Posts Tagged ‘cherries’
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ve heard me say many times how difficult it is for my to devote more than 1 minute to the preparation of breakfast on weekday mornings. I just don’t want to wake up any earlier than I already do, and as a result most warm breakfast recipes I post were made on the weekend, in a crock pot overnight, or for dinner. Thankfully, there are more options than a bowl of cereal every morning, such as this single serving oatmeal in a jar.
The great thing about this oatmeal is that it can be made a couple days in advance and can be mixed with any fruit or nuts on hand. I know plenty of people rolling in berries from picking throughout the summer and this would be a great way to use some. The rest of the ingredients are staples I have stocked all the time. In the morning the jar can be snatched for an on-the-go option or warmed up in the microwave to enjoy warm at home. Or while we’re at it, nuke it and then take it to go!
This month, Chobani introduced some new flavors to their already delicious lineup and they even sent several to me to try out. However, the labels were concealed and I had to guess the flavor with #wtflavor! Turns out the new flavors are Coconut, Key Lime, Orange Vanilla, Blackberry, and Apricot. The apricot was the hardest one for me to pin down but I thoroughly enjoyed them all, especially the blackberry.
Throughout July, Chobani has been celebrating a Month of Flavor at chobani.com/classified! And to do my part in the celebration I not only made delicious mini cheesecakes using their Key Lime Greek yogurt, but also have a giveaway for one reader to win a package of their new flavors! Make sure to enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post.
First we must discuss this cheesecake, or rather mini cheesecakes. I hadn’t used my mini cheesecake pan in awhile and after musing over what flavor to make I finally decided to dive into the cherry-lime combination that I’ve been pining over for some time. Chobani’s key lime Greek yogurt was used in place of some of the cream cheese in the cheesecake and then topped off with oven roasted cherries. There’s even a Biscoff cookie crust in case there wasn’t enough flavor going on for you already. Bite sized and dangerous.
One year ago: Nutella Swirled Banana Bread Snack Cake
Every year come May in Memphis, the 90 degree and up temperatures begin. Except for this year and I’ve been loving every minute of the 70 and 80 degree weather. That was until Monday hit with high 90s and doesn’t seem to want to give up. I saw 103 on my car’s thermometer yesterday, boo! Apparently it’s time to summer through the heat and humidity once again, which means I really dislike turning on my oven. When it’s still over 80 degrees outside at night, turning on the oven just seems wrong with all the hard work my central air is doing.
Time for no-bake granola bars to strike again, this time using almond butter. I love how adaptable this granola bar recipe is, allowing me to try all kinds of flavors and mix-ins. This most recent creation involves almond butter, chopped almonds, dried cherries, and a little bit of dark chocolate. I brought them to my cousin’s bachelorette party weekend and they turned out to be as big of a hit as the coconut pecan cookies. I should have made a double batch!
What’s you favorite mix-ins for granola bars? I’m always looking for new ideas!
How often do you cook with cherries? For me it is a rare occurrence because the task of slicing open and pitting all those cherries is daunting. That was until I was given the opportunity to review OXO’s Cherry Pitter. The cherry pitter worked great and made the process of pitting the cherries for this recipe much more efficient. Every now and then a pit wouldn’t pop out right but it was fairly infrequent.
You could also use this pitter on olives, but since I don’t get along with olives (except when I mistake them for blueberries) I don’t foresee that purpose being fulfilled. Just keep the cherries coming! Heck, I would use this pitter for purely eating raw cherries despite my weird enjoyment of spitting the pits into a bowl.
But how about this cheesecake? Let me just tell you that it was exactly how I like my desserts – rich and decadent. It starts off with a brownie base followed by a layer of roasted cherries and then the cheesecake filling. Then you top it off with even more roasted cherries and even make a cream cheese whipped cream. I had no idea that you could add cream cheese to whipped cream, but I am totally sold on the idea.
Although I would have preferred the brownie layer to be a little thinner. I am an advocate of a larger cheesecake to brownie ratio in this situation. Oh and one more thing, don’t forget that the cherry on top is NOT pitted. I made sure to tell all the recipients of this fact so that no one bit into it and cracked their teeth. Of course I suppose you could be nice and pit it for them.
I cannot believe I have been without brussels sprouts in my life until the very end of 2011. What was wrong with me for the past 26 years? (On second thought, don’t answer that.) Because every time I have them, I love them more than before. They may already be my new favorite vegetable.
This side dish counts as only the third time I have ever had brussels sprouts and am planning subsequent meals around it in the furture. Yes I am planning meals around a side dish, which should convince you to make this asap. Heck, maybe I’ll even eat is as an entree one day. It is such an easy recipe to throw together and has incredible flavor.
The chicken with which this was served will be posted tomorrow.
One year ago: Homemade Tagalongs
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON, DRIED CHERRIES AND ISRAELI COUSCOUS
Serves 4 as a side-dish
16-18 brussels sprouts, very thinly sliced
4 slices bacon, preferably black pepper-rubbed (available at Whole Foods and butcher shops)
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
1/3 cup dried Bing cherries
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt to taste
- Bring 3/4 cup water to a boil and add the couscous plus a pinch of sea salt. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until no more water remains. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet until crispy. Remove bacon and roughly chop. Add thinly sliced brussels sprouts to the hot bacon grease on the stove and saute for about five minutes, until the sprouts turn bright green. Add back in the bacon bits along with the dried cherries and cooked couscous. Toss well and season with salt to taste.
