De Ma Cuisine

Toasting Archive



November 2019



Avocado Toast

Written by , Posted in Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Dairy-Free, Fruit, Herbs, Lunch, Quick and Easy, Sandwiches, Snacks, Toasting, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

I was kinda slow to get on the avocado toast bandwagon. It was so trendy that it got annoying. But, now, I love it. Ugh. It’s probably not trendy anymore. Kinda like skinny jeans. I was late there too. Now I wear them and have no idea if they’re still in style.

You know the part in You’ve Got Mail where they’re stuck in the elevator and Parker Posey says “Arghh! Where are my Tic Tacs?!?!” I feel like her when I say “ugh”.

I usually top avocado toast with a fried egg. But, it didn’t sound good today. I’m trying to get better at listening to myself. Not just eating things because I want them or because they’re there. I’m also trying to be better at having grace for the times when I do. It’s ok. All things in moderation, including moderation… I think Julia Child said that. Gosh I like her!

I had a bruised avocado and a tomato with a bad spot. Perfect. They go well together. I try to keep lots of seeds on hand. They are perfect for topping things like oatmeal, salads, and to put in granola. They also go well on avocado toast.

Today I went for chia, sunflower, sesame, and flax. Plus I added some hemp hearts that have been in the freezer since the last house, but are somehow just fine.

I mixed everything together with a bit of olive oil, some omega 3 oil (Brando and I have started taking it daily), salt, pepper, and Italian hot salt. I had micro greens from a sample at work that went under the avocado mixture. Maldon salt that went over top. Perfect. Done.

Happy Eating!

Avocado Toast

Serves 2

You don’t really need a recipe. Use this as a loose guideline.


  • 2 slices bread, toasted
  • 1-2 avocados, mashed (I can eat a whole one myself)
  • 1 plum tomato (or whatever you have on hand), diced (seeded if it’s super juicy)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon roasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • pinch salt
  • pinch Italian Hot Salt (or cayenne)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Omega 3 oil (optional)
  • a handful of microgreens
  • Maldon salt, for topping


  1. Toast bread.
  2. Mix together the avocado through omega 3 oil.
  3. Top the toasted bread with sprouts and the avocado mixture. Top with a pinch of Maldon salt.



May 2015



Customizable Panzanella Salad

Written by , Posted in Beans, Beef, Bread, Cheese, Condiments, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Eggs, Fish, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Herbs, Legumes, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Nuts, Pork, Poultry, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Salads, Sides, Toasting, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


There are so many things that this salad can be. It can be vegan, paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, high-protein… It all depends on what you add to it.


I made some baguettes a few weeks ago that I wasn’t thrilled with. They’re prefect for croutons though. If you prefer to avoid bread, quinoa or tofu would be great bread replacers. Or, if you’re eating gluten-free, your best gluten-free bread will be just perfect.


To make up the bulk of this salad, I opened this week’s Abundant Harvest Organics box then pulled a few things from the produce drawer. But this is where there are so many ways you can make this salad your own.

Beyond tons of veggie options, here are a few ways you could adapt this dish:

Protein a Plenty: Add beans, quinoa (instead of or alongside the bread), tofu, hard boiled eggs, meat (tuna, beef, chicken, turkey, pork), nuts, cheese.

Paleo: Add eggs, meat, and nuts instead of the bread.

Vegan: Leave as is, or add quinoa or tofu.

Gluten-Free: Use your favorite gluten-free bread, or swap out the bread for quinoa.

All the Veggies: I used nopales, onion, carrot, green beans, radish, and summer squash. You could also add: snap peas, greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumber… or any other veggies that are in season and you think would taste great.


I love the combination of a really good quality olive oil like Bari’s along with balsamic vinegar. But, a mixture of red wine vinegar and lemon juice, or balsamic and lemon juice would also be great. Customize it to make it your own!


Riiiiiight before serving add the bread. Or to really avoid soggy bread, put the bread on the plate and top it with salad, letting the dressing soak in slowly. The lesson I learned today: only add as much bread as you’re going to eat. The leftovers will get way soggy (#freetofail).


This is one of my favorite ways to welcome summer. But, come fall or winter, just trade the summer veggies for some roasted winter ones and you’ve got a winner all year round.

Happy Eating!

Customizable Panzanella Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Customizable Panzanella Salad


  • 3-4 C stale bread (any kind - or could sub 2-3 C quinoa or tofu), cubed
  • 1 t olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C balsamic or red wine vinegar (or half vinegar half lemon juice)*
  • 1 1/2 t dijon mustard
  • pinch cayenne (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 2 T to 1/4 C olive oil*
  • 3-4 T fresh herbs (basil, parsley, chives, oregano, thyme), chopped
  • 4-6 C any of the following (cubed, chopped, grated, or torn): summer squash, nopales, snap peas, green beans, greens, radishes, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumbers, red onions, nuts, hard boiled eggs, nuts, chicken, beef, tuna, pork, mozzarella, parmesan, cannellini beans, garbonzo beans)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Toss bread with 1 t olive oil, salt, and pepper, Place on a baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for about 5 minutes more (or until they're golden and toasty).
  2. Whisk balsamic vinegar through pepper. Stream in oil as you whisk. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  3. Toss salad contents (except bread, if using quinoa or tofu, add it now) with dressing. Add bread just before serving.



