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Category - General, Dessert
Posted - 09/17/2014 12:56pm
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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins


Original recipe makes 18 muffins

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners.
  2. To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then set aside.
  3. For the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
  4. For the muffin batter: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.
  5. Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. Try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper cup. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

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Category - General, Entrees
Posted - 09/16/2014 06:42pm
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Italian Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers


6 large peppers (green, red, yellow or orange), tops cut off and cleaned out

1 1/2 lb hot italian sausage, crumbled

1-2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes

salt and fresh ground pepper

16 oz Orzo (such as Pappardelle’s Rainbow Orzo), cooked

1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


1. Heat saute’ pan over medium high heat until hot; add onion and cook, stirring 

occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

2. Add sausage and cook, breaking into small pieces. Stir in garlic and cook until 


3. Transfer to large bowl, and add rice, tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, parsley and salt and 

pepper to taste.

4. Stuff sausage and rice mixture into the hollowed out peppers. Place inside lightly 

greased muffin pan and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

5. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes, or until peppers are tender.

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Category - General
Posted - 09/16/2014 06:42pm
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Category - General
Posted - 09/16/2014 06:42pm
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Category - General
Posted - 09/16/2014 05:18pm
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Vegan Zucchini Almond Bread


How wonderful to find a recipe that's fit for a vegan and loved by everyone. I enjoy recipes by Erin Gleeson from The Forest Feast photo/recipe book and this is a new favorite.

makes one 8×4 or 9×5-inch loaf


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 cup  almond milk 

1 cup OTOT extra virgin olive oil (suggest Taggiasca or Arbequina)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 cups shredded zucchini 

3/4 cup thinly sliced almonds plus a bit more for the top of each loaf

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour an 8×4-inch or 9×5-inch loaf pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond milk, olive oil, vanilla extract, and sugars.  Shred the zucchini using a grater and squeeze it over a strainer to release some of the liquid. Whisk thoroughly, then add the shredded zucchini and almonds.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula.  Make sure all of the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the batter.  Spoon batter into prepared pan, sprinkle the top with sliced almonds and place in the oven.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Bread will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

Optional: Drizzle warm slices with Almond Glaze before serving. For the glaze, simply stir in a bowl: 1/2 c powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon almond milk and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract.

adapted from Erin Gleeson's recipe

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Category - General
Posted - 09/15/2014 12:39pm
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Marinated Pepper & Burrata Crostini

1 medium red onion, sliced

1/4 cup capers

1 clove garlic, sliced

12 peppers, cut into strips (seeds and membranes removed)

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

sea salt

OTOT extra virgin olive oil (we like Ascolano Mission)

OTOT Traditional 12 or 18 year Balsamic Vinegar

basil, chopped

loaf of french bread

burrata cheese

toasted pine nuts


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Combine the onion, capers, garlic, and pepper flakes in a bowl and mix.

3. Season the fresh peppers with salt and toss them with enough olive oil to coat them.

Spread the peppers out on a sheet pan, sprinkle the onion-caper-garlic mixture over

the top and roast for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are crispy and brown. Remove and

transfer to a bowl.

4. Lower oven temperature to 350 F. Drizzle the bread with olive oil, transfer to a wire

rack inside the sheet pan, and toast until golden, about 10 minutes.

5. Divide the burrata amongst your toasted slices of bread. Spoon pepper mixture on

top, a chiffonade or two of basil, and drizzle with traditional balsamic vinegar.

Season with salt and pepper and serve!

* adapted from recipe on CUESA

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Category - General
Posted - 08/22/2014 06:13pm
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Spiced Nuts

16 oz nuts - pecans, almonds, mixed, whatever your tastes
2 tablespoons Olive This Olive That extra virgin olive oil ~ our favorites are Citrus Habanero for spice, or Herbs de Provence for seasoning
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix all ingredients in mixing bowl and when well-coated, roast in 375 degree oven for 8 minutes.  Mix at 4 minutes to ensure fairly even cooking.

Remove from oven and cool on multiple papers to absorb extra oil; serve warm or at room temperature. 

Recipe by Christina Marcon

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Category - General
Posted - 08/18/2014 12:02pm
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Berry Blasts! Beverages with Balsamic
Forget boring old lemonade and try something fresh with our unique balsamic vinegars! Introducing our Raspberry or Blueberry Blasts!

Make it to taste, add crushed ice, the possibilities are endless!

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Category - General, Side
Posted - 08/18/2014 11:51am
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Cold Cucumber Soup with Dill & Olive Oil
- 2 large European cucumbers (2 1/4 pounds), halved and seeded—1/2 cup finely diced, the rest coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-  1 small shallot, chopped
-  1 garlic clove
-  1/3 cup loosely packed dill
-  1/4 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
-  2 tablespoons loosely packed tarragon leaves
-  1/4 cup Olive This Olive That Extra Virgin Olive Oil (such as Frantoio or Mission Ascolano), plus more for drizzling
-  Salt & Fresh ground white pepper
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
    1.    In a blender, combine the chopped cucumber with the yogurt, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, dill, parsley, tarragon and the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
    2.    Season the soup again just before serving. Pour the soup into bowls. Garnish with the finely diced cucumber, red onion and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

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Category - General, Entrees
Posted - 08/18/2014 11:49am
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Grilled Shrimp with Lemon & Oregano



  • 1/2 cup salted capers—rinsed, soaked for 1 hour and drained
  • 1/2 cup oregano leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup OTOT extra-virgin olive oil (try our Arbequina!)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Salt
  1. On a cutting board, finely chop the drained capers with the oregano leaves and garlic. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season the sauce with pepper.

  2. Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Thread the shrimp onto metal skewers and grill over high heat, turning once, until the shrimp are lightly charred and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and transfer them to a platter. Spoon the sauce on top and serve.

MAKE AHEAD The sauce can be refrigerated overnight. Bring it to room temperature before serving. 

Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine

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Category - Salad
Posted - 08/12/2014 12:43pm
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Kale Salad Recipe


  • 2 batches of kale (spines removed)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (we often use our Frantoio or Spanish Hojiblanco)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmasean cheese
Rinse kale, remove spines, chop into ½ inch pieces.
Dressing: add olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, chili flakes and shake well. Add dressing to kale and let it sit at room temperature for 10-30 minutes.
Prepare croutons (we roast day old bread with olive oil and garlic) and grind in Cuisinart to make breadcrumbs. Add breadcrumbs and parm cheese to salad before serving.

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Category - General, Salad
Posted - 08/05/2014 11:57am
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Farmers' Market Panzanella


Ingredients for Salad and Croutons

    3 Tablespoons Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

    1 small french bread or ciabatta, torn into pieces

    1 teaspoon sea salt plus freshly ground pepper

    2 large tomatoes and one basket of grape or cherry tomatoes (look for the best and brightest, whatever catches your eye!)

    1 cucumber, unpeeled and cut into chunks (I leave the seeds in, but you can take them out if you prefer)

    1 red bell pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks

    1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

    handful of fresh basil, either julienned or coarsely chopped

    3 tablespoons capers, drained

Ingredients for Dressing

    1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

    1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustart

    3 tablespoons OTOT champagne mimosa vinegar

    1/2 cup OTOT Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Frantoio or Ascolano/Mission)

    salt and pepper to taste

For Croutons: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine Basil Olive Oil and french bread in a bowl; toss until bread is all covered, season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

For Dressing: whisk together all ingredients.

For Salad: In large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onion, basil and capers. Add the croutons and toss with 1/2 the dressing. Add more as needed. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste. Allow the salad to sit at least half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Recipe Courtesy of Christina Marcon

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Category - Salad
Posted - 07/12/2014 11:31am
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Greens with Champagne Vinaigrette

For 1 Cup Vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sugar
4 teaspoons champagne vinegar
¾ cup California Sevillano extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For Salad:
Mixed Greens
Sliced apples (Fuji work well)
Golden raisins
Glazed pecans 
In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, shallot, Dijon mustard, and sugar.  With a fork, stir into a paste.  Add the champagne vinegar.  Whisk in the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
Mix salad ingredients in a bowl.  Toss with vinaigrette.
Note:  Champagne Vinaigrette keeps refrigerated for up to 1 month.

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Category - Entrees
Posted - 07/12/2014 11:30am
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Balsamic Roast Pork Tenderloin
Serves 10
4 - 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin (2 packages with 2 tenderloins each)
4 tablespoons black currant balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons rosemary olive oil
8 cloves garlic, sliced thin
4 sprigs rosemary leaves, stripped and finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and finely chopped
Coarse salt and black pepper
Trim silver skin or connective tissue off tenderloins with a very sharp thin knife.  Place tenderloins on a nonstick cookie sheet with a rim.
Coat tenderloins with balsamic vinegar rubbing vinegar into meat.  Drizzle tenderloins with olive oil, just enough to coat.
Cut small slits into meat and disperse chunks of garlic cloves into meat.  Combine rosemary, thyme, coarse salt and pepper.  Rub meat with blend.
Roast for 20 minutes at 500 degrees.
Let meat rest, transfer to a carving board, slice and serve drizzled with black currant balsamic vinegar.
Note:  Recipe was adapted from Rachel Ray.    

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Category - General, Sides
Posted - 07/12/2014 11:28am
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1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 Tablespoons Arbequina olive oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl. Then stir in buttermilk, olive oil and egg and mix gently.  Pour batter into the prepared pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  Cornbread is done when edges are lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

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Category - Entrees
Posted - 07/12/2014 11:25am
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Lemon Basil Pasta with Spinach


1 - 8 oz. package lemon basil pasta
8 oz. fresh spinach 
2 tablespoons arbequina olive oil
Italian blend with garlic olive oil
feta cheese, crumbled 
Boil pot of water for pasta.  Add pasta, cook for 8 - 10 minutes until pasta tests done.  Drain.
Heat arbequina olive oil in large sauté pan.  Add fresh spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach wilts.
Mix pasta and spinach together.  Sprinkle with Italian blend with garlic olive oil to taste.  Mix in feta cheese to taste.

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Category - General, Sides, Dessert
Posted - 07/11/2014 10:54pm
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Grilled Figs with Mascrapone & Chocolate Balsamic
This is a must try recipe. The delicate fruit flavor of the figs coupled with the smoky chocolate and the cool, creaminess of the mascarpone is a delectable treat.

Yield: Serves 4
    •    12 figs, cut in half lengthwise
    •    3-4 skewers
    •    1/3 cup mascarpone
    •    1/3 cup OTOT dark chocolate balsamic

Preheat grill for medium heat. Wash and cut figs in half. Very carefully thread 3-4 fig halves onto skewer. Place cut side down onto grill grate and cook for 2 minutes or until grill marks appear. Do not overcook or figs will become mushy. Remove from grill and allow figs to cool for a few minutes. Remove from skewers and arrange over chocolate balsamic drizzled on plate. Top with mascarpone and fresh mint leaves.

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Category - General, Salad
Posted - 07/11/2014 10:49pm
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Strawberry & Avocado Salad with Chocolate Balsamic

Here's another delicious way to use your dark chocolate balsamic.

