Monday, August 1, 2016

I Say Bru-shetta, You Say Bru-sketta!

A very warm welcome to our friend Victoria Hamilton. MUCH ADO ABOUT MUFFIN, the fourth book in her Merry Muffin Mystery series will be in bookstores tomorrow!

Don't miss her fun giveaway! To enter, see the instructions below.

Here's Victoria!

I love growing herbs. I have, in the garden: variegated sage and regular sage, thyme, lemon thyme, lemon balm, summer savory, French tarragon, oregano and others. Lately I have moved to growing annual herbs in a pot. I have marjoram, rosemary (a tender perennial that doesn’t fare well this far north) and three types of basil: Sweet, Lemon and Thai in order from left to right in the picture.

However… recently I kinda lost sight of the rosemary in the center of the pot because the basil took over. I’ve never made pesto (tho’ I may try this year) so… what to do with all that luscious basil? Bruschetta is something many enjoy only in the restaurant as an appetizer, but I often make it, topped with cheese, for lunch, or a meal side dish.

Now, as to the title… well, I started seeing it long ago on menus and so pronounced it my own way, as bru-shetta, only to learn it should be pronounced bru-sketta. But it’s hard to break old habits, right? Ask me, the gal who still pronounces ‘mandarin’ with the emphasis on the middle syllable, man-DAR-in, because that’s how I thought it sounded.

Enjoy my bruschetta, delicious any way you say it!


Two or three tomatoes

Generous handful of fresh basil, whatever kind you have.

¼ cup finely diced sweet onion

2 – 3 garlic cloves

2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

Garlic butter

2 – 3 panini rolls (or whatever kind of roll or bun you like)

1 cup grated cheese – I used extra old cheddar, but use whatever you like!

*Some people use balsamic vinegar; I’m not a fan, but go ahead if you like it, a tablespoon or so!

Freshly grated sea salt and pepper.


Do this part a few hours before you plan to make the bruschetta:

1 – Chop tomato to a medium dice, discarding seeds and excess liquid. Throw in a bowl, and add: chopped or chiffonade of basil, finely chopped onion, chopped or grated garlic.

2 – Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar (if you’re using it) the fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to taste – not too much - and mix it all up.

3 – Set aside in a jar or covered bowl so the flavors marry. You can hold a ceremony if you like, but don’t expect the garlic to obey. It’s more strong-willed than that.

Just before meal:

4 – Split your rolls. (Don’t get confused and roll your splits). You can spread a good commercial garlic butter on the split rolls, or just brush olive oil and rub a garlic clove over it.

5 – Broil for a couple of minutes until the top is crusty.

6 – Take buns out of oven (you should never leave a bun in the oven too long!) and pile the bruschetta mix on – I use a slotted spoon so I don’t soak the buns with too much of the liquid – top with grated cheese, and broil again until bubbly and melted, or even until the cheese is browned a little on top.

This is a really versatile dish, as you can tell by my ingredients list, and easy to stretch. It can be an appetizer, but I call it lunch!


Ready to go.

Lovely mix jar.

Cheeky garlic!

3 kinds of basil.


Bruschetta chop.

Bruschetta done.

Bruschetta YUM!

About Much Ado About Muffin

In this fresh mystery from the national bestselling author of Death of an English Muffin, baker Merry Wynter comes to the aid of an innocent woman accused of murder.

When muffin baker Merry Wynter sees an innocent woman accused of murder, it’s dough or die...

Opera singer Roma Toscano may have a crippling case of stage fright, but she certainly is stirring up drama in Autumn Vale, New York, as she prepares for an upcoming performance at Merry’s Wynter Castle. With her flamboyant style and flirtatious personality, Roma attracts fans as well as critics, including the town’s postmistress—and Merry’s bitter foe—Minnie Urquhart.

But Roma and Minnie’s heated rivalry goes cold after Merry discovers Minnie dead at the post office. While every clue seems to be another ingredient in the investigation of Roma, Merry thinks the case is half-baked, and she’s eager to get her mitts on the real killer...


Victoria Hamilton is the national bestselling author of three bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.

Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!

Merry Muffin Mysteries Facebook Page:



I’ll be giving away a pretty white and silver china teacup and saucer, and a very cool skull spoon, as well as a copy of Much Ado About Muffin and bookmark!

Open to US and Canadian addresses; include in your entry comment your email address and a name, please! Entries accepted until midnight, August 7th!


  1. This looks so yummy! And what a lovely giveaway! Thanks for the chance.

  2. Love the recipe; and the book sounds wonderful!

  3. Yum!! Love bruschetta! Thanks for the recipe and the wonderful giveaway!

  4. I love this series, and what a wonderful giveaway. By the way, I think your way of pronouncing bruschetta is the right way, or at least the way I've always pronounced it! Thanks!

