“One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.” ~ James Thurber

I have noticed that many restaurants have started adding marinated olives to their appetizers menus and I love it! Sometimes, I would want to order a martini just for the olives.

Who am I kidding?

I would order the martini anyway! The olives are just a bonus.

I love olives! All kinds, well, except those sliced black ones that come on mexican food. Bleh. I don’t like those.

But all the other kinds are fabulous! When you add seasoning, cheese, nuts etc. They just get better.

So, I thought, why not make some at home. Would be a great additive to any Christmas gathering you may have this season.

Marinated Olive and Almonds

(adapted from Southern Living)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups pitted and drained green and black olives
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted salted almonds

1. Stir together first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Add olives; toss with marinade to coat. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.

2. Remove and discard crushed garlic cloves, and stir in roasted almonds just before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Simple as that!

Enjoy!

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-abp

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“Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go.” ~ Margaret Walker

The past several weeks, well 6 weeks actually have been crazy busy and the next 3 weeks will be just as bad. Because of this, I can count the number of times I have cooked on 2 hands, possibly even one.

I must admit – I’m tired of take out.

I was so very happy to have a long, low key weekend to spend with my husband and my sweet little nugget that I vowed to cook all 3 nights. A couple of the nights were easy go-to meals, like spaghetti and grilled steaks but I did work in a new recipe my dear friend Adrienne told me about on our recent girls weekend. It sounded wonderful and I could not wait to make it.

Not to mention – very easy!

Foil Packet Chicken Puttanesca

4 8 -ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 15 -ounce can cherry tomatoes
1 large can marinated artichoke hearts
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers, drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 regular baguette, split
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley ( I used dry because that’s what I had)

 

Preheat the oven to 400º.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Lay out four 12-by-18-inch sheets of foil. Drizzle each sheet with olive oil, then top each with a chicken breast.Combine the tomatoes, artichokes, olives, capers, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a bowl; divide evenly over the chicken. Fold up the edges of the foil and seal each to form a packet; set on a baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the melted butter, 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt in a bowl; spread over the baguette halves and sprinkle with the parmesan and parsley. Bake until the bread is golden around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut each piece in half.Open the foil packets and serve with the garlic bread.

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This was super tasty! I would like to try it with fish as well!

-abp