Carapelli Olive Oil – Product Review

Recently I had the opportunity to try out Carapelli Olive Oil. I use olive oil on a regular basis so it was right up my alley to try out this brand.


Did you know their are 4 S’s of Olive Oil tasting? Neither did I. I learned so much by reading the Carapelli press kit and by visiting their website.


The Four S’s of Olive Oil Tasting:

Pour one tablespoon of oil into a glass. To gently warm the oil, cover the glass with one hand while holding the bowl of the glass in the other. Olive oil is best sampled at 70 degrees F.
1. Swirl – This releases the oil’s esters (the molecules that contain aromas).

2. Sniff – Inhale deeply. Aroma is the key to the fruitiness of the oil.

3. Slurp – Sip the oil while “sipping” a bit of air. This slurping action emulsifies the oil and helps spread it throughout your mouth. Note the various tastes and sensations.

4. Swallow – Swallow the oil. It should leave your mouth with no aftertaste. Note any peppery or stinging sensation in your throat.


Very similar to wine tasting, right? I thought so too. Pretty cool!


I’d love to share four holiday recipes from Carapelli Olive Oil, bursting with the rich flavors of Tuscany. These recipes will enhance and lighten up your holiday favorites with the distinctive taste of heart-healthy olive oil. Carapelli’s Premium 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made with the highest quality 100% Italian olives and boasts a robust flavor. Whether you are entertaining a large crowd or serving up a small family-style dinner, this Tuscan Roast Turkey will be the centerpiece of your holiday table. The juicy flavors and crisp, golden brown skin come from a Tuscan Herb Paste made with fresh herbs and a blend of olive oils. After you’ve tried Olive Oil and Herb Mashed Potatoes, you may never want to go back to plain mashed potatoes again.  For another amazing side dish, try sweet and salty Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Prosciutto.


Tuscan Roast Turkey

Serving Size: 16

1 16-pound young turkey

Kosher salt, to taste

1 cup Tuscan Herb Paste

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

2 teaspoons celery salt

3 fennel stalks with fronds, rough


3 onions, large dice

1 stalk celery, small dice

2 1/4 quarts chicken stock

3 ounces all-purpose flour


Remove giblets from turkey’s cavity, rinse cavity and pat dry, set aside. Season turkey inside and out with Kosher salt. Mix Tuscan Herb Paste with crushed fennel seeds and celery salt. Starting at the neck of the bird, slip your hand between the meat and the skin to loosen.

Rub half the paste mix under skin, and rub remaining paste inside the cavity and over the rest of the turkey. Season all over with kosher salt. Place two-thirds of the chopped onion and fennel stalks inside cavity. Truss bird. Place turkey in a roasting pan. Roast at 400°F for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325°F and continue cooking the turkey to an internal temperature of 160°F, approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Baste turkey often during cooking with juices from pan. If turkey begins to overbrown, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

As turkey roasts, simmer giblets (neck, heart and gizzard), the other one-third of the fennel stalk, onion mix and diced celery in 1 quart chicken stock until tender, approximately 1 1/2 hours. When turkey is done, remove from roasting pan and set aside to rest. Degrease roasting pan, reserving 3 ounces of fat to make a roux. Deglaze pan with a small amount of chicken stock. Transfer stock to a saucepot, and add remaining stock and broth from giblets. Bring to a simmer and degrease. Make a blond roux with reserved fat and flour. Add roux to the liquid, whisking well to prevent lumps. Simmer 15 minutes. Strain gravy through a fine-meshed strainer. Adjust seasoning.



Tuscan Herb Paste

Yield: 2 1/4 cups

3/4 cup Carapelli Extra Light in Taste Olive Oil

1 cup Carapelli Premium 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tablespoon fresh basil

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary

1/2 packed cup fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

2 tablespoons fresh sage

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper


Blend herbs and crushed red pepper with light olive oil using a blender or food processor, then stir in extra virgin olive oil. Serving Ideas: Rub under the skin of turkey for Tuscan Roast Turkey. Use to flavor vegetables for grilling and mushrooms for roasting.


Olive Oil and Herb Mashed Potatoes

Serving Size: 12

10 8-ounce potatoes, (about 5 pounds)

peeled and cut in half

3/8 teaspoon white pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 cup Tuscan Herb paste

1/2 cup Carapelli Premium 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup heavy cream, warmed


Boil potatoes in salted water. When cooked tender, mash potatoes. Mix salt and pepper with Tuscan Herb Paste, olive oil and warm heavy cream. Fold into potatoes.


Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Prosciutto

Serving Size: 12

2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, blanched,


4 tablespoons Carapelli Premium 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 onion, julienned

1 1/2 ounces prosciutto, sliced into 1/2-inch strips

4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

Sea salt

Fresh cracked black pepper


Trim stem end of Brussels sprouts. Discard wilted outside leaves. Boil in salted water until cooked through (about 7 minutes) until just tender. Shock in ice water. Quarter the cooled sprouts. In large skillet over medium high heat, caramelize onions in olive oil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from pan. Place in bowl, mix with prosciutto. In the same skillet, over high heat, lightly brown Brussels sprouts. Add onion-prosciutto mix, toss. Deglaze by adding white balsamic vinegar and scraping bottom of pan. Season with salt and pepper.


For more recipes that will turn any meal into an unforgettable feast visit Carapelli is also offering an online coupon for $1.00 off any one bottle of Carapelli Olive Oil, 17 oz. or larger.

Best Ingredient Goes to Honey Bunches of Oats!


Wednesday night I had the wonderful opportunity to hang out at the Marina Maher Communications offices in NYC and watch the People’s Choice Awards, sample some amazing food from Honey Bunches of Oats and try the new wine Entwine by the Food Network.


I had such a blast chatting with fellow influencers at the MMC offices and especially chatting it up with the MMC staff. They really have the sweetest gals working for them. (I’m looking at you Samara, Kristen, Taylor & Ashley.)


I love award shows the fashion, beauty and bantar. Who doesn’t? Kristen and I noticed a trend in the mesh sleeves and mesh dresses with lace overlays. The MMC sent around a ballot for us to vote on who we thought would take home each category. Needless to say I think I lost every category.


Honey Bunches of Oats , yes the cereal, had tons of food on hand. Yes I said food! Appetizers, desserts, you name it you can make it with Honey Bunches of Oats. It’s not just for your milk anymore kids. It’s an ingredient!


Here are some of the great recipes you can try at home with Honey Bunches of Oats.



My personal faves were the mousse and the caramel squares. They also had an amazing crabcake with a chipotle sauce at the party that was too die for.


While I may have failed guessing who would win each category of the night I came out a winner because I learned so much about Honey Bunches of Oats.


Best Ingredient goes to Honey Bunches of Oats!


Follow Honey Bunches of Oats on Twitter @HBOats!


Read the Fruit Blends Fact Sheet HERE and the Honey Bunches of Oats press release HERE.

The Olive Tap – Product Review

One of my favorite things in the world is going to a restaurant where they offer bread and olive oil for dipping before my meal. I especially love it when there is a bunch of spices in the oil.

Enter The Olive Tap.  Recently The Olive Tap contacted me to review their products and how could I say no? Being Italian by marriage I love my oil and vinegar. The Olive Tap sent me a sample of their balsamic vinegar which is amazing. Not super tart. Has a sweeter tone to it. And they sent me the most amazing Tuscan Herb Olive Oil. It is seriously like dipping your bread in those amazing spices I mentioned above but without having to leave your home and there’s no little bits in it. It’s just the oil. It is truly amazing. Every time we’ve had a nice loaf of Italian bread in the house we have been dipping our bread in both the oil and the vinegar.


The Olive Tap has over 50 different olive oils, balsamic vinegars and specialty vinegars, sauces, spices, marinades, they’ve got it all. Including gift baskets! What a great gift this makes! Shop online or visit one of their locations in the US. Did I mention they have recipes? Check out their website for some great recipes using their fab products.

No need to go out to eat to get that amazing oil to dip your bread. Order yours now!


Visit their website and Follow them on Twitter @theolivetap for more info.


*Disclaimer – I was not required to write this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. I recevied this product gratis.

Roasted Garlic Fettucene Alfredo Recipe

For my holiday gift to my dear friend Khurt Williams, I’ve decided to finally post my recipe for my Roasted Garlic Fettucene Alfredo. Really it’s a gift to all of you. The first time I made it for my hubby he said it was better than the alfredo he had in Italy. And he wasn’t just saying it. It truly is out of this world. If you make it, please drop me a line and let me know what you think.


What’s needed:


1 cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Buy a block of it and grate it yourself)

1 lb. Fettucene

2 Heads of garlic

1 cup Heavy cream

Olive oil, salt & pepper


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tops off of the garlic heads. Place them on foil and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap foil around the garlic and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. Let them cool and then squeeze the flesh out of the cloves and mash into a paste. Add the paste to a pot over medium heat with the heavy cream and whisk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the contents reduces by 1.2. Boil your pasta. Add cheese to your pot with cream. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Drain your pasta. I like to throw the pasta directly into the sauce and mix together and let sit for a second so the pasts absorbs the flavor.


Last but not least…. dig in. Enjoy!


Healthy Steps Kitchen Gadgets Review & GIVEAWAY

Recently Healthy Steps sent me some of their amazing kitchen gadgets. All their products are super easy to use and each product comes with a yummy recipe. Many of their products are geared to help with portion control.

