Search Results for strawberries

Dessert Pr0n – Strawberries and Pound Cake

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Peaches and Strawberries

Peaches and Strawberries 2

It’s that time of year again. Palisade peaches are ripe and ready to eat. This year’s crop took a hit with a late snow  in the spring, but still the stores and farm stands are full of them, though probably for a shorter time than previous years. As usual, they are deliciously sweet and juicy.  I don’t necessarily need to do anything special with them – I usually just halve them and eat them with a spoon.

But when you buy a large box of them and you’re not fond of canning, it’s time to get creative. That’s why a few years ago I began to experiment and made two of my favorite things, Peach Chutney and Peach Salsa, the featured recipes tonight.

Now the strawberries…I couldn’t help it, they were sitting there, all red and fragrant, right next to the peaches. I had to buy 3 lbs. As always happens, before I can finish off all of them, they become overripe and then it’s time for this:

Strawberry Bread (recipe here). Quick, easy and oh, so full of strawberry flavor. But before things get that far, I am really enjoying just slicing peaches and strawberries and serving them together, tossed with a touch of sugar.

Back to the peaches. There are quite a few peach on the blog, all of which can be found here.

Three I’d like to highlight are:

Mrs. J Makes a Peach Pie (click here), Kirk Spencer makes Peach Fish (recipe here) and finally, all the way from India, Tes’ Peach Lemonade (click here).

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Mrs. J’s Famous Peach Pie

Tonight, besides asking what’s on your menu for the weekend, I’d also like make a request for some gluten-free recipes. I have a couple of friends who have been asking me for some and while I have a few, my recipe box is limited. If you’d email me (whats4dinnersolutions at live dot com) your recipes or post them in the comments, I’d like to do a future recipe exchange featuring gluten-free ideas. So hit the comments with your favorite peach and strawberry treats and any gluten-free ideas you’d like to share.

And finally, here are tonight’s featured recipes:

Either of these go well with chicken, fish or pork. The chutney goes especially well with grilled pork chops.

Peach Salsa

  • 2 cups diced peeled peaches (2 to 3 peaches)
  • 4 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 medium lime
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely minced hot or mild green chile pepper, or to taste
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • dash ginger
  • dash garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange or pineapple juice
  • dash freshly ground black pepper

Mix together and let meld together for about 30 minutes or more before serving.

Peach Chutney

  • 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp minced fresh
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • salt to taste

small sauce pan

Add all ingredients to sauce pan, heat to boiling – stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, until slightly thickened.

See you next week….


Thursday Recipe Exchange: Strawberries

Photo by JeffreyW

Strawberries won out as our ingredient this week. They looked too good to pass up when I was shopping. And just when did cream get so expensive? I practically had to take out a loan to get a quart. I do love this time of year as the farmer’s market and grocery stores fill up with local fresh vegetables and fruits. With fresh fruit, my first choice it to just eat them. I mean why spoil a perfect fruit? But then it’s time to have some fun with them – cakes, ice cream, cobblers. Tonight’s recipes are all about the strawberries.

Strawberry Bread (recipe found here) became a recipe when I did what I always seem to do during fresh strawberry season, buy too many strawberries. Before I can finish them, they are overripe. The bread is much like banana bread, it does best with very overripe fruit and wow, does it pack a powerful strawberry flavor. And it’s not too sweet because I don’t like to overwhelm the tart goodness of the strawberries.

Tonight’s other treat is a variation on the recipe JeffreyW used in the picture above. I made it yesterday and thought it was the best shortcake I’ve ever made – really light and fluffy.

I’ll be honest, I prefer pre-made sour cream angel food cake with my strawberries. My local grocery bakery has them on sale this time of year, and I can’t make it better. Oh, let’s face it, I’ve never made a successful angel food cake, ever. Sigh. But for a homemade dessert, this shortcake would be my choice. Couldn’t be easier to make and tastes wonderful.

The cake is not terribly sweet which I prefer and I cut down the sugar on the strawberries by 1 tablespoon, because I prefer them tart. I can’t omit the sugar completely because you need sugar to bring the juices out of the berries, essential for strawberry shortcake. So you may want to adjust the sugar up or down according to your preference. Additional sugar in the cake will not affect how it bakes up.

What’s your favorite way to serve strawberries? Has anyone made a real Parisian strawberry tart? And more importantly, what are you weekend food plans?

