DIY Infused Olive Oil

DIY Infused Olive Oil

infused olive oilI just love infused olive oil!  But have you seen the price of infused olive oil at those specialty stores?  Yup, they can cost a pretty penny!

You might be wondering what’s the big deal with infused olive oil and what is it used for.  Infused olive oil adds flavor to just about anything!  You can use it in marinades and dressings; drizzle it on anything you want to add flavor to, even scrambled eggs; you can add it to your cooking oil to give fried food some extra zing; and it makes a quick appetizer, just pour some into a small plate and dip bread in the oil, it’s delicious!

I used to buy infused olive oil from those specialty shops.  With all it’s uses I figured it was worth the splurge.  But I recently discovered just how easy it is to make infused olive oil.  So I’ve been making my own.  I make infused vinegar too!

I love making my own infused olive oil because I can infuse it with anything I want.  In reality you can infuse olive oil with just about anything, but be careful when using fresh ingredients.

Fresh ingredients, such as garlic cloves and herbs, have a high water content.  The water when combined with the oil is a perfect medium for growing botulism toxin and you don’t want to do that!

To keep my infused olive oil botulism free I use only dried ingredients.  You can of course use fresh ingredients (I know a fresh sprig of rosemary floating in oil is so pretty).  When using fresh ingredients be sure you store your oil in the refrigerator and discard after 3 months.

Having said that here’s how I make infused olive oil!

Materials:

Jars or bottles with sealable lids or caps  – I used glass Woosey hot sauce bottles with shrink capsules I got from Amazon.  But you can use Mason jars or whatever you have handy

Funnel

Ladle

Large pots

Measuring spoons

Tongs

Kitchen Thermometer

Ingredients:

1 large bottle of extra virgin olive oil

Dried Minced Garlic

Dried Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary

Crushed Red Pepper

Directions:

infused olive oilPlace jars or bottles in a large pot and fill with water.  Be sure all the containers are covered with water.

Boil on the stove for about 10 minutes.[spacer height=”-20px”]

infused olive oilCarefully remove hot containers from pot using tongs and place them on a clean towel to dry.

Make sure the inside of the containers are dry before filling the bottles.

Using a funnel put 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of each dry ingredient into your container.

Set herb filled bottles aside while you heat your oil.

Pour olive oil in large pot and place it on the stove over medium heat.

Heat oil until it reaches 180° – do not boil

Remove from heat

infused olive oilUsing a ladle fill your containers with the hot oil.  Fill to about 1″ from the top.

Screw on caps or lids.

Store in a cool dry place for about 4 weeks before using.  Once  you open it store oil in the fridge for up to 3 months.

This recipe will make 24 – 5oz. bottles.

If you want to be fancy print labels you can stick on the bottles, that’s what I did!

I recently made a batch to include in the pasta salad kits I gave out on Christmas.  Infused Olive Oil make great gifts and favors.  I used some of the oil as favors for my husband’s Godfather themed birthday party, but that’s another article!

 

Infused Vinegar
 

DIY Infused Vinegar

DIY Infused Vinegar

infused vinegarInfused Vinegar has become a very popular gourmet staple.  You’ll find them in grocery stores and specialty shops.  They can cost a pretty penny!

You might be wondering why you need infused vinegar and what you’d use it for.  Infused vinegar can be used for so many different things depending on what type of vinegar is infused.

Infused vinegar can be made with Balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar.

You can infuse vinegar with fruits, herbs, or spices.  Fruit infused balsamic vinegar can be reduced and used as a topping on ice cream and other desserts.  Vinegars infused with herbs and spices make great salad dressings, marinades, and dipping sauces.  In short you can use them on almost anything!

You can splurge on a pricey bottle of infused vinegar or you can make your own at home.  It’s fairly easy and very inexpensive.  Now a word of caution, vinegar infused with fresh herbs and fruit can grow toxins and cause botulism poisoning.  That’s because fresh ingredients contain lots of water which when released into the vinegar makes the perfect medium for growing the toxin.

If you choose to infuse vinegar with fresh fruits or herbs you MUST store it in the refrigerator for no longer than 3 months.  Check it before each use for mold and discard if you see it.

To avoid this issue and to make infused vinegar that can sit at room temperature I use only dried ingredients.  Dried herbs and spices have little or no water content therefore are less likely to grow toxins.  This time I will show you how to make infused white vinegar, but the technique is the same for any other type of vinegar.

Materials:

Jars or bottles with sealable lids or caps  – I used glass Woosey hot sauce bottles with shrink capsules I got from Amazon.  But you can use Mason jars or whatever you have handy

Funnel

Ladle

Large pots

Measuring spoons

Tongs

Kitchen Thermometer

Ingredients:

infused vinegar1 Gallon White Vinegar

Dried Minced Garlic

Dried Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary

Crushed Red Pepper

[spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

Directions:

infused vinegarPlace jars or bottles in a large pot and fill with water.  Be sure all the containers are covered with water.

Boil on the stove for about 10 minutes.

Carefully remove hot containers from pot using tongs and place them on a clean towel to dry.

Make sure the inside of the containers are dry before filling the bottles.

