Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake

vanilla bean birthday cake

 

Let’s talk about birthdays. I love having a May birthday. Growing up in Texas, it was always warm enough to spend the day outdoors doing something fun. It was close to the end of the school year. So you knew it was ALMOST time for summer vacation, which was a great feeling. But… and this is very important when you’re in elementary school… it was still DURING the school year. This meant you could bring cupcakes to school. This meant you could celebrate your birthday with all your classmates and receive that little bit of extra attention. So perfect.

 

And then, I wound up meeting and marrying someone who also has a May birthday. And it makes it a little bit sweeter. We can celebrate our birthdays together. This usually involves a cake of some sort.

 

A few years ago, I found a cake recipe from one of my favorite food blogs (and one of the first food blogs I ever read)! It is a berry birthday cake. The typical preparation has you putting berries in the cake, but due to the pickiness of my family, I tend to leave them out and serve them on the side for whoever wants them. So instead, the vanilla flavor really shines through. So instead of the big berry birthday cake, I call my version (slightly adapted from Joy’s) the vanilla bean birthday cake.
This cake is so good that I make it year after year. I sent the recipe to a co-worker, and she made the cake and wound up bringing the leftovers to work, and it was so tasty. Before I made the cake this year, that co-worker and I stood around for like five minutes talking about the deliciousness of the cake. So let’s get baking!

 

First, butter and flour up those cake pans!

 

cake pans

cake making

 

Divide the batter evenly into the two pans… well as close as you can get it.

 

cake pans

 

Always frost the cake with two pieces of parchment underneath! That way it remains clean, and you can just slide each parchment piece out after you’re done.

 

icing a cake

icing a cake

 

Make it fancy with a piping tip and colored frosting!

 

birthday cake

vanilla bean birthday cake

 

Okay, yes. We MAY use a brûlée torch to light our candles. Hardcore over here.

 

torch birthday candles

sliced strawberries

vanilla bean birthday cake

vanilla bean birthday cake

 

Here is the recipe.. adapted from Joy the Baker’s Big Berry Birthday Cake.

 

Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1½ Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Frosting:
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) organic unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Blueberries and sliced strawberries (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. This is easiest done in a stand mixer with a paddle. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. In another bowl, combine the milk, vanilla extract and vanilla seeds.
  7. With mixer on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
  8. Shut off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and ensure everything is well-combined.
  9. Evenly divide the batter between the two pans.
  10. Bake 40 minutes until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean.
  11. Let cakes cool for 15 minutes, then remove and set aside to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  12. To make frosting, cream the butter about 30 seconds with a mixer.
  13. Add the sugar and mix for another 5-7 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
  14. In a small saucepan, add ¼ cup milk, the vanilla and flour. Whisk together and then turn to medium heat.
  15. Add the rest of the milk, whisking slowly until mixture starts to thicken. Once it starts to thicken, remove from heat, and continue whisking for another minute. If you have lumps, strain the mixture. Let cool to room temperature.
  16. Once mixture has cooled, add to the butter/sugar mixture and beat about 4-5 minutes.
  17. Frost the cake, leaving a little icing aside to color. Color the remaining frosting and then pipe onto the cake to decorate.
  18. Serve with sliced strawberries and blueberries.

 

 

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Peas

spring risotto

 

Risotto is one of those things that I feel is so daunting. That may be why I’ve only attempted to make it a few times. But, I must be pretty lucky, because every time it seems to come out great! And I’m not the only one that thinks so, Josh does too (I hope he’s not just being nice).

 

I’ve been wanting to cook up a fresh, spring risotto. So I found this recipe from Rachel Ray and adapted it to fit what I had in the house and what I wanted to use. I left out the pancetta and saffron and added peas. So while this recipe is certainly not vegan, it can be made vegetarian if you switch out the chicken stock for vegetable stock! Of course, if you don’t care about such things, you could always add pancetta or bacon in too. (Which I may next time I make it. Everything’s better with bacon, right?)

