Basil Basil Everywhere And Lots Of Drops For Me (Crisco Oil Review)

Yum, yum yum... and yes, that's the bottle of basil Oil next to it. Such a purty green color.

I don’t have a garden. Yet. I have a small back porch that I use for potted herbs and such. I plant them and as of recently I dream about what it will be like when we move to the new house and I can have a garden about 1/2 acre large. Me… that much land… plants… equals scary. I have a bad habit of thinking “Oooo, I LOVE such and such and need to plant lots and lots of it!!”. I kinda did that this season with potted basil. I bought five plants. Now I love basil, but there are only so many times one can make Caprese pasta or Caprese Salad or add 72 cups of basil to spaghetti sauce before you start watching your skin turn a funny shade of green and have people ask why they smell basil every time you are in the room.

So when I was lucky enough to be chosen through the FoodBuzz Tastemakers Program to receive some of the new Crisco Olive Oils, I was tickled green pink. I knew what I wanted to use it for the second I opened the box. On a side note, is it just me or is it like Christmas when you receive an unexpected box of something yummy in the mail? πŸ˜€

Moving on, I knew what I wanted to use it for. The only oil I use when it comes to vegetable or canola is Crisco because I trust the brand (no, I’m not just saying that because I received the olive oil; it’s the truth πŸ™‚ ) so I knew that their olive oil would be good. I received one of each of the three types they market- Extra Virgin, Light and Pure-

So with all the basil I have (I am thinking of trying to spin it all into Basil yarn or maybe make a Basil Pillow; possibly sell it on the Basil Black market for those addicts who can’t get enough of it.) I decided to make Basil Oil. I absolutely LOVE flavored oils and have used Crisco Vegetable Oil before to make other flavored oils (yes, I will post those recipes too). I used the Extra Virgin because I wanted to add a nice fruity olive flavor along with the basil flavor and extra virgin olive oil has the strongest flavor, not to mention a wonderful aroma. If you’ve never made basil Oil before don’t be nervous and don’t listen to all the scare stories about botulism from home flavored oils. Yes, that can happen if you use unsafe practices or leave the oil sitting out but if you make it and keep it refrigerated all will be fine. This is extremely easy. You just need a pot, a strainer, basil, a cooking thermometer and some yummy olive oil. So c’mon… stop spinning that Basil pillow and get out a pot and go buy some Crisco Olive Oil. This makes about 2 cups of oil.

Bottom line? I loved this oil. It was just as good, if not better in some cases, than many of the more expensive olive oils I have used. It had a wonderful aroma, a mellow yet nice flavor and while it may be a small thing, I liked that this comes in a plastic bottle rather than a glass one. Glass is always an issue when you have kids around. So will I get this again? Definitely.

Home Made Basil Oil Using Crisco Olive Oil

  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups Crisco Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Rinse your basil leaves. Dry them well by rolling them around in a wad of paper towels. Don’t be afraid to use some pressure. You actually WANT to bruise the leaves anyway because that releases some oils.
  2. Take them out of the towels and just wad them up in your hands. Same reasoning applies; releasing the oils.
  3. In a large pot, combine the Crisco oil and the basil.
  4. Put over low heat and slowly heat up to 165 degrees. Keep it at that temp for about 4 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and let the basil sit in the oil for at least one hour.
  6. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the oil into a two cup capacity container. Store in the fridge. This will solidify some in the refrigerator but will liquify again when heated.  Keep refrigerated when not using.
  7. This can be used soooo many ways. Use to drizzle over meats or veggie; use as a dipping oil for bread (you can use as is or add herbs and spices to it), drizzle over pasta (the picture at the top is my dinner tonight- Cheese ravioli with Asiago and Mozzarella cheeses, Some Sopresseto salami, Heirloom tomatoes & drizzled with some of my basil oil. So so yummy and oh so simple!)


*I received Crisco Olive Oils as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program (Crisco Olive Oil). The opinions posted here are my own.*

Birds Eye Voila Dinner Review & Free BOGO Free Coupons For My Readers

Recently, I received a coupon from the wonderful Birds Eye company to obtain one of their Voila Skillet Entrees for free if I would then review the product. Having enjoyed the “Birds Eye Chefs Favorite Creamed Spinach” so much, I was tickled to have the opportunity to review this also. I chose the Garlic Shrimp flavor because I love shrimp. I really really love shrimp and I don’t get it often because I’m not Donald Trump πŸ˜› and I don’t live near the ocean and it’s hard to farm shrimp in my bathtub. The soap tends to bother them plus they constantly try to take my rubber ducky.

