American style Bruschetta with Basil Appetizer

This simple appetizer is a true crowd pleaser. I can’t tell you how many parties I am invited to just so that I will make this (maybe also for my stunning personality?)! It is so simple, yet elegant and completely delicious. The freshness of the cheese is quite important since it is served au naturale.


  • 1 fresh baguette
  • 200g buffalo mozzarella
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 6 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs Brownwood Farms kream mustard (or 1.5 t dijon mustard and 1.5 t honey)
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • ½ Tbs black pepper
  • 4 tomatoes


  1. Preheat oven to 100 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mustard (and honey), 3 T olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Slice the tomatoes approximately ½ inch thick and lay out flat on a cookie sheet. Brush mixture on tomatoes liberally. Reserve about ¼ sauce.
  4. Bake for 1 hr 30 minutes. Remove from oven, brush rest of sauce on tomatoes and return to oven for 30 more minutes
  5. Slice bread and lay out on a cookie sheet. Drizzle on another 3 T olive oil.
  6. When tomatoes are done, remove, and turn oven to grill. Put bread under grill for 2 minutes checking constantly. Remove from oven.
  7. Slice mozzarella about ⅛ inch thick and julienne the basil. (Roll all the leaves together and then simply cut through with kitchen scissors.
  8. Turn bread over so the untoasted side is facing down (less crumbs when you bite into them). Top with mozzarella, a tomato slice, and a sprinkly of julienned basil. Taste! Add more kosher salt and pepper as necessary.

Contemporary Deviled Eggs

I think deviled eggs get a bad rap. Too many times I have been to someone’s house for a buffet/bbq/family gathering, and the deviled eggs are way too mayonnasiey, not cold enough, and overall a total disappointment. Not to toot my own horn, but almost every time I cook a big outside dinner for my family,  my mother requests my deviled eggs.  They are her absolute favorite food (among about 40 other things) but I think there is a special place in her heart for these deviled eggs, mostly because there is a secret ingredient that only the two of us know about. We put a bit of vodka in our deviled eggs. I know it’s strange, but trust the science. Who doesn’t like a secret?

If you can get your hands on Brownwood Farms Kickin’ Kream Mustard then you are in for an extra treat, otherwise we can certainly work with what we got and make a little substitution.


  • 6 peeled, hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 Tbs. Brownwood Farms Kickin’ Kream Mustard OR

1 Tbs dijon mustard, 1/2 Tbs honey, 1/2 Tbs  horseradish

  • 2 Tbs mayonnaise or greek yogurt (for those health nuts)
  • 1/2 tsp vodka
  • sweet or dill relish to taste (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika  for garnish



  1. Boil eggs – cover with cold water, bring to a boil, remove from boil, let stand, covered, for 8 minutes.
  2. Slice eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks.
  3. Place yolks in a medium bowl and mash together with Kickin’ Kream Mustard (or substitute), mayonnaise, vodka, and relish, if using. Take a swig for good measure.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Fill the hollowed egg whites with the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika (for an extra touch, pipe these, either with a piping bag, or by cutting a corner of a ziploc bag.
  6. Chill until ready to serve – serve COLD.