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Date with Giada

This week I attended a cookbook signing at Williams - Sonoma with Giada de Laurentiis.

After purchasing my ticket I arrived about 15 minutes before the start of the event. I don't know what I was expecting but the crowd was HUGE! They had sold 600 tickets. The process was well organized and she smiled and greeted each guest with enthusiasm. Although there was no possibility of taking a photo with her, I did manage one selfie. I really need to practice this more!

As we all stood outside in the cold waiting for our turn, the employees were busily making a few tidbits from her new cookbook, "Giada's Italy". We tasted the Bruschetta with Burrata and Kale Verde, the Bruschetta with Mozzarella and Strawberry, and finally the Lemon Ricotta Cookies.

My new friends that I met, while waiting almost 2 HOURS for our turn, all agreed the Strawberry Bruschetta was our favorite bite of the three offerings. Sorry Kale fans - it is hard for me to really enjoy KALE in any form! Here is the recipe for you to try:

Strawberry Bruschetta by Giada

15, 1/4" slices of baguette

2 TB olive oil

1/2 TSP Kosher salt

1 TB white balsamic vinegar

2 TB extra-virgin olive oil

1 TSP honey

1/2 TSP kosher salt

1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes

3/4 cup chopped strawberries

1 TB fresh basil, chopped

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (1 ball) chilled

Preheat the oven to 400˚.

Brush each baguette slice on both sides with the olive oil and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt and bake for 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through if they are not browning evenly.

In a medium bow, whisk together the vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, honey, and salt until smooth and emulsified. Add the tomatoes, strawberries, and basil, and mix well to coat. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to let the flavors marry.

Slice the mozzarella into small pieces. Place a slice on each of the crostini and top it with some of the strawberry mixture. Drizzle with a tough of of the dressing if desired.

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