There is nothing I love more than when June rolls around and the local strawberries become available. All the expert farmers here in Michigan are saying our strawberry season will be short, but maybe some of the very best berries in years. That said, I thought I better get moving on my recipes and cooking! Last night my son and his girlfriend make the most beautiful chocolate covered strawberries. All Taylor and Courtney did was melt some good milk chocolate and dipped! It was fun watching them “cook”. We talked, we laughed, and we certainly enjoyed a great dessert.
Today, I thought for my strawberry dessert I would make Strawberry Blossoms. This is a very simple recipe that was given to me by a dear friend and co-worker. Sally is the Librarian I work for during the school year. She is always encouraging my cooking and giving me ideas and recipes. Her mother and I shared the same birthday and a passion for cooking. Since Jackie’s passing, Sally has been so generous with recipe and cookbooks that were Jackie’s favorite. I have loved reading all them and her notes. She was an amazing woman.
So this one is for you Sally. In honor of your mother. Love you both.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,
8-12 large strawberries washed and dried
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon sour cream
chopped chocolate (optional)
chopped mint leaves (optional)
Remove the stems from the berries forming a flat base. Place berries pointed end up. With a sharp knife, carefully slice strawberry in half vertically through the center to within 1/4 inch of the base. Cut each half into 3 wedges forming 6 petals. do not cut though base. Pull petals apart slightly. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until light and fluffy. Fill berries with mixture. If desired, top with some chopped chocolate or mint leaves.
So I was faced with real dilemma today. Usually, I post “Happy Meatless Monday” and Challenge everyone to a meat free dinner. But, today as I was thinking about which recipe would be perfect, my mind wouldn’t let go of an image of wonderfully grilled sourdough bread that had graced my dinner table yesterday. It was filled with savory Easter ham that had been marinated in dark ale and glazed with the goodness of apple butter and grainy mustard and topped with the combination of sweet cream cheese and pineapple. When I tell you I tried hard to sift through my many recipes and creations for meatless menus, I did with all my might. BUT… like a bad habit this sandwich stuck with me. Once you create this divine concoction it will forever be imbedded in your mind as well! So forgive me Meat Freers…I promise a Meatless Friday this week.
FYI…..”Challenge” your imagination. This recipe is only a stepping stone. Take the basics and run with it. For instance, This is wonderful made as a Panini.
Enjoy and Happy cooking,
8 or more slices cooked ham
8 slices sourdough bread
1 8oz. block cream cheese, softened
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
4 Tbsp. butter *
In a bowl combine cream cheese and pineapple. Spread on 4 slices of bread. Layer slices of ham on top of cheese mixture and top with remaining slices of bread.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches in skillet, and fry on each side until golden brown and cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes per side. *You may need more butter to fry sandwiches.
I was thinking about what “Challenge” I could blog about today. If you ask my children, they would tell you the challenge of the day for them is the weather here in Michigan. They got tickets to the Detroit Tigers game this evening and I don’t think Mother Nature realizes most of us would like to move on from the cold weather. If you ask my husband, his challenge is the long “Honey Do” list I keep giving him on his vacation! As I enjoy a wonderful Hazelnut Latte on Earth Day, I kept thinking about this wonderful dessert and how it would be the perfect ending to my Easter dinner on Sunday. I guess my “Challenge” for you is to copy the ingredient list and give it a try! The best thing is you make it ahead and simply pull it out of the fridge when you are ready for dessert. Hope you enjoy. I know we will!!
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,
22 1/2 sheets (about 1 [14-ounce] box) graham crackers, divided
3 cups milk
2 (3.4-ounce) packages vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons stick margarine or butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Arrange 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine 3 cups milk, pudding mix, and cream cheese in a large bowl, and beat at low speed with a mixer 1 minute or until thick. Fold in whipped topping. Spread half of the pudding mixture over graham crackers, and top with 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets. Repeat the procedure with the remaining half of pudding mixture and 7 1/2 graham cracker sheets.
Combine 1/4 cup milk, softened butter, honey, and unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl, and beat well with a mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar to milk mixture, and beat well. Spread chocolate glaze over graham crackers. Cover dessert and tent with foil to prevent sticking. Chill 4 hours.