Appetizers

Almond Cilantro Pesto and Yogurt Dip

Sometimes I am a good meal planner.  I look through the fridge, freezer and pantry to see what we have, what needs to be used, etc. and plan our week of meals out that way.  Other times I find myself on Tuesday mornings after I drop the kids at school (this is when I like to grocery shop since I only have one child to accompany me) with no idea what we have in the fridge and pantry which leaves me searching for recipes on pinterest and making a grocery list while in the parking lot of HEB.

Thanks to my inabilty to plan, I sometimes come home and discover we already had 8 cans of tomatoes, or goat cheese, or couscous, or a dozen chicken breasts I could’ve thawed out, etc.  Herbs are tricky.  Often all you need is a few tablespoons for a recipe.  Thankfully I’ve managed to keep rosemary and thyme alive in the back yard, but parsley and cilantro are another story and so I have to buy them.  They’re not expensive, but when you don’t need much they often get forgotten in the bottom of the produce drawer.  I bought cilantro for a recipe because I thought rather confidently “I know that I have parsley at home, but no cilantro.”  Not the case!  I had two almost completely full bundles of cilantro at home already, so when I unloaded groceries I now had three bundles.

What am I going to do with all of this cilantro?!  A while back I made a peanut and cilantro pesto, so that’s what I thought of first.  I didn’t have any peanuts.  But I did have almonds…

IMG_8626

Cilantro Almond Pesto-2

At this point I had no plan for the pesto I’d just made, but I knew that I could save it.  Freezing pesto in tablespoons to have on hand for later is a trick I am so glad I learned.  Having something on hand in the kitchen is nice, but having pesto on hand is especially nice because you can incorporate some fresh herby-ness to a meal even when you don’t have fresh herbs or if they’re out of season.

The best way I’ve found to freeze pesto (this also works well for tomato paste) is to line a baking sheet with parchment, use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to divide up the pesto, and then pop the pan in the freezer.  Once frozen solid you can put all the pesto balls into a freezer bag (I learned that labeling your bag is very helpful!) and take one or more out as you need them.  They thaw out pretty quickly.

Cilantro Almond Pesto-9

Of course I wanted to try some of the pesto right away.  I ate some on a chip and it was good, but strong (like most pesto) and needed to be cut if I was going to eat it as a dip.  Plain Greek yogurt seemed like the perfect choice.

Cilantro Almond Pesto-7

I played around a little with the ratio but found a 2:1 yogurt to pesto was pretty good.  Of course you could start there and add more yogurt or more pesto depending on your tastes.

Cilantro Almond Pesto-6

The same thing could be done with mayo to make a nice sandwich spread.  You could also spread the pesto on chicken breasts before baking, stir in to hot pasta, use as a dipping sauce for grilled meats or serve with grilled vegetables.  Excited to try some of those out as summer and grilling season get underway!

Cilantro Almond Pesto-4

Almond Cilantro Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed cilantro leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 cup almonds, raw, skin on, toasted if desired
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (up to 1/2 cup if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine cilantro, almonds and garlic in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the Parmesan and salt and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. With processor running, drizzle in the oil and process until smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cilantro Pesto Yogurt Dip

How much of the ingredients you need depends on your taste and how much dip you want to make.  Below are the amounts I used to make dip for 2-4 people as an appetizer serving.  Increase or decrease as desired.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) cilantro almond pesto
  • 8-10 tablespoons (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) plain Greek yogurt (full fat or 2%)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Tortilla chips, pita chips, grilled bread

Directions

  1. Combine both in a bowl and mix well to combine.
  2. Serve immediately or chill until 5-10 minutes before serving, it gets thick when chilled so let it warm up at room temperature for a bit before serving.

Yogurt and Feta Dip with Fresh Dill

I like football and I was sad to see college football season come to a close.  But I’m glad that the Superbowl is coming up!  Not because I care about any of the teams that might be playing (the ones I cared about are out of it now) but because of the food.  Oh, Superbowl food.  Few things are better.  Am I right?  I think I am.

dip1

(more…)

Daring Bakers: Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

This challenge was so simple, so fun and so delicious!  As always I was given the opportunity to try something I’d never tried before, and something I’d never even heard of!  These little light and airy cheesy Brazilian bread balls are something special and I’m excited to share them with you.