 

Apparently I have a thing lately for recipes that take awhile, because this one takes a bit of time to prepare. You will be standing at the stove for awhile stirring while the stock slowly gets absorbed into the rice. So before you start cooking, make sure you know how long it will take!

 

Also, we just got back from a several day trip to Chicago! It was my first time there. I can’t wait to share photos of the places we visited and all the food we ate. So look for those posts coming up soon! But for now… enjoy this spring risotto!

 

asparagus

risotto

risotto

spring risotto

spring risotto

 

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Peas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • about 1 lb asparagus (1 bundle)
  • 1¼ cups arborio rice
  • salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup peas
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the shallot and mince the garlic.
  2. Cut each asparagus spear into several pieces, setting the tips aside.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, bring the stock and 1 cup water to a simmer over medium. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and asparagus stalks (but not the tips of the spears).
  5. Cook, stirring about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add the wine, and stir until evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  9. Add the broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring between additions until almost absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.
  10. Stir in asparagus tips and peas during last 5 minutes of cooking.
  11. To finish, add the butter and the parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  12. Season to taste and serve.

 

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

bolognese sauce

 

Tomorrow is Josh and my two year wedding anniversary. We got married in the little city of Florence in Italy. It was perfect weather and a perfect day spent with a small group of family and friends.

 

For us, a small wedding was perfect. Even more perfect was traveling overseas to make it happen. We spent about a week and a half in Florence before the wedding, basically making sure we had all our ducks in a row (aka that our wedding would be legal and recognized in the US). And we just got to enjoy and get to know the city, exploring the neighborhoods and the incredible views. And the food. OMG the food.

 

Last year we celebrated our anniversary by eating some delicious bolognese sauce over homemade pasta. And while it wasn’t on our anniversary, I made this bolognese sauce last week. Close enough. This may not be your traditional bolognese the way I make it, but it’s still pretty tasty. And I will make this again and again.

 

I will provide this warning. This is a bit of a time-consuming recipe. I like making this on weekends when I can start early, so we aren’t eating dinner at 9 or 10!

 

married

married

florence italy

florence italy

carrots

carrots

bolognese sauce

bolognese sauce

 

Adapted from this recipe on: Use Real Butter

Pasta with Bolognese Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 yellow or white onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 ⅓ lbs ground beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 28oz can plum tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 lb pappardelle pasta
  • Parmesan cheese for grating over the top
Instructions
  1. Dice the three carrots and white onion.
  2. Melt the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large pot (I use a stew pot). Add the onion and carrot and saute until onion is translucent.
  3. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up any clumps. Add about ¼ tsp pepper and ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Once beef has browned, add the milk to the pot and stir occasionally until all the milk is absorbed. This took me about 30-35 minutes.
  5. Add the white wine and cook until evaporated, about 30 minutes.
  6. Sir in the nutmeg and oregano.
  7. Take the can of tomatoes and put into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the tomatoes to the pot and stir to mix.
  8. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2.5-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Cook the pasta.
  10. Plate the pasta and spoon the bolognese sauce over.
  11. Top with freshly grated parmesan and basil leaves if desired.

 

 

Spicy Toasted Edamame

edamame

 

I love snacking. Give me a lazy Sunday afternoon with some snacks and some tv and I’m a pretty happy girl. It’s so easy to fall into the rut of just pulling out a bag of chips or making some popcorn. I’d rather do something that’s almost as easy and worlds tastier and healthier.

 

Enter this edamame.

 

Edamame is so easy to make. If you get frozen, like I do, you just follow the directions on the package. This usually either involved boiling in some water or cooking in the microwave. I usually do the boiling method though. Just as easy! And then with this recipe, you just take that boiled edamame and toast it up in some olive and sesame oil. I like to throw in a jalapeno for some heat. It gets all caramelized and yummy. I usually leave the seeds in for some extra spice, but if you’re a little reluctant to have your mouth on fire, leave the seeds out. It will still be tasty.

