Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Dinner

A quick rundown of our Christmas dinner! Recipes coming.

Marinated Butternut Squash with Mushrooms and Spinach

Turkey Au Vin

Crispy Roast Potatoes

Garlic Roasted Green Beans

Monday, December 4, 2017

Customer Recipe: Kale Chips

My sister in law had a bunch of kale left over and decided to try making kale chips. She loved them!

Customer Recipe: Kale Chips

Remove the ribs of the kale and spread on a baking sheet.
Drizzle with Italian Herb Olive Oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
Roast at 375° for 10 to 15 minutes.

Later she did the same with some bok choy minus the cayenne. I think they were eaten faster than she could get a camera on them!

Thanks Nicole!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Quick snack.

A snack I made for Thanksgiving, Crackers with Gouda and fig jam that I got from the store. Delicious!

Be sure to save yourself some in the back of the fridge because it makes a great breakfast too!

Have a few things to post this week, have a peaceful weekend and hope your holidays were great!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Doughnuts with Chocolate Espresso Glaze

This is one recipe where I'm not telling you to use Olive Oil. Because we're frying doughnuts. You can....But it's not that important to the flavor and a basic cooking oil will do.

I've made these before. I might even have posted something like this before. But I made these for Sunday breakfast and had such a good time. The leftovers were dessert. 

And yes, doughnuts really are this easy. This is really a very quick process, so start with just a few until you get the hang of it. My favorite tool for flipping doughnuts in oil is a pair of wooden chopsticks. Just don't poke holes in your dough!

Doughnuts with Chocolate Espresso Glaze

1 can Biscuits
Oil for frying

Heat about an inch of oil in a large heavy pan. Oil is ready when a drop of water skitters across the top or a tiny bit of dough bubbles and browns when you put it in.

Unpop your biscuits and either cut a hole in the center with a cutter or tear with your fingers and round it out a bit.

Drop into the oil gently and flip when browned. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Dunk in glaze and let sit a few minutes until set. Have fun with it!

1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk or water
2 tsp Espresso Balsamic

Sift the sugar and cocoa powder together in a large bowl*. Slowly stir in the balsamic and the milk or water. (milk gives more of a milk chocolate taste) The glaze should be thick, but still pourable. 

*It is important to sift the sugar and cocoa powder to avoid lumps! If you look at the picture carefully, you will see that I did NOT. Still delicious. Not nearly as pretty.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Dark and Extra Stormy

We were tossing around ideas for the Red Apple a few days ago and this happened. A Dark and Stormy is Rum and Ginger Beer, that's not quite what this is. And the balsamic makes the color so much deeper. So...

Extra Stormy
Makes 1

Crushed ice
6oz Ginger Beer
2-3 oz Honey Whiskey
1 tbsp Red Apple Balsamic

Just stir together and serve.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Olive Oil on Ice Cream?

I'll try pretty much anything once. I know all about using Balsamic on ice cream, I have a long history of using it on desserts. I even have a recipe for using Olive Oil IN ice cream, although I haven't gotten around to it yet.

But Olive Oil ON ice cream?

Well, I did say I'd try anything.

We had a customer come in raving about a dessert she'd had at a restaurant and trying to recreate it. Lemon Olive Oil over really good vanilla ice cream. She got the Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, I got a recipe.

I don't blame her, it's really good. The olive oil blends in subtly and you just get pops of fresh flavor as you eat it. Recommended highly!!

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Ice Cream

1 pint good vanilla ice cream
2 tbsp Meyer Lemon Olive Oil

Divide the ice cream into two bowls and let it soften a bit. About 5 minutes.

Top with walnuts and a tablespoon each of the olive oil. It's even better stirred in.

Have fun!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Pork Buns and Mandarin Teriyaki

This is an easy dinner if every there was one. I found these great frozen pork buns in my grocery the other day and had to try them out. I was without a proper sauce though, so I had to make it myself!

Mandarin Orange Teriyaki Sauce

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
6 tbsp Mandarin Orange Balsamic
1/3 cup Chinese Rice wine
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
     Or 2 tsp garlic ginger paste

Whisk together in a sauce pan and let simmer over medium heat about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Sauce should have thickened slightly. 

If you want a thicker sauce, whisk in a tsp of cornstarch at the beginning. It doesn't do anything to the flavor, just the texture.

