Bruschetta Two Ways

Bruschetta Two Ways

One of the first recipes, or I should say early edible recipes, that I grew up making was bruschetta. I remember I tried it in a Trader Joe’s with their special bruschetta tomato mix and I swear it changed my life. At that moment I know I just HAD to try and recreate it, or create something just as good if not better. What’s not to like in bruschetta? There’s toasty delicious bread (who doesn’t love bread), cheese, tomatoes (or other veggies) and it all just fits perfectly in your mouth for the most amazing and irresistible bites. It’s such an easy and delicious appetizer to make whether you’re having a party and need a good appetizer or you and a friend decide you want to have a wine and cheese night!

That brings me to one of my other favorite things: having people over and feeding them. This particular recipe, or recipes rather, came about because I decided to have one of my best friends over for a much needed girls wine night. She brought the wine and I brought and made the food! I love feeding my people because it’s such an easy way to spend time with the people I love and we always have amazing conversations. It really fits in with my idea of food being the best way to bring people together. Whether that’s friends, family, partners, etc. food always has a way of playing such an important part in building and strengthening those relationships. So for this post, I have a real treat for you guys: not one, but TWO recipes. I made two types of bruschetta for this particular evening and I was very happy with how they both turned out so I hope you all love them as much as I did!

Bruschetta Ingredients

Bruschetta #1: Tomato and Goat Cheese

½ Loaf of french bread

1 Log of goat cheese at room temperature (this really makes the spreading a lot easier)

1 Container of cherry tomatoes (10 oz)

2 Cloves of garlic

2 TBSP Olive oil

1 TBSP Balsamic vinegar

Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to Broil.

Step 2:

Cut the french bread into 1 inch thick slices.

Step 3:

Place the bread on a baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes or until it reaches your desired crispiness level.

Step 4:

While the bread is toasting, chop the tomatoes and the garlic and place in a bowl.

Step 5:

Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and freshly ground pepper and mix it all up!

Step 6:

Once the bread has cooled enough for you to handle, spread the goat cheese on each slice.

Step 7:

Spoon the tomato mix onto each piece of bread.

Step 8:

Enjoy!

Bruschetta tomato 2

Bruschetta #2: Roasted Red Pepper, Mushroom, Ricotta

Other half of the french bread

1 Jar roasted red peppers

½ Cup roasted mushrooms (I will attach a quick roasting recipe just in case you don’t have these on hand)

1 Cup ricotta cheese

2 Garlic cloves

2 TBSP Olive oil

1 TSP Chili onion crunch (I think you all knew this one was bound to be in here somewhere)

1 TBSP White vinegar

Salt & freshly ground pepper

Step 1:

Follow the same steps for the bread as the first recipe!

Step 2:

Chop the red peppers, mushrooms, and garlic, and place in a bowl.

Step 3:

Add the olive oil, vinegar, chili crunch, salt, and pepper, and mix it all up

Step 4:

Spread the ricotta onto each piece of bread.

Step 5:

Spoon the red pepper mix over the top of each piece of bread.

Step 6:

Enjoy!

Bruschetta roasted red pepper 2

Everything but the Bagel Salmon

Everything but the bagel Salmon

*Disclaimer: I forgot to take pictures of the ingredients before I made this.. OOPS*

I used to hate fish when I was little, can you believe that? My parents would make it and I would absolutely refuse to try it (they’d still make me try it anyway much to my dismay) and I hated it every time with every kind of fish. Now, I have no idea when that started to change, but I am so glad it did. I have so much fun coming up with different recipes for fish or even following some great recipes for it too from one of my many cookbooks. I do feel like I’ve found that the secret to really good fish (and just happiness in general) is butter. It works so well with any type of fish or seafood and it really helps create that crispy layer on the outside we all love so much when you pan fry it and it makes the fish so flavorful and tender and flakey. Butter is amazing and if you’re not a huge fan of fish, try cooking it in a whole stick of butter and I bet you’ll change your mind!

Now of all the fish out there, I feel like salmon is the most well known and most used, as well as the most loved. Even people who don’t like other fish, seem to still really enjoy a good salmon. As I’m sure you’ve all guessed by now, I really like making easy, simple and delicious recipes. Salmon is delicious so it can be really easy to want to get crazy with it, when in reality you really don’t have to! Use spices and ingredients that just add to and enhance the flavor and you’ll be amazed at what deliciousness you can create. This recipe is simple, it’s delicious, and the salmon turns out incredibly tender and flavorful. Not only that, but you also get a great serving of healthy veggies with it too!

Final Salmon

Recipe

1lb Fresh salmon

1 Yellow zucchini

½ cup oyster mushrooms

½ small yellow onion

4 TBSP butter

1 TBSP Olive oil

1 TSP chili onion crunch oil

3 TBSP Everything bagel seasoning (I get mine at Trader Joe’s but I have seen it at Costco and most other grocery stores. I HIGHLY recommend keeping a jar of this around because it makes for extremely easy cooking and flavoring)

1 TSP Garlic powder

Salt & Pepper

Step 1:

Put two tablespoons into a pan over medium heat and melt and repeat with another pan (one pan is for the veggies and one is for the salmon)

Step 2:

While the butter is melting chop up all of the veggies into fairly small chunks.

