Cherry, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

When it comes to desserts, B is a big fan of anything strawberry-rhubarb related, especially pies, crisps and cobblers. I, on the other hand, are more of  a cookie fan – especially good chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies. Opposites attract? Perhaps (after all, as B says, I have more of a “sweet tooth” and he has a “meat tooth”). But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good crisp every so often.

Since strawberries, cherries and rhubarb are all in season (yay for summertime!) I decided to pair them all together for this recipe. The tanginess of the rhubarb goes great with the sweetness of the cherries and strawberries and the color of the fruit mixed together is simply gorgeous! Confession: I’ve now made a variation on this recipe THREE times this summer. Does that mean I’m now more of a fan of cookies than cobblers/crisps/etc? No … but this IS good! Definitely scroll down below the recipe for some notes to see other ways to make this delicious recipe.

Cherry, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 Tablespoons cold butter, sliced into tabs
  • 2 cups pitted cherries, sliced in half
  • 2 cups strawberries, cut in half (or cut smaller if you have really big berries – I like all my fruit to be about the size of the rhubarb)
  • 2 cups of rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pecans

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
  2. Toss rhubarb, strawberries and cherries with white sugar and spread in baking dish.
  3. Put butter in a food processor along with brown sugar, flour, oats and nuts and pulse until it is completely combined, at least one minute. It will look like a dough and no longer be separate. This is the topping.
  4. Crumble and spread the topping over the fruit and bake about 40-45 minutes or until it just starts to turn brown.

Notes:

  • You can make this with a variety of fruits, just make sure that you have 5-6 cups of fruit total. Got more cherries than strawberries? That’s fine! A cherry rhubarb crisp is delicious on its own. And, cherries and strawberries together work nicely also. If you’re doing more sweeter fruits (like strawberries) than rhubarb, you may want to cut down on the sugar, though.
  • The topping can be made with just walnuts, just pecans or a mixture of both. I prefer a mixture of both or just pecans.
  • For the topping, you must mix it well enough so it forms almost a dough. A few times I’ve made something like this but made the topping more crumb-like and it does not hold up well in baking.
  • What’s the difference between a crumble, crisp and cobbler? Why is this a crisp? Because the topping contains oats! See more, here. #nowyouknow

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like rhubarb?
  • Prefer fruit desserts or chocolate desserts?

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

Chunky Chocolate Cherry Bars

I LOVE chocolate chip cookies, especially blondies. They’re one of my favorite things to bake because they not only taste delicious, but they’re so easy – just pour into a pan and bake!

So when once again Northwest Cherries reached out and asked if I’d like to try some of their cherries, I of course said yes.  I mean, look at these beauties.

This time, I was planning on doctoring up some blondies to include some of their delicious cherries. I used one of my favorite blondie recipes (found here) to come up with a chocolate cherry blondie. Because chocolate and cherries not only look good together – but they taste good, too!

And, I chose today to share these with you. Do you know why? Because it’s National Rainier Cherry Day! Did you know that was a holiday?

That’s right,  July 11 marks National Rainier Cherry Day, commemorating this sweet treat named after Washington state’s famous volcanic peak. Nutrient-rich volcanic soil along with more sunlight in the Northwest creates an optimum growing environment making for high-quality and extra sweet cherries. (So, maybe that’s why when I toss cherry seeds into our garden, they don’t grow into cherry trees?)

To celebrate, I highly suggest you make these. The chocolate + cherry combo is PERFECT.

Chunky Chocolate Cherry Bars

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips – I like to do half chocolate and half white chocolate chunks
  • 1 heaping cup of cherries, pitted and cut in half  – I used this to pit the cherries and it works SO much better than doing it by hand!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 8×8 baking pan with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter. When we first moved into our new home, we didn’t have a microwave, so I had to do this on the stove. Now, it’s even easier because I can do this in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Add brown sugar to butter (if you did this in the microwave, use the same bowl – just add the brown sugar to this bowl!).
  4. Add in egg and vanilla.
  5. Incorporate the flour and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in cherries and chocolate and white chocolate chips/chunks.
  7. Spread mixture into prepared baking pan. I like to set aside a few cherries and chocolate chunks to place on top of the batter because it looks nice 🙂
  8. Place in oven and bake for 32-38 minutes. (Mine were done in 37 minutes)
  9. Let them cool in pan for about 10-15 minutes. Then, let them cool completely outside the pan – I like to let them cool for at least 1 hour.  Cut them up into bars and enjoy!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like the chocolate+cherry combo?
  • What’s your favorite cherry dessert? Least favorite? Believe it or not, I do NOT like cherry pie!

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

Fresh Cherry and Double Chocolate Almond Scones

Do you like fruit? I love fruit. Fresh, juicy fruit is something I crave pretty much year-round. When I was pregnant last year, I couldn’t get enough fruit. And now, FW is a fruit fiend. He’ll eat pretty much any fruit!

This time of year especially, I can’t get enough stone fruit. Nectarines. Peaches. Cherries. So, when Northwest Cherries reached out and asked if I’d like to try some of their cherries, I of course said yes.

