Marinated Olives

Olives are one of my favorite snacks. It’s a little frightening, but I can easily polish off a can of olives on my own. Making your own marinated olives is very simple and it keeps for a while in the fridge, so you can have them on hand for a party or just for snacking. This recipe is pretty versatile. I love the combination of lemon zest and coriander that I’ve used it here, but I imagine a couple dried chile de arbol would be a great addition too! The only thing I insist on is using unpitted olives. When olives are pitted, they turn into sad olives that lose that great meaty texture and complex fruity flavor.

marinated olives 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of assorted olives.  I used Lucques, Nicoise, and Castelvetrano, unpitted
  • Zest of 1 lemon, peeled with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 tablespoons of whole coriander seeds
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 dried bay leaves

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Kumquat Jam

My friend has a large and prosperous kumquat tree and asked if I wanted some of the fruit before they were all gone. I jumped at the chance, as I love to snack on kumquats. But when I came home with almost 3 pounds, I knew I wouldn’t even be able to make a dent in my newly acquired stash before they all went bad. I had never tried making fruit jam before so I did a little internet research and found a simple kumquat jam recipe from Food in Jars. The result was amazing, slightly bitter but sweet and with intense kumquat flavor. However, here’s your warning: taking apart the little kumquats is tedious and monotonous, especially if you’re making a large batch. So I suggest you do what I did and make this jam when you have some time to spare, turn on the TV and do a marathon run of trashy television shows, and try and enjoy the process, because it’s totally worth it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of kumquats, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water

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Blackberry on Rye

I’m often surprised I don’t see more wine cocktails. Sure, there’s sangria, mimosas and the like, but wine can also hold a variety of the characteristics we seek in a good everyday mixing ingredient: acidity, sweetness, and aroma. For this wine cocktail I wanted intense dark fruit flavors. Muddled blackberries evoke the jamminess of the wine, which paired well with the spice of a bold rye whiskey.

Blackberry on Rye // HonestlyYUM

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 1/2 oz red wine
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 blackberries

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The Perfect Cheese Platter

Whenever I throw a party, I have this slight phobia that there won’t be enough food for my guests. A cheese platter is the perfect solution. Anytime I’m entertaining, I almost always put a platter out, whether its a full and large set like the one here or just to supplement other starters. With a beautiful cheese platter to graze on, none of your guests will go home hungry!

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

I typically pick out 3 or 4 different cheeses and supplement with nuts, cured meats, preserves and olives. The key is picking out a range of cheese so that you have something that suits everyone’s palate, so serving a blue, a soft, a hard and an aged covers most everyone’s preferences.

The Perfect Cheese Platter // HonestlyYUM

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Berry Nice

One of my favorite times of the year is when fresh berries first arrive at the farmer’s market. It’s impossible to describe how excited I get. What follows is a month-long binge of everything berry: smoothies, parfaits, syrups, pies and of course. . . cocktails. Here are a few berry images that make my mouth water just looking at them. What berry inspires you most?

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