Category Archives: Dessert

Vodka Macerated Cherries

It’s that time of year again where fruit is in season, and a few weeks ago, cherries were on sale at my local market. I’ll be honest and tell you that as I do like cherries, they are not my favorite fruit. I know those folks like my father-in-law who will show up to a picnic with a bag of them and chomp away at them, and I recall my dad sitting around on a couch nibbling on them for some time as well, but me? Well, not so much. I did buy them with the idea that my kids would make an attempt, or better yet, my wife make an attempt at eating them, but a few days later, I still saw the lonely bag of cherries. I ultimately knew that if I was not going to take matters into my hands and do something about the cherries that they would most likely go to waste.

That’s when I remember seeing a show about removing the seeds from the cherries by using a straw. Yes, a straw. I figured what a better way to see if the straw technique actually worked, rather than buy some pitter gadget. The straws worked. That’s when I thought of macerating cherries for the upcoming cocktail season.

Vodka Macerated Cherries

I’ve made macerated cherries in brandy some time ago, and they were awesome, so why not soak them in vodka, right?

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh cherries, pitted, approximately 1 bag
  • Vodka
  • Mason Jar
  • Straw or cherry pitter

How can it get any easier than that right?

Using a straw (I use a metal straw), insert into the center of the cherry, at the stem side, and push the pit through the cherry. Repeat. You can also wear gloves while doing this as the cherry juice stained my hands for a few days. No lie.

How to make vodka macerated cherries

Once the cherries have been pitted, fill them to the top of a mason jar. I used a large mason jar, just because I wanted more cherries. Once filled, pour in your favorite vodka all the way to the top. Seal with the lid, and cover tightly.

Place in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. When you are ready, for some out and enjoy, otherwise serve them in some sparkling water, white soda, or place a couple on a skewer in a great summer time cocktail. Enjoy!

Blueberry and Ginger Pie

So I entered a pie contest this past Fourth of July. If you have known me long enough, you have probably figured out that I am not a baking kind of guy, nor am I one that is big into desserts. However, my kids are all about the desserts, and my daughter in particular is one who is really into fruit, and fruit pies for that matter. So it was last year that we were up at our local festival and that is when I found out there was a pie contest. A friend of ours actually came in first place, and that is what drove me this year to submit one. I’ve really been into blueberries lately and use them quiet extensively when I juice, so I figured that would be my pie, or the base of the pie that I would submit.

As a side note, my pie did not win and I’m fine with that, but what I did notice is that I had a line in front of my pie, full of people just dying to try it. My pie was gone in a matter of seconds. I felt like a winner after all.

This blueberry and ginger pie was so good my daughter asked me to make another one a few days later, and so I did, but taught her how to make it. I was winning again.

Blueberry and Ginger Pie

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pints of fresh blueberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 generous pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp additional sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 pie crusts, store bought or homemade
  • 1 tsp course salt

The great thing about this pie is that it is so simple to prepare. I will also admit that I included a couple of other items in my pie submission and I will keep those a secret until I win next year.

Start by preheating your oven to 385 degrees.

Next, add your cleaned  berries to a large bowl and add in the ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Gently mix to get everything incorporated.

I used frozen pie crusts with my daughter, just thought I would let you know.

How to make blueberry and ginger pie

Take one frozen pie crust, in its pan, and add in the blueberry mixture. Carefully place the other pie crust on top of the blueberry mixture, then using a fork, crimp the edges to seal the pie.

Mix the egg and water in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg wash mixture onto the pie crust. Cut a few slots with a sharp knife on the middle of the pie dough to allow steam to escape.

Sprinkle the course salt and additional sugar on the top of the pie. Place on a baking sheet (as the blueberry mixture will escape), and cook for about 50-60 minutes. Once nice and golden, remove from the baking sheet and place the pie tin onto a plate to let cool.

I like to place my pie into the refrigerator to let cool overnight. Obviously my daughter (and wife) could wait no longer.

When you are ready, slice and serve. The pie just hits the spot. Maybe it is that bit of salt that cuts the sweetness along with the zip from the lemon. Whatever it is, this pie is special, and super delicious, especially on a hot summer day. Enjoy!

