Strawberry Pie


We have been very fortunate to have wonderful strawberries this summer. I have created and made several recipes using these luscious berries. By far my favorite recipe has been for strawberry pie.  This is a very simple and fast recipe.  It will soon become your favorite too!
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                    Strawberry pie
Vonnie

1 (9 inch)pie crust, baked (I use King Arthur Flour and I make their double crust recipe)
2 quart fresh strawberries
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions
Arrange 1 qt. of strawberries in baked pastry shell.  Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan.  Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water.  Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture.  Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell.  Chill for several hours before serving.  In a small bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

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Summer Time Strawberry and Nut Salad with a Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette


This morning I woke up realizing “Today is the first day of my summer break! I am home… Well, that isn’t going to stop me.”  I got my chores done early, I made myself a glass of sweet tea, I suited up in my beach attire, and grabbed my sandchair….”WAIT…. no beach or ocean?….No worries”. I grabbed my Ipad, set up my sandchair in the middle of my patio, sweet tea in hand, chicklit beach book in the other and I was off to the “beach”!

 

 

“Except I don’t smell fresh ocean air. I smell the remnants of my dogs morning feeding that didn’t get picked up(if you know what I mean), and I don’t hear seagulls or waves crashing….WAIT!….I have Ambiance on my Ipad!… I hear waves and seagulls!! I have a sweet tea, a sandchair and a smutty book… Still no sand, but the bricks are hot and it’s a sunny day with a breeze…..EXCEPT… The neighbor kids are riding their bikes and ringing their bike bells yelling, “Shut up, I’m telling!”…NO!!…I am at the “beach”! I hear the waves and seagulls, I smell my suntan lotion, and I feel the heat of the sun…BEEP, BEEP, BEEP… What is that? Is that a delivery truck? ….DING, DING, DING….SHUT UP!!….I’M TELLING!!…MOM!!!……. What’s that odor? Oh yea….Stupid Dogs! …. OMG!!!…. Was that a frog that just hoped by my feet?…. MOM… I’M TELLING…. DING, DING, DING!!!

AWWWWWW……

OK….

I am not at the beach….I am on my patio, hearing sounds and smelling odors that do not resonate from the beach….BUT I am thinking of summer time recipes and most importantly recipes that are easy to put together, but really pack a punch of different flavors and “challenge” me to try different ingredients together!” 

This salad is your canvas. Add your own colors and make it your own!  It’s the delectable match. If you want, add some grilled chicken, steak or a fresh crab cake. It’s perfect!

PS….this dressing is to die for!!

Enjoy and Happy cooking,

Vonnie

Salad:

5-6 cups Mixed Greens of your liking

1 Pound strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced

1/2 cup nuts( almonds or macadamia nut work best) chopped  

1 handful of white chocolate shavings

Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette:

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. unsalted butter

2 1/2 oz. brown sugar

2 oz. honey

1 vanilla bean

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 oz. olive oil

Directions:

In a large serving bowl, place washed and spin-dried greens. Toss in sliced strawberries and chopped nuts. Meanwhile in a saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat and stir in brown sugar and honey. Split vanilla bean in half and core (use the pulp only). Transfer butter mixture and vanilla pulp to a blender. Add vanilla extract and pulse for 2 minutes. Slowly add olive oil, pulsing to incorporate. Return to saucepan and keep over low heat until ready to use.

  Dress salad with vinaigrette and top with white chocolate shavings and choice of meat if desired. 

Strawberry Turkey Salad


The summer night is like a perfection of thought. ~Wallace Stevens            

This salad will be the perfect accompaniment to your summer evening.
It’s light, but very satisfying.  If you don’t have turkey, use chicken or pork.  It will be equally as tasty!!
Add nice glass of sun tea or your favorite white wine and I guarantee a dinner that will be the highlight of your day.  Enjoy this while you watch the sunset!

PS… Last summer I entered this into a local recipe contest and WON!  I got a great chop-chop board as my prize.  Trust me when I say if you serve your family and friends this for dinner you will be a winner too!
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,
Vonnie                                                                                                                  

Ingredients:


6 TBSP Mango chutney
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 pkg. Romaine Lettuce, chopped
…8 oz. turkey breast, chopped
2 pt. strawberries, sliced
1 cup  red grapes
3/4 cup  celery, sliced
1/2 cup  red onion, chopped
fresh mint leaves (optional)                                                                                                                                   

Directions:

1. For dressing, in a bowl whisk together chutney, yogurt, and lime juice.
2. In a large bowl combine, lettuce, grapes, celery, and red onions.  Fill 4 plates with lettuce mixture.
3. Top lettuce mixture with turkey and strawberries. Drizzle with dressing. Top with fresh mint if desired.

Strawberry Blossoms


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,

ingredients:

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)

Directions:

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.

Kick Off to Summer Salad


I am almost certain the warm weather is here to stay in Metro-Detroit.  Our winter was brutal and spring wasn’t any better. We had record amounts of snow and rain. Last week we had worst rainfall in the history of Plymouth.  I couldn’t get my car out of our garage for 3 days because of the 10 inches of water that flooded our streets.  That said, I am the eternal optimist. I just  know summer is going to be beautiful!  This salad is a great way to kick off the picnic season. It is super easy and very pleasing. If you want to make it a meal add some grilled chicken or pork tenderloin sliced and served on top.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,

Vonnie


Ingredients

1 pint strawberries, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1-1 1/2 cups red grape, halved
1 cup prepared poppy-seed Dressing
Romaine lettuce, washed, patted dry and chopped

Grilled chicken or pork tenderloin, optional

Preparation

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, sliced strawberries, thinly sliced onion, and halved grapes.

Pour dressing over top and toss just before serving.
If making a meal, top with grilled meat.