October 2014



Grape Toasts

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Baking, Bread, Cheese, Fruit, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Quick and Easy, Sandwiches, Sides, Snacks, Toasting, Vegetables, Vegetarian

One of my all time favorite snacks is crackers and cheese with grapes. When I used to teach aerobics many years ago, I’d come home starving, and would eat like it had been a really long time since I’d last eaten (when in fact it had probably just been a few hours).

Back then, I wasn’t eating seasonally. I didn’t realize that grapes were a late summer/early fall fruit. I didn’t know, guys. I mean, the grocery stores have almost everything available year round. I didn’t really question where things were coming from or if it was beneficial to be eating things that were coming from so far away. I didn’t realize that they were often so flavorless because they were picked green and transported to us, so we could have oranges in June and peaches in December.

That’s just the way it was.

No longer.

At least, not for us, if we can help it.

I love that we’re eating with the seasons. Some say it’s better for your health, some say it doesn’t matter. Whatever. I’m not going to argue with them. Potential health benefits aside, I love that by buying things that are in season, we’re supporting our local/California farmers. We’re also doing the environment a favor by not buying foods that are shipped from ridiculously far away, whenever possible. We’re just two of us here in our little home, but we’re trying to do our part.

This means we wait all year for things like grapes.

It’s worth it.


These sweet fall treats are sliced in half, seeds removed.


A baguette is sliced about 1/2″ thick.

I would always prefer homemade. But, I don’t have any right now. They’re a bit of a process, so I don’t make them as often as I wish I would. Every time I do I decide that I’m never going to buy a baguette again (unless we’re back in Paris, obviously). Then we run out and the cycle starts over.

I digress.


Bari’s olive oil is second to none. This goodness gets drizzled on the baguette.


So many good things come from a sentence that begins with, “cheese is grated”. Cheddar or monterey jack would be great. Gruyère would be awesome. Havarti would be divine. Use whatever cheese is your favorite, even if it’s not one of my suggestions.



A generous plomp of the cheese is placed on the grapes. And then it’s sprinkled with a bit of cayenne.


I’ve used the broiler at our new house now twice. I’m a little bit scared of it. No one knows why. I think it’s that it gets so very hot and can burn things when they’re forgotten about for just a minute. Thankfully, the stove has one of those broiler drawers that pulls out, so I don’t have to lay on the floor to check on the foods. Makes it much less scary.


I love the little crispy cheese crumbles that get stuck to the pan. I don’t usually share those.


Last step is to drizzle each toast with a bit of honey.


A little sweet, savory, kick of spicy treat. Perfect for right now.

Happy Eating!

Grape Toasts
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Snack, Fruit, Cheese
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 3 mins
Total time: 8 mins
Serves: 2
  • 6 slices baguette, about 1/2″ thick
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 9-12 grapes, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • to taste salt
  • 1/4 C cheddar or monterey jack cheese
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 t honey
  1. Drizzle bread with oil. Top with grapes, a sprinkle of salt, cheese, and a sprinkle of cayenne.
  2. Broil for about 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  3. Serve drizzled with honey.



May 2014



Simple Summer Salad

Written by , Posted in Bread, Cheese, Condiments, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Nuts, Quick and Easy, Salads, Toasting, Vegetables, Vegetarian


It. Is. Hot.

Weather like this calls for a celebration of all things summer… even if it is only May.

We’re picnicking in our yard, enjoying fresh veggies dipped in homemade hummus, and barbecuing sausage to savor while we watch the Red Sox game.

I don’t really like hot weather, but this sure is fun.

Don’t remind me that I said that in October when it’s still 100 degrees… Actually, I may be over it already… Oh wait, there’s salad, and stone fruit, and watermelon season is soon. I’ll just have to keep repeating those things to myself.


Salad. Crispy, crunchy, wonderful salad.

My salad spinner just plum rolled off the counter and smashed the other week. I have to wash and dry the lettuce by hand. It has become a chore. But, I get to eat salads like this as a result of my hard work, sooooo yeah.

Can I say “plum rolled off the counter”?


You can totally make your own croutons. It’s so easy. I had the oven on anyways (why did I pick the week when it’s one million degrees outside?!). I was working on some dried tomatoes, for a later post. That’s why the oven temp is low. I thought about changing it, and you can, but these turned out great. If you up the temp, decrease the cooking time. Obvious.

