Five Fabulous Fall Recipes

In the early mornings you can detect the slight shift from summer to Fall…finally. I just returned from another week in Connecticut and saw so many fall pumpkins, gourds and chrysanthemums in stores there. If that doesn’t put you in the fall mood, I don’t know what does! Here are five fabulous fall recipes that aren’t pumpkin focused but represent other wonderful ingredients of the autumn season.

Apple Cider Donuts

Apple Cider Donuts

My husband and I have the quintessential memory of these aromatic, warm, delicious donuts. After driving the curvy back roads in New England, we find an apple orchard on a chilly, windy day in October. Inside the quaint store at Averill Farms, they are serving warm apple cider and these warm donuts. Needless to say we devoured an entire bag and I have learned to make them since.

Averill Farm, Washington, Connecticut

In my recipe, the donuts are baked not fried (you save a few calories there). And I think this year I may experiment with a maple syrup glaze instead of the cinnamon sugar. Either way, they are delicious and easy to make. To see how to make these scrumptious donuts, click here. If you need donut pans for baking, here is a good resource.

Also the most time consuming part of this recipe is boiling down the apple cider to reduction. I always make extra and freeze it so I can whip up these donuts on a moment’s notice. They are addicting!

Turkey Chili with White Beans

a serving of turkey chili

This is my go-to recipe for chili. Made with ground turkey and white beans, it is chock-a-block full of good protein and flavor. Adding unsweetened cocoa powder is the key to this wonderful recipe.

Chili topped with sour cream, cilantro and red onion

Topped with sour cream, freshly chopped cilantro and red onions make this a hearty meal for the cooler weather. See all the instructions here.

Cute pumpkin ceramic bowls are from Williams Sonoma.

Roasted Squash and Kale Salad with Spiced Nuts, Cranberries and Maple Vinaigrette

The perfect fall salad

This salad combines sweet roasted butternut squash with roasted kale in a vinaigrette flavored with maple syrup and sherry vinegar, along with some spiced pecans for crunch and dried cranberries for a nice chewy texture. It’s a delightful salad when it’s made fresh, but the flavors and textures actually get even better as it sits in the fridge overnight.

Next time I make this salad, I may add a protein for a full meal. It is the essence of fall flavors and so appropriate if you are having a dinner party. Make it ahead of time and just toss it before your guests arrive. Again, you cannot go wrong with recipes from Serious Eats. Find it here.

Clementine Thyme Margaritas

Clementine Thyme Margaritas

We can always use more Vitamin C, right?!? Though the original inspired recipe calls for freshly squeezed tangerine juice, tangerines are difficult to find this time of year. Instead, you can readily purchase clementines (or Cuties in the grocery store) instead of tangerines.

If you haven’t made simple syrup, it is very easy to do and you can flavor it with a variety of fresh herb~basil, mint, lemon balm, rosemary, thyme and lavender. In this recipe, the herbal flavor of thyme is a lovely addition to this cocktail. See the recipe below.

Pear and Caramel Pie

Pear and Caramel pie-Recipe by Knead. Bake.Cook.

In the fall, everyone thinks of apples. But pears are equally abundant. This pie is a welcomed change from your expected apple~using pears and caramel.

The only times I have made this, I did use the Kieffer pears from our tree in the mountains. However, any ripe, firm pear will do. If you haven’t made your own caramel sauce, it is very easy. And once you taste this you will never purchase caramel sauce in a jar again.

Pear pie drizzled with caramel sauce

This pie keeps well and is excellent for breakfast or dessert the next day. As a short cut, you can use a pre-made pie crust too (my favorite being Trader Joe’s frozen pie crusts). See recipe here.

Do you have any favorite fall recipes? Please send them to me as I am always looking for new things to try (my email is marycrz@cox.net). I am so excited to start cooking again as it is hard to turn on the oven or stove during our hot summers.

Being back home is such a joy and hope to be posting on a regular basis again. Happy Tuesday!

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Clementine Thyme Margaritas

Fresh squeezed clementine juice and a touch of herbal thyme simple syrup, make this drink a fall winner

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh thyme sprigs

For the Margaritas

  • 2 oz. silver tequila
  • 2 oz. freshly squeezed clementine juice
  • 1 oz. thyme simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • thyme sprigs for garnish
  • lime wedges for the rim
  • kosher salt for the rim
  1. To Make the Syrup: Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk to dissolve the sugar then add thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook, 2 minutes.Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour. Strain and chill. Syrup will keep covered in the refrigerator for 1 month.

