Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oven-Roasted Buttery Sweet Potatoes

Looking for a simple recipe for sweet potatoes, well look no further! Here is your basic yet delicious recipe that will make everyone in the family happy.

Oven-Roasted Buttery Sweet Potatoes
Oven-Roasted Buttery Sweet Potatoes
  • 7 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoon STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Mix sweet potatoes in a bowl with STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil, salt and pepper. 
  3. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove, serve immediately, and enjoy!

Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Most people's mouths aren't watering when they think of brussels sprouts, but give this recipe a try and you may just change your mind. It give the vegetable a unique kick of flavor but still taste fresh and healthy.

Total Time: 50 min       Prep: 10 min       Cook: 40 min

Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the brown ends of the brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves, cut in half. Mix them in a bowl with STAR Mediterranean Cuisine Cooking Oil, salt and pepper. 
  3. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. 
  4. Sprinkle with more kosher salt, serve immediately, and enjoy!

Halloween in Spain

Halloween is one of the oldest and the most popular celebrations observed by people all over the
Photo by
world. However, the customs and traditions of celebrating differ from place to place. Every country has its own unique pattern of observing the festival. In spite of all the differences, the basic aim behind all these varied customs remains the same. We would love to share with you a glimpse of what Halloween is like in Spain.

In Spain, Halloween is a three-day celebration, starting on October 31st. The first day is referred to as Halloween or Dia de las Brujas (Day of the Witches). This is also called Samhain or Noite dos Calacús (Night of the Pumpkins) in the north-west region of Galicia. This is followed by the celebration of 'All Saints Day' (Dia de Todos los Santos) on November 1st. Finally, on November 2nd, the natives observe the customs and rituals of All Souls' Day (Día de Los Muertos)

The Castanyada is a popular festival, celebrated in Catalonia, mainly on All Saints' Day. In the regions of Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. It consists of a meal of chestnuts, panellets (cakes or cookies in different shapes, mostly round, made mainly of marzipan), sweet potato and preserved fruits, typically with moscatell to drink. Around the time of this celebration, it is common for street vendors to sell hot toasted chestnuts wrapped in newspaper. In many places, confectioners often organize raffles of chestnuts and preserved fruit.

There are certain local parties that have spread to the rest of Spain because of the originality of the celebrations. This is the case of the "Tosantos" of Cadiz. If you find yourself in area on All Saints Day, this should not be missed. Shopkeepers and the owners of stalls all decorate their market with their wares for the holiday. The result is a collection of fruits, vegetables and food products like pork and rabbits, all dressed as the celebrities of the moment, offering up amusing and comic aspects of culture and society in a carnival style.

#Halloween #STARMediterraneanLifestyle
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Olive Oil: The “Liquid Gold” Standard in Bottled Energy

Fats are essential nutrients that allow our bodies to function properly and without which we could not live. Along with carbohydrates (complex carbohydrates and simple sugars) and proteins, fats supply one of the three main sources of energy that we require. They enable us to think, move and carry out all of the internal processes that sustain us. Fats also protect our internal organs and support our overall health, but it’s important that we choose them carefully.

In an ongoing effort to manage our weight, many of us are inclined to look for ways to reduce any kind of fat in our diet, believing that consuming even moderate amounts of healthy fats will in fact "makes us fat." It is true that the calorie/energy intake from fat is greater than that which comes from protein and carbohydrates (nine calories per gram versus four calories per gram for proteins and carbohydrates). It is also the case that our bodies metabolize fats slower, as they are used by the body to generate energy reserves. But like almost everything, balance is the key, and making informed choices on how to select healthy fats makes all the difference in maintaining optimal health.

Taking in two tablespoons of olive oil a day is not "fattening" but provides a complete energy source with extraordinary health benefits. According to the FDA, eating two tablespoons of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease.*

A great cardiovascular ally, olive oil belongs to the family of monounsaturated fats, the kind which helps to lower your total cholesterol and reduces levels of low-density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol). Extolled by the ancients as “liquid gold”, olive oil also contains antioxidant properties and is rich in vitamin E and K.

*Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. See nutrition information for saturated fat content.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How to avoid splattering oil while frying

Do you hate when you are frying and the oil splatters?

