#BundtBakers: Strawberry Bundts

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I have been sitting on this cake for months! And that is not an exaggeration. Tammy of Living the Gourmet is hosting and announced the theme of “Strawberry Bundts” back in spring and I baked this beauty in early June.

#BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

We eat strawberries by the pound here. They’ve been my kids’ favorite food/fruit for well over a year now. With a weekly Farmers Market across the street dishing out California fresh berries year round, we’re never without these red beauties.

And yes, this is my fourth strawberry recipe since my “break“. Told you we like strawberries around here!

boys want cake

When I think of using strawberries in a creative way I immediately go to balsamic vinegar. So, is that really creative? Meh. It’s a delicious combination either way.

This cake has a lot of moving parts. Cake. Frosting. Drizzle. Berries. And is it all worth it? Yes! Will I do it all again? Yes! I have some of the frosting in the freezer and Firecracker can’t stop talking about baking a strawberry cake with Tilly when she comes to visit. (Update: He forgot all about baking anything once she was here. We kept busy creating his Homeschooling corner, hanging artwork that’s been leaning against the wall for the past 16 months, going to the beach and the tide pools, and even sewing!)

Strawberry Balsamic Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Strawberry Balsamic Bundt Cake

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 C dark brown sugar
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 C cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 C buttermilk

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1 C + 6 tbsp sugar, divided use
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 sticks butter, softened

Ingredients for the garnish:

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the drizzle:

  • 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease a bundt pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer, alternating with the buttermilk. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out cleanly.
  4. For the frosting, put the chopped strawberries, 2 tbsp sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries are soft, 5-8 minutes. Let cool slightly before transferring to a blender to puree until smooth. Chill.
  5. Also for the frosting, whisk the egg whites and the remaining sugar in a large heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk consistently until a thermometer measures 160 degrees F and the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 8 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and add in the softened butter 2 tbsp at a time, until fully incorporated, and frosting is thick and smooth (it will most likely curdle during the process, just keep going and keep trusting!). Add in the cooled strawberry puree until fully incorporated.
  6. Make the garnish: Stir together the diced strawberries, sugar, vinegar, and vanilla in a bowl. Let macerate 20-30 minutes.
  7. For the drizzle: Reduce the balsamic and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat down to 4 tbsp. Set aside.

*This recipe is adapted from Annie at http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/06/07/strawberry-balsamic-cupcakes/*

Strawberry Balsamic Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have created this month:

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Poke Bundt by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Freeze Dried Strawberry Bundt with Cream Cheese Glaze by Sweet Sensations

Jam Strawberry Bundt Cake by Bizcocheando

Lemon Strawberry Poke Bundt by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Neapolitan Zebra Bundt Cake by All That’s Left Are The Crumbs

Strawberry Balsamic Bundt Cake by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Strawberry & Cream Bundt Cake by Patty’s Cakes

Strawberry Crunch Bundt Cake by Cookaholic Wife

Strawberry Bundt Mousse Cake by Sneha’s Recipe

Strawberry Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Ganache by The Queen of Scones

Strawberries & Cream Naked Bundt Cake by Living the Gourmet

Strawberry Key Lime Cheesecake Bundt by The Crumby Kitchen

Strawberry Orange Bundt Cake by I Love Bundt Cakes

Food Bloggers Recipe Swap: Shredded Beets with Citrus Vinaigrette

It’s my first time posting in the Food Bloggers Recipe Swap and I’m pretty excited.

I probably should have just waited until the new year to begin participating, but I was just too excited!

There’s been a lot going on here, as I’m sure in most people’s homes, the past two months. I’m now feeling the crunch to Christmas (and that is in no way a bad thing) and have been neglecting a lot of my blogging responsibilities, frantically scrambling to pull together a post the night before it’s due to go live.

I’ve been enjoying the bit of a break though, and have revived my cross stitch hobby. Christmas time always does that to me. I’ve also just begun a new friendship and have enjoyed getting out of the house and killing time at the mall talking to another adult human being during the day.

Somehow this week though, I’ve got to find time to pack for our holiday vacation, wrap the kid’s presents, send those Christmas cards, and order a few final gifts. My mother-in-law is coming into town tonight so I’m hoping I’ll be able to sneak in some of that holiday cheer while the kids are otherwise preoccupied. (hint hint, Tilly!)

What does any of that have to do with Food Bloggers Recipe Swap?

Well, nothing really. Except that by opting in for December, I committed myself to being assigned a blog, finding and recreating a recipe from that blog, and then sharing it with all of you, my dear readers. Much like the Secret Recipe Club which has sadly come to an end.

The main difference between this group and that is the posting leniency. As long as I get my post completed by the end of the month, life is peachy! I don’t think the assignments are a secret either, and should I choose, I could search through the assignment list and figure out who is digging through my recipe index, but I won’t spoil the surprise. 🙂

For my first month, I was assigned Love and Cilantro written by Danya. Danya grew up in Jamaica and now lives in Canada where she attends culinary school. I envy her bravery to switch up her life and live out her dreams. I often think about going to culinary school, maybe after the kids are in elementary school?

Danya’s blog is relatively new, just over a year old if my calculations are correct! With a shorter recipe selection than some blogs I’ve scoured you’d think my decision would be fairly simple. Think again! I’d narrowed it down to Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast (which will still probably happen), Asian Salad, and the Raw Beet Salad I ultimately picked. Oh wait! There’s this beautiful Greek Chicken she shared on Sunday, too, dang – too late!

I’m really happy with the Beet Salad, though. I mean, I love beets, so why wouldn’t I like this salad!? I don’t often work with beets raw and it was fun to do so. The vinaigrette the shredded beets are tossed in is perfectly balanced – the lemon mellows out the orange and the white balsamic is a fun new ingredient to my pantry. I didn’t have chives so very thinly sliced a scallion.

I think this salad would make a beautiful addition to your holiday table this month – the bright color and flavor would brighten your plate wonderfully!

Shredded Beets with Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch beets, peeled and shredded
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 C white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp agave (or honey)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 scallions, thinly sliced (or 4 chives)

Steps:

  1. Place shredded beets in a bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the citrus, vinegar, oil, mustard, and agave. Season to taste with S+P. Toss beets with as much dressing as desired. Garnish with scallion/chives.

*This recipe is adapted from Danya at http://loveandcilantro.com/orange-beet-salad/*

Shredded Beets with Citrus Vinaigrette for Food Bloggers Recipe Swap from Sew You Think You Can Cook

 

SRC: Nectarine Caprese Salad

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It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

Tara introduced me to The Secret Recipe Club and ever since I was accepted into this fun blogging group I’ve been waiting for this day to come. The day I’d be assigned her blog, Tara’s Multicultural Table. (Tara was assigned my blog August 2014) When I saw my assignment pop in my email, I was on a walk with my mom and I literally yelled, “Yes!” and threw my arms up in the air. (You can go ahead and ask her! If you know her, that is.)

I have a dedicated Pinterest board to Tara’s blog so there wasn’t any stealthy searching for me to do this month. I’ve even commented on just about every post on her page in support of her incredible blogging career that’s blossomed over the past few years. Tara’s blog is quite different from mine and her dedication to her passion for international cuisine leaves me in awe. I don’t know how she keeps up with it! She is also the mother to two. Her kids love to join her in the kitchen and you can see fabulous photos of family bonding interspersed among stunning food photography.

Tara and I have known each other for 7-8 years, now. Our husbands were in the same ROTC class at Auburn and we were stationed in the FL panhandle together for 4 years. After that we parted ways and are hoping to be stationed together again soon!

Memorial Day 2015 we were able to reunite after almost a year apart at their home in the DC area. I got the opportunity to cook with her once again and witness her photography station. As if the timing couldn’t be perfect, we’ll be joining forces again this weekend when she comes to visit, I can’t wait for her to meet Treat! She is Firecracker’s godmother and we are godparents to Claire. The friendship we created in Florida has only grown while we’ve been separated, talking in one form or another almost daily.

tara&lauren

Okay, enough mushiness. On to the food!

I have made multiple recipes from Tara’s blog already, most posted on Sew You Think You Can Cook. There are even two or three dishes on my camera waiting for the right time to share them with you. I didn’t use those for today’s reveal though.

