Tuesday, September 27, 2016

SEPTEMBER OLIVE OIL RECIPE 2016... LEMON POPPY SEED OLIVE OIL POUND CAKE

September is slowly waning...as October gently awaits to appear...so celebrate this month with a really great cake recipe...that you will want to make again and again. With the holidays right around the corner...so to speak...by you having this cake recipe...you will not only have a great dessert... for holiday company...but a wonderful homemade gift to give as well....when the occasion arises.

This cake recipe below continues my month of September Olive Oil recipes...and I hope you make and enjoy this wonderful recipe. This is a super moist cake due to the olive oil...as well as the sour cream. Because nothing says love...like something homemade!


LEMON POPPY SEED OLIVE OIL POUND CAKE
Makes 1 Bundt cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon  fresh lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream

Glaze (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a Bundt pan with olive oil. In a small bowl...combine the flours...baking powder...baking soda...salt...and poppy seeds. In a large bowl...beat the eggs with a handheld mixer...until light and slightly increased in volume. Add the sugar slowly while continuing to beat.The mixture will become light and fluffy. Slowly add the olive oil...then the lemon zest...lemon juice...and vanilla extract and beat another 2 minutes.

Alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the batter...beating between additions.Pour the batter in to the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the Bundt pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake in the pan to a cake or serving platter to cool completely.

If you are making the glaze ...just whisk the fresh lemon juice...powered sugar...and vanilla extract in a small bowl until the mixture has a smooth consistency. Drizzle over the cake...when the cake is cool.

Eat more cake,
Victoria

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SEPTEMBER OLIVE OIL RECIPES 2016 IN CELEBRATION OF THE FALL EQUINOX

September 22nd ...is the Fall Equinox...officially the first day of the Fall or Autumn season. With the harvest season in full swing this month...what better way to celebrate this day and the beginning of this wonderful cycle of the year than to get in your kitchen and make a great tasting loaf of bread for those you love...including yourself.

Bread has a long tradition of being a symbol of prosperity... as wheat...the main ingredient used in bread...was once used as a form of money...and still is...a source of income for today's farmers.

Bread in its many forms and ingredients is a world wide food and in many cultures eaten daily. Bread is also a symbol of hospitality...and in many countries...a loaf of fresh bread is always taken to the host or hostess...as a gift...when one is asked over for dinner.

Bread is more than just a piece of bread that you eat...it has such a long history of literal...cultural...and religious significance...and is truly a food steeped in history and tradition... for all of humankind.

As September is the harvest season...I thought it would be nice for you to make this wonderful bread recipe...in the form of muffins...because everyone loves to use their hands eating tasty morsels of goodness. These muffins will be a symbol  of "prosperity" for all you have harvested this year...which of course includes the star ingredient this month...olive oil!

FALL EQUINOX

OLIVE OIL ROSEMARY BREAD MUFFINS

4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using an electric mixer...beat the eggs at high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and continue to beat until mixture is very foamy and pale in color. With the mixer running...drizzle in the olive oil. Fold in the rosemary. In a separate bowl...combine the flour...baking powder...and the salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and combine gently.

Divide the batter among 12 medium muffin tins that you have prepared by wiping each muffin tin with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown...and a knife comes out clean when you test them. Serve with real butter...and as you eat a muffin...think about all you have harvested this year...and give thanks for all of your prosperity,

Happy Fall Equinox to you
Victoria

Saturday, September 10, 2016

SEPTEMBER OLIVE OIL RECIPES 2016

SEPTEMBER OLIVE OIL RECIPES...

With the cooler weather...that September brings... the inner nudge to get in your kitchen and putter...stir...measure and cook... rings true for most of us. Preparing and cooking good...seasonal food is an art...and allows you to express your own creative juices as well as be the perfect avenue to nurture yourself and those you love..with the smells...and taste of really wonderful and enticing dishes.

This month I bring to you...and your kitchen...recipes containing olive oil...that wonderful natural elixir that has been used for thousands of years...to turn any recipe that you use olive oil in...a true feast.

Last posting I mentioned to you...that the taste of olive oils varies from country to country...some olive oils are nutty...or fruity in flavor...while others have a peppery or even grassy taste. Just experiment with different olive oils from diverse regions of the world...until you find the one that you and your family enjoy the most...but one important tip to remember...the greener in color the olive oil is...the better quality the olive oil is.


Below is a very simple chicken recipe...that will be a go to recipe for you time and time again. Great for a family supper...but fit for a company dish too.


LEMONY ROAST CHICKEN
Serves 4

1 3 1/2 pound chicken cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
10 cloves fresh garlic thinly sliced
1 lemon peel removed and pulp chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Place the olive oil...rosemary...lemon juice...garlic...lemon...and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow roasting pan...and stir well. Next add the chicken...and marinade for at least 1 to 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 475 degrees. Arrange the chicken pieces in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and pour the remaining marinade on top of the chicken. Roast the chicken...turning once...about 30 to 40 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately. I would serve this dish with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes and a green salad, Enjoy!



