Category Archives: appetizers

la bruschetta

During another night in our Tuscan kitchen, we started our evening with some homemade bruschetta.  Very simple, basic ingredients added up to a polished and well-received result.

La bruschetta

Una Bruschetta Toscana

  • Crusty baguette, sliced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the baguette slices on a cookie sheet, and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for five minutes, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, stir chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt and pepper with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Top each baguette slice with a spoonful of the prepared topping. Serve immediately.

For a more decadent bruschetta, feel free to add some fresh mozzarella to the topping mix.

Ideally, enjoy outdoors, looking out on the tranquil countryside.


This is how I remember Italy: simple, beautiful, and delicious.

And the next time you make or order bruschetta, please impress your friends by pronouncing it correctly: Bru-sket-ta.


a cheesy memory

I have a secret: I am not a big cheese person.

Gasp, I know.  According to many, cheese is one of the most beloved food groups.  These people will also profusely argue that cheese is indeed a food group.

While my preferred form of cheese consumption is definitely pizza, I also quite enjoy brie.  However, I had never tried baked brie until a friend introduced me to her family’s celebrated recipe.

Boy, was it good.

Baked brie

Baked Brie with Kahlua and Almonds

  • 1 wheel of brie
  • Dark brown sugar, to taste
  • Sliced almonds, to taste
  • Kahlua

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place wheel of brie in oven-proof dish.

Sprinkle brown sugar and sliced almonds liberally on brie.  You will not regret too much of either ingredient.

Pour Kahlua over brie until the wheel is thoroughly coated.

Bake until the topping is bubbly, about 8 to 10 minutes.