Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Shrimp

We’re feeling pretty settled here in California (minus still not having Internet installed – this post comes from my WordPress app on my phone) and we couldn’t be happier with our home’s location. We live across the street from a park that Firecracker loves and the beach! 

We didn’t go to the beach very much when we were living in FL and now that we’ve got the boys we have some serious beach preparations to make before any real trips by the water happen. I want to get a tent so that Treat can stay in the shade and have space to crawl around. 

I can walk most places I need to go and appreciate not getting in the car daily. There are a lot of restaurant options in either direction about a mile away and we’ve enjoyed walking to dinner once a week. 

On one evening outing we found ourselves in a tiny vendors market. We stopped and talked to a man selling specialty balsamic vinegars and olive oils. Stuart took the bait and we tried some flavor combinations. We ended up purchasing a 4 pack including our choices of rosemary olive oil, Meyer lemon olive oil, original balsamic vinegar, and raspberry balsamic vinegar


The Meyer lemon olive oil has gotten a lot of love already. We immediately created a vinaigrette with the Meyer lemon olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar to dress a spinach salad with chorizo, glazed walnuts, caramelized onions, and strawberries. 

I also whipped together a chicken cream pasta dish by sautéing sliced chicken in the oil and butter. Then sautéing some mushrooms, onion, and broccoli in the same skillet. A deglaze with chicken stock and a little bit of cream created a very satisfying pasta dinner in next to no time. 

Our desire though was to use it with shrimp and that’s the simple recipe I’m sharing with you today. 

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb shrimp
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, cut in thirds
  • 4 baby Bella mushrooms, cut in quarters 
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced 
  • 1/4 C Meyer lemon olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp butter, cubed

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole dish.
  2. Arrange shrimp and vegetables in the dish, either organize them or mix them up. 
  3. Top with the olive oil and dot with the butter. 
  4. Bake 20 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through. 


#EVOOChallenge: Dark Chocolate Chip Olive Oil Donuts

It’s the final day of the #EVOOChallenge. This challenge, in which we make foods with the only cooking fat being olive oil, was issued by Spartan Olive Oil. The goal is to highlight the benefits of using olive oil over its less healthy counterparts, I’m looking at you butter and vegetable oil. Search the hashtag on social media to see more great recipes!

While both olive oil and vegetable oil have 120 Calories and 14 grams of fat per tbsp, olive oil has 10 grams of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) whereas vegetable oil has only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is actually good for your health; it reduces bad cholesterol and provides vitamin E. (Source: American Heart Association)

This unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil is made from the olives of 700 year old trees in Sparta, Greece. The flavorful oil has a rich golden color and smooth texture. I wanted to highlight the nutty, fruity flavor of the oil in my recipes this week.

I wanted to end the week on a sweet note and make dessert, or breakfast if you’re so inclined! I got a donut pan for my birthday last summer and thought it was about time it was christened! I brought my son into the kitchen and let him whisk the ingredients and add the pinch of salt… which ended up being more than a pinch… ah well!

I veered a bit from the recipe: I substituted cake flour for the pastry flour because I simply didn’t want to buy another flour variety (we’re moving in a couple of months and I really need to start cleaning house). I don’t know if chemically that was a valid substitution, but I ran away with it. I also used whole milk instead of buttermilk because I didn’t have any in the fridge. (Yes, I know there’s a substitution involving vinegar but for only 2 tbsp worth of milk I didn’t bother.) And yet another “lazy baker” change was to put dark chocolate chips inside the donuts instead of glazing them with a beautiful dark chocolate icing. With my first attempt at baking donuts I didn’t fully realize that the tops wouldn’t get golden so for aesthetic purposes they definitely benefit from a frosting. I wonder if it’d be possible to flip the donuts midway through the baking process to get both sides golden from the pan. (I’m just “talking” out loud here.)

Dark Chocolate Chip Olive Oil Donuts for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

My 18 month old snagged a donut during food photography took a little bite and declared them “good.”

This recipe makes 6 baked donuts.

Dark Chocolate Chip Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 C cake flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 C dark chocolate chips

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 6 tin donut pan with olive oil.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, and milk.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Divide batter evenly into prepared donut pan. Bake 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly.

