Bread, bread and more bread

I just spent half of Saturday making vegetable minestrone soup and stuffed peppers.  Then I spent some time today trying out a new bruschetta recipe for a get-together.   I know, I know that I just recently whined about cooking.  What I realized this weekend is that I do enjoy cooking when done by choice and in a relaxed atmosphere.  What I don’t enjoy is feeling obligated… and I guess I was feeling that way  regarding all these holiday cooking.

So, I spent a very pleasant morning chopping vegetables and making enough soup for at least three meals.  I changed up an existing typical minestrone recipe by switching the green zucchini to a mixture of yellow and gray zucchini, adding garbanzo beans, and instead of tomato paste, added some chopped tomatoes.  It was very light and tasty, especially with a warm crusty bread!

Speaking of bread, this weekend was all about breads.  We went to an Italian specialty food store and picked up some amazing breads!  They had typical Italian loafs, but also all kinds of flat breads including NAAN!!!  And the absolutely unexpected surprise find of the year… perhaps this decade was the Afghan bread that I used to eat back when I still had connections to Queens.  It is the best bread EVER and oh-so-yummy toasted with butter drizzling from it.  Then we had quite decent rosemary bread from Costco of all places with the minestrone soup and of course the bruschetta had to be made with ciabatta bread.

Yeah, I probably gained a couple of pounds.  But so worth it!

I can provide the link for the bruschetta recipe.  I happened to catch Giada from Food Network demonstrating this recipe and it looked so easy to do!  I already had prosciutto and so what that I needed to get everything else?  It involved zero cooking, just putting a few things together.  Well, I’ve never been a big prosciutto fan, but this is definitely a keeper.  I’m hoping it will go over well at the party, at least amongst the non-vegan crowd.

And speaking of Vegan, I am stressing out about providing decent vegan choices at the party.  You would think this wouldn’t be an issue since I cook vegetables all the time!  But my vegetables are side dishes, not main  entrees and since my cooking is primarily  Italian, it is very difficult to avoid cheese!  So far, I have vegan pizza on my menu.  It seems that I have picked at least one more reader?  Any suggestions???

If nothing else, I could always serve bread, all kinds of bread!

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