Archive for November, 2017

The Harvest Holiday State of the Union: Event Previews & Tasting Parties

Posted on: November 28th, 2017

The holidays are here. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you survived Thanksgiving weekend, which you should feel pretty good about. It can be tough to successfully navigate the throngs of angry people, after all–and that’s just the throngs seated around the dinner table. My brother was hoarding the dinner rolls, he had to be put in his place.

And don’t get me started on Black Friday.

So now, with the turkey out of the way, we can turn our attention to the rest of the winter holidays. Whichever you happen to celebrate, Shauna and I wish you and yours a happy and healthy season–and we can help!

It starts with our November Double-Punch Day today: Stop in any time today and receive double punches on your punch cards for each bottle you buy. You can earn your free bottles twice as quickly as normal! (And you don’t even have to tell your friends that their gift was free if you don’t want to!) If you can’t make it down today we’ll do another D.P.D. on Monday, December 18.

Need some holiday cooking ideas? Keep an eye on the blog for a bunch of winter-themed recipes that will start trickling out soon. Those recipes are being developed for our Harvestivus party on December 9. We’re partnering with the good people at Yelp Iowa City to bring you a vaguely Seinfeld-themed holiday extravaganza full of food, fun, and feats of strength (read: thumb wars). This is a private and 21+ event, but space is still available. You must RSVP at this link if you’re interested in attending!

Have you been pressed into hosting a holiday party but don’t necessarily want your friends and family in your house? Have it here with a free tasting party! Shauna and I will lead a guided tasting, provide snacks and drinks made with our oils and vinegars, and teach you how to use our products in your daily life to promote good health and creativity in the kitchen. Space is still available in December and beyond, so contact the store for additional details or to reserve your date! And, now through the end of the year, hosts or hostesses will receive a free gift and 10% off any purchase on the date of the party!

We also would love to see how you used Harvest products in your holiday cooking: Share photos or stories on our Facebook or Instagram!

Questions? Call the store (319.338.2339) or send us an email (harvestoilandvinegar@gmail.com)

 

Open House Revisited: The Recipes

Posted on: November 10th, 2017

Thursday was our annual Holiday Open House, and boy are our arms tired!

…what’s that? Wrong punchline? Sorry. It’s been a heckuva week for us; the HOH is our biggest event of the year, and we may be a little loopy for a couple days as we recover. Planning and executing all those wonderful goodies and decorations really takes a lot out of you, apparently.

And while we enjoyed seeing so many happy faces, we do understand that not everyone could make it down to the store. Those in attendance were given sheets with recipes for all the evening’s goodies, and we’d like to make them available to everyone on one easy-to-find page. Sharing is caring, as my nephew likes to say. A lot. Like, all the time. WE GET IT, ZANE. SHARING IS CARING.*

…but I digress. To the recipes!

Cake Mix Cookies

Ingredients:

  • – 1 box white cake mix
  • – 1 egg
  • – 1 (8 oz) brick light cream cheese
  • – 3/4 cup Harvest Persian Lime Olive Oil
  • – powdered sugar

Mix ingredients and place batter in fridge for at least 20 minutes. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and coat with powdered sugar. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Harvest “Secret Recipe” Best Brownies

Ingredients:

  • – 1 box Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix
  • – 1 egg
  • – 1/3 cup water
  • – 1/3 cup Harvest Blood Orange Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degree. Mix ingredients together. Combine until smooth. Pour into greased pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, depending on desired texture of brownie. Let cool. Enjoy! We like to serve ours with a balsamic reduction drizzled on top. Raspberry is what we used for the Holiday Open House refreshments.

Dill-icious Pretzels

Ingredients:

  • – 1 tsp garlic powder
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Butter Olive Oil
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Garlic Olive Oil
  • – 1/4 cup Harvest Wild Dill Olive Oil
  • – 1 bag mini pretzels

Mix garlic powder into oil. Pour pretzels into a one-gallon bag and pour oil mixture over. Shake to mix. Spread all pretzels onto a sheet cake pan and roast at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Olive Wood Smoked Almonds

Ingredients:

  • – 1 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • – 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • – 3 Tbs Harvest Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil
  • – 3 cups almonds

Mix all ingredients together. Spread onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Harvest Cheese Puffs

Ingredients:

  • – 3/4 cup whole milk
  • – 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs Harvest Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
  • – 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • – 1/3 cup water
  • – 1 1/2 cups flour
  • – 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • – 12 oz cheese, grated and divided in half

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring milk, Olive Oil, salt and water to a boil over high heat. Add flour and stir until a clumpy dough forms; reduce heat to medium, and stir constantly until it comes together and begins to look at bit dry, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and beat in one egg with a hand mixer until smooth; repeat with each egg, beating well, until dough is smooth and sticky. Stir in half the cheese.