Pão de Queijo | Hottie Biscotti

This month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge took us on a trip to beautiful Brazil! Renata of “Testado, Provado & Aprovado!” taught us how to make Pao De Queijo, tasty cheese buns that make the perfect snack or treat, and that will make your taste buds samba!

Pão de queijo are almost like popovers.  Their airy texture combined with their rich cheese flavor makes them super addictive, especially when eaten warm.  They’re great right after coming out of the oven just cool enough to handle.  But I rewarmed room temp ones in the microwave for about 8 seconds with great success 🙂  If you’re gluten free, then you’re in luck!  Instead of wheat flour you use tapioca flour here, which I found without any trouble at my grocery store with all the other specialty flours.  The texture is different than a bread made with all purpose flour, of course, but it still has a nice bready chew that would’ve fooled me if I didn’t know they were gluten free.

Pão de Queijo | Hottie Biscotti

Renata gave us the option of using any cheese we liked.  When I searched recipes I found Parmesan to be a popular choice.  So I went with 6 ounces of a goat cheddar and 2 ounces of Parmesan.  I liked the way it turned out, but she says any cheese or combination of cheeses would work, so get creative!

pao5 Pão de Queijo | Hottie Biscotti

The dough is very easy to make, but a little messy since you get in there with your hands and it is a bit sticky.  You don’t need any fancy equipment and your mixer doesn’t have to get dirty.  The recipe I used calls for 1-3 eggs and you may or may not use them all.  I did use all 3.  She recommends whisking all 3 eggs together and then adding what you need as you begin working the dough together.  Once it’s all together it rolls quite easily into balls and bakes up beautifully.

pao3 pao2 pao9

Since these are best eaten fresh from the oven I just baked half of the dough, then shaped the rest of the dough and froze it.  I haven’t tried it, but apparently you can bake them straight from frozen!  And that is what I plan to do the next time I need a last minute appetizer or snack for guests.  Bam.

pao10

Something I wish I’d tried was making this dough in a waffle iron.  I cannot begin to imagine the deliciousness of using this as the bread for a breakfast sandwich!

Thanks for the great challenge this month, Renata!  I really enjoyed it and am excited to experiment more with this terrific bread.

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

From Renata of Testado, Provado e Aprovado

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (500 grams) tapioca flour/tapioca starch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • pinch of salt (or more if your cheese is not salty)
  • 9 ounces of coarsely grated cheese (I used a goat cheddar and Parmesan)
  • 1-3 large eggs, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Sift tapioca flour into a large bowl.
  3. Combine milk, butter and salt in a saucepan and heat over medium until mixture boils, then remove from the heat.
  4. Pour hot milk over tapioca flour and begin stirring with a fork, working the mixture until the milk is evenly distributed.  It will look crumbly.  Let it cool off a bit.
  5. With clean hands, work in the grated cheese.
  6. Add in the eggs, a little at a time, working the dough together with your hands.  Once the dough holds together, you’re done.
  7. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
  8. Roll dough into balls about the size of ping pong balls.  They puff a little during baking, so don’t crowd them  too closely on the pan.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes. until tops just begin to brown.  Remove from the oven and cool just slightly before eating.

 

The Best Dip Ever: Goat Cheese Dip with Piloncillo Chipotle Sauce

This recipe came from a restaurant in San Antonio called Liberty Bar.  I’ve never actually been, but my sister lived in San Antonio for a while and has been there.  When she saw this recipe in a magazine, something like 10 years ago, she decided we should make it.  And we did.  And it was incredible.  I usually refer to it as “the piloncillo dip” to my family, and they immediately know what I’m talking about.  And then we all start drooling.

piloncillodip1

For some reason I had kind of forgotten about it until recently.  I’ve now made it twice in the last month for parties and am so glad to have rediscovered it.

The dip is a great combination of flavors; spicy, sweet and tangy.  I love goat cheese, so I’m a big fan of this dip, but the goat cheese isn’t so strong that someone who isn’t crazy about it won’t like it.  The sauce is rich and creamy and sweet and amazing.  It is a little spicy because of the chipotle.  If you’re worried about it you can cut back on the chipotle, or just use the adobo sauce and not so much of the peppers themselves.

