A New Vinegar And A Little Help In The Kitchen

I finally bought a Mac during Massachusetts' tax-free holiday a couple weeks ago. My Dell had been on the fritz for a while, so I had been contemplating switching to a Mac for months. When the tax-free holiday was announced, I knew it was the right time to make my purchase. I'm really happy with it, but I also can't wait to see my little sister this weekend and have her teach me some of the features I haven't figured out for myself yet.

I've been so busy learning how to use my new Mac that I've been neglecting the free iPod Touch I got with it until the other night when I wanted to make basil dressing using a recipe on my blog.

As I was heading over to my Mac to look up the recipe, I glimpsed the iPod Touch and had one of those lightbulb moments: It would be so much easier to bring this into the kitchen and look up my recipe than to look it up on the computer and run back and forth to check the ingredients. (Yes, I know I have a laptop, but I really try not to bring it in the kitchen for fear of spilling something on it.)

The iPod Touch was the perfect solution. I was able to quickly get on my blog and find the recipe I needed and then reference that recipe while preparing the dressing.

It was so much fun! I'm pretty sure I'll be using the iPod Touch in the kitchen more often. And now that I've downloaded the Facebook and Twitter apps on it, I have a bad habit of finishing up my social networking from the comfort of my bed, likely prolonging the time before my head hits the pillow. (Is it bad that I really want an iPad and iPhone now too?)

But back to that dressing... and onto my new vinegar. I ran out of champagne vinegar last time I made this dressing, so while we were out and about on Saturday, we stopped into Whole Foods (in Dedham!!) to pick up more. Next to the O Champagne Vinegar I usually get was a bottle of O Citrus Champagne Vinegar, which is infused with Meyer lemons. I envisioned the basil dressing kicked up with a hint of lemon and decided to buy the citrus champagne vinegar instead of plain champagne vinegar.

I made us some salads for dinner chock-full of farmers' market goodies and some supplements from Whole Foods (like feta and chicken) and followed the basil dressing recipe, simply substituting the citrus champagne vinegar in for the champagne vinegar.

Lemon-Basil Dressing

Mix 3 tablespoons O Citrus Champagne Vinegar with 1 minced garlic clove in a small bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over your favorite salad!

And why do I keep mentioning O vinegars? Because I love them. Like most things, I bought my first bottle of O vinegar because I'm a sucker for packaging, and those long, slender bottles with their long, skinny necks are aesthetically pleasing. Once I bought one, I kept buying more, and now I'm hooked. Sherry and champagne are my standbys, but there are tons of other interesting flavors too, like the citrus one I just tried and pomegranate champagne vinegar, which I'll be scooping up as soon as I see it.

Do you make your own salad dressing? What are your favorite vinegars to use? Do you bring a laptop, iPod Touch, iPad, your phone, or another device into the kitchen to reference recipes?

Don't forget it's Mass Farmers Market Week. You can donate to Mass Farmers Markets or join the blogathon, hosted by In Our Grandmothers' Kitchens to show your support!