Pour into a bowl and let cool. Keeps for a week in the refrigerator.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Herb Mayo BLT

Making your own mayo is a really interesting experience. It's fun and with the right tools, it's easier than you might think. Without the right tools, it's almost impossible.

I made this mayo from scratch, but I'll include the modification for the easy way at the end. I based it off an Emeril recipe because really, who knows better?

Herb Mayo BLTs
makes 4 sandwiches

8 slices thick cut bacon
8 slices whole grain bread
2 medium tomatoes
a handful of nice lettuce
1/2 cup Fresh Herb Mayo (below)

Spread the bacon evenly over a baking pan and place it in a cold oven. Set the temp to 400° and walk away. After about 15-20 minutes, the bacon should be done. If you want it crispier, let it cook a bit longer.

Slice your tomatoes thickly, you should have at least 2 slices for each sandwich.

Weather to toast or not is up to you. With a nice grainy bread, I don't toast, but the crunch is a nice contrast. And lettuce, iceberg is classic, but who says you have to stay there? I like spring mix. It's always a surprise.

To assemble, spread the mayo on your bread and layer everything evenly. Slice on diagonals and serve.

Fresh Mayo

1 lg egg
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup Greek Seasoning Olive Oil
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 pinch dried oregano
1 pinch of pepper

In a food processor, combine egg, mustard, lemon and salt and blend until smooth. While it's running, add the oil slowly but steadily until everything comes together smoothly. Taste and adjust salt. 

Turn mayo out into a bowl and fold in the herbs. Refrigerate until using. Better if let to sit an hour or two.

Fresh Mayo, The Easy Way

1/2 cup olive oil mayo
2 tbsp Greek Seasoning Olive Oil
2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
1 pinch dried oregano
1 pinch pepper
Couple drops fresh lemon juice

Whisk everything together and let it sit, refrigerated, for half an hour before using.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mango Salsa

There are things and flavors that are year round. Flip flops, cozy blankets, BBQ. And salsa. Salsa has no season. When seasons change, you just change the ingredients and keep going. The grocery had pumpkin salsa the other day and who am I to judge? I'll put pumpkin in almost anything, so A+ for them. Maybe I'll try to make that sometime too.

This is a classic mango salsa. Good all the time. Chips are great for this, but I really prefer it served along with grilled or baked fish.

Also experimenting with a new format, tell me what you think!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Customer Recipe: Michael M

Regular customer and friend of the store Michael promised me some pictures and he came through big time! Thanks Michael! Looks delicious!

Good Monday afternoon! So I promised to send a few photos and dishes along when I used your delicious balsamics.

This is cauliflower and mini peppers that have been marinated in Lavender balsamic and Meyer lemon olive oil purchased from your store in New Hope.

Just grill them on your barbecue until the cauliflower is tender, turning frequently at high heat.

They are crispy roasted infused very well with the olive oil and lavender and taste absolutely delicious. Vegetarians rejoice!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Italian Omelette

Bacon and eggs. Eggs and pancakes. Eggs and cheese. Sometimes spinach. Eggs are versatile. I'm not sure why I had never tried it before... But sometimes it's harder to branch out than you think. These may be better for dinner than breakfast and that's just fine with me. Mine didn't turn out so pretty. Just delicious.

Italian Omelette

1 tbsp OliveNGrape Oregano Olive Oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 onion, sliced very thin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup good tomato sauce
few basil leaves, optional
goat cheese for topping, optional

Add the oil to a large saute pan and heat to medium high. Put in half the onions and a dash of salt. Cook until they are fragrant and soft.

Crack 2 of the eggs into a bowl and whip with a fork until combined and a bit frothy. You can add half a tablespoon of water or of milk to it as well, but I've never felt the need. Add salt and pepper now to taste.

Lower the heat to medium and pour the eggs into the pan, making sure to cover all of the onions. Cook until just set up and beginning to bubble on the edges. Sprinkle half the mozzarella cheese on and the basil and fold the omelette in half. Cover for a minute or so until the cheese is melted how you like it.

Remove to a warmed plate and set aside. Repeat with the other 2 eggs.

To serve, spoon some of the tomato sauce over the top and dot with goat cheese bits. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Grilled Pineapple Chicken

This chicken only requires a little bit of indoor cooking, so it's easy for hot days. If you really want to avoid cooking, make the sauce ahead and assemble as it comes off the grill. You could even double the sauce to use on other stuff too. Probably keeps for about a week in the fridge, but I've never had it hang around that long.