To make the Margaritas: Rub the lime wedge around the rim of a cocktail glass. Dip glass in salt to coat the edges. Fill glass with crushed ice.Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add tequila, clementine juice, syrup, and lime juice and shake vigorously. Strain drink into prepared glass and garnish with a thyme sprig.

Clementines are often called Cuties in the grocery store.

Making Rum Raisin Ice Cream

Rum raisin ice cream is one of my favorite summer treats. Since I don’t eat ice cream very often, my taste bud standards are very high. I want to make sure the calories are worth it. Since I started making my own ice cream, I am never disappointed when I find a recipe that is worth it. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on making what I consider to be one of the best rum raisin ice cream recipes.

The Ingredients

With simple, good quality ingredients of rum, raisins, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, eggs and vanilla, you, too can make this creamy, flavorful treat. We always have Gosling’s Bermuda Black rum on hand as this dark Bermuda rum is full of island flavor.

Soak the raisins in the rum at least overnight and up to 2 days. The first time I made this recipe, I did soak the raisins for 2 days. The next time making the recipe, the raisins are bathing in rum for 4 days. Oh la la!

Making the Custard

Combine the milk, cream, sugars and spices in a sauce pan over medium heat until mixture is steaming and sugars are dissolved.

Whisk the egg yolks and gradually add some hot milk mixture into the eggs. Be care not to “cook” the egg yolks.  Scrape the yolks back into the milk mixture and cook until thickened and the back of the spoon is coated. For me it was approximately. 9-10 minutes.  DO NOT BOIL.

The recipe calls for straining the custard. This helps remove any part of the custard that may have cooked bits of egg in it.

Chill thoroughly.  To hurry this stage along, I put the custard into a bowl and set in into a large bowl with ice. Both are placed in the refrigerator.

Using the Ice Cream Machine

Add vanilla and 2 Tablespoons of rum (from the raisins) and process the custard mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

My ice cream makers is decades old and works very well. The Cuisinart 1.5 quart ice cream and yogurt maker is affordable and easy to use. I keep the double insulated freezer bowl in the freezer all the time so I can whip up homemade ice cream within 30 minutes or less. See it here.

Add the raisins at the end of the churning stage.

Remove to a freezer safe container and freeze for 24 hours.

This ice cream was so dreamy, creamy, and yummy! It was chock-a-block full of plump rum-soaked raisins.

Now I will have to exercise twice as much this week after consuming both my pistachio and rum raisin ice cream!

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Rum Raisin Ice Cream Recipe from Serious Eats

Rum Raising

Raisins are soaked in dark rum for 2 days (longer if you'd like) and are blended in with this rich, vanilla ice cream with hints of cinnamon

  • Ice Chream machine
  • 1 cup raisins (dark or golden)
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 2 cups milk (I used whole)
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 14 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Place the raisins in a container with a tight-fitting lid and add rum. Cover and shake to evenly coat the raisins in rum, let sit at room temperature at least overnight and up to 2 days. Drain excess rum from the raisins, reserving 2 tablespoons. Set aside.

  2. Combine milk, cream, sugars, cinnamon and salt in medium saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is steaming and sugars are dissovled. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in medium mixing bowl. Gradually whisk hot liquid into yolks, then scrape back into pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain and chill thoroughly.

  3. Add vanilla and reserved rum to base and process in ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions, adding raisins when almost fully churned. Remove to freezer-safe container and seal tightly. Freeze at least 24 hours before serving (allowing the rum to leach out into the ice cream).

4 Ingredient Tomato Sauce

Roma Tomatoes

This tomato sauce recipe is so yummy~simple ingredients with fabulous results. You can make this using 3 pounds of tomatoes (as the recipe indicates), or more. Recently, I purchased 60 pounds of Roma tomatoes from McClendon’s Select, a local farm here in Phoenix. And I did experiment with ways to alter the recipe to make the project go a bit faster.

Please don’t think you need to know how to can or preserve to make this recipe. It certainly depends on the quantity of sauce you make, but you can certainly just refrigerate it if you are consuming it quickly, or freeze it.

My friend, Rick, who is a very good cook is responsible for this recipe. Like most recipes, I am always looking for a short-cut or a different way to tweak it to make it my own. Always start with good quality ingredients. Personally, I prefer to make sauce from my own tomatoes, but my crop this year wasn’t a good one. So it is time to find an alternative.

