Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta

Roasted cherry tomatoes…kind of contradictory isn’t it? Cherry tomatoes are at their peak, perfectly sweet and juicy, in the summer but who wants to turn on their oven for roasting them when it’s 90 degrees outside? Well, I think when it comes to cherry tomatoes, it’s totally worth it. I came across a recipe for a tomato bruschetta that I was excited to make. But when I sat down and read the directions (something I should have learned to do a long time ago), I realized that the whole recipe required a grill (which I don’t have) and that my handy grill pan just wouldn’t do. But since I already had the ingredients, I was determined. So I improvised. The result is this Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta.

Sweet cherry tomatoes are roasted in an oven with nothing but a little olive oil before topping toasted baguette slices and creamy ricotta cheese. A little sprinkle of salt, pepper and basil tops this tasty appetizer which satisfies those summer taste buds. The tomatoes pop with sweetness and blend so well with the creamy ricotta. And who doesn’t like basil on top of tomatoes? On toasted bread? I can’t even.

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta (makes 15 appetizers)

Adapted from Caramelized Tomato Bruschetta

  • 15 baguette slices (slice the rest and freeze for later!)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

IMG_4666

Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a sheet pan, toss tomatoes with 1 T. olive oil until tomatoes are lightly coated. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Set aside.

IMG_4662

IMG_4664

Preheat broiler. Lay baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush each slice with remaining 1 T. olive oil. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

IMG_4663

Top slice with about 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese. Spread tomatoes evenly across all slices (about 1 or 2 tomatoes on each, depending on size). Top each piece with a basil leaf. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.

IMG_4667

New England Turkey Burger

This summer has been a struggle for me to a keep up with my blog. If I’m not traveling for work, I’m working from home and sometimes just can’t stand to be in front of my computer any longer. So, thank you for those of you who are hanging on and checking in here for my periodic posts. The thing is, I still cook and still take pictures. I’m just bad and getting the blogs written up. Every time I think maybe I should just give this whole thing up, I remember why I did it in the first place. Because I enjoy cooking, I enjoy writing and I have to eat anyway, right? Well, my typical diet this summer has basically been burgers and pizza so here is yet another burger I made: this New England Turkey Burger.

This turkey burger is flavored with beer-infused caramelized onions which help to keep the meat juicy and vibrant. I used the seasonal beer Sam Adams Porch Rocker instead of Summer Ale but any beer can be used. A mayonnaise-mustard spread, cheese, tomato and lettuce top this burger – oh and another big dollop of caramelized onions. For someone who absolutely hated onions as a kid, I’ve found a newfound respect for this veggie, especially when it’s softened up with some beer! So, it’s summer and it’s another burger. But isn’t that what summer is for?

IMG_4538

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl. Add onion; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add beer; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes or until onion is golden and liquid almost evaporates; stir occasionally. Cool.

IMG_4531

IMG_4532

Preheat grill or pan to medium-high heat. Remove 1/4 cup onion mixture from pan; finely chop. Combine chopped onion mixture and turkey.

IMG_4533

Divide mixture into 4 equal portions; gently shape each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in center of each patty. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place patties on grill rack or pan coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes. Turn patties; grill 3 minutes.

IMG_4534

Top with cheese; grill 1 minute or until cheese melts and turkey is done.

IMG_4535

Combine mayonnaise and mustard. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise mixture on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, and 1 patty. Divide onion mixture evenly among servings; top with top halves of buns.

IMG_4536

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Sharp cheddar
  • Seasonal beer
  • Spinach

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Sausage, Manchego, and Pepper Pizza

My pizza obsession is getting out of control. I’ve been making my own pizza for a while but lately I’ve taken to eating box after box of frozen pizza. Um, I can’t help it. Don’t judge. It’s easy, inexpensive and it tastes so good with beer on a Friday night. Hey – I don’t have a sophisticated palate. My only saving grace is that I’ve kept myself from picking up the phone and having pizza delivered. So, while I’m fooling myself into thinking that eating frozen pizza is better on my waistline (it is to a degree), I know I’m even better off making my own pizza at home where I can control the ingredients. So, here we are with this Sausage, Manchego, and Pepper Pizza I made recently.

Refrigerated pizza dough is glazed with a tasty topping of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and oregano and then topped with chicken sausage, manchego cheese, and fresh yellow bell peppers. A little sprinkling of red pepper flake adds a kick at the end. I was able to portion out this pizza and save some for the next couple days rather than eating the whole thing in one sitting (not that I ever do that – ha!). The balsamic vinegar adds enough flavor to keep this pizza from being bland which sometimes can happen with tomato-less pizzas. The sausage was hearty and the yellow pepper adds a bright, slightly sweet burst. I loved this pizza but that is no surprise. I think I love all pizza. Even the pizza I don’t eat. I heart it.

IMG_3966

Place the dough in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; pierce liberally with a fork. Microwave at HIGH 10 seconds. Discard plastic wrap. Combine garlic, 2 teaspoons oregano, oil, and vinegar in a small bowl.

IMG_3961

Roll pizza dough on a lightly floured surface.

IMG_3962

Carefully remove pizza stone or baking sheet from oven. Sprinkle cornmeal over pizza stone; arrange dough on stone. Brush dough evenly with oil mixture; top with sausage, bell pepper, and cheese.

IMG_3963

Bake at 450°F for 13 minutes or until edges are browned. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon oregano and crushed red pepper.

