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A Healthier Take on Strawberry Shortcake for a Big Group

I want to eat this all day, every day.

It’s no secret that there are a few select foods that I could literally could eat every single day and not get tired of them.  Nachos (and I do), a good burger, and my homemade strawberry shortcake.  My homemade strawberry shortcake is sublime.

I stumbled upon this recipe years ago when I needed to come up with a dessert for like 15 people.  Individual shortcakes would have been way too time-consuming (and quite frankly they’re kind of dry), but I had it stuck in my head that I wanted to use the pounds of strawberries that my mom had.  And then I found the original recipe I’ve adapted here…as my original post mentioned, I’m obsessed.  It’s literally the best.

healthier-strawberry-shortcake-for-a-big-group-nessa

But, as with many recipes, I wanted to see if there was a way to make it just a tad more healthy—cut down on the calories just a bit, but also bringing in some healthier elements.  And the fact is, I might like this version even just a bit more.

I cut the sugar a bit, and it definitely doesn’t lose anything.  And then I’ve substituted half of the flour for whole wheat (or white whole wheat, which is a bit softer), which gives it a great heartiness and also a slightly nutty, warm flavor that I really love.  You can make this ahead of time when feeding a big group and it’s the most moist, fragrant, yummy summer dessert I can think of.  Pair it with fresh strawberries and a bit of homemade cinnamon whipped cream, and you’ve got yourself a winner! [Read more…]

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Honey Roasted Peaches with Cream

I didn’t plan to buy peaches last weekend, but when I walked into the produce section I was almost knocked over by the amazing smell of ripe peaches. They were so soft you had to hold them super gently so they didn’t bruise. Fuzzy. Juicy. Amazing.

Honey Roasted Peaches with Cream

Since I was trying to eat really well this week, and already had like five things I was planning to make, I wanted something simple and super healthy.

honey roasted peaches peach whole

This dessert feels fancy in a completely undeserved way. You seriously just cut fruit in half, drizzle a little honey and butter over it, and bake for a while. And the result is a dessert that embodies summer, adds a little class to any dinner, and takes five minutes, tops, to prepare. Sign me up!

Honey Roasted Peaches

Also, peaches. They’re the best! [Read more…]

Birthday Red Wine Chocolate Cake!

I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.
~W.C. Fields

Sometimes I have incredibly coherent, well-phrased, occasionally-beautiful thoughts. And then sometimes, like when I saw this recipe for the first time, I just blurt things out.

UM. WHAT. YES.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake slice

That’s pretty much how that conversation went in my head.

Last year my birthday fell on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) which was very sad from a food and wine standpoint. This year, it fell on the 8th day, the day after the Feast of Tabernacles, and unfortunately I spent the majority of it in airports and airplanes trying to get home from Steamboat Springs. I did get to have a lovely dinner with my parents the night before, however, and brunch with my mom that morning before I left. And I happened upon a lovely wine bar (Cru) during my 3-hour layover in Denver and celebrated in my own way—with flights of Cabernet and some creamy tiramisu. So not all was lost.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

I started a little ritual last year for my birthday, where I’d pick a dessert recipe that had really captured my imagination for some reason—maybe it felt a little fancy, needed a special occasion, was a little more work—and make it for my birthday. Except, scheduling being what it is in my life, it basically ends up being somewhere within a month window of my birthday. Which is kind of the same thing. I just wanted something that felt a little special, and an excuse to make something fun. Last year it was my vanilla almond cupcakes with homemade peach jam filling. And this year it’s this awesomeness.

Growing up, birthdays weren’t really a big thing. But to me, I like to make a tiny bit of fuss for it. Not go overboard, but just a little something special.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake Baked

This cake really is special. First, there’s the Dutch cocoa (vs. regular), which has so much more depth than regular cocoa powder. Then you add the red wine and a hint of cinnamon, and this cake just perfectly encapsulates indulgence. It’s everything that’s great about being a grown-up. It’s rich but not sweet, super moist but dense, just amazing.

[Read more…]

Best summer dessert ever (Taste of Home’s Fresh Berry Shortcake)

When I was in Dallas a few weeks ago and we were making our giant, from-scratch dinner, Kristine submitted this recipe as our dessert. I immediately agreed. I looooove strawberry shortcake! It is my go-to dessert for any summer cookout, get-together, bridal shower, etc. It is light and sweet and decently healthy, and just says SUMMER.

Normally, I just buy strawberries, cut them up, toss in a tiny bit of sugar and water, then let them sit in the fridge for awhile (developing a slight syrup). Then I serve with angel food cake and whipped cream. But we were doing everything from scratch, and this is a fancier (though not too much harder) take on strawberry (or any berry) shortcake. It’s from Taste of Home magazine, I’d link to it but they require registration and other nonsense to visit the page.

We got lucky and found some great berries!

[Read more…]

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