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Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

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Raspberry Fool – Simple Summer Sweetness

If you’ve never heard of a fool – as in, a dessert, not a person who does foolish things – you are not alone. I’m guessing – and this is strictly speculation – sometime in the 1950s, the classic fool was replaced with Jell-o fluff, a concoction of whipped topping and flavored gelatin.

I found a cranberry fool in a cookbook, but never made it. However, a couple of years ago, I was looking for something to make on April Fool’s Day that would be fun and not prankish, and voila, I found a strawberry fool.

A real fool has REAL food in it. Three ingredients. THREE! And surprisingly little sugar – and I think you could easily reduce the sugar if you choose. I’ve made this recipe with strawberries. This time, I made it with raspberries, and it was a perfect summer dessert on a very hot day.

Raspberry (or Strawberry) Fool

  • 1 heaping cupped fresh or frozen berries, thawed (if large berries, like strawberries, chop them before measuring)
  • 3 Tbsps. sugar, or to taste.
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Puree berries and sugar in a food processor. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in berry puree until mostly blended, leaving some swirls. Serve chilled.

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I’ve never done a “round-up” before, but when my seven-year-old daughter asked me yesterday, “What can we make for the Fourth of July?” I decided it might be appropriate. This girl LOVES to celebrate the holidays with fun food and decorations. Now, I’m a low-key mama, and tend to just forget about those things, but she helps me remember them.

I don’t believe you have to go all-out and have a Pinterest-worthy party to celebrate. Sometimes, it really is about just the little things and making memories. But when you need a little inspiration, we all turn to the internet.

Red, White & Blue Cookies

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These look just like my mom’s Monster Cookies, but with red, white and blue candy pieces. From Southern Living.

Fun Fourth Fruit Kebabs

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Take a look at these super-simple fruit kebabs that celebrate the fruits of summer with patriotic style, from The Peaceful Mom.

Patriotic Parfaits

Of course, what could be easier than layering blueberries, strawberries or raspberries, and vanilla yogurt or whipped cream for parfaits?

Food Flags

There are so many different ways to make flags out of your food. Last year, I made one that looked a lot like this one, but I apparently did not photograph it.

This year, I wasn’t in the mood for a big to-do when the girl asked, so I opted for easy. I bought a tube of ready-made sugar cookie dough, and made “paint” out of egg mixed with food coloring. Together we patted out the dough into a rectangle, drew on a rough flag, and then I let her go to town with a paintbrush. The results may not be perfect, but she was thrilled have done something special for the holiday. We may add some frosting and fruit before all is said and done, and turn it into fruit pizza.

food flag

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

 

 

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This blog is supposed to be about making memories, and it has sort of become about food, too. So when I can combine these topics – YAY!

A family trip to a local pick-your-own berry patch yielded a big box of strawberries and a few handfuls of tart cherries. My kids, especially the seven-year-old, had a blast picking handfuls of the tiny little strawberries. The cherries are another story, which I will share soon in a later post.

Strawberries and Cherries

Strawberries and cherries, fresh from the sun

But the real memories came after we got home. The way my three-year-old was eating the strawberries by the handful, like they were candy. Watching my seven-year-old (who likes to help in the kitchen, and SOOO badly wants to be able to cook on her own) crush graham crackers for the crust of our pie. And then the delighted clamor in what has become our homemade whipped cream tradition: one beater for each girl to lick.

And of course, savoring every bite of this super-simple pie. We had a backyard berry patch yield good results a few years ago, and I tried this recipe. Loved it so much, we made it again with about half of the berries we picked. (I actually halved the recipe and made a 7-inch pie, so don’t feel like you have to make a whole pie!) It is fresh, and sweet, but not overly so, and you really get to enjoy the berries for what they are.

strawberry pie 2

Strawberries and cherries, fresh from the sun

Fresh Strawberry Pie

  • 3 pints plus 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 baked pastry shell (9 inches), OR a graham cracker crust*
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsps. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsps. cold water
  • Whipped cream, optional
strawberry glaze

Making the glaze

*I highly recommend the graham cracker crust. It really complemented. We made ours by crushing up some graham crackers and adding melted butter. Totally guessed on ratio, and it ended up more of a crumble than a crust, but it was YUMMY!

  1. Set aside one cup strawberries. Arrange remaining berries in the pie crust. With a fork, mash reserved berries and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine sugar and water, cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add mashed strawberries and bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Gradually stir into strawberry mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon over strawberries in crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish and/or serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Homemade Whipped Cream

A few years ago, I looked at the ingredients in whipped topping and just decided, No, I’m going to make my own REAL whipped cream. It is SO EASY, and has far less sugar.

  • 1 half-pint whipping cream
  • 2-4 Tbsps. powdered sugar.
  • vanilla, almond or other extract, if desired

With electric mixer, beat whipping cream for a minute or two, until it is no longer super-runny. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. (I judge by taking my beaters out of the bowl. If two holes stay where I just pulled them out, it is ready. If the whipping cream oozes back into the holes, you aren’t there yet.)

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