Dressing & Sauces

DIY Rosemary, Basil & Thyme Essential Oil Infused Olive Oil

An easy homemade recipe for irresistible flavor
Filed Under > Dressing & Sauces

DIY Herb Infused Olive Oil with Essential Oils via @waitingonmartha

Olive oil is what I like to call the cornerstone of my cooking.  You can always find a bottle or two of rich, full-bodied EVOO in the Rye pantry; we use it in practically everything.  Not only is the flavor irresistible and versatile, olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, healthy fats and anti-inflammatory benefits.  Win-win, I’d say!

I’ve bought herb infused olive oil that we’ve enjoyed in the past, but it’s pricey for being something that’s simple enough (and cheaper!) to make at home.  This brought me to start infusing olive oil with fresh herbs from my own garden this summer to great success. But it was recently that I set out to mix my own DIY herb infused olive oil with essential oils, rather than fresh herbs.  I find myself going through olive oil faster than I can grow herbs (especially in these cold winter months) and infuse the oil (it usually takes a few weeks for the oil to get properly infused with the full flavor), so I was intrigued with the idea of infusing the oils with the high-quality essential oils.

You know I’ve never been big on DIY’s, but this homemade herb infused olive oil is one I can get behind; it’s incredibly easy and a flavor difference you can truly taste.  I simply use a few drops of rosemary vitality essential oil, basil vitality essential oil and thyme vitality essential oil in place of a handful of fresh herbs with organic, unrefined and unfiltered olive oil.  You can most certainly mix your essential oils; try combinations with lemon and rosemary, or basil and black pepper (you’ll only want to use 3-4 drops of essential oil total).  I like to store the herb infused olive oil in a glass olive oil cruet, which is perfect for gifting or leaving on the counter.

This simple recipe tastes incredible as a simple salad dressing, a drizzle over pasta dishes, a dip for artisan bread, or a chicken marinade.  Other essential oils to consider infusing include lemon, orange, oregano, lemongrass, dill, and spicy black pepper vitality essential oils.  Tell me friends, will you be mixing up some homemade herb infused olive oils?  Truly, MKR

P.S.  Get started with 11 of the most-used essential oils, a diffuser and great samples at almost 50% off! 



Zoodles with Heirloom Tomatoes & Vegan Pesto Sauce

My Go-To Guilt-Free Summer Pasta
Filed Under > 30 Minute Meals

Zoodles with Vegan Pesto Sauce and Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, recipe by @waitingonmarthaHomemade Zoodles with Cherry Tomatoes, Recipe by @waitingonmartha

If you’re sensing a pattern with my summer cooking, then you’re certainly right; I’m all about simple, easy and seasonal dishes this time of year.  And this zoodles recipe is no exception.  Ever since the team spent the afternoon with Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy & Williams-Sonoma, I’ve been #TeamZoodles.  They really are such an easy (emphasis on EASY) and healthy alternative to your grain pasta, and beyond perfect for a summertime, or any time, meal in a pinch.  

If you haven’t tried zoodles yet, let me just make a quick ten second pitch about why you’re missing out.  I’ve stated it numerous times that they’re so easy to make (just get yourself one of THESE), and obviously a lot less calories than your traditional pasta, but let’s talk taste.  The zucchini ribbons take on a deceiving likeness to linguine, but the trick is to not cook them too long.  Zoodles literally only need two minutes of sautéing…just enough to heat them through with your chosen sauce, but you need them to maintain their crunch.  The crunch is key; when you over-cook, or over-sauté zoodles, they can turn to mush (which is no good).

Now when it comes to the sauces, I really believe zoodles pair best with a lighter sauce that has tons of bold flavor; think a spicy red, garlicky olive oil, or my go-to vegan pesto (see below).  As I blogged before, I try to keep dairy out of my diet, and traditional pestos have loads of Parmesan.  But since I love pesto, I set out to create a vegan pesto that didn’t taste vegan.  And friends, I have found it!  Fresh basil, oregano, and cilantro from my garden paired with walnuts, salt, pepper, high quality olive oil and TONS of fresh garlic come together for what I think is better than the original version.  As you read through the recipe note that I prefer my pesto a bit on the chunky side, and very garlicky for that extra kick, but you can easily adjust to reach your desired consistency and taste. See for yourself, and let me know when you do!  Truly, MKR


Zoodles with Heirloom Tomatoes & Vegan Pesto Sauce
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 5-6 Zucchinis, spiralized into zoodles
  2. 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  3. vegan pesto sauce (see instructions below)
  4. Red pepper flakes, optional
  5. Salt & pepper to taste
Vegan Pesto Sauce
  1. 1 cup walnuts
  2. equal parts oregano and cilantro, but double that in basil (I like mine really garlicky so I use 5-6 fresh garlic cloves)
  3. Salt and pepper, to taste
  4. 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
  5. 5-6 large fresh garlic cloves
  1. For the vegan pesto sauce...
  2. Combine fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh cilantro, walnuts, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup of olive oil and fresh garlic cloves in a mixer and blend. Keep adding olive oil to reach your desired consistency, and add salt and pepper to taste. (I like my pesto on the chunky side.)
  3. For the Zoodles...
  4. In a large saute pan, add the zoodles and pesto sauce and cook until just warm and combined (approximately 2-4 minutes). You don't want to over cook because you want to keep your zucchini noodles crisp.
  5. Top with fresh heirloom tomatoes and red pepper flakes and serve.
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Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

