I know it’s too early for a Christmas list, but look at all these shiny things!
1. Cocanu Moonwalk Chocolate
It’s dark chocolate with poprocks in it. Wow.
2. Fancy lollipops from the Groovy Baker
These are cherry cordials, but other fantastic flavors include Prom night punch, Aquarius, Pineapple Caramel Upside Down, Creme Brulee, Lime in the coconut, and Alchemy.
3. Fancy olives and kabanaki peppers from the Olive Orchard
I tried these at a tasting last week and fell in love. Especially with those peppers (you can see how the jar in the above photo is actually empty of peppers, due to my having unrestrainedly eaten them all, unable to save even one for hubs or the green caret, both of whom would have been wildly appreciative of such fare). They are spicy, and creamy (stuffed with feta), and rich from being packed in lovely Greek oil. I fantasize about eating them while sipping an old fashioned cocktail.
4. Babycakes donut maker
There seems to be a huge baked donut fad going on in the blogosphere right now, and I feel I need to get on board. And bake more donuts.
5. Homesick Texan Cookbook
You’re surprised, right?
This was inspired by a salad I had once at NorthStar, a butternut squash from my dad’s garden, and some beets and arugula from Rockdove Farm.
First, I roasted the beets and squash. Both were peeled and cubed, olive oiled, and spread out on a stone. Into the oven for 20-30 minutes (until tender) at 400.
Next, I put them over a giant bed of arugula and added some goat cheese and Olive Orchard Orange Olive Oil.
World’s greatest lunch.
It’s another month of Secret Recipe Club. This month, I was lucky enough to be assigned La Phemme Phoodie, a delightful blog on food, travel, and eating in Philly.
Her photos are gorgeous:
Lobster in Maine
Supper dog at a Philly hotspot
Gummy bears, lined up for Gummy Bear shots
Blackberry soup (looks totally to die for)
It was a tough choice, but I finally decided to make this Watermelon Feta salad,
adapted only slightly to what we had on hand. It was fun and delicious, and my mom helped.
We cubed about 4 cups of watermelon, peeled and cubed a cucumber (the very last one in the garden!), threw in some crumbled feta, and drizzled everything with Olive Orchard Greek oil. Perfect side!
Check out all of today’s secret recipe club reveals here:
This salad was inspired by the recipe on the Olive Orchard blog and some beautiful cucumbers and tomatoes from my mom’s garden.
- 1 bunch of fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 2-3 tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 of a red onion, chopped
- 2-3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
- 4 oz feta, cut into squares
- olive oil for drizzling (I used my Olive Orchard Greek)
Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Salt lightly (don’t go to heavy, because the feta is pretty salty). Sprinkle oregano and feta on top. Drizzle generously with olive oil.
Remember my attempt at growing some new herbs this year? These are the only survivors:
They’re not looking so great. Enter my craving for bruschetta. I like bruschetta made with oregano, but sometimes I’m just in a mood for basil. Seeing as how mine isn’t fit to eat, I subbed it out for some Olive Orchard basil oil in this batch. Perfect substitute.
I like mine super soupy so I can pour those garlicy-basily-tomatoey juices all over the toast.
Basil Oil Bruschetta
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Basil olive oil, to taste (4-5 T is where I ended up)
Combine all, and serve with toasted baguette slices.
I did my first olive oil tasting* yesterday. These are my five takeaways:
1. Even children who hate 99% of the food on earth (aka mine) love tasting olive oil.
2. There is a huge difference between a lighter oil and a more intense one. This does not make it easier to choose a favorite.
3. Flavored oils can be used to make food that feels fancy and different, but only takes about 5 minutes to make. And it tastes awesome.
For example, chopped olives with garlic oil, which is perfect on toast,
fresh mozzarella with red hot chili oil,
and strawberries with orange olive oil and chopped mint.
4. Hungry two year olds can put away a LOT of orange oil strawberries, but will pick out all of the mint.
5. The hand print of an orange oil strawberry loving two year old can be removed from white shorts with a couple sprays of oxy-clean.
*Want to have an olive oil tasting at your house? Let me know in the comments and I’ll send you the info.
You’ve heard me mention the Olive Orchard before. I am a huge fan, and have converted several friends and family members. And it’s not just me. Some of my favorite local food bloggers like them. Jeni even made ice cream with their Sicilian oil this past winter. So of course when I heard they were looking for people to conduct olive oil tastings on their behalf, you know I signed up.
And here is my beautiful set of oils:
All crafted by individual growers, and each a little different. My first tasting is on Saturday, so I’m looking forward to trying everything side by side and trying to choose a favorite. I’ll let you know if I can narrow it down.
This is basically hummus stripped of everything but these two ingredients. You can always add them back in (1/4 sesame seeds, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and 1/2 clove garlic is where I would start), but there’s something about the simplicity of this version that I like. It tastes best served with toasted pitas, warm from the oven.
Chickpeas and olive oil
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil, use something really nice here, like Olive Orchard
- 1/2 t salt
Put chickpeas and salt into food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped. Drizzle in olive oil through the feed tube with the motor running until it’s nice and smooth. Taste and add salt if needed.