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summer grill recipes

Appetizers Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Seafood

Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa

Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa // Karista's Kitchen

I’m jumping right to the point today.  No fluffy words or poetic verse, grand descriptions or other bits of loveliness because this post is all about kitchen equipment.. and delicious Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with a zany Pineapple Cilantro Salsa.

There is one kitchen appliance that I’ve owned since culinary school… my Cuisinart Food Processor.  It’s 16 years old this summer and it’s seen a load of use.  My food processor is a work horse.  I love it so much I now own the 4 cup mini-prep food processor and the Quick prep hand blender.  I’ve had these last two appliances for 10 years and they are still functioning as if they are new.

I’m not a kitchen gadget chef, I prefer to do most things by hand.  However, the few appliances that I do keep stocked in my kitchen must be able to handle all the heavy use.  Which is why I typically always reach for a Cuisinart product.  As you may have guessed this is a post sponsored by the lovely folks at Cuisinart.  They know how much I admire their products and they were kind enough to send me a new product to test and review.  And test we did!

Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa // Karista's Kitchen

I think my family was more excited than me about the arrival of the Griddler Deluxe.  Well built with solid construction, simple to use, no fussy buttons, just a straight forward high quality indoor grill.   The real test?  How well did it work.

We grilled pork chops, lamb chops, flank steak, asparagus, lettuce wedges, white peaches and of course, quesadillas.  The sear-blast feature is ideal for grilling meat and locks in the fresh juices and flavor.  It also has six cooking options with removable/reversible non-stick cooking plates that are dishwasher safe.  To say the least, I am impressed.  The Griddler Deluxe is easy to use, easy to clean and works like a charm.  My daughter has now claimed it for her college apartment but I doubt my husband will let it out of the house.

One of our favorite weekend dinners is quesadillas.  Sometimes I set out an assortment of fresh ingredients on the counter along with all the usual condiments so each of my family members can create their favorite quesadilla.  This time however it was fresh crab from the coast and ripe avocados along with several different kinds of cheese, cilantro, lime wedges and my Pineapple Cilantro Salsa.  A refreshing combination of flavors and texture that pair so deliciously together you will absolutely want seconds.

Get your grill on and create a delicious summer weekend with these Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa.  All that’s missing is the chilled Sangria!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa

Serving Size: 4-6 as an entree

Grilled Crab and Avocado Quesadillas with Pineapple Cilantro Salsa


  • 3/4 - 1 lb of crab meat
  • 2-3 avocados, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican queso, Ranchero, Cotija, Mozzarella)
  • 12 flour tortillas (regular or gluten free)
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Serve with lime wedges
    For the salsa
  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat the Griddler Deluxe to 450F. Push the Sear button for the bottom plate.
  • Brush the tortillas with olive oil and then on one half of the tortilla layer your ingredients; cheese, crab, pickled jalapeños, avocado, cilantro and then cheese. Cheese on both sides helps the quesadilla to stay together.
  • Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling and place it on the grill. Grill each side for 3-4 minutes or until the outside of the tortilla is golden brown and cheese is melting.
  • Transfer the quesadillas to a plate and let them sit for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
  • While the quesadillas are cooling make the salsa.
  • Combine the pineapple, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the quesadillas with the Pineapple Cilantro Salsa, lime wedges and a dollop of sour cream.
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    Beef Grilling Kid Friendly

    Grilled New York Strip With Garlic Gorgonzola Butter

    I don’t think I ever met a steak I didn’t like.  I grew up with meat and potatoes on the table most nights, and simply cannot resist a delicious piece of beef, especially when it’s hot off the grill in the summertime.

    Summer sunshine, warm weather, flip flops (Ranger Craig still calls these sandals “thongs” which totally cracks up my girls!),  Northwest cherries and blackberries, fresh summer produce and floral fragrances floating through the air.  This is everything summertime and a great time to start grilling those big juicy steaks. 

    Grilling couldn’t be an easier method of preparing beef.  Especially if you have a fabulous cut of beef such as a ribeye, T-bone or New York Strip.  My little gal loves a good New York strip, I typically opt for the ribeye and my older gal and Ranger Craig prefer a beautiful T-bone.  Although these steaks are divine fresh off the grill with minimal seasoning, as you know my crew has to have a sauce. 

    I love simplicity and this little Gorgonzola butter couldn’t be simpler.  This sweet yet robust Italian bleu cheese blends well with the spicy flavors of garlic and softens in flavor with the fresh butter.  A lovely and delicious simple topping for your grilled masterpiece!

    Serve these delicious steaks with grilled zucchini and yellow squash drizzled with a light sherry vinaigrette, or a fresh crisp salad of mixed summer greens with your favorite summer dressing. 

    Keep dinner simple…Enjoy the flavors of life.  Happy Cooking!

    Serves 4


    4 steaks of your choice

    Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

    Pinch of dried oregano

    Olive oil 

    4-6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese

    2 tablespoons butter, softened

    1 clove garlic, minced


    Pre-heat the grill to 400F. 

    Brush the steaks with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and dried oregano on both sides. 

    Place the steaks on the grill and cook to desired doneness.  I like my steak off the grill at 150F for a medium cooked steak. 

    While the steaks are grilling, mix together the cheese, butter and garlic.  As soon as the steaks are done, transfer to a platter or individual plates and dollop a teaspoon or two of Gorgonzola butter on the hot steaks.  Let the steaks sit for a few minutes to re-distribute internal juices.  This will create a moist and juicy steak.


    For grilled veggies: drizzle veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and fresh or dried herbs of your choice.  Grill until crisp tender and then drizzle with a simple mixture of 1 part sherry or seasoned rice wine vinegar and 3 parts olive oil.  Delicious!