Strawberry Shortcake

One of my favorite summer desserts–Strawberry Shortcake.  Since last year, I’ve been making my shortcakes with cornmeal and I haven’t turned back.  It is insanely delicious!!

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Normally, when I make strawberry shortcakes, I usually just macerate my strawberries.  What does that mean??  That means tossing your fruit with a little bit of sugar and allowing the fruit to sit for at least 20 minutes.  This allows the fruit to release it’s natural juices and creates a bit of a sauce, which is perfect for topping yogurt or ice cream.  But today!  Today, I’ve decided to roast the strawberries instead.  I know, it sounds weird, but it’s UH-MAZING!!  This dessert dates back to the 1500’s and nowadays is know as National Strawberry Shortcake Day.

It’s perfect for those wonderful summer days and it’s easy to travel with.  So you can enjoy it at the beach or on a picnic!  (Yes, I am that person that will bring strawberry shortcakes to the beach.)  Serve it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  (The secret to my whipped cream, which everyone goes bananas over, is Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste.)  It makes such a difference in your desserts!!  I mean, a HUGE difference.  I use it in all recipes where I need to add vanilla.  I even added a touch in my strawberries before I roasted them.   Maybe you will make this for Father’s Day?  Don’t forget to subscribe!  New recipes plus cooking class schedules will be posted!!

Strawberry Shortcakes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tender, soft shortcakes layered with sweet, roasted strawberries and topped with light vanilla whipped cream

Ingredients

-3 tbsp brown sugar

-1 1/4 cup AP flour

-1/4 cup very fine cornmeal

-1 1/2 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/4 tsp baking soda

-6 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold, cubed

-6-8 tbsp heavy cream, very cold, plus extra for brushing

-sparkling sugar, for topping shortcakes

-1 lb strawberries, hulled, quartered

-1 tbsp granulated sugar

-1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

-1 lemon, zested

-2 cups heavy cream, very cold

-granulated sugar to taste

-vanilla bean paste, to taste

Directions

  1. For shortcakes:  Preheat oven to 400 F.  In a food processor, add the brown sugar, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Place the lid on and pulse a few times, just to evenly distribute the ingredients.  Remove the lid and add one tablespoon of very cold butter.  Replace the lid and pulse the butter in the food processor 5 times.  Repeat until all of the butter has been used.  The flour should resemble wet sand.
  2. While pulsing, slowly add the cold heavy cream in a very slow stream.  Add enough heavy cream until a dough has formed into a ball.  (You may not use all 8 tbsp of heavy cream.)
  3. Turn dough onto a floured surface.  Roll dough until 1/2 inch thick.  Cut out shortcakes, using a cookie cutter and place onto Silpat or nonstick sheet tray.  Once all cut shortcakes are placed on sheet tray, brush with heavy cream and generously sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  4. Place sheet tray in the refrigerator for 15 minutes so the dough chills.  *Very important step.  The dough must be very cold before going into the oven.
  5. Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out cleaned.  Allow to cool completely before assembling shortcakes.
  6. For strawberries:  In a medium bowl, toss strawberries with sugar and vanilla.  Place in a baking dish and roast in oven at 400 F for 12-15 minutes, until softened.  After roasting, remove from oven and cool.  Zest 1 lemon on top of strawberries and toss so evenly distributed.
  7. For whipped cream:  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, add heavy cream and mix on medium speed.  Add sugar and vanilla, to taste, once you have soft peaks.  Increase the speed and whip until medium peaks.  Taste and adjust the sugar and vanilla.  If you are happy with both, increase the speed and whip until you have stiff peaks.  Careful not to over whip!  Put in a pastry bag and refrigerate until ready to assemble shortcakes.
  8. To assemble shortcakes:  Take cooled shortcake and slice in half with serrated knife.  Spoon roasted strawberries with juices on the bottom half of the shortcake.  Place the top half on top of strawberries and pipe or spoon a generous amount of whipped cream on top.  You can spoon another generous amount of strawberries on top of the whipped cream, if you’d like.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Lemon Thyme Shortbread

This post is pretty exciting for me because this is the first post where I post a recipe!  Though this site is meant to promote my services as a private chef, I would love to share some recipes with you every once in a while.  This weather has my herbs growing so beautifully and so I have been wanting to make these cookies all week!  They are so easy to make and they are bursting with Spring flavor!  For those busy families, you can make a large batch of dough, wrap in parchment paper in the shape of a log, and freeze until ready to bake.  They will make great slice and bake shortbread cookies!

By the way, be sure to follow me on Instagram!

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

-1/2 cup butter, room temperature

-1/2 cup granulated sugar

-Zest of 1 large lemon

-Juice of half lemon

-1 1/4 cup All purpose flour

-1 1/2 tbsp Thyme, finely chopped

-1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix to combine, about 10 seconds.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of flour and mix on low speed.  Add the remaining flour, the chopped thyme, and the salt and mix until just combined, careful not to overmix.  The dough should be cleaning off the sides of the bowl.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, turn the dough and shape into a ball.  Roll out dough until about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out cookies and place on a sheet tray.
  6. Place in freezer for about 5 minutes (this prevents the dough from spreading as it bakes).  Place sheet tray in preheated oven and bake 12-15 minutes.
  7. Allow cookies to cool before enjoying!

