Premier Tomato Bruschetta with Olives & Capers is just a few turns away from a classic bruschetta recipe. Just as easy and even more delicious in my humble opinion as well! I love this appetizer because I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand. It’s fabulous for a small snack, party, or when I have friends turn up and want to make something nice but simple. I was in Nha Trang, Vietnam over the Xmas holiday and went to a restaurant that served a bruschetta similar to this so I was inspired when I came back to make my own. For New Year’s I was wanting quick & healthy appetizers so I thought this would be the perfect time to create the recipe I had concocted in my mind. It was amazing! After a few glasses of champagne I was feeling extra proud of this pretty dish. Crowd pleaser? For sure! Done in 15 minutes or less? Indeed! Prep time 8 minutes? Uh-huh! What’s not to love?! Next time you have a soiree or some unexpected guests, whip this awesomeness up in no time!
- 1 1/2 lbs very ripe tomatoes - diced (about 4-5 medium round tomatoes or 10-12 plum tomatoes)
- 10 basil leaves - sliced thinly (save a bit for garnish)
- 1/2 C diced black olives - sliced (or any olive or your choice)
- 1/4 C capers
- Parmesan cheese (to garnish the breads with)
- 3 cloves garlic (2 cloves minced)
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil for brushing on breads
- Sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
- 1 large baguette (or a similar bread of your choosing)
- Slice baguette approximately 1cm thick (sometimes I like it a bit thicker) and toast
- Brush each bread/toast with olive oil and cut in half the whole garlic piece and rub on each piece
- In a bowl add & toss tomatoes, capers, olives, balsamic, salt & pepper, and basil
- Distribute evenly over all toasts and garnish with a healthy amount of parmesan cheese and basil if you'd like
- You can replace the parmesan cheese with a nice crumbled feta if you would like. Equally as delicious!
I am sitting in this awesome Airbnb rental in Amsterdam as I write this. Not too shabby, right?! Husband’s putting the wee man to sleep and it has just occurred to me that I haven’t posted in a week! I’d been posting everyday to get this blog up and running but oh, Amsterdam! You’ve been a pleasant and well needed distraction and I have not touched my blog or my book (I am currently writing a book about the craziness of my last 5 years in China) in the past week. So, with my delicious beer, full on far too much cheese & bread, I sit here, looking out over the awesome balcony, ready to post. If you’ve never been, I can’t recommend it enough! Anyway, there will be a large Amsterdam post upon my return.
Easy & Amazing Fettuccine Alfredo is just that- easy & amazing. This to me is one of those sauces like a pesto sauce. Very few ingredients, easy to make, but I rarely enjoy it. When I do enjoy one of these sauces they are one of my top choices & favorites for a sauce. However, for some reason, I find myself a stickler for the perfect balance of ingredients in order to make sauces like these tasty. Anyone else this picky or find this to be true?
As my mom used to call this dish – “a heart attack on a plate” – I won’t even pretend to paint a pretty picture of health & weight loss. You are swimming in a sea of fatty deliciousness. A true comfort food. Let’s be serious. There’s almost always a time and a place for this type of food. I am quite a healthy eater on the day-to-day but sometimes, just sometimes, I must indulge, and when I do, I dive right in for a creamy & rich swim in this here Alfredo sauce. Yes ma’am. This is the recipe for when the boyfriend breaks up with you, a hell of a day at work, or anything that involves comforting your inner self. Enjoy!
- 1 lb (16 oz) of fettuccine pasta (fresh if possible)!
- 1 1/4 C heavy cream
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 3/4 C parmesan cheese - grated
- 2 Tbl lemon juice
- Salt & pepper to taste (I use a lot of cracked peppercorn)
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Optional: 1 garlic cloves (minced) or 2 tsp garlic powder
- Optional: 1 very ripe tomato – diced
- Boil pasta
- Over medium heat, put in butter (let melt for a few seconds) & add cream (I dash some s & p here)
- Add lemon juice & garlic (optional), and then stir in cheese until melted with the rest of your s & p
- Remove from heat and add pasta into sauce - stir until pasta is fully covered in sauce
- To serve: (optional)
- Top each bowl with diced tomato & garnish with fresh basil and additional cracked pepper
- White wine- Chardonnay for you chard lovers! (I don't love Chardonnay myself so I often opt for a Pinot Grigio)
- Red Wine- Pinot Noir
- This dish takes less than 15 minutes if you use fresh pasta!
“Super Bowl 50, Game Day, Game Changin’ Eats!” 9 amazing appetizers for the big day that are more than guaranteed to satisfy your crazy crowd. Have you been wondering what to serve other than plain chips and plain sliders? Well, here is your answer and some! There is no way, and I mean no way, that these 9 appetizers will not only be crowd pleasers but have people, dare I say it, at times almost forget about the game. Ahh! Crazy! Sacrilege! Don’t hate me. Promise, you will thank me later when you are rolling your guests out the door with their ever-so-content bulging bellies. And yes, they will be half beer bellies as well, no doubt. So, start makin’ your list and sortin’ out next Sunday. Go ______! Insert team of your choice. 😉
The list: (Click on the colored link to bring you to the recipe page)
Holy Sh#& Nachos! This is maybe the best thing in the entire world.
