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Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in spring | 0 comments

Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Salad

Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Salad

Last week I got to take some folks on a shopping tour of the Westside Farmers Market, one of Atlanta’s newer markets. Afterward, we took our baskets of local goods over to Preserving Place for a market-to-table cooking class. Typically my classes have recipes predetermined, but this one was more of a lesson in being flexible and intuitive. We ended up making this salad, which I thought was pretty fabulous. Hooray for spontaneity!

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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in spring, summer | 0 comments

Strawberry Mojitos

Strawberry Mojitos

I can’t pretend to be a masterful bartender, but it usually doesn’t hurt to befriend someone who is. I recently hosted a birthday party for my dear friend Brooks who fits the “masterful bartender” bill. Mojitos are one of his specialties, and infusing them with strawberries seemed like the perfect seasonal cocktail to celebrate him. We teamed up to make the mojitos “the right way.” I gathered strawberry simple syrup (made from scratch), freshly squeezed lime juice, and mint harvested from my balcony garden. Brooks mixed up delicious cocktails all night long. Below you’ll find his “perfected” recipe that I think hits just the right balance of sweet, sour, fruity, and minty. And I have to second his advice to skip the bottled lime juice because it “just doesn’t cut it.”

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Posted by on May 20, 2015 in spring, summer | 0 comments

Pink Strawberry Lemonade

Pink Strawberry Lemonade

What exactly makes pink lemonade pink? I always hoped that it was strawberry lemonade, but I think it’s probably just red food coloring. A quick Google search provides some pretty interesting origin stories for pink lemonade… not very appetizing ones, though. Regardless of all that, this pink lemonade gets its rosy color from strawberries. Real, whole, fresh strawberries that are steeped into a pretty, pink simple syrup, not some strawberry “flavoring.” It’s sweet and a tiny bit tart and everything I’d hope for in a spring or summer drink. Spike it if you want to, or just enjoy it straight up with childlike glee (and maybe a curly straw).

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Posted by on May 18, 2015 in spring, summer | 0 comments

Strawberry Simple Syrup

Strawberry Simple Syrup

Strawberry-infused drinks and cocktails should start with real strawberries, right? (Yes!) Even though making strawberry simple syrup from scratch takes some time, it’s totally worth the effort to avoid fake strawberry flavor. This syrup is also great for making sweet strawberry tea, brushing onto cakes to keep them moist, and as a base for sorbet or gelato. You can make it a few days in advance so your bar is ready to go for whatever spring or summer fête might come your way.

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Posted by on May 15, 2015 in spring, summer | 0 comments

Strawberry + Chèvre Ice Cream

Strawberry + Chèvre Ice Cream

Strawberry ice cream has been one of my favorite flavors since I was a child. And while I love a good classic flavor, I also like keeping things interesting! Goat cheese (chèvre) and strawberries are such a wonderful, tangy combination, but they almost always end up on salads around here. Somehow ice cream came to mind, and I’m oh so glad it did! All of the familiar strawberry goodness is in there with a little more depth and range of flavors. I used honey as an additional layer of flavor, but sugar works just fine if you’d rather mellow it out a bit.

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Posted by on May 6, 2015 in spring | 0 comments

Roasted Strawberry Shortcakes with Basil + Mascarpone Cream

Roasted Strawberry Shortcakes with Basil + Mascarpone Cream

Strawberry shortcakes are one of my very favorite desserts. How can you really go wrong with strawberries, whipped cream, and biscuits? Even though a “plain” strawberry shortcake will always be a winner in my book, I decided to step up my game a bit this year, just in time for Mother’s Day! Consider this an ode to my Momma, who in no small part influenced my love for strawberries and (real) whipped cream.

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Posted by on May 6, 2015 in spring | 0 comments

Balsamic + Honey Roasted Strawberries

Balsamic + Honey Roasted Strawberries

Oh strawberry season, I love you. So, so much.

Every precious pint of strawberries I buy at the market is at risk of not even making it home. For me, very few things can beat a fresh, perfectly ripe strawberry. In fact, when I first heard of roasted strawberries, the idea sort of pained me. I didn’t want to part with my beautiful, fresh berries. But then I tried it anyway, and I fell in love all over again. The strawberry flavor intensifies and the berries are primed for topping toast, oatmeal, ice cream, strawberry shortcakes, or eating straight up. There’s also a bonus: the byproduct of roasting strawberries is an impossibly delicious syrup that you can strain out to mix with drinks or pour over pancakes. You can certainly roast them just with honey (or sugar), but I love the extra depth that balsamic adds.

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Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in spring | 0 comments

Three Kale Salad with Balsamic Strawberries

Three Kale Salad with Balsamic Strawberries

It’s pretty common that I crave a good kale salad–the hearty crunchiness and dark green, nutrient-filled goodness just call my name. One of my favorite ways to keep things from getting boring is to mix and match different varieties of kale. In this case, I put together Lacinato (dinosaur), curly, and Red Russian. Each variety contributes a slightly different texture and flavor, making the mix more interesting as a whole. A sprinkle of fresh herbs adds another dimension to the salad, too.

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Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in fall, spring | 0 comments

Shaved Beet + Carrot Salad

Shaved Beet + Carrot Salad

I love the transition into spring that brings light, crisp dishes. The stalls of the farmers markets are once again full of vegetables that need light to no cooking. Beets, however, were not among the list of vegetables that I’d deem “no cook.” I didn’t even like beets until a couple of years ago, and roasted was the only acceptable preparation in my book. But this salad changed my mind.

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