Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Monday, July 18, 2011


It's cherry season here in Southern Ontario,

so, over the past weekend, 
in honour of the delicious, sweet cherry,

I made Cherry Chutney...

Cherry Chutney
1/2 c dried cherries
1lb pitted fresh cherries
3/4 c brown sugar
1 Granny Smith Apple cored, peeled, chopped
1/2 c chopped onion
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1  Combine all ingredients.
2   Bring to a boil over med/high heat.
3   Reduce to med/low, cook 45-50 minutes, until thickened.
4   Cool 1 hour.
Serve over warm cheese, or with a hearty pate.

and cherry-chocolate brownies...

with cherry-chocolate sauce...

and chocolate-dipped cherries

Cherry-Chocolate Brownies with Cherry-Chocolate Sauce and Chocolate -dipped Cherries

3 oz chocolate , bittersweet (
not unsweetened) or semi-sweet

5 tbsp unsalted butter

3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c dried cherries
1/3 c chocolate chips
1/4 c cherry preserves
powdered sugar

1 Heat oven to 350.
2 Butter 11 x 7 metal baking pan.
3 Stir chocolate and butter in heavy saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.
4 Whisk sugar, eggs and vanilla until blended.
5 Whisk in chocolate mixture.
6 Sift in flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir to blend.
7 Mix in dried cherries, chocolate chips, then preserves.
8 Spread batter in prepared pan.
9 Bake until tester comes out with some moist crumb attached, about 35 mins.
10 Cool completely.

1/3 c cherry preserves
3/4 c whipping cream
8 oz chocolate 
bittersweet (
not unsweetened) or semi-sweet

1 Put preserves in heavy saucepan over medium heat.

2 Add cream and bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat.
3 Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
(Can be made 2 days ahead.  cover and chill.  Re-warm before serving.)

Chocolate-dipped Cherries
6 oz chocolate 
bittersweet (
not unsweetened) or semi-sweet

24 lg fresh cherries, stem attached

1 Line baking sheet with waxed paper
2 Place chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water.
3 Stir until melted and smooth.
4 Remove chocolate from heat.
5 Holding cherry stem, dip cherry halfway into chocolate.  Place on sheet
6 Chill until chocolate is firm.
(Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled)

Cut brownies in pan into squares.
Cut a square diagonally to form two triangles.
Put some warmed sauce on a plate and centre brownie triangles in sauce.
Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with chocolate-dipped cherries.

We have been in cherry-heaven!


  1. Busy girl!

    These recipes look great. The chutney one has caught my eye ~ I like the whole chutney-cheese-cracker combo, but have never actually tried making chutney myself.

  2. It's what happens when you buy that big basket of cherries and there are only two of you in the house!
    The chutney recipe is easy-peasy Trish...and delicious!

  3. All those mouthwatering cherry recipes! The chocolate dipped cherries look yummy! I grew a Morello cherry tree from a pip a few years ago. We bought the cherries from a market stall. I planted the pips and one grew - it's quite a big tree now. The trouble is the birds steal all the cherries just as they're getting ripe!

  4. Cherry Chocolate Brownies? Goodness gracious that sounds wonderful.

  5. Given all the pips I have at the moment Molly...I could plant my own orchard! I should at least give one a go!
    I think we are just about cherried out Olive...well maybe until tomorrow!
    One of the reasons I wanted to move to Niagara on the Lake, were wonderful memories of bringing the girls here when they were little.
    We would spend the entire day in the park, or by the lake, the girls in the wading pool or on the beach. Then, exhausted, we would park the two of them in the back of the car with a basket of warm, freshly picked cherries between them. We would arrive back in Toronto a mere 90 minutes later with two sleeping, cherry-stained, belly-full children in the back seat!

  6. Well, you certainly know how to make a Bear hungry. The BC cherries are just beginning to find their way to River City, and other parts of the Prairies.
    But, if I had the choice, I would never drive back from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto! (Which is why I consider myself a refugee from Toronto.)

  7. I'll put your chutney recipe away for next year. We're always wondering what to do with all our cherries (other than filling our pockets and spitting pips), so I will definitely give it a go in 2012. This year we were inundated, and most were left on the trees (for the birds)!!

    I've noted it down as 'Jacqueline's Cherry Chutters'.

  8. We have to wait until Christmas for cherries,it all sounds wonderful.

  9. Yum. Love the O'Donahue quote, btw.

  10. Thank you Cro...I'm honoured. I'm interested to know how you like it...and how you will adapt it!
    Thankfully Rob-bear...I now make the trip in reverse!
    Of course are in the middle of your winter...something to look forward to however?
    Yes Tess...Johnnie's the best!


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