Friday, December 26, 2014

Baked Chicken Wings

This recipe for baked chicken wings was born out of necessity. It couldn’t be too hot, and it couldn’t have flour as well as some other ingredients usually found in Buffalo wings.

 We have several members of our family that have food allergies and I’ve been trying to come up with recipes that they can enjoy and that non-allergy guests will also find appealing.

I made these as an appetizer for our Christmas dinner and everybody just loved them. I hope you will, too.

You could call them "Goldilocks' Chicken Wings"  .......not too hot; not too sweet, just right.

Baked Chicken Wings



Chicken wings, cut into drumettes and wingettes ( about 5-7 lbs)

1/3 cup Joe and Son’s Chipotle Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Joe and Son’s 18 yr. Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

3 Tablespoons smoked paprika

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse (in plain water) and dry the chicken wings and set aside

In a lasagna pan large enough to hold the wings combine the remaining ingredients and stir well to mix, spreading it around to cover the base of the pan.

Add the wings and roll them in the sauce until all surfaces are covered. Cover the pan and refrigerate the wings for about 2-3 hours, turning once after 1 hour.

Arrange the wings in 2 pans so they are in one layer and drizzle the sauce over the wings.

Place the pans in the pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Turn the wings and coat them in the sauce. Bake for another 30 minutes.

The wings should be golden and tender.

Serve warm.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Easy French Onion Soup

"French Onion Soup" sounds intimidating, doesn't it?  Whenever I ask friends if they make this, they shake their heads and say they wouldn't make a soup that takes a lot of time and trouble.  Then I realized that their recipes were a bit time consuming and my recipe was simple... no frills; no fuss; just plain good.

Gosh, if you can slice onions you can make this and you'll impress your guests with your "advanced culinary skills".

Easy French Onion Soup
3 Tablespoons Joe and Son’s Mushroom Sage Olive Oil
3 large onions, sliced
1 Tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
5 cups beef broth
4 slices French bread (or croutons, if you prefer)
4 slices of Gruyere cheese (or Swiss or Jarlsberg)

Pour Mushroom Sage Olive Oil into a heavy saucepan and add the sliced onions. Cook slowly over low/med heat until golden in color. Add the flour, and stir for a few minutes to “cook”. Now add the salt, pepper and broth. Bring to a soft boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 30-45 minutes.
Toast the bread slices (or croutons); sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and place in oven proof soup bowls. Pour the soup over the bread; top with the cheese slices and broil for a few minutes to brown and melt the cheese.
Serve hot...4 servings

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Apple/Pear Fruit Compote

What is a compote? It is a dessert originating from 17th-century France made of whole or pieces of fruit cooked in a sugar syrup.  In this case. I cooked the pieces of fruit in Olive Oil and Vinegar...but don't worry, it doesn't end up tasting like a salad.

This compote is delicious served warm over ice cream, or topped with a dollop of whipped cream or even spooned over a slice of cheesecake.

Apple/Pear Fruit Compote

¼ cup raisins
½ cup small pecan pieces
2 tablespoons Joe and Son's Butter Infused Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Joe and Son's Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon Calvados or apple jack (optional – but highly recommended for its flavor)
6 Red Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
2 Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
Combine raisins, pecans, Butter Olive Oil, Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar, sugar, vanilla, salt, spices and brandy in a large pan and heat and stir to blend ingredients.
Add apples and pears and simmer 15 minutes or until sauce is thick and fruit is tender.

Serve warm.

Friday, December 12, 2014

How To Cook With Balsamic Vinegars

About  Balsamic Vinegars...........

The older the better.
Their use is not limited to salad dressings.
They may be substituted for wine when deglazing a pan.
 Joe and Son's Aged Balsamics have no added flavors, sugars or preservatives. They have 3 carbs per tablespoon and 10 calories per tablespoon....perfect if you're on a carb-controlled diet.


Balsamic Vinegar

Mix 50/50 with one of our Extra Virgin Oils to create a vinaigrette. Use the vinaigrette on anything from vegetable salads, fruit salads, or stir fry. Toss the vinaigrette with meats, fruits or vegetables before serving. You can even use certain vinaigrettes on pancakes or oatmeal. Use vinaigrette as a glaze, baste or marinade while cooking meats, vegetables or on the BBQ. Vinaigrette makes an amazing marinade or baste for many types of meats!

Balsamic reduction creates a wonderful glaze or garnish for many dishes. To reduce, heat the desired amount of Balsamic Vinegar in a non-stick sauce pan and a caramelized-glaze will be created. Use the reduction to garnish and finish!

Marinate nearly any type of meats (with or without olive oil). Balsamic
 Vinegar will help make any meat more tender and flavorful!

