Happy Cyber Monday guys! This weekend was fun and all, but today I’m buckling down and getting super serious. I’m a type-A gifter and I need to get a handle on my list before December 1st. (Hey, I want to spend my time baking, not shopping!) I’m celebrating my new partnership with O Olive Oil with a special giveaway today, and I’m going to share some great gift ideas with you, so grab a pen, sit back and get comfy, and lets see how many people we can cross off those lists of ours.
I designed my own TVFGI collection of 6 olive oils and vinegars with you guys in mind, just for this giveaway — the sets are beautiful and come packed in a sleek wooden butler’s tray (each one is a $120 value.) We’re giving 3 of them away, plus, there are 6 more prizes, so your odds are pretty good — just sayin’. And anyway everybody’s going to be a winner today because O’s gourmet oils and vinegars happen to make great gifts. I’m really picky when it comes to holiday shopping, I’m not happy unless I’ve found top quality, useful, beautifully packaged, non-gimmicky things that my friends and family haven’t already gotten a million times before. I don’t like to spend a lot and I love to discover something hip and new. Some years I drive myself crazy with the search and miss out on some of the simple pleasures of the season. Luckily O’s got me covered this year. Since most of us have too much stuff in our lives already, I think food gifts make a lot of sense, and giving healthy oils and vinegars from O is like giving a taste of California sunshine, you can’t go wrong…
I call my collection the “Wake Up Your Winter Cooking” set because I chose 3 oils and 3 vinegars that I know will come in super handy this season (scroll down for my winter cooking tips.) You can’t find flavors like this anywhere, O pioneered the whole concept of pressing fruit right along with the olives, so the taste is bold and actually shines through. My set includes:
- California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Blood Orange Olive Oil
- Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
- Citrus Champagne Vinegar
- Pomegranate Champagne Vinegar
- Orange Blossom Vinegar
The bottles are so pretty, I like to line them up next to my stove to inspire me as I cook…
O packages up smaller sets of oils and vinegars starting at $26. They come handsomely boxed and ready go. It’s a much more creative host gift than a bottle of wine, and it will last longer, too.
Don’t give up salads just because it’s winter. Go light and simple, I like to limit myself to 3 ingredients, like this gem lettuce with paper thin red onions and pomegranate seeds. No need to fuss with a mixed dressing, just drizzle on your best olive oil, followed by some fruity vinegar like O’s Pomegranate. Your palate will thank you.
Wake Up Your Winter Cooking Tip # 2 Citrus
Wake Up Your Winter Cooking Tip #3 Punch it up with vinegar
I consider a splash of vinegar to be one of my trade secrets, especially when I’m making wintry soups, stews, and chilis where everything can get a little tired and muddy by the end of the cooking process. A splash of vinegar brightens everything up and emphasizes the flavors. With O’s wide variety you can really have some creative fun, I like Cabernet Vinegar for the final touch to this Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon.
Wake Up Your Winter Cooking Tip #4 Channel spring
Every now and again, break out of your rut and make something positively spring-y using ingredients that are available year round like cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. O Fresh Basil Oil blends with the exploded tomatoes to form a simple sauce for this Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes.
Wake Up Your Winter Cooking Tip #5 Drizzle it!
I like to use artisinal olive oils as a finisher for lots of my recipes, they add a healthy richness and flavor. This Crushed Lentils with Tahini and Cumin benefits from some great olive oil like O Ultra Evo drizzled all over it just before serving.
Let me make this easy for you…if you have anyone on your holiday gift list who is a foodie, who loves to cook, or who just loves to eat, and that takes care of most of us, O is an inspired choice.
— Good luck on the giveaway!