Strawberry Chocolate Shortcake

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.
— Erma Bombeck

Strawberry Chocolate Shortcakes

Whirlpools and Whip cream have a lot in common. 

Small hot tubs make the most amazing whirlpools when you’re a kid. They feel like the size of a giant swimming pool when you are only 3 feet tall. I will never forget bobbing up, down and around my best friend's hot tub.  The water was cool, not hot, because it was our pool for the summer. We would walk and even run in the water to get the water spinning into giant circles.

   Our swimsuits were ragged with chlorine and faded from the sunshine, but around and around we went not stopping until the moment when we were being "whipped" so hard we would feel the water pull us back. 

Next, we stopped, and  we drifted.

We let the pool water float around our little bodies and occasionally our shoulders would hit the silver pole that was meant for the “adults” to enter.  The entry and exit bar was our personal monkey bar.  Swinging and ducking we would fall, sinking deeper into our floating whirlpool.

Eat Strawberry Chocolate Shortcakes!

Children's dreams are made from these moments, don't you think?  

What did you do? What is your favorite childhood memory? Do you have one to share?

 I have moved on to creating foodie dreams in my head. 

If whirlpools could be whip cream that’s the feeling I get when it has been whipped fully.  Small peaks and valleys of white float by my beater.  I love whirlpools to this day and hot tubs even more.

That round and round feeling continues and doesn't stop.  I watched a chef  make whip cream by hand one time, whisking and whisking, building amazing arm muscles, beating round and round until the cream began to peak. 

I don't beat my cream by hand, lazy? Nah, I like to think more inclined to value my time is all.  But I know how to whip cream by hand and that's what's important.  

Do you own a whisk? Good, you can make whip cream.

ICO Professional Whipped Cream Dispenser (1 Pint)
$29.99 $41.99
Impeccable Culinary Objects (ICO)

Do you own an  electric beater or even a Kitchen Aid machine with a whisk attachment?  Great!

 Are you a crazy foodie and own a whip cream machine?  Even better! (P.S. They make amazing gifts.)

Whatever you happen to own you can make chocolate whip cream and bring something new for the next backyard party.

 People are going to ask you for the recipe.  I mean it, it's happened. 

They will want to lick the spoon, the plate and wel,l you will be the life of the party all because you found out a little secret from the white radish.  Share it, it's okay.  My secret is now yours and you don't have to keep it, cause it's too good not to share.

This is the simplest dessert you will ever make.  You can serve it with the homemade biscuits or for a gluten free option just remove them. Or if you don't have time, grab some angel food cake at the store or some premade biscuits, it will be good too. No one will be the wiser.

 This dessert has options and that's what we are all about, right?  

Make it simple, make it good, but make it!  

Show off your newly acquired skills of learning how to make chocolate whip cream.  If you don't get a few oohs and aahs then something is wrong with your friends, not you.😉  After all who doesn't love chocolate and strawberries?  It's a love story at it's best.

 Oh and just in case you have extra chocolate whip cream, don't miss out on the tips below.

And next time you are sitting in a hot tub I dare you to make a whirlpool and not think of chocolate🍫 whip cream...😉😄

Summer Berry Shortcake

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pint Strawberries
  • 1-2 tsp sugar

Biscuits-

  • 4 cups Flour (self-rising prefered if you have it)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  •  1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 cup of Heavy Cream and or Whole Milk
  • 1 cup or one 8 oz container of Whole Milk Ricotta

Whip Cream-

  • 1/2 pint Heavy Cream
  • 1-2  TBSP Organic Cacao powder or Unsweetened cocoa powder (depending on your chocolate taste)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4-5 tsp Sugar (or to taste)
  • Chocolate Shavings (optional)

Fresh strawberries

Instructions:

Step 1

Chop up strawberries and place in a large bowl.  Mix with Sugar and set aside in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Step 2

Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Make Biscuits. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.  Whisk gently or stir with a fork.

Step 3

Next add Heavy Cream and Ricotta and mix gently by hand until combined and forms a large ball.  You can add more cream 1 tsp at a time as needed, if flour is not sticking. You want to end up with a dough ball. Knead ball for one minute on a lightly floured surface. Flatten dough using your hands and make it about 2 inches thick. Cut out using a biscuit cutter round dough pieces.

Step 4

Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet and brush the top with milk or cream lightly. Bake until browned about 12- 15 minutes. 

Step 5 

While biscuits are baking, prepare chocolate whip cream. In a mixing bowl or kitchenaid bowl lightly whisk in chocolate and sugar and vanilla. Taste and add more sugar or cocoa as needed.  Start on low speed using whisk attachment and mix until begins to thicken.  Turn up speed being careful not to splash and whip until soft peaks form. 

Step 6

 Slice biscuits in half when cooled and smother with chocolate whip cream and layer strawberries. Top biscuit and add more cream and strawberries. Serve and Eat!

Optional: Top with chocolate shavings 

Tips

  • Extra Chocolate whipcream can be used in a shot of espresso for an "espresso con panna au chocolate"
  • Extra biscuits- freeze before baking on a baking tray for 20 minutes then remove and place in ziploc bag or other container for future biscuits

 

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

A man ought to carry himself in the world as an orange tree would if it could walk up and down in the garden, swinging perfume from every little censer it holds up in the air.
— Henry Ward Beecher

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Solitude sometimes feel like healing to me. It's in that moment I can look around and see, truly see what is around me or feel the calm set in.  Do you need that time?  I know I do.

