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Readers and Writers Recipes: Tomato Mozzarella Salad

I had an open house for a couple of dozen people while my daughter was visiting from California. I’ve decided to share 3 of the recipes I fixed. Tomato Mozzarella Salad is the second. Like my last recipe Strawberry Salad, Tomato Mozzarella Salad works well for a church or organization pitch-in, book club or readers’ group get-together, family party, or any other fun gathering. (I’ll add pictures next time I fix it. I was so busy put food out, I forgot to photograph the salads!)

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients:

2 pints grape tomatoes

1 pound of mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing

1 Tablespoon dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

1- Slice tomatoes in 1/2 and place in a medium-sized bowl.

2- Cut mozzarella into cubes (or pieces) about 1/2 to 3/4 inch square. Add to bowl.

3- Sprinkle basil over tomatoes and cheese. Add vinaigrette dressing.

4- Stir and serve. (Keeps well in refrigerator for a couple of days).

Notes:

1- Two 8-ounce containers of 1/3-ounce mozzarella can be cut into quarters and used for the cheese in this recipe. Likewise, 1-pound of mozzarella cheese sticks can be sliced into chunks and used. 2- Fresh basil can be used in place of dried, but you need 1/4-cup or more. This is a pretty salad.

Appearing Monday on Whimsical Words: guest horror author, M.J. Moore.

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This easy-to-make casserole is great for a family dinner (serves 4). Double the recipe, and make 2 casserole dishes-worth for a tasty meal for guests, or for a wonderful addition to a book club or readers’ group get-together or any other pitch-in. Like my last recipe, Drop Sugar Cookies, Oven Baked Chicken Bruschetta usually gets rave reviews.

Oven Baked Chicken Bruschetta

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup Newmans (or other brand) Sundried Tomato Dressing

2 tomatoes chopped

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon dried basil OR 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions:

1-Place chicken in zip lock bag, add dressing, seal tightly, then turn bag several times until coated.

2-Refrigerate 10 minutes, or marinate all day.

3-Pre-heat oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13 casserole dish with vegetable cooking spray (like Pam).

4-Remove chicken from bag and place in casserole dish. Then, bake for 30 minutes.

5-Meanwhile, combine chopped tomatoes and basil. Set aside.

6-Take chicken out of oven after 30 minutes, top with tomato mixture, and then sprinkle with cheese.

7-Put casserole back in the oven. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is done.

Notes:

1-When I’m taking this casserole to a pitch-in dinner, after baking, I usually slice the breasts in half. This makes the portion size smaller, and doubles the number of guests able to have a generous taste of the scrumptious chicken.

2-Add a salad and hearty bread (or rolls) to Oven Baked Chicken Bruschetta for a delicious meal.

Appearing Monday on Whimsical Words: a guest post from Maryland writer, Patricia Valdata, author of several books including The Other Sister.

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