Colorful Bruschetta

colorful tomato bruschetta

I love the idea of having staple items in the kitchen for meals to provide consistency and an easy-to-follow routine. But, in order to avoid getting into a “recipe-rut”, I really try to implement at least one change or a new food item each week.

This week I decided to buy a “tomato medley” of red, orange and yellow colored tomatoes instead of my usual purchase of cherry tomatoes. Although I’d usually use these as an option for a snack or salad topper, I decided that these would be perfect for Tomato, Red Onion and Basil Bruschetta. In my head, I renamed the recipe “colorful bruschetta” as a result of the nice pop of color from all of the different colored tomatoes.

I was excited to make this recipe for two reasons. First, it provides a nice contrast in the winter against traditionally heavy foods. Secondly, I used a very handy and useful new utensil kit consisting of a spoonula, baster and spatula from Kitchen Innovate. See below for the recipe and how I used this new kit!

Step 1: Chop Tomatoes, Garlic, Red Onion and Basil

bruschetta ingredients

Step 2: Mix Ingredients Together With Spoonula

Mixing bruschetta ingredients

Step 3: Slice Bread Into Thin Pieces

bruschetta bread

Step 4: Use Baster to Spread Each
Piece of Bread with Olive Oil

Drizzle olive oil on bread

Brush olive oil on bread

Brush olive oil on bread

Step 5: Place Bread in Broiler for a
Few Minutes; Scrape With Garlic

toasted bruschetta bread

Step 6: Use Spatula to Put Tomato
Mixture onto Each  Piece of Bread

put tomato mixture onto bruschetta

Step 7: Bring to a Party and Enjoy!

colorful tomato bruschetta

I consider this recipe to be a win-win and especially with the help of the utensil kit from Kitchen Innovate. Not only were the flavors delicious, but the baster was a clever tool to use because it allowed me to spread olive oil evenly across the bread instead of just having bites doused with too much olive oil from drizzling. Plus, the spatula worked well for dishing out the last bits of tomato mixture and to ensure to use every last bit!

As it relates to the actual recipe, I ended up serving for my family and guests and they absolutely loved them. The varying flavors from the different colored tomatoes made for nice bursts of flavor against the red onion and basil. I thought that we’d for sure have leftovers, but I was pleasantly surprised!

Cheers!

colorful tomato bruschetta

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Pie Lollipops


All right, all right… so I’m totally aware that I posted a few weeks ago about how I was semi-bored with pies and wanted to try something different for dessert. And, in all fairness, I was totally in the mood to try something unique, outrageous or something that required a trip to some specialty shops to acquire ingredients. But, this idea became quickly obsolete once I stumbled upon the idea of Cherry Hand Pies.

These Cherry Hand Pies looked absolutely delicious; however, I wanted to make this dessert in a smaller format so I figured that something like pie lollipops would be ideal. Again, even though I’ve made too many pies in the past year, I figured that a new and different format would make it totally worth it!

Step 1: Make Dough


Step 2: Prepare Pie Filling


Step 3: Cut Out Pie Shapes


Step 4: Brush Edges With Egg Wash;
Spoon Filling Onto Dough; Crimp and Press
Other Side Together; Put Stick into Dough

Step 5: Bake and Enjoy!


These pie lollipops remind of the current trend of cake pops. But, in my opinion, these are easier to make and a little bit more rewarding for the sheer fact that they actually resemble a mini pie in appearance. These are a perfect treat that can be taken to barbecues, dinner parties or exactly whatever you are feeling like at the time. Plus, there isn’t that much of a learning curve since they aren’t that different from a normal pie!

Cheers!

Chicken and Waffles

Authentic Southern cooking is one of my favorite types of food. Sometimes in another life, I totally believe that I was meant to live in the South just for the sake of cornbread, Carolina barbecue, Sweet Tea and peach cobbler.

Now although I can’t eat this food 24/7, I do enjoy indulging in traditional Southern food from time to time. Besides barbecue, one of other my favorite Southern meals that comes to mind is Chicken and Waffles. I actually already featured this recipe on this blog about a year ago; however, the pictures from that post definitely didn’t do it justice. Since I made it again this past weekend, I figured I’d put up some new pictures to share!

Although I didn’t make blackberry butter (or some other fruity combination with butter) this time, this recipe still tasted delicious. Usually I’m all about the sauces. In my opinion, these can “make it or break it” as it relates to recipes. But, in this case, it was all about the seasonings. We added a bit more than the recipe called for and I’m incredibly happy with the end result of tender and especially flavorful chicken by itself.

Besides the food, I appreciate the traditional Southern mantra and phrase of “Food is Love”. No matter what type of food is your favorite, I think all of you reading can agree with that one!

Cheers!


Brown Butter Raspberry Tart

How I ended up picking this recipe was strikingly similar to how I decide to purchase something when I’m shopping for clothes. How? Well, sometimes when I have shopped, I have purchased something that “I thought I liked” on the spot. Unfortunately, some of these impulse buys have resulted in disappointment after a few weeks because what “I thought I liked” I didn’t actually like at all. So, in order to nix buyer’s remorse, I’ve eliminated impulse buys and instead try to wait a few days or weeks before purchasing something “I think I like”. My rule is that if I still like the item in a few days or weeks, I’ll consider buying based on need, budget, etc.!

Choosing this recipe was no different. I had been eyeing this Brown Butter Raspberry Tart for quite some time. So, yesterday, after thinking about it some more, I realized that I’ve thought about it enough – I had read all of the positive reviews and it looked amazing so I just needed to do it!

And, I’m glad I did.

