How To Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries

June 23, 2014 in Desserts, Recipes

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You could buy a box of candy or make delicious cakes or cookies – but there really is no treat that will equal to fresh, locally grown strawberries that are coated in real chocolate!

And – you can make these ahead of time or have them ready on a short time notice – just a perfect treat!

Directions:

  1. Coarsely chop about 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
  2. Wash and dry 1 lb. of fresh strawberries (that’s about 20 of them and if you use locally grown strawberries, you will definitely notice the difference)
  3. Place the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
  4. Dip the strawberries – holding each strawberry by the stem end, dip in the melted chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip of. Repeat with the remaining berries.
  5. Transfer dipped strawberries onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.
  6. As you set each berry down, slide it about 1/2 inch to the side to prevent the formation of a “chocolate foot”.
  7. Refrigerate the strawberries until the chocolate is firm – at least 30 minutes.
  8. The dipped strawberries will keep up to 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator.
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How to Make Frozen Desserts

July 19, 2013 in Recipes

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smoothies 001It is hot out there and I do hope you are all enjoying the summer!  You can freshen up the hot summer days with homemade frozen desserts – it is easier than it looks.

First – here are a few tips:

  • When you are making sorbets, you can substitute frozen fruit for fresh; just thaw it slightly before pureeing.
  • These frozen desserts can be stored in the freezer for up o two days; after that, puree them again in the food processor to enjoy an extra day or two of fresh flavour.
  • For an easy preparation, scoop out and freeze the finished ices on a foil-lined baking sheet.

How to make simple syrup:

  1. In a saucepan, bring 2/3 cups each of granulated sugar and water to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  2. Let cool completely.

How to make frozen desserts:

  1. Prepare and puree your choice of fruit to make fresh fruit puree.
  2. Mix with simple syrup
  3. Freeze in shallow cake pan for about 4 hours or until firm
  4. Break into chunks and puree in a food processor.
  5. Pack into airtight container and refreeze for 4 hours or until firm or up to 2 days.

Different Kinds Fruit Desserts:

Strawberry: Prepare 4 cups of strawberries and puree them with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Raspberry: Prepare 4 cups of raspberries and puree them with 1 tablespoon of each corn syrup and lemon juice. Strain through sieve.

Peach: Prepare 6 peaches, peeled and sliced to make 4 cups. Puree with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Fuzzy Raspberry: 5 peaches or nectarines, peeled and sliced to make 3 cups plus 1 cup of raspberries

Cantaberry: Prepare 2 cups of strawberries, 1 small cantaloupe, peeled and cubed to make 3 cups. Puree with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Blueberry Yogurt Ice: Prepare 3 cups of blueberries and puree them with 2/3 cup of plain yogurt

Lemon Line Tofu Zinger: Prepare 2 each – lemon and limes, grated and squeezed to make 3/4 cup of juice and 1 tablespoon of rind. Puree with 12 oz. of soft silken tofu and juice, stir in rind. Mix with 2 batches of simple syrup.

 

Hope you will enjoy these recipes – please send me your comments, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated.

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Fresh Berry No Bake Cheesecake Recipe

June 17, 2013 in Recipes

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This incredibly easy no bake cheesecake will take you only about 15 minutes to make – before refrigeration. You can use any fresh berries that are in season or frozen berries in off-season. It is so easy you have time to make it for a dessert tonight!

Fresh Berry No Bake Cheesecake Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cup of graham crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 2 packages (250 gms each) of Philadelphia cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 4 cups of mixed fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • 2 cups of Cool Whip topping

Directions:

  1. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. (I have also used non-stick baking spray and it worked well)
  2. Mix graham crumbs and butter and press onto the bottom of prepared pan
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until well blended.
  4. Mash 2 cups of berries with  fork
  5. Add to cream cheese mixture, beat on low speed just until blended
  6. Gently stir in Cool Whip and spoon mixture over crust
  7. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours
  8. Serve with remaining berries

 