Step 3:

Put them in the pan with the chili oil crunch, salt, pepper, and garlic. (You can also add a little splash of white wine if you want to, it’s delicious)

Step 4:

Generously coat the salmon with the Everything Bagel Seasoning and put the salmon in the pan skin side up.

Step 5:

As the veggies are cooking, add the olive oil slowly to the pan while stirring the veggies.

Step 6:

As the veggies and salmon are starting to cook all the way through turn up the heat a little bit–I’d say to about medium high heat. This way the salmon get’s a nice and crispy outside.

Step 7:

Cook the salmon for about 10 minutes and while it is still on medium high heat, flip it over so the skin side is down. Cover the salmon and cook for another 5-10 minutes depending on how thick your salmon is.

Step 8:

After you flip your salmon turn the veggies off and cover so they don’t lose too much heat.

Step 9:

Once the salmon is fully cooked serve it and put the zucchini mixture on top. Enjoy!

Broiled Cauliflower Goodness

Broiled Cauliflower Goodness

Broiled Cauliflower finished 2

With the 4th of July over the weekend, the weekend itself, and I know I personally have been doing a lot of stress eating, I really wanted to make the recipes I post this week light and healthy. With this broiled cauliflower, you can use it as a side dish or it works as a main vegan dish as well! It’s no secret that I loooove cauliflower and I pretty much always have some in my fridge and I absolutely love creating new recipes with it, it’s so versatile! I wanted to do a simple dish that also is kind of different from the cauliflower recipes we’re all used to.

Broiled Cauliflower Ingredients

Especially with how crazy life is and how many people are now unemployed due to everything going on, one of the things I really want to do for you all is to create recipes with staples in your fridge or things that are cheap and easy to get. I’ve been unemployed for 3 months so I definitely understand how stressful grocery shopping can be when you’re strapped for cash. I know some of these ingredients might not seem like “pantry staples” but I do highly recommend getting them because they can all be used for so many different things! The bourbon smoked chili powder was a gift to me and I LOVE it; it adds such an amazing smokey flavor to anything you put it on. If you can’t find bourbon smoked, then regularly smoked chili powder or using smoked paprika with chili powder works really well too! I really enjoy keeping tahini around because you can make so many sauces with it (I really like making tahini lime sauce for tacos) and it’s also a base to make a really good hummus too.

I’m truly in love with this recipe because there’s just a little bit of spice and kick to it but it’s not overwhelming and the tahini sauce really compliments the cauliflower and the flavor of the spices as well! I’m kind of a weeny when it comes to spicy food so I generally try not to make anything too hot and crazy (although I’m sure I’ll be creating some that are muy caliente). This is also a great recipe for a weeknight. It doesn’t take much time at all to make and it’s super easy as well as having hardly any cleanup afterwards.

Broiled Cauliflower finished

Recipe

½ TSP bourbon smoked chili powder

1 head of cauliflower

¼ Cup of Tahini

Juice of one lemon

5 Tbsp olive oil (if you want a less thick sauce add more)

4 cloves of garlic

2 Tsp Chili onion crunch oil

1 TSP cumin

Salt & Pepper

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to Broil.

Step 2:

Cut up the cauliflower into about 1 inch chunks or you can also cut it into cauliflower steaks and spread out onto a baking sheet.

Step 3:

In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, cumin, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and 1 ½ tsp of the chili onion crunch.

Step 4:

Using a pastry/basting brush evenly coat the pieces of cauliflower with the olive oil mixture.

Step 5:

Add the garlic cloves to the baking sheet and bake the garlic and cauliflower for 10-15 minutes.

Step 6:

While the cauliflower and garlic are roasting, put the tahini, the rest of the chili onion crunch, olive oil, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor but DO NOT BLEND YET.

Step 7:

Remove the cauliflower and garlic from the oven and add the roasted garlic into the blender/food processor; blend away!

Step 8:

Put the cauliflower on a plate and pour the sauce over it.

Step 9:

Enjoy!

Dad’s famous pesto

Happy Thursday, everyone!

One of my absolute favorite dishes growing up (and still one of my favorites now, let’s be honest), was my dad’s pesto. It’s warm, it’s nutty, it’s magical. My dad has two super famous dishes in my childhood: his ribs and his pesto. Him and my mom both have always been really good cooks, so I lucked out growing up with delicious food and family meals. We always made sure we had dinner together when I was growing up and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really realized just how important it is to have that special family time. I’m super lucky that they prioritized family meals and that we were able to spend that time together. Some of my happiest memories really do involve my dad’s pesto; it’s THAT good. Even now, as an adult, my dad and I will get the opportunity to cook together and we love making food for our families and each other. It’s truly a special time that I cherish with my dad. We’ve always bonded over our love of food, cooking, and wine.

