about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily



    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Summer Adventures.

Apologies for the quiet here last week.  I wish I had good excuses for you guys, but the reality is simply that it is summer – and there is so much to do, and eat, and see, and splash in – and I have been spending very little time indoors, and even less in front of my computer.  I keep making these giant to-do lists on our kitchen wipe-off board, and at the end of the day I am lucky to cross one thing off.  No regrets though – tis the season of sunscreen, tiny sandy shoes, and buckets and shovels rolling around in the back of my car.

We have been having such a wonderful summer – maybe our best yet?  This weekend was no exception.  Seattle was at it’s absolute best, with beaming sunshine all day long, sparkling water all around, and glowing sunsets night after night.  We knocked quite a few things off our summer bucket list, starting with – miniature golf! 

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Cullen is seriously obsessed with baseball these days, and he swings – both real and imaginary – bats around everywhere he goes.  So I thought he might have fun playing mini golf, particularly after I saw him playing with a friend’s toy club set at a park the other day.  Golf was a hit! 

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Graham wasn’t quite as impressed.  He snoozed on my back in the Stokke carrier, and I tried to argue for a handicapped score with all that extra weight shifting my center of gravity.  Casey beat me by a lot, Cullen cheated on every hole, and we all had a blast. 

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After a quick trip through our neighborhood farmer’s market, I spent naptime gardening!  I owe you guys a garden update soon – it is growing way faster than I can keep up with.  And real vegetables are actually growing – check out these squash!

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We grilled them for dinner along with corn on the cub, portabello mushrooms, and field roast – so delicious.  After we ate, the boys took a bath and changed into jammies, and then we took them for a pre-bedtime stroll to the grocery store in their new wagon (a Christmas gift we are finally putting to good use!).

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Sunday morning, both boys were up (painfully) early.  They bounced and climbed all over our bed, while Casey and I threw around ideas for what we’d do that day.  Instead of our usual walking loops and farmer’s markets, I tossed out something more adventurous.  Casey was into it, and so by 7:30am, we found ourselves ferrying across the Puget Sound from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. 

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As we drove onto the bottom car garage of the ferry, Cullen exclaimed from the backseat, “Oh, I am SO excited about riding the ferry!”  I tell you what – kids sure do make things way more complicated, but they also make them infinitely more fun. 

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We sat back and enjoyed thirty minutes of gorgeous blue water in every direction – with mountains all around, and all of Seattle’s beauty in the distance. 

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Graham’s first ferry ride!  He almost slept through the whole thing, but woke up just in time to enjoy the last few minutes.

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Somehow we have lived in Seattle for three years now, and we had never made it out to Bainbridge.  So for our first trip, knowing we had a limited window of time before the boys needed afternoon naps, we wanted to keep it low key – breakfast and a beach adventure.  We cruised the island a bit until we found Pegasus Coffee – a wonderful little coffee shop with an outdoor patio, a full menu, and delicious island-made kombucha on tap! 

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Cullen inhaled a massive blueberry muffin (he’d already eaten a full breakfast before we left!)…

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While Graham inhaled fistfuls of blueberries.  Kid loves to eat!

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Casey ate some sort of delicious veggie hash…

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And I had this incredible breakfast sandwich!  Flaky, buttery bread with roasted veggies, eggs, Beechers cheese, and a veggie patty sandwiched in between.  Seriously amazing. 

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After a relaxing, leisurely breakfast, we drove along the coast on the east side of the island – checking out all the beautiful homes, and stopping to soak in views like this. 

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Oh hello, Mt.Rainer! 

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This view honestly took my breath away.  Naturally, we started looking up real estate listing on our phones, as we are clearly now moving to the islands. 

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Our drive along the coast line took us to the north end of the island – Fay Bainbridge Park. 

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Beyond a camping ground area and small playground, we found a nearly empty beach with gorgeous sunshine, sparkling blue water, and lots of sand and rocks to explore.

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Casey and I took turns walking around with and snuggling Graham, who was determined to wiggle out of our arms so he could eat every rock on the beach. 

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Meanwhile, his big brother was hard at work perfecting his pitch – hurling rocks into the water with all the force and spirit of a two year old who loves to watch things fly through the air. 

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The only thing better than throwing rocks on a gorgeous beach, is doing it along with your dad.

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Such a wonderful morning with my favorite people. 

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As the clock ticked toward nap time, we headed back to the ferry and we were home by 12:30pm – just in time to read books and tuck two very exhausted boys into their beds.  And Casey and I needed to rest up ourselves, because we had a very special date night planned!

I planned a night out for us, and told Casey we were going to do a different type of date night.  I was so excited when the weather ended up being absolutely perfect for our activity – kayaking! 

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We rented a two-person kayak and paddled all around Lake Union.  We cruised past the houseboats up close (and of course, decided we need to live on one of those someday too!), waved to passing boaters, and had a total blast together. 

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It is always fun to see our great city from a different perspective, and no better way to do that than from the water.  As much as I love our occasional dinners out, this was a much more memorable and fun way to take advantage of having a rare babysitter! 

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After a quick meal, we hurried over to Golden Gardens Beach to soak up the last sunset of the weekend.  We had the perfect view of the mountains silhouetted by orange and pink skies.  We snuggled up on a piece of driftwood and I can’t remember the last time I have felt that relaxed and happy. 

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This summer just gets better and better, and there is still so much more fun ahead.

Sprucing Up Summer Caprese With Oliviers & Co. (+$300 Giveaway!).

