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.

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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

 

Tapioca Pudding

I am starting to think that maybe memories are like this dessert. I eat it, and it becomes a part of me, whether I remember it later or not.
— Erica Bauermeister

Tapioca Pudding with Berries

I've been thinking about how many women in history have worn strings of pearls.  Jackie O., Princess Diana, Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel, and the list goes on.  Why?

 Recently I had a strand of pearls that were a gift from my husband many years ago break.  It has such good memories surrounding it I did not want to leave it broken. I have worn it over the years and always receive such warm compliments and reminds me of the great memories I have with my other half.  

Single pearls are lovely but a strand of them is classic.  Life's ups and downs are often like a strand of pearls. Each one is unique and beautiful but together it is and elegant and strong. It makes a statement. Sometimes the down's in life feel like the broken strand.  Maybe if we start too look to closely at the individual pearls we might see chips or blemishes or flaws.  We do this too often to ourselves when we hurt or life has pushed us to it's limit. We all have chips and blemishes but, it isn't until we step away and start to see that all of the pieces can be put back together and be made beautiful again that our hurt begins to heal.  

Vanilla Bean Tapioca 

 No doubt it is difficult, after all the hole might be small and at first the string might be weak but with time we learn to buy the strongest cord and we ask for help to put it back together again.  In fact most of the time we need help stringing back together the little pieces.

 In life we need help too, from others that's what makes us a stronger person.  We need those who are experts to teach us how to thread the pearls, or make the knots, or even just to tell us don't worry, it can be fixed, and it will be beautiful again.

 I  chose to pick up the pieces and have a friend help me put it back together. It's stronger and more beautiful to me now than before.  Why? Because I stopped looking at the little flaws and started looking at the big picture.  

Tapioca Pudding with Strawberries

Now I can look in the mirror and see the strand of pearls together lying flat against that little black dress and say I love your Beauty, every little flaw and every little blemish, because together you make Me shine.

Speaking of Pearls...Tapioca Pearls make Delicious Eating.  

Enjoy!

Recipe from:  Slightly Adapted from Bob's Red Mill classic Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Small Pearl Tapioca
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 2 1/4 cup  Whole Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 eggs,separated
  • 1/2 cup Sugar,divided
  • 1 Vanilla bean, sliced in half and scraped or 1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste

Instructions

Step 1

Soak the 1/3 cup pearls in 3/4 cup water making sure it is large enough saucepan. (Around:  1 & 1/2 quarts can hold) DO NOT DRAIN TAPIOCA AFTER SOAKING!

Step 2

Add milk, salt, 1/4 cup sugar and lightly beaten egg YOLKS to Tapioca pearls and stir over medium heat until boiling. Then turn down heat and simmer uncovered over very low heat for 10-15 minutes.  Stir often and do not let come to  a boil again.  

Step 3

In a mixer using a whisk, or whisking by hand beat egg WHITES with remaining  1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form.  Fold about 3/4 cup of HOT tapioca into egg whites slowly and then gently fold mixture using a spatula.  Fold mixture all together into saucepan slowly.  Stir over low heat for about 3 minutes.

Step 4

Cool 15 minutes then add Vanilla Bean or Vanilla Paste.  Serve warm or chilled with Fresh Berries of your choosing. You can also top with a little whip cream if you would like. 😋 

Berries and Tapioca Pudding