Reason #547 not to smoke cigarettes (and why not to lie to your parents)

Matilde_de_Áustria-Teschen.5Once upon a time there was a beautiful young lady who, like many teenagers was a bit of a rebel and didn’t tell her parents the whole truth. The young lady in this story is the Archduchess Mathilda of Austria.

One evening, Mathilda had gone to the theater in a lovely gauze dress and decided to sneak in a quick smoke while her father wasn’t watching. Unfortunately, Mathilda’s pop, Archduke Albert, suddenly showed up.  In a tragically deceptive move, Mathilda made the decision to hide the cigarette behind her very flowing and flammable dress. I probably don’t need to detail what happened next. Sadly, Mathilda did not survive this accident.

This very sad story is not just a public service announcement about the dangers of smoking and lying.  Yep, there is pizza involved.

It seems that Mathilda, was picked to marry King Umberto of Italy to strengthen ties between the two countries. When Mathilda’s life ended unexpectedly, a gal named Margherita married Umberto instead.

Margherita (a non-smoker) lived to a ripe old age of 74.  She was super popular and was often given interesting gifts. According to legend, a famous pizza maker named Raffaele Esposito created a pizza for her that was themed to represent the Italian flag- tomato, basil and mozzarella.

It was probably delicious- as is the Garlic Jim’s version of the Margherita pizza.

As sad as this story is, Archduchess Mathilda did not perish in vain!

So don’t smoke! Don’t lie!  Have a Margherita pizza instead!

Ciao for now!





More Great Tomato News!


This week there is some great news for those of us who love tomatoes and tomato products! Ohio State University just published a three year study that suggests tomato consumption cuts down our risk of skin cancer.

This is really good news for super fair skinned people like me who like to eat pizza outside in a lawn chair. 

It seems that the same compounds that give tomatoes their lovely red color might also protect our skin from damaging (but oh so warm and wonderful) rays from the sun. Previous studies have showed similar results where  Lycopene, an antioxidant that tomatoes are full of, actually prevented some redness from sun burn. Isn’t it interesting that this vegetable (yes, I know it’s a fruit smartypants- I really just like to call it a vegetable) with such a nice red color helps to keep you from getting red?

Full disclosure about the new study- it was done with mice and it seemed to work on the male mice and not the female mice.  That doesn’t bother me though, I am confident that those female mice were probably sneaking in some extra time in the tanning bed.

What we do know is that more and more evidence leads to the belief that the lovely red and juicy tomato is one of the healthiest things you can eat.

And since its the middle of July and my skin is exposed to some serious rays almost every day, I had better eat lots of tomatoes.

Good thing Garlic Jim’s is promoting its Queen Margherita pizza this month!  Olive oil and garlic infused crust, basil, roasted garlic, smooth 100% whole milk mozzarella cheese and of course  those fresh and tasty chopped tomatoes.

Being healthy is so delicious!

Ciao for now




July 8- Celebrate our independence again!

liberty bellI hope that everyone had a wonderful and celebratory July 4th! This is one of my favorite holidays for so many reasons.  I think it’s wonderful that July 4th is that it is celebrated in a summer month.  While living in Seattle can be pretty hit and miss when it comes to the weather, when it does work out- it is pretty awesome. Lounging around all day or maybe firing up the BBQ or attending a baseball game with the anticipation of a fun fireworks show when the sun goes down can’t be beat!

July 4th  is also a time to seriously reflect on just how lucky we all are to live in this country. If you haven’t heard a lot of complaining lately, you probably live under a rock.  And if you live under a rock- well I guess it doesn’t really matter what country you live in. The fact is that this system that our Founding Fathers came up with is a pretty darn good one!

Today, July 8th, is the day that the Liberty Bell was rung in the place that we now call Independence Hall.  It rang to summon the citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. If you haven’t read it since grade school you should give it a read.   Seriously.  It takes as much time as it does to page through all of the vacation pictures that someone you barely  know posted on Facebook.

Take a minute and put yourselves in the shoes of the citizens in Pennsylvania listening to the reading of the Declaration. Actually take a few minutes.  Taking yourself back to 1776 is a really good way to appreciate the amazing freedoms that we have in our country and the brave men and women who have given their lives for our comfort.

So today, July 8th, how about a second Independence Day celebration? Order yourself a pizza.  Any pizza you want!  Because you live in a free country!  ( But may I suggest the Garlic Jim’s Pizza of the Month?  It’s perfect for summer celebrations!)

Speaking of pizza, I’m pretty sure that the Founding Fathers didn’t order delivery when they were sweating over the details of this important document.  So while you are chomping on your delicious pizza that was effortlessly delivered to your front door, give these guys a genuine thank you.

Happy July 8th!

Ciao for now!



Celebrate July with Rita!


( No, not the meter maid or the gal with sweet smelling perfume….  )

Happy July 1!

