Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sort of a Recipe: Strawberries and cream

On Friday, I ran out to the store for a few things, and came back with quite a few more. Cabbages were drastically reduced; I assume from an overstock of St Patrick's day heads. I like cabbage, so I picked up a few. Boiled it that night, and stuck it in the refrigerator. I estimate I'll be having cabbage with lunch for the entire week. This does not make me sad in the least.

Strawberries were also on sale for a lower than normal sale price. (A price I have seen before, but still less than the normal 2 for X price.) Buying the strawberries also meant that I had to have cream. I debated between yogurt, sour cream, or heavy whipping cream and settled on the whipping cream purely for taste reasons.

That evening, I rinsed half the berries, put a metal bowl with a tablespoon of sugar in it in the fridge, and proceeded to prepare the strawberries: de-stemming, hulling, and cutting into tiny pieces. Then I sprinkled about 2-3 spoonfuls of sugar over the strawberries, and set them aside.

As the berries and sugar intermingled, I pulled out the chilled bowl and poured a bit of the whipping cream into it. Honestly, I have not idea as to the measurement. If I had to guess, probably 2 tablespoons. Maybe more.

Then I thought for a moment. Stand mixer, hand mixer or by hand? Since I hadn't used the stand mixer bowl, I took the stand mixer out of the running. It has had enough of a work out, considering the amount of cookies I made in the past two weeks. For some reason, I settled on whipping the cream by hand, so out came the whisk.

Several minutes and one tired arm later, I had soft peaks of sweetened whipped cream.

I divided up the strawberries and cream and surprised my husband with a delicious and simple dessert, hopefully ushering spring and summer into our little corner of the Earth.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blog hop: Think Green Hop Along

Hello and welcome to the "Think Green Hop Along"Everyone is welcome to link up and make friends here. The concept is to "think green"!! 
Make sure to sign up for my giveaways while you're here too, located to your right --->
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Here are the rules to this link up:
  • Follow the hostess, Tips 4 Green, of the Green Hop Along (in the first position).
  • Grab the Hop Along Button and put it on your blog somewhere, make a post about it, if you would to try to get the word out!!
  • Follow as many other blogs as you like, it is common courtesy to follow whoever follows you! Please follow at least two or three other blogs in this link up.
  • Leave a comment on the blog of whoever you are following so that they can follow you back.
This hop along will close on 3/25/11 at midnight and will reopen again on each Friday. I hope to continue this link up for every Friday! Please leave me any comments or questions below or in an email to Thanks!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Update from a sunny March day, the first day of spring

I am happy to report that the inherited iris bulbs are sprouted and still green, despite the roller-coaster temperatures of the last few weeks.

I am worried that a few of the bulbs in the front planter didn't make it, but a few have green shoots shoving through the soil, and the pots are looking more promising. The onions and inherited mystery bulbs in the front are growing with wild abandon.

The weather outside today has been gorgeous. In fact, it has been nice for several days now. I was able to gallivant with our dog outside barefoot over the weekend. It was so nice to run around barefoot, squishing the grass between my toes. And so nice to see my feet! I've stuck them in socks, fuzzy socks, and layered socks for so long to keep them warm that it was refreshing to leave my feet free.

This past week was Spring Break for the local university (where I work) and the public K-12 schools. Traffic was a breeze, and our hallways were quiet. Also very refreshing.

Our local grocery store had a sale on butter (2 for the price of 1). We went Wednesday night, and they were sold out - not un-expected. Thankfully, they were expecting a truck that night. As I had off for St. Patrick's Day, I went that next morning to pick up the butter before they could sell out, and also got a 10 lb bag of flour.

Yes, a 10 lb bag of flour. I may have mentioned that I really enjoy baking. However, I don't bake as much as I would like. Otherwise, we'd have cookies and bread spilling out of our house, into the streets. The weekend before Spring Break, I made cookies and bagels and pancakes. The cookies were so tasty and quick that I made several more batches throughout the week (also not great for our overall health). The flour cache was rapidly dwindling to nothingness. The Wednesday we couldn't buy butter, I scoped out the flour prices. A 10 lb bag was about $4.50, while a 5 lb bag was $3-4 (this is bleached, enriched, all-purpose flour, not my favorite, but the most affordable and versatile). Considering my baking kick and the price, how could I not get the 10 lb bag?!

Well, this past weekend I made soda bread (wheat and white flour), cookies (of course), and a very crumbly shortbread. I've gone through more flour, butter, and eggs than I care to admit. But there is nothing like the satisfied feeling of having something in the oven.

Do you have a favorite thing to bake or cook?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Weather and gardening update

I feel bad for being silent for a month, albeit a short month.

We've had some interesting weather round here lately. The snow finally melted, and it warmed up to the 40s and 50s (Fahrenheit). Buds appeared on shrubs and trees, long-forgotten bulbs started to send up little shoots, all signs of spring. Then it snowed again. It melted with 36 hours, but it is indicative of the weather we've had since. Sunny and warm(er) for a day or two, then brisk to downright chilly, or below freezing for a few days.

I hope that the earth was already warmed enough that inherited bulbs don't completely freeze up.

Inherited bulbs? What do I mean by that? I mean bulbs that were here when we bought the house: the irises that line a portion of our back fence, and the mystery bulbs that started sprouting in the brick planter. (A hastily taken camera-phone picture has my mom id-ing them as possible tulips. Awesome!)

In addition to these inherited bulbs, an aunt gifted me some flower bulbs back in the fall, but I didn't manage to get them in the ground before the first snow. They are in the ground now, and I hope that they didn't dry out in our guest room during the winter.

Plus! We had a bag of onions that we didn't finish before some of them started sprouting. Guess what else I'm trying my hand at growing this year now? Onions! Despite the snow, they still seem to be going strong.

Do you have any gardening or weather surprises?