It’s FINALLY summer!
In my spastic Everythingtarian life, this means several key things:
(1) My hair is at out-of-control heights. These curly ringlets give new meaning to the term “big Texas hair.” Oh, why wasn’t I in high school during the 1980’s?! I would have been the most popular girl in school (read: biggest hair in school), no contest.
Don’t believe me? Check out my latest TV appearance from the News 3 Morning Show yesterday:
Can’t get it to play? Here is a link to the segment as well.
(2) I’ll be bumping to Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” from now through the end of August.
(3) Summer clothes shopping at Forever21! Yes, I still shop there, even though at times I doubt that decision. Whatevs…where else can you find a cute summer maxi dress for $16?
Mama E’s rule #1: never EVER spend money on expensive summer clothes.
(5) Downton Abbey. It’s the reason that even though I am unemployed, I am not blogging regularly. Since discovering it Sunday, I’m more than halfway through season 1 and have already pulled my credit card out of its block of ice to buy season 2 on Hulu Plus when it comes out July 7th.
(6) Strawberries! Actually, just berries in general. My consumption of these antioxidant-laden, juicy sweet gems skyrockets come summer, and this month has been no exception. My new favorite combination? Plain 2% Greek yogurt, a hefty dollop of rhubarb lemon compote, fresh strawberries and crumbled graham crackers.
(7) Coconut oil! Did you know that you can use coconut oil in place of butter in baked goods? I swear to you, try it! Make sure it’s solid and cold before swapping this good-for-you fat in place of butter. Then, revel in the subtle coconut flavor it adds to the pastry of your choice.
Put those last two together and what do you get? Lemon Strawberry Shortcakes! Booyah.
Lemon Strawberry Shortcakes
adapted from Strawberry Shortcake by MyRecipes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 12 to 15 minutes
2/3 cup milk*
zest + juice of 2 lemons
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
6 T cold coconut oil (to solidify coconut oil, place in the fridge until hard)
1 lb. strawberries, chopped
ice cream, Greek yogurt or whipped topping, optional
*I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
To make homemade buttermilk, whisk together 2/3 cup milk with juice of 1/2 lemon. Let sit. Mixture will thicken and curdle.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, powder, soda, salt and zest of 1 lemon. Cut in coconut oil with your fingers or a pastry cutter. Mixture should be crumbly. Add homemade buttermilk and gently fold until dough comes together. On a floured surface, gently knead dough several times, ensuring not to overwork it (otherwise the coconut oil will melt from the heat of your hands). Roll out to about 1/2-inch thickness, and with a biscuit cutter, cut 6 shortcakes.
Place shortcakes on a baking sheet, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
In a small bowl, mash strawberries and the juice + zest of 1 lemon.
To serve, cut a shortcake in half and spoon 1/6 of the strawberry mixture. Top with ice cream, Greek yogurt or whipped topping, if desired.
Makes 6 shortcakes
(8) You’re welcome…and HAPPY SUMMER!