Tuesday, March 29, 2022



Strawberries are more versatile than you may think. Let's start today with an unexpected savory...


This made for a rich, but satisfying first course for a fun dinner party I put together for our friends Steve and Deb Vis, who we thought were moving to Florida. Fortunately they have changed their minds and are staying in sunny Arizona! I have made the savory panna cotta in the past and thought it would be a perfect contrast for the Strawberry Soup. Last time I made it with a Chilled Plum Soup, which was also very special. I looked online at many different recipes and came up with this.

2 cups strawberries*, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Marsala or other sweet wine
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup Greek style Plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar. I used Pear Infused vinegar.
1/2 cup water

*Use the freshest and most ripe strawberries you can find. This would be over-the-top if you used hand-picked wild strawberries. 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Macerate berries in sugar and pinch of salt for about 15 minutes. To macerate, simply mix berries with the sugar and salt and stir together slightly mashing the berries to release their natural juice. 

Spread on a foil-lined, very lightly oiled cookie sheet and roast in the hot oven for about 15 minutes, stirring once to make sure berries roast evenly. 

Remove and cool. Add the berries and all other ingredients to the blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste for seasoning.

Yes! That is my Mom's circa 1960 Osterizer Blender.
Still works perfectly!
I served by gently placing the panna cottas in a bowl and then pouring the chilled soup around. I garnished with small pieces of Roquefort and a sliced strawberry on top. 

To make the Roquefort Panna Cotta, go to:


Scroll down through most of last years Easter dinner to get the Panna Cotta recipe. Next time, I would add a whisker less sugar, although the contrast of just barely sweet with the salty bite of the cheese was pretty good!

Next, a more traditional use of strawberries!


When you research recipes online, they often say "the best", "most delicious", etc., but this time it really is so! Again, I looked at many recipes before deciding on this one, which came from a site called "Like Mother, Like Daughter". The only difference is that I added 2 Tbsp. of vodka (yes, vodka!) towards the end of the churning. In researching recipes I learned that Strawberry Ice Cream is one of the most difficult to make as the berries can crystalize when churned and frozen. The alcohol helps eliminate that problem. It certainly was creamy and delicious, both as a Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich Cookie and just served in a bowl.


2 cups chopped strawberries

1 cup sugar, divided 1/2 and 1/2

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 dash salt

2 Tbsp. vodka


The day before making the ice cream, make sure your ice cream bowl is frozen. I've made that mistake before and your ice cream will never get frozen enough if the bowl is not completely frozen.

Mix chopped strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside for about 15 minutes to allow the strawberries to release their juices. 

Blend strawberries in a blender or food processor until just blended. A couple remaining chunks of berry are fine. 

In a large bowl combine strawberry mixture with heavy cream, whole milk, vanilla, salt and remaining sugar. Set aside.

Pour strawberry cream mixture into prepared ice cream maker. Allow to run according to manufacturers instructions. Mine took about 30 minutes. When you are 20 minutes into the churning process, drizzle the 2 Tbsp. of vodka into the ice cream. The mixture will be quite soft. You can eat immediately or place in a bowl in the freezer for a few hours or overnight to harden up.

I like this recipe as there are no eggs, therefore no custard to make, which makes the entire ice cream as easy as it is delicious!

Jerry Rabbitt: 2022 Official Ice Cream Licker...
For our special dinner party, I decided to make Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies for dessert with a great recipe for super thin, Crispy Chocolate Wafer Cookies. This one I found online at the Cooking Channel.

This recipe makes 6 1/2 dozen thin wafer cookies!
They also freeze very well.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, well packed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder. I used Hershey's Special Dark 100% cocoa powder.
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk. I used a couple Tbsp. more to get a better consistency.

Cream together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until light; about 2 minutes. 
In a medium bowl sift the cocoa to remove any lumps and whisk together with flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just to combine. Add the milk and mix just to combine. If it is very crumbly, add 1 Tbsp. of milk at a time until the mixture comes together when gently squeezed.
On a sheet of plastic wrap, drop the dough into 2 roughly shaped logs, each about 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the plastic wrap and your fingers, coax the dough into a firm log shape and then roll the plastic tightly around the dough.
Refrigerate at least an hour or up to overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using your sharpest knife, cut the cookie dough into 1/8 inch coins and place them on the cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart to bake. If the dough is less than perfectly round, use your fingers or the back of the knife to get into shape.
Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate pan and bake another 5 minutes until they are dry looking. Let cool a minute or 2 before removing to a rack as the cookies are quite delicate. 

To make the STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM SANDWICH COOKIES soften the ice cream, and simply add about 2 Tbsp. of Strawberry Ice Cream to the cooled cookies, smooth out the edges and top with another cookie. 
My husband, Jerry, is not only a good
licker of ice cream bowls, but also helpful
in filling Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies!





Steve, Deb, and my husband, Jerry
So glad you are going to stick around!


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