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Double Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt_a-midsummer-night-dream_Yes,-more-please!

 

“So we grew together like to a double cherry, seeming parted, but yet an union in partition, two lovely berries molded on one stem.”

― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Before the season ends take this stone fruit so plentiful in the summertime and make it delicious and refreshing. I love frozen yogurt in all its rich flavors and smooth texture as my favorite hot weather indulgence to beat to cool off my palate. I often like to go to one of the many frozen yogurt shops and take advantage of the endless number of flavors and toppings. This is the best time of the year to prepare your own and you might be surprised that you just need a freezer and a blender or food processor to make frozen yogurt at home.
Red cherries have a sweet and tart flavor which is intense and works well for a yogurt flavor. By de-stoning several plump fresh cherries you can freeze the fruit and combine it with yogurt frozen in cube form in a blender or food processor to create a soft and creamy rich dessert. To further enhance the flavor, I added a cherry liquor of good pedigree. This becomes even more decadent with …wait for it…. dark chocolate morsels. Sorry for those of you clinging dearly to ‘simple’ because here comes the topping…nothing less than roasted and chopped pistachios. Once these have landed on top of a couple scoops of this romance you will certainly experience nothing short of Cherry Ecstasy followed by perfect summertime bliss.

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt_ingredients

Double Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Serves 4-6 on a midsummer afternoon…

2 cups greek yogurt frozen into ice cubes tray.
1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and frozen.
1/4 cup agave nectar
1-2 ounces LUXARDO Il Maraschino Originale

Toppings:

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks, I used Scharffen Berger Chocolate, Fine Artisan Dark, Baking Chunks, Semisweet
1/4 cup Roasted pistachios

 

Preparation Method:

1. Using an ice cube tray pour the yogurt and freeze. You can do this step one day in advance. During summer time I always have yogurt ice cubes handy to make a quick frozen treat, they are life savers when you are in a snack attack mode! I like to use this rubber ice cube trays they are super easy to pull out.

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt_frozen-yogurtcubes

2. Cut in halves and Pitt the Cherries. If you do not own a cherry pitter I’ve heard good comments on this one, or since you are just pitting a small amount you can use my super easy “clip” method check this out:

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies~Cherry-pitting-technique
3. Once you have every frozen item you need, place the yogurt ice cubes, frozen cherries, agave, and one ounce of the LUXARDO liquor and blend well until smooth. Taste, and if you want to go ahead and add the other ounce of liquor is up to your taste. The Maranchino cherry liquor enhance the cherry flavor with some almond and honey notes, it is the perfect complement to this frozen treat. If you do not care about this liquor, just add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract.

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt_Luxardo-maranchino-liquor_yes,-more-please!

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt_blend

4. Line up a loaf metal pan with parchment paper and poor half of the cherry frozen yogurt, sprinkle some chocolate chunks, cover with the rest of the frozen yogurt. and cover with parchment paper making sure it makes contact with the mixture, to avoid freezer burn.

Double-Cherry-Frozen-Yogurt_steps

5. Place in Freezer for about 2 hours. Serve and sprinkle with some chopped roasted pistachios. Enjoy!

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt-and-Luxardo_yes,-more-please!

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt-summer-dream_Yes,-more-please!

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt-for-two_Yes,-more-please!

A dream for two…

Music Pairing: Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady

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Yogurt Panna Cotta with Pink Grapefruit Cardamom and Pistachios

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta

Citrus Season is here! I’ve been juicing, zesting, squeezing all the magic citrus kingdom; oranges, blood oranges, lemons, limes, mandarins, clementines, and Ooh the pink grapefruits! I love pink grapefruits. My mouth waters just to think of the plump and juicy semi-sweet segments. The aromatic smell and the pink flesh color; I love everything about this juicy citrus. Grapefruit it’s undoubtedly one of my favorite fruits.
I wanted to make a very simple citrus dessert using pink grapefruits, based on what I was craving.
I imagined it to be a creamy and light, but not overly sweet dessert with fresh citrus, loaded floral ,and fragrant notes. Something very light on the palette…What would that be?… Yogurt Panna Cotta with Pink Grapefruit Cardamom and Pistachios.
Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert, which means cooked cream. It sounds fancier that what it is, and is way easier to prepare than what you may think so it can make in a flash. In my recipe I added some cardamom in order to bring some floral notes to the creamy mixture. If you are not to crazy about cardamom you can substitute vanilla bean, lavender or thyme. I wanted to showcase the grapefruit segments, juice, and zest, so I made a light syrup to complement the silky creamy yogurt. For crunch and texture I sprinkled some roasted salted pistachios on top as a final touch.
This Panna Cotta is quite a delicious and dainty dessert. Simple ingredients, about 10-15  minutes of preparation and a few hours in the refrigerator and voilà you have a silky, creamy, aromatic, and light to the palette dessert that will satisfy your citrus cravings. Enjoy!

