AMAZING Toast, 4 Ways

I LOVE good bread.  There is something magical about walking into a bakery and inhaling all the whirling scents of bread baking in the oven, listening to the clanking of metal tins in the back room and gaze at loaf after loaf of beautiful bread and baked goods all lined up for sale on the racks.  AHHH, yes it is an amazing experience. (Or if you are like me and decide while doing your grocery shopping to grab a “splurge item” and though it may be less magical is just as delicious…then visit the bakery section of the grocery store).  The thing is, I love bread but its hard for me to finish an entire loaf by myself unless I am having company…so often times, much of it goes to waste.  Which is SAD.  However this last week I managed to use the entire thing utilizing 4 recipes and $35 to create 4 great dishes (this excludes the champagne in recipe #3 because that was leftover and already in fridge)!  I hope you find at least 1 that you like!!!

I was at the store this last weekend grabbing some things to take over to my adopted grandmothers house to make dinner and saw it sitting there-a beautiful loaf of organic farm bread!  Yep, change of dinner plans…new item on the menu…as of right then!!!  I decided instead of making the healthy tomato salad I had planned on, I was going to make a yummy bruschetta instead.  Grandma Jean always likes my bruschetta and since I had bought some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes at the famers market that morning and had them in the car in my basket of goodies, then that was that!  I grabbed the bread, had it sliced at the counter (medium thickness) and was on my way!

#1 Bruschetta (heirloom tomatoes & fresh mozzarella)

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What you will need: 1 large tomato, (bread as needed, I used 7 slices), 1 large ball of fresh mozzarella, olive oil, salt, pepper, baking sheet

What to do: preheat oven to 375.  Lightly oil pan.  Thinly slice (I try to do about an 1/8 of an inch) cheese and tomato.  Place bread on pan and (lightly drizzle bread with oil) place 1 slice of cheese then  1 slice of tomato on each slice of bread.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 15 min, checking regularly.  I like my bread edges to be slightly golden brown and cheese well melted.  Usually Id say its closer to 20 min until done.

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The next morning I woke up and decided to deviate from my normal breakfast of oatmeal.  I was in the mood for something different.  I opened the fridge (half awake) and saw the figs sitting there on the top shelve.  Just bought from the farmers market, they were fresh and beautiful.  As odd as it will sound, I felt like they were calling to me to use them.  So I answered by grabbing the pint out of the fridge and rinsing a few of them off.  I had no idea what I was going to use them for.  When I get these creative moods it can go one of two ways…something tasty will be created or an utter food failure.  I am no cook and usually have no idea what I’m doing, its like this: a little of this, a little of that, oh whoops its burning, oh damn its already burned:(  I grabbed out a mini sauce pan and heated a little oil.   As the pan was getting really hot, I sliced up about 3 figs and tossed them in.  Stirring them every few seconds so they wouldn’t burn.  Then I threw 2 pieces of that tasty bread in the toaster and returned to the sauce pan and noticed things were looking a little dry (not burned, thankfully)….hmmm….think QUICK!!!!  Crap, I didn’t know what to do or add, I opened the fridge and saw a half cut orange, grabbed it, squeezed the juice into the pan and stirred.  Then turned the heat down to simmer.  The toast popped up and I there I was thinking again….I needed something to go with it…again to the fridge (GOAT CHEESE…right there on the top shelve.  I had just a smidgen leftover from some baked figs a few days before).  Perfect! And there it was, my creation of toast with goat cheese and a quick fig spread.  Really tasty breakfast!!!

#2 Quick Fig Spread and Goat Cheese Toast

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What you will need for 1 serving: figs (I used 3), smidgen of goat cheese, 2 slices of toast, half of an orange.

What you will do: spread a thin layer of goat cheese on the toast and then a thick layer of quick fig spread on top.  Voila!!!

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My clients and I always are sharing our latest recipes and exchanging our experiences about where we’ve recently eaten at and what we order.  Its so fun, and a great way to get inspired to try new things.  Last week a client was sharing a mushroom bruschetta recipe that she makes, it sounded great.  I wanted to try it, and my favorite vendor at the farmers market always has the most beautiful mushrooms, so while grabbing my goods on Saturday I added them to my list.  I followed Lee’s recipe from memory as best as I could and then did a little improvising.  Example: she said use white wine, well I had a bottle of champagne with alittle leftover in the fridge from the other night (yes-it is a crime to have leftover champagne-but when drinking it alone, there should be leftover champagne! lol).  I figured to give it a try and see how it turned out, it seemed better than letting it go to waste and opening a whole new bottle of something else.

#3 Mushroom Bruschetta

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What you will need: sauté pan, 2 cloves of garlic, about 5 cups of mushrooms (I purchased an assortment of shiitake, oyster and portabello) olive oil, 3 TBSP butter, 1 cup of white wine (or champagne in my case), salt, 8 slices of toast, parmesan cheese (she didn’t mention cheese, but I believe in my previous life-I was born French, because I believe everything is better with cheese)!!!!

What you will do: heat up olive oil in pan (between medium/high and high heat) add mushrooms (I added the cleaned and sliced mushrooms and cooked for about 6 minutes), then add the garlic cloves (finely diced) and 3 TBSP of butter and cook another 5 minutes.  Reduce heat, when butter is melted add wine and cook on high heat for another 5 min, stirring often!  Reduce heat to simmer for a few minutes.  Toast bread, add mushrooms on top, lightly sprinkle finishing salt and top with a bit of freshly grated parm cheese!  I had leftover mushrooms that I put aside to add to a pasta dish for the following evening.

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I never had avocado toast until about 2 years ago.  Then when I did (I loved it) and was told that it was very “trendy” and that any restaurant that served it must be “hipsterish.”  Well I don’t know about all that, and to be honest I don’t really care…because if you have ever had it, then you know…its delicious and who cares if its trendy or not!  Over the course of the last year I have come up with this SUPER, EASY recipe and it has become a staple dish (for breakfast or lunch or as a little snack) at my house.  YUM, YUM!!!

#4 Avocado Toast

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What you will need (for 1-2 servings depending on how hungry you are:) 1/2 ripe avocado, 2 pieces of toast, olive oil, 1/4 lime, finishing salt

What you will do: mash up the avocado and spread onto toast, then (lightly) drizzle olive oil, squirt fresh lime slice and sprinkle with finishing salt (ready in about 1.5 minutes!!!!) LOVE THIS!!!