Tag Archives: strawberries

Spring Green Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Spring Green Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

I’m so excited!  Spring has finally arrived in Southern Oregon!  According to the calendar, “technically” it’s still winter.  According to what is happening in my backyard, the calendar is way wrong :)…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A crocus blossom… One of the first flowers to make an appearance in our backyard early in the season.  I love the bright orange stamens and the purple and white streaked petals.  I have them planted in many places in our yard.  Some reside in pots, some are tucked under bushes and trees.  Crocuses grow only a few inches tall and come back every year during the month of March.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a shot of some pansies that I have planted in a hanging pot on my back patio.  Pansies are a regular staple to our yard in the spring and fall.  Every time I look at them they make me smile.  I enjoy the bright and cheerful colors outside my kitchen window.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A close-up shot of a pansy blossom.  I was thrilled to capture this image with my camera.  Through the lens of my camera, I was able to see this amazing amount of detail on the flower.  I can’t see this level of detail even with my reading glasses on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A tulip poking its way through the soil.  I look forward to a big vase full of bright red blossoms on our dining room table in a short couple of weeks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Purple crocus.  What’s not to like about that deep rich indigo color?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Even the koi fish in our pond are starting to surface for the first handfuls of feed of the year.  This is Pumpkin…  He’s one of the original fish to live in our pond.  He’s almost 2 feet long and about 10 years old.  I remember the day when Bruce and I purchased him.  He was about 4 inches in length and shared a plastic bag with four other fish on the trip home. Several years later, we now have a total of 8 koi fish happily living in our pond.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Whenever I think of spring, one of the first things that come to mind is fresh picked strawberries.  I purchased a couple of pints of strawberries the other day and one of the things that I wanted to do with them was to make a spring like strawberry vinaigrette.  My Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette is a wonderfully pink colored salad dressing made with fresh strawberries, red wine vinegar, local honey, Dijon Mustard, canola oil and poppy seeds.  It’s a delicious vinaigrette to serve drizzled over a plate of fresh picked greens and sliced strawberries.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/4 pound strawberries (cleaned and hulled)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs honey or to taste
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds or to taste

Add strawberries, red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard and canola oil to a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Splash more vinegar into the dressing if you want… Mix in the poppy seeds.  Makes 1 cup or 16 – 1 Tablespoon servings.  Store in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

Green Salad (per serving)

  • 2 cups fresh lettuce
  • 1 thinly sliced radish
  • 2 strawberries (hulled and quartered)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced radicchio
  • 1 Tbs Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette (or to taste)

Assemble by placing salad greens on a plate.  Arrange radishes, strawberries and radicchio on top of the greens.  Drizzle greens with the Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.  Makes one serving.

Strawberry Banana Bread

Strawberry Banana Bread

Years ago when Bruce and I bought our home I noticed that the former owners planted strawberry plants on the side of our house behind the shed and next to the fence.  At the time, there were no berries on the plants and over the years, I completely forgot about them…  Until just the other day.

I was out weeding my little garden and was tossing the weeds in a pile next to the fence. As I looked at my growing pile of weeds I noticed little flecks of red tucked amongst the foliage.  I stopped what I was doing and headed towards the vibrant red colors.  Strawberries!  And bunches of them!  The forgotten strawberry patch grew over the years and produced handfuls of delicious little berries.  I grabbed my garden basket and picked a couple of pints of the succulent little berries.  Some of the berries were feasted upon by snails and slugs but most of the berries were perfectly intact.  What a score!

Little pink Sweet William flowers blooming next to my garden.

Blue iris growing on the edge of our pond.

Fresh fragrant dill ready to be picked.

Every year, I grow herbs in big pots on the patio next to my kitchen.  That way, I can step out the side door and snip what I need while I am cooking.  In the pots I have fresh dill, oregano, rosemary, basil, parsley, chives, mint, tarragon, sage, and marjoram.  I love using fresh herbs when I cook.  Growing your own herbs is easy and many herbs are even perennial. Herbs that are perennial mean that they grow back every year.  I added a small handful of dill to my basket of strawberries for some grilled salmon later in the evening.

