Sweet Solace

I had a very bad week. A job was lost, car parts broke, and one of my favorite plants died from a weird mushroom invasion. I should note that all three of these occurrences actually happened on the same day. And all three were complete shocks. My initial response was to live in a thick haze of mope on the futon. I wasn’t lured by the sunshine, colorful falling leaves, or bike rides. I simply wanted to sit, unbothered, and collect dust. Sounds simple enough, right?

Well, it’s not so simple when you live with a partner whose sweet tooth dominates the entire apartment! Tim graciously demanded a treat nearly every day while I hid my face in books on the oh-so-uncomfortable futon. It wasn’t completely out of greed. Tim knows I love to bake. And once I started, it was hard for me to stop. The baking frenzy helped me forget about my crappy week. Want to know what I made? Here, take a peek (all photo credits go to Tim who insisted on capturing his desserts on camera)!

Chocolate Cream Pie

Cinnamon Rolls

Lemon Layer Cake for my friend Chad’s birthday

Carrot Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

There must be something magical about sweets because I am already starting to feel a bit better and I am no longer on the futon!

Cherry Invasion

Guess what? It’s cherry season in the Pacific Northwest!! Oddly enough, me and the gorgeous cherry never enjoyed one another’s company until a few years ago. I was happy to eat cherry-flavored candy, cherry pies, and cherries in canned fruit cups, but fresh from the tree? No thanks! I thought cherries were too tart. I thought their pits were creepy. Obviously I discovered that those feelings were absolute nonsense. Now I can eat a whole pound of cherries (in one sitting) and happily spit pits across the table, aiming precisely for Tim’s face. You think I’m kidding about that last bit?

Last week Tim and I went to an orchard in Hood River, OR and picked a hefty twenty pounds of cherries. Yipes! Want to know the best part? They were only $1.00 per pound and organic! What an amazing deal. Cherry picking is quite relaxing even when you have to climb a twelve foot ladder into the tippy-tops of trees. I had the advantage of being on the ladder while Tim picked from ground level.

What do you do with twenty pounds of cherries? Well, so far we have dehydrated a bunch, packed some into the freezer, and eaten heaps of them alongside all of our meals. Oh, and I made cherry brownies!

The recipe for these brownies will be in my book. Fudgy, chocolatey, cherry goodness.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy cherries? Do you have recipes you want to share? I still have a huge load in my refrigerator!