Havasu Olive and Garlic

Havasu Olive and Garlic was high on my list of places I wanted to check out when I moved here to Lake Havasu City. It took a few months, but I was finally able to check it out this week. 
It's a family-owned business and soon they will be celebrating 10 years in business. 

The first thing that hit me when I walked in was the wall full of vats of olive oil. 



If I counted right, there are 30 different types.

Then there are the olives and garlic, and the olives stuffed with garlic and other things. 

Not to mention the wall of different flavored pasta and even some gluten-free offerings. 


Have I told you about the variety of pickled veggies like okra, asparagus, pearl onions, etc...


Then there are the flavored salts, BBQ sauces, and other condiments. I think I'm getting dizzy with all the options available. 


I really wanted to buy one of everything they have, I probably eventually will but for now, this is what I bought. 

I have never seen gluten-free orzo so of course I have to try it. I love the shape of Mafaldine and decided to Google it. It's a sad story but there's a great recipe attached to it.

I haven't met a gadget yet that I didn't like so, of course, I had to get the olive stuffer. I'm thinking I could use it for stuffing garlic slivers into lamb and pork roasts too, why should only the olives have all the fun. The black truffle oil is going into the safe along with my treasured saffron. I've not seen green pea pasta before so I have to give it a try. 


I'm surprised I have any olives left, I could eat them all in one sitting if I let myself. They are garlic stuffed gordal olives I'm going back for more.


I picked up 3 bottles of olive oil, two flavored, and one unflavored. the unflavored is made from Cobrancosa olives.
I did a taste testing of the oils and the first words that came to my mind were rich and buttery. It will be really hard for me to get an olive oil off the grocery store shelf now that I'm spoiled.

Next oil I get will be one of the savory ones, I'm leaning toward the wild mushroom and sage. We'll see. 

I'm sure I'll be posting a pasta recipe pretty soon, I'm already working out some recipes in my head.

And that's that!

Retro 50's Dinner Party

I bought the cookbook Retro Recipes from the ’50s and ’60s. My nieces Laurie, Ge and I decided to throw a 50’s themed dinner party. 
We got together to choose which recipes we wanted to make, that in itself was a lot of fun. My niece Laurie chose to make Salisbury steak and green bean casserole, Ge chose chicken and wild rice, and rice crispy treats. I chose to make rumaki, meatballs in grape jelly and strawberry pretzel salad.

The dish in the foreground is the Salisbury steak, then the chicken with rice Ge made, she's becoming quite the cook.  They were both so good. They are on my "I want to make this" list and I'm sure I will soon. 
, KCBp_8619
I quickly remembered why I don't make rumaki very often. They are a pain in the neck to make, they are slippery little devils. 
To the right of the rumaki is the pretzel strawberry salad, it was delicious, how can you go wrong with salty, sweet and crunchy. 

No '50s party is complete without the obligatory green bean casserole and meatballs in grape jelly. Laurie was thoughtful enough to use almond milk in the recipe knowing my "issues" with dairy, she even used fresh green beans, what a gal. 

I don’t even want to talk about the meatballs. The recipe in the cookbook didn’t look right to me, I thought the last time I made the meatballs in grape jelly sauce (a hundred or so years ago) it was made with the grape jelly and chili sauce, this recipe called for the jelly and BBQ sauce.
I didn’t do my due diligence and search for what I thought was right but followed the recipe. All you could taste was the BBQ sauce, the jelly was totally lost in there, so I added more jelly, at least it toned down the BBQ sauce a little. They were still very good, but not what they are supposed to be. I’ll post the “real” recipe not the one from the cookbook.

I'm sure they had lumpia in the Philippines in the '50s. We are a multi-cultural family ya' know. 

Served buffet style, then we dined Al fresco on the patio. 

No one could start eating until we all took pictures of the food. 
That's Tom, when his daughter saw him dancing she laughed so hard I thought she was going to wet her pants. We all did a lot of dancing, not as well as we did years ago, but fun anyway. 

Here are the recipes. 
Print No peek chicken and wild rice
Print Salisbury steak
Print Rumaki
Print Strawberry Pretzel Salad
The real Meatballs in grape jelly sauce

And that's that!

Pan-seared Thyme Butter-Basted Tenderloin Steak

I was home alone for dinner the other night, what a treat!!!! A good time to indulge myself in a thick pan-seared, thyme, butter-basted steak. I followed the directions on Serious Eats. I had a small tenderloin that turned out absolutely perfect.




First salt and pepper both sides of the steak and set aside.


Thinly slice some shallots and brown in the fat of your choice, I usually use a pat of butter with a little olive oil. 

Wipe out the pan you cooked the shallots in, add a little oil and get it screaming hot over a medium-high flame. 

