Posts Tagged ‘cherries’

No-Bake Gluten-Free Cherry Pistachio Granola Bars

No bake granola bars are incredibly versatile. Try this gluten-free version with almond butter, dried cherries, and roasted pistachios

No-Bake Gluten-Free Cherry Pistachio Granola Bars

Holy freaking September where did you come from? Thankfully with the help of Bob, Christina, and Dave the end of August was not overlooked. We hillbilly mini golfed, saw thousands of salt and pepper shakers, wine/moonshine tasted, hiked to the tallest waterfall in the Smokies, saw a folk-rock band, grilled and just had a good time. Alas the arrival of September meant they had to return to their respective states today.

Accompanying us on this adventure were these gluten-free granola bars which came in handy on the hike. Just like the base for my favorite chocolate chip cookies, the base for these granola bars allows for all kinds of flavor options. This time I made them with almond butter, dried cherries, and roasted pistachios.

One year ago: Chicken Taco Stack

Two years ago: Buckeye “Cheese Ball”

Three years ago: Fluffernutter Blondies
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Blueberry-Cherry Buckle

The end of summer brings blueberries and cherries, which pair together in this blueberry-cherry buckle with a crumble topping. Served with fresh whipped cream!

Blueberry-Cherry Buckle

When I was first trying to figure out how/where to store all my furniture and excess stuff upon leaving Memphis to live with my parents while continuing my job search I did not imagine I would need storage for more than 3 months, or at least I hoped I would not. Here I am 6 months later thinking that maybe I should have taken my uncle’s advice to sell most of my stuff. It would have put money in my pocket and saved money on storage, but over the years I have slowly accumulated big-person furniture and really didn’t want to sell furniture I really liked just to buy more again later. After 6 months of paying for storage however, it would have made more sense to do so. Especially since as summer creeps to and end I am remembering that most of my fall and all of my winter attire is in storage. But surely someone will realize how awesome I am and snatch me up before I need to worry about buying a new wardrobe.

In the meantime, let’s soak up the summer. The best thing about summer is all the fantastic fruits which are in season. It started out with the berries but later in the summer, such as now, we get things like cherries and peaches which are only good this time of year. You will find me in a corner making myself sick eating those fruits as fast as I can get my hands on them. After picking 9 pounds of blueberries my dad and  I were on a mission to find the best ways to use them (besides going straight into my gullet). After picking sweet cherries the deal was sealed as my dad pulled out this recipe for a blueberry-cherry buckle. Don’t forget the fresh whipped cream!

One year ago: Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars

Two years ago: Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Burgers

Three years ago: Dark Chocolate Blueberry Muffins
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Cherry Vanilla Almond Overnight Oatmeal

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!

Cherry Vanilla Almond Overnight Oatmeal

Two years ago: Jalapeno Cheddar Hummus with Homemade Pita Chips
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Mini Cherry-Lime Greek Yogurt Cheesecakes & Chobani Giveaway

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.

What the Flavor

Throughout July, Chobani has been celebrating a  Month of Flavor at! 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.

Mini Cherry-Lime Greek Yogurt Cheesecakes

One year ago: Nutella Swirled Banana Bread Snack Cake

Two years ago: Pepperoni Pizza Deviled Eggs
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Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola Bars

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!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola Bars

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Review: OXO Cherry Pitter & Roasted Cherry Brownie Cheesecake

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.

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Dark Chocolate Black Cherry Oatmeal Cookie-wiches

Are whoopie pies cakes or cookies? I know the name says pies, but they do not resemble a pie at all. It is more like a cake-like cookie with yummy filling sandwiched between. But I suppose “cake-cookie sandwiches” isn’t as fun to say as “whoopie pies”. Twittering didn’t help either as people went either way. Some said they were both or neither, claiming to be in a category all their own. I’m going to submit this issue to “Unsolved Mysteries”.

I decided to stick to the name “cookie-wiches” for this creation because they ended up not quite looking like whoopie pies. Shun me if you dare, but these cake-like cookies were just begging to be sandwiched around some fluffy goodness. And there is even 0% Black Cherry Chobani Greek yogurt in there instead of cream cheese. Excuse me while I shake up some other baking ideologies.

Only a few more days to enter the Chobani giveaway! Find out how to enter HERE.

One year ago: Caprese Salad Grilled Cheese Sandwich
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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Dried Cherries and Israeli Couscous

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


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Almond Cherry Chip Blondies

Valentine’s Day is sneaking up on us and I am sharing my first Valentine’s Day treat over on Blog is the New Black. Check it out HERE!


Source: Adapted slightly from Lovin’ From the Oven, originally from Eat, Live, Run.

One year ago: Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

Pecan Fruit Cake

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.


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)


  1. 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.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together 3 cups flour and the baking powder.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs and lemon juice until incorporated, then add the flour/baking powder mix.
  4. 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.
  5.  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.
  6. 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

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