Thursday, June 13, 2013

Oh So Flavorful Thursday...

Today was leftover day...I had the last piece of my Greek Style Spinach-Feta Pie for lunch.  For dinner, I had the last piece of salmon and the rest of the sauteed brussels sprouts and red cabbage from last night.  But, the most exciting part of my evening...was that my shipment of extracts that came today from OliveNation (I know, how dorky, right?).  I've been using their extracts since last year -- they have one of the largest varieties of pure natural extracts that I have found.  I never purchase any imitation flavored extracts.  I couldn't eat my dinner fast enough so I could whip out my plain Greek yogurt and begin sampling the new flavors!  The 4 new flavors that came today are: Black Currant, Banana, Peach and Hazelnut.  I tried all the fruit flavors in yogurt this evening and every single one was awesome -- the fragrance of the black currant was so heavenly, I could wear it as perfume!  LOL  Those 4 new flavors added to my growing OliveNation collection of: Maple, Coconut, Pineapple, Chocolate, Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla as well as their vanilla bean pods.  I bought these flavors so I could add the natural flavors of what are typically higher fructose fruits to my plain Greek yogurt to jazz it up a bit sometimes.  I also think they would be good in whipped cream or cream cheese to make little fruit flavored cheesecakes, tarts, etc. without adding fructose. I snapped a couple photos below so you could see my growing OliveNation collection of extracts. You can purchase them directly from OliveNation or find them at my Amazon aStore. This doesn't even take into account the other McCormick and Frontier natural flavors I have as well.  If you are looking for a large variety of unusual extracts (most are pure and natural), check them out.  Enjoy!

P.S. -- Notice how sunny it was in these pictures about an hour ago -- it is now pitch black outside and there are tornado warnings here  and one has already been spotted west of here -- yikes!!!

Here are the different varieties of yogurt I will be adding them to -- non-fat, 2% & full fat!
This is what is going on here tonight!!!


Anonymous said...

What a great collection, it's so nice to have so many nice options to choose from.i will have to try some myself. I sure hope and pray that the bad weather passes by without any damage to anyone in your area. Take good care and stay safe. Maria

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Maria! The sky had turned every shade of black,gray, yellow and green...very weird. The news said there were 1,000 lightning strikes every 10 minutes!!! Keeping my fingers crossed! :-)

CyberSis said...


My extracts came today, too, and I'm very pleased with the ones I've tried so far (black currant and peach.) I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying the black currant! :-)

I hope all is well with your weather ... very scary. The weather this year certainly has been weird for a big part of the country, hasn't it. Do you unplug your computer during storms? A few years ago our computers were damaged due to lightening striking the power lines, so now at the first sign of threatening weather I turn my computer off and *unplug* it.

Hope that by this time it's passed by you without incident. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! Thankfully the storms seem to have passed for now. I unplugged the laptop I use most of the time and just used it via battery. Our desktop computer has a super-duper surge protector on it, just in case. Glad you got your extracts today, too and that you like them as well. I liked them all taste wise -- but I really loved the smell of the black currant a lot. Haven't tried the hazelnut yet -- I have to think about how I want to use that -- maybe hazelnut sugar cookies? I will figure it out though! Take care! :-)

unter der laterne said...

Hi cyber Sis, she likes it, she really really likes it! LOL.
Well I gues we are off the hook !with the black currant flavoring.
Take care, Barbara.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

You are too funny Barbara! :-)

unter der laterne said...

Hi GG, I am glad that the storm past. I am absolutely horrified of thunder storms. As a child we lived for a short while in Schleswig Holstein (Germany) with out any elevation in sight, no hills , no mountains , my father was miserable Well the thunderstorms were the worst that one can imagine. The sparks would come through one lamp and then continue to all the other lamps! We lived in a village and the haystacks would catch fire and I remember my father trying to put out the fire with an ax and throwing dirt. To this day I am scared to death.

I am so happy that you love the flavorings.( black currant). I am putting in an order towards the end of the month. The Quality is outstanding and did you notice that when one pours, it does not run down the bottle! You will laugh but while I am cooking I always have a stainless steel bowl full of soapy water handy to wash all the bottles ( salad dressing, olive oil etc. )
Be well and SAFE ! Barbara.

CyberSis said...

Yes, Barbara, a great weight has been lifted from our shoulders! :-)

unter der laterne said...