  5. Basil is my most favourite herb, and I have three large planters of it growing on my balcony. Both basil pesto and using it in a tasty bruschetta recipe sounds great. Thanks for the chance to win this nice giveaway prize. grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

  6. I enjoy bruschetta, thanks so much for sharing your delicious recipe! I've never made it myself, but it's perfect for these hot summer days. Maybe I'll pair it with some sliced mozzarella (just picked some up at the store, and I have all the bruschetta ingredients already on hand) for dinner tonight. Thanks again! Nicole

  7. An easy, healthy and refreshing meal for a summer's day. And a way to use up extra tomatoes. Thanks for the giveaway. Looking forward to reading the book.

  8. Yum! I just picked some rosemary last night and noticed our basil has gone crazy as well. Was thinking about making a little pesto, but there's pleny for bruschetta too! Looking forward to the new book, thanks for the chance to win!

  9. Love this series! Cannot wait to read this one next. Thanks so much!

  10. I love using basil in everything I can. I will definitely be trying the recipe. Sounds delicious. This is my favorite time of year when I can go out and get a fresh handful of whatever herb I feel like using that day. Thanks for the chance. Love the skull spoon! dr(dot)oldsmobileaticloud(dot)com

  11. I love cozy food based mysteries i can't wait to read this one.

  12. Love these books. Going to try this recipe. sounds good to me. Thanks for the chance. Lois R. @

  13. I'm looking foward to reading your new book.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  14. With so many book series how do you find time to cook, Victoria? Looking forward to your new book. I am an avid mystery reader, have been since I was a child and certainly enjoy your books.

  15. A delectable recipe. Bruschetta is a perfect snack and appetizer. Love it. Wonderful booksand giveaway. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  16. The recipe looks amazing! I can't wait to try it and read the new book!

  17. Have been waiting to read this for a while! Would love to win this! - Lynette.

  18. I'd like to nab a piece of the brushetta right out of these pictures! What a lovely giveaway. Crossing my fingers on that.
    ncroessner @ comcast. net
    (Nancy Roessner)

    ps; I love the C. S. Lewis quotation

  19. I make bruschetta during the summer and everyone enjoys this tasty and yummy offering. Thanks for this feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  20. I saved your incredible food offering to my pinterest sandwich page for later. I love the book series and I think my younger son would et a kick out of the spoon (he works with Homeland). My partner collects tea cups, so this giveaway is a win win win for my whole family.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

    Oh, and if you have a ton of those bookmarks available my magic swag bag is running on fumes and the library branches I visit are screaming for refills.

  21. I like growing herbs, too. All three of your series are awesome! Please keep writing! The giveaway is really cool! Neat spoon! And cup, but, the book is what I would treasure. Thanks for the giveaway and for writing those wonderful books!

  22. I really really like the skull spoon!!! So clever!!

    Anne Harris

    mysandycat (at) aol (dot) com

  23. Love the spoon collect teacups. Love love your books

  24. Love that skull spoon and would also be delighted to win the book, teacup, and saucer!

  25. Thank you for sharing the bruschetta recipe and for the fun giveaway. Dmskrug3 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  26. Love the recipe..great giveaway !! alice hamilton, Have a great day.

  27. awesome.

  28. Thank you for this chance to win. I enjoy reading your books and think this is a great giveaway.

  29. Awesome spoon! Pretty cup.
    Connie Reynolds

  30. Excellent giveaway ! I love this series , thank you for a chance to win !

  31. This looks delicious!!! Thank you so much for the chance to win!

  32. Wonderful recipe!

    Sara Gordon

  33. Wonderful recipe!

    Sara Gordon

  34. Terrific giveaway! My grand/greatgrandsons would all love the spoon.

  35. First, the bruschetta recipe is super...on the menu for Friday's book club! Second, I love this series having really enjoyed Death of an English Muffin! Thanks for a super exciting giveaway opportunity...

  36. I was pronouncing it the same way and I am going to have a tough time with the new correct way. Thanks for the tip off.

  37. The recipe looks so yummy! I never thought about using a muffin for that. Thanks for the giveaway. mjhopper (at) cox (dot) net

  38. I have a deep fondness for brushcetta. It is my favorite summer flavors mixed into one delicious dish. Have never thought to give it a melted cheese coat before but am intrigued. Would hit the spot for bruschetta and pizza. little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  39. Thanks for the chance to start a new series. Sounds wonderful and I am going to look for the first books. Cup and spoon and bookmark. Beautiful. What a treat.

  40. Terrific looking recipe!

    llcejka at gmail dot com

  41. I enjoyed your post; I'm still smiling. I pronounce bruschetta and mandarin exactly like you.🤔 Thank you for a great giveaway & congrats on your new book.