Source: Adapted slightly from Eat, Live, Run.
I never understood the aversion to fruit cake. Until I realized it was because I was spoiled by my dad’s version (seems to be a trend when it comes to anything my dad cooked/baked). I doubt I will ever stray away from this recipe, unless he finds some inconceivable way to improve it. It’s dense and moist like a pound cake, but filled with an insane amount of fruit and nuts. This is one fruit cake that will not be pawned off.
PECAN FRUIT CAKE
Makes 2 cakes
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-1/4 cups sugar
6 large eggs, beaten
4 tsp lemon juice
4 cups flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1 lb (2-1/2) cups candied red and green cherries, cut in pieces
1 lb candied pineapple, cut in pieces
1 lb golden raisins
1 lb (4 cups) chopped pecans
1/2 lb (2 cups) whole almonds (I opted to chop mine a little)
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees for tube/bundt pans or 275 degrees for loaf pans. Generously grease and flour two pans and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together 3 cups flour and the baking powder.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs and lemon juice until incorporated, then add the flour/baking powder mix.
- In a separate extra large bowl, mix candied fruit and raisins with the remaining cup of flour until well coated. Add nuts and then the batter and mix well.
- Pour evenly into the two prepared tube or loaf pans. Tube pans cook the best. Do not use glass pans. Bake tube pans at 250 for about 1.5-2 hours; loaf pans cook at 275 for about 1-1.5 hours.
- Cook times are approximate. Test for doneness with a toothpick after one hour and as needed afterward. Do not over cook! Slow baking keeps the cake moist. Let cool completely before removing from pans. Keep covered in fridge.
Source: My dad
Do you know what “stone fruit” means? Because I sure didn’t until a few weeks ago. I had never even heard of the term “stone fruit” let alone knew what it meant and now here I am posting about making something with said fruit.
Oh, and I used all yellow stone fruits, to continue my current yellow fruit obsession. Peach, yellow plum, and yellow (Rainier) cherries. I can’t take credit for the fruit combination (Audra at The Baker Chick), but what a flavor combination it was! A wonderful explosion on my taste buds. Can it be stone fruit season all year long? Please?
I really enjoyed the ease of using a pre-made crust, although next time I will make it with a less puffier kind. I enjoyed the flaky texture, but wish it weren’t so puffy. (Who knew that PUFF pastry gets puffy?) Although they actually remind me of the apple hand pies (sans apples) you can get at McDonald’s. But better. And bigger. Did I mention better?
STONE FRUIT HAND PIES
Makes 6 hand pies
2 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp cold water
1 peach, pitted and cut into chunks
1 yellow plum, pitted and cut into chunks
6 Rainier cherries, stemmed, pitted and quartered
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar + more for sprinkling
1 box frozen puff pastry, defrosted in fridge
1 egg + 1 Tbsp warm water, beaten
- Whisk together the cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl until all the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
- Combine the fruit, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and heat over medium high on the stove. Once the mixture has started to simmer, slowly drizzle in the cornstarch/water and stir constantly while bringing up to a boil briefly. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the pastry.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Working with one piece of puff pastry at a time, roll out to smooth edges and then slice into three equal sized rectangles*. Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Divide the fruit mixture onto each half of the pastries. Carefully fold over pastry and pinch all edges together well**. Make three small slits into the top of each. Brush the egg mixture on each pie. Sprinkle sugar over each.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
*I cut mine along the seams of the dough. Worked great!
**A fork works great
Yellow fruit is currently my obsession. And the yellow fruits I am referring to are ones that you normally wouldn’t think of as being yellow – cherries, plums, and raspberries. They might look under-ripe and unappetizing to you, but I have to buy extra whenever I plan to make something with them. I inevitably eat
some a lot of it on my 5 minute drive home from the grocery and/or before I even cook them. I cannot help it. To me fresh fruit is almost as good as a soft just-out-of-the-oven cookie. The cherries and raspberries were the only ones the survived long enough to make it into this oatmeal. I maybe should have added the raspberries in the morning, after it had cooked because they pretty much disintegrated (note their invisibility in the picture). But the flavor definitely did not disappear and the texture is great. If you are one of those people that like to come up with excuses for not eating Breakfast, throw them out the window and make this oatmeal. That is if you can even come up with any to deny such a thing as this.
ALMOND BERRY OVERNIGHT SLOW COOKER OATMEAL
2 cups Rainier cherries, pitted and cut in half
1 cup raspberries
1-1/2 cups almond milk milk
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp butter, cut into 5-6 pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground flax seed
1/4 tsp salt
Sliced almonds, for garnish
- Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients from cherries to salt to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 7 hours.
- Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add sliced almonds, if desired.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers. To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot. Recipe can be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.
Source: Adapted slightly from Pass the Sushi