Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge: Strawberries and Raspberries (Stewed Rhubarb with Strawberries and Raspberries)

Woah, what’s this… two posts in one week?!

I’m posting twice this week so that I can participate in the Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain (you might remember that I guest posted on Sheryl’s blog back in January). I’ve been on the mailing list for this challenge since it began. I don’t often eat desserts, so it might seem weird that I chose to be on the mailing list at all. However, it’s not that I don’t like desserts, I just dislike foods that are overly sweet.

This month’s challenge ingredients called to me… and I couldn’t pass this one up. Strawberries and raspberries!

Strawberries are in season here in Ontario and I can’t get enough of them. Seriously! I bought some last week intending to come up with something for the challenge and ended up just eating them all plain. Yum!

So, this week I made a trip out to the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market to pick up some delicious local produce. My intention was to buy just a few things: fruit for the challenge and something for dinner. I should know better… $50 later I came home with as many groceries as I could possibly carry. I found some lovely local strawberries, rhubarb, and last season’s potatoes, raspberries (though I’m not sure where they came from), turkey hearts, pig tails, and a few other treats. We’ll be eating well this week!

When I came across the rhubarb, I knew I had to somehow work that into my dessert. But what to make… I briefly considered baking a pie. I thought about making a crumble. Another cobbler perhaps? However, I decided to go with a chunky stewed rhubarb. The rhubarb was only sold in large bundles, and stewed rhubarb is really versatile and I thought we would enjoy it because of the numerous ways you can serve it. Stewed rhubarb is great as an ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, pancake, waffle, or biscuit topping, or as a filling for crepes. I ate my first serving plain. Yum!

Stewed Rhubarb with Strawberries and Raspberries

Inspired by, but much different from, my grandmother’s recipe.

Note: I used fresh produce to make this recipe. It would likely also work well with frozen produce if that’s what is available to you.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rhubarb, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces – approximate cost $3.00
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar – approximate cost $1.25
  • 2 tablespoons lemon – approximate cost $0.20
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup raspberries – approximate cost $2.00
  • 3 cups strawberries – approximate cost $4.00

Method

  1. Combine the rhubarb pieces, cane sugar, lemon, and water in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add strawberries and raspberries.
  6. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Allow to cool.
  9. Serve on it’s own or with ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, crepes.

Makes about 10 servings (approximate cost: $1.05 per serving).

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Improv Challenge: Cinnamon and Sugar (Strawberry Cobbler)

Once again I find myself thinking… it’s been way too long since I’ve posted on my blog! Last post, I had just made it through the exam season. Since then, I’ve been quite busy as usual.

I took a short vacation to visit one of my very best friends and her family in Northern Ontario. I spent 3 wonderful days visiting and relaxing. The time out of the city was much needed.

Waterfall in South River

Waterfall in South River

We made a day-trip to Pickerel River where H’s aunt and uncle own a lovely cottage. It had been about 10 years since my last visit. As children, we visited for a week most summers, not a whole lot has changed (except they finished building the house). We even fit in a short kayaking trip! I wish I had been brave enough to bring my camera along, the was a waterfall down the river that was still frozen.

Pickerel River

Pickerel River

A beaver swimming in the Pickerel River

A beaver swimming in the Pickerel River

I have to admit I didn’t really want to come home. Don’t get me wrong, I missed Bryan and Loki. And I was looking forward to starting my summer classes. But a full week away would have been nice. 🙂

I’m excited to once again be participating in the Improv Challenge hosted by Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker! This month, the challenge ingredients are cinnamon and sugar. So far, I’ve shared:

This month, my dish is inspired by my trip up north. When we visited Pickerel River, H’s mom made a lovely peach cobbler that we took along for dessert. For the challenge, I made a Strawberry Cobbler!

