10 Thoughtful Hostess Gifts That Aren’t Wine

Tis the season of dinner parties and gatherings. Show your hostess your gratitude with these thoughtful, (mostly) local gifts for foodies.

1. Simple Soirees: Seasonal Menus for Sensational Gatherings, $5

You already know your hostess loves entertaining. Give her the gift of inspiration with this lovely cookbook filled with approachable, eye-catching recipes.

2. Healthy Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $20-35

As essential to any gathering as wine, extra virgin olive oil begs to be shared around the table. Not only will it enhance the flavor of any meal, you’re giving the gift of health as well.

3. Steady Stick Wine Glass Holder, $8.47 set of two

Your hostess can enjoy wine hands-free at picnics, concerts, and other outdoor get-togethers with these wine glass holders.


4. Our Go-To Recipe Book from Period 6, $8

Hop on over to Period 6 Studio in Golden for ANY occasion that requires a gift, but for hostesses, we love this adorable recipe book to fill in with favorites.

5. Succulents

Succulents beautify any space, fit almost anywhere, and require very little upkeep. They’re such a nice way to add life to your host’s home. Visit your local farmers market for a great selection.

6. Rewined Candles from Period 6 Studio

I told you Period 6 has the best gifts. We’re back for more with these hand-poured soy candles that give wine bottles another chance at life.(Yay for upcycling!) Plus, they even smell like wine! Chardonnay, anyone?

7. Colorado engraved Copper Mugs, $43 set of two

Who doesn’t love a refreshing Moscow Mule in the summertime? These cute mugs are made from 100% recycled copper and hand engraved in Colorado Springs.

8. Healthy Harvest Greek Olives, $10.99-12.99

Happy hour anyone? Olives are such a simple, classic snack. Eat them alone, or add bread, cheese, and wine for an elegant hor d’oeurve. Our olives are raw, low sodium, probiotic, and support small business.

9. Slate Cheese Board Vintage and Vine, $21.95

If you’re near Boulder, stop at Peppercorn for this gorgeous soapstone cheese plate. It’s got pretty rope handles for easy carrying and your host can customize it easily with chalk.

10. Healthy Harvest Balsamic Reduction, $21.99

We only have a few cases of this Boulder-made Balsamic Reduction left, so get one for you AND your hostess! As timeless and essential to dinner parties at wine, but even harder to find the real thing, our Balsamic will blow your hostess away.

Bonus! Just because a good wine is always in style..

11. Bookcliff Vineyards Colorado Wine

Made in Palisade from 100% Colorado grown grapes, Bookcliff has a variety of award-winning wines for any meal or budget. Find them at the Boulder Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

What are YOUR favorite go-to gifts for party hosts? Share your favorite gifts, artisans, and stores with us in the comments below or tag us on Facebook and Instagram @healthyharvests

Gather round good food always!

Amy

A Med-Summer’s Night Dream: Mediterranean Inspired Party Recipes

It’s that time of year – party time! Barbecues, picnics, brunches, 4th of July, you name it. The heat of summer makes us want to cook outside and firing up the grill evokes the primal urge to gather round the flames with friends.

So what do you cook that’s light, tasty, and will feed a crowd? That’s where we come in. This month, we’re sharing four awesome recipes using seasonal market produce for a truly farm-to-table gathering.

For Starters

Herbed Garlic Dipping Oil

Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. No Mediterranean meal would be complete without crusty bread and a house-made blend of herbs and extra virgin olive oil.

Shareable Sides

“Jerusalem Hummus”

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian/vegan so nearly anyone can get in on the goodness. Top generously with chopped olives (ours are low-sodium and probiotic!) and extra virgin olive oil, serve with raw seasonal veggies, and pour a glass of wine for a simple, satisfying meal.

Main Course

Grilled Vegetables with Marinated Feta and Tabbouleh

The bright colors of the seasonal produce seared with gorgeous grill marks creates a feast for the eyes before you even dig in to the mouthwatering flavors and textures starting with light and fresh tabbouleh made with cucumber, lemon, mint, and parsley, piled high with grilled eggplant, summer squash, garlic, and onions, and then topped with savory marinated griddled feta and a heavy drizzle of olive oil.

