For Sunday dinner, I had intended to bake an old favorite, Peach Lasagne, using leftover Italian bread and some beautiful peaches from the farm market. Unfortunately, the peaches I had bought most recently weren’t ripe enough and the three peaches leftover from the previous week didn’t equal the four cups I needed for the recipe. I decided to add some leftover strawberries and drained, canned pineapple tidbits. I also substituted toasted pecans for the almonds in my original recipe and the dessert was delicious. My daughters loved it.
This is the original recipe: https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/peach-lasagne/
Mixed Fruit Lasagne
4 cups mixed fruit (I used equal amounts of strawberries, peaches and pineapple)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 Tblsp. butter
8 slices hearty bread, sliced fairly thin
1-1/2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tblsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
4 Tblsp. butter
3 Tblsp. toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven @ 350 degrees F
Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces, add granulated sugar, mix and set aside.
Spread butter on both sides of 8 slices of bread. Place slices in a large skillet over medium heat and brown on each side.
Line the bottom of a 9 inch baking dish with half of the browned buttered slices – just cover the bottom without overlapping. OK to break the bread into smaller pieces to fit them in. Sprinkle ¾ Tblp. sugar over the slices. Spoon half of fruit mixture on top of bread slices, spreading to cover.
Repeat with another layer of bread slices sprinkled with sugar and the remaining half of the fruit mixture.
Crumb Topping: Mix together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt and cut in butter. Sprinkle the topping over the last fruit layer and top with chopped pecans.
Cover and bake @ 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more.
I combined a couple of recipe ideas to make this chicken salad with strawberries and a strawberry poppy seed dressing. My daughters and I love this salad.
It’s easy to make with cooked chicken breast (one full cup per serving), strawberries, pecans and dry minced onions. My daughters don’t like to bite down on a raw onion, so I used the minced ones. If I were making it for myself only, I’d add some sliced red or sweet onion.
An easy-to-mix oil dressing with pureed strawberries is added to the chicken mixture …
…and the salad is refrigerated for an hour or so to blend flavors.
STRAWBERRY CHICKEN SALAD WITH STRAWBERRY POPPYSEED DRESSING
FOR THE SALAD:
4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (one medium sized whole breast)
2 Tblsp. dry minced onion
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
¼ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
FOR THE DRESSING:
½ cup fresh strawberries, quartered
¼ cup white vinegar
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 Tblsp. poppy seed
3/4 cup peanut oil
TO MAKE THE SALAD:
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, 1 cup sliced strawberries and pecans. Set aside.
TO MAKE THE DRESSING:
Place ½ cup of strawberries, vinegar, sugar, salt, poppy seed and oil in a food processor or blender and process until dressing is smooth and oil is completely blended with other ingredients.
Pour the amount of dressing you prefer over salad ingredients and toss lightly. Place in covered container and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Makes 4 servings.
I’ve seen a few recipes for Strawberry Tiramisu online but went back to my original recipe which my family loves, substituting Amaretto for the Kahlua I normally use and adding fresh strawberries. This might be our new favorite, certainly during the strawberry season. It’s very easy to put together, not too sweet and a good make-ahead dessert.
STRAWBERRY AND AMARETTO TIRAMISU
One package Italian lady fingers (about 12 lady fingers – I use Alessi Biscotti Savoiardi)
¼ to 1/2 cup Amaretto (to pour over lady fingers – they should be evenly moist)
One cup of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
15 oz. light ricotta cheese
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed (Cool Whip)
9 fresh strawberry-halves for garnish
Place the lady fingers in a layer in bottom of 9-inch pan. Pour Amaretto over the lady fingers. Arrange sliced strawberries over lady fingers. Set aside.
In a large mixer bowl, beat together the cream cheese and ricotta cheese until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the top of the lady fingers and strawberries. Place the strawberry halves over the top of the dessert, creating 9 servings. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
To serve, cut dessert into 9 servings, including a fresh strawberry half. Refrigerate leftovers.
I first made this cheesecake in 1989 from one of my prized cookbooks, The Cake Bible. It immediately became the family’s favorite cheesecake, usually served with strawberries or strawberry sauce.
MY FAVORITE CHEESECAKE WITH STRAWBERRY SAUCE
Two 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. cornstarch
3 large eggs
3 Tblsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
3 cups sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Pan: One 8 inch x 2-1/2 inch or higher springform pan, greased and bottom lined with greased parchment or wax paper; outside of pan wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty foil to prevent seepage. One 10” cake pan or roasting pan to serve as a water bath. Pan should not have higher sides than the springform pan or it will slow down baking.
In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar until very smooth – about 3 minutes. Beat in the cornstarch. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and salt and beat until incorporated. Beat in the sour cream just until blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan in the larger pan and surround it with 1” of very hot water. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for one hour. Remove to a rack and cool to room temperature (about one hour). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Store one week refrigerated – do not freeze.
