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Entries in Colavita Olive Oil (10)

Tuesday
Nov192013

Fry, Bake, Sautée, Dress, Marinate, Grill and Roast a Pumpkin

Just in time for your Thanksgiving preparations, we bring to you our ULTIMATE PUMPKIN GUIDE (did you hear an echo?)! 

I produced this for Colavita as an Olive Oil Guide. The Olive Oil Guide is a seasonal quarterly that offers healthy recipes (well, we do stick a fry recipe in there...) based around one seasonal ingredient. This season's special ingredient is.... PUMPKIN.

Within the pages of this magazine, you will find recipes that instruct you on grilling, frying, roasting, sautéeing, baking, dressing, and marinating with pumpkin and pumpkin parts.

They are all delicious (I should know, I personally tested them). One of my favorites is the glamorous cover recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes:

You can also watch a short instructional video here:

Other highlights include Pumpkin Marinated Chicken:

And a very handy-dandy chart on how to replace butter with heart-healthy olive oil in your recipes:

Colavita is also running a contest in conjunction with this pumpkin recipe book. You can learn all about it on Facebook, but you can win a trip to Italy...so that's pretty cool.

Download the full recipe book here, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

 

Monday
Jul292013

Birthday Pizza on the Grill for The Box

I make people pizza. It's what I do. If you have an oven, or better yet a grill, and some people, I'll come over and make pizza for you. Really. Sometimes my family even gets lucky, and I'll come over and make pizza for them.

Two weekends ago it was The Box's birthday. So I hurried home like a dutiful daughter for the celebrations (which also occurred in tandem with Aunt Emily's 99th birthday. Yes, 99.)

A party just isn't a party unless it's a pizza party. Therefore, I set to work over a hot grill making fresh pies for The Box, Marmo, John and even Toby.

This isn't going to be your usual exhaustive instructional on how to make pizza. This will be a handy list and basic how to on how to GRILL pizza. In order to successfully grill pizza, you need a few things:

1. A reckless disregard for eyebrow singe.

2. Quick hands.

3. An assistant (one who will preferably keep pouring you good wine).

4. Pizza dough. You can use our basic recipe here, or our whole wheat recipe here.

5. Mise en place. This is a French term meaning everything should be in its place. This means your toppings. Slice the cheese, put seasonings in bowls, have that olive oil bottle handy, along with a brush to apply it. Get the cutting board ready for the finished pie, etc. That grill gets HOT and you don't have much time to get everything in its place ON the pie, so everything should be in its place BEFOREHAND. This minimizes disaster.

6. Oven mitt and tongs are useful in hot situations (not always grill related).

7. Oil your dough beforehand (use aforementioned pastry brush). 

8. Stretch the dough out.

9. Place it on the grill. Close the lid. Bake for 2 minutes.

10. Flip the dough.

11. Put the toppings on. Close the lid. Bake for 2 minutes.

12. Remove the pizza. Eat.

13. Repeat.

14. Where is that assistant with the wine???

For The Box, I made two pizzas: Cherry Tomato, Salami, Goat Cheese and Arugula Pizza and Apple, Smoked Gouda, Onion Jam and Arugula Pizza. You can see how it all played out here:

Here are the finished results:

and

Sometimes, the grill gets a little crazy and the flipping and placing of the dough gets a little wonky:

Pizzas are not always round. And the irregular shapes are good for grabbing. This was not the result of too much wine. 

You may be wondering how to make onion jam. Check out Martha Stewart's super easy recipe. Mess around with it and see how it turns out for you. 

Everyone was very pleased with the results.

Except for John who looks moderately skeptical.

And just downright angry. It could've been the golf. Or the hair. Or perhaps he didn't like the wine. But you can't blame the pizza. Not if I'm making it, anyway.

Even Toby got some.

And see how happy he was?

Tuesday
Jul022013

Celebrate July 4th with Baci S'mores

It's that time of year again — time to fire up the campfire, set off fireworks and catch fireflies. This July 4th, make your traditional s'mores special by adding Baci chocolates.