I gave Stuart a list of 4 things to pick from Tara’s blog: Burnt Honey Ice CreamCarrot Cheddar Crackers, Nectarine Caprese, or Popcorn Tacos. It wasn’t until after handing him the notepad with the choices that I realized we got to try the ice cream first hand during our visit last year (we’re the friends mentioned for the tea she made in her review of the cookbook, too)! The popcorn tacos have been haunting my dreams ever since she posted them and you’ll be seeing them pop up here eventually (pun slightly intended). Same goes for the crackers, I’m always looking for ways to get more veggies in Firecracker’s diet.

Stuart decided on the caprese though, and I am glad he did. While it’s quite a simple option, it’s entirely delicious. Particularly when stone fruits are ripe and readily available in these summer months. I served this salad as a starter to salmon with roasted root veggies – quite the healthy night! I have decided, without question or fail, that I do not like yellow peaches. White peaches however are fantastic. I didn’t know if the same would be true for nectarines so I picked up both varieties. Turns out, I enjoy both varieties of nectarines but would recommend the yellow for this recipe. My knife cuts weren’t exactly restaurant worthy so I decided to layer my salad instead of stack it the way Tara had.

Nectarine Caprese Salad (1)  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Nectarine Caprese Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2-3 ripe nectarines, sliced
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • fresh basil, julienned

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the balsamic vinegar and honey. Reduce by about 1/2. Set aside.
  2. Layer mozzarella slices and nectarine slices. Season with salt. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Garnish with fresh basil.

*This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/nectarine-caprese-with-honey-balsamic-reduction/*

Nectarine Caprese Salad for #SecretRecipeClub from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in The Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Caprese Steak

As previously promised, here’s another steak recipe on Sew You Think You Can Cook. This one features a beautiful cut of steak, seared, topped with tomato and fresh mozzarella and baked to perfection. Top it with fresh basil and balsamic vinegar reduction and you have a restaurant quality dinner right in your own home.

I found this idea while perusing Foodgawker and thought it looked simple enough for my handy kitchen helpers to do. Funnily enough, neither of them actually read the recipe, or apparently listened to me when I told them how to prepare the meat. Mom declared that this one was Stuart’s to make because it involved grilling. It does not. And Stuart kept trying to go outside to the grill!

I guess when they think steak, they think grilling. Most probably do. But this recipe sears it off in a skillet to get a beautiful crust and then finishes in the oven. This cooking method creates perfectly juicy steaks.

Caprese Steak

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 3 steaks
  • 1 beefsteak tomato
  • fresh mozzarella cheese
  • fresh basil

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small skillet reduce balsamic vinegar until reduced by half.
  3. Season steak with S+P.
  4. In a cast iron skillet over high heat cook both sides of the steak, 2-3 minutes until an even sear is achieved.
  5. Top steak with slice of tomato and mozzarella cheese. Bake until the reach a desired internal temperature.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil and top with balsamic.

*This recipe is adapted from K at http://www.onthewoodside.com/2013/11/seared-filet-with-tomato-and-fresh.html*

Caprese Steak

 

Rosemary Steak and Potatoes

I am not a steak-and-potatoes type of gal. Potatoes? Yes. Steak? No thanks, I’ll pass. But my husband is most definitely a steak-and-potatoes type of guy. In fact, it’s the meal he always gets when we visit his parents.

I was informed that I needed to add more iron to my diet – so that means you’ll see more red meat entrees floating around Sew You Think You Can Cook. I’ve always tried to limit the red meat to once a week, typically in the form of Mexican Monday. And I am guilty of enjoying a burger quite often.

For this recipe, par-boiled potatoes share the skewer with cubes of sirloin and the result is divine. The potatoes end up resembling fries and the marinade is full of flavor. I particularly like the rosemary. Serve these skewers with your favorite vegetable and you’ve got yourself a complete meal!

If you’ve had too much red meat this week, Mom made this recipe using chicken instead of steak and it worked just as beautifully.

Rosemary Steak and Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 2 lb steak, cut into cubes
  • 2 C golden potatoes

Steps:

  1. In a bowl combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, steak seasoning, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.
  2. Pour 3/4 C of the marinade over the steak and set in the fridge.
  3. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes, until slightly fork tender. Drain. Pour the rest of the marinade over the potatoes.
  4. Skewer the steak and potatoes. Grill until the steak is cooked to your liking and the potatoes are done.

