Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gift baskets are ready

                   Joe and Son's Olive Press has Gift Baskets for just about everyone on your gift list.

They have several different taste baskets ranging from Oil Samplers to Pasta Dinner Baskets . 

Your friends and family will thank you when they open your gift and they'll thank you again and again  as they sample and use these delicious items you've given them.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baking with Olive Oil

Using olive oil for baking is a familiar feature of Mediterranean cooking.  While it may sound a bit odd, baking with olive oil has actually been done for centuries.  Olive oil gives cakes and cookies a light texture and can be used with confidence in lieu of butter or other oils.  It is best to use a lower intensity, late harvest extra-virgin olive oil when baking which gives a subtle flavor.  The dominant taste of high intensity olive oils may interfere with the end result taste.  The exception would be using flavored oils where the flavor would add to the taste, such as Blood Orange EVOO.

Olive oil dramatically cuts back on the cholesterol and saturated fat content of desserts.  It produces lighter-tasting baked goods and allows the flavor of the other ingredients to come forth.  Because olive oil contains Vitamin E, it helps to naturally maintain the freshmess of baked goods and creates moist cakes, biscuits and muffins.

You can also use olive oil for preparing a baking pan before adding the dough or other mixture.  Simply brush the oil onto your favorite baking pan, cookie sheet, spring-form pan or other type of baking dish or pan.

I suppose you're wondering how to determine how to subtitute one amount for another.

Here's a Conversion Chart:

Butter/Margarine                                                        Olive Oil

1 teaspoon                                                                     3/4 teaspoon

1 tablespoon                                                                  2 1/4 teaspoons

1/4 cup                                                                           3 tablespoons

1/3 cup                                                                           1/4 cup

1/2 cup                                                                           1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon

2/3 cup                                                                           1/2 cup     

3/4 cup                                                                           1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon

1 cup                                                                              3/4 cup

This Conversion Chart is more for baking recipes where quantities are critical. One thing to remember, though, is olive oil cannot be substituted in recipes where the item must stay solid at room temperature...such as cake frosting.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.....at least 50 different flavors of olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

Where can these tempting delights be found?  At Joe and Son's Olive Press located at 3401 W. Bay to Bay Blvd in Tampa, Florida.

This new store is promoting an unusual concept of tasting before you buy.  Either the store owner or the store manager will greet you and guide you as you explore the many flavors that are guaranteed to tempt your palate.

I was of the opinion that all olive oils and balsamic vinegars were equal..... that is, until I sampled these wonderful offerings.  One taste, and I was hooked.

If you weren't at the Grand Opening of the store on 11/11/11, you missed the opportunity to taste many delicious foods made with these oils and vinegars.

But don't despair.....there are recipes available next to each Fusti so you can see how easily each oil or vinegar can be used as part of a tasty, healthy meal.

For those who are unsure about how to combine the different oils and vinegars, there are recommended pairings to make things easier for you.

Here's a surprise suggestion for a delicious and quick dessert:

Vanilla ice cream drizzled with Blood Orange EVOO and Serrano Chili Honey Vinegar..........sweet with heat......the perfect way to end a meal.