Summer time is in full swing and cold, slushy, yummy margaritas are in order for just about any occasion during the summer months.

What else does July 1 mean?  It means a new Garlic Jim’s Pizza of the Month- of course! And this month there’s another Margherita for all of us to indulge in- The Queen Margherita Pizza. It is oh so perfect for a summer soiree or just a summer meal on the back porch.  I just love eating on the back porch. And eating pizza on the back porch.  Actually, I love eating pizza anywhere.  Have I mentioned that?

Ok- back to the Queen Margherita.

She is simply divine!  Garlic Jim’s uses its thin, crispy and slightly chewy garlic infused crust for this one.  Then it is topped with a lovely olive oil base, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes and that famous roasted garlic. Just a few ingredients, but the flavor is out of this world. This pizza is my favorite for summertime because it is nice and light and fresh.

It goes well with ice cold lemonade, sweet tea, a cold brew and, of course- a margarita.

Ciao for now!



Cheddar makes it better


This month Garlic Jim’s POTM is the Jim’s Smokin’ Sweet BBQ Chicken Pizza.  There are so many things that make this pizza wonderful and delicious, but I think the real kicker may be the addition of cheddar cheese. While fresh 100% mozzarella cheese normally does an excellent job of standing alone on a pizza, the Jim’s Smokin’ Sweet really adds some western flavor to this pizza.

What is it about even a hint of cheddar cheese that goes so good with BBQ?  Good question.  My scientific Olive answer is that that the tang of cheddar blends beautifully with the combination of sweet and smoky.  That comforting caramelized flavor of BBQ brings your taste buds happiness when all of a sudden the sharpness of cheddar steps in and makes an entrance.  Cheddar just shakes things up a bit. Kinda like on the ranch where life is never boring and delicate is a word that is not used much.

Yes. cheddar is bold enough to hang with Smokin’ Sweet Sauce, grilled chicken, red onions, peppers and bacon. All ingredients worthy of a good ol’ time on their own but when graced with the power of cheddar, something special happens.

Just so you know, cheddar is not some lightweight trendy cheese.  It has been a solid cheese superstar for centuries.  Lots of them.

Cheddar’s origination was in Somerset, England in the 12th century.  That’s a lot of cheddar history!  Fast forward to the 19th century when Joseph Harding, the “father of cheddar cheese” introduced equipment that made cheddar much easier to produce.  Thank you Father Cheddar!Joseph_Harding_Cheese_Maker
andrew jackson

Another fun historical fact about cheddar is that Andrew Jackson held a party at the White House where he served a 1400 pound block of cheese.  I bet that cost a few 20$ bills!

So, if you are wondering why cheddar tastes so good with so many things- especially BBQ and super especially Garlic Jim’s Smokin’ Sweet BBQ Chicken Pizza, it’s  because it’s a classic that has stood the test of time.  There is a reason that Cheddar was not some fad that faded into cheese history.  It is bold.  It is brave. And it is a wonderful companion.

You can’t ask much more that than of a cheese.

Ciao for now











Embrace your Tastes

WP_20170608_13_58_57_RichSo I went to this cool little restaurant in Walla Walla, Washington last week.  I honestly didn’t go because of the awesome name, but because I heard they had really great fresh food. And they did.

I heard an interesting conversation when I was standing in line that made me think about different levels of food enjoyment.

One guy who was standing in line behind me was telling his friend that this place was really good because they used food fresh from the farm that was local etc.. etc…   Then he went on to compare this place to a certain fast food establishment.  “You know,” he said with a very intelligent sounding tone, “(fast food place) uses microwaves and frozen products.”


You can’t compare a local farm fresh restaurant to a hamburger drive through joint.  It’s like comparing  macaroni & cheese to filet mignon.  They just aren’t in the same category. Each has its time and place. Sometimes I want to have a meal that I can pay for with the change between my car seats and sometimes I would like to spend a little more on a nice fresh meal to savor.  Sometimes I want to prop my feet up in front of a Seattle Mariners game on TV and eat macaroni & cheese and sometimes it’s nice to grill some really good quality steaks. All of these are wonderful and yummy in their own ways.  Just different ways.

The same goes with pizza.  You can’t compare Garlic Jim’s Famous Gourmet Pizza to any of the economy pizza places.  And you shouldn’t.  These places simply can’t deliver you a $6.99 pizza unless they are using mediocre ingredients and frozen cheese cut with less expensive “cheese product”.

And that’s ok.

Sometimes you just want something cheap and mundane.  There are times for that. I guess.

But if you want gourmet pizza made with fresh 100% whole milk mozzarella, fresh packed from the farm sauce and fresh made dough with tons of flavor then you order from Garlic Jim’s- of course.

I seem to have gone off on a tangent haven’t I?  Well let me finish my review of Olive restaurant: It was really delicious. I had a ginger-coconut-carrot soup that was out of this world and a turkey club with field greens that were undoubtedly picked that morning.

