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After six enjoyable years with Texas Co-op Power, I’ve decided to chart a new course for myself. I’m going to stay at home with my daughter and do some writing on my own. Next month will be my last column. It’s been my great pleasure to be invited into your kitchens each month as I sort through recipes from readers all across the state. Not only will I miss that, but I’ll also miss the wonderful people I’ve worked with here.
Before I go, I have a confession to make: My husband is the better cook at our house. I know, I know, I’m the food editor, so I’m supposed to be very accomplished in the kitchen. Well, I love cooking, and reading about cooking, and writing about cooking, but I’m not a natural cook. My husband, on the other hand, can just throw a meal together, and it turns out brilliantly.
Sometimes he uses a recipe, but he seldom sticks to the original. He riffs off it and ends up with a dish that’s unique and suited to our tastes. It’s like someone who can play an instrument by ear—he has a talent for it.
He’s had a lot of time in the kitchen over the last four years, as he’s been the stay-at-home parent. Besides cooking great meals and chasing a kid, he’s also gone to school full-time to complete his degree. He’s been a pretty busy guy. As we prepare to switch roles, him at work and me at home, I only hope I can do it half as well as he did.
I asked him if I could share one of his recipes here. He created this dessert when we had an abundance of strawberries that were past their prime, but we’ve gone back to it again and again because it’s just so good.
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed and sliced
In saucepan, combine all ingredients except strawberries and heat over medium-low until boiling, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add strawberries and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir, remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter cut into small pieces, cold
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Into large bowl, sift flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda together. Add cold pieces of butter. Use hands to squeeze mixture together into small balls. It will not look even or well blended.
Add milk and work with hands. It should look like a barely held together mess, not a smooth ball. Cover bowl and set in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and cut 3-inch biscuits, dipping the cutter in flour between cuts. Place biscuits 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove to rack and cool.
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Beat cream and sugar on high until firm peaks form.
Slice each biscuit in half and serve with a generous spoonful of filling and whipped cream.
Serving size: 1 biscuit topped with strawberries and whipped cream. Per serving: 551 calories, 5.8 g protein, 22.5 g fat, 82.1 g carbohydrates, 240 mg sodium, 72 mg cholesterol