Food & Drink

Nov
28

Fabulous Fall Dessert: Pumpkin Pound Cake

by Christine

As winter's snow and ice coat the Thanksgiving landscape here in New York, I will share one last autumn recipe...pumpkin pound cake. Nothings says fall like pumpkin. Okay, maybe lots of things say fall but pumpkin pound cake is one of the tastier ones. A baking pumpkin pound cake makes the whole house smell like your very best fall day. For me the aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger triggers memories of my mom and the spectacular holiday meals she prepared when I was younger.

This year I served this cake for Thanksgiving to my friends and family with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream. Fabulous! If you want to hold on to the smells and memories of autumn for a little longer, this is the cake to make that happen. I hope you enjoy.

Hugs,
C

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Ingredients:

1-1/4 cup of butter
1-1/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1-15 ounce can of solid-packed pumpkin
3 cups of all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 cup of chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°
Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan

1. Bring butter and eggs to room temperature.
2. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, allspice and ginger together. Set aside. *
3. In large bowl, cream butter and sugars.

4. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg.
5. Beat in pumpkin.
6. Add flour mixture.

7. Stir in pecans.
8. Pour batter in to tube pan and bake for 90 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.**
9. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

* I use salted butter so I don't add additional salt. 
** Check the cake after 75 minutes so you don't over bake. 

I served my cake with cinnamon ice cream but if you would like to change it up a bit, try this butter-rum sauce.

Ingredients:

1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1-1/3 cup of water
3 tablespoons of cubed butter
1/2 teaspoon of rum extract

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch.
2. Over medium heat, gradually stir in water.
3. Bring to a boil and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 
4. Remove from heat and stir in butter and rum extract.
5. Serve warm.

 

 

 

 



 

Topics: 
Nov
21

Ode To Turkey Soup

by Christine

Next Thursday is a blue ribbon food event in the United States. Families and friends will gather to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner; a meal where all cooks who love preparing food will channel his or her favorite chef, recreate mom's signature dish or embark on creating a culinary journey of their own. Beginning this weekend, culinary craftsmen will be shopping, chopping, mixing, stirring, basting and baking until their Thanksgiving masterpiece will be displayed on the good china in the dining room. Success will be measured by the number of times these words are spoken, "I am so stuffed. I won't be able to eat for a week." Of course, everyone knows that's not true because in an hour or so those same people will meander back into the kitchen to sneak another piece of pie or munch on a small bowl of stuffing. 

But today, I am thinking about the day AFTER Thanksgiving. You put your heart and soul into preparing the perfect Thanksgiving meal and the next day, you got nothing. I mean who wants to go near the kitchen on Friday after spending hours the day before putting together a gigantic feast. A feast whose cleanup alone is a testimony to the effort required to pull it all off with taste and style. Plus Christmas is on the horizon and the Black Friday sales are calling your name. Well, I got two words for you...turkey soup. 

Yes, I know that turkey soup is usually reserved for the left over spot a week after Thanksgiving but I beg you to reconsider. Soup is nurturing, calming and in the case of this recipe easy. All you need is a crock-pot and a few basic ingredients so that you are free to shop, lounge or work on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is a great tasting soup that will remind your spouse and family that good food does mean love. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Hugs,
C

Slow Cooker Turkey Soup

Ingredients:

2 stalk celery, diced
1 cup of diced onions
4 cloves of minced garlic
4 bay leaves

2 cups of peeled and cubed potatoes. 
4 peeled and sliced carrots
1 teaspoon of white pepper
Kosher or sea salt to taste
4 cups of chicken broth
2-4 pounds of leftover turkey

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients except the turkey to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until the carrots are tender.
3. Add left over turkey 30 minutes before serving and cook until thoroughly heated.  

