I made my scallops and saffron sauce the other night to try out with the Santa Margherita Prosecco, so my mom and I came up with some easy appetizers to serve beforehand. I wanted to make some bruschetta with my mom’s garden tomatoes and basil. My parents had just been to a wedding where they had a bruschetta made with roasted eggplant and gorgonzola. To make that easier, my mom bought a garlic roasted eggplant spread from Trader Joe’s and some crumbled gorgonzola. I didn’t write down exact recipes for each, but here is a general idea of what we ended up doing:

Bruschetta
Thinly slice a baguette on the bias, brush with olive oil, and season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and broil on high until golden brown on both sides (turning halfway through). When the bread is out of the oven, slice a clove of garlic in half and rub the raw garlic onto one side of the bread.

Tomato and Basil Topping
Quarter cherry tomatoes (or chop regular tomatoes), combine with some julienned basil, and drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Eggplant and Gorgonzola Topping
Spread the bread with the eggplant and garlic spread, top with a little bit of gorgonzola, and broil on high until the cheese is melted.

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My mom also loves invent spreads. One my parents’ favorite restaurants, Hungry Mother, serves a great pimiento cheese spread with celery sticks. Here is my mom’s version of that recipe:

Pimiento Cheese Spread
4 oz. light cream cheese
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 tbsp. pimiento peppers (or piquillo peppers)
2 tbsp. light mayo
Dash of hot sauce
Pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp. sweet or hot pepper relish (my mom uses Howard’s brand)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until combined but still a little bit chunky. Garnish with some celery leaves.

She also made a quick olive spread with some cream cheese and nice garlic-lemon green olives. We put them on a platter with some celery sticks and crackers:

Everything was delicious and easy!

Lobster Sandwiches

My dad brought home some lobster sandwiches from Alive and Kicking Lobsters today. I just had to share how delicious they were… Instead of the standard lobster “roll,” they put the lobster salad on toasted Italian bread. The salad itself was perfect: very little mayonnaise, generous amount of lobster, and perfectly seasoned. Highly recommended if [read more →]

Key Lime Pie

I’m home in Boston this week and you know what that means – lots of cooking! My parents and I are not huge dessert people, but when we do make dessert, we usually make key lime pie (my mom’s favorite) or pecan pie (my dad’s favorite). My mom is from Florida and has always made [read more →]

Santa Margherita Great Taste Challenge

I entered the Santa Margherita Great Taste Challenge on a whim last week with my Seared Scallops with Pappardelle and Saffron Sauce recipe that I posted back in March. The contest asked for a recipe that would pair well with one of their three wines: Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, and Chianti. I thought the richness of [read more →]

Battle Burger: Colleen vs. Jarret

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to enter the annual Build a Better Burger contest that I always see on the Food Network. To be honest, I’ve never actually made a burger before, but I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to come up with some recipes! There’s no limit to the number [read more →]

Pork Stir-Fry with Sugar Snap Peas

I had some leftover cooked pork tenderloin in the freezer from when I made the five spice pork a couple of months ago and thought it would make a wonderful stir-fry. I found a recipe for stir-fried pork tenderloin with sugar snap peas in one of my Food Network cookbooks, so I adapted it to [read more →]

Basil and Arugula Pesto

I picked up some beautiful basil at Green City Market yesterday and decided to make some pesto. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I love to make a lot of something and freeze it for later, so that’s exactly what I did with my pesto: I saved a little bit for [read more →]

I was contemplating breakfast on my walk home from the gym the other morning and started craving smoked salmon. I had to stick with my standard ham sandwich breakfast that morning (yeah, I eat lunch food for breakfast), but I went to the grocery store after work and crafted this smoked salmon and goat cheese [read more →]

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