Archive for October, 2016

Time to Schedule Those Parties

Posted on: October 25th, 2016

Hello Harvest Friends!

I hate to harp on you about the holidays, but the fact of the matter is that they will be here before we know (or are ready) for them! Austin and I have been working hard… so hard in fact that we’ve hired part-timer, Libby, to help us through the season. Libby is just as excited about cooking and healthy eating as we are and she is a great addition to our team.

As our team grows, so does our presence in the community. It’s a very exciting time and you may see Austin and I out more and more at local businesses and events as we expand Harvest’s involvement with our partners. But don’t worry! We are still minding the store. Our priority remains excellent and personable customer service.

Though our calendar is filling up (much as I imagine yours is), we still are looking forward to holding private tasting events for you at our store. We will work with you to tailor these events to the tastes of you and your guests. We have hosted events for birthdays, bridal showers, work retreats, GNOs, couples parties, family gatherings and almost any other occasion you can imagine. We are able to accommodate most all tastes and allergies. Gluten free? Vegetarian? No problem.

    If you have never been to a Private Tasting Party, here’s what you’re missing:

  • • You have zero prep to handle. Harvest staff does all the legwork. You simply invite the guests, show up, and enjoy a lovely evening with your friends. Many of our hosts agree that holding their party not having to clean their home before guests arrive is the best part!
  • • An individualized teaching approach to our product. Staff guides you through the health benefits and easy every day ways to use our products. You will not leave wondering what on earth you will do with a Tangerine Balsamic. We are here to help inspire you before, during and after your event.
  • • A personalized pairing sampling. We pair up various Ultra Premium Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegars and lead you through discovering your own favorites.
  • • Free wine…yep, that’s right. Free wine for up to 10 people.
  • • Bread, popcorn and a desert are also provided free of charge (up to 10 people).
  • • No clean up. You leave the event when you want and leave the clean up to us.
  • • Attendees are encouraged to interrupt, interject and have a great time participating in the event. Many attendees end up sharing recipes with each other.
  • • If you choose, we offer a catered option at a very reasonable rate. We will work with you to create a menu that you will love and your guests will be talking about later.
  • • Did I mention free wine?

Don’t let planning your holiday event stress you out. Whether it’s a family gathering or a work function, let Harvest help you. Call us at 319-338-2339 to schedule your event. We look forward to hearing from you!


A Short Lesson in Specialty Vinegars

Posted on: October 7th, 2016

Did you know that Harvest carries more than just your favorite Ultra Premium Olive Oils and Aged Balsamic Vinegars? It’s true! We carry a few specialty vinegars that deserve some attention as well. They are just as tasty and versatile as our other products and below I’ve outlined a few uses of each for you. Next time you’re in, ask us about our specialty vinegars.

See you soon!


Champagne Vinegar Facts: Imported from the Champagne region of France, this vinegar has a smooth and elegant flavor. This may be in part due to the way it is produced. Unlike other Champagne vinegars, ours never undergoes a pasteurization process, by eliminating this step, the vinegar possesses a lovely, rich base.

How to use Champagne Vinegar: As with all of our products, you can use it in your salad preparation. Try using it in a marinara sauce. Just as wine adds a splash of flavor to such sauces, Champagne vinegar does the same without a harsh bite. Try it in homemade mayonnaise-just whisk together with your favorite Harvest Ultra Premium Olive Oil, eggs and mustard. Use it to make sauces that call for vinegar including béarnaise sauce and beurre blanc sauce. Combine with your favorite Ultra Premium Olive Oil and herbs of your choosing as a marinade for chicken. It’s also great with white fish and seafood.

Red Wine Vinegar Facts: Our Red Barrel Aged Wine Vinegar has a complex nose boasting oak and spice. It is robust and rich with a pleasing zing. Red wine vinegar is mainly used in Central and Southern Europe. It is often used in dishes to balance the flavors and to add an extra burst of flavor.

