Showing posts with label fruit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fruit. Show all posts

1/23/15

Fresh Lemon Ricotta Pancakes- Wildflower Bread Co. Copycat





For the past few years, we've spent a lot of time in Phoenix at baseball tournaments. Phoenix seems to be the chain restaurant capitol of the U.S. !  You know my rule about eating out while on the road, right?
Rule number one:
No eating at places we have back home.
Rule number two:
Refer to rule number one.

When we go on a baseball trip, I never really plan on eating good food due to two main reasons:
1. Baseball trips usually involve carting around boys who aren't interested in eating much besides pizza and burgers, and more pizza and burgers. And Powerade.
2. The games are usually at 8am and 3pm. Not always, but it seems like it.  Right when the thermometer hits about 118 degrees. By the time you return from the morning game, it's time to grab a quick lunch and head back to the field. After you've stuffed yourself with Red Vines, sunflower seeds and Diet Coke for the second time in one day, and if you're in Phoenix in June, all you want to do after the second game is pass out on your bed in the hotel room and cool off.
For the rest of your life the evening, then get up and start the process again.
It seems like the movie Groundhogs Day :)
Really though, all joking aside, good times. Great memories.


NorCal Valley 2014 18U team



These two.  Trouble.

Soaking baseball pants in the hotel tub.
The only way to get red dirt out.
Hot water, TIde and soaking. 

keeping cool. 

Championship game. West Coast Regional, USA Baseball.
we lost :(

Had to buy these shades for summer road trips...

Looking for good restaurants takes a back seat at ball tourneys.  I usually head into survival mode which means- try to find a place to eat that doesn't either fry their entire menu and/or are known for their drive thru!
Occasionally, I  get lucky and find a place like Wildflower Bread Company. It's an Arizona chain (on the approved list of chains for vacay dining, because it's not in Utah). I love Wildflower's Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. They're light and fluffy and taste far better than anything you're used to eating in a semi-fast food place, or any place, for that matter!
If you've never made pancakes from scratch, this recipe is quick and easy and something you'll be able to enjoy in just a few minutes after mixing together.   I promise you this- you'll wonder why you ever bought a box mix, and vow to never, ever go there again.







Fresh Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 eggs
1 cup ricotta
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat griddle to medium high heat or 350 degrees. You may also wait to heat griddle until after the pancakes are mixed. I do this before mixing the batter because my griddle takes a while to fully heat.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add ricotta, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Whisk together.
Add the water and whisk again.
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt all at once. Mix just until the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated.  Do not over mix. The batter does not need to be smooth. Let sit for a couple of minutes.
Grease hot griddle with little butter or oil.
Check the batter, it should be similar to the  consistency of a cake batter that can barely be poured.
Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out the pancake batter onto the griddle. Cook until the edges of the pancakes bubble and the bubbles pop. Flip the pancakes. Do not pat down. Do not flip more than once. The pancake is done when you quickly touch the middle of the pancake with a spatula, and the pancake springs back. If the batter is too thick, thin with a little water or milk.
Serve immediately with fresh blueberries and syrup.
Serves 4.

Tips:
-Bottled lemon juice may be substituted, but fresh is best.
-This recipe is easily doubled, if doubling, you may use 3 eggs instead of 4.


1/19/15

Banana Bread with Coconut Oil













A while back, a reader suggested I try using coconut oil instead of butter in my favorite banana bread recipe. I was a bit hesitant, but so glad I switched out coconut oil for butter because the result was
W O W! Sometimes a fat substitution = less flavor, or inferior flavor, or a less than desirable texture. Not so with coconut oil.




Opinions differ on the benefits of coconut oil, but most critics agree coconut oil is better for your body than butter.  If it's better for you, and taste is not compromised, I'm in.
I also experimented a bit with a pineapple banana bread and a chocolate loaf variation.
Loved all three, recipes below.
Give it a try.
I think you'll love it too.