With as much as I loved the creamed spinach, I had high hopes for the Voila Garlic Shrimp. I hate to admit it, but I was rather disappointed. It wasn’t horrible, not at all, but it wasn’t really that good either. The vegetables in it were great, as I would expect from the Birds Eye company. The broccoli was crispy with a fresh from the ground flavor (minus the dirt πŸ˜› ). The corn and the carrots were also good and anyone who knows my blog knows I don’t even like carrots so that is saying something. The problem was with the shrimp, the pasta and the sauce. The package said to cook this for 12 minutes in my microwave. After 8 minutes, I checked it and it was obviously done. So I pulled it out and poured some on the plates. It SMELLED great. Nice garlicky smell and it looked appealing though the shrimp was rather sparse and what was there were tiny.

I gave it a few bites and again, I hate to say it, but I was disappointed. The shrimp, even cooked for less time than they said, were tough and rubbery without a whole lot of flavor. I think that if they had cooked for the whole 12 minutes, they would have been inedible. The sauce, while it smelled great, was fairly bland and I ended up adding salt to it and I’m not a big salt person. The pasta was also rather rubbery, kind of like what it would be like if you made a noodle dish one night and then reheated it in the microwave for lunch the next day. My son, the 14 year old who will eat anything, said “I didn’t even know it had garlic in it until you told me”.

Bottom line- it was ok. I will give it another chance or two with some other flavors because they DO have some really awesome sounding flavors; Chicken Teriyaki, Chicken Alfredo, Beef Lo Mein, Cheesy ranch Chicken… this one just wasn’t that appealing or flavorful.

I’m looking forward to trying some of those because I know Birds Eye is a good brand and I’m willing to go for the idea that maybe it was just this particular flavor. After I do, I’ll let you know how they were. I still have high hopes. πŸ™‚

In the meantime, I am going to give out three coupons for “Buy one Voila entree, get one free” apiece to the first 20 readers who make a comment telling me which flavor of the Voila Entree they would like to try. You can find all the different ones here-

I ask one favor though. If you are one of the Food Buzz Bloggers who also received these coupons, please let me know that in your comment because we all got a lot of them and I can’t see that you’d need more lol :-P. I’d like to share them with other bloggers and readers who didn’t receive any.



*Note-As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a coupon for a free 23 ounce bag of any flavor  Birds Eye Voila Entree. The opinions in here are my own.

I Actually DO Like Veggies (Foodbuzz Tastemaker Product Review)

If I do a review, I don’t suddenly have to lose my warped sense of humor and start talking in a high faluting accent and use really large words do I? I can do the review and just be me, right? Because I willingly am making a post that doesn’t involve mass quantities of chocolate, heavy cream, snack cakes or pork. That alone gives me the right to have fun doesn’t it? Although thinking about it, talking in a high faluting accent and using really large words is quite in line with my personality ANYWAY, so that works too. πŸ˜€

Seriously though… or maybe I should say, “moving on” (hehehe… did you notice that it has been a while since I’ve said that?), I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers to try a Birds Eye product that will be coming out in stores soon. I was tickled to be chosen and even more tickled to eat the veggies. Even if they didn’t come covered in chocolate. Is that showing veggie love or what?! I received this *points down*

Birds Eye Chefs Selection Creamed Spinach

I saw this and knew I would be trying it as it and as soon as possible. Contrary to my self made rep as a person who subsists on fats, sweets and caffeine, I actually DO eat healthy foods voluntarily and actually enjoy them. And I love Spinach; always have. Did you hear that and have you snapped a photo of those words in case I deny it later? I’ll say it again just in case.

I LOVE SPINACH! ALWAYS HAVE! And to top it off, I want THIS Spinach every night for a year or three… for dessert. And dinner. Maybe even lunch and breakfast. Then I may have to fit in a snack cake and some caffeine.

This creamed Spinach was AWESOME! I…erhmmm… ended up eating the whole bag… by myself… over the course of the evening. No one else in my family likes Spinach so it was a sacrifice I willingly made πŸ˜€ It tastes wonderfully fresh; like I just chopped up some fresh Spinach myself and mixed this up. But yay of all yays, I didn’t have to go to that kind of trouble. Nope! Not at all. I just popped this bag into the microwave for five minutes and then poured it out. Like I said, very very fresh tasting. And even better, it had NONE of that icky dried milk sort of flavor that I have found in so many other types of creamed spinach, even those from a restaurant. I would put this up against them any day. It has a slight garlic flavor which I liked. But nothing overpowering. The flavor is that of fresh creamy Spinach overall. I will be trying this again…and again…and again.

I can’t WAIT for this to come out at the stores. I am planning to eat lots of creamed Spinach.

Hmmm… I wonder if Birds Eye needs a really strange middle aged, fat spokesperson? I would work for Spinach. Just sayin’.

*I received four packages of Birds Eye Chefs Favorites as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program*