Hope this recipe will be loved and appreciated by everyone you serve it to! Please send in your comments – your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

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How To Make Strawberry Ice Cream

May 1, 2013 in Recipes

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strawberry ice cream featureStrawberry ice cream is always family favorite! You will need to choose berries that are ripe and red in the centre – those will give you the best flavour!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups of milk
  • 1-1/2 cups of whipping cream (35%)
  • 1 strip of orange zest – about 2 inches long
  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • pinch of salt

Strawberry puree:

  • 4 cups of hulled strawberries
  • 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

How to make the strawberry puree:

  1. In food processor, puree together strawberries, sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
  2. Strain into a bowl and refrigerate.

Making the ice cream:

  1. In a saucepan, heat together milk, cream, orange zest over medium heat until tiny bubbles form around edge.
  2. Remove from heat; cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and salt; slowly whisk in cream mixture
  5. Return to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick enough to coat back of a spoon. – about 8 minutes
  6. Strain into bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
  7. Reserving 1/4 cup of the puree, stir remaining puree into egg mixture
  8. Pour into 9 inch square pan
  9. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface and freeze until almost solid – 3-4 hours
  10. Break into chunks and process in a food processor until smooth.
  11. You can also freeze in ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  12. Spoon one quarter of the ice cream into airtight container and add one-third of the reserved puree, swirling slightly with spoon.
  13. Repeat twice.
  14. Cover with remaining ice cream and freeze until firm – about 6 hours.
  15. You can freeze this ice cream for up to one week.

Hope you will enjoy this recipe  – please send me your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is welcomed and very much appreciated!

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Easy Triple Berry Loaf Recipe

April 10, 2013 in Recipes

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I cut this delicious loaf when it was still hot - really wanted to see how it baked on inside - it crumbled a little but was it ever good!

I cut this delicious loaf when it was still hot – really wanted to see how it baked on inside – it crumbled a little but was it ever good!

 

I made this incredibly easy and delicious Triple Berry Loaf last week. And no surprise – it was awesome! Gave a few slices to my neighbours and he came back to tell me that it was the best he ever tasted! But they do love homemade baked good and always, always share with friends and family!

I used fresh berries – but if you have frozen ones, they are also OK to use. Just defrost them, drain the juice and you may have to either increase the amount the flour to make sure the batter is not too runny and decrease the amount of berries you are using. If you don’t, your loaf will stay runny in the centre.

Here is the step-by-step recipe, complete with pictures – have fun making it and let me know how it turned out for you.

Easy Triple Berry Loaf:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • About 3 cups of berries

Directions:

mixing batter

In a bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy

batter 2

Then beat in eggs.

Whisk together flour, lemon zest, baking powder and salt – stir in butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of buttermilk.

Stir in lemon juice

batter 1

At this point, the batter should be nice a creamy – of uniform consistency

Spread one third of the batter in a loaf pan, you have sprayed with non-stick baking spray

Berry filling

Arrange half of the berries over the batter and repeat layers

Second layer

Top with remaining batter.

Crumble top

Prepare you topping by mixing about a cup of flour with 1/2 a cup of melted butter and 1/4 cup of sugar (add vanilla sugar if you want a nice aroma during baking) Mix butter into flour in small amounts using a fork, until mixture form small pieces.

Sprinkle over top of the batter.

Bake at 350F until cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean – about 1 hour.

Out of the oven

Let cool in a pan for about 10 minutes, then turn onto rack and let cool completely before slicing.

 

Hope you will enjoy this recipe – try serving it warm with vanilla bean ice cream – yummy!

Please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences – your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

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Baked Triple Berry Cheesecake Recipe

August 1, 2012 in Recipes

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This is a different kind of cheesecake - when it bakes, the cheesecake filling mixes with berries and makes the batter beautifully moist.

It’s great when there is a great selection of fresh berries at very reasonable prices this time of the year! I had some strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in the fridge, so I thought that I will create a recipe, combining the basics of making a coffee cake and cheesecake and add the berries. The result was better than I thought. Yes – I do have to admit that there are times I “create” recipes and the results are…. well – not so good. But this one is an exception – very moist and deliciously tasty. Try it – you will love it!

