Garlic Bread

garlic bread

Michael’s favorite side dish is garlic bread. I don’t know how a German ended up loving garlic bread so much, but I guess who wouldn’t find a warm and crunchy piece of baguette topped with garlic, melted butter and parsley irresistible?! The wonderful aroma that fills your kitchen will make the 8 minutes of baking time seem like an eternity! Just to make myself feel less guilty about eating bread and butter, I like to serve this with a big bowl of salad for dinner. 😉   Continue reading

Coconut Rum French Toast

Michael and I recently went to St. Martin for a beach getaway. Although we rarely buy souvenirs on any of our trips, we simply couldn’t resist getting a bottle of the island’s coconut rum! I don’t usually drink rum (or any kind of liquor for that matter), but we were given a free shot at every restaurant we dined at. We had every flavor ranging from vanilla rum to banana rum. Our favorite, however, was the coconut rum! So, we naturally bought a big bottle to take back with us ;).

The bottle of rum was staring me in the face the morning after we returned to NYC. I kept thinking of different ways to incorporate the rum in my cooking. As I opened the refrigerator door and saw a bag of stale bread, it hit me – coconut rum french toast! I was so excited to make breakfast that morning, but even more excited to eat it :).  Continue reading

Pumpkin Bread

It’s been quite an adventure the last few weeks since Hurricane Sandy hit NYC, but I’m finally back (with electricity, water, and internet)! In the days leading up to the hurricane, I tried to use most of my ingredients in the refrigerator by making dishes that would last a few days at room temperature. One of the recipes I turned to was for this pumpkin bread, which is so incredibly moist it could even be a cake. It is one of my favorite recipes for the holidays because it’s so easy to make and actually tastes better over time (I’m not kidding)! Boy were we glad to have this delicious pumpkin bread to munch on for a few days while the power was out. :)

I love to use Trader Joe’s pumpkin puree for this recipe because it’s organic and inexpensive, but you can use any brand of your choice. Just make sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. Be sure to give this pumpkin bread a try this holiday season. A fun idea is to bake in mini loaf pans to give away as gifts! :)

Note: This recipe calls for 1 cup of pumpkin puree, which is about half of a 15 ounce can. Wondering what to do with the remaining half of puree? Don’t fret, try out my Pumpkin Mac and Cheese!

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Simple Green Salad with Parmesan Crostini

I love pairing a simple green salad with hearty, comfort food. That’s why this dish was a perfect side to my baked penne. It is so easy to make yet so refreshing and yummy. I was inspired to make a simple green salad after watching Rachael Ray make this shallot vinaigrette. It adds such a nice little kick to the arugula. And the crostini – who doesn’t love toasted bread with a little cheese on top?! The fresh thyme on the crostini makes a huge difference as well. A hint of lemon, citrus flavor to balance out the Parmesan cheese. I promise this will  become your go-to recipe for a quick and simple green salad!  Continue reading

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

Michael LOVES plum tomatoes when they’re in season. Not only are they sweet and juicy, they also have less seeds than other kinds of tomatoes. We were at the market one afternoon and saw the freshest plum tomatoes ever – bright red, perfectly ripe, but still firm to the touch! I wasn’t really in the mood to have a hot meal for dinner because of this everlasting heat wave, but I didn’t want just a salad either. As a compromise, we decided to make bruschetta. Plus, we had plenty of fresh Italian basil in our herb garden!

I kept the ingredients in this recipe very simple to ensure that nothing overpowers the sweet tomatoes. You could, of course, use any kind of tomato if plum tomatoes aren’t available or to your liking. Pair these little bites with a bottle of cool, crisp white wine and you’re set! Continue reading