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The bruschetta was wonderful.  Unfortunately, it was devoured before a picture could be taken.  I am still working on the photo timing.  Bruschetta is really easy to make and has such a summer feel to it.  Fresh tomatoes are a must so summer is really the best time to make it.

Start with a loaf of french bread (slicing it yourself lets you make the slices slightly thinner which I think makes for a better bruschetta)

Brush with a flavorful olive oil.

Place on cookie sheets and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, chop fresh tomatoes ( a couple of large ones) and combine with about 8 fresh finely chopped basil leaves.  Again fresh is the key.  Mine came straight from the garden.  Mix well.

When your bread is toasted to your satisfaction spoon the tomato mixture on top and then top with real grated parmesan cheese.  Get the kind from the refrigerated section of your market — not the jar kind on the pasta aisle.  You won’t be sorry you spent the extra money.

Enjoy.

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Well, after a long time of not writing I have taken to heart the idea that perfectionism kills creativity.  So, instead of waiting for the perfect thing to write and the perfect blog name, I am jumping in again with random stuff.

Tomatoes are plentiful right now.  I didn’t get mine planted but my favorite road side stand has them in abundance.  It’s the perfect time for bruschetta.  I will make spaghetti for the rest of my family, partly because they won’t be satisfied with just bruschetta, and partly because if they have spaghetti there will be more bruschetta for me.

Bar-B-Que Pizza

This is one of our favorite pizzas.  Top  fresh pizza dough with your favorite bottled BBQ sauce, cooked chicken (left overs work great) , sliced purple onions, sliced black olives, and top it all off with grated cheddar/monterey jack cheese.  Bake at  425 for 12-15 minutes.

The first Pizza and Pie of the year happens to be on New Year’s Evening.  While I feel the need to honor my Southern roots by having some form of blackeyed peas, hamhock, and greens on New Year’s Day, my family doesn’t exactly share my feelings.  No one really likes any of the above in the traditional forms.  So, I change things around a bit, and share stories of my Alabama born grandparents while serving food they would never have eaten. 

Black-eyed peas make an appearance as a dip served with tortilla chips.  Ham hock is really left over Christmas ham served up with fresh spinach (it’s sort of a green) on a pizza.  The original New Year’s tradition supposedly comes from a farmer eating the last food he had in the house (black-eyed peas with ham hock and greens) before returning to post hole digging and discovering a cache of coins buried in the ground.  I guess we honor the spirit of the tradition by using what we have to get everyone fed.

Blackeyed Pea Dip

1 can blackeyed peas (drained and rinsed)

1 small can white whole kernel corn

2 Tbsp. chopped red onion

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp.  agave nectar

1 Tbsp.  red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Mix all ingredients well and chill.  Serve with tortilla chips. 

You can double or triple if your family will eat more than a token amount. 🙂

I love those eucalyptus scented baby bath oils by Johnson and Johnson.  The only problem is I can easily use a bottle in about three baths which leads to expensive comfort during a cold.  Did I mention I don’t have a baby and I use them for myself or my older kids?  Anyway, a cheaper way to get the same luxurious smell is to go to your local health food or aromatherapy store and get some eucalyptus essential oil.  Add  a FEW drops to a bathtub of warm/hot water.   Essential oils directly on the skin can be irritating, but a few drops in a tub of water is sufficiently diluted.  Enjoy this cozy comfort knowing you are saving money as well.

My 9 year old daughter wants to be Frankenstein’s monster for Halloween.  We can pull together a pretty good costume with left over dance costumes and just cast off clothing.  We are still pondering the hair, but I think I have an idea for the neck bolts.  I’m going to get some magnetic tape and make it into a necklace then stick a couple of short bolts on the sides.  As long as she is careful and doesn’t wipe out anyone’s hard drive by standing too close I think we can pull it off.  Photos to follow once the idea actually comes to life.