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta-~-Yes,more-please!

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta~-'what-ever-fits-your-fancy'

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Pink Grapefruit Cardamom and Pistachios

Makes 6 – 8 ½ cup ramekins, molds, 3 oz mason jars, or “whatever suits you fancy”

2 cups Greek yogurt (2%fat is what I used)
½ cup milk
½ cup Heavy Cream (you can substitute for milk if you want a lighter version)
½ cup sugar (you can replace with agave or honey)
6-8 green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fine grapefruit zest
½ cup grapefruit juice
3 teaspoons powder un-flavored gelatine
2-3 medium large PINK grapefruits will yield about 1 cup to 1-1/4 cup grapefruit juice.
¼ cup shelled roasted salted and chopped pistachios.

For the Light syrup:
½ – ¾ cup grapefruit juice
½ cup water
the zest of one grapefruit, long thin curls*
¼ cup agave nectar or sugar.
3-4 green cardamom pods
The segments of 1 whole grapefruit.

Preparing the Grapefruits:

1. Fine zest one grapefruit Long zest one grapefruit.
If you do not have a zester, here is a good one for the fine zest; and for the long thin curls* I recommend this one like in the photo.
2. Juice one or two grapefruits until you have 1-1/4 cup juice.
3. Reserve ½ cup for the  Panna Cotta and  the rest for the syrup.
4. Cut the top and the bottom of one grapefruit. Following the curve of the fruit remove all the skin, leaving no skin in the flesh.
5. With a pairing knife working over a bowl to catch the juices slice in between the sections and carefully remove the grapefruit segments. Set them aside. Squeeze the remaining membrane to get all the juices out.

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta_Zesting,-juicing-the-grapefruit

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta_grapefruit-segments

Preparing the Panna Cotta:

1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, warm the milk, heavy cream, yogurt, sugar, cardamom pods and ground cardamom seeds. Warm up gently until sugar dissolves, and the cardamom seeds release their aroma. About 3-5 minutes. Set a side. Add the fine grapefruit zest to the mixture and stir well.

2. In a little bowl add ½ cup of grapefruit juice and sprinkle the gelatin powder let it bloom. The juice will dissolve all the gelatin granules, absorbing all the juices, it will look like a jelly paste.
This paste will be easier to incorporate to the yogurt mixture.

3. With the help of a spoon, remove the cardamom pods from the yogurt mixture, usually they float to the top so its easy to find them. Add the juice-gelatine paste to the yogurt mixture, making sure there  are no lumps.
4. If you are using individual metal molds*, lightly grease them with some vegetable oil before pouring. Pour Panna Cotta mixture all the way to top and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm but tender and springy to the touch.

*( I love these mini tin plated steel  molds. I can use them for baking tarts and because they are metal they chill faster. Or you could use silicon molds like these which will work like a charm! for easy unmolding)

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta_disolve-gelatin-in-juicePink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta_pouring-into-molds

Preparing the Syrup:

In a medium size pot combine the ¾ cup grapefruit juice, ½ cup water, cardamom pods, grapefruit zest, agave nectar or sugar, whisk until well combined. Bring to a slow simmer and reduce by half.
Remove from heat. Set aside. When the syrup is warm to the touch add the grapefruit segments, and refrigerate. Make sure to bring to room temperature your syrup before serving, it taste better this way.

Yogurt-Panna-Cotta-with-Pink-Grapefruit,-Cardamom-and-Pistachios-Grapefruit-syrup

To Serve:

To un-mold the panna cotta dip the metal molds in warm water for about 1-2 minutes (be careful about not to get water into the mold). Proceed to un-mold the Panna Cotta into an individual serving plate, then turn the mold upside down and tap the back of the mold with a spoon, this will help release the panna cotta. Drizzle the Grapefruit syrup and top it with 1 or 2 grapefruit segments, sprinkle the chopped pistachios. Enjoy.

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta-~Yes-more-please!-ready-to-serve

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta-~yes-more-please-bite!

~Creamy and Silky Grapefruit Yogurt Panna Cotta~

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Yogurt Mini Popsicles

Yogurt Mini Popsicles ~ Yes, more please!

