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Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt | Umami Girl
Oh, did you think I was done posting sour cherry recipes? Just because we’ve talked about little else for weeks? Not quite yet, my friends. First there’s sour cherry frozen yogurt. (Possibly followed by a sour cherry clafoutis, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.) We still have a couple of pounds of sour cherries in the fridge from our picking expedition, and I wanted to put together a simple dessert to cap off our top-notch Independence Day weekend. This frozen yogurt came together in my head — and immediately thereafter in the world — in the time it took us to play half a Scrabble game and then abandon it in favor of dinner.
Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt | Umami GirlMade with fat-free Greek-style yogurt, which is what we usually have on hand for smoothies and eating, this makes a bright and refreshing dessert. You could bulk it up with full-fat yogurt for a creamier experience or even make it vegan using Greek-style yogurt made from coconut. I’ve also noted below that churning is technically optional, though we chose to do it because it’s quick and fun.

Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt | Umami GirlI strongly encourage making this recipe, whether it’s with sour cherries or another summer fruit. Berries or super-ripe chopped peaches would work well. It’s so easy and happy-making that there’s basically no reason not to do it. Let’s leave it there for today. See you soon. 

Carolyn xx
{CLICK FOR THE SOUR CHERRY FROZEN YOGURT RECIPE.}

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Shrewsbury River Sailing Race | Umami GirlOur little neighborhood is really nailing the whole “America!” thing this weekend, so I thought I’d say Happy Independence Day with a few photos from around town. We’re lucky to live between two rivers and an ocean. Up there is the Shrewsbury River, and below is the Navesink. And even though we live on the east coast of the United States, we managed to have a sunset over the Atlantic last night. Somebody pulled out all the stops. I’m not asking too many questions. 

I won’t lie: the video at the end of this post is just 26 seconds of light on the flowers in front of our porch. Nothing else happens. Don’t expect Chuck Norris. But the breeze picks up around second :12, and if things get a little trancelike, I’m not sorry. The world could use more peaceful moments anyway.

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend, or your regular-length one. And don’t forget the drinks. See you soon.

Fair Haven NJ Dock | Umami GirlSea Bright NJ Sunset | Umami GirlSea Bright NJ Sunset | Umami Girl

Sea Bright NJ Sunset | Umami Girl
Carolyn xx

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Sour Cherry French 75 | Umami GirlHappy Friday! Here’s a red, ice and blue cocktail for your July 4th weekend: a Sour Cherry French 75. There’s gin. There’s champagne. And there are sour cherries and sugar, simmered into a ruby-colored, sweet tart syrup. This is my kind of sour cherry recipe, and my kind of cocktail.

The sour cherry syrup, with its bright, tart vibe, works nicely to replace the typical lemon and sugar in a French 75. But don’t stop there. It’s also great in everything from Shirley Temples to Italian sodas. (It’s so like me to drag half of Europe into American Independence Day, but what can I say? I am who I am.)

The syrup is ready in 15 minutes, and you can spend the weekend drizzling it with abandon. Enjoy it. See you soon. 

Sour Cherry French 75 | Umami Girl

Sour Cherry French 75 | Umami Girl

Carolyn xx

{CLICK FOR THE SOUR CHERRY FRENCH 75 RECIPE.}

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Easy Potted Herb Centerpieces | Umami GirlAnd now for something completely different: easy potted herb centerpieces for your next big event. In other words, food on the table that’s not for eating. What? Why?

My first inclination is to feel about this topic the way I used to feel as a kid about erasers that smelled like cupcakes: how DARE you? How dare you make something that seems like food but isn’t allowed to get in my belly. What kind of monster are you, sir or madam?

But sometimes you have to stop and think and remember that: (a) you’re turning 40 in September and (b) honestly, you could probably sneak a little sprig of one of these into your mouth without causing too much of a fuss, depending on the crowd and (c) in any case, these herbs are for eating eventually.

Faux-Weathered Pots for Herb Centerpieces | Umami Girl

My wonderful oldest friend Dina (friendship est. 1983!) got married a few weeks ago — more to come on our trip to Colorado for the wedding one day soon. Even though my live plant record is GRIM at best,  I volunteered to put together the centerpieces for the Not a Shower.

