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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Grilled Pitas with Feta, Red Onion, Olives & Tomatoes

I don’t dine at Greek restaurants or try to make Greek-inspired dishes very often, so when I do, I really savor the chance and opportunity to do so. This recipe, Grilled Pitas with Feta, Red Onion, Olives & Tomatoeslooked liked a perfect dish with Greek flavors and I especially liked the fact that I would get a chance to utilize the outside grill yet again this week.

This is very simple to make. All it requires is a few minutes for prep/cutting, patience for the grill to heat up, and a penchant for feta cheese!

Step 1: Cut Tomatoes, Onions, Garlic and Olives 

Step 2: Toss Prior Ingredients Together
with Olive Oil and Fresh Mint

Step 3: Brush Pitas with
Olive Oil and Grill

Step 4: Grill Pita and Add Tomato Mixture

Step 5: Cut and Eat!

I happen to like feta cheese, but I realize that not everyone does. I made this with my boyfriend and quickly learned he is definitely not a fan. It’s not fun when he won’t eat any, but at the same time, I get to have more. In these situations, I guess it’s a good thing because I get to have more… unless I just eat the whole thing. In that case, perhaps it’s not the best, but oh well!

Cheers!

Grilled Citrus Marinated Flank Steak with Arugula Salad


I love grilling meat in the Summer just so that I can make meat dishes paired with lighter and fresh flavors. Even though I gouged my finger (on accident) and, yes, major fail, I still love grilling. In my opinion, a lazy Sunday with grilling just can’t be beat!

This recipe is from Epicurious and is titled Grilled Flatiron Steak with Tomatoes and Tapenade. I didn’t prepare all the other items that this recipe calls for; however, I just followed the directions for the seasonings which was I felt was perfect. Plus, I really liked the idea of using an overly abundant use of orange juice and zest to boost the citrus flavor and aroma.

Step 1: Chop Fresh Oregano and
Shallots; Zest and Juice Orange

Step 2: Spread Seasonings and
Chopped Items on Prepared Steak

Step 3: Grill Steak

Step 4: Cool and Cut in Thin Slices; Serve

The key is to let this marinate at least one hour so that the flavors really start to set in. As a result, the citrus flavors really permeate into the meat – not too much, but just enough. Next time, I’d like to add more heat and a bit more paprika. But, all in all, this was a great recipe that I’d like to repeat again!

Cheers!

Caramelized Onion and Arugula & Regular Sliders


I’m not sure if any of you are like me on this one… but I absolutely love food items in miniature form. “Bite-size” or in some case, “two-to-three bites” items are perfect for sampling and give the opportunity to try many different things without feeling too full.

Sliders are a great example of this concept. Just think about it… have you ever been torn between which toppings you want to use on a burger? Realistically, it’s not like you’d put half a slice of pepper jack cheese and roasted poblanos on one side of the burger and then put cheddar cheese and ketchup on the other lonely half of the burger. Right?

Therefore, this little problem is cleverly solved with Sliders.

I chose to put carmelized onions, arugula and garlic mayonnaise on one of the Sliders while putting cheddar cheese and ketchup for a plain ole fashioned getup for the other Slider.

Simple to make, enjoyable to put together, and food in miniature form is just so much more fun anyway!

Cheers!

Farfelle With Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream


As a child, I grew up spending my Saturdays and Sundays playing soccer. And, believe me, after spending so many years becoming acquainted with mud, dirt, sweat and camaraderie, I have really come to enjoy and love the sport.

Euro 2012 started this past weekend and, as a result, I found a perfect opportunity to watch a few games. Although soccer is popular in the States, it is much more popular in Europe. It is nice to see a change of pace and see how utterly ecstatic and passionate the European fans are and how much they truly love their teams. At the weekend’s end, I am lucky to say that I had watched two games, Germany vs. Portugal and Spain vs. Italy, both of which were great games!

However, after watching Italy play, I became quite hungry and thought of Italian food (naturally). Plus, I had just purchased a basil plant so I wanted to welcome the first opportunity to use some fresh basil in an Italian dish. So, after a little bout of searching, I found a perfect recipe: Farfelle With Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream.

Step 1: Chop Onion and Garlic;
Saute Italian Sausage;
Add Onions and Garlic 

Step 2: Add Pureed Tomatoes
and Touch of Cream; Add Peas 

Step 3: Boil Pasta, Drain; Add Sauce
to Pasta; Toss Extra Basil on Top; Eat! 

After a jam-packed weekend, I was not too utterly inspired to make something uber complex or intricate. As a result, I was very pleased with this recipe because it was simple, yet flavorful and did not feel “heavy” despite the use of a little cream. Plus, the addition of some peas (to add some color and sneak a vegetable serving in) and a sprinkle of Parmesan made this into a delicious meal!

Cheers!

Chicken and Prosciutto Salad With Arugula and Manchego


I have a huge crush… on arugula. All of a sudden, I’ve developed a penchant for the peppery-garlic-earthy flavor of this salad green whether it’s on pizza, on it’s own or combined into a sauce. In my opinion, it makes eating a healthy salad just that much easier because I love the flavor (as opposed to eating a bland iceberg lettuce that needs calorie-laden dressings to make it bearable). As a result, I’ve been on the hunt for more and more recipes that utilize arugula to add to the usual rotation for dinner.

I was instantly drawn to this recipe after seeing it in one of the latest issues of Cooking Light. This recipe calls for Asiago cheese; however, I substituted Manchego instead. What I particularly liked about this salad is the fact that it uses arugula (obviously) and combines that with a mix of salty, sweet and tangy/citrus flavors through the prosciutto, tomatoes and lemon flavored dressing. Super simple, healthy, filling and a balanced meal!

Cheers and have a great Sunday evening!

Saley

I love crepes – especially because of the versatility to make them either savory or sweet. I have made crepes only one time in my life; however, my crepes did not turn out in as of a tasty concoction as I wanted them to. As a result, I figured I would leave any type of crepe making to the experts.

Through Yelp, I was able to find Saley, a crepe restaurant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle and happened to visit it this past Sunday with a few girlfriends. Although the space inside was tiny, the vibe, atmosphere and most importantly, the crepes, more than completed the experience. The server suggested to order the #6 – “The Queen”. As my mind contemplated between savory and sweet, I finally decided to follow the servers suggestion of “The Queen” crepe which was filled with chicken, tomatoes, spinach, cheese and Saley’s secret sauce.

In addition to this delicious crepe, I figured I would complete the meal with a cup of joe for a daily boost of caffeine. Well, the only thing that would have made it truly complete is if we could have been transported to Paris…

Someday!

Cheers!