Simple rustic recipes will always win me over compared to fancy, multi-step, complicated recipes. I believe this is due to the fact that once I decide I want to eat something, I really don’t want a big fuss standing in the way to the final product. This applies to snacks, main dishes and desserts as far as I’m concerned.
This recipe is so simple, so rustic, it looks homemade. You’re not going to win awards for plating, but you may bring the folks at the table to a wonderfully peaceful and heartfilled place. Strawberry shortcake, to be really delicious, must be done when the berries are truly in season. The strawberries are the headliner of the show, the shortcake is the stage and the whipped cream is the gown, but the Berry, oh, she is the Star!
There are three simple parts to this recipe. Prepping the berries, making the dough for the shortcake and throwing that in the oven, and while that’s baking, whipping up the cream. I prefer to serve this while the shortcake is warm, and the berries are room temp. I’m convinced that this brings out the best flavors in all of the components.
Rustic Strawberry Shortcake by MadMadme
• 2 pints of fresh strawberries
• 1 tsp fresh citrus juice (I prefer orange juice)
• 1/8 cup sugar or Honey
Wash berries, cut small berries in ½ and large berries into ¼’s. Drizzle citrus juice, and sprinkle sugar over berries. Gently fold together, you do not want to bruise the berries. Let sit in a covered bowl, stirring occasionally a few more times until the sugar is dissolved and a syrup is created. Done.
Drop Biscuit Shortcake bake at 450° F for 15 minutes
• 2 C flour
• ½ C sugar
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 ½ tsp baking powder
• 4 Tbl chilled butter, cut into very small cubes (approx ¼ inch)-You will get very different results if your butter is not chilled.
• ¾ – 1 C whole milk -The amount of milk will depend on the humidity and the moistness of your flour. I typically start with ¾ C, but if my dough will not hold together, I will add the remaining ¼ C.
• 1 Tbl vanilla extract
• 3 Tbl cream
• 1 T sugar or cinnamon sugar
+ • 1 C cream reserved for serving
I enjoy Master Recipes. They are easy to memorize, alter and offer good results each time. I have ONE recipe for all of my biscuits, scones, shortcakes and quick pastries. This recipe is just a sweetened variation of my Mater recipe. The fat is very important to texture and crumb. So when asked if it’s ok to cut the fat, of course it is, you will still get a lovely treat but it will be less supple, denser, and dryer. Know this ahead of time, and you can decide if that is the result you will be pleased with. I prefer using the fat, and eating less of a marvelous thing, then eating more of a lesser thing.
Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl (you may sift the ingredients for a very light texture but it is not necessary to do so). Cut in butter until you have a corn meal like consistency. To speed up this part, I do the dough in my food processor. I put my dry ingredients in, pulse a few time to incorporate. Then I add my butter, pulse a few more time to get the corn meal consistency. Combine the vanilla and the milk, poor in all at once, and combine in as few strokes (or pulses) as possible. Done. Your dough should be very thick and sticky, but not wet.
Use a lined baking sheet, I always bake with parchment paper because I want the bottom of everything to taste as good as the top! Drop large spoonfuls (I use an ice cream scoop) onto baking sheet a couple of inches apart. Dab or brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon sugar. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes, or until they are getting golden speckles on top. This recipe will yield between 8-10 scone sized shortcakes.
• 1 pint whipping cream
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 Tbl sugar
Whip cream, and vanilla until peaks form, do not over whip. Fold in sugar to sweeten.
Once the shortcakes have set (about 10 minutes) they are ready to be eaten. Break apart a shortcake, pile a scoop of strawberries and the sauce they are in right in the middle. Top it with a mound of whipped cream and drizzle a bit of cream (1/8 C approx) into the bowl itself. It’s a bit of Heaven and a lot of Summer, hanging out together in one place. Enjoy!
Books. This single word will trigger a flush of emotion is every, single member of my family. We love them, even the “e” variety. I’ve been able to give up many of my bound books for the ‘e’ variety in the last couple of years but I just can’t seem to make that transition with the craft books, the artsy, and inspirational books. Partly due to the lack of them available for my e-reader, but also due to the fact that I want to touch the inspiration, stick little torn pieces of paper between my hopefuls and feel the weight of them pulling on my shoulder as I carry them in my bag. They tug at me and bounce against my side like my children did when they were little, when they wanted attention, when they were just letting me know that they were there.
Last year, I took a huge step, and I chucked boxes and boxes of books. It was heart rending, but they are pricey to move across the country and it made me really narrow down to books that we love, that we use and can’t get digitally. And now my paired little library practically sings to me each time I walk by. I also joined a craft book club and painstakingly did my research on each book to make sure it would be a treasure trove of new, inspirational and challenging information for me. And since I’m part child, I need lots of pretty pictures.
