Garden Fresh Balsamic Bruschetta

The sun is finally coming out, we are able to see friends and family after a long time, and I am ready to share apps around the table as I catch up with my loved ones.  Nothing says fun in the sun with loved ones like bruschetta.  Fresh tomatoes mixed with garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and parmigiano reggiano served on garlic rubbed Italian bread.  Yep.  Count me in!

Growing up, I would order bruschetta every time we ate out at an Italian restaurant.  It still is one of my favorite appetizers.  I can name so many members of my family that also love it just as much as I do.  There was even a time when bruschetta was a given at any family gathering.  And rightly so.

Just a few ingredients that makes this recipe absolutely divine.

  • Tomatoes – crisp, juicy, sweet, red tomatoes are a must.  Try to avoid mushy and soft tomatoes as you’ll end up with more liquid and the chopped tomatoes won’t hold their shape.
  • Garlic – chopped in the bruschetta mix but I also use whole cloves to rub toasted bread to give it that extra zing in flavor
  • Basil – this sweet peppery herb adds the perfect burst of earthiness
  • Parmigiano reggiano – The earthy, sharp, nutty flavor is the perfect flavor to bring all of the different ingredients together
  • Balsamic Vinegar – this is my surprise ingredient that takes this bruschetta up a notch.  Each bite there’s just a hint of the tart, fruity liquid that makes you want to keep eating it.
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Italian Bread – toast these up a little then rub a fresh clove of garlic over it as they come out of the oven.


So, what are you waiting for?!  This is the perfect appetizer for a wine and cheese night (my favorite), for a gathering, or if you want to create a beautiful Italian dinner!

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Avocado Wedges with Sriracha Crema

⁄Crunchy on the outside, creamy and buttery on the inside, these avocado wedges are the perfect snack.  They are remarkably tasty, easy to make, and impressed my 5 and 4 year olds.  Honestly though, anything that is breaded and fried is an automatic win in my book.  I’ve had these in tacos too and seriously, they are delicious.

HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT AVOCADO FOR THIS RECIPE?
Personally, I like to use avocados that have just turned ripe.  They’re still a little firm but ripe enough to be creamy when eaten.  A good scale to use is if they are good enough to use for Guacamole then they are too soft to use for these wedges.  You don’t want the wedges to melt and loose structure because they are too ripe.

AIR FRYER vs BAKING
I used an air fryer for this recipe because it gives the crispy exterior that you would see when deep frying.  If you don’t have an air fryer, baking is just as good but beware that it will take a little longer to cook them.  I have given instructions for both in the recipe card.

ARE THESE HEALTHY IF THEY’RE FRIED?
Yes they are because they’re air fried!  And avocados are definitely healthier than traditional potato wedges.  Don’t get me wrong, I love potatoes in all its many glorious forms but I do love a healthy alternative any day.  Here are some of the many nutritional benefits to these Avocado Fries:

  • Provides about 5 gm protein per serving
  • Almost ¼ of your DRI Fiber
  • About a third of your Folic Acid DRI
  • Almost ¼ Vit. K requirements
  • Great source of potassium, phosphorous, Vit. A, and Vit. B6

So what are you waiting for?!  Try these incredibly delicious Avocado Fries and fall in love with a new way of eating fries!

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

 

Tinseltown Tostadas

I think hands down, these are one of my favorite holiday foods.  I’ve had so many and I don’t think I can tire of them.  Snacking is one of my favorite activities.  These delicious tostadas make it so much easier as they are low in calorie, healthy, and guilt-free.

High in fiber, antioxidants, a good source of protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals, these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas definitely pack a punch!

Between the Serrano peppers and the watermelon radish, there were some strong flavors.  I knew I wanted to use the pomegranate arils to give it a sweet note (and make it look pretty).

But it needed depth so I played around with a few options before settling on the hummus and avocado.  And yet the radish was still giving off a bit of a pungent taste and therein comes the smear of pesto.

There are so many random flavors that they work despite wanting to prove the opposite.

Make these delicious Tinseltown Tostadas this holiday season and you won’t be able to stop eating them.  From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy them!

The tools I used for this recipe are:

Samosa Puffs

Every Indian household is sure to have samosas for any occasion.  Whether we were visiting relatives or friends, at a wedding, holidays, celebrations of any kind…. well, you get the point!  Samosas everywhere.  When I went off to college, my mom used to make dozens and dozens and put them in large zip top bags that I would freeze and microwave them as I was in the mood for them.

My roommates and friends at college also benefited.  There were many nights sitting in our common room studying over samosas, sharing heartbreaks or girl talk or just hanging out.