4 cups lettuce, coarsely torn (baby spinach would be great here, too) 1 cup strawberries, washed, destemmed and quartered (any fruit would work here)
1 cup avocado, sliced (from 1 small)
1 tbsp mint, slivered
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp raw cacao nibs (they give a great crunch) (optional)
4 tsp balsamic vinegar (OTOT Dark Chocolate)
2 tsp mild extra virgin olive oil (OTOT Arbequina or Taggiasca)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1/16 tsp salt
2 tbsp water, or to thin to your desired consistency

1. Begin by making your dressing: Mix together the balsamic vinegar, hazelnut oil, cacao powder and salt. Thin to you desired consistency with water. The cacao powder may not dissolve very well but that is ok!
2. For the salad, plate the lettuce, top with strawberries, avocado and mint. Add almonds and cacao nibs just prior to serving.
Serves 2.
Adapted from Choosing Raw

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Category - General, Sides
Posted - 07/11/2014 10:46pm
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Grilled Zucchini & Goat Cheese Rolls
makes about 20 bite-size rolls

2 zucchini about 9 inches long, or 4 small zucchini, cut and grilled
3 oz goat cheese
2 basil leaves, chiffonade (thinly sliced)
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt, Pepper

1. slice zucchini into long thin slices (cut off top and bottom)
2. toss with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper, coat evenly
3. over grill on HIGH heat or grill pan, grill 1-3 minutes on each side, let cool
4. in a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, basil, toasted pine nuts, lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper
5. place a mound of goat cheese mixture at the end of each zucchini strip, then roll up
6. serve as finger food or use a toothpick to hold.

*loosely based on recipe from Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Pepper, by Jenn Crovato

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Category - General, Entrees
Posted - 07/11/2014 10:37pm
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Grilled Flank Steak with Tomato Vinaigrette
While you grill a balsamic-marinated flank steak, roast cherry tomatoes and shallots in the oven. Turn the roasted vegetables into a vinaigrette with olive oil, garlic, and mustard, then slice the steak thinly and pour the dressing over top. We recommend making an extra batch of the tomato vinaigrette and saving it in the refrigerator: It’s perfect for fish, chicken, or even pasta.
Source:  thehappycook
Serves 4 to 6
For the cherry tomato vinaigrette
        1 pint cherry tomatoes
        2 large shallots, sliced
        1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (OTOT Frantoio or Ascolano/Mission)
        2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (OTOT Sherry Reserva)
        1 clove garlic, minced
        1 egg yolk
        1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
        1/2 teaspoon pepper
        1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (OTOT Frantoio or Ascolano/Mission)
        1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 425º F. Place the tomatoes, shallots, and 1 tablespoon of oil on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, toss to combine, and pull apart the little shallot rings.
2. Roast for about 10 minutes. Toss, turn on the broiler, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomatoes blister and break apart. Let cool.
3. Mix together the egg yolk, garlic, Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil.
4. After the tomato-shallot mixture has cooled from hot to warm, toss with the vinaigrette. It will thicken slightly.

For the flank steak
One 1 to 2 pound grass-fed flank steak
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (OTOT Mission or Manzanilla)

1. In a plastic bag, mix together balsamic vinegar, 1 clove garlic, honey, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, and 1/2 cup olive oil. Add flank steak. Let marinate for 4 to 6 hours in the fridge.
 2. Heat the grill to medium-high. Cook the steak 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice the steak thinly, against the grain. 

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Category - Dessert
Posted - 07/11/2014 02:08pm
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Mini Cheesecakes


    2 1/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers (from 18 sheets)
    3 Tbsp granulated sugar
    7 Tbsp salted butter, melted
    4 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    4 large eggs
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    Salted Caramel Sauce, Strawberry Sauce OR a thick sweet fruity balsamic vinegar (fig, strawberry, raspberry, mango or apricot)


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together crushed graham crackers with 3 Tbsp granulated sugar. Pour in melted butter and stir mixture until evenly coated. Divide graham cracker mixture among 24 paper lined muffin cups, adding about a heaping Tbsp to each. Press mixture into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while preparing filling.
    In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar with 3 Tbsp flour until well blended. Add softened cream cheese to a separate mixing bowl and pour sugar mixture over top. Blend mixture on low speed until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time and blend on low speed, while scrapping sides and bottom of bowl and mixing just until combined after each addition. Add vanilla, sour cream and heavy cream and mix just until combined. Tap mixing bowl against counter top about 30 times to release some of the air bubbles. Divide mixture among muffin cups filling each cup nearly full. Bake in preheated oven 20 - 23 minutes, centers should still jiggle slightly, don't overbake (if they begin to crack they are starting to become overbaked). Remove from oven and allow to cool 1 hour. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator and chill 2 hours. Serve chilled with a spoonful of Salted Caramel Sauce or Strawberry Sauce (note: for best results spoon topping on just before serving). Store in an airtight container in refrigerator or freeze.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy shared by Sally Maske

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Category - Entrees
Posted - 07/05/2014 01:11pm
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Anti-Pasta Kabobs

We want to thank Sally Maske from St. Ignatius for following recipes. She brought them to Olive This Olive That when she had a private event here, and they were so gorgeous, super delicious and easy to make, that we simply had to share them with the rest of you.


  •  16 refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini (about 2 ozs) or substitute mozzerella or cubed provolone.
  • 6 ozs thinly sliced salami or other sliced meat
  • 1 14 oz of artichoke hearts, drained and halved
  • 16 pepperoncini salad peppers
  • 16 red or yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (we recommend Olive This Olive That's Tehama Blend or Tuscan Blend)
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic or serrano chili honey or oregano vinegar)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 TBS of fresh thyme or basil
1. Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Fold salmi slices in half; roll up. On sixteen 6-inch wooden skewers, thread salami rolls, artichoke hearts, peppers, and tomatoes. Place kabobs in a single layer in shallow storage container.
2. In a screw-top jar, combine olive oil, vinegar, herbs, sugar and shake well.
3. Drizzle vinaigrette over kabobs. Cover and chill for at leat 2 hours up to 24 hours, turning kabobs occasionally. Drain kabobs to serve. Makes 16.

From America's Test Kitchen shared by Sally Maske

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Category - Entrees
Posted - 07/05/2014 12:48pm
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Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes

[adapted from Heidi Swanson]

makes 4 cakes, is super easily multiplied

1 medium sweet potato (about 6 oz), peeled and chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add in sweet potato, onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potato is soft. Remove lid and add garlic, cooking for 30 seconds.

Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl (slightly mashing potato with a fork) and add quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, remaining salt and pepper and mix well. Once combined, add in egg, then mix until moistened. Using your hands to bring it together, form four equally-sized patties. Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Serve with blackberry salsa!


Blackberry Salsa

1 pint fresh blackberries, chopped

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/2 jalapeno, finely diced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

the juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix.


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Category - Entrees
Posted - 07/04/2014 12:43pm
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Linguine with Roasted Asparagus and Almond Pesto

Swap almonds for the usual pine nuts in this twist on classic pesto, and turn it into a one-dish meal with a few bright vegetables. This pesto recipe doubles easily; keep any extra in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. It's delicious on crostini for a quick bite, or served with roast chicken or salmon.

Kosher salt
3/4 lb. asparagus, trimmed
2 cups grape tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 Tbs. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 lb. dried linguine
Freshly ground black pepper

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on one half of a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the tomatoes on the other half of the sheet. Drizzle both with 1 Tbs. of the oil, season with 1/4 tsp. salt, and toss to coat. Roast on the top rack until the tomatoes have collapsed and the asparagus are bright green, about 20 minutes.

While the vegetables roast, put the almonds on another rimmed baking sheet and toast on the bottom rack, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.

Reserve 1 heaping Tbs. of the almonds for garnish and put the remaining almonds in a food processor. Remove the tips from the asparagus and set aside. Roughly chop the remaining asparagus and add to the food processor along with the basil, cheese, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Pulse until a coarse paste forms, about 10 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Cook the linguine in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat. If necessary, add some or all of the reserved cooking water to loosen the pesto to a saucy consistency. Garnish with the tomatoes, asparagus tips, and reserved almonds, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Add some extra protein to the meal with Hummus, served with fresh vegetables for dipping.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 430; Fat (g): fat g 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 130; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 2; Protein (g): protein g 14; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 61; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 390; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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Category - Entrees
Posted - 07/04/2014 12:20pm
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Zucchini Tart with Lemon Thyme and Goat Cheese


Serves 8

by from Fine Cooking / Issue 117
When preparing the dough for this gorgeous tart, don’t omit the white vinegar: It makes the crust flaky and tender.

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 oz. cold unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1-1/2 lb. zucchini, trimmed and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. plain goat cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh lemon thyme
If you can’t find lemon thyme, use 1 tsp. chopped thyme and 1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest instead.

In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, and 3/4 tsp. salt until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the vinegar and 3 to 4 Tbs. cold water, pulsing until the dough just comes together. Shape the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk; wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the dough on a well-floured surface into an 11-inch round that’s 1/4-inch thick. Put the dough on a baking sheet, cover with plastic, and chill until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.

In a colander, toss the zucchini with 2 tsp. salt and drain for 30 minutes. Gently squeeze the slices with your hands to release excess water and transfer to a medium bowl.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Toss the zucchini with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese with the lemon thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the cheese over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange the squash rounds in tightly overlapping concentric circles all the way to the edge of the dough. (The rounds will shrink as they cook.) Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and bake until the zucchini is golden-brown, 40 to 50 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

If you’re serving this tart for a party, be sure to have summery drinks on hand; Garden Party Cocktails would be perfect or serve it with Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 320; Fat (g): fat g 24; Fat Calories (kcal): 210; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 14; Protein (g): protein g 8; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 18; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 500; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 50; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

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Category - Sides
Posted - 07/02/2014 12:24pm
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Grilled Asparagus with Pecorino and Meyer Lemon-Poached Eggs



Top Chef winner Nicholas Elmi tops lightly grilled asparagus with perfectly cooked eggs that are poached in Meyer lemon juice and water.

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the grate
    1 pound thin asparagus
    4 large eggs
    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
    1 teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest (see Note)
    1/2 cup freshly grated Locatelli Pecorino cheese
    Freshly ground pepper

    Light a grill and oil the grate. On a baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt. Grill over moderate heat, turning, until the asparagus are lightly charred and crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to plates and keep warm.
    Crack the eggs into 4 small bowls. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a simmer. Add the 1/4 cup of lemon juice and season with salt. Stir the water to create a vortex. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring gently in the same direction so they do not settle. Poach over moderate heat until the whites are set and the yolks are runny, 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to paper towels to drain briefly.
    Set the eggs on the asparagus. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and sprinkle the lemon zest and cheese on top. Season generously with pepper and serve.

Notes If fragrant Meyer lemons are unavailable, use regular lemons instead.
Suggested Pairing

Light, spritzy white from northern Spain.

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Category - General
Posted - 07/02/2014 12:19pm
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Peach & Oat Breakfast Smoothie

Since oat smoothies are what I've been eating for breakfast ninty-five percent of the time, I thought I'd share another oat smoothie recipe. This one is just as good as you'd imagine it to be. It's like a healthier peaches and cream smoothie and it's for breakfast! Once you start making oat smoothies you'll see why I've converted. They are so quick to prepare, they are healthy and they keep me full until lunch rolls around. I also love that my kids are crazy about them too. It's a good way to pack some vitamins in to start their day.

The oat smoothie is so versatile, like this recipe for example you can use your favorite kind of milk (although if using dairy milk, you'll likely have to add a little sweetener like honey or agave since the original/coconut almond milks, soy and rice milk tend to be a little sweeter), you can switch out different flavors of yogurt (with this one I've tried mango and peach and love both, but like I listed in the recipe strawberry or coconut would also be excellent choices).  I've also made it with 2 cups of peaches but I did add another 1/4 cup of water to thin it out a bit. Just be sure you use a very spotted banana because that is the key source of sweetness for this smoothie. Enjoy!

