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Basil Oil

Basil Oil

After spending too much time watching TV this weekend, I kept seeing a commercial from a popular Italian chain restaurant tempting me to come devour some all you can eat pasta. I was sold but didn’t want to get up and go. I chose to use what I had in my kitchen instead. The big decision though was the sauce…just as it would have been at the restaurant. I had a huge amount of basil so the decision was made for me. It was time for some basil oil.

Basil oil is a very flavorful and amazingly versatile. Not only can you do what I did and add it to you favorite pasta dish, you can also drizzle it over a refreshing caprese salad, spread it on a slice of bread for a tasty sandwich, add it to mayonnaise for a new twist on a condiment, create your own bruschetta, or toss it with some roasted potatoes at your next meal. Think outside of the box for how you might use your batch of basil oil! It will liven up your next meal!

Basil Oil Recipe Continue reading

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Unique and Easy: Marinated Mozzarella Bites

Every so often I take a trip to a specialty grocery store about thirty miles from my home. I can usually beat the everyday grocery store doldrums to find more interesting fruits and veggies, unique meats, and one of my favorites…the olive bar. This particular specialty store has every olive imaginable. One of my favorite selections on the olive bar is the marinated cheese. They usually carry some feta and mozzarella in a heavy olive oil spiked with crushed red pepper and herbs. I add some cheese to my olives and rush home. What happens when I get home? I eat the cheese and save the olives for later. I can’t seem to wait for these spicy little bites.

These Marinated Mozzarella Bites are my version of the olive bar offering. They are perfect as a snack or as an appetizer at your next party or family dinner.  I thought about adding some grated garlic but I worried it would overtake the whole appetizer. If you want some garlic, add it. If you like it spicy, add more crushed red pepper. Make it your own and tell me what you think!

Marinated Mozzarella Bites

Ingredients

8 oz Fresh mozzarella cheese

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Basil, minced

1 tsp Thyme, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp Chives, minced

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

1/4 tsp Crushed red pepper
Directions

  1. Dice mozzarella into large chunks.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix well.
  3. Add mozzarella chucks to marinade. Stir well until all mozzarella is covered in marinade.
  4. Store in refrigerator for at least 8 hours, stirring every so often.
  5. Ready to serve.