panzanella = evil (tasty, delicious, evil)

I'm in strawberry heaven. or hell depending on how you look at it. I prepped all the berries from last week's strawberry pickin' and made the goods. strawberry muffins. strawberry-banana oatmeal cups. strawberry syrup. strawberry ice cream. strawberry pancakes. strawberry panzanella. I'm all Strawberry Bubba-Gumped out.

I was in strawberry bliss. Now I'm just taunted by strawberry goodness that will NOT help my bathing suit challenge. Froze all the extras (lots!) and now they are all calling my name. Mocking me. And the panzanella. OH the panzanella. Seriously to. die. for. I ate some last night for dessert okay, okay for a mid-day snack. And dinner. And breakfast today! Don't judge! And it was divine. Think country style croutons but SWEET and loaded butter and brown sugar and a little cinnamon with tons of fruity spots and chunks of fresh berries, topped with creamy Greek yogurt. I even drizzled local raw honey on top. cuz I could.

Am I seriously dreaming of strawberries and farm eggs. really? Is this what inner peace is? Strawberry and bug fed, happy chicken eggs. I'm in a food coma. But not the tryptophan Thanksgiving bloated type food coma. I'm in a food coma of utter amazement. Food really tastes THIS different? Yes. Fresh berries, picked in the cool morning after (and during rain) and farm fresh eggs from one town over. It just makes my belly happy.

I just know BigDaddy is sick of my detailing the beauty of our farms eggs. The colors! The sizes! The shapes! Look at the two different types of whites! And the yoke! Have you ever seen such an ORANGE yoke! Look at it!! Perfect! I'm becoming the Crazy Egg Lady aren't I? The Crazy Egg Lady who eats Strawberry Panzanella all day long.

Because I'm a giver, here are my two favorite strawberry recipes:

Strawberry Muffins from Stoneyfield Farms

I opened the lid on our yogurt container and viola! A recipe stared me down. The Yogurt Strawberry Gods spoke to me. Make muffins! Maaaaake muuuuuffins! So I did. And they rocked. I also substituted molasses (I think I used 1/4 cup) for the sugar and they came out a nice dark brown. Big hit with BigBoy.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup Stonyfield lowfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped strawberries
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 12 muffin tin or line it with paper baking cups. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar and baking soda. In another bowl, stir together eggs, yogurt, melted butter and vanilla until blended. Toss the strawberries with the flour mixture.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the flour is just moistened. The batter will be lumpy. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
12 muffins
Nutrition Facts
(1 muffin) Calories 160; Fat Calories 45; Total Fat 5g; Carbohydrate 25g; Protein 5g; Fiber 3g

And then the Panzanella.... sweet child o' mine:

Strawberry Panzanella from 101 Cookbooks.

Panzanella is usually a savory bread salad, so this is a great twist and comes out like a yummy shortcake/breadpudding type dish. I omitted the
poppy seeds and added a little drizzle of honey. D'lish!

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar OR brown sugar*
couple pinches of fine grain salt
1 pound loaf of hearty, substantial day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1+ pint basket of ripe strawberries, trimmed and cut into matchsticks
a 7 or 8 ounce container of plain (Greek) yogurt
poppy seeds for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. In a large pot melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves and remove from the heat. Add bread cubes and toss, coating the bread cubes. Toss for a minute or so to get decent coverage. Pour the bread out onto a baking sheet and arrange them in a single layer. Toast for about 15 minutes or until bread is well toasted, tossing every 5 minutes to make sure all bread surface areas get golden and crunchy.
In the meantime, place half the chopped strawberries in a small bowl and mash them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. I found a potato masher works well for this. Keep mashing until berries are super juicy and appetizingly chunky - this is your dressing.
When the bread cubes are done toasting (and have had a few minutes to cool and crisp up), toss them in a big bowl with the mashed berries. Add the remaining chopped strawberries and toss a bit more. Give the yogurt a good stir, and serve on the side garnished with poppy seeds (feel free to sweeten it a bit to your liking).
Serves 6 or so. Or just one Crazy Egg Lady.


suzie said...

Love it! I think I'm going to get some strawberries today to make it!

Shannen said...

WOW...it looks SO good! I'll have to try the recipe soon :)

LisAnt said...

So when are you guys getting your chickens? Seriously, like everyone I know with even the tiniest plot of land is getting chickens. EVERY. ONE. (Except me. They smell. I'll just buy mine from the farmer down the road.)

Anonymous said...

I assume the strawberries are organic otherwise they are on the "bad" list. Too toxic if not organic. Info from EWG's website.

Lisa Spector said...

LisAnt- I totally want chickens. My friend just got some this spring and I'm jealous. I think the kids would love it. That's file in my "down the road" plan. ;)

Madge- They were from the strawberry patch we went to last week- no spray, 5 miles away. :) We don't have organic strawberries at the store. total bummer.

Lisa Spector said...

Hi Suzie! Do make it! My new favorite sweet dish and super easy. Bonus!

CPG- Maybe if you came to visit me I'd make it FOR you! ;)

Nikki said...

YUM!!!! And I am in love with eggs too...nothing more beautiful than a bowl of brown eggs sitting in my fridge. I am weird..and yes...I love my chickens! They 'free range' our yard and the kids get way too much joy rounding them up daily to the coop. One of them flew into our raspberry patch though today and I think she got poked a bit...so sad! She looks fine though..still 6 healthy chickens going strong. It is so easy Lisa..I swear..you have a perfect chicken set up with your yard...just need a coop and a small fenced area to keep predators out. Coop is the pricey part to build..chickens are cheap. I must admit though..the month or two of raising them in the house- from day old chicks was a bit of a mess. The room we kept them in was literally covered with chicken dust! But now that they are outside..perfect. You need to do it next spring!

Roni said...

Yummy yum yum. I could so do something with this! No time this weekend maybe next!

Anonymous said...

oh, i love 101cookbooks!


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