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Tag Archives | Garlic

Italian Bread Dipping Oil

Italian Bread Dipping Oil is made with extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, rosemary, garlic, crushed red pepper and freshly ground black pepper.

The Sauce: Italian Bread Dipping Oil – Made with extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, rosemary, garlic, crushed red pepper and freshly ground black pepper.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 


Garlic bread or toast used to be my ‘go to’ side when serving Italian food: lasagna, spaghetti, carbonara, Zuppa Toscana. At Italian restaurants you can visit with dinner company while tearing crusty bread then dipping it in fruity olive oil and sweet syrupy balsamic vinegar. I’d hadn’t really thought much about it but just went along with the idea that Italian Bread Dipping Oil was something you only revel in at restaurants.
3 Dipping Oils
It’s really simple at home, even for a weeknight supper and easier than garlic bread. All you need is a good bottle of extra virgin olive oil and some aged balsamic vinegar. Add some rosemary, garlic, crushed red pepper and a grind of black pepper. It’s gourmet. Enjoy it with fresh homemade or artisan bread. Let your family tear then dip in this fragrant oil the Italian way. Create a restaurant ambience at your own dinner table. It’s simple and so delizioso.

Start this meal with some Antipasto, serve an Italian entrée like Florentine Lasagna Rolls with crusty bread and Italian Bread Dipping Oil. Finish with a green salad dressed with Garlic Vinaigrette, just like the Italians. Serve some Peach Semifreddo for dessert. I’m coming over.

You may also enjoy Antipasto, Florentine Lasagna Rolls, Amatriciana, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Italian Spaghetti Ragu, Andrew’s Pizza, Bramwell Spaghetti Sauce, Genovese Pesto, Garlic Vinaigrette, Caprese Salad, Chicken Alfredo Campanelle and Zuppa Toscana.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Spaghetti alla Carbonara
2011 AniversaRecipe – Bacon and Egg Spinach Salad

Recipe: Italian Bread Dipping Oil

Prep Time: 3 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 1 Dipping Plate | Level: Easy


  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 twig fresh rosemary, very finely mince a few leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, micro grated
  • 1/4 tsp finely grated parmesan
  • pinch crushed red pepper, finely minced
  • freshly ground black pepper

1 Pour olive oil on a small open plate or dish.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil







2 Drop aged balsamic into the oil.
Balsamic Vinegar 1Balsamic Vinegar 2
Balsamic Vinegar 3Balsamic Vinegar 4













3 Drizzle a little rosemary into the oil.
Olive Oil with Herbs
4 Add a little grated garlic.

5 Dust with a pinch of parmesan.

6 Sprinkle a few fine pieces of crushed red pepper.

7 Give it a grind of black pepper.

Purchase a good quality aged balsamic vinegar. A few dollars for a bottle is not going to be aged long enough. It’s runny, a little bitter and

undesirably thin. You only need a few drizzles so if you can afford it, buy a bottle for $15-20 dollars. When drizzled, it’s thick and syrupy.

I love when the crushed red pepper soaks in the olive oil, it wakes up the bright red color.

Anyone of these ingredients could be served alone or in combination with each other using olive oil as the base such as, garlic and black pepper, rosemary and garlic, parmesan and black pepper, crushed red pepper and balsamic.

Dip any kind of crusty bread that you love, French, Baguettes, Focaccia, etc.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange fresh rosemary for fresh thyme.
  • Add dried parsley, oregano or basil.
  • Add a pinch of salt.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Italian Bread Dipping Oil
Written by
Photographs and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: September 1, 2013

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Genovese Pesto

Basil sauce with pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, butter and olive oil.

The Sauce: Basil Pesto – Bright green basil with Parmigiana-Reggiana cheese, pine nuts and garlic are combined for a fragrant no cook sauce with multiple uses.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Summer pasta with pesto

Fresh basil grows profusely in Northern Italy where in Genoa, pesto was born. But it’s also nurtured by gardeners in locations all around the world. One summer while visiting my sister Holly at her home in Texas, we cruised through her vegetable garden. Besides rows of tomatoes and peppers, she had a whole row of bright green basil plants with leaves in full bloom. “What recipes happen between your harvest and table?

“Pesto,” she said. “We love pesto.” I’d never made pesto before. Since I love basil I asked about how she makes her pesto. Basil is the anchor ingredient. Rather than the typical herb flavor builder in sauces, soups and pasta dishes, it is the dish.

Pesto means ‘to pound or crush’ because it is traditionally made with a marble mortar and wooden pestle. This recipe uses a combination preparation, modern food processor plus muscle pump grating.

Pesto mixed with spaghettiLight and fragrant, fresh and colorful, pesto is a no heat, no simmer, fast and fabulous pasta sauce for summer dining. In the time it takes to cook al dente pasta, you can make pesto. Add a heaping spoonful of pesto and stir to coat the noodles. Basil is peppery, pungent. It belongs to the mint family so it has a fresh ‘barely there’ hint of mint. A distinctive herb, it’s frequently associated with Italian, Thai and Indonesian cuisines. Available all year round, pesto could find it’s way to your table for a week night supper.