How to use Red Wine Vinegar: Due to its acidic nature, Red Wine Vinegar is a great way to tenderize meat while adding another level of flavor. It emulsifies smoothly with oil, making it great for using in vinaigrettes and salad dressings. It works for pickling vegetables-it adds a bittersweet taste while tenderizing the veggies. It can even be used in baking. It helps bread rise when added to dough and can be added to meringue to make it fluffier.

Sherry Vinegar Facts: Our Sherry Reserva Wine Vinegar is from Jerez, Spain and made in the traditional Solera system, aged 25 years. It has a true Sherry flavor that can only come from cask-aging. Great wherever strength and depth of flavor is desired.

How to use Sherry Vinegar: Use Sherry Vinegar instead of wine to deglaze pans or to add a different flavor to soups, stews and sauces. You can reduce it and use it as a glaze on chicken, duck or pork. Try adding atop vegetables for a fresh flavor combination. It will add a bit of acidity to any dish, without overpowering it.

Third Thursday Recipes Revealed!

Posted on: October 4th, 2016

OK, so Third Thursday recipes aren’t really a secret these days. Those of you who have attended know that we prepare a handout for you so that you can recreate things for yourself. For those who visit the store in the days following Third Thursday events, you may even be able to snag a copy of the recipes we used.

We received such a positive response to a few of our tailgating recipes that I decided to post them here. I love that everyone gets just as excited about using Harvest product as we do. You make our jobs so fun!

These particular recipes involve one of my favorite pairings (Cilantro & Roasted Onion Olive Oil and Gravenstein Apple White Balsamic), which I also find to be particularly great flavors for fall.

And what would a Third Thursday be without a signature cocktail? Our Autumn Harvest (see what I did there?) Punch was a huge hit and is incredibly easy to make. I’ve got a bit of bartender in me, so I like to soak the fruit in balsamic and alcohol for a few hours before I combine with the other ingredients, but it works just as well when you throw it together on the fly.



Game Day Gourmet Pulled Pork

A Harvest twist on a weekend favorite. Takes your pulled pork sandwiches to another level!


  • 1 (3-4 lb) pork tenderloin
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup Harvest Cilantro & Roasted Onion Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Harvest Gravenstein Apple Balsamic Vinegar

  • Slice slits in pork tenderloin. Place 1-2 apple slices and onion chunks per slit. Place remaining apple and onion slices in bottom of crockpot. Place pork on top of apple and onion slices. Drizzle Harvest Cilantro & Roasted Onion Olive Oil and Harvest Gravenstein Apple Balsamic Vinegar over top of pork. Cook on low for 8 hours (or on high for 4 hours).
  • Remove from slow cooker and shred for sandwiches! You’ll be the culinary MVP!

Amazing Apple Slaw


  • 1 bag coleslaw mix (naturally, you can buy whole heads of cabbage and slice yourself, but who has time on game day?)
  • 1-2 apples, diced
  • 1 small purple onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, diced (this is to your taste)
  • 1/4 cup Harvest Cilantro & Roasted Onion Olive Oil (also to your taste)
  • 1/4 cup Harvest Gravenstein Apple Balsamic Vinegar (also to your taste)

  • Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Chill at least one hour (overnight works well). The perfect addition to your pulled pork-enjoy as a side dish or right on top of your sandwich!

Harvest Toasted Sesame Oil and Harvest Honey Ginger Balsamic make an excellent coleslaw as well. Feeling spicy? Try Harvest Chipotle Oil with Harvest Serrano Honey or Jalepeno Balsamic. Fresh strawberries add another dimension to this classic side dish–try adding them along with Blood Orange Olive Oil and Strawberry Balsamic.

Autumn Harvest Punch


  • 64 ounces of apple juice
  • 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup Harvest Pomegranate-Quince Balsamic
  • 1 cup spiced rum

  • Combine ingredients and serve over ice. Garnish with apples or orange slices if desired. Harvest Cranberry Pear Balsamic also works well for this punch.