Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever

It's Strawberry Time!

How could you not want to grab one of these and just take a bite? If you happen to live in an area where strawberries are bountiful from May until September, like in Northern California, this is the norm.

On this particular day, I was at the Half Moon Bay Farmer's Market. When I brought these organic strawberries home, my kids were fighting each other for them. The berries were just so naturally sweet. Luckily, I was able to get a few myself.

So, what to do with these gems besides washing and eating? Well, strawberry shortcake is always an option. Find yourself a good biscuit recipe and make sure to have some biscuits on hand. You can always make them ahead and freeze.

For the cream, I like to use the wire whisk attachment of an immersion or hand blender. I put that, along with a metal bowl, in the freezer first.

Then, take the strawberries and wash them. You won't need to dry them since some of the water on the berries will help to make the juice. Remove the stem, slice, then place into a bowl. Sprinkle with organic sugar (the sugar helps draw out the juices) and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. You can also mash gently with a potato masher to get some more juice out.

To make the cream, take your favorite organic heavy cream (1/2 cup is a good start; you could always make more) and add 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 2 tsp of organic white sugar and place in the metal bowl. I haven't tried it with agave nectar but if you did want to use it, I would suggest using 1 tsp only. It might make the cream beige-looking, though. Now take the wire whisk and attach to the hand blender and blend all of this at a high speed until you have thick peaks. That means when you pull the beater out, the peak on the cream is stiff and doesn't fall over. You can also taste for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary. Be sure not to overbeat or you will have very sweet butter!

Get ready to serve. Cut the biscuit in half. Spoon strawberries on top of biscuit and top with whipped cream. How easy and how awesome is that?! You can also use angel food cake for something with less fat (but remember, it still has sugar).

My next recipe is a family favorite. I adapted it from my friends Abby and Cesar. I like to call it the crazy shake because it's crazy to put oatmeal in a shake, right? But here it is and it works. This shake actually helped me lose 25 lbs. last year. It's very filling, healthy and delicious. Try it on your kids, too. It might take a while to get used to the oatmeal but it's worth it. Enjoy!

Crazy Strawberry Shake

¼ cup crushed ice
½ cup strawberries, cleaned and destemmed
½ cup non-fat milk
½ cup non-fat plain yogurt
½ cup plain oatmeal (instant or regular)
About 1 tsp of agave nectar
Blend together until smooth. Makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings.
Buy local and support your farmer's market!

1 comment:

Simply Kit said...

Mmmm... the crazy shake recipe sounds really good. I am definitely going to make it tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe! :)