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baking prep


You know that old desert island game? Not the one where you have to - for no conceivable reason - tell a group of strangers what book you'd bring with you to read until you wasted away of, one would assume, starvation. (I hate ice breakers, by the way.) No, the other one. The one where you imagine what food you could literally eat until you died - of natural or of food overdose causes.

This would very probably be that food for me.

I remember the first time my sister made bruschetta. I went over to her apartment, feeling so grown up and real. I was going over to a dinner date! With adults! It was a big moment.

And it did not disappoint. I think we all glutted a bit on this new found bread from heaven. Fresh basil! Garlic! Tomatoes! Mozzarella! Balsamic vinegar! Baguette. Warm, perfect, crispy baguette.

If I remember right, I think we intended it as an appetizer the first time we made it, but then ended up gorging so much that we hardly had room to eat dinner at all. So now we just make it as a main dish. It's perfect for either occasion, really, but I am partial to just attacking a plate full as a meal.



~1 cup tomatoes, diced without seeds & pulp 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 TB balsamic vinegar 1 TB olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced Baguette Fresh basil, julienned

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together diced tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt & pepper.

  2. Slice the baguette into half-inch thick pieces, then brush them with olive oil on each side. Toast the bread at 350º for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted.

  3. Place a slice of cheese on each crostini, then add a small spoonful of the tomato mixture. Garnish all pieces with a few pieces of julienned basil.

  4. Serve promptly and devour!

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Pick varieties and flavors that bring you joy. Not everyone is a baker and not everyone likes to cook. 


Enjoy the process. One of my favorite things while baking is to knead the dough and feel how it changes in my hands. I love chopping vegetables that came fresh from the farmer's market, brushing the dirt off the leaves, and creating with something that came from the earth.


Listen to jazz. I know this is a personal preference, but there are few things that give me quite the feeling of contentment as cooking a good meal with a glass of wine and a Thelonius record on in the background.

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