{sunday lunch}

In an effort to save money, we are trying to be more creative with Sunday supper after church and eat at home.  Used to be that most Sundays, we ate out.  Usually nothing fancy but fast food or...a little sit down place we found where kids eat free on Sunday.  But still...home cooked is always better all around.  More relaxing for the grownups and healthier.

Last Sunday, after church, we stopped at the grocery to get a few things for our meals for the week.  The kids asked if I'd make bruschetta for lunch (french baguettes were on sale for $1!) so I obliged.

Never, would I think a 3 year old would say, "Bah-chetta!  YES!".  Sprout loves it.

Here's how I make mine...

1) First TOMATOES.  Loads of fresh tomatoes.  I've used canned before...it works but fresh is BEST.  Grape tomatoes or cherry works but this week, they were $2.49/lb so we opted for the Roma's that were $1.49/lb.  For our family of 4 (The Gardener, my park ranger husband was at work...BIG winter hike day with several hundred hikers) I bought 6 Roma's.  Dice them into pretty small pieces to make them easy to load on your bread.

2) BALSALMIC VINEGAR.  My kids love this stuff.  It must be because I LOVE VINEGAR and ate a lot of it while pregnant?  Anyway, I cover my tomatoes in this vinegar.  Usually  about 1/4 to 1/2 Cup.  I don't measure it at all.  Just eyeball it.

3) BASIL.  Now last week, our fresh Basil was not on sale - $3.99.  $3.99?!?  Yes...since it comes in a big bunch, for us, 1/2 of it goes bad before I can use it all.  We have dried basil in a spice jar so we tried that this time.  Guess what?  Worked like a charm and WAY cheaper.  Fresh is great if you can do it but the dried also works.  Fresh basil, mince it - I usually take about a dozen or more leaves, roll them up together and dice it to smithereens.

4)  GARLIC.  Yum.  Oh, we love garlic.  And it's good for you.  I use 2 cloves, minced and add to the mixture.

5)  SALT AND PEPPER.  Salt and Pepper make a huge difference in the taste.  So, add each to your liking.  The salt really brings up the flavor.

You can let this sit for awhile but my kids usually can't wait.  We cut up our baguette, added monterey jack cheese and butter and toasted.  Then heaped loads of the tomato mixture on top.  The Two Peas each ate 7 pieces!  Sprout ate 3 and THEN ate 2 more huge spoonfuls of just the tomato mixture without bread.

It was delicious, a great light supper for Sunday afternoon, and