Total Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 2 servings


    1 1/2 cups peeled and diced, frozen peaches
    1 cup almond coconut milk blend or original almond milk
    1 (5.3 oz) greek yogurt - mango, peach, strawberry or coconut
    1 very ripe banana, peeled and frozen
    1/2 cup oats (old fashioned or quick, either are fine)
    1/2 cup cold water


    Add all ingredients to a blender and process until well pureed. Serve immediately.
    Recipe Source: Cooking Classy 

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Category - Sides
Posted - 07/02/2014 12:04pm
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Strawberries & Balsamic Onions on Brioche

Serves 4

Serve this as a starter or as a brunch side dish. Balsamic vinegar - with its acidity and touch of sweetness - is the key to bringing this dish together.

    — 3 small yellow onions, about 1 1/2 pounds
    — 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
    — 1/2 to 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, to taste
    — Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
    — 4 slices of brioche, about 1/2-inch thick (see Note)
    — Unsalted butter, softened
    — Strawberries, rinsed and hulled
    — Thinly shredded basil

Instructions: Peel and quarter the onions; slice thinly crosswise. Place in a large, dry sauté pan over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring once, until onions are dry and start to stick to the pan, 5-10 minutes.
Add the oil, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, uncovered, until onions are deep golden brown, 15-30 minutes, depending on the heat. As the onions start browning more, you will need to stir more frequently.
Remove the onions to a bowl; add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool to room temperature. You will have about 1 cup. The onions can be done ahead and refrigerated; bring to room temperature before continuing.
Toast the brioche. Butter one side of each piece, then arrange about 1/4 cup of the onions on top. Slice the strawberries and arrange them, shingle-style, atop the onions. Garnish with basil.
Note: Trader's Joe's carries loaf brioche. You can also use challah, which is more widely available.
Due to the general nature of the recipe, there is no analysis.

Lynne Char Bennett is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail:  

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Category - Salad
Posted - 07/02/2014 11:52am
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Roasted Balsamic Vegetable Salad


This salad is so easy to put together and also makes a great tapenade. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice.


    3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
    2 TBS balsamic vinegar, red
    1 1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
    5 Italian eggplant, cut down the center & halved
    3 zucchini, cut down the center & halved
    2 portobello mushrooms, gills removed & sliced
    1 red onion, cut into wedges
    1 red bell pepper, seeded & cut into thick slices
    1 yellow bell pepper, seeded & cut into thick slices
    1 tsp balsamic vinegar, red


    Preheat broiler to 450ºF.
    In a large bowl whisk together:
        3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
        2 TBS balsamic vinegar, red
        1 tsp salt
        1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
    Mix in:
        5 Italian eggplant , cut down the center & halved
        3 zucchini , cut down the center & halved
        2 portobello mushrooms , gills removed & sliced
        1 red onion , cut into wedges
        1 red bell pepper , seeded & cut into thick slices
        1 yellow bell pepper , seeded & cut into thick slices
    Coat vegetables thoroughly and place on a large roasting pan in one layer.
    Roast for 15 minutes, then stir vegetables and continue roasting and stirring vegetables until browned, about 20-30 minutes.
    Remove vegetables, place in serving bowl and let cool, about 10 minutes.
    Adjust seasoning, adding if needed:
        1 tsp balsamic vinegar, red
        1/4 tsp salt
    Toss vegetables and serve.

Roasted Balsamic Vegetable Salad Detail

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 40 min

Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1 cup

Serving Suggestions: Serve as a side dish or as an appetizer over slices of baguette. 


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Category - Salad
Posted - 07/02/2014 11:43am
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Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad


This bright and fresh salad is chunk like a salsa and is the perfect garnish for chicken or fish. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice.


    1 grapefruit
    2 medium avocados
    3 baby bell peppers, seeded
    2 TBS red onion
    1 cup cilantro, fresh
    1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp lime juice


    Using a sharp pairing knife, peel and coarsely chop into 1/2-inch pieces:
        1 grapefruit
    Transfer grapefruit pieces and any remaining juice to a serving bowl.
    Remove skin, pit and coarsely chop into 1/2-inch pieces:
        2 medium avocados
    Transfer avocado pieces to the serving bowl.
    Cut into small pieces and transfer to the serving bowl:
        3 baby bell peppers , seeded
        2 TBS red onion
        1 cup cilantro, fresh
    Gently stir in:
        1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
        1 tsp lime juice
    Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 0 min

Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Serving Suggestions: Serve with your favorite white meat, like chicken or pork. Also wonderful with shrimp, crab and fish. Serve with tortilla chips for a chunky salsa.

Cooking Tips: Substitute cilantro with fresh mint.

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Category - Dessert
Posted - 06/25/2014 01:58pm
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No Bake Chocolate Energy Bites

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: About 20 bites


1/2 cup no stir almond butter (or split and use 1/4 c OTOT olive oil butter)

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla extract (or OTOT dark chocolate or espresso balsamic)

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Up to 4 tsp warm water, as needed

1 cup old fashioned oats (raw)

3/4 cup toasted or raw coconut (I used sweetened)

1/2 cup flaxseed meal

6 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips


In a mixing bowl, stir together almond butter, honey, vanilla and cocoa powder. If mixture seems too thick stir in 2 tsp warm water to thin. Add oats, coconut, flaxseed meal and chocolate chips and stir until evenly coated. At this point if mixture still doesn't stick well, stir in up to 2 tsp water as needed. Transfer mixture to refrigerator or freezer and chill until nearly set and easier to handle.

Remove from refrigerator and shape into 1-inch balls. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Smashed Peas and Carrots

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Category - Salad
Posted - 06/24/2014 05:25pm
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Kale Salad
Serves 8: Our favorite salad! It's even better the next day.
  • 1/2 cup EVOO (med bodied, such as Frantoio)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 coarse salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches kale - ribs removed and leaves sliced into 1/4 in shreds
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 TBS whole wheat breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 1. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes. Add kale and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature to 10-30 minutes (this softens kale). 2. add greated cheese and breadcrumbs and toass. 3. Garnish with shaved cheese befoe serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to two days.

