Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

North Fork 2013

Monday, July 8th, 2013

We went to Long Island to visit one of my very favorite people and her two boys. For someone I met on the internet, she sure doesn’t seem like a crazy person. Unless you mean crazy-awesome. Her whole family is crazy-awesome, in fact, including an awesome boyfriend who read approximately one zillion bedtime stories to the kids.

We went to celebrate JD turning four with a super hero birthday party Kim threw together entirely on her own while also working full time. I mean, my parties ARE my full time job when I’m planning, and they still don’t go as smoothly as her’s. She’s basically Superwoman (which made the theme even more appropriate).

Party Photos:

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Then on Sunday we had a super leisurely day that involved Evan taking a nap in the stroller (!!!!!!) and me buying $17 worth of pickles. And also strawberries. And also a giant bread ring stuffed with pepperoni. And that was just the farmer’s market in the morning.

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I’ve gone to visit Kim on Long Island a few times now, and every time I drove through the North Fork from the ferry I thought “Man, this place is GORGEOUS. One day I’m going to come back and just drive around.” Since Kim and the boys had plans in the afternoon the kids and I left around 2, which gave us plenty of time for just driving around. Thanks to some directions from Kim’s mom and some really good luck (plus ignoring my GPS’s insistence I stay on the main road) we found plenty to occupy ourselves. A farm stand with fresh snap peas, blueberries AND a playground is basically their idea of heaven.

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Twins! Even when they’re eating.

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Apologies for all the blueberry pictures, they were so gorgeous.

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And then we caught a 6 pm ferry home. It was a super fantastic weekend. I love summer.

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How To Make Sorbet Out Of Juice

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

For Christmas, my uncle always sends me a really generous Williams-Sonoma gift card. It takes me WEEKS to decide what to buy with it, since Williams-Sonoma is pretty much my favorite store on the planet. Sometimes I blow the whole thing on something huge, like my KitchenAid mixer and sometimes I break it up into a bunch of small but useful things, like the year I got a strawberry huller and some treats and some spatulas and the best kitchen tool ever. This past year I split it between a grill tray and an ice cream maker – the Cuisinart Stainless-Steel 2 Quart Ice Cream Maker to be exact (Five stars! Highly recommend!)

And then I let it sit in my basement for 5 months, waiting for ice cream weather. Once the warm weather arrived, I spent hours online looking for the best, most delicious, most complicated ice cream and gelato and frozen yogurt and sorbet recipes. But in the end, it turns out EASY and ON-HAND beats fanciest every time so I’ve perfected a recipe for turning whatever-the-heck you have in your fridge into delicious, refreshing sorbet.

how to make sorbet out of juice

When I say juice, I literally mean any kind of juice. Grape, pineapple, cherry, whatever. You could make carrot sorbet if you wanted to, although that’s not really my cup of tea. TEA is more like my cup of tea, since the Sweet Tea Sorbet I made barely got photographed before I shoved it all into my face.

Here are a few of the kinds I made in the past week:

orange mango tango sorbet

Newman's Own Orange Mango Tango Juice

pink grapefruit sorbet

Stop & Shop Ruby Red Grapefruit 100% Juice

V8 Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry Juice

V8 Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry Juice (hidden veggies!)

Market Pantry (Target) Sweet Tea

Market Pantry (Target) Sweet Tea

Welch's White Grape Peach Mango

Welch's White Grape Peach Mango Juice

Are you ready for the recipe yet? Gentlemen, start your ice cream makers!


1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest

Put the water and the sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is all dissolved, then simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer syrup to a container and refrigerate until cold*. Zest a lemon – use a vegetable peeler if you don’t have a zester and chop up the zest a little. Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze out all the juice. Add the lemon juice and zest to your syrup. Once everything is cold, pour the syrup/lemon mix and the 1 1/2 cups juice into your ice cream maker**. Following your machine’s instructions, let it churn until it’s frozen (mine takes about 25 minutes). Eat as is – it will be a little soft – or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for a couple hours until it’s more like store-bought sorbet. SO GOOD. Don’t forget to put your ice cream maker bowl back in the freezer to make more tomorrow.

