Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar & White Truffle EVOO over Linguine, Kevin of Lakewood, NJ

Thank you SO much Kevin for turning me on to this combination.  I met Kevin at the Jersey Shore Wine Festival!

This is amazing!  Just drizzle some DIVINO Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar & DIVINO White Truffle EVOO over the best liguine you can get your hands on.  City2Shore Gourmet will be selling imported liguine and penne from Italy but only at a few markets.

Just try this combination . . . .O.M.B.  I could NOT believe how good this is!!

Steamed Carrots w/Toasted Hazlenuts & Blood Orange EVOO – Bonnie, King of Prussia PA

Not sure how long ago Bonnie shared this idea with me but here it is.  Haven’t made it myself as my parents aren’t fans of hazlenuts (but I am) but I do know how good DIVINO Blood Orange EVOO is on carrots!

First chop up hazelnuts, toss them in DIVINO Blood Orange EVOO and then toast in your toaster oven.  Thinly slice your carrots and steam them.  Drain then toss with infused toasted hazlenuts and serve.  Easy peasy . . .sounds yum!

Thanks again Bonnie for sharing!

Zippy Mango Side Dish w/Coconut Balsamic Vinegar – Jen, Forked River, NJ

This was given to me by Jen of Forked, River, NJ! This sounds amazing – a wonderful quick side dish.

Mango – chopped
Red Onion – chopped
Jalepeno – chopped (I would take the seeds out myself or just leave a few)
Cilantro – chopped

She combined these different ingredients and drizzled with DIVINO Coconut White Balsamic Vinegar. Wondering if you changed out the mango for watermelon and drizzled PassionFruit Balsamic Vinegar???

Thanks, Jen!

Pan Seared Salmon w/Mixed Berry Balsamic & Blood Orange Olive Oil Chris, Lancaster, PA

A suggestion from Chris of Lancaster, PA

Pan searing a filet of salmon in the Blood Orange Olive Oil. Try tarragon as your spice with this. When done remove from pan, plate the filet followed by a drizzle Mixed Berry Balsamic Vinegar lightly over top and serve.

I checked my spice cabinet for Tarragon . . .it’s on my Tuesday shopping list!

Twisted Roasted Red Potatoes w/Rosemary Olive Oil Scott, Cape May , NJ

A suggestion from Scott

Pre-heat your oven to 450.
Red potatoes – chopped
A couple gloves of garlic – minced well
Chopped fresh Parsley
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (to your taste)
Rosemary Olive Oil

Combine the chopped red potatoes (I leave the skin on),garlic, parsley, crushed red pepper flakes and then toff Rosemary Olive Oil. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Put in a baking dish with sides and bake till done. They’ll be tender and golden brown about 30 minutes depending on how many potatoes you used.

I’ve made potatoes like this before but not with the red pepper flakes. I’ll have to try it next time.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chick Pea Cookies

Yes . . .the title is correct and these cookies are awesome! For the original recipe check out http://www.texanerin.com but here’s how I made mine! I thought they were delicious and can’t wait to make them again and try different variations.

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas (15.5 oz.can) well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel. Be sure to check out the sodium on the can. I used Goya – low sodium.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons NATURAL peanut butter, SunButter Natural or almond butter – room temperature
I used Natural Dark Chocolate Dream Peanut Butter by Peanut Butter & Company. Anybody that has met me probably has heard about this company out of NY — I’m a TOTAL fan! If you don’t use natural PB the website cautions the cookies will be oily.
1/4 cup light agave (the website mentions using honey or maple syrup with success!)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 c Craisins

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°F Combine all the ingredients, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they’re combined.
Hand stir in the craisins.
The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
I used my cookie scooper and always parchment paper. If not — wet hands, form into 1 1/2″ balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don’t do much rising.
Bake for about 10 minutes. The dough balls will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. They will not set like normal cookies.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) for up to 1 week.

NOTES:
If using plain natural peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips (use vegan and dairy-free chocolate chips, if needed)
If your PB has salt you don’t need to add any . .if not just add a pinch.

OMB! . .but the “B” stands for Brussel Sprouts w/Sorrento Lemon Olive Oil & Classic Balsamic Vinegar

So . . it’s a first. I have always had daymares about Brussel Sprouts. When my Mom would make them and I don’t know what she would do to them but they were smelly and disgusting!

Well . . .I was reading somewhere about Brussel Sprouts this week so I decided to make them and check them off my “Must Try List”.

I rinsed a batch of Brussel Sprouts, cut off the bottoms, halved them and put in a tin foil pan as I was grilling our dinner. I tossed the Brussel Sprouts in Sorrento Lemon Olive Oil (just a TBSP or 2) and put them on the grill to roast. About 30 minutes later they were a nice brown looking roasted color. I placed them in a bowl, added craisins and tossed them with a TBSP or 2 of Classic Balsamic Vinegar. OMB!!

Next I think I’m going to try making roasted brussel sprout chips! YUM . . .I’ll let you know how they came out.

Things about Pears

I got this book from the Atlantic City Food & Wine Show this past year. It’s called The Ultimate Guide to Pears, Cheese & Wine. I really enjoyed reading it and learned so much I thought I’d share a few things. Mostly I was thinking about the recipes with our Anjou Pear White Balsamic Vinegar which I’ll get on posting as well. Enjoy all the info. Check out their website www.usapears.org. If you can buy the book . . .it will be worth your money, for sure!!

Selecting the right pear for the purpose of course is most important. The book refers to 8 major pears being Green or Red Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc, Comice, Forelle, Seckel and Starkrimson. Since reading this book I’ve been checking out the different types and flavors.

Snacking and Pairing with Cheese: All of them
Cooking, Baking, Roasting or Poaching: Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc & Starkrimson
Salads: Anjou, Bartlett, Seckel and Starkrimson
Desserts: Cormice, Forelle and Seckel

The book went on to say, “Pears, Cheese, and Wine have a natural affinity, and together they create a classic combination of tastes and textures. They go on to say you must first understand the “personality” of your fruit. Next, to select a cheese that will be enhanced by that pear, and the, finally choose a wine to complete with trio

Bartlett Sweet, buttery, musky,a wonderful fragrance
Mascarpone Brut Champagne
Gouda/Aged Merlot

Starkrimson Mild, sweet, subtle subtle floral aroma
Brie Chiati Sangiovese (?)
Silton (blue) Tawny Port

Anjou Sweet, fragrant, juicy tender, mellow delicate flavor
Chevre Sauvignon Blanc
Camembert Demi-sec Champagne

Bosc Firm textured, nutty, spicy flavor and undertones
Cheddar Cabernet Sauvignon

Cormice Sweetest and juiciest of all – smooth and creamy textures
Gorgonzola Marsala
Danish Blue Cheese Sauternes

Seckel Smallest pear with floral and spice notes, a complex flavor
Fontina Pinot Noir
Havarti Beaujolais

Forelle Very juicy, mild, sweet and spicy flavor
Port Salut Reisling
Monterey Jack Late-Reisling

Suggestions:
 Match the wine’s body to the cheese’s texture
 Select fruity wines for fruity cheeses like Fontina or Asiago.
 Pair contrasting flavors
 Champagne sparkling wines work well blue cheeses, creamy cheeses like brie, and salty cheeses like aged Dry Jack.
 Wine and cheese should have the same intensity of flavor

Other Basics:
 Cut cheese when it’s cold using separate knives for different cheeses
 Cut hard cheeses into slices or cubes and soft cheeses into pie-like wedges
 Serve cheese a room temperature for best flavor. Take out of frig a hour in advance.
 Remember toothpicks or small forks for serving
 When tasting different cheeses start modest-flavored to the strongest

More Basics:
 Plain water crackers work well with most cheeses
 Mild cheeses with simple break and crackers, stronger-flavored cheeses with rustic or sourdough breads, multigrain or whole wheat crackers with aged cheeses
 Cured meats work with most cheeses and go well with most pears
 Toasted nuts – almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans add lots of flavor. Almonds are great with sheep’s – and goat’s-milk cheeses