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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Archive for July, 2006

Reduce the calories with flavor

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Try some of these flavorings to give premium taste for minimum calories.
A good Balsamic vinegar, made mainly from trebbiano grape juice, gets its intense flavor and silky texture from years of aging in wooden barrels in Modena. The better the
balsamic vinegar, the longer it has been aged and, typically, the higher the price — but also the higher the calorie content. For practical use a moderate balsamic vinegar will do fine; they generally have 5 to 15 calories per tablespoon.

Instead of creamy ranch dressing and its typically high calorie content, substitute a balsamic vinaigrette, the proportions can be as low as 3-to-1 oil to vinegar. You can add herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Or drizzle a bit of red wine vinegar over a finished pasta dish.

Mustard comes with zero to 5 calories per teaspoon. You can regard it almost as a free flavoring, whether it’s Dijon, yellow, or brown.

Try substituting one teaspoon mustard for one tablespoon mayonnaise in a sandwich and you can save as many as 100 calories. When you’re ready to slather butter on cooked vegetables, use a third as much and replace with mustard to taste. You also can make your own flavored mustard by adding fresh chopped dill or tarragon to honey Dijon mustard.

Don’t overlook Garlic. Garlic is truly a wonderful flavor, but healthy for you too. Garlic-chili sauce, a combination of hot ground chilies, garlic and vinegar, can be found in the ethnic aisles of most grocery stores. Use as much as you like in soups, stir-fries, base sauces, and marinades.

With an olivewood herb mill, you can fresh grind dried herbs from France, this is a welcome exception to fresh herbs that can be pricey. Nevertheless a few fresh leaves of basil or sprinkle of chopped mint or tarragon goes great in a salad. If you use herbs you won’t need nearly as much mayonnaise or salad dressing. Fresh herbs should be added to the end of cooking, but there are exceptions: Sturdy rosemary can be added to a pot of stew or soup.

Fresh squeezed lemons bring a zest of flavor; one tablespoon of lemon juice has about 5 calories. Its potent taste can be obtained from the zest (the colored, outer layer of the fruit) or the juice within. Slice them really thin and toss them into a salad, just like a lettuce leaf.reduced calories, balsamic, oil and vinegar


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When the weather is hot, the cooking can be too!

Monday, July 24th, 2006

We all know the summer is full of hot sizzling days and too often, we find ourselves not wanting to cook. These are the days we just want something fast, refreshing, and cool to serve our family. It is the sizzling days of summer that stops us from making the full hearty meals such as a roasted turkey. We would much rather be spending our hot days at the beach, lake, or swimming pool. The following helpful ideas are all geared for helping you create tasty meals with less work, leaving time for more play. These will help in reducing the amount of time over the oven and help your air conditioner but not placing much, if any additional heat into the home.

A cooling alternative, Pasta

When the heat has not taken over just yet and you can stand a little bit of heat from the stove, consider cooking some pasta and tossing it with something appealing, fresh, and requires no additional cooking. For example, tortellini or ravioli, with either sausage or cheese, combined with julienne carrots, corn, and slightly cooked peas. The peas can be cooked in the microwave, while you are cooking the pasta. Then toss with a mixture of mozzarella, olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper. If the mixture is not for you, you can use your own favorite bottle of Italian dressing mixed with oregano. You could even opt to use bell peppers of the red, green, and yellow variety with capers as substitute for the peas, carrots, and corn. If you do not want a filling with your pasta, consider pastas such as fusilli or rotelle. With these types of salads, you can add almost anything you have available in the cupboards or refrigerator.

If the heat is not too bad, consider a warm pasta dish such as the one following. This is derived from the book titled ‘Italian Two Easy: Simple Recipes from the London River Café’, written by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray.

Orecchiette Pasta Dish

Twelve oz. Cherry Tomatoes

One Clove of Garlic

Two oz Parmesan cheese

Three Tbsp Basil

One Tbsp Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)

One Scant Cup Ricotta cheese

11 oz orecchiette (‘Little Ears’ pasta)

Pepper and Salt (to taste)

Half tomatoes, squeezing juice and seeds out. Take the garlic, first peel, then finely chop. Grate parmesan cheese. Wash basil leaves. Then combine garlic and tomatoes, using salt, pepper, and olive oil to season, toss the combination. Marinate for fifteen minutes.In a bowl, place the ricotta, season while stirring. Cook orecchiette in salted, boiling water, and then drain. Place the tomato mixture in a gentle heat; add orecchiette that has been drained, all the while stirring the combination gently to mix well. Lastly, stir basil and ricotta into the mixture. Serve immediately with parmesan cheese.

