Girl talks, giggles and good food with a splash of alcohol – now thats a perfect recipe for a great girls’ nite! No matter how busy we get, my girl friends and I make it a point to meet up regularly. It is our much needed time, away from all those day-to-day things, just getting together and having a ball of a time.

Sometimes it does become a little difficult to get out and meet up – like this last time a couple of weeks ago. That didn’t stop us! We just got together at my place for a girls’ night in! The guys were out somewhere, the kids got to have a playdate while we hung out out in the family room, sipping our favorite wines by candle light, chatting, laughing and relishing a savory array of  homemade “brew-skeh-tehs”!

girls' night in

Bruschettas are our all-time favorite “GNO” food! It was the first time a couple years ago that we met at a local wine bar and bonded over wine and their incredible bruschettas. We love the place and the bruschettas so much that we plan special night outs just to go to the bar and munch a bunch of the bruschettas. So for our night in, we decided to stick to our usual. My friends got the wines and I made our favorite finger food  – quick, easy and at the same time totally stress-free for me, so I  was relaxed and got to have fun too!

serving bruschettas

I pulled out my beautiful appetizer plates and lit a couple of candles.  With just a few items from the pantry and refrigerator and a freshly-baked sourdough bread from a local bakery, I transformed my kitchen counter into a fabulous bruschetta bar. Thanks to a hot oven and an array of toppings I created a variety of bruschettas that worked perfectly for one amazing night in!


Bruschettas with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Strawberries

Inspired by my trip to Cabo, earlier this year, I created the topping with balsamic strawberries and goat cheese. The strawberry slices are macerated for an hour or so in balsamic vinegar along with a little salt, sugar, black pepper and some minced parsley that adds a nice color contrast and a subtle freshness.

Bruschettas with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Strawberries

After sitting in the refrigerator for a little bit, the strawberries absorb all the flavors and turn wonderfully sweet and sour. Just spoon over the toasted baguette slices smeared generously with softened goat cheese and cut into smaller pieces if needed. Quick, easy and incredibly yummy, these bruschettas are simply outta this world!

Bruschettas with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Strawberries

Makes 4-6 bruschettas

8 oz (about 1/2 container) organic strawberries, hulled and sliced

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

fresh ground black pepper

3-4 sprigs of parsley or basil leaves, minced

4 oz (about 1/2 log ) of  goat cheese, left at room temperature for a bit

4-6 slices of sourdough baguette

In a bowl, combine the sliced strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and parsley or basil. Set in the refrigerator for about 30 mins to an hour before serving.

When ready to serve, assemble to bruschetta by smearing the goat cheese on toasted bread slices and using a slotted spoon, spread the strawberries over along with a little bot of the liquid. Serve immediately.

Bruschettas with Mascarpone Cheese and Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

The main reason why I picked up a packet of Brussels sprouts a few years ago was that they look like tiny cabbages, one of my favorite vegetables. Brussels sprouts are very versatile. I love them any how – oven roasted with balsamic vinegar, fried in duck fat (one of the yummiest ways!), stir-fried with a little bit of Indian spices or simply sautéed and tossed with pasta or quinoa.

One of the most frequent recipes I make with Brussels sprouts as the key ingredient  is Giada’s Whole Grain Spaghetti With Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms. I love the simple and humble flavors of this pasta dish and have created many variations by switching onions with leeks and adding in zucchinis, asparagus, green peas, snow peas or any other fresh veggies I have in the refrigerator. With all these yummy variations, I can just eat the Brussels sprouts mixture straight up, without tossing it in with the cooked pasta!

Bruschettas with Mascarpone Cheese and Sautéed Brussel Sprouts

Giada’s pasta was the inspiration behind this bruschetta that I created with the Brussels sprouts mixture and the velvetty mascarpone cheese. I simply tossed shaved Brussels sprouts along with leeks, sliced mushrooms and snow peas and used it as a topping for my bruschetta. The mascarpone adds a subtle sweetness and smooth creamy texture elevating the bright lemony flavor of the Brussels sprouts mixture. Even if you’re not a Brussels sprouts fan, I really encourage you to give this one a try!

Bruschettas with Mascarpone Cheese and Sautéed Brussel Sprouts


Makes 4-6 bruschettas

2-3 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, white and light green part, thinly sliced

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

10 oz packet (about 1.5 cups) of shaved Brussels sprouts

10 oz packet (about 1.5 cups) sliced mushrooms (Cremini or white buttom mushrooms)

1/2 cup green peas or diced snow peas (optional)

8-10 asparagus stems, cut in 2 incl long pieces (optional)


fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup of water/stock

1/2 lemon, juiced

a handful of flat leaf parsley, minced

4 oz (about 1/2 tub) of mascarpone cheese

4-6 slices of sourdough baguette

In a large skillet or a saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, garlic, leeks, mushrooms and other veggies along with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 6 to 8 mins. Add the water or stock and then stir in the lemon juice. Continue cooking on simmering heat and stir until the mixture absorbs all the moisture, about 5 more mins.

Remove from heat, garnish with parsley and let it cool down a bit.

In the meantime toast bread slices and smear the mascarpone cheese. Spoon the Brussels sprouts mixture and serve immediately. Tastes great even when the topping is cooled down to room temperature.

 Bruschetta with Lemony Tuna & Microgreens

Finally, I converted one of my day-to-day lemony tuna salad into a stunning topping for the bruschetta. It takes me only about 10 mins to whip up the salad and it tastes great when spooned over toasted baguette slices. I like to finish it with microgreens. They make the bruschetta very elegant and add a nice green freshness to it.

Bruschetta with Lemony Tuna and Microgreens



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