Strawberry Shortcake

  • 2 pints of strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
  • 5 to 7 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream (you can substitute 3/4 cup milk and 1/3 cup butter)
  • Whipped Cream (recipe below)

2 Mixing bowls

8×8 glass baking dish or baking sheet

Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar (I only used 2 tbsp, see note above) and set aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar (if you want sweeter, add an addition 1 to 2 tbsp sugar), and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. You do not want to over mix this, just until all ingredients are combined, that’s why it’s important to whisk or sift together the dry ingredients. This is going to be a little moister than cookie dough – it does not look at all like cake batter, since it’s more of a biscuit mix. Spoon mixture into an ungreased 8-x8 square pan and pat down either by hand or use a spatula. I used a baking sheet and dropped spoonfuls onto the sheet to make 6 individual cakes. Bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes for cake pan, 10-12 minutes for baking sheet.

Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally.

Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.

I made the whipped cream ahead of time and let it refrigerate so it was nice and cold when served:

Whipped Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled (I chill the cream in a glass mixing bowl, along with the beaters)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest*

Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Fold in sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest*.

*some people really like this, me not so much, I thought it overwhelmed the cream. I’ll omit it next time.

Strawberries and Cream…and a Rainbow

Couldn’t pass up the fresh strawberries today.  Made my own whipped cream because I prefer less sugar than any pre-made stuff.  A cup of whipping cream, 2 tsp sugar and a dash of vanilla.  I got the cream really cold before whipping, but it is so hot here it still didn’t take long for it to soften on the berries.

I’ll update you on my getaway later in the week.  There were some interesting food experiences…and by interesting I don’t necessarily mean good.  I need to get the photos from my friend’s camera first.  Until then, here’s a rainbow from tonight’s evening shower.

Strawberries, Whipped Cream

Oh…and angel food cake.

Yay! Strawberries are in!

Mrs J was kind enough to bring a few quarts of berries home today.  Ran across this recipe for shortcake.  It worked very well indeed.

Strawberries Everywhere!

Strawberries are everywhere.  They are best when sliced, tossed with just a touch of sugar, to bring out the juices, and served with some whipped cream.  You can serve them over angel food cake, ice cream, or stir them into some lemonade.   I love them in my morning cereal and I’ve used them in a tangy salad (especially with fresh spinach).

 A terrific treat is to get two slices of whole wheat bread, spread both slices with crunchy peanut butter and then slice lots of fresh strawberries onto the peanut butter (the peanut butter keeps the bread from getting soggy).  Press the bread together and you have a wonderful peanut butter and fruit sandwich.  You may never use jam again.

 Buy all the strawberries you want, because they’re great fresh, and use them liberally.  And don’t worry about those that become overripe (as always seems to happen before you can use them all), because the following recipe is great for those.  This bread will be gone before you know it, it’s that good.

 Strawberry Bread:

  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup butter
  • 12 oz strawberries, chopped or mashed
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

loaf pan, greased

 Combine dry ingredients. Add eggs, oil, strawberries and pecans. Stir just until all ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes then run knife around edges & remove to cool on wire rack.

This recipe is from What’s 4 Dinner Solutions weekly menus.

Dinner Menu: Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork, Pineapple Slaw and Lemon Tarts

Had company over on Friday and went all out on the menu

On the board:

  1. Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwiches
  2. Pineapple Slaw
  3. Waffle Fries w/special sauce (recipe here)
  4. Spinach Salad
  5. Lemon Tarts

Pulled BBQ Pork

I used the electric pressure cooker for this and it was great. I marinated the pork in apple cider vinegar and adobo seasoning overnight. I browned it in the pressure cooker, than cooked on high for 45 minutes, using the liquid from the marinade and enough water to come up to about 1/2 of the pork loin.

Once it was finished, I released the pressure, shredded the pork, added about 1/2 cup of Baby Rays Sweet and Spicy BBQ sauce and turned on the slow-cooker feature and let it sit uncovered for 2 hours until company arrived.

If you don’t have time for the slow-cooker, turn up the heat and let the liquid reduce by half before adding BBQ sauce.

Serve on toasted rolls with Pineapple Slaw 

Pineapple Slaw (pictured above)

I saw a similar recipe when looking for cooking times for the pork. And it was a great addition to the pulled pork sandwiches.

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (I used green, but you can use red or a Napa)
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, crushed
  • 1/2 apple, shredded
  • 4 green onions chopped (including greens)
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro (opt)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt, pepper and sugar to taste

Mix all ingredients together and let set for at least 2 hours for flavors to meld.

