Super Easy Cheater Pesto!

Pesto.  I lived so much of my life without it.  It is a travesty I am trying to correct by sharing it’s beauty with the world in my adult years!

My love for pesto is deep.  But being limited on time, and having many heart breaks over fresh herbs gone bad by delayed plans…I have not made it nearly as often as I’d like.

But lately, I’ve had pesto on the brain.  And then I had an idea.

LIGHTBULB!! (Insert Gru voice here)

Because of the constant fight to use my fresh herbs in time, I have lately been converting mostly to herb pastes.  Easy to use, stay good for weeks, taste the same (just herbs with a little oil!), and can be stirred into pretty much anything.  So as I sat, wishing for pesto, the thought occurred to me that the two main ingredients of pesto are herbs and oil.

In my fridge, I have herb pastes that are made with what again?  Herbs and oil.

A couple of minutes of research later, and I realized my life was about to get much easier, and much pesto-ier.  🙂

So here ya go.  Super easy cheater pesto!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 C Basil Paste
  • 1/4 C Parsley Paste
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried: mint, oregano, and thyme
  • 1/4 C Pine nuts
  • 2-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste…it doesn’t take much!

And here’s how you do it, easy peasy:

  1. Put everything but oil in a food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Stream in olive oil until you have desired consistency.

 

YOU’RE DONE YOU’RE DONE YOU’RE DONE!  Note:  we stay away from dairy so we don’t use parmesan, but feel free to add it if that’s how you roll!

 

Peectures!

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Step one…

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Step two…

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Step DONE!

Now tell me…what is your favorite use for pesto?!  I’ d love some inspiration!

 

Crackers, Cheese, and Marshmallows…and Bacon (Cheat Treat!!)

I know.  It sounds cray cray.  But years of Kirkwood tradition and countless converts says it’s not.  (P.S…if you don’t know me, Kirkwood is my maiden name.!)  Growing up I would tell my friends about how we ate crackers, cheese, and marshmallows at my house…thinking it was completely normal.  It didn’t take many confused looks to realize that I was wrong.  However, I would promptly invite them over (because my parents loved to cook for my friends), we would broil up a few of these beauties….and we made them believers!!  In FACT, Mr. Rodgers himself has become a believer…and it was his idea to create this post when we were trying to decide on a treat for date night.  🙂

Okay, now a confession.  Kirkwoods ourselves are converts to this concept as well!!  I think of it as Kirkwood tradition because I have never known my family without said tradition.  However, before I was born, my dad’s sister married my uncle Nic…who I have also never known life without.  And he introduced my family to his Anderson tradition.  And the rest is history.  I love my Uncle Nic.  And I love this recipe.  It is perfection.  And now I am proud to say, this is no longer simply an Anderson/Kirkwood tradition…it is now an Anderson/Kirkwood/Rodgers tradition.  I even added a few twists.  Yep.  You guessed it.  BACON.  I figured if we were going to be naughty and eat a treat…we might as well go all out and really eat a treat haha.

Growing up, we ALWAYS made this with saltine crackers.  However, since Mr. Rodgers loves to experiment, he suggested we try it with all different types of crackers.  If we had a bigger budget, we probably would have grabbed even more.  Personally, I wanted to try this on giant Cheese Its.  But we narrowed it down to three types.  At the end, I will reveal our thoughts on all three so that you can decide what you want to try for yourself.  Or maybe you want to try them all!!  Let me know what you like best 🙂 This is a treat you don’t want to miss!!

So, here’s what you need: (For 3 or 4 people)

  • 20 Crackers (Traditionally Saltines.  We also tried with Triscuits and FlipSides)
  • 10 Slices Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Cut in Half (Cracker size!!)
  • 10 Large Marshmallows, Cut in half
  • 5 Slices Cooked Bacon, Cut into bite sized pieces (optional)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Prep all your goodies!!
  3. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Lay out your crackers in a single layer.
  4. Top each cracker with a slice of cheese, a piece of bacon (if you are using it), and half a marshmallow (cut side down.)
  5. Slide it under your broiler.  Leave the oven door propped open slightly and keep an eye on it constantly cause this happens fast!!  Cook until cheese is melted, marshmallows are puffing up, and the top of the marshmallows are toasted and brown.  About one minute, maybe two.
  6. EAT AND BE AMAZED!!!

So….after our experiment, here are our thoughts on the crackers:

Saltines:  Best flavor!!!

Sea Salt and Black Pepper Triscuits: Best crunch!  But flavor a little overwhelming.

FlipSides:  Most trendy!  (Pretzel is so in right now!)  But just not quite the flavor of those classic Saltines!

Try it…what crackers can you think up that would win with this combo?!

PhotoHere’s the crackers we experimented with…and our creations…

Photo (3)Half with bacon….

Photo (1)Half without!!  And now, after they hung out under the broiler a couple minutes….

Photo (4)

BAM!!  How gorgeous, melty, and toasty is that?!  You have the crunch of the cracker, the goo of the cheese, the slight crunch and salty smokiness of the bacon, and the super sweet creaminess of the marshmallow with just a little more crunch on top with the toasted top!  It’s layers!!  And again I say…it’s perfection!!  Again, we have with bacon…

Photo (2)And without!  And honestly I can’t way which I love better, because they are both so heavenly!!  I love the tradition of the original, which really doesn’t NEED anything.  However, bacon never HURTS anything, does it?!  😉  Both glorious.  And up for you to decide.

Photo (5)Pretty!!

Photo (6)Melty.  Yummy.  AAAAAH.  I told myself I would start eating healthy again today.  But this is testing my resolve.  I better end this post now.  Okaaaaay bye!