What’s that yellow thing up there?


sunshine pizza

Yawn…….. Stretch………

What is that light that is blinding my eyes?  Is winter really over?  Is it time to come out of hibernation?

What is that odd high pitched noise?  Is it a new app on my mobile device?  Or could it be a bird chirping?

Yep, spring is definitely here and in full force.  I believe it is time to celebrate.

How to celebrate you ask?

Well, after a long winter of hibernation, it’s important to get the right balance of protein and carbs.  Hibernation can be terrible for your bones so it’s a necessity to make sure that calcium ( in the form of 100% whole milk mozzarella cheese preferably) is in the mix. Being cooped up in the dark for such a long time really depletes the body of vitamins and nutrients, so  fresh packed tomato sauce is in order. Vitamins A, C, K, B6 and well as potassium and magnesium from tomatoes really helps to perk up a pale, lethargic human being- and probably wouldn’t hurt a bear either!

Of course all of these necessary protein and carbs can lead to only one thing- and that would be pizza. Duh.

Lucky for me, as I was researching the perfect pizza for post hibernation, I came across an amazing celebration happening right now at Garlic Jim’s!

It’s their 14th Anniversary and they are asking customers to come up with a brand new pizza creation for next year’s anniversary!  And the winner gets…. wait for it…. FREE PIZZA FOR A YEAR!  Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy……..   I’m pretty excited.

I know exactly what I am going to create. I can’t wait for the results. In the meantime I will consume liberal amounts of year’s anniversary pizza which has pepperoni (protein), sausage (more protein), pineapple ( vitamin C!), Parmesan and EXTRA mozzarella (calcium) to gently restore my winterized self back into my full charged self.

Here’s to abundant sunshine and a delicious Spring!

Ciao for now




It’s the most Incredible time of the Year!



I live in the Pacific Northwest.  If you live in this area of the country or have ever lived through a Pacific Northwest winter, you know that it can be pretty wearisome.  Instead of cold crisp snowy winters, we get lots of grey.  And lots of drizzle.  Basically a lot of dark soggy days.

It would be really tough to make it through the winter up here if it were not for the holiday season.  Christmas lights literally light up dark evenings and with the help of some hot chocolate and other Christmas food indulgences, December transforms from dark and dreary to bright and merry.

Did I mention food indulgence? Of course I did – and starting today there is an incredible holiday food item to indulge in.  What type of food, you may wonder?

Yep. It’s pizza.  An Incredible Pizza, that is.

Garlic Jim’s rolled out its Incredible Holiday Wreath Pizza today and I was the first in line to try this object of holiday beauty.

The Incredible Holiday Wreath pizza is incredible for many reasons, but probably the best reason is that is actually looks like a wreath!  How did they get the hole in the middle of the pizza?  The nice young man at the Lynnwood Garlic Jim’s just smiled and said “It’s our secret”.  Well, that’s ok with me, because guess what was filling the middle of the hole? Candy canes!  What a lovely surprise!

Ok- now to the meat of this pizza.  Or should I say sausage?

The Incredible Holiday Wreath pizza features Garlic Jim’s special proprietary recipe made just for Garlic Jim’s!  After my no-luck inquisition regarding the construction of the wreath, I was a little shy about asking about the sausage ingredients- but I did anyway.  Again he gave me that secretive smile, but told me that what made Garlic Jim’s Italian sausage so delicious was a spice blend that was tested extensively to produce just the right amount of spice to warm you up but not to overpower. Well, I am here to tell you it does exactly that.  And it is so perfect for a Christmas pizza.  Its subtle heat really conveys joy and coziness at the same time!

Although the Italian Sausage is a solid Christmasy component on its own, the Incredible Holiday Wreath pizza is adorned with a number of lovely ingredients that play a supporting role to the savory Italian Sausage. Green peppers and red onions showcase the Christmas theme and give even more flavor to this pizza. On the bottom?  You guessed it- a mouth watering basil pesto sauce to add even a little more green and festivity.  After this pizza emerges from the oven, ornaments of fresh red tomatoes are added and a light sprinkle of oregano.

