Strawberry Lime Cheesecakes with Pretzel Graham Crust

strawberry lime cheesecakes with pretzel graham crust | sunsets on the side

strawberry lime cheesecakes with pretzel graham crust | sunsets on the side

This is probably my favorite time of year in St. Pete.  The humidity typically hasn’t picked up yet.  The temperatures are still cool.  It actually feels like spring.  Spring training adds a festive energy all around the area.  We usually get a lot of fun visitors from the north who just can’t take it anymore.

And, we have local strawberries.

Life is good.

When I originally started playing around with this recipe, I was using fresh strawberries.  And, darn it if I just couldn’t get it to work.  I buzzed up the strawberries, made a sauce, mixed the sauce into the cheesecake mixture, and…it just wasn’t tasting right.  So, I ultimately switched over to strawberry jam, and that worked like a breeze.

I sort of want to apologize to our local strawberries for skipping them this time, but I’m sure I’ll figure out plenty of uses for them in the upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, break out your jam, and try this little taste of spring.  Whether your temperatures are starting to inch upwards or it’s still a deep freeze where you live, this may just be a nice change of pace from your winter menu.

Strawberry Lime Cheesecakes with Pretzel Graham Crust
 
Author:
Makes: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • ~~~For Crust~~~
  • 4 whole graham crackers
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • 2 T. granulated sugar
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, melted
  • ~~~For Filling~~~
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, at room temp
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup strawberry jam
  • 1 T. freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • Zest of 1 lime
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers and pretzels with the sugar until they’re broken into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and process to combine.
  2. Distribute crumbs evenly between 8 (6-oz.) ramekins, and press firmly into the bottom. Refrigerate the crusts while making the filling.
  3. Place the cold cream and 1 tsp. vanilla in a large bowl. With a hand mixer, begin to beat the cream on very low speed. Once it starts to thicken, turn the speed of the mixer up and beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. With a mixer on medium speed, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and remaining teaspoon of vanilla. Add in the strawberry jam, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix until combined.
  5. With a spatula, fold in half of the whipped cream.
  6. Divide the cream cheese mixture evenly among the ramekins, and top each serving with a spoonful of the remaining whipped cream. Garnish with additional lime zest and sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.
  7. Chill for at least one hour or until ready to serve.

Filling adapted from Rachael Ray.

Tomatillo Turkey Sliders with Creamy Lime Chive Sauce

tomatillo turkey sliders with creamy lime chive sauce | sunsets on the side

tomatillo turkey sliders with creamy lime chive sauce | sunsets on the side

One of my go-to recipes from one of my very favorite bloggers is this recipe for mini salsa turkey meatloaves.  I absolutely love this recipe, and since there’s hardly ever a time when I don’t have a batch of homemade salsa in the fridge, I often decide to make these for light weeknight dinners.  Kristin has a ton of creative ideas for healthy, flavorful meals over at Iowa Girl Eats, so check her out if you’re looking for inspiration.

I took a different spin on the ground turkey this time, partly to use up the slider rolls we scored at Battle of the Burg and partly because I wanted to play with some different flavors.

These are so fast and good.  The little burgers are really moist – and a little spicy – because of the salsa verde, the yogurt and the lime in the sauce give them a bit of a tang, and you can really see all the melted cheese oozing out when you take them out of the oven.  Yum.

tomatillo turkey sliders with creamy chive lime sauce | sunsets on the side

I made these pretty small because the buns I had were so small, probably not as big as traditional sliders.  I liked being able to use the cookie scoop, though, because shaping them went so quickly, and I didn’t have to roll these by hand.  But, adjust the size to whatever will fit your slider rolls.  You may just need to up the baking time by a couple minutes if you make them larger.

I hope you love them!

Tomatillo Turkey Sliders with Creamy Lime Chive Sauce
 
Author:
Makes: 24 small sliders
Ingredients
  • ~~~For the sauce~~~
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup light sour cream
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 3 T. tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
  • 1 T. freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 T. minced chives
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ~~~For the sliders~~~
  • 1 lb. 94% lean ground turkey breast
  • ½ cup tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • ⅓ cup shredded cheese (I used reduced fat 4-cheese Mexican)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • Slider / party rolls
  • Tomato slices, for serving
Instructions
  1. For the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, salsa, lime juice, chives, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, salsa, bread crumbs, shredded cheese, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix until just combined. Scoop even portions using a medium cookie scoop and place portions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 15-17 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Place sliders on rolls, top with sauce and tomatoes, and serve.

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.