Strawberries – A recipe round-up

Are you seeing bright red, delicious strawberries everywhere right now? Maybe you want to grab some and make one of these recipes for Father’s Day! Or for tomorrow…because why wait?!

Strawberry Spectacular – this has sweetened condensed milk AND cream cheese…so you know it’s gonna be good!
Strawberry Zucchini Marmalade – this doesn’t actually have fresh strawberries in it, but maybe you have zucchini piling up…you will be surprised at how yummy this is!
I’ve got a few others on my “to make” list as well, like this Strawberry Upside Down Cake, Farmhouse Strawberry Pie, and Strawberry Pretzel Salad – which is definitely my kind of salad.
What’s your favorite strawberry recipe?

Paddle Boarding & Very Strawberry Shortcake {#SweetSwaps #IC #ad}

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the SPLENDA® Brand. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions and reviews are my own.

I, for one, am SO glad the summer season is upon us!! School is out, the heat index is rising, and it’s time to break out the pool floats, dust off the lounge chairs, and rinse out the coolers. Oh…and bathing suits. It’s time to break out the bathing suits…and for many of us (and by “us” I mean “me”), that can be majorly a little traumatic. BUT, the great thing about warm weather is that it is much easier to MOVE MORE! The blue sky, warm sun, and birds chirping just beckons us to get outside…maybe it’s working in the garden, walking around the block, yard work, etc. For my friends and family, it’s swimming, kayaking, boating, and now, paddle boarding!

 This was my first time on a paddle board, and I was surprised by how easy it was! I was expecting it to be much harder to stay balanced. Of course, I kept a slow and steady pace, but it was fun! And obviously, after spending the day with friends swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding…you work up an appetite. And nothing is more important to a backyard barbecue than dessert. Am I right, or am I right?!
Thankfully, it’s also strawberry season!! We have several farmer’s markets nearby that offer freshly picked strawberries, or you can go pick the strawberries right out of the field yourself.  Even my local grocery store (yes, that’s singular) has had some pretty good looking berries this year.

Since we had all spent the day in bathing suits (mine covered up by swim shorts and a tank), and getting some exercise in, the last thing we needed was a heavy, sugar laden dessert that would weigh us down…literally! I was happy to find a yummy SWEET SWAPS™ recipe that fits nicely into our lifestyle. 

You can save loads of calories by swapping out full sugar for SPLENDA®Sweetener Products. Being that my husband is diabetic, it is also nice to be able to make special treats that he can enjoy without all the sugar as well. *Fun Fact* Swapping one cup of sugar with one cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated can save more than 600 calories.  
 
Very Strawberry Shortcake
 
Strawberry Filling
  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Shortcakes
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced-fat biscuit mix
  • 1/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed (I used homemade whipped cream)
  • 12 sprigs mint sprigs (optional) (I omitted)
DIRECTIONS
Strawberry Filling:
  1. Stir together strawberries, 2 tablespoons SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, and balsamic vinegar; let stand 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Shortcake:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine biscuit mix and 1/3 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, in a large bowl.
  3. Stir together yogurt and vanilla; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 or 4 times. Pat dough to a ½-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/4-inch round cutter, reusing dough scraps, if necessary. Place shortcakes on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with sliced strawberries and whipped topping. Garnish with mint springs, if desired.

Reprinted with permission from SWEET SWAPS™. Check out SPLENDA® on Pinterest for more great swaps and recipes.

What’s your favorite way to “move more” in the summer? Have you ever tried paddle boarding?

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Dessert Pizza

What’s better than chocolate covered strawberries?

Chocolate covered strawberries on top of a chocolate chip cookie crust that’s what.
With a layer of chocolate “sauce”…
And a little extra chocolate drizzled on top, because seriously, can you have too much chocolate? I think not.
A little Cool Whip on top doesn’t hurt either –
Are you on board the dessert pizza train? If not fully convinced, let me just share how easy this is to put together. Like done in 30 minutes easy. Seriously! The secret is pre-made cookie dough and chocolate that melts like buttah. (This was my first time trying chocolate from Chocoley, and it is awesomely easy to work with. I usually have so many issues when working with melted chocolate and get quickly frustrated, but not this time! And no, I’m not getting paid to say that! I really had the easiest time EVER.)
The kids and I made this (as evidenced by the little fingerprints in my chocolate!) as a special (last minute) Memorial Day treat, and it would be great for any chocolate and strawberry loving father or special man in your life this Father’s Day. Which is coming up VERY soon! June 15th to be exact. How does time fly past me so quickly?! I’ve yet to figure that out. Not to mention strawberry season is in full swing so you can have nice, sweet and ripe berries.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pizza

1 roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough (I used Pillsbury, could also use homemade)
2 lbs. fresh strawberries
1/2 lb. chocolate (I used Chocoley Milk Chocolate)
Vanilla Cool Whip (optional)
  • Preheat oven according to directions of cookie dough you are using.
  • Spread dough out into desired shape on a baking pan (I used my pizza pan lined with parchment paper since it has holes in it). Press into about 1/2 inch thickness.
  • Bake cookie dough as directed or until lightly browned and fully cooked. Remove from oven and let cool.
  • While cookie ‘crust’ is baking, slice strawberries, reserving a few whole ones for dipping in chocolate.
  • Melt chocolate as directed.
  • Dip whole strawberries into melted chocolate and place on wax paper to cool.
  • Spread remaining melted chocolate onto cooked cookie dough crust, reserving a couple of tablespoons for drizzling if desired.
  • Place sliced strawberries onto chocolate ‘sauce’, leaving the center open for whole berries.
  • Drizzle remaining chocolate over sliced berries and place the set chocolate covered strawberries in center.