Grilled Pineapple Chicken

Chicken and Pineapples
4 chicken breasts
1 cup large pineapple chunks
3 tbsp OlivenGrape Oregano Olive Oil, divided
Salt and pepper

Brush chicken with 2 tbsp Oregano Olive Oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat, 4-6 minutes per side.

Thread the pineapple segments onto skewers and brush them with remaining olive oil or oil a square of grill safe aluminum foil and place on there. Only takes a minute or two to finish.

Toss the sauce over everything and serve.

1 cup limeade
¼ cup OlivenGrape Pineapple Balsamic
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp minced garlic

Combine in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced almost by half. Set aside and let cool slightly. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.

Quick cabbage side salad
2 cups thin sliced cabbage
½ red onion, diced
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Monday, July 3, 2017

Orange Coleslaw

I wanted to use some of the new Fruit Vinegars that we got in, because they are really tasty. If you don't have the Lemon Vinegar on hand, try substituting Prosecco Vinegar, with a tbsp of white sugar and a teaspoon of lemon zest whisked in the dressing.

Orange Coleslaw

1 medium green cabbage, sliced finely
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cans mandarin orange slices
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

3/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup Mussini Lemon Fruit Vinegar
Pinch of Salt
Pepper to taste

Whisk the dressing together and taste to adjust the spices. Tumble the salad ingredients into a bowl and toss gently with the dressing to coat.

Chill 1-3 hours and serve. Best same day.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Gnocchi with Herbed Goat Cheese Sauce

This one was fun. Gnocchi are just little fluffy pastas that always seem best with light fluffy sauces and a glass of wine. I've eliminated the glass with this one and put the wine in the sauce instead. But by all means, have another glass handy for yourself!

Gnocchi with Herbed Goat Cheese Sauce

1 tbsp OliveNGrape Italian Herb Olive Oil
1 tbsp OliveNGrape Oregano Olive Oil
3 tbsp dry white wine
1 cup vegetable broth
4 oz goat cheese
½ tsp minced fresh garlic
1 lb gnocchi
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 small fresh tomatoes, diced

Cook and drain the gnocchi. Rinse well & set aside.

Sauté zucchini & garlic in a pan over medium heat with the OliveNGrape Oregano Olive Oil for 3-4 minutes, until the zucchini is soft & the garlic is very fragrant.

In a small saucepan, combine the wine, broth & OliveNGrape Italian Herb Olive Oil. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by half. Add the goat cheese, salt & pepper. Simmer, stirring frequently until melted through.

Toss together with the diced tomatoes and serve.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Chicken Fajitas

This is an easy and fun meal for any time of the year. I just grab the freshest vegetables, onions and some seasoning and we're all set!

Chicken Fajitas

1 1/2 lb chicken
2 or 3 bell peppers
1 large onion
2 tbsp Original Seasoning Blend
2 tbsp Olive-N-Grape Persian Lime Olive Oil
1 tbsp Olive-N-Grape Hot Chili Olive Oil

Optional for topping and serving:
2 tbsp chopped green onions
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
sour cream
6-8 warm tortillas
salsa fresca
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese

Slice the chicken, onion and peppers into thin strips or small pieces. Heat the combined oils to medium high heat and add everything. Sprinkle with the seasoning blend and cook. Stir frequently until the chicken is no longer pink inside, 6-8 minutes.

That's it. Assemble as you like, this is fantastic over tortillas with salsa and lettuce. It's also great served in a bowl with rice. Have fun!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Spring Pea Pasta

I set out to make Lemon Pesto Pasta the other night. I cook the pasta and reach for the pesto, only to find that I was completely out! Oops. Happily, I think on my feet in the kitchen and grabbed a leftover piece of grilled chicken and some Parmesan. I had a bag of fresh peas in there too, waiting for something else, so I re-purposed them. I don't miss the pesto one bit.

Spring Pea Pasta

1pkg Lemon Pasta
1 grilled chicken breast, chopped or shredded
8oz fresh spring peas
1/4 cup pasta water
1 tsp butter
dash of black pepper
2-3 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan
1/4 cup Olive-N-Grape Parsley Olive Oil
1 lemon, for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta al dente, rinse and set aside. Steam the peas in a microwavable safe bowl, or on the stove top until crisp tender.