13 Spices & Seasonings You Should Always Have in Your Pantry

Banish Bland, Boring Food for Good with These 12 Pantry Staples
Filed Under > Dressing & Sauces


It’s no secret that I love spicing and seasoning just about anything, (just look at the majority of my recipes if you need proof).  While I personally have probably 50 plus spices in my pantry, I believe there are 13 basic ones you should start your collection with, and always have on hand when cooking.  

Unfortunately, many people skimp on spices (they can definitely add up, after all) and many people forget that spices expire and need replacing. For ground spices, you’ll want to replace them every 3-4 years, and dried, leafy herbs need to be replaced anywhere between 1-3 years. The spices should still have an aromatic, bold smell with vibrant color…and if they don’t, it’s probably time to switch them out. And just like high quality food, high quality spices will be the difference you can truly taste. But good news is that they’re all incredibly versatile, so you’ll be able to apply the spices to countless dishes when cooking. 

And along with investing in high quality spices I really believe you should invest in a good game-changing salt & pepper grinder.  Once you get past the sticker shock of purchasing it (mine cost $100), you’ll enjoy freshly ground seasoning on everything with a difference you can definitely taste.  Truly, MKR

No. 1…Cayenne.  You’ll use this colorful, ground chili pepper for heat in a ton of spicy dishes; I literally use it on almost everything. 

No. 2…Tellicherry Peppercorn.  Of course pepper is an everyday cooking essential, but once you try freshly ground, fragrant peppercorns at home for yourself, you’ll understand why they’re 1,000 times better than the pre-bought pepper mixture.  

No. 3…”Paris Salt“. This naturally flavored sea salt literally tastes good on everything.  Its coarse texture is made up of high quality French sea salt with dry herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil and dill.  It’s incredibly versatile, and can be ground in a salt grinder for a finer texture if needed as cooking.  My favorite kind is Williams-Sonoma’s Herbs de Provence Sea Salt.

No. 4…Sea Salt.  A fine, classic sea salt will be used time and time again for your basic cooking and baking needs, as well as sprinkled directly on food for that extra punch.  I love sprinkling a few flakes on top of chocolate chip cookies before baking. 

No. 5…Red Pepper Flakes.  You know they say #somelikeithot and we certainly do in the Rye household. I always invest in good red pepper flakes because the spice level and taste is truly superior.

No. 6…Kosher Salt. This will be your everyday table salt, and one you’ll use in most recipes. For example, I use kosher salt when my chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for salt, but as stated above I then top the cookies with sea salt at the end for maximum flavor.  

No. 7…Himalayan Pink Salt. This salt is a healthy, natural salt and packs a lot more flavor than your kosher salt.  I like to use it for pre-cooking flavoring.  A Himalayan salt plate is also a great way to infuse a ton of great flavor in all your grilling endeavors (meats, seafood and vegetables). 

No. 8…Ground Black Pepper. This is not a full peppercorn, but much larger than your ground pepper, and what I use whenever seasoning vegetables and shrimp for the grill (olive oil, salt, and pepper is all I use).  It adds more of a spice than your ground pepper, but doesn’t have that cayenne pepper feel.   

No. 9…Cinnamon. With cinnamon, you can instantly add warmth to any dish. Its obvious use is with baking, but it can also be added to curry dishes and anything with sweet potatoes or butternut squash for a wonderful added dimension of flavor. 

No. 10…Chili Lime Rub. My husband uses this mouth-watering rub on just about everything he grills, especially skirt steak. With a spicy-tangy blend, the rub instantly elevates the flavors of anything we put it on…meat, seafood, veggies, you name it.  This rub made it on my top 10 list of must-haves from Williams-Sonoma last year and it still rings true. When grilling, simply squeeze fresh lime juice with it and add chopped, fresh cilantro. 

No. 11…Cumin. I love adding cumin to any type of chili, taco, or ground beed dish because it gives it warmth and dimension. Recipes will generally pair cumin with paprika and cayenne.

No. 12…Curry/Turmeric. Also known as Indian saffron and yellow root, turmeric is commonly found in curry dishes and gives them its distinctive bright yellow-orange color.  It has a warm aroma and gingery/peppery taste and is said to be extremely beneficial for the mind and warding disease like Alzheimer’s. 

No. 13…Paprika. Like cumin, paprika can be added to any dish to give it a certain warmth. But when you buy cheap paprika, it’s usually tasteless.  I specifically buy Hungarian Smoked Paprika for the prime quality of the smoked flavor. 



Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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