Strawberries Archives - A Crafty Spoonful

Carlsbad Strawberry Napoleons

Chef Guillas' Strawberry Napoleon

In honor of Strawberry Shortcake Day yesterday, I headed down to Macy’s to check out their FREE cooking demonstration for the month (as I mentioned last week here). I have heard about these free demos for quite a while but never found the time to actually go down and check one out. But boy was I happy I did! We were greeted by Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room here in San Diego and he shared his recipe for Carlsbad Strawberry Napoleons. And wow… these were GOOD.

If you have a chance to try out this recipe, do! But make sure you make the puff pastry right before you’re going to assemble and serve it. Not only does it make an amazingly delicious dessert, it’s also a beautiful one as well. A great treat for any summer party or barbecue. And there are so many ways you can customize it!

Chef Guillas' Strawberry Napoleon demo at Macy's

Strawberry Napoleons

by Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room San Diego

Puff Pastry

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk (can also substitute half and half or heavy whipping cream)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Thaw dough just enough to be able to cut with a sharp knife.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Cut into 12 equally sized rectangles, 5 inch x 2 1/2 inch. Transfer rectangles to baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between each. Brush with egg yolk mixture. Prick dough with fork all over to prevent over rising. Refrigerate 15 minutes. 

Sprinkle with sea salt and sugar. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown and flakey. Remove from oven. Transfer puff pastry to a rack to cool.

Creme Patisserie

  • 1 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half and scraped
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons St. Germain liqueur

Bring 1 cup of half and half to simmer with vanilla in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add egg yolks and sugar to large mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously until mixture is smooth, ribbony and pale. Whisk in flour and salt. Add remaining half and half. Whisk until smooth.

While stirring the yolk mixture, slowly pour 1/4 of the hot half and half into the yolk mixture to temper. Transfer yolk mixture into sauce pan. Cook until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens, whisking constantly. Whisk in St Germain liqueur. Cook an additional minute, whisking constantly. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Cool completely. Remove vanilla bean.

Presentation

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup St Germain liqueur
  • 1/8 teaspoon star anise powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate shavings
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Combine strawberries with St Germain liqueur, star anise, and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Marinate for 30 minutes. Strain strawberries. Reserve liquid syrup for presentation.

Spread 2 tablespoons of creme patisserie evenly onto 8 rectangles of puff pastry. Top with pistachios and strawberries, divided evenly. Place one on top of another, to form 4 double stacks. Top each with the remaining 4 rectangles. Garnish with chocolate shavings. Dust with powdered sugar. Spoon strawberry syrup on top of plate.

Enjoy!

Carlsbad Strawberry Napoleons by Chef Guillas

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh strawberries?

Strawberry Cream Tarts

Strawberry Cream Tarts - delicious and full of flavor

I almost want to cry. Its nearing the end of another strawberry season and those sweet, juicy, red bits of amazingness are starting to become scarce again. But I couldn’t just give up on my beloved strawberries. I had to celebrate our last delicious bit by making these strawberry cream tarts.

Like the lemon blueberry tarts we made a few weeks back, they start off with a basic tart dough recipe that can be baked up in advance. That makes these an awesome party favorite.

If you are having friends and/or family over, whip up a batch of these and watch them disappear just as quickly as you add them to the serving tray.

Strawberry Cream Tarts - a quick and easy dessert

Strawberry Cream Tarts

Strawberry Filling

  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
  • mint, if desired for garnish

In a large mixing bow, beat cream cheese and sugar. Add whipping cream and beat until stiff. You can add more sugar, a tablespoon at a time to sweeten to your taste.

Spoon filling onto prepared tarts and top with sliced berries and mint garnish. Serve immediately.

Makes 24

Strawberry Cream Tarts with mint

What’s your favorite tart filling?

Virgin Strawberry Basil Margarita Drink Recipe

This week I made a delicious Sweet’N Low virgin strawberry basil margarita drink recipe as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SweetNLowStars

Virgin Strawberry Basil Margarita Drink Recipe - a great way to bring summer flavors together in a delicious drink #SweetNLowStars

While summer is slowly coming to an end – omgosh! My kid is going to kindergarten in 4 weeks! – I want to enjoy all I can out of the fresh and flavorful summer flavors I love. And since I’m pregnant (did you catch my announcement?) I’ve been experimenting with a few virgin varieties of my favorite summertime drinks.

This weekend I decided to make some virgin margaritas. It’s the one thing I’ve been craving since finding out I was pregnant and I just couldn’t let it be. I went with the classic flavors at first but then I decided to use up some of the produce we had and made this delicious virgin strawberry basil margarita.  [Read more…]

White Party Cake with Strawberries Recipe + Baking Tips

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray.

white party cake with strawberries

My baby is turning 3 tomorrow. 3 years old! How did that happen? In celebration of her birthday we baked together and made her a delicious white party cake with pink strawberry frosting. It’s a trial run for the cake I’m making for her party on Sunday and I think it’s a winner!

Every year I bake my kids a cake or cupcakes for their birthday party. We end up having both cake and cupcakes but I try and make one of them. And without fail I’m baking the night before the party and always have to re-do everything because my cakes stuck to the pan. Well not this year. I busted out my secret weapon: Baking PAM Cooking Spray. Not only is it the perfect non-stick spray, it also has flour in it so my baked goods come out perfectly every time.