Desserts – drizzle a Balsamic or a Balsamic reduction over pies, cakes, ice cream and more for a healthy, taste sensation!

Sauces – use as a savory base or flavorful addition for many types of sauces. You can also reduce Balsamic and create your own special BBQ sauce by adding other spices!

Olive Oil and Balsamic Sample Pairings

Great for basting, marinades, glazes, salads & dipping!
  • Persian Lime Olive Oil + Blackberry-Ginger Balsamic
  • Tuscan Herb Olive Oil + Traditional Balsamic
  • Basil Olive Oil + Pomegranate Quince Balsamic
  • Blood Orange Olive Oil + Cinnamon-Pear Balsamic
  • Mushroom Sage Olive Oil + Lemon Balsamic
  • Garlic Olive Oil + Lemon Balsamic
  • Garlic Olive Oil + Pomegranate Quince Balsamic
  • Blood Orange Olive Oil + Dark Chocolate Balsamic
  • Herbs de Provence Olive Oil + Cranberry Pear Balsamic
  • Rosemary Olive Oil + Fig Balsamic
  • Eureka Lemon Olive Oil + Violet Balsamic
  • Persian Lime Olive Oil + Grapefruit Balsamic
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil + any of our Balsamic Vinegars!

Friday, December 5, 2014

AAA Kale Salad

AAA Kale Salad......strange name for a salad, don't you think?  Well, the name comes from it being Aromatic, Appealing and Awesome.

Kale is being called “the new beef”, “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.” So it makes sense to add it to our meals whenever possible.

I know there are those of you who don't find Kale particularly tasty and sometimes find the leaves to be a bit tough.  However, this salad should dispel your hesitation to try kale.

 I suggest making this salad the day before you'll serve it.  The salad greens will not go limp and will better absorb the delicious taste of the salad dressing if you do.

AAA Kale Salad
1 bag of mixed Kale salad greens (I got mine at Trader Joe's...Kale,
Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli and Cabbage)
1 5 ounce container of crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries or craisins or raisins
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Mushroom/Sage Olive Oil
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
 Pour  the Oil and Vinegar into a tight sealing jar or cruet and shake well until combined.
In a large serving bowl or storage bowl, place the greens, pecans, cheese and craisins. Pour the dressing over the greens and toss.  Salt and pepper to taste.
If you are refrigerating this overnight, seal the storage bowl before placing in the refrigerator.
Serve cold..4-6 servings


Monday, November 24, 2014

Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Balsamic Vinegar

Brussel sprouts seem to make a regular appearance at our Thanksgiving meal.  But this year I thought I  might play around with fixing them in a slightly different way.

If you don't overcook brussel sprouts then they do develop a slightly sweet taste after cooking so seasoning them with an ingredient that  plays up that sweetness makes sense.

                             Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar


1 1/2 pounds fresh brussel sprouts

3 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Garlic EVOO

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Fig Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Rinse the brussel sprouts; cut off the stem and cut in half.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, toss brussel sprouts with 2 tablespoons Garlic Olive Oil, salt and pepper.

Transfer the brussel sprouts to baking sheet ( lined with foil)  and roast, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning, until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Place the Fig Balsamic Vinegar in a small saucepan and cook on low heat, stirring regularly. Reduce the vinegar until it begins to coat your spoon and decreases in volume. (About 10 minutes) Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the brussel sprouts back into the original bowl. Add remaining tablespoon of Garlic Olive Oil, the Fig Balsamic reduction and toss to coat evenly.

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, then serve.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Oxtails in a Wine/Balsamic Sauce

Making a stew for a family meal is really one of the easiest dishes to put together.  Rarely are the ingredient amounts crucial to the outcome of the dish so you can add more of something you like or decrease the amount of something that you're not too fond of.

We enjoy eating oxtails but I know this may not be something many of you are used to eating, so you could substitute short ribs or beef cubes for the oxtails.  The cooking time would probably have to be adjusted because of the sizes of the cuts of meat.

If you like, you could also add potato chunks towards the end of the cooking time.  I also have added a drained and rinsed can of cannellini beans.  The options to change this recipe to better suit your taste are endless.

I like to serve this over rice or polenta.  Either way, it's might fine eating!!!!

Oxtails in a Balsamic Wine Sauce

5 pounds of oxtails
2 Tablespoons Joe and Son’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used robust Barnea)
2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups celery, cut into 1” pieces
2 cups carrots, cut into 1” pieces
2 cups canned, diced tomatoes with its liquid
1/2  cup Joe and Son’s 18 yr Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup red wine
16 oz. beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the Olive Oil in a large pan and brown the oxtails, taking care not to crowd the pan. You may have to do this in several batches. Don’t be afraid to truly brown them; they’ll have more flavor if you do.
Place the browned oxtails in an ovenproof casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Saute the onions, garlic, celery and carrots in the original pan. Cook and stir over moderate heat until the vegetables are soft and the onions are transparent.
Add the Balsamic Vinegar and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes until the vinegar begins to reduce and thicken a little bit.
Add the wine, broth and canned tomatoes and cook over low heat for about another 10 minutes.
Pour the onion mixture into the casserole and spoon over the oxtails.
Cover the casserole and cook in the oven for about 2 ½ - 3 hours until the meat is very tender.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chef Christophe was "In the House"!