The Northwest U.S. is actually known for seven varieties of cherries, including Bing cherries, the most popular cherry in North America, and Rainiers. You can typically spot the sweet cherries by their darker red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.

So, while I’ve been enjoying eating cherries by the handful (and spitting out the seeds … so ladylike), I’ve also been enjoying testing out different recipes using my delicious bounty. In addition to making these cherry pie bars, I have also been dabbling in the scone game (or should I say Game of Scones? #nerdhumor).

These scones are a great way to use some fresh cherries, but also just great in general. The combination of cherry and almond is great, and the dark and white chocolate picks up on the cherries’ sweetness.

The only part about this recipe I don’t like? Chopping and seeding the cherries. But, if you can get past that, then I highly recommend you make these.

Luckily, B decided that he doesn’t mind chopping and seeding cherries, so I see more cherry recipes in my future. If you don’t have yourself a B to chop the cherries, I suggest you wear clothes you don’t care about and be prepared to have deep red cherry hands for a little while!

Fresh Cherry and Double Chocolate Almond Scones

Makes about 12 scones

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups cold butter, sliced into pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup of your favorite chocolate chopped up or chips – I used 1/2 cup semisweet and 1/2 cup of white chocolate chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. Using your fingers or a fork, cut in butter until the batter resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add in coconut milk and almond extract. Combine until batter is wet and sticky.
  4. Fold in cherries and chocolate. Combine with a spatula or spoon until dough is evenly mixed.
  5. Divide dough in half and pat down into two even circles about 1 inch high.  Cut into 6 triangles.
  6. Bake on an oven sheet lined with foil or parchment paper for 12-14 minutes. Enjoy!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite fruit?
  • Do you like fruit desserts?

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

WIAW: Whole Lotta Cherries

YAY for Wednesday! We’re halfway to Friday. That means it’s a good day to share my eats and see what you are all up to and eating as well. I’m BACK finally for What I Ate Wednesday!

The day started with some sweet cherries. Northwest Cherry Growers sent me a lot of cherries to try out last week, and it was great to have some for breakfast (and then again two more times that day …. stay tuned!).

I paired them with a handful of nuts. This photo was taken after I had already eaten a few. 

Lunch was some leftovers from my freezer – and they tasted great! A quinoa, black bean, sweet potato, chicken chorizo, pepper salad. 

Paired with some more fruit – a nectarine. 

In the afternoon, I had some Werthers (not pictured), along with some grapes. 

For dinner, B cooked. We had bought some local sausages at Ohio City Provisions, along with local sauerkraut. Of course, I paired it with more cherries (and grapes). And some bread.

And for dessert? I baked some cherry pie bars on Sunday and we had a few leftover, so B and I enjoyed some. 

And that was it! Yes, I had cherries 3 times in one day. And they were delicious each time 🙂

Some questions for you:

  • Are you loving cherry season like I am?
  • Yikes, just realized how few veggies I had. How much veggies do you eat?

Scenes from a July Weekend in Cleveland 

Wow, the weekend flew by. Guess when your last weekend was 5 days, 2 days seems too fast!

This weekend included some walks,  runs and working on our new house!!! (More to come on that)

Some of the highlights:

Finding these old newspapers. When your house is built in the 1920s, I guess you’ll find some cool things,  including newspapers from the 1950s.

Going for walks with this dude.  I am loving our BOB stroller,  it takes bumpy sidewalks so well!!

There were also sweet cherries this weekend. Northwest Cherry Growers sent me a lot of cherries to try out, and I mean LOTS of cherries. Which meant removing lots of pits and stems. Thankfully B didn’t mind 😁

Walks with Grandma. FW still isn’t walking on his own,  but he’s close. 

Pizza. Yes we have pizza pretty much every weekend.

Runs and hugs with this guy. This photo was taken before I threw my back out, so I don’t know how much running I will be doing this week. 

More cherries. So of course my weekend included some baking. These cherry pie bars didn’t come out looking that great, but they were a great dessert for Sunday dinner with B’s family.

And I still have more cherries left! Any suggestions on what else to bake?

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever thrown out your back? How long did it take to heal?
  •  What should we do with all these cherries?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps.

WIAW: Can’t Get Enough Fruit

I’ve said it before – but I can NOT get enough fruit during this pregnancy. I don’t know why – but it’s what I constantly crave. Yes, there are other cravings, but a big, heaping bowl of juicy fruit salad? OMG I could eat it every day. And you’ll see that in today’s What I Ate Wednesday. I started AND ended my day with fresh fruit. And today featured some amazingly delicious, super sweet Skylar Rae cherries. Which yes, I also started and ended my day with.
Breakfast was one of my favorite yogurts- Siggis! And of course a ginormous bowl of fruit. These cherries are seriously amazing. I’ve never been one to go out of my way to intentionally buy cherries (they’re not my favorite fruit) but I would definitely buy therm again.
20160607_083213
See how pretty they are! Stemilt sent me a package in the mail and I can’t get enough. Here’s what they told me about them: known as Skylar Rae, this is a brand new type of cherry cultivar and one of only three commercial varieties in the world. It is the sweetest cherry on the market, but has such a sad story! After suffering the loss of their infant daughter, the Toftness family – long time Washington State cherry farmers – discovered the never-before-seen cherry on a single tree growing in their orchard. They felt it was a gift from nature meant to honor their beautiful daughter, whom they chose to name the cherry after.
20160608_175554
And some dried cranberries. So special story behind these cranberries.
20160607_085546
Lunch was leftovers. Leftover baked eggplant stacks- they are one of my favorite meatless dishes. And I added a side salad I got from the salad bar.
20160607_124406
And of course some more fruit. A nectarine this time!
20160607_131006
Snacks included some candy (yay! Another pregnancy craving) and mixed nuts.
20160607_145936

