Tag Archives: Lime

Pico de Gallo

20 May

This is an extremely easy and tasty recipe to make as an appetizer or snack. I’ve made this many times myself and realized it would a great one to share on the blog.

While visiting my brother Doug and my SIL Laura in Chicago, we had this to munch on while enjoying the blackberry margaritas as we created the remainder of dinner.

If you’re a guacamole person instead of a pico de gallo person, all you have to do is add some avocado and perhaps a little additional lime juice to this pico de gallo and POOF – enter the world’s best guacamole. Ok, maybe it’s not THE best, but it’s pretty darn close.

This is a recipe from my bff – Ree, the Pioneer Woman. That wondrous lady has so many easy and delicious recipes that I make quite a bit. What a genius she is.


  • 5 whole Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a large white onion
  • 3 whole jalapeño peppers
  • a hearty bunch of cilantro (or for you weirdos out there who think cilantro tastes like soap…you can leave this out. But this MAKES it true pico de gallo. In my opinion. But we don’t want anyone thinking this recipe tastes like soap. So if you’re anti-cilantro…you’re weird…but you can leave it out. And we’ll still like you. Maybe. )
  • Lime Juice (fresh or bottled…whatever is on hand)
  • Salt To Taste

How to Make:

Depending on the ratio you’d like of tomatoes to onions, you can play around with how much you’d really like to use. We made slightly less than the full recipe version Ree created with the ingredient quantities above…with three tomatoes, just under 1/2 of the onion (I like onion, what can I say) and one big and one small jalapeño.

But the best part of this recipe is, all you must do is dice. Dice your little heart out. Well, don’t dice the lime juice or salt, but everything else. Once your dicing is complete, toss everything together in your serving bowl of choice. Sprinkle in the amount of lime juice that you’d like and the same with the salt.

Find some thick and delicious tortilla chips to dip – we used a really thick corn variety from a local Chicago spot. It was perfectly salty and a great compliment to the spice, lime and salt in the pico.

If you need something a little salty, with a good amount of veggies and want something most everyone will dig into and devour quickly – this is the perfect dish.

Grab a chip and dig in!


Blackberry Margaritas

13 May

I’m baaacck! (Please say that in the voice intended). I realize I’ve been on a bit of a blogging hiatus, my apologies about that. I hadn’t been in the mood to cook or blog in the last few weeks, but I got my groove back last night. Let me explain…

I’m visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Chicago this weekend. My brother Doug just had a birthday and my present to him was to cook up some tasty items over the course of my visit. A total of five items were made last night and I think they all turned out and tasted awesome. The key piece were these babies: blackberry margaritas. Nothing gets you a little excited and a little energized in the kitchen more than a tasty libation – am I right?!

We had the music up, the margaritas in hand, and made a real tasty dinner. That dinner will be shared over the course of the next few blog posts. Get excited. These are things you WILL want to make. I think. (I know.)

I found this recipe on pinterest (where else, right?). The picture was very enticing, plus I’ve had this recent curiosity about blackberries. The pin took me to this wonderful website. This looks like another cooking blog that I must regularly explore!

This recipe has only a few ingredients, but one part involves a little elbow grease. Ready? Lets make some margaritas!

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

  • 1 cup Tequila (we used José but I’m sure any brand will work just fine)
  • 1 cup blackberry juice (where does one buy blackberry juice? Not sure…so we’re making our own. Read on.)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (we used bottled lime juice, but you may prefer fresh lime juice)
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau (we used Triple Sec instead – still gives a nice orangey flavor)
  • ice cubes
  • sliced limes (1 lime for every 4 servings would be sufficient)
  • salt

If you don’t have blackberry juice…

  • 2 cartons of blackberries
  • 1 piece of cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer
  • a potato masher

How to Make:

Ok, so the blackberry juice is the only piece that requires a bit of effort. At the little specialty grocery store we shopped at they didn’t have any blackberry juice. Not sure if a big grocery store has any either. However, I knew that I could use real blackberries and smash/strain the juice instead. So my little creative experiment began.

We used cheesecloth, a strainer (which didn’t have small enough holes to be used on its own), a potato masher and a plate to catch the juice. This was my first experience with cheesecloth and it worked fairly well.

Prior to the mashing, be sure to rinse your blackberries…

Picture this…strainer sits atop a large plate…cheesecloth is draped inside the middle of the strainer…blackberries sit atop the cheesecloth. My sister-in-law Laura is wielding her potato masher and the rest…history. If you can’t picture that – here’s a visual:

Really all we did was mash the berries and press against the bottom of the strainer/cheesecloth bottom as to press the juice out on to the plate. We used two small crates of blackberries which equaled exactly 1 cup of juice.