**I told you this is easy and it is but if your arms aren't sore from all the Thanksgiving preparing, you may add an additional step by sautéing in 2 tablespoons of olive oil the celery, onion and garlic before adding it to the crock-pot. This adds a few calories and takes another ten minutes but I think it brings out the flavor of the vegetables particularly the garlic. 

***If you and your family enjoy a touch of spice, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon of crushed pepper flakes.

Topics: 
Aug
08

Peaches, Summer Rain And Time Travel

by Christine

Time travel is possible. I can attest to that reality because each time I smell newly mown grass or fresh peaches, I am transported back in time. I am delivered to a place and time when thunderstorms were a daily "happening" and summer vacation lasted so long that returning to school was welcomed with anticipation and a new pair of shoes. The challenge with time travel triggered by smell is you can't control it.

Yesterday afternoon moments after a brief rainstorm, I was transported to the South of my childhood. Steam rose from the asphalt as the cool summer rain struck the hot road releasing the smelly fragrance of water, chemicals and dirt. With the first intake of the odorous smell, I was gone. I found myself playing chase in the rain with my red-faced, sweaty neighborhood friends; a game that abruptly ended with the first rupture of lightening against the livid and menacing thunderclouds. We took cover in the carport until the storm wore itself out and a rainbow signaled the all clear. 

All this brings me back to peaches. Peaches are the quintessential summer food. Eat one plain or whip up a peach cobbler for a perfect summer dessert. My favorite is peach ice cream. At family gatherings the adults would take turns at the hand crank keeping the dasher rotating in the can. My cousins and I would take turns packing ice and salt in the tub working hard to make every ice cube count. Today I use a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker; the process is easier but not nearly as much fun. 

Do you make homemade ice cream? Do you have summer smells that release strong memories? How about time travel, been anywhere fun lately? Don't be lulled into thinking summer will go on for ever, it's not long before school starts again so go outside and play.

Hugs,
C

Peach Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup of well chilled, whole milk *
3/4 of cup granulated sugar
2 cups of well chilled, heavy cream
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
3 cups of diced and mashed peaches **

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl combine milk and granulated sugar. 
2. Whisk to mix until sugar is dissolved.
3. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. 
4. Pour into freezer bowl and churn

* Fat is what makes ice cream rich and creamy. The higher the fat content the richer the ice cream. But sometimes I use skim milk and it is tasty too. 
** Some recipes call for sliced peaches or chunks. I've found that large pieces of fruit in homemade ice cream freezes hard and isn't all that flavorful. I mash my peaches to keep them from becoming tasteless ice balls. 


 

 

 

Topics: 
May
16

Chocolate Pound Cake: Oh My, This Is Yummy!

by Christine

I was not a big chocolate person growing up. I hear the gasps of astonishment but it's true. My favorite ice cream was strawberry; I preferred the licorice jellybeans in my Easter basket and always chose caramel over chocolate when given a choice. The same can't be said for Marty. He loves chocolate. He loves chocolate ice cream, chocolate bars, hot chocolate and chocolate cake. This is one of those opposites attract clichés but truthfully it is the reasons we can't share a dessert when dining out. I want the dessert made with caramel or toffee and he wants the rich chocolaty sweet treat. Compromise is not in the forefront where chocolate is concerned so in the interest of relationship harmony, we get one of each. 

As I was mulling over which pound cake to bake next, Marty came up with an idea. How about a chocolate pound cake? So chocolate pound cake it is! Before sharing the recipe with you, I have 3 suggestions to help make your chocolate pound cake the envy of every true chocolate connoisseur. First, use the best cocoa you can afford. I used Hershey's Cocoa power because it was in my pantry but the chocolate lovers in my family wanted a deeper chocolate taste. Hershey's is now making a dark cocoa that blends natural and Dutch-processed cocoas. Since venturing into the world of cocoa, I have learned all cocoas aren't the same. If you want to know the difference, read Joy the Baker's post on Natural Vs Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder

Next suggestion, give coconut oil a try. The first thing I though when I opened the jar of coconut oil was "this looks like Crisco." Coconut oil is the same color and texture of Crisco but has additional health advantage. The coconut oil will make your cake moister.  

