Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cliff Graber's "Gadzooks!"

After a long hiatus to get through lots of changes at the Graber Olive House, I’m back with more recipes. We are gearing up to celebrate our 125th anniversary at the Olive House and to kick off things, we’ll be celebrating Cliff’s 82nd birthday this Sunday! – I am calling these “Cliff Graber’s Gadzooks!” because this is what he always asks me to make for Father’s Day dinners or his birthday dinners. They are actually my creation, but he loves them so much, he’s getting the credit for me posting this recipe.

Cliff Graber’s Gadzooks!


5 to 6 large, firm zucchini
1 package Italian sausage
(I use the “Lean, Sweet Jennie-O Turkey Italian Sausage” as it is lower in fat content and Cliff rarely eats beef or pork)
2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
2 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
3-4 Tablespoons Graber Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Mix of Parmesan, Romano and Asiago Cheeses
(If I don't have time, I rely on a shredded, 3 Cheese Parmesan, Romano and Asiago cheese mix)


In large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of Graber Extra Virgin Olive Oil and lay the sausages in the skillet to brown. Turn as needed, on a medium heat. While the sausages are cooking, clean, prep and cut the ends off of the zucchini. Chop the zucchini into round disks approximately 1/2 to 1 inch wide.

When the sausage is almost fully cooked, remove it from the pan and place on a cutting board. Replace it with the sliced zucchini. Stirring often, cook the zucchini on a medium heat. Toss in the minced garlic, Italian seasonings and add more olive oil to the pan, if needed. 

Slice the sausage into 1- 2 inch size disks, mixing them back into the pan, along with the zucchini as it cooks. When the zucchini and sausage are done cooking in the pan – sausage should be fully cooked and browned, zucchini should be tender and browned– remove grove the stove and dish up into bowls. 

Top with shedded Italian cheeses, extra Italian seasonings and serve with a side of Italian bread and olive oil or your favorite Italian pasta dish.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rustic, Healthy Pumpkin Bread

All ingredients Bernadette uses are organic when possible

Bernadette Petrotta’s 
Tasty Pumpkin Bread: 


1 cup sugar (the original recipe calls for 3 cups sugar)
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup Graber Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 large eggs
2/3 cups water
3 l/2 cups all-purpose flour (Bernadette used 2 cups whole wheat & 1 l/2 cups all-purpose - sifted)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
l/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup chopped pecans

Note– To make it even healthier, Bernadette added some flaxseeds (about 1/3 cup)

1. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, pumpkin, oil, eggs and water until blended. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture until blended. Stir in pecans. Let set for 20 minutes.

2. Pour into two greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. For topping, in a small bowl combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over batter.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaves for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

We invite you to share your own recipe featuring Graber Olives & Graber Olive Oil! Send your recipes and photos to

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cheri's Olive-Walnut Bread

A Tasty, Rustic Olive and Walnut Bread, made with Graber Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Graber Tree-Ripened Olives

Cheri wrote, "This recipe is adapted from some traditional Olive Bread Recipes and produces a rustic, savory loaf of bread. This recipe involves no kneading, unlike most yeast bread recipes. I made this bread using Graber Olive Products found at the Graber Olive House. 

This bread is perfect to serve any time of year, but especially wonderful to serve this in the late Autumn months gathered around a warm fire. Feel free to up the herb proportions. I did not want to overpower the taste of the walnuts."

3 cups Bread Flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt (the olives & cheese have added salt content)
1 teaspoon instant or active-dry Yeast
1/2 teaspoon dried, ground Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried, ground Green Onion (or Onion Powder)
1/2 cups of finely chopped Walnut meats
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Asiago Cheese
1 can (seeded & cut in thick slices & pieces) Graber Olives
1 1/2 cups cool water (55 to 65 degrees), plus more as needed
2 teaspoons of Graber Olive Oil

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, and yeast; stir in cheese and olives. Add water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until a wet, sticky dough forms, about 30 seconds, adding additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and surface becomes dotted with bubbles, 12 to 18 hours. It works well to plan this timing the night before. Generously flour work surface; scrape dough onto work surface. Lightly flour hands, a bowl scraper, or a spatula and lift edges of dough toward the center. Nudge and tuck edges of dough to make round.
Place a piece of parchment paper on work surface and generously dust with flour. Gently place dough on parchment. If dough is tacky, lightly dust top with flour. Cover dough loosely with parchment paper and two clean kitchen towels. Let dough stand in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Gently poke dough with your finger; dough should hold the impression. If it springs back, let rise 15 minutes more.

Ten minutes before dough has finished rising, use olive oil to coat the inside of a large, Pyrex bowl. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (convection oven preferred.) Place a Pizza stone in the center of the oven rack and a Pyrex bowl in the center of the stone.

Using pot holders, carefully remove preheated Pyrex Bowl from oven and uncover. Uncover bread and loosen bottom with a large spatula. With the aid of the parchment paper, invert bread dough into preheated bowl. Cover bowl with a well fitted, oven heat safe Pyrex lid and transfer to oven; bake for 30 minutes.

Uncover and continue baking until bread is dark brown but not burnt, 15 to 30 minutes more. At this point you can carefully transfer the bread from the bowl, right onto the pizza stone and turn up the over to 450 degrees. The timing will depend on your oven and the smell wafting through the house usually tells me the exact moment it is done. You want the bread crust dark brown but not burnt. Transfer to a bread board to cool.

Serve with Graber Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar in a dipping bowl with added dried herbs of your choice.

