BLT Bruschetta (Among Other Things)

BLT Bruschetta

Have you ever made a batch of something and it (and the mess on your kitchen counter) kept… growing?  Goulash and potato salad come to mind.  I’ve never been able to make either without total kitchen counter chaos and enough to feed a family of ten.

Summer is a the perfect time to slow down, scale back, and simplify.  Yes?

One afternoon I decided to make bruschetta.  (Thanks for the how-to, Claudia!)  Since my kitchen was already heating up, I made mine on the grill.  (They’re delicious either way.)

After tending to the thick slices of browning baguette (the whole loaf — no sense firing up the grill for two pieces of bread), I came inside with visions of “BLT’s” dancing in my head.  Bacon, lettuce, and tomato.  Simple enough.

Fried the bacon, sliced the tomatoes, rinsed/drained/patted dry the arugula, dotted the assembly with mayo, drizzled olive oil, and ground some black pepper over the top.  Good to go.

But, there were still six slices of bruschetta left.  (By the way, Bruschetta means “to roast over coals” — gotta watch ’em closely.)  Just sayin’.

How about portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, olives, and baby spinach — with Balsamic vinegar?  An armload of ingredients and another trip to the fridge later and more slicing, layering, and drizzling ensued.

(The crispy critter on the left is mine.)

Portobello Olive Balsamic Bruschetta

At this point, my cutting board was teeming with bits of leftover produce and there were still three empty bruschetta.  What to do?  I diced all of the above (sans bacon for a vegetarian version), sliced green onions (after another trip to the fridge), mixed the aforementioned in a bowl, added olive oil and balsamic, spooned it onto the bread and grated Asiago over the top.  Done deal.

Except to clean the kitchen.

Asiago Green Onion Bruschetta

May I sit down now?  Please?  Before summer’s completely over?

Deck Dining

Ahhhhh… yes.

Some days the dishes can wait.

Enjoying bruschetta adventures,

~ Kim

P.S.  During the month of August I’ll be devoting serious time to my piano.  Can’t be in two places at once (simplify…), in case you don’t see me around the block.  Have a great rest of the summer!

An Off The Cuff Post (and Best, Easiest, Tastiest Grilling Recipe So Far This Summer)

Green Things

One of the things I love about summer is the spontaneity inherent in the season.  Grab something and throw it on the grill!

(Even better if it’s flavored with an impromptu compound butter…)

In this particular case, I was trimming haricot verts on the veranda when my step-son mentioned his “pork chop packets” — fresh green beans, carrots, and compound butter, topped with a boneless center-cut pork chop.  Oh my!  I took it a step farther and seared the chops before encasing them in foil.  Sorry, no “after” photo… they were devoured in a heartbeat.  (Vegetarian version expounded on below…)

Summer Veggies with Compound Butter

As for the compound butter, anything goes.  Key words:  have at it… spontaneous… impromptu!

This batch included softened butter smashed with sliced green onions, basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, and freshly ground pepper — but use whatever tickles ya or whatever’s on hand.  Throw it in the fridge in plastic wrap for a bit to let the flavors “marry,” then add a dab to the packet before adding the veggies (to keep them from sticking), top with a seared chop and a generous dollop of compound butter, seal, and you’re good to grill.

(Note:  Be sure to seal the foil packet well.  Turn once during grilling.  If in doubt about “doneness,” test chops with a meat thermometer before consuming.)

Compound Butter

Regarding the off the cuff portion of this post, I’m finally home again.  Missed ya bunches.  Couldn’t resist writing.  Plus, I’m making these again for supper tonight.  So, so good.  I also imagine they’d be good with chicken.  Or salmon.  Or steak.

Or, just veggies for my vegetarian pals. :)  Use your imagination…

On a personal note, I need to restructure myself and my blog a lil’ bit.  So many ideas, so little time — up until now!  After spending the equivalent to two months away from the place that makes me happiest since January, I’m feeling out of sorts.  Off my game.  Sluggish.  Can we say move it or lose it?!  (Photos may or may not be forthcoming, lol.)

