Olive oil

Food Gifts by Mail - Five Great Choices

A friend asked me about favorite products to send to foodies on your gift list. I tossed off this quick list of five and thought I may as well share it here for those of you not following my every twitch on social media. I buy mail order for some things and these are terrific companies that are well worth supporting. I use these myself and have been enriched by support from some of them as sponsors at one time or another. Readers know that I only have sponsors that I shop from, that I support.

1. Katz Farm Table - so good you can drink them. Perfect for mignonettes, salads, try the honey Viognier on roasted veg.

2. Koda Farms - A California Farming Legacy Since 1928 - foodies will know they were called best brown rice by NYT Mark Bittman, their barley is the best you will try and look at this gorgeous heirloom varietal white rice. This is the rice I dream of and I most often use. Much lower than industry standard for broken grains.


3. Pasolivo Olive Oil - heirloom varietal olive oils, and some pressed with various citrus grown right next to their olives. I've baked their Bergamot Olive oil into these fantastic brownies, and their Lime Oil into this Margarita Bundt cake. lime__oil
4. ILoveBLueSea.com - low flat rate shipping of pristine seafood from small family operations and sustainable fisheries. Great oyster selection, too! Take a look at these Dungeness Crabs I got from them.

Dungy Collage
5. Askinosie Chocolate - terrific single origins the ex lawyer founder is mission driven and partners with the growers to go way beyond fair trade. Ab fab. Here are the brownies mentioned above - I think I used Soconusco chocolate and the Pasolivo Bergamot oil.


Margarita Bundt Cake

Margarita Olive Oil Bundt Cake

I used to work at a wine shop/liquor store in college. The couple who owned it were original characters out of central casting. Nick was a cigar chomping dead-panning, tall, quiet Greek man. Pearl was a very short, very busty, very combustible Polish woman.

When offered grapes Nick was known to say "I don't take my wine in pill form!" He was very proud of that one. I swear he smoked cigars just to wheedle Pearl. They had a daily routine: Nick would stroll casually up and down the aisles chomping and puffing. He'd take just as long as it took for Pearl to notice. Out would come the Glade, Pearl would be exasperated (as if she'd never seen him do this and had no way to expect it). There goes Pearl, armed with air freshener flailing, spraying, trying to eliminate the odor, chasing Nick to the back of the store. "You're stinking up the store!"

Nick would crack the smallest of grins. Just like the day before, she took the bait.

This cake might be seen as a "Margarita in cake form." Wonder how Nick would like it.


I had some Pasolivo Lime Oil that I’ve enjoyed different ways, try it in guacamole or drizzled on fish en papillote. I also had some Tequila bought for Superbowl Sunday (yes, I left some in the bottle) which reminded me that lime and tequila might be a nice combination in this cake. I give you:

Margarita Olive Oil Bundt Cake



(adopted Food & Wine Magazine) The original recipe used Pasolivo's Citrus olive oil.


  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar (combination of raw sugar and about 1-2 TBSP lemon-lime simple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 cup Pasolivo Citrus olive oil (subbed 1/4 C Pasolivo lime olive oil, 1/4 bergamot olive oil; 1/2 C first cold-pressed organic olive oil)
  • 2 cups cake flour (out of cake flour, oops. I used substitution of 2 cups All Purpose flour. Replace 6 TBSP flour with 6 TBSP cornstarch)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° and butter and flour a 10-cup bundt pan. In a bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar and orange zest at medium-high speed until smooth.
  2. (If you sub AP flour/cornstarch for cake flour, separate the eggs and beat the whites to lighten the batter. Keep the frothy egg whites separate and incorporate after the olive oil has been incorporated.)
  3. Gradually beat in the olive oil until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the cake flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating on medium speed between additions.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack. (see below)
  7. Let the cake cool completely before cutting into slices and serving.

    The olive oil cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Tequila Simple Syrup - an optional but highly recommended step!

  1. Mix simple syrup, Herradura Tequila, agave syrup. Warm to combine.
  2. As cake is cooling in pan, poke all over with a skewer and drizzle Tequila syrup.
  3. Then you flip cake onto cake plate, poke again on the top and drizzle remaining Tequila syrup.
  4. Dust with confectioners sugar.


Can you see the places where I poked this with a skewer?


Remember the Jello Cakes that were all the rage in the 70's? I remember these large sheet cakes with neon jello streaks...you?