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Tag Archives | Capers


Tapenade is a briny olive spread packed with flavor and served on grilled baquette slices.

The Sauce: Tapenade – Appetizer made with olives, capers, thyme, lemon, anchovies, garlic and spread on grilled or toasted baguette slices.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Ancient olive trees

The first time I touched a gnarled, twisted olive tree with mossy green leaves was on the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane. That was over 20 years ago. Just last year Reuters reported findings on the eight olive trees in the garden from the National Research Council of Italy Trees and Timber Institute along with academics from five Italian universities. “Carbon dating showed that samples taken from the oldest part of the trunks of three of the eight trees came from the years 1092, 1166 and 1198….” Olive trees have longevity and some would argue, genealogy.

Seeing ancient olive trees in person is completely distant from childhood canned black olives on the tips of my five dainty fingers. No going back to those, I select fresh ones from the Olive Bar at local supermarkets where I can pick the variety and amount desired. Bins are filled with ripe black, oil, brine, dry-cured and green olives perfectly plain or stuffed with pimiento, cheese, peppers or garlic. Some are cured with crushed red pepper, cayenne or hot peppers to kick up the heat.

sliced baguetteIf you’re an olive lover too, maybe you eat them out of hand. And I’m betting you’ll like this Tapenade with your favorite olive variety or a mix for extra depth. It’s spread on grilled baguette slices so you can enjoy olives in a fancy, but easy olive hors’douvres. It’s easy to pulse in your food processor for a salty crostini appetizer on your buffet. Thank goodness for the fruit of olive trees.

You may also enjoy Rockamole, Fetamole, Jalapeño Bean Dip, Parmesan Zucchini Crisps, Vegetable Tapas, Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, Bleu Cheese Ball, Nigiri Fruit Sushi, Smoky Sweet Wings, Teriyaki Wings, Buffalo Wings, Maple Chili Wings, Gyoza, Pearl Balls, Maytag Bleu Terrine, Shrimp with Miso Sauce, Creamy Italian Feta Dip, Htipiti Feta Dip, Tzatziki Feta Dip, and Yakitori.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Chocolate Truffles
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Recipe: Tapenade

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 1 1/2 Cups | Level: Easy

Tapenade ingredients1 1/3 cups mixed pitted olives
1 Tbsp parsley leaves
1 Tbsp capers, rinsed & drained
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp lemon zest
3 canned anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 baguette, sliced diagonally
olive oil

Special Equipment – food processor

ingredients in food processor1 Place olives, parsley, capers, thyme, lemon zest, anchovies, garlic and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Place in a small bowl on a large plate.

2 Brush baguette slices with olive oil. grill breadToast one or both sides on a hot grill pan until they sustain grill marks, or toast under the broiler. Arrange slices around tapenade.

I used French Mix olives which has a little heat. Kalamatas and green olives are mild and have a nice color texture. Try an all black or all green olive mix.

3 anchovy fillet’s are about 1/4 oz anchovies.

I love to finely grate garlic on a microplane grater or mince it with a knife so it mixes well.

Oil-cured: soaked in oil for several months.
Brined-cured: soaked in brine for one to six months.
Dry-cured: packed in salt for one or more months.

You can also serve this with crackers or pita triangles.
Serve on scrambled eggs for a special brunch dish.

Grill or bake white fish and serve tapenade on the side or top of each fillet.

Spoon over tomato slices or on Caprese Salad.

Dish Designer

  • Use kalamata, manzanilla, Nicoise, Arbequinas or other choices from the olive bar.

Tapenade with grilled baguetteInspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: December 1, 2013

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Fish Piccata

Delicate white fish fillets with lemon, butter and caper pan sauce.

The Sauce: Fish Piccata Sauce – Lemon juice is used to deglaze the pan then butter and capers are added to finish the sauce. It’s an easy, bright sauce over white fish fillets.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Piccata tastes as fancy as it sounds

I live across the way from Cameron’s Seafood Market. I can walk there in 4 minutes so it’s easy to buy fresh fish and seafood right in my neighborhood. Since I want to cook and share more fish recipes, Cameron’s is becoming a good friend.

Piccata is a dish that hails from Italy. Originally made with veal, the sauce is made with pan juices, lemon, capers and parsley. Piccata is from an Italian word that means to prick or puncture. Maybe this is because the veal is pounded thin enough to cook quickly. Nowadays it’s made with chicken and fish as well. Fish fillets are thin enough that they require no pounding. This pan sauce is a blend of lively lemon, rich butter and little briny capers. It doesn’t overwhelm the delicate fish but gives it some sparkle.

