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home : news : news
August 1, 2021

6/18/2021 11:26:00 AM
Strawberries in summertime
by JEFF NORTON


Ever since Alice made me aware of the growing seasons, I’ve been much better about seeing what is harvested when. So for this week, I decided to take a gander at the calendar and see what’s in season in June, and lo and behold, my favorite fruit is starting to ripen! Strawberries! I’ve shared a few strawberry recipes before, including Aly’s favorite healthy dessert and my favorite spicy jam, but this one is about the summer strawberry recipes that I’ve made and I love.

We’ll start with a dessert, because, well, it’s strawberries, and they are sweet as can be. There are plenty of options for fresh strawberry, but usually it’s best highlighted in desserts.

STRAWBERRY COBBLER
½ c. white sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. water
3 c. strawberries, hulled
2 tbsp. butter, diced
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. white sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. butter
½ c. heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Butter a 2-quart baking dish.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and hot. Stir in strawberries, and remove from heat. Pour mixture into the baking dish, and dot with 2 tablespoons butter.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in cream. Mixture should be fairly soft. Spoon on top of berries.

Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until biscuit is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

++++

This next one is a fresh take on a summer salad The fruits, goat cheese, which you can find in most markets, and the nuts mix so well for that fresh, crisp, crunchy and smooth taste. Just make sure you have enough of this, because it’ll go fast!

STRAWBERRY SALAD
8 oz. mixed greens                   
1 c. sliced strawberries                    
½ c. blueberries                    
½ c. mandarin oranges                    
½ c. pecans, unsalted                    
3.5 oz. crumbled goat cheese                    
2 tbsp. sliced green onions

ORANGE SALAD DRESSING
½ c. orange sparkling drink                
3 tbsp. olive oil                    
2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar                    
½ tbsp. honey                    
¼ tsp. salt                    
1/8tsp. pepper        

Combine salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid. Shake well. Pour over salad immediately before serving.

++++

I feel like I cheat a little too often by using a box cake mix, but at the same time, I understand not everyone has the time to make homemade cake mix for their recipes all the time. This recipe utilizes a box cake, but still isn’t that easy, but the resulting combination is a sweet, savory and so-very-delicious cake.


STRAWBERRY
COCONUT CAKE
1 box white cake mix
4 tbsp. strawberry gelatin powder
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. pureed strawberries
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1 c. coconut - chopped
1 container Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 c. coconut - chopped
6-8 strawberries sliced. plus additional strawberries for garnish

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add the white cake mix, strawberry gelatin powder, all-purpose flour, and baking soda. Whisk to combine. Next beat in the oil, eggs, milk, pureed strawberries, vanilla, and coconut extract. Then stir in the chopped coconut.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of each layer comes out clean.

Cool the pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pans and leave it on the racks until it is completely cool.

While the cake cools, make your cream cheese frosting. Prepare as directed, but mix in 1/2 cup of chopped coconut.

Once the cakes are cool, spread a layer of frosting onto the top of one cake. Top with sliced strawberries. Place the second layer of cake on top of that and frost the rest of the cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries.

++++

I feel like if it’s going to stay in the high 80s and 90s, I’m going to keep adding in some fresh cocktails to this column. It’s too hot out not to enjoy a little sip here and there, whether it’s in between outside chores, out on the lake, or enjoy a cool summer breeze on the deck. Here’s a beautiful, fresh cocktail that combines three sweet fruits.


ORCHARD CATCH COOLER
3 large strawberries, divided
2 basil leaves, julienned
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3 lime wedges, divided
1 oz. vanilla vodka
4 to 6 oz. hard cider, to taste


Quarter two of the strawberries and muddle them with two julienned basil leaves and the simple syrup in a tall glass. (Jullienned is a small, thin slice. Think hash browns)

Squeeze in the juice from two of the lime wedges, then drop them into the glass. Fill with ice and add the vodka and cider. Stir well. Garnish with the remaining strawberry and lime wedge. Serve and enjoy.


TFD: A little bit of summer is what the whole year in Minnesota is all about!






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