Tag Archives: strawberries

Strawberry Season

Strawberry season for us in New England is a few weeks away.

There really is something about sitting in a field full of strawberry plants, the sun shining down on your face, the birds singing and the smell of life in the air.

I’ve always loved quiet moments, those moments you smile to yourself because you just know they’re special. Like when the sun shines down at a certain angle and you swear you see angels coming down from heaven.

Or when you smell lilacs in the air or when you hear waves lapping on the shore, those simple pleasures in life that so many of us take for granted.

Do me a favor and go strawberry picking this year. Go when there’s not a lot of people, when your family will have a row to yourselves. Sit or squat down among the berries. Feel the warmth of the sun and listen to the birds up above, watch the wind blow the leaves all around and pick those bright red juicy strawberries.

Maybe try one of these recipes with your bounty:

Strawberry Skillet Cake

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Lemonade

French Strawberry Cake

Jodi xo

 

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Strawberry Skillet Cake

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A beautiful day deserves a beautiful dessert.

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This is Raspberry Skillet Cake‘s half sister.

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Butter and sugar are creamed and strawberries are diced.

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Dry ingredients are added and we have ourselves a cake batter.

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Diced strawberries are folded in.

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The batter is spread into the prepared cast-iron skillet and baked for 35-40 minutes.

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Strawberry Skillet Cake

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10″ cast iron skillet.

Cream butter and sugar with a handheld mixer until pale yellow and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla and strawberry puree. Mix until well incorporated.

Add flour, baking powder and salt to the creamed mixture and mix until well combined.

Fold in strawberries and spread into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack and serve with vanilla ice cream.

4th of July Cake

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Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. A national holiday associated with backyard bbq’s and fireworks. We are expecting rain today and the fireworks aren’t until tomorrow, so we’re celebrating with cake. I just couldn’t have it any other way.

The batter for this cake is the same batter used in my Blueberry Cake Donuts. We are doubling it and baking it in a 9×13 inch pan.

As always, It starts with the dry ingredients. Cold and cubed butter is blended in and the wet ingredients are poured in and mixed until fully incorporated.

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We’re baking for 35-40 minutes and letting it completely cool before adding the finishing touches.

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Fresh blueberries and strawberries make the stars and stripes. I used Cool Whip instead of fresh whipped cream so that it will last longer than a day.

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Happy 4th of July!

Strawberry Pie

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The summer season is upon us. Saturday was the first day of summer and we were enjoying it in the Adirondack mountains, paddling a canoe on a glistening lake while birds sang and grills grilled.

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We enjoyed peaceful mornings cooking over an open flame while the fog took it’s sweet time to lift and the squirrels chided us for being there in the forest.

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Now, we’re back home and back into the swing of things. The sun shines brightly while the clouds float by and at the nearby berry farms, there are strawberries that need to be picked. Isn’t June just a charming month?

Have you ever gone strawberry picking? It is a work out. A squat work out that is definitely worth it.

So what of the multitude of possibilities should we make with these beautiful bright red berries? That is the question. Let’s let pie be the answer. Pie could be the answer to a lot of questions.

We’re making a lattice top strawberry pie. It’s going to be juicy and tart and bubbly and hopefully delicious. (shhh…I’ve never made a strawberry pie let alone eaten one).

We must start with the berries of course. They should be washed thoroughly with the tops cut off. Let’s slice them in half.

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This pie needs a crust. Let’s go with my basic pie crust here.  We’ll need a lemon, of course.

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The zest and juice of one lemon should suffice. Let’s add it to some sugar and a bit of corn starch to thicken the filling.

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Once the berries are added, let’s mix until every last berry is coated.

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We will let the berries sit while we roll out our pie dough. I love pie dough.

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For the top half of our dough we’ll cut it into ten strips about 3/4 of an inch thick and drape them into a lovely lattice.

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A bit of cream patted over top with a sprinkling of sugar should produce a pleasingly crunchy texture with a nice golden hue.

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That’s the ticket. Golden and juicy and gorgeously red.

Strawberry Pie

recipe adapted from savour

  • 2 crust pie dough
  • 6 cups strawberries, halved
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • juice and zest of one medium sized lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425F. Combine strawberries with the 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice and vanilla extract. Mix until strawberries are fully coated. Roll out one half of dough and place into a 9 inch pie plate. Pour strawberry filling in. Roll out second half of dough and cut into ten 3/4 inch strips. Place strips over pie in a lattice pattern. Brush  heavy cream over top and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. Cover edges with foil if it begins to brown too much. Let cool and slice. Enjoy :)

After careful consideration, we’ve come to the conclusion that in our opinions this pie comes in last. We prefer an apple pie, a blueberry pie or a cherry pie. But if you love strawberries, you’ll enjoy this beauty. Now go make a pie!

 

 

Strawberry Lemonade

The sun shone through the window in the early morning hours suggesting the possibilities of the day.  The lake was calling.

After gathering towels and a beach blanket we were out the door and on our way. After a few hours we found ourselves back home, preparing for a trip to the orchard.

Blueberries are now in season and picking them has become a 4th of July tradition for us. We sit in the shade of blueberry bushes while picking the plump and juicy berries.

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Five pounds of blueberries and a pint of strawberries later, we were home and in need of a fresh cold drink. That’s where lemons came into the picture.

Lemonade of any variety is a nice homemade treat and very easy to tackle.

Strawberry Lemonade

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

These two ingredients are combined to create a simple syrup. Cook together on medium heat until all of sugar has dissolved. Let cool.

  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup water

Combine these two ingredients in a blender until completely pureed.

  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4-6 lemons)
  • 3 cups water

Combine the cooled simple syrup, strawberry mixture, lemon juice and water in a pitcher with lots of ice.

