cherry basil infused water

I try to drink a good amount of water each day, some days are better than others. Infusing water with natural flavors elevates it to a refreshing and pretty beverage.

On days I am home, I make a large pitcher and drink it all day. On days I am out of the house, I bring a large jar or bottle with me. My standard add ins are lemon or whatever citrus I have on hand, or mint. In the summertime especially, mint is cooling.

In class last month, one thing all us students looked forward to was the water of the day. Each day a new flavor was infused into our water pitchers, usually from fresh herbs.

One of my favorites from class was fresh basil – it brings great flavor to a glass of water!

Today I discovered that basil and cherries pair well together – the pitcher of water we are enjoying today includes chiffonaded basil and frozen cherries. Being frozen, the cherries cool the water while the basil flavors it.

Today’s motivation to drink water? A cherry snack at the end!



cherry limeade popsicles

Homemade popsicles always leave me nostalgic for the summers of childhood – waking early to get outside as soon as possible. Wearing my swimsuit under my clothes, ready for the impromptu pool party, slip and slide or sprinkler run. Walking hot dusty miles into town with my best friend, buying candy and gum at the mini market and sneaking in the Ramada Inn pool on the other side of the highway.

Coming home and selecting a popsicle – wrapping hands around the mould to release the pop (I still do this today!). Back then, my favorite was grape, made with grape juice. Sometimes I would try to mimic the pudding pop, using chocolate milk with extra chocolate.

But back then we didn’t have a cherry tree in the yard. Also, none of my childhood pops were spiked.

Today I have a popsicle that can go boozy or not – these are cherry lime drop popsicles with the addition of vodka. You have a simple cherry limeade popsicle if you omit the vodka.  If you want to do that.

I did, because as my friend Heather says, a nice cool treat is perfect after a morning run. A day might be more interesting when it begins with a post run lime drop, but I don’t need to be doing that. At least not during the week.

I may have made a second batch especially for the weekend…

cherry limeade popsicles

makes 6 pops in this size mould, plus a glass of limeade to enjoy while they freeze!

2 oranges, peel and pith removed
3 limes, peel and pith removed
5-7 fresh cherries, plus 3-4 to float in each popsicle
2 tablespoons agave
splash club soda or water

In high speed blender, combine oranges, limes, cherries, agave and water, blend until smooth.

Add 1 ounce vodka to make cherry lime drop popsicles – mark them so you know which is which! 



cherry vanilla ice cream

Are you tired of the Summer of Cherries yet?

I hope not, because I’m just getting warmed up. (A favorite Al Pacino line… extra points if you know it.)

I am really digging the cherry tree in our yard. Even standing at the counter pitting each and every one, that has become sort of relaxing. I have cherries in my freezer, in my dehydrator, in all kinds of recipes lately.

This one is simple, sweet and satisfying on a hot day.

Hoo Haah.

cherry vanilla ice cream

dairy, egg and gluten free, vegan

4 cups fresh cherries, pitted
1/4 cup almond milk (vanilla)

1 cup coconut milk (canned)
1/4 cup agave
2 tablespoons cream cheese (Tofutti)
1 tablespoon vanilla paste

In high powered blender, combine cherries and almond milk until smooth. Continue to blend and add coconut milk, agave, cream cheese and vanilla. Transfer to ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer directions. 

I’m just getting warmed up.


Cherry Cheesecake Popsicles with Shortbread Crumb

Cherry Cheesecake Popsicles with Shortbread Crumb – tangy and sweet flavors combine for a perfect cheesecake popsicle, dipped into a crunchy shortbread crumb!

Cherry Cheesecake Popsicles with Shortcake Crumb

So Halloween is coming up. Soon.

I know, it’s summertime and this weirdo spabettie is already thinking about fall? Only for costume planning purposes, I promise. I am savoring the summertime days to their maximum potential, I truly am. I am not trying to will it away or make autumn arrive quicker. However, I do know a good costume requires some thought and time. and possible drawer slides.

Before October arrives this year, I will have to find old Halloween costume photos to share with you all.

Cherry Cheesecake Popsicles with Shortcake Crumb

Many years ago, I dressed up as Mia Wallace, which was a two part costume. For the first half of the night, I had my …

Read More »

cherry ginger coconut quinoa

I know this sounds totally guuh (because it is), but I cannot stand our dishwasher.