Banana Bread with Coconut Oil 
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe, mashed bananas

Grease and line (with parchment paper) one large or two medium loaf pans.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, place rack in middle of oven.
Place the coconut oil, sugars and vanilla in a bowl. Mix on medium speed until oil and sugars are combined and smooth. Add eggs. Beat for an additional minute on medium speed, add buttermilk until combined.
Add all dry ingredients. Mix on low speed just until wet and dry ingredients are combined, about 20 seconds. Add mashed bananas and mix on low for about 1-2 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl one time to make sure the ingredients are all incorporated. Blend until bananas are mixed in well with other ingredients. Do not over mix, do not mix on high speed.
Spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (for two medium pans) 50-55 minutes for one large loaf pan, or until toothpick inserted in middle of loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. When the loaf is touched in the middle, the loaf should spring back.

Pineapple-Coconut Bread
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Chocolate Banana Bread
same ingredients as original banana bread with the addition of:
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips at the same time the flour is added to the bowl. Mix as directed.

Tips:
-To line the pans with parchment, I place the paper on a counter, then place the pan on top of the paper. Trace around the bottom of the pan with a pen, then cut out the shape and place in the bottom of the pan. I usually double or triple the paper and cut several out at one time. You may also purchase pre cut liners in a baking supply store. I always recommend using a liner so the bread does not stick to the bottom of the pan. I also always grease with spray oil the bottom and sides of the pan to insure the bread does not stick.
-For the best banana bread, the bananas should be very ripe. I use bananas that have black skins and are so soft, they can easily be mashed with a fork in a small bowl. If the bananas are extremely ripe, and you are using a stand mixer, the bananas may be added whole and will easily break up with the use of a paddle attachment.
-Remember, do not over mix the bread. If the mixer is set on a high setting, air will be mixed into the batter and the bread will have a light texture, instead of a dense texture, which is desired in a quick bread.
-If you have an abundance of bananas and no time to make banana bread:
Peel the whole, ripe bananas.
Place the whole bananas in a ziplock bag. Freeze until ready to use.
When ready to use, thaw on counter, or place in microwave for a few minutes or until softened and thawed. Drain any water off of thawed bananas before using.


11/24/14

Fresh Cranberry, Orange and Dried Cherry Sauce



If you have a food assignment for Thanksgiving, and you are hesitant to try anything too risky, this is your dish. Guaranteed homemade success.
Make a double batch, scoop into a mason jar, tie with string and you'll have the perfect hostess gift.
Only 3 more days!
Happy Thanksgiving week.






Fresh Cranberry, Orange and Dried Cherry Sauce
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

11/2 cups water
1 cup sugar white or brown
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate*(optional)
8 oz dried cherries**
1 10-12 oz bag of fresh cranberries

In a medium saucepan, stir together water, sugar, cinnamon and 2-3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium.
Add the fresh cranberries and dried cherries. Cook for about another 3-4 minutes, until cranberries pop and mixture thickens a bit. Don't worry, it will continue to thicken as it cools.
Let cool, then pour into dish or jars, cover and set in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Yields enough sauce for approx 8-12 adults, depending on if they are cranberry sauce lovers, or not :)
Keeps for about 1 month.

Tips:
-*the oj concentrate is optional. I thaw (or partially thaw)  a frozen container of oj and scoop straight from the can.
-**some dried cherries have sugar added, some do not. Either works for this recipe.
-you may partially cover the saucepan if the berries are splattering as they burst.




9/10/14

Strawberry-Coconut Freezer Jam






This recipe was inspired by a trip to a cute little restaurant called Pig and a Jelly Jar, near Liberty Park in SLC.  I'm always looking for a fun place to have breakfast and love places that serve biscuits and jam. One trip to Pig, and I was hooked. The strawberry coconut jam was so good, I had to take a jar home.  I'm in love with the strawberry-coconut combo. I looked for a recipe online, but no luck. So I came up with my own version of their yummy jam.

If you live in SLC, it's worth a visit to Pig and a Jelly Jar.  They have the best ham-hash, Mexican skillet, and Jakes favorite-  chicken and waffles. Order a biscuit while you are waiting for your food (appetizers at breakfast- YES)  and make sure to try both the strawberry coconut and the blueberry lavender jam.