Baked Triple Berry Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Batter:

  • 1-1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 envelopes of Fleishman’s RapidRise yeast
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2/3 cup of milk (very warm – 120F)
  • ¼ cup of butter, melted
  • 1 egg

Berry Sauce:

  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 cup of strawberries (cut into smaller pieces)
  • 1 cup of raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

Cheesecake mix:

  • 1 package (8 oz.) of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

 Directions:

Prepare your berries – cleaning and washing them gently and cutting strawberries into smaller pieces

Fresh berries are easy to get now and this is a very good use for them - if you want to use frozen berries, make sure you drain them well and reduce liquids you use as well

Mix all batter ingredients together in a medium bowl. Let mixture rest while preparing the sauce and cheesecake mix.

All dry ingredients get mixed together first, then add the liquid ones and let the better rest while preparing the berry sauce and cheesecake filling

This is what the batter looks like after all ingredients are gently mixed together

To make sauce, mix berries together gently with all other sauce ingredients in a cooking pan. Bring to boil and cook for couple of minutes, until sauce thickens.

Making the triple berry sauce is quick and easy - make sure you mix it gently while cooking so that you don;t end up with mashed up berries

To make cheesecake mix, combine all recipe ingredients and mix with electric mixer until smooth

Having the cream cheese at room temperature will keep it soft and easy to mix with all remaining cheesecake ingredients

Use electric mixer to make the cheesecake filling - mine looks a bit darker then it should - I used more vanilla than the recipe calls for

Transfer batter into baking pan that you sprayed with non-stick cooking or baking spray

Spread the batter evenly into a baking dish (I used glass one but you can use metal one) that is sprayed with non stick baking spray

Top the batter with dollops of cheesecake mixture and berry sauce. Swirl mixture together using butter knife

Drop cheesecake filling in spoonfuls over the batter first and then do the same with the berry sauce. Run butter knife through several times and get the cheesecake filling and berries into the batter

Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until the cheesecake is set.

This is what my triple berry cheesecake looked like when it was finished baking - when cut, every piece had a generous amount of berries and cheese filling - yummy!

Serve this cheesecake warm with French Vanilla ice cream and you will have a hit for sure!

Hope you will enjoy this delicious cheesecake recipe – please send me your comments, suggestions and experiences – your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

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Double Strawberry Scones Recipe

March 27, 2012 in Recipes

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Scones are a great thing to make – whether you serve them for breakfast, with lunch, as a snack or add them to your dinner menu.I have made scones in various flavors in the past and my favorite ones were Cranberry Orange Scones. I’m always testing different variations on my recipes, this time I tried something completely different. Here is a recipe for double strawberry scones, they’re double strawberry, because the recipe uses a mixture of fresh and freeze-dried strawberries.

Freeze-dried strawberries have more intense flavor and are sometimes sweeter than fresh strawberries. These scones turned out beautifully flaky and very tasty. Serving them warm is a must and honestly – serving them also with butter and homemade jam is a definite treat!

Double Strawberry Scones

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of freeze dried strawberries
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Vanilla Sugar

Directions:

Getting your ingredients ready before starting to assemble the dough is a good idea – you won`t forget to anything and it will make your task much easier.

1. Cut your fresh strawberries into small pieces

2. In a large bowl. stir together flour. 2 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 butter knives, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal. Gently mix in strawberries – both the fresh and the freeze-dried

3. In a medium bowl. stir together eggs and milk. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients all at once

4. Gently stir until just moistened and turn dough on generously floured surface and knead gently by folding and pressing it, turning dough 1/4 turn after each fold

5. Transfer to greased round pan, pat to make sure the dough reaches edges, cut with pizza cutter or a sharp knife into wedges and slightly pull apart.

