerator and top each cupcake with one slice. (If they aren't cool, they will melt the frosting!)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vegetable Curry

This is a great way to use up the last of the heirloom tomatoes that are at the grocery store, and a way to use the freshest squash too! This dish comes together super fast, so get your bowls ready.

Vegetable Curry

1 lg onion, sliced thin
1 lb heirloom tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 lg yellow squash or zucchini
1 small eggplant, peeled and diced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
Pinch of ginger powder
1 tsp Spicy Curry Sea Salt
4 tbsp coconut milk

Heat your oil over medium heat. Add the onion and eggplant and saute 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent and the eggplant is softening. 

Add the squash and bell pepper and cook another 3-4 minutes. Add the curry powder and the tomatoes. Saute, stirring occasionally, about 3 more minutes. 

Slowly mix in the coconut milk. If you want a thicker sauce, you could use coconut cream. Simmer, uncovered for about 5 minutes. 

Serve with a sprinkle of the Curry Sea Salt.

Great things to add to this are chicken, ground turkey, celery... you name the vegetable, it can go in. If you want a really thick sauce, add some plain yogurt instead of coconut milk, 1/4 to 1/2 cup should be enough.