*This recipe is adapted from Whitney at http://littleleopardbook.com/2013/10/16/rosemary-steak-skewers/*

Rosemary Steak

Strawberry Balsamic Pizza

Earlier this month a Publix opened up across from our neighborhood. I absolutely love Publix. Growing up in Southwest Florida it was pretty much the only grocery destination – sure we had Walmart, an Albertson’s, which I don’t even think exists anymore, and Sweet Bay. Every Sunday after church we’d go to the grocery store. (I am not looking forward to moving away from the land of the Publix.)

Grocery shopping is not my favorite thing. Despite my efforts to remain organized I always manage to miss something and have to back track throughout the store. But, now that I have a Publix within walking distance I use the Publix App on my phone. Not only can I browse the circular to find what’s on sale this week, but I can create my grocery list. Yes, Winn-Dixie and other grocery apps have the same ability, but Publix – the place “where shopping is a pleasure” – has surpassed customer service in the app alone. When you input your specific store, it’ll tell you what aisle that item is in. Not just “baking” but “aisle 9”. It might just be the best thing since sliced bread.

I apologize greatly for my Publix add, but there is a point! I used pre-made pizza dough from the Publix bakery instead of making my own. And it is delicious. Almost every grocery store does offer dough in their bakery, so don’t fret if you don’t live in the land of Publix. (Other alternatives include making your own, refrigerated pizza dough, or even the dry pizza dough usually hanging on an end cap in the store with pepperoni.)

Another benefit of living in Florida is that I can still find beautiful, ripe, Grown in Florida Strawberries at the store. I hadn’t thought strawberries to be in season, but Winter Strawberries are harvested between November and March. I swear, these are more beautiful than the ones I get in July. So, again, I apologize if you cannot find fresh strawberries in your local area – pin this recipe and save it for the summer. I promise you it’s worth it!

This pizza rivals any that you find at a gourmet pizza shop, and although you can roll your dough to your desired thickness, a thicker crust works beautiful with this masterpiece. Stuart questioned this dish – he thought strawberries on a pizza would be weird. But they complement the chicken and bacon and the cilantro provides a note of lightness. He pointed out, and I agree, that mint would also work well here (if you happened to have that instead).

Strawberry Balsamic Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 C strawberry jam
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • cornmeal, for pizza peal
  • 1 ball pizza dough, rolled out to approximately 14″
  • 1 C diced, cooked chicken
  • 3 strips, cooked thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 C shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 4 large fresh strawberries, diced
  • fresh cilantro (or mint), for garnish

Steps:

  1. Place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 475 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan bring balsamic vinegar to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 4 minutes. Add in jam and sriracha. Toss chicken with 2 tbsp of sauce and set the remainder aside.
  3. Sprinkle cornmeal onto a pizza peal, if you don’t have a a pizza peal an edge-less cookie sheet works well too.  Place dough on peal.
  4. Top dough with balsamic sauce, leaving a 1″ crust. Top with chicken, 3/4 of the cheese, then the bacon and onion. Top this layer with the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with fresh strawberries and cilantro (or mint). Allow pizza to cool a few minutes before slicing.

*This recipe is adapted from Chris at http://www.thecafesucrefarine.com/2011/07/strawberry-balsamic-pizza-with-chicken.html*

Strawberry Balsamic Pizza 1 Strawberry Balsamic Pizza 2

Honey Balsamic Glazed Carrots

While I don’t really make official New Year’s resolutions, I am trying my best to make more balanced meals – protein, starch, and vegetable. (It’s the “and vegetbale” that I always forget to plan!)

This side dish goes with just about any protein you choose, and as proven on Budget Bytes, it’s cheap!

For just the two of us I halved the recipe. I wasn’t planning on having leftovers for lunch the next day so didn’t bother making more than we needed. The recipe I present to you today is the halved version, to serve two.

Honey Balsamic Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/8 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp butter

Steps:

  1. Place carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast carrots in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. Be sure to flip them halfway through the cooking time.
  2. When there are ten minutes left on the timer, combine the honey and vinegar. Allow tot thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted.
  3. Toss carrots in the glaze and serve alongside the protein of your choice.

Glazed Carrots