Oct 082013

This dipping oil recipe was inspired by products received from Pompeian and Smiley360.  All words and thoughts are my own.

It may sound funny, but I threw my first serious dinner party when I was in high school.  I set the table nicely with linens, candles, and a centerpiece and served up four courses – appetizers, salad, entree, and dessert – to five of my closets friends.  It was a lot of fun – even considering the fact that the guys ended up playing swords with the crunchy rosemary bread sticks and then attempted to light them using the candles.

Gotta love teenage boys.

Being a hostess has always come naturally for me, and even when I’m only “entertaining” my own family, I like to try and make our meals as nice as possible.  Yes, we do take out now and then, and sometimes dinner comes out of the freezer.  But if I can carve the extra time out of the day, I like to add little extras whenever I can.

Bread Dipping Oil Recipe

One “extra” that I like to serve is bread with dipping oil.  Bread has always been a highlight of a meal for me; I’m sure it goes back to baking bread in the kitchen with my Gram while I was growing up.  But after the first time my bread was paired with dipping oil and herbs at a restaurant one night, I’ve made it as a pre-dinner nosh a few times per year. Continue reading »

Sep 132013

Thank you to Bertolli for providing the olive oil used to make my Parmesan Roasted Asparagus recipe.  All words and thoughts are my own.

Up until the past few years, I was convinced that I didn’t like asparagus.  Granted, I couldn’t ever remember actually trying asparagus, but that doesn’t really matter, right?  You’re allowed to know what foods you’ll like and won’t like just by looking at them.  Aren’t you?

Then a few years ago we were at our local farmer’s market in Florida and lo and behold there was a whole stand of asparagus that day.  Hubby wasn’t really sure if he liked asparagus, either, but we are always looking for a new side to pair with our proteins, so we decided to go for it.  I consulted with the attendant at the market to get her thoughts on what makes “good” asparagus, and we took a bunch home.

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus Recipe

That night we just roasted it (again on the suggestion of the girl from the farmer’s market) and we both were surprised to find just how much we liked it.  Through a little trial and error, I ended up with this recipe for Parmesan Roasted Asparagus. Continue reading »