Well, I just rec’d my last shipment of books and I’m pleased as punch with them! I also got a tot sweater pattern book at Joann’s for 1/2 price and I’m endeavoring to make my first tiny garment, as a gift to my niece, E.S. I moved shortly after she was born, and I’ve been gone almost a year, she has had her 1 year birthday, she walks, and talks and steals my heart from 2000 miles away. She is. . . well, she is my baby Sister’s baby girl, so she is very special to me. Being the mother of two girls, and watching my own Sister grow up (I’m nine years older than her), it is a strange and wonderful feeling to see the next generation of Little Ladies sprouting up the the garden of our family.
I already have the Crochet Bouquet, and I just love it, so I was excited to see what new inventions would come in the Crochet Garden book by the same folks.
Here is an example of the glamorous motifs this book holds.
This is going to be the first ‘doodle’ I make from the Doodle Stitching book. I love Babushka dolls and I appreciate that this book shows many examples from basic outlines to more complex options for the same patterns. I’m hoping to create many of these motifs in yarn on a larger scale for my crochet projects.
And below is the Paper Doll Primer from The Black Apple. Emily Winfield Martin, who is The Black Apple, is (it’s funny, I cannot think of a single word that captures her), she is whimsical, nostalgic, creative, colorful, evocative, warming, truthful and fictional at the same time. I think this is the best paper doll book I’ve ever seen and my Kooky Middle One will love it. Each character has a back story, a style, and a wardrobe. They are edgy, and believable, but still fantastical and playful. I hope Emily becomes a millionaire one day (if she is not already) just because I like her brain so much! (Note the retro clothing, the cupcakes and the tattoos, ah, I just love it.)
And here is my first attempt at a tiny garment. E.S. might swim in it, but I’d rather make it large for her so she can grow into it. And somehow, tiny people can get away with being lumpy and frumpy and still look amazing. When did I outgrow that? It’s not done Baby Sister, but it’s on it’s way to getting there. Send my love to the Blue Eyed Beauty Queen.
If you are interested in joining the book club mentioned above, feel free to use this link, if you join, I get free books that I will be using in the MadMadme giveaways. Thank you Mad Ones.
Featured Blog this Blitz: ? – Looking for suggestions…
I believe in encouragement, and giving without any regard for what you may get out of it. If you want to join me in promoting newer, smaller blogs (which are actually wonderful people that have shared so much of themselves) then join me in the Blog Blitz! project.
Purpose: To pour on the promotion through social media, personal blogs, and word of mouth on behalf of blog owners that are not paying for, or aware of, the Blog Blitz! promotion on their behalves. If you would like to overtly and blatantly promote the blog below for 2 weeks, please grab this button and follow as many of the steps below as you possibly can. Again, this is not paid for and the blog owners do not even know they have been chosen until after the Blog Blitz! launch.
Blog Blitz! promotion #4 goes to ?
Here are the pertinent links to the Blog,the Facebook Page that will be used to promote this great site.
<div align="center"><a href="http://032ad8a.netsolhost.com/madmad/blog-blitz/#.TwdNgFYVGSp" title="Blog Blitz! Project"><img src="http://032ad8a.netsolhost.com/madmad/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/blogblitz.jpg" alt="Blog Blitz! Project" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
Here are the steps of promotion, follow as many as you can, I do realize that you may not be able to do all of them. Please leave a comment letting me know which steps you were able to do, you can just reference the #’s of the steps if you like.
- “Like” them on Facebook, using you personal profile.
- “Like” them on Facebook, using you “business page”.
- Make a comment on their Facebook Page.
- Visit their blog and leave a comment.
- Follow or subscribe to their blog.
- Repost at least 3 of their Facebook or Blog posts on your own Facebook page.
- Pin at least 2 photos from their blog on to Pinterest.
- Review their site on your own blog and add their Grab Button to the review (if they have one).
- Tweet their Facebook or Blog address.
- Post the Blog Blitz! button on your homepage somewhere to draw more traffic to this instruction page so others will get on board with promoting great blogs!
Thank you so much! I will be choosing a different blog every so often, and writing a short review to explain why I have chosen them. If you participate in the Blog Blitz! project on behalf of someone else, please leave the link below where you posted the Blog Blitz! button and I will visit your site and consider it for review and participation as a featured Blog Blitz! promo site.
Highlights: Pressure Cooked, Shredded Chicken, Flavored and Seasoned with Condiments.
Here we go, another pressure cooker recipe that is really a no brainer because to do it right, you really shouldn’t measure anything. It’s made with whatever meat you have on hand and whatever condiments you find in your fridge door and/or cupboards.
