Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


Oil the rage...

Yes, boutique olive oil is all the rage. In California, where the weather in many regions mimics the growing conditions of the Mediterranean, the golden elixer has become big business. I couldn't be happier, because I prefer to use foods grown near where I live. They're bound to be fresher, and it makes me happy that untold amounts of fossil fuel haven't been burned in getting them to my market.

I just returned from a long weekend in Santa Barbara, feasting and feting my wonderful ma-in-law, along with my super-spouse and his (our) sister. There were many highlights: great sights (like the living "Toad House" at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden), sounds (authentic salsa at the Saturday farmer's market), and great tastes (including a fine olive oil, also discovered at the Saturday market).

The health benefits of olive oil are due to its mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which help reduce levels of "bad" cholesterol and deliver a good dose of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant. Many nutrition experts believe that the healthy longevity enjoyed by people who eat a traditional Mediterranean diet is due, in large part, to a high consumption of extra-virgin olive oil.

I buy olive oil from small producers to give the "underdog" a bit of a boost. It's hard to compete with well-known brands, and the little guy deserves a break. Especially if his product is as yummy as the Joelle extra-virgin late harvest manzanillo oil I brought home.

If there are local olive pressers in your area, check out their products and give them your support. Your health and your conscience will be better for it...

And finally, here is the fresh chard and mascarpone omelet I was served at Stella Mare's, where the mom's day brunch crowd oohed and aahed over the beautiful fare.

Blessed again.


At 9:21 AM, Blogger ningostar said...

welcome back! so glad you had a good trip.... the picture of the field of flowers is beautiful.


At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Pearl said...

Mascarpone omelet is the first use I've seen of the cheese and liked.

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your picsare all so nice nice, but what happened to your Mothers Day omlet? It's all out of out of focus. Sorry to be such a stickler...just a little quality control. :-)
Keep up the cool posts, I like your style.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Mindy T. said...

Ningo, glad you missed me! Feels like I've been out and about a bit too much lately to keep up with my blogging about it all!

Hi Pearl, well I always thought tiramisu was the best use imaginable for mascarpone, and this omelet didn't change my mind. It was darn good, though.

And hey anon. Thanks for stopping by, and for mentioned the jpg snafu. But it looks fine on my monitor, so I'm not sure what was going on there. Anyway, appreciate your feedback and support!

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Mindy T. said...

Then again, Anon, maybe it was just the champagne!


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