Tag Archives: cherries

Cocktails to sip while watching the Tokyo Olympics

If you’re like most of us, you won’t be traveling overseas to watch the Tokyo Olympics. Fortunately, you can toast to your favorite athletes or home town favorites with spirits from around the globe.

Check back daily for the Tokyo Olympics, 2021 Cocktail of the Day

Our first set of cocktails is for team USA with Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whisky, and team Australia with Starward Two-Fold Australian Whisky.

Starward Sweet Cherry Smash


  • 1.5 ounce Starward Two-Fold Australian Whisky
  • 1 ounce Cherry Jam
  • 1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 ounce Soda Water


Combine whisky, jam and lime juice in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice in a stemless wine glass. Top with soda water and garnish with 2 brandy cherries on a skewer and a mint sprig. Enjoy!

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Porch Swing


  • 1/2 ounce Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 ounce Honey
  • 6 ounce Peach Tea


Combine ingredients into a tall glass and stir. Garnish with a slice of peach or lemon wheel.

grab and go cherry hand pies

Summertime means outdoor adventures and outdoor adventures mean quick and go snack ideas. What could be more perfect than a delicious hand pie? Any berry will do, choose your favorite and enjoy!

Note: You can make the dough the day before, wrap and keep chilled.

cherry hand pies

Makes 8 Hand Pies


For the dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, a bit more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Confectioners’ sugar, sugar in the raw or super-fine, for dusting

The Filling

  • 3 cups pitted cherries, chopped, about 1 to 1 1/2 pound whole cherries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Make the dough

Sift together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor or large mixing bowl. Add the butter and shortening and pulse or work together until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Drizzle in 6 tablespoons ice water and pulse or work with your hands until the dough starts coming together.

Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and lightly knead to bring together. Work into a disk, wrap in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

The Filling

Combine the cherries, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the cherries are juicy and the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, 5 more minutes. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the juice into a small bowl; stir in cornstarch until dissolved and pour cornstarch mixture into the saucepan. Continue to simmer, stirring, until very thick, about 6 to 8 more minutes. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the lemon juice and let cool.

While the dough is still chilled, divide into 8 pieces and roll each into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball into a 6 1/2-inch round, using as little flour as possible. Stack the rounds between pieces of parchment paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand 5 minutes. Place 2 tablespoons cherry filling in the center of each round, then fold in half to enclose and crimp the edges to seal, using a fork or fingers.

Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a deep skillet until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360 degrees F. Fry the pies in 2 batches, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Dust with your choice of  sugar.

Enter to win gorgeous embossed rolling pin by Embossed Co.

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Halibut, Cherries and Beer; An Excellent Combination by Ginger Johnson

Ginger Johnson of WEB  Photo:  Judy Pavlik

Ginger Johnson of WEB
Photo: Judy Pavlik

Beer for the Halibut, I say! And what a terrific medium it is – fresh fish – to showcase beer as complement and ingredient.

Since Halibut is a rather hearty white fish it’ll absorb flavors nicely. I’d encourage you to cook down some cherries with a moderate and well balanced brown style beer like Everybody’s Brewing Hoedown Brown. The caramelization as the beer cooks will really make the cherries and the juice they produce sing. Cook it until it’s Photo:  Ginger Johnsonthe consistency and flavor you wish, tossing in more cherries or beer as you go to get it just right. A small teaspoon of brown sugar will amplify the caramelization as well, though add it later in the cooking.

Place the fish in the reduced Brown Cherry sauce and let it simmer on low for a few minutes to give the fish extra opportunity to soak up flavor. Or drizzle the Brown Cherry sauce it on top of the fish, having baked it simply with just a brush of high quality olive oil and one squeeze of lemon juice. You can serve it with fresh steamed artichokes and other vibrantly green early summer vegetables to make for a colorful, flavorful and totally nutritious meal.

Photo:  Ginger JohnsonYum! The flavors of summer keep coming – try this out, pour yourself a fresh beer and enjoy.

Try This Pairing Suggestion: When you get the chance enjoy a refreshing glass of Full Sail’s Chris’s Summer Delight Berliner Weiss. Pair it with full fat Monterrey Jack cheese on simple crackers.