We had the great honor of having the Executive Chef of The Tampa Yacht and Country Club, Chef Christophe Setin, along with his amazing pastry chef, Sam, in  Joe and Son's Olives Oils for a cooking Demo.
 The food was amazing!

We had a lineup of: Roasted butternut squash and goat cheese crostini topped with pepitas and drizzled with Butternut Squash Seed Oil,  Grilled Kale Salad with Roasted Chestnuts and Carmelized Pears,  Pork Loin stuffed with dried stone fruits soaked in Mission Fig Balsamic with a Mushroom Sage Olive Oil Vinagrette, Fingerling potatoes with Garlic Olive Oil and Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic.
The dessert was fantastic...A Lemon Curd Tart made with our Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar.
Of course we can't forget the amazing wines from Charles with Time For Wine. We hope to see you at our next event!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Easy Savory Chicken

Have you ever had an easy, quick and tasty recipe you keep coming back to?  I do. It's a mushroom cream sauce made with Joe and Son's Mushroom/Sage Olive Oil*. I've used it before in a spinach roll and with shrimp over pasta.

Well, last night was one of those nights where I was pressed for time and wanted something quick and easy to serve.  I happened to have some leftover rotisserie chicken and thought it would go well with my favorite mushroom sauce.

I made the sauce, added it to the shredded chicken...I served it with sliced polenta and steamed asparagus.  And voila!  We had a meal!!!

 Savory Chicken with Mushroom Sage Sauce
1/2 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed and shredded
2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Mushroom Sage Olive Oil*

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound fresh, sliced  mushrooms, rinsed and dried

1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

2/3 cup half and half

Salt and Pepper
Heat the Mushroom Sage Olive Oil in a saute pan, add the onions and garlic  and cook over medium heat until they are soft….about 2 -3 minutes.

Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the flour, then gradually add the half and half. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring often, until the mixture thickens.
Combine the chicken with the sauce and serve warm.
Slice the polenta roll into 1" thick slices.  Lightly brown one side in 1 tablespoon Joe and Son's Mushroom/Sage Olive Oil. Flip the slices and brown the other side.  Remove from pan and add salt, pepper, garlic powder and grated Parmesan cheese.
Serve warm.
* Mushroom/Sage Olive Oil....wonderful drizzled over cauliflower; in mashed potatoes instead of butter.....and for basting your Thanksgiving turkey to give it an extra layer of delicious flavor.  And don't forget you can add it to your French onion soup recipe.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gluten Free German Chocolate Pie Bars

Normally, a pie is made with a pastry crust and is baked in a pie plate.  This  recipe calls for a crustless version baked in a 9 x 13 pan with 2" high sides.
Rather than a pastry crust, I've substituted a pecan crust which cuts out carbs and gluten.

Baking the "pie" in a pan allows you to cut the servings into about  2 dozen 2" pieces . It's perfect for entertaining a large crowd.

This is not a new recipe; it's a variation of the old, original Baker's German Sweet Chocolate Pie recipe, but I've added a few touches of my own. 

Be aware that this is a rich and sweet dessert... I don't even want to know the calories in a serving.  But, trust me, it really is worth the splurge.

German Chocolate Squares
2 cups minced pecans, or more if you'd like a thicker crust
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Butter infused Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
Combine the 3 ingredients in a medium sized bowl; mix well and press into a 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 7 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.
Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees.


3 packages of Baker's sweet German Chocolate (4 oz.  each)
1/2 cup Joe and Son's Butter infused Olive Oil
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
2 cans evaporated milk (14 1/2 oz. each) + 3 oz. more of evaporated milk
2 1/2 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sweet flaked coconut
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
To prepare the filling, melt the chocolate with 1/2 cup Butter infused Olive Oil. Slowly add the Dark Chocolate Balsamic vinegar while stirring. .  Remove from heat.
Gradually blend in the milk.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt; beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.  Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, stirring while you pour.  Pour slowly or the hot chocolate could cook the egg mixture.  Pour the chocolate mixture into the baking pan, taking care not to disturb the pecan crust.
Combine the coconut and the remaining pecans and sprinkle them over the filling.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 - 60 minutes*  until a knife inserted into the center of the "pie" shows the center no longer runny.  The filling will be soft but will set while cooling.
* If the topping appears to be browning too much, cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Cool for at least 4 hours before serving.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Boliche (Eye of Round Roast)

There are some of you reading this that will need an explanation of what "Boliche" is.  Others already know.  Let me explain that Boliche is a Latin beef dish made from an Eye of Round Roast. 

