April 28, 2017

Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-Free)

Strawberry-Shortcake-Whole-300x199This is a recipe I shared here on GCH 2 years ago.  I love it and plan on making it soon.  Spring can’t come soon enough for me, and I look forward to farmer’s markets brimming with fresh berries!  If you can’t wait either, read on for my Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake!

Strawberry-Shortcake-Cut

 

Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter), softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/4 cup honey (or more, if you like)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional – 1 or 2 teaspoons sugar (I didn’t use them, since my berries were really sweet. If your strawberries aren’t as sweet as you’d like, add the sugar to the whipping cream)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, and then cut a circle of parchment paper for the bottom of each pan, and grease that too. (You can do this without parchment paper, but you will need to be really liberal with the coconut oil / butter / cooking spray on the bottom of the pan. The cake stuck the first time I made it, so the next time I used parchment paper, and it was perfect!)
  2. In a very large bowl, using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the eggs until frothy. Beat in the softened coconut oil and milk, blending well. Mix in the honey, vanilla, orange zest and orange juice. Beat until foamy again.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut flour, baking powder and salt. Then, a little at a time, blend the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Mix well, making sure there are no lumps.
    Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. When a toothpick comes out dry, remove from the oven and cool for ten minutes. Remove from pans, and finish cooling on a rack.
  4. While the cake is cooling, place the beaters of your hand mixer and a metal mixing bowl in the freezer for half an hour. Slice the strawberries and put back in the fridge until ready to use.
    When the beaters and bowl are very cold, beat the whipping cream with the vanilla (and optional sugar) until stiff peaks form. To decorate: spread a very thin layer of whipped cream on the top of one cake. Make concentric circles of strawberry slices (use half the strawberries, saving the other half for the top), then cover with a thick layer of whipped cream. Place the other cake on top of this, cover with the rest of the whipped cream and the rest of the strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is not a very sweet cake, since it relies on the berries for sweetness. If your berries are not sweet enough for your taste, you can add more honey to the cake, and the optional sugar to the whipped cream.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipes, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream (No Ice Cream Machine Needed!)

rsz_homemade_strawberry_ice_cream

A few months ago, my daughter made vanilla ice cream in her kindergarten class.  She raved about how fun it was to make it, and how the finished product was delicious.  Well, I took her story with a grain of salt (unintentional pun!) because 6 year-olds aren’t really known for their discriminating pallets.  But I researched online, found a recipe, and decided to give it a whirl.  And you know what?  If anything, she undersold it!  This stuff is fantastic!  Here’s my recipe for Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream.

We don’t have an ice cream machine.  It sounds like kind of a waste of space, because it’s not something I’d use too often.  The only equipment this recipe needs is two Ziploc bags!  The technique is easy and is perfect for kids to make.  All the recipes online were the same, so I used one (of several) you can find with a Google search.  But what’s even better than vanilla ice cream?  Strawberry ice cream!  Instead of just sprinkling chopped fruit on top, I made a strawberry puree that, when mixed into the vanilla ice cream, makes a strawberry ice cream as good (or better!) than anything you can get at the grocery store.  Also, the serving size is just right.  It’s big enough that you can satisfy two kids with this recipe, and get a taste or two for yourself.  But it’s small enough that you won’t beat yourself up if you eat the whole thing yourself!

Becky puts in some sweat equity

Becky puts in some sweat equity

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream (No Ice Cream Machine Needed!)

Ingredients:

For the Strawberry Puree:

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup water

For the Ice Cream:

  • 1 cup half-and-half (or use 1/2 cup whipping cream and 1/2 cup whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup rock salt or kosher salt (whatever you can find that has big grains of salt, the bigger the better)
  • ice
  • sandwich-sized Ziploc bag
  • gallon-sized Ziploc bag

Directions:

  1. First make the strawberry puree:  Wash, hull, and quarter the strawberries.  Over medium-low heat, mix together the strawberries, honey, and water.  Mash with a wooden spoon or potato masher, but leave some chunks.  Cook on low for about 20 minutes until reduced and thickened a little.  Don’t let it burn!  Take off the heat.  (You can do this the day before, if you want.  Just pop it in the fridge when you’re done letting it cool.)
  2. For the ice cream:  In a bowl, stir together the half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla.  Pour the mixture into the small Ziploc bag and make double sure it’s sealed well.
  3. Fill the large Ziploc bag halfway with ice and the salt.  Add the small bag to the ice, then cover with a little more ice.
  4. Shake!
  5. Shake!
  6. Shake!  (My bag got really cold, really fast, so I had to wrap it in a towel so it didn’t hurt my hands.)  Shake for about ten minutes.  You can squeeze the ice cream bag and tell when it’s frozen.
  7. Serve the vanilla ice cream with the strawberry puree.  Voila!
Sweet success!

