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My Blog

Oil and Vinegar...not plain anymore

Good morning to all.  Another Saturday to the weekend is upon us and here in Niles, it is gloomy and damp.  I was able to varnish one of my statues yesterday when it cleared...I have another one to do today...but it will be questionable whether I can get it done.  I will spend the rest of the day painting the last rose for my village.  I will post pictures once all are finished under a new section of this blog titled...The Wonderful Wizard of Art.  I will be posting painting from time to time there as well. 
As for today's blog, it was inspired by a visit in Grapevine Texas to a quaint and charming little oil and vinegar shop in their historic downtown area.  What an amazing experience it was.  I have been introduced to various types of oils and some vinegars, but never quite like these. 
I had the opportunity to cruise up and down the aisle where small metal containers sat with spigots attached.  On the counter right below them were small individual paper cups and a glass apothecary jar with slices of bread and a pair of tongs to use for removal of the bread slices.  Tasting the oils and vinegars was a wonderful experience, but what far surpassed that was the variety  of flavors.  There were flavors there that I had never imagined would be found in vinegars.  One of my favorite was a Black Cherry and another was a Chocolate Vinegar.  Now, if you are anything like me...you might be wondering what you do with them....Well, one taste of the Chocolate vinegar...and all I could imagine was perhaps a strawberry and spinach salad, or even perhaps a mandarin orange/spinach salad.    My imagine was running wild as my taste buds were delighted with each new tasting. 
Now you didn't have to imagine too hard on how you would blend the oils and the vinegars or how you would use them because they had recipes and suggestions there of ways to pair them and how to serve them or use them. 
One of them was their “Mushroom Lovers”: A zesty sweet mushroom sensation by combining our Porcini Mushroom Olive Oil with our Fig Balsamic Vinegar
Another was “Smokey Yet Sweet”: A little smokey from the Chipotle Olive Oil, and sweet as honey with our Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar. A little kick of spice makes this pairing very unique!
And another one for the sweet tooth in all of us..“Chocolate Raspberry Cordial”: This is actually a three way combination vs. a “pairing”. Our enticing Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar, our lush Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar combined with any of our premium unflavored EVOOs. Truly a special chocolate treat!
Words cannot adequately describe the amazing tastes of these wonderful combinations and the door it opens to preparing new and exciting foods.  Being on Weight Watchers...I have been introduced to ways to improve the taste of the foods we consume and cannot wait to share this with the people that go to the meetings with me.  Just so you know..I am not a seller of these oils and vinegars...and have no interest in the company, but want to only share the delightful experience it gave me.  I was delighted to know that they have a website and that they ship their products.  When I personally went to the website, I found amazing suggestions of pairings...in fact, they listed 39 of their suggested pairings. They even list recipes.  I was most amazed with the recipes for breakfast. 
It goes to show you how a simple step into the realm of the unknown will educate you and take you to a whole new level in cooking.  I am very excited to try some of these.  Perhaps invent some on my own.  I am now very interested in investigating oil and vinegar shops around here and now I have something to compare it to. 
As I sit here now, I cannot help but think about what a fun party it would make to have guests bring dishes made with various oil and vinegar pairings. 
When I think of oil and vinegar combinations...I have been partial to balsamic vinegars and my all time favorite dressing is found at a local Italian restaurant near me called Graziano's.  Their house dressing has always been my number one dressing to go to...(they sell it at their register), but now, this one visit has opened the door to a whole new world for me. If you have some time on your hands...look and see whether there is such a place near you and take a visit.
Perhaps it will inspire you as much as it has inspired me. 

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