Where to Find Good Tomatoes

McClendon Select Grab and Go Produce Boxes

McClendon’s Select is family-run, certified organic farm located on 25 acres in Peoria, Arizona and an additional 68-acres in Goodyear, Arizona. How does one get 60 pounds of Roma tomatoes? Since this farm is always at our local farmers markets, you can order produce directly from them. All it took was an email asking the question. Since they do sell to restaurants, I am able to buy 20 lb. flats of tomatoes at $20.00 per flat. And as they do sell custom boxes of produce each week, I went to their drive through location and picked up the merchandise.

Here are the four ingredients: olive oil, garlic, Roma or plum tomatoes and salt. Making the sauce does involve cutting the tomatoes.

In Rick’s recipe, he suggests cutting the tomato in half, and then into a total of 16 pieces. Remove the core and seeds, saving the rest of the tomato. (Note: In order to eliminate this step, read the section on using a food mill).

Sauté the minced garlic in oil until fragrant (do not brown) and add the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer vigorously, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened slightly and tomato skins are starting to separate from the flesh, 15 to 20 minutes.

Other processing options

Using a food processor if you do not have a food mill

Rick’s recipe suggests using a food mill. Not everyone has a food mill and if you do not, here is an option. After cooking the tomatoes, put everything in a food processor. My Cuisinart pulvarizes the tomatoes, skins and all. The first time I made this recipe I did not own a food mill and I actually like the sauce with tiny bits of skin.

Using a Food Mill

Food Mill by Roots & Branches

My friend, Gwen shares her favorite food mill by Roots & Branches. This large funnel sauce maker really reduces the time on making 60 lbs. of sauce. All you need to do is cut the tomatoes into a size that will fit down the throat of the funnel. Turn the hand crank and the seeds, core and skin are removed. No need to cut the tomatoes into 16 pieces. See food mill here.

Cut tomatoes to fit in the food mill

What’s left is tomato pureé which you will reduce in half for a thicker sauce. In Rick’s recipe, he recommends using a food mill after cooking the tomatoes the first time. The food mill I own suggests using the food mill before cooking.

What is interesting is that regardless of when you use the food mill, the sauce is equally delicious. Note: Using such large quantities of tomatoes, I prefer not having to remove the core, skins and seeds and cutting the tomatoes into 16 pieces when the food mill does all that work for me. A real time saver.


The recipe below, using 3 lbs. of tomatoes, produces approximately 2 cups of sauce. After using the food mill, you will get 4 cups of pureé. With a vigorous simmer, you will reduce it by half.

Preserving and Storing

Canning sauce

Again, depending on the quantity of tomatoes, you can either refrigerate, freeze in Ziploc bags or preserve your sauce in jars for long term storage.

To learn more about canning your sauce for year round use, see my post on Processing Tomatoes here.

Other Recipe Adjustments

Another change I did make to Rick’s recipe is allowing the sauce to sit overnight. I did not do that, nor did I skim the floating olive oil off the sauce. I went straight to preserving and using a water bath to can the 20 jars.

My recommendation would be to follow Rick’s recipe the first time and then make any adjustments based on the quantity of your tomatoes. Needless to say, I do love this recipe because it focuses on the simple, fresh ingredients and makes a fabulous tomato sauce.

All Parts of the Tomato Used

Tomato scraps for the chickens

The discarded parts of the tomato are put to good use. Happily, the chickens did receive a large tray of scraps, which they quickly consumed.

In the compost tumbler

The rest of the tomato scraps are sent to the compost tumbler where their water content will help the dry yard material convert to gorgeous soil.

Donovan loves the tomato boxes

Even the tomato boxes are put into good use…..a place for Donovan, our Maine coon cat, to play.

All in all, the entire cutting, cooking, reducing and canning 60 lbs. of tomatoes did consume a weekend. But in the middle of winter when I can open a jar of fresh tomato sauce, it will be all worth it.

Happy Tuesday! As I write this it is dark and gloomy and we are praying for more rain. Have a lovely day.

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Rick’s Tomato Sauce

This recipe uses 4 ingredients and makes the most delicious tomato sauce

  • 6 TBSP olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 3 lbs Ripe plum (Roma) tomatoes (stemmed, cored and cut into pieces (16 pieces))
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook 20 seconds until fragrant (do not brown). Stir in tomatoes and salt. Raise heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer vigorously, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened slightly and tomato skins are starting to separate from flesh, 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Pass sauce through the medium disc of a food mill. Discard skin and seeds. Return the milled sauce to the pot. Bring to a vigorous simmer and reduce by half for a thick sauce. 

