I went strawberry picking… Now what?

I celebrated my birthday last Saturday and Rob planned a pretty interesting day but one of the highlights for me was strawberry picking.

I was so excited! If I had to eat one fruit for the rest of my life, it would definitely be strawberry.  It’s sweet and tangy. It’s red. It’s cute. It smells delectable. It’s bite sized. It makes the best jams, jellies, fillings, frostings, toppings, ice creams, juices (I can go on and on but there is more to this post than strawberry picking and I don’t want to bore you to death with ramblings)inhales deeply…AND I read that it helps fight cancer… just saying.

Rewinding to a couple days ago… we got to Froberg’s Farm in Alvin, TX and eagerly bought ourselves a bucket each. At that point, I think we were too giddy to rationally think through how many pounds of berries we would each pick that day.

Glee overwhelmed me. My routine went something like this: spot red juicy berry, pick it, toss it into bucket, admire harvest at hand, smile and scout more berries. When my bucket was half way full I remembered why I carried my camera. Please enjoy the photos below.

As we walked back to weigh and cash our berries… Rob suddenly came to his senses… “Wait! How many pounds of berries do you think we picked?” We looked at each other with brief worry in our faces then laughed it off.

“It can’t be more than two or three pounds man.” Candice replied boldly. I like referring to myself in the third person sometimes. *ehhem*

It so happened that we picked 7.42 pounds; approx. 119 ounces; approx. 30ish cups… of strawberries. That’s probably 50ish of my handfuls.

The challenge: Make use of 7.42 pounds of strawberries in 4 days. Challenge accepted! Let us begin looking at some berry yummy recipes. *snicker*

Uno.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: These were very easy to make and oh so yummy! Warning: Do not eat more than 6 in one sitting. You are bound to get a tummy ache. Don’t like chocolate? No worries… I gots plenny more recipes to share.

Two.

Strawberry Tart Cake: This cake was the perfect amount of sweet and berry.

Third.

Sharing is caring yo. Give to your family, friends, strangers on the street. Start dispersing dem berries in every which way you can.

4.

Strawberry Jam: This was by far the yummiest jar of strawberry jam I have ever had. Yes, matter of factly, it does have something to do with me actually making it myself. The recipe was simple and result is superb. Try it! Rob and I had some on a couple of Club crackers with cream cheese. Mmmmm mmmm mmmmM.        Note: Be sure to follow proper canning rules to store you jam.

Last but not least.

Strawberry Mini Pies: These were definitely my favourite. As you can see, I could hardly wait to try one… I even used the same jam that I made in no. 4 as my filling. You can use strawberry butter if you prefer.

So there you have it. If ever you are in a similar predicament as I, here is a simple guide to give you a start on using up your berries before they go bad.

Enjoy!

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Twice-Baked Potatoes

I think its prime time I started sharing some recipes with you folk. All that talk and no recipes in a week? How shameful. I won’t give you any fancy excuses but please sit back, relax and try not to droll on your computers 😛

Remember these bad boys?

{I love twice baked potatoes! When I was a child, I would sit at the kitchen table and look at my mom as she prepared them. I remember I was always in a hurry to eat them and wish they didn’t take so long to cook.}

{Canoe Tatoes}

{Out of the oven and ready for eatin’}

{We had ours with shrimp kebabs}

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

10 small potatoes
1 1/2 c. Mozzarella cheese
2/3 c.  Green onion (Chive), diced
1/2 c. Sour cream
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic, ground
1 tsp. cayenne, ground
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
extra virgin olive oil for finishing

Preheat oven to 400°.

Thoroughly wash and dry the potatoes. Poke the tops of each potato several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake until tender to fork’s touch. It took me about 1 hour & 20 mins at 400° to get my potatoes baked to the right consistency. Your potatoes may require more or less time depending on many factors. Just be sure that, you bake the potatoes to a fork-tender consistency on the inside before moving forward with the twice-baking part.

As soon as potatoes are ready, remove them from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Once cooled, carve out the tops of each potato canoe-style, then carefully remove the insides to a bowl. (I mashed mine a bit before adding the other ingredients to help get rid of the chunks). After all of the potatoes have been hollowed out, add the sour cream, melted butter, black pepper, salt, garlic, and cayenne and mix together. Fold in the shredded cheese and diced onion.

Scoop the filling mixture back into the hollowed shells, packing each shell generously with the filling. The potatoes will likely be stuffed and overflowing – that’s a good thing. Place the refilled shells onto a rimmed baking sheet and finish each with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the tops begin to turn golden. Remove baked potatoes and serve immediately.

YIELD:  10 very stuffed potatoes

This recipe was adapted from Scarletta bakes.

Appreciating Dad

Yesterday we surprised our dad with a cake baked from scratched and decorated by hand. We also gave him a card and his other present is – on its way – lol.

My parents have been divorced for about 10 years now. However, that has never stopped my dad from continuing his role to us as a father. We saw our dad more than once a week. He spent time with us. He provided for us. He showed concern for us. He supported and encouraged us. He never neglected us. He loves us.

I am very thankful to have a dad who knew the importance of his responsibility and was dedicated to it despite the circumstances.

Happy ‘belated’ Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

{Three chairs for the world’s greatest dad}

{He really appreciate his card}

{The cake was soft and not too sweet. Just right}