Chocolate Strawberry Cake

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So now that I have been baking a lot recently, I have been tasked with making cakes for my family’s birthdays.  We celebrated my sister’s birthday recently and she requested a chocolate cake, but one that incorporated strawberries somehow.  I think its safe to say that we all have a thing for strawberries. So I scoured the internet for recipes because I am not yet at the point of winging cakes, especially not for a birthday… That’s when I came across this cake from a Taste of Home.  It turned out really well. Rich and moist,  a little too much chocolate for my taste, but everyone else seemed to love it. Enjoy

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • FROSTING:
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • GARNISHES:
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled
  • GANACHE:
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

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Instructions

  • Grease 2 9″ cake pans
  • Combine all the cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat on low for 30 seconds, then for 2 minutes at medium speed
  • Pour evenly into 2 pans
  • Bake at 350 degrees for ~30 minutes until done (toothpick comes out clean)
  • While cake is cooling, make the frosting
  • Beat the butter, sugar, and cocoa until fluffy, then add milk in and continue to mix until smooth
  • Spread the frosting inbetween and around the cooled cake
  • For the ganache, heat the whipping cream over medium heat or in the microwave
  • Then mix in the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth
  • Pour over the cake and arrange strawberries as desired
  • I also used extra frosting to pipe designs onto the cake if that is something that interests you
  • Cut, eat, and celebrate!

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Strawberry-Basil Lemonade

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Hey guys! So I recently moved to Fresno, CA, where it is ridiculously hot – like 100 degrees at 5pm hot, which is crazy. So I thought I would cool off and make myself a good, old-fashioned, lemonade because there are really few things better. But this time I also thought maybe I’d spice things up a bit. Also because I had some left over strawberries that I needed to use.  I really did not have any recipe and have no idea if this is bogus or complete bs, but it tasted good even if I ended up eating the strawberry chunks.

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • lemons
  • strawberries
  • sugar
  • basil

I made the lemonade by squeezing 2 fresh lemons and mixing it with a couple cups of water.  This turned out to be way too tart obviously, so I added sugar until there was still some tartness, but not too bad (I figured I would get added sugar with the strawberries).  Then I cut up the strawberries and basil as finely as I could and threw them in.  Added a few cubes of ice and viola! Enjoy the rest of what little summer we have left people!

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Strawberry Fields Salad

Strawberry Fields Salad

I haven’t been doing my part in our joint blog so Nate coerced me in writing this one or else he wasn’t going to post anymore. 😛 Nate and I threw an intimate dinner and game night about a week ago so I’m deciding to share a small piece of what chef Nate had prepared. Today, I will be presenting a super easy quick recipe that is perfect for summer. It’s a strawberry balsamic salad with feta cheese. I’ve actually been eating this salad for several days since it was so yummy (mostly because I can’t cook). It’s really great for lunch or as an addition to a main course.

Main Salad Ingredients

  • Spring Mix
  • Walnuts
  • Strawberries
  • Feta Cheese

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • Lemon
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1 tbsp Strawberry Balsamic
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper

Recipe

  • To make the salad dressing, mix all the ingredients listed above in a small bowl.
  • Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice into the dressing. Mix well.
  • Slice the strawberries thinly for the salad
  • Mix the spring mix, strawberries, and walnuts together
  • Now add the strawberry balsamic dressing to the salad
  • Add fresh feta cheese as desired

That was pretty easy right? I don’t even think I needed the steps for the recipe. The feta cheese wasn’t too overpowering since it was balanced well by the sweetness of the strawberries. Overall, it was an awesome start to the meal and was our only veggie for that night. Bon appetit! 🙂