Step 1: Make Crust and Bake (Let Cool);
Mix Together Eggs, Sugar and Salt 


Step 2: Brown Butter in Pan

Step 3: Mix Egg Mixture and
Browned Butter Together 


Step 4: Arrange Raspberries “Pointy”
Side Up on Bottom of Cooled Crust;
Carefully Pour Liquid Mixture Over; Bake 


Step 5: Cut a Slice and Enjoy!

I absolutely love the rustic feel of this tart. In my opinion, I think the tartness of the raspberry offsets the sweet filling nicely. I’m glad I chose wisely with the recipe, but perhaps I shouldn’t have taken so long. Oh well, at least I picked a good recipe that I’ll have plenty of opportunities to replicate in the future.

Perhaps I’ll start using my “shopping” techniques more often with my selection of recipes from now on!

Cheers!

Peach, Nectarine & Blackberry Croustade, Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken and More…!

Normally, I can be very precise about my recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely experiment. But, usually (and especially with the first time trying a recipe), I measure everything specially out to a “T” and then some.

However, yesterday, I decided to go rogue (for me, at least) which consisted of not measuring exact amounts (gasp!) as well as taking just one look at a recipe and trying to replicate it (Although in hindsight, I should have done just a wee bit of research).

First, I knew I wanted to make a dessert involving fruits. Initially, my quest for a fruit filled dessert resulted in only one fruit in mind; however, all of the fruit at the grocery store started to beckon at me to be taken. So, one fruit quickly turned into two different fruits… and, at that point, I figured I’d just add one more! So, the end result? A jubilee of peaches, nectarines and blackberries in the form of a fruit-filled Croustade.

Peach, Nectarine and Blackberry Croustade

1. Make the dough from this Croustade recipe.

2. Cut fruit and combine with sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg in a bowl.

3. Flatten dough into a circle. Arrange fruit onto the top. Fold crust over so that it touches the edges of the fruit.

4. Brush edges with whipping cream and sprinkle sugar on top.

5. Bake at 400 degrees until crust browns and filling starts to bubble (eyeball between half hour to one hour).

6. Serve with ice cream!

Secondly, I saw a recipe for Chicken Thighs Wrapped in Prosciutto and Rosemary from the blog Stacey’s Snacks Online on Pinterest (by the way, side note – this is an amazing blog with plenty of very tasty recipes!). I took one look and knew instantly that I wanted to make it. But, my exuberance exceeded my judgement and I didn’t even check how to make it (As mentioned previously, I’m not sure that I’d quite recommend this tactic; however, I’m lucky that this recipe turned out well despite the odds!).

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken With Rosemary

1. Marinate chicken breasts in sauteed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

2. Place sprigs of rosemary onto the top of each chicken breast. Wrap in prosciutto over the rosemary.

3. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. During the last three minutes of baking, drizzle balsalmic vinegar onto the chicken. Check to make sure that chicken is done.

4. Eat!

The original recipe from Sarah’s Snacks Online calls for chicken thighs and to grill the chicken. Although this chicken tasted delicious baked and the rosemary added a nice touch, I’d like to try Sarah’s method or perhaps try sauteing for a minute or two on each side in a pan before baking to make sure the prosciutto morphs into its most delicious crispified (yes, this is a made-up word) state.

Both these recipes are fairly simple and broad enough that they can be modified to add many ingredients (croustade) or be prepared in varying ways (baked versus grilled chicken).

In conclusion, I’m glad that I tried something new, picked versatile recipes and fulfilled my stomach (and others) at the same time!


And… one last thing!

I am very appreciative that Posh Little Designs and Leslie the Foodie nominated my blog for the Versatile Blogger Award and the Liebster Blog Award. Thank you to both – I am honored. I follow both of these blogs and love seeing the content that they produce! If you haven’t checked out their blogs already, I highly recommend that you do 🙂

Cheers!

Homemade “Twix” Bars

I can’t quite explain it, but I receive the utmost joy and feel a sense of triumph after making a popular item “homemade”. Do you ever feel the same feeling I experience? Lately, I have been seeing a plethora of homemade girl scout cookies, peanut butter cups and more of the like. I am intrigued by these recipes, but it wasn’t until I saw a recipe on Annie’s Eats, an amazing food blog, for Salted Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars (aka very similar to the ever popular Twix bars) that I felt truly compelled to make this homemade rendition. Although these look similar to the esteemed Twix, the flavors are a little bit different as a result of the addition of salt and the substitution for dark chocolate. However, these modifications were the tipping point for my decision to make this recipe!

Step 1: Make Dough and Press
Into Dish and Bake



Step 2: Melt Caramels (I used this step from this recipe)
and Layer On Top of Cooled Crust



Step 3: Melt Chocolate and Layer On Top


Step 4: Let Cool, Sprinkle Salt On Top and Eat

Even though mine didn’t turn out as perfectly as Annie’s, I still experienced a great sense of satisfaction after making these. Plus, this recipe was very simple and one that will be repeated again and again! And, if you want to go the more traditional route of a “Twix” – just use milk chocolate and omit the salt.

Cheers!

Homemade Ice Cream: Pumpkin Pie

For Christmas, my wonderful boyfriend bought me an ice cream machine from Cuisinart. I was thrilled at his neat choice and was just waiting for the perfect weekend to try it. This past weekend I finally had enough time to peruse through recipes. While searching, I found plenty of amazing recipes, but I figured that I’d play it “safe” the first time around with Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream.

Step 1: Mix Together Wet Ingredients With Mixer
Step 2: Add Pumpkin Purée and Spices

Step 3: Place in Ice Cream Maker

Step 4: Take Out After 25 Minutes and Freeze

Step 5: Scoop and Eat!


I am definitely happy with the results from this ice cream maker. Pretty simple and little effort and time required. Now I’m inspired to “spice it up” a bit the next time I decide to make ice cream. Curious what I mean? Stay tuned!

Cheers!