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       Volume I - May 28, 2010

Oh My! Luscious, Red Strawberries!
by Patty Liston

Strawberry season is here! The packages are stacked beautifully in the market I go to and are the first thing I see when I walk in the door. The price is right and I grab several, knowing that I will be using them in a variety of ways for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Naturally sweet, strawberries may be eaten as a snack, tossed in oatmeal or cereal, and of course, used in amazing ways for desserts. Mother Nature’s bonus to us is that they are infused with potent phyto-nutrients and health-promoting antioxidants.

When buying strawberries be sure to rotate the see-through container, (and check the bottom as well) looking for mold. If one berry has mold on it, the chances are others will also. Remember to keep in mind, strawberries are one of the crops where pesticide residue is most likely to be found. Buy organic berries, or berries that have been grown without pesticides when at all possible!

My Sisters Strawberry Crumb Pie
Serves 6-8

3 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/3 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup shortening (trans-fat-free margarine is a healthy choice)
1-2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup light cream (optional)

1. Combine strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch and let stand while you make the pastry. If you are using store bought pastry, omit steps 2 & 3.

2. Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening until uniform but coarse. Set aside about 2/3 cup of this mixture. Sprinkle water over remainder, toss with fork, and press into ball.

3. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry 1 1/2” larger than inverted 9” pie plate. Fit into plate and trim 1/2” beyond plate edge. Fold under to make double thickness around the edge, and flute so that edge is high.

4. Fill pastry shell with strawberry mixture. Blend reserved flour mixture with brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle crumbs over strawberries.

5. Bake at 400F on sheet of aluminum foil for 45 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned.

6. Serve warm or cool, with cream if desired.

  Download this recipe.

Strawberry Sorbet
Adapted from Every Day Gourmet, by Michael Malkoff.

This recipe is so simple that it doesn’t require any special cooking tools. All you need is a bowl and a freezer.

1 quart full-flavored strawberries
½ cup frozen apple juice concentrate
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Puree all ingredients in a food processor, pour into a bowl, cover, and freeze for 3 or 4 hours.
Remove the bowl from the freezer about every 45 minutes and puree again for a smooth consistency. Let the sorbet sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes or so before serving.

  Download this recipe.

Strawberry Rhubarb Bread Pudding
If you want to be extra fancy, top this bread pudding with a strawberry-rhubarb compote, which you can make with some extra rhubarb and strawberries, just chop and simmer them on the stove, sweetened with honey, until thick.

2 cups organic or regular milk (if bread is very dry, you may need to add more milk)
2 cups chopped rhubarb, leaves removed (they’re toxic!) and stalks washed
2 cups quartered strawberries, hulled and washed
1 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 cups day-old bread cubes (challah, brioche, baguette, etc.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Whisk milk, eggs and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Fold in rhubarb, strawberries, and bread cubes and let stand for 15 minutes. Put pudding mixture in a 9-inch springform pan.

3. Bake bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

4. Let cool. When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides. Remove ring from

5. Top with compote if desired—or ice-cream—or whipped cream!


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