 

That all being said, I know green colored food can be kind of intimidating, so just trust me when I say this pesto will change your life. It’s delicious with any kind of pasta and you can use it on chicken, fish, stuffing mushrooms, and honestly, you could probably put it on just about anything savory and it would be amazing. I really love making a huge batch of it so I can save some to add to whatever I decide to make later on that week. One of the beauties of this recipe is that you can make it and cater it to your own taste buds. Do you like a nuttier taste? Then add some more pine nuts! Do you like it to be a little spicier or herbier? Add more garlic or chili oil or basil! Make this pesto how your taste buds love it!

Pesto ingreditents

Recipe

4oz Fresh basil (yes, for this recipe the basil has to be fresh so just trust me on this)

1 Cup of fresh parsley

3 garlic cloves

1 ¼ Cups pine nuts

1 ½ cups of parmesan cheese

1 Cup of olive oil

2 TSP of Trader Joe’s chili onion oil

Salt and pepper to taste

However much of whatever pasta you choose!

Step 1:

Boil water for your pasta and then add the pasta once the water is boiling.

Step 2:

While the pasta is boiling and cooking, make the pesto!

Step 3:

In a blender or food processor add the basil, garlic, parsley, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese, chili oil, salt and pepper.

Step 4:

Blend until combined and you get a paste texture.

Step 5:

Taste it! If you taste it and feel like it needs more of any of the ingredients, then go ahead and add them!

Step 6:

Strain your pasta

Step 7:

Spoon the pesto into the pasta and mix till the pasta is fully coated.

Step 8:

Plate, and enjoy!

Pesto final product

Easy Peasy Ratatouille

Easy Peasy Ratatouille

Ratatouille Final Product

Anyone who knows me well knows that Ratatouille is one of my absolute favorite movies ever. You really can’t go wrong with Paris, cooking, and a theme of: anyone can cook. It’s wholesome, it’s heartwarming, and the FOOD? How do they make cartoon food look so dang good? I tend to eat vegan on a fairly regular basis just because that’s what my body feels good eating so this recipe is 100% vegan and 500% delicious! Ratatouille is basically a vegetable baked stew type dish. I love it because it’s warm and it has such simple but truly amazing flavors. On top of that, ratatouille really is so easy to make, especially if you need a good veggie dish for a big group of people.

Sometimes I’ll add some ricotta because I just love cheese and I feel like it really compliments the acidity of the tomatoes in this dish really well. However, for the purposes of this being my first post and I’d like to keep this one vegan, I won’t be adding it tonight! It’s such a simple recipe and I love making it for people because it’s so filling both for the tummy and the soul.

Cooking is such a big stress reliever for me and as much as I love making complicated dishes, sometimes you just have to go back to the basics and make something that’s super quick and easy. There’s also not very much clean up that needs to be done after making this, so even better! I hope you all enjoy and please leave any comments or feedback!

Ratatouille Ingredients

Ratatouille Pre-Oven

Recipe:

1 Eggplant

2-3 Yellow squashes

1 Can of crushed tomatoes

1 Yellow onion

1 TBSP of tomato paste

2 TSP crushed red peppers

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

2 TBSP of basil

¼ Cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Step 2:

Chop the eggplant, zucchini, and onion into 1 inch cubes

Step 3:

In a bowl, mix together the veggies, garlic, olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, and tomato paste

Step 4:

In a medium sized dutch oven, pour the can of crushed tomatoes and smush a little more with your hands so it’s almost a sauce consistency.

Step 5:

Pour the vegetable mixture in with the tomatoes and mix up until everything is evenly coated.

Step 6:

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

Step 7:

Let it cool a little bit and then spoon into a bowl and get ready for deliciousness!

*Full disclosure, I didn’t have a dutch oven big enough to fit all of the veggies this time, so I had to use a baking dish.

Welcome!

 

Hi! My name is Natalia. I’m 26 years old and I have always had a love and a passion for food. I’m pretty sure I get that love from my abuela who is an incredible cook! In my world, food brings people together. It bonds us and it brings positivity and happiness into our world like nothing else can. Family dinners were always super important in my home growing up. We always made time to eat together and spend time together as a family even when our schedules were packed and crazy. I want to share my love for food and my creations,  with a goal of bringing people together and feeding the heart and soul. I don’t have any formal training, so sometimes I really have NO idea what I’m doing and I’m happy to have you along for the ride! I want to create recipes that taste amazing and sometimes they’ll be super healthy and good for you, and sometimes they’re just going to be delicious and good for your soul. Making healthy food tasty can be  fun and easy.IMG_2161

Cooking and food really bring people together and if there’s anything I want you to take from this blog, it’s a love and appreciation for food and cooking, like I have. I feel like if we all cooked more and shared a meal together more frequently, the world would be a better place. We can come together and have discussions;  we can laugh together and share ideas. Sharing a meal with someone really opens the door to productive and positive conversations. The world is a crazy and hectic place right now, so let’s find the beauty in it together and let’s make some delicious food!