Saturday, June 03, 2017

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Change of Season Chatting


You know you have had a busy week when Facebook gives you an announcement that you "Have to write a Post!".  Sheesh.  Talk about bossy!  ;)

Normally I have a book review scheduled for mid-week but there was none for this week.  A Book Talk post can't be scheduled until I finish reading the last book I'm going to chat about.  Soon.  So with the busyness of the work needed to do outside, I didn't write and Facebook let me know about it.

It is finally getting quite warm here and I've been going through my same seasonal menu adjustments that occur every year.  For I am not much of a warm weather cook.  Almost everything I enjoy cooking is better in cooler temperatures. Add into this two different sets of food do's and don'ts and I'm ready to hang a Closed sign in the kitchen... and I usually love to cook.

Since neither a maid or a cook is in the budget, I've been looking through my recipe box for easy dinner ideas that do not require turning on the oven or spending a lot of time over a simmering pot.  More salads are definitely part of the plan.  I go through this every year.  You would think by now there would be a nice selection of favorite meals but no... each year it is like starting all over again.

I think part of it is because I'm not really a summer person.  The only time I would have ever considered myself one who loved the summer was when we lived in Western Michigan and then... how could one not love it?   However, where I live now it is just hot and sticky and there are snakes in the grass.  Literally.  I saw one today.  (Which means I am NOT getting off the deck all summer!)

Anyway, with salads on the menu, I've been thinking of changing from Colavita olive oil to a California oil.  I read an article about America's Test Kitchen doing a study of the ten top olive oils sold in American grocery stores.  Every one of them failed their test except for one... California Olive Ranch Everyday oil.  Which, the author of the study said, has become his "go to" oil at home.

It is available at a few grocery stores near me so I bought a bottle a couple weeks ago.  I must say, it really does taste richer than Colavita (which is a blend of various Italian extra virgin olive oils).  Actually, it is delicious!  My husband doesn't like olives so I can't use an olive oil with a heavy olive taste so this is perfect.  I'm providing a link to Amazon but it is less expensive at the grocery store if one near you carries the brand.

For my husband's everyday salad dressing, I make our favorite lemon vinaigrette and use Spectrum's Non GMO Canola Oil for it.  It is much cheaper than their organic version and without the concerns of GMO canola.  Since I make a large amount at a time and keep it in the refrigerator, the canola  oil doesn't solidify.  If I am making it to use right away, I'll sometimes use extra virgin olive oil.  He can no longer have vinegar unless it is cooked so I now use all lemon juice.

I added two items to my Non-food Pantry List this week as I thought of them.  First were Dobie sponges, which I use for washing dishes and I had just opened my last box.  Second, work gloves for my husband.  I noticed the work gloves he uses all the time were getting ummm... used.  I was going to say "ratty" but I thought I'd be nice.  Good work gloves just may go on my Christmas gift ideas list for him.  I know but hey, the year is almost half way over!

Mentioned in this Post
California Olive Ranch Everyday Oil... here.
Spectrum Canola Oil Non-GMO... here.
(Both are cheaper at grocery stores, although not all stores will carry the brands.)

Lemon Vinaigrette recipe... here.

Interesting America's Test Kitchen Olive Oil article... here.  (This article is actually about their premium extra virgin olive oils testing but California Olive Ranch is mentioned in it.)

Disclaimer:  Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.

Because you might wonder:  The oil in the tall decanter is regular canola oil, which I use for frying because I can only afford so much of the good stuff and it is going to get really hot, anyway.

3 comments:

Deanna Rabe said...


Thanks for the lemon vinaigrette recipe! Sounds good, and I am trying to expand my salad dressing taste buds!

I HATE snakes!

Its warming up here but not 'hot' at all. Thankful for some sunshine the last few days!

Karla Neese said...

It gets hot and sticky here in Oklahoma too but so far this year it's been much milder than normal. Quite frankly, it's odd.

I too am ready to put a closed sign on the kitchen. I'm just tired of cooking and cleaning. After working a full time job outside the home (which I have done for the past 16 years) sometimes I'd like someone else to take care of it for a change. But that never happens.
I need to work on finding healthy recipes that are EASY and QUICK!

Thanks for the olive oil information and the vinaigrette recipe! I'm just about out of olive oil so this is handy right now!

Anonymous said...

So, I really prefer cold weather dishes, too. Not many warm weather favorites, but chicken salad has become a recent go-to favorite around here. You can use boneless/skinless chicken breast or thighs, but I usually bake whole chickens and remove the meat (save carcass in deep freeze for soup in colder months!) Use some of the meat now, freeze some for later... blend your dressing and add ground rosemary, pepper, onion powder for flavoring (or another flavor variation - curry powder!) I like equal parts plain yogurt/sour cream/mayonnaise to dress it. Then stir dressing into chicken with whatever add-ins you like: chopped grapes/apple, raisins, almonds ... yum!!! Can be served on a bed of greens or as a sandwich. (-: -Joy