Traditionally, you would have a butcher hollow out the roast and fill it with a stuffing that consists of bell peppers, onions, garlic, diced ham pieces and thin slices of chorizo (Spanish Sausage).

Well, nowadays, it's hard to find a meat market that does this and the truth is that there isn't that much of the delicious stuffing anyway if the roast is prepared this way.
So......I've started cooking it a different way that I think gives better results.  At least my family thinks so because preparing the dish my way gives you lots of a delicious topping for a side dish of rice.



Eye of Round Roast about 2 1/2 pounds
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons of Joe and Son's Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large bell pepper, diced
3 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
ham slice, about 1/2 pound, diced
4 chorizo sausages, sliced thin
1 cup canned mushrooms, drained....optional
3 medium potatoes, diced...
1/2 cup of Joe and Son's Traditional OR Espresso Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Salt and pepper the roast.  Heat the EVOO in a large sauté pan to a medium heat and brown the roast on all sides.  Remove from the pan  and set aside.  When it has cooled, slice the roast into 1/2" thick slices.  A 2 1/2 pound roast should give you about 14 slices.
In the same pan, add the next 7 ingredients.  Saute over medium heat until the veggies are soft.  Add the Balsamic Vinegar, broth and water and stir.
Place the slices of meat in a roasting pan.  Cover the meat with  the vegetable mixture.  Cover the pan and roast at 350 degrees for about an hour or a little less, until the meat is cooked.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with a side dish of rice and fried platanos.  A slice of avocado wouldn't be a bad addition to the meal, either.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Thumbprint "Butter" Cookies ...... also can become Other Cookies*

Okay, folks, this is a cookie recipe I'm tempted to keep a secret because it is so absolutely good that I'd like people to think I'm a wondrous baker when I serve them to family and friends.

But, I'm going to share the recipe with you and after you make these you can bask in the compliments you'll get from your friends.  If you're feeling generous, then pass the recipe on to others.

You'll notice that I'm calling these "Butter" cookies...but there is no butter in the cookies.  Instead, I've used Joe and Son's Butter Infused Olive Oil.  It's healthier than butter and I like the texture and flavor it gives the cookies.


Thumbprint “Butter” Cookies

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup Joe and Son’s Butter Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Strawberry Fig Jam*

Lemon Curd*

* Both can be purchased at Joe and Sons Olive Oils


In a large mixing bowl, combine the Butter Infused Olive Oil and sugar; beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and continue beating. . Add the flour and salt and beat until well combined

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll the dough into 1” balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 1 ½ inches apart.

Make a small, shallow indentation in the center of each cookie and fill with a small amount of jam or curd.

Chill the cookie balls on the baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes before placing in the pre-heated oven.

Bake for 13 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies and the recipe may be doubled.
* Here's a way to convert this recipe to a different cookie.

Substitute Almond extract for the Vanilla extract.
Eliminate the lemon curd and strawberry jam.
Roll the raw cookie ball in granulated sugar before baking.
Top each cookie with pieces of chopped almonds before baking, if desired.

Also, substituting 1/2 of the Butter Oil with Joe and Son's Rosemary Oil will give you a sweet, savory cookie. I filled the thumb print with a pepper jelly and it was really good.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Banana Bread

I must admit I've read about ways to bake breads that help to reduce the fats used in baking.  Some suggestions have been to substitute applesauce or other fruit purees for some of the butter or oil called for in the recipe.  As I said, I've read about it; but never done it.  Until now.

Today I decided to bake a banana bread and reduce some of the fat calories.  I didn't have applesauce, but I did have apple butter....I thought, "Why not?"

I'm glad I did this and I'll do it again.

Banana Bread with Apple Butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 /2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium ripe bananas...mashed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Butter Infused Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
You may bake this bread in one  9x5 loaf pan OR 4 mini-loaf pans.  Grease and flour the bottoms and sides of the pans.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir together to blend well.
In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs; add the Butter Olive Oil and apple butter and whisk together.
Add the mashed bananas and continue to whisk until the bananas have been incorporated into the egg mixture.
Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is smooth.
Pour into your desired choice of prepared pan.
9x5 loaf pan.....bake for about 40 minutes.
4 mini loaf pans.....bake for about 25 minutes.
Check with a toothpick or ice pick to see if the bread is fully baked.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Orzo Pasta Salad with Beans and Corn

Whenever there's a weekend that involves cooking out and outdoor eating, I try to prepare dishes that can be served at room temperature without danger of anyone of us getting sick.