Who hasn’t taken a super huge over the top portion of something only to regret it later? I know I have. With the Healthy Steps kitchen gadgets you are able to monitor your portion control much better when it comes to preparing and serving.

Below are the products that I tested.

Starch Server – Serve one portion at a time, every time

The Healthy Steps Portion Control Starch Server provides portion control when serving popular dishes like potatoes or rice, right at the table or stovetop. The stylish appearance is perfect for serving guests and family alike. Since the portion size is tucked away inside the spoon, no one will know you are measuring!

  • Solid spoon serves 1/2 cup of starches such as potatoes or rice

Benefits of Starch Server

  • Using this server helps teach proper portion sizes at home.
  • Portion control is an effective way to manage and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Portion size is based on USDA dietary guidelines. One serving of starch = 1/2 cup or one level spoonful.

Protein Server – Delivers a perfect 3 oz. meat portion every time

The Healthy Steps Portion Control Protein Server provides portion control for serving meats and fish, right at the table or right from the stove. The sleek styling is perfect for serving guests and family alike. The portion size is visible on the head of the server/turner, but the size is perfect for serving the proper portion each time!

  • 1 spatula for 3 oz. protein servings

Benefits of Protein Server

  • Using this server helps teach proper portion sizes at home. It reinforces what 3 oz. of protein looks like on a plate.
  • Portion control is an effective way to manage and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Serving size is based on USDA dietary guidelines. One serving of protein = 3 oz. or one spatula.

Produce Pro – Peel, seed, hull and eye – all with one tool!

Speed up prep time in your kitchen and save valuable storage space with the multifunctional Peeler Pro by Healthy Steps. This feature packed peeler peels, seeds, hulls and eyes fruits and vegetables with ease. In addition, using one tool means you only have to wash one tool, what a time saver!

  • for fruits and vegetables
  • prep foods faster
  • replaces 3 kitchen tools

Benefits of eating fruits and vegetables:

  • Fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk associated with strokes and heart disease.
  • Important nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and folic acid are found in many fruits and vegetables.

Avocado Pro – Open, pit, slice, scoop and mash – all with one tool!

Speed up prep time in your kitchen and save valuable storage space with the multifunctional Avocado Pro by Healthy Steps. This feature packed avocado tools cuts open avocados, pits, slices them into bite size pieces, scoops out the healthy avocado meat and contains a masher to make homemade fresh guacamole. This is one tool no kitchen should be without!

Benefits of eating avocados:

  • Avocados contain phytonutrients, which help to prevent many chronic diseases.
  • Often referred to as “nutrient booster”, the avocado helps to absorb alpha and beta-carotenes from other foods when eaten with the fruit.

Water Infuser – Make all-natural citrus or herbal infused drinks

Infusing water with natural flavors is simple with the Healthy Steps Water Infuser. Enjoy the convenience, cost savings and health benefits of all-natural infused water or tea made right at home.

  • fits inside most pitchers
  • ball keeps fruit slices contained and pulp out of drinks
  • a healthy alternative to sugary drinks

Benefits of drinking water

  • Water flushes out toxins in the body, helps hydrate skin and aids in weight loss!
  • Follow the 8×8 rule, drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

Try our preferred infused mixes or get creative with your own favorite fruits and herbs.

  • Cucumber and lemon slices
  • Strawberry slices and fresh mint
  • Mashed cherries and lime slices

Ice Cream Scoop – Indulge with one serving

Ice cream is often an overindulgence and unchecked portions can destroy even the best diet routines. With the Healthy Steps Portion Control Ice Cream Scoop, you can have your ice cream and eat it too! Simply scoop and dispense for a perfect portion of your favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt. Stop counting calories and start living.

  • fits in small containers
  • push action for quick release
  • dispense directly into wafer or waffle cones

Benefits of Ice Cream Scoop

  • 68% of Americans are overweight. Portion control is an effective way to manage and maintain and healthy weight.
  • The milk in ice cream products provides vital nutrients for overall health including calcium, potassium, vitamin D and protein.
  • Serving size is based on FDA food labeling requirements.


Click HERE to see where you can purchase Healthy Steps.

Win a fab kitchen gadget from Healthy Steps!

Giveaway Info:

Check out the full line of Healthy Steps products HERE!

Come back to my site and tell me which product you want to try out.

“LIKE” Healthy Steps on Facebook and tell them which product you want to check out.

*In order to win the giveaway you must comment on both my blog and Healthy Steps Facebook Page.

** Entry deadline is May 20, 2011 at 5pm EST.

*** The opinions expressed here are my own. I received the Healthy Steps products in lieu of writing a blog post.