Homemade Strawberry Syrup

It’s the end of March, officially spring, and there’s 6-inches of snow on the ground outside my front door right now. While I love snow, I’ve had my fill of snow cream for the year. It astonishes me that it can be 70 degrees one day, and 20 the next!

One thing that does have me feeling like spring are the delicious strawberries I’ve been getting at the store recently. While snow might be still blanketing the ground here – in warm, sunny Florida it’s strawberry season! So whenever I see any berries from the sunshine state  in my local grocery store, I can’t pass them by without picking up a package. I haven’t had bad berries yet!

Most of the time they just get gobbled up, before getting the chance to be transformed into something else in a recipe. But, I did get a chance to make this delicious strawberry syrup a couple of weeks ago. It’s perfect over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, stirred into a cold glass of milk, served over hot Belgian waffles, or mixed into a cocktail to give it a fruity twist. It’s also wonderful to toss with some fresh sliced strawberries and then pour into a graham cracker crust for an easy, but delicious dessert.

The batch I made barely lasted a week, and I’ve already made it a couple of times since then. It’s so wonderfully versatile, and it’s nice to have that burst of fresh strawberry flavor in my refrigerator anytime I’d like!

Source: adapted from StrawberrySue.com

Blackberry Yogurt Cake

Well, it’s officially spring! Which, is kind of hard to believe considering we just had another snow day on Monday. Bygones! Hoping the warmer weather is here to stay, because we’re all ready for it in this house. And, I can’t think of a better way to welcome warmer days than by baking a delicious cake studded with plenty of fresh berries.

I’ve made a Strawberry Yogurt Cake in the past, that was absolutely delicious. So I took that as a base and substituted fresh blackberries for the strawberries. Talk about another homerun! It was moist and dense, everything that a Bundt cake should be – with the juicy and tart whole blackberries studded throughout the cake. Absolutely delicious.

Instead of a glaze, I went with something a little more heavy duty…adding more confectioner’s sugar to the mix, as well as some blackberry puree that I blended up with a few of the berries. It gave the glaze a gorgeous purple hue that really set the cake off, and let you know what was hiding inside.

Another new favorite, for sure. Will have to try it with raspberries and blueberries next, as I know those combos are sure to be winners as well. Have a great weekend everyone!

Guinness Chocolate Cake

This cake. For me it rivals Beatty’s Chocolate Cake, which really says something. It’s ridiculously moist and chocolaty, with just a slight  hint of malty flavor from the Guinness. Comes together quickly and easily with just a few ingredients – and there is no layering and frosting to contend with. You just pour on a simple ganache topping and let it do it’s thing…hardened enough to stay stable when sliced, but pliable enough that it was soft and luxurious to take a bite of.

A perfect sweet treat for St. Patrick’s Day, but really – I don’t see myself limiting a cake of this magnitude to one holiday in March. It’s just that good, and that easy. I’ve already eaten one piece for breakfast, and am resisting every urge to eat another.

If you didn’t want to use beer, you could certainly use coffee (which the original recipe calls for). But if you guys know me, I’m always on the lookout for a recipe that incorporates beer in some fashion. And this one is definitely a keeper. One I’ll be making again, and again, and again.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Source: adapted from Averie Cooks

Homemade Shamrock Shakes

Mint flavored ice cream is my favorite ice cream, hands down. So when McDonald’s comes out with their Shamrock Shakes every spring, I can’t help but venture through the drive-thru to get one…even though under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be caught dead there. Unless I’m pregnant, and having a craving for a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit…but let’s not go there.

But I knew they had to be better made at home, and I almost always have all the ingredients necessary to throw them together. Vanilla ice cream, peppermint extract, a few drops of green food coloring, and a little whipped cream to top it all off. Just as I suspected it was even better made at home, and even easier than going through the drive-thru.

Not to mention the fact that I can make and enjoy them all year long! I hope everyone has a great weekend, we’re hoping for some warmer weather like we had a taste of this week. We’re trying to get our dining room finished up and repainted – green, of all colors. How appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day!

Source: slightly adapted from Fake Ginger