Strawberry-Coconut Freezer Jam
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 cups crushed fresh strawberries (about 2 pints)
4 cups sugar
1 (1.75 ounce) package Sure Jell 100% Natural Premium Fruit Pectin
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
2 teaspoons coconut emulsion, or  1 teaspoon coconut extract

Mix crushed strawberries with sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the pectin into the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute. Stir the boiling water/pectin into the strawberries. Mix well. 
Add the flaked coconut and the coconut emulsion or coconut flavoring. Mix well. Taste to see if you prefer a stronger coconut flavor. Add a small amount more emulsion or flavoring if desired. Remember, a little flavoring goes a long way. 
Ladle the jam into clean jars or plastic containers.
Place tops on the containers, and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Place into freezer, and store frozen until ready to use.
Yield 3 pints

Tips:
-Emulsions may be found in stores that sell cake decorating/baking supplies, such as: Gygis (SLC,UT), Michaels, and some restaurant supply stores. It may also be ordered online. Occasionally, I have found it at grocery stores and at TJ Maxx/Marshalls Homegoods Stores.
-It's always a temptation to double the recipe in one bowl. I did this for several years to save time, against the warnings from experienced jam makers. After batches of runny or not quite right jam, I have learned to stick with one batch at a time in a bowl. I still make more than one batch at a time, just use a separate bowl for each batch.
-I always make a double batch.
-Four cups sounds like a lot of sugar, and it is! If you want to cut the amount of sugar, look for the low-sugar box of pectin. It works well. If you cut the sugar in this recipe, and use the Sure Jell pectin I used, your jam will turn out runny. Follow directions, choose the right pectin while at the grocery.
-I have used various types of pectin, and like Sure Jell the best. Some brands require using Corn Syrup in addition to sugar. With the Sure Jell freezer recipe, it's just fruit, sugar, water and pectin.
-9-1-1 for your grainy jam: If your jam seems grainy and you are not able to get the sugar to dissolve, stir in a couple tablespoons of corn syrup, it will help the sugar to dissolve. 
-At Pig and Jelly Jar, the jam is a bit cloudy or creamy looking. To achieve this look, pulse the strawberries with the coconut. This will produce a more milky looking jam, instead of a clear red jam. 




8/30/14

Strawberry-Avocado Spinach Salad with Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing


 


Spinach salad can take on so many different twists.  You can change it up and add your stamp with your favorite cheese, fruit, cooked chicken, onions, and varieties of nuts. I made this last week for the teachers at Woods Cross High. It's simple and always a crowd pleaser.




I love this salad made with end of summer strawberries, fresh avocado, spinach, Gorgonzola cheese and sugared almonds. The homemade poppyseed dressing tastes like Brianna's, costs a fraction of the store bought bottle, and only takes about two minutes to mix up in a blender.  Such a great salad for anything from a girl's lunch to a family reunion.
Happy end of summer!





Strawberry-Avocado Spinach Salad with Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

16 oz baby spinach
1-pint strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1-2 avocados,  ripe but still slightly firm cut into chunks or sliced
6-8 oz Gorgonzola or Bleu Cheese, crumbled
1 cups almonds, sliced
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
dash salt
Homemade Poppyseed Dressing (below)

Place a sheet of foil (about 12 inches long)  or parchment paper on the counter.  Give the foil a light spray of cooking oil.
Place the almonds and sugar in a large teflon pan over medium-medium high heat. Stir when sugar begins to heat up. It will give off a fragrance similar to cotton candy :) Be careful not to turn the heat up too high, or you will burn the sugar and have to toss the almonds.
Stir the almonds and sugar constantly after sugar starts to melt. This takes about 5-8 minutes to get to this point. Once sugar begins to melt or caramelize, remove pan from heat and pour onto foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle with an additional tablespoon of sugar. Let cool. Break apart when cooled if necessary.
Place the spinach in a large bowl. Toss with strawberries, avocado and Gorgonzola cheese. Or place the spinach in a bowl and top with avocado, strawberries and cheese. Top with cooled sugared almonds.
When ready to serve, toss with about 1/2 cup of the poppyseed dressing, or serve on the side.
Serves about 6-8 as a side salad.

