Strawberry Salad with

Balsamic-Yogurt Dressing

May: National Strawberry Month

We have attended both the Poteet and Pasadena strawberry festivals—the only two of their kind in Texas. Poteet (outside of San Antonio) holds theirs in April while Pasadena’s (in the Houston area) event is this month. We enjoy experiencing the energy in the carnival-like atmosphere, seeing cute strawberry mascots and royalty (scholarship winners) wearing red walking around the festival grounds and tasting everything made with strawberries (shortcakes, ice cream, jams and jellies, drink mixes and more)!

It is also getting warmer (hot!) in Texas so we like to cool down with something light featuring this month’s fruit: strawberry salad with balsamic-yogurt dressing. Strawberries are abundant now at our local grocery stores and we buy them in bulk there, if not at the festivals. For National Strawberry Month, mix some fruit with vegetables and make a strawberry salad with balsamic-yogurt dressing.

Recipe

For the balsamic-yogurt dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil, extra virgin
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ tablespoons plain yogurt

Directions

In a bowl, combine the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar. Stir in the minced garlic. Add the maple syrup or honey.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the yogurt. Mix until the salad dressing is creamy.

For the strawberry salad

  • 2 cups mixed greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 3-4 strawberries, sliced
  • toasted almonds (to sprinkle)

Directions

In a salad bowl, place the mixed greens. Sprinkle feta cheese and bacon. Arrange the sliced strawberries on top. Pour about 3+ tablespoons the salad dressing. Sprinkle the toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

 

Notes

  • This is a colorful and complementary salad. The greens are balanced by the red strawberries (like on the color wheel) and the bitterness of the vegetables is tempered by the sweetness of the fruit.
  • Search our blog for more strawberry recipes.

 

No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream

January 15: National Strawberry Ice Cream Day

Strawberry ice cream is typically a summertime treat. But even in the middle of January, when the weather is warm in Hawaii and in the southern hemisphere, eating ice cream to cool off is a “berry” good idea. Turn the winter blues into something pretty in pink and make chunky no-churn strawberry ice cream in observance of National Strawberry Ice Cream Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from WRLA.com) 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (cold)
  • 1 cup pureed strawberries
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ – 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • a few drops of red food coloring (optional)

Directions

Beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Wash, dry and trim the tops off the strawberries. Puree the fruit. Chop additional strawberries and set aside.

Strawberry Ice Cream

In a large bowl, mix the condensed milk with the pureed strawberries. The mixture will turn pale pink. Fold the whipped cream into this mixture until smooth, being careful not to whip more air into it. Add a few drops of red food coloring and stir well until the desired color of pink is achieved (optional). Fold in the chopped strawberries until well blended.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Pour the mixture into a loaf pan. Cover and freeze for at least six hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer. Let stand for a few minutes and scoop into cones or dessert dishes. Enjoy immediately.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Notes

  • Add a teaspoon of strawberry extract to boost the strawberry flavor in this recipe. If using this extract, reduce the amount of red food coloring.
  • National Ice Cream Month is in July—just half a year away. Get a head start with making no-churn ice cream by searching our blog for more recipes!

Strawberry Santas

Strawberry Santas

December 6: Feast Day of St. Nicholas

Make Strawberry Santas

for the Feast of St. Nick!

They’re healthy and cute

and can be made quick!

Strawberry Santas are a great last-minute idea for a seasonal snack and creative Christmas cuisine. Our friend Lisa L. had sent us an Internet image this past weekend suggesting we try these tiny treats. And then while at Whole Foods Market the other day, we even saw them being sold in the gourmet dessert display case! We just couldn’t resist preparing our own Strawberry Santas at home for a ho-ho-ho-holiday blog post and for a fast, fun and festive food on the Feast Day of St. Nicholas.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • Strawberries
  • Whipped cream (we recommend Cool Whip brand frosting)
  • Mini chocolate chips, black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chocolate or black tube frosting or dark nonpareils (for the eyes)
  • Red pearl nonpareils (we used a round 4 millimeter nonpareil) (for the nose)

Directions

Wash and dry the strawberries. Slice the leaves off and let the strawberry sit on the flat end. Slice a bit off the pointy end of the strawberry.

Strawberry Santas

Fill a pastry or plastic bag with whipped cream. Use a star tip to form the head/face. Top with the strawberry piece for the hat. Use a small round tip to pipe the buttons and a little ball on top.

Strawberry Santas

Finish the face with eyes by putting in two mini chocolate chips. Add the red pearl nonpareil nose. Arrange on a serving platter and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Strawberry Santas

Notes

  • Regular whipped cream is soft and can melt easily so we recommend a stronger and more stabilized whipped cream product, like the new Cool Whip Frosting, or even sweetened whipped cream cheese.
  • Strawberry Santas can be prepared as pops by putting a stick in the bottom of the fruit. Or they can sit atop cupcakes or cookies as a base.
  • Santa hats can be made out of strawberries, too. Simply slice the leaves off and pipe whipped cream around the bottom and a ball on the top tip.
  • See our other Santa Claus confections: St. Nick Nutter Butters and St. Nikolaas Koekjes.