Strawberry Cobbler

Inspired by S’s Peach Cobbler

Ingredients

Fruit Filling

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 cup COLD water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice – approximate cost $0.20
  • 3 cups sliced strawberries – approximate cost $2.00
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon – approximate cost $0.10

Topping

  • 1 cup flour – approximate cost $0.40
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/2 cup whole milk – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided into 6 – approximate cost $0.30

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare the fruit filling.
    1. Combine the cornstarch and cold water in a cup.
    2. Mix well.
    3. Add cornstarch mixture and brown sugar to a sauce pot.
    4. Cook over medium heat until thickened and sugar is dissolved.
    5. Remove from heat.
    6. Add lemon juice.
    7. Add strawberries.
    8. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish.
    9. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Prepare the topping.
    1. Combine flour, cane sugar, baking powder, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Add milk, stirring constantly.
    3. Add water, stirring until well-mixed (no dry flour).
  4. Spoon the topping over the fruit (leaving it in dumpling shapes).
  5. Dot each dumpling with butter.
  6. Bake the cobbler for about 25 minutes (or until topping is cooked through and golden brown).
  7. Cool slightly.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings (approximate cost: $0.60 per serving).



Raw Vegan Summertime Strawberry Cheezecake

This week, I wanted dessert, but didn’t want to bake. I wanted to use seasonal ingredients. I wanted something that wasn’t overly sweet…. Then I came across Kris’ recent blog post for Raw Vegan Summertime Strawberry Cheezecake. Yum!

So far, Bryan hasn’t been a fan of raw desserts. I had him taste test raw apple pie in cupcake tins, raw banana coconut “creme” cake, raw apple cobbler, and raw apple crumble. He gave it a try and ate a whole serving of each, but wasn’t a fan. The apple dishes, however, he enjoyed if we heated them up. He hasn’t tried this cake yet. I’m not going to force him to try it (more for me, right?).

We actually had a discussion about these desserts on Saturday after announcing my intention to bring raw brownies to a potluck on Sunday. Dad didn’t like the sound of them. I couldn’t figure out why he was so opposed to the idea without even trying it first! (What’s not to love about a healthier version of the traditional brownie?) Apparently, there are people out there who don’t like dates! I’ve always enjoyed them, so this comes as a bit of a surprise to me that people don’t like the flavour of them.

I guess what I’m getting to is, this dessert is delicious, if you enjoy the ingredients listed. To me, it’s as delicious as Kris promises!

What is your stance on raw desserts? Love them? Hate them? Still need to try them?

Because I have not adapted this recipe, I will list the ingredients and approximate cost. I’ve also taken photos of the process. However, please visit Kris’ blog for the full recipe and directions.

Raw Vegan Summertime Strawberry Cheezecake

Recipe by Kris from Layakari Yoga

Ingredients

Crust

  • 3/4 cup raw almonds – approximate cost $1.75
  • 3/4 cup (about 12) pitted Medjool dates – approximate cost $3.00
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05

Filling

  • 2 cups raw cashews – approximate cost $7.00
  • 2 quarts strawberries – approximate cost $8.00
  • 2 lemons, juiced – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – approximate cost $0.25
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar – approximate cost $0.50

Notes

  • Soak cashews for at least 6 hours (overnight) and rinse twice before processing.
  • Use fresh, local berries if possible.
  • Substitute strawberries for another berry of your choice to change thing up.
  • Reserve some of the fruit as a topping.
  • Agave is not as thick as honey, be careful when measuring it.
  • Slice pie into individual servings, wrap in foil, and re-freeze for an easy dessert (lasts up to one week in the freezer).
  • Thaw pie (slices) for about 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings (approximate cost: $2.82 per serving).

Visit Kris’ blog post for directions on how to prepare this fantastic cake!

Five Favourites for Friday

Yesterday, I participated in my first Improv Challenge,  hosted by Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. There are a ton of great links in the collection and a huge variety of Strawberry and Cream themed treats! Check out the collection here. Today’s post highlights a few of there recipes, because really, who doesn’t love strawberries and cream?

What is your favourite way to enjoy strawberries and cream?

Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Strawberry and Cream Popsicles from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker

Chocolate Cake with Balsamic Strawberry Whipped Cream Filling from Food Babbles

Strawberry Soup from Cook Lisa Cook

No Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie from Edesia’s Notebook

Improv Challenge: Strawberries and Cream

I’ve been following Kristen’s blog Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for a while now. She runs a monthly blogging Improv Challenge. Kristen describes the challenge as “a monthly party where everyone takes the same two assigned ingredients and lets their imaginations run wild.  It doesn’t matter what other ingredients we use, whether we make something savory or sweet.” Sounds fun to me! I don’t normally post on Thursdays, but I’ll definitely make an exception for this!