6. Brush wedges with milk and sprinkle with vanilla sugar

7. Bake in oven preheated to 400F for 15-20 minutes or until golden

8. Serve these warm, refrigerate any leftover scones and reheat to serve again.

Hope you have enjoyed this recipe, please send me your comments, suggestions and experiences- your input is always welcomed and much appreciated!

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Peanut Butter and Strawberry Muffins Recipe

February 17, 2012 in Recipes

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Much better than a peanut butter sandwich – believe me! Especially for little people in your life. Here is the recipe and I do hope you will enjoy it!

Ingredients:

2-1/4 cups of flour

1/2 cup of white sugar

  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3/4 cups of peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups of fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces plus strawberries cut into halves for topping
  • Strawberry jam
  • Vanilla Sugar

Directions:

I usually take more pictures than this – somehow I started baking without the every ready camera handy – but I remembered that most of you enjoy seeing the process in pictures  so I kid of caught up :-)

First – get all your ingredients organized and in front of you – as I always say, it makes your task much easier.

Mix all dry ingredients  - except the 1/2 cup of sugar – together in a large bowl

Cut in your peanut butter and butter until the mixture is crumbly – like an oatmeal

Gently fold in your cup up strawberries

Add eggs, mixed into your milk and stir well, until just combined

Fill your muffin cups placed into the baking pan about half full

Carefully spoon in about 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry jam onto each muffin

Top with more batter to cover the jam

Place 1/2 strawberry on top of each muffin and sprinkle with vanilla sugar

Bake at 375F for about 20 -25 minutes or until your muffins turn golden brown

Alternatively – you can skip the 1/2 strawberry and vanilla sugar topping, bake your muffins and while hot, brush them with melted strawberry jam or jelly and sprinkle chopped peanuts  over the top.

 

Hope you will enjoy this recipe – please send me your comments, suggestions and experiences – your input is always welcomed and much appreciated

 

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Peanut Butter and Strawberry Muffins Recipe

July 6, 2011 in Recipes

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It`s strawberry season! I thought about making something different using this wonderful fruit and it crossed my mind that I could come up with a recipe, using peanut butter and strawberries. That would possibly create a muffin that would taste just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So – I got to work and here is the result – and trust me – these muffins are awesome!

Here are the ingredients and Step-by-Step recipe directions with pictures – that will make it easier for you to follow:

Ingredients:

Before I list the ingredients, I would like to give you a little tip: It makes it much easier and much more enjoyable to prepare what you are making, if you get all the ingredients ready first – all measured up in appropriate size containers like cups and small bowls. Then all you have to do is follow the recipe and you will not have to be looking for things as you are preparing your batter. You may wonder - why mess up additional dishes, but trust me – I have been cooking and baking using this method for a lot of years and it honestly makes the experience a whole lot easier. After all – that is what dishwashers are for!

Ingredients:

Please note: I am listing 2 cups of flour here, but check your batter for consistency – it should drop of a spoon in slow, large chunks – not run. The consistency will change depending on the condition of your strawberries – the softer ones will let out more juice and thin out the batter.

  • 2 cups of flour
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ – ¾ cup of peanut butter (I used smooth peanut butter but you can use chunky)
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups of cut up strawberries

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients together

Add peanut butter and butter and cut them into the dry ingredients with pastry knife or two butter knives, until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal

Cut butters into the batter until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal

Add beaten eggs and milk, stir gently until mixed together and then add chopped up strawberries (I cut mine into pieces about quarter to half an inch big)

Cut your strawberries into pieces - my strawberries were small size and I just quartered them

Gently fold your strawberries into the batter – this is what your batter should look like:

Your muffin batter should have a non-runny consistency and drop from a spoon in large chunks

Place paper muffin cups into your baking pan and fill to the top with prepared batter ( I like large muffins so I always fill the cups to the top)

Sprinkle top of muffin batter with either white or vanilla sugar and bake at 375F until golden brown and firm – about 20 minutes.

Fill your muffin cups to the top and sprinkle with sugar

You will not want to miss even a single crumb of this very tasty muffin!

Enjoy!

 

 

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