The kids are slightly disappointed because they don’t get to eat up all of the cake crumbles from the broken cakes that I’ve just about ruined. But I’m happy because a cake that slides right out of the pan means less work and stress for me!

[Read more…]

Strawberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt Recipe

Strawberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt

I absolutely adore strawberry season. Being able to go to the farmer’s market each week and pick up a huge amount of fresh, ripe strawberries just puts a smile on my face.

But there are only so many yummy bowls of strawberries and yogurt one can eat without wanting to do more. So when I brought back my latest batch along with some fresh, homemade greek yogurt I had the genius idea of putting the two together and baking!

Strawberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt square 1

Strawberry muffins with greek yogurt were created. And they were delicious.

Good thing too because I tested the recipe out on my girlfriends for our monthly book club. They’re such troopers. They’ll try anything I make and honestly give feedback. Luckily these muffins passed the test.

[Read more…]

Chocolate Ricotta Stuffed Strawberries

Chocolate Ricotta Stuffed Strawberries

Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is just a few days away. For those of you who, like me, are watching their girlish figures this dessert recipe is for you! These chocolate ricotta stuffed strawberries are not only delicious, they’re filling too! They’ll satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth.

The strawberries at my local Costco looked absolutely amazing this week. So I knew I was either going to dip a few in chocolate or come up with something creative. This was the creative option. And it took all of 10 minutes to prep and make.

Make a few for you and your significant other or a whole platter for a party! Everyone will be glad you did.

[Read more…]

How to Make Easy Strawberry Compote with Champagne

easy strawberry compote

Easy Strawberry Compote

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner love is filling the air! And that means planning a fabulous day for my husband and I. Since we’re on a bit of a budget I’ve started to plan a Valentine’s Day menu that won’t break the bank. And that starts with this delicious easy strawberry compote with champagne.

Not only is this compote the perfect topping for the whole grain waffles pictured above, it’s also a great filling for cupcakes, tastes fabulous mixed in with a little creme fraiche and topped over a nice dark chocolate mousse, and does fabulous things to an angel food cake.

[Read more…]

Where to Pick Strawberries in San Diego {San Diego Family Fun}

Where to Pick Strawberries in San Diego

The one activity I’ve been dying to do with my family is go strawberry picking. I’ve said year after year that we were going to do it and then just didn’t follow through. So for Mother’s Day my husband asked if I wanted to take the kids up to the strawberry fields to go strawberry picking. And I quickly said yes!

We made our way up the 5 freeway towards Carlsbad and just stopped at the first U-Pick Strawberries sign we found. We didn’t do much research beforehand that I know of other than to find out how much it was so we had enough cash on hand.

When we got there we parked, paid for our small bucket. Then after a quick run down of the rules we made our way to the strawberry plants to get picking.

Where to Pick Strawberries in San Diego Carlsbad Strawberry Co picking strawberries

The kids quickly jumped on board and started picking and eating like crazy. Until my husband noticed the moldy strawberries next to the ones the kids just ate and picked. So we became the pointers for the kids and showed them which ones to pick.

Where to Pick Strawberries in San Diego eating strawberries

My son was quite excited about the whole “eat as many as you’d like” and quickly had a ring of red around his lips and on his fingers. I highly recommend bringing baby wipes with you as you pick the strawberries!

Where to Pick Strawberries in San Diego eating strawberries at Carlsbad Strawberry Co

After traipsing up and down just about every row, the kids were too exhausted to walk back to the car alone. So my husband scooped them up and carried them. He quickly learned why the owners recommend wearing old shoes after putting the kids down at the car… his shirt and pants were not only covered in strawberries but caked with muddy dirt as well. The sign of any great adventure!

So if you are interested in picking some strawberries this season I highly suggest that you check out where your local U-Pick strawberry farms are. They’re great fun for kids and adults alike! Next year we’ll definitely be checking out the other strawberry fields around town.

Where to Pick Strawberries in San Diego strawberry fields

Where to Pick Strawberries in San Diego

Carlsbad Strawberry Co. – Camarosa Strawberries
Located on Hwy 5 at Cannon Road in Carlsbad
Open 7 days a week, 9 am to 5 pm

PO Box 479,
Carlsbad, CA, 92018-0479
760-519-4154
m1h2ouse@yahoo.com.

U-Pick Fields open April 17th through June, perhaps as late as July 4th weekend.
Prices: $8.70 for a 1 quart bucket, $17.00 for a 3 quart tub (think fried chicken tub size), Cash only

Temecula Valley Strawberry Farms
Click here for current open hours, days, dates, and directions.
Open Friday-Sunday 10am-6pm

5452 5th Street,
Fallbrook, CA 92028
951-212-4899
kfietz3@gmail.com

U-Pick Fields open March 15 pm to August 30.
Price: $4 per pound, Cash, Check, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard accepted

Heritage Farms
Call for picking hours

21345 San Pasqual Road,
Escondido, CA.
(760) 746-8822

Have you gone strawberry picking with your family? What do you make with the strawberries you pick?



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