Tag Archives: strawberries

A perfect Sunday…

…would go something like this: sleeping in, then getting a lavender latte at Krankies Silver Bullet. Then, getting bagels and The New York Times and consuming in a sunny breakfast nook.

Later, a nice jog through the Wake Forest trails and then a stroll through the Reynolda Gardens, where the roses are going crazy. Next, maybe throw in a fruit smoothie to encourage the healthy living.

Later, maybe you feel inspired to go to the Piedmont Triad Farmers’ Market, where you will be blown away by all the produce ripe for the taking. Buy a fig tree because you’ve always wanted one. Add a blue hydrangea plant to the mix because they make you dream of having a home in The Hamptons (East Egg or West Egg?). Let someone else figure out how to fit these into a sporty car while you check out the heirloom tomatoes, which are “ugly,” just the way you like them (and only $2.50 per pound)…

These are always different colors when you cut into them

Next, you’ll look at the basil, which cost a shy$1 per bouquet. You’ll buy three, just ’cause.

Can you smell that?

Now you have lunch planned: scalloped tomatoes with white wine. But something is missing…oh yes, flowers. Accept a bouquet of bachelor’s buttons in blue, purple, pink and white. They will look perfect on a kitchen table, or in your newly decorated bedroom.

Those paper-like petals with the sage stems make me want to dance barefoot in a soft cotton sundress…

Along the way, you might also want to pick up some scented geraniums, because they ward off mosquitoes during the warm summer evenings. And, of course, a full gallon bucket of freshly picked strawberries, right off the back of a farm truck, weeping with juice and perfuming your car with that intoxicating sweetness.

I just love the mismatched baskets of these ruby beauties, some of them no bigger than the tip of your finger and others worth a couple bites. Most grocery-store varieties are huge, but taste like water.

Strawberries are a story best told with rhubarb … and the beginning of a new challenge I will be announcing shortly…

More to come, friends! xoxo


Chocolate icebox cake with strawberries

What I know about making icebox cakes: layer crisp cookies with whipped cream, chill and you have a delicious, soft cake in a matter of hours. The cookies soak up the cream and become soft, cakelike and easy to cut into. I added strawberries because that’s how I originally saw this recipe made by my friend Colleen. It tastes just like cookies and cream…but better with your favorite berry!

Yummy, friends, and don’t be surprised if people ask to have a private moment with their piece. 😉

You can do this with prepared cookies, or you can be extra pretentious and make your own. Which is exactly what I did! This recipe is originally from Smitten Kitchen (love her).

Chocolate-Strawberry Icebox Cake

For the cookies:

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 c. plus 2 T sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 14 T unsalted butter, chilled
  • 3 T whole milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a food processor, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and baking soda. Cube butter and add, pulsing several times. In a small cup, combine milk and vanilla, pouring into food processor while running. Process until mixture forms a ball. Transfer dough to a cutting board, knead to make sure it’s blended, then shape into a 14-inch log. Roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut dough into 1/4-inch slices and place 1 inch apart on pan. I helped reform them into prettier circles at this point (they can be lopsided). Bake, rotating halfway through, 12-15 min., until cookies are dark brown. Cool on rack, repeat with remaining dough. The cookies should be nice and crisp!

When all the cookies are done, get started on the whipped cream and toppings!

  • 1 box of strawberries, cleaned and sliced (the more, the better!)
  • 3 c. heavy cream
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract

In a large, cold bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla on high, until soft peaks form. Done. Time to assemble!

On a flat serving dish, create a circle of 7 cookies with one in the center. Scoop out 1/2-1 c. whipped cream, smooshing all over. Be careful, the cookies can slide. Use a rubber spatula, pushing the cream from the center to the edges. You want to create a solid base, and for it to look nice. Scatter strawberries around the edge, then place more cookies on top. Repeat until you end with whipped cream and beautiful strawberries on top. You might not use all the whipping cream.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least eight hours, or overnight.

You will not believe how soft those cookies get, just wonderful and fresh tasting. Ain’t it pretty? And unlike many cakes, it only gets better the longer it sits in your fridge. Next time, I think I’ll try it with raspberries or blueberries or maybe even peaches!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo