Strawberry Whoopie Pies

To the tune of “Peanut Butter Jelly Time”: straw-berry whoopie pies! Straw-berry whoopie pies!! Strawberry whoopie! Strawberry whoopie!

Sigh. I’m in love people. I love whoopie pies more than I love any other dessert right now. Insane, I know! They’re so much better than cupcakes. (GASP!!) And I believe that after our Nation’s Capital gets over this whole cupcake thing, we’ll all be running around trying to get our hands on the city’s best whoopie pie ever.

Since it seems I’m still an outlier on this position, I’ll keep making my whoopie pies and sharing the fun with ya’ll.

I got an actual cookbook awhile ago, called…wait for it…Whoopie Pies…and have been itching to try fun new combos beyond chocolate cake and traditional marshmallow fluff filling. And let me say, the recipe for the cakes was amazing! Each little cakester had a soft, round peak to it. They were soft and moist and after they cooled, they stuck to your fingers a bit. (Which was maybe the best part because this facilitated licking your fingers making everything that much more fun.)

But the frosting recipe. Whoa. I’ve never seen a recipe for something fail so quickly right before my very eyes. I read, read and re-read the recipe about a million times for the strawberry buttercream and after I determined (three times) that I’d done nothing wrong…just totally gave up on it. By this time it was about 9 o’clock at night and I needed a solution, fast! So, I revisited the other whoopie pie recipe’s frosting and improvised from there.

It makes me feel better to know that I’m not the only one who’s encountered strawberry buttercream problemos. At least I found a solution…even if it did have so much sugar in it that upon eating a whoopie pie one would immediately vow to go on a low-sugar diet.

Never mind that though.

Enjoy!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Bars

I went to the 14th and U St. farmers market a couple weekends ago and got some rhubarb. For the very first time…in my whole life. See, about a year or so ago I was at a dinner party with Don’t Forget The Flour and she made this amazing strawberry rhubarb crumble thing. Ever since then I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to make something with rhubarb. I even ganked her recipe from her and have been keeping it, waiting for the perfect situation to bust it out!

I asked the guy working the booth to give me a lesson in rhubarb since I knew nothing and here’s what he told me: cut off the tough ends and the leafy tops, even if the whole stalk isn’t red you can still use the whole thing (though you won’t get a pinkish hue to all that you make) and there’s a couple varieties of rhubarb but both have essentially the same taste. Sound about right rhubarb fans?

Since there’s been no shortage of amazing rhubarb recipes on the foodie blogs lately, I really wanted something that would stand out. More perusing at the farmers market revealed a table full of recipes, one of which was for rhubarb meringue. Done and done!

A few tweaks…adding strawberries…including vanilla extract…to make it my own and wowy zowy! Let’s just say, I was amazed by myself, my new hand mixer (more on that later) and the rhubarb. This was quickly consumed by coworkers the next day and everyone had a smile on their face after they left my office.

Enjoy!

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Strawberry Mascarpone Bars

What do you do when you get 4 pints of strawberries on sale for $5 at The Teet? Well, you eat one pint, use the other two for a strawberry tart and leave the last one for a refrigerator experiment to see how long it’ll last. (Just for fun.)

Seriously though, I got this smokin’ deal and apparently overestimated my ability to consume strawberries. And my timing could not have been worse…I got them on a Sunday and I was leaving on a jet plane on Friday. What was I thinking?! I wasn’t. Clearly. Faced with a choice: throw them away, eat them at an alarming rate (like, three pints in two days) or make something. Choice made.

Strawberry tart! Easy right? Sorta. I didn’t want to run to the grocery again and purchase a ton of ingredients. That canceled out plenty of recipes and when I finally came upon one that didn’t require massive alterations and guessing…what did I do? I didn’t buy enough of the ONE ingredient I had to get…mascarpone cheese! It was a long week! I was tired. I was bleary eyed and completely OVER IT!!! I misread the instructions…I didn’t chill my tart crust…I used too much powdered sugar…I didn’t use a tart pan because I didn’t trust the recipe.

But you know what? It ended up tasting great! It’s a rectangle…I made it into bars…it’s rustic…WHATEVER! I ate nearly all of it the next day at work because it was one of thooooose days.

Don’t change a thing…I changed it enough for all of us!

Enjoy!

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Breakfast Quinoa

Your first question is either…what the hell is/how do you pronounce quinoa? OR Quinoa for BREAKFAST?!

Answer to the first: quinoa is a truly delicious whole-grain that often replaces rice, pasta and other starchy, carbalicious things on my dinner plate as I try to be healthier. Anyway, quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is a nutty, slightly crunchy grain. And it rocks.

Answer to the second: only Martha Stewart could make this entrée side a morning stand out.

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