Recipe ideas with Fillipo Berio Olive Oil #imabzzagent

13 06 2012

There are many different kinds of oils jammed into my cupboard, but the one that’s sitting in front is Filippo Berio Olive Oil.  Filippo Berio is one of the brands that I like to buy, so I was excited to participate in the BzzCampaign. I’ve been brushing up on the health benefits to using olive oil over butter and other oils. Inspired to make some meaningful substitutions in our family’s diet, I started looking for more places to use it beyond the typical sauteed onions and garlic.

Once I started keeping track of how many things I can use olive oil in, I was surprised by how versatile it really is. With a bit of balsamic vinegar, a cutting of basil from the garden, and some salt and pepper, olive oil makes a tasty dressing for grape tomato halves. Adding a splash of olive oil to jarred spaghetti sauce makes it taste more like homemade. (And it only takes a tiny bit to keep cooked spaghetti from sticking to itself while trying to keep it warm until the kids have finished cleaning their room and are ready to eat dinner…that can be awhile!)

One of the new recipes I tried was this one for grilled pork from Leite’s Culinaria, using olive oil in place of the canola oil in the marinade. When I broiled the meat, the olive oil made a shiny crust on the outside of the meat just like canola oil would have. And, my goodness, the board dressing should not be optional! Using Filippo Berio Olive Oil gave it a bright, almost fruity flavor that really bounced off the sweetness of the meat. My family agreed that it had exceptional flavor, and ate it up before I could get a picture.

So, I made it a point to get some pictures of another flavorful dish, our family potatoes. During grilling season, we eat a lot of potatoes cooked on the grill in foil packets. Usually, I add butter, but have found that olive oil makes it a less heavy side dish and doesn’t burn as easily. This is an easy dish to make with kids, who love to shake the spices on! Here’s the recipe:

Family Potatoes Recipe:

1. Slice each potato into 8 wedges.

2. Add potatoes, enough olive oil to coat the pieces, and your choice of seasonings to a sturdy plastic bag. (Think beyond salt and pepper to rosemary, Old Bay, dill, etc.) Close and shake until coated.

3. Wrap in foil and throw on the grill or bake in 450 F oven about 20-30 minutes, turning once, until tender.

If you need more exactitude in your measurements, try this recipe for Oven Baked Parmesan Fries. Love them with freshly grated parm!

My next step is to find the Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil and start subbing it into my baking and desserts. Here’s some of the recipes I’ve found on Pinterest that I’m drooling over:

Olive Oil Granola (from a blog called “Love & Olive Oil,” no less)

Olive Oil & Sea Salt Palmiers (I didn’t think those could be made in a healthier way)

Olive Oil Pancakes (I love pancakes!)

 Do you have any recipes with olive oil that I should try too?

PS–Just a disclaimer, this is my own opinion of Filippo Berio Olive Oil. As a bzzagent, I got a free sample bottle as part of this BzzCampaign, but the opinions are all mine. You can take my review with a grain of salt…Or a whole sprinkle of salt over a small dish of olive oil with some crusty bread to dip in it. That would be nice.

Gifting the Grad

30 05 2012

If you do an internet search for graduation gift ideas, the first thing to pop up is usually money. Not my gift of choice. At least put a little a little thought into it. Money origami, anyone?

With several graduations coming up, I think I can do better.

I am plotting a gift basket for a college bound teen I know. Yes, “gift basket” sounds cheesy, but I was thinking more along the lines of a hip tote like these upcycled ones from TerraCycle. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a Clif Bar Duffel Bag teeming with some necessities they might not think of…like a pair of flip flops, s bottle of acetaminophen, those removable hooks that don’t mark up the walls…well, you get the idea.
And why not include some TLC for the grad’s hair? My new favorite line is Garnier Fructis. As a BzzAgent, I got to try the Sleek and Shine shampoo and conditioner. The smell is very light and, with the nourishing formula, makes for smooth, happy hair. I like how it virtually eliminated all my frizzies, but there’s several varieties to choose from to fit your needs. If you don’t know your grad’s hair type that well, go for something like Daily Care. Who wouldn’t want healthier hair? (I’m sure many teens would like this model’s hair too, but I can’t say that mine looks like that after using Sleek & Shine.) The product bottles are also made of less plastic, so there’s less weight to haul to the showers! They make a good fit with the TerraCycle bags, because Garnier is sponsoring a TC beauty brigade.

What would you put in a gifty tote for teens?

A Few of My Favorite Things (#imabzzagent)

14 11 2011

Here’s a few things going on right now that make me smile…

Orange Vegetables
Yes, my grocery bags are being overtaken by carrots, squashes and oranges. Maybe because of their sunny hue (it’s been quite grey weather since the rogue snowstorm on Halloween weekend) or maybe my body’s telling me I need some extra nutrients, but I can’t get enough lately! This curried carrot soup is on my list to try next even though I have a butternut/carnival squash lasagna in the freezer I should finish up first.