Piloncillo, also called panela, is a Mexican unrefined whole cane sugar that is available at most large grocery stores.  I always find it with the other Mexican foods and have seen it in a cone form and also in a round disc.  It is similar in flavor to dark brown sugar, but has a different texture.  You might be able to substitute brown sugar in this recipe, but I’ve never tried it.  Let me know if you do and if it’s successful.  Chipotles in adobo are in the same spot as the piloncillo at my grocery store.  But my sister in New York has said it’s hard to find.  You don’t end up using the whole can in this recipe, but I’ve frozen the extra in a small tupperware or freezer bag, thawed it out and used it in other recipes with great success.  Don’t let it go to waste, especially if it’s a rarity where you live!

piloncillodip2

Serve this with pita chips or slices of grilled bread.  I serve the sauce on top of the dip, but you can also serve the cheese dip and sauce in separate bowls, allowing people to get just the amount of sauce and cheese they want.  To serve altogether I usually lay a piece of plastic wrap in the botttom of a pie plate, spread the cheese in an even layer, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Then I uncover the cheese spread and flip it out onto a large platter, peel off the plastic wrap, and then cover with some of the sauce.  There is almost always extra sauce and I hate throwing it away since it’s so stinking good.  Any ideas on how to use the extra?

Goat Cheese Dip with Piloncillo Chipotle Sauce

Serves at 10-12 as an appetizer

From Liberty Bar

Ingredients

For the cheese spread

  • 6 ounces soft mild goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 12 ounces cream cheese (full fat or 1/3 fat), at room temperature
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt (use the side of a large chef’s knife to do this)
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned chiles chipoltes in adobo sauce

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon minced canned chiles chipoltes in adobo sauce
  • 8 ounces piloncillo (Mexican unrefined sugar), roughly chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pita chips, crackers, toasted baguette slices or grilled bread slices

Directions

  1. Make the cheese spread: Beat together cheeses, garlic paste, and chipolte chiles. Transfer mixture to a small serving bowl (or pie plate lined with plastic wrap) and chill, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Make the sauce: In a small saucepan combine chipoltes, piloncillo, and cream and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up sugar, until piloncillo is melted and sauce is smooth, about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer sauce to a small serving bowl and chill, covered, for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Serve cheese and sauce in separate bowls, or pour some of the sauce over the cheese spread to serve.

 

Butternut Squash, Spinach, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Pizza

I made this in December, back when butternut squash was a more appropriate and more seasonal ingredient but life gets ahead of me sometimes (and by that I mean ALL the time) so it is just now making its way onto the blog.  So bookmark for the fall, or ignore all that stuff you hear about seasonal eating and make it anyway!

This was one tasty pizza.  With all these yummy ingredients, how could it not be?  I love every single thing on top of this pizza on its own and together they are just perfect.

I found this recipe in my search for vegetarian dinner options on epicurious.  If you or someone you’re cooking for needs some meat, add some crumbled bacon for some meaty flavor and a nice crunch.  This really is a great vegetarian pizza with such terrific flavors that you won’t miss the meat, or at least I didn’t.

The trick to making this without finding yourself with an incredibly messy and hot kitchen at the end of the day is to prep all your vegetables earlier in the day and refrigerate them.  Roast the squash, caramelize the onions and saute the spinach all before lunchtime (or the night before if you’re doing this on a work day) store them all in separate tupperware or plastic bags and they’re ready to go on the pizza for dinner.  Prepping has become the key to dinnertime sanity for me.  And it’s smart for working folks, stay at home parents or people who just despise cleaning a bazillion pots and pans after having enjoyed their meal.

I used a store bought pizza dough ball (you can sometimes find these in the freezer section of your grocery store) but making your own is not too hard if you plan ahead.  I used this recipe for pizza dough not too long ago and it was easy to make, easy to work with and tasted great.  I followed the instructions up to the baking.  Instead of pre-baking and freezing my crusts, I divided the dough into 4 balls (keep it in one ball for one large pizza), placed them on a greased baking sheet, covered lightly with a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and put the pan in the fridge until I needed them (about 4 hours).  When I was ready, I formed them into crusts, topped them and baked them.  Once you get the hang of it, pizza dough at home is really easy.  If, like me, you didn’t have the foresight this time around to make your own dough, a frozen one is good.  Make sure to thaw it out overnight in the fridge, or on the counter for a few hours in its original packaging so it doesn’t dry out.

When I made this pizza I had a large squash, so I cubed the entire thing (probably ended up with 4 cups) and roasted it all.  You can use any leftovers tossed with some cooked pasta and goat cheese for a simple vegetarian pasta dinner, or you can use it at meal time for your toddler (which is the direction I chose to go).  The instructions below are for roasting just 2 cups, so if you plan to roast all your squash just increase the oil and seasonings.  It might also take more time to get a good roasted color if your pan is more crowded, so stir the squash and check them for tenderness every so often after the 25 minutes of cooking time recommended below.