If you want to be the most popular person at your holiday event this year, the Incredible Holiday Wreath pizza is a no-brainer.

You can thank me later.

Ciao for now





Happy Veterans Day


Although there seems to be some sort of turmoil or controversy daily in our country, there is one thing that most sane Americans can agree on.

We are really, really, really lucky to live in the country that we do.

There is no other place in this world where I would feel safer than right here in the United States of America.

There is no other place in the world where I would enjoy the freedoms that I do than in United States of America.

Thank you to all who have risked and lost their lives for us.

And also thank you to the families who have so generously let loved ones fight and protect the rest of us.

How about buying a veteran a pizza today?  It’s a minuscule gesture for such an incredible gift.  But a good start.

Happy Veterans Day and THANK YOU!


Over and Out (for now)







Top 10 Reasons Why Fall is the Best Time to Consume Pizza



Yes, I know that the title of this post is kind of silly because EVERY season is the best season to consume pizza.  So I reserve the right to change my mind next season.  But for now, here are my top 10 reasons that Fall is most definitely, positively, without a doubt the best time to indulge in pizza.

  1. Baseball: What is better than watching the World Series on a cold dark evening while enjoying a piping hot gourmet pizza and a nice cold microbrew?  (Yes, I know what the answer is for all  you  Seattle Mariners fans out there.  It would be watching the Mariners in the World Series while enjoying a piping hot gourmet pizza and a nice cold microbrew.)
  2. Football: See my previous post
  3. Fall wind storms: I actually look forward to my power going out so that I have an excuse to order a pizza.
  4. Halloween: Who the heck wants to cook dinner on Halloween? Feed those little munchkins some nice warm pizza before they go out in the cold!
  5. The end of Daylight Savings: We gain a whole hour.  What better thing to do with that hour than consume pizza?  Duh.
  6. The kids are back in school (and on a schedule):  Cooking dinner for your family is great, but so is pizza night.  It is such a great tradition to have a weekly pizza night and great reason to give the oven (and the cook) a break.
  7. Pizza lifts your spirits when it is dark and gloomy: OK- so I have not found any big scientific studies to support pizza lifting your mood, but it works for me! Next time you are feeling a little down due to Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD), order a pizza and I DARE you to not feel happy!  * Disclaimer- it is highly inadvisable to try this with any of those low-cost mega pizza companies.  This unscientific happiness experiment really should only be tried with a high quality Garlic Jim’s Pizza.
  8. Fall is the season for parties: There are so many reasons to throw a party this time of year.  You have sporting events, Halloween, Homecoming and of course the ever popular apple cider pressing parties.  What? You don’t do that?  Well, get yourself some apples and order a pizza!
  9. It’s Big Jimmy Season:  Garlic Jim’s is once again featuring the Big Jimmy Pizza.  It is just amazing.  Part of me wishes this pizza was available all year long, but that would be like having Christmas every day.  It’s just something so wonderful to look forward to this time of year.
  10. It just feels right!  Yes, indeed.  When the days get shorter and it’s dark outside by dinnertime, it just feels oh-so-right to say, “Hey, want to order from Garlic Jim’s?”

So there you go, I’ve given you some good reasons to order a pizza.  You can thank me later.

And don’t forget I’m on the Twitter now.  So follow me @olive4gourmet  Tweet Tweet! #pizzaseason

Ciao for now!



Pavlov’s Pizza

BigJimmyLTOoct17IRISI’ve discussed before that I really enjoy sporting events for the opportunity to indulge in food.  I’m not sure how many years Garlic Jim’s has been selling the Big Jimmy Pizza during football season, but this is the year that the Pavlovian effect really took hold.

The first time I noticed this, I had just walked into a room where a football game was on the TV. Instantly, I was craving bacon.

The next day I was jogging past a high school where I saw I football fly through the air during practice.  At that moment I felt the strongest urge to eat cheese.

A few days later, while at the mall, I was browsing through the Team Store looking at football jerseys. Suddenly I found myself at the food court searching desperately for a Garlic Jim’s Pizza.  I don’t know how I got there, but I knew for sure that I needed a Big Jimmy Pizza- STAT!

