Friday, May 30, 2014

“Brownie Strawberry Shortcake” & “Strawberry-Coconut Daiquiri Cocktail”

As May comes to a close there still is one more honor that we have to salute to and that is the “Strawberry.” The month of May is “National Strawberry Month.” This is when we can celebrate the love of strawberries, and be aware of the value this small sweet fruit has to offer. We also have to give a big shout out to our local farmers markets. They bring us their very best, fresh, safe, sweet fruits and vegetables that are grown here within our local neighborhoods. 

It is so important to buy local every season. The local greenhouses, farm fields and vineyards are what make our neighborhoods so special. We have to invest into our own community which is vital for each of our regions to thrive. There are 5 reasons to buy at your local farmers markets:

1. Know that your food comes from a safe environment. Strict polices and regulations are put into place to keep our food safe and free of all pesticides, so buy organic as well.

2. Growers often come from generations of farmers who lived and worked in local communities for many years. They are small farms and are family owned.

3. Taking care of the land and protecting the environment by helping to develop new ways to reduce our carbon footprints, water usage, recycling, and be active environmentalists.

4. Good for economic reasons, which create sales tax, income tax, and real estate tax. Businesses add a lot of tax for each state.

5. Jobs and employment helps support hundreds outside those on the farm. Machine manufactures, equipment, dealers, suppliers, and produce distributors. 

Now, let’s get back to one of my favorite berries, which is the strawberry. The Garden Strawberries is the most common name known and was first bred in France in the year of 1750. This fruit is known for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and its sweetness. It can be either eaten fresh or frozen, as preserves, in pies, ice cream, milk shakes, and yogurt. Strawberries are also known as the romantic picnic foods. They can be added to cream, also dipped in chocolate, and use them for cake decorations. The strawberry is an excellent source of vitamin C and 1 cup equals 45 calories. Strawberries are an easy plant to grow, and can be grown almost anywhere in the world. The best time to plant strawberries are in the middle of spring. Strawberries can also be grown as a potted plant, and will still produce fruit. Some farmer’s markets or farms stands will allow you to pick your own strawberries. Harvesting your own food is not only a family affair but also connects you with where your food comes from, the Earth.

I remember a story when I was about 20 years old; I had some relatives that lived upstate on a farm. We had a fun summer that year with the family and the air just seemed to be fresher. One day my uncle took us to go strawberry picking at the local farms. I was so excited. Remember I lived in Queens, NY and I had never been berry picking or even knew anything about farms. As we were in the car and riding along to the farm, I thought I saw some strawberries in the trees. Here I am looking in the trees and not having any idea of how they grew. Needless to say that this “city girl” was laughed at by the family the whole trip. But I had no idea that they grew low to the ground. But it was one of the best days in my life, getting that close to nature and spending time with my family. (Besides eating strawberries)

So in honor of the Strawberry and farmers markets, I want to share 2 recipes with you this week, a “Brownie Strawberry Shortcake” and a “Strawberry-Coconut Daiquiri Cocktail.” These are easy and delicious recipes for dessert as you enjoy your spring and summer. Hope that you have fun, and always treasure your family time. If you want to try these delicious recipes, see below…….

Brownie Strawberry Shortcake

Brownies- Prepare a batch of brownies using your favorite box mix (for an 8″x8″ pan). Allow the brownies to fully cool, then cut into small (about 3/4 inch) squares.

Whipped Cream- Using 1 cup of cold heavy cream (often labeled heavy whipping cream), whip until it begins to thicken. While mixing, add 1-2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Continue to beat until desired consistency is reached. Be carefully not to over-beat.

Strawberries- Dice 1 pint of fresh strawberries into bite size pieces.

Assembly- Layer brownie bites, strawberries, and whipped cream in individual dishes. I used small glasses. Individual trifle dishes would work great as well. The ingredient quantities above will produce 6 small desserts. (With brownie left over) Feel free to adjust the quantities as needed. If desired, Cool Whip may be substituted for the whipped cream.


“Strawberry-Coconut Daiquiri Cocktail”

To keep it cool in warmer weather, freeze fresh berries for 30 minutes before blending. Variation: for a non-alcoholic version, omit the Rum and add 1/2 cup additional strawberries.

