Red Onion Bruschetta

Perfect Appetizer!

I love cooking for other people and by most accounts people seem to like what I make and I have not yet killed anyone with my food. All good signs. I try making a variety of foods from different areas around the world and challenging myself in techniques that aren't always comfortable to me like: deep frying or baking.

Yet one type of cuisine has eluded me. I am absolutely horrible at cooking vegetarian meals. Odd since a large portion of the people I know are vegetarians. By vegetarian I am not counting the pasta dishes like oilo, fettucine, or pesto. I also don't include salads in the mix because as my sister in law told me: "Think about it, you are out at a restaurant and all they have on their vegetarian menu is three kinds of salads or spaghetti; you get sick of them after a while". I am talking about inventive, fun, and tasty vegetarian dishes.


1 tbls olive oil
Cook out the balsamic liquid
1 red onion thickly sliced
1 tbls balsamic vinegar
8 black olives (or whatever olives you have) chopped
1/4 tsp dried thyme (or any dried herb you like)
6-8 slices of rustic bread (such as baguette or ciabatta bread)
2 garlic cloves
6 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese in slices


1. Heat oil in a pan on med-low heat and add the red onions. Add a little salt and pepper
2. Cook stirring occasionally for 5-7 min or until softened.
3. Increase the heat and cook until the onions start to color.
4. Add Balsamic Vinegar and cook stirring constantly until the liquid evaporates.
5. Stir in the olives and thyme. Set aside covered on low heat till bread is ready.
Make sure garlic is rubbed on all sides of the bread!
6. Toast the bread on one side under a broiler.
7. Cut one garlic clove in half and rub garlic on the toasted side. Toast the other side and repeat with garlic.
8. Divide onion mixture evenly on each slice and place mozzarella on each.
9. Put back under the broiler and cook until melted and slightly brown. Take out and enjoy!
Before putting under the broiler.

Cooks Note: You will have left over onion mixture so I recommend using it as topping on eggs and toast the next morning.


Great-Grandma's Italian Manicotti

Manicotti with bread, sasuage, veggies and fruit salad.
Every family has those recipes that span generations and is a crowd pleaser with both children and adults. For my family it is our manicotti recipe passed down from my great-grandmother.

I have made this dish in several countries and always people are amazed when you take the time to make your own crepes, it adds a more at home touch and the flavors are better instead of the prepackaged stuff. Actually I didn't even know you could buy the crepes until I saw them in the store once.

If you look online for manicotti recipes, everyone will have different variations. Many crepe batters will use milk instead of water which allows them to use less eggs. I figure that since there is so much cheese in the batter a nice egg-y and salty crepe is a nice contrast plus you are guaranteed to have a thin crepe. In recent years we have discovered the secret to making your own ricotta cheese but for your purposes, the store bought stuff will suffice.

Now, making the crepes is a tedious process. It requires you to stand over the stove for the better part of 45 min to an hour making these. My method is to have a nice glass of Chianti beside me and the end result is worth it. You can also double the batter and filling to make a lot then freeze them on a baking sheet for later.

Manicotti Batter

5 extra large eggs
1 cup of flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
No bubbles at the top and less than 1/4 cup of batter into the pan.


  1. Beat eggs until smooth
  2. Sift flour and salt together over the eggs.
  3. Beat flour and egg mixture well then add water and mix just a little bit more.
  4. Let sit in bowl till the bubbles at the top of the batter are gone.
  5. Heat a lightly greased 8" skillet pan.
  6. Pour less than 1/4c of batter into the pan and swirl in a circular motion to spread batter evenly around the pan. You want a thin crepe!f
  7. Cook on medium to medium-low heat till the edges begin to pull away and the shine is gone from the top.
  8. flip the crepe and cook for 10 sec. more
  9. Remove from pan onto a clean surface and repeat until the batter is gone.

A nice thin crepe!- Don't want it to be too translucent or else it will tear.
Manicotti Filling

1 lb ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 cup grated parmeasan
1 cup approx. mozzarella
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
put all ingredients in
mix it all up
Final result
Crepes getting ready for filling!
Extra Ingredients
Marinara Sauce- at least one jar but more if you like to heap sauce on your pasta!
Mozzarella cheese for topping.

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix : eggs, and cheeses together in a small bowl with the nutmeg.
  3. Place a good-sized dollop (approx. 1/4 cup but eyeball it!) into the middle of each crepe.
  4. Fold the  two sides of the crepe to the middle. Press down gently. Repeat
  5. In a 13x9" pan, place your sauce at the bottom then place your filled crepes, seam side down in the pan and cover with sauce.
  6. Place in the oven for 20 min. Then take out and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top.
  7. Put back in oven and bake for a bit more till the cheese is melted and a little bubbly.
  8. Take out and lets stand for 5 min. before serving.

good sized dollop
Folded nicely

sauce on the bottom with manicotti seam side dow
Layer the sauce on then bake
then add mozzarella cheese and bake more.
Final result!

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