The bottles look so beautiful! I noticed that you bought the 8 ounce size of the Maple flavor. What do you use it for besides pancakes?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara! I bought the large bottle of maple because I want to experiment making some type of maple flavored syrup -- haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to do it, but have a few ideas twirling in my head! LOL I actually have that jar of the almond butter from Costco (a couple as a matter of fact!). I want to explore flavoring different things to change them up a bit -- for instance, as I type this...maybe a sweetened almond butter w/ maple flavor might be nice...or maple flavored butter, etc. Too scary about the storms -- can't imagine sparks coming out of my lamps! I was once engaged to a man who was born in Bavaria (his mother was German) that close to where you lived in Germany? Have a good afternoon! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! You and Barbara are too funny worrying about the black currant flavor. Every day people take a chance making the recipes that I think are good...but we all know that not everyone will feel the same way! I am glad that you both told me about it because I probably wouldn't have tried it otherwise...and it was a very nice surprise! Thanks to both of you. Have a great afternoon -- we have sun today! :-)

bcat said...

Would like to hear your favorites after more experimenting. Peach sounds wonderful and reviewers rated cherry highly......but you don't have that one in your picture! Anyone tried that?

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi bcat! I have not bought or tried the cherry yet. My mini-sample of the peach yesterday was good -- very "peachy" and I think I'll enjoy that, especially this summer -- might even add a drop or so to iced tea. Living in Georgia...that sounds like the perfect summer beverage! :-)

unter der laterne said...

Hi GG and CyberSis, remember Black currant flavorings? LOL.
Until recently (historically speaking) the innocent black currant was an outlaw fruit in North America, Yes banned from these shores. It seems these little berries(which also come in red and are much prettier than the black) had a PR problem- people thought they were detrimental to native white pine trees, and so they were banned. No longer thank Goodness!
I just found this piece in the Trader Jo Flyer. Quelle surprise!

GG, you asked about Germany. Bavaria is in the south-East and that is the only place I would live if I moved back to Germany, you would have loved it there, it is so different from the rest of Germany, very happy people, maybe because they dring the best beer that one can find any where! I spent my honey moon there (Munich) and suffered horrible blisters on my feet from walking in high heels and very pointed shoes on ancient *cobble stones*. I kept the pumps because they are hand made and absolutely beautiful! I had a thing for shoes , bought too many(pointed, high heeled pumps) and now I am punished because my feet are ruined and I have to wear very ugly shoes. but as long as I can walk I am happy!
Schleswig Holstein is in the northern part of Germany! I will never go back there!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Barbara!

What interesting facts about black currants! I learn something new every single day!

Funny you said Bavaria had the best beer -- I remember my friend used to collect beautiful Bavarian beer steins. Too funny about the pointy high heeled pumps -- (and sad that you had to suffer with blisters, too). Isn't it funny how when we are young, wearing beautiful shoes is so important...even if it means limping in them...and as we get a little bit older (and wiser)...we realize that there is nothing more beautiful than a pair of comfortable shoes? I do believe it must have been a man that designed high heeled pointy toed shoes for women to wear -- notice how they designed shoes for men to be comfortable and stylish instead? ;-)

unter der laterne said...

Those Beer steins are worth a fortune now! You have a very lucky friend!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Barbara -- while talking about German collectibles (beer steins) -- I have a hummel collection. Did you ever collect them? My mother's collection is much bigger -- I bought many of them for her. I know they used to be very valuable, but don't know if they still are in this economy.

unter der laterne said...

GG, no I never had a Hummel collection because I was influenced by my parents who thought that they were Kitsch, not art! I think Hummel is more loved in the USA. But GG I think just as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder so is Art. The main thing is that the pieces bring joy to you! Chacun a son gout as the French say! Did you know that the Hummel pieces were created by a German nun?
I almost lost a friendship while visiting an art gallery with my friend, she adored Thomas Kinkade as much as I despise his work , which is too cutesy for my taste. As a young woman
I studied art at the Sorbonne in Paris while working as an *au pair* in a very cold French family! I spent hours at the Louvre. Those were

the best years of my life!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Wow, Barbara...I am impressed! Yes, I did know they were created by a German nun...Sister Berta Hummel. I mainly collected the pieces that reminded me specifically of my children and I also have a couple of their clocks...Chapel Time and Call To Worship (which are a couple of my favorites). When I lived in the DC area, there was an older German woman that bought, sold and collected hummels -- her name was Magdalena (I met her because she purchased a couple of older pieces from me). She lived in a huge house and had thousands and thousands of them -- the older ones with the "full bee" on the bottom were something special to have in your collection I remember. I learned a lot about them from her -- her house was full of all kinds of art, like a museum. What do you think about Monet? I love some of his paintings (I love flowers, watercolors, etc.). I know you have said you've lived in different countries...I bet you have lots of stories and experiences that most of us don't! By the way...after my walk this morning, I was excited to have "peach Greek yogurt" using my peach extract -- I added some chopped pecans to it -- it was absolutely delicious enjoying "Peach Pecan yogurt" without any fructose! :-)

unter der laterne said...

