Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

This is a picture from our 6th wedding anniversary dinner. It may not look like much, but man it is delicious! Trust me!! Here is the recipe:


1 pkg fresh, off the vine Cherry Tomatoes (You want to use really fresh, ripe ones.)
1-2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 Garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
A few fresh Basil leaves or Parsley
Salt & Pepper

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the tomatoes & smashed garlic cloves on a sheet pan. Drizzle the olive oil, make sure that the garlic is well covered. Roll the tomatoes around to cover. Season with salt & pepper. Roast for about 50-60 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down. Let the tomatoes cool on the sheet pan, then add all the mixture to a bowl with a tbsp of balsamic vinegar & stir to blend. Top with fresh, chopped basil. (I used parsley in the picture above.) Serve with sliced baguette crustini.

This is before they went into the oven.

This is after they roasted for about an hour. 
While your tomatoes are cooling, slice the baguette & place on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil & lightly toast. 
Place crustini on a platter & serve with the bruschetta.

Fettuccine with Asparagus, Bacon & Parmesan

John said that this was the best pasta dish that he has ever had. While I don't think I can say that, I can say that it is high on my list. The type of pasta that you use makes a huge difference. Seriously, I don't work for the pasta co so I'm not saying it for their benefit. I bought dried pasta, in nests & it was made in Italy. I read in a pasta cookbook that the very best pasta is homemade not the 'fresh' stuff in the refrigerated isle of the grocery store. If you don't want to make it yourself then you should buy dried, but make sure it is from Italy. I suspect that if you bought fresh from an Italian market or restaurant that makes it daily that would count as 'homemade'.


1 lb (or a little less) fresh Asparagus, cut in 1" pieces, discarding the tough ends
1/2 Red Onion, chopped fine
2 cloves Garlic, minced
5 slices of bacon, chopped about in 1" pieces
4 tbsp butter
1 c Heavy Cream
Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper


Cook asparagus in a pot of boiling, salted water, until tender about 3-5 minutes. Drain, rinse well with cold water & cool completely. Reserve for later. In chef's pan (large enough to hold all the pasta & the sauce), cook bacon & drain. Reserve for later. Poor off as much of the bacon fat as possible from the pan. Add the butter to the pan & melt. Add the onions & cook over medium heat until soft. Then add the garlic & continue to cook 1 minute. Add the cream & reduce heat to low. Let the sauce cook to thicken (keep an eye on it, you don't want it to boil). Meanwhile, bring water in a pot to a boil to cook the pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling water & season with salt. I didn't make the whole package, which was a lb of pasta. I did made more than half of it though & we had leftovers. Cook according to the package directions, I think it was about 5 minutes. (Make sure not to over cook or it will be mushy!) Add the asparagus to the cream sauce just before the pasta is finished. Strain the pasta with a spider or tongs & add directly into the sauce pan. Stir to coat then add the bacon & some pepper. (I didn't add any additional salt because of the bacon, pasta, & Parmesan.) Plate immediately & generously coat with freshly grated Parmesan.

Our 6th Wedding Anniversary Dinner

After trying to decide on a restaurant to celebrate our anniversary this year, we decided to stay home & cook. Don't get me wrong, we love to go out to dinner! But for some reason we just couldn't find a restaurant that we wanted to go to this particular weekend. I felt like every place that sounded good, was some where that we eat on a normal day. I wanted something special for this anniversary so I decided to come up with a menu myself.

While we were on our honeymoon, we bought some fresh clams to steam. (Yes, we even had the desire to cook on our honeymoom!) Steamed clams are one of John's all time favorites. I, however, am not a fan of any kind of seafood- what so ever. I know, it's odd but very true. So, I'm pretty sure, our first meal cooked together as husband & wife was this steamed clams meal. I can't remember what we had with them, other than drawn butter & wine. (I'm sure lots of wine was involved.) But I was so deleriously in love decided to try these wonderful steamed clams that my dear husband had made. I mean, you dip the little clam in drawn butter at all!! How bad could they be?!? HA! Let me put it this way, we have not cooked steamed clams since. So, I thought this anniversary, what better to surprise my husband with but his favorite, steamed clams! Just because I don't like them shouldn't mean he never gets to have them at home, right?!? I was even able to track down fresh, from NC's Outerbanks, clams! We had a great evening, all the food turned out fabulously & John was shocked that I bought him clams! We watched our wedding video with Hannah & let her eat the 1st course with us. Then we fed her dinner & got her off to bed before we watched our Reception video & cooked the rest of our dinner. We had so much food that I didn't end up making the pasta dish that I had planned. We saved it & made it the next night instead. It was a fabulous anniversary. Here was our menu from the evening: (I will follow up with a post of the recipes too! If you don't see one that you want just let me know.)

1st Course:
Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
Parmesan Butter
Cipollini Onion with Parmesan, Asiago & Provolone Spread
French Baguette Crustini
Asiago Cheese Filone
2nd Course:
Endive Salad with Tomato, Olives & Toasted Pecans with Roasted Garlic dressing

3rd Course:
Steamed Little Neck Clams with Drawn Garlic Butter
Fettuccine with Asparagus, Bacon & Parmesan

4th Course:
Anniversary Cake: Old Fashioned Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Cocktail & 1st Course

2nd Course

3rd Course

John & his Steamed Clams
4th Course: Cake from Whole Foods, it was SO good!!