Sweet success!

 

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Strawberry Overload Cake

Strawberry Overload Cake sliceDespite my tomboy nature, both my daughters are girly-girls.  Princesses, fairies, dress-up, and everything pink rules their world.  This year we ended up celebrating my three year-old’s birthday on Mother’s Day, so I had a lot going on and didn’t want to spend too much time planning and decorating an elaborate cake.  Instead, I found a recipe online for a strawberry cake, created a strawberry frosting for it, and filled it with even more fresh strawberries.  The result is Strawberry Overload Cake!

The strawberry flavor comes from three sources:  fresh berries, frozen berries, and strawberry Jell-O.  Be sure to keep the cake in the fridge until time to serve.  The original recipe called for two 9-inch round cake pans, but I used a rectangular 9×13 pan and cut that in half to make two layers.  Your girly-girl will delight in the layers of pink in this sweet treat!

Strawberry Overload Cake resize

Strawberry Overload Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 three-ounce package of strawberry Jell-O
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pureed frozen strawberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Grease and flour your pans (two 9-inch round, or one 9×13 rectangular.)
  2. Cream together the sugar, Jell-O and butter.  Blend in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder.
  4. Add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture, alternating flour and milk, and blend well.  Mix in the pureed strawberries.
  5. Pour batter into pans and bake.  Check the cakes at 25 minutes.  I took mine out at about 35 minutes, because I was using a bigger pan.  Do a toothpick test to make sure the cake is not wet inside.
  6. Cool for ten minutes in the pan, then turn out on a rack to continue cooling.

For the frosting and filling:

Strawberry Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipped cream (or try Cool Whip)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries for layering

Directions:

  1. In a pot with a lid, simmer the frozen strawberries and break them up with a wooden spoon, smashing them.  When they are all cooked and smashed, add the cream cheese, butter, and lemon juice and beat with a hand mixer.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar, beating well.  Beat in the whipped cream.  Taste.  It should be sweet tart – the cake is very sweet, so I wanted the icing to be a little different.  You can add a squeeze more lemon if you like, or  take it the other direction and add more sugar if you like.  It’s pretty flexible and you can change it to suit your taste.

To assemble:

  1. Cut the large cake in half, width-wise, so you have two 9×6 rectangles (or just put one of the round cakes on a plate.)  On a large serving platter, place the cake on the bottom, and frost the top of it with about half a cup of the frosting.  Slice the fresh strawberries and layer them over the frosting.  Carefully add another layer of frosting on top of the fresh berries.  Then place the next layer on top and frost the whole thing, top and sides.  Garnish with more fresh strawberries.
  2. This cake is kind of dense and rich, so small pieces are a good thing.

 

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Resize

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like Chocolate-Covered Strawberries!  Surprise your sweetie – or sweeties, because my kids went cuckoo for these!  If you can get your hands on some nice strawberries (and I know it’s still very much winter in some places, but go with me on this), you can make these for dessert and watch their eyes light up!

My trick here is to use a teaspoon of coconut oil in the chocolate.  It keeps the chocolate from becoming brittle and adds the lightest hint of tropical flavor.  Instead of shattering when you bite into it, this chocolate holds tight to the strawberry so you can eat every last bite.  No worries if you don’t have coconut oil.  You can go without and just use the chocolate, but you will definitely want to make sure your berries are blemish-free and thoroughly dried.

Ready to make your loved ones’ hearts go pitter-pat?  Bring out these healthy and gorgeous treats tonight!