Orecchiette Pasta, Italian Food, Italian recipe

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Fresh garlic at home and Bouillabaisse

Friday, July 21st, 2006

If you enjoy gardening, or just like to plant a few things around the house now and then, consider growing culinary garlic. It is hardy and relatively easy to grow. Simply place unpeeled garlic cloves in turned up soil, with the pointed side up, about 2 inches below the surface. Water regularly. The best time to plant garlic is in the winter or early spring. (Usually after a chance of bitter freezing has passed.) You can harvest garlic in the late summer or early fall after the tops yellow and droop.

Garlic Bouillabaisse


  • 2 qt water or chicken stock
  • 16 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
  • 6 sage leaves 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp crushed saffron
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 T virgin olive oil
  • 6 slices toasted country style bread, brushed with olive oil


Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add minced garlic, sage, bay leaves, saffron, sea salt, and ground pepper. Skim off any foam from the top and discard. Cook over medium boil for ten minutes, leave the top off the pot during cooking. Remove bay and sage leaves. Reduce to low heat.

Using a small bowl, add egg yolks and olive oil. Add a ladleful of hot broth to the yolks and beat with a fork. While still over a low heat, slowly add eggs, stirring constantly to break up consistently. Place the bread slices in the bottom of 6 serving bowls. Top with bouillabaisse broth and serve hot.

garlic, planting garlic, Bouillabaisse

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Marinated Green Bean Salad

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Green Bean salad marinated in oil and vinegar


  • Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 12 large green olives
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Bring to boil a pot of water large enough to hold the green beans on high heat.
While you are waiting for the water to heat, snap off the ends of the green beans and wash in cold water.

After the water is boiling, add about 2 teaspoons of sea salt and put in the green beans. Cook until beans are tender all the way through but not mushy, should be about eight to ten minutes.

Remove the olive pits and slice. Peel then crush the garlic cloves through a garlic press, shred the basil and coarsely chop the oregano. Add the olives, basil, garlic, oregano and capers in the salad bowl you will be using.

When the green beans are cooked, drain them and put them in the bowl with the other ingredients. Add the red vinegar, toss, add the olive oil, toss again and taste for salt. Let stand at room temperature for about 3 hours before serving. Serves 4 to 6 people.

Note: This marinated bean salad can also be made the day before as long as you take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before serving.

green bean salad, salad marinade


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Orlando’s in Lubbuck, Italian Food

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Italian Food in Lubbuck, erving West Texas the best authentic Italian food since October 1965. Recipe Southern Italian dishes are the heart of Orlando’s menu. But vegetarian selections, including Avocado-Rice Enchiladas and rice topped pizzas

Orlandos has their own gourmet Pesto Sauce, ORLANDO’S BASIL PESTO SAUCE. Orlando’s Basil Pesto Sauce is an original recipe developed six years ago in the kitchen of Lubbock’s favorite Italian …The following Pasta Packs are only available on Take-Out and Delivery orders.

Pasta Packs Include Antipasto-Style Salad, Salad Dressing, Garlic Bread, Plates & Menu Kits If Desired


Specialty take-outs include:

Spaghetti packs
spaghetti pack feeds 4
mini-spaghetti pack feeds 2

Lasagne packs
lasagne pack feeds 4
mini-lasagne pack feeds 2

Chicken spaghetti packs
chicken spaghetti pack feeds 4
mini-chicken spaghetti pack feeds 2

The Warm Fuzzies Story – Back of Menu 1978

On the back of the Orlando’s menu printed between 1978 through 1980 is the ‘Warm Fuzzies Story. People used to ask for copies of the menu so they could have the story to take home. Claude’s name was mispelled as “Caude M. Steiner, Ph.D.”

Orlando’s, Italian Food, Italian Restaurant


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A gift idea from Stylehive

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

The Stylehive web portal is a new interactive place on the web. It’s where ‘social bookmarking’ and shopping blend together. Here you can find interesting hot products, gifts, and trends. If looking for a birthday or anniversary gift, unique items such as our Oil and Vinegar Gift Set are featured there.

The Stylehive is an e-commerce community where finding and viewing a large variety of products and shopping ideas are facilitated. It is perfect for gift shoppers and discriminating buyers.

Registering at Stylehive is pretty easy, you also have numerous advantages provided such as:

* ‘Tagging’ your best shopping products and finds for later
* Build ‘wish lists’ for yourself, friends and family members
* Follow others’ bookmarks on ‘tags’ you like, i.e. ‘Cruets’
* Try out the ‘SendTo’ tag to send your save immediately to your friends
* Promote your own products and your blog
* An interesting feature: Create very visual bookmarks by grabbing the images off the page using their Tag Suggestion tool.

