Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Bar!

Olive Oil Bar
Yesterday, I had a bit of time on my hands, so I went to the Miles Farmers Market, a lovely place that has been around since I was just a child! It has really grown since then, transforming from a small fruit and vegetable stand to a huge gourmet business, and you can get millions of wonderful ingredients there. If you combined the best farmers market in the world with Dean & Deluca's in New York City, you'd have it. www.milesfarmersmarket.com

At any rate when I walked in, I was greeted with a wonderful surprise, actually more like a gift from the olive oil gods! They have installed a beautiful tasting bar for olive oils and all different types of vinegars, and you can taste as many as you would like! So I went to work, filling little cups with the different oils and really tasting them , enjoying them all and finally decided on an organic cold pressed oil from Spain that had the freshness of newly harvested hay. I could just as easily chosen a vintage oil from Napa, or a beautifully silky virgin oil from France, but the Spanish oil was captivating, a bit  unfiltered and very buttery.

Then I moved on to the vinegars, and ended up with two lovely yet very different flavors, one a california champagne vinegar infused with pomegranates, and the other, a hearty balsamic vinegar infused with dates, that was incrediblyperfect stirred into the drippings from the lamb shanks that  I cooked last night.

It is incredible to me, the many nuances of flavor that you can discover in olive oils. Almost like good wines, you can begin to taste the flavor of the soils they were grown in, the nature of the land and the people that harvested them. By the time I left , I was still tasting the oils on my tongue and it was a feeling of bliss! Tasting pure foods in that way really makes you want to cook well and travel more! I'd love to see them harvest the olives and press the oil.  I think that everyone should try to grow some of their own foods, even if it's several pots of herbs on a windowsill, or a hanging basket of tomatoes or a full blown garden. Being responsible for some of my food helps me make good choices, I eat better and I really enjoy providing food for my family and friends that I've nurtured myself. Growing some of your food keeps you close to the earth in a way that simply buying it in packages at the grocery store doesn't. In the long run, it's also less expensive,especially if you eat seasonally. Those are all really good reasons I think to grow some food of your own, but I really do it for the joyous taste of the tomato that I just ate off of the vine still warm from the midday sun.

Bon Appetit'!


Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Bar!

Olive Oil Bar
Yesterday, I had a bit of time on my hands, so I went to the Miles Farmers Market, a lovely place that has been around since I was just a child! It has really grown since then, transforming from a small fruit and vegetable stand to a huge gourmet business, and you can get millions of wonderful ingredients there. If you combined the best farmers market in the world with Dean & Deluca's in New York City, you'd have it. www.milesfarmersmarket.com

At any rate when I walked in, I was greeted with a wonderful surprise, actually more like a gift from the olive oil gods! They have installed a beautiful tasting bar for olive oils and all different types of vinegars, and you can taste as many as you would like! So I went to work, filling little cups with the different oils and really tasting them , enjoying them all and finally decided on an organic cold pressed oil from Spain that had the freshness of newly harvested hay. I could just as easily chosen a vintage oil from Napa, or a beautifully silky virgin oil from France, but the Spanish oil was captivating, a bit  unfiltered and very buttery.

Then I moved on to the vinegars, and ended up with two lovely yet very different flavors, one a california champagne vinegar infused with pomegranates, and the other, a hearty balsamic vinegar infused with dates, that was incrediblyperfect stirred into the drippings from the lamb shanks that  I cooked last night.

It is incredible to me, the many nuances of flavor that you can discover in olive oils. Almost like good wines, you can begin to taste the flavor of the soils they were grown in, the nature of the land and the people that harvested them. By the time I left , I was still tasting the oils on my tongue and it was a feeling of bliss! Tasting pure foods in that way really makes you want to cook well and travel more! I'd love to see them harvest the olives and press the oil.  I think that everyone should try to grow some of their own foods, even if it's several pots of herbs on a windowsill, or a hanging basket of tomatoes or a full blown garden. Being responsible for some of my food helps me make good choices, I eat better and I really enjoy providing food for my family and friends that I've nurtured myself. Growing some of your food keeps you close to the earth in a way that simply buying it in packages at the grocery store doesn't. In the long run, it's also less expensive,especially if you eat seasonally. Those are all really good reasons I think to grow some food of your own, but I really do it for the joyous taste of the tomato that I just ate off of the vine still warm from the midday sun.