Each table had a cluster of different sized pots, some galvanized metal and some terra cotta sprayed with matte white spray paint to look slightly aged. I filled them with rosemary, thyme, sage, lavender and oregano and put a tea light candle (not pictured) in the smallest galvanized pot. At the end of the party, the guests each took a pot or two home as party favors. I promptly killed mine of course, but the idea is that they could live on as a delicious reminder of the event.

Easy Potted Herb Centerpieces | Umami Girl

How to Get it Done

Here’s all you need to make easy potted herb centerpieces — and trust me, if I can do it, you can do it:

  • Flower pots and saucers ranging from 1″ to 6″ diameter. I got plain terra cotta pots and galvanized pots and buckets all from the A.C. Moore floral section, and they weren’t expensive. Buy enough that there’s one pot for each guest plus a handful of extras. Make sure to think through how many tables there will be and create an interesting looking cluster with varying heights and diameters for each table. I opted to create basically the same arrangement on each table so I didn’t break my brain trying to plan it all, but you don’t have to.
  • 4″ and 6″ potted herbs from the garden center, some of which you’ll keep intact in the larger pots, and some of which you’ll need to split, so think about that when you’re choosing. Varying heights, colors, shapes and general vibes (flowy or pokey?) will make it look interesting, if not amazing.
  • Matte white spray paint, also from A.C. Moore. I used it to put a thin, uneven layer of white here and there on the terra cotta pots. It makes them look vaguely like you’ve aged them in your garden for a month or two. This sounds like more of an ordeal than it is. It took 10 minutes, and the paint dries pretty much instantly.
  • A bag of potting soil
  • Tea light candles

I’m not going to give you step by step instructions, because I don’t know anything about proper plant potting, and you’ll know everything I know just by looking at the photos. Just go nuts, basically. Try to honor your special guest(s) by going exactly as nuts as she or he or they generally do in real life. That’s when you’ll know you’ve nailed it. Or not — I obviously have no idea. Have fun and see you soon.

Carolyn xx

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Battleview Orchards Sour Cherry Picking | Umami GirlEarlier this week we spent a fantastic morning with friends picking sour cherries at Battleview Orchards in Freehold, NJ. Their sour cherry trees are lovely, petite little creatures just perfect for kids to…get all up in. While I was picking in a leisurely fashion, chatting with my friend Rachel, the girls collected 13 pounds of fruit in under 45 minutes. As all fans of pick your own will know, the limiting factor in these expeditions is not the picking itself but the processing at home afterwards, which can be time consuming and, in the case of cherries, a little messy. I’m lucky to have a small, cute team of eager (and these days very capable) cooks and bakers on hand to help. Still, 13 pounds. Blogger that I am, before we’d even left the farm my brain was forming a question that doubles as a post title: What to Do with Sour Cherries (?!?!).

Now that you’re inside my blogger brain, I’ll mention too that this post is jumping the queue because if you need sour cherry recipes, I’m thinking you need them NOW. All right, carry on.
Battleview Orchards Sour Cherry Picking | Umami GirlSour cherries are seriously tart, but the littlest picker and I both really love eating them out of hand. So some small percentage of our haul went straight to our bellies. After that, pie. Obviously. Then some more creative endeavors: sour cherry corn muffins and, in a moment of necessity, sour cherry syrup to be subbed for grenadine in special-occasion Shirley Temples. The good news is that pitted sour cherries freeze beautifully. So not only is there no need for panic, but we’ll get to continue playing with these fleeting beauties in the weeks and months to come. 

Take a scroll through our picking and baking photos, or click here to fast forward to the recipe section.
Battleview Orchards Sour Cherry Picking | Umami GirlBattleview Orchards Sour Cherry Picking | Umami GirlBattleview Orchards Sour Cherry Picking | Umami GirlBattleview Orchards Sour Cherry Picking | Umami GirlBattleview Orchards Sour Cherry Picking | Umami Girl

Domenica Marchetti's Sour Cherry Pie | Umami Girl

Sour Cherry Corn Muffins | Umami Girl-2Sour Cherry Corn Muffins | Umami Girl

Sour Cherry Shirley Temple | Umami Girl

Talk to you soon.

Carolyn xx

{CLICK FOR THE SOUR CHERRY RECIPES.}

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