The Stylehive web-community may emerge as a special place where trends start and new products are spotted. is proud to be a member and will help promote such an ingenious web asset.

stylehive, unique gifts, cruets

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Easy Recipe for Healthy, Summer Green Salad

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

Most everyone loves salad and any time within the summer is the perfect opportunity to eat a delicious salad, while watching your health at the same time. When the summers get hot, many of us do not want a large, heavy meal and salads are perfect on those hot summer days. The following salad recipe looks good, tastes good, and is good for the body all at the same time. What could be better than a tasty salad, with less calories to boot? Recipe for a Healthy, Summer Green Salad
8 Servings

What you will need

  • Six cups spinach, torn and fresh
  • Ten cups leaf lettuce, cut in bite sized pieces
  • Two chopped green onions
  • one quarter cup of cider vinegar
  • Two tablespoons of water
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two teaspoons of brown sugar or sugar alternative (for the healthier side of things)
  • Four strips of turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled


What to do

First, get yourself a salad bowl; a large one will do the trick. Toss leaf lettuce, green onions, and fresh spinach together and set aside for later.

Next, use a smaller saucepan; combine your sugar (or alternative), cider vinegar, olive oil, and water together and bring to boil.

Pour combined and boiled ingredients over the tossed lettuce and then sprinkle the turkey bacon atop of the mixture.

Serve the salad immediately and enjoy!

salad, salad recipe, green salad


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Choosing a Wine for a Salad

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

There is nothing new about matching wine with dinner or lunch; however mixing wine and a salad may be a relatively new concept for some. Many people do not understand which wines go well with which salads and dressings. Salads have long been a favorite side dish for many years and it does not look to be changing any time soon. Wines can pair with salads very easily if a few considerations are taken. You will want to watch the acid content of both the dressing and wine of choice. The higher the acid within the dressing, the higher the acid within the wine should be as well.

A few different types of acidic wines include white wines and dry rose wines. Some examples of wines that will go with vinaigrette include Pinto Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Spanish Albarino, and Dry Riesling. Mixing your wines and salad can be a fun adventure. The following are a few favorite pairings of classic salads and favorite wines.

A Caesar salad has a real kick in its flavor thanks to the anchovies and garlic contained within it. If you mix this salad with a tart wine, you will positively love the flavor; consider wines such as Vinho Verde or Pinot Grigio. A lighter red wine is a positive choice for a Cobb Salad. Because it has a hearty mixture of cheeses and meats, you would enjoy this salad with wines such as Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, and dry Riesling.

If your favorite salad is the Greek Salad, you will want an assertive and stronger wine. The Greek salad combines sharp flavors with a ton of salt and only a high acid and pungent wine can withstand the pairing. Consider wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, from New Zealand to go with the Greek salad. For a fish and olive salad such as Nicoise salad you will want a Mediterranean type of wine. Consider wins such as Albarino, Rose, or Pinot Noir to match this fishy salad.

For salads such as Asian Chicken Salads, because they combine acids such as sesame oil, lime juice, and rice vinegar you will do well to match this salad with off-dry wines such as Riesling. For any type of pasta salad, such as those you take with you on the family picnic, you could lighten the load and choose a Chardonnay with these types of salads.

Olive Oil Abroad

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Currently there are over 260 varieties of olives grown in Spain. These are used for table olives, pickled olives and pressed olive oil. Spain is one of the leading producers of organic olive oil. The cold press or cold process is also normally used in most quality olive oil production estates.

Spanish chefs use extra-virgin olive oil, which is the finest and most flavorful oil, for frying. Very few American chefs, recommend extra-virgin olive oil for anything other than drizzling over salads and vegetables because of its low smoke point. In Spain, chefs sauté and fry in extra-virgin and also reuse the olive oil numerous times before discarding it.The Spanish olive oil producers make a light olive oil that is a mixture of refined olive oil with some extra-virgin added. Apparently, it is made almost entirely for the American market. It is the norm that only blended olive oils are marketed in the US. In Spain, “varietal” olive oils are also made from a single type olive. Each oil has a completely different flavor and palate.The color of the oil does not necessarily reflect the taste and quality. You may think a dark, emerald-green oil would have better flavor. That is not always true. To find the best olive oil, you need to taste it for yourself.olive oil, organic olive oil, cold pressed olive oil

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