Monday, October 5, 2015

Weekly Menu and Weekend Fun (October 5)

We had a longer than usual weekend as the kid had a minimum day on Thursday and an independent study day at Friday. I had to juggle my work around a bit, but it was great to have some extra time together!

Thursday was also the beginning of the kid's birth month, so the kid and I decided to go to Benihana for lunch to celebrate. Benihana is always such a fun experience. The kid got the California rolls, and I got the hibachi scallops.  
We also made sure to get enough steps every day and went hiking as well as on several beautiful evening walks.
On Saturday we went to the Mountain View Oktoberfest. Andy writes about the craft beer scene in the South Bay and enjoys checking out beer events. It was a chance to wear my traditional “Oktoberfest blouse.” I did cheat and wore it with jeans and funky shoes, but it’s always fun to dress a bit for the occasion. While it was fun to check out the Oktoberfest, it was a bit too crowded and noisy for me. I must be getting old…


But we went back to the Mountain View Oktoberfest for just a little bit on Sunday after our hike as Andy reminded me that it was also the beginning of his birth month, and that’s how he’d like to celebrate… It was a lot less crowded, and I enjoyed it a lot more.  


I didn’t get as much meal prep/precooking done as usual, but we did go grocery shopping. I also made veggie packs (we eat a lot more veggies throughout the week and they don’t go bad if they are all prepped and easy to grab) as well as some spiced applesauce in the slow cooker (I cooked a big bag of peeled & thinly sliced apples with 3/4 cup of water, a little cinnamon sugar, juice of 1/2 lemon & a bit of pumpkin pie spice on high for 3.5 hours). The spiced applesauce filled our kitchen with the most amazing smell. I look forward to having it in oatmeal with some yogurt.

Here is what’s on the menu for this week:

Meal 1: Scallops & roasted veggies - I was inspired by the hibachi scallops at Benihana. I know mine won’t be quite as good though...
Meal 2: Chili - It’s not quite “chili" weather yet around here, but I’m in the mood!
Meal 3: Butternut squash soup & a salad.
Meal 4: Spaghetti squash & mushroom casserole.

Questions: What was the highlight of your weekend? What’s on your menu this week? 

Be well,

Friday, October 2, 2015

Olive Oil Tasting

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by The Olivique - a Spanish olive oil company - to see if I was interested in trying their oils. Their oils are 100% olive juice and certified non GMO. They sounded great, so how could I say no?

I was excited when I opened the package and found four pretty bottles.

The Olivique Olive Oil
The extra virgin oils all have distinctive flavor profiles, and the The Olivique’s website has suggestions what to pair each oil with.

I decided to try the Picual first. It’s description is as follows: "Rich in oleic acid notes of wood and fresh herbs. Unique & with a strong personality.” The description is accurate. I decided to add a little oil on top of my mushroom, spinach, & egg breakfast, and I loved the flavor the olive oil added to the simple dish.  

Egg Mushromo Spinach Breakfast
Next I used the Cornicabra in a simple vinaigrette. The description of the Cornicabra is as follows: "A fresh flavor with notes of fresh herbs, tomato & even avocado. It enhances flavors in any dish, pairs beautifully with salads, toasts, vegetables and it's stability makes it famous for a mild yet present taste.” The Cornicabra worked beautifully in the salad dressing.
One of our favorite things to do on our weekly Farmers’ Market visits is to taste and compare various food products, such as cheeses, sauces, vinegars, and oils. So we decided to have some fun at home and did an “official tasting” of all four oils with some sourdough bread we had picked up at the Farmers’ Market. Andy was excited and said, “That’s all I need. Bread and olive oil. Perfect.”

It was fun tasting all of the oils side by side and comparing them to the descriptions on the website. All the oils taste excellent and matched their descriptions. Andy and the kid preferred the milder oils, but I liked them all and look forward to playing with them some more in different dishes. But there is nothing wrong with simply dipping a little bread in them either...
Olive Oil tasting 2
The Olivique is sold in stores in the United States and available in several stores in California (Jimbo’s Naturally, Vincente Foods, Bay Cities Market, Pacific Ranch Market, Marbella Ranch Market, Major Market, and Seaside Market).

Questions: Do you like olive oil? What’s your favorite way to eat it? 

Be well,

[Note: I was provided four bottles of The Olivique olive oil for free. No other compensation was provided. As always, all opinions are my own.]