My Buttermilk Waffle Recipe makes easy, classic waffles that are crispy on the outside, and soft and tender on the inside!
This Waffle Recipe is a Breakfast and Brunch Staple!
My kids request either waffles or pancakes pretty much every weekend. Of course, I do give in most of the time, because I love waffles so much too! I created this recipe many years ago after a lot of trial and error trying to get that perfect texture…the crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
Continue reading Buttermilk Waffle Recipe at Cookies and Cups.
Mexican Americans have lived in the United States for most of the country’s history. Ethnically, Mexican Americans are a diverse population, but the majority are Mestizo, which in colonial times meant to be a person of half European and half Native American ancestry. Nonetheless, the meaning of the word has changed through time and currently refers to the segment of the Mexican population who do not speak indigenous languages.
The United States is home to the second-largest Mexican community in the world, second only to Mexico itself, and comprising more than 24% of the entire Mexican population of the world. Mexican American families of indigenous heritage have been in the country for at least 15,000 years, and Mestizo Mexican American history spans more than 400 years, since the 1598 founding of Spanish New Mexico. Spanish residents of New Spain in the Southwest included New Mexican Hispanos and Pueblo Indians and Genizaros, Tejanos, Californios and Mission Indians. Approximately ten percent of the current Mexican-American population are descended from the early colonial settlers who became U.S. citizens in 1848 following the conditions of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which ended the Mexican–American War.
Generally, when Americans speak about Mexican food, they are usually referring to Tex-Mex (or Cal-Mex) cooking, an extremely popular cuisine that follows the long border between the United States and Mexico. The food of the southwestern US state of New Mexico and the dishes of many of the Native American peoples of the southwestern US have similar names to many Tex-Mex and some Mexican dishes but they use different flavorings and cooking techniques.
Dishes like chili, fajitas, salsa, tortilla chips, chimichangas, quesadillas, burritos, and nachos are actually homegrown American inventions. Even dishes that exist in Mexico like enchiladas, tacos, and tamales are cooked and served differently in the United States. True Mexican dishes are not as spicy as many US versions. American versions of Mexican entrees add prodigious quantities of cheese, either shredded or melted, to nearly every dish, a practice rare in Mexico. The same heavy hand applies to the American use of sauces of all kinds. North of the border portions are larger, plates are filled so that the food items tend to run one into the other. In Mexico, the soft corn tortilla performs the function that bread on the table performs in the United States; it is a side starch. In the United States, fried tortillas, become an ingredient in nearly every dish.
Like most immigrant groups, Mexican Americans have remained loyal to the food traditions of their homeland. Many shops in small ethnic markets carry Mexican specialty foods. When they cook, they follow recipes handed down to them by their parents and grandparents and their cooking styles have certain things in common. Meat, usually pork or beef, is central to the diet. It is often eaten with salsa on the side. Corn, beans, rice, and root vegetables are also staples, especially sweet potatoes, yams, yucca, jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, and taro. Also popular is a pear-shaped squash called chayote. Here are some Mexican American recipes for you to make at home.
Carne asada means grilled beef in Spanish. The best cuts for making carne asada is Arrachera or skirt steak. It’s the taste that comes to mind when you think carne asada.
In Mexico, there are several marinating techniques that vary depending on the region of the country.
In the south and in the Gulf of Mexico area, where bitter oranges are grown, cooks will add some of its juice to the meat they are using to make Carne Asada; in other regions, they will add lime juice, and others will add a splash of beer.
Carne asada is traditionally made using a skirt or flank steak. The two cuts are very similar, but I prefer flank steak. When cutting the cooked meat, be sure to cut against the grain. It is quite easy to see the grain running through the meat in both of these cuts. It looks like long lines. Do not cut parallel to these lines, always cut perpendicular to them.
Adapted from Rick Bayless, Chicago Chef
2 limes juiced
4 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 jalapeno minced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 pounds flank steak
In a gallon size resealable bag, combine the lime juice, crushed garlic, orange juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, olive oil, jalapeno, and vinegar. Squeeze the bag to mix it up.
Put the entire flank steak into the resealable bag. Seal it up tight. Make sure all the meat is exposed to the marinade, squashing the bag around to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight is better.
Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan over high heat.
Remove the flank steak from the marinade, and discard the excess marinade. Cook on the grill for 7 to 10 minutes per side.
Once done, remove from the heat and let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain, and serve.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F or use the grill when cooking the meat.
Remove husks and silks from the corn. Place the corn on sheets of foil.
Butter corn and sprinkle with herbs and Parmesan cheese. Enclose the corn in foil and press the edges to seal.
Place wrapped corn on a cookie sheet or on the grill and roast for 25-30 minutes.
Mexican Red Rice
Arroz Rojo Mexicano
Adapted from Rick Bayless, Chicago Chef
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ cups long-grain white rice
1 ¾ cups unsalted chicken broth or water
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 1 to 2 serranos or 1 large jalapeño), stemmed and cut a slit down the side of each one
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch cubes
1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
Place the garlic into a blender or food processor, add the canned tomatoes and process to a smooth puree.
In a large saucepan, stir together the oil and rice. When the rice is thoroughly coated, stir in the tomato puree, broth (or water), carrots and 1 teaspoon salt. Nestle in the chiles. Cover the pan, bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Gently stir the rice, re-cover and let the rice cook about 20 minutes. or until tender Taste a grain of rice: It should be very close to done at the core. If not, sprinkle in a little water, re-cover and cook 5 minutes more.
When the rice is done, uncover it and sprinkle in the peas and the parsley or cilantro. Use a fork to gently fluff the rice, reaching all the way to the edges of the bottom, to release steam and slow the cooking. Re-cover, let stand 5 minutes.
Black Beans with Chiles
1 pound dried black beans
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
2 whole serrano chiles or 1 jalapeño chile
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Rinse beans. Place beans in a large bowl. Cover with water by several inches. Let soak overnight.
Place oil, onion, and carrot in a Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until the onion is tender. Drain beans and add to the Dutch Oven. Add whole chiles, cumin, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Uncover and simmer until beans are very tender, about 15 minutes more.
We had a rough winter in Denver this year! Lots of snow (which we needed) but also just very cold. Denver tends to have sunny winters so this one was colder than most. In any event, we are excited for park and picnic season now and I threw together this quick Chicken and Rice Picnic Salad […]
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We got our oven got replaced! When we first moved into our apartment, we didn’t notice that our oven wasn’t working because the stove top and microwave were working just fine! But one morning after I whipped up some cookie dough, I realized the oven wasn’t getting hot. Fast forward to a few days ago, the landlord decided it would be cheaper to just get a whole new stove than try to pay someone to fix it. So eureka! We have a working oven.
Also arriving this week: our couch! I ordered it 3 1/2 weeks ago and it finally arrived. It’s called the Greyleigh Coffee Sectional and we got it in color Conversation Ivory (more of a light grey than ivory). We really like it and the price was right for us. I shared photos on instagram stories and lot of you thought it was a white couch but it’s actually light grey. We’re hoping the ‘no food’ rule on the new couch really remains in force and will keep it looking lovely. Haha! We love it so far. It’s just the right amount of firm and soft. I think in about a month it’ll get broken in enough to be the couch of our dreams.
The weather in the city has been so warm earlier this week that I’ve been dropping my two oldest off at school and then immediately walking over to central park doing laps around the great lawn. I’ve only done this a handful of times, but its an easy and nice way to get in an extra 2 miles per day. Anything to keep my body moving and this pregnancy healthy! I really love doing this and Eddie loves seeing all the dogs in central park.
Speaking of pregnancy, I am 19 weeks pregnant with baby boy! Uncomfortable here and there mostly with round ligament pain from my growing belly. Its not terrible, but I do notice it mostly in the evenings when I’ve been on my feet all day and also through the night as I try to readjust myself. I think this eventually goes away once my body eventually gives up on trying to hold this little baby in. Haha! I’ll be sure to do a blog post in the next few weeks, documenting this little boy! We sure do love him.
This week, I’ve been keeping up with my new posting schedule. Here are the posts you’ve missed: How to cook Bacon in the Oven, Maple Glazed Carrots, Our Disney Cruise and Bahamas vacation and my last This Week at the Brennans’.