Yield: 6 servings about 3/4 cup each
Total Time: 10 minutes

2 1/2 cups (about 12 ounces) chopped fresh or frozen (not thawed) strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 cups of ice cubes
3/4 cups coconut-flavored Rum, such as Malibu

Combine strawberries, sugar, and lime juice together in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add ice cubes and Rum, now blend until frothy. Transfer mixture to a pitcher and serve. Add strawberry to top of glass for presentation. Enjoy! 

Please drink responsibly!

Till Next Time………..

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved.


  1. Good morning dear Dottie ,
    Great post as always , I can imagine how much fun you had picking strawberries and was able to rinse and eat them right on the spot .
    Buying at Farmers Markets are good for the whole community , they sarted out here about 20 or 25 years ago with one and now they have grown to over 15 ,. You are so right their vegetables and fruits are better because they are organic .
    I like your twist on the Brownie Strawberry shortcake , showed it to my girls (10 and 11) they are busy making it now ;-D .
    What a great way to finish the day and that's with a Strawberry-Coconut Diaquiri Cocktail . I tip my glass to you ...clink , clink . Thanks for sharing and have a blessed weekend dear Dottie :) ~Nee~

    1. Good afternoon Nee, Yes, dear Nee strawberry picking was extremely fun, especially when I learned where they grew. One for the basket and one for me...great memories. I always enjoy the farmers markets. They always have such wonderful items, fruits and veggies. They also have beautiful plants and the one I go to even sells rabbits. They are so cute. My niece many years ago purchased a rabbit from that market, and Molly is fabulous. So glad that you have them as well. Organic is the way to go, even though it is more expensive, it is worth it. So glad to hear that your girls are preparing the Brownie Shortcake. I know you will not be disappointed! I agree the Strawberry Diaquiri is a relaxing and tasty way to end the day. Cheers to you as well! Thanks you for stopping to visit today...Blessings on your weekend, Dottie :)

  2. Dear Dottie, The strawberry parfait is wonderful. I went strawberry picking when my children were little. Most of the strawberry farms are no longer.
    The drink does sound so refreshing and perfect for the warmer weather.
    Have a beautiful and blessed weekend. Catherine xo

    1. Dear Catherine, Thanks for stopping by, I love strawberries and what is better than with a chocolate brownie. I agree the strawberry farms are no more. We may have to go upstate to get that experience and even there they are closing down most of them. It is a shame, as it was a great experience and a memory maker with the family. This cocktail drink is so easy and refreshing Enjoy your weekend, they go by so fast..Blessings Dottie :)

  3. It is impossible not to love strawberries. Even their colour is extremely inviting. Whilst in Italy I could not resist the temptation of buying them in the shops. Shame that when I got home they did not taste of much; they are so intensively farmed these days that they end up having no taste at all. Of course the best ones are homegrown ones which have that intense and delicious strawberry flavour which make you crave for more and more! I try to buy organic ones which seem to retain the flavour. I buy less of them but I enjoy every single one :-)
    I love your dessert and cocktail!! Great for summer. Have a good week Dottie XX

    1. Dear Alida, So happy that you stopped by to visit. I agree with you about the strawberry, it is so sweet and the color is so pretty. That is sad about you buying them and then they did not taste the same. That is why I love the farmers market, they seem to always have fresh berries.I know what you mean, I remember when I picked them, it was one for the basket and maybe too for me. They are addicting. Glad that you enjoyed the post and my recipe. Yes, a great summer dessert and a cool cocktail. Have a great week as well, Alida..Blessings...Dottie :)

  4. Oooh, never thought to combine strawberries and coconut, Dottie!! Yum, I'd love this! I think I have some Malibu left so will have to try it next time I get strawberries! Thanks for the recipe! xx

    1. Hi Christina, Yum is right, I think this drink is so refreshing and delicious...Plus I love the color...It makes you feel like you are on the island of Capri in Italy, and enjoying the ocean air. Thanks for your visit...Enjoy your drink...and don't forget you can add a fresh berry to the glass as a garnish...Dottie :)