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Sweet Summer Strawberries

When we moved into our house three summers ago, we were pleasantly surprised to find a small strawberry patch growing in the side yard. Mmmm, strawberries. We harvested a few handfuls of berries that year and thought we were in heavan. Each year though it has only gotten better and better.

This year, I was sure the harvest would be slim because of the cold, rainy spring and early summer we had here in Oregon. I’m sure glad I was wrong! Once it got warm and sunny a few weeks ago, the berries went nuts! Each day for the past couple weeks we’ve been able to go out to patch and pick a few handful – enough for snacking and tasty little after-dinner treat!

Nothing beats a little cup of fresh, sweet strawberries straight out of the garden with a scoop of homemade whip cream. My sister was in town a few weeks ago and questioned why we make whip cream every night when you can just buy a can of it. Why? Are you kidding? Have you ever tasted fresh whip cream? Well, now she has!

Making whip cream is super easy and only takes about 2 minutes. Here’s what I do:

First, I put the metal bowl from my KitchenAid mixer into the freezer for a few minutes to get it nice and cold. It’s important to keep the bowl that you’ll be using super cold – makes the whipping cream stiffer.

After the bowl is cold, I pour 1/2 pint (about a cup) of whipping cream or heavy whipping cream into the bowl. Add about 1/8 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of vanilla to the cream. Beat the cream on the highest setting for approximately 1 1/2 minutes until soft peaks form. Done.

If you want to add a little extra flavor, add a little cinnamon to the cream. Mmm, that’s good too!

But alas, I think there’s only a couple more days worth of desserts. I’ll miss you strawberries. See you again next year!

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The Kids Think They’re Fish Sticks

So I’ve been continuing my resolution for trying at least one new recipe a week, and this week’s was really good – Crispy Fish with Lemon-Dill Sauce from Cooking Light magazine.

One word – YUM! My son loved the fish (though he did dip it in soy sauce since that’s his new favorite condiment). It might have helped that I billed it as homemade fish sticks – whatever works, right?! We had sauteed zucchini and couscous as accompaniments with this flavorful, crispy, broiled cod.

Here’s what it is:

  • 2 eggs whites
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 3/4 t onion powder
  • 3/4 t garlic powder
  • 4 skinless cod fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 C mayo
  • 2 T finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 t chopped fresh dill

Preheat the broiler. Put the egg whites in one shallow dish and the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika in another. Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge the fish in the egg whites and then the breadcrumbs to coat. Place on a broiler pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Broil the fish for about 4 minutes on each side or until they are to your desired doneness.

For the sauce: Combine the mayo, pickle, lemon juice, and dill. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

For the sides: Cut the zucchini into 1/2 inch-ish slices and saute in a skillet with a little olive oil and salt and pepper for about 5 minutes. Cook the couscous according to the packages directions (though I used chicken broth instead of water).

Sometimes I find “light” recipes a little bland, but this was delicious! So if you’re looking to add a some fish to your repertoire, this is a good one!

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