Add the steak and keep flipping it until a golden-brown crust starts to develop. Add a couple of tablespoons of butter and a few sprigs of thyme, or rosemary. I added thyme, I think even a few leaves of fresh sage would be wonderful. Fried sage leaves are great. 
Very carefully tip the pan so the butter collects toward the side of the pan. Keep basting and flipping the steak until your desired doneness is achieved.
Using an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the steak, the temperature should read 120-125*F for medium-rare and 130* for medium
Add the cooked shallots back to the pan right before serving. Drizzle the perfect steak with the butter, thyme, and shallots. Enjoy

Now, I'm not_that_selfish that I wait for everyone else to have other plans so I can have a perfectly prepared steak, I have prepared steak for everyone in the past, but only twice. The first time some asked for their steaks well-done. O.K. even though well-done steak goes against the grain, (no pun intended) I understand that's just how they like their meat served, after a mild protest from me I accommodated them. The next time I prepared, actually grilled, steaks for everyone a couple more wanted well-done, o.k. I was getting used to that by now, but when one of the well-done diners asked for ketchup, I could hardly keep my composure (and you know who you are). Ergo, no more steak for you.
K my little tangent is over, for now.  
I hope you try cooking your next steak this way, I think you'll love it. 

And that's that!

Mystery snack a.k.a. !What the Heck!

The cooking group I participate in is not only informative and fun but can get a bit wacky at times, which is why I fit in so well. 
One of our participants who shall remain nameless, Karen Burns, posted about this snack.


I don't remember where she said she got it from or even is she did. It's quite an unusual combination that believe it or not, works. 
On a Ritz type cracker, put a dollop of peanut butter, then a small dollop of horseradish on top of that and pop it in your mouth. 

I thought it would be fun to do a mystery tasting with some friends and family. I didn't tell anyone what they were eating, I'm just so happy they are adventurous and willing to try just about anything, and that they trust me, well, at least to a certain extent. 


After inspecting the cracker and a little sniffing a tentative bite was taken. 

What The Heck!!

I love the doubletake here.

No one thought it was horseradish, I heard ginger discussed which probably would be pretty good too. 

Now I think I need to work on a wine pairing for this. LOL

And that's that!

First Annual Memorial Day Chili Cookoff

It's a good thing my family is flexible, well, we are either extremely flexible or extremely bored and are game for anything at the last minute. We decided on Thursday to have a chili cookoff on Sunday. I love my family.

Since we all think our chili is the best, we decided that we are all first place winners and voted for the one that we thought was the second best chili. 
Here's the winning bowl of chili. 

You will want this recipe, trust me...

Continue reading "First Annual Memorial Day Chili Cookoff " »

Make your own pizza, party

Gaëlle, our French student, (on the left) invited a few of her friends over for pizza. She didn't tell them they would be making their own pizzas. They have never done this before and had so much fun. 


I made a batch of pizza dough using the Pioneer Woman's recipe. It's easy peasy and so reliable.
All they had to do was pull off a clump of dough and shape their pizza.


Their topping choices were pizza sauce, pesto, olive oil, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese, roasted red peppers, pepperoni, sausage, taco seasoned ground beef, tomatoes, olives, onion, arugula, and fresh basil. 


Once the dough is shaped, (the heart shape was purely unintentional but I do love our students) the dough is placed on the grill over medium-high heat. 
Grill on one side only, then remove from the grill. The toppings will be put on the already grilled side then put the dough back on the grill uncooked side down to finish cooking.  


Return the topped pizzas to the grill, uncooked side down and continue grilling until cooked through and a bit crispy.

Yppie Skippie, not one pizza landed on the ground.


We had a real feast and it was fun trying everyone's creations. 

This and a green salad was all we needed. 

Later they gathered around the firepit and made S'mores. I heard they were up until 3:00 a.m. Love having them around. 

And that's that!

Sour Cream Cookies

One of my recent cookbooks, Milk Bar Life, not only has great recipes but is a fun read. 
This recipe for sour cream cookies is among one of my favorites.  


They are crunchy when you bite into them, but then you hit the soft, almost cake-like interior. They're not too sweet. 
If you'd like them a little sweeter, you can dip them into the optional sour cream glaze. 

I baked them on the middle rack of the oven but they did take a little longer to bake than the recipe says. MIght be my oven. 

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Sour Cream Cookies; Milk Bar Life


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 /1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
----Sour Cream Glaze
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup sour cream

Heat oven to 375*F
Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the
paddle attachment and cream on high until light and fluffy, about 2
minutes. Add the egg and sour cream and mix until incorporated, about 1
minute. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and mix until
well combined, about 30 seconds.
Though rather wet, the cookie dough is dangerously good at this
With a 1 or 2 tablespoon ice cream scoop, scoop the dough onto greased or
lined baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between scoops. Or, if you don't have
a small scoop, use a tablespoon, but work to make even smooth scoops to
mimic a scoop when dropping the dough, as the cookies spread and can end up
looking super-messy.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes for smaller cookies or 9 to 11 minutes for large
ones, until the tops are golden brown. Allow to cool completely before
removing them from the baking sheet.
If glazing the cookies, dunk the top of each cookie in the glaze. Or, if
you're worried about getting your fingers dirty, use the back of a spoon or
butter knife to spread the glaze atop each one.

Sour Cream Glaze;
makes about 1/2 cup
Prepare the glaze just before you are ready to use
Mix together the confectioners' sugar and sour cream in a small bowl with a
spoon until smooth.

Notes: Milk Bar Life Cookbook

Yield: 2 dozen small

Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.91

And that's that!