Tips:
-If you are making this ahead, wait to cut the avocado until no more than an hour before serving.
Add the almonds just before serving.
-I usually double or triple the amount of sugared almonds for future use. I like the salad to be heavy on the almonds, so I probably use two cups total of sugared almonds.
-I also love this with a little thinly sliced red onion or bunch of green onions, chopped.

ABK Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing

1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup mayo, light or regular (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1 teaspoon grated onion (white, yellow or sweet onion, optional)
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and onion and process for 30 seconds.
With blender or food processor on high, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream.
Stir in poppy seeds.

Tips:
-If you don't have a blender or food processor, you can make this in a large bowl using a whisk or a hand mixer.
-You may make the dressing without the mayo and add it after all of the other ingredients if you prefer. If the dressing is not as creamy as you would like, or too tart, add the mayo.
-Keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.
-This recipe is enough dressing for 3 times the salad above. 



7/10/14

Fruit-Filled Virgin Sangria




A few months ago, I attended a food blogger event at the City Creek Harmons. They served a delicious non-alcoholic basil sangria. I loved the drink and thought it would be fun to recreate my own version at home when fresh fruits were in season!

Sangria is traditionally served in Spain and Portugal and made with wine, sweetener, fruit and a bit of brandy. I'm not a drinker, but love drinks made with fresh fruit.






Last week, we watched the fireworks, soaked up the sunset and enjoyed a pitcher of this colorful drink from our patio. The kids and adults loved the fruit-filled pitcher. When it was empty, we just added more of the liquid base, mixed and enjoyed. This is a perfect addition to any summer party. It travels well- just take the cut up fruits, canned juice, soda and ice in a cooler and mix when the party starts.
Hope you're keeping cool this summer!




Fruit Filled Virgin Sangria
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1 frozen can of Welch's (or other brand) White Grape and Peach concentrate (not mixed up), thawed a bit*
one 2 liter bottle Ginger Ale or Sprite, sugarless is fine as well
ice, about 2-3 cups
a cup of water, if desired
Approximate fruit (for one pitcher)
2 limes, washed, sliced
1 orange, washed, peel on, sliced
1-2 cups strawberries, washed, a few sliced, a few left whole
handful of cherries
1 peach, peeled and sliced
mint leaves

Using a large glass pitcher, pour in half of the can of concentrate. Add half of a 2 liter bottle of Ginger Ale or Sprite. Add ice, about 2-3 cups. Mix a bit. Add chopped fruits and mint and stir lightly with large wood spoon.  If needed add a bit of water. You may leave the spoon in the pitcher if you wish to help scoop out the fruit while serving.
When the liquid is empty from the pitcher, simply add the remaining juice concentrate, ginger ale and more ice to the remaining fruit in pitcher. Stir and enjoy. You may also add more fruit if needed.
Serves 8

Tips:
-I used a white grape and peach blend but you can use any type of juice. I suggest white grape, pineapple, apple, grape, cranberry, peach, mango. The possibilities are endless.
-Most instructions for Sangria will advise to let the mixture to sit in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. Since I was using a carbonated liquid (and I was short on time), I made it right before serving. Either way works fine.
-If you would like the fruit to sit at the bottom of the pitcher, place the fruit in first, then the ice and the juice and carbonated beverage last. The weight of the ice will help the fruit to sit at the bottom instead of float on the top.
-You may use any combo of fresh fruit in season. I liked the look of the orange and green and red together with a splash of dark green.
-This recipe would also work well in a punch bowl.


