Strawberries in February

Happy February!

What do you have planned for this month? For me, February always seems to involve a lot of cooking. The weather in Texas can most accurately be described as “BLAH”  so that means a lot of indoor activities which for me means trying new recipes.

Last month I received the cookbook, Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering, for my birthday.  This is what we’ve tried so far, and we’ve enjoyed allllll of them:

*Garlic Cheese Grits

*White Cheddar Bisque

*Roasted Elephant Garlic Bread

*Baked Chicken with Bacon Bottom & Wild Rice

 


Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering

This is just a lovely cookbook. A joy to look at, read, and cook from. If you’ve ever watched “Fixer Upper” or read anything by Joanna Gaines, I think you’d enjoy this book.

I think I’ll try one of her dessert recipes next, probably her Strawberry Shortcake, since I’ve never made that before.


Speaking of Strawberries

Speaking of strawberries, I’ve been seeing a LOT of strawberries in the stores lately. As a matter of fact, when we stopped by Kroger’s yesterday, they had a booth set up with employees making chocolate covered strawberries right in the entrance! I could have stayed there and watched them forever (it’s so much fun to watch OTHER people work 😉  ) but I needed to get the girls to softball practice and then start supper.

A couple of weeks ago, knowing the strawberry craze was coming, I started thinking about my favorite berry recipes, and wondering if I could make a whole meal centered around strawberries. Guess what, I did! Below are some pictures and recipes  that I hope you’ll enjoy — my family certainly liked them.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

This is a recipe that my daughter, Kate, found last summer while searching for granola bar recipes. We loved it the first time and have been making it ever since!

https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2018/04/19/strawberry-oatmeal-bars/

This blogger is Chocolate Covered Katie and she writes about her search for and discovery of healthy desserts. We’ve tried several of her recipes and she’s never steered us wrong.

Bread

For starters, I made this wonderfully moist Strawberry Bread.

This is a recipe I found in the Kay’s Kitchen cookbook — a local restaurant that was once very popular in Lake Jackson. Everytime I make this bread, someone asks for the recipe. It’s so easy, and it makes a great gift!

Strawberry Bread

3 c flour

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 T cinnamon

2 c sugar

3 eggs

1 1/4 c vegetable oil

2-10 oz boxes of frozen strawberries — thawed and drained

1 c chopped nuts (optional) (of course you know I leave out the nuts)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first 4 ingredients. In another bowl, cream sugar, eggs and oil. Combine both mixtures. Mix well. Stir in strawberries and nuts (if you use nuts). Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. YUM!

Strawberry Salad

The most difficult task came next, finding a recipe that my family would eat, that included strawberries in the main course. I ended up using this recipe for Strawberry Salad, https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/14276/strawberry-spinach-salad-i/

then added some grilled, marinated chicken.

The salad turned out so, so, so, sooooooo good! My family had mixed reviews on the dressing, but I liked it. What really “made” the recipe though, was the grilled chicken.

It’s simple to make, just put chicken breasts in a baggy with about half a bottle of Italian Dressing and 1/3 cup of Soy Sauce, then marinate it OVER NIGHT. That part’s really important (thus the capital letters). Chicken doesn’t soak up flavor as quickly as fish does, so planning ahead and giving it longer to marinate makes a huge difference.

This is actually one of my go to meal preps. I’ll marinate and grill an entire family pack of chicken breasts, then use it throughout the week for salad, pasta, fajitas….and still have some leftover to freeze.

Desserts

Now comes the fun part, and of course the part with the most recipes — dessert!

This first recipe is one that my mom makes quite often. It involves making a homemade pie crust and individual Strawberry Turnovers — perfect for breakfast or dessert.

I’m not gonna lie, this one can be a bit labor intensive, but it’s still an easy recipe; it just takes a bit more time. And oh, what a treat you have when they’re done!

Strawberry Turnovers

Pastry:

1 1/4 C flour

1/4 C cornmeal

3/4 t salt

1/2 C Crisco (or other shortening)

3 T water

1 C powdered sugar

Mix flour, cornmeal, and salt; then cut in the shortening. Sprinkle in water and mix well. Roll pastry into 6: circles, fill, fold over and crimp edges, then slash the tops. Place on foil or parchment paper and bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes. When done, frost tops with 1 C powdered sugar mixed with 1-2 Tablespoons of water.

Filling:

1/4 C sugar

3T cornstarch

2 C fresh or frozen strawberries

Cook over medium heat until thick. Allow to cool before using.

After you’re done,  you’ll have a pretty and flavorful treat:

Doesn’t that look delicious?

The last strawberry recipe isn’t really much of a recipe. Chocolate Covered Strawberries are easy to make, and there are many different ways to personalize them. Simply wash and DRY strawberries, melt chocolate and almond bark, then dip the strawberries and add decorations.

You can put them on lollipop sticks or skewers as we did here:

Or put them in pretty cupcake liners:

Whether you decide to eat them all yourself, or gift them to someone special, these are always well received!

If you try any of these recipes, please let me know what you think. And feel free to share any of YOUR favorite strawberry recipes in the comments. I love to try new things.

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