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Category - Sides
Posted - 06/10/2014 11:16am
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Italian Style Corn on the Cob

"A simple, flavourful recipe from Mario Batali''s cookbook, "Italian Grill"."


6 ears corn, shucked

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 -1 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese ( freshly grated)

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

hot red pepper flakes


1. Preheat a gas grill or prepare a fire in a gas grill.

2. Place the corn on the hottest part of the grill and cook for 3 minutes, or until grill marks appear on the first side. Roll each ear over a quarter turn and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then repeat two more times.

3. Meanwhile, mix the oil and vinegar on a large flat plate. Spread the Parmigiano on another flat plate.

4. When the corn is cooked, roll each ear in the oil and vinegar mixture, shake off the extra oil, and dredge in the Parmigiano to coat lightly. Place on a platter, sprinkle with the mint and pepper flakes, and serve immediately.

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Category - Sides
Posted - 06/10/2014 08:57am
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Skillet Corn, Edamame, Tomato, Basil Olive Oil

    •    Prep Time 25 minutes
    •    Total Time 25 minutes
    •    Serves 6
    ◦    1 cup fresh basil leaves
    ◦    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    ◦    1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
    ◦    1/4 cup finely sliced scallions (from 4 scallions)
    ◦    1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 3 small garlic cloves)
    ◦    3 1/4 cups corn kernels (from 4 or 5 ears)
    ◦    2/3 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
    ◦    1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved (1 3/4 cups)
    ◦    2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
    1.    Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add basil; cook 10 seconds. Transfer basil to a bowl of ice water, then drain, and squeeze dry. Puree basil, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.
    2.    Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add corn, edamame, and remaining salt. Cook, stirring, until starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes (reduce heat to medium if overbrowning). Add tomatoes and vinegar; cook until tomatoes start to collapse, about 8 minutes.
    3.    Drizzle basil oil on vegetables, and stir. Serve immediately.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2012

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Category - Dessert
Posted - 06/09/2014 05:57pm
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Strawberry Balsamic Olive Oil Breakfast Cake
White Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
    •    1 pound fresh strawberries (cut into spirals)
    •    1/2 cup brown sugar (dark or light, depending on preference)
    •    1/2 white balsamic vinegar
    •    2 tablespoons olive oil
    •    1 tablespoon honey

    •    1 cup sugar
    •    1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
    •    1/2 cup buttermilk
    •    3 eggs
    •    1 3/4 cup cake flour
    •    1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    •    1/2 teaspoon salt
    •    2/3 cups olive oil

    1.    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    2.    Spray an 8 inch cake pan with olive oil spray. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper (helps release the cake from the pan!). Spray again with olive oil.

    3.    Arrange strawberry spirals in cake pan - can overlap slightly.

    4.    Balsamic Glaze: combine brown sugar, white balsamic, olive oil and honey in a heavy saute pan, whisk to emulsify and then bring to a boil on stovetop. Stir frequently until thickened enough that it drips more slowly from stirring spoon (roughly around time you are done preparing your cake ingredients). Don’t let it burn! Pour over strawberries in cake pan.

    5.    Cake Batter: whisk together the sugar, buttermilk, vinegar and eggs in one bowl. Whisk dry ingredients in another.

    6.    Add  your wet ingredients to the dry in 3 stages, incorporating fully each time.

    7.    Add your olive oil in 3 stages, incorporating fully each time.

    8.    Slowly pour batter over the strawberries, carefully so you don’t displace all the strawberries.

    9.    Bake for approximately 45 minutes and check for doneness. Cake is done when the top is golden and it has pulled away slightly from the edges of the pan.

10. Cool for 10 minutes, run a knife between cake and pan to make sure it is loosened.

11. Put a flat plate on top and then quickly flip the cake while holding the plate tightly to the pan. 

12. Slowly lift the pan, and the cake will be sitting, covered in parchment paper. Peel off the parchment and there is your golden and fruit topped cake!

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Category - Dessert
Posted - 06/02/2014 06:04pm
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Healthy medium-chain fat, Omega 3s, alternative sweetener, antioxidants

Thank you Nicky of Plank and Plate!


1 ½ C Coconut Milk

3C  Strawberries, may use any berries or a combination of berries

1-3T Maple Syrup adjust to desire sweetness (recommend using only 1T if using 

         balsamic vinegar to garnish and serve - we used Espresso,)

½ C Chia Seeds

½ t Vanilla

1t Lime or Lemon Zest

1t Kudzu

Infused Balsamic Vinegar of your choice to garnish when serving


1. Combine coconut milk, strawberries, maples syrup, canilla, and lime or lemon zest in blender until smooth and creamy.

2. In separate bowl add chia seeds and pour blended mixture over chia seeds.  Combine thoroughly and allow pudding to thicken at least 4 hours in refrigerator, overnight is optimal.

3. Stir before serving and garnish with Infused Balsamic Vinegar.

Servings: approximately 4 cups  

Adapted from The Kitchn

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Category - Dessert
Posted - 06/02/2014 06:04pm
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Black Bean Brownies: dairy, gluten, sugar free

Alternative sweeteners, high protein, great combination of macronutrients

Thank you Nicky of Plank and Plate!


2 ½ C Cooked Black Beans

¼ Dates

1t Vanilla

¼ t Cinnamon

¼ t Sea salt

9T Unsweetened Cacao Powder

¼ C Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

3T Hot Chili EVOO (from Olive This Olive That)

2T Almond Butter

4 Pastured Eggs

1 Ripe Banana

½ C Almonds or Walnuts



1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly oil 9x13 baking dish.

2. Add dates to food processor and process to make a paste.  Add black beans, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, banana, and almond butter.  Process until beans are broken up and mixture is smooth.

