Easy Bruschetta

ACS_0145

Living in the midwest affords us plenty of farm-fresh fare. This year, my family re-joined a CSA (community-supported agriculture) at Millsap Farms. We belonged a few years ago, and it was such an amazing experience. Each week we’d receive a box of fruits & vegetables. To offset the cost, we’d work the farm a few days over the season, which was an eye-opening experience. I mean, who even knew what Kohlrabi is!?

kohlrabi

This year, we are more hands-off, and the box of produce is delivered to our house, and we paid extra to skip the work hours. But the vegetables still taste oh so delicious! And each week, we’ve been receiving a giant bag of basil and a pint of multi-colored cherry tomatoes. That means one thing: BRUSCHETTA!

Now, I’m no connoisseur. But I do know that I like my bruschetta garlicky, oily, and full of flavor. So here’s how I make mine:

INGREDIENTS:

  • cherry tomatoes (pint)
  • about 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • handful of basil
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • can of artichokes (drained)
  1. Slice the tomatoes in half. Put in a bowl.
  2. Roll up the basil leaves and cut them into thin strips for a chiffonade. { –> How to Chiffonade Basil via The Pioneer Woman }
  3. Add basil to tomatoes, drizzle balsamic vinegar to quickly coat the tomatoes. Start with a little, you can add more later.
  4. Chop the drained artichokes into bite-size pieces or smaller. Add to bowl.
  5. Mix everything together.
  6. In a skillet, add a few tablespoons olive oil and the garlic, and heat until just brown. Pour the garlic and oil on top of the tomatoes. Let marinate.
  7. EAT!

I love slicing french bread, buttering it, and toasting it in the oven Or prepare a big bowl of linguini and add this to the top, with a shaving of parmesan cheese. Or just grab a fork and eat straight out of the bowl. Serve with nice mineral-y white wine (I love J’s Pinot Gris), and you got yourself a summer dinner!

Do you have a favorite recipe that you use during an abundance of tomatoes? We’d love to hear!

Three Cheers to the Paloma

Just when you think you’ve figured out your signature cocktail (gimlets for Stephanie, French 76 for Nicole), along comes a potent kick in the pants in the form of refreshment on a hot summer day…or mild Missouri spring…

OF COURSE we’re talking about a Paloma! This simple cocktail of blanco tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda packs a punch, is refreshing, AND pretty to look at.

ACS_0073.jpg

Sweet Tea Treat

Despite us growing up in the south, we are not sweet tea fans, or really even iced tea fans. Classic iced tea, at least. Thai Iced Tea…well, that’s a different category of wonderful deliciousness altogether.

ACS_0064

The best Thai Iced Teas are sweeter than sweet and a creamy orange tone. Our local thai restaurant makes a mighty fine cup, but some nights, homemade will do…

Indoor Picnic

The weather here in Southwest Missouri has been cold, drizzly, and not very spring-like. So for Easter Sunday this year, we decided to have a French-inspired indoor picnic. French wine, cheeses, a charcuterie board, home-made baguettes…the whole works.

Of course, we ate at the dining table, so rather than a picnic, I guess it was just French-inspired picnic-fare. C’est la vie. It. Was. Parfait.

ACS_0053

Cheers! The Lychee Martini

What to ‘shake’ up your cocktail game? Try the Lychee Martini, recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.

mh_1141_lychee_martini_hd
photo via Martha Stewart

Lychees are Asian tree fruits, with red dinosaur-like skin and a subtle grape-like taste and texture. And they make AMAZING cocktail ingredients! We drank these all winter long, despite them being a summer fruit. With access to international markets in town, though, we can enjoy them ALL YEAR LONG!

IMG_6018

It tastes high end, when using good vermouth and cold cold vodka. The lychee syrup adds just a touch of sweetness.

Recipe:

  • Ice
  • Cocktail shaker
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 1 can Lychee fruit in Syrup
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1/3 cup lychee juice, reserved from can

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add in vodka, vermouth, and lychee juice. Shake well. Strain into 2 martini glasses and garnish each with a lychee fruit.

Other Lychee products to up your cocktail game:

lycheesyrup

Lychee lattes! Lychee lemonade! Lychee slushies! Oh the possibilities with this Syrup

gummy

Lychee Gummy Candy!

canesugar

Lychee Cane Sugar – ooh, to add a lychee-flavored sugar rim to your martini glass.

Excuse me. I think it’s almost Happy Hour, and I need to get to the market…

 

Book Roundup: The Cozy Cookbook

Having recently finished Leave Me Alone with the Recipes: The Life, Art, and Cookbook of Cipe Pineles, I realized I have a thing for cozy, story-driven family-centric cookbooks. I devour them like novels, and keep them on shelves faaaar away from the mess of my kitchen. Here are a few in my collection:

applesforjam

Apples for Jam: A Colorful Cookbook – This delightful book is divided into recipes based on color. My favorite: the hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream. GUH so good. I’m sad I’ve never had a chance to flip through her other books, Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes and Recipes and Dreams from an Italian Life. Author Tessa Kiros is also a delight to follow on Instagram!

***

familydinner

The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time – Hands down, one of the best books ever published. It is so inspiring, and makes me want to have beautiful, sit-down dinners with my family on a nightly basis. With contributors like Tom Hanks and beautiful recipes for the whole family, this is one of those books that’s actually very rarely in my house because I loan it to everyone.

***

inag

Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips – Stephanie is one of Ina’s biggest fans. When we found out she was doing a book signing and Q&A in Kansas City, we left our babes at home and eagerly drove up to see her. It was my first real introduction to her, and oh what a charmer. I went home with this book and have tried almost every recipe in it. Every single one of her books is ten thumbs up.

***

aphrodite

Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses – this book is more about if you want to *start* a family (wink wink, nudge nudge). It’s a cookbook that’ll make you blush. I first read it while working at a cafe where we hosted an annual “Aphrodite’s Feast” romantic dinner. The courses all had aphrodisiac properties, and this book was our ultimate resource.

***

What are some of your well-loved and well-worn cookbooks, whether you create the recipes or just love the imagery? We’d love to hear!