Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fresh Basil Pesto

This year I planted a few Basil plants in my garden. They are producing like crazy, so rather than waste the fragrant and wonderful leaves, I found an easy recipie for pesto that can be frozen and kept for winter. If you have basil, this is a wonderful recipie to have.

2 c. fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 c. grated paramsean or romano cheese
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. pine nuts or walnuts (pine nuts can be expensive)
3 garlic cloves minces
salt and pepper to taste.

In a food processor (not a blender), pulse the basil, nuts, and garlic together. Add in a steady stream the olive oil while it is mixing. Add cheese and pulse a few more times. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To freeze:
Mix as directed, omitting the cheese. Freeze in silicone ice cube trays, put into ziploc bags when frozen, and store. To use, thaw, add the cheese and use over pasta, bread etc.

A Summer Shortcut

Our family loves baked potatoes, mostly because they are so easy. But in the summer, we never have them because we can't stand to have the oven on! We've found a new recipe/idea that has become a hit. Grilled Baked Potatoes. These are so quick and easy, I might bake my spuds this way in the winter too! All you have to do is scrub some bakers, poke them with a fork, and put them in the microwave for 6-10 minutes. Then you can either wrap them in foil or put them directly on the grill. Be sure to turn them every couple of minutes, and grill for about 10 minutes. Voila! Baked potatoes minus the baked house! And for toppings, try fresh green onions, sour cream, and bacon bits. Yummy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Healthy Summer Treats

We've discovered a new favorite way to cool off! Homemade popsicles/smoothies. This is just one recipe, but man is it delicious. You can vary the fruits and flavors to make your own favorite.

We use:
frozen strawberries
harvest peach Yoplait yogurt
white grape juice
frozen blueberries(opt)

Throw the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. No measurements, just add a little here, a little there until you get the consistency/flavor you like. Take it easy on the liquid at first, and add it as you need it so they don't get too runny. These are really hard to mess up. Then pour some in a cup and grab a spoon for a smoothie, or use a spoon to fill ice cube trays for popsicles. You can buy mini popsicle sticks at WalMart for less than $2. Make sure you have the flexible, twisty type of ice cube tray so you can get them out. These are not only my kids' favorite treat, but mine as well! Plus, the strawberries have tons of Vitamin C, which is supposed to help you get firmer skin, and blueberries have Vitamin E, which aids in improving your complexion. Two birds with one stone! Enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

My friend gave me this recipe and they are so easy, but so good.

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

1 roll refrigerated pizza dough
marinara/pizza sauce
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T olive oil or melted butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t dried Italian seasoning
mozzerella cheese
Pizza toppings of your choice

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package. Usually it's 400 degrees.

Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into little squares. I think I got about 20 squares from my dough. Cut any size you want.

Place cheese and desired toppings on each square. (Note that you're not putting the marinara sauce on the dough- it's for dipping after)

When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).

Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with Parmesan cheese.

Cook them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Serve warm with warmed marinara sauce on the side for dipping.