More importantly, I like the creativity and intrigue of cooking. I love to peruse cookbooks, the internet, Pinterest… all for recipes that sound, well, a little odd. Kinda like, I’m either gonna LOVE it… or, perhaps, epic fail not-so-much. Yep. I love trying new recipes, new restaurants, new chefs, new combinations of foods… outa the box kinda stuff. Now if you knew my family (of orgin), you would get a chuckle out of this. They are a “meat and potatoes, very basic, no condiments (of ANY kind)” sorta fam. My sister won’t even TOUCH a bottle of mustard. Literally. In our home we have a minimum of at least four or five different varieties of mustard at any given time. Ya. My brothers and sisters look at me as a bit of a freak an odd bird. About a LOT of things, actually… but let’s keep to the subject of food for now.
So yesterday I was thinking about dindin. While researching recipes for my spring newsletter, I stumbled across a recipe for zucchini corn pancakes (click HERE). Yum. The more I thought about them, the more obsessed I got. Let me just say that I was not disappointed. Garnished with a little Peach Salsa (Trader Joe’s), a dollop of sour cream (dairy free for me!) and a little minced cilantro… Boom! It was my lucky day because shrimp has been on sale (Fresh Market) so we had grilled shrimp and springtime oven roasted asparagus (both with a little Olive Tree olive oil) and some fresh blackberries. In a word… DELISH!
So… What’s next? Found a recipe for a family fav Indian dish that is prepared in a CROCK POT?? Served with a little “twist” on the usual basmati rice. Hmmm…
2 T. fresh grated orange peel OR 1 T. dried orange peel
2 eggs (room temp)
½ c. dried cranberries
1 ½ c. pistachio nuts
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate; chopped
½ T. OLIVE TREE Butter olive oil
Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil & sugar until well blended. Add vanilla & almond extracts along with orange peel, mixing well. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture & mix until evenly incorporated. Stir in pistachios & cranberries by hand.
Divide dough in half. (Dough will be very sticky!) Form two logs side by side (12” x 2”) on the parchment lined cookie sheet; several inches apart. (logs will spread during baking!) Bake for about 35 minutes, until logs are light brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 275 F. Set biscotti aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
Carefully transfer the logs to a cutting surface. Using a serrated knife, cut logs on the diagonal into ¾” slices. Arrange slices, cut side down, back on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8-10 minutes, or just until dry and golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Once the biscotti have completely cooled, place chopped chocolate and ½ T. OLIVE TREE Butter olive oil in a (DRY) microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds; stir; heat another 30 seconds; stir… until melted and combined. Dip the bottoms of the biscotti in the melted chocolate, and allow them to set, lying on their sides.
So why this recipe? Well… there’s a story. There’s ALWAYS a story. So my daughter and I don’t do dairy. It doesn’t like us. So when making my biscotti for Thanksgiving this year, I decided to try the butter olive oil from my dear friend, Mindy, at Olive Tree. (My very, very FAV place to buy olive oil and vinegars, BTW!) Loved the (buttery) flavor, so I took one in for her to taste. (Yes. One. Sorry Mindy. There were actually two left at the time. I ate the other one…) As it ends up, the very day that I popped into the store to drop it off is the same day that she had decided to team up with Jasper Mirabile (renowned chef, cookbook author, radio host and owner of Jasper’s Ristorante and Marco Polo Italian Market. Whew!!) for their first annual cookie contest together. So I decided to enter my Orange Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti (with my BUTTER olive oil from Olive Tree)… and I won 2nd place!! WooHoo!!! So exciting! So why not give the recipe a go, and let me know how they turn out! Better yet, bring some by and I would be happy to let you know what I think. I’m just nice like that. OK, Fine. Whatever. Just bring one. I understand if you simply must eat all the others. (wink, wink…)
A great big shout out and THANK YOU to Mindy and Jasper!! xoxo
“Calling all bakers! Live! From Jasper’s Kitchen Radio and Olive Tree have teamed up this year for our First Annual Cookie Contest. Submit your favorite holiday cookie using an Olive Tree olive oil and/or a balsamic vinegar and you could win BIG! … 1st Place – $100 Jasper’s Gift Certificate 2nd Place – $50 Olive Tree Gift Certificate…
3rd Place – Signed Jasper’s Cookbook
4th Place – Bottle of Jasper’s Blend Olive Oil from Olive Tree
Must be an original recipe. Entries must be submitted by December 18th and winner’s will be announced on Live From Jasper’s Kitchen show on Saturday, December 20th at 11:00 a.m. 710KCMO. Please send submissions to email@example.com or in person at Olive Tree 4937 W. 119th Street (Hawthorne Plaza).”