Events: Get on the road and go to the Gorge Blues & Brews Festival in picturesque Stevenson, Washington this weekend. The fest runs Friday night & Saturday with live music and Ginger will take the stage 3 times to edutain about beer. See you there!

When beer people get together, you can rest assured that there will be tasty beer, lively conversation, and terrific relationships built. It makes the endeavor all the better.

If you have questions about the beer industry, food pairings, speaking engagements and events, you can find Ginger at WomenEnjoyingBeer.com or Ginger@WomenEnjoyingBeer.com

Raise a Glass with Ginger; Cherries, Apricots and Beer

P1090790 (2)Repeat after me: Mmmmmmm. Aaaaahhhhhhh. Ooooooooo. 

Cherries and Apricots are great friends of beer. Yes, you heard it here, folks. Fruit is a terrific partner with beer. Beer and fruit share a few characteristics.

  1. As they age the flavors change.
  2. There’s a tremendous variety of both.
  3. As ingredients, beer and fruit have much to offer our taste buds. 

Since I love to cook in general, and with beer in particular, here are a few ideas in using beer as an ingredients with these lovely fruits.

  1. Several Lambic style beers are made with whole fruit or fruit puree. Lindemans, a widely available brand of Lambic beer, offer a range of flavors with which to pair the fruit: tart green apple, succulent peach, and crisp black currant among them. Use both the fruit and matching beer to make cobblers and coffee and breakfast cakes. Substitute thinner liquids for the beer, make a glaze or frosting with beer, and consider simply drizzling beer on top of a fresh baked goodie for a zip of flavor.
  2. P1090784 (2)Apricots have sweetness as well as an acidity that can be complemented well with beer. Choosing a moderate and malt forward beer, such as Ambers and Browns, will yield flavorful results. Pies are an ideal treat to make with beer, both sweet and savory. Use some of your chosen beer in the crust and soak bread for bread pudding in a lush beer. Yum! A porter would be delicious in that bread pudding, adding a totally new layer of flavor. Whipping some fresh cream with a touch of stout is a topper worthy of any chocolate goodies! 

Beer is an exceptional sauce ingredient as well. Cooking beer can and will dramatically change the flavor profile as compared to what the beer tasted like in your glass. Temperature has a major impact on the beer, taste wise and chemically, just as temperature has on fruit. Be mindful of what temperature can do and make notes as you use more beer in your cooking. Recording what you use, what you do, and other ingredients present will help you improve your results and avoid not-so-tasty attempts.

I’ve not exbeerimented much with beer in preserving foods like jams and pickles yet. Nonetheless, as an avid canner and preserver, it’s on my short list! I do know to only use reputable recipes in preserving foods, as you can have serious and deadly consequences unless you’re careful with the science and biology of preserving. And for now, I’ll enjoy the canned and preserved goodies I’ve made, post maturation, with fresh beer and other foods.

P1100379One of the many great things about beer and food together and cooking with beer is that you can then enjoy the beer in the glass and on the plate. It’s a double whammy for your palate. And one I frequently practice solo as well as with family and friends. Moderation is the ultimate principle in all food and beverage consumption.

Since Mom’s day is this weekend, what a perfect reason to put that apron on, get into the kitchen, and whip up a fun and tasty recipe with beer for the Mom in your life.

Shop for fruit to your hearts content, procure the beer you want to try, and lap it all up. Beer and food. Two of my favorite things in life, brought to life to help us celebrate home.

Cheers ~

Events: Seattle Beer Week – save the dates to savor the flavors! May 10 – 19, 2013

Use both the fruit and matching beer to make cobblers and coffee and breakfast cakes. Substitute thinner liquids for the beer, make a glaze or frosting with beer, and consider simply drizzling beer on top of a fresh baked goodie for a zip of flavor.

If you have questions about the beer industry, food pairings, speaking engagements and events, you can find Ginger at WomenEnjoyingBeer.com or Ginger@WomenEnjoyingBeer.com

Author:  Ginger Johnson

Let’s Get Outdoors; Grab n Go Picnic Desserts

Fresh air is calling and ideas have been bubbling and brewing in our heads as we search for the best “grab and go” desserts for your picnic.