 

jalapeno

edamame

spicy toasted edamame

spicy toasted edamame

 

Spicy Toasted Edamame
Recipe type: Veggie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bag frozen edamame (1 pound)
  • 1 large jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Boil the edamame in a pot for about 4-5 minutes (or follow the instructions on the bag).
  2. While edamame is cooking, slice up the large jalapeno. For less spice, remove the seeds.
  3. Heat olive oil and sesame oil in wok over medium-high heat. If you don't have a wok, a large skillet can also be used.
  4. Add the edamame and sliced jalapeno.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until edamame is blistered.
  6. Serve while hot!

 

3 Cheese Blintzes with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Cheese Blintz with Fruit Compote

 

I love my mom, and every few years my birthday appropriately falls on Mother’s Day. When that happens we’ll avoid the Mother’s Day mayhem and I’ll make one of our favorite brunch dishes at home – blintzes. Blintzes are basically crepes wrapped around an almost cheesecake-like filling.

 

Traditional blintzes are stuffed with ricotta. This recipe also uses mascarpone and farmer cheese for a silkier, dessert-like quality. (Mascarpone can be found with ricotta in the soft cheese section of the store, while farmer cheese is a pressed cottage cheese that you can find in the hard cheese section).

 

What really makes these blintzes great is a sweet and sour rhubarb compote. The addition of balsamic vinegar really brings out the strawberry flavor. If you don’t think you like rhubarb, I’m betting this recipe will change your mind.

 

This recipe has three easy components that come together in an impressive dish, and can be made up to a day in advance and finished in 20 minutes.

 

eggs

strawberries

prep shot

rhubarb

cheeses

crepes

Cheese Blintz with Fruit Compote

blintz folding

blintz folding

blintz prep

blintz

Cheese Blintz with Fruit Compote

Cheese Blintz with Fruit Compote

 

3 Cheese Blintzes with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8 blintzes
 
Ingredients
  • Crepes:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 cup farmer’s cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • Compote:
  • 3 rhubarb stalks, washed and cut into ½ inch slices
  • 16 oz. fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • ¼ orange juice
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • For cooking:
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. For the crepes combine the milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter in a blender and pulse. Add flour and powdered sugar and pulse until mixture is completely blended. Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes to remove air bubbles.
  2. While the batter is chilling, combine the filling ingredients in a standing mixer or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, being sure to break up the harder farmer cheese so that it is evenly distributed in the filling. Don’t stress about any remaining chunks of farmer cheese as they will melt in the oven. Refrigerate while you make the crepes.
  3. To make the crepes heat an 8-inch non-stick pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, lightly brush it with melted butter. Pour ¼ cup of your batter into the middle of the pan and quickly rotate the pan to evenly coat the bottom. After about a minute the bottom of the crepe will be a nice brown color. Run a flexible spatula under the crepe and lay it flat on a plate – cooked side up. You can stack the rest of the crepes on each other this way.
  4. To make the blintzes, place a crepe cooked-side up and spoon 3-4 tablespoons of filling lengthwise in the middle of the crepe. Fold one long side of the crepe over the filling, then fold the two short sides in, and fold the remaining side over. Place the blintzes seam-side down in a baking dish for 30 minutes. At this point the blintzes can be wrapped and refrigerated up to a day in advance.
  5. While the blintzes chill, add the sliced rhubarb, orange juice and sugar into a medium pot and cover. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the rhubarb has softened, add the strawberries and continue cooking uncovered for another 5 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional minute and remove from heat.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Fry the blintzes, two or three at a time, starting with the seam side down, until they are brown on both sides (about a minute per side) placing them side-by-side in a large casserole dish when done. Bake the blintzes in the dish for about 12 minutes to firm them up.
  7. Plate the blintzes, generously spoon the compote over them and dust with powdered sugar if you like.

 

Breakfast Tostada

breakfast tostada

 

Yup, it’s that time of year. Almost Cinco de Mayo. Living in Texas most of my life, it’s always been a holiday that’s been fun to celebrate. However, I keep my celebrating pretty tame. nowadays Usually it just involves some sort of Mexican food and a margarita. For a recipe I wanted to share this year, I decided to do a little twist on avocado toast. And how do you elevate it to new levels of delicious and put a little Mexican spin on it? You fry up a tortilla, of course and use that in place of the bread!

