Cooking with Sami

The recipies and experiences of an Amateur Chef

Italian Style Tomato Bruchetta in Cheddar Tartlets

  I made these delicious and colourful appetizers for a New Years Eve Party.  They are the genuine article as far as appetizers go, and they are well worth the time to make them. Growing up in a city with many amazing local restaurants, I have developed a taste for Italian cooking and when I am in the kitchen I lean towards the traditional spices such as oregano, basil and garlic, as you can see in this recipe. I think that Italian cuisine in one of the best of what the world has to offer. The red colour of the tomatoes gives it a nice festive touch, but you may serve them year round. I hope that you enjoy! 

Italian Style Tomato Bruchetta in Cheddar Tartlets


Cheddar Tartlets 

The tartlet base is almost like a basic cheese biscuit pushed into the bottom of a mini muffin tin. If preparing for guests, it is okay to have them prepared without the filling the day before, and they freeze fairly well. Don’t put the filling in until the very last minute before or during your party, as it makes the bottom rather soggy if it sits out too long. I also don’t put too many spices into this part because I prefer to put the spices into the tomato filling, and putting the spices into both would overdo it. If you wanted more colour, you could add another tbsp of parsley into it. 

1 1/4 cups flour 

1/2 tsp salt 

2 tbsp Italian seasoning 

1 tbsp parsley 

1/2 cup plus 4 tbsp cold butter, cubed 

1 cup of old cheddar cheese, grated and packed 

3 tbsp cold water 

Stir the flour, salt, italian seasoning, and parsley together in a bowl. Then cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 butter knives untill it resembles coarse oatmeal. Stir in the grated cheese, and then 3 tbsp of the water: add a 4th tbsp if needed.  

Cut in the butter with a pastry blender.


Take a heaping tablespoon(roughly that amount) and roll it into a ball. Put it into the muffin tins, being careful to push it up the sides. You do not need to grease the pan. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F for 20 minutes. It should make about 36. Puncture the bottom with a fork to prevent the bottoms from bubbling up. Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, you can work on the bruchetta filling. 

These are what my tartlets look like before I cook them


Tomato Bruchetta 

3 plum tomatoes( You may use whatever tomatoes you may have, but I personally use plum tomatoes because they are a lot more firm. Other tomatoes tend to hold a lot more fluid.) 

Chop the tomatoes into very small cubes, and then add 

1 leveled off tbsp Garlic Powder 

1 Heaping tsp of Oregano( I add more when cooking for my family, but when you cook for other people, it is best to make it so that a general audience would like it) 

1 Heaping tsp of Basil 

1/2 tsp Tyme 

1/2 tsp pepper 

1/2 tsp salt 

Ta da! There is really nothing so good as homade appetizers!


Mix together: When the tartlets are done, fill them with the tomato bruchetta and garnish with finely grated mozzarella cheese.  Put them back in the oven under broil at 400F untill the cheese is melted and slightly bubbling.  Serve warm. 🙂 


May God bless you in 2010! 




January 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants


Through the history of mankind, men have been trying to find out why things in the universe go just the way that they do. In some cases, men have devoted their lived to the cause of science and new ideas in order to push the limits of human knowledge. We take for granted the incredible technology and scientific knowledge we posses today, seldom thinking of the great minds who started it all. A brilliant scientist, physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, Sir Isaac Newton, once stated,

“If I saw further than the others, it is only because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.”  

No doubt he had the “mental giants”, of Archimedes, Pythagoras, Copernicus, Galileo, and Aristotle in his mind when he said that.  He saw that the reason why he was able to discover as much as he did was because he had the work of others who had tried to answer questions before him to start from. Aristotle was one of those early minds. A pupil of Plato’s, he was a student at Plato’s academy for nearly 20 years, although the two had many disagreements. Aristotle went on to tutor a young boy who later became one of the world’ s greatest leaders, Alexander the Great. Today we can see that most of Aristotle’s theories are false, but it is important not to overlook the impact that his ideas had on the world for almost 2,000 years.

  Aristotle believed that everything was one of four elements: earth, fire, water, and air, and that those elements always sought to return to their natural place. Indeed, from his perspective, it did make a great amount of sense. For instance, when you dropped a rock, it would fall down to the earth, because the rock was an “earth” element. Because earth elements were most dense, as well as being heavier, he thought that they would naturally seek the centre of the planet.  Upon the surface of the earth floated the water element, succeeded by the air element, and seeking to rise above all was the fire element. This explained the upward direction of flames. Following the same idea, if you were to throw a rock forward, it would not go straight to the ground, but would remain lifted for some extent by the rising air element, while at the same time the rising air element would fill the empty cavity behind the rock, thus pushing it forward. However: some objects, such as the planets and stars, did not fit with his theory. According to his theory, the planets would be earth elements, and would come crashing down earth instead of following the perfect, orbiting order in which they traveled. To answer this, Aristotle came up with a fifth element: aether.  Regulating the solar system, aether supposedly controlled everything beyond the moon and kept the planets and stars in order.

     In some other areas, Aristotle made some very hasty assessments. The theory of spontaneous generation began when he casually observed a rotting piece of meat, which had just recently been thrown out.  Before long, the rotten meat was covered in maggots and flies. He noticed that this happened in every situation where meat was left out. Aristotle then concluded that the flies and maggots had come from, and were formed by the nonliving meat. As further evidence for his theory, he noticed that the eels from a nearby pond had the same slimy, smelly, gross texture as the murky ooze which came from the pond bottom. Again, he decided that the eels must have come from the non-living ooze. Forasmuch as Aristotle’s theories were wrong in that area, he was the first one to guess that the earth was a sphere, and not flat, by the placement of the stars and the shape of the moon

 It is hard to believe that Aristotle’s ideas were held with unchallengeable, god-like authority for as long as they did, as far as the days of Galileo and Newton.(mid1600’s) Even the theory of spontaneous generation was proclaimed as gospel until it was crushed in 1760 by Louis Pasture, but there are some even today who believe a form of it called Abiogenesis: the belief  that  long ago, very simple life forms came from nonliving chemicals and matter.  The works of Aristotle dominated the dark ages, and were blindly accepted as fundamental truth.  Aristotle himself stated,

 “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

 We should be careful, and should deeply ponder a thought before accepting it just because someone great said it. While today we think his theories rather primative, they were a beginning. We owe a lot to Aristotle but science is  still unreliable and changing : what all the evidence and  facts might say today might be revealed tomorrow as untrue, just like what happened with some Aristotle’s theories. The only person you can trust is God, and the truths of his word will remain tried and true, no matter what the century, place, or complication.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.~Isaiah 40:8~

 We are greatful to Aristotle. His reasearch has given science a place to ponder, recreate, build and rebuild and we think of him today as one of the great giants upon whose shoulders we are able to stand, and view with wonder the intelligence of God’s creation.

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December 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment