Archive for July, 2011

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Strawberry Shortcakes

July 24, 2011

Finding time to sit down and add some strawberry recipes hasn’t been easy lately. Between the garden, a baby ‘on the move’ and having the flu I haven’t had much ambition but have no fear; I’m on the mend, my house is babyproofed and my husband is a garden/housework superstar!!! I was hoping to have this posted before strawberry season is over and I think I’m just making the cut. Today is my favorite Strawberry Shortcake recipe and later in the week, strawberry popsicles!

Strawberry Shortcakes

This is adapted from another one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes. I LOVE it!!!!! The biscuits are delicious, just the right amount of sweet!

FOR THE SHORTCAKES:

  • 325g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, frozen (1 stick + 1tbsp.)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 quart of strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Few drops balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup prepared whipped cream

 METHOD: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl. Grate the butter into these dry ingredients and use your fingertips to finish crumbling  it  into the flour. Whisk the egg into the cream, and pour into the flour mixture a little at a time, using a fork to mix.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll gently to a thickness of about 2cm. Dip the cutter in flour and cut out as many rounds as you can. Work the scraps back into a dough, re-roll and finish cutting out. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the egg white, and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. If it helps with the rest of your cooking, or life in general, you can cover and refrigerate them now for up to 2 hours.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown, and let them cool for a short while on a wire rack. Meanwhile, crush half the strawberries with the spoonful of sugar and the few drops of balsamic vinegar and halve or quarter the remaining strawberries, depending on their size.
  5. The shortcakes should be eaten while still warm, so split each one across the middle and cover with a spoonful of the crushed strawberry mixture, a few halved or quartered strawberries, then dollop some whipped cream on top.

Sorry for not including a photo; they’re just so good they didn’t stick around long enough to snap one!<!–

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52 Weeks of Happiness: Week 9

July 19, 2011
Happiness is teeth… beautiful, lovely, wonderful baby teeth!!! Thomas went from 1 to 6 teeth in a matter of 3 weeks. He wasn’t quite himself but certainly wasn’t cranky, I am very thankful for that!! He needed a little extra love but what mom minds having some extra cuddle time with her very busy baby?!
 
 
 Not only do those little pearly whites make me happy but that fact that he loves to sit and look at the pictures and flip the pages of storybooks while playing is also pretty fabulous.
 
 
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Salads for your steak

July 15, 2011

As soon as the snow melts it’s time to pull out the BBQ!! I don’t eat a lot of meat, I just don’t like the taste of it, and I really don’t like the smell of it, it grosses me out… so the BBQ is the perfect solution… no meaty mess or smell!!  Brad is BBQ’er extraordinaire so this works out perfectly!! There are many sides I make to go with our BBQ’s, usually steamed veggies or salad.  A good garden salad is my favorite, but I also love broccoli and potato salad. I’ve tried lots of different recipes and these are my favorite.

Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad

 This is adapted from my grandmothers recipe. It’s simple and delicious! Be careful about the dressing, I find you don’t need to use it all. I mix it in a mason jar and save the extras for another day. Also, the longer the salad sits dressed the better it tastes but leave the cashews out until just before you serve.

½ c. raisins

½ c. cashew, chopped (if you don’t have cashew’s walnuts taste great as well)

1 c. green (or red) grapes, halved

½ a medium red onion, chopped very finely

½ bunch broccoli, chopped

½ bunch cauliflower, chopped

Optional: 8 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled

Dressing: (can be made ahead)

3/4 c. mayonnaise, 2 tbsp. sugar & 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar. Mix and refrigerate.

Potato Salad

This recipe came from the Williams & Sonoma ‘Potatoes’  cookbook. Below is the recipe from the cookbook but I have changed it. I don’t like tarragon so I use 1 ½ tbsp. dill, 1½ tbsp. basil and ½ tbsp. fresh parsley. I have tried LOTS of different potato salad recipes… there are a few different ones I make but this is my favorite. I only tried this one for the first time this summer and have made it a few times to take to BBQ’s (and to eat for ourselves).

2/3 c. red onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp.  white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, finely chopped

½ c. mayonnaise

¼ c. yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk (I use yogurt)

½ tsp. dry mustard

10-12 new potatoes, scrubbed clean and quartered

3 stalks of celery, finely chopped

6 eggs, 4 finely chopped and 2 for garnish (I use 4 total)

1)      Steam or boil potatoes until easily pierced with a fork, do not overcook. While still hot, transfer to a bowl and add the onion, vinegar and herbs. Let cool for 15 minutes.

2)      Mix the mayo and yogurt/sour cream/buttermilk in a small bowl.

3)      Add the rest of the ingredients to potatoes.

4)      Stir in the sauce being sure not to break up the potatoes. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, the longer the better.

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52 Weeks of Happiness: Week 8

July 12, 2011
Happiness is sunshine and swimming pools… no explanation necessary!!! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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52 Weeks of Happiness: Week 7

July 5, 2011

Happiness is local farmers!! Our farmers market has finally started bringing in a good selection of veggies, my favorite time of year!!! If I can’t grow it myself, I will happily buy it from someone in the area. So far we have had potatoes, peas, carrots, lettuce and beet greens… YUM!! I’m not sure how they’re doing it, my garden it looking pretty sad right now, I keep telling myself as soon as it gets hot and sunny everything is going to take off… we’ll see, if not I always have my farmer friends to supply me with beautiful and delicious organic fruit, veggies and meat.

It was beautiful tonight, the perfect weather for working outside… a perfect night for strawberry picking. Every year I go to the same U-Pick; it is well maintained, employs local summer students, is owned by a family from my school and has the most perfect strawberries in the land!

It was warm and had a breeze, not too hot and NO bugs. We picked for about an hour and got three large bowls (another great thing, bring your own containers and pay by weight).
I have a mental list of strawberry treats and preserves to be made, and am looking forward to some auntie/baby play time so I can spend some uninterrupted time in the kitchen.
** Please excuse the poor photo quality, I forgot my camera and these were taken with a cellphone camera.