Simple Fajitas

Fajitas are a great side dish and a perfect way to add veggies into your meals! J and I had a surplus of veggies, so we decided to chop them up and make fajitas. (Remember, friends, it’s not pronounced “fa-jy-tas”!). The process was quick and easy and complemented our chicken really well.

Simple Fajitas


Green Bell Peppers
Mini sweet red, yellow, and orange peppers
Cilantro (to taste)
Basil (to taste)
Olive Oil

Chop all veggies into thin strips. Add into large freezer size Zip-Loc. Add cilantro and basil. Toss. Add olive oil and mix in bag. (I zip up the bag and toss it around while “massaging” the oil and spices in.) Let sit for five minutes. Fry on a pan for five minutes and voila!



Homemade Burgers




I’ve never barbecued as much as I have this summer…but I love it! I’ve been firing up the grill at least twice a week to make chicken, potatoes, fajitas, burgers, etc. The list goes on and on.
Due to the increasing price of quality burgers (both beef and turkey), we decided to experiment and make our own burgers. It was great being able to personalize them to our own personal taste and we saved a lot of money. We didn’t just add condiments and toppings, but actually manipulated the actual meat itself.
I don’t eat beef, so I stocked up on minced turkey meat. I also bought beef for the boys.


Our additions included jalapenos, mushrooms, cilantro, and pepperjack cheese. Other possible inclusions are spinach, feta cheese, basil, Parmesan cheese, or onions.

Roll the desired amount of each addition into the ball of meat. Press with a hamburger molder. Grill until fully cooked. Top with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and light mayo!

These were a real treat and I loved having the power to personalize my turkey burger. We wrapped the extra patties in parchment paper and froze them in Ziploc bags. Throughout the week we grabbed them from the freezer and threw them on the George Foreman grill for about five minutes. They tasted just as great, so I recommend making extras!

What ingredients would you add into your burger meat?


Palm Springs Weekend

It’s official. I’m a water baby. I love being in the pool, at the beach, or even in a warm bath. (Okay, who doesn’t…) I had a wonderful weekend soaking up the rays with J and my favorite people in gorgeous Palm Springs. I rented out a gorgeous house as a surprise for his birthday and invited our closest friends; his reaction was priceless!

Before our surprise guests showed up, I begged J to go on a morning bike ride. We decided we would bike to the nearby grocery store and pick up some breakfast foods. Thirty seconds into our bike ride I realized there was NO way I would be able to make it. The seat was so tiny and hard as rock. Oops. So we turned around, snapped a fun picture, and jumped into the car. Maybe next time I’ll bring my own bike. It would be so much fun to explore the country club.


The mountains were gorgeous and set quite a beautiful background. During the day, temperatures rose to about 105, which wasn’t awful. We didn’t use the jacuzzi much, but I would certainly use it during winter! We loved being able to hang out with our friends in the pool all day and relax. The house was wonderful! It had three bedrooms, three baths, a huge living room, a beautiful kitchen, a dining room, and a fantastic pool and jacuzzi! It was very neat because the backyard was right next to a golf track, which meant we were relaxing in the pool while watching golfers in the morning. palm-springs-pool

We were in the pool 90% of the time. I loved that we could go swimming at 2A.M. and it would be the perfect weather! The first night was very windy, but the other two were perfect. It felt like bath water!



J and I made pancakes for the household on Monday morning and devoured them near the pool. I loved being able to people watch and soak up the sun (underneath an overhead covering and outside fan!). It was sad to leave the house and even though we were only there for a weekend, it seemed like the house really grew on us. pancakes-in-palm-springs


We made a stop at the outlet mall on the way home and picked up some goodies. I’ll have to head out there again soon because the prices were really great. I love road tripping through California because of its wide array of landscapes. I had to snap this picture because it’s so different than home in Orange County! The trip was absolutely wonderful and I can’t wait to go back!southern-california-drive

Kit Kat Strawberries


Kit Kat Strawberries

I’m always looking for fun ways to use strawberries. They were on sale for only 99c a package at Sprouts, so I couldn’t resist grabbing a few packs. I decided to throw together some Kit Kat Strawberries. They were very easy to make. At less than 70 calories a berry, these were a huge hit!

-One package of ripe, washed strawberries
-One package of baking chocolate chips (I used white chocolate as well)
-One King Size KitKat Bar






-Carefully boil your chocolate chips. I didn’t have a double boiler, so I brought a pot of water to boil and placed a dish on top. I poured the chips on the top dish so it was getting indirectly heated from the bottom.  DO NOT USE THE MICROWAVE! It will not work. Your chips will end up chunky and dry too fast.
-While the chips are heating up, gently mash the Kit Kat bar into tiny pieces. Think of them as being sprinkles on a cupcake!



-When the chocolate is a thick, but spreadable consistency, carefully dip your strawberries in and swirl.
-Sprinkle the berries with the Kit Kat “powder” and lay on parchment paper carefully.
-Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until the chocolate hardens.

Next time, I will be using different types of chocolate such as M&M’s, Butterfinger, and Twix!

Crazy for Avocados


     I’ve been a huge fan of avocados for as long as I can remember. I took a trip to Puerto Vallarata in high school and was delighted when I found out the buffets were stocked with avocado. Needless to say, I had some sort of avocado every single meal. They’ve become more and more common in recipes, showing their versatility in everything from frying to baking.
Avocados run about $1 for a regular size or 3/$1 for tiny ones. They’re not the cheapest produce item, but they are worth it for taste and nutrients. In fact, they’re often referred to as the “alphabet fruit” because of all the vitamins they have. Here are some facts you may not know about the delicious fruit!

Did you know….? 
Avocados help your heart function properly. 
They are filled with fiber. 

They help to keep your blood pressure in check. 

Avocados help eliminate bad breath by cleansing your intestines.
     Eating avocados helps increase your vitamin absorption rate. 
 Avocados are a great source of protein.
     They have more potassium than a banana.
     Eating avocados can help decrease arthritis pain.
Avocado oil is a healthier alternative to olive oil. 

Avocados are great in salads, soups, brownies, popsicles, burritos, omelettes, smoothies,guacamole, or just by themselves. How do you like eating your avocados?


CTM Burger

Cilantro Turkey Mushroom Burger

 Sometimes, just the tiniest addition to your meal can make all the difference. Cilantro is a perfect example of this. It’s versatile and can be used in salads, burritos, and even burgers!

   I grilled up a turkey burger on the George Foreman grill. Turkey doesn’t grill the same as beef, so make sure you’re paying special attention to when it’s finished cooking. I added in white cheddar cheese, sliced tomatoes, chopped mushrooms, spinach, and a small amount of mayo on a whole wheat hamburger bun. I don’t eat red meat, so I love experimenting with new ways to top my turkey burgers. The cilantro was a perfect addition and gave it quite a zing, and I’m sure many more CTM Burgers (Cilantro-Turkey-Mushroom) will be made in the future!

-One turkey burger (I used Kirkland brand from Costco)
-Three sliced tomatoes
-One slice of cheese
-One handful of spinach
-One handful of cooked mushrooms
-Two pinches of cilantro

How do you like your burgers? 

Under The Sticks