Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Perfect Bruschetta { Recipe with pictures }

One of our favorite summertime treats is a fresh batch of bruschetta using produce from the garden, served with pita chips or a fresh sourdough baguette.

I recently whipped up a batch for our March Craft club and had some rave reviews and many requests for the recipe, so I figured this was the perfect way to share.

There is no exact measurements for this at all.  It's really based on the amount of people you are trying to feed or the amount of produce you have on hand to use.

For this recipe I used the following:

6 Large Roma Tomatoes
1 Small bunch of Basil
3/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
6 Cloves of Garlic
Drizzle of Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
salt & pepper to taste

Starting with the tomatoes,  I have discovered the perfect way to cut them for bruschetta.  Start by slicing your tomato one direction, just barely reaching the bottom so that the tomato stays in tact. 

Then turn your tomato 90 degrees and slice in that direction to create a "grid", again just barely reaching the bottom of the tomato.

Then lay the tomato on its side and slice from the top until you've run out of room, and you will have the perfect diced tomato!

After you've sliced up all of your tomatoes place them in a bowl.

Grab your bunch of basil and remove all the leaves.  I do not like to use the stems, but you may if you wish. 

Once all of the leaves are removed, place them all in a somewhat neat stack all in the same direction.

Then roll the basil leaves up as best as you can.

Holding them tightly, carefully slice your basil roll into very thin slices.  This will create basil strings.

Once you have all of your basil sliced, run your knife across the slices to create smaller basil strings.

Add that to the bowl with your tomatoes.

Moving onto the garlic.  I always use fresh garlic, but you can also used minced garlic in a jar.  For this step I use a couple of my favorite kitchen gadgets that I got from Pampered Chef.   

Once you remove your garlic cloves, its time to peel them.  This can be a daunting task for some, but not if you have this neat thing, called a garlic peeler.  

You simply place your clove of garlic in there with the skin on, and give it a roll back and forth a few times. 

It magically separates the skin and leaves you with a perfect clove of garlic. 

Once you have all of your garlic cloves de-skinned, use a garlic press (also Pampered Chef) to mice the garlic right into the bowl with the tomatoes and basil.

Add a few dashes of kosher salt and a pinch of pepper.  You can adjust this later if you want more.

Grab your EVOO and drizzle around the bowl 2-3 times.  You don't need a lot, so be careful if you are using a bottle with a large pour spout.

Pour in your Balsamic vinegar until the tomatoes are almost submerged.  You don't want them completely covered, but you do want to be able to see the vinegar. 

Mix it up with your favorite spatula (mine just happens to be Pampered Chef, shocker huh?) until its all combined.

Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.  The longer it is chilled, the more the flavors with marry.

Grab your choice of chips, crackers or bread and enjoy.  We love to top a fresh sourdough baguette with the bruschetta or use pita chips.

This is a favorite with so many of our friends and family member, I really hope you will enjoy this as much as we all do.

Thank you so much for stopping by for this non traditional DIY post.   You can follow me on Pinterest and Facebook too!

Be sure to check out where I party each week by clicking here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Laundry Room DIY {Progress update 1}

I am so happy to be sharing a fun update with you today on our laundry room. 
I just got back from a 5 day vacation with 4 other amazing and fun women to sunny Los Angeles California where we literally had the time of our lives.  I will share that fun with you very soon.
While I was away my amazing husband was working hard on a surprise for me when I returned.
I last left you with this post and this picture:
Like most people these days, I am in love with planked walls.  We have a couple in our home, and I wanted to change it up a bit in our laundry room. 
I scored some more free wood from the mill near my work once again and told my hubby about my wild idea.  At first he was against it, and then next moment he's in the laundry room putting it all up.

It looked pretty neat in it's natural color, however It was not the look I was going for. 
 Once the planks were installed we used our Graco paint sprayer to apply the primer on the wall and the cabinets.
It sat like this for about a week, and then mama left town!
This is what I came home to:
I am beyond thrilled with how this turned out, and was a very happy wife returning home to see this!  
He used the synthetic oil paint again to give it that hard shell finish for a longer lifetime and durability.  I have already started decorating and planning for the other side of the room, and can't wait to share the final reveal with you.
We are also in the process of getting the sink plumbed and installed.  I am still searching for the perfect faucet.
Thank you all for stopping by to see the progress that has been made on this fun laundry room!
Please be sure to follow me on Pinterest and Facebook, and head over here to see where I like to party each week!
I hope you have a fantastic DIY day!