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The nice sweet smell and taste of fresh strawberries, there’s nothing better. There are so many desserts and salads to be had. Those sweet strawberries will soon be in their prime; try these dishes for a new strawberry surprise for your family.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1 pound asparagus spears

1/2 cup bottled poppy seed dressing or Italian dressing

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 tablespoon orange juice

8 cups torn fresh spinach

2 cups sliced strawberries

3/4 to 1 pound cooked turkey, cut into ˝ inch cubes

1/4 cup pecan halves

Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus. Scrape off scales. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook the asparagus pieces covered in a small amount of boiling water for 4 to 6 minutes, just until crisp tender. Rinse with cold water. Let stand in cold water until cool, drain. Meanwhile, for dressing, in a medium mixing bowl stir together the poppy seed or Italian dressing, orange peel and orange juice and set aside. In a salad bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, turkey and asparagus. Add the dressing mixture, tossing to coat. To serve, divide mixture among four dinner plates. Sprinkle with pecans. Makes 4 main dish servings.

Summertime Strawberry Gelatin Salad

Bottom layer

1 3-ounce package strawberry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1 cup cold water

Middle layer

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

1 cup half and half cream

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Top layer

1 6-ounce package strawberry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1 cup cold water

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in the hot water, stir in the cold water. Pour into a 13-by-9-inch dish. Chill until set. Meanwhile, place the unflavored gelatin and cold water in a small bowl, let stand until softened. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat cream (do not boil). Add softened gelatin, stir until gelatin is dissolved. Cool to room temperature. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the unflavored gelatin mixture, mix well. Carefully pour over the bottom layer. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. For top layer, dissolve strawberry gelatin in boiling water, stir in cold water. Cool to room temperature. Stir in strawberries, carefully spoon over middle layer. Refrigerate overnight. Serves 12 to 16.

Strawberry Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup fat free plain yogurt

1 stick margarine, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries

In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, margarine and vanilla, mix well. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in strawberries. Fill muffin cups coated with nonstick cooking spray or lined with paper liners two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

4 cups of 1-inch pieces fresh rhubarb

4 cups fresh strawberries, halved if large

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced

Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Line jelly roll pan with parchment paper or foil. Toss rhubarb, strawberries, 3/4 cup granulated sugar and zest in large bowl. In measuring cup, dissolve cornstarch in orange juice, mix into fruit. Pour mixture into 11-by-8-inch baking dish, place on jellyroll pan. In bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, salt and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Add butter, on low speed, beat until dry ingredients are moist and mixture is in crumbles. Sprinkle over fruit, covering completely. Bake 1 hour or until fruit is bubbling and topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream. Serves 6.

Strawberries ‘N’ Cream Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon each baking powder, baking soda and salt

3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries

3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, divided

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix well. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in strawberries and 1/2 cup nuts. Pour into a greased 8-by-by-2-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining nuts. Bake at 350° for 65 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes remove from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Pie

1 1/4 cups water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cup sugar

3 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1 3-ounce package strawberry Jell-O

Cool Whip

Mix water, sugar and cornstarch in saucepan, cook over medium heat and stir until thick about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add Jell-O. Stir until dissolved. Cool in refrigerator. Place strawberries in cooled glaze and gently toss. Pour into cooked pie shell. Chill. Serve topped with Cool Whip.

Strawberry Orange Jell-O

1 envelope plain gelatin

1 1/4 cups water

1 6-ounce can concentrated frozen orange juice

1 pint fresh strawberries

1 banana

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in small saucepan, wait 1 minute to soften, then heat, stirring frequently, until gelatin dissolves. Stir in orange juice until defrosted and thoroughly blended. Chill in refrigerator until syrupy. Fold in sliced berries and banana. Spoon into 6 individual dessert cups. Refrigerate until formed and top with to Cool Whip to serve.

Strawberry Shortcake

1 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon soda

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

Beat eggs, then beat in cream, soda and sugar. Stir in flour and mix well. Makes 6 shortcakes. Bake at 350°.

I hope you enjoy these strawberry dishes. If you have a recipe you’d like me to share with other readers of the Bureau County Journal, send your recipe to judyd2313@frontier.com or send it to my attention at the Bureau County Republican, P.O. Box 340, Princeton, IL 61356.

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