How to Turn a Strawberry Harvest into Nightly Summer Desserts that your Family will Love!

Most of you have read a post or two of mine where I talk about being born and raised in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, right?! I’m pretty sure that the key word there is WINTER, since most everyone else has strawberries go in season in late spring or early summer! Regardless of date, I will always have a spot in my heart for all things strawberry!

So when Shelly Dion contacted me with a post on strawberry DESSERTS…how could I refuse?! Trust me, you’ll be glad I didn’t! Check out her ideas!

Right around the end of May and early June, you can hardly drive down a country road without encountering at least a couple of signs advertising a “pick-it-yourself” strawberry patch.  Strawberries are one of the earliest fruits of the season, and are rather simple to grow.  If you don´t have a small patch of land to plant a few strawberry plants on your own, there are surely dozens of small farmers around your region that are growing one of summer’s most delectable delights. 

Since strawberry harvesting has to be done by hand, it can be an extremely time consuming process for the small farmer.  For that reason, many farmers set up “you-pick” systems where customers can come and pick to their heart´s delight.  Not only is it a great way to get some exercise and enjoy a fun day as a family, you´ll also get a great deal on the strawberries you pick as they´re generally much cheaper than if you by them already picked. 

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Health Benefits of Strawberries

Believe it or not, strawberries are actually extremely healthy for you.  They are packed with antioxidants and super rich in essential vitamins and minerals.  On top of that, consuming strawberries regularly can reduce the risk of heart attack by over 30% in young and middle aged women. 

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Party Recipes for Your 2015 Gatherings…from The Piping Gourmets Gluten-Free Whoopie Pies!

Well, it’s officially 2015, and one of the things I look forward to as I plan the upcoming year is the various social gatherings that are already on the books!

But something that tends to make things a bit iffy is the fact that I have to eat gluten-free due to my Celiac’s Disease. So any time we head for a party, I make sure I have a meal bar or something similar along, just in case there’s nothing at the event that I can eat, on the off chance that I might get hungry.

The other side of the coin is, I tend to make people throwing the parties nervous! HA! I totally don’t mean to, and if I sense it I correct it quickly, but most people aren’t used to the gluten-free eating deal, and they don’t know what to feed me!

This kind of situation is probably the same for vegetarians, or vegans, or anyone who eats in a different way than most see as “normal”.

Thats why I LOVE what the Piping Gourmets have come up with when it comes to their Gluten-Free Whoopie Pies! (And guess what?! They’re also Kosher-Pareve, Vegan and Non-GMO!)

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The goal of the Piping Gourmets is to offer a variety of innovative, healthier desserts for today’s conscious consumers, and they’ve started with Whoopie Pies, with flavors like Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Vanilla, Chocolate Raspberry, Vanilla Vanilla and Vanilla Lemon. YUM!

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On Prepping for the Competition

Well, it’s that time again! I’m prepping for this year’s Florida Strawberry Festival!

The Florida Strawberry Festival is held each year in Plant City, which is the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, believe it or not, and features entertainment (like Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts), exhibits, rides, and TONS of competitions. Competitions from the Strawberry Queen pageant, all the way through agriculture, right on down to crafts and baked goods. You can visit their website HERE for more info!

I’ve been attending the Festival since I was…well…since I was! HA! The hubby and I actually have been working the information booth as volunteers there for years. And I’ve always wanted to participate in some of the competitions, but I was never able to…until last year.

Last year I entered Strawberry Shortcake Cookies into the Neighborhood Village Baking Competition in the cookie category, and I won second place! I was beside myself! (And I blogged about it HERE, in case you want to check it out! This was over on the OLD blog!)

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Sweet Results

If you followed me on the other blog, you’ll remember this post: Treats & Tries. (It was my first attempt at baking for and entering in the Baking Competition at the Florida Strawberry Festival!)

Well, believe it or not (and I can’t hardly believe it, ha!) I actually won second place for my Strawberry Shortcake Cookies! Really!!!

We finally went to the Festival yesterday, and I was able to see them on display – it was pretty neat!

Final

Kind of hard to see them through the glass-glare, but that’s them! (And my lovely reflection as I poised with my iPhone to capture them…and my hubby’s reflection…as he was obviously interested in something else!) Notice the mold growing on them already? HA! (It had been almost two weeks since I turned them in!)

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Strawberry Shortcake!

I’ve been a fan of Strawberry Shortcake every since I can remember! (Which is when I was about 2 years old and my room was completely decorated in Strawberry Shortcake!) Look familiar?

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So cute!

In all honesty, I started this post to talk about the kind of Strawberry Shortcake that you eat =)

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