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 18 strawberries
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Wash the strawberries and dry very carefully.  Pull up the stem leaves so they point up; otherwise you’ll get them covered in chocolate!  Make sure you don’t have any open, weepy spots on the berries, or the chocolate won’t stick.
  2. In a small but deep bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and coconut oil for 30 seconds at a time, and stir after each 30 seconds.  It took three 30-second bursts to get everything melted and smooth.
  3. Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment paper.  Holding onto the stem of the berry, dip in chocolate and place on the parchment paper.  When all berries are dipped, place the tray in the fridge (or freezer if you are short on time!)  Serve cold.

I had a little leftover chocolate in my bowl.  I dipped cashews and banana pieces in there to get every last drop.  My 2 year-old’s chocolate mustache was a sight to behold!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

 

Christmas Strawberry Spinach Salad

It is no secret what I will bring when asked to provide a salad for any social gathering.  It is a party favorite, delicious AND a nice change from your standard salad.  It has actually been a staple for me this holiday season and provides a little color and healthy option to fill your plate and leave room for a few treats. Not only is it a great option for dinner parties, but this Strawberry Spinach Salad is my favorite for weekday lunches with leftover grilled chicken.

There are no specific measurements—just throw in the amount of your favorites depending on the  number of servings you have planned.

  • Bunch of Mixed greens or Spinach
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Avocados
  • Dried cranberries
  • Sliced almonds or pecans
  • Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Mix all together and top with cheese such as mozzarella or feta (optional).

straberry salad

If you want to use for a quick lunches, prepare all ingredients ahead of time without the nuts  and add a couple of tablespoons of them right before eating.  The Raspberry Vinaigrette is not only delicious, but does not need to stay refrigerated so it is easy to pack and carry with you for a lunch to go.

salad dressing

To avoid extra pounds this Christmas, bring this as your healthy option to any gathering.  Fill your plate with this delicious, low-calorie salad to save a little room for those not-so-healthy options that you might choose to indulge in. Allow the salad to be your filler and enjoy smaller portions of your favorite holiday treats.  But I have to warn you, this Strawberry Spinach Salad may just become your favorite!

 

In Good Health,

Crystal

At Home with GCH: Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-Free)

 

Strawberry Shortcake Whole

Strawberry Shortcake is one of those comfort food recipes that everyone’s Mom or Grandmom makes a version of.  When Spring arrives and berries finally come to the store, what better way to dress up a plain old cake than with sweet, juicy fruit?  I wanted to make a healthier version, so I adapted a recipe for a coconut flour cake, spruced up with orange zest, from Nourishing Days.  Add whipped cream and a basket of berries and you’re in business!

 

Strawberry Shortcake Cut
Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter), softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/4 cup honey (or more, if you like)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional – 1 or 2 teaspoons sugar (I didn’t use them, since my berries were really sweet.  If your strawberries aren’t as sweet as you’d like, add the sugar to the whipping cream)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, and then cut a circle of parchment paper for the bottom of each pan, and grease that too.  (You can do this without parchment paper, but you will need to be really liberal with the coconut oil / butter / cooking spray on the bottom of the pan.  The cake stuck the first time I made it, so the next time I used parchment paper, and it was perfect!)
  2. In a very large bowl, using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the eggs until frothy.  Beat in the softened coconut oil and milk, blending well.  Mix in the honey, vanilla, orange zest and orange juice.  Beat until foamy again.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut flour, baking powder and salt.  Then, a little at a time, blend the flour mixture into the egg mixture.  Mix well, making sure there are no lumps.
  4. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes.  When a toothpick comes out dry, remove from the oven and cool for ten minutes.  Remove from pans, and finish cooling on a rack.
  5. While the cake is cooling, place the beaters of your hand mixer and a metal mixing bowl in the freezer for half an hour.  Slice the strawberries and put back in the fridge until ready to use.
  6. When the beaters and bowl are very cold, beat the whipping cream with the vanilla (and optional sugar) until stiff peaks form.  To decorate:  spread a very thin layer of whipped cream on the top of one cake.  Make concentric circles of strawberry slices (use half the strawberries, saving the other half for the top), then cover with a thick layer of whipped cream.  Place the other cake on top of this, cover with the rest of the whipped cream and the rest of the strawberries.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is not a very sweet cake, since it relies on the berries for sweetness.  If your berries are not sweet enough for your taste, you can add more honey to the cake, and the optional sugar to the whipped cream.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!