Olive Oil Anyone?

You betcha! And when a new and delicious one comes so highly recommended from a fellow foodie, well, I just had to share it with you.
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Olivi is a beautiful finishing extra virgin olive oil with a naturally peppery pungency. Pressed from the Chemlali variety of olives locally grown on Djerba Island in the South of Tunisia, the olives are hand picked by local farmers and cold pressed to produce this exceptional extra virgin olive oil.

It’s as rich and smooth as butter~ you could drink it straight from the can. It’s THAT good! Like any exceptional EVOO, this is the good stuff– so use Olivi as a finishing or dipping oil only (not for cooking) to dress up a fresh green salad, steamed garden veggies, or use it as the final flourish to a pasta dish like my food blogger friend Ruthie from Cooking With Ruthie did in her Bruschetta Pasta with Olivi recipe. It will have you grabbing a multi-grain baguette to scoop up every last drop of this fragrant oil!
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And now the best part! Ruthie and I are teaming up with a few more of our extra-virgin-olive-oil-and-pasta-loving friends to give away five cans of Olivi Extra Virgin Olive Oil to five lucky winners!! Entry link at bottom of post, or visit anyone of these amazing ladies’ sites to enter: Dru from Polka Dot Poplars, Julie from Confessions of a Cooking Diva, Cathy from Three Kids and a Fish, Aleisha from She Calls me Mama Leisha and Jen from Tatertots and Jello .

Bruschetta Pasta with Olivi
yields 4 servings | recipe and photos courtesy Cooking With Ruthie

1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
10-15 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons Olivi Olive Oil
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt (adjust to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces whole grain angel hair pasta

In a large serving bowl combine tomatoes, basil, sea salt, pepper, and Olivi Olive Oil; allow to marinate while preparing pasta. Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain.  Add warm pasta to serving bowl and toss. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Enjoy!

ENTER here for a chance to win.

(pssst…..if you just can’t wait for the giveaway winners to be announced, then jump on-line and order Olivi Extra Virgin Olive Oil with this link and use the discount code: RUTHIE25 and receive 25% off your order.)

Dry Creek Olive Company

Olive Oil Cake | whiskandmuddler.com I’m so fortunate to live in an area, which for most people, is considered foodie mecca. Thousands upon thousands of people flock here annually (thankfully not all at once) to experience the wine, food, gorgeous scenery and joie de vivre of this expansive agricultural Graceland. Where am I you ask? None other than the beautiful Sonoma County in Northern California. And in particular, the quaint Dry Creek Valley.

Here in this long and narrow AVA (American Viticultural Areaa designation given to a particular grape growing region) you’ll find not only top-notch Zinfandel and Rhone-style wines, but an amazing collection of small, family artisans who have been tending their farms, dairies, chicken & cattle ranches, olive and stone fruit orchards for generations.  It is this unique combination of farm to table living that makes this part of wine country a world-class destination.

Dry Creek Olive Co logo Dry Creek Olive Company/Trattore Farms is just one of the many small producers thriving in this rustic-chic community known for its dichotomy of sophistication & lux and down-to-earth farmer attitudes. Dry Creek Olive Co. mills a wide selection extra virgin olive oils from their estate olive orchards and has a couple of phenomenal vinegars as well. Their other arm of the business (Trattore Farms) produces estate wines, with a focus on red and white Rhone blends.

I’ve been a fan of their olive oils for years and am always looking for ways to incorporate them into my everyday cuisine. So this past week, our winery caterer and I were doing a photo shoot for an upcoming publication this fall. We had the pleasure of testing & experimenting with a few recipes trying to find the best citrus olive oil & semolina cake we could. Collectively we both baked up to four or five cakes, each recipe offering a slight twist on the basic ingredients of olive oil, citrus, semolina and almond meal.  In the end, we created a hybrid of them all (shown below) which proved the best result from a texture and flavor standpoint. The deep orange-golden color comes from the Valencia Orange Olive Oil and the semolina.

DSC_0181Olive Oil Cake | whiskandmuddler.com

Olive Oil Cake | whiskandmuddler.comFrom the batch of recipes we tested, our top two winners were: Orange, Semolina and Olive Oil Cake that I adapted from KR Catering’s recipe and an Olive Oil Cake from Dry Creek Olive Company.

And should you ever make it out to this corner of the world, do stop by Dry Creek Olive Company for an olive oil tasting or to sample their wines.  They’re open daily from 11am-5:00pm | trattorefarms.com