Blog Review: Entertaining by the Bay
We spend a whole lot of time on the internet checking out numerous websites and blogs for inspiration and information. When we come across a site that is refreshing, unique, and/or helpful in a new way, we want to share it with our readers. Entertaining By the Bay meets our criteria as one such blog. Here is a recipe and it's story written just for the Mermaids by the blog's author, Maryann Kraker:
One Way to Please: Strawberry Shortcake with Rhubarb Sauce
By Maryann Kraker
Life is a fascinating journey. Sometimes, it can be just a small event that can lead you down a path of discovery and fulfillment.
I have been writing a cooking blog for a little over a year. My passion for cooking has grown through the years, filled with happy food memories. The seeds for my passion were planted when I was just a small child, spending Saturday afternoons with my grandmother. We would bake together and then sit down and enjoy the efforts of our baking while watching old black and white movies from the 30’s and 40’s. This was my idea of a perfect afternoon. My grandmother was a masterful cook of Austrian descent. Watching my grandmother make a strudel was like watching a ballet. It was done with grace and precision. When I was 10 years old, I was given a dollar by my parents to shop in a flea market. My first purchase was a book with the unlikely title “A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina’s Best Recipes” by Louise Bennett Weaver, published in 1917. This book holds great significance to me. I discovered recipes in a new way and from another era.
In time, I grew to appreciate and respect the fact that the book was an antique documenting another era. The book itself is a real gem, it portrays the first year of marriage for newlyweds Bettina and Bob. It was a glimpse into marriage, cooking and housekeeping. Each chapter tells a charming little story about everyday life. The end of each story leads you to a meal and includes the menu and recipes. To this day I enjoy pulling this book down off the shelf and reading the stories and recipes. This book could probably be considered an early blog.When I decided to share my little stories and recipes, I looked to this book. My Saturday afternoons are still spent in the kitchen, but now I am in my own home which looks out onto a beautiful bay. The bay has become a source of inspiration, creativity and spiritual strength. Here I experiment with recipes and ingredients that I will share later that evening with both friends and family. These little experiments and gatherings eventually become the recipes and stories for my blog. The recipes I’m sharing today were inspired by my grandmother who loved Strawberry Shortcake and by Bettina who cooked for her husband Bob one summer evening Strawberry Shortcake with Rhubarb Sauce.
May this recipe help create your own happy food memory!
Strawberry Shortcake with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce
Serves: Makes 8
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 tablespoons fine granulated sugar, extra to sprinkle on top of shortcakes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 large egg, beaten
2/3 cup buttermilk, plus a tablespoon to brush on cakes
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 ½ pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier (optional)
To serve: vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce ( recipe below)
Preheat oven to 425 degree F. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and 3 tablespoons sugar. Rub butter into the flour with your fingers, until it resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg and orange zest into 2/3 cup buttermilk and pour into the flour mixture. Mix until dough comes together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll gently in to a square about ½ inch thickness. Using a 2 ½ inch lightly floured biscuit cutter, cut rounds of dough. Place each on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat using the scraps of dough, you should have 8 rounds when you are through. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with remaining buttermilk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
In the meantime, mix the strawberries with the remaining sugar and Grand Marnier. To serve split the shortcake in half, add a heaping spoonful of the strawberries and top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Spoon the strawberry rhubarb sauce on top.
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce
2 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
½ cup fine granulated sugar
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat add the sugar and orange juice. Bring to a boil dissolving the sugar. Add the rhubarb and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the strawberries and orange zest into the saucepan and continue to simmer approximately 10 minutes until the rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat and cool. Puree in food processor and refrigerate in air tight container until ready to use.
Maryann Kraker is a veteran of the fashion industry. Work allowed her the unique opportunity to travel globally gathering food memories along the way. In 2007, she purchased her home “by the bay” on the Long Island Sound inspiring her passion for creative cooking. During the week she continues to be a fashion warrior in Manhattan and her weekends are spent “by the bay” cooking, writing and photographing food to share with friends and family and making wonderful food memories.
Please visit the Entertaining by the Bay website and blog, as well as the Facebook page, for delightful and delicious recipes, as well as menus for entertaining, great cooking tips and recommended items.