Recipes Appetizers & Drinks Kitchen 242’s Char Morse’s Favorite Summer Recipes

Chef Char Morse from Kitchen 242 Shares Two of her Favorite Summer Recipes

I enjoy making this simple recipe for an easy appetizer when I am entertaining guests. I often prepare the tomato mixture ahead and refrigerate until needed. The melted mozzarella cheese keeps the toasted bread from absorbing the tomato juices as quickly.

Easy Cheesy Toasted Bruschetta

4 cups fresh diced tomatoes (Roma or plum tomatoes if you have them!)
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup fresh basil, cut chiffonade
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1 loaf French bread, cut at an angle in 1/2” to ¾” slices olive oil or pan spray, as needed for brushing lightly on bread
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Shredded parmesan cheese and chiffonade basil for garnish, optional

Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add fresh diced tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and basil. Mix and add salt and pepper to taste. Lightly coat sliced French bread with olive oil or pan spray. For oven toasting, line the oiled French bread on a prepared cookie sheet before placing into a preheated oven and toast until a light brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, flip all of the bread slices and then top with 1 Tablespoon shredded mozzarella cheese. Place pan back in oven for another 5 minutes to melt cheese slightly. For grilling, place a sheet of tin foil over top of grill grates and line the foil with the oiled French bread. Toast the bread on one side for about 3 minutes, or until grate marks appear, and flip each slice of bread. Top with 1 Tablespoon mozzarella cheese mixture and allow cheese to melt. Last, spoon the tomato mixture, about 2 Tablespoons, over the melted cheese and place onto a large serving platter. If desired, garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and additional fresh basil. Serve immediately.

Red, White and Blue Slushies

This recipe is the perfect grown-up replacement for the slushies I eagerly consumed as a kid. The recipe contains real fruit and no artificial colors. I particularly enjoy making it with a lightly sweet wine like Moscato or Riesling but the recipe is just as refreshing as a nonalcoholic drink.

Blue Layer:
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 cup white wine* (Riesling, Moscato or other lightly sweet white wine)
*For non-alcoholic version, substitute wine with white grape or apple juice

White Layer:
½ cup whipped cream, lightly sweetened

Red Layer:
3 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup white or pink wine (Riesling, Moscato, White Zinfandel, or other lightly sweet white or pink wine)
*For non-alcoholic version, substitute wine with white grape or apple juice

Additional whipped cream, colorful straws and paper umbrellas

Chill 2 large, clear glasses by rinsing with water and placing in freezer for 5 minutes. Using a blender, add blueberries and wine or juice. Blend until frozen fruit and juice or wine become a smooth puree. Divide the blueberry mixture between the two frosted glasses, top each with about ½ cup whipped cream and place back in freezer. Clean the blender and mix the frozen strawberries and choice of wine or juice. Blend until the strawberries and choice of beverage form a smooth, pourable puree. Scoop or pour the red layer over the whipped cream and blueberry layer, filling almost to the top of the glass. Garnish with additional whipped cream, colorful straws and tiny paper umbrellas. Enjoy!

Char_MorseAbout Char Morse

I have been cooking for the absolute love of it for many years. I grew up in a farming community on Michigan’s west side where much of the food has always come from sources such as my dad’s enormous garden, the vast orchards of a few farmer friends, the depths of the waters of Lake Michigan and even the humble woods of my backyard. The best things I discover while “playing with food” are shared with students in the hands-on cooking classes and recipe demonstrations I do. Follow me on Facebook

About Kitchen 242
Kitchen 242 is a certified commercial kitchen in downtown Muskegon located at the Muskegon Farmers’ Market on Western Avenue next to the Post Office. The kitchen provides a rent-able facility for food business entrepreneurs to prepare their products in an approved kitchen. Community kitchen space is also available where cooking classes and culinary events can be held to enhance community awareness of good nutrition. For further information, contact Renae Hesselink at 231-799-2120 x 117.

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