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Walla, Walla, WA | 509-529-7537

10 Delicious Ways to Use Balsamic Vinegar This Summer

Without a little culinary creativity, a bottle of balsamic vinegar can end up hibernating in your pantry for months on end. Even though you know it tastes great, balsamic vinegar is a little tough to work with when trying to figure out where it can fit into a recipe.

With the summer months upon us, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite ways to use balsamic vinegar this season. Ready to dive into the deliciously creative world of balsamic vinegar? Let’s go!

1. Try it in a Cocktail

As craft cocktails continue to become more popular, it may come as a surprise that balsamic vinegar can be used to add an exciting zing to some of your favorite libations. Whether you prefer sangrias, bellinis, or even bloody marys, a few drops of balsamic vinegar can bring an exciting twist to classic cocktails across the spectrum.

After all, what better way to relax and cool off during the hot summer months than by indulging in some refreshing balsamic vinegar-inspired cocktail? Try this recipe for fun!

2. Marinate Different Meats

Because balsamic vinegar packs such a flavorful punch, it makes for the perfect marinade. Brushing a generous layer over steak and letting it sit in the fridge for a few hours before grilling is one of our favorite ways to use balsamic vinegar as a marinade. You can also use it in combination with other marinades to further enhance the flavors that meats such as chicken will take on while soaking.

3. Summer Time Salad Dressings

Even though balsamic vinegar-based dressings can be used year round, why not change things up during the summer months? By simply adding some citrus zest and flavors to your favorite balsamic vinegar dressing recipe, you can instantly add a refreshing zing that will have all of your guests raving.

For the best results, we suggest using orange and lime zest, or even some raspberry to figure out what flavors you like best.

4. Use It As A Glaze

Are you a fan of thick, flavor packed glazes that can instantly elevate even the most basic of meals to a feast fit for kings? We don’t recommend reducing the balsamics you purchase from our store, but you can get the same glaze and excellent flavor from our Denissimo balsamic vinegar. This delicious treat is naturally aged for 30 years and gives the same flavor packed punch you can get from reduction.

5. A Strawberry’s Best Friend

Strawberries are a summertime staple no matter where you go. Their bright red color, sweet, succulent flavor, and ability to be served as a snack or compliment to ice cream make them the perfect partner for balsamic vinegar. The savory, slightly bitter flavor of balsamic vinegar works wonderfully with the sweet tartness of strawberries.

Simply drizzle some over fresh cut strawberries with a touch of sugar, or even with a bowl of ice cream and some whipped cream.

6. Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts have been all the craze lately in the culinary world. If you’ve become a fan of these tasty little morsels, add your own tasty twist by drizzling a little balsamic vinegar into the sautéing pan a few minutes before they finish cooking. This will give it enough time to thicken into a glaze while also adhering nicely to the brussels.

With this simple recipe, you can play around with all kinds of fun additions since brussels sprouts tend to adapt very well to a wide range of flavors.

7. Make Your Flatbread Fancy

Flatbreads are another summertime essential that you’ll soon see making their way onto the menus of restaurants around Walla Walla. Whether indulging at a restaurant or from the comfort of your own home, balsamic vinegar serves as the perfect topping for flatbreads. Our personal favorite is the caprese flatbread, but balsamic vinegar can easily introduce a fancy look and taste to just about any of the recipes.

Of course, it doesn’t stop there! Make a balsamic vinegar reduction like we covered above to really bring out the flavors.

8. Mix Some Into Your Yogurt

Do you love snacking on yogurt, but find yourself getting tired of the same old flavors from your local grocery store? Depending on your personal preference and mood from day to day, balsamic vinegar (or reduction) is a quick and easy way to change bland yogurt into a snack of pure decadence. With just a few drops and a quick swirl of the spoon, we’re confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Sprinkle in some granola and sliced strawberries if you’re feeling really adventurous. This is a great dish for impressing guests while you relax in the shade.

9. Balsamic Avocado

If you’re a fan of avocado, you’re going to love this tasty tip. Because avocado packs very little taste by itself, balsamic vinegar makes for the perfect partner by bringing a huge flavor profile. The best part? You can prepare this combination any number of ways. Whether you prefer eating avocado in slices, peeled, or even mashed into guacamole, you can add balsamic vinegar at any point to instantly elevate your dish.

Want to make it more filling? Try using this recipe with some avocado toast or even in a salad to make a full, flavorful meal.

10. Add it to Seltzer Water

We know, this may sound a little strange at first, but you have to trust us. Taking your favorite brand of seltzer water (flavored or not), simply drizzle a small amount of balsamic vinegar into your glass and stir to create your own unique soda! While it’s not going to taste the same as some of the big name brands out there, you’ll be able to enjoy a refreshing beverage with way fewer calories!

Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, try adding some balsamic vinegar to your favorite flavored sodas to see what new tastes come from it!

20 Fun Kitchen Essentials & Gadgets

Nothing is worse than getting stopped in your tracks while trying out a new recipe simply because you don’t have all of the needed kitchen utensils or appliances. If you’ve ever found yourself in the situation above (or happen to be reading this article), it’s probably time to evaluate your kitchen’s current level of “culinary preparedness”.

To help make sure your kitchen is ready to handle just about any dish or recipe your heart and stomach desire, in this article, we’ve compiled a list of 20 fun kitchen essentials and gadgets that we carry in-store. So, pull your notepad out and get ready to turn your kitchen into the swiss army knife of utensils, cookware, and appliances.

1. High-Quality Knives

No kitchen is ever complete without a set of high-quality knives for tackling anything from different cuts of meat to an assortment of vegetables. Now, we’re not just talking about that trusty knife you use for pretty much everything including a makeshift screwdriver, rather, what you really need is a complete set that gives you a specialty knife for every culinary occasion.

Not only will this help your kitchen look more complete, but you’ll also find that they make life a lot easier when faced with a recipe that requires lots of cutting. Here at D’Olivo, we proudly carry Wusthof brand knives due to their unwavering quality and downright sleek, stylish look.

2. Tongs

Tongs are one of the most versatile and often overlooked kitchen utensils ever created. Though these giant chopsticks are most commonly used to turn dishes in a pan or oven, tongs can also be used for things like tossing a salad, removing bread from the toaster, and pulling corn from boiling water.

From the non-culinary perspective, tongs are extremely helpful for extending your reach and even removing items from the garbage disposal safely. Coming in a number of different designs and colors, it’s easy to match tongs with your kitchen’s theme.

3. Cutting Boards

Having a stylish cutting board (or two) not only comes in handy when serving up appetizers and snacks for guests, but it’s also the best way to preserve and extend the life of your knives. Rather than using plates, or, even worse, the kitchen countertop, to cut ingredients on, cutting boards provide a sanitary, knife-friendly surface for all of your slicing and dicing needs.

Here at D’Olivo, we proudly carry gorgeous Totally Bamboo brand cutting boards that are an absolute pleasure to cut on and a real statement piece when used as a serving dish. They clean easy and have long-lasting durability so you rarely (if ever) have to worry about replacements.

4. Can Opener

Having first entered the culinary scene more than 150 years ago, the can opener is a long-standing kitchen essential that almost no household can go without. Depending on the number of cans you open, there’s a variety of styles and designs to choose from, including electric can openers, though they’re sometimes not as stylish as their manual counterparts.

As with any other kitchen utensil or appliance, investing in a high-quality can opener can make all the difference in the world – especially to your forearm!

5. Measuring Cups

As confident as you may be in your ability to “eyeball” measurements and varying amounts of different ingredients, having a reliable set of measuring cups on hand easily makes its way onto our list of kitchen essentials. This is especially true when working on ratio sensitive recipes such as sauces and soups where an extra half cup can drastically impact the taste.

While you can certainly get away with having one large measuring cup that covers all of the most common denominations, you can save yourself a lot of rinse and repeat time by having a complete set.

6. Measuring Spoons

Serving as the little brother to measuring cups, measuring spoons are just as important in the kitchen while taking up a lot less space. Even though it’s easy to add a “dash” of this and a “pinch” of that, measuring spoons help to take the guesswork out of working with delicate recipes and powerful ingredients.

It’s also important to point out that measuring spoons are far more accurate than simply using the “small” spoon as a teaspoon and “large” spoon as a tablespoon. Of course, functionality aside, measuring spoons can also be decorative kitchen pieces, coming in a variety of fun, creative designs.

7. Food Scales

Who says food scales are just for professional chefs? In recent years, food scales have been finding their way into the homes of American’s across the nation. Not only do they serve as a more accurate way to measure out ingredients, but they can also help you keep track of how much you’re really eating.

It’s no secret that our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs, especially when it comes to portioning, which is why food scales can help you achieve better results than simply following the nutrition labels on the backs of products.

8. Mixing Bowls

Mixing bowls have long been one of the most iconic kitchen essentials since they can serve a variety of different culinary purposes. Outside of using them to mix and blend ingredients in, mixing bowls can also be used to marinate meats or double as a serving dish for snack foods like chips or nuts.

While it’s easy to create a case for just having one, when you’re stocked up with a few different sizes, it gives you the ability to tackle more complex recipes that require mixing up ingredients in separate dishes.

9. Baking Pans

Sometimes, there’s simply nothing better than warm, fluffy, baked brownies – or any other baked dessert your sweet tooth may be craving for that matter. As easy as it can be to pass up on a set of baking pans for your kitchen, especially if you rarely use them, they inevitably come in handy when you least expect it.