But I think the biggest news this week is that we flew to Oregon to visit Gordon’s family! We haven’t been back to Oregon since Eddie was 6 months old, so it was about time. We were on the fence for the longest time and decided against it initially, but as Easter approached, we bit the bullet and bought our flights just a few days ago! Surprise!
It’s been so nice to be back here and see how far we have come. See this post for more information incase you don’t know our background. All three of our kids have been in heaven playing with all their Brennan cousins and Gordon and I have loved the low-key quietness that comes in a small town. Also, the multiple kid-free dates!!
Easter was spent going to church, napping (hallelujah for naps!), egg hunts, resurrection rolls, ham, funeral potatoes and lots of candy. Again, my kids are in heaven here! We’re on Spring Break, so we have the whole week to enjoy a taste of our old life. We do love it, but we are grateful for the new life we’ve created in New York and are grateful for the opportunities that have come our way.
Products I mentioned on instagram stories that I’ve been getting asked about: Cetaphil Scrub (love love love this inexpensive, mild exfoliant) and the Peter Thomas Roth Peeling gel (really brightens up the skin by gently removing the very top layer of skin). I use the peeling gel first, followed up by the scrub and it really makes a big difference in the overall texture and clarity of my skin. Things have been touch and go this pregnancy and have loved using these two together every 3 days or so. It’s my magical formula for keeping my skin under control this pregnancy. (I follow up this regiment with Cetaphil lotion. I am a Cetaphil junkie.)
Here’s what is coming up this next week:
More Oregon fun with family! Gordon needs to fly back to New York on Wednesday morning because he has to work, but I’ll be here a few days more with my three littles. I’m hoping to take them back to our Oregon house aka our first house we bought that we fixed up that we brought both boys home to. It was a good one. *sigh*
Maybe catch up with a few friends in Portland and hopefully get some Salt & Straw!
And then fly back home to New York on Saturday.
Hope you all have a great week!!
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Is it really possible to turn a legendary smoked whole hog into a recipe that home cooks—not just experienced pitmasters—can make at home? Sam Jones has been cooking whole hogs over wood coals for most of his life. His family’s barbecue joint, Skylight Inn, has been serving the small community of Ayden, North Carolina, since […]
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If you find ramps at your local farmer’s market, make this ramp pesto! Ramps have a bright, garlicky flavor that is perfect for pesto. Toss it with pasta, spread on sandwiches, or swirl it into a spring soup.
This Garlic Lime Shrimp recipe is quite unique, and very good. For a hungry family of 4, you may wish to triple the recipe!
We’re soon-to-be empty nesters, so I’m always looking for “recipes for two” to make for my husband and me. This Garlic Lime Shrimp is one of those recipes. It serves just two (though you can double or triple it quite easily), and it’s very simple to make. You can serve it on its own as a low carb meal or serve it over hot steamed rice with all of the garlic-lime juices drizzled over the top.
How to make Garlic Lime Shrimp:
You’ll need a heavy, medium skillet. Cast iron is great, but if you don’t have one then it’s okay to use another heavy skillet. Over medium heat, melt butter, and add lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, a little sugar, lime zest and cayenne pepper. Fresh shrimp is sauteed in this delicious mixture until it’s opaque and done. Add a little salt and pepper, and that’s it. It’s so easy to make!
I like to serve this dish with some extra lime wedges for squeezing. And rice is my favorite pairing with the shrimp and its juices. You can make regular steamed white or brown rice for serving, or you can go all-out-low-carb and make my Cauliflower Rice recipe.
How do you know when shrimp is done cooking?
Shrimp cooked very quickly, but you don’t want to eat it undercooked and you definitely don’t want it overcooked either! The best timing for cooking shrimp is about three or four minutes. Make sure you add all of the shrimp to the pan at the same time, and make sure they’re spread out in the pan evenly.
When properly cooked, the exterior should be pink with red tails and the flesh is slightly opaque and a little “white” in color. The shrimp will curl as they cook. Don’t let them cook so long that they curl tightly into a round ball. A more “C” shaped curl is what you’re looking for in perfectly cooked shrimp. It takes some practice!
If you are looking for a few more great shrimp recipes, try these:
Pad Thai Shrimp
Barbecued Shrimp with Remoulade Sauce
Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp
Easy Creamy Tuscan Shrimp
Rotini with Shrimp
Cheesy Shrimp and Grits
Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers
Honey Walnut Shrimp
Garlic Lime Shrimp
Delicious shrimp dinner recipe!
