Bruschetta

When the time comes to admit that eat way too many carbs, you can be sad, but that time is not today. I don’t mean to make light of the situation that you may encounter with the negatives of high glycemic index foods, but it’s okay to eat bread once in a while.

This is the best way to do it other than eating it straight off the loaf._MG_7246

Bruschetta is the bomb. There are a bunch of different views on what’s the “right way” of making it, but my opinion is that the right way is the way that makes you happy and you are comfortable with. Some like garlic, some don’t (if that’s your stance, I’m sorry but your opinion is wrong), some think that you should have some balsamic reduction with it, and some people think that you should construct it before you serve it while others believe that you should let those that are eating it pile the tomatoes at their own discretion. If you want to see just how different people do things, google bruschetta and see all the variations, from Alton Brown to Ree Drummond and many others in between.

Personally I just like bread and garlic but if there are tomatoes, basil, or balsamic on there too, I’m just that much more excited. So here’s how it went down on Wednesday. (By the way, it was really nice outside and I was able to get some good pictures with natural light because of this, too bad that it went downhill from there, I mean there’s snow around the state!)

To start, I minced up some fresh garlic and threw it in a bowl. Then I diced up some pretty little roma tomatoes, and threw them into the bowl as well. I ground some black pepper (not too much) straight in there too and sprinkled some grated parmesan to give it a little something special. Then I mixed it all together and let it sit while I toasted up some bread. However you toast bread, do it that way, in the oven, in a buttered skillet, under the broiler, in your toaster oven, on the grill, WHATEVER! I did it in the oven at 375 and kept my eyes on it to ensure that burning did not happen.

Once the bread is toasted to your liking, let it cool for a few moments and then get ready to top.

Since I did not have any basil in the tomatoes, I used pesto and got basil flavor there. If you are familiar with making pesto you can use your own, if not, you can but a jar from the grocery store and use that. We haven’t made pesto (I promise that I will, also humus because humus is beautiful) so we use stuff from a jar.

Spread some of the pesto onto each piece of bread then top it with the tomatoes and stuff. Serve to hungry parents, children, or even friends. They’ll like it, I promise._MG_7241

One thing to be mindful of though, is that the garlic that ends up in the tomato mixture is raw, so make sure that it’s cut small enough or if you are really scared of the garlic monster, saute it just a bit before you put it in with the tomatoes (obviously you should let it cool so that you don’t end up cooking the tomatoes too). Another option would be to roast some garlic and mush it up and mix that into the tomatoes, it will give it a nice sweet flavor, but it would still be fantastic.

I really want to eat more of it right now, but school is in the way of that.

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Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich

So I made tomato soup and grilled cheese this week. But the soup and the grilled cheese were both a little special, the soup was homemade and the grilled cheese was made with moz and pesto. They both turned out really good, and I think that they will be made again at some point. But here’s how I did the sandwiches.

I decided to go with a caprese theme for dinner because I was using basil in the tomato soup. The sandwich continued the basil with some pesto and had the mozzarella, so as a whole the meal was caprese-like.

To start, I bought a nice loaf (it was not mean in anyway, the twist-tie is another story) of Italian bred from Hy-Vee, already sliced. [I boughta demi loaf earlier in the week and was trying to slice it, I ended up cutting my left forefinger and it bled a ton, through at least two band-aids. It was painful, but I didn’t bleed on the bread. I think I’m done trying to cut bread for a little while.] I had a jar of pesto in the fridge, and I bought a package of roll-out mozzarella (I didn’t know it existed either).

I think most people know how to do grilled cheese sandwiches, but I’ll still explain this anyway. I put down a nice layer of pesto on each slice of bread, not too much, but enough to taste good._MG_6734 Then I cut a few pieces of moz the fit the bread. I then put the cheese on one slice of bread, and put another on top (the one that went on top also had some pesto, too)._MG_6735

When the pan was nice and hot I brushed a little olive oil on the outside of the sandwich, both sides, and put it in the pan gently._MG_6745

The grilled cheese is finished when the cheese is melted and the outside of the sandwich is crunchy and golden.

Serve it with some tomato basil soup, and you’re golden._MG_6750 Dip it in there and get the bread nice and tomato-y and enjoy your beautiful life._MG_6752

I’m Glad I’m not a Vampire

Because garlic. Oh my goodness, I would be a very sad vampire, you know, cause they can’t eat garlic, it kills them or something. At least it repels their boyfriend/girlfriend and family members, but that happens to the best of us. Also, I’m glad I’m not a cat, again because of the garlic thing. They have issues with garlic and onion (along with the leeks and the rest of the family). I do my best to avoid letting the cats around the kitchen when I cook with garlic because I fling everything around and make a mess, and Freyja thinks she needs to taste everything that’s on the floor.

Today was definitely no exception to my desire to stay human and not allergic to garlic. I made a garlic chicken pizza.

I started by roasting some garlic in the oven. I cut the tops off the tops of the bulb, rubbed some olive oil all over it, wrapped them in tin foil and threw them into the oven for half and hour at 400 degrees. The house smelled glorious for a while, its was wonderful. They came out and the bulbs were really soft, and the outer cloves had a nice caramelization going on. If you do it right (probably even if you don’t), the garlic will mash very easily and you can spread it like peanut butter.

Bulb of garlic before the roasting.

I’ll work from the crust up, then I guess. So I used the normal pizza crust for this crazy pizza, it just sort of made sense to keep one thing the same in case it all fell apart. After the crust went in for a few minutes for the initial baking, the roasted garlic went directly onto the crust.

Then comes the awesomeness that is alfredo. Well a really simple, unseasoned alfredo. It’s a parmesan cream sauce basically. I make this on a pretty regular basis, it’s really quick and easy. Normally I add some garlic at the beginning , but since the pizza already had a layer, I wasn’t that sure that I should add any more.

On top of the alfredo, I put down some fresh mozzarella  I sliced it thin myself, rather than buying the stuff that was pre-sliced, it comes too thick. It’s hard to cut your own, but it’s worth it to make sure that it turns out at the desired thickness.

On top of the cheese, there was a layer of sliced, definitely not diced, roma tomatoes.We grew our own over the summer, but we didn’t have any ripe ones, so we had to go with store bought. Again, watch the thickness of the tomatoes, you don’t want this pizza turning into a leaning tower (you know, of pizza).

The chicken is going to finish it off. The chicken was cooked then diced, then covered in pesto from a jar, then put onto the pizza. The pesto had some garlic, so it kept with the garlic chicken theme.

The pizza before the baking.

We cooked this one on the pizza stone, but we didn’t heat the stone before it went onto it, so it was cooked well, but not like a cracker. I really liked using the stone, but it isn’t a must if you’d like to recreate it.

The pizza fresh out of the oven.

It turned out way too yummy to handle, so it might be a while before I make it again. I can honestly say that there is nothing that I feel like needs any sort of redemption  I’m a little proud of myself.