Strawberry Shortcake anyone?

strawberryshortcakedollNo….not the doll (although I loved her growing up – almost as much as I love cake).

Today is National Strawberry Shortcake Day and one of my top 3 desserts of all time!  It’s a simple classic that can be served at any occasion.  Pair with a sweet white wine such as Reisling or Moscato for a perfect treat.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

Strawberry Shortcake  Photo by Taste of Home

Strawberry Shortcake
Photo by Taste of Home

Serves: 9 – Prep Time: 25 minutes – Bake Time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Whipped Cream
  • 1.5 quarts fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In mixing bowl, beat sugar and shortening.  Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture along with milk.
  3. Spread mixture into a greased 9″ x 9″ square baking pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

TO SERVE:

Cut into 9 squares.  Split each square horizontally and fill with whipped cream and strawberries.  Replace top of cake and garnish with more strawberries and whipped cream.  Serve immediately.

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Got Scallops?

Then today is your day because it’s National Coquilles St. Jacques Day!

Courtesy of the Food Network – here is Rachel Ray’s version of Coquilles St. Jacques:

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Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 40 min Yield: 4 servings

Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chopped shallots
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
12 medium clams
18 black mussels
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 medium shrimp
6 sea scallops
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 lemon
1 quart fumet (fish stock)
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup bread crumbs
4 teaspoons parsley, chopped

Directions:
In a frying pan over medium high heat, add butter, shallots and garlic. Sweat the garlic and shallots until they become translucent. Add the clams and mussels and toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the frying pan with white wine, cover with a lid and let cook until the mussels and clams start to open. Strain mussels and clams and set aside, reserving the liquid (it will be used to make the veloute).

In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat the pan until it is smoking hot. Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper. Carefully place the scallops in the pan and sear, until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the shrimp to the same pan and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same frying pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and let it get hot. Add the mushrooms and saute until they are cooked and most of their liquid is released. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

Preheat the broiler.

To make the veloute: In a saute pan melt butter and add flour until both mix evenly together. Let cook for a few minutes on light heat until the mixture resembles pancake batter. Take the pan you used to cook the shrimps and scallops and deglaze it with the liquid you saved from the mussels and clams and squeeze in the lemon. Add the fumet and let reduce. Add the cream and again let reduce over medium heat. Add the butter flour mixture and stir until everything starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Remove the shells of the mussels and clams. Cut the scallops in 4 and remove any shell that is still on the shrimp. Add the mushrooms, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and clams to the veloute and stir everything with a spoon. Fill the baking shells or bowls with the seafood veloute and sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and parsley. Place under a broiler until the top becomes golden brown. Place the hot dish onto another plate to serve.

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It’s National Butterscotch Brownie Day!

I’ve never had a butterscotch brownie before, but I love butterscotch candies and who doesn’t love brownies?!, so the combination only makes sense!  Check out this recipe from AllRecipes.com and if you’re up to baking this holiday weekend, let me know how they turned out!

butterscotchbrownies

Ingredients – Makes 32 bars

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8″ square baking pan.
  2. In large bowl, cream the shortening, brown sugar, egg, & vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, walnuts, & salt.  Slowly add the egg mixture to the shortening mixture and stir until blended well.  Spread dough evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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