My friend Kristen has been blogging over at Dine and Dish for 3 1/2 years. She’s also a mother of 4!

I am a happily married and work from home as a freelance writer for various online and print publications. Besides my family, I am passionate about cooking, entertaining, photography, reading, and shopping. I decided to join the blogging world as a way to help document what happens in my life, as my life seems to be zooming by at light speed.

The exciting thing about Kristen joining me on RE today is not only her sharing a wonderful recipe, but that we actually get to meet up this Fall at BlogHer Food! We’re “suite-mates” – 4 girls sharing a suite. Should be a fun time. We also both write for SC Johnson, for their Family Economics site! Oh, and did I tell you Kristen is a fabulous photographer? In the meantime, here’s a sneak-peek at my strawberry bed on the side of our house …

Fresh rain on the plants.

Love the little blossoms.

And of course we love Strawberry Shortcake. Mm-m-m, one of my favorites. So today …

Meet my Guest:
Kristen from Dine and Dish

Those of you who read my blog, Dine & Dish, know that I haven’t always been able to cook. Well, I take that back… I have not always had the passion or desire or time to cook. I worked a very demanding job, often times topping 60 hours a week. The last thing I felt like doing when I finally got home was spending time in the kitchen, creating a meal for my husband and I. Typically, I would turn to convenience foods or take out, assuming that it was faster and easier.

My, how times have changed! Once I had kids and became a work-from-home mom, my domestic instincts kicked in and cooking became less of a chore and more of something that I enjoyed doing. I discovered that I had been mistaken all along. Cooking basic, good and healthy meals for my family was not something that I had to labor over for hours. With the right ingredients on hand, I could whip up something faster than getting everyone in the car and making a trip to the nearest restaurant.

This week, I had a flashback moment to my earlier days. My parents were in town and had brought a bunch of fresh strawberries home. My mind immediately went to strawberry shortcake. My first thought was “Ugh… I really want strawberry shortcake, but I am too busy to make it.” Then, I thought “I don’t have any of those little hostess sponge cake things for strawberry shortcake.” Next, “Bisquick would make this easier, but I don’t have any of that either.” Finally, “Just forget it… I don’t even have Cool Whip…everyone knows you can’t have good strawberry shortcake without whipped cream.”

Then I snapped into it. What was I thinking? I don’t need Bisquick or Hostess to help me out with this one. I can whip up some strawberry shortcake and fresh whipped cream in a jiffy. And, that’s exactly what I did.

The old me would have given up the second I realized I didn’t have any of the Hostess sponge cakes. 10 years later, the new me knows that I don’t necessarily need pre-packaged, ready made food to make something delicious. The new me knows that creating something delicious simply from the items in your pantry is not a giant feat and can be accomplished without a lot of effort. Like these strawberry shortcakes… from idea to on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Try going homemade. You’ll soon discover that nothing tastes as good as the confidence you get from making something from scratch.

Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
2/3 to 3/4 cup whipping cream

1 quart strawberries
1/3 cup sugar

Whipped Cream:
1/2 pt. whipping cream
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Rinse the berries under cold water; drain well. Hull and slice the berries; place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar; cover and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set rack at center level.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. With a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center. With a fork stir in the cream, just until dough is moist. Be very careful not to overwork. The dough doesn’t have to hold together well at this point. Let the dough stand for a minute. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough over on itself (knead) 2 or 3 ti
mes, until it is holding together and is less sticky. Take it from me… do not overwork the dough!

Gently pat the dough into a 6 by 12-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick and cut into 8 (3-inch) biscuits with a floured round cutter. Transfer to a buttered foil-lined cookie sheet. Brush on a little milk or cream and sprinkle tops with some sugar, if desired. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until risen and golden brown. Remove to a platter and split each biscuit horizontally with a serrated knife. Top with about 1/3 cup of berry mixture and whipped cream. Replace the tops and top with a tablespoon or so of berries and more whipped cream for topping.

Serves 8.

So … I cannot wait for my strawberries to ripen to try this recipe! Thank you, Kristen!

What is your favorite way to serve strawberries?


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