In a small bowl, whisk the reserved pasta water with the butter, Parmesan and Olive Oil. In a serving bowl, turn out the pasta and combine gently with the peas and chicken. Toss the sauce with the pasta, making sure to coat everything.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon on each serving.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

New Pasta Trials

We recently got in some really amazing one-pot meals. They have a great variety and are easy to make. They boast easy clean up and great taste. How could it go wrong?

Most of the ones we carry are also Vegan, so it's an easy meal to have on hand if you are or someone you know is Vegan.

This week, I made 3 different ones to see how they turned out and give you my impressions. Here you go!

First up, The Spaghetti with Herbs

This is a nice dish. It calls for 3 1/5 cups of water and it really means 1/5 not 1/2. The pasta is smooth and the flavor is rich and tomato-y. It suggests adding some sesame seeds, I suggest roasted veggies too.

Next, Trofiette Pasta with Basil Pesto

The question is, how can a Vegan Pesto be creamy? The answer is, don't drain your pasta. The silky starches from the cooked pasta, combine with the herbs to make this pesto sauce have a really great mouth-feel. The flavor is bright and the pasta is this cute wiggly shape that reminds me of moustaches. It also has sunflower seeds in it and I love their crunch, but there's never enough of them. It suggests Parmesan Cheese additions and I agree. I also suggest a couple tablespoons of unsalted sunflower seeds just because.

This leaves the Fregola with curry & raisins for last.

Okay, this one took a bit longer to cook than the directions said. The water just would not absorb! However, I think you should only cook it as long as the directions say, because it actually absorbs more as it cools (making leftovers a solid block). This isn't a curry like Indian curry. It's very mild and I ended up drizzling it with Olive-n-Grape Hot Chili Oil. I love the little nuggets of pasta, they're very fun, but I think this one needs the most additions. After the picture, I tore up some spinach to add in and extra raisins as well. I think this would be great with some browned sausage tossed in as well and maybe a few diced tomatoes.

These were so much fun. I can't wait to try more!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Asian Asparagus

This is another side dish that I like to turn into my main meal. The fresh asparagus of the season is just so good.

Asian Asparagus 

1 bunch asparagus
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Olive-N-Grape Toasted Sesame Garlic Ginger Oil
1 tbsp Olive-N-Grape Garlic Cilantro Balsamic
1 tsp sesame seeds, black and white mixed
Few pinches Bonito flakes
     or, 1 tsp fish sauce

Trim the woody ends off the asparagus and cut into bite sized pieces on the angle.

Heat the sesame oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Saute for 30 seconds and add the asparagus. Season with the bonito flakes. Cook stirring often, until fork tender and bright green, 5-7 minutes.

While still on the heat, sprinkle on the balsamic and sesame seeds. Toss to coat quickly and remove from the heat.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

These are great as a side dish, but I love to save them to use on sandwiches or to toss with pasta! I often double of triple this just because I love them so much. Will last around a week in the fridge.

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

1 pint grape tomatoes
2 tbsp Olive-N-Grape Greek Seasoning Olive Oil or
     Olive-N-Grape Oregano Olive Oil & a squeeze of Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Olive-N-Grape Fig Baslsamic

Preheat the oven to 350°. Halve the tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the olive oil and stir well to coat.

Turn the tomatoes out into a baking dish large enough to spread them out in a single layer.

Place on a lower shelf in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring once, halfway through.

Drizzle the balsamic over and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Chicken Marsala

I love eating out. But it can get pricey, so I've learned to make tons of stuff at home. I don't always make it like a restaurant would, but you can usually recognize what it was supposed to be! 

Chicken Marsala is a restaurant favorite. I don't always dredge the chicken in the flour at home, but it does give it that nice crust. I included the leftovers recipe as well. Simple, but fun. 

Chicken Marsala

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp favorite spice blend, Prime Rub or Original are best
1 lb thin sliced chicken, cut into strips
4 tbsp Olive-N-Grape Porcini olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour and spies and stir to combine thoroughly. Dredge the chicken breast halves in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any bits from the bottom of the pan.

When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken broth and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Add salt and pepper, to taste and serve immediately.

Leftover Chicken Marsala Salad

My favorite leftovers. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and serve on top of greens with extra sauce for dressing. Delicious.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kickin' Jalapeno Salad

Kickin’ Jalapeno Salad

¼ Red onion, diced
2-4 strips crispy bacon, crumbled
1 small cucumber, sliced in quarters
A few handfuls of Arugula and Romaine, roughly chopped
½ pint small tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
½ jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
1 tsp Key West Spice Blend
2 tbsp Jalapeno Balsamic
1 tbsp Oregano Olive Oil

Put all the salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Portion into individual bowls.

