Bruschetta – a classic recipe with a new twist

psst, nevermind that messy plate!

Recently my husband and I took a kids-free long weekend trip to Chicago with another couple. It was such a great time! We haven’t done that in, well ever. haha! We took a train for about 9 hours to get there and I can’t think of a better way of traveling. Yeah it was a little slow but not much slower than driving and this way I didn’t have to navigate — woo!

leaving lawrence ks on train | cameralinz trainride coffee | cameralinz

There was one thing worrying me though. See, the trip was near the end of January. Aka: flu-season. My entire family had the flu one by one the week before we left. Even the hubs. Quite frankly I was unwilling to get sick. I upped my regular doses of vitamins, washed my hands like a germaphobe, and just thought healthy thoughts. When anyone asked if I felt like I was getting sick I just said I wasn’t going to.

Finally. Being stubborn paid off!

Or did it?

We got into Chicago at the train station right on time. We walked to our hotel, got our rooms, and met back up with our friends. Despite it being so so cold we decided to walk around and sight-see the downtown area. And I started feeling SICK.

harry caray's | chicago | cameralinz

Still being stubborn ol me I wouldn’t admit it to myself and sure didn’t say anything out loud. We found a sports bar and decided to get a couple drinks and a snack. Nothing sounded good. I just wanted some plain chicken broth and a nap. But was determined to get the most out of this trip! So perusing the happy hour menu I found Bruschetta and thought it sounded good. I paired it with a Cosmo. Which is a kind of weird mixture!

cocktails | happy hour | harry caray's | cameralinz

My train of thought was something sour sounded soothing somehow. The Cosmo was lightly sweet and had the lemon twist and tasted great!

Then my Bruschetta came. I swear it was Heaven-sent!

No basil but arugula instead. I was happy it didn’t have basil; its just a little too harsh for me when its raw. The tomatoes were drizzled with just the right amount of vinegar and the toast was perfectly crisp and garlicy without being over kill.

Know what the best-best part was? When I offered a slice to my husband and our friends everyone declined and I got to eat it all. to. MYSELF!!!

I don’t know if the flu was really trying to settle in or if I just had a bout of traveler tummy. But whatever it was I felt 100% better after eating it and was great the whole rest of the trip!

chicago clock tower | full moon | cameralinz chicago | millinium park | cameralinz

After I got home I looked for a copycat recipe or even the description in the menu again. Nothing. I guess since it was a happy hour menu it wasn’t listed on their website. So I made it up myself and its spot-on as far as my memory serves me.

And now I offer to you, dear internet, my copy cat version of Harry Caray‘s amazing non-basil Bruschetta. Enjoy!

Bruschetta with Arugula

Ingredients:

crusty bread (baguette style), sliced to about 1 inch thick
olive oil
garlic clove
tomato, diced
red wine vinegar
arugula, rough chopped
parmesan shavings

Directions:

Toast the bread slices in a 350° oven until lightly crisp all over, ±5 minutes
Cut the garlic clove in half and rub it all over the toast
Drizzle toast with olive oil
Toss tomatoes over the toast pretty liberally
Sprinkle red wine vinegar over the tomatoes, as heavy or light as you would for a salad
Add arugula & parmesan

simple bruschetta recipe | cameralinz

Cornbread-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

cornbread-stuffed poblano peppers | cameraLinz.com

cornbread-stuffed poblano peppers | cameralinzI wasn’t so sure how these would bake up when I was pouring them into the pepper halves. But wow, I was worried for nothing! These baked perfectly and are addictive too. I ate nearly two whole peppers after they cooled off. And more for lunch the next day!

You could use any recipe for the cornbread – whatever your favorite is. I took the easy road and used a box of Jiffy cornbread!

Choose your peppers wisely – they should be shaped and cut so that they can stand on their own and hold batter well.

We ate them as a side with tacos. I think they’d be good at a cookout with grilled chicken or with soup/chili/jambalya. All alone. Whatever floats your boat.

Cornbread-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Ingredients:
  • cornbread recipe, whatever that entails
  • half of a small jar of pimentos, drained (more if you like them a lot!)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional
  • 4 – 6 poblano peppers, halved and seeded
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet
  • Mix up the cornbread recipe as directed. Add pimentos and cheese.
  • Let the batter rest while you slice the peppers in half and get the seeds out.
  • Give the batter one last little stir-up, it’ll help it rise better.
  • Pour the batter into the pepper halves.
  • Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes or until the cornbread is golden and lightly crispy on top.

Food Photography Course — night 5 of 30

Tonight’s lesson is about framing inside of the camera. This is not really a new concept, I always do this. Rarely do I crop during PP unless I just couldn’t get close while shooting. What I liked about this assignment though was the chance to not care so much about what the food was and really focus on the layout of the photo.

cameraLinz | framing

It was nice to think about the composition objectively. Not worry about making the food look good to show off a recipe, but to just think about how this bowl of cereal could look its best. Maybe that sounds silly now that I see it written out. But the process in my head felt different.

cameraLinz | cereal 2

It helps too that I’m not worried about my dinner getting cold while I try to get a good photo!