Just as my cat bolts across the room at the very first sound of the cat food bag rustling, any mention of football turns my taste buds into full Big Jimmy Pizza mode.

This conditioned response has been studied and written about for many years and I’m sure that a trained psychologist could break me from this behavior.

But why would I want that?

The Big Jimmy Pizza is something of a masterpiece. As a backwards pizza eater, the first bite for me is the soft, chewy and flavorful dough that Garlic Jim’s is famous for.  The first taste of a Garlic Jim’s Hand Thrown crust immediately brings intense feelings of comfort and joy.  It  truly is the best pizza crust I have ever had. That crust however is just the beginning:  The next layer of the Big Jimmy is an astonishing Roasted Garlic Tomato sauce. I have a hard time describing this genious, but my mouth waters as I think about it.  The toppings are what really gives this pizza its name though. They are indeed big. It’s got salami, pepperoni and Italian sausage -and if you think that is meaty- top it off with bacon! But wait! This pizza is not just made of meat- it has the perfect amount of red onions and green peppers to compliment the hearty meat quartet.

This pizza is amazing, but be warned- it may alter your behavior.

But in a very good way.

Ciao for now




Ode to an Artichoke



If you’re a lady or a bloke,

it’s time to try an artichoke

The artichoke it seems these days,

can be prepared in many ways.

Many like to eat it steamed, tho’ many like to eat it fried.

But still there’s those who have never tried.

Go, on! Try it!-It is just a delight,

you’ll love it- you will! At the very first bite.

The artichoke is healthy too,

more fiber than prunes! Yes it’s true!

The Germans claim it’s great for your tummy,

all I know is that it is oh-so yummy.

But the best way to eat such beauties like these,

is on a crust with garlic, spinach and  cheese.

Throw in some olive oil, onions and basil,

and you have a masterpiece right on your table.

This pizza I speak of may cause you to cry,

it’s Jim’s one and only – Spinach Artichoke Pie.

Ciao for now







Say YES to Spinach this September



If you have never had Spinach on a pizza, this is the month to try it.

And if you haven’t been living under a rock for the last 10 years, you will have noticed that spinach has made a miraculous turn around in the last decade or so. As far as controversial foods go, spinach is right up their with broccoli, kale and the dreaded but lovable pineapple on pizza. 

Why was spinach so despised for so long? Yes, it is true that green vegetables seem to get the short end of the popularity list, but spinach seems to have been the worst of the worst for a long period of time.

My theory is all in the preparation. Many people associate spinach with the kind that comes out of a can that is a big blob of gunk sitting on your plate.  That plate that you stared at for hours and hours until your mom finally gave up and let you leave the table.

Today’s spinach is so much more than a can of slimy green goo.  It is beautiful fresh baby spinach leaves with a light dressing or the popular spinach dip.

But spinach on a pizza?

Trust me- it’s a beautiful thing. Garlic Jim’s uses Fresh Spinach, flavorful Artichoke Hearts, Red Onions, Fresh Basil and that famous Roasted Garlic all on top of a lovely olive oil base. It is absolutely exquisite. The Spinach Artichoke Pie is the real meaning of gourmet. All the flavors harmonize together to create goodness in every bite.

POTMeThor0917FINALSo, this September, say Yes to Spinach and say Yes to an amazing pizza. All month long and at a special price- there is no reason not to try!

Ciao for now


and P.S.  This pizza is so amazing that I have finally joined Twitter to tweet about it!  Follow me! @olive4gourmet







More Pineapple Problems?

source: www.bbc.com/news


As if pineapple did not have enough problems with all these Pineapple on Pizza haters that are free to roam the streets, there is more to be concerned about.

This weekend thousands and thousands of music fans will attend the Reading and Leeds festivals in England. It’s going to be a fun filled 4 days that includes a gazillion bands on  more than 10 different stages.

As with many large events, the festival organizers have banned things like fireworks and weapons.  At the Reading and Leeds festivals this year however, a more dangerous item has been identified.  Yep, you got it.  It’s our friend the pineapple.

