Monday, June 27, 2011

Strawberry Mania!

I haven't felt very bloggy, as I have been up to my ears in strawberries, ha ha! My sister & our friend, Cristy, went to Sauvie Island Farms last weekend & picked soooooo many berries. I got 24 pounds of them. :/ Somebody stop me! Here's what I did with most of them, besides eating them plain...

First off, lots of Strawberry-Honey Jam. I used Pomona's Universal Pectin, which is awesome because you don't need to use much, if any sweetener, depending on the fruit; in fact, it gels with calcium, rather than sugar. I've been avoiding white sugar, for the most part, & used 1/2 cup honey to sweeten each batch (per 4 cups mashed strawberries). The resulting jam is just right & won't give the recipients diabeetus.

There are 29 jars of this stuff---some pints, some half-pints, & some teensy-tiny ones. I can't wait to mix it into yogurt & slather it on toast throughout the year!

I also made some pseudo-ice cream. Since I don't have an ice cream maker, I just whipped some heavy cream, then folded in some strawberry puree before freezing. It's a little crystallized, but I wasn't feeling fancy enough to care. :)

If you're in a similarly non-fancy mood, here's how I made it:

Rustic Strawberry-Honey Ice Cream & Sauce
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 2 cups strawberry puree
  • 3/4 cup honey (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon arrowroot starch
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-whip, or you'll have butter (which isn't that shabby, actually). Fold about half of the strawberry-honey mixture into the cream. It will be somewhat runny, just so you know. Freeze until firm, about 6 hours or so.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by whisking the arrowroot into the remaining syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer for about a minute, then pour into a jar to cool.

Drizzle the ruby syrup over your ice cream & eat it while basking in the sun!


I also whipped up a couple treats for a dinner at Coral's house. Of course I forgot to take pictures of them until after I wrapped them up. By the time I realized it, I was running late & just wanted to head over, so sorry!

Luckily, I had set aside a cookie for Ethan, so I have a better shot of that. I made cookie sandwiches, filled with a little homemade peach jam. Mmmmmmm...

Brown Butter Shortbread adapted from My Madison Bistro
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
Preheat the oven to 325*F. Brown the butter by melting it over medium heat, stirring it frequently until brown & fragrant, about 4-8 minutes. Chill it in the freezer until solid again.

Cream the butter, brown sugar & vanilla. Add the flour & mix until combined. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Pop into the freezer for a bit until it's firmed up.

Cut into desired shapes & place on a cookie sheet. Bake until golden on the edges, 15-20 minutes, depending on how large you made them.


Black-Bottom Coconut Bars adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups unsweetened coconut (reserve 1/2 cup for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 375*F & butter a 9X9-inch pan; set aside.

Whisk together the butter, sugar & egg. In a small bowl, stir together the flour & cocoa, then stir into the wet ingredients. Spread into the prepared pan & bake for 10-15 minutes, just until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

While that's baking, prepare the coconut topping. Whisk together the eggs, sugar & vanilla. Stir in the flour, then fold in 2 1/2 cup of coconut. Spread carefully over the baked base. It's pretty thick, so I just dolloped it on top, then carefully pressed it out. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup coconut. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool before cutting into squares.


On the crafty front, I've been in a crocheting mood, working on my granny square blanket & making a garland for my mom.

Here are all the little hearts, before weaving in the ends:

I made the small hearts from here, then made the garland according to here, except I only chained 4 on top of the hearts, rather than 6, since they were smaller. And here's the finished product:

Cute little hearts!

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