 

Luckily, this recipe is really easy to make. Just fry up a tortilla, fry up an egg, slice an avocado, and top with stuff! Scroll down for the exact recipe, but the great thing about it is you can modify it to what you like, or what you have in your kitchen! I didn’t put any cilantro on mine, because unfortunately I’m one of THOSE people. Those people who cilantro tastes like soap to. But, if you like cilantro, throw some on here! Make it rain cilantro! Just not on my breakfast tostada, please.

 

tortillas

avocado

tortilla

breakfast tostada

avocado tortilla

finished plate

 

Breakfast Tostada
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 tortilla (corn works great! I used a corn/flour one)
  • 1 small avocado or half of a large avocado
  • 1 egg
  • 4 leaves basil
  • 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • Hot Sauce for topping
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  2. Add the tortilla and fry until light brown and crispy, flipping as needed.
  3. Drain tortilla on paper towels.
  4. While oil is still hot, crack the egg into the skillet and fry.
  5. While egg is frying, chop the basil and parsley.
  6. Cut the avocado and slice.
  7. Place the tortilla on the plate. Top with a few avocado slices. Then add the fried egg and add the rest of the avocado slices.
  8. Sprinkle the parsley and basil over the top.
  9. Shake a bit of hot sauce over the top.
  10. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Enjoy!

 

Salmon en Papillote: Fish in a DIY bag

salmon en papillote

 

According to Aimee, salmon en papillote is the very first dinner I ever cooked for her. I had to break it to her that this was my go-to dish for impressing the ladies. It checks all of the boxes:

  • Sounds fancy – salmon en papillote just means “salmon in parchment” but when heard in my outrageous French accent just makes your knees weak.
  • Looks cool – few homemade meals allow for such dramatic presentation. For this dish you plate the bag and the diner tears into it like a present…allowing the steam and savory smells to waft almost magically from the bag.
  • Looks complicated (but super easy) to make – it uses one pan and a cookie sheet, so clean up is super easy too.
  • Healthy and light – this recipe uses just 1 tablespoon of butter or oil and salt and pepper to taste.

 

carrots

parchment paper

parchment paper

parchment paper hearts

shallots

salmon

skinning salmon

salmon in hearts

salmon in paper

salmon en papillote

salmon en papillote

 

Here you go, a simple recipe for Salmon en Papillote:

Salmon en Papillote: Fish in a DIY bag
Author: 
Recipe type: Seafood
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 3 carrots shredded
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 2 salmon fillets (skin and bones removed)
  • 1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2 sheets of parchment cut roughly 15in x 20in
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat butter or oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté carrots and shallot until soft (3 - 4 minutes) adding salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Fold the parchment in half so it is 15in x 10in and cut a half heart shape so when unfolded it looks like a Valentine’s heart.
  4. Divide the sautéed vegetables onto the wider part of the hear parchment, close to, but not overlapping the fold. Place the fish on top of the vegetables. Top with lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  5. Place the left half of parchment over the fish in the same way you cut out the heart.
  6. Folding: Starting at the top inseam of the heart fold over a 1 inch section of parchment toward the center of the heart. Working your way around the open side of parchment ½ inch at a time, continuing to fold the sections making sure you overlap the previous section so that no steam escapes. Once you get to the end, fold the long tail of the heart around a few times and tuck it underneath the bag.
  7. Place the bags in the oven on a cookie sheet for 9 or 10 minutes.
  8. Serve and tear in.

 

A Trip to Manana

I love being able to walk to coffee shops (and bars, of course). So when this new coffee shop opened in the South Congress Hotel, I was hoping it would be good. And on our first visit there, it delivered. The coffee is great, the pastries are OMG so good, and the decor is so cute! I love the tile that’s all around the coffee bar area.

coffee

 

Josh ordered an almond pastry (it had apples inside!) and I ordered a ham and cheese croissant that was so flaky, buttery and perfect.

 

pastries

pastries

 

Just look at all the delicious things happening in that pastry case! I almost got a cinnamon roll.. and a lemon tart.. but stopped myself and just stuck with the croissant.