Bon Appetit'!


Showing Off!

My_business_card I am thrilled! After months of procrastination, I've designed a business card strictly for this blog site! I guess that this makes it official!  I'm including this partly because I love it so much (click on the card for an enlarged version!) , but also because I am absolutely thrilled with the website that I used to create it and I wanted to share it! www.designyourowncard.com is really good. Their layouts are easy to work with, and the end result is always a very classy product! The ink is raised, and you can choose from many types of paper. They also have a fantastic library of classic images that you can use,  many of them historical in nature. Their turnaround time is very fast, and I should have my cards by early next week. I have used them several times before and have always been thrilled with the results!


Showing Off!

My_business_card I am thrilled! After months of procrastination, I've designed a business card strictly for this blog site! I guess that this makes it official!  I'm including this partly because I love it so much (click on the card for an enlarged version!) , but also because I am absolutely thrilled with the website that I used to create it and I wanted to share it! www.designyourowncard.com is really good. Their layouts are easy to work with, and the end result is always a very classy product! The ink is raised, and you can choose from many types of paper. They also have a fantastic library of classic images that you can use,  many of them historical in nature. Their turnaround time is very fast, and I should have my cards by early next week. I have used them several times before and have always been thrilled with the results!


Hmmm....Will these actually work? THEY DO, THEY DO, THEY DO!

Smoker_bagsWell, I'm going to find out! I've been obsessed with a recipe that I found yesterday for an absolutely fabulous sounding smoked chicken liver pate'! I don't own a smoker, so I thought that perhaps these could be adapted to create the same results! I cleaned and washed the chicken livers as directed, rubbed them with olive oil and sea salt and placed them in the bag like the directions said! Now they are happily smoking away on my stovetop grill and the house smells like a night at summer camp! I can't wait to slit open the bag and see  the end result! Below is the description straight from the Williams Sonoma Catalog:

"These ingenious bags provide the easiest way we’ve found to smoke foods on an outdoor grill or in the oven – with no cleanup. Use them to smoke everything from succulent ribs, beef or chicken to delicate salmon or vegetables. Just arrange the food inside the double-walled foil bag, then seal and place it on a grill or oven rack. As the closed bag heats up, fragrant smoke from tiny alder wood chips within the bag’s walls infuses the food with rich flavor, sealing in moisture to ensure tender, juicy results. Made in Finland – a country famous for its smoked meats and fish – each single-use, disposable bag holds up to two pounds of food. 19 1/2" x 11". Set of two. A Williams-Sonoma exclusive." 

http://ww5.williams-sonoma.com/

Well! All that I can say is that these smoker bags work very well,very well indeed!  My chicken livers were beautifully cooked, fragrant with wood smoke and absolutey delicious! I'm not printing the recipe for the smoked chicken liver pate yet, becuase it wasn't wonderful, but I'm going to play with it a bit and to see how it could be improved because I like the thought of it so much! Get a few of these bags and try themon your favorite foods. I would think that salmon or fresh trout would be wonderful, or what about a smoked porked tenderloin. Either with a fresh mango salsa would be DIVINE!


Hmmm....Will these actually work? THEY DO, THEY DO, THEY DO!

Smoker_bagsWell, I'm going to find out! I've been obsessed with a recipe that I found yesterday for an absolutely fabulous sounding smoked chicken liver pate'! I don't own a smoker, so I thought that perhaps these could be adapted to create the same results! I cleaned and washed the chicken livers as directed, rubbed them with olive oil and sea salt and placed them in the bag like the directions said! Now they are happily smoking away on my stovetop grill and the house smells like a night at summer camp! I can't wait to slit open the bag and see  the end result! Below is the description straight from the Williams Sonoma Catalog:

