Popovers with Olive Oil

Well, it has been a while.  I have had you on my mind every day but just didn’t make the time to write.  Notice that I didn’t say that I “couldn’t find” the time because that is never true.  One can always find the time if one tries.  I was focusing on other things that seem to take me away from writing.  Anyway, here I am.

April and May were busy with olive oil competitions.  I was invited to judge at the Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition in Calistoga.  It was great fun.  I didn’t take any pictures that day.  I think that was due to the cold weather.  We were inside all day with our coats on.  I, also, had the opportunity to venture out a little.  I tried out for a Honey Panel at UC Davis and was accepted.  So, now on Tuesdays, I’m tasting honey.  Olive Oil is my passion but I’ve got to say that Honey is a lot of fun.  It’s so yummy, too.  It’s very exciting to try something so different.  I am being exposed to different aromas and tastes.  The bad news to that is that I am even more sensitive to smells wherever I go.  I am always trying to relate smells to honey or olive oil aromas.  It’s weird.  My EVOO panel leader had warned us about this.  Sue was right.

The beginning of May brought me a family visitor from out of state.  It was someone that I didn’t know well, so, it was fun showing him around and getting to know him better.

We went to San Francisco for the day and I had breakfast at one of my favorite places to eat, the Cliff House.  Unfortunately, it was foggy so the view wasn’t the best but the food was wonderful as always.  I ate my fill of popovers.  I don’t think I have had popovers anywhere else but there.  My mom never made them.  If you have never had them, let me explain how heavenly they are.  The outer layer is crusty.  Once you open it, you find a large pocket of air.  The inner pastry reminds me of a very thin Yorkshire Pudding, soft and custard like.

On a whim, the night before Mother’s Day, I looked up the recipe to see how difficult they are to make.  To my surprise, they are very easy.  Have you ever tried to make these?  I decided to try them for my breakfast the next day.  The only problem I was that I don’t own a popover pan.  I had to use my 6 oz. glass custard cups which I usually appropriate for flan.

Sunday morning, I woke up early and started my popover experience.  I’m not sure if you can tell through my writing but I can be a little bull-headed at times.  The recipe called for greasing the cups with shortening or “spray”.  I am against the sprays because I worry about what’s in them.  One of these days, I’ll go out and buy a can and we can talk about it some more.  For the moment, just understand that I don’t have any in the house.  So, I figured shortening is just vegetable oil in solid form.  This is another thing that doesn’t “feel” right to me.  I do have some in the pantry and will use small quantities in a few Christmas treats or pie crusts  but I try to limit the use of this fat also.  You can imagine that I thought of my two stand-by’s:  butter and olive oil.  Since I was using olive oil in the recipe, I opted to grease the custard cups with olive oil.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work out too well.  I’m not sure if I overcooked the popovers but next time I’m going to try butter or better yet, buy a non-stick popover pan.

The bottoms stuck to the glass cups but the popovers were still very yummy.  I ate them with gusto, butter and a cup of coffee.


Shortening or Nonstick Spray to grease pan

2 Eggs

1 cup Milk

1 Tbl. Olive Oil

3/4 cup Unbleached Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

Grease Popover Pan or 5 6-oz. custard cups.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Beat Eggs, Milk and Olive Oil with a whisk or beater in a medium bowl.  Beat until mixture is well blended.


Add Flour and Salt.


Beat until mixture is blended but still a bit lumpy, like with pancakes.

Fill the popover or custard cups halfway.  Bake for 40 minutes or till crusts are very firm.  Don’t peek.

Turn off oven.  Remove and prick with a fork to let out the steam.  Return popovers to the oven for 5-10 minutes until desired crispness.  Serve hot.

Each popover contains 164 Calories, 8 g. Fat, 6 g. Protein, 16 g. Carbs.

The music to listen to is anything by Tony Bennett, of course.  I like his Duet 1 CD.  There is a lovely rendition of  “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” on it.

So, this is how my cups looked after I took the popovers out.  Disappointing but they still tasted great.

Baker, not quite

I have been noticing that a lot of my friends and acquaintances have been thinking that I am a baker.  I really consider myself more of a cook than a baker.  I’m baking so much now because I discovered the joy of using olive oil in baked goods.  I’ve always cooked with olive oil but this is very new to me and I’m enjoying the exploration.

I’ve often mentioned that my mom had a wonderful hand with pastries and desserts.  Mom never slept more than three hours every night.  This would allow her to bake in the mornings while everyone else slept.  It didn’t make her happy.  She always wished she could sleep longer and this was often our morning topic of conversation.  If she wasn’t shopping in the afternoons, she would also bake then, while I was in school.  So the delicious pastries and breads showed up out of no where.  I never saw her make any.  She was also a great cook but that’s another post.

I grew up having cleaning chores but never had much to do in the kitchen besides the dishes.  I do remember going through mom’s cookbooks and ogling the pictures.  There were a few times where I did create a dish or two.  I remember making tuna sandwiches. Tuna sandwiches are a sensitive topic with me.  When I was in school, I often had them for lunch.  Mom would make my sandwiches but in Argentina, they don’t make tuna salad.  So my sandwiches consisted of bread smeared with a little mayonnaise and chunks of tuna in the middle.  I was teased every time I ate one.  The kids would say that I was eating cat food and laughed at me.  When I was 8 or 9, I had tried tuna sandwiches at friends’ houses and wanted to duplicate them but I didn’t know how.  I made lunch for my parents one day.  Tuna Salad Sandwiches were on the menu.  I tried to duplicate the crunchy and sweetness of “American” tuna sandwiches with what I could find in the pantry.  Resourcefully, the sandwich filling became tuna mixed with mayo, chopped walnuts and raisins.  It wasn’t bad.  My parents smiled as they ate them.  I ate those at home for years. That was the first recipe that I ever created.

I caught some flu bug a few weeks ago and found myself sitting on the couch watching daytime TV.  I seldom have the TV on during the day but I was not feeling well enough to even read.  You can imagine what I watched, that’s right, mostly cooking shows.  I cannot believe the garbage that they are promoting on these shows.  I wasn’t watching the food channels, not shows like the Barefoot Contessa or anything.  I was watching, well, I ‘m not going to name them, but the popular shows on the regular stations.  I was appalled at the disregard for the nutritional content in the recipes.   These weren’t desserts or treats.  They were showing main dishes. Ooey, gooey cheese, butter, tremendous amounts of carbs were everywhere.  I’m all for fats.  I love my cheese.  But these recipes had little to no value to them.  I’m sure they tasted great but …

Today, I’ve posted a coffeecake.  It’s not low in calories but I think it has many wholesome ingredients that makes having this treat on a weekend morning worth it.  The chocolate chips sink to the bottom giving almost a crust on the bottom.  I would make this for my son to entice him to get out of bed and ready for school.  It helps getting dressed quickly when the house smells yummy.  I hope you will agree.


2 Eggs

1 3/4 Unbleached Flour

1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1 3/4 cup Plain Yogurt

1 cup Sugar

3 Tbls. Olive Oil



1/2 cup of chopped Almonds


1/3 cup Brown Sugar

1 tsp. Cinnamon




Grease a 13 x 9 pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir Yogurt and Baking Soda in a bowl.

In another bowl beat Eggs and Sugar until light yellow and fluffy.

Sift Flour and Baking Powder into Egg mixture and blend.

Fold in Yogurt and Chocolate Chips and smooth.  Pour into pan.

Mix Almonds, Brown Sugar and Cinnamon.

Sprinkle over coffeecake.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until an inserted toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Until next time, eat well, drink well and live well.