Apparently, fans of the band Glass Animals love to carry around pineapples because of some lyrics?  Or something like that…..

The point is that pineapple is being singled out once again! Have you heard about Chili Peppers banned at a Red Hot Chili Pepper concert? Or Salt and Pepper shakers?  How about Meatloaf?  Ever heard about banning meatloaf sandwiches from a concert?  Or what about Bread?  I could go on but I will spare you.

Why is it that pineapple makes it such a contentious issue?

Is it that some are afraid of its magical powers?

Pineapple not only has a uniquely sweet and tart flavor that is irresistible, but it is healthy too! It’s packed with vitamin C, manganese, B- vitamins and fiber. It also contains something called Bromelain which contains enzymes that are great for your digestion.

But really it is just so delicious!

Especially on a pizza. Really.  If you don’t believe me, you have one week to try Garlic Jim’s special Pizza of the Month price for the Gourmet Hawaiian.  It is a truly tasty tropical treat. Trust me.

Ciao for now



The Great Pineapple Controversy

pineapple-jpgWe live in divided times.

It seems as though everyone these days have strong opinions on modern issues. Some of us even judge others for the way they think- and nothing divides more families around the dining room table these days than…..

Pineapple on Pizza.

Some people love it, and some people feel strongly that it is a slippery slope that could lead to pineapple on peanut butter sandwiches or pineapple chunks in macaroni and cheese.

This is the reason that it is very important to have a say in the legislative process by voting very carefully. If you are a Pro-Pineapple & Pizza Proponent, don’t come crying to me if you wake up one morning with a big fat ban in your home town on pineapple on your pizza.

Just ask the  citizens of Iceland, whose President recently said publicly that he would ban pineapple on pizza if he could!  Oh my!

Well, thankfully my friends at Garlic Jim’s are open minded on this very hot button issue.

Not only do they welcome pineapple on their pizza, but Garlic Jim’s doubles down with coconut and almonds as well.  Take that – you pizza purists!

Obviously you can see what side I am on this issue- and I am darn proud to say it.

I love pineapple on pizza! So there.

So, if you  happen to be on the fence regarding this issue, how about trying a slice of something new this month?

Garlic Jim’s Gourmet Hawaiian is a little different, but in a wonderful sort of way. That luscious pineapple that some people are so frightened of is the amazing companion for Canadian bacon, almonds and coconut.

So if you are having trouble swaying those you know to embrace your Pro-Pineapple Point of view, sharpen up your debate skills because you are going to want to share the happiness that this pizza brings.

Ciao for now












It’s Garlic Festival Time!


garlic festival

Many years ago, I was driving with my future husband to Santa Cruz, California late at night. As we were passing through a little town on Highway 101, an interesting aroma filled the car.  I glanced at him.  He glanced at me.  Finally after about 10 minutes of glancing and wondering, I casually said, “Do you smell something?”

Indeed he had.  “What the heck IS that?”  “It REALLY smells like garlic!”

The smell remained a mystery that evening, but while driving back the other direction a few days later in the daylight, that pungent smell led us to a sign:  Gilroy- Garlic Capital of the World!!

Mystery solved.

Gilroy, California grows lots of garlic.  As a matter of fact, its largest employer is Christopher Ranch, the supplier of Garlic Jim’s Famous Gourmet Pizza’s amazing  roasted garlic that adorns many of its pizzas.

Gilroy has made a name for itself not only for its garlic production, but for its garlic festival that has been held every year since 1979.  This eclectic and fun filled event has been growing each year and boasts almost every kind of garlic food that you can think of including garlic ice cream!  It lasts for three days and even has stars from the Food Network on hand.  The Gilroy Garlic Festival naturally has a Garlic Festival Queen and Queen’s court. These young ladies are judged on their talent, a personal interview, an on stage question, and of course- a garlic speech.  So start writing yours if you are garlicy kind of gal who is between the ages of 18-24 who would like to try out for this next year!

This year’s festival is July 28-30. If you are anywhere near Gilroy, just follow your nose- you will find it!

Ciao for now!