6/27/14

Red, White and Blueberry Tart







Are you planning a 4th of July bash?
This is one of my favorite desserts, reinvented. Remember when fruit pizza was all the rage years ago? Sweet cookie crust, with cream cheese and powdered sugar icing, topped with fruit and glaze. Sometimes the fruit was arranged beautifully, other times it was dumped on top of the crust and cream cheese layer.
That was the 80's. Time to update this classic dessert.




First, I headed to Harmons to buy the sweetest, most plump, fresh berries. If you live in Utah, you're in business!  Harmons consistently has the best produce in the state. With the exception of picking berries yourself, Harmons is as fresh as it gets.




How do you update a classic? I decided switching from a pizza pan to tart pans made a big difference in presentation. Other subtle, but game changing differences- a little lemon flavoring, fresh fruit only (nothing canned) and no sugary glaze.
When you break this dessert down, it's a sugar cookie crust, lemon-cream cheese icing, topped with fresh fruit. So simple, a kid can make it.
I know you're going to love this for your summer gatherings!
Happy Fourth, and happy baking :)





Red, White and Blueberry Tart
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon flavoring or lemon emulsion*
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Individual tart pans or 9-10 inch tart pans

Cream together butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add the lemon flavoring or emulsion and egg, beat until combined and smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar all at once. Mix just until flour disappears and wet and dry ingredients are combined,
Using individual tart pans (14-16  4-inch pans), or
2-3  9-10 inch or equivalent tart pans, lightly grease the pans with cooking spray.
Scoop the dough into the pans, and press into the pans lightly with hands.
If the dough gets too soft, place the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes to help the dough firm up.
After all of the tart pans are filled, pre-heat oven to 375 and set the racks in the middle of oven.
When oven is pre heated, bake the tarts for about 10-12 minutes or until tarts are golden brown. For a
9-inch tart pan, bake about 15 minutes. Remove and set on rack to cool. Let cool completely. This step may be done up to two days ahead if kept covered after baked and cooled.

Lemon Cream Cheese Filling:
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature (1 1/2  8 oz blocks cream cheese)
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
dash of salt
splash of milk (if needed to thin)

Beat all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth and blended well. The filling should be the consistency of  frosting.
Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use. If making ahead, refrigerate and cover.  Remove from refrigerator  about 30 minutes before ready to use.

Fruit topping:
fresh blueberries
fresh strawberries
fresh raspberries

Wash and drain the fruit thoroughly before using on the tarts. If the fruit is still wet from washing, it may bleed onto the cream cheese filling. I usually wash the fruit, let sit in a colander, then place on paper towels and pat lightly.

When ready to assemble:
Spread the cream cheese filling onto the tarts using a small spatula. Spread the filling almost to the edge of the tart. Arrange the fruit on top of the filling. Place tarts in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
May be prepared early in the day and covered until ready to serve.

Tips:
-Lemon emulsion and lemon extract are found in  most bakery supply stores or stores that sell cake decorating supplies.  Do not use lemon juice as a substitute in the tart shell. Fresh lemon juice is called for in the lemon cream cheese filling only.



6/23/14

Panera's Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad




Have you tried Panera's most popular salad? According to the girl who helped me last time I was there, it's the Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad. She promised I'd love it. She was right.
I loved all of the fruit in this salad: fresh pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges. As I was eating the salad, I knew it was going to end up on ABK...




If you're a Panera purist, you're probably wondering if a homemade salad is really going to taste like Panera's Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad. This recipe comes via  Panera's website. They demonstrate the recipe online through video (as far as I could find, only the dressing is in print).  I followed the recipe for their dressing (tweaked it just a bit reducing the Stevia and Dijon mustard) and made a note of the salad ingredients. They didn't disclose the recipe for their chicken, but it seems to have an herb/citrus type flavor. I came up with a version that has a nice herb crust that is flavorful, moist and easy to prepare in a home kitchen.

Herb-Crusted Chicken
I made this for dinner last week- twice, and guess what?
Don't tell our friends at Panera Bread, but it tasted  even better at home.
Every thing is better homemade.
Promise.


