Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bidding Farewell to Summer

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”

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It’s been a great, albeit, fast summer season this year. Here’s my top 5 favorite things I did….

1) Road tripped to Chicago with my mom for the Healthy Living Summit.

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2) Worked a great job as an assistant chef right in my college town!

3)Kicked off summer with Jammin’  Moondance Country Fest, and got to see Kellie Pickler, the Zac Brown Band, and Kenny Rodgers.

4) Spent tons of time with the family.

Mom and I

Dad and I

Gram and I

5) And of course, a summer is never enjoyable unless you’ve spent time in the kitchen!!

lovin

I loved following along with all your summer adventures as well…here’s to hoping the fall/winter season can be just as great!

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I suppose being someone who cooks a lot, the different seasons mean a lot more than just the temperature—they also mean seasonal produce, which means different recipes yearlong. I love being able to buy tons of squash for a cheaper price during the winter and can’t get enough of the bountiful produce selections during the spring and summer.

This summer I ate my share of juicy watermelon, ripe peaches, crunchy grapes, and one of my all-time favorites, juicy, red strawberries! The other day I noticed the price of strawberries was climbing up again, and the selection was becoming scarce. It made me a bit sad, so I bought the best carton I could find. It was probably the last fresh batch I will buy this year, so I had to find a recipe that would highlight these gems as best I could!

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I knew I wanted to make some sort of strawberry bread, and finally decided on Strawberry Bread with White Chocolate Truffle Icing. It won me over right away, however it called for one rather expensive ingredient—mascarpone cheese. Don’t you hate when a recipe has just one ingredient you can’t see paying a lot for? In this case, I did not want to shell out $8.38 at the grocery store for this cheese, so I embarked on a mission to find out how to make my own. Check out my cheaper—costs just $2.00 to make and you get double the amount you’d buy in stores—recipe below!

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Homemade One-Step Mascarpone Cheese

Makes approximately 2 cups

Ingredients:

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  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter, room temp
  • 1/4 fat free half and half, or heavy whipping cream

Directions:

  • Add the cream cheese and butter to a medium mixing bowl, beat until smooth. Add in half and half and keep beating with electric mixer on high until a fluffy texture is reached.

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Strawberry Bread with White Chocolate Truffle Icing

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

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Bread:

  • 1 c butter
  • 1 c mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 c sugar, I used 1 c Splenda and 1/2 c sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c sweetened condensed milk, I used fat free
  • 1 c low fat buttermilk
  • 5 c all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 c finely chopped fresh strawberries

Icing:

  • 3 /4 c fat free half and half, or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter, room temp
  • 4 oz white chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and grease two 9 x 5 inch pans.
  • Meanwhile, beat butter and mascarpone cheese together with electric mixer until fluffy. Add in sugar and eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add in the milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla.
  • In another bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined—don’t over mix.
  • Fold in the strawberries.

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  • Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While the bread is baking, start making the icing. Bring the cream and butter to a simmer on medium heat. Once butter melts, remove from heat.
  • Pour cream mixture over white chocolate chips. Stir until they have all melted. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Once bread has completely cooled on wire racks, take the icing out of the refrigerator, and pour over the tops of the loaves. Place loaves in the fridge for a half hour to set.
  • Slice and eat!

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--Everyone who had this bread said it is perfect in all aspects—the texture, the taste, the icing, the bits of strawberries, etc. Ok, I am sure you get the point—get going and bake some!--

What produce are you going to miss most from the summertime?

9 comments:

Tropical Eats said...

i love this recap :)

gonna miss watermelon and peaches soo much! can't wait for grapefruit and oranges though wahooo

that's awesome you made your own cheese! $8 for the regular kind is craziness. yummy recipe!

sophia said...

Guess what!! I baked strawberry scones today! They don't look half as good as yours though.

I miss summer already...but looking forward to finishing off this semester with a bang!

Erica said...

Great list of your favorite summer activities! And I so love that you look a little like your mama and a little like your dad! I've made strawberry bread before and it was fantastic (of course I didn't have that delicious topping- will have to try it next time!). I am most going to miss melon :(

Damaris said...

great list. love the pic of you and your mama. oh, and i'm super jealous you went to chicago. the produce i will miss the most is strawberries., local organic strawberries.

Jessica@tastyandtrim said...

That bread looks amazing :)I'm definitely going to miss watermelon and peaches!

Krista said...

Great marscapone *cheater*! I never buy it either due to the price tag. And I love that strawbeery loaf.

I'm gonna miss all the berry varieties the most....

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katecooks said...

i'm still not ready to say goodbye to summer! i am especially going to miss watermelon, fresh figs, blueberries...i love summer fruits so much. i must admit, i am pretty excited to start eating squash and pumpkin all the time again :)

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