This is similar to something I've presented before, but I wanted something a bit heartier so I added pasta.  Today I played around with Orzo pasta and some  food items I happened to have on hand. Then I added some Olive Oil and Vinegar as a dressing and the result was quite tasty as well as colorful.

I took it to the store for sampling and the feedback was very positive and people were asking for the recipe.

And here it is.

  Please note that you can feel free to add more or less of the ingredients to make a combination to your liking.  I don't think you can do anything to this recipe to mess it up.

Orzo Pasta Salad with Beans and Corn
1 1/2  cup uncooked Orzo pasta....cook according to package directions
1 small can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup finely diced sweet bell peppers (I used yellow, orange and red)
3/4 cup diced scallions (green and white parts)
2 cups whole kernel corn ( canned and drained OR frozen, thawed and cooked)
1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
2 medium cucumbers ( peeled, and cut into small pieces...not slices)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Joe and Son's Garlic Olive Oil... 1/2 cup
Joe and Son's Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar....1/2 cup
In a cruet or sealable jar, combine the Olive Oil and Vinegar and shake to form an emulsion.  Set aside.
In a large serving bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients.  Toss to mix thoroughly.
Add the seasonings and spices, taste and adjust to your preference.
Add the dressing to moisten the salad, not to over saturate it.
Refrigerate for about an hour for the flavors to blend.  Let it come to room temperature and serve.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Blueberry Peach Compote with Onions and Rosemary

I love blueberries! I try to use them in as many ways as I can. I love their taste, and I appreciate the fact they carry a lot of health benefits.  If you get an chance, do a Google search for "Blueberry Health Benefits".  I think you'll be surprised what these little berries can do for you.

Anyway, I use them in muffins, desserts, breakfast cereals quite often.  But I felt like branching out into using them in main course dishes.

I had a pork tenderloin that I seared in Joe and Son's Mushroom Sage Olive Oil.  I seasoned it with salt and pepper and sprinkled it with about 1/2 teaspoon of crushed, dried Rosemary.  I cooked it at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes and it was simple but tasty.

But before I cooked the pork I planned on serving it with a mild sweet, savory sauce.  So, I decided this was going to be a Blueberry night.

I know the ingredients aren't something you'd normally choose to combine in a dish, but I decided to try it.  I knew if it didn't turn out well, you'd never I had nothing to lose.

The fact I'm posting the recipe should tell you it turned out well.

Blueberry Peach Compote With Onions and Rosemary*

2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cup peach slices (cut into 1 inch pieces)…fresh and peeled OR frozen and drained
1 cup finely diced onion
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
¾ teaspoon dried, crushed Rosemary
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon Joe and Son’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used Mild Picual) or Butter Infused Olive Oil
½ cup Joe and Son’s Peach Balsamic Vinegar
Pour the Extra Virgin Olive Oil into a large saute pan and warm to medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook for about 30 minutes until they turn golden in color.
Add the blueberries and peaches and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.
Season with the brown sugar, Rosemary, salt and pepper.
Add the Peach Balsamic Vinegar and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook and stir for about 10 more minutes until the berries have collapsed and the vinegar has reduced and thickened.
*This compote would pair well with roasted chicken or ham.  I would even use this compote over Brie cheese, drizzled over a slice of cheesecake or a dish of ice cream.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mushrooms and Shrimp in a Cream Sauce

Have you ever been in a hurry to get dinner together and didn't have a meal planned?  This happened to me this evening, but because I had a few staples handy and some frozen shrimp, I was able to produce a dish that actually was very good.

 It was good enough that the Hubby wanted to know if we had any leftovers....and this  was coming from someone who will only eat leftovers if there is absolutely nothing else to eat.

Anyway, some onions, garlic, rosemary, mushroom/sage olive oil, fresh mushrooms, shrimp, salt, red pepper flakes, flour and milk and some pasta was all it took and it was ready in about 15-20 minutes.

Mushrooms and Shrimp over Pasta
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Mushroom/Sage Olive Oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
12-16 ounces of fresh, sliced mushrooms...cleaned and wiped
18-20 large shrimp, fresh or frozen....thawed, deveined, with tails removed
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 -1 cup milk or half and half *
salt to taste
1/2 pound pasta or liguini....for this dish I prefer Spinach pasta or Black linquini for color contast
Pour the Mushroom/Sage olive oil into a saute pan and warm the oil to a medium heat; add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until the onion becomes transparent.
Add the mushrroms to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and it has evaporated.
Add the shrimp and stir and cook until they are pink.
Sprinkle the shrimp with the rosemary.
Evenly sprinkle the mixture with the flour and slowly add 3/4 cup of the milk or cream.  Stir until the mixture starts to thicken.  If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk to thin it out.
Add salt to taste.
Serve over the pasta of your choice.