"These ingenious bags provide the easiest way we’ve found to smoke foods on an outdoor grill or in the oven – with no cleanup. Use them to smoke everything from succulent ribs, beef or chicken to delicate salmon or vegetables. Just arrange the food inside the double-walled foil bag, then seal and place it on a grill or oven rack. As the closed bag heats up, fragrant smoke from tiny alder wood chips within the bag’s walls infuses the food with rich flavor, sealing in moisture to ensure tender, juicy results. Made in Finland – a country famous for its smoked meats and fish – each single-use, disposable bag holds up to two pounds of food. 19 1/2" x 11". Set of two. A Williams-Sonoma exclusive." 

http://ww5.williams-sonoma.com/

Well! All that I can say is that these smoker bags work very well,very well indeed!  My chicken livers were beautifully cooked, fragrant with wood smoke and absolutey delicious! I'm not printing the recipe for the smoked chicken liver pate yet, becuase it wasn't wonderful, but I'm going to play with it a bit and to see how it could be improved because I like the thought of it so much! Get a few of these bags and try themon your favorite foods. I would think that salmon or fresh trout would be wonderful, or what about a smoked porked tenderloin. Either with a fresh mango salsa would be DIVINE!


The Delonghi Indoor Grill!

Grill When I was strolling through Williams Sonoma the other day, one of the lovely sales associates was using this electric grill. I watched her as she deftly sliced mangoes and fresh pineapple, glazed them with condensed milk and crushed macadamia nuts and placed them on the grill. Within 15 minutes they had caramelized and  become soft and fragrant. The whole effect was like being on a Hawaiian beach at sunset, and all I needed was the rum and coconut drink (being served of course by the cute young cabana boy!) in the fresh coconut shell!

I asked her about the grill, thinking that it would be my next big splurge, and she informed me that it was 99.00 dollars! That is a alot of pleasure for under 100.00 dollars! We live in an apartment building on the top floor, and we are not allowed to grill on our patios. In the summer it's easier because between my sister and I  we own two big Weber grills.   It's the Cleveland winters that make me really hungry for  great grilled sunshiney (Is that a word!) food!  I asked her about cooking steaks, and fish, and chicken on it, and she told me that you can cook anything on it that you want. You can use any marinade or sauce, and the best part is that it has a small diffuser for mesquite wood chips or any other herbs that you'd want to use, and a cover so that you concentrate the heat, or create a wonderfully smoky flavor! I guess that it's also really easy to clean, which is a huge plus over a grill pan!

I tasted the freshly grilled pineapple and it was AMAZING!

You can order one for yourself at http://ww2.williams-sonoma.com/cat/index.cfm?cid=elti&root=shop&src=pipcelti%7Cgsku7749773%7Ck%7Cp%7Crshop%7Cs


The Delonghi Indoor Grill!

Grill When I was strolling through Williams Sonoma the other day, one of the lovely sales associates was using this electric grill. I watched her as she deftly sliced mangoes and fresh pineapple, glazed them with condensed milk and crushed macadamia nuts and placed them on the grill. Within 15 minutes they had caramelized and  become soft and fragrant. The whole effect was like being on a Hawaiian beach at sunset, and all I needed was the rum and coconut drink (being served of course by the cute young cabana boy!) in the fresh coconut shell!

I asked her about the grill, thinking that it would be my next big splurge, and she informed me that it was 99.00 dollars! That is a alot of pleasure for under 100.00 dollars! We live in an apartment building on the top floor, and we are not allowed to grill on our patios. In the summer it's easier because between my sister and I  we own two big Weber grills.   It's the Cleveland winters that make me really hungry for  great grilled sunshiney (Is that a word!) food!  I asked her about cooking steaks, and fish, and chicken on it, and she told me that you can cook anything on it that you want. You can use any marinade or sauce, and the best part is that it has a small diffuser for mesquite wood chips or any other herbs that you'd want to use, and a cover so that you concentrate the heat, or create a wonderfully smoky flavor! I guess that it's also really easy to clean, which is a huge plus over a grill pan!

I tasted the freshly grilled pineapple and it was AMAZING!

You can order one for yourself at http://ww2.williams-sonoma.com/cat/index.cfm?cid=elti&root=shop&src=pipcelti%7Cgsku7749773%7Ck%7Cp%7Crshop%7Cs