Full Belly Sisters: June 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake w. Mini #Strawberry PopTarts @driscollsberry #strawshortcake

Driscoll's berries gave a challenge to a bunch of food bloggers: come up with a delicious and creative twist on a very classic dessert. Strawberry Shortcake. 

I decided to play with the traditional stack of biscuits, whipped cream, and strawberries by swapping out the biscuit and putting in a PopTart. Not the super-junky, overly-sweet, artificially-flavored PopTarts you buy in the supermarket. I'm talking about a homemade version with actual strawberries! Then you top those with whipped cream and more berries...now, we're talking about a yummy new twist on a classic, am I right?

serves 4
  • 1 lb. strawberries (I always get Driscoll's organic—yes, even when I'm not writing about Driscoll's)
  • 1/4 cup strawberry 100% fruit spread
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pie crust dough, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 Tbls + 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp + 2 tsp vanilla sugar (or plain sugar)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To make the PopTart filling, chop about five strawberries. Place these berries, the fruit spread, and the sea salt in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Roll out your pie dough. Using a 2 1/2" biscuit cutter, cut out 16 circles; you may need to roll out the excess dough and re-cut in order to use all of your dough and get enough circles.

Place circles on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Spoon about 3/4 teaspoon of the strawberry filling onto each of half of the circles (remember, the other circles will go on top of these!). 

Take your tablespoon of heavy cream and, using your fingertip, brush the cream around the edges of the dough. Place the other circles on top and press down the edges to seal in the filling. Cut a hole or an "X" on the top of each mini pie. Again, use your fingertip to brush cream over the tops of each pie, then sprinkle one teaspoon of vanilla sugar over the tops of the tarts.

NOTE: If you don't have vanilla sugar, it's super easy to make. After you've used vanilla beans for a recipe, keep the pods! Just stick them in a container of sugar and the flavor and scent infuses your sugar. It's pretty much all I use for baking.

Back to the PopTarts: bake for 20-25 minutes, until the mini pies are golden brown.

In the meantime, whip your cup of cream and two teaspoons of sugar in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form (my whipped cream is a bit over-whipped, you may notice in the pix. Mea culpa. Still tasted delicious, I'll have you know!). Then hull and slice the remaining strawberries. Once the PopTarts have cooled, top with a layer of berries, a dollop of whipped cream, then another PopTart, berries, and cream. VoilĂ ! Strawberry Shortcake with a fun new twist.

Shortcake may get a bit messy, but it sure tastes amazing!

Disclosure: I received coupons from Driscoll’s Berries in order to develop a recipe for their Strawberry Shortcake contest. All photos and opinions remain my own.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Chocolate #Avocado Pudding

In the continuing saga of feeding your kids healthfully, we are now tackling green foods. We've already discussed starting solids and finger foods in our series inspired by Premier Pediatrics. But getting kids to eat green foods can be challenging for many of us.

Green foods are so crucial, as they provide Vitamin K and folate—not just important for the kiddos' growing bodies, but for all of our bodies (especially during pregnancy!). Many of us have found that when our babies become toddlers, they start to become suspicious of green fruits and veggies. Toddlers' sensitive taste buds have learned that many greens are bitter. 

But don't give up! You might need to get more creative (like my Green Fruit Smoothie or my Tropical Smoothie Popsicles). You might even have to have greens for dessert.

I know, it sounds weird to have a pudding made with avocado. I KNOW. I love avocados but I'm not immune to how strange the idea of this dessert sounds when you first hear of it. However, you need to trust me on this. This pudding is creamy, rich, delicious, and you will not even get a hint of avocado from it. And neither will your kids.

yields about 1 cup
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted, ripe but not brown
  • 3 Tbls whole milk (or coconut milk) 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 to 4 Tbls honey* or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pinch of salt (this really heightens the sweetness)

*Honey should not be given to children under 1 year of age

Puree all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth and glossy. Chill in a refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

This pudding is wonderfully rich and smooth. But I actually like a bit more texture. If you do, too, try topping it with bananas or berries...

nuts, like chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts...

chocolate chips...

or use the pudding as a dip for fruit or graham crackers!

The possibilities are endless. Play around to see what your family likes best. You can even offer this pudding for breakfast and you'll really blow your kids' minds! 

Creative Commons License
Full Belly Sisters Blog by Full Belly Sisters is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License