Strawberry Shortcake Cake …..

I love strawberries. I love white cake. I love strawberry shortcake. So, why not make a strawberry shortcake cakeThis particular cake is my go to white cake. It is easy to make, it’s moist, has a nice light texture and it’s delicious. You can use this cake as a base for so many cakes. You can add citrus zest…..lemon, orange, lime. You can add fruit, right to the batter. Any filling and frosting is good with this cake. It’s just an all around great cake. Trust me, you will use this recipe over and over.

So, back to this strawberry shortcake cake. Usually when I make this cake, I make a single layer 9 x 13 cake, topped with the whipped cream. Then I place the strawberries all over the top. That is my preference because then you don’t have to worry about the top layer of a 2 layer round cake, sliding off onto your kitchen floor. Blahhhhhh. Uh, not that it’s ever happened to me. 😦
All I can say is that if you are going to make a multi layer cake, you may want to insert a few cake dowels or long skewers through the cake, to secure the layers in place and then chill it. Whipped cream just doesn’t really have the stability that other fillings have.

Your guests will love this cake. That is, if you share! Hahahah.

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Strawberry Shortcake Cake


1 cup all purpose flour
1  3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1  1/2 tsp  baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1  1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1  1/2 cups buttermilk


2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar    (the powdered sugar adds a bit of sweetness, plus helps to stabilize the whipped cream)

Preheat oven to 325.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, cake flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whip together the oil and shortening until very smooth. Add vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk until smooth. At a low speed, add the dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately, ending with the dry ingredients. DO NOT OVER MIX.

Spray 9 x 13 baking dish, or 2  8″ round cake pans, with a non stick cooking spray. Pour batter into pan(s). Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the middle, comes out clean. If using a  9 x 13 baking dish, you can leave the cake in the pan. If using round pans, allow to cool in the pans for at least 15 minutes before you remove cake.

Prepare the whipped cream, by mixing together the whipping cream into nice peaks. Sprinkle in the powdered sugar and whip until you have nice soft peaks.

Once the cake has completely cooled, frost with whipped cream. Top with fresh strawberries. Keep cake chilled.

When ready to serve, top with some macerated strawberries. (just place strawberries in a food  processor and give it a few blitzes. Just add enough sugar to get your desired sweetness) I just finely chop my strawberries by hand and add the sugar. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Mm-m-m-mmmm,

Tuna Macaroni Salad……

I’m not a huge fan of cold pasta salads, but every now and then, I get in the mood. But, I’m really picky about them. I hate the ones that are filled with sweet pickles. Oh, and what about the store-bought ones? Nasty stuff filled with who knows what! Homemade pasta salads are great, because you can add whatever you want. A hundred years ago, I went to a pot luck and someone brought this pasta salad made with spaghetti noodles and tuna. It was so different, so good and I thought, “Hey, what a great idea!” Ever since then, I have used spaghetti noodles for my cold pasta salads. But this time I was out of spaghetti! That is just unheard of in my kitchen! So this time I used shells. Maybe some of you are thinking “Whattt??? tuna in pasta salad?? No way…”, but you really gotta try it. It’s so good. It’s simple, it’s filling, it’s a great summertime dish for potlucks and it’s inexpensive. Give it a try!  But if you really don’t like tuna, you could substitute the tuna with salmon or even chicken.

If you are going to use spaghetti noodles, just break the uncooked pasta in half or even thirds, before cooking. It will be much easier to eat. I think you will really like using the spaghetti noodles.

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Tuna Pasta Salad

1/2 pound of spaghetti noodles, elbows or shells (cooked and drained)
1 can of tuna, drained (I use water packed albacore)
2 green onions, chopped
2 boiled eggs, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
minced jalapeno (optional)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (more if you like a lot of mayo)
2 tblsp sour cream

In a large bowl, mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise and green onions. Add in the eggs and tuna. Add the pasta and gently stir it together. Add more mayo if you need to.  Cover and refrigerate until nice and  cold. You may have to add more mayo once chilled.