This months Improv Challenge ingredients are: strawberries and cream! Because this is my first time participating, I decided to keep the recipe simple (and, with the theme of my blog, budget friendly). Strawberries are one of my favourite fruits and I will usually wash them and eat they without any other preparation, so I didn’t want to stray too far from what I already enjoy.

Strawberries will be in season here in Ontario in a few weeks!!! I can’t wait to get local strawberries from the farmer’s market. Or even better, find a farm where I can pick my own! For this recipe, I’ve used imported strawberries (I forgot to look where they are from, probably California or Mexico). They were a bit tart, so I marinated the strawberries in maple syrup to give them a sweetness similar to those fresh from the strawberry patch.

The whipped cream I prepared for the photos didn’t turn out very well. 😦 It was very tasty. It just didn’t whip up and become as fluffy as the whipped cream I had prepared dad’s house the day before this (it was perfect). I didn’t have my camera with me then, and it was so yummy there weren’t any leftovers. I wish the new batch looked a bit prettier.

What are your tips/tricks for making perfect whipped cream every time? What is your favourite way to enjoy strawberries?

Strawberries Marinated in Maple Syrup with Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries – approximate cost $3.00
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup – approximate cost $0.50
  • 200 millilitres whipping cream – approximate cost $2.00
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla – approximate cost $0.25

Method

  1. At least 2 hours before you’re preparing dessert, place a glass mixing bowl and metal beaters in the freezer to chill.
  2. At least 1 hour before you’re preparing dessert, prepare the strawberries.
    1. Wash the strawberries.
    2. Core the strawberries and slice them into bite-sized pieces.
    3. Place the strawberries in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with maple syrup.
    4. Toss the berries to coat them with syrup.
    5. Let the berries stand at room temperature to marinate/sweeten.
  3. Prepare the whipped cream.
    1. Remove the mixing bowl and beaters from the freezer
    2. Combine the whipping cream and vanilla in the chilled mixing bowl.
    3. Whip the cream until it becomes fluffy (don’t over mix or it will churn into butter).
  4. Prepare the dessert!

Makes 4 servings (approximate cost: $1.44 per serving).



Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie

I’m really enjoying green smoothies. I tried my first green smoothie the other weekend after yoga. The rationale was that, of I try it out at a restaurant first and don’t like it, I haven’t bought all of the supplies to make green smoothies at home. And, if I did like it, I would have an idea of what ingredients I like in a green smoothie.

I tried the Green Monkey (banana,strawberry, and spinach) smoothie from Seven Shores Cafe. So very very yummy. I’ve tried recreating the smoothie at home a few times now. My smoothies aren’t as good. I’m probably missing some super important ingredient. But they’re still tasty and healthy.

Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup frozen strawberry slices – approximate cost $1.25
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced – approximate cost $0.50
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach – approximate cost $0.75

Method

  1. Combine almond milk, spinach, banana, and strawberry slices in a blender.
  2. Blend until all ingredients are well-combined.
  3. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Makes about 2 servings (approximate cost: $1.50 per serving).

Strawberry and Cashew Smoothie

Lately, smoothies have been my breakfast of choice. They take very little time to make. They’re super healthy. The mess is quick to clean up. And, if I’m running late, it’s easy to take to class.

I’ve been experimenting with a variety of ingredients: frozen fruits (strawberries, mangoes, raspberries, peaches, bananas, etc.), nuts (cashews, pecans, almonds), and liquids (coconut water, almond milk, chlorophyll).

I’ve also been trying out smoothies with greens. This morning I had a smoothie with spinach. It took a while to get used to the idea of blending vegetables with the fruit. Bryan told me I was weird for blending spinach and strawberries. That’s ok, more delicious smoothie for me!

This particular smoothie turned out really well. It may not look particularly pretty, but I assure you it was tasty.

Strawberry and Cashew Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups frozen strawberry slices – approximate cost $1.50
  • ¼ cup raw cashews – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon of chlorophyll – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk – approximate cost $1.00

Method

  1. Blend strawberry slices, cashews, chlorophyll and almond milk until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $1.55 per serving).

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