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, (minced)
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
pinch of cayenne pepper
10 large uncooked shrimp, (peeled & de-veined)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper, (to taste)
Melt the butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add in the next 6 ingredients (through cayenne pepper). Sauté 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and sauté until opaque in the center, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve the shrimp on its own or over hot cooked rice.
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Making Monday better with this Roasted Lemon Artichoke and Browned Butter Pasta. Roasted artichokes, fresh herbs, buttery walnuts, and a little bit of burrata cheese too. It’s a fresh springy take on pasta, that’s ready in just about 30 minutes and uses mostly pantry staple ingredients. Perfect as a quick meatless dinner that’s special enough […]
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I’ve been on a real quiche kick lately. They are a great breakfast option and leftovers are easy to reheat for weekday breakfasts. This Spinach Basil Sheet Pan Quiche is my big boy version of the classic quiche. I stuffed this version with charred spinach, fresh herbs, and mounds of Parmesan cheese! You could use store-bought crust, […]
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Over the mid-winter break my kids had in February, we took our whole family on a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas!
Last September, we knew by February we were going to be sick and tired of the terrible cold weather in New York so we were going to want to head south to some place warm. After talking with Gordon, going back and forth with options, we decided on another Disney Cruise.
We first went on a Disney Cruise in 2017 when Eddie was only 11 months old, before we moved to New York. I didn’t want to go because Eddie was still such a terrible sleeper, but thought I didn’t want my other two to miss out on anything. Well, lo and behold the rocking of the ship changed Eddie’s biorhythms in his body and he turned into a dream sleeper on the ship! Once we got on land, his sleep patterns returned to normal, but man what a nice break that was! We love and much prefer the cruise over Disney World. So much so that we knew we wanted to go back and do another one, we just weren’t sure when we’d get the opportunity.
Well, the stars aligned and we were able to book a 4 day cruise in February. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Disney cruises are the best. Cruising in general is such an easy vacation and when Disney caters so heavily to your kids, it suddenly becomes worth the money.
Staying in Florida
For this trip, we didn’t want to feel rushed in the least, so we flew to Orlando a day early and stayed at the Ritz-Carleton Orlando Grand Lakes hotel, just so we could enjoy the warm weather, their delicious breakfast buffet (which was amazing) the pool situation and feel relaxed even before we technically got on the ship and were “on vacation”. They had several pools that we didn’t take advantage of because we ran out of time, but wished we could have tried!
The kids had a grand old time playing in the water and I, surprisingly was feeling great at 11 weeks pregnant. I was so worried I would look super pregnant in all these photos (totally paranoid) and would be feeling awful with all the travel, but my body hung in there and I felt amazing the entire time! Such a huge blessing.
Boarding the Ship
After we checked out of the hotel, we drove the 45 minutes to Cape Canaveral to board our ship. We ended up doing the 4 day Bohemian cruise on the Disney Wonder, with stops in Nassau and Castaway Cay. (See my notes below on how to get cheaper prices on Disney cruises.)
Our boarding time was 1pm, so we were just in time to have some lunch at Triton’s. Both my boys were thrilled that they got macaroni and cheese AND fries. Haha! Get used to it, kids.
In Nassau, Bahamas
Our first stop on the trip was in Nassau. We ended up purchasing day passes to Atlantis to have access to their beaches, Aquarium and restaurants. We took a taxi from the port over to Atlantis and had trouble finding the right place to check in. Every person we asked kept telling us different places to go. But after 20 minutes or so, we got our wristbands and a map (aha!) and we were on our way. I wasn’t thinking too much about the Aquarium when we got our passes, but turns out that was one of the highlights of the whole trip! We could have spent a lot more time exploring, but we wanted to get to the beach.
I think we ended up staying about 4 hours total at Atlantis, playing mostly in the ocean and taking a quick break for reapplying sunscreen and having a little lunch (which was totally average food). The last hour, Brooke and I swam in the deeper parts of the ocean while all the boys played in the sand. Was a super fun day. If we were to do it again, I would probably get a pass for the lazy river and the pools. Like, the ocean was super fun, but I think we would have enjoyed the other parts a little better and not have to walk so far.
