Saturday, April 23, 2011

Strawberry shortcake with Balsamic Honey

This was a big week for my husband.  He had his 30th anniversary at his company this week!  It's a monumental achievement and I am so proud of him!  I cannot believe this is the same company that started out with 7 people (Tom was the 7th) and now there are over 650 employees throughout the country.   I remember when we were getting married.  He had interviewed at two companies, DISC (which is now EP) and Union Oil, in which he would be a computer programmer.  He got offered both jobs and of course, Union oil wanted to pay him 800.00 a month 30 years ago, that was a crap load of money!  That meant, I didn't have to work, although I would have....but holy moly!!  He told me at the end of his decision making process that he turned down Union Oil and took the job with DISC!!  UMMMM  WHAT?????? Are you friggen kidding me?  (and I am sure I voiced a few more CHOICE words...)  He said..."I have a good feeling about this little company" - and he was right.  5 years later, Union Oil laid off tons of programmers, but DISC was growing by leaps and bounds.  I'm sure glad he didn't listen to me!!!  The moral of that story is to listen to your GUT, not your wife!!  LOL

Congrats honey on your great achievement!

To celebrate we went to one of our favorite restaurants in the SCV, Maru Sushi.  Now if you haven't been to Maru, let me tell you that this is a 5 star restaurant with incredible fine dining.  I know, weird huh?  Sushi is one part of the menu, but there is a whole other side to them.  The Entrees are spectacular (and I don't say that lightly). Things like Fillet Mignon, Pork wrapped in pastry, seafood, short ribs, and homemade (truly inspiring) raviolis. Their appetizers ROCK and YES, the sushi is really good.

I tried to stay on my WW program....I earned 11 exercise points yesterday and had about 25 points for dinner.....but, I don't even know how to count what we did...OH was a memorable meal and I was happy to be able to share the experience with Tom.

We started off with a Crispy Duck Risotto Cake (buried under the mountain of micro greens) and Tempura zucchini blossoms (LOVE ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS):

Now lets talk Zucchini blossoms.  I think I am the only person on earth who cannot grow zucchini....My plants get massive, great blossoms, but no fruit. It's a function of pollination and we simply had no bees for years.  This year the bees are back, but I am not gonna try again.  Because of this, I had ample supply of the blossoms which have a tiny little Squash on the end (without pollination it wont grow into a large zucchini, which I think is kind of stupid....but I didn't create the plant! Umm...God, did you try to Jinx us?)  So I would dip them in tempura batter and fry them or chop them up and add to salads.  REALLY GOOD.

Maru makes them stuffed with shrimp and spicy tuna...and wow! That BROTH!!  Unreal flavor of sweet peppers, orange juice and what I believe is a combo of  Olive/sesame oil.  I am going to try to recreate it someday.  It would be PERFECT over couscous or bulgar for a cold salad!

Then we had SUSHI ( too much sushi...and today I am paying for all that soy sauce in terms of water retention, it's close to a billion pounds now)

Now we should have stopped there, but actually I am glad we didn't.  Tom ordered a strawberry shortcake with balsamic honey.  SOUNDED GREAT.  But I was disappointed when it came.  There was a dense biscuit type shortcake which was too dry and too thick along with whole strawberries,  topped with whipped cream and a teensy, weensy amount of delicious balsamic honey.  Now come on!!!.  With a thick biscuit and whole strawberries, where is sauce going to come from?  The sauce to biscuit ratio was poor so the dish was boring, dry and didn't pop.  SAD.

So in my sleep, I kept thinking about this hard can balsamic honey be?  How many calories is that and if I chopped the strawberries, replaced that darn biscuit what would it be like? and could I make it WW friendly??

So I woke up and started making this dang dessert.  (like I had time for this today! LOL)

I made the balsamic honey perfect on the first try!  I figured after tasting it last night the ratio had to be twice the honey to the balsamic....OMG!  BINGO

Can you tell by now that I don't like BISCUIT based shortcake?  I like angel food cake. BUT NOT JUST ANY ANGEL FOOD CAKE.  I only eat the angel food cake from Ralphs Market.  I am not a Ralphs fan, but I do go for the cake!  They have regular and a sour cream flavored one, which I am particularly partial too....I think the sour cream flavor tastes the best with the berries, but it's a personal preference.  People look at us crazy because we buy 5-10 at a time (because they run out all the time) so we freeze them (super good out of freezer too)

The recipe makes 2 small servings or 1 large serving.  About 3 PP per serving for the small from the recipe builder.

You will need:

1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup diced strawberries
2 small pcs of Angel Food Cake (1/2 oz each)
lite cool whip (I used 1 tablespoon per)

To make the Balsamic Honey, add 1/4 cup honey (I used orange blossom) and 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar in a bowl.  Mix with a wire wisk together until well blended (this takes a little bit because the honey is so thick)  *** NOTE-spray the measuring cup with non-stick spray first.  the honey will slide right out***

Then dice up about a cup of Strawberries:

Cut 2 pcs,  1/2 ounce each of  Angel food cake (it seems small, but it really doesnt weigh anything) about a 2-1/2" square X 1/2" thick (more if you want more, just add the points) and put one piece on each dessert plate.

I used 3 tablespoons of the Balsamic honey and mixed it together with the strawberries and then topped the angel food cake with 1/2 cup berries plus half the sauce.


Top with 1 tablespoon lite Cool Whip and drizzle another 1/2 tablespoon of the balsamic honey over each.

The result was a DELICIOUS, balanced, juicy and fancy little shortcake.  We DEFINATELY thought this dish popped now, and it didnt cost 9.00!

From my home to yours, ENJOY!

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