It was very entertaining and really not as messy as it sounds. When we were finished, we just lifted the cheesecloth and berries right into the garbage. Everything else got rinsed. Success!

Now…add your cup of blackberry juice, Tequila, Cointreau (or Triple Sec if you have it instead) and lime juice to a pitcher. Stir. Stir. Stir! Add in ice cubes and if you want to be fancy…sliced limes. We went the route of slicing the lime into wedges for the edge of our glasses instead. But you could easily put them into the liquid instead. The lime’s green webbing WILL be stained though, just as an FYI.

Grab your margarita drinking receptacles and use lime slices to wet the entire edge of the glass. Pour salt in a flat dish and then take your lime saturated rims and rub them in the salt. Fancy schmancy results. Take your glass, pour in your margarita, pour in any extra ice cubes if needed and garnish with a lime slice. Ta Da!



Crab Cake Sliders with Pineapple Kiwi Salsa

20 Apr

Crab. Spice. Kiwi. SLIDERS. Need I say much more? Are you in? That’s how I felt. All I needed was to see this picture and I knew it was the perfect dinner for a warm April night.

Similar to the Quinoa Salad I posted yesterday, this has three concoctions that you need to make which all combine to make the most delicious, delectable, mouth-watering sliders. The recipe is from one of my favorite sites – How Sweet It Is. Definitely high on my list of blogs to read every week. Love her blog, recipes, ramblings etc. Love. It. All.

Read it.

Ok, good chat.

Ready to make some crab cakes?!


For the crab cakes (I halved the original recipe) – makes 4-5 sliders:

  • 1/2 pound lump crabmeat
  • 4 saltine crackers, crushed (I used large, textural multigrain crackers…which was perfect)
  • 1/2 large egg (I know what you’re thinking, but if you crack it in a separate dish and only use roughly half…it works.)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon plain greek yogurt or mayonnaise (If you go the greek yogurt route I put emphasis on plain yogurt. No vanilla yogurt. That’d be weird)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (for cooking the crab cakes…NOT for mixing in with the crab cakes)
  • 4-5 whole grain slider buns or dinner rolls

For the pineapple kiwi salsa:

  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, chopped
  • 2 pineapple rings, chopped (I bought a can of pineapple rings – this is the easier route than using an actual pineapple)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • the juice of half a lime (about 1 Tbsp)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the spicy lime sauce:

  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (Again, no vanilla yogurt. Gross. Just plain.)
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or more if desired)
  • zest of half of a lime
  • juice of half a lime

How to Make:

I worked backwards, making the salsa first, then the sauce and then the crab cakes. I didn’t want any cold crab cakes! That’s just not right. So, salsa first.

Chop up your kiwi, red onion, jalapeño, pineapple rings and cilantro. Toss them all together in a bowl and then douse them with the half of the lime.

Set it off to the side and marvel and how fantastic it looks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Perhaps have a taste test. Or two. Or seven.

Now for the sauce! Measure out your plain greek yogurt and pour it into a separate small bowl. Juice the other half of your lime and dribble in your Sriracha sauce. (I am not a huge fan of Sriracha sauce and now have a giant bottle in my refrigerator. If you live nearby, come and grab it. It’s yours. I only needed it for this recipe and have no idea when I’ll ever use up the entire bottle. It will take 27 years. Serious.) Zest your lime and sprinkle it in with the rest of the sauce and stir it all up. I popped this in the refrigerator while we made the crab cakes.

Crab cake time baby. Combine all ingredients except for olive oil (I was a moron and didn’t read the directions and combined this with my ingredients. Don’t be like me. Read the directions.) in a bowl and stir it all up until it’s all thoroughly mixed together. A spatula works best for this task.

Heat up a skillet on medium heat and drizzle in your olive oil. While it’s heating up, form the crab cake mixture into small, thick patties. You should have enough for 4-5  patties. (Note my awesome plate below…it’s from one of my best friends and says ‘big’ and then a picture of a giant smiling cheese. I giggle every time I use it. The end.)

Place them in your skillet and cook until they turn a lovely light golden color. This takes just about 4 minutes on each side. Your kitchen smells just grand at this point. Mmmmm…crab.

Once the sliders are ready to be eaten, put ’em on a plate, grab the salsa and sauce and begin assembling!

I slathered the sauce on both top and bottom buns and then placed the salsa in a nice, round heap on top of the crab cake patty. Bun on top and you are about to taste heaven.


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