More good things to come though, including the winner of my giveaway later this week.  (Giveaway is closed.)

Happy grilling and stay tuned for transformation…

Enjoying unpremeditated meal planning, writing, and rediscovery,


Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Roll With It (Cantaloupe with Cannoli Cream)

Half the fun of cooking is trying something new, whether it works out or not, right?  (At least that’s my motto.)

“Experiment!” I proclaim from the rooftops.  Or deck…

After cannoli recipes started making the rounds last year, I decided to try canta-loni. :)  (Not to be confused with cantelloni or cannelloni — the cheese and/or meat stuffed noodle version.)

Thus, I set out with my melon ball scooper and an idea… plus a hearty dose of laughter.  Be forewarned… these little suckers are slippery!

Not only did I make the above-pictured version, I also got out the ol’ cheese-slicer-in-lieu-of-a-mandoline and attempted a “cantaloupe cannoli” — wrapping paper-thin melon slices around cannoli cream that tasted so good, there’s no photographic proof of the evidence.  (Ahem.)

I also imagined they’d be spectacular served with a slice of prosciutto and garnished with a slice of… basil?  mint?  cilantro?  (Such are the places my food imagination take me…)

My message is this:  Have fun in your kitchen this summer!

Don’t let your next great idea (and/or quest for the perfect food photo) reign you in… and for Pete’s sake, remember that food blogging isn’t “War and Peace.”

While I highly respect the passion and nutrition and well-being that’s put into everyone’s food, photography, and blog posts (thank you!), bear in mind:  it’s summer.

Have fun!

For a delightful cannoli filling, click here.  (FYI, I left out the cinnamon, allspice, and chocolate chips and substituted mascarpone for half the ricotta, but that’s not to say I won’t try the Alex Guarnaschelli‘s delectable original on a more “serious” day next time.)

For further proof of my kitchen flops (and fun), click here and here.

Then… get creative.  Get eatin’.  And for heaven’s sake, get out there and celebrate summer!

Enjoying experimenting, trial and error, and FUN,

~ Kim

P.S.  I sat on this photo (and idea) for almost a year.  Don’t waste precious time…



Chopped Salad

Today is officially the first day of Summer (woohoo!) and what could be more fitting than a summertime salad filled with veggies?

Unless, of course… you add salami and provolone to produce a cross between a Muffuletta sandwich and an Antipasto platter… in a bowl.

(I love one dish meals.)

My friend, Rachel, at The Fromagette posted this beauty a few months back and I’ve wanted to try it ever since.  In fact, I’ve been trying lots of recipes, which accounts for why I don’t post more often.

If I listed all of the incredible food we’ve enjoyed this past year, it would fill two posts and require untold hours of linking.  (Hmmm… maybe I will someday.)  For now, allow me to say:  Thank you from the bottom of our stomachs!

Getting back to this gem, it inspired a picnic!  It also required The Man Of Few Words’ assistance for the action shots.  (He’s so helpful…xo!)

Chopped Salad  (adapted from the original recipe here)

12 small pimiento stuffed green olives, halved

1/2 c. water-packed roasted red peppers, drained & diced

1/4 c. green onions, chopped

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/4 c. pepperoncini, drained & sliced into rings

1 small head of Romaine lettuce, chopped

2 oz. provolone cheese, cubed

2 oz. salami, diced


1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 small garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. sugar, or to taste

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk together vinaigrette; drizzle over salad and toss lightly.

Makes two generous servings.

Paired with a slice of garlic toast, it was the perfect welcome to the Summer months ahead!

Enjoying “friend-ly” food,

~ Kim




Between Seasons… A Savory Transition

If art imitates life, then food imitates nature… especially when the seasons change.

Cause to celebrate!

Shish kebobs marinated in an earthy balsamic vinaigrette…

Paired with tender-crisp peppers and onions.

Simple and delicious.

(No secret recipe here… just a brief swim in “Newman’s Own” and a spritz of olive oil on the veggies.)

Summer and autumn on a plate.

The best of both.

As the seasons shift, please make it a point…

To savor change.

Enjoying the transition,

~ Kim