20160607_162943
I made dinner for B and me – some deconstructed veggie spring rolls and salmon.

These are the deconstructed spring rolls. It was great to break out my spiralizer!

20160607_175245
And all together.
20160607_184521
For dessert I made some of these black bean chocolate brownie bars. They’re actually breakfast bars but they’re delicious for dessert!
20160607_192337
And surprise, surprise- more fruit. Again- these cherries are SO so good. 20160611_112615

And see- this is how pregnant I am. I don’t often share selfies – especially on WIAW posts – but since I’m talking about preggo cravings ….
20160607_102244

I’d say it was a good, satisfying What I Ate Wednesday. Not bad for a 39 week pregnant chick, huh?

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like cherries? Have you ever had these Skylar Rae cherries?
  • What’s your favorite type of fruit?

Disclaimer: Stemilt sent me some complimentary Skylar Rae cherries, and I loved them. All views are my own. 

Fresh Fork CSA Week Four And An Asian-Inspired Bok Choy Stir Fry {Recipe}

Week Four of Fresh Fork was the first week that did not include any meat. I know, right – that meant tons of even more great greens and other veggies. And cheese! OH cheese. How do I love thee. Anyway, I digress. We picked up Week Four and were greeted with the following:

fresh fork week 4

everything from our bag (minus the camera-shy cherries)

Week 4:

  • 1 dz eggs
  • 1 head large stem bok choy
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce
  • 1 head baby bok choy
  • 1 6 oz piece Charloe cheese
  • 1 lb bag snow peas
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 lb sweet cherries
  • 1 bunch beets with tops
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 2 ct zucchini
  • 1 quart strawberries

This week did the following:

  • Bok choy, baby bok choy, snow peas, broccoli: I made an awesome Asian-inspired stir fry. I had never cooked with bok choy before but was excited to stir fry it with some of the other veggies we had. I’m pretty pleased with the results and am sharing the recipe below.
  • Eggs: Breakfast and baking! I just made some awesome peanut butter cookies that are also blog-worthy.
  • Lettuce: Salads for lunch.
  • Cherries: SO delicious! B isn’t usually a cherry fan and they are not typically my fruit of choice but they were so delicious. I’m sad they are gone.
  • Strawberries: These were pretty ripe when we got them and I knew we wouldn’t be able to finish them AND the cherries right away so I froze them. Can’t wait to decide what to do with those!
  • Spinach: sauteed in a little olive oil and garlic and enjoyed for breakfast with my eggs.
  • Zucchini: TBD. I was going to roast them like last week but haven’t had time – I may just blend them up and save for future zucchini bread baking.

    fresh fork week 4 prepared

    fresh fork week 4 prepared

Yup. That’s it. Nothing else to report on. What’s that? You notice  I missed the beets and you’re you’re dying to know how I prepared them? Don’t worry, I’ll feature them on an upcoming meatless Monday post. And let you know what to do if you also spill them all over your white dress. Not like that has ever happened to me.

asian inspired bok choy stir fry with baby bok choy sugar snap peas and broccoli

Asian-Inspired Bok Choy Stir Fry

 Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (you may need a little more if you have a ton of bok choy like I did)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 Tbs powdered ginger (you could use fresh ginger but I didn’t have any so the spice from my spice rack had to do)
  • 2 large bunches of chopped fresh bok choy – I used all the bok choy we had which was a LOT. One huge bunch bok choy plus a bunch of baby bok choy
  • 1 c chopped broccoli
  • 1 c snow peas
  • 2-3 Tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • Sriracha to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. Chop up bok choy. Not sure how to do this? This is a pretty good video to show you how.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Add broccoli and snow peas and cook 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add bok choy, soy sauce and ginger powder. Bok choy cooks up pretty fast, so keep an eye on it. Recipes I had said it could be done in as little as 5 minutes, but since I had SO much in the pan it took me more like 10 minutes. The bok choy is done when the green parts are dark green and wilted and the stalks are crispy but tender and flavorful.
  6. Add sriracha to taste. I like mine spicy so I added a good drizzle over the top.
this is only like 1/3 of the bok choy we had.

this is only like 1/3 of the bok choy we had.

bok choy stir fry with broccoli and snow peas

bok choy ginger stir fry with broccoli and snow peas .. and sriracha!