Bloody Mary with Pickled Okra


The theme for this month’s Creative Cooking Crew challenge, hosted  Joan of Foodalogue and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks, “Pickle It”. When I think of pickled my mind goes to okra. I love pickled okra, I can snack on it all day, but I love to top off a Bloody Mary with pickled okra!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bloody Mary with Pickled Okra
  • For the Bloody Mary
  • 4 cups good quality tomato juice
  • 5 jiggers good quality vodka
  • ½ teaspoon Celery Salt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco Spicy Worcestershire Sauce
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 10 dashes of Tabasco
  • Garnish:
  • Celery Stalk (use as an organic stirrer)
  • Spicy Beans
  • Olives (I like the stuffed ones)
  • Pickled Okra
  • Lime Wedges
  • For the Pickled Okra
  • 1 pound okra, rinsed
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 6 Hot peppers of choice
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dill seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  1. For the Bloody Mary
  2. Combine vodka, tomato juice, limejuice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, 1 cup of ice cubes, and salt and pepper to taste, shake in a cocktail shaker.
  3. Strain it into a tall glass filled with ice cubes.
  4. Garnish your Bloody Mary with a celery stalk, a couple of spicy beans, two jalapeño stuffed olives, and a pickled okra spear.
  5. For the Pickled Okra
  6. Wash okra under cold running water.
  7. Trim stem ends of okra, leaving at least ⅓-inch of the cap intact. Soak okra in ice water for 1 hour, drain, and pat dry.
  8. Bring vinegar, water, salt and spices to a boil. Once boiling, turn off heat.
  9. Pack the okra snugly in the jar.
  10. Tuck the garlic cloves and peppers in.
  11. Pour the hot brine over the beans.
  12. Let the jar sit until it cooled, about an hour.
  13. Refrigerate and enjoy.


Make sure to visit Foodalogue on September 30th to see what everyone else in the group pickled!

Garlic Infused Olive Oil & The Village Press Bag ‘N’ Box Review

I was so excited when I was contacted by The Village Press to try and review their New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I love making flavored oils at home. It’s much easier and cost-effective. I immediately knew I wanted to make a garlic olive oil for dipping or topping.

The Village Press bag-in-box Olive Oil has a tap for easy use and is very easy to store and helps to retain the integrity of both the flavor and the nutrients present in the oil by blocking out harmful ultra-violet rays.

Olive oil in a box is a wonderful way to reduce costs for food service establishments and those who use a decent amount of olive oil in their everyday life.

The Village Press Bag ‘N’ Box is sleek, easy to store, and has a tap. It holds 1 liter of oil. The appearance of the oil is a deep yellow to greenish hue and has a bold almost spicy taste…it’s delicious.

About: The Village Press is a single cultivar, first press, cold press, unfiltered, additive-free, kosher & halal certified, extra virgin olive oil.  Founded by Wayne and Maureen Startup 12 years ago as a boutique grove on their home property, The Village Press produce d 105,000 liters of extra virgin olive oil in the 2011 season and is expected to produce 185,000 liters in the 2012 season.  Boutique compared to mass market producers, The Village Press grow, harvest and press by variety is fully integrated with all of its New Zealand produced olive oil – being the grower, harvester, transporter, processor, storer and packager.

The Village Press First Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil comes in a 340oz light-block box, fitted with an anti-oxygen tap to ensure the integrity of the oil is never compromised by impurities or rancidity. Its versatile square shape lends itself to ease of storage and stability when in use, allowing chefs and home cooks to prepare meals and ingredients without having to handle a bottle.

Produced in the Hawke’s Bay province of the North Island of New Zealand, the temperate climate assists olive growing conditions and allows The Village Press to produce outstanding flavorsome olive oils.

Here are some reasons why it’s a great way to package and store EVOO:

  • No sunlight penetration of the oil: The integrity of the oil is maintained and rancidity is eliminated
  • No air oxidization of the oil: Since the bag collapses on itself air does not enter and the integrity of the oil is maintained.
  • No-drip tap: Allows for drip flow to be controlled by the user and is ideal for recipes that require the slow addition of olive oil, i.e. Hollandaise sauce.  
  • Hands-free: Allows chefs and home-cooks to prepare and cook without having to handle a bottle.
  • Versatile shape: Square shape lends itself to ease of storage, transportation and stability when in use.
  • Earth friendly: Box, bag and nozzle are fully recyclable

This delicious oil would make a great gift for the holidays. On their website they also have gift variety packs of different flavors for sampling.  And, on top of that, they have some pretty good recipes on their website.  