Finally, serve with hot fudge. Yes, I know you've heard me say a dozen times that a good pound cake doesn't need add-ons but the one thing chocolate people love is chocolate with their chocolate. Hot fudge drizzled on this cake is the perfect topper. I conducted a little taste test between two hot fudge brands, Mrs. Richardson's and Smucker's. The adult vote went for Mrs. Richardson's because it "wasn't as sweet". What the vote tells me is that the kids will go for the Smucker's brand. 

So that's it. But one last thing, what is your favorite brand of cocoa and hot fudge sauce? 

Hugs,
C

Chocolate Pound Cake

Ingredients:

2 sticks of butter plus more for greasing pan, room temperature
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of cocoa
1/2 cup of coconut oil
3 cups of sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°
Grease a 10-inch tube pan with butter

1. Bring butter and eggs to room temperature.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa together. Set aside. *
3. Cream butter, coconut oil and sugar until fluffy. 
4. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg.
5. Add flour mixture and alternate with milk, beginning with and ending with the flour mixture.
6. Add vanilla.
7. Pour batter in to tube pan and bake for 90 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.**
8. Cool for 30 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

* I use salted butter so I don't add additional salt. 
** Check the cake after 60 minutes so you don't over bake. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: 
Apr
11

Little Yellow Lemon: The Taste Of A Spring Pound Cake

by Christine

Grapefruit and lemon trees grew in our yard when I was growing up. As a kid, the fragrance of our blooming citrus trees stopped me in my tracks as I inhaled the sweet aroma of spring; today the pleasant, scent of citrus transports me back to a time of warm spring afternoons where neighborhood kids played chase until dark.  My brother and I ate our homegrown grapefruit with a thick layer of sugar on top. The sugar helped mask the bitter taste of the fruit. As an adult I learned that citrus trees need an average temperature of 78˚to bear sweet fruit. Jacksonville is just a little north of the optimal growing region.

To enhance and improve a dish just add citrus. An arugula salad with walnuts, goat cheese and blood orange is luscious. A classic mojito is a refreshing summer lime drink that conjurers up Ybor City and Cuban cigars. But the real powerhouse of flavor is the lemon. Lemon is a perfect accent to chicken or fish. If you want something sweet mix up a pitcher of lemonade or if you don't want the calories use lemon to make the perfect body scrub.

My favorite use for lemon is in pound cake. The hint of tart enlivens the flavor of a pound cake without overwhelming it. And the smell while baking is glorious...it makes the whole world a hopeful place. Depending on the climate, lemon trees will bloom and bear fruit multiple times a years....Fabulous! Lemon pound cake year round.  I made this scrumptious Lemon Pound Cake this past weekend. I wanted to show you the cake sliced and nicely arranged on a plate but...we ate it. We had family over and before I could save a piece for the camera, the cake was gone. You must take me at my word that it looked as good on the inside as on the outside.

Hugs,
C

Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:
3 sticks of butter 
1 8 oz. package of regular cream cheese
6 eggs
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
zest from one lemon
3 cups sugar
3 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla

Glaze:
1 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoon of lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of buttermilk

Directions:

Cake:
Preheat oven to 325˚

Flour and grease a tube pan

1. Bring butter, cream cheese and eggs to room temperature.
2. Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.
3. Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each egg.
4. Add lemon and zest and mix well.
5. Mix flour and salt together; add to liquid mix.
6. Add vanilla and mix.
7. Pour in to pan.
8. Bake for 90 minutes or until toothpick come out clean. 

Glaze:

1. Whisk together the confectioner's sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and buttermilk. 
2. Allow the glaze to sit until the cake is fully cooled, then drizzle over the top of the cake. I didn't let the cake cool completely; while the cake still tasted great, I don't think it was as "pretty" as it could have been if I hadn't rushed the process. 

