Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

June 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

One of the absolute best things about summer is strawberries.  Especially those freshly picked and sold at your local farmers market. 

With strawberries comes strawberry shortcake.  It is a summer must!  In my opinion, the best strawberry shortcake is one made with a homemade shortcake.  So, here it is…my recipe for shortcake. 


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Incorporate butter into dry ingredients using a pastry cutter.  Blend until the flour resembles course crumbs.  Add the grated orange rind and milk.  Gently combine together being careful not to work the dough too much.  You just want to knead until the dough comes together.  Lightly flour counter and pat the dough out into a 12″ round about 1″ thick.   Use a  biscuit cutter about 2 1/2″ in diameter.  Cut out 8-9 biscuits.  You may have to reshape dough after a few cuts.  Place them on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper.  Brush the top of each with a lightly beaten egg and then sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven a cool on a wire rack.


  • 1 lb whole fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Wash, remove stem and cut up strawberries.  Put into medium size bowl.  Add sugar, mix and let sit for about 30 minutes.  The sugar will dissolve and make a syrup which is great over the shortcake.

Cut the shortcake through the center.  Place the bottom portion on a plate.  Add strawberries with its syrup juice.  Add whipped cream.  Place on the top of the cake.  Add more whipped cream and strawberries.  Serve.

Note: I used a can of whipped cream here.  No, it isn’t homemade.  I could have made it from scratch but my son LOVES to have the whipped cream squirted in his mouth from the can.  I love to make him happy, so we keep a can in the fridge.  Maybe you should too!


Where have I been?

June 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

I wanted to update you on where I have been this last week. Actually…No Where!  Bet you thought I was on some amazing vacation somewhere enjoying myself so much that I had no time to blog.  Oh how I wish that were the case. Unfortunately, my computer received an “invitation” to a party but ended up with a virus.  It is extremely ill at the moment.  I am doing my best to get it back to normal but not sure how long it will be out of service.  I promise I will be back as soon as I can, with so much to share.  Stay tuned…

Sweet and Tangy Barbeque Sauce

June 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

Chicken is a staple protein in our family, so I’m always looking for a new and exciting way to make it.  This is a sauce I’ve used on pork tenderloin and thought it might be good on chicken too.  I was right.  Great flavor with a tangy, sweet taste that will make your family or guests ask…”What is in your sauce?  It tastes so good.”

Sweet and Tangy Barbeque Sauce

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Let meat marinate in sauce for at least 1 hour or longer if you can (up to 24 hours).  The longer you marinate it, the better.  Heat the grill.  Cook meat until desired doneness.  Make sure to reserve some sauce for basting while on the grill.

Note: I love this on both chicken and pork.  Try both and let me know which you like best. 🙂

UPDATE 7/4/11 – I used this on pork baby back ribs and it was utterly amazing!


Rhelda’s French Toast

June 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

As a child, french toast was one of my favorite breakfast time eats.  I always had to eat it with cinnamon and granulated sugar sprinkled on the top – ALWAYS!  Essentially, it was cinnamon sugar french toast.  As an adult, I like my french toast with many different toppings; however, I still crave the taste of cinnamon on it.  So to meet my cinnamon craving, I created this recipe. 

Rhelda’s French Toast


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 loaf sweet french bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Slice the french bread into 1″ thick pieces.  Set aside.  In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.  Beat together until all ingredients are incorporated well.  Pour mixture into a large casserole dish (I use a 15″ x 10″).  Place 8 slices of bread on top the mixture.  Let soak for 30 seconds, then turn bread over to soak the other side.  Let stand in dish for 20 minutes.

Melt butter on griddle or in fry pan.  Place soaked bread slices onto griddle.  Cook on medium/low heat.  Turn over once first side browns up.  Cook second side until browned.  Remove from griddle.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Serve with syrup, preserves, puree or…SUGAR?! 🙂 

Serves 4

Bruschetta with tomatoes, cucumbers and basil

June 5, 2011 § 2 Comments

This is not a “Rhelda Orginial” but almost feels like one.  I’ve been using this bruschetta recipe from Martha Stewart for years and years.  It is an oldie but a goodie.  In our house, we always know it is summer when this recipe comes out.  It utilizes all those great veggies that have been growing in your garden.  The suprise ingredient is cucumber!  It makes this recipe super fresh and tasty!

Bruschetta with tomatoes, cucumbers and basil

  • 3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for brushing on baguette
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • coarse salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 baguette
  • 2-3 garlic cloves

In a large bowl, combine diced tomatoes, cucumber, onion and basil.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Add extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.  Toss to combine.  Let stand at room temperature for at least an hour, but not longer than 3 hours.

Heat broiler.  Cut baguette diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Brush both sides with olive oil.  Broil on both sides until toasted.  Once out of the oven, rub hot bread slices (on one side only) with garlic clove.  Top with tomato mixture.  Let stand for a few minutes to allow juices to soak into the bread before serving.

Note: I altered some of the ingredient quantities from her recipe.  I like it this way better.

Nicoise Rice Salad

June 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

I just love Jasmine rice.  It has this wonderful, nutty flavor that just regular white rice doesn’t have.  If you aren’t a fan of Jasmine rice or don’t have any, feel free to make this with the kind of rice you do like or have but know this – you are missing out on something good.  I originally made this with only one can of tuna.  FYI…one can isn’t enough.  Two cans are a must for this salad.  

Nicoise Rice Salad

  • 1 cup Jasmine rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh green beans
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped italian parsley
  • 2 cans – 5 oz. chunk light tuna in oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

In a 4 qt. pan, bring to a boil 2 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Once water is boiling, add the cup of jasmine rice.  Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook on simmer for 20 minutes.  Spread rice out on a baking sheet and let cool to room temperature.

Bring to a boil 4 cups of water in a 2 qt. pot.  Wash the green beans and cut the ends off.  Add to water.  Cook in boiling water for about 3 minutes.  Remove beans and submerge them in an ice bath until cool.  Remove and let dry on a paper towel.  Cut them in half.  Place into medium size bowl.  Chop the seeded tomato, olives and parsley.  Add them to bowl.  Add capers, drained tuna and rice. 

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.  Stir until combined.  Pour over ingredients.  Carefully, toss to coat trying not to break up the tuna too much.  Serves 4 – 6.

Cheese Ball

June 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

This recipe has been a family favorite for some time.  Every family get together I ask my mother-in-law, “What should we bring?”  She always responds, “Your cheese ball, please.”

If you make this for your next get together, be prepared for the crowd to be blown away.  Everyone will think you bought this from the store and when you tell them you made it, they won’t believe you.   FACT!

Cheese Ball

  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 2 oz blue or gorgonzola cheese (your choice)
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • sprinkle of salt and white pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds

In a small bowl, combine room temperature cream cheese with room temp. gorgonzola or blue cheese, garlic, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.  Once blended together, place into refrigerator for about 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, scrape the mixture from the bowl and roll between hands into a ball.  Roll in chopped nuts.  At this point you can serve it with crackers or crustini.  You can also wrap in plastic wrap and place back into the fridge to serve later.  Will last wrapped up for about a week or two in fridge.

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