My biggest problem with pizza is getting it from the pizza peel or cookie sheet onto the stone in the oven.  Here is a sweet and humorous home video (not my own) that shows you how to do it.  The trick is to do it quickly and use enough corn meal so it slides easily off the peel.

Note:  You may not use all of the onions or spinach.  Just add to the pizza what looks good to you.  Enjoy!

Butternut Squash, Spinach, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza

From epicurious.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 6-ounce bag of baby spinach
  • 1 medium sized yellow or red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces of goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • corn meal
  • 1 ball of prepared pizza dough, thawed if frozen
Directions
  1. Roast the Squash:  Heat oven to 400°F.  Toss cubed squash with a drizzle of olive oil just so it is lightly coated, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.  Spread out onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes until squash is tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and to brown squash more evenly.  Set aside or cool and put in a container and into the fridge if you’re baking the pizzas later in the day.
  2. Saute the Spinach:  Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add a teaspoon of chopped garlic, let cook for 30 seconds, then add spinach and a pinch of salt.  Saute, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted down and most of the liquid has evaporated, 8-10 minutes.  Spread a few paper towels on a plate and pour the spinach onto the towels to drain some of the liquid.  Set aside or refrigerate in a container.
  3. Caramelize the Onions:  Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add onions, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.  Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes until onions are light brown.  Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Onions should be very soft and brown in color.  Set aside or refrigerate.
  4. Heat oven to 450°F and heat your pizza stone or you can use the back of a cookie sheet, but don’t preheat the cookie sheet.
  5. Take your pizza dough and either roll it out on a floured surface using a rolling pin or use your hands to stretch it out into a round.  You should have either a 15 inch circle or a 10 by 16 inch rectangle.  Lay your dough on a pizza peel or the back of a cookie sheet coated with corn meal.
  6. Brush olive oil on the outer edges of the crust, then top the pizza with the squash, spinach, onions, crumbles of goat cheese and thyme.  Transfer pizza to pizza stone or place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.

 

Pea and Avocado Guacamole

Who would have thought?  Peas.  And, to shock you even more, it was GOOD.  And not just so-so, but really, really good.  Like I finished it off by scraping the sides of the bowl.  That kind of good.  And you still feel good because at least half of the bulk of this guacamole is pureed green peas and not high fat (even though it is good fat) avocado.

I made this for a Superbowl party.  It was a small gathering and we probably didn’t need any snacks along with our pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, baked beans, fruit salad and cookies.  But it was the Superbowl, and for some reason that has become an excuse for Americans to stuff themselves silly.  I made a compromise with myself to still have guacamole, but to make it a little healthier.  I don’t know where I originally saw this idea.  Maybe Pinterest?  I found many recipes, some using peas and avocado, some using all peas and no avocado.  I decided a combination would be more like the original and therefore more likely to fool people.

I love cilantro.  If you don’t so much, use less.  Same with the jalapeno, but I didn’t find the amount I used below to be too much.  As with all guacamole, taste as you go and adjust your seasonings accordingly. I like to taste test on what I’ll be serving with the dip.  Since I was serving this with tortilla chips, I probably used less salt than if I was serving it with crudites.  Enjoy!

Pea and Avocado Gaucamole

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 10-ounce bag of frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/3 cup finely minced red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup seeded and chopped tomatoes (I used about 15 quartered cherry tomatoes)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • dash of garlic powder (or use finely minced fresh garlic to taste)

Directions

  1. Puree peas in food processor until smooth.
  2. In a bowl, mash avocado with peas.  Stir in onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and tomatoes.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic.  Taste and adjust.
  4. Serve immediately or cover directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

 

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Bites with Balsamic Glaze

While in college at Texas A&M in College Station, I used to meet a friend at a pizza place near campus that served pizza by the slice called Antonio’s.  I always got the margherita.  Nice thick slices of fresh mozzarella, perfect slices of red tomato and fresh basil on top of a delicious crust.  If I’m ordering pizza at a restaurant, margherita is always on the short list.  And when we make pizza at home, it’s one I know will be devoured.  There’s something wonderful about the fresh ingredients, the contrasting textures of smooth and creamy cheese, juicy tomato and the slight crunch of the spicy basil leaf.  And the bright colors can’t be beat either.