Baci are Italian chocolate hazelnut truffles, and when popped into the center of a freshly toasted marshmallow, they'll set off fireworks in your taste buds. Head on over to Colavita's Facebook Page or Baci's Facebook Page and like them for the full instructions. You can also check out our how-to stop motion animation below:

Special thanks to Tiny Cool for the sound!

Tuesday
Jun252013

Breakfast Nook Pizza

This blog is a window into our lives – John's and mine. It's our breakfast nook on the Internet and in each post, we invite you all in to have a look around.

We like to keep the nook upbeat and tidy (unlike John's apartment - egads!), but sometimes there are crumbs on the tablecloth and the napkins are wrinkled. Sometimes I haven't been at the nook in a few days and John's too busy golfing (or combing his hair).

But even if we're not around, we'd still like for you to feel welcome, because what we think is most important is not the state of your living quarters (every wayward sock, a harbinger of chaos!), but that your guest feel comfortable.

Which brings up a question: How comfortable can you be in someone else's space?

Where's the bathroom?

Can I get a drink of water?

Is this thing equipped with fire extinguishers should things go horribly awry?

These are all questions you may ask yourself upon entering someone else's space and this is ok.

When I have guests over to my tiny studio apartment, I like them to feel at home. Likewise, I want you readers to feel at home on this blog, too. If you visited my apartment, I'd tell you the following:

The bathroom is to the right and is decorated with an assortment of bike shorts and sports bras (sorry).

The water (which I will gladly fetch for you) is from the tap (NYC's finest!).

And the fire extinguisher is under the sink (possibility for things going awry: 65%)

More, than this, when I have guests over, I feed them. It's what a good Italian girl does.

On the blog, you don't have to worry about where my bathroom is and if you need to unleash various fire retardants. But I'm still going to feed you...digitally speaking. So have a seat in our breakfast nook, pour yourself a cup of coffee and relax. I've got a pie in the oven....a pizza, of course.

Elana's Breakfast Nook Pizza

What You Need:

For the Oat & Walnut Breakfast Pizza Dough:

1 envelope active dried yeast

1 ½ cups warm water – 100 degrees F

3 cups whole wheat flour (all purpose, bread, or 00 flour)

1/2 cups oats

½ cup walnuts

3-4 tablespoons ground flax seeds

¾ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tools:
Pizza stone and pizza peel, semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting. If you don’t have a peel or a pizza stone, you can also use a cookie sheet. If you are using a cookie sheet, it’s not necessary to use semolina flour or cornmeal. Just place your dough round directly onto the cookie sheet and add toppings.

For the toppings:

1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced

1 quart fresh blackberries

1 quart fresh blueberries

a soft, mild cheese such as a farmer’s cheese

grated zest from 1 lemon

confectioner’s sugar for dusting

For the balsamic syrup:

1 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons Colavita Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 cup water

pinch salt

1 cup fresh blueberries

grated zest from 1/2 lemon

What To Do:

For the Dough:

1. In a medium mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of the warm water.

2. Stir in ½ cup of the whole wheat flour.

3. Cover with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let stand for 30 minutes to let the mixture bubble and rise.

4. After the 30 minutes are up, pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer. You can mix by hand as well in a large bowl.

5. Add the remaining ½ cup of warm water, salt, sugar and the olive oil to the food processor.

6. Add the walnuts, pulsing to chop them finely.

7. Combine the remaining 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour, ½ cup oats and ground flax seeds in a bowl. Slowly begin to add this mixture to the food processor, ½ cup at a time.

8. The dough will start to hold together and form into a ball.

9. When this happens, remove the dough from the bowl, and place on a floured counter top.

10. Knead the dough until it is smooth. This may take about 10 minutes.

11.  Dust the dough lightly all over with flour and place in a large bowl, covered with a kitchen towel.

12. Let it rise for 1 hour.

13.  After an hour, the dough will be doubled in size. Punch it down in the center and divide the dough into four or five equal parts.

