BLT and Caprese Tomato Bites

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I FINALLY found a book club that guess what…..ACTUALLY meets and get this……TALKS ABOUT THE BOOKS!!!  Woot Woot!

My friend Rachel Yeomans, Editor in Chief of the Working Wardrobe (awesome site showing ladies how to make runway fashion appropriate for the work place)  is a self proclaimed nerd, and an adorable one at that.  She’s obsessed with literature and asked awhile back if I wanted to join a book club she was starting, but I was skeptical…

I mean, we’ve all been there right?  Start a book club and everyone has good intentions of reading the books and showing up for the club……then the first email goes out and everyone forgets about it…….or people show up and you never talk about the book……..or someone verbose dominates, and no one else gets a chance to chime in………or people get offended if their book choice gets criticized,  and the club ends in fisticuffs.  Once I told a gal her book choice wasn’t my cup of tea……you would have thought I said her children are the spawn of satin by the way she “stink-eyed” me!

Brad Pitt and Edward Norton should make a sequel to “Fight Club” and call it, “Book Club”, where men have to read the chosen book, and those who didn’t like it have to fight to the death…..and they can’t lie because they are hooked up to lie detector tests.  (Aaaaand this is why I’ll never make it as a writer in Hollywood. HA!)

Anyway, joining Rachel’s book club gave me pause, but I said yes.  The first club happened and we actually talked about the book…..what, who does that???  I mean, we also discussed guys, work, upcoming vacations, ect, but we spent a good portion discussing the book!  The second club was the same, it was a fun social event, but we took time to actually discuss the literature!!!  People would listen, take turns talking, and be polite!  And the people who had strong opinions on the reading material, would not ostracize you if the opinion wasn’t mutual!  Eureka I found my “book club” home!

We started out as a “normal” book club, but soon coined it the FUBC (fucked up book club) because the first 2 books we read were delightfully deranged.  As we continued, we kept finding unsettling, creepy ass fiction, to fill our minds with whacked out visuals of the character’s maniac ways.

Some of the books we’ve read:

The Dun Cow, by Walter Wangerin Jr.
~This books is about barnyard animals who find themselves battling in a gruesome war against the evil Cocktrice (half chicken, half lizard).  Some crazy shit goes down that will burn into your memory, and haunt you forever.

Hyperion, by Dan Simmons (Hugo Award Winner)
~This crazy book is about 7 strangers, joined together on a pilgrimage to confront the Strike….a time manipulating monster thing that does weird ass shit to people…..including….disguising itself as a woman to have “relations” with one of the strangers…..what ensues will make your eyes bug out and your brain ask, “Did I just read that?”

Popular Hits of the Showa Era, by Ryū Murakami
~6 fiercely independent woman, band together to fight 6 men (with poor social skills) who kills one of their friends…..for fun.  This book takes you through a bloody tail of revenge between the two parties.

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black, by E.B. Hudspeth
~Taking place in the 1870’s, a reowned scientist goes bat shit crazy and believes mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs, were the evolutionary ancestors of humankind.  He goes to great disturbing lengths to prove his point.

The Pilo Family Circus, by Will Elliott (my favorite book so far)
~A trio of psychotic clowns make Jamie join the circus from hell.  When he applies the “white clown paint” to his face, it’s magical powers turn Jamie into his evil alter ego J.J.  J.J. is the most psychotic clown of them all and has one mission…..to kill Jamie.

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Our FUBC is a riot!  The books don’t really “have” to be messed up, but we’ve found and read some truly disturbing gems.  We figured we all need a break from the demented, so we’ll be adding other genres of books into our repertoire.  Next up?  The Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell!  I can’t wait!

So, it was my turn to host FUBC, and I wanted to make some snacks that weren’t too heavy, more healthy, and bite size.  I LOVE BLT’s and Caprese salad, so I thought little tomato bites would be perfect!

Caprese-Tomato-Bites

Another cool treat I served was Indian Food Dip!  Have you ever eaten Indian food and had just a little bit of the sauce left over?  Like, not enough sauce for another meal, but just enough that you’re determined NOT to throw it out………because it tastes marvelous?  Well have no fear, instead of throwing the sauce(s) away, served them with pita chips!  Ooooooh, now that I think of it, serve them up with warm pita bread!!!  Next time Christina, next time!

It was a great way to use up leftovers and be creative at the same time.  The Indian Food Dip was a crowd-pleaser, I highly recommend giving it a try!

Indian-Food-Dip

Note, even though you can prepare the BLT and Caprese Tomato bites ahead of time, wait to salt the appetizer until right before your guests arrive.  Salt draws out water in vegetables (yeah yeah, I know technically tomato is a fruit), and you don’t want this appetizer to get soggy!

Vegans and vegetarians: you can find great tofu bacon and vegan mozzarella cheese options out there!

To conclude my book club food post, if anyone has amazing books they want to recommend, please let me know!  I would be happy to check some out and perhaps request them for our upcoming reads for FUBC!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
BLT and Caprese Tomato Bites
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
BLT Tomato Bites
  • 6 Campari tomatoes *see notes
  • 1 strip of bacon, cooked and broken into small pieces
  • Lettuce, ripped into small pieces
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • Sprinkle of salt
Caprese Tomato Bites
  • 6 Campari tomatoes *see notes
  • 6-12 fresh mozzarella cheese balls, the small ones.
  • Fresh basil, ripped into small pieces
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Olive Oil
Instructions
BLT Tomato Bites
  1. In a skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate, then finely chop.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise and buffalo sauce together in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. (add more buffalo sauce as you see fit, it's really up to what you think tastes good)
  3. Cut the stems/tops off the tomatoes, and with a paring knife, carefully remove the seeds and discard them. Place the tomatoes, upside down, on a paper towel to drain for a few minutes. This can be done a few hours ahead of time.
  4. When you are ready to assemble, take a piece of lettuce and stuff it inside the tomato. Add a little dollop of mayonnaise mixture on top of the lettuce. Then put a cooked bacon piece or two on top of the mayonnaise mixture.
  5. Sprinkle the BLT tomato bites with a pinch of salt, right before you serve them.
Caprese Tomato Bites
  1. Cut the stems/tops off the tomatoes, and with a paring knife, carefully remove the seeds and discard them. Place the tomatoes, upside down, on a paper towel to drain for a few minutes. This can be done a few hours ahead of time.
  2. Stuff the fresh basil piece(s) into the tomato, then add a mozzarella ball (or two) on top of the basil.
  3. Right before your guest arrive, drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
Notes
The campari tomatoes I found were larger than a cherry tomato, but much smaller than regular tomatoes. They came in a package of 12. I wasn't having a large party, so that was all I needed. You can use a pint or two of cherry tomatoes if you want to feed a larger crowd! Just cook up a few more pieces of bacon, and use approx ½ cup of mayonnaise and stir in as much Buffalo sauce as you like.

Wait to salt the tomatoes until you are going to serve them. Salt draws out the water in tomatoes, so if you salt them too early, you could have a soggy mess on your hands!

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Comments

    • smunch says

      They were gobbled down in 15 minutes…I wish I made more! They were so simple and fresh tasting, totally hit the spot.
      Those potatoes sound GREAT! Have a link for those?

    • smunch says

      Hahaha! Right? Is it weird I kinda want to cuddle with them? Hmmm, after reading what I just wrote, I already know the answer is yes. HA!

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