Food to create holiday memories

What a magical time of the year. A time to be with family and friends enjoying a meal or even preparing it together. Wow, a whole lot of cooking and eating is going on! So many wonderful recipes will be prepared and devoured. Some people love to experiment and try new dishes but there are others who stick to the traditional recipes, the staples of the holidays and true to their roots. Do you know what? We love them. They are reminders of that special day growing up and bring warmth and comfort that make your family traditions yours!

That’s what we are all about, Joy will always give you the traditional recipe and Judy will always give a great twist on that same recipe. We call it, The Traditional & The Twist.

But what if we still make Mom and Nana’s recipes, the tried and true ones that have been passed down and prepared year after year with a twist? Something as simple as experimenting with different infused olive oils and wonderful flavored vinegars to freshen and spice up our cherished favorites?

You can actually infuse oils and vinegars yourself but reading up on this is a must as doing this the wrong way can be harmful. Judy and I have a favorite olive oil/vinegar choice, Old World Olive Company. It can be ordered online and you will not be disappointed. We were fortunate to experience this quality product a few months ago with a few days stay at the company and tasted each and every one.

Most meals begin with a salad and here is where you can experiment with a wide range of olive oil and vinegars flavors. My favorite is the tart red apple vinegar blended with the toasted walnut olive oil. Judy prefers the raspberry vinegar paired with the roasted sesame olive oil. Imagine serving your holiday salad that way? Fabulous!

Most families love a pasta dish to begin the meal. Red sauce, cream sauces and even fish sauces will be served. A favorite for our family, of course, is the traditional lasagna but lets add a twist with a finishing swirl of a buttery flavored oil or even the porcini mushroom olive oil. To die for, right?

How about coating the skin of that holiday turkey, before roasting, with a wild mushroom and sage olive oil? Or sautéing some onions and carrots for the stuffing in a sweet garlic infused oil or maybe an earthy Tuscan herb? Judy and I tried just about all of the flavors during the time we were there and the possibilities for creating new recipes and dressing up the old ones were endless.

The ever popular beef rib roast or the swoon-worthy filet mignon gets all dressed up for the holiday table by adding an Italian white truffle oil with it’s earthy buttery flavor or making a balsamic pan sauce made with a thick dark chocolate vinegar and a splash of blood orange vinegar. Doesn’t that sound delicious?

Finally the sweeter side of the holiday. A simple vanilla bean ice cream can go to a new level when drizzled with a sweet but tart cherry balsamic vinegar and a crunchy shortbread cookie made with a Persian lime olive oil can leave many in a trance.

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