at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Cooking with Cherries

This past weekend, I got the chance to reconnect with an old friend of mine -- we were best friends when I was in elementary school, living in Texas, but it had been about 10 years since we last saw each other.  She and her husband (who I'd never met) came over for dinner this past weekend (the reason for the blueberry pie), and it was awesome to see her catch up on life.  They were visiting some family in Michigan and had gone cherry picking.  Well, apparently the picked a BOATLOAD of cherries, and they ending up bringing us about 7lbs from their stash!  That's a lot of cherries.  I usually just eat cherries fresh, but there was no way we were going to go through that many just through normal fruit snacking.  So, I started looking up cherry recipes.  I've made a few so far that turned out pretty good!


I tested out a new recipe on my dad last night (paybacks are coming next time I eat at his house!) -- but I actually really liked it.  It was a recipe for Grilled Chicken with Fresh Cherry Salsa.  The recipe combines fresh sweet cherries with red onion, basil, balsamic vinegar and honey.  The recipe also calls for lemon juice, but I didn't have any on hand, so I substituted with a little bit of lime juice.  It sounded like a little bit of an odd assortment of flavors, but it all actually went together really well, and tasted amazing with the grilled chicken.

Grilled Chicken with Cherry Salsa, Pearled Couscous & Vegetable Medley
[basil, peas and chives from the garden]
Tonight, I tried out a couple more cherry recipes, although, these ones I made up myself.  It was a hot summer day, and we weren't in the mood for a heavy dinner.  Tom suggested doing salads.  I had a little bit of lettuce from the store, along with a little bit of lettuce from my garden that hadn't gone bitter yet.  Of course, I decided I had to add cherries to the salad.  I also tossed in a handful of chopped walnuts, and decided to top it with a Cherry Vinaigrette.  It turned out great, and not too sweet.  I hate overly-sweet dressings.  I didn't do any measurements, but here's the basic idea of the recipe.

Very simple, but delcious salad.  I loved the dressing!
Cherry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

6 Sweet Cherries
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Slice and pit cherries, then place in a small food processor.  Add maybe a tablespoon max of balsamic vinegar.  Add enough olive oil to almost cover the cherries.  Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of oregano.  Process on high until all ingredients are well blended.  Add more olive oil if necessary to get to desired consistency.  Serve over mixed greens, with cherries, walnuts and whatever else you feel like tossing in!

I also decided that I wanted to try my hand at a cherry cocktail of sorts, but wasn't really sure what to do.  I ended up combining ideas from a few different recipes.  Here's what I did:

Cherry Gin Fizz

5 Sweet Cherries, sliced and pitted
1 1/2 oz Gin
1 oz Blackberry Brandy
1 oz Orange Liqueur
Club Soda
Mint Sprig

Muddle Cherries in the bottom of a glass.  Add gin, blackberry brandy and orange liqueur. Top with club soda and garnish with a sprig of mint.

I happened to have some breadsticks in the freezer (leftover from my last batch of Pizza Hut style breadsticks -- I was going to link to the recipe, but it looks like the blog was made private. Uh-oh...this could be tragic!).  So, we had a very simple dinner of breadsticks with pizza sauce, plus a salad and a delicious drink.  Perfect for a hot summer evening while watching a couple of episodes of Doctor Who! 

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!