Fish Picatta with lemon slicesThis piccata dish is so simple but very elegant. It’s company-worthy and you can also serve it on a busy week night. You’re gonna cook the fish in mere minutes, then whisk the pan sauce sauce in a couple more and there you have it. It’s so easy but so delicious that you’ll think you’re in a fancy restaurant.

You might also enjoy Fish Sticks, White Fish with Golden Sweet Pepper Sauce, Sweet and Sour Fish and Fish Tacos with Pink adobo Sauce.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Grandpa Sumsions’s Cherry Blossom Cupcakes
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Recipe: Fish Piccata

Prep Time: 4 Minutes | Cook Time: 6 Minutes | Yield: 4 Servings | Level: Easy

lemon, capers and parsley

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb white fish fillets, 4 pieces such as flounder, sole or tilapia
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 sliced
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained
  • 1
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    Tbsp butter

  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley

Special Equipment – large skillet

dredge fish fillets in flour1 Place oil in the skillet on medium high heat.

2 Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, shake off excess and place in hot skillet. Cook about 2 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the fillets. Remove to a platter.
cook fillets on the first sidecook the fillets on the second side







3 Add the lemon juice, capers and butter whisking to combine and loosening the golden bits off the bottom of the pan. This takes about 1-2 minutes stirring until the butter is melted.

4 Pour over the fillets and garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon slices.

The process of using a liquid to loosen the golden bits on the pan is called deglazing.

Flounder, sole and tilapia are fairly thin fillets so they cook rather fast. This is an elegant dish for entertainment but easy enough to serve on a weeknight.

Garnish with parsley sprigs or chop and sprinkle over the sauced fish.

Serve with rice pilaf or steamed white rice.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange olive for vegetable oil.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: April 17, 2013

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Pot Roast with Caper Sauce

Succulent, fork tender beef pot roast with chunky caper sauce.

The Sauce: Caper Sauce -This chunky caper sauce is loaded with contradictions, pickled capers and vinegary balsamic, sweet craisins and tomatoes, plus aromatic onions and garlic. As it simmers and reduces, the opposing flavors marry into a briny sweet sauce to seep into a slow roasting beef.


Pot Roast is back in town

Pot Roast was Sunday dinner fare near every week when I was growing up. Mom would load a roasting pan with a beef roast, potatoes, carrots and onions to serve nine, then season and cover to bake while we were at church. I have fond memories of coming home hungry from services and opening the side kitchen door to the aroma of pot roast filling the whole house. Mom made the best pot roast, fork tender and succulent, root vegetables cooked soft and infused with the beef juices. So, so delicious.

I, on the other and, didn’t do much roast cooking when my children were growing up. Not too good at this menu, I found myself falling into a routine of rarely cooking the same dish for Sunday dinner. After all these years I am finally ‘coming home’ to the idea that a sumptuous pot roast is right for special occasions. I started making versions of pot roast and love this chunky briny caper sauce with a warm smoky dry rub. Enjoy!

2011 AniversaRecipe – Pork Chops with Mango Salsa

Recipe: Pot Roast with Caper Sauce

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Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Inactive Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 5 Hours 15 Minutes | Yield: 6 Servings | Level: Easy


  • 1 3 lb chuck roast
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup diced onion, about 1 medium
  • 5 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 3 ounces capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped craisins

Beef-Roast-with-Dry-Rub1 Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

2 Combine the salt and cumin then rub over all sides of the roast.

3 Heat oil in a dutch oven on high. When the pan is very hot, sear the meat on both sides and remove to a plate.

4 Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan by scraping off the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, capers and craisins. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes.

Caper-Sauce5 Place the roast back into the pan and spoon some of the caper sauce on top. Cover and place in a 275 degree oven for 5 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes.

7 Slice the meat and serve on a platter with the caper sauce spooned over the meat.

Crockpot – Place half the caper sauce in the crockpot, add the roast and spoon the remaining sauce on top. Set the crockpot on low for 9-10 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes and a green salad.

Load sliced meat and some chunky sauce on a sub roll for a delicious hot roast beef sandwich.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange canned for fresh tomatoes or tomato juice.
  • Exchange capers for chopped stuffed green olives.
  • Exchange craisins for raisins, golden raisins, or dried cherries.

Inspiration – Alton Brown
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: October 17, 2012

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