Easy Dessert – Macerated Strawberries

After I made the summer trifle, I had some leftovers to take care of.  I had a leftover angel food cake and many strawberries.  Now, in this house, we go through a lot of berries but strawberries tend to hang around too long….and then you’re stuck with a box of moldy strawberries.  Ick.  An easy way to solve this problem is by macerating the strawberries.  If you do an internet search, you are likely to find some very involved recipes for macerated strawberries using salt, pepper, wine, and who-knows-what-else.  I have found, however, that the only thing that you need sugar.

Step 1: Prep your strawberries.  You want them to be close to the same size.

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Step 2: Cover the strawberry slices with sugar.

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Step 3: Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple hours.  Overnight is even better.

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Step 4: The sugar and the juices from the strawberries combine to make a delicious sauce to drizzle over the angel food cake.  Yum!

Macerated strawberries + angel food cake = super easy dessert

Macerated strawberries + angel food cake = super easy dessert

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Banana Bread – with cranberries

I’ve made this recipe many times before. And I’m trying to add something new to it each time I try it. This time, dried cranberries.  I started with 1/3 cup of cranberries but after I stirred it together it just didn’t look like enough.  So, I added another 1/3 cup for a total of 2/3 cup of cranberries.  Anytime I add cranberries to something, I tend to add more than many people would so I wasn’t sure if this was going to be too much…..or just right.  I love the taste and the look of cranberries so you may want to play around with the amount if you attempt this.

Cranberry Banana Bread

Cranberry Banana Bread

I really liked how this one turned out.  The bread had a great consistency and the cranberries were nice and juicy.  They weren’t super-tangy as cranberries usually are but I think that this combo was a pretty good one.  I’ll definitely be doing this variation again.

 

Banana Bread….again

Once again, I have made this banana bread recipe.  It is really becoming my go-to banana bread because it is just so easy.  This time, I double-checked to be sure that I had all of the ingredients that I needed before I started so I wouldn’t have another bread turn out like this.  I then returned to my original goal of playing around with the recipe each time that I made it.  This time, I added 1/3 cup of oats right before throwing it in the oven.

IMG_20140624_204803The results?  This bread was more dense than the very first batch.  I am guessing that that is because of the oats.  I pondered adding dried cranberries to this batch but wanted one banana bread completed with just one extra ingredient before adding others.  Next time?  Cranberries.

Summer Trifle

Trifle is one of the best dishes that you can make for dessert because it can be whatever you want it to be.  You can change the flavors to match whatever you like.  Switch up the cake.  Change the pudding flavor.

For the 4th of July, I decided to make a summer trifle.  I made a super easy version.  You could, of course, bake a cake, make whipped cream, and make a homemade pudding.  But, that’s another reason why trifles are so great.  You can put in as much or as little effort as you want and you will still get a great produce.

Here’s how I made it:

 

Step 1: Assemble your ingredients.  I've got store bought angel food cake, vanilla pudding, orange juice, strawberry jam, and Cool Whip

Step 1: Assemble your ingredients. I’ve got store bought angel food cake, vanilla pudding, orange juice, strawberry jam, and Cool Whip

Step 2: Prepare your fruit.  I'm using strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Step 2: Prepare your fruit. I’m using strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Step 3: Cut the angel food cake in half and cover with strawberry jam.

Step 3: Cut the angel food cake in half and cover with strawberry jam. (This picture looks like a bagel with jam….but trust me….it’s really a cake.)

Step 4: Put the top piece back on the angel food cake and cut the cake into little pieces.  It's sort of like a yummy angel food cake sandwich.

Step 4: Put the top piece back on the angel food cake and cut the cake into little pieces. It’s sort of like a yummy angel food cake sandwich.

Step 5: Make a layer of angel food cake sandwiches in the bottom of your bowl and sprinkle some orange juice on top of each piece.  You don't want to soak the cake but the juice is important as it will soak into the cake and make it even more flavorful.

Step 5: Make a layer of angel food cake sandwiches in the bottom of your bowl and sprinkle some orange juice on top of each piece. You don’t want to drench the cake but the juice is important as it will soak into the cake and make it even more flavorful.

Step 6: Cover the first layer of cake with pudding.  This doesn't have to look pretty but you do want to cover each piece.

Step 6: Cover the first layer of cake with pudding. This doesn’t have to look pretty but you do want to cover each piece.

Step 7: Cover with Cool Whip.  Use a spoon to smooth the Cool Whip and ensure that it completely covers the layers.  Don't be stingy.  I used almost an entire tub of Cool Whip on this layer alone.

Step 7: Cover with Cool Whip. Use a spoon to smooth the Cool Whip and ensure that it completely covers the layers. Don’t be stingy. I used almost an entire tub of Cool Whip on this layer alone.

Step 8: Fruit!

Step 8: Fruit!

Step 9: Repeat with another layer of cake sandwiches, orange juice, pudding, Cool Whip, and fruit.

Step 9: Repeat with another layer of cake sandwiches, orange juice, pudding, Cool Whip, and fruit.

Step 10: Enjoy!

Step 10: Enjoy!

 

Although it isn’t really a necessity, trifle should really be made in a clear bowl so that you can see all of the beautiful layers.  I have a beautiful glass trifle bowl that I usually use but I didn’t want to worry about transporting it.  This particular trifle was made in a plastic bowl purchased for just a couple dollars.  Remember, you eat with your eyes before you actually taste the food.  It will still taste delicious if you don’t use a clear bowl….but it’ll be a showstopper if you can admire how it looks, too.  🙂