3. Melt coconut oil.

4. Lightly beat eggs in mixing bowl, add chocolate powder and whisk to combine.  Add bean puree and whisk well, add Hot Chili  EVOO and fold in nuts.

5. Poor batter into oiled baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until middle is set.

Servings:  16

Adapted from Bauman College Natural Chef Recipe Book 

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Category - Dessert
Posted - 06/02/2014 06:02pm
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Lemony Almond Cookies: dairy, gluten, sugar free
  Low sugar content, high protein and healthy fat derived from almonds
Thank you Nicky at Plank and Plate!

Thank you Nicky at Plank and Plate!



1C Finely ground almonds

2 Large Egg whites

1 pinch Cream of Tartar

2T Honey

½t Vanilla

1T Lemon Zest

1 Pinch Salt

1T Eatwell Farm Lemon Salt (from Olive This Olive That)


1. Preheat oven to 250 F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place almonds in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Process almonds until a fine meals forms. 

3. Use a stand mixer with a whisk, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, then gradually beat in honey, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt.

4. Gently fold in ground almonds with a spatula.

5. Drop 1T of batter at a time onto parchment papa lined baking sheet, space approximately 2 inches apart, sprinkle with Lemon Salt.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Cookies will initially be soft right out of oven, but will harden as they cool.

Servings: 12

Adapted from "Fat Flush Cookbook", Ann Louise Gittleman

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Category - Dessert
Posted - 05/09/2014 10:00am
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Mom's Brownies (sans shortening)
4 eggs
2 c sugar
3/4 c olive oil (blend of arbequina and blood orange)
1/2 c cocoa
1 1/2 c sifted flour
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Bake at 350 for 20-25 min (see original recipe card below)


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Category - Sides
Posted - 02/02/2014 10:00am
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Healthy Superbowl Snacks (Go Niners!)



Olive oil (OTOT Ascollano Mission Blend or other medium bodied EVOO)
1 block of feta cheese
3 tomatoes
1 bunch of green onions
Greek seasoning
1 baguette
Pour olive oil on a platter, crumble feta cheese and mix in tomatoes, onions and seasoning (to taste). Place mixture in middle of olive oil. Cut bread and use to dip. Love the Red and Gold Colors!
(from Pinterest)

APPLETIZERS: Gluten-free

1-2 apples
goat cheese – room temperature
toasted pecans
barrel aged balsamic (suggest Cranberry Walnut,  Fig, or Pomegranate)
Core and slice apples. Spread the goat cheese. Add the pecans, raisins, and drizzle with barrel aged balsamic.
(from Pinterest)


1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 yellow onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons honey
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons ancho chile vinegar
1 tablespoon Olive This Olive That extra-virgin olive oil (suggested: Chipotle)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together turkey, onion, garlic, salt, and ground pepper until combined (do not overmix). Form into 16 meatballs.
2. In a small bowl, stir together honey, chiles, and vinegar. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven, pour honey mixture over meatballs, and swirl skillet to coat; bake until liquid is reduced and meatballs are glazed, 5 minutes, swirling halfway through.
(Adapted from Martha Stewart, Everyday Food)


4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), chopped

1/3 cup OLIVE THIS OLIVE THAT Blood Orange Olive Oil (optional) and CA Ascolano/Mission Blend Olive Oil blended
1/2 cup all-purpose/plain flour

1/4 tsp. sea salt

2 large eggs at room temperature

3/4 cup superfine/caster sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup lightly toasted hazelnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a lightly floured piece of parchment paper.
Melt chocolate on the stove-top or in the microwave and whisk in the oil. Let cool.
Mix the flour and salt together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until pale, thickened and billowy- about five minutes. Fold in the vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour and nuts, stirring just until everything is combined. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 22-26 minutes. Cool completely, then cut into squares. Drizzle with Dark Chocolate balsamic and garnish with oranges.
(Adapted from Adventures of an Italian Food Lover by Faith Heller Willinger.)

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Category - Sides
Posted - 11/26/2013 10:00am
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Eggplant and Balsamic Vinegar

This recipe is as simple as it gets and oh so delicious. A customer shared it with me and it quickly has become a favorite side dish.

  • heat oven to 500 degrees
  • cube eggplant
  • put in a dutch oven and generously pour balsamic to heavily coat the eggplant (traditional aged or blackberry)
  • cover and put in oven for approx. 20 min. Check halfway through cooking time to mix. When a fork easily slides into the eggplant, it's done.

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Category - Salad
Posted - 10/08/2013 10:00am
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Cauliflower & White Bean Salad
Serves 6
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 21/2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets (about 3 cups)**
  • 1 15-oz. can white beans (such as Great Northern or navy beans), drained
  • 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Rosemary Olive Oil
  • 2 large heads of Belgian endive, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
Whisk lemon juice, vinegar, lemon peel, salt, and pepper in small bowl.
Combine cauliflower, beans, endive, chives, parsley, and extra virgin olive oil and rosemary oil in medium bowl; toss.  Add lemon juice mixture and toss to coat.  Season salad with salt and pepper.

Note:  Add 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, if desired.

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SaladServes 6
Basil, Spinach or Garlic Pasta 16oz
Italian Blend with Garlic Olive Oil
Sun-Dried Tomatoes, cut in slivers
Feta Cheese, crumbled
For Garlic and Herb Mushrooms***:
Olive oil spray or nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced

For butter mixture, mix last six ingredients together.  Butter can be kept approximately 2 weeks in refrigerator.  

Prepare 4 squares of foil by spraying them with olive oil spray.  Place one-quarter (about 6 oz) of the mushrooms on each square of foil.  Top each mushroom pile with one-quarter of the butter mixture, dolloping it around so that it is fairly well distributed.  Wrap the foil securely around the mushrooms, leaving room for heat and steam to circulate inside.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.