  3. Let sauce sit (overnight in refrigerator is best). Bring to room temperature and skim off any floating olive oil (the tomato oil is great for other uses). 

  4. Season with additional salt to taste. The sauce is ready to serve and can bee seasoned with oregano, red pepper flakes or basil.

    Recipe can easily be multiplied given the amount of tomatoes available and the size of the pot.

    Sauce freezes well and is suitable for wet bath canning.

Notes: if you don’t have a food mill, I just put the cooked tomatoes into a food processor.

In using a food mill, you can do it before cooking the tomatoes. Let the food mill remove the core, skin and seeds prior to cooking.

Depending on the quantity of sauce you make, I skip the part about letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator and go straight to preserving or canning the sauce.

Saturday Meanderings

A hot and humid Connecticut sunset

It is SO nice to be home and able to write a Saturday Meanderings again. Sorry for being absent the last few weeks, but it’s been a bit frenetic. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s catch up with all new and exciting things that are happening.

Trip Back East

As I have mentioned before, I am flying back and forth to Connecticut to settle up my aunt’s affairs. The good news is that upon arrival, the hydrangeas are starting to bloom. The bad news is the excessive high temperatures and equally high humidity are unbearable in my aunt’s home ~which is not air conditioned. Plus there is no internet. Groan.

Donating furniture and bulk trash

But with only a few minor injuries and very sore muscles from moving furniture, I did get a lot accomplished. When the long flight back to Phoenix landed late at night, I was just SO HAPPY TO BE HOME. My sweet husband picked me up at the airport and on the way home this happened….

While we are waiting on the exit ramp for the light to change, an out of control white pickup truck traveling at excessive speeds comes out of nowhere and lands perpendicular on the front of our car, A nasty 5 car pile up and fortunately no one is injured~which is almost hard to believe. Since this is an open investigation I can’t share much more, but 3 hours later, we are finally able to go home, stunned, shaken and glad to be alive.

Another Watermelon Recipe

Watermelon Frosé

If you missed the blog post last week about my favorite watermelon recipes you can find it here. We are consuming so much of this delicious fruit, which is a delightful on our hot days. Here is another recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen. I cut corners and make this Watermelon Frosé a bit easier and it is equally delicious.

Freeze 4 cups of watermelon (cut into 1″ cubes). I froze mine on a cookie sheet. In a blender (I use my Vitamix), add the watermelon cubes, 1 bottle of chilled Rose wine and a squirt of agave syrup (optional) and blend until slushy. You may need to stir it up a bit as you go. Serve with a fresh mint sprig. Yum.Yum.

Frozen Dog Treats

Frozen dog ice cream

You can buy frozen dog treats in the freezer section of your grocery store (like Frosty Paws). However, if I cannot recognize an ingredient or if there are more chemicals than actual food, I don’t buy the item for us (or our dogs).

A piece of Greenie for an added surprise

It is easy to make your own dog ice cream using plain yogurt and peanut (or another nut) butter. Mix the yogurt and peanut butter (use whatever quantities you like) until well blended. Place in small containers. As an added bonus I put in a cut up Greenie (or similar dog treat) in the middle. Place in freezer.

Cooper loving his frozen treat

I really need to purchase some paper cups in lieu of plastic ones. The dogs do chew up the cups and I do not want them to swallow any plastic. There appears to be a good selection here.

Did You Know?

Our Hen house

We have several chickens in our hen house, and those gals are still laying quite a few eggs even during the heat of the summer. When the hen lays the egg, it comes out with a wet coating that dries instantly. This coating is called the “bloom”.

Fresh eggs

The bloom is the first line of defense in keeping air and bacteria out of the porous egg shell. If an egg is washed, the natural barrier is removed, which accelerates decay of the egg.

Unfortunately, commercial egg growers wash their eggs before sending them to market. If you buy eggs at the farmers market or other places other than your local grocery store, you may want to ask if the eggs still have their bloom.

Since we do sell our eggs to friends, I recently had these cute tags made up that I place on the top of each carton. The tag explains that we do not wash our eggs here at Bella Terra, because the bloom keeps the egg fresher longer.

Bloom info

Prior to using the egg, if you wish, you can wash them. Though you don’t need to refrigerate unwashed eggs, we refrigerate our eggs regardless. If you have ever been to other country, you will notice that they do not refrigerate their eggs, but stack them up for sale. I’m guessing that’s because they leave the bloom on.

These cute tags are designed by Jen Gregory from Simple Modest Mom and printed by Impact Printing Services here in Phoenix.

