Friday, February 24, 2012

Nutritious and Easy Smoothie

Every morning we have a smoothie for breakfast.  It is really good and simple to make.  It allows us to eat on the go and still have a healthy breakfast.  Here's the recipe:

Breakfast Fruit Smoothie
Serves 2

1/4 cup   water
2 Tbsp    Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Arbequina works great
1 cup      Plain Greek Yogurt
1 cup      Frozen Strawberries (substitute fresh or other fresh/frozen fruit)
1 Tbsp   Honey - we use our Round Rock Honey
1             Banana

Place everything in the blender and blend until smooth.  Divide between two glasses.

That's it.  Super simple.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Fun and Simple Lunch

If you saw the article in the Abilene Reporter News about Meatless Mondays and were wanting more information about our lunch that Scott mentioned, I have added some pictures and information below.

Here's my attempt at an "artsy" shot:

Here is an overhead shot that shows everything on my plate:

As you can see, it is pretty easy to make and to eat.  One of the goals of this lunch was to allow us the flexibility to serve our customers and still eat a lunch.  Another goal was to avoid that "stuffed", "sleepy/zombie" feeling after lunch.  So far, the last couple of weeks have been great and our pocketbook has thanked us.  Plus, our energy is up!! 

You do not have to do it our way, be creative, pick things that you like.  I will list everything you see in the photo and also include some other foods we have tried and want to try.  Enjoy!

In the photo:
Sliced Salami - we do not always go meatless at lunch
Wheat Thins
Mixed Nuts
Toasted Pita Chips
Vegetables (broccoli, sweet peppers, carrots, radishes, sugar snap peas)
Ranch Dressing Dip

Other ideas:
Olive Oil and Balsamic instead of Ranch
Fresh Fruit
Trail Mix
Goat Cheese and Crackers

Good luck and let us know what you decide to do, we are always looking for new ideas.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How cordell's came to be...

We get asked almost every week how we came up with the idea for cordell's and we enjoy sharing our story. However, some of you have said that we should put our story on our website or make it available for people to read. So, I have decided to do just that, tell our story. Here goes...
A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away....uh...., wait, wrong story. Let's try that again...

Okay, this story begins as all stories begin, at the beginning. Joy and I will be married 15 years in July (I know, she is a lucky lady) and for most of our marriage, we have made plans for our store and a restaurant. I have wanted to own a restaurant for the past 20 years and have really enjoyed cooking since I was a child. My original idea was a restaurant with a small market attached. However, has time as gone by, I have discovered that while I love cooking for people, my main motivation is being able to talk with people about food. I love being able to teach and learn from my guests. So, the store idea just seems to be a better fit. I can still do dinners and parties for family, friends and customers to scratch the cooking itch, but I get to interact with people in the store every day and learn or teach something new.

Joy is a very gifted artist and designer at heart. She has done a wonderful job with the design of our store and she makes sure that we always look our best. She spent the 11 years before cordell's as a Special Education teacher and excelled at her job. However, she has always desired to be able to create and design, and cordell's allows her to use her God given talents. She is also a great researcher and loves finding new products and new ideas for cordell's. Plus, she likes good food too. She fits me perfectly and we make a pretty good team.

We have spent the last 4 years in search of when and where to do what. We have visited other cities; visited art and culinary schools, even looked at moving overseas for more training. However, every path and road led back to here. We are where we are supposed to be, and we are excited. This first 9 1/2 months has been amazing and we could not have asked for anything more.

We have been able to marry our interests and talents to create cordell's. And so, every day, we feel like we get to do the coolest job on earth. I was in a different field of work for the past 17 years, and while I enjoyed it and was good at it, I feel that cordell's is what I was made to do. Joy was an exceptional teacher for the past 11 years, but she is now doing what she has always wanted to do and what she was created to do.

You will often hear us refer to cordell's as a community. The reason for this is because we want cordell's to become a community. We get the opportunity to meet people from all backgrounds and walks of life and we all share the same thing, the need for food. We want to learn, teach and share ideas about food and life, have fun and make new friends while doing it. We all have to eat to live, so why not make it fun and why not make it good. Food has the ability to bring people together and to create lasting memories. Call me Norman Rockwell, but sometimes I just need that Rockwell moment.  Sharing food with friends, family or someone you have just met, gets me a little closer to that moment.

That's our story. Two people who have had a dream for a really long time, finally able to make it happen. Hollywood may never come calling, but it has been quite the ride. We are just really excited and blessed to be doing what we do. Thank you for this awesome opportunity.

-- Jason Cordell Beard

(Some of you have asked about our name.  Cordell is my middle name and was my grandfather's and great-grandfather's middle name as well.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bella Blu - School of the Culinary Arts

Joy and I had the privilege to be part of Chef Joel's Cooking 101 class last night at Bonterra Blu in Clyde.  He invited us out to talk to the class about our store and teach about olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  

I shortened our normal olive oil and balsamic seminar to around 15 minutes and provided each person attending with a sample of our Australian Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a sample of our 18 year aged Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.  It was a great time, and I really enjoyed the questions and responses I received from those attending. 

We answered the following questions:

1.  What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
2.  How is EVOO made?
3.  How do I know if I am buying a good EVOO?
4.  What is Balsamic Vinegar?
5.  How is Balsamic Vinegar made?
6.  What are some of the health benefits of EVOO and Balsamic?
7.  What are some myths about EVOO and Balsamic?

If you would like to know the answer to any of the questions above, feel free to ask us any time or attend one of our seminars.  At our seminars, you will taste three olive oils and three balsamics to help you better understand what to look for when buying olive oil or balsamic vinegar.

Here are 5 quick tips for buying Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

1. If it does not say Extra Virgin, skip it.
2. If it is not in a dark bottle, skip it.
3. If it says "Product of" or "Bottled/Packaged in" and not "Made in", skip it.
4. If it does not have a "Harvest Date" or "Made on Date", skip it.
5. If you are able to taste and smell it, and it smells or taste old, musty, "playdoey", skip it.

You must learn to trust your nose and taste buds.  They will let you know if it is good or bad.  Your oil should taste fresh, fruity, grassy or evergreen.  It should smell good and it should have a nice mouth feel. 

Trust your instincts - you know more than you think.

-- Jason


The Inaugural Post!

Well, here we go.  We wanted to have this blog up and running sooner, but just never had time.  Better late than never.

We will use this forum to share recipes, food ideas, cooking tips, upcoming events, product reviews, general food stuff, provide life changing advice, fix the world's problems...

Okay, maybe not the last two. 

But, we will have fun.  We want this to become an interactive experience, and we want to help make good food fun and easy.

We love to learn, and we look forward to learning from you as much as you learn from us. 

Here we go!  It's going to be a fun ride!!