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Archive for the ‘cherries’ Category

A yummy reminder of summer. I made this during cherry season and gobbled it up. Totally vegan and totally delicious. Dangerous.

Cherry almond smoothie (thank you, NYTimes)

24 cherries, pitted

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup almond milk

1 plum or peach

2 teaspoons agave nectar

6 ice cubes

Place all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Makes 1 delicious serving.

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This was an easily adaptable recipe from Cooking Light. I used a quart of SoyDelicious vanilla ice cream, and a 12-ounce bag of frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and pitted cherries). Total ice cream smackdown.

It looked so inviting, even before the first cut. I loved the swirl ~

Berry ice cream pie

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons brandy

1 12-ounce package frozen berries (your choice – I used a medley I found at Trader Joe’s. The original recipe calls for cherries)

2 tablespoons margarine, melted

2 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

4 cups soy vanilla ice cream (softened)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Cool completely.

Combine margarine and honey in a medium bowl. Add graham cracker crumbs, stirring to blend. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9″ pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes, then cool completely.

Place 1/2 cup of the cooled berry mixture in a blender, and puree til smooth. Place remaining berry mixture in an airtight container; cover and chill.

Place softened ice cream in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add pureed berry mixture, and gently fold in to achieve a swirl pattern. Spoon mixture into cooled crust. Cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm. Top wedges with reserved berry sauce just before serving. Makes 8 servings.

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We loved the combination of flavors here, and the fruits worked well with the balsamic-y chicken.

Balsamic Chicken with pears (from What’s Cooking America)

6 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot, chopped

2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup good quality aged balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 cup dried tart cherries

Pound chicken breasts to a uniform thickness of 1/2″. Season with salt and pepper, both sides.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Then add the chicken and saute, turning once, for 3 – 4 minutes each side, until golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a platter, cover, and keep warm.

To the same pan, add the shallots, and saute over medium high heat for 2 minutes til soft. Add the pears, continue sauteing, stirring occasionally for 3 – 4 minutes, until the pears are soft and golden brown.

Prepare the sauce: combine chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour over the pear mixture; add the cherries. Increase heat to high and simmer, stirring frequently for 6 – 8 minutes til sauce thickens slightly. Return the chicken and juices to the pan. Bring the mixture back to a simmer; decrease heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes til juices run clear when chicken cut with the tip of a knife. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove from heat. Makes 6 servings.

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Right now, in the middle of winter, I’m dreaming of the warmer days of summer, and missing some of the great foods and dishes that are available only at that time of year. Inspired to just have a taste, I bought some frozen pitted cherries and used them in this recipe. They work just as well as fresh. Dairy-free. Enjoy!

Baked dark cherries with pistachio granola topping

1 cup pistachio nuts, unsalted, chopped

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup rolled oats

pinch of salt

4 tablespoons margarine

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

pinch of cinnamon

2 bags of frozen pitted sweet cherries, completely thawed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together the pistachios, flour, baking powder, oats, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the margarine with the brown sugar. When fully creamed and blended together, add to the pistachio mixture, combining with your fingers until it has a sticky, crumbly consistency.

In a separate large bowl, mix the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon together. Then add the cherries and toss until everything is nicely coated.

In either an 8″ round baking dish or an 8×8″ square baking dish, place the cherry mixture. On top of this, carefully place the granola topping, taking care to cover all the fruit with topping. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the topping is brown and the fruit is bubbling. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

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I love desserts that don’t go overboard with fat but sacrifice nothing in taste. Such is the lovely biscotti. Calling for only 5 tablespoons of margarine, this is a recipe that I can eat and feel good about it. The combination of the walnuts and the dried cherries is fabulous. This goes perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea. Dairy-free and delicious. Enjoy!

Cherry walnut biscotti

1 cup of chopped walnuts

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup dried tart cherries

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until aromatic and lightly browned (about 6-8 minutes). Remove from the oven, and turn the heat down to 350 degrees F.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, place the sugar and the margarine and cream together until blended and light. Add the vanilla and mix in. Add the eggs and mix until just combined. On low speed, mix in the flour. Add the walnuts and cherries by hand.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and divide into 2 equal halves. Flour you hands and shape each half into a loaf with the approximate dimensions of 8″ length by 3″ width by 1″ height. Place carefully each loaf onto a greased baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between loaves. Bake until lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Place the sheet on a wire rack, and cool for 15 minutes.

Next, transfer the loaves to a cutting board, lifting carefully to avoid crumbling and breakage. Clean and regrease the baking sheet. Brush each loaf with the egg white and sprinkle each loaf with the sugar. Then cut each loaf cross-wise on the diagonal, at about 1/2″ per slice, so that each loaf yields approximately 12 slices. Place each slice on its side on the baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 7 minutes. Then turn each slice over to the other side, and bake for approximately 4 more minutes, so that they look golden.

Let the biscotti cool on the baking tray, and store them in an airtight container.

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The first recipe I would like to share with you is the one I used for the banner photo. It is called Cherry Clafouti. Clafouti is a classic French dessert that is somewhere in between a pudding and a cake, with fruit baked inside. (Disclaimer: I have adapted it from a similar recipe found on Epicurious.com) It is very easy to make, and has a beautiful and elegant presentation. I made this one with fresh cherries in season, but substitutions can be easily made (think blueberries, apricots, peaches).  The first step in the original recipe calls for pulverized almonds simmered in whole milk and then the almond solids strained, imbuing the milk with an almond flavor. This dairy ingredient and entire step can be easily circumvented by simply substituting almond milk. LI sufferers everywhere, rejoice, and enjoy some Clafouti now!

Cherry Clafouti

1 1/4 cups almond milk

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar

8 oz dark sweet cherries, pitted, halved (about 2 cups)

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

pinch of salt

1/4 cup all purpose flour

powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a 10-inch diameter glass pie dish; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Scatter cherries evenly over bottom of dish.

Using electric mixer, beat eggs, almond extract, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in medium bowl until well blended. Add almond milk and beat to blend. Sift flour into egg mixture and beat until smooth. Pour mixture over cherries. Bake until set and knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Lightly dust clafouti with powdered sugar and serve.

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