You can visit and purchase The Village Press here 

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Garlic Infused Olive Oil 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Garlic Infused Olive Oil & The Village Press Bag 'N' Box Review
Recipe type: Condiment, Dip
  • 2 large garlic heads
  • 2 cups The Village Press Olive Oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  1. Pop the cloves out of the head of garlic
  2. Place the garlic in a ovenproof pot and pour the olive oil over them.
  3. Add the thyme.
  4. Cover with a lid or foil and bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Carefully, remove the garlic from the oil and set aside.
  6. Strain the oil into a bowl and let cool, then pour into an airtight container. The oil will keep in a cool and dark place for at least a month.
  7. You can use the garlic oil in just about anything.

This is a great olive oil for drizzling over bruschetta and salads. The oil has an assertive flavor that adds depth to any dish.  It’s absolutely delicious when served with a baguette for dipping.

A few days later I was craving one of my favorite lunches grilled artichokes and instead of making my normal dipping sauce I decided to lightly salt my grilled artichokes and immediately drizzle with the garlic olive oil and it may just be my new go to instead of dip.

Bloody Mary Ketchup

My parents gave me a LSU condiments gift basket, perfect for game time!!! One of the  condiments was Spicy Ketchup, and it was gone before I even knew it. It was such a nice change so when I ran out I decided to make my own, but I wanted to add in Bloody Mary flavors and it came out so good. Even though ketchup is, a delicious condiment on its own this is jazzed it up. I thought this is also perfect to have on hand for Halloween!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bloody Mary Ketchup
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 1-cup ketchup
  • ¼-cup hot sauce
  • ¼ cup prepared horseradish
  • 1-teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco Spicy Worcestershire
  • 5 turns fresh ground black pepper
  • ½-teaspoon limejuice
  • Empty glass bottle
  1. Combine all ingredients in bottle and shake well to combine.
  2. Allow flavors to blend for 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Enjoy on burgers, sandwiches, heat it up for a delicious sauce, or enjoy with fries.
Note: This recipe can be doubled.


Spicy Cajun Pesto

I have three basil plants that just keep growing…..they did so much growing that I had to massively trim them and what better way to use a lot of basil than to make pesto…it can be used right away or frozen for later use. I decided to make a combination of my sweet basil and my spicy African basil. I had to of course give it a Cajun spin.

Spicy Cajun Pesto
Recipe type: Spread, Appetizer, Sauce
Cuisine: Cajun, Italian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup fresh sweet basil, packed
  • 1 cup spicy African basil, packed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Sea Salt & Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Pecorino cheese, freshly grated
  1. Combine the basil, pine nuts, and garlic to a food processor
  2. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  3. Add the cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, and cheese.
  4. Add the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.
  5. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Ways to use Pesto

Toss with pasta

Serve with bread

Coat fish fillets

Pizza topping

Add to soups for fresh flavor

Spread on Sandwiches

Make into a salad dressing

Serve over steamed vegetables

Great in omelet’s

Tip: Pesto freezes well. Put it in ice-cube trays and pull one out when you want to liven up a small portion of pasta.

Banana Bread Biscotti

It’s National Banana Bread Day!

If you are a banana bread lover then you will LOVE these biscotti. Enjoy alone or dip in your favorite coffee, either way they are delicious!

Biscotti, translated means, “twice baked.” They are cookies that are normally baked in a log shape and then sliced while fresh out of the oven, and baked again until they are nice and crunchy. They are a wonderful treat while sipping coffee or hot Chai tea, as they soften up when dipped.


1 1/2 very ripe bananas
1 large egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons splenda
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup (5.6 oz) whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup chopped, toasted almonds


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 inch square pan with foil and spray with non-stick baking spray.

In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, mash the banana and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg, followed by the brown sugar, splenda, vanilla, and oil.

In a second bowl, thoroughly mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly stir flour mixture into banana mixture to make a very thick batter. Stir in the oats and almonds. Pour into the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake on center rack for 32-35 minutes or until top appears brown. Let cool for about an hour or until completely cool. Remove from pan by lifting foil.

Transfer cake to a cutting board and with a large serrated knife; make 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick slices crosswise and slightly on the diagonal. Lay the cut pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 250ºF for about an hour, checking, and turning every 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool & crisp. Biscotti may not be completely crisp when you take it out, but it should crisp as it cools. If not, just put it back in the oven for another 10-20 minutes.