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Three ways with strawberries: Sheetcake, shortcake, even shrimp

Mashed berries make cake special

MARTINSBURG – We are in strawberry season so give this recipe for a strawberry cake a try. It is guaranteed to please everyone who loves this delicious fruit.

This recipe is adapted from Family Bakery and Catering in Mt. Pleasant, Tenn.Strawberries-72dpi

 

Strawberry Sheet Cake

For cake:

2 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup canola oil

1 cup milk

1/3 cup mashed strawberries

1 small box strawberry-flavored gelatin mix (just the powder)

 

Mix all ingredients on low speed then pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting.

 

For icing:

4 Tablespoons softened butter 
(½ stick)

3 cups powdered sugar

¼ cup mashed strawberries

 

Mix on low speed until smooth – you may need to add more powdered sugar or strawberries for a spreading consistency. Mix well first before you add extra sugar or strawberries.

Store in refrigerator. Because the flavors work better the longer the cake is refrigerated, make a day ahead.

 

 

 

 

Try berries, biscuits and ice cream

KEARNEYSVILLE – For many people, strawberries are best eaten out of hand, but they also make  a great addition to salads and plenty of desserts.

Strawberries are picked low to the ground and you must get on your knees and or stoop over. The berries do stain so I recommend wearing gloves.

If you prefer to buy strawberries, choose brightly colored, dry, firm, shiny, plump berries that still have fresh-looking green caps attached. Avoid soft, dull looking or shriveled berries.

Strawberry Shortcake has many delicious variations. You can purchase ready-made pound cake, make your own cake and or use biscuits. To prepare your strawberries, take them off the stem, cut in small pieces and place in a bowl. Cover with sugar or other sweetener and let stand overnight to form a syrup. Serve the strawberries atop with a dollop of whipped cream and or ice cream.

Another family pleaser is a No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie. Purchase one of the chocolate readymade pie crust or take the time to make your own with 25 chocolate wafers (such as Nabisco) finely ground in a food processor. Place 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds or until chocolate melts, stirring every 15 seconds. Add melted chocolate and 2 teaspoons canola oil to processor; process until well combined. Gently press the mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate or removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray.

Place in freezer 15 minutes or until set. For the filling, you’ll need 6 ounces cream cheese (softened), 1/3 cup powdered sugar and ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract. Place in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping, thawed. Carefully spread over crust.

Place 2 tablespoons seedless strawberry fruit spread in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 10 seconds or until softened. You may want to add 1 tablespoon Chambord (raspberry-flavored liqueur) and ½ teaspoon lemon juice; stir with a whisk until smooth. Now add 1 pound small strawberries, hulled and cut in half; toss to combine and place mixture onto crust. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

When it’s hot out, stay cool by whipping yourself up Strawberry Smoothie. You can complete this simple recipe in about 5 minutes. In an electric blender, combine 10 ounces strawberries, 4 cups milk, 1 pint strawberry ice cream and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.  Blend at high speed. Repeat for a second batch. This recipe makes around 8 cups.

— Send feedback on this article to Patt Welsh at pwelsh@shepherd.edu

 

 

 

 

Berries make cocktail sauce unique

Most of us know the secret to amazing homemade cocktail sauce – spike some ketchup with horseradish, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and you’re good to go.

But for summer, we wanted to update this classic companion to chilled shrimp so we looked to what was seasonal and decided to try a strawberry-based cocktail sauce.

It ended up being a perfect pairing. Like the tomatoes in ketchup, strawberries offer a balance of sweet and acidic. Boost the flavor with garlic, ginger and a jalapeno and you have a whole lot of deliciousness.

 

Shrimp with Strawberry Cocktail Sauce

1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch chunk fresh ginger, thinly sliced

1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, halved (remove seeds, if desired)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 pound cooked shrimp, shells removed, chilled

 

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the strawberries, garlic, ginger, jalapeno (more or less, depending on your heat tolerance), salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice and sugar.

Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until well chilled.

When the cocktail sauce is chilled, divide it between individual serving bowls or glasses and accompany with shrimp. This recipe makes six servings.

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