Here are a few things that I love about life…
I love that in life, as long as you are seeking, that it will never stop surprising you. Even when you think you have seen everything and have done everything there is so much more to know and understand about the things you thought you knew. A beautiful flower has the capability of creating a space for a spiritual experience. Take this lavender as an example. Lavender is without a doubt my most favorite fragrance and flower. I think the simplicity of this flower in terms of its shape, its color, and natural look is breath-taking. The best part of lavender is the smell. How could something be of this earth has a smell the way lavender does? The smell of Lavena takes me to another place between space and time. As my lungs are filled with its beautiful fragrance I am filled with equal amount of joy. I love how life provides opportunities for someone to experience joy in the most simplest forms that creates a huge space for enlightenment.
That is another reason I love food. I don’t just love food for the taste, the smell, or the fulfillment itself. I love food for what it does to people and how, just like that lavender, it provides a space for enlightenment, knowledge, laughter, and healing. When people eat wonderful and delicious food it tickles their soul. It provides a blanket of comfort and wraps itself around that person and soothes any issues, cares, or worries that a person has in their world. That is why I am a food blogger. I feel in the center core of my heart it is part of my job to bring people together around good food to bring healing and enlightenment. That is why I love this photo of this Cherry Crostata. It is a perfect picture of life at the table, if you will.
I feel that this photo tells a story or sets up a scene of comfort, love, and deliciousness. It reminds me of my grandma. On the weekends that I’d spend the night over how she would have the kitchen table filled with pancakes, eggs, sausage, orange juice, coffee, and potatoes with gospel playing in the background. As I am typing, I can see that table with the food and me sitting across from my grandmother drinking hot tea that I pretended was coffee and reading the comic section of the newspaper. We would talk about what we were going to do for the day and what old movies I wanted to watch. There was laughter and an opportunity that allowed my grandparents and I to build a strong family relationship. The catalyst for this opportunity was food. Food created the dynamic where I can reach into my mind and pull out this memory that honors my grandmother and become embraced by the same emotions that filled me that day.
I want you to make good food. I want you to make food that will create memories and send people’s taste buds over the moon and back again. This Crostada will not only make you happy, but it is super easy and perfect to make as a summer dessert to follow a delicious meal. I can see a bunch of memories being created from this dish. That is my challenge to you as you are reading this blog entry. Pour love into your food and create an environment where you food will trigger smiles, bursts of laughter, and spirited conversations. We don’t have to eat just to nurture our bodies, let’s eat to nurture our spirits.
- 1 lb. frozen sour cherries
- 1 c. water
- ½ c. sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- 1 tbsp. corn starch
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1 Puff Pastry Sheet
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- ¼ c. roasted almonds, crush
- In a medium sized saucepan, add the sour cherries, water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks and turn on low to medium heat. Allow to Simmer for 10-15 minutes and turn the heat down to low.
- In a small ramekin add the cornstarch and water and stir until the cornstarch dissolves. Pour the cornstarch liquid in with the cherries and stir. The cherries will thicken. Allow to simmer for another 5 minutes and remove from heat and allow the cherries to completely cool. Add both extracts, stir, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.
- Take the puff pastry sheet and lay out on a floured surface. Roll the puff pastry out to 9X13 rectangle as much as possible. Don't roll out the pastry too thin. Take the puff pasty and place it on top of a baking sheet that has been sprayed with baking spray or lined with parchment paper.
- Using a slotted spoon, spoon the cherry filling in the middle of the puff pastry. Don't pour in all of the juices, just some. Now, twist and wrap the outer edges of the puff pastry around the cherry filling making the dough look twisted.
- Brush the outer layers with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar, and sprinkle the almonds on top and throughout the crostata. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until puff pastry is golden and crisp around the edges. Allow to cool before serving.