Olive - Walnut Bread

Cheryl (Cheri) Newcomb has been a homemaker for over 40 years and often brings homemaking into blog posts on her blog, "It's Not The Destination..."
Currently working as a free-lance social media/marketing specialist during her duties as owner of StrawSleeves, Cheryl carefully carves out time for family, home-life, and staying grounded with time for the ordinary moments in a day.
StrawSleeves (as seen on Instagram) are cloth carry cases made for reusable straws, soon to be available along with a new inventory of stainless steel straws at the Graber Olive House.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tamara's Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies

Best Ever from Scratch!

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 8oz package of cream cheese softened
3/4 stick butter softened
1/4 cup Graber Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest (2 large lemons)
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp lemon extract
1/8 tsp yellow food coloring
3/4 tsp table salt
1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
1 cup powdered sugar

In medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder until well blended. Set aside.

Using an electric stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and butter until well blended. Beat in sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon extract, food coloring, and salt. Add egg and yolk and beat until creamy about 1-2 mins on medium.

On low speed, gradually add flour mixture until fully incorporated. Dough will be sticky. Chill covered for 2 hours.

Measure dough into 1" balls to ensure even cooking. Roll between palms then lightly coat with powdered sugar.

Place 2" apart on parchment covered cookie sheet and bake at
325 degrees or until round in shape, and are puffed and crackly. Do NOT overbake. 

Centers will be soft. If they start to brown on the edges, they have baked too long. Underside of cookies should be only lightly browned.

Tamara reports that these were a hit at her Halloween party!
Cool on cookie rack them out away in airtight container.

Thanks, Tamara! These look delicious!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bernadette Petrotta's Carrot Cake

Bernadette used to make this with butter. Now, it is much healthier, using Graber Extra Virgin Olive Oil!

Bernadette's tip? "To make the recipe healthier, I used the amounts shown in parenthesis, instead what the recipe called for originally. I do this all of the time with most all recipes."


2 cups flour (whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 l/12 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups sugar (l/2 cup)
1 l/2 cups Graber extra-virgin olive oil
4 eggs
2 cups grated carrots
8 ounce can crushed pineapple
l/2 cup chopped pecans (3/4 cup)


Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt & cinnamon.
Add sugar, oil, eggs. Mix well.
Add carrots, drained pineapple, nuts.

Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes
Remove from oven and let cool

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounce cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
l/2 cube butter
5 tablespoons powdered sugar
5 tablespoons milk

Blend in blender until rich and smooth.
Spread on cooled carrot cake.

Refrigerate and just cut pieces as you desire!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jens Rivera's Rotisserie Chicken

The Rosemary, Sage and Graber Olive Oil make this chicken a flavorful winner!

Ingredients -

One, 3 to 4 pound, fresh whole chicken, prepped- rinsed and trimmed of any excess fat.
3-4 Tablespoons of Graber Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Sprigs of fresh or dried rosemary.
Sage, salt and freshly ground pepper, along any other seasonings you prefer.


Preheat the bar-b-que to medium-high. Rub the entire chicken, inside and out, with 3 to 4 tablespoons of Graber Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with fresh rosemary. (Dried rosemary can be used too, but I prefer fresh sprigs.) Then add the other seasonings and herbs all over the outside of the chicken and up under the skin where you are able. Slow cook on either the rotisserie for 2 hours (my preference), or bake in the oven until done. Add roasted vegetables or any other side dishes that will complement this wonderful, tasty chicken.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Maura J. Graber's Olive Pizza

Either olives or grapes can be used with this non-traditional dish!

My recipe first appeared published in the California Farm Cookbook, by Kitty Morse, after a request from the author for my favorite recipe with Graber Tree-Ripened Olives. It is also fantastic with grapes, instead of the olives and both have a unique, different flavor. This intro below is from Kitty Morse's book.

"Visions of a quiet Midwestern town come to mind as you drive up to the Graber Olive House on a tree-shaded street in Ontario. However, if you look carefully among the pines, lanky palms, and elegant magnolias, you can discern the dark foliage of an orange tree or the spiny limb of a native succulent. At the Graber Olive House, one venerable olive tree dates back to 1892, when Clifford Graber, the founder of the Ontario’s oldest existing business, migrated west from Indiana for health reasons.

Much of the original Graber ranch still remains in use, from the stately family home to the original bar, where the olive curing process still takes place. On the verdant grounds, a small museum shelters the old-fashioned wooden olive grader that Clifford Graber devised to sort his olives. The family-owned business produces only one hundred and fifty tons of tree-ripened olives every year. The painstaking harvest entails hand-picking only three ripe fruit at a time, and setting them gently into padded buckets. Pickers may have to return to the same tree on seven different occasions to select only the most luscious of the Grabers’ fruit.

The sugar called for in Maura Graber’s recipe enhances the mild and juicy flavor of the green olives." – Kitty Morse

3 cups pitted Graber Olives (#12 or #14 can size)

1 tbsp. Graber of California extra virgin olive oil

2 1-lb. loaves frozen bread dough, thawed according to package directions (I prefer Brigford Bread Dough)

2 tbsp. fresh or dried rosemary

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

Cut olives in half, or leave whole, as desired. On a floured board, roll out thawed bread dough to ½ inch thickness, and transfer carefully to a greased 10 x 15-inch baking pan. Brush dough with olive oil, and let rise in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes, or until puffy.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Top dough with olives set in a decorative pattern, and sprinkle with rosemary and sugar. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until dough turns golden. Remove from oven, cool a few moments, and cut into squares. Serve warm.

Yield: 14 generous servings.