Grilled Chicken Pesto Burgers

There’s nothing like a good burger after a day at the beach.

Beach Day

Who’s with me here?  Grill > oven after a day in the sun.  Hands down.

Grilled Chicken Pesto Burgers

And sometimes it’s fun to change up your burgers from the norm too.

Grilled Chicken Pesto Burgers

Makes four burgers


For the burger…

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tomato, for topping
  • Salt & pepper
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns

For the pesto
Recipe inspired by The Food Network

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper


For the burger…

  1. Mix all ingredients for the burgers (except the tomato for topping) in a bowl.
  2. Form into patties.
  3. Grill for about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked per liking.
  4. Serve on the buns, open-faced, or bunless — up to you!

For the pesto…

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet.  Add almonds and toast for 1 minute.
  2. Puree the tomato in a food processor.
  3. Add the basil, 2 tbsp almonds (so you have some left over still), Parmesan cheese, and s&p.  Process until also pureed.  We added the olive oil last to get the right consistency.
  4. Spread onto burgers and enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Pesto Burger

Pretty simple, right?  We used the extra almonds to top a mini side arugula salad and tossed it with some lemon juice.

Grilled Chicken Pesto Burgers

The corn on the cob was just a given.  Summer “duh.”

Grilled Chicken Pesto Burger

I love wrapping up the weekend with a good meal!

What’s your favorite dinner after a day in the sun?

Weekly Eats {Lots of Dining Out}

Last week was a bit different in terms of meal planning and my usual eats.  For starters, I only needed to plan for one since Tim was away on a business trip.  Also, I had plans on both Wednesday and Thursday that involved dinner out.  Finally, between the holiday weekend last weekend and not being sure when Tim’s flight would get in Friday, well, let’s just say it wasn’t my most model week of meal planning.

But that’s ok, and I’ll share my eats with you anyways!  As always, these are just the highlights and I do not post everything that I eat.

Last Week’s Eats


I am definitely not a toast every day kind of girl, but I definitely enjoyed multiple toast breakfasts last week.  Between the new bread I’ve been buying from Trader Joe’s and the homemade peanut butter from my foodie penpal, I just couldn’t help it.  Topped with sliced banana (and usually chia seeds) is my favorite way to eat toast.

Toast with peanut butter


For the workweek last week, I had a repeat lunch plan!  More cucumber and black-eyed pea salad.

Cucumber and Black Eyed Pea Salad


Tim and I decided to take advantage of a Sunday with no work in the morning.  We ventured over to Allston and enjoyed a Mexican themed night at Lonestar Taco Bar.  You guys may remember Lonestar from this post when I went out for Cinco de Mayo MUGaritas with the gym ladies last year, or maybe from this post where I talked about a baking disaster due to said mugarita’s hangover.  Ha!  Tim had yet to go there, so off we went.  No mugs this time around, but I did enjoy a couple prickly pear margs (their frozen special of the day).  We also had a few kinds of tacos and some chips with guac.

Lone Star Taco Bar

After our kayaking adventures, we fired up the grill!  Skewered up some steak tips from The Meat House with mushrooms, yellow and orange bell peppers, and red onion.  Along with corn on the cob and some baked sweet potato fries, it was a fun summer kick off meal!


Memorial Day BBQ

I kept things simple with a grilled chicken salad.

Grilled Chicken Salad

Went out to eat with Papou and Auntie Paula at Jerry Remy’s.  Appetizer = summer berry salad.  Entree = turkey burger sans bun.  Side = sweet potato fries.

Jerry Remy's Berry Salad

Jerry Remy's Turkey Burger

The original plan of girls night of four dwindled down to girls night of two!  After consulting our “list” of Boston restaurants to try, Slesh and I decided to eat at Temple Bar in Cambridge.  I have driven by this place a thousand times, but have never gone in.  I liked a lot!  We started off with the most delicious vegetarian appetizer.  It was a whole board of vegetarian sample items: Parmesan crusted amaranth cakes, romesco, white bean salad, eggplant purée, pickled mushrooms, and pita chips.  Loved!  For a meal I ordered the duck and beet salad.  And topped it all off with some white wine sangria.  Was definitely some much-needed catch up time.

