Posts Tagged ‘Strawberries’

Cocktail Hour: Spring Inspired Cocktails



Rose Sangria pour

Here are three simple cocktail recipes featuring the flavors and produce of spring.

These may not be the hippest or most complicated cocktails on the block, but they are delicious none the less. While we love to order an old-time inspired throw-back cocktail when we’re out, we don’t stock Aperol, grapefruit bitters or Amaro in our home kitchens. Quick to concoct with ingredients you can easily find for a last-minute soirée.


Grapefruit Margarita

Grapefruit Margaritas
Makes 1 large pitcher

1 quart fresh grapefruit juice
2 cups Simply Limeade
2 cups white tequila
1 cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup Triple Sec
5 limes, quartered into wedges
Finely ground Himalayan pink salt for serving (available at Trader Joe’s)

Mix all liquid ingredients in a large pitcher and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Taste for flavor, adding more tequila if needed.

Rim your glasses by dampening them with a lime wedge then dip in finely ground pink salt. Serve each margarita over ice with a wedge of lime.


Fresh Coconut Cooler

Fresh Coconut Cooler
An old favorite, the best part of this unusual cocktail is that you can eat the fresh coconut flesh as you go.  Also, the coconut water hydrates you as you imbibe, boosting your day-drinking longevity.

Makes 4

4 fresh young coconuts (can be found at Thai markets, Whole Foods or health food stores)
12 ounces rum or vodka
1 lime, quartered into wedges
4 long straws and long spoons or 4 spoon straws

Use a sharp knife to carefully make a square cut in the top peaked part of the coconut. Remove the square and add alcohol to taste, about 1-2 shots per coconut.  Add a few ice cubes and a spoon/straw and enjoy!


Rose Sangria pitcher

Rosé Wine Sangria
Makes 1 large pitcher
Read your bottle of rosé to see what fruit are in the wine and add the same fresh fruit to your sangria.  Our rosé had flavors of raspberry and tangerine so we made sure to add them both. Use frozen berries as ice cubes to keep your glass cold.

1 bottle rose wine, chilled
1-1/2 cups fresh lemonade, chilled
½  cup Triple Sec
2 tangerines, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 strawberries, sliced
2 cups sparkling French lemonade (Trader Joe’s has a great one), chilled
1 cup frozen raspberries

Combine the first six ingredients–rosé through strawberries– in a large serving pitcher. Chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving so the fruit has time to macerate.  Add the sparkling French lemonade and frozen raspberries and serve immediately.




The Weekend Dish


By Sarah Lagrotteria

berries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries

Friends, what are you up to this weekend?

Lydia is heading to Napa so her hometown friends and family can shower our bride-to-be with love, attention and good wine.

The literary ladies are coming to my place Sunday morning to discuss Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.  We’ll drink sweet mint tea and iced coffee and snack on summer berries and whole-grain zucchini bread with mint and basil from Kim Boyce‘s Good to the Grain.

I hope to take my new deck towel to the beach. The man behind these eco-chic throwbacks to a happier, more effortlessly elegant time is none other than Lydia’s baby brother Buck!  Talent runs deep in the Ellison clan.

Here are a few more great posts-new and old-for your reading pleasure.

Here’s where I want to linger over breakfast.

Molly’s Chinese noodles make for happy slurping on a hot day.

Will we ever tire of these latté bowls? Not likely.

Anjali’s back!

My summer napkins of choice.

For laughs-The Unbearable Sadness of Vegetables.

Enjoy the beautiful weather!


Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake


by Sarah Lagrotteria

I confess that I like making cakes even more than I like eating them.  There’s something about a perfectly smooth frosted cake just waiting for colorful candles, a dusting of coconut flakes or the perfect blooms that makes my heart flutter.   I love how pristine they look when all white or a deep dark chocolate. And the process of smoothing and re-smoothing frosting over the top and sides…it gives me chills.

While my personal cake preference runs toward chocolate or French almond cakes (or chocolate almond cake!) I think the best cake to make for a celebration is a strawberry whipped cream cake. You can use your favorite cake recipe (or cake mix, of which I mightily approve if you add some orange or lemon zest), and make this frosting in minutes.  Just be sure to have leave time for the finished cake to chill before your party starts.

Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake

Serves 9

1 9-inch round vanilla cake (can use pound cake or angel food, whatever you prefer), sliced horizontally into 2 layers

2 pints fresh strawberries, washed hulled and cut into thin slices

4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Note: Place strips of parchment paper along all 4 sides of the cake stand or serving platter, leaving the center of the plate open—it will look like an empty square.  These strips will collect any frosting that falls off the cake while you are frosting it so that your plate stays clean and your presentation perfect.

Place the bottom cake round on top of the parchment-lined cake plate.

Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Turn the mixer to high.  Pour in the vanilla extract as the cream whips and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar.  Whip the cream into firm peaks.  If the cream gets too soft at any point during frosting, just whip it some more.

Add a generous dollop or two of the cream to the center of the cake and use an off-set spatula to spread the cream evenly over the top and sides of the cake.  The cream layer should be abundant, so feel free to add as needed.

Use half your strawberry slices to decorate the top of the cake round—I like concentric circles—then top the strawberries with a small dollop of cream.

Place the second cake layer over the cream and strawberries.  Add the remaining cream as needed to the top of the cake, smoothing the cream out and over the top edges and down the sides.  When the entire cake is coated with thick cream, hold the off-set spatula sideways at a 45-degree angle away from the cake, so the side of the spatula is just touching the cream.  Holding the spatula steady, slowly rotate your cake plate so that the spatula edge smoothes out the sides of the cake in one long sweep.

Use the spatula at an angle to smooth out the top of the cake and decorate as desired with the remaining berry slices.  Gently pull the parchment slips out from under the cake.  Chill until just before serving.