**Buttermilk is a difficult ingredient to keep and use up. To make your own buttermilk substitute measure out a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice and put it into a measuring cup. Add enough milk to measure up to the one-cup line. Wait 5-minutes and you are good to go. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: 
Mar
28

The Little Blue Box Or A Recipe App?

by Christine


[After a little spring cleaning]

Walking the end of life journey with my mom was arduous and long. I put multiple aspects of my life on hold so that when death finally came, I returned home anxious to get back to normal. What I've come to realize is the feeling of normal takes a backseat to grief, which takes time to experience and move through. The thought that I was going to return home to pick-up where I left off before mom's passing and that I was going to organize all the family photos and mom's recipes too, makes me smile.  The old Southern phrase, bless her heart, comes to mind. That translates into "she means well but she doesn't have the sense God gave her".

I write of this because I have many friends who are walking the same journey with their parents right now. I offer up my experience as one who is on the other side of the intense sadness and grief that comes from losing a parent. My friends, one-day life will feel normal again, you will think of your parents with a glad heart and not with overwhelming worry and sadness. Also you will be able to organize the family photos and recipes without tears. 

Julia and I have started to gather and exchange mom's recipes. The little blue box that held all mom's hand written recipe cards sits on my desk but my sister and I prefer using a recipe app. There are multiple reasons why this works for me including but not limited to the fact my handwriting looks like the scribbling of an overworked doctor and my kitchen window is already cluttered with too many keepsakes. The main reason I like using a recipe app is that it is easy to share and edit.  Julia enters the recipes she has and then emails them to me; I do the same. We chose the same app so the exchange is seamless. We purchased The Recipe Box about 18 months ago but since then the recipe organizing business has exploded.

There are apps and on-line services that will help you not only organize your recipes but also suggest menus based on what you currently have in your refrigerator or suggest wine pairings. The cost varies depending on what you are looking to accomplish. There's even a free recipe app marketed by Whole Foods for the budget conscious. Do you cook? How do you organize your recipes? Do you share your recipes with family and friends? If you are already using a recipe app or on-line service, what do you recommend?

Regards,
C


[Before a little spring cleaning]

 

Mar
21

Let Them Eat Caramel Nut Pound Cake

by Christine

Even though the Spring Equinox was yesterday, the lake is still frozen and the sun continues to play hide and seek. I'm ready for spring and the burst of color that comes with the tulips and other flowering bulbs. When the leaves return, I know the locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables will too. But before moving on to the lighter recipes of spring and summer we have a few more weeks of hot tea and winter desserts. 

As I've mentioned at least a billion times, I'm on a quest to find the perfect pound cake. As my sister was clearing out Mom's kitchen drawers, she came across a worn and tattered recipe for Caramel Nut Pound Cake. This cake is the kind of dessert my mother would prepare when it was her turn to host her bridge club or canasta group.  Mom wasn't as competitive as my father when it came to card games.  The bridge club was perfect for her, good conversation with her girlfriends, a little bridge and a tasty dessert. At the risk of romanticizing the past, I lament the loss of the ladies afternoon bridge club. Not that I want to return to the days of white gloves and girdles though I could get into hats. 

On the last days of winter I greased and floured my tube pan and excitingly baked the Caramel Nut Pound Cake. It is scrumptious and worth every calorie but I offer you this word of warning...Don't be alone with this cake. Prepare it when you know you are having friends or family over so that you can share it over coffee or with an after dinner drinks. Better yet, get your friends together for a friendly evening of cards and be the hit of the evening when you serve this cake.

