Celebrating National Cherry Month - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 268889

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating National Cherry Month 
Feb. 28, 2012 8:49 pm 
Updated: Mar. 12, 2012 7:53 pm

Did you know that February is National Cherry Month?  Yeah...neither did I until I checked a calendar of holidays.  I really wonder why it's in February because try as I might, I couldn't find any fresh cherries in the grocery store.  Could it be that we celebrate President's Day in February...which makes us think of George Washington...who couldn't tell a lie...and confessed he chopped down the cherry tree...so someone thought, "Hey, let's celebrate cherries this month!" Or could it be that Valentine's Day is in February...and hearts are red...and cherries are red...and people eat cherry cheesecake on Valentine's Day because they need a red dessert?

Well, whatever the reason, I decided to celebrate National Cherry Month by fixing an entire day's menu revolving around cherries.  For breakfast, I chose Autumn Apple Salad II and cut it down to one serving.  It was a very filling breakfast with mainly apples and vanilla yogurt and just a touch of dried cranberries and cherries. I had never had dried cherries before but discovered they pack a lot of flavor. It only took a few to really taste them in the dish.

For lunch, I fixed California Cherry and Walnut Salad.  It was delicious! Again, I loved the cherries in this salad.  I also used the last of my Ken's Steak House Fat Free Raspberry Pecan Dressing.  It is the best raspberry dressing I have found, but lately, I haven't been able to find it at any of the grocery stores in my area! It is so good, I may be willing to order it and pay for shipping and handling just to get some! I saw a recipe this last week for Red Raspberry Vinaigrette.  I plan to make it later this week using Smucker's Simply Fruit.  When I do, I'll be sure to review it.

For dinner, I put Cherry Pork Chops in the slow cooker early this morning. I used pork steaks instead of pork chops.  It's a very easy recipe...just the cherry pie filling in the bottom with the pork chops on top.  I decided to layer, though, thinking the meat would have more opportunity to soak up all that cherry flavor. Odd thing is I couldn't taste any cherry flavor. The best thing about this recipe is that the meat is super tender.

I also fixed Strawberry Romaine Salad II.  I really liked the salad but didn't care for the dressing.  The dressing is mayo based, sweetened with honey and maraschino cherry juice. It just didn't suit my tastes. I prefer a thinner dressing and probably should have thinned it considerably with some mandarin orange juice.

The last dish I fixed was Rice Stuffing with Apples, Herbs, and Bacon.  The reviews on this recipe range from hate to love.  After reading all of them, I decided to decrease the dried fruits and am glad I did. While I liked the flavor of this dish, I didn't like the fact that it was sticky and mushy.  You can read my review to see all the problems with this dish and how they might be solved.  I doubt I'll ever fix it again since my husband didn't care for it.

I cannot tell a lie...I didn't discover any great recipes today, but I did discover a delicious new dried fruit which I will buy very often now - cherries!

Feb. 29, 2012 6:05 am
Paula, your dishes look so appetizing.l. I love cherries, especially in a salad. Nice Blog!
Feb. 29, 2012 7:34 am
Thanks, Lela. I think my favorite dish was the salad I had for lunch.
Feb. 29, 2012 7:50 am
I agree with you, dried cherries are full of flavor. Costo carries them at a fairly reasonable price. Too bad you didn't find any new favorite recipes. Loved your blog and look forward to your next kitchen adventure.
Feb. 29, 2012 8:10 am
Thanks, Marie. Yeah, this is the first blog I've done where I really didn't like most of the recipes...or at least like them enough to make again :) That salad I had for lunch was a keeper, but that's about it :(
Feb. 29, 2012 10:37 am
Paula everything looks delicious and a great blog! I'm glad to have some feedback on the dried cherries. Every time I'm food shopping in the dried fruit aisle, I pick up the dried cherries and the blueberries and look at them and I wonder if they are worth the price!lol Now, thanks to you, I know a little goes a long way so I'm going to buy some when I'm shopping later today!
Feb. 29, 2012 11:58 am
Shearone, the dried cherries are bigger than dried cranberries, so you could cut them in pieces with scissors to make them spread a little farther.
Feb. 29, 2012 12:00 pm
I made the Red Raspberry Vinaigrette today. I highly recommend it.
Feb. 29, 2012 12:08 pm
I had a small bag of dried cherries in my hand yesterday at the grocery. I have used them in a wonderful short rib recipe and thought they would work with pork. Then I spotted the price and put them back. They were more expensive than the roast!
Feb. 29, 2012 12:13 pm
I love cherries. I just wish I knew where to get cherries that weren't sweetened with sugar before drying! I'm looking forward to having fresh ones in a few months!
Feb. 29, 2012 3:53 pm
Another great blog Paula. You certainly do make some of the most delicious looking food. I will have to try the pork chops and cherry pie filling.
Feb. 29, 2012 7:08 pm
Sueb, I had no idea they were sweetened with sugar before drying! I'm going to go look at the bag right now...and be irritated!
Feb. 29, 2012 7:09 pm
Susie, those pork chops aren't the greatest. Tender, yes! Flavorful? Not so much.
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About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
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