Once I tell someone that I’m a food blogger and that I love to cook I’m inevitably asked “so, what’s your signature dish?” This is definitely a valid question and I love that people are interested enough to ask it but, truth be known, I really don’t feel like I have one. I mean, am I an expert at just one dish? Do I have one particular dish that I love to make and go to time after time? Hmmmmm, not really. It’s honestly a question I dread and have really contemplated just making something up!
All that being said I do think that one of my favorite things to make, if not my most favorite is bruchettas or crostinis. I have become quite known for them and I serve a different one at each gathering I host. I don’t believe there’s a more versatile or popular appetizer. It falls into my #1 guideline that an appetizer has to be a “finger food” and it is probably the most versatile and creative appetizer you can serve. The ingredients are endless and you can fit those ingredients beautifully into any season or holiday.
I made this berry bruschetta for a Fourth of July party and I have to say, it was a major hit! So much so that I’ve been asked to make it regularly this summer. It came to me because of the colors (red, white and blue) and the fresh in season ingredients (strawberries, blueberries and fresh mint).
I am a fan of fruit on a salad; I think it’s an unexpected surprise. It adds a natural sweetness and looks so fresh and pretty. I’ve made this salad with red leaf lettuce, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red onion, sliced strawberries and crumbled blue cheese.
The dressing is a pear champagne vinaigrette that’s light, slightly sweet and really delicious. Trader Joes makes a pear champagne vinaigrette dressing but of course, I love to make dressing homemade, this one definitely gives Trader Joes’ version a run for its money. I adapted this recipe from one I found on allrecipes.com
Strawberry and Bell Pepper Salad with Pear Champagne Vinaigrette
I am done adding drinks and juices with artificial ingredients and sweeteners to my water for flavor. I always drink water but have gotten into the habbit of adding a splash of juice, flavored drink, powdered packet mix and the like to my water for a bit of flavor. No more! This water flavored with sliced cucumber, lemon and strawberries is natural, calorie free, refreshing and so delicious. I let the ingredients infuse into the water in a pitcher and just keep it in the refrigerator. If refrigerated, the ingredients will stay fresh and continue to flavor the water for several days. The ingredients will eventually fall to the bottom of the pitcher. It’s great with meals and to just drink throughout the day…and with no guilt. I take it to work in a travel water bottle.
Try experimenting with other citrus and fruits. Orange and lime slices as well as raspberries also work great. I always put the cucumber in though, it’s a really nice flavor in the water and really economical. Fresh mint is also a great addition to this water.