IMG_3964

IMG_3965

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Basil

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

If you have seen my Instagram account, you might know that I’m a little bit obsessed with Target’s dollar spot. While I’m typically scooping up notepads, pens, markers, and other cute office supplies, one day I came across red, white, and blue sprinkles for the 4th of July. SPRINKLES for a dollar? I can’t even.  I have a little bit of a sprinkle problem (not that you would know it because I haven’t baked that much) so there was no question those sprinkles were coming home with me. My favorite funfetti anything are these cookies I posted a long time ago which have become my go-to cookies whenever I feel like baking. But this time, I decided I do something a little different for the 4th and make these Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes from one of my favorite bloggers ever, Jessica from How Sweet Eats.

A simple vanilla batter is carefully folded together with sprinkles, baked, cooled, and topped with a smooth buttercream frosting which is sprinkled with even more sprinkles. The best part is, you can use any color of sprinkles you want depending on the holiday or event to easily make these festive cupcakes! What else is there to say? Sweet, creamy, rich, decadent, colorful. Everything you want in a cupcake! Thanks, Jessica!

IMG_4022

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

IMG_4006

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients.

IMG_4007

Fold in assorted sprinkles.

IMG_4009

Pour into cupcake tins and fill 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool.

IMG_4011

IMG_4012

Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixture until completely smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar slowly. Gradually increase mixer speed and add vanilla, then beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl. If frosting is too thick, add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached If it’s too thin, add sugar gradually until it thickens.

IMG_4013

Frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

IMG_4021

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: How Sweet Eats

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Feta Rice

Once again, I’ve been missing. I’ve been home for two weeks over the last two months so I really haven’t been able to cook much, hence not really able to post. Last week, I was away for work and while I was gone, my power went out for two days due to a storm. While I was kind of happy to not be suffering through 90 degree weather without air conditioning, I wasn’t happy about having to toss out everything in my fridge, including tons of frozen chicken breasts, a whole carton of eggs, an unopened bottle of coffee creamer and a whole box of turkey burgers. Not a good feeling. I wasn’t in the mood to cook this weekend so I decided to bring you a dish I made before I headed out of town: Grilled Lemon Chicken with Feta Rice.

Chicken breasts are marinated quickly in a little lemon juice, oil and garlic before being grilled until perfectly cooked. A quick side of precooked brown rice, lemon juice, oil, feta, and basil is the perfect bite to accompany this chicken. I have to tell you, this was one of the best things I have made in a long time. And I make a lot of really good food. There was just something about this. Not just the amazing flavor but also the incredible ease. Take about a perfect summer dinner. Make it!

IMG_3978

Combine chicken, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon oil, and garlic in a zip-top bag; turn to coat. Let stand 5 minutes.

IMG_3974

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade, and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; grill 6 minutes on each side.

IMG_3976

While chicken cooks, heat rice according to package directions. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add rice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, feta, and basil; toss.

IMG_3977

Serve rice with chicken.

IMG_3979

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa

Yes, I’m here! It’s been way, way too long since I’ve posted anything but I’ve been traveling for the past four weeks (first London, then Chicago) and now is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down and get it done. It was nice to be back in my kitchen over the weekend, making some food. I feel like my diet and exercise has taken a nosedive over the past month so it’s time to get it together again. I came across this recipe for Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa on the flight to Chicago and ended up buying the ingredients to make it when I landed. But then…I ate the avocado with eggs, the chicken with adobo seasoning, and the strawberries with ice cream. My plan failed. So, I tried it again over the weekend and actually got this dish made. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Chicken cutlets are given a boost of flavor from a vibrant salsa made with strawberries, avocado, lime, cilantro, and jalapeño. The sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, and spicy jalapeño are all perfect complements to each other and then the fresh cilantro and citrusy lime really round everything out. This is such a perfect summertime dinner, especially if you are watching your waistline, and this salsa is good enough to eat with nothing but a fork. If only I’d made this recipe last weekend, maybe I wouldn’t be so worried about my waistline now.

 IMG_3930

Combine strawberries, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; toss to combine.

IMG_3927

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.

IMG_3928

Divide chicken among 4 serving plates, and spoon salsa evenly over each serving. Garnish each serving with a lime wedge.

IMG_3929

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Mango Guacamole

It’s May 1st and so begins my month of travel. This will be a true test of how well I eat and if I can keep up with my exercise. I typically do my cooking on the weekends but on weekends like this when I’m getting ready to travel, I usually don’t even bother getting groceries. My flight is on Sunday so I need to eat what I have and make sure my refrigerator is pretty empty. Since I’ll be in London for Cinco de Mayo and won’t get a chance to make myself some tacos, I decided pick up the ingredients to make this Mango Guacamole to eat instead.

Fresh mango and avocados are stirred together with red onion, cilantro, pepper (I used jalapeño), and orange and lime juices. Mangos and avocados are pretty inexpensive in the grocery store right now so I love taking advantage of that. I could eat avocados every single day so making this guacamole makes me really happy. If you don’t like guacamole, so sorry to hear that. The mango and orange juice in this gives it a hint of a sweetness that pairs so well with the heat of the Serrano or jalapeño pepper. Luckily, this guacamole makes just enough that I won’t have any leftover before I hit the airport. I’ll happily eat it all weekend.

IMG_3636

Combine mango, red onion, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, salt, avocado, and pepper in a large bowl; toss to combine.

IMG_3633

IMG_3634

Serve guacamole with tortilla chips.

IMG_3635

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  •  Jalapeño pepper

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

1 2 61
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 283 other followers

%d bloggers like this: