>How to Be the Block Party Queen

Chefdruck’s Tasty Tuesday

I came out of the blogging closet to my new neighbors last week. Coming out the first time in New Jersey to friends who had known me for years was tough. Coming out to new acquaintances was terrifying, but I wanted to bite the bullet and get it out there before the secret took on a life of its own.

We were standing at the bus stop, waiting for the kids to get home and I just came out with it. My timing could have been better though. You see, last weekend was our block party. My neighbor just smiled and said, “Well, I’m expecting great things from you now that I know you’ve got some sort of fancy food blog.”


The heat was on. I needed to come up with some killer recipes, and I needed them fast.

So I combed through my past posts and my recipe books and I decided to make something fresh, something homey, and something boozy: Goat Cheese Tomato Bruschetta, Turkey Sloppy Joes with cheddar buttermilk biscuits, and White Sangria.

All three were delicious… but the big hit was definitely the sangria. I’m not sure that I helped to give food bloggers a good name, but I definitely brought the sweet caress of alcohol (to quote Nancy Botwin and keep the Weeds buzz going a little longer) to our court.

I’ve posted about the Turkey Sloppy Joe recipe before so I’ll just link to it instead of repeating myself.

Goat Cheese Tomato Bruschetta (adapted from the Muir Glen Organics recipe)
2 cups of strained chopped fresh tomatoes (or 1 can of Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained)
1/2 cup of kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of freshly chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1/2 cup of soft fresh goat cheese
1 baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices

  1. Chop tomatoes, straining to lose most of the liquid.
  2. Mix together tomatoes, olives, basil, olive oil, balsamic and salt and pepper.
  3. Toast bread.
  4. Spread each slice with a smear of goat cheese. Top with tomato mixture and serve immediately.

White Sangria
Ingredients: 1 bottle of white wine, preferably on the sweeter side such as Riesling, Vouvray or Sauvignon Blanc 1/4 cup of triple sec 1/2 quart of lemonade – partially frozen 1/4 cup of white grapes, halved 1/4 cup of melon, large dice 1/4 cup of peaches, peeled and diced sprig of mint (optional)

  1. Cut up all fruit and place in bottom of large pitcher.
  2. Add chillled white wine, triple sec, and partially frozen lemonade. I took lemonade in a carton and froze it for an hour before pouring it in my mixture. It had the consistency of a slushie.
  3. Stir well. Taste. Garnish with mint before serving.

3 Responses to >How to Be the Block Party Queen

  1. >Vanessa, Sorry to put the pressure on! Everything you made was delicious and I especially loved the Sangria. Your blog is fun too! Welcome to the neighborhood. – Debbie

  2. >Oh, to "come out" as a food blogger. It's really…awkward, kind of, isn't it? My neighbors know what I'm doing with TasteStopping and my other blog, but I'm not sure they totally understand or care to. And that's okay with me. Heck, I'm not sure my husband gets it all the time! I think that's why I'm so excited for Camp Blogaway. To be in the midst of talented people who just GET IT! Can't wait to meet you there.


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