As my comfort in the kitchen expands, I’m finding more and more joy in planning, preparing, and serving a full meal to family and friends.  Sunday was my first year hosting Easter.  My father made a traditional Ukrainian Easter bread (paska) and the hubs and I prepared a non-traditional dinner of pot roast, jalapeno cornbread muffins, roasted potatoes, and garlicky green beans with pine nuts.  We had a lovely night and already have plans to learn and incorporate more traditional items to the table in the future.

This excitement remains bittersweet, however, as I wish my mom could have shared more of this with me, but I also know how proud she would be of my progress and enthusiasm. Her passion for creative projects lives on through my work.  This fuels me and inspires me to keep cooking and writing!  In terms of the blog, I am confident that she would have been the first one to read each post and also the first to give me suggestions for improving each dish.

She also would have reminded me that upon presenting this appetizer my dad would say “I hate tomatoes….But, I do like bruschetta.” Aye. He had me worried for a second!

This recipe came from The Neely’s and I couldn’t be happier!



  • 5 plum tomatoes – diced
  • 1 clove of garlic – diced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil – cut into ribbons
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 4 Tablespoons of extra olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Baguette – sliced into toast


Steps and Notes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes into a bowl
  3. Mix the olive oil and balsamic, add to the veggies, and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Spray a cookie sheet with oil and toast the bread for about 5 minutes
  6. Top each piece of toast with some of the bruschetta mixture and enjoy


Thoughts for Next Time:

  • Roast the garlic and rub the toast with the warm garlic before topping with the tomatoes
  • Incorporate some red onion
  • Add olives
  • Spread pesto on the toast and top with fresh tomatoes and garlic
  • Make a variation using mozzarella, pesto, arugula, parmesan





  1. It’s beautiful and comforting to know that our mothers would be proud. And, yes, your mom would be the first to read your posts, as would mine. Your dad is so proud too, and sounds like a star in the kitchen :-).
    Your Bruschetta’s sound lovely, and I will be trying them definitely.


  2. This looks wonderful and I bet your mother was very proud! Thanks for sharing! 🙂


  3. That’s a gorgeous brushchetta, I’m so glad you got to make it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We love your blog and have nominated you for the Leibster Award!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] over time my pictures have gotten better and better! Some of my favorite pics are my carnitas hash, bruschetta, lemon parsley fish cakes,  a pesto and pepper frittata, salmon and avocado salsa, and a batch of […]


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