The Finale

No Churn Mascarpone Ice Cream with Balsamic Blueberry Compote

Pure. Bliss. There are only a few high quality ingredients and no ice cream maker or churning required, so there’s no reason not to treat yourself to this ultra decadent dessert topped with our Balsamic Reduction.

No matter which course is your favorite or how much time you have to prepare, these recipes will have your friends and guests asking for more. Share your favorite party recipes and photos with us in the comments below or on Facebook and Instagram by tagging @healthyharvests

Stay healthy friends!

Amy

“Jerusalem” Hummus

Hummus. I feel like it’s one of those love or hate foods. These days there are so many kinds to choose from, like garlic, or red pepper, or chipotle. But, like most packaged foods in the grocery store, while it can be great in a pinch, it leaves much to be desired when compared to the homemade version. If hummus hasn’t been your favorite until now, I beg you to try this version before you make up your mind.

Having spent a few years as a vegetarian, I often used hummus as a source of protein to keep me full and strong. It’s good not only for dipping bread, crackers, or veggies, but it also adds wonderful flavor as a spread on sandwiches or wraps, too.

Despite years of enjoying store bought hummus, I’m almost afraid to admit that this week was my first attempt at making it from scratch. It just seemed like too much work. Boy, was I missing out!

This recipe, adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s New York Times featured book “Jerusalem,” is the richest, creamiest, most heavenly nutty hummus I have ever put to my lips. It does require soaking dried chickpeas overnight and cooking on the stovetop, but I’m here to tell you it was worth it! You can make a big batch batch to eat throughout the week or to take to a potluck. After all, it is part of our Summer Party Dishes Series!

This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free so nearly anyone can get in on the goodness. Top generously with chopped olives (ours are low-sodium and probiotic!) and extra virgin olive oil, serve with raw seasonal veggies, and pour a glass of wine for a simple, satisfying meal.

"Jerusalem" Hummus
 
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A basic hummus made from dried chickpeas and topped with olive oil, chopped olives, parsley, and pine nuts
Author:
Recipe type: appetizer, side, condiment
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups water, for soaking
  • 6 cups water, for cooking
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ⅓ cup tahini paste
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • ⅓ to ½ cup ice-cold water
  • Healthy Harvest Olive oil, toasted pine nuts, parsley & olives, for serving
Instructions
  1. Put chickpeas baking soda in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak overnight (or for at least 6 hours).
  2. The next day, drain chickpeas and place in a medium pot with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp baking soda over high heat. Bring to a simmer, skimming off any foam & skins that float to the surface, and cook for about 45 min or until they are very soft but not falling apart.
  3. Drain chickpeas and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then place in a food processor and process until you get a stiff paste.
  4. Add tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Slowly drizzle in ice water and allow it to mix for about 3-5 minutes, until you get a very smooth and creamy paste, almost as loose as soft serve ice cream.
  5. Transfer hummus to a bowl, cover and let it rest for 30 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley and crushed olives (and fresh bread or veggies to dip).
  6. Store covered in the fridge.

Share your favorite ways to enjoy hummus in the comments below or by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram @healthyharvests

For more chickpea recipes, we like this article from Positive Health Wellness

Herbed Dipping Oil

As part of our summer party dishes series this month, we wanted to share crowd pleasing recipes to bring to the season’s gatherings. Community is a focal point of our family business, and we truly believe in the power of food to bring people together.

One of the most classic appetizer recipes that’s perfect for those guests short on time to prepare a dish? Herbed Dipping Oil. It’s a tale as old as time, but no Mediterranean meal would be complete without crusty bread and a house-made blend of herbs and extra virgin olive oil.

Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. European cooking especially exemplifies that when you have high quality ingredients, you don’t need more than a few to create a sensational meal.

Jake enjoys a meal at the olive estate in Greece

That said, not just any olive oil will do. You want to start with the best your budget allows. Or at the very least, make sure it’s real. Most olive oils sold in the U.S. are adulterated or already rancid and do not contain the sought after health benefits of extra virgin olive oil. At Healthy Harvest, we visit the farms to see firsthand the production methods and each year we send our olive oils to independent lab to be tested for purity.

Related: Remembering Greece: How We Found Our Calling

Our Healthy Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil is light and buttery, or if you prefer a stronger taste, our True Tuscan adds a robust, peppery flavor. Toss in a few dried herbs, add a touch of Healthy Harvest Balsamic Reduction, pick up a fresh baked boule from the farmer’s market, and presto! You have a 2 minute appetizer to hold off “hanger” (grumpiness caused by hunger) until the main course is ready to serve.