*This recipe is modified from Tara at http://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/olive-oil-doughnuts-with-dark-chocolate-glaze-and-sea-salt/*

Dark Chocolate Chip Olive Oil Donuts for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

Disclaimer: By participating in this 5 day challenge I received a bottle and pouch of Spartan Olive Oil. 

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#EVOOChallenge: Olive Oil Poached Eggs with Tomato Relish

It’s day 4 of the #EVOOChallenge. This challenge, in which we make foods with the only cooking fat being olive oil, was issued by Spartan Olive Oil. The goal is to highlight the benefits of using olive oil over its less healthy counterparts, I’m looking at you butter and vegetable oil. Search the hashtag on social media to see more great recipes!

While both olive oil and vegetable oil have 120 Calories and 14 grams of fat per tbsp, olive oil has 10 grams of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) whereas vegetable oil has only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is actually good for your health; it reduces bad cholesterol and provides vitamin E. (Source: American Heart Association)

This unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil is made from the olives of 700 year old trees in Sparta, Greece. The flavorful oil has a rich golden color and smooth texture. I wanted to highlight the nutty, fruity flavor of the oil in my recipes this week.

Today’s recipe comes from Brunch at Bobby’s. This brunch is the 4th recipe we’ve made from this book and we’ve only had it since Christmas. (Remember that incredible Croissant French Toast? I feel like a spokesperson for this incredible cookbook. I should be getting paid!) How could I pass up the opportunity to stretch my culinary muscles by poaching eggs in olive oil?! I even went ahead and experimented with mustard seeds for the tomato relish recommended. I don’t even like eggs and I devoured two open faced sandwiches for lunch! As if the texture combinations between crispy pancetta and silky eggs isn’t enough, there’s a boost of flavor from the relish.

Olive Oil Poached Eggs with Tomato Relish

Ingredients:

  • 8 thin slices of pancetta
  • 4 thick slices of sourdough bread, toasted
  • 1 C plus 3 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 pt cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • pinch of sugar
  • splash of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried herbs)
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried herbs)
  • 4 eggs

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place pancetta on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until crispy, flipping halfway through.
  2. Make the relish: Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop. Add the tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar. Mix in the parsley and chives. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 C of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, until it reaches 140 degrees F. Crack each egg into a ramekin and slide them into the oil, one at a time. Poach until the yolks are almost set, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Assemble: Place each egg on a slice of toasted sourdough, sprinkle with S+P. Top with 2 pieces of crispy pancetta and some of the tomato relish. Garnish with fresh parsley.

*This recipe is adapted from Brunch at Bobby’s*

Olive Oil Poached Eggs with Tomato Relish for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer 1: By participating in this 5 day challenge I received a bottle and pouch of Spartan Olive Oil. 

Disclaimer 2: This post contains affiliate links. 

#EVOOChallenge: Olive Oil Sandwich Bread

We’re halfway through the #EVOOChallenge! This challenge, in which we make foods with the only cooking fat being olive oil, was issued by Spartan Olive Oil. The goal is to highlight the benefits of using olive oil over its less healthy counterparts, I’m looking at you butter and vegetable oil. Search the hashtag on social media to see more great recipes!

While both olive oil and vegetable oil have 120 Calories and 14 grams of fat per tbsp, olive oil has 10 grams of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) whereas vegetable oil has only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is actually good for your health; it reduces bad cholesterol and provides vitamin E. (Source: American Heart Association)

This unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil is made from the olives of 700 year old trees in Sparta, Greece. The flavorful oil has a rich golden color and smooth texture. I wanted to highlight the nutty, fruity flavor of the oil in my recipes this week.

I really wanted to make bread during this challenge. I had found a recipe for olive oil bread and tried that originally. It wasn’t quite a success. The recipe went against my instincts and my changes didn’t quite work out. I powered through and baked it just to check. It was dry, flakey, and crackery. So instead of trying again I decided to take a recipe I could trust and simply do a fat swap. I took the butter (or vegetable oil) and replaced it with Spartan Olive Oil.

My rise time took a longer than the recipe indicated but given the major snow day I wasn’t surprised. The dry weather also meant I had to add a little bit more water to the dough for it to come together. Another note: the loaf pan I have is 9.25″ x 5.25″ instead of 8.5″ x 4.5″ so I don’t have the classic domed sandwich bread shape.

