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Rosemary Parmesan Dipping Oil & Crisco Olive Oils

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I got the opportunity to sample three olive oils from Crisco: Light Tasting, Pure and 100% Extra Virgin.  Since I use olive oil often, I was excited to give them a try.  But then I wondered…what would I possible do with these three olive oils?  What’s the difference? 

Well, thanks to the handy little labels on each bottle, Crisco answered that very question for me and then some.  Light Tasting is best for frying, baking and as an everyday cooking oil.  Pure is best for grilling, sauteing and marinades.  100% Extra Virgin is best for dipping, dressing and sauces.  To give a true test, I decided to remake a couple of old favorite recipes using Light Tasting and Pure, and to make a new recipe for you using 100% Extra Virgin.

Light Tasting

Since Crisco’s Light Tasting olive oil is great for baked goods, I decided to remake my Rosemary Cornbread, but this time as muffins.  The oil had little to no fragrance and was otherwise very nice to use.  The result?  These muffins were fantastic!  This was the best batch of Rosemary Cornbread yet, so I’m very pleased with the Light Tasting olive oil. 


Pure

Given that Crisco’s Pure olive oil is ideal for marinating and grilling, it will definitely be popular around this house.  I decided to remake Mustard Rosemary Chicken, but this time we grilled the marinated chicken breasts (i.e. not on skewers).  The result?  Delicious!  We both remarked about how this chicken was one of the best we’ve had.  Another score using Crisco’s Pure olive oil!


100% Extra Virgin

Crisco’s 100% Extra Virgin olive oil is best for dipping, so what better way to test this than by making a dipping oil.  This recipe was inspired by a little pamphlet that came with the oils.  Rosemary Parmesan Dipping Oil is simple, quick and easy to make, and tastes incredible!  Three for three…thanks Crisco!

Rosemary Parmesan Dipping Oil
Yields 4 servings

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, such as Crisco® 100 % Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced (or grated)
Pinch salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1-2 tablespoons grated or finely shredded Parmesan cheese
Crusty French or Italian Bread

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  2. Pour into serving saucer(s) and add Parmesan cheese. 
  3. Serve with crusty bread. 

Adapted from Crisco pamphlet

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was provided with a bottle of each of the above named Crisco olive oils for free.  The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.

Veggie Pizza Puffs

Garden Pizza Puffs

Veggie Pizza Puffs

We eat a lot of muffins in this house.  We also eat a lot of pizza.  So when I stumbled upon a recipe for pizza made in a mini-muffin tin, it was like two worlds colliding into something brilliant!

Garden Pizza Puffs are cheesy, delicious and very easy to make. With only about 35 calories per puff, they are a fun and healthy option to satisfy your pizza cravings.

The original recipe is made with pepperoni, which would be pretty good.  I thought it would be even better with made vegetables and herbs.  The recipe written below reflects the vegetables that I used, though you can experiment with the same amounts of whatever meats and/or vegetables you like.  I have also used whole wheat and all-purpose flours, and either one works great.  The beauty of this recipe is the ability to customize everything to suit your preferences.

Served with a side of pizza sauce for dipping or with a dollop of sauce on each puff, these would make for a super cute appetizer at your next dinner party.  Mike and I had 10 puffs each and called it dinner.  These puffs would also be a tasty treat for kids.

Given the unlimited possibilities, I look forward to doing lots of experimenting with this recipe.  In the meantime, we will just have to continue to test several variations of pizza puffs.  Oh the sacrifices we make! 🙂

Garden Pizza Puffs
 
Yields: Yields 24 puffs (see note)
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup skim milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • pizza sauce, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Whisk in the milk and egg. Fold in the cheese, garlic, onion, roasted red pepper, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper (if using). Let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir the batter and divide evenly among the mini-muffin cups (fill to about ½ to ⅔ full).
  4. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 mintutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan serve with pizza sauce.
Notes
Yields 12 puffs in a regular-sized muffin pan - adjust baking time to 25 to 30 minutes.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

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Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

It is not very often that a new recipe immediately leaps way to the top of the list.  But when I saw a tasty recipe in Experience Life magazine, I think my heart skipped a beat with excitement.  I got that ‘I just found a recipe that will change your life’ feeling.  Cheese, black beans, green onions, garlic and spices, all nestled in a tasty little jalapeno?  Seriously?  Time to fire up the grill!

In fact, I was tempted to simply grab a spoon and eat the filling straight from the bowl.

I resisted and instead stuffed these beautiful jalapenos.  The result is a delightful, healthy twist on a jalapeno popper.

This heavenly dish makes for a perfect appetizer at any summer gathering, yet is easy enough to whip together for a light weeknight dinner.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
Yields 8 (appetizer) or 4 (dinner) servings

16 jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
4 green onions, chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon chili powder

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the peppers.
  2. Make a lengthwise slit down each pepper, leaving the stem intact; carefully remove ribs and seeds.  (Tip: a quick rinse helps remove the seeds from the inside, lessening the heat)
  3. Distribute filling evenly among peppers (about 1 tablespoon per pepper).
  4. Heat grill to medium heat.  Place stuffed peppers on a sheet of foil on the grill.  Cover and cook until cheese mixture has melted and peppers are softened, about 10-15 minutes.

Adapted from Experience Life