Hugs
C

Caramel Nut Pound Cake

Ingredients:

1 pound light brown sugar
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup finely chopped nuts
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 cup of butter
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1 cup of white sugar
5 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325˚
Flour and grease a tube pan

1. Mix together sifted flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside. 
2. Cream butter, shortening and brown sugar together thoroughly.
3. Gradually add white sugar and continue to cream thoroughly.
4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.  
5. Mix dry and wet ingredients together ending with the flour mixture.
6. Add vanilla and mix well.
7. Add nuts and mix well.
8. Pour into tube pan.
9. Bake for 90 minutes or until done. Toothpick test recommended.
10. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pan. Finish cooling. 

*To avoid cake failures, bring eggs and butter to room temperature.
**I found 90 minutes was a bit long in my oven.  I recommend checking on the cake after 80 minutes.
***I am Southern so pecans are my first choice for nuts but you can use what ever you like. 

 

 

Topics: 
Jan
24

Make An Old Fashioned Pound Cake Southern Style

by Christine

I am searching for the best pound cake recipe; that's kind of my "thing". My mom had a killer coconut pound cake recipe that I shared with you last spring and everyone who baked it, loved it. She has a caramel nut pound cake recipe that I am going to share but I thought I should back up and go with the basics before venturing off into specialty territory.  

I will begin with a little pound cake history lesson. The Brits are given credit for creating this tasty dessert in the 1700s. While they may have created the basic recipe, we Americans have made it our own...particularly down South. The name comes from the fact that the original pound cake was made from a pound of each of the following...flour, sugar, butter and eggs.  The batter was a 1:1:1:1 ratio, which ultimately made it easy to reduce the size of the recipe. Cooks wanted to decrease the size because a pound of all these ingredients made a huge cake, more than a family could really use. As decades rolled along, cooks wanted a lighter cake so ingredients such as baking powder or baking soda were added. Today, whipping cream, sour cream and even Sprite is used to enhance the texture of the cake.

Marty once asked me if my mother and grandmothers were good cooks. And I could honestly answer that both my grandmothers and mom were excellent cooks. As far as desserts were concerned each one had their specialties. My Grandmother Somers made the best hand cranked homemade ice cream with my favorite being her peach ice cream. Maw Maw, my mother's mom, made a killer strawberry cake and banana pudding. Mom's best dessert was homemade pecan pie and even though it was from a box, the Duncan Hines German Chocolate Cake. I found a couple of pound cake recipes in Mom's Blue Box but from the hand writing, I think one or two of them may have come from my grandmothers. 

A lovingly prepared homemade dessert is as close to heaven as we are going to get on earth. I am a purest and I like my pound cake plain but it is tasty with fresh fruit or a maple berry sauce. Grandson #2 immediately suggested filling the center with chocolate and adding a side of ice cream. That is the wonderful thing about an old fashioned pound cake, you can eat it plain or add your favorite side. I would love to hear about your favorite pound cake recipes or other homemade desserts. 

Hugs,
C

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

Ingredients:

3 sticks of salted butter
3 cups of sugar
6 eggs
3 cups of plain flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 cup of heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Grease and flour tube or Bundt pan

1. Sift flour and soda together and set aside.
2. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
4. Mix in heavy cream slowly and beat thoroughly.
5. Mix dry and wet ingredients together.
6. Add vanilla and mix.

7. Pour into tube pan and bake 1 hour or until done. Toothpick test recommended.
8.. Take out of the oven and cool for 15 minutes. 
9. Remove from pan and finish cooling. 

**To avoid cake failures, bring eggs and butter to room temperature.
***I found that this cake took 90 minutes to bake. 
****I used a new pan for this cake, a Nordic Ware Blossom Bundt from Williams-Sonoma. I also used the Bak-Klene ZT Nonstick Baking Spray. The cake came out perfectly, almost too perfectly because #1 grandson asked me where I bought the cake. I wasn't big on the spray because it was very thick. I am not sure how this pan would work if I tired to hand grease and flour instead of using some kind of spray because of the nooks and crannies in the pan. I now think I prefer a traditional Bundt or tube pan for this kind of cake. 

