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Friday Favorites 9/9/16 0

The calendar may say September, but the temperatures are still in the 90s. Whether you are spending your weekend on the lake or binging on college and NFL football, we hope you have a great time. Here’s what is on our radar this weekend:

11th Annual Hot Springs Bike Rally: Welcome bikers to the largest bike rally in Central Arkansas. Events include a vendor mall, poker run, parade, and performances by Mustang Sally and Joe Nichols.


The Spice Lab’s Himalayan Salt Cooking Plate and Serving Tray: These are perfect for your game day snacks and appetizers. Heat or cool them, they hold the temperature for quite awhile and keep your snacks at the appropriate temperature and give them the perfect amount of flavor. Come on down to the store and check them out! We’ll talk more about them in an upcoming post.


Sales!!: Who doesn’t love a sale? At EvilO we just reduced the price on a few items, while supplies last.
— 500 ml Bottles of oils and vinegars: Get 20% off on 500 ml bottles of Australian Barnea and Cinnamon EVOO and Pistachio, Lavender, Mocha Almond Fudge, Espresso, Vanilla, Maple and Lemongrass Mint Dark Balsamic Vinegars.
— Discontinued flavors of oils and vinegars in 200 ml bottles: Get 10% off on Australian Barnea and Cinnamon EVOO; Orange and Pumpkin Pie Spice White Balsamic Vinegars; and Chocolate Dark Balsamic Vinegar.


Have a great weekend!!

It's Time for Pumpkin Spice 0

While standing in line at Starbuck’s this week, I noticed they are already serving Pumpkin Spice Latte’s. The high was in the 90s that day, but I had to admit, it IS September, and that means it is time for Pumpkin Spice everything. At EvilO, we also have pumpkin….it’s our Pumpkin Pie Spice White Balsamic Vinegar. This sweet, ag ed vinegar features the flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It tastes great in sweet potato dishes, drizzled over pork tenderloin or roast turkey, or drizzled over vanilla or coffee ice cream. You can also add a few drops to your hot tea or coffee. Here are a few recipes to get you in the mood for Pumpkin Spice season!


Roasted Butternut Squash with Pumpkin Pie Spice Balsamic Vinegar

1 butternut squash
2 tablespoons Mission EVOO
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pumpkin Pie Spice White Balsamic Vinegar

1.  Heat oven to 400ºF.
2.  Peel and dice butternut squash.  Throw in a Ziploc bag and toss with Mission EVOO, sea salt, and pepper.
3.  Roast for about 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, flip over.
4.  Remove from oven and drizzle with Pumpkin Pie Spice White Balsamic Vinegar.


Crunchy Pumpkin Pie Spice Roasted Chickpeas

1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Mission EVOO
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice White Balsamic Vinegar

1.  Preheat oven to 350º.
2.  Mix maple syrup, EVOO, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl.
3.  Drain and rinse chickpeas, then pat dry with paper towels.  Place the chickpeas and syrup mixture in a Ziplock bag. Toss well.
4.  Spread out the chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes to keep them from sticking.


Pumpkin Pie Martini
(makes 1 martini)

1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice White Balsamic Vinegar
1 jigger vanilla vodka
2 tablespoons half and half
1 tablespoon pure pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon maple syrup

1.  Place sugar on a small plate. Dip the rim of a chilled martini glass in water, then dip in the sugar.
2.  In a martini shaker filled with ice, combine Pumpkin Pie Spice Vinegar, vodka, half and half, pumpkin puree, and maple syrup. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds, then strain into the prepared martini glass.



What is your favorite way to use Pumpkin Pie Spice White Balsamic Vinegar??

EvilO Recipe: Orange Spiked Double Chocolate Muffins 0

One of our favorite pairings is Blood Orange EVOO with Chocolate Dark Balsamic Vinegar. As our manager Derek says, it tastes just like a chocolate/orange Tootsie Roll. Blood Orange EVOO pairs well with all things chocolate. Use it in brownies, chocolate cake, or chocolate cupcakes. Here is a recipe for delicious chocolate muffins featuring our Blood Orange EVOO. Let us know how you like them!