I made these small bites as part of an Italian appetizer spread.  Just take a small ball of mozzarella, snack size tomato and fresh basil leaf.  Add the sweet tang of balsamic vinegar and you have the perfect bite.  You want the mozzarella and tomato to be close to the same size.  Bocconcini are too large, so look for ciliegine, which are cherry sized balls of mozzarella and are perfect in size.  If you can’t find these, you could always cut the bocconcini into small chunks.  When I was skewering these I thought that the basil was going to be overwhelming since I had to use such large leaves to hold everything, but it was just right.

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Bites with Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients

  • 12 snack size tomatoes, cherry, grape, etc.
  • 12 small balls of mozzarella packed in water, patted dry with paper towels
  • 12-15 large basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 12 long toothpicks (2 1/2 inches)

Directions

  1. Make balsamic glaze: simmer vinegar in small saucepan over low heat for 10-15 minutes until thickened and reduced.  Swirl periodically, and be careful not to let it boil.  You will have a burnt mess on your hands.  I know this because I had to make two batches…
  2. While heating vinegar, make skewers.  Slide one end of the basil leaf on the toothpick, follow with mozzarella and tomato, keeping basil leaf underneath to create a boat.  Then attach the other end of the leaf.  Be careful not to tear the leaf.  Keep a few extra leaves on hand just in case.
  3. Lay bites on a platter, then drizzle each with glaze.  A little goes a long way.

Mini Cornbread Puddings

In preparing for our move to Houston I am trying to get rid of things.  I have a stack of old Everyday Food magazines that I’ve kept on a bookshelf for years, but haven’t used them for recipes in quite some time.  I decided to go through them, rip out recipes I could see myself making (or have made before), and then throw the rest away.  This recipe for mini cornbread puddings came from one of the many pages torn from one of those magazines.

They were a cinch to prepare, a little tough to remove from from the pan (despite being greased) and a pleasure to eat, warm and at room temperature the next day.  They could maybe use a kick from some cayenne pepper, chopped jalapenos or green chiles.  These little treats are much more  moist than your regular corn muffin, and I am sure could be done in a regular sized 12-cup muffin tin with some changes in cooking time and temperature.

Mini Cornbread Puddings

Courtesy of Martha Stewart Everyday Food 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed and patted dry
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in upper third. Butter 24 mini muffin cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  2. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, whisk together egg, sour cream, and corn. Mix with flour mixture just until incorporated (do not overmix).
  3. Dividing evenly, spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake until tops have browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes in pan; turn out onto a cooling rack. Serve, or cool completely and store at room temperature in an airtight container, up to 2 days.

 

Easy Basil Pesto

Summer means an abundance of fresh basil.  Fresh basil means fresh pesto.  So, summer must mean fresh pesto.

There are so many things you can do with pesto.  Spread on  baguette slices and garnish with a slice of tomato…make it even better with a piece of fresh mozzarella.  Toss it with warm pasta.  Mix with some mayo for basil mayonnaise.  Use on pizza and panini.  Thin it out with more olive oil and drizzle over roasted chicken or fish.

A lovely college friend of mine went to a Giada De Laurentiis cooking demo at Sur La Table when she was in LA 5 years ago.  She bought me a signed copy of Everyday Italian.  It is one of those cookbooks that I love, but don’t use nearly enough.  This pesto recipe is from that cookbook and it is so simple and delicious.

You can make this in a blender, or in a food processor.  If you’re planning to double the recipe, which isn’t a bad idea, so that you have some extra pesto for freezing, then use the food processor.

Basil Pesto

From Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2-2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Directions

  1. Toast pine nuts in a 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes until slightly browned.  Be careful not to burn them.
  2. Place basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in blender with a tablespoon or so of the olive oil and blend.
  3. With the blender still going, slowly drizzle in the remaining oil until the consistency is to your liking.  You may need to stop every now and then to push any stray basil leaves back down.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and stir in parmesan, season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired.

 

Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato Spread

This is my first mobile post, so forgive me if this doesn’t work or look quite right!

I whipped this up tonight when I saw that I had a bunch of leftover pesto and a lonely package of cream cheese in the fridge. This is really simple and tasty. You can adjust the amounts to your personal taste.

Easy Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato Spread
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  •  4-5 tablespoons pesto
  • 6-7 chopped sun dried tomatoes

1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 2. Serve with crackers or crusty bread pieces.