Strawberries Wild

I love strawberries but never get to eat them.  As soon as a pint arrives in my fridge, the kids gobble them up like candy and I’m left with not one bit of fresh strawberry goodness whatsoever.

Hmph.

So when this month’s issue of Cooking Light arrived with an awesome feature on all things strawberry, I was inspired… so off to the store we went and picked up a huge pallet, that’s 12 pints total, to be exact.

First thing up was Cooking Light’s No Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie.  I followed the directions for the most part but refuse to make a crust.  Uh uh, no way.  I mean yes I am physically able to make a pie crust from scratch but just way too lazy when there are so many types of pre-made crusts available.   And, whadya know, I found a chocolate crust and was set.  Here’s my adaptation:

Ingredients

  • 1 nine inch pre-made chocolate pie crust
  • 6 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups frozen fat-free whipped topping, a la Cool Whip, thawed (important step that I kinda sorta forgot… oops…)
  • 2 tablespoons seedless strawberry fruit spread
  • 1 tablespoon Chambord
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pound small strawberries, hulled and cut in half (or like 2 or more -ish pints as there are so many freaking strawberries in my kitchen now they must be EATEN!)

Preparation

1. If you forgot to thaw the whipped cream like Yours Truly, just put the frozen tubs in a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes, like so, problem solved! (Do not use hot water or you will cook the Cool Whip.  There are 2 tubs here because I made 2 pies- one for us, one for our neighbors.)

2. Place cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
3. Carefully spread over bottom of crust.
4. Place fruit spread in a large microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 10 seconds or until softened.  Add Chambord and juice; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add berry halves; toss to combine. Arrange berry halves over pie. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

It was very, very tasty and my hubby was super, super bummed as he does not eat dairy and this pie is FULL of it!  The kids and I loved it as it was pretty sweet- made my cheeks sweat.  Reading the comments on the original recipe, I am really glad I bought the pre-made crust as readers said the homemade one did not hold up to the juiciness of the strawberry mixture.  If you make this, be sure to mix the cream cheese and whipped cream REALLY REALLY well as biting down on chunks of cream cheese may seem indulgent, but just a tad too rich.  Also, measure the ingredients for the strawberry mix accurately as too much of any one thing makes this pie very runny.

I also made Cooking Light’s Strawberry Mint Limeade

… with club soda for the kids and champagne for yours truly!  Really, really delicious but the puree was a bit too thick to mix well with the champagne and trust me, DO NOT stick a spoon in the champagne flute to mix it up or you’ll end up with an effervescent bubbly mess.  (Uh… nooooo, I didn’t do that, I swear…) Definitely making this one again- perfect for a summer brunch!
I also picked up some Shortcake Biscuits from Trader Joe’s, again, something I could very well make but they make it so easy and tasty, why bother!  Did a little experiment with the biscuits, strawberries, basil, and drizzled that with balsamic vinegar- turned out pretty tasty with both thumbs up from my no-dairy-having-hubby!
And of course the kids were intrigued by the biscuits, demanded to taste, so The Best Mom in The World right here- that would be me- gave them strawberry shortcake for breakfast! Wish I could start my day like this!
YET THERE WERE STILL MORE STRAWBERRIES and I had definitely had my full by this point so, when all else fails- chop the suckers up and make fruit salad!
This, however, still did not use up the strawberries.  There’s still have MORE.  So please help a Hamburger Blogger out and share your favorite strawberry recipes below!!!
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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    The pie looks good! Have you thought about making it with pudding (with soy) and cool whip to make it dairy free (and reduced fat) for the hubby?
    Anyway, we picked a pallet of ripe strawberries yesterday at our CSA. We took 4 pints to a BBQ, are keeping 2 for snacking, and froze the rest to use in smoothies!

    1. Laura says:

      A friend on Facebook sent me this article- I am negligent that I didn’t mention to always go organic!!!! Food blogging is a lot of responsibility… 😉

      http://www.panna.org/current-campaigns/cancer-free-strawberries

      1. Jen says:

        I totally agree. We went one step further yesterday — the strawberries we picked were grown without any pesticides, herbicides, OR fertilizers!! 100% natural

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