The blog has been a little quiet lately. I have enjoyed my summer vacation and unplugged for a bit. Let me bring you up to speed on what I have been up to and also share with you a Black Cherry Pie recipe (since a lot of my time in Michigan has been spent in the Northern area, I found this recipe fitting).
We packed up the dogs and headed over the Mighty Mac (my first time crossing it) and rented a very cute little cottage near Escanaba in northern Michigan. If you are looking for a simple, this place is it. We enjoyed swinging on the hammock, hikes, nightly bonfires and endless games of rumikube. One huge feature we enjoyed here is the ability to leave all items at ‘home’ and walk into a ‘home’ and start our vacation. That means no linens to take/wash, endless kitchen utensils and no cell phone service/internet. It felt rustic without the phone service, yet the cottage was just what we needed after wrapping up another school year. If you are interested in visiting the Upper Pennisula and crossing the Mighty Mac, I highly recommend renting the little cabin we visited. If you do, please tell James and Jules hello for us!
We then headed a little south to the Traverse City area to enjoy time with friends and family. Needless to say, time was consumed with water sports, the Blue Angels, hikes, conversations, TRX classes and relaxation. I need to give the instructors Liz and Stacy a shout out at Total Results Training…their classes are kick butt! When you think you are going to die…they start jumping around and talking louder allowing you to push deeper and accomplish the goal. Best part of my vacation is staying on track while enjoying endless fun!
Then we headed home for a week, celebrated the baptism of our God Daughter and packed the car up to head to the East Coast. We visited the Cape Cod area. Staying in a cute quiet B&B (fresh served cooked bacon daily) called SeaBreeze. From there we traveled up to Boston and boarded a cruise ship to sail to Bermuda. Bermuda has been on our bucket list, although we have crossed it off the list…we will be back soon! I’ll post about my food sailing experience in another post! All and all, we’ve had an amazing summer vacation which is slowly coming to an end. However, Black Cherry Pie will always have a special spot in my heart and remind me of summer and our trips to Northern Michigan! I hope you enjoy our favorite summer treat!
Place cherries and water in a large pot over medium heat. Cherries will begin to cook down after 10-15 minutes. As the cherries cook down, some will split and become soft and others will keep their shape. Once cherries are very soft, remove from heat.
Add remaining ingredients and mix together, creating the cherry pie filling.
Allow mixture to cool for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour cherry pie filling into the pie crust.
Bake the pie for 25-30 minutes, until pie crust edges are light brown.
This past weekend I visited the farmers market and found two amazing Michigan grown items, strawberries from Green Garden Farms and rhubarb from Scobey’s. Needless to say, as I’m browsing through the farmers market, I am thinking about how this pie was requested by my dad for his birthday. Well, either a strawberry rhubarb pie or a rhubarb custard pie. He never was the cake type, rather a pie/crisp treat type. Today would mark his 69th birthday. Although he may not be here to celebrate in person, his spirit and love for pie has lived on in me! Needless to say, I’ve taken his favorite pie and created a ‘clean’ Paleo version and am celebrating in his honor without him!
Well, it is getting down to crunch time…the big feast will be here is 4 days. Our menu is planned and now it is time to start prepping for the big day. Today I took a few minutes to verify I have all ingredients for my recipes (probably should have done this before going to the grocery store…oh well). I also spend some time in the kitchen cutting up the bread to allow it to dry out for the stuffing. My stuffing recipe is always the same, just going to make it with Legit Bread this year. I also made my apple pie filling and put it in a jar to revisit on Wednesday. All my pies (pecan, apple and coconut cream) will get made Wednesday night when I get home from work.
My apple pie filling is divine and easy to make. The best part is when it is in the refrigerator, the pumpkin pie spice continues to marinate the filling and provides an amazing taste! I would recommend allowing it to flavor for at-least 24 hours, if you need it right away, then add an additional 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. Now, the trick to this recipe is the pears. The pears go mushy, which gives the soft texture while the apples keep their shape, just become soft with a little crunch. This recipe is free from sugar because we are not super sweet fans. If you want to add a little sugar, feel free to add a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey before putting it in the pie shell.
This recipe was created for the person who wants something sweet, does not want to turn on their oven and bake a whole pie or apple crumble. My go-to quick way to satisfy the cooked apple craving is with a pan-fried apple. Now, I have taken a pan-fried, added my favorite granola to make an amazing crumble. So together, this recipe becomes a 10 minute apple crumble. Simple and easy folks is how I do it!
If you have never tried my favorite Paleo Crack from Bubba’s, you are missing out! Now, I may give all the attention to the Paleo Crack, but their Ungranola is amazing too! I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a breakfast cereal person, but this Ungranola is perfect as a crumble topping! If you are interested in trying it, they are giving my lucky readers 10% off until the end of October, just use the code SASSY10. I recommend trying the variety pack and sampling all their amazing items!
Holiday weekends are great for spending a little extra time in the kitchen. I love mornings when I have time to create dishes. Apple pie pancakes are a fall favorite in our house. I find it fitting to make them this weekend for two reasons (1) it’s a holiday weekend and (2) it’s September, which is the month to kick off the opening apple orchards! I love fall for the fresh apples and crispy cool evenings. This weekend marks the kick off for fall. The only sad part about fall is the ending of summer. We have enjoyed our summer and among it, picked up a new addiction…wake surfing. However, every season sport has to come to an end and wake surfing is wrapping up. I’m thinking I’ll put a bow on that activity and unwrap it over Memorial Day weekend next year!!Apple Pie Pancakes
I have taken two of my favorite summer items (blueberries and lemonade) merged them together to create a Blueberry Lemonade Pie. Not only is this pie packed with nutrients from the blueberries, but also from the Vital Proteins gelatin. Gelatin is amazing for our skin, hair and joints. I try to consume some everyday through a powder or directly from my chicken feet bone broth. The important piece to me is knowing where my food comes from. Vital Proteins has great standards and this is important to me!
When creating this dish, you will notice there is no sugar in it. Your lemonade will give your pie some sweet taste. I find often society over sweetens treats and we leave with a ‘sugar buzz’. With this dish, you want tart and sweet to merge to create a settle taste bud delight.
This pie is a great treat for a summer picnic. Guests love the taste and always comment on the texture. I recommend my Blueberry Lemonade Pie for a hot summer day when you do not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen creating a summer dish.