Slice with a pizza cutter and top with whipped topping if desired. Enjoy!

As a funny side note – when my son saw the chocolate chip cookie crust, he asked what I was making. I said “I’m making pizza!” He looked very skeptical and said, “well, I will try cheese on it, but I don’t think I want (pizza) sauce”. I laughed so hard, and explained that it was a dessert pizza and would only have chocolate and strawberries on it. I think he was relieved! He was also quite happy with the results.

Chocoley sent me some of their products to try, no other compensation was received. Boy am I having fun using them 🙂 Expect to see more chocolate covered goodness!

Not your average Strawberry Shortcake

Did you know today is National Strawberry Shortcake Day? I know right?! I’m learning that there is a day for pretty much everything. Luckily, I have just the thing to share with you on this special day. Actually, I made it to take to a family celebration of a VERY special day. June 10th marked the 3 year anniversary of my Dad’s life saving stem cell transplant!!! My Dad was diagnosed with Leukemia in October 2009 and his only hope of survival was a transplant. You can read more here and here if interested. Each year that passes is a miracle and we make sure that we get together and celebrate.

Notice the heart shaped strawberries? And of course, the number 3. Made with love, baby 🙂
This is like a strawberry shortcake, but made about 10 times better with the addition of cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Sweetened. Condensed. Milk. It bears repeating. I could drink the stuff. I knew when I saw this over at The Better Baker, I had to give it a try.

Strawberry Spectacular 

1 Angel Food Cake {prepared} I used Duncan Hines
1 (8 oz) box of Cream Cheese (I used the reduced fat)
1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (I used fat free)
1 (16 oz) container Cool Whip (large container) (any variety is fine: light, fat-free, SF, or homemade)
2 (10 oz) containers frozen strawberries in their juice, thawed*
fresh strawberries for garnish (if desired)
*I could only find the Food Lion brand strawberries, and they came sweetened with sugar or with Splenda. I used the ones sweetened with sugar. I think you could use fresh strawberries as well. Just slice fresh strawberries, sprinkle with sugar, and let hang out in the fridge overnight so they will produce some juice, then proceed with the recipe. However, I haven’t tried this, so I can’t speak from experience.

Break angel food cake into bite size pieces into a 9″ x 13″ dish. Fill the pan about 2/3-3/4 full…you want to have room for your strawberries and Cool Whip. I used almost my entire cake, minus about a 2 or 3 inch slice that *accidentally* got eaten while I was making this.

  • Cream together cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth and pour over the cake.
  • Pour both containers of thawed strawberries evenly over the cream cheese/milk mixture – juice and all!
  • Evenly spread Cool Whip over strawberries.
  • Let chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, then top with fresh strawberries if desired before serving.
I made my cake, topped it with the cream cheese mixture, and stuck it in the fridge overnight. The next morning I completed the assembly and it sat for a few hours until time to enjoy. I think I could have made the whole thing the night before without any problem. I was worried about the cake getting too soggy, but it wasn’t soggy at all. The Angel Food Cake holds up well to the toppings.
I recommend making this for National Strawberry Shortcake Day…or any day for that matter!

I’m linking up at (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaHolly’s Stamping AddictionThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds Pilgrimage (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxBlessed with GraceLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s Sweets, BeBetsy and VMG206The Real Thing with The Coake Family (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My Time, Cherished Handmade Treasures, The Wilderness Wife  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s, Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on Sunshine(Saturday) Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions , Finding Joy In My Kitchen and Gooseberry Patch

This recipe was featured at BeBetsyNap Time Creations, Mandy’s Recipe Box


nap-time creations
Mandy's Recipe Box

Strawberry Shortcake on Chocolate Chip Biscuits

mmmmm, fresh strawberries!
Once upon a time, I was a weird kid who didn’t really like strawberries.  They have grown on me over the years, and this year, I can’t seem to get enough!
I thought I would make the kids and I a special treat –
Strawberries, Sugar Free Cool Whip, Chocolate Chip Biscuits, topped with a little sugar free chocolate syrup.  Chocolate. Chip. Biscuits. Oh yes.
Chocolate Chip Biscuits adapted from Cooking During Stolen Moments
  • 3 c. flour (can use a mix of all-purpose & white whole wheat)
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 T. baking powder
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter 
  • 1-2 c. chocolate chips (I used a combo of dark and semi sweet – 1 cup)
  • 1/2-1 c. milk (I only needed about a 1/2 cup, skim milk)
1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Add the milk, a little at a time, just until dough comes together. If you add too much milk and the dough becomes too sticky, add a little more flour.
3. Roll out dough and cut, or just drop 1/4 c. portions onto a baking sheet.
4. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until fully cooked and lightly browned on top. I made these a little larger than usual since I wanted to make big mack daddy strawberry shortcakes 🙂
I love this pic. Check out the top left corner….little hands that couldn’t wait to get into the strawberries too.  He likes his with powdered sugar.