Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Special Treats with COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

We've had a rainy Winter here in the Pacific Northwest.
Then we had a snow storm on the second day of Spring.
So yesterday's sunshine was a welcome sight.
For a moment, it almost felt like summer.
Growing up, my favorite summer past time was visiting
U-Pick strawberry fields and loading up mismatched
Tupperware containers until they were filled to the brim.
Last Summer I was able to carry on that tradition with Hannah.
(Please learn from my mistake - 
do not put your child in white socks, 
and do not leave the baby wipes in the car.  
Strap on sandals & bring the wipes out to the field with you.  
She was a dirty, sticky, red-stained mess in minutes.  
I give myself bonus points for remembering the sun screen, 
sippy cup, and hat though.   Parenting has quite a learning curve.)

I'm a busy mom.

Between a full time job, a long commute, 
and a toddler with near boundless energy,
any recipe I attempt needs to be 
Quick, Easy, and Kid Approved.

Desserts are no exception.

Given the sunny weather, Hannah and I decided 
that a Summer inspired treat was in order.

We ran to the store and bought three ingredients:
  • 1 pound of fresh strawberries,
  • a 4 pack of ready made shortcakes, and
  • COOL WHIP Whipped Topping.

The first step is the hull and slice the strawberries.
dump them all in a bowl, sprinkle with sugar
and toss to coat:

Let them set for an hour (at least).
Science Lesson:
Sprinkling strawberries with sugar helps to 
release juice through the process of osmosis.  

Since strawberries have a high water content, 
and sugar crystals do not contain water, 
The hydrophilic (water loving) sugar will draw out the moisture through the 
strawberry until the water levels inside and outside the strawberry are equal.
By taking advantage of this process, we can make sure 
that our strawberry shortcakes are nice and moist.
You can easily do this step in the morning
and put the bowl in the fridge until dinner time.
Make sure to set the COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
out to thaw, so that it makes perfect dollops. 
This dessert is nearly perfect:
For Families - the strawberries can come fresh from a local 
organic u-pick farm, or straight from the grocery store.
For busy moms - It’s quick to make.  
5 minutes of prep, it sits during dinner, and a minute to serve it up.
For unexpected guests -  the ingredients are easy to keep on hand.
For picky eaters - each serving can be made to suit.
More strawberries for Susan, more whipped topping for Bill. 

From Plain to Special with just one dollop!

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