Today I used boneless skinless chicken and condiments from my fridge and pantry to create a delectable, family pleasing, picture perfect, sweet and savory chicken. Enjoy the photos and please find the recipe and method below:
You already know about my obsession with beans, oh yes, it’s an obsession. I will make them everyday, I will eat them everyday and I will forever find new ways, while not forsaking the tried and true ways, of making them. Well, when I apply the same methods and dedication to meat, I can make some really awesome shredded meats to go on rolls, in tacos and burritos, atop potatoes or as stand alone main course favorites.
To make a base for beans or meat using this method, which results in a tender, sweet, spicy and tangy sauce. You need to have at least one ingredient in each of the following categories, we’ll call in the SASS y Fat Method (the Mad Gringa strikes again!) or the SASS n Fat Method and let people laugh at us, shall we?:
- Seasoning-examples: salt and pepper, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, paprika, seasoning blends (Montreal Steak, Old Bay, Mrs. Dash, etc.), turmeric, fennel, sage, oregano or any of your favorite spices or spice combinations.Optional
- Acidic-examples: vinegar, vinegar based salad dressings, citrus juice, jarred pickle or pepper brine (the juice your peppers and pickles are floating in)- Be creative!
- Sweet-examples: sugar (any kind), honey, jelly or preserves, ketchup, maple syrup, tomato paste or sauce, teriyaki, corn syrup, agave nectar, juice and juice concentrates, chutney or anything sweet in your pantry.
- Savory-examples: mustard, horse radish, A1 Sauce, Worcestershire, Soy, garlic, pickled peppers, or anything out of your pantry.
- AND (y) Fat-I rarely use fat in my beans, and if my meat has fat, skin or bones on it, I don’t need to add fat. In the case of this recipe, I’m using boneless, skinless chicken, so I added 2 Tablespoons of olive oil for 2 pounds of chicken.
Below are the sweets I had on hand today:
These are some savories I grabbed from around my kitchen:
Here are my favorite acids:
And here we have some of my most favorite seasonings on the planet, mmmmmm, cumin:
2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces:
Here you see the ingredients I chose today, this combo will usually be different for me each time.
Here it is in the pot.
Bear with me, it really does end up looking like the first pic, but I wanted you to see that most often, the pressure cooker food doesn’t get “pretty” until it’s done. I cooked this for 12 minutes on low pressure (please consult your pressure cooker manual to determine the time for your machine).
And these are my mom’s rolls, OM Great Goodness! Don’t you wish you lived under the same roof with the woman that makes these?!? Don’t worry folks, I’m going to make her do a tutorial on these puppies.
When the meat is done in the pressure cooker, you can just break it up with a wooden spoon! It’s that tender and the flavors have a blended and become too good. I was so anxious to try it that I didn’t even take pictures of the finished product in the pot. But, here it is on one of Mom’s rolls, we should name them . . . we’ll call them Fluffy Butters. Fluffy Butters it is! Served with some coleslaw and beans, or a salad and cornbread, or. . . you name it. Have fun!
I really don’t usually measure what I use, I just stick with making sure I’ve followed the SASS y Fat method above and it always ends up awesome and different each time.
But for the sake of a tutorial, I measured today:
Fridge Door Chicken:
- 1/2 jar (9 oz) Apricot Preserves
- 1/2 Cup ketchup
- 3 shakes of Liquid Smoke (not more than 1/2 tsp)
- 1/4 Cup mustard (any kind)
- 2 tsp horse radish
- 4 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 heaping tsp minced garlic
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, cut into medium pieces
- 1/4 Cup water
Add all ingredients into pressure cooker pot, set for 12 minutes (for my cooker, check time for your own cooker) on low pressure. When the meat falls apart with ease when you press on it with a wooden spoon, it’s done, continue to break it apart. Done!
Serve on rolls or alone. This tangy meat goes great with coleslaw, beans, biscuits, cornbread, or rolled in tortillas and made into Mad Gringa burritos.
Please enjoy, let me know what you think, I’d be happy to post any feedback for others to benefit from your alterations or recommendations.
Mad Gringa-signing off!
Am I the only mother who feels it? The strong melancholy that ribbons every milestone, it’s present at every celebration, triumph, report card. People go on about “happy tears” but I really don’t think that’s what is going on here. It feels more like longing. The Shakespearean longing of a character who inwardly knows that something good has passed, never to return and all the hope in the universe does not guarantee a particular outcome.
My children are growing up. The end of another school year has come, my oldest has her first crush and my youngest lost his first tooth. Those firsts will never happen again. My daughter will never hand me another 9th grade report card and my son will never put his first tooth under his pillow again. Of course, I celebrate these times with them but they are so mingled with loss, and I don’t know what to do with it. I need to accept it, I think “bittersweet” is a word I understand now, now that I’m a mother of growing children. I need to accept it the way I accept gum on the sidewalks of a beautiful city. Bittersweet is knocking daily on my door. I need to accept it the way I accept mud with the rain. Melancholy rolls in like a storm while I’m photographing flowers. I need to accept it. I need to accept it.