Hospitality @ Home: Fool-proof Bruschetta con Cecca

bruschetta recipeI was working at a family owned steak house in Oklahoma City in 2006.  It was a dinner only sort of establishment, with a menu consisting entirely of red meat from the grill.  The chef at the time had formerly run the kitchen at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. as well as a flashy resort on Grand Cayman.  He could cook a steak that would knock your socks off, but his heart was in Italian food.  And, from working in places that did such high volume caterings, he had developed some foolproof recipes.  Such as the Bruschetta con Cecca he taught me when I was throwing my first grown up housewarming party with the Gent.

Cecca is the Italian word for the combination of tomato-basil-garlic that most of us Midwesterners called simply, Bruschetta.
The trick with this recipe is draining the water out of your tomatoes prior to mixing them with the rest of the ingredients.  the second trick is using prepared pesto.  It doesn’t add too much liquid, packs a more nuanced flavor punch, and best of all requires NO TIME AT ALL, when you are trying to get your eye make up done before your guests arrive….

recipe after the jump….

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More Than You Ever Wished to Know About Lemonade….

black berry ginger lemonade
lemons and ginger and berries, oh my!

Since a lovely Farmer’s Market popped up a block away from my apartment a month ago, I have found myself with an embarrassment of riches in the fresh fruits and veggies department.   Pretty much every day that I am not making Sangria, I whip up a batch of lemonade with some kind of berry in it.  Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, Raspberry…. sometimes with mint, or ginger, or thyme…. it’s a really versatile recipe that lends itself to endless variations and, when poured into a glass bottle, makes a lovely host gift at a backyard barbecue.

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