Classic Guacamole. Great to top the nachos with AND for an awesome dip!
Lentil Sloppy Joes To Die For! Make these into sliders for game day.
Cheesy Mushroom & Onion Pizza. Serve as slices or small square bites.
Classic Creamy Mac n’ Cheese. Serve in large slices or as small bites in cups.
Easy Spinach & Mushroom Quesadillas. Serve in small triangles.
Classic Hummus. Honestly, when and how could this ever not be a perfect app? Serve with pita chips, pretzels, veggies, whatever! Make in 5 minutes!
Parmesan & Artichoke Dip. A super creamy and 5 minute dip that can be served with the same options as the hummus!
Mediterranean Pita Platter. Throw some of the already made hummus on here, plus some other easy & quick do-dads, and done!
Parmesan & Artichoke Dip is a creamy and divine dip that everyone must be serving at virtually every fun, fancy, or low down/hoedown affair. This dip is compliments to my very first guest poster. A big welcome and HUGE “thank you” to my Beijing bestie, Ms. Alana Martin! Not only is she amazing, but her dip is as well. She serves this at every party and I’m pretty sure it’s always the first thing to go. I was saying that I wanted one more recipe to add to my game day post (to come) and was hoping that she’d kindly find some time (like asap, as I asked her last minute) out of her extremely busy work day, mommy day, and wife day, to make this, let me photograph it, and of course, let me eat some as well. In all of her fabulousness, she agreed, and lucky for all of you and every party that you may have in the future, for her easiness & agreeability. Healthy? Ummm… Can it be made healthier? Totally! Replace all mayo with Greek yogurt. You can serve this with almost anything as well and it takes a mere minutes to make. So let me get this right? Divine? Check. Delectable? Check. 5 minutes or less? Check. Guaranteed crowd pleaser? Check, check, check, check, check! Why are you still reading this? Get your artichokes and start stirrin’! Game day awaits!
Disclaimer: Had to be shot at night. I’ve been trying SO hard to only shoot during the day but alas, this simply wasn’t possible this time around.
- 3 Tbl mayo
- 1 1/8 C plain greek yogurt (260 grams)
- 1/2 C shredded fresh parmesan cheese
- 1/2 lemon - squeezed
- 1 clove garlic - pressed
- 1 tsp of dried oregano and a dash more for garnish
- 1 can artichoke hearts
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
- Garnish: (optional) with a sprinkling of oregano & shredded parmesan
- Serves enough for a small party (in conjunction with other appetizers of course) - approximately 2 1/2 cups
- Serve with veggie sticks, baguettes, bread sticks, or anything you like!
- Great with a crisp white wine
This Mediterranean Pita Platter is incredibly easy, extremely loaded, and absolutely beautiful. You will impress your guests with this display without a doubt. What is better than loads of hummus, pita, feta (optional for vegans), veggies, garbanzo beans, arugula, and balsamic? Nothing, that’s what. Well, almost nothing! As usual, I had a lot of stuff left over in the fridge that I simply could not let go to waste. What was, in my mind, going to be a simple meal turned into this incredible looking platter! Before I knew it, I was adding more and more, then finally, grabbing my paella pan (yes, I love serving platters in here, check out my nacho pics as well), and voila! A star was born in the form of this gorgeous platter. Get down with your inner Greek (or Greek inspired) self and see visions of Santorini! I mean, hey, why not?! Disclaimer: Night shots below, sadly.
- 5 pitas (I use whole wheat) - cut into triangles
- 2 C hummus (or your desired amount)
- 1 head of broccoli - florets
- 1/2- 3/4 C red & yellow peppers - diced
- 1 large red onion - diced
- 1/4 C olives -sliced
- 1 package of feta - crumbled
- 3-4 super ripe tomatoes - sliced
- 1/2 package of arugula
- 1/2 C garbanzo beans
- Olive oil for pan
- 3 Tbl dried oregano
- 1/4 fresh basil - chopped (if not, you can use 2 Tbl dried)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Balsamic for drizzling
- Heat oil in pan and cook onion for about 5 minutes
- Throw in peppers, salt/pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes
- Throw in broccoli & beans - cook for about 2-3 minute more (adding half the oregano)
- Remove from heat
- Lay arugula on bottom of platter
- Place the veggie mixture in the center and sprinkle the basil and the rest of the oregano on top
- Organize the pita and sliced tomatoes nicely around the edge of the platter
- Top the veggie mixture with hummus and sprinkle the feta & olives all over the platter
- Lightly drizzle platter with balsamic vinegar
- Serves a large group
- Serve with the these wines: (or any wine you love of course)!
- Red- Pinot Noir
- White- Sauvignon Blanc
- Remember, any ingredients can be optional. Get creative with what's in your fridge!