Driving back to the ship, Brooke really REALLY wanted to get her hair braided but it was so expensive. She was literally begging and said she would “do anything”. So after thinking about all the things she would hate to do or the chores she could do for me, I bargained with her and said she could get her hair braided if she didn’t have any sugar or treats for 30 days. I really really didn’t want to pay for it. Haha! (Gordon and I had just finished a 6 week no-sugar challenge and she had said she would “never do that” so that’s why I chose it as the bargaining chip.)
After a good 5 minutes of really thinking about it, she agreed to my terms. Both Gordon and I were shocked. So much so that we said things like “that means no dessert tonight” or “that means no cake at your friend’s birthday party in two weeks” or “after we take the braids out in two weeks, you’ll still have to stick to the agreement” etc. etc.. But she stuck to her guns. The taxi dropped us off at the port again and Brooke got her hair braided and man was she a happy camper the rest of the trip. And I’m happy to report that she hardly complained about the no sugar for those 30 days because she understood what she got. We were so proud of her!
Ah, our favorite part of the trip! We love this Disney owned island because everything is so easy here! Beach chairs, umbrellas, palm trees, fruit stands, lunch restaurants, everything is there for you to enjoy. We did end up buying some sand toys (because I’m a sucker and life is just easier when kids have toys to play with) and renting some tube floats for my older two. It was fabulous and relaxing and I loved it. Especially the ribs, watermelon, pineapple and ice cream at lunch. But I think that may have been a pregnancy craving.
Back in Florida
Once we got off the ship again, we stayed another day in Florida to not have to rush to board any flights. We even contemplated changing our flights and extending the trip a few extra days, but ended up deciding against that. We stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando and so so glad we did! This hotel is what made us want to stay the extra time. They had their own lazy river, splash pad, kiddie pool (with tiny little water slide) and dueling water slides! It was amazing and our kids favorite part of the whole vacation. (I’m so glad we paid all that money to go on a cruise/sarcasm) We even found some amazing Acai Bowls and croissants for breakfast that we adored. We’ve decided next winter break to just come stay at this hotel because it’s basically it’s own vacation. Skip Disney, skip the cruise, just stay at the hotel.
I’ve partnered with the Four Seasons before (in Hawaii, Seattle and Las Vegas) and know the kind of hospitality and service they give. But this Four Seasons in Orlando is very much tailored to kids. Most luxury resorts are not, so it’s nice to find one that takes it over the top. This is not a sponsored post in any way, but we have been convinced that these are the best hotels to stay at. This Four Seasons was the best one we’ve ever stayed at, having three (and a half!) kids.
The afternoon we checked in, we changed into our swim suits and spent at least 3 hours together as a family going around the lazy river they have. It was ridiculously fun to not only be able to do that all together, but do it together as a family. They had mini tubes with a bottom so Eddie could float right along with us without us having to worry *as much*. It was probably one of the best memories I have of that trip. All of us holding onto each other’s tubes in a line and going as fast as we can past people and through the water falls. Seriously, Gordon and I were kids again. After dinner, Gordon took Brooke back to the lazy river AGAIN while I put the boys to bed. Even before we checked out the next morning, there we were, back in the water again.
It was such a fun part of the trip. Actually the whole trip was so much fun and I can’t wait until our next vacation. If only Gordon had more vacation days…
How to save money on a Disney Cruise
I’m sure there are plenty of discount travel agents who can get you a steal of a deal on a Disney cruise, but I don’t know any of them. The best way I know how to save some money is:
book well in advance
choose a more unpopular month to go and
choose a shorter length cruise.
We booked 6 months in advance and had a bit of a hard time finding the best deal because we had strict dates. Also, their cheaper rooms were already taken, so we had to get a larger cabin with a veranda. I mean, the veranda was nice and I won’t turn my nose up at a few extra square feet, but it comes at a cost. If I could have booked a year or more in advance, I would have saved probably $2000. Thankfully the week of the winter break coincided with their cheaper cruise. They did have a 7 day cruise available, but we couldn’t make that work and didn’t want to pay the extra money. So 4 days it was!
