Tags

, ,

Admittedly, not a very creative title, but I love the song and I’m feeling more tired than creative these days.  Sue me. 😉 (But really, don’t.  You won’t get much, I promise.)

Last weekend I feel a little more in love with North Carolina.  I know that the scenery out west is to die for, but IMHO, the next best thing is North Carolina.  I’ve already mentioned how beautiful the fall season is here, and spring has been gorgeous, too.  There were so many colorful, flowering trees that it felt like fall all over again!  Except lots and lots of green, too.  Now it’s all pretty much green and feels quite like summer.

Anyway, back to last weekend.  Some friends and I visited the Winston-Salem Children’s Home farm, where we picked strawberries (well, I watched and chatted while they picked, then bought strawberries that had been picked by someone else that morning… same diff).  I have never gone strawberry picking to my recollection and I truly have to wonder why.  Even though we were within city limits, the little farm was so peaceful and serene.  The strawberries were completely out of this world.  Like nothing I’ve ever tasted!  Even Dr. Matthews liked them, and he doesn’t usually like fruit (his one weakness 😉 ).  I actually feel bad for grocery store strawberries – it’s not their fault we tried to genetically engineer them to look great and last longer but taste terrible in comparison!

We got so many that, in addition to eating several as is, I froze a bunch for smoothies later (tonight…?) and decided to make shortcake to serve them with.

 

Above pictures are of my friends and me at the farm.  We all wore purple to support one of my close friend’s daughter, Sera, and raise awareness of Cornelia de Lange syndrome, with which Sera was diagnosed this past year.  I am the pregnant lady with the puffy face.  Someone kindly told me I’m “glowing,” but in reality I think it’s the puffy face giving me that look 🙂

Photo credit: Nicole Kornblatt

Photo credit: Nicole Kornblatt

Photo credit: Nicole Kornblatt Here are my friends industriously picking their strawberries while I chill and chat.

Photo credit: Brittany Parker
Here are my friends industriously picking their strawberries while I chill and chat.  Look how green it is!

Shortcake muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar**
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

*I wasn’t sure what the difference between this and all purpose flour was, but learned here that using cake flour allows for a more light and airy result, whereas all purpose provides more density (like for bread).  All I had was all purpose so I went with that.

**I used vanilla sugar I’d made from vanilla beans I had left over after scraping the seeds out (which is what’s featured below in the mason jar).  I used the seeds for an amazing vanilla rice pudding (which I’ll share with y’all sometime) and just poured some regular old sugar over the beans in the jar and let it sit.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6-cup shortcake or muffin pan; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar together at medium speed with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, or until creamy. Add yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with milk, ending with flour. Beat at low speed until well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add vanilla and beat for 10 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean.
So, we’ve already discussed that I’m not much of a baker.  Which is perhaps why my muffins turned out looking equal parts under/overdone:

Dude in the top row, third from the right- Get it together!

Anyway, they tasted fine.  Not too sweet, which was a good compliment to the sweetness of these amazing berries:

 

Cut your shortcake into chunks, add your strawberries, throw a little Redi-Whip on that bad boy and you’re good to go:

 

Served as dessert following this amazing meal of ribs, broccoli and home made macaroni and cheese:

Let me know if y'all are interested in the mac n cheese recipe.  It's for sure in my top 5 foods of all time and very easy to make!

Let me know if y’all are interested in the mac n cheese recipe. It’s for sure in my top 5 foods of all time and very easy to make!

Have to give a shout-out to this great BBQ sauce from TJ's.  Pretty spicy but both Dr. Matthews and I were satisfied!

Have to give a shout-out to this great BBQ sauce from TJ’s. Pretty spicy but both Dr. Matthews and I were satisfied!

It was a great southern meal, prepared and consumed in a great southern state.

I may get ambitious and post again this month/before baby is born, but I’m starting to feel slightly overwhelmed with things I want/need to get done before she’s here.  However, I do not plan to leave you all high and dry!  Some very sweet and thoughtful friends and family members with either culinary prowess and/or literary skills have gracefully agreed to provide us with some guest posts.  I know I sure can’t wait to see what they come up with and I hope you all check it out, too!

Advertisements