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Strawberry Shortcake Spectacular

Strawberry shortcake is a traditional favorite for a reason. It’s fresh, easy, and beautiful. But with tradition comes boredom. Strawberry shortcake can seem blah after years of the same old, same old, so here is an updated version of this old stand-by.

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I call it my Strawberry Shortcake Spectacular. It’s not drastically different, but it sure looks that way! First, wash a pint of fresh strawberries and slice them in half.

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Next, cut  an angel food cake into 1-inch cubes. Place one strawberry and one cube of cake on a toothpick, then spiral them on a cake plate, leaving room in the middle for a bowl of whipped cream.

 

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To make the whipped cream, place an empty mixing bowl in the freezer for a few minutes to really chill it.  Then, remove it, place it back on the mixer and add one pint of heavy whipping cream. Whip the cream on high until it is light and fluffy. (It should not be runny, nor too stiff like butter) At the very end, add 2 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar and mix well. Spoon the whipped cream into a small bowl and place it in the center of the cake plate.

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Finally, sprinkle some blueberries around on the cake plate. Then melt ½ cup of chocolate chips, and using a teaspoon, drizzle the chocolate over the entire dessert. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

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Watch out! This dessert will disappear quickly at any summer picnic. You can also use it to add variety to a summer birthday party, or dress up an evening dinner party. Enjoy! I would love to see your pictures of this delightful dessert so be sure to pop on over to my Facebook page and upload a photo of your creation!

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***Variation- If you would like single servings, place a dollop of whipped cream in the bottom of a small dish, then top with a cube of cake, a strawberry, and a few blueberries. Then drizzle with chocolate.

 

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Ridiculously Good Radishes

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I started gardening two years ago, and it has been a really fun family experience ever since. We started growing the basics like tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and cucumbers. Last year we branched out with green beans, lettuce, snow peas, and garlic. So, when I was selecting seeds and planning for this year’s garden, I wanted to expand even farther. While shopping, a pack of radish seeds caught my eye, so I grabbed them and figured, why not?

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Well, I had no idea how fun radishes could be. They were the first little shoots to appear in the garden, and we were so excited to see those peeks of green as a welcome sign of the season to come. I was so surprised to see how quickly those tiny shoots turned into big leafy greens! At that point, being the radish novice that I am, I turned to the internet to find out just when to pick them. I also learned, through my farmer’s market escapades, that the leaves can be eaten, too. In fact, the leaves pack more nutritional punch than the radishes themselves. And, boy are they tasty! I will never discard them again.

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You can imagine our excitement today when we picked our first crop, and they were great. I started simple, with what I knew. I washed the roots and the leaves well, then cut the leaves off and tossed them with some fresh spinach. Then I sliced the radishes and tossed them in as well. Finally, I drizzled the salad with a simple, Italian vinaigrette. It was a great, fresh side salad to compliment tonight’s dinner.

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Radishes will now become a staple in my garden. Let me know in the comments below if you have any creative uses for radishes or the tasty greens.

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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts in a Balsamic Honey Ginger Vinaigrette

4-photo 4‘Tis the season for salad. As the reality sets in that bathing suit, tank top, and shorts weather has arrived, we are all feeling the need to eat a little healthier and we are a bit more body conscious. But one needs to be cautious when eating salads not to fall into” lettuce limbo”, or “dressing death-traps”. This salad is a simple recipe for a well rounded meal, that won’t trick you into five extra pounds.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • ½- ¾ cup of fresh sliced strawberries
  • 20 toasted hazelnuts
  • 1Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. of honey
  • A few shavings of fresh ginger (2-3 swipes across a micro-plane)

 

Preparation:

  1. Toast hazelnuts on the stove top by placing them in a small skillet over medium heat and swirling them in the pan until they start to brown. Keep them moving, otherwise they will burn. Allow them to cool. 5-photo 3
  2. Slice the strawberries.3-photo 5
  3. Mix with the spinach in a bowl.2-spinach
  4. While hazelnuts are cooling, combine the oil, vinegar, honey, & ginger. Whisk until well combined.6-photo 2
  5. Once hazelnuts are cool, toss into the salad with the dressing and enjoy immediately.

Prep time: 8 minutes Serves: 1 Calories: Approx 383

 

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