Tag Archives: cherry preserves

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts

2016.  Many people found 2016 to be a rough year, but I’m thankful that I seem to have emerged reasonably unscathed.  I feel really accomplished because I successfully blogged consistently for a second straight year.  I started this blog way back in 2009 (!) but I only buckled down and got serious with this site in 2015.  I have worked so hard and am proud of how far I’ve come.  My writing, recipe developing and photography skills have all improved and I continue to trouble shoot my own self-hosted website.  Social media is a whole other beast that I’ve had to conquer and continually battle, but I actually find that aspect of blogging really interesting, I just wish there were more hours in a day! When I looked at my analytics for the year, I was happy to see that they have all increased since 2015. I’m so grateful for new and old readers who dropped by my site this year, it’s a daunting web out there with so many blogs and social media avenues, I’m amazed and happy to see when one of my posts does well. These  2016 top food, travel and horror movie posts were the ones all of you kind and inquisitive folk enjoyed the most. 

My top post of 2016 continues to be my review of Gordon Ramsay’s Sticky Toffee and Chocolate Pudding, a post from my first year of blogging. I decided to reshoot this recipe because I cringe when I look back at my first attempt at food photos! I’m hoping my new and improved dairy free version of his sticky toffee pudding does just as well this year.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Gordon Ramsay's Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

Gordon Ramsay’s Dairy Free Sticky Toffee Pudding

I was happy to see these new recipes in the top three food posts for the year:

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

This year my friend and I expanded our canning repertoire and picked our own cherries. Many hours later we had an array of canned cherry products. I was really please with how these cherry coffee preserves turned out, and I was inspired to pair them with goat cheese on top of a crispy crostini. The result was a delightful bittersweet, creamy, crunchy bite, and made for a festive appetizer over the holidays.

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins

I had been wanting to develop this recipe for awhile, as I loved the flavour combination of tart apple and sweet cornmeal. I still had some apples leftover from apple picking in the fall, so I was happy to finally make these muffins. Packed full of fresh, juicy apples, they made for a tasty high fiber breakfast or a yummy, healthy dessert.

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Sweet Potato Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato Squash Soup

I love incorporating my Japanese culture into my recipes, and this soup was a perfect example. I wanted to change up the usual butternut squash soup, so I added hints of sesame and topped the soup off with some nori. I also used miso instead of cream which made it lactose-intolerant-friendly for my boyfriend. A creamy, hearty soup that was really popular over the holidays.

As for travel, my big blog project this year was posting my two-week trip to Turkey. These posts took a really long time to put together as I diligently compiled all my thoughts and notes from diaries and photo logs. Many posts from this series did well throughout the year, though it made me sad to reminisce about this amazing trip with all the political turmoil this country has been through recently. I feel lucky we were able to travel to Turkey when we did, as we probably wouldn’t be advised to go there during these unstable times.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Turkey in Two Weeks

How We Toured Turkey in Two Weeks

Speaking of Turkey, my top horror movie post was also Turkish, a hellishly creepy movie called “Baskin”.  I loved the surreal imagery in this film and the political analogies that are implied in regards to police brutality in Turkey. If you like H.P Lovecraft mixed with Dario Argento then this movie is for you!

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts "Baskin" Property of Film Colony, Mo Film, XYZ Films

“Baskin” Property of Film Colony, Mo Film, XYZ Films

I reviewed this film as part of my “Dinner and A Movie” category and paired this movie with a Turkish breakfast. My boyfriend and I still have a Turkish breakfast every weekend; a little part of Turkey that we brought home with us.

2016 Top Food, Travel and Horror Movie Posts Homemade Turkish breakfast

Homemade Turkish breakfast

So there they are!  My 2016 top food, travel and horror movie posts.  Thank you for visiting and hope to see you in 2017!

What were your top posts of 2016?  Did you accomplish your blogging goals?

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

My best friend and I wanted to can as many fruit as we could this year and so far we’ve tackled strawberries, and now, cherries.  We planned a whole slew of recipes for the pounds of cherries that we picked including sour and sweet cherry jam, sour cherry jelly, rosemary pickled cherries, bourbon soaked cherries and finally – these tart cherry coffee preserves.  7 hours of pitting and canning later…we had ourselves a whole stack of freshly canned cherries!

Sampling all the different cherry products we made was very interesting, and determining which ones worked better with sweet versus sour cherries.  I preferred the jams and preserves we made using the sour ones.  They balanced out the sugar better and gave the flavour more dimension compared to the one note sweetness from the sweet cherries.

This preserve recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens Canning Late Summer 2015 edition magazine.  The one small change I made was to double the amount of coffee beans, as the coffee flavour compliments the cherries so nicely I wanted to highlight the bitter flavour a bit more. The coffee beans also helped to bring out the tartness of the cherries, making for a lovely, syrupy-but-not-too-sweet preserves.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with these delicious preserves at first, but inspired by the usual pairing of bread, cheese and jam on a charcuterie board, I decided to make some crostini.  I wanted to keep the crostini light and simple, so I picked up a baguette and some goat cheese from  my local bakery.  The crunchy baguette and creamy goat cheese held up nicely with the rich cherry preserves, making for a delightful summer appetizer, or a festive party dish come the holiday season!


Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Preserves should be made a day in advance so that they have time to cool.
Servings 6 half pints of preserves
Calories 67 kcal


For the cherry preserves

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cherry juice you will have enough juice after pitting your cherries
  • 1/2 cup strong whole coffee beans
  • 6 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 cups fresh pitted sour cherries, quartered
  • 1 6- oz package 2 foil packages liquid fruit pectin

For the crostini

  • 1 fresh baguette
  • 76 grams goat cheese
  • olive oil - for brushing
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the cherry preserves

  1. In a small saucepan bring cherry juice to boiling. Add coffee beans. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand for 30 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving juice. Discard coffee beans.
  2. In a 6 to 8 quart heavy pot combine the reserved cherry juice, the sugar and cherries. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in pectin. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon.
  3. Ladle hot preserves into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rim, place lids on jars and screw on bands until they are just tightened.
  4. Process jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.

For the crostini:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice baguette diagonally into half inch slices and brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange baguette slices on a large rimmed baking sheets. Bake 8 minutes, flip crostini and bake 8 minutes more.
  4. Let cool before topping with goat cheese and a spoonful of cherry preserves.
  5. Serve with some Campari for a truly delicious starter.

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini

Cherry Coffee Preserve Goat Cheese Crostini