Have a little more time to prepare? Try our Garlic Hummus or Grilled Vegetables with Marinated Feta and Tabbouleh.

Leave your comments below and share your pictures with us on Facebook or Instagram by tagging @healthyharvests

Herbed Dipping Oil
 
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A quick, timeless starter of garlic and herbs in extra virgin olive oil
Author:
Recipe type: appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (or according to your taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Healthy Harvest extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic Reduction
  • optional: fresh grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl. Serve with bread.
Notes
Fresh or dried herbs both work well!

 

Grilled Vegetables with Marinated Feta and Tabbouleh

Summer may not officially start for another couple weeks, but the warm temps have already arrived – and that means it’s time to take the cooking outside. As part of my efforts to be more sustainable (and save money!), I rarely turn on the air conditioning, so cooking in the oven is inefficient at best, and intolerable at worst. Plus, there’s just something so primal about cooking over fire. It awakens a deep part of our soul that connects us to nature, our ancestors, and our tribe. Right? Who doesn’t want to invite friends over for a grill out?

Not only does the grill keep us from heating up the house, but we all know and love the incredible flavor that comes from cooking over coals. You don’t have to be a carnivore or a seasoned grillmaster to enjoy superb smoky flavor, this Grilled Vegetables with Marinated Feta and Tabbouleh recipe inspired by Chef Jamie Oliver is easy enough for newbies and veterans alike. It’s a party-sized portion that would make an excellent side dish but easily stands on its own.

The bright colors of the seasonal produce seared with gorgeous grill marks creates a feast for the eyes before you even dig in to the mouthwatering flavors and textures starting with light and fresh tabbouleh made with cucumber, lemon, mint, and parsley, piled high with grilled eggplant, summer squash, garlic, and onions, and then topped with savory marinated griddled feta and a heavy drizzle of olive oil.

Healthy Harvest picnic served with Colorado local Bookcliff Vineyards wine

Bring this to your next gathering and gleefully watch guests devour every last bite.

What are your favorite recipes for parties and summer get togethers? Share with us in the comments, on our Facebook page, or tag us on Instagram @healthyharvests with the hashtag #eatrealfood

Grilled Vegetables with Marinated Feta and Tabouleh
 
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A bright, flavorful vegetarian dish of grilled summer vegetables and marinated grilled feta over tabouleh
Author:
Recipe type: entree, side
Cuisine: vegetarian
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ a bunch of fresh oregano (2 tbsp of dried would be fine)
  • ½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 block feta cheese
  • olive oil
  • 3 summer squash (a mixture of yellow and green)
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Healthy Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • TABBOULEH
  • 2 cups bulgar wheat
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint
  • 1 big bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ a cucumber
  • 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Light your grill and give the coals time to get nice and hot.
  2. Pick the oregano and parsley leaves, peel and slice the onions into wedges and halve the eggplant lengthways.
  3. Add the feta to a small bowl with half the oregano leaves, a drizzle of Healthy Harvest Greek olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  4. Next make the tabbouleh. Cook the bulgar wheat according to the instructions, then drain. Set it aside to cool a little.
  5. Pick and finely chop the mint and parsley, then finely chop the cucumber.
  6. Once the bulgar wheat has cooled, mix in the mint, parsley and cucumber, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Have a taste and tweak the seasoning to your liking, then cover and set aside.
  7. Once your grill is hot, grill all of the vegetables and the garlic and, once beautifully charred on both sides, transfer them to a chopping board.
  8. Chop up all the veg together, squeezing the garlic cloves out of their skins and squishing the tomatoes. Roughly chop the parsley and remaining oregano leaves into the vegetables, season and drizzle with olive oil.
  9. Carefully griddle the whole marinated feta on the barbecue for about 3 minutes (this will depend how hot your barbecue is), or until golden and crispy, then gently turn and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  10. Spoon the tabbouleh onto a large serving dish, then top with the chopped vegetables.
  11. Place the griddled feta in the centre, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil (True Tuscan adds a nice peppery finish) To serve, crumble the feta over the top. Delicious served with crusty bread.