Rhubarb Strawberry Shortcakes with Rosemary and Chantilly Cream

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Although typically paired with fruit, rhubarb is a stalky vegetable, similar in appearance and texture to celery, but bearing no resemblance in taste. It is extremely sour, both raw and cooked, and is often heavily sugared to overcompensate for it's pucker-power.

You'll find stalks of varying sizes, with ruby red, pink and grassy green streaks, in stores and farmer's markets from late March through June. If the stalks have leaves, or if growing your own, leaves should be trimmed and discarded before cooking, as they contain a high oxalic acid content and are potentially toxic to people and pets.

If you give rhubarb's tart bite a fighting chance by holding back on sweeteners just a bit, it's distinctive flavor will add balance and complexity to any recipe. And it won't bite back, promise.

 

Rhubarb Strawberry Shortcakes with Rosemary and Chantilly Cream

 

Yields: 6 shortcakes

Method: biscuit method
Allergy Info: contains wheat, gluten, dairy
Fancy Equipment: parchment paper

Ingredients for the Shortcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, diced
2 eggs
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg beaten plus 1 tablespoons milk, for egg wash
6 small top sprigs of rosemary

Ingredients for the Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote:
3 cups rhubarb, leaves removed, washed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
1/4 cup orange juice
Pinch of salt
1 pint strawberries, washed and quartered

Ingredients for the Chantilly Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the Biscuits:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a course meal with pea-sized pieces of fat. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, rosemary and heavy cream. Add to the flour and mix until just blended. The dough should be sticky, but not wet.

Place the dough out onto a well-floured surface and form the dough into a rough circle, one inch high. Cut 6 biscuits with a fluted or straight cookie or biscuit cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush the top of each biscuit with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the outside is slightly golden around the edges. Do not open the oven door during the first 15 minutes, to allow the biscuits to rise properly. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Make the Compote:
Add the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and pinch of salt to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and add half of the strawberries. Simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is just tender but still toothy. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the rest of the strawberries to the cooled mixture and stir to incorporate.

Make the Chantilly Cream:
Beat the cold cream with a wire whisk or hand mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks just barely begin to form.

Assemble the shortcakes:
Split shortcake in the middle, like a hamburger bun. Place the bottom of the biscuit into a shallow bowl and spoon some of the compote over the biscuit. Add a generous spoonful of Chantilly cream. Place the top part of the biscuit on the cream and top with a small amount of compote and another dollop of cream. Place a small sprig of rosemary on the cream. Repeat for each shortcake.

Chef’s Notes:
Combine the dough scraps to create additional biscuits if desired. The second batch of biscuits will be slightly tougher and will not rise as high as the first, but will have the same flavor.

Biscuits can be split into three layers if sliced carefully. This will allow you to stack more ingredients for a more dramatic presentation.

Thyme or lavender in place of the rosemary also works well in this recipe. Lemon zest can also be added.

Post by Dawn Viola : dawnviola.com

100 (More!) Things to do This Summer

Our school isn't out till mid-June, but I know many of you are officially done with school by now. If your house is anything like mine, the novelty of summer break will wear off quickly, leaving you with many days of "What should we do now?" Last year's Summer List was a tremendous hit with my kids that we've written an entirely new list for this year.

Anyone up for a challenge? Try completing BOTH lists this summer.

Two hundred fun, easy activities should pretty well annihilate the summer boredom phenomenon. At least, for a week or two. Then you're on your own. ;)

I've noticed last year's list making the rounds on Pinterest, so I thought some of you might like them as free printables.

100 More Things-01
You can download both lists here:

100 Things to Do This Summer
100 (More!) Things to Do This Summer

I'll be back later with some follow-up posts detailing the adventures we checkoff the list.

Have a great summer!

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Post by Christina Williams : justcallmechris.blogspot.com

Things to Make – 3D Construction Paper Pictures

roll     A few weeks ago, while the kids spent the morning painting, I sat at the table with them and cut construction paper into strips. I then "tinkered" with the strips (for lack of a better term) – rolling them up, cutting patterns onto them, folding them in different ways. I didn't really have a plan, it just felt nice to make something three-dimensional for a change (other than food). Anyways, the kids started to watch what I was doing and soon they started folding and crafting their own strips. We spent the rest of the morning making pictures with our scrap-art – dogs, flowers, faces. We treated the strips like blocks and everyone (even two year old T) had some creative ideas. I think we might try this again some time, see what else we can come up with. dog

Post by Darcy : bedtimemonsters.blogspot.com

Great American Bake Sale

There is one staggering fact that drives people to get involved with Share Our Strength; there are more than 16 million kids in America struggling with hunger.  It can’t be ignored.  I am proud to say that there are volunteers across the country who have said they won’t stand to see kids go hungry.  I have gotten to know so many of our Great American Bake Sale volunteers.  And I have to say, some of our most dedicated volunteers are kids! 

I don’t have to tell you about the power of kids and their ability to make a difference.  I get to see it every day.  Kids of all ages hosting bake sales in their communities with their friends and families.  They put together incredible events that bring attention to and raise vital funds for a cause they care about.  To me there’s nothing more powerful than kids helping kids. 

Here’s a story from one such kid, 11 year old Kate from Naperville, IL.  Kate and her entire family hosted their first bake sale last year and I want you to hear all about it!

“My mom came up with the idea of having a bake sale for Share our Strength and I loved it. For one, it would benefit the children in America who really are starving and in need of food, and, I would be able to give back while doing one of my favorite activities: baking.

While I really love to bake, I knew I wasn’t just baking for fun. There are kids in America, 1 in 5, who are not getting the nutrition they need to be healthy. From the very beginning, I knew that by baking and selling goods, I would be able to help make a difference to those who need food. I have always been blessed to have enough and my heart goes out to children who don’t have enough. The whole experience of giving to others has been incredible.

The reaction from people in the neighborhood was really immense. We had more than 30 families and businesses donating goods or supplies. We had volunteers helping with set up, clean up, delivering goods to the sale location, and my entire family worked the sale. We raised over $2200! Our sale was so large that a reporter interviewed us.

My experience with the first sale has motivated me to serve more. The Share our Strength organization is incredible, and I am really happy to know that people care about others who have less than we do. If you are considering doing a sale but you’re not sure if you can, just try a small one because every dollar you raise can really make a huge impact on the children in America who don’t have enough food to eat every day.”

Bakesale

Thanks to Kate and kids just like her, Share Our Strength is making strides in the fight to end childhood hunger in America.  You too can play a part by hosting a bake sale of your own.  Signup today at www.GreatAmericanBakeSale.org/signup and together we can bake a difference!

By Jessica

Jessica Bomberg is the Manager of Great American Bake Sale, Grassroots Fundraising and Youth Engagement at Share Our Strength.  Jessica truly enjoys helping volunteers across the country give back to a cause that everyone cares about.