Canadian House & Home has a fabulous layered apple dessert that I absolutely adore. The ingredients list is basic and the flavors combine very well.

Apple & Maple Verrine

Apple & Maple Verrine

Ricardo Larrivee’s Apple & Maple Verrine ~ There is a separate recipe for each delicious layer listed here.  

  • Maple Jelly
  • Maple Glazed Apples
  • Crisp
  • Whipped Cream

Head over to Canadian House & Home, browse, poke around a bit and print out this tasty gem.  Full recipe here

Layers of Love Chocolate Brownies

Layers of Love Chocolate Brownies

The next recipe calls my name for sheer volume of chocolate that’s involved.  These will cut, pack and snack well in the great outdoors.

Layers of Love Chocolate Brownies by Very Best Baking is a recipe that was shared by a contestant in 2000, in the Very Best Recipe contest.  The ingredients list includes;  cocoa, white chocolate morsels, semi-sweet chocolate morsels, pecans and caramel.  Follow the link to the full recipe here.

Nature's Menu

Nature’s Menu

Nature’s Fresh & Sweet Bounty

When it comes to the outdoors and “stash and carry” items for munching, sometimes pure simplicity is the only answer.  Grapes, strawberries, cherries, apples, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or cubes of melon.  When you turn to nature for your menu, the possibilities are quick, nutritional and endless.

Decadent & Delicious Chocolate Delights

A cup of hot coffee or a glass of cold milk and a slice of decadent, rich, dark chocolate cake.  I was conversing with friends an evening or two ago and one of them mentioned his love for chocolate cake and a recipe he uses to whip up the perfect piece of heaven.  My mouth began to water and my brain began to bubble.  It has been ages since a really good, made from scratch chocolate cake hit my dessert table.

I have chosen three recipes, three because I could not decide on just one.  To save my waistline from expanding too quickly, I will fight my urge to bake and taste them all at the same time and make one each week for the next three weeks.

The first one is the recipe my friend uses when he bakes up a storm in his kitchen.  it is from Hershey’s Kitchen, and I can’t wait to try it.

Photo:  Hershey's Kitchen

Photo: Hershey’s Kitchen

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake ~ Hershey’s Kitchen This is an excellent and very easy recipe.  The shopping list very basic and you probably already have all the ingredients in you pantry to just whip this little gem right up.  Vegetable oil, water, baking soda, all-purpose flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, milk, salt, Hershey’s cocoa and sugar.  Get the recipe here

Photo: Todd Coleman for Saveur Magazine

Photo: Todd Coleman for Saveur Magazine

Moist Chocolate Cake ~ Saveur Magazine  This second recipe is a bit more involved than the first and is incredibly tempting.  The shopping list, as above, is fairly basic and again, you probably already have all these items in your pantry.  Milk, unsweetened chocolate, flour, salt, baking soda, dark brown sugar, sugar, vegetable shortening, eggs and vanilla extract.  Ingredients for the icing are nearly the same ( I love that by the way, chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. )  Unsweetened chocolate, sugar, milk, light corn syrup, butter, salt and vanilla.  Full recipe here

Photo:  Angie Norwood Browne for Bon Appetit Magazine

Photo: Angie Norwood Browne for Bon Appetit Magazine

Molten Chocolate Cakes with Cherries ~ Bon Appetit  These luscious beauties are for that sweet, romantic after dinner delight for two.  These cakes are fairly involved in their creation and the saving grace is that the sauce and cake batter can be made 1 day ahead, covered separately and chilled.    You may have to venture outside your pantry for your shopping list;   frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, kirsch or regular brandy, cinnamon, unsweetened cocoa powder, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, butter, eggs, all-purpose flour, sugar and fresh mint.  Full recipe here

Remember my motto;  Eat in moderation so you can indulge in Chocolate Moments, guilt free



An award winning cookie without the guilt ~ Definitely one of our favorite things.