 There is so much noise and stimulation around us everyday.  Sometimes I need silence and other times I need that acoustic guitar with the musical lyrics of someone's voice rasping words into my ears. I stopped listening to words so many years ago.

  I had this recently at the park.  I put the headphones in and walked along the water. Is that what makes headphones so amazing? The control of the noise or lack of noise around us?  I'm not sure,  but I think so. Whatever the reason my mind was where I wanted it.

I watched:

  • the sky change color three maybe four times in less than an hour
  • the dog chasing the ball head straight into the water with an unfounded trust in his owner
  • the kite flyers waiting for that just right moment of wind to whip their stream of colors into the air. 

 Do you ever have these moments? Do you love them?

Magnuson Park Seattle

 

 No one  stops your thought process and you write or dream or focus in your head.  You don't make a list of things you need to do,or stop and worry but rather you admire and smile about what is around you.

I love these moments.  I often write to you dear reader during this time.  I tell you about my day, my life, why I love something or  even why I don't.  

Sometimes I forget what I wanted to tell you but that's okay if those thoughts but are gone, or fleeting, I don't mind, because they were my thoughts,  and they let me be alone.

Days and times like that that make me realize why I create food to share.

 It's funny this sharing thing...  don't your think? it seems like most days I want to share but then again those moments of solitude they just can't be shared.

 They need me.

I need them.  

We need each other.

 You know what I mean? 

 It's not loneliness that's different, that's sadness.

This is  time well spent  making me, a better me. It's the "why" in why I want to share later.

 It makes me hungry for life, if I can get away with saying that on a food blog. 😂

 I hope you get to have these times and if you don't I hope you make them for yourself soon.

 My food stems from these places.  My food confidence in the kitchen is built starting with theses moments and branch out from there like long stems on a willow tree.  

 My first attempt to be kitchen confident started with salad dressings.  I remember hearing something about "you know you're a real cook when... you don't have pre-made salad dressings in your refrigerator."   Hmm, a good goal to strive after, I decided. 

Blood Orange Vinaigrette Ingredients

It's been years now since I purchased salad dressing and it boosts my confidence even now to think I can pull out just a few things and make a nice simple vinaigrette or a yummy ranch dressing without the need for a trip to grocery land.

In fact I can't even tell you where to find the dressings in the grocery store anymore, because I stopped looking for them. That's progress. 

 It takes time in the kitchen to feel comfortable.

I liken it to getting to know your neighborhood after your first move into your home.  The area is new, you're unsure about where to go to get your haircut, who does the best dry cleaning, where to buy that quick cup of coffee in the morning or that slow Sunday cup o' joe.

Your comfort zone comes in time.  You ask others,

you try a few places,

you find your niche, you get to be a regular

and suddenly, you find yourself offering advice to someone else on where to go.

 Yeah, that's what it's like being kitchen confident.  You will get there I promise,  give yourself time.

  •  Let yourself have that solitude.
  •  Allow yourself a few mistakes on making that vinaigrette.
  • Make it for your before you share so you know that you love it.  

And if you still feel in doubt, Stop. Take a breath, and think 3  to 1 . 

3 oil  (TBSP)

to

1 vinegar (TBSP)

See it's as easy as 3...to....1.

I knew you could do it.  I love that about you, my confident kitchen friend. 

Happy Cooking!😊

Fresh Blood Orange Juice

Ingredients:

1/4 cup blood orange juice (2 oranges depending on size)(fresh squeezed)

1/4 cup  lemon juice (fresh squeezed if possible)

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

1 TBSP dijon mustard

1 TBSP honey or maple syrup

1 clove of garlic pressed or grated

blood orange zest 

1 1/2 cups olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Step 1

Squeeze oranges into jar or using juicer, juice oranges.  Next juice lemons.  I like to do them separately so that I have fresh squeezed juice to mix and match or drink as I like for later.

Step 2

In a mason jar or other jar with lid to  shake:  mix vinegar, and juices, mustard, honey, garlic and zest. With a tight lid, shake jar until blended.  

Step 3 

Remove lid and add olive oil to shaken ingredients.  Next with Lid on tightly shake all ingredients together until mixed.  Remove lid and taste.  Add salt and pepper to enhance flavor based on taste.  

Step 4

Before serving make sure ingredients are mixed in jar then add how much you prefer to salad of your choice. Start with a small amount as you can always add more.  I love it with thinly sliced raw root vegetables.  

Blood orange vinaigrette with shaved raw root vegetable salad

Tips

  • When juicing citrus fruits remove the rind and most of the white pith otherwise your juice will have a bitter aftertaste
  • Using a microplane grater for garlic will allow you to have a freshly grated garlic without all of the chopped chunks in the dressing.  Also it is great for zesting the citrus.
  • You can also make this dressing in a bowl and add the olive oil very slowly while whisking to have an emulsion that will stay in the jar and not need to be shaken.  But for me dressings are fine if they need a little shake 😉
  • Shaved root vegetables such as rutabagas, golden beets, and radishes make a delicious accompaniment to this vinaigrette

Do you want to see a blog post on the shaved raw root vegetable salad? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks!