What's Going on Today: Morning at new gym followed by trip to new neighborhood playground, Grilled Cheese (Whole Wheat with cheddar) lunch at home.
Naptime Goals: Make Strawberry-Blackberry Shortcakes for tonight's dessert and to take to neighbor, meet electrician to hook-up doorbell and fix smoke detector.
Tonight's Menu: Roasted Sausage with Grapes and Onions, Green Salad, Shortcakes.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: It's great to have neighbors with kids.
Great news, I am no longer the newbie! A nice family from Minnesota moved in right next door the week after we arrived. Imagine that. I spent one week asking everyone in town for advice and now I am doling it out to this nice neighbor as if I've lived here my whole life. Being the new girl was fine, but I am more than happy pass on the mantle. The icing on the cake is that the neighbors have kids about the same age as my daughter. Built in playmates - hooray! It's a situation custom made for summer fun.
Earlier this week, my daughter and I were at my new favorite store and I picked up some strawberries and blackberries. I am still waiting for the local ones at our farmer's market to appear, but these were grown on the eastern seaboard which isn't too bad. True to form, I gobbled about half of each pint by the time I got home, then saved the rest for later.
After a day of straight berry eating I decided it was time for them to take on another form in the shape of shortcake. I've made my fair share of peach shortcake and strawberry shortcake, but why not mix it up, right? A shortcake - the actual biscuit in which the fruit and cream are inserted - can hold just about any summer fruit. So, based on their availability in my fridge, I decided that a strawberry-blackberry combination would be the perfect place to start.
I had plenty of time to Naptime Chef some shortcakes while my daughter napped since dinner was already assembled in the fridge. The dough took no time at all and they baked quickly. By the time they had cooled I was able to bag up four, along with berries and whipped cream, to take to our neighbors. They had invited us over for an afternoon of playtime and it seemed only natural that I start giving out goodies to friends just like I had in New York. (Though, for the record, I am still taking goodies to my friends in NYC, too!) They were grateful for the sweets as they get settled, and we were happy to make new friends.
loosely adapted from Ina Garten
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 t. Kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into squares and frozen for 15 minutes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 egg + 2 T. milk beaten together for egg wash
6-8 large strawberries, washed, hulled and cut into 3-4 pieces
1 pint fresh blackberries
1 c. heavy cream
1 T. sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir the ingredients with a whisk a few times to make sure they are evenly incorporated. With the mixer on low, drop in the butter pieces and keep mixing until the dough forms small pebbles.
3. Beat the egg and cream in a measuring cup and pour into the butter and flour mixture. Turn the mixer on low and mix until just blended. Do not overbeat.
4. The dough will be sticky, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Press it down until it is 3/4" thick and cut out 7-8 biscuits with a 2 1/2" fluted cutter. If you want to use a cutter that is smaller or larger, that is OK, too.
5. Place the biscuits onto baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat. Brush egg wash over biscuits. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until outsides are crisp and insides are baked through. Cool in a wire rack.
6. To assemble the shortcakes: Whip the cream and sugar together until it holds soft peaks. Split each biscuit with a fork, pile in the desired amount of strawberries and blackberries, top with a dollop of whipped cream.
Naptime Recipes Ideas and Variations: Shortcake tastes delicious with any juicy summer fruit. I would recommend trying these with peaches, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, apricots or plums.
Naptime Stopwatch: Making the dough and baking the shortcake takes about 30 minutes, the rest is just assembly.Naptime Reviews: This is a great way to get children to eat fruit they might not usually want. My daughter is skeptical of blackberries but loved them paired with cake!