It was hot in Portland this weekend. Like, really, really hot. Doing a lot of cooking in heat isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world so we decided to have a theme that involved very little oven time. What better way to celebrate summer than eating a bunch of delicious berries?! Oregon strawberries are just about the best things ever and right now our farmers markets are full of delicious, locally grown berries. It’s awesome.
Most of the FND crew were out of town/had other things going on this weekend, so dinner was just Mary and I. We had such a great time hanging out at the Rose Garden eating good food, talking about all kinds of ridiculous things and participating in one of our favourite pastimes, people-watching.
Because there were only two of us at dinner I don’t have many recipes for you, but I can assure you the ones I am about to share with you are worth trying. Mary made a fantastic raspberry vinaigrette and picked up some bread at the PSU farmers market and I made a sparkling blueberry lemonade and strawberries ‘n’ cream cupcakes (it’s literally a cupcake topped with homemade whipped cream and strawberries. YUM). I got the recipe for the Lemonade from Eat, Live, Run and you totally should click on the link that’s with the recipe to see the gorgeous pictures of it. She used mason jars to drink it from and it looks amazing. I only had plastic cups, so it doesn’t look quite as good. Although I think Mary does a pretty great job modeling the cup:
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup water
- Place the ingredients, in the order listed, into your blender/food processor.
- Secure the lid and blend for about 30 seconds, or until everything is well blended.
We tossed this dressing with some lettuce, blueberries, raspberries, almond shreds and feta cheese and ate it with the bread Mary brought. So good.
Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup blueberry juice
- 3 cups cold sparkling water
- Frozen blueberries
- Bring the sugar and water to a simmer on the stove and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Pour simple syrup into a cup and stick in the fridge to chill for an hour.
- When ready to make lemonade, juice lemons then pour lemon juice through a strainer into the pitcher to catch the seeds. Add the chilled simple syrup to the lemon juice along with the blueberry juice and sparkling water. Stir well.
- Serve with frozen blueberries.
Strawberries ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 box strawberries, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place 18 paper baking cups in muffin pans. Combine all the cupcake ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and pale, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Spoon the batter into the cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pans from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a wire rack.
- For the topping, whisk the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon onto the cupcakes and arrange the strawberries on top. Chill until ready to serve.
Happy eating, everyone!