Thursday, June 30, 2011

Turkey Sliders with Cilantro Pesto

 Most people either love cilantro (like we do) or hate it. If you are a cilantro hater this recipe is not for you! This week I happened upon an extra bunch of cilantro. That, combined with the half used bunch already in my produce drawer needed to be used up quickly. Tonight I decided to make a cilantro pesto and then I mixed it into and smeared it onto some delicious mini turkey burgers.

Cilantro Pesto

2 c. packed cilantro leaves (cleaned and trimmed of long stems)
1 clove garlic
¼ c. chopped onion
¼ c. sliced almonds (optional)
¼ tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. honey
3-4 tbsp. olive oil

In a food processor combine cilantro, garlic, onion, almonds, cayenne, and salt and pulse to combine. Add vinegar, lime juice, and honey. Run food processor and stream in olive oil until combined. Refrigerate pesto and use within 1-2 days. *extra pesto can be frozen for later use*

Turkey Sliders with Cilantro Pesto
(serves 4-6)

1 lb ground turkey
salt & pepper
¼ c. finely diced red onion (optional)
4 T. prepared cilantro pesto plus additional for topping
1 package of 12 small dinner rolls (we like Kings Hawaiian)
Monterey or Pepper Jack Cheese
slices of tomato cut in halves.

Preheat grill.

Combine ground turkey with about 4 tablespoons of prepared pesto and diced onion. Add desired amount of salt and pepper.

Divide meat into 12 equal portions and shape into small patties. Place burgers on grill and cook until done (be careful, patties this small will cook quickly!)

Assemble sliders by topping each patty with cheese and about 1 teaspoon of pesto. Smear the top bun with mayonnaise. Top with lettuce and tomato. Avocado would also be delicious on these!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Red White & Blue Berries

I found this idea in the July edition of Family Fun magazine and couldn't resist trying it for a picnic we went to last night. They were a cinch to make and very fun! Colton, who doesn't even like strawberries (crazy I know!) couldn't resist helping me make these.

You'll need:
2-3 pints of fresh strawberries
1 bag of white chocolate chips
blue decorator sugar

Rinse off strawberries and let dry thoroughly on a clean towel. Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside. Place blue sugar into a small bowl and set aside. Place chocolate chips in another bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds at a time on medium power stirring until smooth. Working with 1 at a time, hold the stem of each strawberry and dip about 1/2 way into the chocolate. Shake off excess and dip the end into the sugar mixture so that the white chocolate layer is still visible, forming a stripe. Place on cookies sheet and chill once all berries are finished until chocolate is firm. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

As Easy as Pie

   If you're looking for something simple (no measuring required!), refreshing, and delicious I've found your pie! And, have I mentioned that this is low-fat? Use it as an excuse and have some dessert!
    I stumbled upon this yummy recipe yesterday when I was trying to find something to pair with the Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos we were having for dinner. I didn't even read over the recipe, I just put the few ingredients on my list and went to town.  As usual, I spent way to long shopping and was scrambling to make dinner before everyone got really cranky. I didn't even think about dessert again until dinner was completed and dishes were done...but I didn't really need to. It was that easy!

Low-Fat Key Lime Pie
adapted from Epicurious

1 graham cracker crust (store bought or homemade)
1 small box of Lime flavor sugar free gelatin
1/4 c. boiling water
1 8 oz container of fat free whipped topping
4 (6 oz.) key lime pie flavor yogurts
1 lime, zested
Additional whipped topping for garnish (optional)

Stir Lime Gelatin into boiling water until completely dissolved. Whisk in 4 containers of yogurt and whipped topping and mix well. Stir in most of the lime zest, reserving a bit for garnish (optional). Pour mixture into your prepared crust and chill for about 2 hours. Serve with additional whipped topping and garnish with a small lime wedges (optional). Enjoy!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Some Sweet Appreciation

I absolutely love giving homemade gifts, especially when it comes to end of the year gifts for teachers! Yesterday I set out to make a cookie bouquet for Colton's 1st grade teacher.

For this project I used a flower pot I bought for $1.00 at Walmart. Shredded paper (for a filler), decorative ribbon, and floral foam (also all from Walmart.) I used Bamboo Skewers for my cookie sticks because my Walmart didn't have extra long sucker sticks. I also included a couple of packets of flower seeds.

I won't tell you that this was a cinch to throw together or that it was a quick project. That would be a lie! I will tell you that yesterday, I learned the hard way that when making a project such as this, peace and quiet is required. My prettiest cookies were decorated after the kids were in bed and I no longer had anyone running through my kitchen asking for juice or trying to taste the frosting. I will also admit that at some point yesterday afternoon while I was frantically trying to decorate these little buggers, the hubby rolled up his sleeves and gave me a hand. It was definitely a family affair! 


Colton included a homemade card. It said something like this..."thank you for teaching me how to write and draw. So now its time for you to rest. We made you some cookies. So Bye." All his idea! It was so adorable! Of course, I can't tell him that or he'd get mad at me.

I'll also give credit where credit is due and tell you that I found the instructions, tips, and the sugar cookie and frosting recipes on the blog Your Home Based Mom, which is my new favorite place. If you're going to try this out, make sure you go there first.  I also included in my bouquet some Chocolate Chip Cut Out Cookies because I wanted some variation, and because I think no treat is complete without a bit of chocolate. The recipe is below.

Here are a few of my own tips for putting together a cookie bouquet:

* Do not make big cookies, or cookies bigger than about 4 inches wide or tall. My biggest flowers fell off their sticks once they were upright because of their weight.
*Make more cookies than you need...better safe than sorry.
*Cut sticks to various sizes, within 1-3 inches. Try to keep your heaviest cookies on the shorter sticks to prevent then from falling off.
*If you don't plan on giving away your bouquet until the next day, hold off on putting your cookies in the arrangement...just in case. You don't want to wake up to a crumbled bouquet.
*Wrap your finished bouquet in a big piece of cellophane paper tied off with a decorative bow. It will look pretty, and keep your cookies fresh until they are delivered.

Chocolate Chip Cut Out Cookies
inspired by a recipe on
1 c. softened butter or margarine
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. miniature chocolate chip

Cream butter, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat in egg yolk.
In another bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add to butter mixture.
Stir in miniature chocolate chips. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Roll dough out onto a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. (insert skewers or long sucker sticks if using for a cookie bouquet.)

Chill for 10 minutes and bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until edges begin to brown.