Friday, March 20, 2009

Signs of spring

I snapped a few photos on my way to work this morning, documenting some of the things that tell me spring is officially here. March is usually one of our snowiest months and in years past crocuses have popped up through snow banks; daffodils through muddy patches, but this year everything is dry (and relatively warm, too). The trees have taken their sweet time about the blooming and the budding, and today I finally felt like my favorite season is truly underway. (I'm still kind of hoping for more snow, though.)

Also, last night we had a wonderful time with our friend Chris and his friend (who he's really here to visit). We know Chris through the same message board we know each other, and once upon a time we were all caught up on one another's lives. Now we communicate through Facebook status updates, and it was lovely to have an evening to spend with someone who's known us since we met (he lives in Oregon). We enjoyed his friend as well, and they have big plans for his visit, so I'm glad he was able to squeeze in an evening with us. For dinner I made guacamole as an appetizer and prepared fajitas (various bell peppers, onions, chicken), chopped zucchini and asparagus to be sauteed, and cooked rice and refried beans. When Dan came home he seasoned and cooked the mass of veggies and poultry. Tortillas were heated, cheese was grated, lettuce was shredded, and we all enjoyed a Mexican-ish feast. For dessert I made strawberry shortcake - quick, easy, and representative of one of the simple pleasures of spring.

Strawberry Shortcake (serves 4)
2 cups strawberries, washed, chopped
1/2 pint whipping cream (you will have leftovers)
2 tsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 450F. Mix dry ingredients for shortcake (flour, sugar, baking powder) and cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and egg until just mixed, then plop into 4 shortcakes on cookie sheet and flatten to 3/4 inch high with the back of a spoon or fork. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden, let cool. Meanwhile, wash and chop strawberries. Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla. To serve, cut shortcakes in half lengthwise and layer with strawberries in between and on top. Add generous dollop of whipped cream to the top of each.


Cagey said...

The first time I had shortcake, I thought I had died and gone to some mysterious place. Could it be HEAVEN? This celestial journey left me pondering, "why the HELL do folks bother with that spongey crap when they could have SHORTCAKE?"

Abby said...

Wow, apparently CO runs about a month ahead of Chicago when it comes to spring weather. While our temperatures have increased some, tulips are no where in site and while the trees have buds, they remain just that.
Like always I can't wait till there are actual blooms around here. Also that shortcake looks fantastic!

Emmalinda said...

I thought you should know that my name is also Emily and I moved to Denver in August. I found your blog through Mennogirl, who I went to college with.
I like your blog! I'm currently planning a wedding, and I appreciate your previous entry about staying sane in the process.