 Stir the spice blend into the olive oil and drizzle onto the salads. Follow with a drizzle of the balsamic and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Desserts and Drinks

Last Valentine's Recipe Post

Easiest Berry Cake
Slice a store-bought angel food cake and top with berries and Raspberry Balsamic drizzle. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and it's perfect.

Balsamic Bellini
In every glass, a splash of White Peach Balsamic and some raspberries.
Add a generous portion of prosecco for the adults, and sparkling grape juice for everyone else.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Rosemary Raspberry Chicken

This is the rest of the Valentine's Chicken dish I promised from yesterday. Rosemary and berries are some of my favorite things to put together. The bright fruit flavors and the clean herbs balance each other out and combine for a savory treat. Desserts tomorrow!

Rosemary Raspberry Chicken

8 boneless chicken breast halves (about 2pounds)
2 tbsp Rosemary Olive Oil
1 small onion, sliced finely
2 tbsp Raspberry Balsamic
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Marsala Rosemary Sea Salt
Thinly sliced almonds (optional)

Heat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss the oil with the onion slices and the chicken so they are evenly covered. Spread out into a large casserole pan in an even layer. Sprinkle with the sea salt and chopped rosemary.

Bake 25 minutes uncovered, or until the chicken is no longer pink at the thickest part. Brush the chicken and onions with the Raspberry Balsamic and the almonds and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Garnish as desired with a few sprigs of rosemary and raspberries as desired.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Crisp Roasted Asparagus

This is a two part recipe. I made this as part of a Valentine's meal, but wanted the Asparagus to have its own post.

I really love crispy asparagus, so I make these quite often. You can use almost any oil and salt that you have on hand. The Rosemary oil I used here is a tie into the chicken recipe that will post tomorrow.

Happy early Valentine's Day!

Crispy Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
1 tbsp Rosemary Olive Oil
Sea salt, to taste

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus and lay the spears in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over top and turn to coat. Sprinkle with the sea salt.

Roast for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned. If you like them crispy like I do however, at about 15 minutes, give them a flip, and continue roasting about 10-15 minutes more. I like them almost burnt and crunchy. But I know not everyone does, so watch them carefully.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Pizza

Hello! I hope your new years went off without a hitch! Let's make 2017 a great one okay? If it starts with pizza....how could it go wrong?

So my new years eve was potluck.There was a great salad I'll post about later, cheese platters, pasta; the whole works. But the star of the dinner was the pizza. We have a chef friend, and that's never a bad thing. He makes his own dough and brought his own pizza peels and everything. They ranged from plain cheese pizzas to more creative concoctions. I'm sharing the two that featured our balsamic of course, but they were all delicious. Both of these are using the Jalapeno Balsamic, it has a really nice savoury flavour that really worked well.

You can use any dough for these, store bought is great, just follow the instructions for the timing. The topping is already cooked, so what really needs cooking is the dough. So as long as it's not a dough ball and your cheese is melted, I'd call it a victory.

The first pizza was for the host. It was also his birthday, so it's all his favourite toppings.

Birthday Pizza
makes 2 medium pizzas

1 handful torn kale
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup sliced Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup caramelised shallots
2-4 strips prosciutto, chopped
2-3 tbsp Garlic Olive Oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp Jalapeno Balsamic

Stretch out your dough and spread the topping over it evenly. Drizzle to Garlic Olive Oil over top and bake.

Top with the Jalapeno Balsamic and serve.

This one is a little different. We made this up on the spot as a bit of a collaborative effort with things we had on various platters around the room. 10/10 will make again!

BBQ Pizza
makes one pie

Lots of roasted garlic cloves, we used about 10
1 slice grilled pineapple, cut into chunks
1/4 cup roast chicken, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

BBQ sauce
1/8 cup Ketchup
1-2 tbsp Jalapeno Balsamic
2 tsp worchestire sauce

Stretch your dough out and sprinkle the topping on. This is a sauce free pie, so be as generous as you like with the cheese. Dot out the BBQ sauce and bake.

You could double the BBQ recipe and stir it into the chicken before you put it on too. That would also be really nice.