Monthly Archives: July 2015

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Roll pizza dough on a lightly floured surface.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Fold in assorted sprinkles.

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

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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.

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Frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: How Sweet Eats

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