Wednesday, October 20, 2010

From a little bird

Olive Soap from the Body Shop is great for the kitchen as it cleanses, moisturizes but doesn't smell like floral or fruit.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black Moroccan Olives

"One year there is a good olive crop, another year it is a bad one; it is better to get some other work." - Lala Zuhra

When oil-cured olives are made, they are first packed in salt and allowed to dry out. At any point later the dried olives are packed in oil to make oil-cured olives. The results are dense, plump, juicy olives with a unique texture and smooth flavor.

Yummy plain or bake in your homemade bread!

Friday, January 29, 2010


There is a difference between great Italian tuna packed in nice olive oil and the typical grocery brand packed in oil. That difference is flavor, just packed with more rich, salty, smooth flavor. Do yourself a favor and try it. I got this one from Buon Italia at Chelsea Market. It is so good. You can have a perfect lunch of tuna straight from the jar on toast. Maybe add a few capers. I think the difference is using olive oil compared to the typical vegetable oil used elsewhere. Yum. The color of the premium tuna also tends to be more reddish than our typical white tuna. Looks great on a party table for tapas, antipasto, hors d'oeuvres, or mezes. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Olive Oil Suds

"And with the sprig of a fruited olive man is purified in extreme health." - Virgil, Aeneid

There is nothing like taking a refreshing bath. I take one every day. Not a shower, but a deep, relaxing bath. Is this a luxury? Yes it is. Last month Santa brought me some Olive Shower Gel made by The Body Shop. I put a few drops in the tub while the water is running and get lots of tiny sudsy bubbles. The color of the gel is olive green. The scent is mild, not overwhelming, but soothing. The label says "Cleanse and moisturize your skin using a soap-free gel that leaves your skin feeling soft and fresh with a brisk green scent." The part that most interests me is the moisturizing and the fact that there are bubbles yet it is soap free. Instead Glycerin is used to make the lather and add more moisture. The olive's oleic acid helps soften the skin. Also, I like the idea that the oil used comes from community trade organic olive oil. Power to the family farmers! Because I put the gel in the tub, it goes all over my body as well as my hair, which works like a conditioner and leaves a healthy shine. I'm happy!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


"These trees so fresh, so full, so beautiful; when they display their fruit, green, golden, and black, it is among the most agreeable sights one might ever see." - Miguel Cervantes

I just finished reading Mort Rosenblum's book named Olives: The Life and Lore of the Noble Fruit. There is real passion in this book! As a journalist Mort does what he does best, and that is to investigate. He takes you to many countries around the world including Palestine, Israel, Italy, Spain, Tunisia. But Mort has also done his research and brings to life the rich history of olives and what it means to us today both as a consumer and as a connoisseur. This book is part travelog, part farmer's manual, part business accumen. Ultimately, he has made me enjoy the olive fruit more by his richness of information and loving detail. Mort has written many books including one on chocolate, which I might have to read too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mama's Homemade Olive Oil Granola

"I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it." -Rodney Dangerfield

At home, Kirsten has been making granola for a long time now. The new twist is she has started to add olive oil as an ingredient and it makes a great difference. Besides the added earthy flavor that goes well with coffee, the granola seems more moist and savory. This also occurred when she made some delightful polenta cookies. She made a large batch that lasted over a week in our makeshift cookie jar without getting all dried out and stale. Its magic, and unlike alcohol, you can't really have too much.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Is it a painting?

There really isn't anything like being greeted at one of your favorite Italian restaurants with dish of olive oil and a bread board. Robert DiNero's Locanda Verde is one of my prize jewel after swimming lessons brunch spots in Tribeca, Manhattan. And the oil does not disappoint, with a sprig of herb and a dash of balsamic, it is so refreshing coming in from the cold. The bread is super as well. The kids gobble it all up.

At home yesterday, my daughter asked me if she could have a spoonful of olive oil. What followed was a wince and a smile. Not bad for a seven year old. Now I need to see how the two year old reacts.

Too yummy!