New on the Internet

Hester & Cook vinyl floor mat

Hester & Cook have new vinyl floor mats that I am considering. My sweet friend, B.J. owns a few of these (purchased from another source) and she loves them.

Currently my small rugs by the doors by Dash and Albert are looking a bit sad, so maybe this would be a good alternative. Does anyone own a vinyl rug? Thoughts?

Fall decorating ideas by Stone Gable

When it is 113 degrees, it is very difficult to think ahead to Fall. But we are starting to see more autumn posts and inspiration, as Back to School is right around the corner. Yvonne from Stone Gable just shared a lovely post full of fall decorating ideas. Her photos are stunning and you can see it here.

Tomatoes from McClendon’s Select

A few posts ago I stated my desire to have a care free summer. Well, that certainly hasn’t been the case. In addition to being absolutely swamped with absorbing an entire household from my aunt, I spend countless volunteer hours on our neighborhood association board. It’s been a bit stressful and I am praying for it all to settle down soon. My therapy is being in the kitchen and with 60 lbs. of Roma tomatoes and a sink filled with fresh basil, it’s apron time for me this weekend.

If you missed any of my posts this week, you can find them here:

Dividing Irises (and see my friends’ gardens too!) and Room by Room ( a tour of our front hall)

Have a happy one, my friends. And stay safe out there.

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5 Favorite Watermelon Recipes

Fresh watermelon

It is that time of year to take advantage of the abundance of sweet, fresh and juicy watermelon! On a hot summer’s day, there is nothing more satisfying than biting into a chilled piece of this beautiful fruit. Here are my 5 favorite watermelon recipes for you to try.

Skinny Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas

Skinny watermelon jalapeño margaritas

As an avid follower of Ambitious Kitchen, Monique’s recipes are made with fresh, healthy ingredients. These Skinny Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas are naturally sweetened with watermelon juice and a splash of agave. Sliced jalapeños provide a nice kick for a sweet and spicy summer drink.

Margarita gift for neighbors

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • Silver tequila
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Watermelon: pick a nice sweet one
  • Agave nectar: Agave helps to sweeten them up a bit, but feel free to omit if you find your watermelon sweet enough. Agave can be found here or in grocery stores
  • Jalapeño: A few jalapeño slices adds a bit of spice, but you can adjust and/or omit if you’d like.
  • Coarse salt & ice (I like to add Tajin to the rim too)

The instructions allow you to make one drink or a pitcher for 8 servings. See the recipe here.

Cucumber and Watermelon Salad with Hoisin-Lime Dressing

Vietnamese style salad

Here are two salads with completely different flavors. This recipe is a Vietnamese-style salad that makes a refreshing accompaniment to any kind of barbecue meat.  Originally, Cucumber and Watermelon Salad with Hoisin-Lime Dressing,  appeared in Bon Appetit in July 2002 in their Flavors of the World article.

Mint, cilantro, limes, peanuts and Hoisin Sauce

By using 7 simple and fresh ingredients, you can make this simple, yet delicious salad.  Start with cubes of watermelon and English cucumbers. A quick dressing of hoisin sauce and lime juice and top with peanuts, fresh mint and cilantro. You can find hoisin sauce here or in the grocery store’s ethnic aisle.

Avocado, Watermelon & Cucumber Salad

Avocado, cucumber, watermelon ingredients

This weekend I made this other fresh salad, again sourced from Ambitious Kitchen. Drizzle avocado, watermelon and cucumbers with olive oil and lime juice and sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro. This very refreshing salad could not be easier to make and has amazing flavors and textures.

Dressing of lime, olive oil, salt, pepper and cilantro

Isn’t this a visually appealing salad? And it’s healthy too! See recipe here.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho; photo from Taste of Home

My friend, Irma served this at her dinner party and I couldn’t get enough. You can serve this cold soup as a main course or side dish. And this is one recipe that gets even better the next day. See direct link to Taste of Home’s recipe here.

Shrimp, Tomato & Watermelon Salad

From Coastal Living July-August 2008

I am always looking for dinner salads during the summer months. From the July-August issue of Coastal Living, this “ready in 20 minutes” dinner salad is perfect for as a complete meal. Imagine the combination of fresh large shrimp, vine-ripened tomatoes, sweet watermelon, crisp arugula and a dressing of Dijon mustard, Balsamic vinegar, garlic and spices. See recipe here.

Happy Tuesday and I hope this blog post finds you happy and healthy. We are enjoying all the glorious rain we are getting. A side benefit is the cloudy skies are keeping the heat away ~ it is such joyful weather to be having at the end of July.