 

Using a funnel put 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of each dry ingredient into your container.

infused vinegar

infused vinegar

Set herb filled bottles aside while you heat your vinegar.

Pour vinegar in large pot and place it on the stove over medium heat.

Heat vinegar until it reaches 180° – do not boil

Remove from heat

Using a ladle fill your containers with the hot vinegar.  Fill to about 1″ from the top.

Screw on caps or lids.

Store in a cool dry place for about 4 weeks before using.  Once  you open it store vinegar in the fridge for up to 3 months.

If you want to be fancy print labels you can stick on the bottles.

infused vinegar

This recipe will fill 24 – 5oz. bottles.

Once you’ve made your first batch you’ll be a pro!  Experiment with different ingredients and use them for different things.  I find strawberry infused balsamic vinegar delicious over ice cream!

Infused vinegars make wonderful gifts.  I made a batch last Christmas to include in the Pasta Kits I gave out!

 

 

Healthy & Yummy Veggie Stir Fry

Healthy & Yummy Veggie Stir Fry

Veggie Stir Fry

In my effort to change our eating habits to something a bit healthier than meat and potatoes I make a meatless meal at least once a week.  One of my favorites is this Veggie Stir Fry.

It’s amazing how filling and tasty a simple meal of healthy veggies can be.  This week I made this dinner of zucchini, spinach, and tomatoes.  It was delicious, my husband loved it.  You can serve it with a piece of whole grain bread if you wish; the bread is great for dipping in the juices.

You can also serve this dish as an appetizer or side dish.  It’s so good!  It goes great with barbecued and roasted meats.

Ingredients:

1 large organic zucchini, cut into 2″- 3″ strips

1 cup fresh organic spinach

1/2 cup organic cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tbls. organic coconut oil

1 tbls. minced garlic

1 tsp. cayenne red pepper

Sea Salt to taste

Directions:

1.  Heat oil over medium heat

2.  Add garlic, sautee until it turns golden, stir constantly

3.  Add zucchini, cook until it starts to soften about 5-6 minutes, stir constantly

4.  Add tomatoes, cook until juices start to come out, stir constantly

5.  Add spinach, cook until leaves wilt and turn bright green, stir contantly

6.  Add pepper and salt

Serve while warm.

Healthy & Yummy Veggie Stir Fry
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Healthy & Yummy Veggie Stir Fry
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Heat oil over medium heat
  2. Add garlic, sautee until it turns golden, stir constantly
  3. Add zucchini, cook until it starts to soften about 5-6 minutes, stir constantly
  4. Add tomatoes, cook until juices start to come out, stir constantly
  5. Add spinach, cook until leaves wilt and turn bright green, stir contantly
  6. Add pepper and salt
  7. Serve while warm.
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Devon’s Easy Corn Bread Recipe – Delicious!

Devon’s Easy Corn Bread Recipe – Delicious!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I know you’ve just finished putting the bird in the oven for today’s big feast.  That’s usually how it works at my house, and probably at most of the homes in the country!  Anyway, by dinner time I will be so over the turkey dinner and wondering what to make for dinner this weekend.  (I’m hoping all the leftovers are gone by then!)

corn breadWell I know after Thanksgiving the last thing I want to do is make yet another elaborate meal!  I try to stick with something simple without poultry!  One of our go to favorites is Chili with Corn Bread.  It’s super easy, feeds a crowd, filling, and delicious!

Now I’ve never been a big fan of corn bread, although I must admit it goes great with Chili.  But last month we sent my grandson Devon to cooking classes at the community park.  On his first day of class he brought home corn bread.  I had assumed it was from a mix, you know like that Jiffy corn bread mix you can buy at the grocery store.  I’ve made corn bread from that mix, it was barely ok.  Maybe that’s why I’m not such a corn bread fan, I’ve never been able to find the perfect one.

Well let me tell you the corn bread Devon made was incredible!  No mix for Devon, they made it from scratch!  But he didn’t have the recipe.  I sent him back the next week to ask for the recipe.  They must have had several requests because Devon came home with the printed recipe.

This corn bread is fluffy and light with just enough sweetness.  It’s got a more cake like consistency.  Oh ya, it’s buttery too!

Now Devon proudly makes this delicious corn bread for our family.  We all love it!  We serve it with chili, a good fall comfort food when it’s a bit chilly outside!  It also goes great with our Sunday barbecues!  It will also go beautifully with our Cheesy Chili Mac!

I thought I’d share the recipe with you!  I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we do!  By the way you can whip this up in less than an hour, and that includes baking time!

Ingredients:

2 Sticks butter, melted

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Milk

3 Eggs, beaten

2 Cups Bisquick

1/3 Cup Yellow Corn Meal

1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°

Place milk in large mixing bowl and add melted butter, stir

Add sugar and stir well

Add eggs and stir well

Mix Bisquick, Corn Meal, and Baking soda together

Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir until all lumps are dissolved

Pour into 9×13 baking pan

Bake 25 Minutes.