While there is plenty to love about every season of food, there is nothing quite like the simple, fresh flavors of summer.  Crisp greens, sweet berries, and juicy tomatoes.  Summer grilling, charred corn on the cob, and flavorful herbs.  It is not a season for roasting, simmering, or digging into the spice cabinet.  In the summer, we keep it simple – oils and vinegars, fresh herbs, and pinch of salt. 

One of my favorite things to eat in the summer is the basic caprese salad (in fact, there are two variations of this salad on my recipe page already!).  And I think one of the things I love about it so much is that, because the basic ingredients – tomato and mozzarella – are so simple, there are so many fun twists and ways to elevate it.  It is amazing what a difference a few, flavorful oils and vinegars can do for an otherwise, relatively predictable dish. 

I recently got the opportunity to sample some artisanal oil and vinegar products from Oliviers & Co. – producers of naturally flavored specialty oils, vinegars, condiments and much more.  And in order to share a few of their products with you, I decided to showcase them all around my favorite salad.  Shall we?

First up – the grilled caprese crostini! 

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Since classic caprese is loaded full of fresh basil, I thought the pairing of Basil Oil and White Balsamic Vinegar with Oregano would really kick it up a notch.  How beautiful are these bottles?

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At the first taste, I was surprised at how much actual herb-flavor the basil oil had – this wasn’t a hint or an essence – this was the real deal.  I picked some fresh basil and small oregano leaves out of our herb boxes, and got to grilling.  A drizzle and brush of basil oil on each side of thinly-sliced French baguette, followed by a creamy smear of burrata cheese, a few leaves of fresh basil and oregano, topped with a slice of ripe tomato and a splash of oregano vinegar on top. 

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Ready for grilling!

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It only takes a few minutes for the bread to toast and the cheese to warm. 

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A perfect summer appetizer or side dish at your next cookout!

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The fresh herbs, paired with the delicious infusion of herbs in the oil and vinegar, made these crostinis the perfect summer bite.  Also – gooey burrata.  Enough said, right?

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Next up, I thought it would be fun to test out some flavored oils and vinegars on a more traditional leafy greens salad. 

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And so naturally, I chose to test out the Best Summer Salad Dressing pairing – green lemon olive oil and oregano vinegar.  I think this set would make a wonderful gift to take to a summer party!

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I started with a big bowl of fresh mixed greens – pruned and cleaned straight out of my very own garden!  On the side, I tossed together cherry tomatoes, ciliegine mozzarella balls, shredded carrot, and some sliced cucumber. 

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I used a 2:1 oil to vinegar ratio and shook up a mixture of the green lemon oil and oregano vinegar – the best summer salad dressing, indeed!  Tangy and bright, and a nice light compliment to the fresh veggies. 

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All dressed up and ready to dig in.

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Another great meal starter or appetizer, or even a light meal itself in a bigger bowl!

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The last oil and vinegar set I tried was a fun and fruity mixture of mint oil and apple vinegar – beautiful bottles and bright flavors. 

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And since the dressing was going to bring a lot of flavor itself, I opted to pair this one over a more traditional caprese.  Sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, with fresh mint leaves subbed in for classic basil!

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A generous drizzle of mint oil over top, with a finishing splash of apple vinegar just before serving…

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When I first put this together I was worried that the mint leaves might be too powerful, particularly when paired with the fragrant mint oil.  But it ended up being a really nice combo, balanced nicely by the sweetness of the apple vinegar.  A light pinch of salt pushed it over the top.

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And last but certainly not least, I couldn’t try out Olivier & Co.’s beautiful products without sampling a nice bottle of olive oil on its own.  At first glance on the website, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the options – so many to choose from, and for a novice like me, no real way to distinguish one from the next.  Thankfully, each bottle has a nice info section that includes things like producer, region, date of harvest, type of olive, and food pairings. 

My personal favorite way to use olive oil is to soak up as much as I possibly can into a thick piece of baguette – and then go to town.  And so because “bread dipping” was a recommended food pairing, I opted to try the Castello Di Poppiano Olive Oil.  Hello, gorgeous!

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Everything about the bottle just oozes elegance and fine food, and I immediately vowed to always have a few nice bottles of olive oil on hand for parties, special occasions, or even to give as gifts to foodie friends.  At $58 for the bottle, it’s not something I would use for sautéing vegetables or pan-frying tofu.  But it is a beautiful finisher to a mild dish, and of course – perfect for dipping. 

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And as for the taste, well – Casey and I were both blown away by the taste.  It was not at all what I expected, and made me realize that (much like wine) there is actually a noticeable difference between grades of olive oil.  This was super pungent and almost bitter, but in a good way, and left a prickly spiciness in my mouth that lingered long after the last bite.  In a word, amazing, and like I said – something that will absolutely be a special occasion pantry staple going forward.

And so with that said, I’d love to share the opportunity for you to try Olivier & Co.’s delicious products yourselves!  And this is no small giveaway – one lucky winner will receive $300 worth of product (of your choice!) to try.  And just to spread the love a bit further, anyone who enters the giveaway also receives a 10% off discount – something for everyone!

Giveaway Details:

Click the giveaway link here in order to join the Oliviers & Co. mailing list.  From there, browse the site for what Oliviers & Co. has to offer, and then leave a comment telling me a few products you might like to try!  Open to US readers only. Must have a US shipping address and valid email address.

Giveaway starts Monday, July 21st, 2014 and will run until Friday, July 25th.  Winner announced later that day!

Good luck, and happy summer eating!

This post was sponsored by Oliviers & Co.  Thank you for your continued support of Daily Garnish. 

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