Red, White and Blue Strawberries

Red, White and Blue Strawberries 

July 4: American Independence Day

Happy birthday, America! People are especially patriotic today and traditionally celebrate the country’s independence by watching parades and fireworks; stimulating the economy by shopping at the sales; or spending time, relaxing and feeding our faces (of course!) with family and friends. On this national holiday, we usually grill burgers and hot dogs or barbecue spare ribs, steaks or chicken. Sometimes we also prepare a patriotic parfait or American flag cake. Today we tried a simple sweet treat featuring red strawberries, white chocolate and blue sanding sugar for a cute red-white-and-blue dessert as a festive Fourth of July food!

Recipe

(Inspired by Internet photos)

Ingredients

  • strawberries
  • white chocolate or vanilla candy wafers
  • blue sanding sugar

Directions

Wash and dry the strawberries.  Melt the white chocolate or vanilla candy wafers in the microwave as directed on the package. Stir until smooth.

Red, White and Blue Strawberries

Dip each strawberry two-thirds with the melted chocolate or vanilla candy. Place on waxed paper to set slightly. Before the coating hardens, generously dip the bottom third of the strawberry into the blue sanding sugar. Place on waxed paper to set completely or display in mini-paper cupcake/muffin cups.

Red, White and Blue Strawberries

Notes

  • Strawberries should be at room temperature for dipping or they will “sweat” after cooling.
  • White chocolate or vanilla candy wafers may also be melted in a double boiler.
  • It is best to prepare the red-white-and-blue strawberries on the day of the meal or as close to serving as possible for freshness. The strawberries tend to leak some juices and the coating melts in higher temperatures. Refrigerate to solidify the coating as necessary.
  • Search our blog for more festive Fourth of July foods.

Strawberry Parfait

 Strawberry Parfait

June 25: National Strawberry Parfait Day 

Summer is strawberry season! On a hot Texas day, we like to cool off with a light and fruity treat. Strawberry parfaits hit our sweet spot for a super simple snack or an easy after-dinner dessert. It is refreshing for the summer and “berry” nice, especially on National Strawberry Parfait Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Kraft Foods)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese (we used fat-free)
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • ¼ cup whipped cream, cold (we used fat-free Cool Whip brand) 

Directions

Wash the strawberries and pat dry with paper towels before slicing. In clear parfait glasses or dessert bowls, layer the bottom of each with the strawberry slices. In a mixing bowl, cream the cheese with the strawberry jam until smooth.

Strawberry Parfait

Fold the whipped cream into the cheese-strawberry jam mixture. Divide the topping over the fruits. Garnish each serving with whipped cream and strawberries. Serve chilled.

Strawberry Parfait

Notes

  • Thanks to our kumare Cherlyn B. for the homemade jam featuring wild Maine strawberries from her in-laws’ yard.
  • For a festive Fourth of July patriotic parfait, layer red strawberries and the cream cheese mixture in a clear glass or dessert bowl, then add white whipped cream and top with blueberries. Garnish with a flag pick or more berries and cream.
  • Search our blog for more recipes containing strawberries.

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes

May 20—Pick Strawberries Day

We tagged along with our goddaughter, Keira B., and her big sisters when they went to pick wild strawberries in their Nana’s big backyard in Central Maine a few years ago. Strewn about were tiny bright red berries peeking out of vibrant green clusters of leaves. Like they were on an Easter egg hunt, the little girls delighted in their discoveries and put their precious finds in a bowl. Sometimes their family would be able to pick bucketloads of wild strawberries, can them and send us jars of preserves.

We don’t live near a strawberry farm or field so we “pick” strawberries at our local grocery store. And we picked a recipe for strawberry daiquiri cupcakes with strawberry buttercream to blog about on Pick Strawberries Day (and National Strawberry Month).

Recipe

(Adapted from Kitchen Goddess)

For the cupcakes

  • 1 (18 ounce) box of strawberry cake mix (we used Duncan Hines brand)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 limes, divided
  • ¼ cup rum
  • water

Directions

Grate the peel of one line. Squeeze the juice from the grated lime and from another lime in a liquid measuring cup. Mix in the rum. Add enough water to equal 1 1/3 cups of liquid. Combine the liquid with the cake mix, eggs and oil.

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes

Mix until the ingredients are blended into a smooth batter. Scoop into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Prepare the frosting.

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes

For the frosting

(Adapted from Sprinkles)

  • ½ cup frozen whole strawberries, thawed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • red food coloring

Directions

In a blender, puree the strawberries. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with a pinch of salt. Gradually blend in the powdered sugar until well combined and fluffy. Mix in 3 tablespoons of strawberry puree (reserve the rest for another recipe).

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes

Stir in the vanilla. Add a few drops of red food coloring to get a light shade of pink. Mix well until it is a smooth consistency. Frost the cupcakes. We used Wilton tip 1M for a decorative swirl on top of the cupcakes. Refrigerate to set the frosting. Allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving.

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes

Notes