Let Cool and slice.

corn bread

 

 

Devon's Corn Bread
Print Recipe
Cook Time
25 Minutes
Cook Time
25 Minutes
Devon's Corn Bread
Print Recipe
Cook Time
25 Minutes
Cook Time
25 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  2. Place milk in large mixing bowl and add melted butter, stir
  3. Add sugar and stir well
  4. Add eggs and stir well
  5. Mix Bisquick, Corn Meal, and Baking soda together
  6. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir until all lumps are dissolved
  7. Pour into 9x13 baking pan
  8. Bake 25 Minutes. Let Cool and slice.
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Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe!

Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe!

Cheesy Chili Mac is usually served during rainy and cold seasons. It is packed with vitamins and minerals that is good for your kids. Besides of its very easy to prepare and to cook, it is also a budget meal and 100% sure that your kids going to love this and beg for more cause it tastes cheesy rich and flavorful.

This is my version of Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe!Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups uncooked macaroni noodles

1 cup frozen corn kernels

15 oz. can kidney beans

1 ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

15 oz. can pinto beans

15 oz. can black beans

15 oz. can dice tomatoes

15 oz. can tomato sauce

2 ½ cups vegetable broth

2 tbsp. flour

2 tbsp. chili powder

2 cloves garlic

1 pc. yellow onion

1 tbsp. virgin olive oil

 

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat, pour in olive oil then add and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes or until onions are soft and transparent.

Then add the flour and chilli powder, continue to stir for about 2 minutes, or until flour and chilli powder begin to coat the bottom of the pot.

Drain and rinse the kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans.

Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoe the 3 kinds of beans, the corn, and the vegetable broth to the pot.

Stir very well to dissolve any flour and chilli powder off the bottom of the pot.

Add the uncooked macaroni noodles and stir well.

Turn the heat up to medium high, and let it boil. Stir every other minute to loosen the noodles from the bottom of the pot as it heats up.

When it boils, turn the heat down to low so it continues to simmer gently. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thick and saucy.

Stir frequently as it simmers just to make sure the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

When the pasta is tender, you can now add the shredded cheddar and stir until melted.

Serve while it’s hot.

Share with your family and friends! Enjoy!

Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe!
Print Recipe
Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe!
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, pour in olive oil then add and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes or until onions are soft and transparent.
  2. Then add the flour and chilli powder, continue to stir for about 2 minutes, or until flour and chilli powder begin to coat the bottom of the pot.
  3. Drain and rinse the kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoe the 3 kinds of beans, the corn, and the vegetable broth to the pot.
  5. Stir very well to dissolve any flour and chilli powder off the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the uncooked macaroni noodles and stir well.
  7. Turn the heat up to medium high, and let it boil. Stir every other minute to loosen the noodles from the bottom of the pot as it heats up.
  8. When it boils, turn the heat down to low so it continues to simmer gently. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thick and saucy.
  9. Stir frequently as it simmers just to make sure the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  10. When the pasta is tender, you can now add the shredded cheddar and stir until melted.
  11. Serve while it’s hot.
  12. Share with your family and friends! Enjoy!
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Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Something Different This Year?

Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Something Different This Year?

Thanksgiving side dishesSure enough Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Many of us are still wondering where the year went, it sure went by fast!  I’m wondering what Thanksgiving Side Dishes I should make this year!

Okay, just about everyone makes a turkey on Thanksgiving, and there are some Thanksgiving Side Dishes that are “traditional”.  I mean if those side dishes aren’t my my Thanksgiving table I’d face a full  on riot!  At my house (and probably lots of other houses across the country) that means Green Bean Casserole, Homemade Applesauce, Bread Stuffing, Corn, Candied Yams, and Macaroni Salad.  But every year I like to add something different to this traditional line up.  I mean I know enough not to mess with the bird, as the saying goes “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!”, but a Thanksgiving Side Dish, now that gives me a bit of room to play.

Over the years I’ve tried various Thanksgiving Side Dishes.  Most went well although there were a few that just didn’t work, so we won’t even do those again!

Here’s a few Thanksgiving Side Dishes that were big hits in my family.  Actually some of them make great appetizers too!

thanksgiving side dishesRoasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs

It’s a new twist on an old favorite.  It makes a great Thanksgiving Side Dish or appetizer!

Best of all it’s super easy!

Click here for recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

thanksgiving side dishesSun Dried Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This is very popular!  Serve it with Pita Chips, it’s delish!

Click here for recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

thanksgiving side dishesVeggie Stir Fry

I love, love, love this vegan recipe!  I serve it as a side dish on Sunday night barbecues, and on Meatless days it makes a great meal!

Click here for recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

 

thanksgiving side dishesGarlic Knots

Ditch the dinner rolls and make these awesome Garlic Knots.  You won’t regret it!

Click here for recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

thanksgiving side dishesBreaded Zucchini

These are too yummy!  It’s a great way to get kids to eat their veggies!

Click here for recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving side dishesShrimp Scampi Cheese Dip

This is to die for!  Make several, you’ll need it!

Click here for recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

thanksgiving side dishesFilipino Style Macaroni Salad

Here’s a new twist on Macaroni Salad.  Try it!

Click here for recipe![spacer height=”-20px”]