Strawberry Bread

So many strawberries!  I used up the rest of them in this strawberry bread.  I liked this bread.  I made 4 mini loaves with this recipe and baked them for a little less time.  The tops of the loaves got nice and crunchy.  The bread is wonderfully moist.  The strawberry pieces are not too sweet and perfectly tart.


I usually grease and flour my bread pans, but I tried something different with this bread.  I greased and floured 2 of the pans and greased and sugared the other two.



Daring Bakers: Bakewell Tart

I had never heard of this dessert before this Daring Bakers challenge.  After reading the recipe I knew it would be delicious.  A shortbread-like crust, a layer of jam topped with an almond filling and baked until golden topped with cream.  How can this combination NOT be delicious?  It was, by the way, delicious.


The June Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.


Strawberries and Cream Cookies

A plethora of strawberries found its way into my fridge, and they needed to be used quickly.  I thought about making jam, but strawberry jam didn’t seem too exciting.  I could make more strawberry frosting and freeze it, but I wanted to try something new.  These cookies are from this month’s Martha Stewart Living.  I found this recipe on a blog I hadn’t read before, SliceofSueShe.


The method used to make these cookies creates a light fluffy cookie that is not too sweet.  The resulting texture reminded me of a soft scone.  The strawberry pieces are tart and sweet.  I did not sprinkle them with sugar, but I imagine that adds a nice crunch on top of these soft cookies.  A simple drizzle of a vanilla glaze would also be nice.


Whip It, Whip it Good

I like Cool Whip.  I really like the light Cool Whip, but not the fat free.  I like it on fresh fruit.  I like it on top of ice cream.  I like it on my finger.  My sister puts it in her cottage cheese for breakfast…she’s crazy.

A recent jaunt through the frozen food aisle ended with a container of cool whip in my cart.  What I thought was plain, lovely, sweet and light Cool Whip was something new.  Well, new to me.  French Vanilla Cool Whip!  Initially I was pretty upset about my error.  After I opened the container, saw its luscious creamy, pale yellow color, and tasted a bit on my finger my anger changed to pure joy!  This is a thicker, richer, sweeter whip than the original, but it is oh so good.  A little goes a long way, so there’s no need to overdo it.


Last night I made a lovely dessert with my new cool whip.  A scoop of Blue Bell Homeade Vanilla, fresh sliced strawberries and a dollop of FRENCH VANILLA COOL WHIP!  Yum.

OK, so I know what people say about Cool Whip.  I know that if any foodie is reading this post right now they will blacklist me.  I have opinions on food and I normally turn my nose up at processed foods, especially foods containing ingredients like polysorbate 60.  But I like Cool Whip.  Sorry!

White Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

A new family moved in across the street from us this week, so I decided to make cupcakes to bring as a welcome gift.  Originally I planned to bake a white cake mix and frost cupcakes with a jar of chocolate frosting.  While getting eggs from the fridge I spotted the carton of strawberries I’d bought earlier in the week that needed to be eaten asap.  Plans changed!  I thought about putting the berries in the cake mix, then thought about making cream cheese icing and placing a slice of strawberry on top, but then I remembered that I’d seen a strawberry frosting recipe on a while back.



Grilled Apricot-Balsamic Glazed Chicken

First, I must brag on myself and tell you that I butchered my first chicken this weekend!  That’s right.  I bought 2 whole chickens, removed the complimentary neck, gizzards and liver, then began removing the appendages of the little birds and breaking the breast bone and back.  I can see why people prefer to buy the pieces pre-cut.  However, I was pleased to get a total of 4 breast halves, 4 wings, and 4 legs for a grand total of $7.00!  It is more work, but you get more for your money AND you get a little anatomy lesson.  You get to see all the joints and tendons and how they’re connected.  I enjoyed it, but Ben chose to stay out of the kitchen.  Here’s a video I found after I’d cut up my chickens.  I got my instructions from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman.


My chicken pieces could almost pass for pre-packaged chicken pieces, so I will consider this a successful first time at chicken butchering.

These lovely chicken pieces were used to make a delicious grilled chicken recipe from the July 2008 Fine Cooking.  The glaze smells so wonderful as its cooking.  I used fresh rosemary right from the back yard and its flavor along with the sweet apricot preserves, spicy red pepper and tangy vinegar made a tasty glaze for the chicken.  The amount of glaze is perfect for the 12 pieces of chicken I used, but making a batch and a half would not be a bad idea.

You can make the glaze a day ahead, cover and refrigerate it.  Just be sure to warm it up again before you plan to glaze the chicken so that it will be easy to spread. (more…)

Mint Shortcakes with Strawberries and Cream

A few friends came over for dinner last night.  The food was wonderful and I am excited to share ALL of the recipes, but I will share just one for now.  I was looking for a dessert to make and came across this recipe in one of my fine cooking magazines.  I already had a container of strawberries, so this seemed not only convenient but also enticing as a twist on the traditional strawberry shortcake.


Growing up we had strawberry shortcake made with either angel food cake or those sponge cake dessert cups you can buy in the bakery section of the grocery store.  There was even a time in my life when I actually thought that these were strawberry shortcakes. (more…)

Soda Bread: So easy a monkey can do it

What do you do when you need bread for dinner and it’s 6:oo, and your husband doesn’t have his cell phone, so you can’t make him pick up a loaf on his way home?  Make this soda bread!


I made this last night for dinner, and it was delicious.  A nice crunchy exterior with a soft interior.  I had to make a few changes to the original recipe since my kitchen is pretty far from being well stocked at the moment.  I added some dried thyme to make the bread a bit savory.  If you leave out the thyme, this bread would be great plain with a spread of butter and some honey.  Raisins would make it a nice breakfast bread.


Daring Bakers: Spinach and Feta Strudel

I didn’t pay close attention to the date of posting for this May challenge.  I just figured it would be at the end of May, like the 30th or 31st.  I did make this strudel on the 26th and planned to post on the 30th.  The posting date was actually the 26th!  Why am I posting on June 1st?  Almost a week late?  Because I’m a bad Daring Baker, that’s why.  Better late than never, right?

Please excuse my pictures.  My camera was destroyed in a flood.  By flood I mean that a water bottle leaked in my purse creating a nice pool of water in the bottom of my purse where my camera was located.  It was a bad day.  So, iphone pictures will have to do until a new camera can be purchased.  I won’t hold my breath…