Virgin Stone Fruit Sangria

Because every pregnant mama deserves a delicious virgin sangria, right?!

A tall, refreshing glass of Virgin Stone Fruit Sangria.

I tell ya, when you’re pregnant, you sure do get some funny cravings. And once you start thinking about something, it’s pretty hard to stop. For example, I’ve been craving doughnuts virtually my entire pregnancy, but have yet to satisfy my craving. I don’t know why I haven’t, maybe because I’m trying to be “healthy”? (Says she who has been baking the likes of cinnamon rolls and Chocolate Cherry Bread basically nonstop.) But perhaps if I DID give in to my craving and just go to Dunkin’ Donuts already, I’d be able to stop thinking about them! Anyone out there  have some insight on this?


But anyhow, one of the other things I’ve been really thinking a lot about in this day of pool parties and beach days is fruity, refreshing sangria. Sure, my Spindrifts and La Croix’s get me through an afternoon lounging in the sun, but sometimes I want something just a little more special (and, let’s be honest, I REALLY miss the wine.)

An overhead shot of two glasses of refreshing Virgin Stone Fruit Sangria, perfect for summer entertaining!

I got this idea for a virgin sangria when I was looking for some glasses of wine to use as props for one of my photo shoots. Since I’ve been on the wagon, the hubs hasn’t been opening too many bottles of wine because he’d then have to drink the whole bottle himself….womp womp. TBH, I’ve been totally okay with this because (a) I would be really bummed if he opened a bottle I really wanted to taste/enjoy with him and (b) that’s basically every bottle of wine we own.

So, in lieu of opening a bottle of wine which I would subsequently get to enjoy no part of, I turned to my refrigerator and realized that the bottle of cherry juice I had stuck in there would look JUST like red wine. And I could drink it up afterwards! This got me thinking, what else could I make that used cherry juice as a red wine substitute? Some sort of fruity sangria was the first thing that came to mind.

On top of the sangria inspiration, my local Trader Joe’s just happens to be popping with just about every type of stone fruit imaginable, and every time I go I just want to eat it all up. I decided a Virgin Stone Fruit Sangria would be the perfect way to satisfy both my wine and stone fruit cravings and, let me tell ya, I’m so pleased with the result!

A big pitcher of Virgin Stone Fruit Sangria is all you need for your next summer get-together.

I used fresh cherries, apricots and plums in my recipe, but you could really substitute any stone fruit that looks or sounds good to you. That’s half the fun!

And aside from the cherry juice I already mentioned, you’ll also want to have ginger beer and club soda on hand. The ginger beer adds a nice zest to the mix, while the club soda adds even more fizz and dilutes the mixture slightly so it’s not overly sweet.

Mix your stone fruit and your liquids together in a big pitcher, let chill for a bit (you definitely want that fruit to marinate!) and, finally, serve over ice in a big wine glass. Your Virgin Stone Fruit Sangria is served, wine headache not included.

This Virgin Stone Fruit Sangria is filled with the season's best fruit with a zesty kick from ginger beer.

A big pitcher of Virgin Stone Fruit Sangria is all you need for your next summer get-together.
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Virgin Stone Fruit Sangria
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

A fun, virgin take on classic sangria, this recipe utilizes fresh cherry juice, zesty ginger beer and summer's best stone fruits for a truly refreshing drink.

Course: Drinks
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • 3 small apricots, sliced
  • 2 plums, sliced
  • 2 cups cherry juice
  • 2 cups ginger beer
  • 2 cups sparkling water or club soda
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.

  2. Serve in wine glasses filled with ice and enjoy!

Virgin Stone Fruit Sangria | CaliGirlCooking.com

Cherry Salsa

My cherry obsession is still going strong…

A bowl of delicious Cherry Salsa just waiting to be eaten with your favorite tortilla chips!

I honestly can’t get enough! Do you ever obsess about a certain produce item coming into season so much that your list of what to do with it is about a mile long? Hi, yea, looking at me right here. This Cherry Salsa is just another in the long list of recipe ideas I’ve been dreaming about since cherries went out of season last year, and I’m so excited about the way it turned out!


I know I’ve been inundating you with the cherry recipes lately, so I can only hope that you’re enjoying these Cherry Bourbon Breezes and this Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini as much as I am. If so, I’m confident that you’ll be totally digging on this Cherry Salsa as well.

It’s an easy recipe, with no cooking involved, that can easily be served up on its own as an appetizer or snack, or as a topping for your favorite barbecued meat (I have some juicy grilled pork chops in mind.) Might I also mention it would be the perfect addition to your Father’s Day menu this weekend?

This Cherry Salsa is the perfect appetizer or snack for any barbecue or family get-together you're having this weekend!

Speaking of, what are your plans for celebrating Dad on Sunday? We’re so lucky that both of our dads live relatively close to each other, so we’re heading up to the Bay Area to spend some quality time with them, and of course to make them some delicious food!

I think some Cherry Salsa might definitely need to make an appearance alongside the tri tip, chicken and sausages we’re already planning on serving. Still need to think of some more sides and dessert though. Any fun suggestions?

As I mentioned above, this Cherry Salsa is a breeze to make, and you can have it ready to serve in under 20 minutes. It involves basically all of the same ingredients as a regular pico de gallo salsa, but subs in fresh, pitted cherries instead of  tomatoes. That’s it! So easy, right?

Fresh cherries, rinsed and ready to be made into delicious Cherry Salsa!