This homemade sandwich bread is fantastic! It’s light and spongy with a beautiful golden crunchy crust. It makes for delicious toast topped with jam, simple bread and butter, and even a flavorful BLT.

Olive Oil Sandwich Bread 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkt active dry yeast
  • 3 C flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C milk mixed with 1/2 C warm water
  • 1/4 C olive oil

Steps:

  1. Dissolve yeast in 1 tbsp warm water.
  2. Place all ingredients, including yeast, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead until it forms a ball around the hook and comes away from the bowl. Add a little extra water if the dough is too dry.
  3. Oil hands and knead dough until smooth. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Allow dough to rise 1-2 hours until almost doubled in size.
  4. Punch down the dough and form into a log just slightly shorter than the loaf pan.
  5. Line loaf pan with parchment paper or lightly grease it. Place dough in prepared pan, cover, and let rise until the dough domes above the pan, another 1-2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Bake bread for 30-35 minutes, or until an internal temperate of 190 degrees F is reached.
  8. Remove loaf from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/classic-sandwich-bread-recipe*

Olive Oil Sandwich Bread for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: By participating in this 5 day challenge I received a bottle and pouch of Spartan Olive Oil. 

#EVOOChallenge: Winter Salad with Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette

It’s day 2 of the #EVOOChallenge. This challenge, in which we make foods with the only cooking fat being olive oil, was issued by Spartan Olive Oil. The goal is to highlight the benefits of using olive oil over its less healthy counterparts, I’m looking at you butter and vegetable oil. Search the hashtag on social media to see more great recipes!

While both olive oil and vegetable oil have 120 Calories and 14 grams of fat per tbsp, olive oil has 10 grams of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) whereas vegetable oil has only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is actually good for your health; it reduces bad cholesterol and provides vitamin E. (Source: American Heart Association)

This unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil is made from the olives of 700 year old trees in Sparta, Greece. The flavorful oil has a rich golden color and smooth texture. I wanted to highlight the nutty, fruity flavor of the oil in my recipes this week.

Shallot Confit for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can CookOne of the cookbooks I got for Christmas is The Chef Next Door by Amanda Freitag. While flipping through it for the first time we came across a recipe for Shallot Confit. I knew I just had to try it for this challenge! The recipe calls for a mix of olive and canola oils, but as that would go against the rules I omitted the canola oil. I was a little nervous about omitting the canola oil and didn’t think substituting was the right way to go either. I opted with using fewer shallots than called for. And it worked.

These shallots would be incredible as a pizza topping, would add a little something extra to a sandwich, and could even work well in an onion dip. I decided to add them to salad. And as a bonus I used some of the oil in a vinaigrette!

The shallots will keep up to two weeks in the oil.

Winter Salad with Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole shallots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 C + 1 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 oz balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • mixed baby greens (I used spinach, swiss chard, and arugula)
  • crumbled Feta cheese
  • cooked, crumbled bacon
  • pear, sliced

Steps:

  1. Make shallot confit: Place shallots in a small saucepan with 1 C oil to cover. Add the thyme, peppercorns, and S+P. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heat to low and cook 25 minutes until shallots are easily pierced. Allow shallots to cool. Store in fridge, covered.
  2. Roast chickpeas: Lay chickpeas out on a clean towel and pat dry. Remove any lose skins. Leave chickpeas out until completely dried, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay chickpeas out on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 40 minutes, or until crunchy. Toss roasted chickpeas in 1 tbsp oil. Add the garlic powder and a little salt to taste.
  3. Make dressing: Put 3 oz of the shallot confit oil in a jar with the balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and S+P. Shake until combined.
  4. Assemble salad: Top greens with Feta, bacon, pears, chopped shallot confit, and roasted chickpeas. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

*The shallot recipe is adapted from The Chef Next Door*

*The chickpea recipe is adapted from Debbie at http://www.madefrompinterest.net/roasted-chickpeas-recipe/*

Winter Salad with Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer 1: By participating in this 5 day challenge I received a bottle and pouch of Spartan Olive Oil. 

Disclaimer 2: This post contains affiliate links. 