Springerle Molds
Watch out, Christmas cookie season is coming up fast! While I’m no expert on springerle, I am fascinated by the old-fashioned cookie molds. Our mom has a growing collection that I’m looking forward to trying out. Meanwhile, I’ll just drool over beauties like these leaves.

Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Care
Right now, I’m also loving Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin. Having three kids leaves little room for any fancy beauty routine and my skin is as finicky as my toddler at dinnertime. Being a BzzAgent gave me the chance to try the new Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Solutions for Sensitive Skin line. (That’s a mouthful to say!) So here’s my morning beautification schedule… Every morning, I use the facial cleaner in the shower. It’s thick but not irritating and rinses off quickly (Anyone with little kids knows there’s a limited time in the shower before they find where you’re hiding out). After getting dressed, I pump a little bit of Burt’s Bees daily moisturizing cream, slap it on my face, pull up my hair and go. I particularly like the gentle scent of the cream that doesn’t fight with any perfume I might wear.  And it comes in this cute pump bottle (I’m a sucker for clever packaging) A month later and my skin feels awesome! My face hasn’t broken out like other products I’ve tried. I should really be using the facial cleaner before I go to bed although I don’t see how my skin could be much softer. The Sensitive Night Cream is on my list to try next, so maybe I’ll start using the facial cleaner at the end of the day, if the baby ever stops teething and goes to bed on a regular schedule again. *sigh* Well, I always have my morning pampering! Keep an eye out for coupons to try Burt’s Bees for yourself, like from their facebook page (hint, hint!)


So what’s on your list of favorites this week?


Babies this weekend!

5 05 2010

The premier weekend for Babies (the film that is!)  is finally here!

Psychology Today has a great review:

Have you seen the preview yet? I am very anxious to hear more about how children are raised in different cultures. I think this is going to be a fascinating film!

See my other post here for the trailer, and then check out Babies on the TODAY Show:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all you moms out there!

Mom’s Bible: God’s Wisdom for Mothers, NCV (A Review)

16 02 2010

Moms Bible

This month, I had the chance to review Mom’s Bible: God’s Wisdom for Mothers. It’s a daily reading Bible, in the everyday-speech New Century Version (NCV) with supplemental notes from Bobbie Wolgemuth.

It’s hard to imagine a Bible with “improvements,” but Wolgemuth’s notes are unobtrusive and insightful. She’s a friendly voice to accompany you in a fresh discovery of God’s word. Her notes are rooted in Scripture and convey her love of God and her understanding of motherhood. She includes special sections like “Moms in the Bible” and “Passing it On” with ways to share a tradition of faith, as well as comprehensive indices.

I really like the “First Touch” verses which are printed in a different color than the regular text. I stumbled on a few while I was reading and the slight difference in color was enough to flag my attention, reread the lines and take the words to heart.

All the different aspects seem to flow well together. Personally though, I’d prefer a different biblical version and I miss having pages with navigational tabs. Overall, it would make a nice gift as the typeface and layout are easy on the eyes and the content enriches the soul.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. These are my opinions as I was not required to write a positive review.

Neutrogena Baby Sunscreen

12 05 2009

Last Friday, I received some sunscreen to try as part of a new campaign I’m participating in as a BzzAgent. It’s got an incredibly long, yet descriptive name: Neutrogena® Pure & Free Baby Sunblock Lotion SPF 60+ with PureScreen . According to Neutrogena, PureScreen is a “physical sunblock that creates a barrier between baby’s skin and the sun to provide instant broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.” You can also find Pure & Free Sunblock in a stick, which must be convenient to tote around in a purse or diaper bag.
Miraculously, the same afternoon that this package arrived, the rain that had plagued us all week let up and we were able to try it out right away. Our littlest munchkin is only 3 months old, so Bean got to be the guinea pig. I liked how easy the Neutrogena sunscreen was to rub in to her skin. It felt more like a lotion than a cream or paste. We have been using an all-natural, non-chemical sunscreen which is very thick and despite my best efforts, makes Bean look like the Michelin Man.
The Neutrogena brand also boasts a 60+ SPF, whereas our current brand is only 30+. I’ve heard that anything over 30 is just fluff; that the difference is really null, but in my experiences (of having pallid skin that burns brighter than a beet when someone even mentions sun), I can’t stand all-out sunshine without SPF 45 or greater. May 2009 012
Bean played outside for a couple hours and fared well without needing to reapply sunscreen. Of course, I made sure she had her hat on, and she would not let me forget her sunglasses—both are key elements to combatting those pesky sun-rays!
I still prefer the PABA free, non-chemical sunscreen because I want to balance the amount of chemical exposure Bean gets with the amount of time that she wants to be outside. Still, if Bean squirms and protests every time I slather it on, it’s nice to have an easy option.
I’d be happy to hear your opinions & experiences and find out what it is you look for in a sunscreen.

Would you like to try it? I have a few coupons to share, so let me know!