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.
1 lb. of assorted olives. I used Lucques, Nicoise, and Castelvetrano, unpitted
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?