The actual washer itself is just fine, it’s the baskets inside, both the upper and lower. I think they were designed by someone whose entire dish collection is shot glasses and teacup saucers. Our normal sized (not gargantuan) dinner plates do not fit. Weird.

Also, the design is frustrating – I am one who likes to be efficient when it comes to dishwasher loading (read: cram as much in there as possible), and these baskets are anything but efficient. They have weird shapes and barriers and movable walls.

Jason recently said a new dishwasher is “obviously at the top of our list” of renovation projects… but the fact that we just bought a house has made me a (heat) miser*, because I tell him no, I will just see if I can find new baskets for it. It works perfectly fine, and I actually really like the options it has and how quiet it is.

Besides, the top of my list is expanding the kitchen island.

*There is a heat miser setting on my dish washer – that is a positive.

My new favorite quinoa? Served on salad sized plates. Totally works here.

cherry ginger coconut quinoa

dairy and gluten free, vegan

serves two

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 inch ginger, peeled and minced fine
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
pinch salt
1 cup fresh cherries, halved
(handful) raw cashews, chopped 

In saucepan, combine quinoa, coconut milk, ginger, rice vinegar and salt, bring to boil then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, just until liquid is absorbed. Fold in cherries, serve and garnish with cashews. Enjoy warm or cold.

…and because I can never leave well enough alone – if the cherries aren’t sweet enough:

make gif

The spicy ginger and the fragrant rice vinegar bring a savory flavor to a creamy coconut comfort, and the bites of sweet are like a cherry on top. The cashew was a last minute addition for crunch, and it totally works here.

Melted dark chocolate was a perfect afternoon snack topper. Totally works here.


Cherry Sorbet Champagne Floats

Cherry Sorbet Champagne Floats

Cherry Sorbet Champagne Floats – a fresh and fruity cool summertime refreshment! Perfectly sweet cherry sorbet is elevated to a great thing with champagne!


One of the first things I made with our cherry haul was …

Read More »

dark chocolate cherry galette

This is the first installment of Spabettie’s Summer of Cherriessimilar to Summer of George in no way at all.

Yesterday my new cherry pitter was my friend all afternoon. My hands are all red. I ate too many cherries. I still have two huge bowls in my fridge.

I made a batch of my easy gluten free and vegan pie crust, which then turned into individual galettes filled with a simple mixture of cherries and dark chocolate.

Every time I make this pie crust, I wonder why I was so intimidated by it. Really, it is easy if you have a little patience and trust that it will come together. It not only comes together, but it is a terrifically flaky pie crust that you would not guess is vegan or gluten free. Honestly.

What I have learned is to chill it, then work with it quickly right out of the fridge – have your fillings ready to go, so the dough does not dry out too much. If it does dry out, simply form a ball again (wet your hands to add moisture) and roll out again.

dark chocolate cherry galette

dairy, egg and gluten free, vegan

makes four individual galettes

40-50 fresh cherries, pitted
1/3 cup sugar, divided
juice of 1 lime
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 pie crust recipe (see below)
1/4 cup olive oil 

Combine cherries with 2 tablespoons sugar and juice, stir until sugar is dissolved. Divide cherries and chocolate among 4 pies, arrange in the center of each pie (see directions below), leaving an inch border. Fold the border of crust up around filling, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 350 for 27-32 minutes (check at 27).

easy gluten free and vegan pie crust

dairy, egg and gluten free, vegan

makes 4 individual galettes (or one single crust pie)

1 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup all purpose flour (gluten free)
1/2 cup cold butter (Earth Balance – not soy free)
1/4 – 1/2 cup cold water*

Combine flours and butter with dough cutter or fork. Add water gradually* – start with 1/4 cup and add by tablespoon after that until dough is forms. Knead and form a ball, wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Divide into four equal pieces and roll into small circles. Arrange on baking sheet lined in parchment or silpat.

Ahem. That last photo up there? Is what happens when you break off a tiny piece of the crust to “sample”. You tell yourself you’ll cover it with ice cream in photos. That crust sample is good. You have another. Then another piece comes off, and it has cherry juice and a smudge of chocolate on it. Soon you are thinking “there will be way too much ice cream in this photo to look normal” and end up eating the whole thing.

That was the last photo I took and it was so worth it.