 

pastry case

 

Love the side of the espresso machine!

 

espresso machine

manana decor

empty coffee cup

Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl

mixed berry smoothie bowl

 

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but I am so glad the weekend is almost here. I caught a cold last weekend, and I’ve spent most of this week feeling rotten. I’m feeling a lot better, and I’m excited to rest and relax this weekend and just enjoy not being sick!

 

I will say, when I’m sick, I do try to get as many vitamins as possible, hoping it will speed the cold along. And I absolutely adore smoothies for that purpose. Being able to pack those antioxidants and vitamin c in is perfect! Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more photos of smoothie bowls, and now that I’ve tried it? I’m sold. It’s all the deliciousness of a smoothie with toppings!

 

Really, you can add anything to the top. I checked what I had in my pantry, and so I topped this one with a banana, some sprouted pumpkin seeds (my new love!), and some coconut that I toasted. I’m excited to try out more variations, but I’ll include the recipe of what I did for this one! Modify to your own tastes, and honestly, just throw some good stuff on top. Eat it up with a spoon and congratulate yourself on being healthy.

 

banana

smoothie bowl

finished smoothie bowl

 

Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 banana
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • ½ tbsp shredded coconut
  • ½ tbsp sprouted pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. Toast the shredded coconut lightly in a pan over low heat for about 5 minutes. Stir every minute or so.
  2. When coconut is lightly toasted, remove from heat.
  3. Cut ⅓ of the banana into slices. Set aside the rest of the banana for the smoothie.
  4. In a blender, add the frozen berries, orange juice, and rest of the banana and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour into a bowl and top with sliced banana, shredded coconut, and pumpkin seeds.
  6. Eat with a spoon and enjoy!

 

Yummy Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta

 

I love this time of year. It’s actually the perfect time in Austin where it’s not too hot and not too cold. The weather is getting warmer, and staying warmer. And eating fresh ingredients becomes the norm. Goodbye to soup, hello to raw veggies and fruits! This tomato bruschetta feels like the perfect way to ring in spring. Tomatoes, basil, garlic, warm toasted bread… what’s not to love?

 

The great thing about this bruschetta is that it is a perfect appetizer, snack, or part of a meal. To make it part of a meal, just serve alongside some chicken or pasta. When we made this bruschetta, we also cut up a rotisserie chicken and called it lunch. So easy. Honestly, the most time-consuming part of this dish is chopping all the tomatoes, but if you have a great helper (like my husband), those tomatoes are chopped in no time!

 

And before we move onto the recipe, let’s just talk briefly about the pronunciation of the word bruschetta. I keep pronouncing it broo-sheh-tuh. And Josh keeps correcting me, saying it’s broo-sket-uh. Who’s right? Apparently he is. Regardless, it is a delicious and yummy creation.

 

tomatoes and basil

french bread

slicing bread

tomato mixture

tomatoes for bruschetta

tomato bruschetta

yummy tomato bruschetta

tomato bruschetta

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Yummy Bruschetta
Author: 
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • ½ loaf french or ciabatta bread
  • 6 campari tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ⅛ cup loosely packed basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp olive oil (plus more for brushing onto bread)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Dice the tomatoes and put into a small mixing bowl
  2. Finely mince the clove of garlic and add to the bowl
  3. Chop the basil into thin ribbons and add to the bowl
  4. Add the parsley, 1 tsp olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the bowl
  5. Add a little salt and black pepper
  6. Stir ingredients together. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed
  7. Set aside and let flavors marinate together
  8. Turn on oven broiler
  9. Cut half of the loaf of bread into about ½ inch slices
  10. Place onto baking sheet and brush olive oil onto one side of the bread slices, making sure to get the edges
  11. Place under broiler until nicely browned. Cooking time will vary based on your oven, so just keep an eye on it! You want the bread to be crisp, but not burned.
  12. Remove bread from oven and evenly spoon and distribute tomato mixture over the bread slices.
  13. Grate Parmesan cheese over the top, if desired.