*Look, you just made simple syrup! You can make it in larger batches using the same 1/1 sugar/water ratio and keep it on hand for more sorbet or other delicious things like a blueberry gin gimlet or sparkling lemonade.

**This is SO SUPER EASY with an ice cream maker, but if you don’t have one you can just pour everything into a large flat baking dish. Put it in the freezer and let it freeze, scraping the top occasionally to make it fluffier. The end result will be a little icier than with the ice cream maker but it’s still delicious! If you want a softer finished product (like a Rita’s Water Ice) pulse it in a blender or food processor for a few seconds after it’s frozen. Eat immediately and enjoy!

I’ve practically broken my arm patting myself on the back for this recipe. I love the fact that I can make any possible flavor of sorbet with minimal effort. I love the little bits of lemon zest to even out the sweetness. I love that it’s fat free. And I love that I can bribe my kids to do pretty much anything for a spoonful – and they have no idea it’s practically the same juice they can get any old time.

Suggestions and variations:
If you don’t like lemon, use some other citrus. If you don’t like citrus, leave it out.
If you want a less-sweet sorbet, use 1/2 cup simple syrup and 1/2 cup water.
If you don’t have juice, use pureed fruit and/or squeeze your own.
Top with fresh or frozen berries (duh).
Blend it with tequila or rum for a delicious frozen drink.

p.s. After my super home-made food photography shoot on Saturday, I had three adorable little dishes of sorbet just sitting on my counter melting. Obviously I had to fix that problem immediately.

Get in my belly! The blueberry-white grape was especially delicious together.

Sour Cherry Pie

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Sour cherry pie is one of the very easiest yet most delicious kinds of pie. The only problem is you need sour cherries. My mother-in-law grows and cans her own, and I’ve been lucky enough to receive several jars over the past few years. But since there is NO WAY I am giving up my stash, you’ll have to track some down yourself. I know Oregon Fruit has tart cherries, so check with their other fruit at your grocery store (or order them from Amazon).

quart mason jar of cherries

Once you have the cherries in your hot little hands, this recipe is easy as…well, you know.

lattice top sour cherry pie

Sour Cherry Pie


2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
5-6 tablespoons ice cold water

Throw the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Toss in the shortening too and then mash it up with a fork until it’s in little pieces. Don’t mix it TOO well, since the little pieces of shortening in the crust is what makes it flaky. Add cold water about a tablespoon at a time until the dough is sticky enough to hold together. Do most of your mixing with the fork but make sure you test it by squishing it together with your hands or you’ll end up adding too much water. Separate the dough into to balls. Roll it out one ball, press into a 9 inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Roll out the second ball and cut into 8-10 1/4 inch wide strips.


3 1/2 – 4 cups canned tart cherries (approx. 1 quart)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tablespoon corn starch

Drain the cherries but save 1 cup of the juice. Combine juice, sugar, extract and corn starch in a small sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens. Pour cherries into the prepared crust and then pour the juice mixture over it. Use the strips of crust to make a lattice top, weaving them over and under. Pinch the edges together all the way around.

Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes or until filling it bubbly and the crust is lightly browned.

lattice top sour cherry pie

I SUPPOSE you could also use store bought crust to make this even easier, if you hated deliciousness. And America.

Eat and enjoy!

The Groovy Smoothie

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, but all opinions and photos are my own. You know, in case you thought McDonald’s had stock photos of my kids. #CBias

We obviously watch too much Fresh Beat Band in our house, because every time I told Evan we were going to get lunch and a smoothie he said “Kiki Shout smoothies?” Unfortunately for him, the only smoothie place I know of around here is McDonald’s and while it’s still pretty groovy, no one broke into song or choreographed a dance for us while we were there. Bummer. (more…)