BY LISA PERKINS, firstname.lastname@example.org
TRAVERSE CITY — Terry Hooper likes the punch of flavor that Sicilian lemon infused balsamic vinegar or basil flavored extra virgin olive oil can add to the simplest of dishes.
The self-proclaimed foodie says that Fustini's selection of olive oil and balsamic vinegars help her think outside the box when it comes to cooking for her friends, family and customers.
As a part-time caterer, the fruit and flower farmer appreciates the lift that Fustini's products give her favorite recipes.
"The flavors are clean and intense but not overpowering," said Hooper, a contributor to a new cookbook featuring recipes from loyal Fustini's customers.
Following on the success of Jim Milligan's first cookbook, the owner of Fustini's Oils & Vinegars enlisted his customers to show off their culinary talents in "How Fustinis Do Fustini's — Extraordinary Recipes by Everyday Cooks."
"Each recipe in this cookbook edition showcases the creative culinary spirit that our customers have," said Milligan, who was pleased with the response he received when he called for his customer's favorite recipes.
"The recipes show just how easy it is to 'gourmet up' everyday dishes," he said.
Shannon Olshove of Traverse City said even the simplest of dishes, like boiled eggs, are better with her favorite oil and vinegar combinations.
"I got a gift of oregano balsamic and poured a little into the plain boiled eggs that I take for lunch. It was a hit," said Olshove, who contributed the recipe to the cookbook.
The cookbook features 92 recipes and how-to's for an entire meal; from appetizers to salads, meats, pasta, to vegetables and desserts.
"I've only ever had my recipes in a church cookbook; this is a lot of fun to see my recipe in such a beautifully done book," said Hooper, contributor of a recipe for baby pea salad with a sour cream dressing.
In celebration of the arrival of the cookbook in his four store locations, Milligan plans to be on hand to sign copies, donating 15 percent of total sales for the day to a Michigan nonprofit organization.
The Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan will be the beneficiary from sales at the Traverse City store from 2 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11. The store is located at 141 E. Front St.
"How Fustinis Do Fustini's" sells for $24.95 and is available at store locations in Traverse City, Holland, Ann Arbor and Petoskey.