Lemon Tarts

When I was in Paris I was on the hunt for tarts – specifically lemon tarts and strawberry tarts. Strawberries were out of season, so I had to settle for raspberry. The lemon were by far my favorite. They had a shortbread tart (the raspberry ones were pastry) that worked well with the tart lemon filling.

Lemon cream filling

  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, water, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter in the top of a double boiler set over, but not touching, boiling water. Cook, stirring, until thick and creamy, about 5 or 6 minutes.  Cool thoroughly before putting tarts together.

Okay, so all the recipes for lemon filling wanted a double-boiler.  I started with one, but after 5 minutes of stirring and not thickening, I changed over to a saucepan and whisked it for 5 minutes while it boiled and thickened and had no issues with it burning or sticking.  High altitude may have been the reason for my original troubles.  Water boils at a lower temperature here, so the double boiler may not have offered enough heat to thicken the sauce.

Shortbread Tart

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

baking sheet

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in flour and mix well, then knead for 3-5 minutes until dough forms a ball.

Press dough into mini-tart pans. Prick each with a fork . Bake for 15-20 minutes at 300°  Cool thoroughly before assembling tart.

To assemble – add lemon filling to each cooled tart. Top with whipped cream and serve with crushed raspberries.

This made a lot of tarts, so I refrigerated half of everything and I’ll be making more for dinner guests later this week.


Tired of Winter Cooking: Some Fresh Ideas

I’m so very tired of winter cooking. Stews, soups (ok, I’m never really tired of soup), roasted meats and veggies. Time to freshen things up.

But with what? The produce section is often disappointing with flavorless items that haven’t seen the light of day. But there are some bright spots and with those I can wave away the winter cooking blues.

First up: Peppers and onions.

This is the time of year when you can find a variety of sweet peppers in all kinds of colors at a pretty reasonable price. My recipes are usually fairly simple. Heat up olive oil, add thinly sliced onions and peppers, season with a dash of salt and pepper. Sauté until they soften and onion are golden. Remove from heat and now you can cook up any number of things: chicken marinated in lemon juice and pepper, thin beef strips marinated in teriyaki and ponzu sauce, pork medallions marinated in apple juice and a bit of apple cider vinegar. The ideas are endless. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, butter noodles, quinoa…

Or how about Fajitas? That recipe is here.

Next up: Fresh salads.

I found a nice jicama one day and realized I hadn’t made a batch of Jicama Slaw since last summer.  A big bowl of that in the refrigerator to munch on all week really lifted the flavor blahs. You can find the recipe here.

Two other summer favorites that are easy to make mid-winter: Potato Salads (recipes here) and Coleslaw (recipe here).

How about fruits?

Now is the time for Strawberries (recipes here and here)

Blood Oranges (recipes here)


And Grapes – one of my favorite grape recipes is Grapes and Sausagesrecipe here.

That should be enough help you get through a few more weeks of winter while dreaming of the fresh vegetables soon to come from gardens and farm stands.

There will be a puppeh update today or tomorrow. Until then…

House and Garden Update

This little peony is stuck in a dark corner of the yard and I wasn’t sure I was going to save it (I inherited 12 or 13 already) until it opened. It’s too pretty to let go, so I’ll find a good home for it with some more light in the yard.

This week will be one year since my offer was accepted on the house. Since then I have not had a day off. Not only was I busy putting the house in order, but my business exploded and I struggled to keep up. I’ve now hired some awesome help to keep the work load manageable.  And with the help of friends and family, the house is also coming together.

See those 4×4 posts? They were here, cemented in – kind of covered with plants and vines. Once we uncovered them I knew it would be where the vegetable garden could be stationed. Bad Horse built the fence and next week I’m going to the salvage yard to look for a gate.

The backyard is really all that’s left to tune up. Then it will be more normal maintenance efforts – still nothing to be scoffed at – but I’ve been working to make things as low-maintenance as possible. Especially the garden beds.

I pulled out all the plants and the walkway in this corner, in order to add more grass for the dogs (and to ease up the backyard maintenance). Once it’s in, I’ll do the same with the bed to the left of it.

It has left little time for blogging, even though I’ve been cooking up a storm. I love my kitchen, but by the end of the day, I’m toast and there is nothing left so taking photos and blogging recipes has taken a backseat.

The beginnings of my garden. By the end of today, I’ll have the rest planted.

The person who lived here before loved Iris and I have an abundance and lots of different colors. Here are a few of the early blooms:

And poppies, lots of poppies. Still waiting for the red ones to open:

And my first strawberries. The bed is looking good – but in the fall I will move it behind the garden fence. Where it will be safe.

That’s if for today. I’ll keep you posted.