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National Cherry Day

red pitted cherries
Bowl of pitted cherries

Friday, July 16th is National Cherry Day. Who knew? But one not to miss celebrating any holiday, I am embracing these glorious, ruby red gem in a few different recipes today. There is still time to get your fresh, frozen or canned cherries to whip up one of these easy recipes for your own celebration.

Cherry Options

types of cherries
Cherries are fresh at the market

Right now the grocery stores in my area have fresh cherries from the Pacific Northwest. Safeway, our local grocery store is selling the best cherries ~both red and Rainier (yellowish ones). We prefer to snack on the Rainier cherries and bake with the regular red cherries, but it is of course up to personal taste what you prefer.

If you do not have access to fresh cherries, frozen and canned ones are available. If using canned, I prefer the sweet or tart cherries packed in water vs. the gooey cherry pie filling. In the recipes below, I am using fresh red cherries.

Preparing the Cherries

OXO Cherry Pitter
OXO Cherry Pitter

Before you can use fresh cherries, it is important to remove the pit. This OXO cherry pitter is a handy affordable tool that makes pit removal a breeze. And its plastic guard prevents the juice from spraying on your hands or clothing. There is a small platform where you place the cherry and then you just squeeze the handle. The metal rod pushes the pit out the bottom. Easy peasy. You can find it here. However, whenever pitting cherries, I always wear an apron just in case.

Cherry Berry Skillet Crisp

Fresh berries baked with an oatmeal topping in a skillet
A One skillet recipe

This recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers, Tieghen from Half Baked Harvest. She is an innovative foodie who not only creates delicious recipes, but her pictures are so well done. Since I do not like to share recipes I haven’t personally tried yet, as I am writing this I can smell this skillet crisp baking in the oven. If it tastes as good as it smells, we have a winner.

Buttery Cherry Berry Skillet Crisp by Half Baked Harvest

Chock a block full of cherries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, this recipe is prepared in one oven safe skillet. Here I am using a 10″ cast iron one (see similar one here).

Melt the butter, add the fruit, mix the topping and spread the crumble on top and bake. Wow. So simple! Click here for the recipe.

A Gluten Free Version

Coconut sugar on cherries

Andrea from Design Morsels shares this gluten free individual serving cherry crisp recipe.

Design Morsels gluten-free version

Using almond flour, raw almonds, shredded coconut, coconut sugar and coconut oil, this recipe can be made in 30 minutes or less.

See the recipe here.

Cherry Bourbon Ice Cream

Cherry Bourbon Ice Cream – Yummly

Is there anything better than homemade ice cream on a hot summer’s day? And I’m not sure you can go wrong with cherries and bourbon. Whether you like bourbon or not, this recipe calls for a hint of bourbon with only 1 teaspoon. I am wondering if any more than that would affect the freezing process?

Basil Hayden Kentucky Bourbon
A really good bourbon

I don’t know much about bourbon but I do know this Basil Hayden is a good one.

Homemade ice cream-soften version

With 1 1/2 cups of cherries this is a wonderful combination of vanilla ice cream, fruit and bourbon whiskey. My trusty Cuisinart frozen custard, ice cream and sherbet maker is able to chill this frozen dessert in 20 minutes. It’s a soft version but then you can finish it off in the freezer if you want a harder consistency. Cuisinart ice cream maker here.

Fruit Water

With all the leftover fruit, I am making a large pitcher of fruit water. Strawberries, cherries, cucumbers, and lemon are a few of the things you can add to water for color and flavor. Isn’t it interesting that all the cherries are sinking to the bottom?

Lately, I am not drinking nearly enough water. Ideally, we are supposed to be drinking half our body weight in ounces of water. Especially as we age, being hydrated is VERY important. Who is with me on drinking more water?

Fun Facts about Cherries

Homemade cherry pie for my husband

These facts are from National Today:

  1. The average cherry tree has 7,000 cherries. Cherry trees are so productive, they can yield up to 28 pies.
  2. There are two main types. Cherries are either sweet or tart.
  3. Michigan is the cherry capital. Around 94% of cherries consumed in the U.S. are grown in Michigan.
  4. Pits contain toxins. Don’t chew on cherry pits because they can release toxins.
  5. There are more than 1000 different cherry varieties, sweet and tart combined, but only 20% of them are used for commercial purposes.

Happy Wednesday and Happy National Cherry Day this week. Enjoy the delicious, fresh cherries while they are in season!

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