Daddy Memories – Butter Bean salad

As a little girl, I vividly remember my dad preparing what I think was his favourite salad, which in turn became my all time favourite of course!

So today I decided not only to re-live that memory, but to take it to another level in honor of  the great guy that he was, ❤ and I am sure that instead of being insulted by the changes, he would be proud of his little girl.

The original salad was very simple, below is a list of the ingredients:butterbeans

  • Butter Beans
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive oil and vinegar
  • Dusting of oregano

As you can see, it’s pretty simple, just mix the above ingredients and it’ oh sooooo tasty, and the best part was dipping  pieces of a fresh baguette into the leftover juices!

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In those days there was no fancy vinegar, no cilantro and goodness know’s what else, especially in Uruguay.

But nowadays, with the available ingredients, new flavours, fancy vinegars, etc…. I decided to take this salad to the next level.

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Not too many changes, just a few additions, so here it goes………

  • Butter Beans – stayed the same I used 2 cans
  • Sliced Tomatoes – stayed the same, used 2 medium tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced onions – stayed the same, used 1/2 medium onion
  • Salt and Pepper – stayed the same, tsp of each
  • Olive oil and vinegar – used olive oil but replaced the vinegar with same fabulous Lemongrass Mint infused White Balsamic vinegar from Mount Dora Olive Oil Company
  • Dusting of oreganoreplaced this with some chopped cilantro
  • Added a can of sliced Hearts of Palm that are easily available nowadays but when I was a kid they were an expensive commodity!

Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do, and I do recommend that you try both versions, they are both great 🙂

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Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic……..it’s that simple.

Yes my followers, Mount Dora is back on the map!

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Tonight I came across these perfectly ripened  plum tomatoes, remembered the abundant basil growing in my yard outside and decided that with the addition of garlic it was time for some Tomato Bruschetta.

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Chopped up my tomatoes, garlic and basil, added some olive oil, salt and pepper and for the drum roll finale, added some delicious ( and by this I mean you can drink it with a spoon) Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar from the Mount Dora Olive Oil Company!

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Slight technical hitch, there is no fresh french baguette in the house to serve it on! So I had to settle for some last minute crostini made from several types of leftover sliced bread, not ideal but who’s complaining right?

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I went from a totally unplanned dinner, to a delicious satisfying appetizer which will pair very well with a new wine I got to taste recently. The wine is called Apothic Dark which has a blend of blueberry and blackberry with notes of coffee and dark chocolate, need I say more…

Perfect scenario would have been to be enjoying this appetizer at the Wine Den in Mount Dora in the company of some crazy lovely ladies but instead I will settle for the loving hubby ❤ ! What can I say, I am a lucky girl, always surrounded by good company 🙂

Mount Dora Olive Oil Company – A must!

Just came back from a fantastic weekend road trip to a little town in Central Florida called Mount Dora.

One of the highlights of this trip other than the wonderful hostess with the mostest, was the fact that this fascinating town has one of my all time favorite stores! You have to visit the Mount Dora Olive Oil Company~

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I think I got a bit carried away but what can I say, these are long lasting ingredients that will allow me to experiment big time with some stunning and original flavors!

Prior to coming back home I got to really sample the Espresso Balsamic Vinegar on a rich Vanilla Ice Cream over a yummy dinner with Ann Kaar! Heavenly indeed!

Here is the list of the goodies I brought home with me, she said modestly…..

  • Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
  • Lavender Balsamic Vinegar
  • Violet Balsamic Vinegar
  • Espresso Balsamic Vinegar
  • Oregano White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Lemongrass Mint White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Coconut White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Peach White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Harissa Infused Olive Oil
  • Basil Infused Olive Oil

So next time you are in Mount Dora, don’t forget to visit this great store!

Urgently thinking of purchasing some oil/vinegar pourers to be able to use my goodies in a better way! You an never have too many pourers :-)!

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Out with the Old and in with the New!

What do you get when you mix the below ingredients?

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  • Old bread
  • Lemon Rind
  • Grated Lemongrass
  • Lemon Meyer Olive Oil
  • Pepper

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You get the most amazing Lemon flavoured Crostini with a lovely refreshing taste and that wonderful balancing black pepper! The lemon smell coming out of the oven was amazing!

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Not such a bad treatment for some good old bread, right?

For those of you who read my blog about the amazing Sedona Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegars, this was a great use of my Meyer Lemon Olive Oil!

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PS: Sticking with the lemon theme, I think a glass of Limoncello is in order :-).

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Thanksgiving Roasted Sweet Potato Delight

Prepping our early thanksgiving dinner Part I and decided to do something different with the sweet potatoes.

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So instead of mashing them and adding the cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, etc…… I decided to slice them and roast them.

I used a handy mandolin to slice them evenly, then after coating my baking dish with olive oil, I positioned them overlapping all the way around.

Then I sliced some shallots and chopped some garlic and kind of added them in between every other slice.

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Added some chopped cilantro, salt and pepper and a little bit of brown sugar.

To finish off before going in the oven I drizzled olive oil and melted butter.

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They are going in a 375 Deg F oven for about 50 minutes covered in foil and then pumping up the heat to 450 Deg F uncovered to crisp them up on top and give them some extra color.

Not totally sure yet but might be adding some Marshmallows last minute for that extra touch of sweetness but will decide that in an hour or so 🙂

Can’t wait to dig in with the family in a couple of hours!

Did someone say Ratatouille?

Dinner time is just around the corner, dessert is ready, Leek and Goat’s Cheese tart is done and steaks are waiting for the right time to go on the grill.

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So all we need is a nice hearty veggie dish that we can eat tonight as well as during the week. Ratatouille it is! And yes totally inspired by the Disney movie :-).

Wonderful layers of Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Onions, olive oil salt, pepper and fresh thyme are all cooking in harmony to make one great, delicious and simple French dish! Ohhh La La…..

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Bon appétit!