I know that on the cruise, you can put $100-$200 on your next cruise vacation and save 10% on the total cost. You don’t have to pick the cruise or anything. Just book within the next 2 years. So that’s pretty good.
Again, there might be other tips and tricks, but these are the most practical ones I know of.
Other Miscellaneous Things about our trip
We love this sunscreen and since trying it out in Aruba, we haven’t bothered using any other kind because of how much we love it.
I get a lot of questions about my black swimsuit which I love! It’s a cute one piece (as pictured above) and gives good coverage while still being comfortable and cute. Got it from here (and currently its on sale for under $20!)
Such a broken record, but these are my boys sandals and we continue buying the same ones every year because of how much we love them! Water shoes, beach shoes, sandals, etc.. They work for any circumstance and are so cute.
My cheapy sunglasses are from ASOS and come in a pack of 2, though I usually only wear the black ones.
Had my Birkenstock sandals for a good year now and still love them Spring, Summer and Fall. Brooke has even asked for a pair!
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This beautiful Strawberry Lemonade recipe is so perfect to serve on a warm spring or summer day.
Now that the weather is finally starting to get warmer and we’re starting to see the sun a whole lot more, it’s time to start thinking of recipes that use up beautiful berries! You’re probably starting to see baskets of strawberries on sale for a good price at your local markets. Pick up some strawberries today and make this lemonade!
How to make Strawberry Lemonade:
This strawberry lemonade uses a pint of strawberries and a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. The strawberries are pureed with a lemon simple syrup and then strained out to preserve the strawberry flavor but get rid of the pulp. The sweet strawberry mixture is combined with sparkling water to create a delicious, homemade lemonade.
I can think of a lot of occasions where this might be a good beverage to whip up and share. A warm weekend is a good reason! But it’s also a nice beverage to serve for a holiday lunch or brunch. For a party with friends, you might consider doubling or tripling the recipe. For an adult party, try adding a little bit of vodka to create a strawberry lemonade cocktail!
How to garnish Strawberry Lemonade:
First off, you don’t have to garnish your lemonade. But it’s so pretty if you do! Stick a small sprig of fresh mint into your lemonade for a pick and pretty garnish. Buy some extra fresh strawberries, cut them in half and slip them onto the edges of your glasses for a double gorgeous garnish.
This recipe comfortably serves four. It’s so good though, so you’ll probably want to double the recipe so you can all enjoy seconds!
Here are a few more recipes you can try that feature strawberries:
No Cook Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Fresh Strawberry Pie
Strawberry Goat Cheese Guacamole
Strawberry Buttermilk Scones
Chocolate Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
Strawberry Layer Cake with Cheesecake Frosting
Such a refreshing spring and summer beverage!
2 cups water
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pint fresh strawberries, (trimmed & halved)
2 cups sparkling water ((chilled))
mint sprigs and strawberry halves, (for garnish (optional))
In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and juice, stir and remove from heat. Let cool completely.
In a blender, puree the strawberries with about 1/2 cup of the lemon syrup. Add the pureed strawberries to the remaining lemon syrup. Stir; pour through a strainer into a pitcher. Refrigerate until well-chilled.
When ready to serve, add sparkling water to the pitcher and stir well. Pour over glasses filled with ice, and serve garnished with mint and/or strawberry halves.
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This is a recipe I tucked into the final pages of a cookbook I wrote eight(!) years ago. You’d likely miss it if you skip the little recipes that tend to find their way to the miscellaneous or accompaniment section at the back of many cookbooks. It might seem a bit of a shame to take a basket of the season’s sweetest, most fragrant strawberries and roast them. But this is an alternative I love. There are few things better slathered on a flaky buttered biscuit, hot crepe, or piece of toast. Or, scooped over your favorite yogurt. A little bit of special magic.
When it comes to roasting these strawberries, you know you’re on the right track when the juices from the roasting berries seep out onto the baking sheet and combine with the maple syrup to form a thick and sticky, just-sweet-enough-syrup. At the same time, the flavor of the berries cooks down and concentrates. The port adds a surprise hint of booziness, and the balsamic delivers a dark bass note. The recipe can be doubled or tripled, just be mindful not to crowd the baking sheet.
Continue reading Roasted Strawberries on 101 Cookbooks