We carry a selection of high-quality baking pans from none other than USA Pans. Loved for their durability and baking properties, they’ve been supplying both businesses and families with pans for more than 60 years.

10. Butter Churn

Have you ever had the desire to make your own butter just as they did back in the “old days”? With the rustic looking, highly functional Kilner brand butter churn and a little bit of whipped cream, you can impress guests with your very own homemade butter in as little as 10 minutes.

Even though it’s not likely to be the kitchen appliance you’ll be using on a daily or even weekly basis, this stylish, compact kitchen gadget will easily win a place in your heart.

11. Food Processor

If you find yourself regularly spending in the kitchen to try out new recipes, a food processor is absolutely one of the MUST HAVE kitchen essentials. Whether dicing onions or blending up a custom marinade, food processors have literally hundreds of uses in the kitchen. Not only will they expand your ability to try out new, exciting dishes, but they’ll also save you tons of prep time, because who doesn’t want that?


While this one may seem like a no brainer, you’d be surprised to learn just how many people have drained a pot of boiled pasta with nothing more than a giant fork, spatula, or whatever else they could get their hands on. Save yourself the added work and increased risk of getting scalded by boiling water by simply have a strainer on hand at all times.

13. Spiralizer

Whether you’re starting a new health kick or just want a more exciting way to eat vegetables (who doesn’t?), having a spiralizer can introduce your kitchen to a whole new world of possibilities. With these deceptively simple and surprisingly fun to use kitchen gadgets, you can effectively turn just about any vegetable into all kinds of different pasta.

That’s right, you can enjoy all the fun of twirling your fork to create a tasty little nest of zesty noodles without having all those carbs on your conscience.

14. Juicer

Juicing has been all the craze lately, taking the nation and world by storm as one of the healthiest dietary habits you can pick up. Vastly different from drinking a glass of apple juice you picked up from the local convenience store, juicing allows you to ingest all of a vegetable or fruit’s beneficial compounds that are typically lost during processing.

Serving as the preferred method of vegetable consumption for many, juicing offers the body a multitude of benefits in an easy to drink shot or glass.

15. Mixer

Unless you’re trying to get a forearm workout, the days of whisking ingredients and batter together by hand are long gone. Thanks to modern technology, you have a variety of electric mixers to choose from that make the act of mixing an absolute pleasure.

In addition to saving you time in the kitchen, mixers ensure consistency throughout the entire batch, allowing your baking skills to shine their brightest.

16. Griddle

Even with a full set of pots and pans, sometimes, it can feel like your cooking space is a bit limited in the kitchen. With a griddle, you can instantly turn open counter space into an extension of your stovetop and get back to doing what you do best.

From jaw-dropping breakfast ensembles to extravagant dinners, having a griddle can help ensure everything comes out fresh, and at the same time. Worried you don’t have enough space for one? Thankfully, griddles come in all different sizes so you can easily find the perfect model for your kitchen.

17. Toaster

Filling your house with the delightful smell of a perfectly toasted bagel while slowly nursing a cup of coffee is the ideal morning for many. Even with the introduction of toaster ovens, across America, toasters have cemented themselves as a culinary essential that always seems to find a home in the kitchen. Capable of taking light, fluffy bread and turning it into a warm, crunchy snack, toasters continue to find a variety of different uses.

Even better, with modern toasters, it’s never been easier to have full control over the process regardless of what you’re toasting.

18. Slow Cooker

The slow cooker, as its name would suggest, has slowly won over the hearts of millions with easy to use instructions and a seemingly endless book of recipes. Whether working with chicken, beef, pork, fish, vegetables, or just about anything else that lands in your shopping cart, slow cookers are an easy way to create dangerously delicious meals while you go on with your busy day.

Working with the “low and slow” principle, slow cookers are one of the best ways to turn an average piece of meat into the most tender, succulent dish you’ve ever had. Once you give it a try, we’re confident you’ll soon be slow cooking all of your favorite dishes!

19. Dutch Oven

Segwaying off our last item, the Dutch Oven is another versatile piece of cookware used for slow cooking. Made from cast iron due to its ability to withstand extremely high temperatures, the Dutch Oven can be used either on the stove top or in the oven for extended periods of time.

Here at D’Olivo, we proudly carry Le Creuset brand Dutch Ovens, which are world renowned for their quality and stylish features. Come check out our selection of Dutch Ovens in-store to see what your kitchen has been missing out on.

20. Sparkling & Bubbly Wine

Now that we’ve covered all of the utensils and appliances that any kitchen should have, it’s time to talk about the ingredient that brings it all together – wine. Because cooking is all about expression and joy, having a crisp glass of sparkling wine or bubbles while you work through a tasty recipe is the perfect compliment to any meal. This is especially true if you decide to turn your kitchen into a creative and fun “date night