The Best Bruschetta

I love Pioneer Woman’s blog and constantly find myself gravitating towards her recipes. Maybe it’s her snarky humor or her love of butter– I’m not sure– but I feel as though her kitchen is one I’d want to visit at some point in my life.

This bruschetta is the “best” for a couple of different reasons. First, cherry tomatoes (in my opinion) pack so much more flavor than other, larger ones. So we’re already on the right track by starting with delicious red and yellow nuggets of goodness. Second, minced garlic is an important, and often neglected element of a good bruschetta recipe. Giving the ingredients time to marinate with the garlic allows for some crazy good things to happen in that bowl. So if you’re making this, be sure to make it ahead of time because YES, wait time really does make a difference.

By the way, don’t tell Giada but I served my bruschetta on top of a toasted whole wheat English muffin. And I’m not sure England and Italy have worked so well together since before King Henry VIII. (Sorry for that… I’m in the middle of watching season 2 of The Tudors; couldn’t help myself).

Oh and one more thing… I added goat cheese on top because, well, it’s goat cheese. And it’s delicious. And it can make even the best bruschetta that much better.

NashVegas, Part 2

At the All Star Jam at the MGM Grand

And here it is- part 2 of my ACM Vegas Adventure. While the first couple of days were solely devoted to back-to-back interviews in the studio suite, the real fun came on the day of the ACM awards. My friend and I tagged along with Blackberry Smoke, a group of hairy rockers (with hearts of gold) who so graciously brought us along to the ACM Fan Jam (where Scotty McCreery was awarded New Artist of the Year) and the All Star Jam where we hung out back stage with everyone from Dierks Bentley to Nicole Kidman. It was such a crazy, surreal and exciting experience– one I’ll never forget.

At the end of the night though, nothing felt better than to kick off my heels and sink into my bed for a full night’s sleep. We stayed at the Hard Rock hotel and casino. It’s just as outrageous as you would expect a Vegas hotel to be but is also filled to the brim with music history, which seemed fitting for that particular weekend. Here are a couple of takeaways from my ACM adventure:

- Add to your playlist: Kip Moore (Mary was the Marrying Kind; Hey Pretty Girl) | Laura Bell Bundy (Giddy on Up; That’s What Angel’s Do) | Hunter Hayes (Wanted) | Blackberry Smoke (Good One Comin’ On; Up In Smoke)
- Vegas show not worth the money: Peepshow.
– Nicole Kidman looks like a porcelain doll in person.
– Guys with long locks love discussing hair-care with women.
– Fake eyelashes go with every outfit.
– One cannot deny the beauty of an all-day breakfast menu. (We got ours here)

A collection of boots at the ACM Expo in the Mandalay Bay hotel

Inside the Hard Rock hotel

Rachel interviewing The Band Perry at Big Machine's "Outnumber Hunger" event

Hotel room view

Saxophone chandelier

Scotty McCreery in the Nashville Music Minute studio

Saying goodbye at the end of a wonderful week