For Pasta:
Make mushrooms as above.
Boil pot of water for pasta.  Add pasta, cook for 8 - 10 minutes until pasta tests done.  Drain.
Drizzle pasta with olive oil to taste.  Add mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese as desired. 
***From Campfire Cuisine by Robin Donovan 

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Category - Dessert
Posted - 09/29/2013 10:00am
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Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla Yogurt and Caramelized Pears (or Apples)

  • 1 1/2 cups fruity extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated cane sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
  • 1 cup low-fat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt 
  • Carmalized Pears or Apples
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla Yogurt and Caramelized Pears (or Apples)
This recipe makes two 8-inch round cakes. Serve both and double the amount of pears and yogurt or wrap and freeze one for up to three months.

1. Heat over to 350. Brush two 8 inh round cake pans with oil. Dust with flour and remove excess. 2 In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In another medium bowl, mix oil and milk. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar, then whisk in zest. 3 Add flour and oil mixtures in three parts, beginning and ending with flour. Mix to combine. (Batter will be quite loose). 4 Pour into prepared pans wnad bake on middle rack, rotating halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and spring back when pressed, 35-40 minutes. 5. Let cool in pans, then run a knife between cake and insde edge of pan before removing. 6 For serving, whisk yogurt and vanilla in a small bowl. Smooth over top of cake and top with carmalized fruit.

For Carmalized Pears (enough for 1 cake)

  • 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider 
  • 3 Bosc pears, quarted and cored
  • Warm sugar and 1 TBS water in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once sugar begins to carmaelize, add cider, swirling to combine, and then add pears, cut side down. Cook over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until tender and golden, 30-40 minutes, adding water 1 TBS at a time when pan looks dry.


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recipe_stock_photo.jpgServes 6
Basil, Spinach or Garlic Pasta 16oz
Italian Blend with Garlic Olive Oil
Sun-Dried Tomatoes, cut in slivers
Feta Cheese, crumbled
For Garlic and Herb Mushrooms***:
Olive oil spray or nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

For butter mixture, mix last six ingredients together.  Butter can be kept approximately 2 weeks in refrigerator.  

Prepare 4 squares of foil by spraying them with olive oil spray.  Place one-quarter (about 6 oz) of the mushrooms on each square of foil.  Top each mushroom pile with one-quarter of the butter mixture, dolloping it around so that it is fairly well distributed.  Wrap the foil securely around the mushrooms, leaving room for heat and steam to circulate inside.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.

For Pasta:
Make mushrooms as above.
Boil pot of water for pasta.  Add pasta, cook for 8 – 10 minutes until pasta tests done.  Drain.
Drizzle pasta with olive oil to taste.  Add mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese as desired. 
***From Campfire Cuisine by Robin Donovan

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Category - Dessert
Posted - 09/04/2013 10:00am
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Raw Brownies
  • 2 cups whole walnuts
  • 2 1/2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup raw cacao
  • 1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Place walnuts in food processor and blend on high until the nuts are finely ground. 2. Add cacao and salt. Pulse to combine.

3. Add the dates one at a time through the feed tube of the food processor while it's running. It should look like cake crumbs that when pressed will easily stick together. Add more dates if not.

4 In a large bowl or pan, combine the walnut-cacao mix with the chopped almonds. Press into a lined cake pan or mold. Place in freezer or fridge until ready to serve.

5. Drizzle with your favorite balsamic vinegar.

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Category - Salad
Posted - 08/15/2013 10:00am
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Super Easy "Go To" Pasta
  • 1 lb cooked pasta (try Tri-Colore Wheels or Tomato-Basil Linguini)
  • 1/4 cup each of Garlic, Basil, Lemon Olive Oil
  • 4 oz drained slince olives
  • 12 cherry tomotoes
  • 2 TBL Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • Cook pasta for 10-12 min, drain, and place in a large bowl. Toss pasta in olive oils. Chop tomatoes in half and add to pasta. ADd slice olives. Top with cheese. Serve warm or chilled. (Optional) add small broccoli pieces or grilled chicken.

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Category - Sides
Posted - 08/13/2013 10:00am
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Balsamic Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Inspired by the Roasted Balsamic Potatoes, Onions and Broccoli recipe on a bag of baby potatoes.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 40 min | Total time: 55 min
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/2-2 lbs. fingerling potatoes

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives


Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Halve the fingerling potatoes (if some are especially small, you can leave them whole; you want them all to be about the same size in order to roast evenly).
In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast 30-40 minutes until cooked through and crispy on the outside, stirring occasionally.
Garnish potatoes with chives before serving.

Note: Thanks for sharing your inspiriting Dennis!

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Category - Entrees
Posted - 08/12/2013 10:00am
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Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Pistachios
Serve with Mixed Salad, hummus, and herb-garlic couscous (Serves 4)
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 TB fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 TB ground chili pepper
  • 1 TB ground cumin
  • 1 TB ground coriander
  • 4 TB Sumac (or substitute finely grated zest of 1 lemon)
  • Handful of shelled pistachio nuts, finely chopped
  • Sea Salt / black pepper to taste

1. Mix all ingredients together until evenly distributed
2. Divide meat mixture into 4 equal pieces. With damp hands, mold meat around 4 skewers. Grill kebabs until go den on all sides and cooked through. (Alternative: make meat balls and cook in a skillet)

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Category - Entrees
Posted - 08/10/2013 10:00am
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Fagioli all'Uccelletto
  • 2 c Italian butter beans (soak for 2 hours and cooked til tender)
  • 2 c tomato sauce
  • pinch of sage
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 3-4 Italian sausages sliced or diced
  • 1. Fry sausages separately, and reserve. In a frying pan, add the olive oil, and sauté the garlic. Add the tomato sauce and fresh sage.
  • 2. Let cook for approx 20 min. Add the Italian butter beans and cook another 20 min.
  • 3. Add sausage
Recipe by Irene Iacopi from It's Italia

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