Panera's Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

Chicken:
3 chicken breast halves, about 1 1/2 lb total skinless, boneless
salt
*Mrs. Dash seasoning
olive oil
Lay the chicken on a plate. Generously salt and season one side of the chicken breast with Mrs. Dash seasoning.
Heat a heavy pan over medium to medium-high heat. Pour the olive oil in the pan while it's heating up and place the chicken, seasoned side down in the pan and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, season the side facing upward. If needed, add a little more oil to the pan when turning chicken. After the chicken has cooked for a total of ten minutes ( 5 minutes on each side), remove the pan from heat and cover loosely with foil. Let sit for an additional 5-7 minutes in pan. Remove the chicken from the pan and let cool completely on a cutting board.
Slice thin and set aside for salad. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Poppyseed Dressing:
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon stevia sweetener (or two additional tablespoons sugar)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a blender or food processor, combine the sugar, stevia, vinegar, orange juice, salt, mustard, and onion, and process for 20 seconds. With the blender on high, gradually add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Remove from the blender and stir in the poppy seeds. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. Shake well before using on salad.

Salad:
1 large head romaine lettuce, washed, chopped
1- 6 oz bag spinach or spring mix
(greens combined should equal about 15 cups total)
1 can mandarin oranges, drained well
1/2 lb strawberries, washed and sliced
1 pint blueberries, washed and patted dry
1 cup pineapple, sliced into chunks, then thinly sliced (about 1/2 of a medium size pineapple)
1 cup pecans, toasted and cut in half 

To prepare salad:
Using a large bowl or platter, arrange the greens on the platter. Sprinkle with a few pieces of fruit. Layer additional greens. Place the remaining fruits and chopped pecans on the greens. Top with sliced chicken. Drizzle about half of the dressing on the salad. Toss before serving. you may also plate the salad individually. In this case, toss the greens with the dressing and place on plates. Top each plate with fruit, nuts and chicken. Serve immediately. 
Yields about 15 generous side servings. 


Tips:
-*Mrs. Dash is found in most grocery stores near the spices.



5/8/14

Strawberries and Cream Sheet Cake






Strawberry Shortcake is one of my all time favorite desserts. I mean, what mom doesn't love Strawberry Shortcake? This cake takes the dessert to a new level. Fresh strawberries, cream, cream cheese...it doesn't get much better than this. And it's easy to mix up. Make the cake on Saturday, and the frosting on Sunday.
Trust me.
Mom's going to love this.





Strawberries and Cream Sheet Cake
adapted from Southern Living Magazine
print recipe

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons strawberry-flavored gelatin (powder)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
Shortening
Parchment paper
Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.
Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in strawberries.
Line a 9x13 with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper before spreading the batter onto the paper, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over long sides.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Lift cake from pan, using parchment paper sides as handles. Invert cake onto wire rack; gently remove parchment paper. Or just lift cake from pan and frost after cooled.  Cool completely (about 1 hour). Spread Strawberry Frosting on top and  sides (optional) of cake.
Fresh Strawberry Cream Frosting

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 -2  cups powdered sugar
dash of salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries

In a deep bowl, beat cream until stiff, add 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Scrape out of bowl and set aside in another small bowl. 
Using  the same large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar a little at a time. Add a dash of salt.  Beat again until smooth. Add 1/2 cup fresh chopped strawberries. Mix just until fruit is incorporated.  Fold the whipped cream mixture and the cream cheese mixtures together. Frost the cake immediately. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Tips:
-I altered the ingredients in the frosting to create a more stable frosting. The Southern Living version calls for granulated sugar and fresh lemon juice, which produces a delicious frosting, but does not hold its shape well. This frosting is delicate and should be served within two hours of frosting. 
-My Sister in Law, Sheri made this and followed the SL directions exactly, except she baked the cake in a jelly roll pan. The recipe calls for baking in a 9x13. After trying the cakes baked in a 9x13 and a jelly roll pan, I liked the cake baked in the jelly roll pan a bit better. 

-Be careful to not over bake. The cake is done when a few moist crumbs are attached to a toothpick when testing.