Orange Spiked Double Chocolate Muffins
(adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Mocha Chip Muffin recipe)
Makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Blood Orange EVOO
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour through salt).

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (milk through yogurt).

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and combine until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill muffin tins almost to the top.

5. Bake 18 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Friday Favorites 9/2/16 0




It’s been a BIG week at EvilO. We received a HUGE shipment of delicious olive oils and balsamic vinegars, and we’re eager to share them with you. Here are some of our favorite things this Friday:

Old favorites, back in stock. We are thrilled that some of our favorite oils and vinegar are back. We’ve restocked the shelves with Tuscan Herb EVOO, Jalapeño EVOO, Garlic EVOO, Garlic Mushroom EVOO, Peach White Balsamic Vinegar, Bordeaux Cherry Balsamic Vinegar, and 25 Star Balsamic Vinegar. We also have a limited amount of Blueberry Dark Balsamic Vinegar. Hurry down to stock up on your favorites.

Labor Day Weekend. It’s time for the last big cookout of the summer. Some of our cookout favorites include:

Hot Springs Jazz Fest and Blues Fest. Make your way downtown to celebrate TWO music festivals this weekend.

The Spice Lab’s Bloody Mary Sea Salt. Perfect for Labor Day weekend brunches.

What are your favorites this Friday?

Get Your Grill On 0

Labor Day weekend is upon us, and EvilO has the ingredients you need for the best BBQ on the lake. Here are some suggestions for appetizers, grilling, salads, and even dessert.

Grilling

Try these unique and delicious combinations for both marinades and drizzling on your grilled dishes.
Garlic EVOO with Hickory Dark Balsamic Vinegar
Jalapeno EVOO and Pineapple White Balsamic Vinegar
Smoked Hickory EVOO with Pear White Balsamic Vinegar
Chipotle EVOO with Garlic Dark Balsamic Vinegar
Tuscan Herb EVOO with Italian Lambrusco Red Wine Vinegar
— Rosemary EVOO, Meyer Lemon EVOO with Garlic Dark Balsamic Vinegar
Garlic EVOO with Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar

In addition, our 25 Star Dark Balsamic Vinegar tastes fantastic drizzled over grilled steaks.

Salad Dressings

It may be the beginning of September, but temperatures are still hot. If you plan on serving a salad at your holiday gathering, check out these tasty salad dressing ideas.

Garlic EVOO with Italian Lambrusco Red Wine Vinegar
Tuscan Herb EVOO with Garlic Dark Balsamic Vinegar
Basil EVOO with Strawberry White Balsamic Vinegar

Our Salad Sprayer makes dressing salads (and veggies) easy and convenient. They feature 2 chambers to keep your oil and vinegar separate. You control the percentage of oil to vinegar to spray on your salad. Choose from 100% oil or vinegar and anything in between.

Dessert

Yes!! Oil and vinegar compliment your desserts, too. From simple garnishes to baked goods, there is a decadent dessert idea for you.

Blood Orange EVOO compliments chocolate very well. In fact, it’s addictive. Use it in place of other oils or fats in your recipes for brownies, chocolate cake, or chocolate cupcakes. You’ll be hooked.
Blood Orange EVOO and Chocolate Dark Balsamic Vinegar drizzled over ice cream or cheesecake. Or, use it as a dipping sauce for angel food cake.
Coconut White Balsamic Vinegar and Pineapple White Balsamic Vinegar drizzled over ice cream, fruit, or cheesecake.

Snacks

Jalapeno EVOO or White Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic Cilantro EVOO or Dark Balsamic Vinegar taste great added to salsa, guacamole, or black beans.
Chipotle EVOO goes great with our Sassy Italian bread dipper.
— Pair Basil EVOO with Sassy Italian bread dipper and Fleur de Sel finishing salt.

​We’d love to help create the perfect combination for your Labor Day celebrations. Come down to the shop and sample all our oils and vinegars.