You might also enjoy Italian Spaghetti Ragu, Florentine Lasagna Rolls, Herb Garlic Bread, Parmesan Zucchini Crisps, White Pizza with Arugula, Amatriciana and Capreze Salad.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Fish Tacos with Pink Adobo Sauce and Glazed Carrot Sticks
2011 AniversaRecipe – Hot Fudge Sauce

Recipe: Pesto

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 1 Cup | Level: Easy

Pesto Ingredients

  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, 4 oz
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • salt
  • 1 oz Parmigiana-Reggiana cheese, about 1/2 cup
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened

Special Equipment – food processor

Add Parmigiana-Reggiana1 Place basil leaves, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Pour into a bowl.

2 Finely grate Parmigiano-Reggiano Add butter to basil mixturecheese then stir into basil mixture. Add softened butter and mix until incorporated.

Substitute a blender for the food processor or hand chop the ingredients until very fine like an Italian grandmother might make it.

Store leftover pesto in the fridge up to 1 week with a thin layer of olive oil over the top to seal out the air. This will retain the bright green basil color.

Pesto can also be frozen. Freeze in small containers (1/2 cup or less) with a thin layer of olive oil. This will preserve the bright green color of the sauce. Another way to freeze pesto is in an ice cube tray (place a thin layer of olive oil on each cube). Once frozen, pop out pesto cubes and place in a freezer zipper bag to use small amounts in various recipes such as: dips, soups, salad dressing, Salami, Pesto Tomatoes, Olives, Mozz, Pepperoncinisandwiches and dressing tomatoes.

Use pesto for pasta sauce or in meat sauce or soup. Spread on pesto pizza and sandwiches. Make pesto salad dressing or pesto dip. Drizzle on pesto tomato wedges or mix into steamed rice.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange pine nuts for walnuts, pecans or cashews.

Inspiration – Marcella Hazan’s recipe
Cook with Sauces
Genovese Pesto
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: July 1, 2013

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Garlic Vinaigrette

Bright, fresh homemade vinaigrette with fresh garlic and a touch of honey.

The Sauce: Garlic Vinaigrette – Easy vinaigrette has the perfect balance between bright vinegar and fruity olive oil with finely grated garlic and a touch of honey.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’

No more preservatives in salads

Bottled salad dressing used to line the door of my fridge. Bleu cheese, of course, plus Ranch, Italian, Sesame, Thousand Island, Catalina and the like. Now I’m hard pressed to find a bottle of any salad dressing in my fridge. I make my own fresh dressing for the salad I’m serving. How can you prepare fresh salad greens with juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, pungent red onions and then pour on preservative laden goop.

This is my favorite everyday dressing. It’s easy! I always keep the ingredients in my kitchen. It takes 2 minutes or less to whip together. My favorite tool for this dressing is a microplane grater. It evenly minces garlic in half the

Olive Oiltime it takes with a knife and cutting board.

I love to make it in the bottom of a salad serving bowl then add the salad ingredients right on top. Saves me an extra bowl to wash. Just before dinner, toss it together and serve. It has a bright fresh flavor.

You might also enjoy Bacon and Egg Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette, Caprese Salad, Park City Salad, Fiesta Bean Salad, Peach Spinach Salad and Taco Salad Kit.

2012 AniversaRecipe – White Fish with Golden Sweet Pepper Sauce
2011 AniversaRecipe – Bleu Cheese Tomato Wedge Salad

Recipe: Garlic Vinaigrette

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

Olive Oil, Mustard, Garlic

  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • dash kosher salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • salad greens and vegetables

Special Equipment – large salad bowl


1 In the bottom of a large salad bowl whisk garlic, mustard, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Pouring Olive Oil2 Slowly drizzle olive oil, whisking to emulsify.

3 Add salad greens and vegetables to the bowl, toss.
Salad Greens with Vinaigrette
Using a homemade dressing tossed right into the green salad de-clutters the dinner table. It is absent bottles of dressing littering the presentation.

Switch up the ingredients for little changes like using different vinegars or fresh lemon juice. Different mustards change the flavor. See the Dish Designer below for suggestions.

A rule of thumb is to start with 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil.

Serve this dressing on a tossed green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, carrots, bell peppers, etc.

This dressing also works great to flavor or sauce grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and pearl barley. Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of vinaigrette per 1 cup cooked grain while still hot to help absorb the flavor. Try Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange minced garlic for finely chopped scallions or shallots.
  • Exchange Dijon for coarse ground, spicy brown or ball park mustard.
  • Exchange 1/2 tablespoon honey for 1 teaspoon agave.
  • Exchange white vinegar for rice, red wine, champagne or white balsamic vinegar. Also try lemon juice.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: June 1, 2013

Continue Reading · 0

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