Today I’m joining with some other bloggers for a Virtual Bridal Shower for Jessica from My Baking Heart! She’s getting married—soon! Nikki at Pennies on a Platter is hosting Jessica’s bridal shower. She’ll have a round up with all the bloggers’ posts with links to their delicious contributions for the shower. I can’t wait to see it!
I’ve known Jessica in the blogging world almost the whole time I’ve been blogging, since she has always been involved with Tuesdays With Dorie even all through Baking From My Home to Yours. She is also faithful with the French Fridays With Dorie group who are cooking and baking their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table cookbook. I tried to keep up with that group, but was finding it too hard to keep that up weekly along with all the other things I’m doing. Jessica almost never seems to miss a post. Now we both continue Tuesdays With Dorie as this year we’ve started baking our way through Baking With Julia.
I decided to make an appetizer for the shower. Actually, I ended up making two. First of all, with my always blooming AeroGarden full of basil, I kept thinking about these little tomato-mozzarella-basil sticks—perfect bites sitting on a plate drizzled with balsamic syrup.
Caprese Sticks, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!
fresh mozzarella pearls
First, in a small saucepan over low heat, reduce some balsamic vinegar. About 1/4 cup of vinegar will reduce to 1-2 tablespoons and will thicken into a syrup consistency. Let it cool while preparing the caprese sticks. First add a tomato to the stick, then a small basil leaf and end with a mozzarella pearl. Make as many as you’d like. Drizzle some of the syrup on a plate or serving platter (it looks the best on a white plate). Set the prepared sticks on the syrup.
*If you find one whole basil leaf too strong on each stick, you can tear them smaller or use smaller leaves. I think they are good, but some might think it a little strong.
Love that balsamic reduction! Caprese is one of my favorite flavor combinations. These were super simple to make. I love that the mozzarella pearls aren’t round, but look more like gems.
I also recently made some pesto puff pastry spirals for a baby shower I hosted. I actually make them for all kinds of occasions. Sometimes the spread on them is a little different, in the past I have spread them with some sauteed spinach with garlic, cooled and chopped finely, but they are almost always sprinkled with chopped roasted red pepper, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Roll up each side of the puff pastry and slice into spirals.
Love the light, crisp, flakiness of these and the pesto and cheese flavor is delicious!
Tomato Mozzarella Pesto Puff Pastry Spirals, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!
2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed
about 4 tablespoons prepared pesto (or store bought)
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted red pepper
1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped small (optional)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
*Other times, I have also added some finely chopped artichoke hearts and/or some finely chopped sauteed spinach with garlic (cooled before spreading over the pastry).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lay one puff pastry out flat on a lightly floured counter. If any of the seams are slightly torn, pinch them together with your fingers. Roll with a rolling pin the puffy pastry (which will also help seal any tears) until it is a little thinner than it is originally.
Spread evenly about 2 tablespoons of the prepared pesto (or sauteed/cooled spinach, may use or need more per sheet of pastry, it’s really to taste) onto the puff pastry. Next sprinkle on the red pepper and if using, the tomato and artichoke. Sprinkle on half the mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Roll from the long ends of the pastry each side to half way. Slice the rolled pastry into 15-17 slices and lay each spiral flat on the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and crispy and the cheese is melted. While the first sheet is baking, prepare the second sheet the same way. Serve slightly warm.
I always eat way too many of these. ;)
So fun to be part of Jessica's virtual bridal shower! Thanks again for inviting me, Jessica, and for hosting the party, Nikki. Check out what everyone brought to the party at Nikki’s blog! Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and wedding, Jessica! Enjoy your day!
Love this picture/invitation!