Tomato Cheese Appetizer

tomato cheese appetizer



These tomato cheese appetizers are  delicious,quick and easy to make.My moms garden has been in abundance of ripe red tomatoes,so I’ve been using tomatoes in many different ways.This appetizer is very well known among Slavic people,I twisted a little by adding sliced hard boil egg.



tomatoes sliced

mozzarella cheese shredded


garlic cloves crushed

hard boiled eggs sliced

salt and black pepper if desired

dill for garnish



Combine garlic and mayonnaise.

Spread mayo mixture on tomato slices.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Add a slice of hard boiled egg on top of the cheese.(optional)

Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Garnish with dill.

tomato cheese appetizers


Greek Salad

greek salad

This is light and healthy Greek salad recipe.Greek Salad is a crisp, light, healthy  summer salad. Torn Romaine lettuce is topped with juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, kalamata olives, red onion, peppers and crumbled or diced feta cheese then tossed with light and tangy lemon olive dressing.This Greek salad is refreshing and perfect for summer.


1-2 romaine hearts sliced or torn

1-2 tomatoes sliced into thin wedges

1/2  english cucumber sliced in semicircles

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

kalamata/black olives

pepperoncini  and/or green bell pepper sliced

Crumbled or diced feta cheese

Fresh parsley minced (optional)



2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar*

1 teaspoon salt or to taste (I used pink himalayan)

1 teaspoon sugar

fresh ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dry parsley

1 large clove garlic or 2 small

1/3 cup olive oil (high quality recommended)

*You can sub in white or red wine vinegar


Directions for dressing:

In a bowl whisk lemon juice,balsamic vinegar,salt,sugar,parsley,black pepper,and garlic.Gradually whisk in olive oil.Continue to whisk until the dressing is well combined and thickened a little.Set a side for at least 15 minutes-30 minutes.Or refrigerate for later use.

Place all salad ingredients in a salad bowl or a plate.Toss with prepared dressing.

Greek salad-2




Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce


My moms garden is in abundance of tomatoes every summer.And every time  when I have a lot of something,I think of a way how to use it in a perfect way.Making pasta with fresh tomato sauce is great way to use those extra tomatoes.This pasta sauce is so easy and quick to make ,that you will have a healthy and amazingly delicious lunch or dinner in no time.

Ingredients: 4 large tomatoes or 2 lbs  Roma tomatoes

8-10 cloves garlic minced

1 shallot or half onion finely chopped

1/2 cup chardonnay or any other white wine

8  basil leaves minced

1 tablespoon finely parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

salt and fresh ground pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

cooked pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti)


Directions: Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato.Place tomatoes in a pot or a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover with lid and blanch for 5 minutes.

Carefully peel of the skin and roughly chop the tomatoes.

Heat a saute pan and add oil. Throw in onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.Pour in chardonnay  and let it evaporate for about a minute.Add tomatoes,basil and parsley.Cook sauce until thickened,about 10-12 minutes.Season with salt and pepper.

Combine cooked pasta with sauce and sprinkle some parmesan cheese. You can add  yourchoice of sautéed  or grilled vegetables to pasta.


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Bruschetta is one of my favorite summer appetizers.It’s one of the  freshest,simplest, and healthiest appetizers out there(no frying or mayo).

The combination of sweet tomatoes and aromatic basil with tangy sweet balsamic and olive oil is simply divine.Great thing about bruschetta… that it can be served as an appetizer,snack,salad or lunch.Whatever you’re in the mood for.And at parties they’re are gone in a zoom!


3 roma tomatoes diced

4 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese

5-6 fresh basil leaves sliced

2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes chopped(optional)

2 tablespoons fire roasted peppers chopped (optional)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil(good quality)

2 tablespoons black or white balsamic vinegar

salt and fresh ground pepper

1/2 french baguette or any Italian bread sliced diagonally (I used whole wheat french baguette)

2 cloves garlic

olive oil for drizzling

Heat oven on broil.

Arrange bread slices on a lined baking sheet.

Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle a little salt and black pepper.

Toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until  bread is slightly browned.Let cool.

In a bowl, combine tomatoes,mozzarella cheese,basil,sun-dried tomatoes,fire roasted peppers,salt,balsamic vinegar,and olive oil.Set aside.

Rub each piece of bread with garlic.

Spoon tomato mix on top of each slice of bread.




Shrimp Spring Salad


shrimp spring salad

 Spring and summer are my favorite seasons.Everything around you looks amazingly beautiful, fresh and full of life.This shrimp spring salad consists of leafy romaine lettuce, radish, sweet peas and shrimp.All the ingredients are tossed with creamy garlicky dill dressing.It’s very tasty and easy to make for any occasion.Even though the dressing is creamy, salad feels very light but filling.

Serves 2-4


1 bunch romaine lettuce torn or chopped

3-4 radishes sliced

2/3 cup  frozen peas (thawed)

1 lb cooked shrimp

Other optional ingredients:

avocado,chives,cherry tomatoes


2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise

2 heaping spoons plain greek yoghurt or sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped dill

2-3 crushed garlic cloves

Salt and fresh ground black pepper



In a small bowl,whisk all dressing ingredients and set aside.

Place romaine lettuce,radis,pesa,and shrimp in mixing bowl.

Toss salad with garlic dill dressing.

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Pickled Tomatoes


Pickling tomatoes and cucumbers is very well-known in Russia and Ukraine. It’s a great way of preserving tomatoes in a brine and makes it enjoyable during winter months.These pickled tomatoes go well with famous Ukrainian fried potatoes and Uzbek plov. My dearest friend Nellya that lives in Ukraine shared this recipe with me,so the recipe is straight from Ukraine with Ukrainian method of pickling. Sterilizing jars for this recipe is not needed, but you will need a blanket or a thick towel.



Guacamole Dip



Simple, fresh, healthy, delicious and perfect for parties or potlucks.


Tomato and Eggplant salad

DSC_3163Combination of tomatoes and eggplants is very popular in russian and Italian cuisine.They go perfectly together.This salad is delicious and simple to make consisting of  few ingredients.


Southwestern Spaghetti Casserole


This comforting pasta dish is very delicious,flavorful and satisfying.This dish can be vegetarian using mushrooms instead of meat or ground beef,chicken or turkey for meat lovers.If you’ll be using chicken broth,I highly recommend to make it from scratch.In my opinion it’s really more flavorful then store bought.



Caprese Sandwiches with Avocado Basil Spread







Arrange sliced bread on baking sheet.Drizzle with some olive oil.


Broil for 3-4 minutes in 500 degrees oven.


Using a blender or food processor,pulse spinach,basil and garlic. Then add avocado,lemon juice,salt and olive oil.pulse until well blended.


Eggplant capresse appetizer