Optional add ins: sliced olives, chopped pickle, red onion, shredded carrot, bell pepper, a couple tablespoons of Ranch salad dressing,

Fresh Strawberry Ice Pops……….

I can’t wait for all of the summer fruits! Watermelon, peaches, nectarines. Not only are they good as is, but they make great fresh fruit popsicles. I finally found a good basket of strawberries that were sweet and ripe. Most of what I have seen in the stores have been sour, not ripened and a bit green. I have fallen in love  with Paletas. It’s a Mexican frozen fruit pop and they are delicious. There are a few places around that make them fresh right in the stores. But they also come individually packaged in most stores now. I’ve had the pineapple….YUM….the lime…eh…..the watermelon….YUMmmmmmm and they even have mango….blekh, you all know how I feel about mango. UGH. But my favorite is the strawberry, OH goodness gracious. I’ve made these a few times now. I thought it was time that I shared these wonderful things with you. They are super simple. Just go get yourself a popsicle mold. You can find them anywhere. So fun to will feel like a kid again.

Oh, and it’s fun to dip them half way, in some melted chocolate!!!! Yep, tastes like chocolate dipped strawberries. Or, you can dip them in vodka or rum. The alcohol freezes up on the cold popsicle and woohoo!! You have a party goin on! Yay!!! How fun would that be for your guests!

Once you get a popsicle mold, you will be using it a lot. Just imagine a fresh peach pop. Even a cantaloupe pop is good. I love those! Oh, and raspberry! Yessssssss. See what I mean?




Strawberry Fruit Pop

1 large basket of fresh strawberries, washed and stemmed
juice of half a lemon or lime
1 tblsp of sugar (if your berries aren’t very sweet) I use 1 packet of Splenda

Place everything in a food processor and give it a few pulses. I like to leave a lot of chunkies, so I don’t over-pulse.  Pour or scoop the mixture into the popsicle molds. Push  a stick in each mold. Freeze over night. To unmold, just run under some water for a few seconds. Pull the pop out and enjoy!

Ideas for dipping:

  • dip in some melted chocolate (1 cup of chocolate chips melted with 1 tsp of coconut oil or vegetable oil)
  • dip in your favorite alcohol (vodka, rum, tequila)
  • quickly  wet your popsicle and roll in toasted coconut
  • sprinkle your popsicle with a spicy salt, like Tajin seasoning (so-ooo good)

ok, yum, yum.


Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry….

I love going out for Asian food, but it’s always so salty. I don’t like a lot of salt and use very little in my cooking. My high blood pressure doesn’t like it much either! So, I like to make my own stir fry dishes at home. That way I can control the amount of salt. I’ve been craving shrimp lately. I don’t eat a lot of it, but I love it……especially served this way. If you are not a fan of asparagus, (what??) you can always use broccoli or fresh green beans. Actually, I prefer it with green beans, but I happened to have asparagus on hand. This is a great dish…garlicky…..the soy sauce gets a bit caramelized, a bit spicy (if you like). Serve with some white rice….ohhhhhh, and don’t forget the chopsticks.


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Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry

Serves 2

approx. 1 pound of raw shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, cut up
3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 tblsp grated fresh ginger
juice of 1/2 lemon
approx. 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
hot chili paste (optional)

cooked rice

In a large skillet or wok, add a bit of oil. Stir fry the asparagus until it’s just about cooked, but still crunchy. Add the garlic, ginger and chili paste. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the shrimp. The shrimp will cook very fast…..just a couple of minutes. Add the soy sauce** and give it all a good stir. Serve on top of some hot, white rice.

** When I add the soy sauce, I don’t pour it on top of the food. I pour it on the bottom surface of the pan itself. This way, the heat from the pan caramelizes the soy sauce a bit. Then I give everything a quick stir.