June 23, 2017

Strawberry Basil Sodas

Fizzy and floral strawberry basil sodas combine sweet macerated strawberries with fresh basil leaves for a flavorful and refreshing mocktail you’ll want to sip on all Summer long.

Strawberry Basil Sodas via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

The hubby unexpectedly had the morning off from work yesterday, and as if getting the chance to enjoy a leisurely breakfast together wasn’t enough, he offered to take me on a strawberry picking date.

Mere moments after he uttered the words, shoes were on, keys and camera were in hand, and we were headed to Picha Farms, a third generation u-pick berry (and pumpkin) farm, in the farm-dotted countryside about a half hour east of us.

We picked just a few pints worth (this took extreme restraint) of petite scarlet berries, so ripe that by the time we got back home I knew they needed to make their way into a recipe, stat.

Too hot to turn on the oven, I thought the little red beauties, mixed with some sugar, vanilla, and fresh basil from the garden, would make a perfect addition to the sparkling water I drink all Summer long.

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June 21, 2017

Sweet Cherry Almond Tart (gf)

Sweet dark cherries combine with crumbly almond shortbread in this cherry almond tart, for a spectacularly simple and crowd-pleasing Summer dessert.

Sweet Cherry Almond Tart (gf) via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

To celebrate the solstice, and kick off the start of Summer, I made you a sweet cherry almond tart, something sweet to eat while you lap up these extra golden hours of daylight. The sun didn’t set until like nine thirty last night (!) – still haven’t gotten used to that.

Not only has this tart become one of my favorite recipes, but it highlights one of our regional, seasonal specialties: sweet cherries.

Sweet Cherry Almond Tart (gf) via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

Washington growers expect a record sweet cherry crop this year, and as if to prove the point, our farmers markets are even more overflowing than usual with big bins of dark ruby beauties.

I’ve been bringing home about a pound a week, most of them just for snacking, but in the last few weeks, the leftovers have made their way into a cherry pie, spooned atop a chocolate amaretto cake, and swirled with sugar and vanilla to fill this simple and rustic cherry almond tart.

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June 14, 2017

One Bowl Strawberry Banana Muffins

Juicy, fresh berries dot these moist and flavorful strawberry banana muffins, which are topped with a decadent swirl of strawberry jam, a sprinkling of raw sugar, and come together in one bowl!

One Bowl Strawberry Banana Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com | @forkknifeswoon

On Sunday, the hubby and I walked a few blocks over to check out a new farmers market that’s just opened in our neighborhood. We had a patio lunch at a restaurant across the street first, and sitting across from each other in the sunshine, the gulls distantly chattering at the water, soaked up what felt like a perfect lazy Summer afternoon.

Knowing that these days of just the two of us are numbered, with trips to restaurants and farmers markets easy and last minute, made the languid day even sweeter.

At the new market, we picked up a few fresh salsas, some locally raised meat, and a pint of strawberries from a charming older man who assured me they were “very sweet.” I didn’t need much persuading, and half were devoured by dinnertime.

The rest, so ripe they were practically turning to jam right there on the counter, were roughly chopped and made their way into these fruity, flavorful strawberry banana muffins.

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