Thursday, March 21, 2013

California Dreamin'

 The first Christmas after we were married Grant and I were living in Florida.  We decided we'd head back to the Midwest for Christmas and I decided to surprise our families with authentic Florida oranges as a sweet treat.  I ran to the store the night before we left, grabbed a 5 lb bag of oranges and we set off for home.

Upon arrival in Ohio I proudly presented the bag to my Mom as a treat from our new home state.  She looked at the bag, looked at me, blinked and without missing a beat pointed at the big lettering on the bag and said "Kristi, these oranges came from California."

D'oh!  Or as my kiddos would say Epic Fail!

So you can say I have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth regarding fruit that is from a specific area of the country.  Enter today's celebratory food; California Strawberries.

Now, you'll remember that we've already celebrated the strawberry.  Why, we need to celebrate a strawberry from California is beyond me.  Given that it's March and I live in Michigan made finding authentic California strawberries a bit of a challenge.  Remember how yesterday I mentioned the crusade I went on trying to find bock beer - I was on a crusade for California strawberries at the same time.  After striking out everywhere, I finally settled on a package that had a large "Picked in the USA" sticker on it.  California is in the US, right?

Still, it felt like a bit of a cop-out.  So a google search turned up the California Strawberry Commission's website.  And they had recipes!  So while I might not be cooking using California strawberries (though I dare ya to try to prove it ;-) ) I could at least use recipes inspired by a California strawberry.

In a tip of the hat to the sunny state of California, I made a cold strawberry soup.  It turned out a yummy pretty pink concoction that went over well here.  With the leftovers I pulled out my Popsicle making molds and soon we'll have some yummy strawberry yogurt popsicles.  As a 'sandwich' to go with it (though I didn't get a picture and they disappeared off my table in a heartbeat) I made strawberry crescent roll cheesecake. The kids loved dipping the cheesecake sandwich in their soup.  And like I said, a whole roll of crescent rolls disappeared somehow.

To round out the night, with another recipe from the strawberry commission's site, I made strawberry cake in a mug for everyone to share while we watch Michigan take on South Dakota State (GO BLUE!)  Who knew you could make such a yummy cake in a mug in the microwave!  A scoop of ice cream and my homemade strawberry syrup for our original strawberry celebration guaranteed it was gone well before the five minute mark of the first half.

A change in plans means I won't be going to Illinois this weekend, but Grant and the kids still will.  So tonight I'm trying my best to put together a few of the foods over the next few days that they can take and share :)  I will try to remember to take pictures tonight and then post them over the next few days.  Otherwise they will have the camera so expect an update Sunday night on what a great trip they had!

Alright, off to watch my fabulous Wolverines!  Until later...

Strawberry soup

 Cake in a mug!  (My Michigan mug, of course!)

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