Temple Bar

I mentioned this morning that Tim was heading in from DC on Friday night and I had to head to my parents’ house.  We timed it so that he could join me for the ride, and we stopped for a pizza at Flatbreads in Bedford on the way home.  This pizza was seriously amazing:  smoked free-range pork shoulder with homemade organic chipotle BBQ sauce, organic red onions, fresh pineapple, and lots of cheese.

Flatbreads Pizza

Leftover pizza from the night before!  On Saturday I also enjoyed some fun food at Ashley’s bridal shower, including the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever had in my LIFE.  No exaggeration.

Ashley's shower

This Week’s Eats

Here’s this week’s plan:


  • Monday and Tuesday:  Leftover pasta salad from our Sunday picnic
  • Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday:  Strawberry and avocado kale salad


  • Sunday:  Leftover picnic sandwiches
  • Monday:  Grilled shrimp skewers
  • Tuesday:  Turkey tacos
  • Wednesday:  Turkey tacos
  • Thursday:  Zucchini boats
  • Friday:  Zucchini boats
  • Saturday:  Leftovers, throw together, tbd!

I’m also planning to incorporate some green smoothies into my life this week, bake some Lean Green Bean sweet potato brownies and prep some Fitnessista breakfast cookies!  Tim and I are definitely trying to be a bit more mindful this week about how much we spend on dinners out (nevermind how much splurging I’ve been doing), but sometimes life just happens and not everything can go according to plan.  (Right?!)

What about you guys?  Do you have weeks where you end up going out to eat more than you should?  Or just don’t feel like cooking?  How do you get back on track from too many dinners out?

Vacation Recap: Cape Cod Week 2012

Morning!  Before too much time passes, I wanted to post about my week down the Cape.  I don’t have time to do detailed recap posts day by day like I did with Colorado, so I figured I’d just share the highlights all together in one giant recap.  Here goes!

Cape Cod Vacation Week 2012


After doing a massive grocery shopping spree, we spent Monday afternoon at Seagull Beach

Then we made fun dinner #1:  Chickpea Burgers!

I also was able to squeeze in a sweaty backyard workout, and was happy I did this four times during my vaca week!

Spent Monday night in with a movie on the couch!  After the wedding craziness on Sunday, it was some much-needed couch time.


On Tuesday morning, we went on a 2.6 mile walk/hike through Nickerson Park.  I saw THREE snakes there!!  This trail was very pretty and scenic, and it looped around Cliff Pond.

By the end of our hike I was starving!  We scarfed down a packed lunch, then spent the rest of the afternoon lounging / reading / relaxing on Cliff Pond…

After a 15 minute workout we enjoyed fun dinner #2, shrimp and steak skewers with quinoa salad:

And also stuffed clams!  Was a nice little treat!  🙂

Tuesday night was spent miniature golfing at Pirate’s Cove (the best mini golf course ever!)

Even though I lost (!!!! GRRRR !!!!), it was still fun.

After mini golf?  Ice cream of course!  Doesn’t ice cream ALWAYS come after mini golf in the summertime?  Here are our GINORMOUS cones from Lil Caboose.  Vanilla twist for me, strawberry cheesecake for Tim (who actually orders that flavor!?)

Such a big cone I couldn’t even finish it!


Wednesday morning was workout #3, and then Tim made breakfast!  Scrambled cheesy eggs with strawberries, kiwi, and pineapple.  Yum.

Then spent a few hours at Bass River Beach, one of my favorites.  This is where we saw tons of fun sand castles!

Some pictures from the dock:

After we were a little sunned out, we decided to check out The Summer Shanty per my uncle’s recommendation.  Hands down, best find of the week.  A little hidden gem on the Bass River Marina, this place is AWESOME.  It’s right on the water, overlooking the boats, and you can just hang outside at their tables or even get service to the Adirondack chairs they have on the lawn.  They also have live entertainment on the weekends, including reggae on Sundays!  I loved it the second we stepped out back.  We got a couple of fun drinks and steamers and just hung out.

So pretty and relaxing!

Then on Wednesday night it was time for friends!  Slesh, Will, Trina, and Geoff came to hang out for the night.  On the agenda?

A fiesta!

Taco night all the way, full of sangria and margaritas and tons of fun food.  And bite the bag!


Fun night.  🙂


The six of us packed up and spent the day in Wellfleet.  First was more beach time at the beach by The Beachcomber.  I absolutely love the beaches in Wellfleet, the sand dunes make you feel like you are in another world!  This is the huge slope you have to climb up and down to get on the beach:

More pretty pictures from our day of fun:

After about four hours on the beach, we grabbed some drinks and apps at The Beachcomber.  Slesh and Will had to leave, but we stuck around with Trina and Geoff.


After the Beachcomber, we went into some super touristy beach shops, then decided we just had to introduce Trina and Geoff to The Summer Shanty, the bar we discovered on Wednesday.  Back we went!

Got to see the sunset!

Geoff and Trina headed out, Tim and I threw together some leftovers, and called it a pretty early night!


We decided to take a break from the beach since we had been four days in a row.  Plus, it was kind of cloudy in the morning.  Day trip to Chatham it was!  First we drove by the famous lighthouse just to snap a couple of shots and walk around the area.

That didn’t take very long, so we spent the next few hours browsing through the shops on Main Street.

They had a TON of cute little shops.  I loved them all, but my favorite was Gustare because we got to do olive oil and vinegar tastings!  So up our alley.

We bought a bottle to take home of the one we liked best, the Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar.

After we finished up at the shops, we ate a picnic lunch that we packed on the common.  We thought about snagging one of the blankets people had set up for the concert on the common that night, but we settled for a grassy area under a tree instead.

After lunch we ventured over to the Chatham Bars Inn.  First we walked a bit along the beach.

Then we actually stopped at the bar.  The bar at the inn.  HOLY CLASSY AND EXPENSIVE.  It’s super nice and pretty there, and worth checking it out for the views and to say you’ve been, but let me tell you that thank God we packed our lunch because I have never spent $16 on a mojito before.

They’re lucky it was the best mango mojito I’ve had in my life.

It really is pretty there though!

Next up for our Friday day of fun was something a little more our style — free beer tasting!  We stopped by the Cape Cod Brewery to see what it was about.

It was pretty small in there, but we got to try 5 different beer samples for free.

My favorite was the Blonde Ale all the way!  We even took home a growler of it I liked it so much.

Friday night was the one night we did a full dinner out instead of cooking for ourselves or getting apps.  We decided  to eat at The Bluewater Grille, part of the Hyannis Harbor Hotel.

Perfect place for casual waterfront dining overlooking Hyannis Harbor.  I ordered the sole, which is a fish I’ve never tried before.  It was tasty, but nothing special!  I think I prefer other seafood.

After walking around the Harborfront for a bit after dinner, we called it a night!



Saturday we decided to go on another little day trip.  Introduce:  P-town!

We spent the morning walking around Commercial Street, going in and out of more shops.  Some highlights included a delicious cookie from The Nut House…

A picture of Tim with the bears (It was Bear Week!)…

And some fun on the pier.

We also had an awesome lunch at another waterfront place, Bayside Betsy’s.

We opted for indoor seating, since it was starting to get more humid.  I had the most amazing swordfish salad with pineapple mango salsa on top.  So good!

On our way back to Dennis, we accidentally detoured and ended up at the Truro Winery.  Accidentally!

For $10 we got to taste 5 wines and get a tour of the vineyards.

Fun little afternoon stop!  We also stopped at one of the scenic lookout points at Marconi Beach along the National Seashore.  So pretty there.

The rest of our night was spent making one last fun dinner (grilled chicken with grilled pineapple, corn on the cob, and a baked sweet potato):

And then getting drunk hanging on the porch with our Blonde Ale from the previous day’s growler purchase.


Sunday was our last day of vacation.  My parents came down for the day since they were using the house the following week.  We went back to Bass River Beach for the day and hung out with them.

We were very sad it was our last day!!!


Phew!!  If you made it this far, kudos to you.  This was a super long post.   Sorry.  Anyways, I’m glad I waited a week to do my recap because I think this would have been more depressing to write last week as I was suffering back at my first week in the office after vacation!  At least now I’m back into the swing of things and back into my normal schedule.  This was a super fun week, but now I’m bummed I have no vacation plans to look forward to!  Maybe I should start planning the next one.

Anyone have any fun vacation time to still look forward to this summer?  If not, were you able to take one already??

P.S.  A big thank you to my uncle for letting us use the house!!!