Thursday, July 25, 2013

DIY strawberry shortcake

Everyone who knows me is well aware that I'm not much of a cook. It's more that I don't particularly enjoy it than that I'm terrible, but because I don't enjoy it I definitely don't have much of a repertoire. One of my close friends and I try to get together for dinner at one of our homes every week or two, and whenever it's my turn to host I feel terrible cooking the same old thing because she's such an amazing cook and baker and always makes something new and tasty. It's usually the only time I cook, since the rest of the time I rely on Sam to feed me (sorry ladies, he's already mine). Usually I succumb to one of my old standbys like lasagna, pasta with pesto, wait, I think those are the only two standbys I have. But sometimes I'm feeling more adventurous and/or like I can't possibly serve the same thing again, and I try something different.

The last two weeks it was sooooooo hot in Boston, in the mid-90s every day. I know there are plenty of parts of the country that are hotter, but many of those places have more AC than we northeasterners do, which makes a big difference. We have a window unit in our bedroom but the rest of the apartment relies on open windows and fans, and it was sweltering.

Anyway, suffice it to say that I did not feel like cooking anything elaborate. But I did want to try something new, and to make me feel a little less cranky about the weather I thought about all the summer foods I love. Top of the list: strawberry shortcake. When I was growing up, my mom would always bring home these amazing shortcake biscuits from a local fruit market and make strawberry shortcake. I got so spoiled thinking that you can just go find shortcake biscuits anywhere in the summer, but not so. They are nowhere to be found at my local supermarket, at least.

So I tried my hand at homemade biscuits, though in general baking terrifies me because it seems like such an exact science where the smallest mismeasurement could cause epic failure. The recipe I used was from Simply Recipes (linked here), and it turned out to be fairly easy to make the shortbread, prepare the strawberries, and whip the cream.

Mmmmmmm. (And don't worry -- we didn't only eat strawberry shortcake for dinner, I served some couscous and pesto pasta as well. I felt better about the repeat entree given that I'd attempted something new for the dessert.)

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