Serve slices of cheesecake topped with this wonderful, not-too-sweet Strawberry Sauce.
½ cup granulated sugar
4-½ tsp. cornstarch
¼ cup orange juice (or 2 Tblsp. each of water and orange juice concentrate)
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
½ tsp. vanilla extract
In a medium pan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and orange juice. Add the prepared berries and heat over medium high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Stirring constantly, boil mixture for another two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Serve at room temperature or chilled over cheesecake. If there are leftovers, refrigerate and spoon over ice cream, pound cake, or pudding.
Kelli at The Domestically Impaired Guide to the Retro Kitchen Arts has some great recipes, including two that I recently tried. Her Strawberry, Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper Jam has become our favorite and I just made a second batch. The only changes I made to the recipe were to use dark balsamic vinegar and reduce the pepper to 1/2 teaspoon. The balsamic vinegar gives this jam a deep, rich flavor.
Her Watermelon, Mango and Black Pepper Jelly is completely different from anything I’ve tried. This calls for Mango Rum which I had never tasted but was able to find in my local wine shop. Here again, I reduced the pepper to 1/2 teaspoon because I wanted to use it as a spread for toast, biscuits, etc. In each case, I used freshly grated pepper and there is no taste of it at all – it just enhances the natural flavor of the jam and jelly.
I had to sample some of each on a toasted homemade roll for my breakfast this morning.
On Kelli’s blog, note that she has some canning recipe books for sale to use on the Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle (or have a Nook like I do), the book can be read on your computer.
One of my Christmas gifts this year was a small 4-½ x 6 inch leather bound book engraved “Cooking Recipes”, purchased at an antique mall in Sugar Creek, Ohio. The pages are edged in gold and there are 10 index tabs for food categories.
The real gold in this book, though, is the collection of handwritten recipes. There aren’t a lot of recipes – just 25, 22 of which are desserts. The book itself could have been from the 1930s, but I believe the recipes are from the 1945-1950 era. This is based on a lot of recipes calling for shortening, for using the word “oleo” rather than margarine in most recipes and the attention given to oven temperatures. I believe it’s post-World War II because of all of the sugar-laden desserts.
The handwriting is clear and ingredients are listed correctly, although most of the recipes give no idea of how the item is to be prepared, what kind of pan to use or how long to bake. That’s why I’ve decided to make each of the recipes, using the products specified, and adding my own instructions. I like to think that the woman from the 1940s kitchen (who would have been about my mother’s age) would enjoy having someone fuss around with these recipes again and turn out some delicious food for the family.
For my version of these two recipes, I used ¼ of the ingredients to make smaller amounts. The popcorn balls are easy and a good buttery snack. My only change was to substitute butter for oleo (margarine) and a dash of salt.
The Pastel Milk Punch is somewhat like a smoothie and I used the modern convenience of a blender rather than stirring as the 1940s cook did. I also used frozen strawberries and omitted the sugar. The only mint ice cream I could find had very fine chocolate chips in it which didn’t do any harm except for clogging the straws occasionally.
Both items, like the other recipes in the book, are rather mild. My daughter wasn’t feeling well and drank two large glasses of the punch, saying that it settled her stomach.
MARSHMALLOW POP CORN BALLS
*4 cups of popped corn (about 2 Tblsp. unpopped corn)
*2 Tblsp. butter
*10 regular size marshmallows
*Dash of salt
Add popcorn to marshmallow mixture and stir to combine. As soon as the popcorn has cooled down enough to handle (don’t let it cool completely), butter the palms of your hands and form balls of the mixture. I chose to make 10 snack-size two-inch balls. Any spare kernels that can’t be formed into balls can be a snack for the cook.
PASTEL MILK PUNCH
*¾ cup frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
*Dash of salt
*2 cups cold milk
*1 cup (½ pint) strawberry ice cream, softened
*1 cup (½ pint) mint ice cream, softened
Place slightly thawed berries in a blender. Add salt, milk and ice cream. Blend until smooth.
Yield: 3-4 servings, depending on size
This little planter (marked Japan on the bottom) was always in my Grandma Helen’s living room in the 1940s and until I inherited it in 1978.
I had a small amount of strawberries to use and wanted something for a lunch dessert that wasn’t too heavy or rich. This recipe, adapted from one on Allrecipes worked out quite well.
SUMMER STRAWBERRY DESSERT
- 1-1/2 cups cold milk
- 1 (1 oz.) package of instant vanilla pudding
- 4 oz. softened cream cheese
- 1 cup whipped topping, thawed
- 2 cups (1 pt.) of fresh strawberries, halved (divided)
In a large mixing bowl, combine milk and pudding mix. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
In another large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add whipped topping on low speed until blended. Add the pudding mix and mix on low speed until smooth.
When ready to serve, top pudding with reserved strawberries.
Makes 5 servings.