Topics: 
Dec
24

Eat, Drink And Have A Merry Christmas

by Christine

For what seemed like forever but in reality was only the blink of an eye, Christmas Eve for me was a time of early church services and late nights of assembling toys for my children. Now my children are assembling the latest hot toy well into the night after an early candle light service at their church. Wanting to add a little adult cheer to the wonderful but stressful tradition of preparing for Santa's arrival, I turned to some truly creative people to come up with the perfect food and drink to make the evening special.

Eat: Clara Persis loves food and entertaining so when she says these are 8 Easy Holiday Appetizers, I know it's true. These are the perfect appetizers to snack on as dad and mom assemble the Razor Drift Crazy Cart or try out the new Playstation 4. 

Drink: Whether you live in Florida or Maine hot chocolate is a special, tasty treat for both children and adults at Christmas. Not Without Salt's has taken the basic hot chocolate recipe and made it a Christmas delight that works in both warm weather and cold weather climates. Peppermint hot chocolate affogato can be sipped from a mug or poured over ice cream in a bowl; it is scrumptious!

Be Merry: The kids or grandkids are asleep and the house is all-quiet, this is a good time to pull out your camera and make sure the batteries are charged. Nothing dampens the Merry than taking two photos and the camera goes dead. Also, take a few pictures of the adults in action as Santa's elves; in the future your kids and grandkids will love them. David Peterson of Digital Photo Secrets shares some of his insights in How To Take Memorable Christmas Day Photos.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Hugs,
C

 

Nov
08

Maximize Your Experience

by Christine

Several weeks ago some dear friends took us to a wonderful place that is all about food from Italy. Eataly, a little play on word(s) there, consists of a market, restaurants and a cooking school. The design of the space is engaging and welcoming even though it is wall-to-wall people at all hours of operation. Since the moment we left Eataly, I wanted to return to purchase olive oil but in true New York City fashion, Marty and I only leave our invisibly barricaded 4-block radius if we have something specific to do. Returning to Eataly nagged at me because it has an olive oil section that is to "die for". Hundreds of bottles line the shelves, all imported from different regions of Italy; overhead is signage that brags of olive oil from Liguria, Sicily, Tuscany and more. Since yesterday I was venturing out to an appointment in SoHo, I decided to stop in to purchase a bottle of olive oil. 

I entered the store and made a beeline for the olive oil section. I was on a mission and would not be deterred. Finally, after block checking a man and his wife who thought I had all day for them to stare at the veal cutlets in the meat case, I am standing before all the beautiful bottles of olive oil. I started to read the artfully displayed product copy above each section of oil. Some oils were described as fruity while others were praised for a hint of hot spice. Still others talked of the slight artichoke flavor that lingered in the oil.

I won't tell you I started to sweat as the first wave of panic came over me but I was mighty uncomfortable. I felt like I was standing in a liquor store looking at the wine section, a place that makes me feel uneducated and until recently unsophisticated. I am no longer unsophisticated because I developed a "wine standard"; I buy wine based on how much I like the label.  So here I am reading vocabulary that sounds a lot like it is describing wine but it is olive oil. I had no idea what to purchase. The truth of the matter is I wanted a good bottle of olive oil but I wasn't prepared to be shopping in a store that discusses the soil, climate and processing when it comes to olive oil and my label standard wasn't cutting it.

Finally, I purchased two yummy sounding bottles of olive oil and headed home. Leaving, I thought about my "blind" purchases and what it really meant. It's fun to sometimes blindly try something new, particularly something safe as commercial olive oil. But on the other hand, I felt I was unprepared to take full advantage of the selection before me. I hadn't done my research; I just didn't know enough. My olive oil adventure is amusing but how many times in life have you said, "If I knew then what I know now, I would've done it differently".  As we age, our life experiences allows us to see other avenues but at any age, taking the time to learn about a subject and then think about what is important to you can lead to a more positive experience. Slow down and take the time to think about what you are doing and why...you just might enjoy it more. 

Hugs,
C

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