What About Vinegar? 0

We’ve discussed our rich and smooth olive oils, but what about our flavorful vinegars? There’s a lot to love about our large selection of flavored and infused and vinegars. Chances are we have a variety for you to fall in love with.


How is it Made?

Making vinegar involves a 2-part process. It starts with a liquid containing natural sugar, such as grape juice, apple cider, or coconut sap . The addition of yeast changes the sugars to alcohol. This is called alcoholic fermentation. Next, a bacteria called Acetobacter is added to the liquid. It changes the alcohol to acetic acid. The product is now considered vinegar.

What’s So Special About Balsamic Vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar originated in Modena, Italy and was first mentioned in the Royal Archives of Emperor Henry II in 1046. Because of their high sugar content, only Lambrusco or Trebbiano grapes are used to make balsamic vinegar.
Using ancient, traditional methods, carefully selected Lambrusco or Trebbiano grapes are pressed to produce “must”. Next, the must is simmered in copper cauldrons until it is reduced to 40 to 70%. The concentrated must is transferred to casks made of chestnut, cherry, ash, oak, mulberry, and juniper. The must is left to age for at least 12 years. As it ages, some of the liquid evaporates and some is absorbed into the cask. At intervals of 12, 18, or 25 years, the reduced liquid is moved into a smaller barrel and the new must is used to top off another barrel.

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

Traditionally produced balsamic vinegar is regulated by the European Union Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) certification and Italy’s Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC). To obtain DOC and PDO certification, balsamic vinegar must be produced in Modena or Reggio Emilla from Trebbiano or Lambrusco grapes grown in Modena or Reggio Emillia. It must be aged a minimum of 12 years and approved by the two consortia. Only a small amount is produced each year and is bottled in unique 100 ml bottles. It costs between $75 and $120 per bottle.

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

This type of balsamic vinegar certified by the European Union Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is made by mixing concentrated or cooked grape must and wine vinegar (wine vinegar is NOT used in traditional balsamic vinegar). This blend is then aged in wooden casks. PGI certifies balsamic vinegars of Modena at a minimum of 2 months or at 3 years. Only grapes from Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni vines can be used. Also, a minimum amount of 10% wine vinegar, aged at least 10 years, can be used. All vinegars with the PGI logo must be approved by third party auditors of the PGI.

Balsamic Vinegars at EvilO

We offer a 25 Star Balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy. It is made especially for our supplier by one of the best artisan producers in Modena. This producer began making balsamic vinegar in 1889. It is considered a Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, although it does not have PGI certification (due to being marketed by a US wholesaler from a US facility to multiple stores). It does not include any thickeners, sweeteners, or low-grade vinegar. Our 25 Star Balsamic vinegar is used in many of our flavored vinegars.

Dark Balsamic vs. White Balsamic

At EvilO, we offer a selection of both white and dark balsamic vinegars. Both are made from the same grapes, but white balsamic is simmered carefully at a lower temperature to prevent caramelization and is often aged for less time. White balsamic features a lighter and cleaner taste. Dark balsamic tastes sweeter and richer.

Peruse the following lists and check out all the delicious flavors we offer at EvilO. Make your own list and come down and try a few (or try them all!).

Dark Balsamic Vinegars

Pecan Praline: A rich and sinful delight in our 25 Star Balsamic Vinegar. Drizzle over ice cream or baked apples. Pairs well with our butter infused EVOO or coconut or chocolate balsamic vinegar.
Vanilla: Another delicious flavor to drizzle over ice cream. Use to flavor glazes and icings or pour a little in your morning oatmeal. Pairs well with blood orange, butter, chipotle, Meyer lemon, or Persian lime EVOO.
Bordeaux Cherry: sweet and tart! Reminiscent of brandied cherries. A great choice on salads featuring feta, goat, or blue cheese. Also a great addition to sauces and glazes. Pair with Persian lime EVOO for a cherry limeade flavor.
Espresso: Perfect for every coffee lover, this balsamic vinegar makes a great marinade or rub for steaks. It’s also delicious added to brownies or chocolate cake. Drizzle over ice cream. Pairs well with blood orange or chipotle EVOO.
Fig: Imparts a nutty and semi-sweet flavor. Perfect on salads or as a bread dipper. Pairs well with blood orange, chipotle, garlic, Meyer lemon, or Tuscan herb EVOO.
Garlic: Makes the most delicious marinade. Pair with Smoked Hickory EVOO for grilled or roasted meat and vegetables. Also yummy on salads.   