14.  Form each part into a smooth ball and let them rise, covered, on a floured surface for 30 minutes.

 You can store the dough covered, overnight in the refrigerator, or use it immediately. If you chill it overnight, allow the dough to come to room temperature before using it.

Before you top your pizza, heat your oven to 500 degrees F. If you are using a pizza stone, place the stone in the oven and heat it up for at least 30 minutes prior to baking on it.

This dough will be slightly less bouncy and pliable, as it has less gluten than traditional white flour crust. Gently press out the dough from the center on a floured surface until you have a flat, round disc, about 6-7 inches in diameter.

Take out your pizza peel and dust it with semolina flour or cornmeal.

Place your stretched dough onto the dusted peel. Make sure that you can easily slide the dough around on the peel.

Now you are ready for toppings!

Spread the farmer’s cheese over the top of the stretched out dough.

Layer the strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries over the top of the cheese.

Slide the pizza in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the berries start to pop and ooze purple juice over the surface of the pie.

Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with fresh lemon zest and confectioner’s sugar. Drizzle with the blueberry balsamic syrup (recipe follows) and serve with coffee or tea!

For the Balsamic Syrup:

In a small sauce pan, heat the sugar and balsamic vinegar together until the sugar has dissolved. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the blueberries pop and become soft.

Set-aside. (Can be made a day in advance; heat slightly or bring to room temperature before serving)
NOTE: I used Colavita oil and vinegar products for this recipe, as this is June's Slice of the Month installment for Colavita's monthly Facebook pizza feature. Please go check them out on Facebook to download the fancy PDF cookbooklet!

 

Friday
Jun072013

Super Foods Cookbook

Good morning! It's a rainy morning here in New York City. The usual cats and dogs are teeming from the gray clouds above. I'd like to bring a little color to this gray day for you... a little color in the form of food.

SUPER FOODS! I know it's been a little while since I last posted. I've been working. On this cookbook, in fact. It was released via Colavita's Facebook page last week, and I'd like to share it with you here and now.

First, pretty please with sugar in the raw on top, make your way to Colavita's Facebook page and like them. You'll be able to download all kinds of crazy goodness in the form of cookbooks. These cookbooks are usually produced by yours truly, so I have an agenda. 

And the agenda is stuffing you full of good for you food that also tastes amazing. Take for example the following, featured in the book:

The roasted beets and pineapples sit on a tart made of graham cracker crumbs and walnuts, with just a touch of sugar. A little tangy goat cheese and fresh mint make it all come alive. I made this from the Morristown satellite office and fed it to The Box and John for dinner. The Box and John don't do veggies. But they did this tart. And went in again for seconds. You should do it too.

Or how about:

This pasta is so simple your pet monkey could do it. The giant stove top wok is an asset, but not a requirement — a regular skillet or frying pan works just as nicely. As a bonus, if you're in a time crunch, you can use frozen shrimp. So get that pet monkey to work! I mean, he WAS just lying about on the sofa diminishing your supply of Kettle Chips, was he not? This is a better use of his time.

If you're into grains, you'll love this salad Farro, Beet Greens and Salmon Salad:

Did you know you could eat the green tops of beets? You can – and they are packed with vitamins and actually taste good. The cucumber and mint dressing give this salad a light and summer taste. Throw it on your outdoor picnic table this summer, with some Watermelon Mojito's on the side... Hey, I'm here to help.

I can't leave out breakfast, my favorite meal of the day. These Blueberry and Oat Pancakes are not your run-of-the-mill breakfast cake, although they will keep you running around the mill, as they're packed with good, energy-providing grains. A little blueberry balsamic syrup gives these cakes a tangy sweetness.

But this isn't all you'll get! If you call now, you get this FREE set of Japanese kitchen knives! 

No, you won't. Sorry, I got carried away. But you WILL get more recipes. The above are just a few of the featured dishes. Have I won you over? If so, click here and download your PDF. These recipes are perfect for summer time. Perfect for outdoor parties. Perfect for feeding families, or even just yourself. I've tried all of them and they have my stamp of approval. I hope they get yours too.