Remember...nothing says love...like something homemade!

Victoria


Thursday, September 1, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS SEPTEMBER 2016

September musings...I take a big sigh of relief...when September rolls in. I am not a fan of hot weather...that the Summer season brings...so September  brings with it...the promise of cooler weather...and the first signals of Fall.

And with the change of the season this month...from Summer to Autumn...the inner nudging of "nesting"...and "gathering in" speaks to me...and to you...and all living things...in this ever changing circle of life.

One of my favorite Autumn rituals...is to watch the squirrels scamper around in my back yard... finding acorns and other seeds...to store up for the coming Winter.They search...find...and then stuff their cheeks to bulging...then climb as fast as they can to their homes in the trees...packing in as much food as they can in their "nests" to keep their bellies full during Winter months.My flowers...and shrubs...do their own "gathering in"...by shedding leaves and blooms...and seem to fold up...to protect themselves...for the coming cold weather.

I love to prepare too...for the coming season of Autumn...my own rhythms resonating with this more quiet and reflecting time. I ponder the year...my lessons...my life...my creativity...my changing seasons as a woman...and in doing my pondering...I learn about myself more deeply...and really about life...as well.

It is not the things I bought...nor the new outfit or shoes I acquired...along the way... that I remember fondly...but the moments with loved ones or friends...or that beautiful sunset...that I "gathered in" ... nesting close to my heart...that I recall easily...and with warm feelings I was blessed with this year. You see...it has never been...about the material world...for me...but about the experience and good feelings of the heart and soul of my life...that makes me come alive...and truly live.

I find myself...in a season of my own life...where home and family...friends and nature...matter even more to me than ever before. My heart...and soul seem to yearn for the basics...for the real and authentic...in simple living...and big meaningful experiences.

Because my soul...is speaking very loudly to me...to return to a more simple...authentic way of life...I am also smitten with the creative idea of old-fashioned everything...especially cooking...and herbs...so this month of sweet and soothing September...you will find me in my kitchen...measuring spices...stirring up batters...and whipping up good healthy food...using only the very best seasonal ingredients. My love of cooking...has always been a passion of mine...but I want to experiment this season...with different spices...  food cultures... making chocolates...and homemade cheese...you know... cooking on a different level...with different textures...tastes... smells...and the traditions of food...and it's people from far off lands. A person can discover unknown aspects about themselves through cooking and food...and this is what my heart yearns for...in this present season of my life.

And have I shared with you my love of history and tradition? Well to me...history...tradition...and the pleasures of cooking and eating go hand to hand....plate to fork...fork to mouth...heart to heart...so I invite you my wonderful reader...to follow me this month of September...as I cook and share with you...my recipes...from my kitchen to yours!


Happy cooking and eating to you,
Victoria


THE HISTORY OF OLIVE OIL

This month I want to focus on the long history and world traditions of cooking with olive oil.The wonderful taste of olive oil...is to savor history in the making... enjoy timeless food cultural traditions.. and to taste the earth itself.

If that isn't wonderful enough for you...olive oil has many health benefits too. Some of the longest living humans on earth...are those that eat olive oil everyday...because olive oil reduces heart disease risk...lowers high blood pressure...reduces the risk of stroke...and maintains healthy cholesterol levels.

Olive oil also improves your skin and hair health.

The use and pressing of olive oil is currently documented no earlier than 2500 BC...although olives were first domesticated in the Mediterranean some 6,000 years ago.

The original use of olive oil...was for lamp fuel...pharmaceutical ointment...and in traditional rituals for anointing royalty...warriors and others.

Cooking with olive oil began at least as long ago as the 5th-4th century BC.



THE PLEASURES OF COOKING WITH OLIVE OIL

I love olive oil...I mean really good extra-virgin olive oil...and certainly not just one region of the world...but all regions...as they do taste different from country to country. I cook everything in olive oil...and even substitute olive oil...in baking...instead of vegetable oil. It makes everything you bake...more moist...and taste better. I want you to believe me...so below is my recipe for an olive oil cake.


OLIVE OIL CAKE
Serves 8

This is a very moist and delicious cake...serve as is...or with fresh fruit. A piece of this cake is also a great snack or breakfast too...with fruit and yogurt.

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
powered sugar to serve

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 (9 inch) cake pans...by coating lightly with olive oil...and dusting lightly with flour.

In a large bowl...mix together the eggs...and the sugar. When well blended...add the olive oil...milk...lemon juice and lemon zest...and mix well.

In a separate bowl...mix together the flour...baking powder...baking soda and salt.Add this mixture to the eggs and stir just until blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and remove from the pans, Dust the cakes with powered sugar and serve,

Enjoy!