Bound and determined to re-create this cuteness MINUS the bacteria ;)

The Gift of Botulism – A Christmas Story

“What a cute gift idea!” I thought, as I read through a blog detailing a DIY Rosemary Olive Oil Recipe. I’m no stranger to cooking or DIY gifts so I thought this was going to be a walk in the park. Little did I know, I was about to create little botulism bombs – NOT what I was going for!

Botulism Bacteria Under Microscope

Clostridium botulinum is found throughout the world in soil.
The spores it produces – even a small amount – can lead to severe poisoning.
photo: NPR

I ordered some teardrop-shaped glass bottles complete with corks & brown gift tags. Then I picked up 2 large jugs of olive oil from Costco. I also bought a [sacrificial] rosemary bush to be sure I had enough to go around, without killing my poor little outdoor shrub.

Avoid burning your rosemary: Test oil with a few drops of water to be sure it's not spattering. Luke warm oil is what you're looking for. Add all rosemary at once to ensure even cooking.

Avoid Burning Rosemary: Test oil with a few drops of water to be sure it’s not spattering hot. Luke warm oil is what you’re looking for.
Add all rosemary at once for even cooking.

diy rosemary olive oil, what a grand idea(?)

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m a Pinterest fiend at times. I collect recipes and DIY ideas year-round, in hopes that one day I’ll actually remember to check back to the place in which I have saved said ideas (anyone else?). This year I was determined that things were going to be different – and they were! I followed the article’s instructions to the letter…until I overlooked everything in italics

one of my worst recipe fails, ever.

I have botched recipes and went off course numerous times over my history as an amateur chef. Although those recipes didn’t turn out as they should have, they were still tasty and absolutely far from fatal. Thankfully I made the infused olive oil far enough in advance to notice something a little extra in the jars BEFORE I handed them out.

dry out rosemary or kill your friends

Fresh rosemary must be properly dried prior to putting those fragrant little sprigs in your adorable bottles (which are a huge pain to get out)! I cannot stress this enough! Immediately after noticing a murkiness and something icky looking on the rosemary sprigs poking above the oil level, I scoured the internet looking for the safest way to make rosemary infused olive oil, in a jiffy.

Bound and determined to re-create this cuteness MINUS the bacteria ;)

Bound and determined to re-create this cuteness!

3 trustworthy recipe variations i’ve found:

  1. Mix, Preserve, Dry Press – Olive Oil Source
  2. The no-cook method – Martha Stewart
  3. Make sure everything is thoroughly washed & dried – Pepper Design Blog

I am going to attempt to make another batch of rosemary, I haven’t decided which recipe yet. After such extensive research, the thoughts running through my head are more along the lines of, “I wonder how easy it would be to add garlic in there…”

What do you think?

Share links to your favorite Rosemary Infused Olive Oil Recipes below in the comments.

I’m open to suggestions, tips and always interested in learning more!

Summer 2012 – Arugula, Fig, and Blue Cheese Salad

I’m not a big fan of blue cheese unless it’s paired perfectly. This is the pairing for me!

“Figs are the ugly stepsister to the sexier fruits of summer.  You don’t see people waxing poetic about these tasty beauties.  I have to admit that it took me a long time to appreciate their luscious sweetness and chewy texture but they have moved to the top of my list as one of my favorite new ingredients to experiment with.”


Feeling slightly adventurous? Try this summer salad Recipe from Scaling Back to boost your day!



Combine the balsamic and mustard in a small bowl and slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking, season with salt and pepper.  In a large bowl combine the greens with the figs and blue cheese, add a few tablespoons of dressing and toss lightly to combine.  Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the top and serve.

Summer 2012 – Arugula Pistachio Pesto

Pesto is one of my guilty pleasures…but now I don’t have to feel so guilty!!

Arugula Pistachio Pesto

Arugula Pistachio Pesto

I’m such a tease.

Little did I know when I posted my tips for homemade frozen pizza, that all you really wanted was the recipe for the pesto I used to make the “hers” version.

If I share the recipe, will you forgive me?

Arugula Pistachio Pesto

I’ve been kind of crazy about this arugula pesto lately. Maybe it’s a basil-deficiency in my blood stream, or summer herb withdrawal syndrome. But tossing a handful of bright green rocket into the food processor instead seemed like the right thing to do.

I’ve probably made it a dozen times. I’ve smeared it on pizza. Tossed it with pasta. Slathered it on burgers. And, of course, spread it on some freshly toasted bruschetta with goat cheese. I’ve made it with walnuts, almonds, pistachios and pine nuts… added cheese and garlic and lemon. Spiced it up with red pepper flakes. But this. This is probably my favorite version.

Arugula Pesto and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Even though I expect my freshly planted basil to be primed for pesto in T-minus 65 days (brown-thumb notwithstanding), I don’t see myself tiring of this bright and nutty spread any time soon.

Basil? What’s that? Who needs it anyway.

Arugula Pistachio Pesto

YIELD: 1 cup

TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes


2 ounces arugula (about 2 cups, packed)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place arugula in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add olive oil, pistachios, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until smooth, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or store, refrigerated in an airtight container, for 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.