Two of my favorite girls were with me and ordered an Italian salami sandwich and a pulled pork sandwich.  They both raved about their meals and agreed that Olive was indeed a restaurant that receives 5 stars out of 5!

So just remember:

Know what you want and want what you know. Choose wisely and – enjoy your choice!

Ciao for now

Olive (the person, not the restaurant)



Meet you at the ranch!

I love all things ranchy. Acres of rolling hills, wagon wheels, tumbleweeds, horses, cows, campfires and of course- the food.

Sometimes however, I have a little conundrum while eating a juicy barbecued steak after just gazing at an adorable gentle cow peacefully munching on grass.

no cows were harmed (1)Well, this month we can all indulge in some of the tastiest BBQ I know while leaving all bovine guilt behind.

The Garlic Jim’s Smokin’ Sweet BBQ Chicken Pizza is barbecue perfection on a convenient and remarkably delicious soft and chewy crust. What really gets you in the ranch mood is Jim’s Smokin’ Sweet BBQ sauce.  It is sweet- but not too sweet, tangy- but not too tangy and most of all goes perfectly with the toppings it supports. The meat of the pizza, as I mentioned before is not beef, but top quality sliced chicken breast. Next up are the green peppers and red onions to really add flavor, texture and color. Then you have bacon. Bacon is a must on the ranch and a must on this pizza. Its savory goodness is just the obvious complement to that Smokin’ Sweet BBQ sauce.  In addition to the fresh 100% whole milk mozzarella cheese that Garlic Jim’s is famous for, Jim’s Smokin’ Sweet pizza has a sprinkling of cheddar- for just the right oomph.

So, get yourself settled in a rocking chair, kick off your cowboy boots and call for a delivery. The entire month of June this pizza will have a special Pizza of the Month price!

Yeeyaw and Ciao for now!








Happy Memorial Day!


WP_20170526_16_13_43_RichWell, the first official barbecue weekend is here and boy, do I love a good barbecue! 

When everything works out perfectly.

Isn’t it just kind of rotten  when you have had all of your meat marinating all day and when you go to fire up the grill it is out of gas?  No problem, just run to the store.

But then, when you get back you realize that you have left your beautiful marinated meat on the counter and the dog has consumed it by the time you have come back?  Well at least the dog had a nice dinner.

No problem, take out some hot dogs! What? No buns?  Hamburgers it is then.

Hamburgers on the grill and all is well.  Except you have to clean up the dog barf on the carpet after he ate the 6 pounds of raw meat.

OK. back to the hamburgers.  Which are now burnt.

Yes, that is all part of BBQ fun, but sometimes it’s just kind of nice to simply relax.  Call up Garlic Jim’s, tell them that you will be around back on a lounge chair.  (Don’t forget to tip the driver well- it is a holiday weekend after all!)

Whatever you do this weekend, please remember what Memorial Day is all about.

Remember the bravest of the brave who gave their lives to make our lives so sweet in this country.  Be grateful for all of the amazing freedoms that we are so lucky to enjoy.

Have a wonderful, relaxing and thankful Memorial Day!

Ciao for now!




Grow a Cashew Tree!

cashew treeDid you know that you can grow a cashew tree in your back yard, and that it is really easy to do?

Just Kidding.

It’s not easy at all. Unless you live in Africa, India or Southeast Asia. And you have soil that is rich with iron and aluminum and has a pH level of 5-6.5.  Oh, and never grow your cashew tree in clay rich soil because that will encourage water logging.

One more thing:  When you harvest your cashews, don’t forget that the cashew shell contains a corrosive sap that will cause horrible blisters if this shell is damaged.

But they sure look pretty cool while they are growing.  Right?

A much safer way to get your cashews (which are full of protein, potassium, and magnesium) is to eat them on a delicious pizza.

You better hurry though, because Garlic Jim’s Pizza of the Month- The Nutty Chipotle is only on super special for the rest of May.

Ciao for now!






Give your Mommy something special


Did you remember that Sunday is Mother’s day?  If you didn’t, now you know.

So, what do you  get for the woman who changed your diapers when you were a tiny baby and acted as a unpaid chauffer for at least 16 years?

I’ll tell you one thing- it does not have to be expensive.  Mom probably just wants to relax on Mother’s day, so getting dressed up to go to some fancy restaurant for brunch might not be what she really wants.

Maybe she would just like to sit around in her jammies all day long?  And maybe she would just like to eat some nice comforting takeout food?  And maybe she would like that comforting takeout food to be just a little yummier than your average takeout food?  And maybe she would like that yummy comforting take out food to be delivered to her door?

And maybe if you haven’t figured out yet what to get her I will give you a little hint.



So, now I have given you two valuable pieces of advice:  Sunday is Mother’s Day and make sure to buy her Garlic Jim’s Pizza.  And order it FOR her! OK?  Duh….

You can thank me later.

Happy Mother’s Day and Ciao for now!