End-of-Summer Delights

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over. I have not had time to enjoy it, except for trying these new recipes—winners all.

Strawberry Cake

Since you can get strawberries almost all year-round now, there is no excuse not to make, or make and freeze this cake. When I made this great cake, I only ended up with 1/2 cup of Smash, but the cake tasted great. I think if you end up with 1/2 to 1 cup of Smash, your cake will be great, too.

2 1/2 cups flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons strawberry gelatin

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1 3/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup Strawberry Smash, cool or at room temperature (see recipe below)

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift flour, baking powder, strawberry gelatin and salt together. Set aside.

Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.

Slowly add the sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Crack eggs into a separate bowl and add to batter one at a time. Then beat on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes. Fold in Strawberry Smash.

Add vanilla to the milk.

Beginning and ending with the flour, mix 1/3 of the flour into the wet mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, alternating until all ingredients are mixed.

Transfer batter to cake pan(s) that have been coated with a baker’s cooking spray that includes flour (or greased and floured), filling until cavity is about 3/4 full.

Bake cake(s) until an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean—about 40 minutes for a big ol’ bundt.

Invert cake(s) onto a cooling rack or serving plate. If cake resists, cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting. (If cake still resists, cool an additional 15 minutes in the pan.) Cool completely before frosting with your favorite frosting, if desired, at least 1 hour for a big ol’ bundt. Suggested frostings are vanilla butter cream, cream cheese frosting, or a strawberry butter cream. I did not think the cake needed frosting, so I did not bother.

Strawberry Smash

8 oz fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Toss the strawberries and the sugar together in a saucepan.

Add lemon juice and stir over medium-high heat.

Bring Smash to a boil. Strawberries will begin to give off liquid as they cook. The mixture will begin to thicken as a result of the added sugar.

Once it reaches a boil, boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drop heat to medium-low and simmer mixture for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, as it thickens and reduces to desired Smash consistency.

Transfer mixture to a heat-safe bowl and cool in the fridge. Cooled, the Smash will have the consistency of strawberry jam or preserves. You must cool completely before using.

Grilled Corn, Mexican Style

“I Love Corn” by Lisa Skye (Andrews McMeel Publishing) is for anyone who eagerly awaits corn-on-the-cob season, especially for our Maryland white sweet corn on the cob. I can make a whole meal of this delicious sweet treat. Corn is the sunniest vegetable in the food pyramid, and this book presents the most delicious corn recipes from around the globe from world-renowned chefs, including Daniel Boulud, Pichet Ong and Dan Barber. It is recommended to serve one wedge of lime per ear of corn. However, if your guests have gone nutty with the chile, they’ll need more lime, since it cuts the spiciness.

6 ears fresh corn, husked and cleaned

3/4 cup freshly grated Cotija cheese or Pecorino Romano cheese

3/4 teaspoon chile piquin or chili powder

1/4 cup mayonnaise, enough for a good smear on each cob

1 fresh lime, cut into 6 wedges, or more as desired.

Arugula, Radish and Avocado Salad

Salad doesn’t get much easier than this. The spicy arugula and radish will wake up your palate, but they are mellowed by creamy avocado. Nice dish for Break-the-Fast. From “The Covenant Kitchen: Food and Wine for the New Jewish Table” by Jeff and Jodie Morgan (Schocken Books).

“The Covenant Kitchen” is the kosher cookbook for food lovers, with more than 100 mouthwatering, original and easy-to-prepare recipes complete with suggested wine pairings from veteran cookbook authors and owners of the acclaimed Covenant Winery in California. The book is filled with flavors of Italy, Provence, North Africa, Asia, California and Israel and takes kosher dining to a new, contemporary level of sophistication. The book also is full of informative sidebars on wine, cooking kosher, and sample menus for Jewish holidays, along with a fascinating history of wine in ancient Israel.

1 cup firmly packed arugula

1 avocado, cut into 1/4-inch-wide slices

3 thin slices red onion

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


freshly ground pepper

Spread the arugula leaves evenly across a large serving platter. Frame the outside edge of the salad with avocado slices and line up the remaining avocado in the center of the arugula. Garnish the avocado with the radishes and red onion. Sprinkle with the tarragon. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Editor’s note: For more edible delights by Sheilah Kaufman, go to www. cookingwithsheilah.com.