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Enjoy :)

Berry Crisp

berry crisp

This berry crisp is a “put things into perspective” kind of crisp. It’s sweet and crunchy and full of summertime flavor. The strawberries give it the sweetness that blueberries alone just can’t lend.

For seven years, each summer, I have admitted to myself that I want to go home. Each year it is a relief to say it out loud. But then reality sets in. We are settled and stable. We have great jobs. We own a house here. The schools are great. But…I miss my family. I miss the crystal clear lakes and the ever flowing rivers. I miss the majestic mountains. I miss the quiet and serene forest of white birches and ancient oaks. Heck, I even miss the black flies. Ok. No, I don’t miss them.

Anyway, this crisp takes me to that place. It takes me home, the home in my heart, that is there no matter where I physically am. Enjoy this crisp with your family, with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Start with the berries. I used half strawberries and half blueberries. You could throw in some blackberries or raspberries too.

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The fresh berries are coated with sugar, cornstarch, salt and a tablespoon of lemon juice. That is all there is to the filling. It sits in a 8 inch dish waiting to be covered with the oat and almond topping.

The blanket for these berries is a mixture of flour, oats, chopped almonds, brown sugar, butter, a bit of baking powder and pinch of salt.

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The butter and brown sugar are creamed with a fork. The flour, oat and almond mixture gets incorporated using your fingertips.

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Evenly top the berries with the crumbly bits.

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Bake until bubbly and let cool on a wire rack.

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The finished crisp will fill your house with the tantalizing scent of summer.

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Berry Crisp

Filling

  • 3 cups berries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice

Topping

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tbs. butter, softened

Bake at 375F for 50-60 minutes.

Enjoy :)

TWD- French Strawberry Cake

For years, I have been perusing food blogs for recipes, cooking tips and techniques. I have come across the symbol (TWD) on many occasions. It stands for Tuesday’s with Dorie. Dorie Greenspan is the author of 10 cookbooks and has won numerous awards. Tuesday’s with Dorie is an online baking club that originally baked it’s way through her book, Baking from My Home to Yours. They are now onto another one of her cookbooks, Baking with Julia. I have always admired Julia Child. She would roll with the punches and she always had a smile on her face.

I love the idea of baking the same recipe as hundreds of others and seeing how they all pan out. Each month, two recipes are nominated and chosen. The rules are simple; you have to own the book, conquer at least one of the recipes per month and have a blog of which to post your quest.

My first recipe from this extraordinary book is the French Strawberry Cake. It is a genoise cake, which is like the French version of sponge cake. I must admit, my first attempt at genoise was not very successful. The cake did not rise properly. The leavening for this cake is in the form of whipped eggs. The recipe calls for whipping the eggs until they are airy, pale and tripled in volume, taking 4-5 minutes. I whipped and I whipped and I whipped, for 20 minutes! I’m not sure if my eggs weren’t quite warm enough or if I just had faulty eggs but it still tasted divine.

We went strawberry picking last weekend and got just under 4 lbs of strawberries.

As I said, the cake didn’t rise properly…I think it should have been double the height.

But the strawberries were delicious. After thinly slicing, they were mascerated with sugar and then mashed to use for the filling of the cake.

 The final result was beautiful and tasted very fresh. Believe it or not, this was the first time that I had made whipped cream from scratch. It was sooo good.

 

The recipe for French Strawberry Cake can be found at this week’s host blogs: Sophia’s Sweets  and Allison of Sleep Love Think Dine.

I am looking forward to all the wonderful recipes that I will be baking alongside a bunch of talented people. Check back for other Tuesday’s with Dorie recipes.

Dan’s Fans

I have been living one state over from one of my cousins for the past six years and yet, I have only seen her once or twice during this time. In a month she is moving to the west coast. It was decided that we had to get together before she moves. We are only a year apart in age and as with most cousins, I feel that we have a connection that is stronger than even friendship.

When I was nine years old, I had the privilege of traveling to Yellowstone National Park with her and my uncle and aunt. The trip of course was amazing and unforgettable, but more than seeing the incredible wildlife and the mind-boggling geothermal features, getting to be a part of such a loving and devoted family for that short amount of time was what stuck with me through the years.

I recently sent a letter to my aunt sincerely thanking her for including me; it opened my eyes to the wonders of the world and helped to make me who I am today. I only wish I had come to this realization years earlier. My uncle, whom everyone in our family greatly admired and looked up to, was taken from us far too early. Nine years ago he lost the battle with brain cancer.

In honor of him, my cousin and I, plus my husband and my boy will be walking a 5K to raise money for the National Brain Tumor Society this Saturday. As of today, the one day event has already raised $416,069 for research funding.

In addition to visiting with my cousin before she leaves, we will be paying tribute to my uncle, her Dad. I like to think that he would be very proud of the women that we have become.

Since we will be leaving the house by 5am the morning of the event, I figured I should make something easy for us to eat in the car. I thought about making the Peanut Energy Bars but I wanted something with fresh fruit. I found a recipe for Strawberry Breakfast Bars. The original recipe can be found here.

Strawberry Breakfast Bars

(Adapted from mommiecooks.com)

3/4 cups crushed up cereal (I had Honey Bunches of Oats on hand)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed

2 cups strawberries

1/4 cup water

1/4 honey

2 Tbs flour + 1 Tbs cold water

Place the strawberries in a pan with water and honey. Bring to a bowl. Puree in a blender. Return to pot and add the flour mixture. Let boil for a minute or two until it thickens. Remove from heat and refridgerate until cool.

                                               

Combine all the dry ingredients and mix. Add vanilla and cut in the butter until crumbly. Press half of this mixture into a greased 8×8 baking pan. Pour the cooled strawberry mixture over top. Add the remainder of the crumb mixture and press down slightly.

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.