Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Crostini

crostini2I am having so much fun with all of the fresh produce available right now. Definitely one of my favorite parts of summer!  When I found this great bread and delicious rosemary infused olive oil at the farmers market last Saturday I knew that I would be making these delicious Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Crostini.  They were so incredible and ended up as our dinner not just a snack.  If you can get your hands on heirloom tomatoes get them because the taste difference will be worth it.  Also, it’s better to slice the bread on the thin side rather than on the thick side.  Your crostini will be hard to eat if it is too thick.

The picture below is a hornet’s nest that Greg ran into on Saturday.  It is in a low hanging branch of a tree on the back side of the farm.  He was bush hogging, one of his favorite pastimes, when he ran directly into it.  He said hundreds of bees swarmed, but thankfully he was only stung 4 times.  I don’t plan to go near the nest, I’m scared to death of a bee but I must admit…this nest is pretty amazing and beautiful.

hornets nest 2

Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Crostini
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 (8-oz.) loaf baguette French bread
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 12 small tomatoes, sliced or halved (depending on size)
  • Fresh basil, torn
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. For crostini, cut French bread into ½-inch thick slices. Lightly brush both sides of each bread slice with the 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with pepper. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp and light brown, turning once.
  2. Top crostini with mozzarella slices, tomato slices (or halves), and a piece of basil. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt.

 

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Heirloom-Tomato Salad

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad

 

There are not enough hours in the day to get everything done that I need to do during the summertime.  If I am to get dinner on the table, after coming in from working in the yard on a 95 degree day, it has to be something simple.  I really don’t care to stand over a hot stove.  Sometimes, nothing will take the place of a fresh ingredients.  Whether it be a great fruit salad, tossed salad or just a slice of fresh tomato from the garden.  This heirloom-tomato salad  is so easy it can be made in a matter of minutes.  It uses fresh and flavorful heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs.  Basil and mint are both herbs I have growing in my yard.  I use basil quite often but mint is one of those herbs that I forget about.  Then when I do remember it I only use it in iced tea.  However, it adds a wonderful spicy flavor to this salad that I love.  Heirloom tomatoes are in season and available at many grocery stores or at your local farmer’s market.

Heirloom-Tomato Salad
 
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Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 lb. mixed firm, ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, and sugar.
  2. Arrange tomatoes on a large serving platter. Drizzle vinegar mixture over tomatoes. Sprinkle with mint, basil, salt and pepper. Serve.

 

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Buttermilk Pancakes with Fresh Peach Syrup

buttermilk pancakes with fresh peach syrup

 

Greg and I bought fresh peaches at the farmer’s market on Saturday. We’ve had peach everything since then.  They have been juicy and full of wonderful flavor!  With only a few left I decided to make this delicious fresh peach syrup.  It’s delicious on buttermilk pancakes with whipped cream!  It also great on pound cake or ice cream too!

 

Buttermilk Pancakes
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 lg. eggs, beaten
  • 3 c. buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter
Instructions
  1. Heat griddle to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Gently fold egg mixture into dry ingredients. Some lumps will remain. Too much mixing makes tough pancakes.
  4. Butter griddle and pour batter by ¼-cup measure. Cook until edges look dry and there are bubbles on the surface. Turn and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Serve warm with Fresh Peach Syrup and whipped cream.

Fresh Peach Syrup
 
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Ingredients
  • 5 fresh peaches, diced
  • ⅓ c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 c. water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens slightly.

 

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Blueberry Crunch

blueberry crunch

I am thrilled that it is blueberry season in Southeast Georgia!  I love fresh blueberries and thanks to my friends, Jimmy and Michelle, I have been eating a lot of them lately.  They are fortunate enough to have Michelle’s granddad’s huge blueberry bushes at their house and gracious enough to share.  I have had fresh blueberries by the handful, with my yogurt and granola for breakfast, in salads, and I have made jam and a few blueberry desserts already.  This blueberry dessert is new to me and possibly my favorite so far.

I recently started searching for a blueberry crunch recipe after someone posted a picture online.  Most of the recipes that I found had the cake mix alone as a topping.  I have several recipes with cake mix in the ingredient list.  I like the convenience of a cake mix but I really do not care for the “cake mix taste”.

This is my version of a Blueberry Crunch.  It is simple to make and delicious hot or cold.  It does have cake mix in the topping but with the addition of oats and a little flour the “cake mix taste” isn’t prominent.  Fresh or frozen blueberries work great in this recipe and it is delicious hot or cold.

 

Blueberry Crunch
 
Author:
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (20-oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 6 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 (16.5-oz.) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ c. rolled oats
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Pour undrained pineapple into prepared pan and distribute evenly. In a bowl, add blueberries and lemon zest, if desired. Toss to coat blueberries with sugar. Sprinkle evenly over pineapple.
  3. In a large bowl combine cake mix, chopped pecans, flour, rolled oats, and brown sugar. Sprinkle mixture over the blueberries. Drizzle melted butter over the top. Bake at 350° for 1 hour.

 

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