Here is a tip:  
Sprinkle a bit of flour or salt in the hot oil when it starts to bubble. These two ingredients will absorb moisture from food, preventing splattering.
Monday, October 20, 2014

Mushroom, Gruyère and Caramelized Onion Flatbread

Want to add some serious flavor to your flatbread? Try this mouth watering recipe developed by 
Serves 2-3
Mushroom, Gruyère and Caramelized Onion Flatbread
Mushroom, Gruyère and Caramelized Onion Flatbread

1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon plus 3 teaspoons STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 pound fresh pizza dough
2 cloves garlic, minced Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh grated Gruyère cheese
1 2.6 ounce jar Cara Mia Marinated Mushrooms, sliced
Fresh or dried rosemary or thyme (for garnish; optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  2. Heat 3 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, stir to coat in the oil, and cook until the onions start to brown. Add a splash of water to the pan if the onions are sticking to deglaze the pan.
  3. Continue cooking until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Sprinkle some flour on the counter or flat surface. Roll the pizza dough out with a rolling pin until it is about 1/3-inch thick. 
  5. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the dough along with the minced garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread the Gruyère cheese evenly over the top of the dough then sprinkle on the sliced mushrooms and caramelized onions. 
  6. Place the baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the dough is golden. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cheddar Jalapeño Pretzels

Cheddar Jalapeño Pretzels
Cheddar Jalapeño Pretzels
Try this recipe for a delicious snack that adds a little extra kick to your every day pretzel. You can even customize it to your preferred level of spiciness! Thanks to for this tasty treat.
Prep Time: 5 mins  Cook Time: 60 mins  Total: 1 hour 5 mins  Servings: 8 

  • 4 cups pretzels
  • 2 rounded Tbsp cheddar cheese powder (popcorn seasoning will work too)
  • ½ tsp Jalapeño Powder


Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon liner. In a bowl toss pretzels and STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil to coat. Sprinkle cheddar cheese powder and jalapeño powder over the pretzels, and mix until well coated. Spread on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. Let sit for at least 4 hours before serving, best served the next day. Store in an air tight container for up to one week. Note – ½ tsp of jalapeño powder gives a small amount of heat, add more if you like it spicy.
Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gooey Monster Cookies

We adapted this recipe from Lil' Luna's and switched out butter for our STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil. Theses cookies are so chewy and delicious and so much fun!  When baking with olive oil make sure you use our conversion cart.
Gooey Monster Cookies

  • 1 Yellow Cake Mix Box
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsp STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 8 oz. bar cream cheese softened
  • 1 egg
  • green food coloring
  • granulated sugar
  • candy eyeballs


1. Beat STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil, vanilla, egg and cream cheese until fluffy.

2. Mix in cake mix. Add green food coloring until it's the color you want. Chill for 30 minutes.

3. Roll into balls in a bowl of  sugar. Place on a prepared cookie sheet.
Gooey Monster Cookies

4. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

5. While warm push eye balls into the center or all over the cookie.

6. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs

We were inspired by a recipe in Sunset Magazine for these spooky eggs.  We adapted the recipe slightly.  Before we get to the recipe, here are some tips for hard boiling eggs.

Directions for boiling eggs:
Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs

Place 6 eggs in a saucepan and fill it with cold water. Add a teaspoon of STAR Italian Kitchen White Wine to the water to help keep egg whites from running out if an egg does crack while cooking and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water to help prevent cracking as well as making the eggs easier to peel.

Set over high heat and bring the water to a rolling boil. The water should come to a full, rolling boil. Then turn off the heat and cover the pan and take the pan off the burner entirely and cover the pan.

Set your timer for the desired time. Leave the eggs in the covered pan for 10-12 minutes.

Remove the cooked eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and tap each gently on the countertop to crack the shell in a few places. Place the eggs in a bowl of ice water and leave them there for at least 1 minute then peel.

Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs Recipe
Servings: 12 egg halves

Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs

1. Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Slip out yolks and mash with fork.

2. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Spoon or pipe about 1 tablespoon yolk mixture into the hollow of each egg-white half. Serve immediately or cover and chill refrigerate up to 24 hours.

3. To decorate cut olives in half lengthwise and nestles one half on top of an egg for the body, then cut the other half crosswise into thin slices to form the creepy legs.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Green Chili and Cheese Skillet Beer Bread

Want to impress your friends the next game day? Try out this delicious recipe by that puts a unique spin on your basic cheesy bread. 

Prep: 10 mins    Cook Time:  15 mins    Total:  25 mins

Green Chili and Cheese Skillet Beer Bread
Green Chili and Cheese Skillet Beer Bread
  • 2 ½ cup Flour
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper,
  • 1 ½ cup Cheddar, shredded
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil
  • 12 ounces, Beer – choice of flavor
  • 1 4 oz can of chopped green chilies


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Stir in cheddar cheese, cheese, green chilies and ¼ cup of parmesan cheese until they are combined, breaking up any clumps of cheese.
  3. Heat an oven safe skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Pour the butter flavored olive oil into the skillet and swirl around whole skillet until the bottom and sides of the skillet are coated.
  4. Once the skillet is heated, drizzle the heated STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil over the dry ingredients and momentarily set aside the skillet. Next, pour the beer over the rest of the bread ingredients and stir until just combined. Be sure to not over mix the bread, it will be lumpy and very thick.
  5. Pour the bread batter into the heated skillet and spread out to the batter over the whole pan. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake immediately for 15-20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.
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