Don’t you just love a secret recipe?   Especially those that include Chocolate, Almonds, Cinnamon, Ginger, Sesame, Cherries and Coconut.   Those are just a few of the delicious ingredients in Almondina’s all natural and delicious cookies.

I love a good cookie and when I received an entire box of Almondina Brand Cookies, I couldn’t wait to dive in.   I opened the box, delightfully pulled out the assortment , combed through them trying to decide which package to open first.  My plan was to try a different one each morning with my coffee and share the rest with my family to gain their opinion as well.  My attempt at eating just a couple was unsuccessful.  I couldn’t stop.  I dipped, ate, dipped and ate, until the entire package was gone.  I made the executive decision that my family could wait until the next morning.

These cookies are delicious.  I started with the Cinnaroma and was fairly confident at the time it would be my favorite.     The next morning I opened the Chocolate Dipped and fell in love with the flavors dancing in my mouth.  This cookie is the perfect combination of a delicate chocolate and almond crunch without being too sweet.  I was fairly confident, this would be my favorite.   I went down the list and tried every flavor and each one was absolutely perfect, great flavor, not too sweet and easy on the waistline.  The Gingerspice has chunks of real ginger, which was a delightful surprise.  My favorite as it turned out is the Sesame.

This is a great treat for the entire family, yes, I did finally consent to sharing a few and was very happy to have my children eat an all-natural, delicious cookie, that does not have any cholesterol, added fat, salt or preservatives with only 30 calories.

They are addictive and are a very nice treat after an evening meal paired with coffee, tea or even a dessert wine.

This delicious cookie is available at fine retailers such as:  PCC Naturals, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and many others.  Please see this link for complete distribution and retail locations in your area, as they are available in all 50 states as well as several countries.

Other links for Almondina you may not want to miss

This is one seriously good cookie.

You can find me every day on Facebook.  Pop in every now and then for the weekly list of “our favorites” which features the best of the best that we have found.   I look forward to seeing you there!

Sensual Cocktails

Bitter Crush

Bitter Crush

This time of year, whether it is for Valentine’s Day or just a cozy snuggle session in front of a warm fire with your honey, a good seductive cocktail can really set the mood.  It’s difficult to choose what a “sexy” cocktail would be since we all have an affection for different flavors.  So, I am choosing a few of my favs that I feel fit well into the sensual niche.

Pop on over to Epicurious and be delighted in all you find there.  Seriously, it is an amazing site, you will find something about everything and if you are anything like me, set a time limit so that you will be able to move on to other things today.

Bitter Crush


  • Crushed Ice
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) Aperol
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) white rum
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Garnish: 1 (1 1/2 inch long) lemon twist

Fill an 8 to 10 ounce highball glass with crushed ice.  Stir together Aperol, rum, lemon juice and bitters in a small glass measuring cup.  Add sugar to taste, stirring until sugar is dissolved then pour over ice.

This next one is Cherub’s Cup ~ It is gorgeous and both sweet and dry.

  • 1 part St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 2 parts vodka, citrus vodka or Hendricks Gin
  • 3/4 part fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 shot simple syrup
  • 1 part muddled strawberry
  • top with Brut Rose’ Sparkling Wine
  • strawberry for garnish
  1. Shake and strain over fresh rocks in a collins glass
  2. Top with Brut rose or Brut Champagne
  3. Garnish with a strawberry

What drew me in to this cocktail at first light was the color. A gorgeous cocktail, easy and sensual.

Emeril Lagasse Kir Royale

  • 12 ounces Champagne
  • 2 splashes creme de cassis

Divide the Champagne evenly between 2 flutes.  Slowly add the creme de cassis so that it settles at the bottom of each glass and serve immediately.

I have a fondness for whiskey and cherries so why not mix the two ~ my fav here on the list The Tennessee Cherry Cocktail

  • 6 fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries, pitted, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry infused whiskey or whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa or chocolate coffee syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a 10-12 ounce old fashioned glass, muddle cherries, whiskey, syrup and vanilla with a fork.  Add ice.

As always, I encourage you to poke and prod around on the sites at the links provided.  You will find many other recipes, tips, tricks and cocktails that will want to bookmark for another day.   Come on over and see me on Facebook ~