This week, I put up a post on Mom Colored Glasses sponsored by the Mango Board, where the kids and I had a blast trying out a bunch of different mango recipes. We actually made a couple “cooking videos”, where the kids helped me make a recipe out of the cookbook that they sent us. We ended up posting the “mango smoothie” video, but one of the cutest clips that didn’t make the cut was when I asked the kids what ingredient we forgot and Parker chimed in, “Love!!” So adorable.
Another one of the recipes I tried…and loved was “Cinco de Mango Salsa”.
The recipe called for 3 mangos, but I used 2 and it worked out just fine. It also called for fresh cilantro, which I left out, because I’m not a huge fan, but you could throw that in there too.
On another note, I also realized (after the fact) that the instructions on each picture are a different shade of white. Nice work, Rach. Either way, it’s still a delicious recipe!
I was scanning through my Twitter feed yesterday, and I came across someone (for the life of me, I can’t remember who) looking for a pesto recipe that uses walnuts rather than pine nuts. Well, I am allergic to pine nuts (both the cost and the oils) so a couple of years ago when I had a gigantic basil plant, I tracked down a recipe on simplyrecipes.com that uses walnuts and tastes fantastic!
So, even though that person who needed a recipe will probably not see this…and even though my basil plant this year is wilted and eaten by our rabbits…I couldn’t help but post it for Things I Love Thursday over at The Diaper Diaries!
Fresh Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
- 1/2 cup EVOO
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pulse walnuts a few times in a food processor. Combine basil with nuts, pulse a few times more. Add the garlic, pulse again. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the cheese and pulse until blended. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Extra tip: If you want to freeze the pesto, omit the cheese (it doesn’t freeze well). Line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap, and feel each pocket with pesto. Freeze and then remove from the ice cube tray and store in a freezer bag. When you want to use it, defrost and add in grated Parmesan or Romano.
I bought the Weber’s On The Grill iPad app recently with the intention of expanding my grilling expertise. Last week, I planned to make grilled chicken quesadillas, but because of the rain, it kept being postponed until I finally was able to uncover the grill on Saturday. The grill had been sitting out in the 90 degree sun all day, so it was already screaming hot, so I had some…ahem…temperature issues.
My red onions? Burned to a crisp in just a few minutes.
Surprisingly, they turned out to be pretty tasty…especially if you ate around the burned parts and avoided the really char-broiled ones…
For my next trick, I will be attempting…Grilled Steak with Roasted Garlic Butter and Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Syrup…stay tuned…and here’s the quesadilla recipe for any other brave souls…
Grilled Chicken and Red Onion Quesadillas:
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeno chile pepper, stem removed
- 1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 tbsp EVOO
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar (I used white wine vinegar, because I didn’t have any sherry vinegar)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices (I don’t think mine were thick enough slices either)
- 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (I used Colby Jack)
- 4 flour tortillas
- 1 cup salsa (get the good stuff)
- In a food processor, mince the garlic and jalapeno. Add the remaining paste ingredients and pulse until smooth. Coat the chicken breasts, cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. (Mine sat for a few days)
- Fire up the grill.
- Lightly brush the onion slices with oil. Grill the chicken and onions over direct medium heat until the chicken is opaque in the center and the onions are tender. (I skipped over tender and went right to burned) Remove the chicken and onions and allow to cool. Cut the chicken into 1/8 inch slices and the onions into 1/4 inch pieces. (Just hack it up already!)
- Evenly divide the chicken, onions and cheese over half of each tortilla. Fold the empty half over the filling and create a half-circle. Grill over medium heat until well marked and the cheese has melted, 4 – 6 minutes, carefully turning once. (Yeah right…mine lasted a couple of minutes tops!) ALlow to cool a minute or two before cutting into wedges. Serve warm with the salsa.
From Weber’s Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance
The good news is that since I started my summer running regime, I have had more quiet time than usual to mull over life and all the things that I want to write about. The bad news is that I can’t write while I run, so all of my thoughts and ideas have been relegated to a messy list in a pile of messy lists.
So, instead, I am going to post a recipe I found on my Betty Crocker app, which has been an awesome pick-me-up to my meal planning. It was surprisingly tasty, and I even got to use some fresh basil from our little garden out back – double bonus!
- 4 oz uncooked angel hair pasta
- 18-25 slices baguette or French bread, about 1/4 inch thick
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 3/4 cup shredded swiss cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 jar or 10 oz. homemade Alfredo sauce
- 3 medium plum (Roma) tomatoes, chopped
- 2 medium green onions, sliced
- 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
- Meanwhile, brush bread with butter. In 9-inch glass pie plate, line bottom and side with bread, butter sides up and slightly overlapping slices. Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown.
- Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix Swiss cheese, 1 tbsp of basil and Alfredo sauce.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Add pasta to sauce mixture; toss to mix thoroughly. Spoon into baked crust. Sprinkle with tomatoes, onions and Parmesan cheese.
- Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until hot. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp basil.
Over the years, I have had a love/hate relationship with breakfast. I went through a phase where I did not eat breakfast because I was “saving my points” (I know some of you have been there). Once I started having kids, I at breakfast more consistently…when I wasn’t sick to my stomach. I recently went through a phase where I ate two pieces of toast with butter, cinnamon and sugar slathered all over it…every day. I had to put an end to that because I didn’t want to go back to phase #1…counting points again.
So a few weeks ago, when I was trolling the aisles for something “breakfasty”, I came across…(drum roll please)…a box of Clif MINI Energy Bars. I had eaten Clif bars before for breakfast, but they always seemed a little too filling, so I was instantly intrigued. There were 18 to a box, three different flavors (chocolate chip, crunchy peanut butter, and chocolate brownie), and they were only 100 calories each. Perfect!
Fast forward a few weeks, and I am still hooked! They are the perfect little energy boost at the start of the day, especially because we eat lunch pretty early around these parts. I’ve also grabbed one for snack time…for the kids and myself…a lot better than the sugary snacks that I would usually snag!
Here’s to my new breakfast treat…and thanks once again to The Diaper Diaries for inspiring this “Things I Love Thursday” post!
Several years ago, I attended a recipe exchange, and I received a recipe for stromboli from one of the girls who attended. It isn’t something that I make every week, but there are a couple things I like about it. First, I can adjust the fillings and spices between the kid and adult versions of the recipe. Second, and more importantly, my kids will eat it!
- 1 or 2 tubes refrigerated pizza dough
- Deli Ham
- Genoa Salami
- Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese
- Italian Seasoning blend
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Garlic Powder
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Break open tube of dough and remove from container. Roll dough out onto a work surface and stretch into a large rectangle. Cut the rectangle crosswise into four equal parts. I use a round pizza slicer.
Cover each piece of dough with whatever combination of ingredients you desire. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 slices cheese, 6 slices of pepperoni, 1 1/2 slices of ham and 2 slices of salami. I substitute extra pepperoni for salami for the adult version, and use just cheese for the kids.
Roll each piece on an angle from corner to corner making a long roll that is thicker in the middle and thinner at each end. Sometimes my “rolls” look more like lumps of dough, but it all tastes good after they come out of the oven.
Mix a little Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and garlic powder in a small cup. Brush rolls with oil, sprinkle and pat seasoning into the dough. For the kids, I use only Parmesan cheese.
Bake until golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve with warm pizza dipping sauce.