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.





Wordless Wednesday in MA

13 06 2012

Is this where I spent four years of my childhood? It still looks the same, except I think that tree got scruffier.





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 March things…

28 03 2012

As the month is wrapping up, here are a few thoughts and things happening around our house.

~Vegetables are making more regular appearances. When artistically displayed, they become even yummier. Here’s a lunchtime treat for two:

~My new favorite gift for kids: A dry erase board that clings to the wall plus some dry erase crayons. For a recent birthday party, we didn’t get this exact one, but it was something along those lines. Perfect for any the little ones who are just learning to write.

~Can’t wait to try this art project to make a brilliant cross: http://www.housingaforest.com/colorful-light-ray-cross/





Lenten Postcard Prayer Project

18 02 2012

Inspired by the Family Lent tradition shared by the Totus Tuus Family on their blog, we’ve decided to make an extra effort to prayer for our friends and family this Lent. We’ll spend the next few days gathering names on slips of paper in a basket. Then, during Lent, the kids can draw a name out at dinnertime and we’ll say a special prayer for that person.

I think it’s also important for us to share a little note with the people we pray for. I know it will help the kids make a more concrete connection with prayer. And hopefully, it’ll be a joy for the recipients to get a piece of happy mail.

I’ve made these postcards that the kids can personalize by coloring the flowers or even just signing their names. There is also space to write the recipient’s name at the top and the date. Yes, it’s going to be a big chunk of postage, but I think it’ll be worth it.

I invite you to download the file I made here. After downloading, just find some white or colorful cardstock, print the first page, flip it, print the 2nd page on the back, and cut into 4 cards.

{The cards were created with flower clip art from: http://openclipart.org and the Pea Kassidy from Kevin & Amanda at www.kevinandamanda.com/ }

Catholic IcingI’ve added this post to the Lenten Link-Up at Catholic Icing where you will find more ideas for celebrating a meaningful Lent.





Beautiful books

12 02 2012

We love our library and all the new children’s books just waiting to be discovered. Here’s a fun author I came across recently…

If you’re a sucker for chubby penguins, you need to check out the works of Oliver Jeffers. Up and Down is my new favorite. It also explains why penguins don’t fly. I stumbled on a special video of the author reading Up and Down: http://www.upanddownbook.com/ It’s an awesome teaser to the story. While you’re there, check out the fun activity sheets!

And while you’re adding new treasures to your kids’ bookshelf, why not submit a picture to the “Around the World in 100 Bookshelves” project. Taking a picture of ours is on my to-do list…





More Favorite Things This Week

24 01 2012

Here’s a few happy things going on around here…

The New England Aquarium
They certainly have a lot of resources for planning a trip to the aquarium! Our upcoming trip will be a good wrap-up for our homeschool unit on penguins. I’m also very curious to find what new study units it will inspire. Sharks? Seals? Seadragons? I have a feeling it might be lobsters as my kids can’t take a trip to the grocery store without visiting their ornery crustacean friends.

Brrr!
A cute little game to learn letter sounds or sight words or …. Simple to learn and even easier to adapt to your child’s needs. A must-have freebie!

Kevin and Amanda Fonts

I get the cutest handwriting fonts at Fonts for Peas! kevinandamanda.com/fontsI’ve discovered kevinandamanda.com with loads of free fonts…that are actually cute & useful! Pea Cassie is my new go-to font when typing things for Bean because it’s sweet and easy to read.

 

 

What are your favorites this week?