I hope your day is filled with lots of sweet messages and treats! [Photo via]
Happy Valentine’s Day friends, fans and lovers! What are your plans tonight? Dinner at a swanky up-town restaurant or a romantic dinner at home with candles, roses and chocolate? I’m a fan of both, but to keep things simple and relaxing, we are opting for a home-made dinner and dessert in. I have a great 3 course menu lined up [below], including two appetizers, a hearty dinner and a light dessert.
Basil Tomato & Mozzarella Bruschetta [recipe below!]
Goat Cheese and Honey Stuffed Pastry [recipe posted tonight!]
Strawberry cupcakes with light cream cheese frosting [cupcake recipe posted tonight!]
As I mentioned above, the savory appetizers and the super sweet dessert will be featured on this celebrated love day! To kick off my Valentine’s day inspired menu, I’m showing ya’ll this incredibly easy, fresh and delicious bruschetta appetizer. I got really into the chunks of fresh mozzarella and ripe tomatoes on bread dipped in olive oil dish when I was in Italy. The olive oil was so smooth you could drink it, the tomatoes were fresh and juicy right off the vines, the mozzarella was creamy, soft and rich and the bread was crispy on the outside but hot and moist on the inside. [Mouths watering yet?] Although I don’t have the home plate advantage that the Italians do [with their abundance of fresh and amazing ingredients] I can still whip up an incredibly tasty bruschetta. There’s no better way to say “Cara mia, ti voglio bene” [My dear, I love you] than with a piece of home-made bruschetta!
What You’ll Need:
- 1 loaf of french bread
- 1/2 hunk of fresh mozzarella cheese [it usually comes in a ball shape]
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp of 100% extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh basil leaves [or dried basil]
- Dried oregano
- Dash of salt and pepper
How to Make It:
- Slide bread into 1/2 inch think slices. Slice mozzarella and tomatoes into bite size pieces.
- Drizzle olive oil on bread. Sprinkle with a pinch of basil, oregano and salt and pepper.
- Place cheese on bread and sprinkle with chopped tomatoes. Drizzle a bit more olive oil over and sprinkle with more basil and oregano. [Or serve with a fresh basil leaf on top]
Note: To serve warm, simply bake at 350 degrees for about 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Nutritional information per piece: 180 calories, 6 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber.