Archive for July, 2012

Quick & Easy Strawberry Shortcakes

Ah, summer – the time of year when you seem to have such an abundance of time but too little time to actually get things done. Summer is also the time of year when I look for nice, light and fresh desserts. Something to nosh on in the evenings when I sit on the deck with my tiki torches lit. Here is a great recipe for really easy strawberry shortcakes. You can make your own home-made shortcake but I have found that using the store-bought variety actually means I can whip this up even quicker and not have to worry about the shortcake not fully soaking in the berry flavor. This is very easy to make and guests always really enjoy it!


2 lbs of strawberries (or mixed berries if you want to be really fun)
1/3 cup sugar
8 ‘shortcakes’ (Store bought will do!)
2 additional tbsp of sugar (keep it separate!)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Pinch of vanilla extract

To Make:

Slice the strawberries and mix with other berries (if you are going that route) and mix in a bowl with the 1/3 cup of sugar. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to a few hours.

To make your whipped cream, I like to use a bowl that has been chilled for a few minutes. Simply beat the cream and the 2 tbsp of sugar until soft peaks form. When it is nearly done add just a pinch of vanilla and continue to beat. This is the most tiring part of the recipe. If you are beating the cream by hand ensure that you are moving your hand quickly and keeping up a decent speed. You will see the cream thickening and you will know when its ready to go. You can pop this into the fridge as well, but you will want to give it another few whisks before serving it to ensure it goes back to its topping state.

About 10 minutes before you are ready to go drop your ‘cake’ in the individual dish you are serving these in, then spoon a few berries on with some of the juice, add some cream and then just a few more berries on top for a nice presentation. If you are using homemade ‘cakes’ and they are a bit thicker you may want to put the berries on more than 10 minutes prior to serving to let the juices seep into the cake more. It will be all mush if you do this too soon with a store-bought cake though. And of course, be sure to enjoy it!!


Late Spring Crop Share Week 7 Report

I hope everyone had a stellar 4th of July! We kept ours nice and relaxed with a low-key bbq and some time at the dog park for our pup! We are nearing the end of this late spring share and getting ready to start into the summer share. So far I have been thrilled with the weekly corn, berries and tomatoes – those are all staples that I love having handy in the warm months!

What we received in week 7: Crop Share Week 7

– Corn
– Blueberries
– French melon (very sweet, spoils quickly)
– Cubanelle Peppers
– Green Beans
– Grape Tomatoes
– Fresh Basil
– Jalapeno pepper

How we are moving this farm to our table:

We did so much better sticking to our proposed menu this week – yay us!! We did have a calmer week with less sports and other activities. Due to the crazy storms in the DC area though we did have some unexpected house guests that were staying over to keep cool since we kept our power. Unexpected house guests are a bonus though when you have a bunch of fresh food in your house you don’t want to spoil! Needless to say we were able to use up a lot more of our fresh fruit with them over, which was a great thing!

This week we are looking to do:

1. Hamburgers – Mondays can be tough so we like to start the week off with something easy and quick. We will be grilling up burgers (with cheese please!), waffle fries and corn. Maybe end the night with a bit of ice-cream – can’t beat ice cream in this heat!

2. Roast Chicken – we will do some rice on the side for this one with green beans, we have a lot of green beans right now. That will most likely be the veggie of the week for sure! This is more of a boring meal night but it gets the job done. I am also looking to make a cold salad to have for the rest of the week (possibly cabbage salad, possibly pasta salad) so that will be made tonight as well, though not consumed quite yet….

3. Night Out – we are planning on heading out for Chinese food. Haven’t had dinner out just us in quite some time so it’s a nice night to take ‘off’.

4. Grilling, again. Great thing about grilling in these temperatures is that it keeps your house cooler since you are doing most of the cooking outside. I”m not sure if we will grill up steak or chicken this night, I have both in the freezer so that won’t tip the grocery list either way. As for sides, since we are already grilling we will throw some corn out there on the grill as well as some potatoes and have whatever salad I make on Tuesday.

5. Tacos – quick and easy plus they are a great way to use up some produce that is near the end of its life at the end of the week. We will make some salsa with the tomatoes and peppers we have handy. All we need to make tacos and this dish a reality are some more regular tomatoes plus an onion and some fresh cilantro – we are all set with the remainder of the ingredients. What sides do you typically put on your tacos when you make them at home? For us we go with some chopped onions (white or red, whatever we have), chopped tomatoes, cheddar cheese, lettuce, salsa, chopped peppers (if handy) and some homemade spanish-style rice on the side.

6. Grilling – looking to do a quick, marinated london broil with seasoned, grilled potatoes on the side and green beans. Since this will fall on a weekend also planning to do a quick home-made strawberry shortcake (yep, I will definitely be posting this recipe!).

New things we are looking to try this week:

-Baked taco shells – found a recipe online for homemade baked shells. They look delicious!
-Mayo-less potato and mint salad. I am very excited to try this. I am anything but a Mayo-lover so any salad that offers me a mayo-free option is usually one I want to sample!

I will hopefully have some recipes up and running for you all to drool(or laugh if they are flops!) over within a day or so. It is supposed to be a scorching weekend so do try to keep as cool as you can!!

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