I love food, I love trying new things, and I love lots of flavor! What I don’t love?… cooking. I’ve never been one of those people who plans meals and makes grocery lists. Nothing about cooking has ever appealed to me. However, that’s beginning to change as I get older. Since moving back to Chicago, I’ve been working only two days per week, and that is allowing me plenty of time to pick up new hobbies; cooking being one of them. And I have to say, I’m enjoying it! I’ve been cooking quite a bit lately, which is making my fiancé a happier man. I love making him happy, I like great food, so why not make cooking my new ‘thing’? This brings us to the latest installment on my blog; Yum Yums!
Yum Yums! is dedicated to recipes that are easy and, of course, yummy! Add additional ingredients to mix things up and make it your own. Most of all, enjoy the process. I’ve found cooking to be relaxing and something I can enjoy. New recipes will be added periodically, so be sure to check back often! 😊
1 loaf of ciabatta bread
1 (8 oz.) bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 large tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic
6 tbsp. of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Sugar to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
HOW TO DO IT
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Slice loaf of bread in half, lengthwise.
Grab some aluminum foil (easy cleanup!) and place it over a cookie sheet that’s large enough to accommodate both halves of bread, side by side. Place the bread on the aluminum foil.
Peel* and mince garlic. *FUN TIP: Place garlic into a pot and cover with a lid. Hold the lid on tightly while quickly shaking the pot for about 15-20 seconds; the force will peel the garlic for you. 🙂
Place butter in an oven-safe bowl. Add the minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and place the bowl into the oven until butter is melted.
Wash and chop tomatoes (do not peel), place in a bowl and top with a bit of sugar.
Chop basil, set aside for later.
Remove butter and garlic mixture from oven, spread over both halves of bread, and top with as much, or as little, mozzarella cheese as you like (I like a lot!). Place bread in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Combine balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. The amount of balsamic vinegar you use will depend on your taste. You’ll normally mix equal parts, but I love balsamic vinegar so I always use a bit more of it in my mixture.
Remove bread from oven, top with chopped tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper to taste. Slice into squares (8 squares per half), drizzle with balsamic mixture, and serve immediately.