The ultimate Summer treat, yogurt mini popsicles, I have seen the fever of these cuties and I did not imagine why?…Well let me tell you, now that I have made them… I’m crazy for them! It is awesome what 4 ingredients can do for you. Greek yogurt, agave nectar (I substitute agave instead of sugar because its healthier for you and the little ones too), fresh fruit, herbs or spices.

Its so easy to make, you’re gonna laugh about it. You can get creative with the flavors and the creamy yogurt because it is the perfect canvas to showcase any fresh seasonal fruit. I already have a sinful list of the next combinations to try.

This popsicles are creamy and not too sweet, the texture is a little different from store bought. They are a bit more Icy due to the lack of extra fat and overdose of sugar; But thats exactly the kind of ice cream I crave in the summer; light and not too sweet. I combined different herbs with the fruits, lemony thyme with fresh strawberry puree, lavender with Texas peaches and pineapple coconut with rosemary. The combination of fruit and herbs give a little extra flavor.

If you are concerned for your kids or not too crazy about the herbs in your popsicle just omit them. (Ian was not to crazy about me adding rosemary to the pineapple and coconut ones, but he loved the peach and lavender…go figure!).

The other part I love about these mini popsicles is that you don’t have to buy fancy equipment to make them, you can get any small plastic or paper dixie cups and wood sticks. They are the perfect size for a snack or dessert.

Yogurth Mini Popsicles ~ Yes, more Please!Yogurth Mini Popsicles ~ Yes, more Please!

Yogurt Mini Popsicles

Strawberry & Thyme

Makes 6

2 cups of fresh strawberries pureed.
8 tablespoons Honey (agave nectar, sugar or mascabado)
1-½ cup of Greek yogurt plain. I used Fage.
2 sprigs of thyme

Method:

Mix the Greek yogurt and 6 tablespoons of honey. In a blender, puree 2 cups of strawberries and 2 tablespoons of honey.  Remember to taste your fruit first, you might need less or more honey depending on the natural sweetness of the fruit. Place all the dixie cups in a baking pan and start layering the strawberry puree and the yogurt into the cups a little at a time. Do not fill them up to the top; leave a little room like a ¼ of an inch. Place the tray in the freezer. Wait 10-15 minutes and insert the wood sticks. Chill for 3-4 hours for best results.
*aluminum pans are great conductors of temperature so your pops will freeze faster.

Pops_02

Peach and Lavender

Makes 6

2 cups of fresh peaches pureed.
8 tablespoons of Honey (agavenectar, sugar or mascabado)
1 ½ cup of Greek yogurt plain. I used Fage.
½ teaspoon of dry lavender

Method:

Mix the Greek yogurt and 6 tablespoons of honey. In a blender, puree 2 cups of peaches and 2 tablespoons of honey.  Remember to taste your fruit first, you might need less or more honey depending on the natural sweetness of the fruit. Fold the peach puree into the yogurt and sprinkle the dry lavender until well combined. Arrange the thinly sliced peaches into the walls of the dixie cup. Place all the cups in a baking pan and proceed to fill them with the yogurt and peach mixture. Fill them almost to the top, leave a little room (like a ¼ of an inch). Place the tray in the freezer. Wait 10-15 minutes and insert the wood sticks. Chill for 3-4 hours for best results.

Pops_06

PineappleCoconut and Rosemary

Makes 6

2 cups fresh pineapple pureed.
4 tablespoons toasted coconut
8 tablespoons Honey (agave nectar, sugar or mascabado)
1 ½ cup Greek yogurt plain. I used Fage.
1 sprig fresh Rosemary.

Method:

Mix the Greek yogurt and 4 tablespoons of honey. In a blender puree 2 cups of fresh pineapple, 1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, 4 tablespoons of honey.  Remember to taste your fruit first, you might need less or more honey depending on the natural sweetness of the fruit. Fold the pineapple puree and the toasted coconut into the yogurt until well combined. Proceed to fill the dixie cups with the yogurt and pineapple mixture. Fill them almost to the top, leave a little room like a ¼ of an inch. Sprinkle some extra toasted coconut and the sprigs of rosemary. In a 8” round baking pan place all the dixie cups Place the tray in the freezer. Wait 10-15 minutes and insert the wood sticks. Chill for 3-4 hours for best results.

Yogurt-Pops_paletas-de-yogurt_Yes,-more-please!

Yogurt-Pops_Yes,-more-please!

Scrumptious summer treat…

https://youtu.be/jn8EtaxGJP0

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