Monday, August 21, 2017

Everything you need to know about Infusing Olive Oil

This post is sponsored by Thoughtfully Gifts. All opinions are mine alone. #sponsored #thoughtfully



Try infusing your Olive Oils with dried herbs. These oils are not just flavorful, they are super easy to customise and fun to make!


Have you been to an Italian Restaurant and had some delicious flavorful Herb infused Olive oil with bread? Or had a soup topped with Basil infused Olive Oil? Have you had the amazing Gilroy Garlic infused oil? If you like any of these, this post is MADE FOR YOU! 

My husband and me love all sort of infusions. From infusing water with mint and cucumber to infusing oil with varied flavors, we do it all. I have been doing it for a while, but it got way simpler after I got the Olive Oil Shoppe from Thoughtfully Gifts. So I finally put up a post on infusing! 


All about Infusing Olive Oil

Infusion is the process of soaking dried herbs, tea or flowers in a liquid like water or oil to extract flavor. Infusing makes the liquid flavorful, often colorful and super tasty. Oils generally pick up the flavors pretty quickly, but the flavors intensify over time. It is perfectly okay to leave the herbs in there for a long time. 


The ingredients required for infusing oils is rather simple; oil and herbs to infuse. The apparatus I used comes from the set from Thoughtfully Gifts. There is a fusti (container to store Olive Oil) with a wooden stand, funnels, glass bottles, spice rack and dipping plates. Having all this helps in making infused Olive oil in a clean and quick way! 


The process of infusing Olive Oil is rather simple, but one has to ensure everything is clean before you start. If the funnel or bottle is not clean, it can easily contaminate the oil as it stands for weeks in the bottle. And yes, use the BEST quality ingredients to make your oil. It does make a difference, I promise! 

I made SIX tiny bottles of Infused oils with varied uses. The result was PERFECT in a week, yet I am going to wait to try the oils post another week. I already used the Basil Oil on my Roasted Tomato Soup and we instantly fell in LOVE with it! I am so glad I used my Fusti et al to make the oils. No mess, no wastage and a fun activity to spend a lazy Sunday with hubby! 


Heads up to the upcoming Wedding Season! 

Can you believe we are planning for the upcoming wedding season already? This season is going to be great for us because my brother gets married to his love this year. I can hardly wait for his BIG DAY! 

If you are also planning a wedding, yours or that of a close one; I would suggest you head straight to Thoughtfully Gifts. I would have happily added them to my wedding registry when I got married! They have some really unique and fun products, this Olive Oil Shoppe being my favorite and The Tea Lab following close! 


Though I did not get any of these special gifts on my big day, I am glad to be trying it out now. We got the Olive Oil Shoppe and had such a wonderful time last Sunday; infusing oils and mixing flavors to make our personal favorites! 

When this BIG package from the company arrived, I was overwhelmed. Neatly packed, well curated and easy to understand instructions define them! All their products are fun and they definitely make a gifts that last and are remembered throughout the year! 

So with all this information, you need to head straight to the instructions and start infusing! Don't forget to share your infusion ideas with me in the comments below! 


Ingredients

Good quality Olive Oil 2 cups
Infusion Herbs like Oregano, Rosemary, Garlic, Chilli flakes



Method

Wash and dry the bottles, funnel and fusti well. Fill the fusti with olive oil. You can store oil in the fusti for upto a year, so don't worry about the remaining oil post infusing. 

Using a funnel add 1 tsp of herbs you want in the bottle. You can mix and match from basil, oregano, chilli flakes, garlic, rosemary and thyme. 


Pour the olive oil into the bottle, close the bottle and shake well. Store the bottle in a cool dark place for 1-2 weeks to allow the flavors to infuse well. 

Do a taste test after a week and keep it for longer if it still does not taste as you like. Enjoy this oil with the following:





Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Super Quick Eggless Pumpkin Bread

An easy peasy bread made from Pumpkin Purée. Who knew TWO simple ingredients could make this Fall perfect bread SO MOIST and YUM? 



Pumpkin 🎃 🎃 in August? YES! I was not sure if I wanted to start making Squash and Pumpkin dishes this month but I finally did. On my last trip to Michael's Craft store I saw Fall decor, Pumpkin and a ton of other things for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Starbucks is advertising Pumpkin Spice Latte already and not to forget that Walmart and World Market is stocking up on Fall essentials. 

Last year I wasn't happy seeing all these arrangements in August, but this year my love for squash is on a new high. I have already made one batch of this Pumpkin Soup, this loaf of Multigrain Pumpkin Bread and a few servings of Pumpkin Spice Latte. Yes, all this even before half of August has passed us by! 



As I mentioned, last week I bought myself two cans of Pumpkin purée while shopping for other grocery items. The first thing I wanted to make was Pumpkin Dinner Rolls. However, I wanted to make something that needed twine. As I was out of it, I decided to make a sweet bread using the pumpkin. 

This recipe is pretty similar to most other quick breads; uses flour, sugar, baking powder and pumpkin. I wanted to skip the eggs from the classic recipe so I used buttermilk instead. The result was fabulous; absolutely moist and soft bread thanks to the buttermilk and pumpkin purée. 

The best part of this bread you ask? I used just the base of the stand mixer and ONE more bowl to make it all! No mess, no extra vessels and no complex procedures. It is as simple as mix, pour, bake! 



If you want a Fall bread or something for Thanksgiving breakfast, I bet this one is for you. make a couple of loaves and serve with some maple syrup. I loved the combination and my husband even enjoyed some warm bread with Vanilla Ice cream! It was such a pleasure to have the same bread for breakfast and dessert! It is lovely how the kitchen smells when you just warm the bread, not to forget how lovely the house smells when it is baked! We finished the whole loaf in under 3 days; yes two people, one loaf of pumpkin bread and 3 days! 

This recipe is really easy and convenient to make because I bet you have everything needed here in your pantry, and milk in the refrigerator! No complex ingredients, no exotic requirements. If you like a crunchy add-in in the bread, toss in some pumpkin seeds or chocolate chips in the bread. Better still, top the bread with a mixture of seeds like this Multigrain Pumpkin Bread. It makes the bread even better!   



Not a Pumpkin Lover?

I urge you to try the squash a couple of times before giving up on it. It is pretty addictive I promise! But if you cannot get yourself to like it, you can very well make the bread using mashed banana or carrots. It works really well with those too. 



Pumpkin Lovers?

If you have a love for this orange squash, I bet you love the seeds et al! Don't forget to add some seeds in the batter or on it for texture. Better still try one of these recipe to go with this bread: 




Ingredients 

All purpose flour/Maida 1 3/4 cup
Brown/White Sugar 3/4 cup
Pumpkin Purée  1 cup
Buttermilk 1/2 cup ( or Milk 1/2 cup + Vinegar 1 tsp)
Oil 3 tbsp
Pumpkin Pie Spice 3 tsp
Baking Powder 2 1/4 tsp
Baking Soda 1/4 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp



Method

Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and keep ready.

In the base of the stand mixer add the buttermilk (or room temperature milk mixed with vinegar), oil and pumpkin purée. Whip till smooth. Then add pumpkin spice and sugar. Mix again for a couple of minutes. 

In a bowl sieve together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Transfer to the wet mixture and mix for a minute or so. Do not overmix. 

Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan. Place in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. If the sides start to harden and the center is wobbly, cover with some foil and bake. 

Once a toothpick or skewer comes out clean from the center, remove from oven and cool. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.