And if you’re looking for another, more traditional salsa to serve alongside (or instead) of this one, be sure to check out my Spicy Homemade Salsa. You could even go with a fancy selection and add this Mango Salsa to the mix! Clearly I’m a salsa-lover and I’m not ashamed to show it.

Even if you have no plans for Father’s Day, this Cherry Salsa needs to make an appearance in your household in the next week. Cherries are at the top of their game right now and you wouldn’t want to miss out on another great opportunity to use them.

An overhead shot of a big bowl of delicious Cherry Salsa.

Happy Monday and I hope your week is made even better with this delicious recipe!

A bowl of delicious Cherry Salsa just waiting to be eaten with your favorite tortilla chips!
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Cherry Salsa

A fun take on everyone's favorite Mexican condiment, this salsa uses the season's best fresh cherries in lieu of tomatoes - a delicious twist!

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Servings: 6 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces fresh red cherries, pitted and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate for a half hour or so for best results. Serve with tortilla chips!

Cherry Salsa | CaliGirlCooking.com

Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini

Because no good barbecue ever started without a delicious appetizer!

A pile of Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini to make for your next get-together.

And one that’s loaded with fresh basil, sweet cherries and creamy ricotta cheese. Yea, I’m pretty sure these Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini are going to be the only appetizer you want to serve at get-togethers for as long as you can get your hands on the fresh cherries that are loading Farmer’s Markets and grocery stores right now.


I warned you on Friday that I’m having a bit of cherry-fever right now, so bear with me as I get just one more cherry-based recipe out of my system. I mean, don’t you want something delicious to snack on while you sip on your equally delicious Cherry Bourbon Breezes this afternoon?

We’re up in Tahoe enjoying one more full day before heading home, and it’s my hubby’s birthday! Big plans for the day include relaxing in the sun, most likely doing some sort of outdoor activity and eating lots and lots of food. I may even need to make a trip to the store so we can whip up some Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini! What are you up to today?

Rows upon rows of delicious Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini, the perfect appetizer for your next get-together.

I hope you have lots of great food on the menu. Having an excuse to get a bunch of friends together and eat all day is one of my favorite things about long weekends. Bonus if you can enjoy some time outdoors while the weather is this beautiful! Is it just me or does getting out in the fresh air and sunshine really do a body good? I think I took it for granted for so long because of the multi-year drought we’d been suffering through in California. We really had no bad weather days, and TBH I was missing it! But that all changed this past year and we’ve gotten quite a bit of rain and crummy weather, which is definitely helping us get out of the drought but also made me appreciate the nice weather more!

So I hope you take your party outside today and whip up some Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini in addition to all of the other delicious things you’ll be making. Because they are too good not to!

I was going back and forth between making a watermelon caprese or cherry salsa, but since I just shared this Spicy Homemade Salsa and I already have this summery Hazelnut Pesto Caprese Couscous in the lineup, I decided to mix it up and make a savory-sweet crostini. After all, handheld foods are the best foods, especially when cooking for a casual crowd!

A beautiful display of Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini, ready to be enjoyed by all of your dinner party guests!

The two very great things about these Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini are that (a) you can prep the time-consuming stuff in advance and (b) once that stuff is prepped the recipe comes together in a flash.

And when I talk about time-consuming…It’s really not that bad folks. All I’m referring to is toasting the crostini and pitting the cherries. We can all handle that, right?

Note: On pitting cherries, you need no fancy equipment whatsoever, just a handy straw! Simply poke the straw through the center of the cherry and the pit should pop right out the other end. Easy!

When I made this recipe, I toasted my crostini first thing in the morning and then went back and added the toppings right before I wanted to serve it. I also made the cherry topping in the morning and stored it in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it.

But can we just talk about this cherry topping for a second? Because I was sort of winging it but am SO happy with the way it turned out. And it’s soooo easy. All it consists of are the cherries, lemon zest, a shallot and balsamic vinegar. Nothing more, nothing less. Now I think that’s something we can all handle, am I right?

A close-up shot of a piece of Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini. You won't be able to stop eating these!

Once you have your toasted crostini and you’re ready to serve, slather each piece with some creamy ricotta and then sprinkle on a light dusting of salt and pepper.

Next, top each crostini with a fairly generous scoop of the cherry topping.

Finally, sprinkle on some chopped fresh basil. All ready to go!

I’m not going to lie, I ate about five of these crostini for lunch when I made them and then proceeded to eat about eight more that night with dinner. I could not stop! I’m pretty sure if you give these a shot you’ll be in the same boat as me, so try your best to share 😉

Rows of Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini ready to be consumed at your next cookout!

I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with fun, food and friends!

Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

With fresh cherries and basil gracing ricotta-smothered bread slices, these fresh, vibrant crostini will help you welcome in summer with ease.

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 16 ounces fresh cherries, pitted and diced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 10 ounces ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Turn the broiler in your oven on high. Cover a cookie sheet or large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and place as many baguette slices as you can on it. Brush each slice (on both sides) with olive oil and place under broiler. Broil on high for 2-4 minutes each side (keep a close eye on them as they can go from perfectly toasted to burnt in a matter of seconds!) then remove and let cool. 

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cherries, shallot, lemon zest and balsamic vinegar. 

  3. Once your crostini are cool, start generously spreading ricotta on each piece, then lightly sprinkle on salt and pepper.

  4. Place a big spoonful (about a tablespoon and a half depending on the size of your slices) of the cherry topping on top of each piece, then sprinkle on the basil. 

Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini | CaliGirlCooking.com