I live a stone’s throw away from two of the biggest cities on the east coast, and it took me three stores, several tweets, and two weeks to find Lindsay Olives to use in this post, which will hopefully earn me a sponsorship to Eat, Write, Retreat. And then, I realized after my recipe AND photos had been finished, I’d made the completely wrong thing. Really?
Let me back up a bit; here’s the scoop:
I’ve been wanting to attend Eat, Write, Retreat
, for two years now. But I can’t – it’s too expensive for our budget, even living in the Washington DC suburbs and being only an hour’s drive away (read: no airplane tickets needed for this blogger).
Don’t mistake what I’m saying, however. Those foodies that are able to scrape together an extra $749? It’s completely worth every penny for the expert speakers, the hands-on culinary workshops, the photography lessons, the food styling tips, the amazing hotel stay… I could go on and on. Reading through the reviews from bloggers that attended last year are all the proof you need.
is giving one lucky blogger the chance to win a sponsorship to Eat, Write, Retreat 2012 and the rules to play are simple. Simple, that is, as long as you read through them completely.
Let us back up even further….
My quest for Lindsay Olives began two Saturdays ago, with a simple stop at my neighborhood grocery store. While Food Lion isn’t my favorite grocery store in the world, it’s close to home, decent and always well-stocked with a nice variety of brands. Except for Lindsay Olives. None. No Lindsay Olives.
Well, okay then. Time to try another avenue.
My neighbors have a weekly grocery store regimen which includes stops at Costco, The Common Market
and Wegmans. Wegmans! “Surely Wegmans would carry Lindsay Olives,” I thought.
So I slipped my neighbors a $10 bill, and begged them to look for me. Turns out my beloved Wegmans doesn’t carry Lindsay Olives. Imagine that.
Baffled, I tweeted both Eat, Write, Retreat and Linsday Olives – how is it that an olive that’s been around since the early 1900’s, for heaven’s sake, could be so difficult to find?? Lindsay Olives came to the rescue:
Walgreen’s? CVS? Who would’ve thought! Lucky for me, however, my neighbors were heading back to Costco, so I held off on visiting the drug stores, crossed my fingers and took a chance that Costco would, in fact, have Lindsay Olives.
Success! And several different varieties of Lindsay Olives! Plus, because it’s Costco, I not only have one can of olives, I have six! I’ll never be without Lindsay Olives ever again!
Olives in hand and the deadline for sponsorship entries a mere 14 hours away, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on an appetizer recipe I’ve had in my head ever since I saw the opportunity: Cream Cheese, Parmesan and Bacon Stuffed Olives. Simple, savory and addicting – these little bites were perfection!
Except, after re-reading the rules….
….they clearly state that the entry “must be considered a main course.” D’oh!
I’m not easily thwarted, and some might even say I’m super determined and headstrong and obstinate. A little bump in the road like re-creating a recipe with awesome photos in time for a deadline that’s now a mere 10 hours away is no problem for this foodie!
Dinner would need to be re-thunk. And pronto.
- 1 smoked sausage link, sliced
- 1 bag jumbo frozen raw shrimp, thawed and peeled
- 1-1/2 cups white rice
- 5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 can tomato puree (29-ounce)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5-ounce)
- 1 can pitted black Lindsay Olives (6-ounce), chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
InstructionsCombine the sausage, bacon, tomato puree, diced tomatoes, olives, onion, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, basil, garlic salt, sea salt, pepper, Old Bay and Worcestershire in a slow cooker. Cover and cook over low heat for 5-1/2 hours.Stir in the rice and the shrimp, turn the slow cooker’s heat to high, cover and then continue cooking for 30 more minutes.Serve hot with additional chopped olives and a sprinkle of oregano for garnish!
*Not everyone loves olives. In this recipe, you can simply omit them if they’re not your thing – it will still be delicious!