Hello from Hilton Head! Vacation + Bruschetta = Happiness

I know what you're thinking – Cari, where the BEEP have you been? You haven't posted in like… a WEEK. 

Listen. I've been a little busy laying on the beach, snoozing on my raft in the pool and drinking whatever concoction our dear friend (and bartender) Dan mixed up for me. That's right, I went to Hilton Head. For seven whole days. I missed you so much it was hard to even have fun (cough, cough). 

Here are some pics of our fun times together! 

Mr G was not interested in getting a "cute new Facebook pic for my profile!!!!!" with me…

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But… he did one because he loves me THAT MUCH.

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We took naps on the beach…
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Some were sleepier than others…
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Some got Grumpy when you woke them up from said nap to get a Daiquiri refill…
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We ate at Salty Dog for lunch (I had the Shrimp Po Boy! It was so delicious. We also ate three appetizers… Don't judge).
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We only had to wait 45 minutes for a table, which was amazing because it gave us gals time to shop (below pic – my dear friends Kim and Katie)…
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Mr. Grumpy and his brother, Mr Why Aren't You Grumpier (seriously, he didn't really get any grumpy genes, and I can't figure it out) were super excited when we got our table.

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Then, I beat Mr Grumpy at a sick game of Scrabble. Actually that's not really true. In this photo, he was losing by 50 points, but I eventually lost to his word that included both an X, and a Y, and a Z, and a Q…. it was worth about 80 points.
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Then we went to a nice dinner, and ate some amazing seafood at the Old Oyster Factory (go there. go there now. It was that good). 
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Then, it was time to say goodbye, and head back to reality.
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But! Not before we climbed the old historic Lighthouse (Mr Grumpy didn't want to go all the way up. Actually his exact words were, "Why do I have to pay $3.75 per person to climb up those stairs? It's not even a real lighthouse." Which is true (we learned this from our kayaking guide) but still… I just had to go and see the view. So we (he) paid, and we climbed. AND WE WERE HAPPY ABOUT IT.
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Hilton Head was a blast – we could not have had more perfect weather, the food we ate was delicious to say the least, and we got to spend seven days with Mr Grumpy, his family, and his best friends and their family. It was exactly what I needed. And the best part? I got a TAN. (As tan as Irish-German girls with ginger-like tendancies can get… Aka, I'm covered in freckles). 

Each family was in charge of cooking one night for dinner. And Mr Grumpy's mom is probably the BEST Italian food cooker on the planet. She makes her sauce and meatballs from scratch, and sometimes even makes her own pasta, which is amazing too. So naturally, the Grumpy family was in charge of Italian night. She asked me to be in charge of the appetizer – bruschetta. I was nervous – there was a lot of pressure being that I am not even a speckle of Italian, and also that I've only ever helped my dear friend Robin make bruschetta and maybe made it on my own like twice (and put a jalapeno in it, naturally). So, like any good girlfriend would – I improvised people!

I knew how to make pico de gallo (obviously), so I decided I'd just make that, but with Italian-like ingredients. And man, it was a hit. (Our bartender Dan ate about 3 cups of it). 

Now, remember that this recipe serves about 10 people, so if you're just making it for your family or for you and you're super hungry, I suggest cutting the recipe in half or even into quarters.

What You'll Need:

  • 3 cups of grape tomatoes, chopped into small pieces (each tomato gets cut into about 10 pieces)
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped into pieces similar to the tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp chopped fresh basil (mine were heaping)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella, chopped into pieces similar to the tomatoes
  • 1 loaf french bread, cut into small pieces (about 1/2 centimeter)

Cutting everything is literally the most time consuming part of this recipe. So, start early. It took me about 30 minutes to cut everything up. Once everything is all chopped up, combine all ingredients into a bowl. Let that sit in the fridge for 2 hours prior to serving. 

Preheat your oven to 350. Bake your bread for about 5-10 minutes, until it is nicely toasted. If you're super hungry and want to eat right away, you can do two things:

  • Less Desparate Option: Broil the bread for 3-5 minutes
  • Super Desparate Option: Toast it in a toaster. Seriously. We did this the next day. It was awesome.

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Mr Grumpy's mom helped with food styling. She's pretty good.  

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