* I used 2% milk and that's why the sauce is pale in color.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Spicy Tuscan Hummus Without Tahini

Hummus is one of my "go to" dishes when I need to fix something in a hurry for company arriving soon, or if I need a healthy snack for the kids, or even for myself.

I've tried several recipes in the past but this one is my favorite.  I like the blended Mediterranean flavors and I find it comes out really smooth and creamy even if made in a blender and not a food processor.

For those purists who are wondering about the taste of this Hummus since there is no Tahini in the recipe, make this and decide for yourself.

Spicy Tuscan Hummus
 2 cans garbanzo beans( 15-18 oz size) drained...but reserve 1/2 cup liquid
1 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
1/4 cup Joe and Son's Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup (or more if needed) garbanzo bean liquid
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (amount should be determined by the heat you like)
salt to taste
In a blender, place the drained garbanzo beans and 1 tablespoon of liquid.  Blend on high for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the container and add the rosemary, garlic,Olive Oil, Vinegar, red pepper flakes.  Add another tablespoon of liquid and blend  for another 2 minutes.  Stir the mixture with a spatula to make sure the garbanzos are being evenly pureed.  Continue to blend until the mixture is smooth and of a spreadable consistency.    If it is too dry, continue adding more liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Add salt and more garlic and more red pepper flakes if you desire and mix well.
Chill before serving.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cooking with Black Garlic

What is Black Garlic?

Black Garlic is sweet meets savory, a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture, slightly sweet,with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft dried fruit. Hard to believe, but true. It’s as delicious as it is unique. When sliced, it resembles slices of Black Truffle.

The first time I saw Black garlic and sliced it, I must admit I wondered what all the fuss was about.  But then I bravely took a bite of it and I understood why people were enjoying using it in their cooking.  I now find myself eating it straight from the jar as I prepare to use it in a recipe.

I've used it in more intricate dishes, but the other night I added Black Garlic and chives to roasted potato slices and topped the potatoes with a dollop of sour cream and a few more slices of the Black Garlic.   It was very good... and the taste, while subtle, added something special to the potatoes.

Now, along with the potatoes I had some salmon I wanted to broil.  I happen to like salmon glazes that have a hint of sweet to them without being cloyingly sweet.  I used a mixture of Joe and Son's Dark Chocolate Balsamic and Green Chili Olive Oil to make a marinade for the salmon that I also used as a glaze to brush over the salmon.

The salmon was tasty, moist and not at all dry.

Salmon marinade:

1/2 cup Joe and Son's Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Joe and Son's Green Chili Olive Oil

Pour the Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar into a small saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring often, for about 10-15 minutes until the vinegar starts to coat the spoon.
Combine the Vinegar and Oil and pour over the salmon.  Place the salmon in a sealed bag or covered glass dish and marinade in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Remove the salmon from the marinade; place on a broiler pan of your choice; season with salt.  Place in oven, broil for about 3-4 minutes and flip the piece of fish.  Brush the marinade on the "new" side of the fish and broil until done.

It's that simple.  Try it yourself and enjoy!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pumpkin Muffins to feed a crowd

We've hade several get togethers where I was asked to bring a dessert that was easy to transport, easy to serve and would feed a lot of hungry mouths.  I suppose I could have brought cookies, but I thought I'd try mini-muffins.

These were perfect!  They had a nice, subtle orange taste and were very moist and not crumbly.  The fact that the recipe made about 12 dozen was an added plus.


Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup Joe and Son’s Blood Orange Olive infused Olive Oil
2 ½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree, NOT pie filling
½ cup water
3 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the oil, water, pumpkin, sugar and eggs together.
Add the next 5 ingredients and mix together to combine.
Fold in the chips and nuts and continue to mix until they are well distributed in the batter.
If using mini-cup paper liners, place them in the muffin tins and fill 2/3 full. Bake for 11 minutes at 350 degrees.

If you're not using paper liners, spray/oil the muffin tins before filling and baking and bake for 11 minutes.

Makes about 12 dozen mini-muffins

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shrimp with Lime and Honey

I'm finding that with my busy schedule, I have less time to spend preparing meals than I'd like.  Okay, that's a lie....I really don't want to spend a lot of time prepping and cooking a meal.  And if you're honest, you don't want to, either.

That's where this recipe comes to the rescue. When you see how easy this is, and how quick it is to fix, you'll realize this isn't's sort of  like throwing ingredients together, waving a magic wand and seeing  them transform into an appealing dish sure to please your family or friends.

The description of this recipe is a bit deceiving..because it does not call for limes or honey.  But what you are going to use is going to taste even better.