These samosa puffs are a fun twist to the traditional samosas that are usually filled in a cone made of freshly  kneaded dough.  The girls had fun with the flaky pastry and loved that I kept the filling with the traditional potatoes and peas that they are used to.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy these delicious Samosa Puffs!

Roasted Cilantro Mint Chutney

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Growing up in an Indian household, chutneys are a must. They are an integral part of any Indian household. Whether you are eating Dosa or Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles with tomato or coconut chutney, or samosas with cilantro or tamarind chutney, or Kati Rolls or Bombay Masala Sandwiches with chutney used as a spread, it’s always prominent in Indian food.
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There are so many different kinds of chutneys prepared so many different ways, I just love the versatility of these dips.  I tried to a different approach to my Roasted Cilantro Mint Chutney by roasting the cilantro and mint with some cashews, chickpea flour, and plenty of spices.
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As you roast the herbs, they develop a char which carries into the final product and gives it just a hint of smoky flavor and smell when you eat it.
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I’ve used this chutney recipe to eat with Adai Waffles / Lentil Waffles, Paneer Cabbage Cups, Spinach Dal Paratha, Aloo Paratha, and Avocado Roti.  What will you eat it with?
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From my kitchen to yours, I hope this chutney becomes a staple for you!

Roasted Masala Chickpeas

I’ve been making these chickpeas at home as a healthy snack option so I don’t turn to junk food and my girls have fallen in love with them too.  I initially started them with a basic salt, pepper, olive oil and paprika seasoning.  We love the basic and use them not only for snacking, but in salads, tacos, as a topping for soups (yup), and pretty much in anything I can add it to. Continue reading “Roasted Masala Chickpeas”

Stuffed Mushrooms

The hubby loves his mushrooms.  I on the other hand am not the biggest fan of them.  So when we got married and he found out I didn’t like them, he was a bit devastated.  BUT, I still make them occasionally….. especially when he comes home with a large container of them.
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I secretly like it when he comes home with so many mushrooms because that means I have to get creative with them.  This time around, he brought home baby bellas and they were larger than usual, which is perfect because I knew I wanted to stuff them right away!
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I didn’t want to use too much cheese in the filling, and like anything, I want to pack a punch of flavor so I opened my fridge and stared at it for a few minutes.  Seriously, I just stood and stared.  And my eyes fell on a container of chives and onions cream cheese so I knew that was going to pull it all together!
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I also added red bell peppers (for color and crunch) and some paprika and cayenne pepper for a kick.  The hubby, and my sis-in-law Shivani, loved these!  Score!
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They are pretty quick to make and don’t require much effort.  Go ahead, try them out.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this!

The Best Veggie Quesadillas

There’s no wrong way to make a quesadilla.  It’s one of those foods that can be served as a quick weeknight meal, an after school snack, bite sized as a party app; filled with just cheese, grilled veggies, or shredded meat! The possibilities are endless.
Continue reading “The Best Veggie Quesadillas”

Goat Cheese Lingonberry Crostini

Goat Cheese Lingonberry CrostiniI love cheese in any form, especially if it is goat cheese.  Something about the creamy, sweet texture just hits the spot.  This recipe was an accident made in cheese heaven during my pre-marriage days when my roommate and I wanted to be “fancy” without putting in much effort.  We wanted to create a wine and cheese platter and all we really had in our fridge/pantry was a half log of goat cheese, lingonberry jam, grapes, crackers and honey.  Of course we had wine….. lots and lots of it =)

Though it originated with crackers (which you can totally use if you don’t want to do a crostini), over the years, I’ve “refined” it to truly reflect our original vision of a fancy wine and cheese platter.  This crostini is a great hit whether the husband and I are having a “quiet” night in or friends and family over for a dinner party.  Ready in 10 minutes, how can you go wrong?  Here’s how I made it:

1 Sweet Bread Baguette
1/4c Lingonberry preserves
1 small log of goat cheese (about 4oz)
Honey to drizzle

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Take 1 baguette of Sweet bread and slice into 1/2″ slices (be careful not to cut them too thick – they’ll become too “bready” and the other flavor profiles won’t pull through).  Line them on a cookie sheet and drizzle a little olive oil on them.  Pop them into the oven for about 5-7 minutes until they crisp up and look golden brown.

Pull the baguette slices out of the oven and spread some goat cheese on each one.  Next, add a dollop of lingonberry preserve, then drizzle a little honey over them.

There you have it! Easy peasy Goat Cheese Lingonberry Crostinis.  I hope they bring the same smile to your face as they do to mine!