Using well-floured hands, gently roll dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter and transfer them to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. (Piping the dough through a plain 1/2 inch tip works as well; use a swirling motion to make small mounds. )Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and place in oven. Reduce  heat to 375 and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Harvest Chex Mix

Ingredients:

  • – 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • – 3 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • – 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
  • – 1 cup pretzels
  • – 6 Tbs Harvest Butter Olive Oil
  • – 2 Tbs Harvest Neapolitan Herb Balsamic
  • – 1 1/2 tsps Seasoned Salt
  • – 3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • – 1/2 tsp Onion Powder

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals and pretzels; set aside. In small bowl, combine Butter Olive Oil and Neapolitan Herb Balsamic. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Spread out to cool. Enjoy!

Holiday Punch

Ingredients:

  • – 3 cups cranberry juice
  • – 2 cups apple juice
  • – 1/2 cup Harvest Cara-Cara Orange Vanilla Balsamic
  • – 2 cups club soda
  • – cranberries, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients. Pour over ice and garnish, if desired.

***

*Seth loves his nephew dearly, thinks it’s wonderful that he’s so attached to such a simple and decent idea, and thinks more people should follow Zizou’s good advice.

On the Science of Tasting Oil and Vinegar, with Spokespeople

Posted on: November 2nd, 2017

An all-time classic World Series wrapped up last night, ushering in a cold and bleak season utterly devoid of joy. (I’m always a little down the day after the baseball season ends. I’ll get over it.) But, since this is a blog about oil and vinegar, we won’t spend any more time on what was quite literally the most engaging Series I can remember.

Instead, let’s talk about one of the advertising campaigns that played during every single commercial break the entire Fall Classic.

In the ads, a smartly-dressed young man compares the relationship between his new smartphone and his data provider to the classic pairing of oil and balsamic. The connection seems like a bit of a stretch to me, but I’m sure it makes sense to someone. The sciencey people he’s trying to convince to buy his product immediately poke holes in his argument by pointing out that oil and balsamic don’t actually mix; instead, they form a suspension. Without getting too sciencey ourselves, this is because oils are a form of fat, and fat molecules tend to be nonpolar; vinegar molecules often do have a polar charge and therefore will group together rather than bond with the nonpolar fat molecules.

If it helps, think of it like one of those horribly awkward middle-school dances we’ve all been to. The boys are the oil, the girls are the vinegar, and they’ll be perfectly happy to stand on opposite sides of the gym staring at each other until an external force, like the world’s most perfect pop song, forces them onto the dance floor together. That song acts as an emulsifier, which stabilizes the solution and temporarily brings the molecules together as they shuffle around making uncomfortable eye contact with each other. (And, at this point, I think this analogy has run its course.)

So how can you get the most out of your oil and vinegar tasting experience? Start by emulsifying. You can do this with a whisk or by shaking the two together in a jar (just make sure that jar has a lid), but you don’t necessarily need all that fancy equipment. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • – Pour your oil and vinegar together in a cup; a 1:1 ratio tends to be a good starting point
  • – Cover the cup with your hand and swirl until the two are close to body temperature and have started to come together; you’ll see the beads of oil begin to break down
  • – Take a sip, slurping slightly to help aerate the mixture, and roll it around in your mouth to cover all areas of your tongue
  • – Inhale slightly through your mouth to further aerate the mixture, and continue to breathe in through your nose. Swallow, and exhale through your nose to fully appreciate the flavors. This last step is particularly important, as a huge portion of what we associate as taste comes from stimulating olfactory centers in our noses

And while science suggests that perhaps the spokesman chose a poor analogy to link his cellphone and service provider, it’s worth noting that in one version of the ad, he defends himself by muttering that he likes oil and balsamic.

You know what, Mr. Spokesman? We do, too. We really do.