Tag Archives: Cherry

Morning Photo Op and a Juicy Friday Five

1 Jun

I woke up this morning and my hair looked like this:

The result of falling asleep on wet hair. All those gorgeous waves that my hair will never hold in real life will be gone the second I hit them with a brush. Not exactly appropriate for a day at the office, but if I were going to the beach I would be all set.

Lest you think I always fall out of bed with beach-ready tousled hair, usually I look like this in the morning:

what? this is what i look like before coffee.

Given that I woke up with the first one, I’m taking it as a sign that this Friday is going to rock.

On to the Friday Five!

Life is just a bowl of….

cherries!

Told you I was cherry mad right now. I have a ton of them hanging out in my freezer right now, so I wanted to look for interesting ways to use them. I know many of you won’t have the experience of picking boat-loads of cherries this summer, so everything on my list of things to do with cherries can be done with frozen ones from the store.

Of course, you could always just make tons of cherry lime granita. So far that’s working for me! Ok, here’s five things I want to do with frozen cherries. Click the photos below for links. Here we go!

cherry-cubes

This totally isn’t my photo, but I did put some of my cherries in ice-cube trays and made ice cubes. Everyone who comes over to our house gets a glass of sparkling water with cherry ice cubes. It’s very fancy. Unlike above, if you choose to make cherry ice cubes I would highly recommend you stem them and pit them first. It looks cool to have your stems attached, yes, but having stems in your glass when you’re trying to enjoy a tasty beverage isn’t fun. And give your guests a break and take the pits out. No one wants to break a tooth on a harmless-looking cherry floating innocently in their glass.

frozen cherry mojitos

Um, yes! This recipe is very similar to my granita, but slushier and boozier. Both are a win for a hot summer day in my book.

almost instant cherry frozen yogurt

almost instant cherry frozen yogurt – gluten free!

I want to make this so badly it’s not even funny. Four ingredients, all healthy enough that I could legitimately eat this for breakfast and not feel bad, and ready in less than a minute? I’m sold.

Fresh berries with sugar and cream has been a guilty pleasure for years. So when I saw this simple dessert with frozen cherries, coconut milk, and dark chocolate my mouth began to water. Apparently the coconut milk freezes on the cherries and makes a texture like ice cream. I’m going to the store tonight to pick up some dark chocolate.

cherry vanilla pops

No matter how hard I looked, this Pinterest dessert didn’t have a link to a how-to. However, the concept seems is simple enough. Vanilla pudding, greek yogurt, frozen cherries, Trader Joes Tart Cherry Juice. Blend in a blender, pour into molds. Yum!

Do you know any ways to use frozen cherries I should try?

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How Tuesday – Summer Tastes Like Cherries

29 May

Hello friends! It’s been awhile. A and I had a lovely weekend celebrating our six-year anniversary (!!!), starting out with picking cherries with one of our bff couples, which ended up being the inspiration for this How Tuesday. I haven’t been berry picking since my family moved to Northern California when I was a kid. A was a trooper, getting up early, reaching through thorny brambles to reach the olallaberries hidden underneath. (Never had a olallaberry? They’re awesome. Tart, tasty, and juicy. Sadly for the rest of the world, they’re only found in California. That’s why we pay the big bucks to live here!) Climbing ladders to find the ruby-colored jewels peeking out from between the leaves.

It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and we had the best time. And we picked a little bit of fruit. Four and a half pounds of olallaberries, and ten pounds of cherries. Caleb and Elaine kicked our butts, though, hauling in over 14 pounds of cherries. They’re got years of experience on us, though, so I think we can take them next year.

When I got home I went a little cherry-crazy, and came up with a recipe that tasted so much like summer that it made me jump up and down and cry, “oh, the cleverness of me!” before taking a bowl out to relax in the atrium. How to make cherry lime granita, coming your way.

Granita is kind of like a shaved ice for grown-ups. It’s what people like me who are sadly without ice cream makers make to suspend the taste of juicy fruit before the bounty of summer is over. Sadly I don’t have step-by-step pictures of the process because I was doing about ten things at once while I made this (including crossing some things off of The List…stay tuned!) But trust me, it’s as easy as freezing  fruit. Because that’s basically all you do.

I made this recipe by ratios, so you can easily modify it to make as much or as little as you’d like. As I said, I went a little crazy and made a ton.

former gelato containers find a second life filled with juicy-goodness

Ingredients

  • 3 parts fresh cherries (I used six cups-worth)
  • 1 part simple syrup, recipe follows (since I used six cups of cherries, that means I used two cups of simple syrup. You can add more if you’re using sour cherries, or if you like your deserts super sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice per cup of fruit used (about 1/2 a lime per tablespoon)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of Sake per cup of fruit used (this can substituted or omitted entirely. Adding alcohol lowers the freezing point of the granita, resulting in a finer ice crystal, smoothing out the texture of the granita. I used Sake because that’s what I had, and it was a very delicate flavor, almost completely hidden by the big flavor of the cherries. I can see silver rum being really good in this, too.)
  • As much torn mint leaves as you like, to taste (I used a generous handful)
  • small pinch of salt

Make Simple Syrup

I saw simple syrup for sale at Trader Joes the other day, which completely flummoxed me. It’s not like it’s called hard-to-make syrup. It couldn’t be easier to whip some up. I try to keep some in my fridge at all times for iced tea or cocktails. Here’s how you make it, if you don’t know already:

Simple syrup is made by heating equal parts water and sugar on the stove until all the sugar is dissolved, about three minutes over medium heat. For two cups of syrup, I combined one cup of water and one cup of sugar in a pot on the stove. Allow to cool completely before use. Simple syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.

If you are making simple syrup fresh for the recipe instead of using some you have on hand, you can add the mint leaves to the syrup so the mint flavor steeps into the syrup. Or you could just toss the mint in with the rest of the ingredients, like I did. I really like the little flecks of green they left in the granita against the bright red of the cherry.

Make Granita

Remove stems and pits from cherries. You can use a small knife if you’re a masochist, or do what I did and buy one of these guys from Bed Bath & Beyond. Combine fruit, syrup, lime juice, Sake (if using), mint (if you didn’t steep it in your syrup), and salt in a blender and blend until liquified. Pour liquid into a shallow casserole dish and put it in the freezer. Set the timer for an hour. When an hour is up, scrape the freezing granita with a fork, breaking up all the ice crystals. Put the granita back in the freezer and set the timer for a half hour. Keep scraping the granita and breaking up the ice crystals every half hour until it’s got the texture of a finely shaved ice. Garnish with fresh mint and serve immediately.

Note: The more granita you make, the longer it will take to freeze. Mine took most of the afternoon. Once it’s made you can freeze it for two-ish weeks. The texture will be more icy and less fine the longer it’s kept, so I recommend eating it sooner rather than later. As if you’d be able to resist.

summer in a glass

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