Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strawberry Mint Shortcake with a Balsamic Reduction

Here's the of my very best college friends officially moved to DC this past weekend and I am so pumped to have her here!  I feel like I have been playing the waiting game for months and of course she moved the weekend before I head on vacation for three weeks.  

So what did I do?  I brought over a welcome lunch and a house warming gift of strawberry infused vodka for Courtney and Dusty.  So we...

...Chowed down on some beet pesto pasta with peas, broccoli and onions. 

And finished lunch by diving into this dessert...strawberry mint shortcake with a balsamic reduction.  This dessert is light and perfect for a hot summer day.  It is not overly filling or sweet, and the mint and balsamic reduction jazz this traditional summer dish up, while completely transforming the flavor profile.  It is definitely worth a try before strawberries completely go out of season.

Then we went for a walk around their new neighborhood, which I officially love.  I had some how never before ventured up to Mt. Pleasant and always ended up stopping once I go to Columbia Heights.

We walked around the market then headed up the street to the neighborhood hardware store.  

Little did I know one of DC's oldest bakeries is hiding in their new neighborhood where the  slogan is a "village in the city".

FYI there are some huge houses in the Mt. Pleasant and along our walk we passed the tricycle house...yes there was also a tricycle attached to the side of the house on the second story.

Well I am super excited for my vacation, but I am also very happy that Courtney and Dusty are not living in the city and I can't wait to hangout with them more when I get back.  Nothing like have college friends in the area.

Strawberry Mint Balsamic Shortcake:
*serves four
1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 self-rising flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
12-15 strawberries, hulled and sliced
6-8 mint leaves roughly chopped

1.  Preheat toaster oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a small 4" x  4" dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a small mixing bowl,  whisk all of the ingredients together just until combined.

3.  Pour in to prepared baking dish and bake for 22-25 minutes or until set in the middle and golden brown.

Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Whisk together all three ingredients in a medium sized bowl until soft peaks form.

Balsamic Reduction:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1.  Bring to a boil small sauce pan, over medium-high heat.  Turn the heat to low and reduce by 1/3 to 1/2.

2.  Plate shortcake with strawberries, mint and whipped cream.  The drizzle with balsamic reduction. Enjoy!!!

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