Old bread makes great croutons. Not like moldy bread. Like stale bread. If you freeze it, not only do you get to open the freezer and enjoy a blast of cold air on a hot day, but if you want to rub a clove of garlic over the bread, it’s much easier.

Garlic plus olive oil plus salt equals some darn good croutons.


Raw squash is not Tim’s favorite. But, if it’s sliced thin like this he’s cool with it.


Almonds for crunch and protein.


A beautiful new cutting board makes for an excellent salad making station.

Peas add a delicate reminder of spring to this salad. I used frozen, but fresh would be even better (although then there’s no freezer action, so up to you).


I prefer to make my salad dressing from scratch. This one is a simple vinaigrette. There are also some herbs and garlic, and a bit of dijon mustard to help it emulsify. And salt, always need a bit of salt.


Table for two. (Side note: I totally love the new kitchen island that Tim made for me. Just gotta brag about my sweet man sometimes.)

Happy Eating!

Simple Summer Salad
Recipe Type: Main, Salad, Quick and Easy
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 2-3
A quick and easy salad that’s perfect for those hot summer days.
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-3 slices stale bread (frozen is best, for garlic)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3-4 C lettuce, torn
  • 1/4 C peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 20-30 almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 C squash, thinly sliced
  • parmesan cheese, grated
  • dressing: 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t dijon mustard
  • 1 t fresh savory, chopped
  • 1 T fresh or 1/2 t dried basil, chopped or crushed
  • 1 t fresh or 1/4 t dried oregano, chopped or crushed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 3 T olive oil
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250F.
  2. Rub a clove of garlic onto the slices of frozen bread. Cut bread into cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bread is crispy, turning once or twice. Let stand and cool.
  3. Whisk together balsamic vinegar through pepper. Slowly stream in olive oil, whisking as you do, creating an emulsion. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Assemble lettuce, peas, almonds, squash, cheese, and croutons. Top with dressing.




April 2014



Caesar Soup

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Bread, Cheese, Fruit, Herbs, Lunch, Meat, Pork, Sides, Soups, Toasting, Vegetables


I have to confess something to you. A bowl of caesar salad in my vicinity will not last long. I have a hard time sharing it… I will, but I might rather eat the whole bowl by myself.

Enough about my caesar sharing issues.

Are you like me, and kinda stuck with the idea that lettuce can only be used in a salad or on a sandwich? Let’s break that mold.

How about a nice bowl of lettuce soup… Um, it’s way better than it sounds… and than the color might make you think (sorry, now we know, lettuce makes for a brown soup).


We all know that a good caesar salad dressing has tons of garlic. (Ahem, this is true of most of my favorite foods.) I mean, it’s good for you, and it tastes so gooooooood. Why not?!


Apple and basil are not part of a traditional caesar. Oh well. They go well in this recipe, so let’s ignore tradition for a moment.



Then the lettuce is wilted in. Just like that. Kinda fun. We usually want lettuce to be crisp, cold, and fresh. Most people turn their noses up at wilty lettuce. Snobs. (Hey, me too. Who wants a bowl of wilty salad… unless it’s meant to be wilted! Then we’re singing a different tune.)


You know that loaf of bread that is now stale and is not acceptable for peanut butter and jam? Good. Let’s rip it apart and toast it up. It’s seasoned with a little bit of olive oil, some salt, and pepper. Crunchy is good here, so don’t under toast.

No one wants soggy croutons.

Because they’re totally going into the soup. Yep. We’re doing this. The soup was blended and strained so it’s creamy and smooth. Then it is topped with that bacon you’ve been snacking on, those croutons you can’t stop eating, and the parmesan cheese you keep sneaking tastes of. (Oh, just me? Cool.) Plus, don’t forget about adding a drizzle of your favorite olive oil.


And just like that, it’s ready.

Creamy and dreamy, with a bit of zip.

Boom, bang, done did. (What?!) Let’s eat!


Happy Eating!

Caesar Soup
Recipe Type: Soup, Lunch, Side, Main, Quick and Easy, Foodie
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 37 mins
Total time: 52 mins
Serves: 2
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 1 stalk green garlic, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 6 C lettuce, washed and torn
  • 4 C vegetable stock
  • 2 C bread, torn
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • olive oil, for topping
  • parmesan cheese, grated, for topping
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Cook bacon and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Heat a soup pot. Add oil. When oil is hot, add apple, basil, green garlic, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add dijon and balsamic vinegar, and cook 1 minute.
  5. Add lettuce and wilt down for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Toss bread with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, turning once.
  8. Remove soup from heat. Add lemon juice and mayo. Blend with a hand blender or regular blender (regular: remove the plug from the lid and cover hole with a clean towel). Strain, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  9. Serve topped with croutons, a drizzle of olive oil, bacon, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (add the croutons immediately before serving).