Shrimp with Lime and Honey

1 pound shrimp……cleaned and deveined (with or without tails)
1 Tablespoon Joe and Son’s Persian Lime Olive Oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup green onions, diced… and white parts
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Joe and Son’s Artisanal Honey Vinegar
Pour the Persian Lime Oil into a saute pan and warm to medium heat. Place the shrimp in the pan and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, green onions, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2 minutes or so and add the Artisanal Honey Vinegar. Stir and continue to cook for about 5-6 minutes until the Vinegar starts to reduce and thicken and the shrimp are pink and cooked.
Add salt and pepper if needed.
Serve hot.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

BBQ glazes

If you're getting together with the family, I'm sure you feel the same way I do.  Even though I'm in charge of the food and the preparation, I would prefer to spend my time enjoying the festivities with my friends and family rather than in front of the stove, grill  or oven.

So, I have  suggestions for ways to give your steaks, chicken or ribs a professional flair without a great deal of thought about the glaze.

Try mixing Joe and Son's Green Chili EVOO with an equal part of Joe and Son's Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar.  It's even better if you do a slight reduction of the Balsamic Vinegar before combining it with the EVOO.  It will make a thicker glaze for the steak.

Actually, our Green Chili EVOO combines very well with any of our fruit infused Balsamic vinegars to make a tasty and easy sauce.  AND, since Joe and Son's Balsamic Vinegars have ONLY 3 carbs per tablespoon, they are a healthier choice than pre-made BBQ sauces loaded with sugar.

If the Green Chili EVOO is too hot for your taste, there's always Chipotle EVOO  for a milder heat with a smokey taste.

Add a  Corn and Black Bean Salad drizzled with Joe and Son's Persian Lime EVOO.

For a fresh, light dessert serve fresh strawberries macerated in our Coconut Balsamic Vinegar.

Entertaining a crowd was never easier than this!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Vegan Italian Wedding Cookies

I love a good cookie that's slightly crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside.  And if it has a sweet, rich, buttery taste then it is even better.
I also don't like baking when it involves a lot of steps and a lot of prepping.  This recipe basically calls for mixing everything in one bowl so there is little clean-up as well.
I also like the fact that the basic recipe can produce a variety of cookies merely by changing  the Infused Oil used and/or changing the extracts used.
And I also like the fact that it is so darned good!

  Italian Wedding Cookies…Vegan
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
¾ cup of Joe and Son’s Butter Olive Oil*
1 cup finely minced almonds OR walnuts OR pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar for rolling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the Olive Oil and mix with a wooden spoon until well absorbed.
Add the nuts and continue to press and stir with the spoon.   
Shape into balls using about 3/4 teaspoon batter for each cookie.  
Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Refrigerate the trays with the cookies for about 15 minutes to chill the unbaked cookies.  (This helps them to keep their shape during baking.)
Place them in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 9 minutes. The cookies will be a pale gold color and soft to the touch.  Do not allow them to bake until brown.
Cool completely,  then roll in the extra confectioners' sugar. 
Makes about 5 dozen cookies
*For different flavors you may substitute Joe and Son’s Eureka Lemon Olive Oil for the Butter Olive Oil.  OR Roasted Walnut Oil for a nuttier taste.  OR use the Butter Oil and substitute Almond Extract for the Vanilla.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Green Chili BBQ Marinade

Next Sunday, June 15th, is Father's Day.  I don't know if your Special Man likes to cook or just enjoys eating what's been prepared for him.

No matter who fixes this dish, it's going to be part of a wonderful, tasty meal.
It can be cooked outdoors on the grill or indoors in the broiler.

One word of caution, though I'm sure you're already aware of this....the marinade can be used for basting during cooking, but CANNOT be saved and reused later. 

Green Chili BBQ Marinade

6 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Green Chili Olive Oil *
1/4  cup Joe and Son's Serrano Honey Vinegar
2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Palma Ceia Honey
4 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2  teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2  teaspoon kosher salt
1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 lbs of chicken pieces

Place all ingredients into the blender or small food processor and puree for a few moments. Pour the marinade over chicken in an airtight container or large ziploc bag and shake to coat each of the pieces.

Place in the refrigerator and marinade for about 4-5 hours. Turn the chicken (or flip the bag) a couple times while it is marinading.
Save the marinade for basting during the cooking process. Discard any marinade you don’t use over the heat because it was in contact with raw chicken.
Broil or grill the chicken as you choose.
* If the Green Chili Olive Oil is too hot for your taste, substitute an equal amount of our Chipotle Olive Oil.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Come in and sample today............

Happy Memorial Day!   Please, please remember what this day is actually about.

We honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom.

We also honor those men and women in the armed forces who are still fighting for us today.


Come in today; taste some wonderful foods and take advantage of our sale discounts.

