So, I asked my son if he wanted strawberries because they are in season and on sale at the supermarket. He said no, we don’t eat them fast enough, and they go bad. I told him I would make some kind of dessert, and bought not one, but two containers of lovely red, ripe strawberries.
When you are going to buy strawberries, check them carefully. Thoroughly look them over, especially on the bottom, where an errant bruised one is oozing fluid and making the others near it go bad. Also check that their top part of the fruit is red, not pale green. If it’s pale green, the fruit is not ripe and will be tasteless.
After you get your berries home, unless you intend to eat them immediately, just put them in the refrigerator. Do not wash them! When you wash them, they will go bad quickly. If you must wash them, then let them dry in a single layer on a paper towel on a sheet pan, before putting them in the refrigerator.
You will enjoy this pie. You can buy a pre-made graham cracker crust, or you can make one yourself. I have a container of graham crumbs, so I make mine. I will put the recipe for the graham crust in as well.
Nothing like fresh strawberries with sweet balsamic vinegar to bring out their bright flavor. This makes a great summer pie. If you don't feel like turning on your oven, use a pre-made graham cracker crust.
For the Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1/4 cup sugar
For the Filling
1 can (10 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
4 cups Strawberries sliced
For the Topping
1 cup Whipping cream
2 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare the pie crust by combining all the crust ingredients together, then turning them into a pie plate. Use the back of a measuring cup, or a glass to flatten and evenly distribute the crust. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 8 minutes, remove and set aside to cool completely.
To make the filling, combine the lemon juice, vinegar and condensed milk, stir til thickened, a few minutes. Put the strawberries in with the milk mixture and toss completely. Fold that into the pie shell.
Refrigerate at least one hour. Put the bowl you are going to make the whipped cream in the refrigerator at the same time.
To make the topping, have ready a chilled bowl. Put the cream in the bowl and start beating it. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Spread the whipped cream on top of the pie and serve immediately. Refrigerate left overs, if you are lucky enough to have any.
Make sure the berries are completely dry when doing this. You can either slice or half the berries, depending on their size.
You know, sometimes you just want chocolate. I mean, you really, really, really want chocolate. It’s like it’s the only thing you can think about. I had that craving and I bought a box of special dark cocoa just so I could make this cake.
I have always loved cherry cordials. To me, there is nothing tastier than cherries and chocolate. They just seem to compliment each other so well. When I decided to make this cake special, I thought using cherry preserves as filling would be exactly what I was looking for, and I was right, it was perfect. I used regular cherry preserves, not the famous sour cherries, they just would have soaked into the cake and made a chocolatety mess.
The secret to this cake is its velvety frosting, made with melted butter, dark cocoa, and rum flavoring. It really sets off the cherries in the cake. You could use brandy flavoring if you don’t have rum.
The picture is of Spane, in the 5th grade. The recipe is for the cake I made for him for his 5th birthday, so I think it’s an appropriate picture. The original cake had a Barney on it, because Barney was Spane’s favorite character. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to put that picture up here. I’m done with Barney and so is Spane.
This cake, however, will never, ever get old. It’s a very simple cake to make, and my goto white cake. It’s a recipe adapted from The Joy of Cooking, which in turn is an adaptation of the original 1-2-3-4 cake, so named because it uses 1 cup each of milk and butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs. If you were illiterate as many pioneering and colonial American women once were, your recipes would have to be very easy because you would not be able to write them down, and you would want to be able to pass them down to your daughters. We will probably never know who actually invented this cake, but I for one, am very glad she did.
This recipe makes a lot of cake. It fits nicely into a large 15 x 10 inch sheet pan, or three nine inch round pans. It’s an excellent recipe for a crowd. As a matter of fact, I used to make two layers of this cake, and put strawberries and cream as topping and filling when I made the birthday cakes for Dean Witter in Beverly Hills. If you double this recipe, it will easily feed 50 people.
If you really want to see what the Barney looks like, I originally put this recipe on Big Oven and my original Barney decorated cake picture is there. When you see it, you’ll understand why I didn’t want it here.
Ah, the first day back at school! This year, not only does Spane get a new teacher for 5th grade, the school also gets a new Principal. I think it’s important to make a good impression. Spane is a good student, but it never hurts to grease a few palms with an appreciative gift. I already made Trinket Boxes, and special Scrunchy Bows for the gift bag, but I wanted to put something else inside. I was wrestling with myself over this, and then I remembered I had a bag of butterscotch chips that I had gotten on sale at the local supermarket. Everyone likes cookies, and if they don’t they can give them to someone who does.
These Mocha Butterscotch Cashew Cookies will be rich, so I will also be giving a plate of cookies to the front office, some to my neighbor who gives me figs and apples, some to Spane’s Lemonade Stand co-worker, and still be able to have some for Spane and I.
Cookies for the Principal, the Front Office and the Teacher
I love going to the resale shops, finding bargains, and occasionally finding something old that comes back home with me for a new life. I have a friend who had this interesting jar with a top that you would push down on and she would use it for chopping onions. I always wanted one of those, and I was lucky enough to find one recently. I also found out that they were used for chopping nuts. Well, they do a great job at both!
So, this morning, Spane was hungry, and breakfast food was in short supply. Usually, I have everything I need to make pancakes, but this time, I had left over apples from making Apple Stuffed Wontons, and I knew they would be really good in pancakes. The problem was they were a little large, and Spane didn’t want to wait. So I made two giant pancakes, one for him, and one for me. They were delicious!
I have always been crêpe challenged. Flipping a giant pancake just seemed impossible to me, so I have stuck with the dollar size variety. But, armed with the right kind of pan, a forgiving batter, and the willingness to try, I was actually able to make a pretty good-looking, although thick, crêpe.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;
This morning, when I was out looking for what to make for dinner, I was at the local Armenian store and came across Wafel torte, my favorite start to making a no-bake cake. Not only was it no-bake, it was rectangular and there were boxes of strawberries and blueberries on the counter. I was excited to be making a cake for the 4th after all.
I put condensed milk and Nutella in the layers of the cake, made a sour cream buttercream to top it, and Spane helped me decorate it. He also helped take the pictures, and contributed his necklace that hums the Star Spangled Banner – it’s very annoying.