With my basket of fresh picked strawberries, I decided to make Strawberry Banana Bread.  I used my basic banana bread recipe and I am happy to say that it was pretty good!  The only thing that I would change is that the next time I make it is I would use an 8 X 4 inch pan instead of the 9 X5 inch pan.  The Strawberry Banana Bread took a bit longer to bake than I wanted and the exterior was a tad bit darker than I would like.  It was moist and flavorful but as Bruce would say, I have my standards :).  So, here’s the recipe…  Take my advice and use a slightly smaller pan. You might even try baking the batter in muffin tins for wonderful little strawberry banana muffins.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas (mashed well)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 X 5 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  In a medium sized bowl add mashed bananas, melted butter, sugar, eggs and lemon extract.  Mix well.  In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Mix well.  Gently fold in the strawberries.  Add mixture to greased baking pan and bake for about an hour or until done.  Use a toothpick to check.  Let cool on baking rack and slice.  Makes one loaf.

Strawberry Bread

Strawberry Bread

As an accountant I am required to pay attention to detail.  That’s how I am and that’s my job.  Today while at home in my kitchen I did not pay attention to a recipe and as a result, I goofed up…  This morning I decided to make some Strawberry Bread with a bunch of leftover strawberries that I had stashed in my fridge.  Years ago, I made up an awesome recipe for Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread that I used as a model for my Strawberry Bread.  Today, as I was measuring ingredients, mixing the batter and talking to my son at the same time, I looked down into the bowl and realized that the batter did not look right…

Succulent strawberry

I noticed that the batter was unusually dry and lumpy.  Oh geez!  What the heck did I do?  I yelled to my son upstairs and asked him how many cups of flour I added to the bowl.  He yelled back with “Mom, I saw you adding four!”…  I knew then that was the problem because when I wrote the recipe I was supposed to only add three.  OMG!  What to do now?  Well, those who know me know that I’m rather stubborn and I was determined to not toss it all out, and start over.  So, I decided to improvise.  To correct my mistake, I added an about an extra 1/4 cup canola oil and a splash of water to the mixture.  After a bit of fiddling with the recipe, I got the bread batter looking like it should. So I prepared the loaves for baking, crossed my fingers and tossed them in the oven.

An hour later, I pulled them out, let them cool, and sliced.  Crisis averted!  Talk about lucky!  They looked and tasted wonderful.  Next time I bake I will make it a point to pay extra attention when measuring my ingredients.  If you follow my recipe below and don’t put in too much flour in the mixture like I did, you will make 2 wonderful loaves of Strawberry Bread.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped strawberries (washed and hulled)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.   In one bowl add your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to mix well.  In another bowl whisk together the eggs, canola oil, vanilla extract and lemon zest.  Gently add the strawberries.  Don’t over mix.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Place batter in two greased 4 X 8 baking pans in the oven for one hour or until done.  Cool on wire rack and slice.  Makes 2 fabulous loaves.

Strawberry Chipotle Beef Ribs

Bruce and I have been married for over seven years.  I don’t think that he has decided to keep me because of my bubbly personality or my sweet smiling face.  Nope, it’s neither of those reasons….  I believe that it is all about the dishes that I make such as my Strawberry Chipotle Beef Ribs. These beef ribs are oven tender and smothered in an amazing homemade Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce.  My Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce is a crazy concoction of ingredients such as fresh strawberries, Dr. Pepper (yes, Dr. Pepper), Indonesian soy sauce and fiery chipotle peppers in adobo.  I figure that if I continue to make these ribs, Bruce just might keep me around for the rest of his life.  Make these ribs and prepare to be kept.  Makes about 4 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 large racks beef ribs (about 7 pounds)
  • 1/4 c. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash, trim and cut into individual beef ribs.  Toss ribs in a large bowl and drizzle on Indonesian Soy Sauce and rub with salt and pepper.  On a foil lined pan (or large cookie sheet) place ribs.  Cover with more foil and put in the oven.  Bake for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender.  Remove foil and brush with sauce.  Turn on the broiler and broil until sauce is slightly caramelized.  Turn ribs over and brush with more sauce.  Broil again until caramelized.  Place on serving platter.

Note:  You can easily make these ribs on your outdoor barbecue.  Just bake the ribs first so they are tender then you can finish them on the BBQ for a an outdoor smoky flavor!

Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

  • 1 lb. strawberries (cleaned, hulled and quartered)
  • 1 can Dr. Pepper
  • 1 c. tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3 Tbls. Indonesian Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbls. chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. seasoning salt

Grab a medium saucepan and toss all the ingredients in.  Cook on low for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cool.  Makes about 2 1/2 – 3 cups sauce.