Balsamic Tomato Basil Bread

Maybe it’s in my head, but when Dru turned two… he TURNED two. What I mean is all of those impulse control, independence struggle type of situations that parents have experienced for decades and have affectionately deemed “The Terrible Two’s”, its here. He had his birthday and we dove right in. Not so much in the I’m-going-to-pull-out-my-hair-he’s-a-monster way, but more in the way of him being a complete little person with thoughtful thoughts, huge feelings that are felt deeply, and a clear sense of what he IS and IS NOT willing/wanting to do. It’s hilarious, exhausting, and awe-inspiring all at the exact same time. It’s confusing. Let me give you an example that happened just the other day.

Dru Pajamas

To set the scene, I am at my computer working on some important things that needed to be taken care of ASAP. Dru is happy as can be taking out every piece of tupperware so he can stack them to make a massive tower to eventually (and enthusiastically) smash to pieces. He moves on from thing to thing, and ends up getting out the mop (which he does hourly) to help me with the floors, hinting to his mother to get this pig sty in shape! La-de-da, things are great. I get really involved in what I’m doing and the next thing I know I look up and the mop is destroyed. Bits of the green, mop sponge are strewn about everywhere. Ugh! Great. This is after I already spilled an entire jug of laundry detergent on my head (smelled great… but not a good look overall), and Dru broke a plate by purposely elbowing it off the table (but who gives there kid a fragile plate to eat off of?). So at this point I was determined that this was a time for him to learn that when you destroy something and make a mess, you need to make it right (something we have been working on). In response to my proposition he immediately, and rather sweetly, informs me, “no, mom.” and walks away. So I explain he made the mess and I will help him, but he needs to put the pieces in the garbage… and so on. He again, sweetly… “no, mom. sorry mom“. At least he was sorry? No. Ok, so this goes on until finally I decide we’ll give timeout a whirl. That’s a parenting go-to right? This is the solution. So I find a chair plop him down and explain the situation, he can get down anytime he’s ready to clean his mangled mop pieces. I can see quickly that timeout is an amusing attempt at parenting to him. Over and over, (and over and over and over and over and over) he gets on his belly and slides his hips off the chair so his legs are dangling around. Each time, giggling he says, “see mommy??“. I pick him up and put him back on and swallow my own laughter—I may act like a hooligan all day long, but in this moment of discipline I need to gain some serious two-year-old respect! I find out within minutes that timeout is actually just a very funny concept that is of no use to my current dilemma. What’s next? Channel real parents who aren’t constantly vying for popularity with their toddler… GO TO YOU ROOM! Aha! After 30 minutes of the timeout charade, I have a new plan. So I explain again the terms & conditions, he signs on, agreeing to come out when he’s ready to right his wrong. Great. Order me a pair of mom jeans. I’ve got this! He plays in his room for probably ten minutes when I hear his door slide open, I ask if he is ready to pick up the destroyed mop, he simply replies “no” and slides the door back shut. Honesty, nice. The door opens, a tiny fat foot kicks out and remains one step out from his bedroom, body still hidden. He waits a moment and since he didn’t get a reaction he steps the rest of his body just outside his room. “Are you ready now?”, “nooo!” hops back in the room in a very dramatically startled kind of way, swiftly slamming the door to make his objection clear. The antics continue for an hour… AN HOUR?! The door flings open, a red ball is chucked out, the door crashes closed. The door moves open slightly, a small bald head emerges, “peek-a-boo, mommy“, closed again. Open, “dooooo-bop-sheeee-doo WOO!“–skat’s his little heart out, closes. Each time I ask (often with my back turned to conceal my approval of how hilarious his little jokes really are), then he rejects. He won. He’s so funny my stomach aches from laughing and at this point I want to just clean it up and move on. Almost exactly as we hit the hour and a half mark, the door opens, as it has many times before, he steps out, and I ask if he’s ready (just like I had every other time). He takes another step, looks me right in the eye and says, “Yes mom. I’m nice boy.” He walks over, picks up each mangled piece and puts it in the garbage. I kneel down happy, but also.. what? He picked up each piece, even the teensy little fibers that he had to leave his squatting position, transferring to his belly, to get a better vantage point. When he’s finished, he walks over to me. He jumps into my lap and throws his arms around my neck. He pats me hard on the back over and over and finally says, “Good mommy.

Two is here, but it’s not “terrible”. So far its extraordinarily entertaining. He started skat-singing again, but this time I got to join in.

Tomato Basil Balsamic Bread

In the aftermath of the whole mop incident I wanted to reward him for finally coming around. I told him we could do whatever he wanted. He chose his current favorite, which is to cook! He pushed the chair up to the counter and we whipped up this yummy dinner that around here we call Tomato Pizza. The balsamic reduction is ultra sweet, the perfect compliment to the tomato basil!

Balsamic Tomato Basil Bread

Ingredients

  • Artisan Bread - a baguette, ciabatta bread, or something from the bakery that is fancier with tons of flavor! (We used an artisan roasted-garlic rosemary bread, but we have tried all sorts!)
  • Pizza Sauce
  • 2 Tomatoes - vine ripened
  • Basil Leaves - you will probably use 6-8, but more or less based on your love of basil:)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

    Balsamic Reduction
  1. Turn on fan! Heating the vinegar can really smell up your house.
  2. Heat about a cup of balsamic vinegar in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  3. Bring the vinegar to a simmer for about 10-15minutes- until the amount of vinegar in the pan is reduced to 1/2 or 1/3 the original amount. You will know it's done when you taste it and it is very sweet to the taste. (There are TONS of tutorials and instructions for making a perfect balsamic reduction if you can't get it quite right.)
    Tomato Basil Bread
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Cut bread in half, so you have two open-faced pieces to put toppings onto.
  3. Spread pizza sauce over each half of the bread.
  4. Place sliced tomato on the bread, followed by slender ribbons of basil.
  5. Cook for around 10 minutes (This will vary based on the type of bread you have. Generally I wait until the edges are crispy and call it good!)
  6. Once the Tomato Basil Bread is cooked, drizzle the balsamic reduction over the top! Voila! Enjoy!
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.ittybittyfoodie.com/?p=193

Tomato basil balsamic pizza recipe

If you want to make an easy dinner even easier, you can simply buy the balsamic glaze instead of making it! I hope you love it as much as we do!

Tomato Basil Bread

1 Comment

  1. by Ten on June 9, 2016  12:28 am Reply

    Looks sooo good! Thanks Lauren! ?? loved the story too haha so funny! ?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.