Pairing High Quality Olive Oils with Homegrown, Scratch-Made Meals.

The last 3 or 4 years have been kind of a food revolution for John and I. Things have changed when it comes to the foods we eat. We're eating 'cleaner', less processed foods. We have a huge organic garden that supplies us with endless amounts of organic, non-GMO of vegetable produce. We shop at our favorite food co-op for items we can't grow or source locally. We are OK splurging on items that are high quality and will enhance the flavor of these local, homegrown, scratch-made meals. 

About 6 months ago I saw a little store in a strip mall on the other side of town, and made a mental note to check it out when I had a moment. 

Turns out my moments are hard to come by, because I finally visited Olive's Oil in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and was sooooooo impressed. 

Instantly, I knew that these oils and vinegars and spices would be the perfect compliment to our homegrown produce, the local meats, and scratch-made meals that John and I enjoy. 

Chris Crosby, one of the owners of Olive's Oil, sources ultra premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world.

Chris was really welcoming, and answered all of my novice questions in terms I could understand. I told her that I was making a vegetable and chicken dish on the grill for dinner, and asked for a recommendation. She pointed me toward the Harissa infused olive oil and Herbs de Provence infused olive oil and offered me a taste.

These oils were unlike any infused oil I've ever tasted. Does it make sense to say they tasted 'fresh'? Not like an oil? I don't really have the words, I guess.

The Harissa infused oil had a kick at the end that I knew John would love, so I picked it up as well as a Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar. I think I'll use the two of them in a 50/50 ratio for a salad dressing.

Chris also has a board (and a postcard she tucked in my bag) with her favorite pairings, for those looking for something tried and true.

When I got home, I used a few glugs of Olive Oil's Herbs de Provence oil, 2 cloves of smashed garlic, the juice of a whole lemon, kosher salt, and fresh cracked black pepper to make a marinade for chicken legs.

I let the chicken legs sit in the marinade for about an hour, then cooked them over low heat on the grill, basting the legs in the remaining marinade for the first few minutes of cooking.

Tell me about your favorite olive oil or 'splurge' condiment that dresses up your homegrown, scratch-made meals!

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  1. What a cool place! I do splurge on California Ranch olive oil for my cooking. It's pure and has a nice taste.

    One item I would say we splurge on is good quality cheese. You can't beat freshly grated Parmesan.


  2. Shopping at olives oil will ruin your life. You will never be able to go back to the regular bertolis or whatever again. It is like going back to foldgers after actually having a decent cup of coffee. It just can't happen.

    This makes perfect salad dressing. Any olive oil and vinegar combo. And it's super healthy

  3. Darnit.....I need to go there !!!!!

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