Garlic Cilantro:  Tastes delicious in all your favorite Tex-Mex dishes.  Drizzle over tacos, taco salads, guacamole, or salsa.  Use as a marinade for fajita meat.

Hickory: Rich, sweet, and smokey. Makes an ideal marinade for grilled meats and as your secret ingredient in baked beans. Pairs well with garlic and Persian lime EVOO.
Lavender: A lovely delicate and floral vinegar. Drizzle over cheeses, salads, grilled meats, or veggies. Pairs well with rosemary, basil, or herbes de Provence EVOO.
25 Star: Dark, thick, and sweet. Drizzle over steaks, tomato and mozzarella salad, bruscetta, or any grilled veggies.
8 Star: Crisper and lighter than 25 Star. The perfect accompaniment for fresh fruits and veggies.

White Balsamic Vinegars

Blueberry: Sweet like blueberries. This vinegar is ideal for salads or drizzled over cheeses. Pairs well with Meyer lemon or butter infused EVOO.
Coconut: A tropical treat! Drizzle over fresh fruit, white fish, ice cream or sorbet. Use in salad dressings or marinades. Pairs well with Persian lime or Meyer lemon EVOO.
Jalapeno: Sweet and sassy! For those who like a little heat and a little sweet. Ideal for marinades. Pairs well with blood orange, chipotle, garlic, or Persian lime EVOO.
Lemongrass Mint: light and refreshing. You’ll love this white balsamic vinegar on shrimp, lamb, rice, salads, and marinades. Highlights any Asian dish. Pairs well with basil or garlic EVOO.
Orange: Like a sweet, juicy orange. A great vinegar for salad dressings, drizzled over ice cream, or as a glaze. Pair with butter infused EVOO.
Peach:  Tastes like a ripe, juicy peach.  Absolutely delicious in salad dressings and in marinades for poultry or pork.  Pairs well with jalapeño or Persian lime EVOO.

Pear: A fruity delight. Add to salads or marinades. Pairs well with smoked hickory, basil, or chipotle EVOO.
Pineapple: This sweet, tropical vinegar is great in marinades, on salads, or drizzled over ice cream. Delicious when paired with chipotle, Persian lime, or jalapeño EVOO. Also pairs well with coconut balsamic vinegar.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: Evokes the flavors and scents of Fall. Add to tea, coffee, martinis, or milkshakes. Also a great addition to pancakes, oatmeal, or muffins. Pairs well with Picual or Cinnamon EVOO.
Honey Ginger: A flavorful choice for Asian or grilled dishes. Also good in salad dressings. Pairs well with Meyer lemon or garlic EVOO.
Raspberry Ginger: Refreshing and crisp, this vinegar is the perfect accompaniment for fresh fruit, pancakes, and salads. Pairs well with blood orange EVOO.

Strawberry:  My favorite white balsamic vinegar.  Super sweet with a bit of tartness.  Tastes great on a spinach salad or paired with the jalapeño EVOO.  I add a bit to water or iced tea for incredible flavor.

Specialty Vinegars

Serrano Chile Honey: Another sweet and spicy offering. Made with small batch honey from 5th generation beekeeper in the Pacific Northwest. You'll love this vinegar in salad dressings, sauces, and marinades. Pairs well with blood orange and Persian lime EVOO.
Lambrusco: This is a delicious red wine vinegar made from the long, natural maturation of Lambrusco wine. Aged in oak barrels for an unmistakable flavor. An EvilO favorite. Perfect with steak and in salad dressings.