Mixed Berry Yogurt Pops

Since January, I have been on a morning juice kick. I love it, to be honest with you, and my morning commute seems a bit incomplete if I go without one. I’m jamming mixed berries, grapefruit, ginger, and spinach and kale into the juicer, and suck it down on the way to work. Let’s just say I feel really good, and have improved energy. With that said, I thought that I would utilize whole berries and make something with my daughter, who by the way not only loves berries but wants to be creative in the kitchen. This is when I thought of making mixed berry yogurt pops. Did I mention she also loves fruit flavored yogurt?

I ordered some Tovolo Groovy Ice Pop Molds not too long ago with anticipation that my kids would love concocting some sort mixture to go in the molds. My daughter was the first to take a go at them (actually I asked if she wanted to help me), and we were both excited for the outcome.

Mixed Berry Yogurt Pops

Got berries, or mixed fruit and yogurt for that matter? Make these. Trust me. You will love them.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (non Greek)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of blackberries
  • ice pop molds

This is way too easy, so enjoy.

Start by adding the sugar, yogurt, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a mixing bowl. Mix to dissolve the sugar.

Add in the berries.

Using a ladle, pour into the molds.

How to make mixed berry yogurt pops

Add the cover to the molds, and carefully place on a flat surface in the freezer. Freeze for 6 hours.

When ready to eat one (or two), remove  a pop from the base, and run the exterior under warm water for about 30 seconds, or until the mixed berry yogurt pop comes out of the mold.

The result is a perfect treat. It’s sweet, it’s sour, and you get great hunks of berry. My daughter only got about half way through hers before she put it back in the freezer, while my wife and I enjoyed one later that night. They were really refreshing, and pretty much good for you to boot. Hope you enjoy!

Mixed Berry Yogurt Pops
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups plain yogurt (non Greek)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup of black berries
  • ice pop molds
Instructions
  1. This is way too easy, so enjoy.
  2. Start by adding the sugar, yogurt, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a mixing bowl. Mix to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Add in the berries.
  4. Using a ladle, pour into the molds.
  5. Add the cover to the molds, and carefully place on a flat surface in the freezer. Freeze for 6 hours.
  6. When ready to eat one (or two), remove a pop from the base, and run the exterior under warm water for about 30 seconds, or until the mixed berry yogurt pop comes out of the mold.
  7. The result is a perfect treat. It’s sweet, it’s sour, and you get great hunks of berry. My daughter only got about half way through hers before she put it back in the freezer, while my wife and I enjoyed one later that night. They were really refreshing, and pretty much good for you to boot. Hope you enjoy!

 

Shamrock Shakes

It was not too long ago where I was driving past a McDonald’s and noticed the sign that Shamrock shakes were there. That just brought back memories of getting that shake around this time of year, in late February and March. The creamy, minty flavor is just hard to beat. Every Sunday when my kids go to Sunday school, they beg, yes beg, for McDonald’s. I typically decline their request, but do give in from time to time, and as I declined their request this week, I was going to offer them something that would I knew would remind them of McDonald’s and make them extremely happy. This is where the shamrock shake came into action.

Shamrock Shake Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of 1% milk
  • 6 cups of vanilla ice cream
  • 1  tsp peppermint extract, use more if you want more peppermint flavor
  • 1 1/2 tsp green food coloring
  • Whipped cream, to your liking

Doesn’t get any easier than that, right?

Add the milk to a blender, then add in your ice cream, peppermint extract, and green food coloring. Blend until smooth.

How to make a shamrock shake

Pour into your serving glass and top with whipped cream. Serve with a straw, and suck away.

My kids loved these shamrock shakes, and they were pretty much identical to those of McDonald’s. So skip the drive through next time and make your own. Your kids will thank you for it. Hope you enjoy.

Shamrock Shakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of 1% milk
  • 6 cups of vanilla ice cream
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract, use more if you want more peppermint flavor
  • 1½ tsp green food coloring
  • Whipped cream, to your liking
Instructions
  1. Add the milk to a blender, then add in your ice cream, peppermint extract, and green food coloring. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into your serving glass and top with whipped cream. Serve with a straw, and suck away.