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Mozz and TOmaters

For the past four years we have rented a cottage during the summer, for a week, with our good friends the Fribergs (Big D). We have yet to rent to same place twice…but I think this year we finally found a winner. It’s fabulous, it’s directly on Lake Michigan. I could tell you more but then you might want to rent it and we would loose our spot.

I am keeping it a secret, it’s mine all MINE! ah-hah-hah,hahahaha!

(that was a crazy evil laugh)

But seriously if they will have us, we are coming back here again. For one thing the kitchen is big. The kitchen is very important when Big D and I vacation together. Because it is all about the food, my friends. The first year we vacationed together by the third night the boys (our husbands) were begging for mercy. They were so full they couldn’t take it anymore. We have simmered it down since that year. We cut out the appetizer course…….

We have a menu planning date for our vacation. Breakfast, lunch, appetizers, dinner, dessert, snacks in between…..OH my HEAVENS it’s quite out of control. But it’s what we love to do, and that’s what one should do on their vacation right? Do what they love to do…..

We haven’t been in the kitchen the whole time……don’t worry there is plenty of reading, napping and playing in the waves going on.

Today is the beginning of the fifth full day of our vacation….I just thought I would share with you what we have eaten so far….if I can remember it all that is. In short, in one paragraph I will attempt to fill you in on the “min-nuuuuu”.

Chicken Fontinella, rosemary bread, salad, cheese platter, marscapone cupcakes with strawberry frosting/white chocolate frosting, french breakfast puffs, deli sammies for lunch, PW’s Katies corn salad, guac, pica de gallo, flank steak and chicken on the grill for fajitas, onions and peppers, and all the fixin’s for fajitas, Big D’s Mexican chocolate sauce for our ice cream(this sauce is TDF! I will be sharing the recipe, pinky swear), big breakfast=bacon, eggs to order, all sorts of breads and muffins that were baked prior and brought with, fajita night redo which turned out to be quesidillas of all sorts, lots of appetizers which include every cheese known to man……and wine for the adults…..pop for the kiddos, hummus and pretzel chips, cream cheese with pepper jelly and crackers, boursin cheese, crackers, bbq ribs, firecracker shrimp skewers, oven roasted potatoes, watermelon salad (which was AmAZ-za-zing, will also share this recipe), plain ol’ watermelon slices, green salad with tomatoes and homemade ranch dressings….thanks PW, rosemary rolls, caprese salad…..hmmm seems like I missed something, Steaks marinated in my teriyaki sauce ,with blue cheese on the side, french cheese bread, pan fried potatoes with kale, green beans, cantaloupe, mater and mozz salad, (or caprese salad if you rather call it that), saute’d mushrooms and onions, cherry cobbler, ice cream, chocolate chunk toffee cookies, peanut butter bars…..

Is this called gluttony…

As we speak I am making bacon and Big D is going to make French toast with brioche bread……and of course I did not include the food we have eaten out ie. Pronto Pups, popcorn, and tonight we are planning on Fricanos…one cannot be within 5 miles of Fricanos pizza and not have a pie…I think there are laws against not eating Fricanos pizza while vacationing in West Michigan……we are downing the Lipator as I write in preparation.

What’s to come…..shrimp boil, blackberry cobbler, Texas sheet cake, homemade ice cream……heavens to Betsy!

I am feeling sick…..do I have a problem? Don’t answer that….I like living in denial.

Mozz and Maters is something we have eaten with every meal….it’s easy, it’s seems healthy, the kids will eat it….so here is my version…

Mozz and Mater

Toast pine nuts in pan.

Just a little bit so they look like this a cute and toasty….just a little tan.
Here is all the goodies you will need….it’s so easy…really my eleven year old makes it.
Basil is a beautiful, wonderful, fabulous thing……I could just sniff it all day long and into the night. I think I actually would like to marry it. Is there a perfume? Hmmm I need to find me some….perfuuume de Basil-poo.
Slice your tomatoes or maters if you are me.
Lay them out on a platter….and make sure your golden retriever is not in the kitchen, or that you don’t turn your back on him while you have tomatoes on a platter, if he is a mater eatin retriever like ours….
Then slice up the mozzarella, thin and lay on top, I know I am doing it upside down, I do things topsy turvy often.
Now sprinkle with the chopped basil, drizzle with olive oil, and balsamic vinegar….still keeping an eye on your caprese eating doggie.
Oh yeah baby…..
Sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, and toasted pine nuts….where’s the dog?

Oh life is good….yes sir-eee.

The story behind the dog is that one time when I was having some gals over for appetizers and fun….I had made a platter like the above, Jack our golden retriever laying in the corner…sleeping, so I thought….turned my back to go to the door because I thought my peeps had arrived. Seconds later I heard an odd glass slapping on counter top sound, I turned to find my doggie his hind haunches on the floor, front paws parked on either side of the beeea-UU-teeful platter just havin’ himself a feast!!!!! “Blast you DEVIL dog” I screamed. He scurried out the door so fast, lickin his chops…stinken beast. I so wish I would have thought to grab my camera so you could have a full visual.
Have a great day!

Caprese Salad

Warm tomatoes fresh your garden, layered with fresh basil leaves, creamy mozzarella topped off with toasted pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, sprinkled with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Italian, salad
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 large ripe beef steak tomatoes
  • 1 8 ounce log of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • basil leaves washed and dried
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • Heat a small skillet over medium heat, place pine nuts in skillet and move around continuously until they start to brown and smell nutty, remove pan to a dish or a plate. Otherwise they will continue to brown in the warm pan and could burn.
    Do not walk away from this is a step you much keep an eye on.
  • Wash and slice tomatoes in to 1 cm thick slices.
  • Cut mozzarella into as many slices as you have tomato slices.
  • Wash and dry one basil leaf for every tomato slice, if the leaves are large and you don't have enough you can cut them in half.


  • On a flat serving platter with a bit of a lip to hold in juices. (honestly a dinner plate will do!) Layer tomatoes, mozzarella, basil leaves, then drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and top it off with salt and pepper.
Keyword antipasti, appetizer, basil, mozzarella, pine nuts, salad, tomato
Tried this recipe?Mention @eat2gather or tag #eat2gather!

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  1. Burrrrrrrrrp! Sounds like you are having a great vacation. The weather sure has been wonderful this week. Tell Big D I said hi!

    Anonymous Karen

  2. Not even a hint as to where the cottage is? We're from Central Wisconsin and are always looking for places to stay.

  3. Wow!!! I think I want to vacay with you next time okay???? HaHa!! Sounds like you all had a belly full-of-a-time!!!