Recipe: Delicious Shortbread with Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Shortbread is the food of the gods. This easy to bake, deliciously addictive, buttery and crumbly biscuit may be Scotland’s greatest vindication where cuisine is concerned. Traditional shortbread is made of nothing but awesome butter, sugar and flour and will save your ass when facing a sudden onslaught of uninvited guests. To go the extra mile, add fresh strawberries and whipped cream to make this an unforgettable dessert experience!

~ Basic Shortbread Recipe ~
(for about 30 or so biscuits)

  • 300g plain white flour
  • 200g butter (unsalted)
  • 100g white sugar
  • small pinch of salt
  • optional: some liquid vanilla extract

Add all ingredients in a bowl and knead with your bare hands until the dry crumbly mass sticks together. Roll the dough (I prefer 5-6mm for thickness but no less than 3mm) and cut into whatever shape you prefer. I’m lazy, so I do uneven squares.

Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20mins at 180°C. Once the biscuits start turning a dark golden around the edges, remove from the oven and leave on a cooling rack for at least 15mins.

shortbread02

We already ate a few…

This is where you’re done with the basic shortbread recipe – but we’re just halfway! For divine foodgasm, slice up some fresh strawberries and give them a nice tumble with a bit of powder/icing sugar in a bowl. Next, whip up some cream until light and fluffy.

~ How to serve ~

I like to do three layers of biscuits (still slightly warm after baking) per person or serving. Use a small dessert bowl and start off with some strawberries on the bottom. Break one biscuit in half (or quarters depending on size) and then cover with a spoonful of whipped cream. Rinse and repeat until you’re satisfied with the quantity. Always finish with cream and strawberries on top.

Congratulations – you have officially entered shortbread heaven! OMNOMNOM

shortbread

Fair warning: guests will be back for more.

24-Hour Salad

Merry Christmas readers, followers, and cooks alike! While I’m more than thrilled that you stopped by the blogosphere on this holiday, hopefully most of you are enjoying a wonderful day filled with family and friends. Or food and presents. Well…mostly food and presents, as the case may be.

Unlike the more formal holiday of Thanksgiving, which requires some traditional fare, Christmas in my house is much more relaxed. But that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a few food “musts,” one of which includes a fruit salad I remember being a holiday staple since childhood — the 24-Hour Salad.

While there’s probably a definitive version of this fruit salad that has chopped fruit marinate in a light custard overnight, I wouldn’t know what it is! Since I started making this salad myself, I’ve discovered that there’s almost no limit to the fruit it can contain. I regularly alter it according to what’s available and who’s eating. (i.e. Marshmallows and I don’t get along very well, so I usually skip them.) As long as the fruit is compatible with egg, sugar, and cream, you’re good to go. If you’re short on fresh fruit, canned fruit works just as well.

And if the idea of fruit sitting overnight in cooked, creamy eggs is absolutely unappealing, forget it and just use the heavy cream whipped up with a little sugar. It’s not religion, just a tasty and light fruit salad.

24-Hour Salad

Ingredients

For the custard:

1 egg
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white sugar
pinch of salt
(for the next day – 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream)

For the salad:

1 cup chopped pineapple, fresh or canned and drained
1 cup chopped orange or 1 small (8-9 ounce) can of mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup sliced seedless red grapes
1 cup chopped apples
8-12 sliced maraschino cherries (or sliced fresh cherries, if you’re lucky enough to get them at this time of year!)
1 cup mini marshmallows (optional)
(for the next day – 2 sliced bananas)

Instructions

Day one
In a double boiler or single sauce pan over low heat, beat the egg and stir in the lemon juice, sugar, and salt. With a wooden spoon, constantly stir the mixture until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove custard from the heat and cool.

Combine all fruit together, except the bananas, in a large bowl. Stir in the custard, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Day two
Drain any excess liquid from the salad and stir in 2 sliced bananas. Whip the cream until thick and stir into the salad. Can be eaten immediately or chilled.

*****

This salad is best eaten the day its made as the bananas will quickly go brown in any leftovers. You can freshen up any remaining salad with a bit of extra whipped cream, if necessary.


Let’s see just how many blogs Cary can put on her roster before going mad! While you’ll find her here on occasion, you’ll more likely to catch her over on United We Game or Geek Force Network; or better yet, working on her own blog about gaming and nostalgia and such, Recollections of Play.

 

Roasted vegetables with pasta

veggies

Greetings all! I don’t want to bore everyone with a long introduction, because this is the Internet and you can easily find links and such, but suffice to say I’m thrilled to be here and am looking forward to sharing my recipes and reading those of my fellow gamers.

‘Nuff said. Let’s get cooking!

*****

I’m starting off here with one of my staple meals — roasted vegetables with pasta. It’s a great any time of the year, and especially any time when you have a surplus of fresh veggies. It can be made as the main dish, a side, and is great leftover (cold or warm). I prefer the mixture of tomatoes, corn, onion, and asparagus, but I’ve also made it with string beans, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, carrots, and other add-ins. If a vegetable can be roasted, then it’ll be perfect here!

Ingredients
(Serves 2-3 people as a main dish; you can adjust accordingly)

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (or 2-3 large tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen, or canned but drain first
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 10-12 asparagus spears, chopped (and be sure to remove the woody ends)
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • (Other veggies of your choosing, chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • Pasta of your choice.  Large shapes, like egg noodles (my fav), bow ties, or shells work well.
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
  • Salt and pepper

You’ll also need a medium to large pan on which to put everything — a cookie sheet, roasting pan, 13 x 9 baking dish, etc. — to which liberally apply a cooking spray of your choosing.

Should you wish to add meat, roast chicken or pork work well. I’ll often cook a piece of chicken (simply seasoned with salt, garlic powder, and pepper) in the oven along with the veggies, then shred and mix it in with the appropriate serving.

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Place all the veggies and garlic cloves on the pan/dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for about 20 minutes. (My gauge for doneness is when the tomatoes start to pop open.) Remove from oven once done.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling, salted water.  Drain thoroughly but do not rinse.

4. In same pot as you cooked the pasta, melt a few tabs of butter over medium-low heat and add in a few splashes of olive oil.

5. Once this mixture is warm, add in all the veggies except for the garlic cloves.  Mash garlic cloves separately (in a press or on a board), then add and mix.  Gently stir in the pasta and mix in a decent handful of parmesan cheese.  (Add chicken, if using.)  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with warm garlic bread.


Let’s see just how many blogs Cary can put on her roster before going mad! While you’ll find her here on occasion, you’ll more likely to catch her over on United We Game or Geek Force Network; or better yet, working on her own blog about gaming and nostalgia and such, Recollections of Play.