#EVOOChallenge: Olive Oil Crackers

Today marks day 1 (of 5) of the #EVOOChallenge. This challenge, in which we make foods with the only cooking fat being olive oil, was issued by Spartan Olive Oil. The goal is to highlight the benefits of using olive oil over its less healthy counterparts, I’m looking at you butter and vegetable oil. Search the hashtag on social media to see more great recipes!

While both olive oil and vegetable oil have 120 Calories and 14 grams of fat per tbsp, olive oil has 10 grams of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) whereas vegetable oil has only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is actually good for your health; it reduces bad cholesterol and provides vitamin E. (Source: American Heart Association)

This unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil is made from the olives of 700 year old trees in Sparta, Greece. The flavorful oil has a rich golden color and smooth texture. I wanted to highlight the nutty, fruity flavor of the oil in my recipes this week.

To kick off I’m sharing Olive Oil Crackers. As I was rolling out the dough my husband jokingly asked if I was making gingerbread crackers, after all it had finally snowed! I said that actually wasn’t a bad idea and pulled out an airplane cookie cutter that I’ve had for 6 years and never used. My 18 month old had fun helping me press the cutter into the dough. Unfortunately, that first batch ended up burnt so I ended up with less than 10 airplane crackers. (The majority of the dough was cut into squares because it was much less time consuming!)

Originally, I followed the recipe directions to sprinkle the herbs over the crackers before they go into the oven but they simply didn’t adhere. My husband had another good idea to roll the herbs into the dough. It definitely worked and tasted better, too! Having the herbs and salt baked in the cracker brought out the beautiful flavor of the olive oil.

These crackers are perfect for dipping in hummus!

Olive Oil Crackers

Ingredients:

  • 3 C flour
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt, divided use
  • 1 C warm water
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme

Steps:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook combine the flour and 1 tsp salt. Slowly add in the water and oil while mixing at medium speed. Mix dough until it comes together, it will be a little tacky.
  2. Divide dough into 8 balls, cover and let rest 45 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl combine oregano, thyme, and 1 tsp Kosher salt.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Roll each ball dough out as thinly as possible, cut crackers, poke with a fork, and place on prepared cookie sheet. Options: Sprinkle cut crackers with seasonings or roll seasonings into the dough before cutting.
  6. Bake 8 minutes until crispy – keep an eye on them, they’ll burn quickly.

*This recipe is adapted from Lacey at http://www.asweetpeachef.com/snack/olive-oil-herb-crackers/*

Olive Oil Crackers for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: By participating in this 5 day challenge I received a bottle and pouch of Spartan Olive Oil. 

Sea Salt and Olive Oil Bagel Chips

Today is my mother-in-law’s birthday! After the birth of my son, her first grandchild, she now happily goes by Tilly. She didn’t want a traditional southern name for grandma and after a lot of contemplation she created this term for herself. After seeing Saving Mr. Banks (no, I don’t know what the movie had to do with it, I never saw it) she investigated her favorite family names to look for their origins, combined a couple, and created Tilly.

As you’ve probably gathered, my mother-in-law and I get along very well. I appreciate how lucky I am to have a mother-in-law who loves and trusts me enough to have given her diamond to Stuart to propose to me. (I still don’t know how she did it!) Three years ago she bought me my first sewing machine and taught me how to quilt. This new hobby provides a great way to bond with Tilly; it allows us time together to be creative, to have both serious and fun conversations, and to go fabric shopping!

Tilly

Wedding photography by Cher Hanna

During her last visit she requested bagel chips to be put on my grocery list. And then added the caveat “if they have them.” I thought, why wouldn’t they? Apparently, they don’t. They sell countless versions of pita chips and pretzel chips, but no bagel chips. If I knew how easy it were to make my own I would have done so for her, but it didn’t cross my mind until after she left. So, I diverted from my original Tilly’s birthday post idea (a chocolate skillet cake) to share this recipe instead. I will definitely be playing around with flavors in the future!

Sea Salt and Olive Oil Bagel Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 plain bagel
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut bagel into chips. Do this by splitting bagel in half and quartering. Halve the quarters from the bottom piece into thin chips and third the quarters from the top piece.
  3. Place bagel chips on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool before storing.

*This recipe is adapted from Lori at http://whoneedsacape.com/2013/08/homemade-bagel-chips/*

Bagel Chips