Have fun using fresh strawberries. If you’ve been out picking these sweet treats yourself, bring them home rinse gently, pat dry, place on baking pans and freeze, then place in plastic bags in the freezer. They work well in salads with greens and/or other fruits.

Have fun using fresh strawberries. If you’ve been out picking these sweet treats yourself, bring them home rinse gently, pat dry, place on baking pans and freeze, then place in plastic bags in the freezer. They work well in salads with greens and/or other fruits.



Strawberry Smoothies

Makes 2 servings

1 cup fresh strawberries, quartered

1 cup fresh or frozen peach slices

1/2 cup Greek plain or vanilla yogurt

1 cup almond milk or milk

1 tablespoon honey

In a blender place strawberries, peaches, yogurt, milk and honey, blend until smooth.


Strawberry Vinaigrette

This can be made a day before and refrigerated. Serve over a spring greens salad along with cooked shrimp, chicken, or salmon.

2/ 3 cup distilled white vinegar or champagne vinegar

1 cup EVOO, olive oil

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced or chopped, as desired

In a bowl whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and sugar until well blended. Fold in strawberries. Cover and store in refrigerator for about an hour. Remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature before serving.

Pour vinaigrette over an arugula or green salad, and if desired, add shrimp, chicken or salmon.

Helpful Hint: Raspberries may be substituted in this recipe.


Pork Chops with Strawberries

4 ¾ inch pork loin chops

1 small Vidalia or sweet onion, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon dried, crushed thyme

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons cider vinegar or champagne vinegar

3 tablespoons water

1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced

Vegetable spray a skillet, add onion, thyme, and a pinch of salt, cook over medium heat until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Add cider vinegar and 3-tablespoons water., stir Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in strawberries, add a pinch of black pepper, stir and set aside.

On a preheated medium high grill cook pork chops for about 4 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees, turning over once. Serve with strawberry sauce.


Strawberry Preserves

Makes about 5 cups.

4 pounds fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and patted dry

3 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice.

Hull strawberries and cut any large ones in half or quarters. In a glass bowl combine strawberries with sugar and lemon juice, mix well. Cover and let stand for 4-hours at room temperature or refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook preserves, prepare 5- half-pint glass jars with lids. Place a saucer and 4 teaspoons in the freezer for testing the consistency of the preserves later.

Stir the strawberries to evenly distribute the sugar. Transfer this to a heavy 6 to 8 – quart non-reactive pot (like stainless steel, enamel-coated, or glass, NOT aluminum or cast iron.). Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved completely and the strawberries begin to foam about 8-15 minutes.

Increase the heat to high and boil rapidly, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula to prevent sticking, until the mixture looks thick, shiny and darker, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the preserve begins to boil close to the top of the pot or scorch on the bottom, IMMEDIATELY lower the heat.

To test if preserves are ready, remove from heat and place a little of the preserve liquid on one of the spoons from the freezer. Rest it on a cold saucer and return to the freezer for 3-4 minutes. Drop the sample from the spoon onto the saucer. If it’s thick enough to stay mounded without running or spreading the preserves are ready. If it’s too runny, return the pot to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes more before testing again. When the preserves are done, skim excess foam from the surface.

Fill clean jars with hot preserve mixture to within ¼ inch of the rim. Wipe rims clean, place lids on jars and screw tightly. Refrigerate the preserves for up to 2 months.


Strawberry Scones

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons granulated or coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut cold butter into small pieces and put in to refrigerator.

In a bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. When well blended add cold butter pieces. Rub mixture together with your fingers until butter is well distributed, mixture should resemble a coarse meal.

Gently stir in 2 lightly beaten eggs and ½ cup heavy cream until mixture forms a soft dough. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 1-inch thick rectangle, about 10 x 12-inches. Cut into 8 triangular scones. Brush with 2- tablespoons heavy cream and sprinkle with 2- tablespoons coarse sugar. Bake until a golden brown about 18 to 20 minutes. Serve warm, with butter and strawberry jam.


Strawberry and Cream Cheese Dessert Bars

Makes 6 bars, recipe may be doubled.

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (I use Eagle Brand.)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 frozen puff pastry sheet (one half of a package), thawed

½ cup strawberry jam or preserves

1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Nonstick spray a baking sheet.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and cornstarch on medium speed until smooth about 2 minutes.

Roll puff pastry on floured surface with rolling pin into a 12 x 9 – inch rectangle. Cut in half crosswise, making two 9 x 6 –inch rectangles. Place one half on a prepared baking sheet. Spread strawberry jam or preserves onto pastry to within an inch of the edge. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over jam.

Brush edges of pastry with beaten egg. Top with second half of puff pastry. Press edges with a fork to seal. Cut six 3-inch diagonal slits in top of pastry. Brush top with beaten egg.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Cool completely. Cut into 6 bars.


Quick Cheese Cake Stuffed Strawberries

1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled

1 container extra creamy whipped cream

1 4-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 package cheesecake flavored pudding

1 plastic zip lock freezer bag

¼ cup shaved chocolate or chocolate sprinkles

Wash strawberries, pat dry with paper towels. Cut an X in the pointed top of strawberries going down about 2/3 of the strawberry, to make it fan open for the cream mixture, allow to dry, chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes

In a bowl combine together whipped cream and pudding until well blended. Add cream cheese and vanilla extract, mix to combine evenly.

Place mixture into zip locked freezer bag and refrigerate for 40 minutes.

Remove bag from refrigerator, snip a small corner off and pipe into the strawberries. Dust tops of filling with shaved chocolate or chocolate sprinkles.


Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.