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National English Muffin Day

 

20190423_120754-01Today is National English Muffin day and, of course, I made English Muffins from scratch!  Turns out, they are incredibly easy to make and the flavor is sooo amazing!  Not to knock any store bought brand of English muffin, but using high quality ingredients such as King Arthur flour and Kerrygold butter, gives these beauties such amazing flavor!  I cooked them in my Lodge cast iron and then toasted them in my Breville oven.  I will definitely be making these over and over again!  Will be trying them out with the crab cake eggs benedict soon!

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I am discounting your first service!  15% off either your week of meal planning or catered event throughout the month of May.  Moms deserve a great culinary experience–treat her to a nice brunch or a dinner throughout the month and show her how appreciated she is!  What are your plans for Mother’s Day?  Mother’s Day menus will be posted this weekend.  Follow in Instagram and subscribe here for updates!

Easter

Hey everyone!  Another busy week and I finally have a moment to sit and reflect.  Last week, I was reminded that there are going to be obstacles when you least expect it and I become stronger and stronger every time.  I have an amazing tribe and with them, I can do it!  This is a new week and it started on a great note!  Still hype over Game of Thrones!  Is it just me, or did that hour seem to just fly by?!  I feel like I blinked and it was over!  This weekend, we will be ready with an EPIC dinner because it’s not only Game of Thrones, but it is also Easter Sunday!

This week, I’ll be focused on helping new customers with their meal preferences and lift the burden of having to cook dinner for their families and for themselves.

For one family:

*Shrimp scampi with roasted broccoli and a grilled Caesar salad  *Perfectly seared scallops with mashed potatoes  *Four cheese lasagna with Zucchini noodles  *Whole roasted chicken with roasted potatoes and honey maple glazed carrots

For another family:

*Roasted cauliflower with turkey sausage and yogurt  *Chinese chicken and broccoli with white rice  *Mongolian beef  *Vegetable fried rice *Gluten free brownies

Another family will have:

*Creamy Tuscan Chicken with broccoli rabe  *Pan seared salmon with white wine pan sauce  *Pinenut couscous with apricots  *Seafood Paella with roasted garlic aioli  *Olive oil polenta cake with honey whipped cream

For Easter dinner:

*Spring Pea salad with asparagus, watermelon radish, and champagne vinaigrette  *Mezze Platter with homemade hummus, marinate olives and artichokes, and pita  *Lamb chops with mint salsa verde  *Roasted Brussels sprouts with smoked brown sugar  *Orange ricotta cake with honey whipped cream

Next week, I have my first customer where I will planning some breakfasts for while they are in town.  These cinnamon rolls are definitely going to be a part of it.  There is just something so comforting about cinnamon rolls.  And they don’t get better than homemade.  These make the perfect addition to any Easter brunch spread.

 

20190417_124649-01.jpegMore on the breakfast meal plans next week.

Easy comfort food

Hey guys! This week has been so busy and it’s not going to stop. (And I’m so excited that things are going strong!)

New families and private dinners planned throughout the month!

This week’s meal plans include the following:

1. *Pan seared salmon with mango salsa *Scallops with swiss chard and cauliflower puree *Grilled steak with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus *Caesar salad *Garden salad

2. *Cast iron steak and potatoes *Indian butter chicken with basmati rice *Shrimp fettuccine alfredo *Potato salad with scallion vinaigrette *Chicken Shwarma salad with tahini

3. *Mojo chicken with cilantro rice *Black bean and corn salsa *Shrimp ceviche with tostones *Roast pork shoulder *Coconut lime Popsicles

All delicious and solidifying some vegan menus this week! Coming up, I am going to post some class menus. It’s a great idea to host for birthdays or anniversary parties!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welcome to my blog! I’m happy you’re here! I previously had another blog and starting this one on nicolemarlow.com was something that I was going back and forth on, but then I decided, WHY NOT?! It will tie everything together throughout my private chef life and my passion for food. Every week, there will be a new post and (hopefully soon) I will be able to post more frequently!

This week on the menu for some of my rock stars, are these amazing gluten free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! I was never a fan of oatmeal cookies. I like oatmeal for breakfast and I love granola, but cookies, not so much. Enter this cookie. For one of the families that I cook for, healthy eating is everything and they do like their sweets, so we had to find a common ground. Now what I like about this recipe, is the fact that it has almond butter! I’m all for almond butter and we need a little chocolate to make this cookie delicious. Although I was never a fan of oatmeal cookies, now this cookie is something that I crave more often. It’s quick and easy to make and what’s even better- they freeze very well! Very kid friendly and these families request these cookies every week.

One of the meal plans set for this week include these cookies, Tuscan kale and roasted tomatoes, chicken gyros with tzatziki, and banana bread. SOO delicious!