All military with ID gets 25% OFF TODAY!
Everyone else, you get 15%!

We are having a BBQ in the store today. Stop on by for some samples!




Saturday, May 24, 2014

Black Bean Corn Salad

First, let me thank all of those in the Military who made many sacrifices in order to ensure our country's freedom.  Your acts of bravery and heroism and your willingness to put yourselves in harm's way to protect us can never be repaid.  Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for your country............

This weekend is likely to be one involving BBQ's and picnics and grilling outdoors.  So, we want easy dishes that can be prepared ahead.  Sometimes salads wilt if they're left out too long, slaws with mayonnaise dressings don't do well in the heat.....but this hearty salad can take the heat and still look good and taste good.


Black Bean Corn Salad

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed

1/3 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Persian Lime Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Joe and Son’s Grapefruit Balsamic Vinegar


Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.

Before serving, add the cumin and salt and pepper and toss to evenly distribute the dry seasonings.

Meanwhile, whisk the Lime Olive Oil and the Grapefruit Vinegar together to create an emulsion.

Pour over the corn salad and serve chilled.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spinach Mushroom Roll

There are times when you prepare a recipe and you just know it's going to be beautiful to look at and equally delicious to eat.  This is one of those recipes.

Many years ago, I was looking through James Beard's recipes and found this one.  It sounded interesting so I made it and while it was good, it didn't knock my socks off.  And in addition, I found the texture difficult to slice and serve.

I wasn't willing to give up on the recipe and after playing around with it, I came up with my version.  I love the taste now and by using two different cuts of spinach , I am able to make precise serving slices.

Let me give you a few helpful hints that worked for me.

After the spinach is baked, run a sharp knife along the edges of the baking pan to facilitate the flip.

It helps if you have 2 baking sheets of equal size.  Rather than trying to flip the spinach out on parchment paper on the counter, line a second pan with parchment paper.  Line up the long sides of the pan before you flip. 

Before you add the flour and half and half, cut the  mushrooms into smaller pieces.  It makes the rolling go easier.

Spinach Mushroom Roll

Serves 10-12


1  6 ounce package fresh baby spinach

1 16 ounce package frozen chopped spinach

4 large eggs, separated

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.



2 tablespoons Joe and Son’s Mushroom Sage Olive Oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound fresh, sliced  mushrooms, rinsed and dried

1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

2/3 cup half and half

Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook both the fresh and frozen spinach in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Strain and press in a colander in order to remove all water from the leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When cool, place in a bowl and add the 4 egg yolks. Mix well with a fork to make sure the eggs are evenly distributed.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff and fold into the spinach mixture.

Spread the mixture evenly in a lined and greased 10 x 15 inch pan with 1” high sides.
Cook in a preheated oven for 10 minutes until risen and firm.

While the spinach is baking, heat the Mushroom Sage Olive Oil in a saute pan, add the onions and garlic  and cook over medium till they are soft….about 2 -3 minutes.

Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the flour, then gradually add the half and half. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring often, until the mixture thickens.

The Rolling:

Sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese over a sheet of parchment paper cut to the size of the first baking sheet. Align the baked spinach over the paper and flip the spinach over. Peel off the lining paper.
Spread the filling on the baked spinach and roll up like a Jelly Roll cake. Use the parchment paper as a starting guide as you roll the spinach.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spiked Chocolate Pie

"Spiked with what?" you ask.  Why, Bourbon, of course.

 It's the Kentucky Derby weekend and we all know that everything goes better with  Kentucky Bourbon.

Is there anyone that doesn't love chocolate?  If so, I haven't met him/her yet.

This is a true chocolate pie with the added plus of pecans in the filling.  And, if you're like might even give it a pecan crust* as well.  Otherwise, feel free to use a prepared 8" pie crust.  Trust me, though, the pecan crust will really add another dimension of flavor to the pie.... and it also cuts down on the carbs in this recipe.

If you like, you can top it with some additional pecans, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

                     Spiked Chocolate Pie

1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of Joe and Son's Organic Butter Olive Oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon Bourbon
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle the pecans into the pie crust and top with the chocolate chips.

In a bowl, mix the Butter Olive Oil and the sugar together until smooth. Mix in the flour until the consistency of cream.  Add the eggs and Bourbon and stir until all ingredients are combined.

Pour the filling into the crust which contains the nuts and chocolate chips.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

*  Pecan crust:

1 1/2 cups pecan meal, or you can grind pecan pieces in a food processor
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 Tablespoon Joe and Son's Butter Olive Oil + a little more if mixture seems too dry

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir until they hold together.  Place this in an ungreased 8" pie plate and press to form a crust on the bottom and sides.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 7 minutes; remove and cool slightly before proceeding with the recipe.