Hi Gg, I wrote a comment this morning, but it was not posted, just as well!
You asked me if I liked Monet, of course I do, Monet, Manet, Degas etc. You like flowers in paintings, I do too but I prefer paintings of French landscapes, especially by George Seurat, some remind me of Switzerland, which is my favorite country . Unfortunately many countries are losing their Identity , I would like to explain further but it would be politically incorrect! Don't you love it!
I am also having a lot of fun with these flavorings, sometimes I forget what concoctions I created, I have to write them down!. Tonight I put chocolate drops in the Almond milk with some stevia.
I loved it.
Tomorrow I have to try to put pecans in my yogurt with the peach drops which are from another company. I always forget the nuts!
I have white peaches they will be ripe the end of June. They are beautiful but have not much flavor, I prefer yellow ones.
I baked your peanut cookies , that was so easy and fast. I had no chocolate left , so I used 1 tsp. of cocoa powder. They are delicious especially with coffee or old almond milk.
Have a good Sunday with nice weather ! Barbara.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Barbara! It is nice having the variety of extracts to choose from -- I am enjoying them too. I did not see any other comment from you -- but occasionally when I respond to a comment -- my comment disappears; it as done that a few times and it always seems to happen when it is a really long detailed remark that I have to re-write! So frustrating. You are right about "politically correct" -- sometimes it gets so ridiculous that in our effort to be politically correct, we also lose our freedom of speech. Oh well. It is bright and sunny here and I hope it stays nice through the afternoon as we are planning to grill steaks for dinner. Have a beautiful Sunday! :-)

905lovestostamp said...

Hello, GGC,

I'm considering buying some Olive Nation flavorings/etracts, and have a couple of questions--probably stupid ones but I'll ask anyway. I am following a program not quite grain-free but restricted grains and otherwise I think about the same. Definitely wheat-free and sugar-free are terribly important, as are eating pesticide-free produce and organic when possible and local too, with meat products as healthy as possible too--grass-fed, etc.

When I looked at the extracts at Olive Nation, I found it a bit confusing. There are some that are organic and have two forms--a regular and an organic. In the case of the red raspberry, there's a clear form too. Some of the extracts are labelled as sugar-free, others are not but it appears no sugar is added, but I'm wondering about fruit sugar which would be just as bad for me. Are all of these extracts sugar-free? I am particularly interested in at the moment maple, lemon, red raspberry, mango, perhaps caramel or butterscotch. It was confusing as well with cinnamon--there's a cinnamon extract and then a cinnamon oil--the oil is much more expensive. I'm more concerned about the health issues but of course want the great taste. I'd be interested over time in adding to these, I especially love fruit-flavored full-fat yogurts and would love to find an alternate way to enjoy these.

Thanks so much for your help, I appreciate it!!!

Have you considered making a really good sticky cinnamon bun? One that is more bread-like than with a biscuit base. I understand it would be healthier with lots of nuts, but I'd almost prefer to eat the nuts as a snack and have the cinnamon bun without.

Last question, I really dislike the taste of coconut, probably the taste I dislike most. I'm managing to cook with a coconut oil that has its aroma removed, and don't mind coconut milk--but the smell of coconut flour is awful for me. It's used in so many recipes--what would be the next best thing to substitute. When flaked coconut is in a recipe I usually just leave it out.

Sorry for all of the questions, I'm just keen to do what I can for my health.

Thanks again, you are such an encouragement and a great role model for so many of us, and I am looking forward to baking with a baker friend who is coming to visit this weekend, we hope to try a number of your bread-like recipes--buttermilk biscuits will be my first, can't wait!!! Yum!!!

With gratitude to you for how you've helping me stay on this new way of eating and living!!!


Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Joanne,

First, thanks for the kind words. I hope you enjoy your baking weekend with your friend, too!

About the Olive Nation flavors and extracts. I noticed that some say no sugar and some don't, but then don't list sugar as an ingredient. Maybe it might be a good idea to call them before ordering. I enjoy the flavors I've bought from them and the funny thing is that I initially ordered them to flavor yogurt, too! I missed the different fruit flavors as well.

I have not used cinnamon oil before. I believe it is more intense than extract. While I like all the Olive Nation flavorings I've bought, I have found a maple extract that I like even better (since you mentioned maple). It's made by Boyajian and seems to be stronger flavored.

As far as coconut flavor. I'm not super crazy about coconut flavor in everything either. I've gotten used to the regular coconut oil. I'm assuming you are using the refined which is supposed to be tasteless or very close to tasteless.

As far as the coconut flour, if you notice, most of the recipes I use it in, I don't use it alone like some do. I use a small amount of it along with almond flour, flax, chia, etc. I've found that I don't taste it when I use it blended like that. There really isn't any other flour like it since it is super absorbent. You could try replacing some of it with ground chia seed flour, but reduce the's absorbent too. I add it more for it's absorbing properties and try not to use enough where I taste coconut. Enjoy your baking weekend! It sounds like fun. :-)